#AustraliaDay An extract from #InvisibleShores South America

By the time Australia day came around, Jack was back on his feet and if not an example of peak human health with his pale skin and loss of appetite; something unheard of for Jack, he was willing. A testament to his stubborn nature.
I had never heard of ‘Australia day’ before. Was there an England day? Of course if there had been I assumed we were not allowed to celebrate it as we may have offended people from different countries, quite rightly so. Why should we have had pride in a country that disallows pride in a country? They had just saved us the effort.
The day bloomed fresh and bright. By this time the hostel was only half full, Word of Mike’s culinary misdemeanours had spread, the little tyke. As a consequence there were only two Ozzies that I was aware of. One called Sophie: a diminutive girl who was very sweet with large breasts. Jack spent many diplomatic hours accusing her of them being fake, the little tyke. The other was a guy called Sebastian, who was cool in a sort of geeky way, Fernando our ever subtle Argentinean friend proclaimed that Seb was gay and proceeded to refer to him as simply “The gay”, the little tyke.
A game of cricket was organised between our hostel and Loki, which was heavily populated by our upside down cousins.
The two groups of men approached each other under the mid-day sun. The meeting spot was clearly marked half way down the beach. The sea was the only witness of this ancient feud, well, the sea and anyone that walked by.
Eyes were locked and stances were that of gunslingers.
One man wearing a hat stippled with corks in the brim stepped forward.
“You came then.” Every eyeball was on him, every ear cocked to hear.
“We did.” Rory, our intrepid leader and manager of The Point spat on the sand.
The two men bowed like marshal artists.
“I declare,” the man in the hat held up a sun-darkened hand, “This game of cricket begun!”
And so they played. It was fast, vicious and over all too quickly. I never knew that a game, conceived for recreational purposes could be perverted into such an impassioned display of terror and pain. Balls zipped through the air like missiles to meet with a thunderous clap on the face of the bat. On that barren beach where the sea met the land foes were slaughtered.
I was very proud of my travel companions. Jack had destroyed both the Australians defence and racked up a great number of runs before he was put out. All that was required was a mop up by Liam, who delivered a series of blistering throws. The Australians; looking for a fun day of sport, had been reduced to weeping men, beaten in just an hour.
Liam was suddenly the celebrity, having finished them off. The memory of Jack’s contribution soon faded in the face of Liam’s humble admissions of greatness and his graceful acceptance of worship.
Jack, in sheer morbid despair of his stolen glory, plodded into the sea in a half-hearted attempt to drown himself. Several minutes passed until with a cry Jack emerged from the water like a fabled monster from the depths…
“My fags! He held up a sad looking packet with smeared ink on the front, containing several bloated tumescent objects. “They’re ruined.” And Jack’s misery was complete.
Liam returned to the hostel smug and glorious. He wondered around wearing the stolen Australian flag like some super hero who had been deported from Victorian England. As far as I know The Point still possesses that flag which was won so brutally on that most savage of days from the salt-callused hands of Loki.

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