Category Archives: R.G. MacLeod

R.G. MacLeod’s Flash

Lovelies on the Beach by R. G. MacLeod

I work at a restaurant on the beach. Gin clear water. Blindingly white sand.

Here they come, English tourists, once blindingly white, now blindingly red. I’m seriously talking baboon’s ass red.

I can spot them a mile away. Maybe they aren’t used to wearing flip flops and shorts. At least most of them have the decency to not wear Speedos at the beach nowadays, something I wish the Germans would learn.

I’m amazed how many order fish and chips.

Every time I can’t help myself. “Came all this way for that didja? It’s frozen factory made fish planks, not the real thing.”

I try to sell them on something else. Fishermen deliver daily, fresh locally caught fish. Rarely are there less than five fresh catches, at least six ways to prepare them.

“Try the Cobia Almondine” I say, “or the Blackfin Tuna au Poivre, medium-rare.”

“Ah’ve never ‘eard of Cobia. Can I ‘ave the tuna well done?”

“Cobia’s firm white and moist with a crab-like flavor, sorry, flavour. Well done tuna? Might as well just open a can.” Dubious looks.

“Try the Cobia,” I say. “If you don’t like it, you don’t pay for it.” Acquiescence. One even orders the Tuna.

The plates arrive. Tentative small bites.

“Ooh, that’s just lovely that is,” says Doris.

“The tuna’s lovely as well,” says Nigel. “Cheers mate.”

“You’re welcome.” You doubted me?

The happy Brits actually tip more than ten percent.

The fishermen buy me drinks. The Sysco guy hates my guts.

1 Comment

Filed under R.G. MacLeod

Cartography by R.G. MacLeod

Who am I, Indiana Jones? Is there any possible means at my disposal to create a map that will help others find this place? More importantly; find their way back again?

I don’t even know where here is other than somewhere on the north coast of Antarctica. That doesn’t help much, it’s all north coast. I was blown off course halfway between Ascension and the Falklands, GPS fried by a lightning strike, sextant smashed in the same storm.

I know what it is. It’s a storehouse of treasure. Not just any treasure, a treasure that has been missing for seven hundred years. The symbols carved into the rock tell me who this mass of wealth and knowledge belonged to. No other group carved two knights riding tandem on a single horse.

It’s here, it’s really here, the Holy Grail of biblical archaeology. Most disciplines have some kind of Holy Grail, but this is the actual Holy Grail. It isn’t what I was expecting. I knew better than to expect a gaudy gold thing encrusted in jewels, but this is just too much, or maybe it’s just too little, I can’t decide. It’s just a plain earthenware cup with some symbols etched into the side. I immediately recognize Aramaic.

For once in my life, my college major has come in handy. People laughed when I told them I wanted to study dead languages. At first glance I couldn’t believe it. I had to laugh when I read it the second time.


Filed under R.G. MacLeod

Microcosm by R. G. MacLeod

I’m standing chest deep in gin-clear water.

I have to be in the right place at the right time with the right bait.

The right bait is the easy part. Pompano and permit cannot resist a big fat juicy sand flea. Not a gravid female with a bright orange mass of eggs under her belly.

The right bait is the easy part. I can scoop dozens and dozens of them out of the sand where the water meets the land.

I know they exist in that finicky littoral zone. Capturing them is easy. They are packed into the wave washed sand by the dozens, by the hundreds. It’s their lot in life, to extend their feathery filter antennae, nourishing their acorn bodies with the nutrients of the surf zone. Losing their tenuous grip, being washed away from their domain instantly converts them from predator to prey.

I put a circle hook through one and cast, waiting for the tide to carry it to a hungry mouth.

As I wait for that tell-tale tug, a clump of sargassum floats by.

I reach down and lift that innocuous clump of amber flotsam. In my hand, it’s a blob of shiny blobs of earthy fibers. As I look below, pieces of jetsam fall from the flotsam. Little fish, crabs and shrimp, seemingly parts of the sargassum are cast adrift.

I feel like an ass and drop the clump. It appears to suck them back into its tendrils. A tiny brownish world floats away.

1 Comment

Filed under R.G. MacLeod

Fancy Me by R.G. MacLeod

Yes she does.  They all do.  I glanced up when Mona came in.

“I’ll be with you shortly,” I say, “just stuffing Mrs. Pennywhistle’s loins.”

Mrs. Pennywhistle turned to her and remarked: “Mr. Johnson has a way with my loins, they’re always so moist and tender.  And just last week Mr. Pennywhistle came home as I was laying my breasts out on the counter and he remarked on how big and plump and firm they were, so much nicer than before I started coming to Mr. Johnson for my needs. I then told Mr. Pennywhistle that if he liked my breasts, he should see my rump and thighs.”

Mona smiled at Mrs. Pennywhistle then turned to me.

“I hope you’ll be able to satisfy me as well as you do Mrs. Pennywhistle.”

“I keep all of the women in this town quite happy, makes their husbands as well.”  So many men bought pints to thank me for servicing their wives.  Only yesterday Jimmy Theakston bought me four rounds raving about how his wife loves my big juicy sausage.  “Oh, and your balls are exquisite,” he said, “so moist and tender, almost too big to fit in my mouth.”

Mrs. Pennywhistle left, Mona said “I need a big bone for my schnauzer.”

As I got my bone near the back door I looked at the “A” and “T” that had fallen from my sign and wondered when I’d have the time to re-hang them.


Filed under R.G. MacLeod

Breadfruit by R. G. McLeod

Breadfruit by R.G. MacLeod

There it was again.

Well, actually, it was another one, one of about a dozen or so. This big green bumpy lumpy thing, a breadfruit.

Someone had just tossed it in the pit with the pig. I say pit, but it was just a big pile of rocks. Very hot rocks. These people had never heard of hickory, applewood, or pecan but that didn’t stop them from thinking they knew something about barbecue. Back home barbecue is what gets you elected. The dogcatcher couldn’t get elected without putting on a barbecue. These people had never heard of a dogcatcher.

Fortunately, they had heard of God. Not so many years ago, it might have been me on those hot rocks.

Breadfruit grows in Indonesia, Polynesia, Micronesia, Melanesia, all over the South Pacific. It was taken everywhere humans settled, often in outrigger canoes fashioned from the trunks of the trees that bore the fruit.

I didn’t come here in a canoe. I plummeted from the sky, riding down on a pillar of smoke and flame until I un-jammed my canopy and hit the silk seconds before my P-38 slammed into the reef.

As I watch steam and smoke curl from between banana leaves, I see a submarine surface beyond the reef. It’s American, come to take me back to Guadalcanal. The warriors paddle me out to meet the sub as I wonder about the meal I missed. I eat on the submarine. Never has Spam tasted so bad.


Filed under R.G. MacLeod