Elusive Bloom

The Flasher – June Edition – contest is to write a flash story that reveals a secret. Well below the fold, my contribution. You think you know the secret? Well, don’t be so damn sure, you cocky so-and-so!

Elusive Bloom

There was a faint sound of drums in the distance.

“How should I address him?” I asked.

“He’s not much for the title,” said his son. “Usually just “sir’ will do. It’s hard to get much out of him anyhow.”

“Sir?” I asked softly. “I’ve come a long way to find you. Sir?”

The old man stirred a little but didn’t turn. The window glass was streaked and dirty, but he peered intently through it into the clearing and the jungle beyond with an unwavering gaze. You could see the remains of a fine physique since succumbed to gravity and inactivity. Though he was still slim, slimmer than I expected, a small paunch hung over the leather loincloth he wore. If you tried hard, yes, it was still possible to imagine him swinging into action. I fancied I almost heard the faint echo of a distant ululation.

“How long as he been like this?”

“Since my mother left. Eventually the jungle wore her down, you see. Too damp, no friends, just him, me, the animals and the natives. He never got over it. He still thinks she’ll come back. ” He  grimaced. “She’s been dead ten years. He won’t let me tell him.”.

“Did he have to stay?”

“He made too many enemies. He put a lot of noses out of joint. Some people got killed. He had to retreat as far from sight as he could.” His son sighed sadly.

“But he rescued so many. He’s a national hero. I mean, there were books written and there’ve even been motion pictures made about him. There are a lot of grateful people out there. Why should he hide away so deep in the jungle?”

“There are still some who resent what he did, and they have long memories. I doubt he even remembers his old life, though.”

“Surely no-one would disturb an old man. I’m sure the Kenyan government would protect him after all the work he put in stopping the poachers and protecting the animals. And what about his ancestral home? Who’s in Greystoke Manor now?”

Greystoke Manor? What do you mean, sir? My father, Sir Percy Blakeney, is here in hiding from the damn Frenchies. Tarzan is in the next hut down the clearing.”

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