Chapter 2

Written by: Bdamattson

Dave pushed Daniel away and dusted himself off.

A truck rumbled up the dirt road and came to a halt. Frowning, the driver tapped his fingers on the steering wheel while the motor idled. As people became aware of his glare, they shuffled away, making room. The driver grated the truck into gear and drove it up beside the tipped vehicle. He threw open the door and Will leapt down, slamming the cab door behind him. The Nigerians crowded around, all talking at once.

He held a hand up. ‘Hey, hold it, fellas.’

Their shouting simmered to a murmur and he started back to the truck to get out the winch. Before he got there, Melanie stopped him, arms stretched out with frustration.

‘Will, you have to get this truck out of the way!’ Her eyes lifted to the sun. ‘I’m late for the market.’ She put a hand on his arm, her blue eyes pleading. ‘No one will want to buy my vegetables . . . .’

Will nodded. ‘Just as soon as I can, Melanie.’ He adjusted his baseball cap to the back of his head and shook it as he took in the scene. ‘It’s in a pretty deep rut.’

Daniel nodded towards his Navarra.

‘We could get the boys to load your produce onto my truck.’ His eyes drifted over Melanie. Her gaze dropped away. ‘I could drive you . . . get you to the market.’

A blush rushed up her cheeks. She turned to face the forsaken truck, shaded her eyes then ran a hand over her ponytail. She pointed to the truck. 

‘Are you sure you could get around that?’

‘Sure.’

Dave looked on, seething. His small truck could never carry her vegetables.  The Nigerians started talking over each other again, shouting and gesturing towards the truck - apparently blaming each other for the accident.

Daniel signalled to the group and a man stepped forward, clouds of dust rising around his feet and settling over them in tiny cratered lines. The arguing petered out.

‘I think you and your friends,’ Daniel waved a hand to encompass the other men, whose wide-eyed stares went from Daniel to Melanie, ‘should help this lady.’

Melanie sent him an appreciative smile which he returned with a quick grin. The leader spoke with clipped words to his group. They nodded and rushed to take up boxes of cabbages, melons and corn in their powerful arms. Almost running, they transported boxes from one truck to the other.

In an attempt to hide his agitation, Dave helped Will winch the truck.

Daniel worked with the Nigerians. After dumping the last box onto his truck he sank his hands into the back pockets of his jeans.

‘There,’ he said with a satisfied grin. ‘Let’s go.’

Melanie strode over to Dave and asked him to get her truck back to the farm.

Before he could refuse, she was gone, seated in the cab of Daniel’s truck.

Scowling, Dave watched them drive away.

 

Comments

Daniel is looking darker by the paragraph here. Which must mean that he's not the guy that Melanie is supposed to end up with. Which leaves slow-to-the-draw Dave as The Guy. Love the anti-hero concept - which is the concept that the guy, who really isn't the right man for the job, saving the day depsite himself. Of course, that doesn't fit in with Sumanda's rule book. But maybe not . . . maybe there's nothing dark about the Nigerians at all - or Daniel's need to get Billy Gessup to get the road open . . . and using Dave to do it.But it's clear that Dave wanted to steer Daniel clear of Melanie from the get-go and had designs of his own. Life lesson, ye meek ones: better to state your mind and your heart and take the possible no than to lose through inaction!!
LOL!   ...therefore I've still got hope that somewhere down the line someone is going to turn Daniel into the hero I thought off in the intro. :-)  He could just be acting to gain the trust of the Nigerians so that he could infiltrate their nefarious dealings.  Or his over the top demand to Dave for Billy Gessup to open the access road is so that Melanie doesn't have to get too close to this band of dangerous criminals.  To me he is going to stay the hero until I am punch drunk with the facts. :-)  Hey, a girl can dream can't she?
If we didn't dream, we wouldn't be writers. The difference is that normal people dream while they're asleep and writers dream with their eyes wide open.
But then I have always been confused by the love story. I love to weave a tangled plot with all its twists and turns but am totally baffled by Annette's, or other ladies, take on this chapter. Could this be because I'm a fellah or because I'm old and the 'get up and go' has 'got up and gone'? Getting past all of that I thought it was an okay chapter. Like I said at the beginning, this serial is the tester for the men, not so much for the women. This is a slice of life serial and I hope we see a mature and interesting story emerge that will engage everyone. It certainly looks good so far.
. . . poor Ray! Can't quite get the feel of the story till there's some blood on the pavement. Hang in there, mate, this one feels like someone's going to be paying with more than money somewhere along the line.  
I know that the Americans talk of a truck, but a Nissan Navara would be called a bakkie in South Africa.  :-)  Maybe a double-cab, but the word truck is used exclusively for trucks/lorries, that which transports goods as the only reason for being.  A bakkie is a fairly common vehicle in SA.  From the small 1400 Nissan bakkie that was taken off the market a few years ago to the largest Ford F500 imports that are seen around every now and then.  By far the most popular would be the One Tonners: the Nissan Navara, Toyota Hilux, Isuzu and Mazda bakkies. These come in single, club and double cabs.  Other bakkies that have recently started getting popular includes the Tata and GWM brands. Trucks on the other hand would be anything from the Hyundai flat bed truck to the large Mercedes Benz trucks that have been around for ages.
That's cool to know, actually. I knew from my research that the Navara was a relatively small vehicle of its type, but its interestin' to know what their terminology in South Africa is. Although Melanie havin' had a load of vegetables, she would've for sure had a legit truck for haulin'. Which makes it real silly that this writer has the entire load of a truck goin' into the rear of a small 'bakkie'. Unless Daniel's Navara is actually a TARDIS on wheels, but that's sorta silly!
Hey! a Navara might be relatively small in an American sense, but it's one of the bigger bakkies in SA :-)
While yes, but small in the sense of a flat-bed truck! In terms of load distribution, you'd never be able to fit the entire haulin' load of a flat-bed type truck into a bakkie such as a Navara! Tis mathematically impossible, hehe.
Being in the automotive industry, I call anything with a truck chassis a truck. That includes SUVs, vans, etc.
Research seems a tad spotty. Other then the somewhat silliness of the Navara deal, there's a couple of other spots throughout that aren't much thought through. Nigerians, from a genetic perspective, are built to be runner types more then strong-armed powerhouses. It's a simple deal that's occurred through many, many years: you're built to run to either catch your food or escape somethin' tryin' to make ya food! As well, the load of 'cabbages, melons, and corn' seems a bit odd. Cabbages and corn are cheap goods that would have to sold in a large quantity, while melons aren't vegetables to be in her load but fruits!   There were also a few breaks from reality. If folks are transferin' heavy crates of stuff between two vehicles, why would they transfer the goods accross the road at a near run? Wouldn't they back the vehicles together or pull 'em up side-by-side? Also, a rut is a furrow in the ground. How would that effect a tipped over truck? Its more likely any tipping would just land the bulk of the vehicle on top of a rut, not in one.   Lastly, the ending seems real odd. From the sounds of where he was established, Dave was near Will by the downed truck. Daniel's Navara would be a tad of a walk away. It seems extremely baffling for Melanie to already be in Daniel's vehicle before Dave could say even a simple 'no' or 'wait'. Unless Melanie can teleport. That'd be somethin'!
I like how Dave scowled as the truck drove away closing line