(A Radio Play)
Reggae Music in the background; perhaps Bob Marley’s One Love.
(sound of a door slamming).
Hearing the door slam, the old man lifts his eyes from his paper, to see Connie, his twelve-year-old niece, rushing into the room.
Connie: (Excitedly): Uncle Caleb, I’m finally here! The reason I’m late is because the bus I was on got into an accident. Don’t look so shocked Uncle Caleb; it wasn’t a big deal at all. There was a construction site along the route, and the somehow the bus managed to clip off the rearview mirror of one of the parked construction trucks.
Uncle Caleb: But was anybody hurt, are you all right? Sit down, have a glass of water and tell me all about it.
Connie: Well like I said Uncle Caleb, it was no big deal. I really don’t need any water. No one was hurt. We just had to wait around for the inspectors and the cops and all that, and it took so long.
Uncle Caleb: Well it’s good to know that everyone is all right. Have a drop of this ginger beer I’m drinking. My mother always used to say that ginger calms nerves. Just pass me one of those glasses from the top shelf of the china cabinet.
(Short silence, then the tinkle of glass, and the sound of ginger beer being poured).
There you go Connie, enjoy. Trust me; I wouldn’t blame you if you are in quite a state after that accident, even though it was minor. For as a matter of fact, I myself am in quite a state. I was just reading the overseas Gleaner, and it is full of all the things that going on down in Jamaica. Just look at these headlines, Shootings, Drownings, Floods, and Power Shortages! How much more can our people take? Mark my words, things don’t look pretty.
(Sound of paper rustling)
Connie: Well, at least I have some good news Uncle Caleb.
Uncle Caleb: What kind of good news? I only hope it has nothing to do with that accident, because that would bound to involve investigations that would just raise my blood pressure.
Connie: Oh no, it’s nothing to do with the accident Uncle Caleb. It’s about a club I joined at school.
Uncle Caleb (Chuckling):
Well, well, well, Miss Connie, I’m proud of you. You are forging new pathways for yourself. But what kind of club is it? I hope it is educational and not a fan club for a movie star or one of those rambunctious singers.
Connie: No way is it a fan club Uncle Caleb. It’s a book club, called ‘The Fiction and Fantasy Club’, because all of us in it like to read.
Uncle Caleb: Well if I say so myself; a book club sounds promising, but tell me something, how many of you are in this club?
Connie: Right now, it’s like just three of us, me and two boys.
Uncle Caleb: You and two boys! You don’t mean to say that after all this time in Toronto, you only have two friends. Perhaps I should nip things in the bud right now, and get you to join something else, that involves more people.
Connie: But Uncle Caleb, its like this club is important to me, all of us read books, and then we talk about them, and you know how I love reading.
Uncle Caleb: Well you do have a point, and I’ll admit I might have been hasty, especially since I saw how your room is overflowing with books. But are those boys readers too?
Connie: Yes, they’ve read so many series, Narnia, Harry Potter, Lemony Snicket, Lord of The Rings, and much more. And I have been keeping up with them book by book.
Uncle Caleb: But tell me something, what are those boys like anyway? They sound like the real studious type if you ask me.
Connie: Sssssssh Uncle they are out in the hall.
Uncle Caleb: You mean to say they were out there all this time, and you’re only just mentioning it now! What kind of hostess are you Miss Connie. Hurry up and go tell them to come inside. I might be retired but I enjoy being around youngsters.
Narrator: Connie immediately rushes to the front door (Sound of door opening) and calls to her two friends in the hall.
Connie: Hey Guys come in. Uncle Caleb’s cool.
Narrator: Two twelve year old boys carrying heavy back packs enter the apartment. Uncle Caleb cannot help but be somewhat surprised to see that one boy is Caucasian, while the other is Oriental.
Bernadette Dyer is a Toronto Writer. She is the author of the short story collection, Villa Fair (Beach Holme, 2000); the novels, Waltzes I Have Not Forgotten (Canadian Scholars Women's Press, 2004) and, Abductors (Rain Publishing, 2007).
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