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(A short story of 1968 words)

Tomato Sauce


by Vivien Jones

A bowl of freshly picked tomatoes. That’s all it took. Just carrying them from the larder to the kitchen filled her head with sensual images, square white buildings, bright paper kites in the deepest blue sky, tanned faces, ramshackle single decker buses, a different colour for each destination. Blue for Rabat, green for Sliema, mustard yellow for Bershibuga. She didn’t know the spellings, just the Moorish sounds. The images were also aromatic. Dust, garlic, engine oil, donkey dung and fresh tomatoes. She was again an English child in pale cotton clothes tumbling in a kaleidoscope of cultures.

But what Pamela remembered most vividly about that time in Malta was discovering vomiting. Her discovery occurred one day when she wandered outside her legal play area, which was 50 yards up and down Prince of Wales Road, measured from her four white front door steps. She was eight years old and wandered off-limits often, much to her mother’s loud dismay, but everything beyond 50 yards was so interesting, unlike everything inside it. Of course the kite shop next door was a wonderland but the owner, a swarthy Maltese man she imagined was called Mario, did not encourage her penniless visits...


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