The Ambitious Drifter

Words, Images and The Occasional Noise

The Old Man And The Tea

Daily Prompt.

Time for another Odd Trio prompt: write a post about any topic you want, in whatever form or genre, but make sure it features a slice of cake, a pair of flip-flops, and someone old and wise.

This was due tomorrow*, but I already had the Old Man and the cake. Now he’s wearing thongs…. that’s Australian for flip-flops. For Kiwis, that’s ‘jandles’.


I’m minding the shop, it’s one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. There’s not much work involved and I can read what I like. There’s more customers than you’d imagine and lots of them like a chat. It must have been a Thursday when the old man came in.

‘Hello, Liza not around then?’ there’s an authority in the voice. He must have been a schoolteacher or something. ‘No’ I say truthlessly ‘she’s off at a bookfair’. He digests this information slowly, a bit like a lawyer. He’s got a list of books he’s after. They’re mainly sci-fi… lots of our customers like sci fi.

‘Would you like some chai tea? There’s cake too.’  There’s a pot of chai tea that keeps making itself in the cubbyhole that passes for a back room. I don’t know how it happens. It’s a bit like having a Goblin Teasmade with a real goblin. Liza bought the teapot in Japan, some time ago.

I fetch him some tea and point to the sci fi stack. ‘There’s a bunch of Moorcocks over there.’. He smiles.

‘Can you look for me please? My eyes are not so good and that stepladder is not a friend.’  He’s wearing thongs, I can see his point. Yeah sure, no worries, I’ve got a head for heights… up to about three feet off the ground. I pass him down ‘The Warlord of The Air’, read it myself, cracking good read . ‘Thanks’ he says. ‘I’m Mr Glastonbury.’

I collect a couple of others for him. He seems pleased. ‘Anything else you’re looking for?’ Hey, I think this is called upselling.

‘Well yes’ he says, ‘I’m looking for a book called Mostly Frank by JP Horsam.’ OK…. don’t panic.

‘I don’t think I’ve heard of. I’ll make a note of it and see if I can find it.’

‘Oh please do. I started to read it once and I wonder how it all ends.’


A rainy day near the shop.

* Frank’s a bit superstitious about days, so further installments will arrive Sundays or Thursdays. 


The Old Peculiarity Shop.

 Copyright notice.

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