Lonely Teardrop

Lonely Teardrop

Crowds mill around the caravan court, inspecting the special deals on offer. Deafening rock music plays. Salesmen sporting bright Hawaiian shirts and shorts circulate amongst the groups, flashing tooth-paste-advertisement style smiles as they engage customers in a discussion.

‘Best deal you’ll see this side of summer.’

‘Make holidays to remember.’

Tantalising aromas of sizzling sausages waft from b-b-q’s outside the sale office. Over-large umbrella’s shade people sitting at picnic tables. Munching free sausages, tomato sauce oozing out the edges of the rolled bread, they flick through glossy pamphlets.

Returning from the Saturday market, Lizzie wanders through the balloon festooned entry gate. Her shoulders ache from carrying two bulging tote bags. A sit-down will do me good, she thinks.

‘Mind if I sit here?’ Lizzie asks a woman with grey curls poking from beneath her straw hat.

‘Not at all. Annie, and this here is Alf.’

‘Lizzie.’ Easing the bags from her shoulders, Lizzie perches at the end of the seat.

Alf smiles at Lizzie. ‘You want a free sausage? Annie and I never say no to a free lunch.’

‘No thanks. I just need to rest a bit.’

Alf springs to his feet and steps towards the nearest b-b-q.

Lizzie thumbs through a brochure, stopping at a page near the back.

‘Oh, I’ve always fancied a cute caravan like that.’

‘Ah, a Teardrop. Alf made ours, a sleek wood finish. He’s clever with his hands, is Alf. You’d love our Woody. We had such fun on our trips away. We’ve not used it for years.’

‘You don’t go on trips anymore?’

Annie scrunches a paper serviette in her hand. ‘No, it’d not be the same. Our granddaughter always came with us, but our hearts just ain’t in it since her passing.’ A lone tear trickles down her cheek.

On returning with his sausage, Alf sits beside his wife, grasping her arm with his free hand.

‘Understandably. That’s pretty tough,’ Lizzie stammers.

A Hawaiian shirted salesman appears. ‘Ma’am, interested in the Teardrop? Good choice, very snazzy. It’s your lucky day, only one left at an exceptional price (flashes toothy smile). Let me show you,’ and he tugs Lizzie’s arm.

‘I’m coming too.’ Alf grabs Lizzie’s tote bags and follows the pair to the far corner of the caravan court, where an unpretentious green teardrop caravan sits alone. Hawaiian Shirt flings open the door. ‘Isn’t she a beauty?’

Alf clambers up the steps and whips out a tape measure. First, he measures from the floor to the ceiling and shakes his head. Measuring side-to-side, Alf tuts. Finally, he measures from front to back. ‘Oh, no, that’d never do.’

The salesman glares at Alf.

‘Great sausages, mate,’ Alf says, swallowing his last mouthful.

‘Ten per cent discount, today only. But for you, pretty lady, I could twist the bosses arm and get him to fifteen per cent.’

Annie peers around the door. ‘Lizzie, Woody deserves a new owner, and you’d be perfect.’

‘An exceptional offer,’ the voice calls to the three retreating figures.

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