Kaimoana Tales

by Kiwi

Wills & Dills in Westpoint

Part 68

While they were busy, Dylan and William had a good look around the car. There were a few small scratches around the front - no big deal. A can of spray paint would fix that. One small dent, but no other apparent damage anywhere. They were lucky. Dylan might even survive to drive another day.

Back inside, Robert made them another drink. William said, "Do you want us to strip the sheets off the bed?"

Robert said, "Why? Did you piss the bed?"

"No, we did not! And nothing else either."

"Nothing? You must've been tired. No, leave the bed. You might want to come back and sleep again tonight."

"Could we? That might be good, but we were planning on going down to Brownsville today."

"Why would you want to do that?" Roman came in. "Brownsville's a crap town. Stay in Westpoint, you can't see it all in one day."

"Dead right!" Robert agreed. "Stay here and have a rest. You can go to Brownsville some other time."

"Yeah, we'll do that," Dylan nodded. "We'll stay around here. Thanks, Guys."

"No probs. It's going to be a good day, the sun will be out soon and there's nowhere like the Coast on a fine day."

William looked doubtfully at the gray sky outside. "How do you know it'll be sunny? It doesn't look like it."

"It will," Christian said. "Everyone's an expert on the weather around here. Besides, Robbie, on the radio, said that it will be and he'd know. The weather forecast is never wrong."

"Yeah, right," the others chuckled. "The weather forecast is as reliable as a two-dollar watch."

Dylan said, "It's the same at home. They just keep saying that it's going to rain, until it does, and then they say it's going to be fine."

"Has your town got its own radio?"

"No, but we can get Christchurch stations, and I think there's a repeater."

"Good for you. We can't get Christchurch stations here, too many mountains in the way."

"Who'd want to anyway?" Robert said. "West FM's as good as any of them."

"Yeah," Christian agreed. "And they've got the Seeker."

"I knew you were going to say that," Roman grinned. "I could get worried this crush of yours. Just as well the Seeker never goes anywhere."

"Why doesn't he?" William asked.

"Don't know. He's on the radio, at school or at home. That's about it really. The Seeker's like Superman, his alter-ego is a nerd."

"Has Superboy got an alter-ego?"

"No, Justin's always super. Okay, if everyone's finished here, we'll go to town."

They covered the fire, closed the house up, (but didn't lock it), and got into the cars. Robert rode with Roman. Christian sat next to Dylan and William had the backseat, because he was the smallest and they had far too much junk in there.

"You okay there, William?" Christian looked back.

"Yeah, I'm fine. There's enough room for me."

"Just enough. You guys have got so much stuff! Were you planning on staying a month?"

"No," Dylan replied. "Just two nights. I was a boy scout, I like to be prepared."

"Weren't prepared for a cow on the road though, were you?"

"Well, no. No-one expects a cow on the road."

"Like the Spanish Inquisition then."

"The Spanish Inquisition?"

"Yeah. No-one ever expects the Spanish Inquisition. Look it up on Youtube, Monty Python and the Spanish Inquisition. Very funny."

There was just enough room in the wide backyard to turn the cars in a circle, one towing the other. They crawled out to the highway, turned right and headed west, to Westpoint.

Dylan had expected that it would be a slow trip, but it wasn't. It was a good road, there still wasn't much traffic around, and they travelled at normal speed, maybe even faster than usual.

"It's weird, travelling like this with no engine noise."

"It is," William agreed. "It's very quiet. Funny how much noise the tyres make though. I thought we'd be going slower than this."

"I was thinking the same thing. It's okay, but he's not wasting any time, is he?"

"That's Roman for you," Christian said. "Roman's the best guy and he is a good driver, but he thinks he's bombproof. This is slow for him. I blame his parents."

"His parents?"

"Yeah, it's the way he was raised. Roman's family think that they're better than anyone else and normal rules don't apply to them."

"We've got people like that in Kaimoana too,' William grumbled.

"Yeah, Damian's family," Dylan said. "They're finding out they're not though, aren't they? Dianne Sullivan's getting stuck into them."

"She is, and bloody good thing too. I hate those people!"

"Let it go, Wills."

"Umm, yeah," Christian changed the subject. "Here's the Crossroads. Only about 5k to go now. That's the road that takes you down the Coast to Brownsville."

"Wills knows that. He reads maps."

"Shut up, Dills! At least I read."

"Yes, Boss."

"There's Westpoint," Christian pointed ahead. "Best town in the country."

"Well, maybe one of them. And there's the sea. It's the Tasman Sea on the west, isn't it? We're on the Pacific on the east coast. New Zealand's not big, is it? You can drive right across it in a few hours."

"If you don't run into any cows, yeah. Some people run it. They have a race every year, the Coast to Coast, from Kumara Beach to Sumner Beach, in Christchurch - running, biking and kayaking. Most people take two days, but some do it in one. Roman says he's going to do it next year. He'll be doing it on his own."

"Not for you, Christian?"

"Definitely not. Cars are good."

"They are, when they're going."

"And, here we go. Down the hill, past Lover's Lane, over the bridge and we'll be in Westpoint."

"It's looking good. Good that the sun came out. That's a big river."

"It's big. You should see it when it's in flood!"

