Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction
TimbuktuAs the helicopter faded from view I could barely see the gyration of the rotor blades. My life at this moment felt like it was whirling just as fast, though it wasn't fading from view. It was very real. If ever there was a moment in which I was living, this was it.
The foreign smell of the desert, the sheer vastness of this ocean of sand made me realize that home was far-away. At least it wasn't going to be very rainy I thought sardonically as I moved toward the one building in sight.
I was greeted by two men. Both shook my hand. As they spoke in what must have been Bambara I wondered if it was a Malian put-down. I used what little French I knew.
"Bonjour. Comment ça va? Their faces began to thaw. The stream of French words began flowing in rapid fashion.
In that moment I wished that I had responded to the junk email offering French lessons at 47% off. Instead it sat on the rather long waiting list of things I wanted to do.
When they realized that I was incompetent in both of their mother tongues. Their broken English helped me to know that they were taking me to the home of my missionary friend. He had, they informed me, been on his way to greet me personally. He had just gotten his truck on the road when a brick had fallen from a neighboring building and shattered his windshield. He was fine but the vehicle was not.
They both laughed hearty laughs. At least he wasn't a pedestrian they said.
Their sense of humor was something I was going to enjoy.
I also sensed that my life would be wrecked from that moment on for anything resembling normal.
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