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Sport 10: Autumn 1993


They sat around the but all the next day. The fog had come down. Going outside to the toilet, Sandra was scared of being swallowed up by whiteness. People played cards, drank beer, made coffee. The boys arm-wrestled on the floor. A couple of girls knitted. And Gary refused to speak to her.

She sat next to Artie and watched the back of Gary's emerald-green jersey. She wondered what she would say when Artie asked her out. He was page 127 old. Very old. But he'd be easier to manage than Gary. The tricky thing would be getting her mother to understand this.

'Why aren't you speaking to me?' she whispered in the kitchen under cover of the screaming Zip.

'Why d'you think?' Gary wouldn't look at her.

'Because of last night, I suppose. Because I slept out here.' But he turned on her. 'What the bloody hell did you come up here for if you weren't going to. You must have known what it meant when I asked you to come. You're just a bloody little cock-teaser.'

That night, lying peacefully feet from Artie, she said, 'What's a cock- teaser?' And the voice in the darkness told her.

There was fog all the next day too. Three of the young farmers and one girl who had no knitting decided to go out anyway. Half an hour later, they returned. Two of the boys had careered into each other. One had twisted his ankle. The nose of the other bled copiously all over the but floor.

At four o'clock they stumbled back through the snow with depleted boxes of supplies, and piled into the furniture truck. Gary sat with half a dozen boys up the other end. They drank what was left of the beer and Gary threw up outside Bulls.

Sandra sat next to Artie so he could ask her out.