This is the twenty-sixth part of a fiction serial, in 725 words.
When Billy got back to his caravan that night, he went over to see Oliver and give him some money. To his delight, Mitzi was there. She flung her arms around him, and kissed him passionately. Oliver pocketed his cash, and winked. “Best you two go to your caravan, boy. Been a while, and you have some catching up to do. There’s two large pork pies there you can take for your tea”.
Mitzi was older than Billy, but they had been sweethearts since he was sixteen. He didn’t mind that she was twelve years older, though he had got angry when some mentioned that she was his cousin. She was the daughter of his dad’s cousin right enough, but as far as he was concerned, that didn’t make her family. Not close family, anyay.
She worked on the funfair, anything from the Hook-A-Duck stall, to standing in for the fortune teller. The fair travelled around, and had just arrived near Kings Lynn for the weekend. Mizi wasted no time. Producing a quart of beer from a carrier bag and nodding at the pork pies, she leered at him. “Get this down us, then we can get to bed”. Later that night, she curled up to him in the dark. “I was hoping you might come and see me when we was working near Lincoln. It’s not that far from here”. Billy shrugged. “You know I’ve only got use of Oliver’s old Land Rover, and besides, I’ve got a regular job now, nice people too”.
Stroking his chest, Mitzi sounded like she was purring. “Old Jed is coming to pick me up in the morning. He said he has work for you on the fair. You can do the dodgems, Jed says, good money in that. Then you could bring your caravan along. Jed will tow it for you with his lorry. We could live together on the road, then winter down near Gloucester, get work in the chicken factory”. Billy nodded. “Sounds good, Mitzi love. Maybe next season, when I finish working for Edgar”.
Some heavy showers interrupted Billy’s work outside the following week, so Edgar found him things to do inside. He cleaned the windows, fixed a couple of cupboard doors that were hanging wrong, and regrouted the tiling in the family bathroom upstairs. The lady still didn’t say much to him, but she never missed bringing him that sandwich and tea. When it stopped raining, it was suggested that he might renew the corrugated plastic roof on the carport. “If you order the new plastic sheeting, I can do that, Edgar. But we will have to move the car that’s under it for me to get proper access”.
Edgar shook his head. “That might be a problem. It has stood there undercover for years now. It was my son’s car. He died. I expect the tyres are flat, and the battery dead too. It is at least ten years old now, and not been driven since I parked it under there”. Billy wasn’t put off. “Tell you what, I will take the battery home with me and put it on charge all night. My friend Oliver has a charger, and a foot pump too. There’s engine oil as well, we use it for the Land Rover. When I come back tomorrow, I will change the oil, connect the battery, pump up the tyres, and see if she starts”.
Underneath the tarpaulin, the car was surprisingly clean. But Edgar had been right about the flat tyres, and the dead battery. Billy took out the battery, admiring the car as he did so. “That’s a nice car, Edgar. Love the colour too, and it’s hardly done much miles”. Edgar nodded. “I once drove it all the way back from Switzerland, and I have to say it was a good runner. Can’t drive anymore now, with my legs in this state. I had to sell my own car three months ago”.
The next morning, Billy changed the oil, draining the sticky stuff from the sump into an old washing up bowl that Edgar gave him. Then he pumped up the tyres using Oliver’s huge foot pump, before connecting the fully charged battery. Edgar handed him the key, and Billy sat in the driving seat. He turned and grinned. “Fingers crossed, Edgar”.
It started first time.