As I love reading his stories, I’m delighted to be able to share part of TA Williams’ latest ‘What Happens…’ series, ‘What Happens at Christmas’ which was published on 22nd October 2015 by Carina.
It was a stunning day – crisp, clear and with just a light offshore breeze. The sea first came into view in the distance beyond the broad expanse of sand dunes and beach that constituted Saunton Sands. The road then curled gently round the coast, offering magnificent views across the open cliff tops to the rocks and waves below. Visibility was so good, Jack was able to point out Lundy Island , lying twelve miles out in the Bristol Channel. Beyond that there was nothing until you reached southern Ireland and, from then on just the Atlantic Ocean all the way to the USA .
The sea looked like a sheet of corrugated iron as it neared the shore, with row after row of waves rolling in. They came into the village of Croyde itself and Holly started seeing signs for surf schools, surf shops and even a campsite called Surfers’ Paradise . Malibu it might not be, but Croyde was clearly a British surfing Mecca , even on a day like today when the outside temperature was in single figures. As they drove down the narrow access road to the car park, they could both see majestic waves rolling into the bay between the rocky outcrops either side. Jack parked at the far side of the car park among a vast collection of old VW campers, clearly the vehicle of choice for the surfing community, and turned off the engine. The engine noise was immediately replaced by the raucous cries of seagulls and the regular crunch of waves hitting the beach a hundred yards below them. From where they were parked, they were able to look down between sand dunes and a café directly onto the beach.
‘Look at those waves! Magic Seaweed said it would be a five star day and, boy, were they right!’ He sounded like a little boy on his birthday.
‘Magic Seaweed?’ She smiled at him, happy to see his obvious excitement.
‘The fount of all wisdom for surf dudes.’
‘So you’re a surf dude?’
‘I suppose I should really have a VW camper for true street cred, but the old Land Rover’s pretty close. And, of course, that’s an Al Merrick custom board tied to my roof. That’s worth loads of bonus points.’ He grinned at her. ‘Yeah, I’m a dude, or at least I like to think I am.’
‘This is the first time I’ve been with a dude. In fact, I’m not totally sure I know what a dude is, but so far so good.’ She gave him a smile. ‘So, if you’re a dude, what does that make me?’
He had no hesitation. ‘That makes you a babe.’ He grinned at her. ‘No question. Very definitely a babe.’
Holly rather liked the sound of that, but she didn’t comment. Scruffy Land Rovers and outdoor pursuits hadn’t featured too highly on her list of essentials for possible boyfriends so far. Anyway, she thought to herself, one pretty normal prerequisite was that the man in question should at least appear to demonstrate some sort of romantic interest towards her. Jack Nelson, nice and friendly as he was, appeared to show as much affection towards her as he did to Stirling the dog. She dismissed the thought and glanced back down to the beach, absently reaching back over her shoulder to scratch Stirling’s ears.
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