Blow in it certainly did! A whirlwind in fact, plucking him from off of terra firma and embroiling him in a frenzy of attention and mystique. More unwanted invitations from one newspaper then another, unsolicited mobile calls from local and national media outlets alike, letters from men’s magazines, woman’s magazines, obscure periodicals, all of them wanting to help in any way they could, though for that statement read increase their sales figures. He had been in this land for long enough now and was no fool, no fool whatsoever. He realised the only string to any of their bows was one playing profit as a theme tune. Thankfully though he now had the same instrument in his possession.

It began the day after the encounter in the field, the one with the three journalist, Nigel Tyas being one of them, Nigel Tyas, the person Mac had finally decided on to contact that same evening. The reporter came over to the farm “sometime after six o’clock” of the following day, as Mac had put it, actually no sooner had the hour turned than he was there on the doorstep, knocking on the woodwork with great intention. Now dressed more in keeping with the geography of the story he was chasing he had obviously bought some new green rubber boots which buckled at the calves. These he wore proudly on his feet, for it was obvious that he had fashioned them with some muck from the yard. Accompanying these was an all together more satisfactory black hooded coat with toggles for fasteners which offered more comfort and protection than his apparel of the day before. He needed it. On top of the hill the farmstead was not enjoying the gale spewing down between the hilly geography to the north west. A cutting wind carrying a little sleet within it funnelled along the valley torn between high escarpments at either side.

On Mac’s invitation he came through to the lounge where over the next few hours he enjoyed an evening of hospitality Walt style, the elder farmer sat bolt upright in his comfy red leather chair, both bare thin, bony arms resting on the upholstery of the three piece. He was like a king in his court, a wise expression filling a healthier, fuller face, a do not mess with my family expression, one that Nigel Tyas must have recognised, and no doubt would have seen before in his role as gatherer of information for he tried not to involve Walt too much in any of the conversation as he plied his trade.

Mac and Margaret sat on the couch holding hands, support and solidarity needed to be portrayed, as Nigel Tyas went through his paces gathering sound bytes and making notes as answers to his investigative journalism came back to his apparently haphazard but nevertheless seeking conversation of questions.

Mac went over the same old ground, as if bored by the repetition it brought to him, Margaret every now and again having to slow him down a little so the story could be detailed. Loss of memory, anxiety over where he actually hailed from, family left unknowing of where he was all took the upper case, but Nigel seemed to want another slant on the story, a less clinical telling of the facts.

“So what d’ya think of this new lady in your life?” the reporter enquired. Should they have been holding hands!

The two of them relaxed their grip, an obvious awkward move really on both their parts, but they had already rehearsed this answer and it was Margaret who delivered it.

“Mac and me are just good friends, there’s nothing romantic between us. I just think we’re so lucky to have him find us and us find him.”

Nigel looked at their hands now placed each on their own knees. “No romance whatsoever?” He had a cheeky glint in his eyes.

“None at all,” Mac replied. “I don’t know who I belong to yet, I’m like a lost dog waiting to be found.”

Margaret added her few pence worth. “For all we know Mac could have a wife and children waiting for him.”

Nigel Tyas looked to Mac’s hands again, this time his left one. “No ring though, so who can say.”

Mac flinched a little, the observation confusing him. What was Nigel Tyas inferring? An awkward moment or two ensued, no conversation or explanation coming from anywhere. How was he to escape this dearth of knowledge. A ring, jewellery?Must be some kind of symbolism when a partner was taken. The hairs on the back of his neck stood up.

Finally Walt saw a way into the conversation. He leaned forward and placing his white mug of tea on the rustic occasional table, unbeknowningly came to Mac’s rescue in his own inimitable style.

“Rings! What t’ hell d’ they mean t’day fella! Yung uns these days dunt tie t’knot wi a ring, they lucky if they tie knot at all so a lack a one means nowt!”

“Dad!” Margaret interrupted his rant. “This is Mac we’re talking about here.”

Walt adopted a sheepish expression. “Present company excepted,” he added in a reprimanded manner, his voice much quieter than the earlier part of his acclamation.

