Dawn was just breaking when a taxi pulled into Deasil Street with its newest resident.Simon Lewes. He was moving into the downstairs flat Jen had recently vacated tomove in with Angus upstairs.
To get up to date with modern building codes, the landlord had extended the flats by afew meters, so there was no room to separate the bedroom with a half wall. Simondidn’t have much stuff, so had kept Jen’s neutral colour scheme in order to slot in withminimal difficulty.
Though his flat was fairly plain, the shed he erected alongthe back wall of the building was stuffed full of weird andwonderful tubes and containers. What was Simon all about?
Ariette usually took Peps tothe Riding Club a few times aweek while Annette was atschool. Today, she wasinterested to see a newmember pulling up.
He was hardly the typical member. Dressed casually and covered in tattoos… Ariettewas intrigued but decided not to introduce herself. She was having enough troublestaying on the right side of the club members. Befriending such an obvious rebelwould make it more difficult for Annette than ever.
But as the day wore on Ariette wasimpressed with what she saw. He wasdecent to his horse, well manneredwhen subtly insulted by the snobs…
She meant to go home, but shegot talking to him and it was earlyevening before she realised thetime. He was such an interestingperson. Made his money breedinghorses, moved from town to townadvising on local studs.
She stood to leave, and asked him on a date that weekend. She hadspoken before realising what was coming out of her mouth, but waspleasantly surprised when he agreed. Apparently she was the nicestperson he’d come across at a private club for a long time.
Far away that night, in Bridgetown, there was an earthquake. The towns governmentbuilding in particular was shaken and damaged. It made the news for a few days, butthe damage was quickly repaired.
But no sooner had the construction cranesmoved off to work on other buildings thanthere was a series of explosions.A group of people took credit, saying it was anact of vengeance against a government whodidn’t care about the environment, and hadn’tdone enough to counter the vegetable disease‘the blight’.
It all seemed very far away from AppaloosaPlains. It made the papers of course, andthe residents of the little town noted theevents.Warren Bailey even felt some sympathy forthe terrorists, his business having beenruined by the blight. But it didn’t seem thatimportant.