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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Sightseeing (08/08/05)

TITLE: St. Barts
By dub W
08/08/05


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The Moke hit a bump and Margaret bounced in the passenger seat. “Charles, slow down, try to miss those holes every chance you get.”

The little car slowed, not by choice, but because we were halfway up a steep hill on the tiny French island of Saint Barthelemy, also known as Saint Barts. “Pedal Margaret.”
My joke was lost on my wife.

“Do I need to get out.” She started to open the door.

“Probably wouldn’t hurt. Why don’t you drive and I’ll walk.” The Mokey shuttered and finally stalled. I exited the vehicle and Margaret got in the driver’s seat; I, in turn, moved to the rear of the car to push. Pushing a Mokey up the hills in St. Barts was a common sight. The little cars had the power of a small lawnmower. Tourists and locals alike often walked their vehicles up the steep hills.

Finally, we reached the crest of the hill where the island of St. Barts stretched out before us. Margaret pulled the Mokey to the side of the road. “Did God ever produce anything so beautiful?” She shaded her eyes with her hand. “Look at all of this, I need to get a picture.”

“Another gift,” was my only out-of-breath reply. Suddenly, a small aircraft buzzed behind us. “Duck.” I yelled.

The airplane’s wheels almost touched the road and the wings of the plane nearly hit the Moke. Then the small plane dove toward a landing strip on the beach below.

“Wow.” Margaret picked her head up off of the seat. “Maybe we should move down the hill a bit.”

We both laughed as I jumped into the car and we coasted to a roadside overlook.

“This is beautiful Charles. Just look at that crystal clear water.” She took her camera from her purse and began photographing the seascape.

From our perch we could see the beaches and the gentle surf - the water sparkled and seemed transparent. Windsurfers glided across the placid waves as if roller-skating on glass and colorful sunbathers dotted the sand – each with a bright umbrella casting a tiny shadow in the sunlight. Margaret pointed to the distant horizon. We could see what appeared to be small rock outcroppings – more of the tiny islands dotting the Windward side of the Caribbean Island chain. “I’m speechless.” Margaret seemed to gasp.

“We should rent one of the cabana huts sometime.” I waved at the rows of beach huts lining the sand below us.

Margaret brushed a lock of salt tipped brown hair from her eyes. “You know Charles, I’ve been thinking. What would you think about living down here, maybe not St. Barts, but one of the islands, at least in the winter. Don’t answer me right now.”

I must’ve looked worried, because she touched my sunburned arm and said, “it’s just a dream Charles – come on loosen up and dream along with me. You could start a small church tucked away on some hidden island – like you have always talked about.”

I tried to smile while squinting in the bright sunlight. “Margaret, I have thought about that too - ever since the cab ride on Sint Maarten. I suppose, for the fun of it, we could look into it. Monique would probably love it.”

“I think Monique is in love with Paris, we might get her to join us here sightseeing.” Monique and Margaret had a typical mother/daughter relationship; however, it was uncanny how alike they were. “Charles, do you still have that realtor's card, maybe we can call him.”

“Okay, when we get back to Virginia why don’t you get on the internet, make some calls, and we will look into it. You might even try the cabby’s brother realtor.” I laughed.

Margaret’s eyes brightened and a bright smile covered her face. “Oh, Charles, this place is so beautiful. Promise me you’ll scatter my ashes in the Caribbean.”


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Member Comments
Member Date
Sandra Petersen 08/15/05
The description of the Moke's progress up the hill is great! That last line about scattering her ashes on the Caribbean...a little chilling, almost like a prophetic word!
Fenny West08/15/05
The descriptions in paragraph eleven were very vivid and commendable. Well done.

The last line was a great finish albeit surprising.My mouthfell open.
Joanne Malley08/15/05
An enjoyable read. Vivid descriptive sentences. I think I want to go there right now! :)
Val Clark08/16/05
Had me sucked in for a while there! Not another travelogue! :-( then Oh, it's... Great flashback that fill in some more gaps.
Beth Muehlhausen08/18/05
Felt the draw to this little piece of Paradise...so lovely! Was taken off guard by the surprise comment at the end. Where did THAT come from?? :-)
Debra Brand08/19/05
Once again the saga with a twist. Good way to lead to the next chapter. Great work!
Shari Armstrong 08/19/05
Another enjoying story :)
Phyllis Inniss 08/20/05
You've painted a beautiful picture of the island. Can understand why you want to resettle there. Good entry.
Nina Phillips08/21/05
Ah-ha! This was the first article I picked to read for some reason--I just have to find out more! (LOL) This is all to suspenseful, and intriquing--little at a time. Very sneaky and clever!-but I knew from the on-set. Lovely again. God bless ya, littlelight