Nigel Tyas ran the fingers of both his hands through a well groomed left hand parted hairstyle, in an attempt to hide a little embarrassed at the outcome of his enquiry. He went no further with it and instead changed tack to add an element of fate to the story. The two parties being lucky to have met and all the benefits each was receiving from the other. This storyline took shape over the remaining hour until nine o’clock came around and Walt announced he was off to bed. Although it was probably not meant as a cue, Nigel Tyas took it that way and made his excuse to leave at the same time, thanking them all for their time and reiterating in no uncertain manner of the importance of his paper being the only one able to run the story. That way he could assure Mac of his payment. Both Mac and Margaret agreed there would be no other interviews for the time being.

“But I do want results,” Mac added, acting the desperate party.

“And so you will Mac I’m sure,” the journalist reassured him. “This story could make you famous when I’ve finished with it, never mind find you your relatives. Our readers love a fighter, and much more than that a happy ending. So get ready for it.”

Mac looked pensive. “I’m not sure I want a fuss.” Of course he was lying. The more fuss the better. That way his plight could reap in more and more cash for Walt and Margaret.

“You may well end up a celebrity Mac!” Margaret chirped up squeezing his waistline with both hands to tickle him.

“Not sure I want that either,” he added. This time he was not lying.

With his new all be them muddy boots back on his feet Nigel Tyas bid them good night at the farmhouse door and added, “I will e-mail Margaret a copy of the article on for your approval Mac before it goes to press. We want it in the weekend edition and if my editor approves and you like the article, so that’s the timeline we’re running on.”

With that he took his leave slipping a couple of times on his way across the muddy yard as he headed for the gate. Although he did not fall to the ground it was obvious from his acrobatics that his feet were not conversant with such a betraying surface.

Margaret looked at Mac and him at her, both of them trying not to giggle at the antics of the journalist. After he closed the gate they did the same to the outside door and then took time to have indulge a huge cuddle of relief, finishing the squeeze of with a long awaited kiss. Margaret had that gleam in her eyes again, that naughty gleam which along with the slight quiver of a pout at the right hand corner of her mouth told of unfettered passion on offer. The subterfuge had excited her, not letting on to Nigel Tyas that the two of them were a pair had done the trick, and it was now boiling up into a volcano of sexual promise. From the closeness of their embrace she knew the same was within Mac as well.

“C’mon lets lock up,” she mumbled between tongues and teeth. “Dad’s already gone up.” She pushed herself against him and wriggled her waist a little too and fro. It was all the invitation he needed.

Perspiration stood between his pectoral muscles, clinging within a mass of chest hair as he lay flat on his back staring at the white ceiling of his own, no, now it was the two of them’s bedroom. Margaret was fast asleep, a spent force, her tide come in and now waned. Mac was in seventh heaven, revelling at the memory of the last two hours, proud as punch at his own prowess and more than happy with his lot for the moment. It needed no spoiling, no questioning or rebuke. Time now had been at work and healed a little his wounds of separation, allowing him a more rosy retrospect on the bedroom menu just enjoyed.

Should he get up and wash? The truth was he did not have either the inclination or indeed the strength to move out from under the duvet. So there he stayed, smiling contentedly to himself and staring at shadows produced between the dark oak beams, shadows driven by the branches of the trees outside. ‘A pig in clover.’ The saying came into his mind, a saying Walt was fond of repeating when lazing in his own comfy red leather chair in the lounge by the side of the fire.

“A pig in clover indeed!” The words, only mouthed, held no weight so did not disturb Margaret.

Moving between the shadows a long legged spider played amongst the beams, suspended by a single thread which was caught by the shadows and reflected moonlight coming from somewhere or other, the window ledge probably, yes the window ledge it was, it took a few moments to work out the angles but it was the window ledge responsible for the webs illumination.

Suddenly the thread broke from one attachment leaving the spider to swing to and fro a number of times at the end of its own spun life line before climbing back up it to take a commanding place at one corner’s edge of a web constructed for capturing the next unsuspecting meal.

Did the spider realise it was being observed Mac wondered? Did it care if it was? Nonsense, it knew no more about him than he knew about his own estranged predicament. Was someone observing him though, just as he was this spider? This nagging thought troubled him once again to recognise its significance. Surely not. Surely he was no creature of interest himself, the object of some higher intelligences entertainment and whim. No, he was not, how could he be. A twitch in his right index finger announced a natural narcosis, his cue to turn on one side, find a soft and cooler place in the pillow which also gave him a view of Mater before she went out of sight, who immediately took over the proceedings for no sooner was this comfort established than much more found his wanting.

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