Our hero, never lacking in pragmatism or foresight, was well-equipped for the upcoming winter which on record and much to his advantage, was to be the warmest in one hundred and sixty years. Nevertheless, with admirable consideration he had prepared all that was needed which, to tell the truth, wasn’t much. Despite ever-swelling rumours of a nomadic and ascetic life (which no doubt would flatter his vanity), his theatrical runaway is perhaps a little more flaccid in its true state.
Retiring to a woodland cottage is certainly bold—daring even, for a staunch village dweller of his type. But with all due respect, perhaps not quite so worthy of all the prattle and tattle, the endless annexations compiled atop and mutating from, like arms and legs on a gross body, once such a modest story. The tale has said to have achieved anchoritic heights, with some so bold as to suggest Mr. Turner had taken to the desert as a source of purgation—one which particularly appealed to church-types, who conveniently omitted the absence of a nearby vast and arid landscape which would substantiate the claim. But at the end of the day, who’s to blame those steadfast and humble people for their excitable stories? It is certainly not within my jurisdiction to mock or deride the gossip of villagers whose friendly community lacks the heady punch of a scandal.
So let them talk, I say. It’s not harming anyone. Certainly not Mr. Turner who, fond of his new sedentary life, is reclining contentedly with his toes to the fireplace. Not to mention he had the clairvoyance to pack in his smartly packed belongings a bottle of good whisky and some biscuits for its accompaniment, which he just so happened to treat himself to now. And if he is to run out then not to worry, for there’s a small shop about a twenty minutes down the road.
by Marcus Bechelli
(prompts: foresight, exposure)