William spoke-up from the backseat. "It's the 5th biggest river in the country, but when it's in flood, it's the biggest by far."

"Is it? I didn't know that and I've lived here all my life. How do you know that?"

"Wills knows everything," Dylan nodded. "He's got a computer for a brain and he's a bright boy, my Wills. He's educating me."

"He must be bright. You're older than him, aren't you?"

"Only on the outside," William grinned.

"Yeah," Dylan grinned back. "That's probably true too."

"Okay," Christian grinned as well. "Carver's Beach is out that way. That's a suburb, with the airport, golf links and a really cool beach. And, here we are. Slow down, Roman. Dammit!"

They crossed the wide bridge over the placid river. On the left, they could see all the way down to the sea. After the tangled banks of willows on the riverbank, was the long line of old wooden wharves with a couple of old cranes reaching for the sky.

A cement-company boat was tied up at the silos and a huge coal-barge further along. Down off the bridge, a sweeping corner took them over the railway line and around into the main street. Then Roman slowed down, right down.

He had to because they'd caught up to the rear-end of a long line of brightly-coloured house-trucks, buses, trailers and caravans.

"Hey! Very cool," Christian said. "The Gypsy Fair's in town!"

"The Gypsy Fair?" Dylan said. "They come to Kaimoana too, about once a year. They parade around the town, and then they set-up at the race-course for a couple of days."

"That's what they do here too," Christian replied. "They camp at our race-course too, Pattinson Park. That's just down the road from Ma's place. I work at the race-course, I've got an after-school job there."

"Yeah? Doing what?"

"Shovelling shit, mostly. I clean the stables. Roman helps me, but he doesn't get paid, he just does it for love."

"Ain't love grand?"

"It surely is!"

William said, "Dills, would you shovel shit for me?"

"You know I would."

Christian continued, "I love the Gypsy Fair. I don't think I'm too keen on this though."

"You're not too keen on what?"

"It looks like we're joining the parade. Trust Roman! He couldn't resist that. Oh, well. Smile and wave at the locals, Guys."

Music playing, horns blaring, flags and banners waving, the line of vehicles started moving down the street. Roman drove slowly along behind them. The big house-truck just ahead of them had a sun-deck on the roof and there was a gaudily-dressed, teenage boy sitting on a chair up there.

At least, they thought it was a boy, it was hard to tell, it might easily have been a girl. He, (She? It?), had very long black hair and was wearing a long-sleeved yellow shirt, open down the front and knotted at the waist, a red and gold scarf and, very, tight and brief blue shorts. He had bare feet and his long and slender, tanned and golden, legs were propped up on the railing around the sun-deck.

"Whoah!" said William. "What is that up there?"

"Probably one of their whores," Christian replied. "They've always got a few - boys as well as girls."

"Oh?" Dylan queried. "And you know this how? Customer, are you?"

"Shut up! I am not. I just hear the talk around the stables."

"Yeah, sure. We'll believe you."

"Well you'd better - it's true."

"Okay then. Wills, you stop looking. You're too young for that sort of thing."

"That's not what you said this morning, Dills."

"Shut up, Wills," Dylan blushed while the others laughed.

"Damm, Roman," Christian complained.

"What's he done now?"

"That's the last street where you can turn off to avoid the busy area, So we're going to do the whole length of the main street. Smile and wave.

Oh, priceless! There's Roman's grandmother. The snobby old witch hates me. Give her a big cheesy grin."

The houses and motels ended and they started passing shops and offices. Most of them were old, but well-kept, and had wide sheltering verandahs over the sidewalks.

"St. John's theatre there, our movie theatre. Some of Whozzat's Movie was filmed there. Roman and I were both there, but we weren't together. It was years ago and we were just kids. Have you seen Whozzat's Movie?"

"I don't think so," William replied. "Whozzat were a group weren't they? A New Zealand band."

"They were a Westpoint group. They still are but they're mostly retired now. Most of them still live here in Westpoint. You should watch it sometime, there's lots of good shots of Westpoint in there.

See that garage there? That's Tony Duncan's. He's the singer in Whozzat."

Dylan said, "Of course you know Whozzat, Wills. They did the theme song for Billy's Burgers adverts - Simply the Best."

"Oh yeah," William grinned. "That's whose Whozzat are."

"There's Billy's Burgers, on the left there," Christian said. "There's another one, in Derby Street near the schools, but that was the original - the first Billy's Burgers ever."

"The first ever?" said Dylan. "Not very big, is it?"

"Well, no. It's not a very big town. They've got a couple of factories around town too. There's the Adelphi hotel, that's where Superboy and Billy live, with their kid."

"They've got a hotel as well?"

"It's not theirs, they just live there. Superboy's grandparents own it.

There's my mother. Hello, Mummy Dearest! Cheesy grins, Guys. She hates us too."

"You don't get on with your families?"

"Not at all. They don't want to know us. No great loss, we never did get on much anyway. 'Bye, Mummy Dearest."

"Is she a snob too?"

"No, just a nasty drunk."

It took a long time, but they reached the end of the long street. At least they got a good look at the business area of the town. The house-trucks etc. were going around the block to go back for a second time, but Roman, (finally!), left them and carried on up to Derby Street and the Carver's house.

He turned in off the street and down the drive to the back of the house.

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