by Nick Black
“You look tanned,” said Simone.
“Burnt,” I said, touching fingertips to my cheeks. “Actually quite sore,” and I smiled.
I’d come straight from the airport; my bags were in our hosts’ second bedroom as we ate. I’d been due back the previous day, and wasn’t sure Simone wasn’t mad at me for the delay. My translator Emil had snatched and hurled my passport onto the back of a passing flatbed as a “hilarious prank” …
“Eric’s just returned from living among cannibals,” I suddenly heard announced to my left. Stephanie, Simone’s agent, the lady of the house, arched her eyebrows as everyone turned to her. “Pray tell us more,” she crooned and, in an apparent afterthought, lobbed her untouched side-roll at me. I caught it and turned it over in my hands. I thought of the conch shell in Lord of the Flies.
“They weren’t cannibalistic that often
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