This week Moville writer Sharon Thompson shares another tale exploring the life of local people.
Each Sunday this series will showcase works of literature written by local women for readers to enjoy.
Sharon first introduced us to the 68-year-old gentleman who is looking for love and life again, following the death of his wife Milly in the first instalment of this excellent short story series, when he went golfing with his close friend Malcolm.
Since then, Sharon has given us a deeper insight into Arthur’s family life when he paid a visit to his son and daughter-in-law’s home on Crescent Close, and last week Arthur was left feeling red-faced when his friend Malcolm discovers the contents of Arthur’s recent spending spree at the pharmacy.
This week, Arthur is attending a computer class – and feels slightly hot and bothered when he encounters the subject of his daydreams.
All Arthur Needs: Part Four
Arthur McNally’s ageing heart is all a-flutter, as himself and Malcolm make their way into North Dublin’s, Beldrum Community Centre.
‘There’s too many men in this computer class. It’s since that fancy doll Sky became a teacher here,’ Malcolm moves his heavy, grey moustache and takes off his tattered cap. He whispers, ‘it’s because she’s got great … teaching skills.’
Malcolm’s large blue folder with its sticky-label saying, Computer Class. (Social Media Workshop) is placed in their usual front row spot.
‘Could everyone take a seat?’ the dulcet tones of Sky echo over the murmurs of all the grey and bald heads in the room. ‘Not too many ladies here?’ Her glorious cleavage highly visible under her tight cream top.
Arthur and Malcolm sit tall in their seats. The other four rows of six computers are all full. In fact Johnny, with the comb over, has squished his friend in beside him, on a stool, at the back.
‘No other women are allowed,’ Malcolm says, ‘only you.’
Arthur moans rubbing his bald head, hoping that Malcolm won’t embarrass them totally. Arthur knows he is not very gentlemanly in the way that he thinks of Sky, but he does try to hide it.
‘The centre’s staff are very impressed by your enthusiasm and attendance gentlemen.’ Sky’s navy skirt rises as she moves about the room, nodding at every man and spreading her musky perfume efficiently. ‘Our class today, if everyone can switch their machine on…. is about Twitter.’
‘Twitter?’ Malcolm asks. ‘I was just getting to grips with Facebook.’
‘Facebook’s easy,’ someone shouts at the back. ‘Let’s tweet!’
Arthur cannot take his dark brown eyes off Sky. Even in his day-dreams, she always appears to tickle his fancy. His eyes leave her tight skirt and move up her back as his imaginary fingers slide under her bra strap and ping it open.
There’s a loud pinging noise from the back of the room.
Johnny sounds distressed as he shrieks, ‘It’s alarming or summit – My computer! This dratted contraption is alarming at me?’
He glares at his companion beside him on a stool. Johnny’s expression is blaming him. Sky’s long legs march to the back and she gets lost in the sea of benches and bald heads. There’s manly giggling and shuffling.
‘Johnny’s phone has been going off. He thought it was the computer,’ someone shouts.
‘Grand-daughter changed my ring tone. Didn’t recognise it. Sky, changed it back for me there now. Thanks.’
‘She could change my ring tone anytime,’ mutters Malcolm.
‘Sky could fix lots of my problems,’ Arthur says distastefully as Sky returns to the top of the room. She gathers that Arthur is being rude and continues with the class, ignoring him completely. The class resumes in a haze for Arthur. The words she utters from a perfect mouth just cause anxiety and he hears none of the instructions. (He’s been fantasising about them both re-enacting the Fifty Shades of Grey.)
‘She’s ignoring you,’ hisses Malcolm as Arthur tries to get her attention by raising his hand.
‘I can do nothin’. I can’t even make a profile on Twitter.’
Arthur’s back twinges as he slides around on his chair to locate his illusive dream-woman.
‘I’m doing grand.’ Malcolm looks so pleased with himself but he has done very little. ‘She smells great today.’
Arthur has his hand right up, like an eager child in school but Sky has plenty of others to take her away.
‘What age to you think she is?’ Arthur is sitting with his arm permanently in the air now.
‘Ya think? Only that old?’
‘June says she does yoga and when her hair is tied up, she looks younger.’
‘You’ve just finished me off now!’ Arthur takes his arm down. ‘Picturing her doing yoga.’ A kind of strangled moan leaves from between his teeth and he rubs his bald head. ‘Oh gosh. I am a pervert.’
‘No, you’re not. Every man in here thinks she’s hot. Even me. Married to June for almost 40 years. And Sky is well…’
‘Now boys, how are you getting on?’ Sky is beside Malcolm on her hunkers looking at his screen. On the end of the row Malcolm can clearly see down her top again. Sky can see clearly that Arthur’s screen doesn’t show much progress.
‘I’m not getting on well at all,’ moans Arthur just as some the next class appears at the door.
Sharon is the co-founder of #WritersWise a trending, writers’ tweet-chat (www.writerswise1.wordpress.com).