Sunday serialisation – Knight after Knight, 12.3

Knight after Knight250

In Knight & Deigh, Hannice Knight suffered a back injury that left him without the use of his legs. Sophie Deigh, physiotherapist and recent widow, devoted herself to supporting him.

As Hannice’s body recovered, he became ever closer to Sophie, and soon they found themselves in a relationship they had neither anticipated nor intended and for which neither was fully prepared.

A bump in the Knight followed Hannice as he juggled business, hedonism, marriage and ultimately parenthood.

Knight after Knight is the third and final part of the Hannice Knight story. Starting after the marriage of Hannice and Sophie’s only son, David to Jess, the only child of Jason and Noelani Reeves of Hawaii, it traces the Knight family’s progression through the generations.


Knight after Knight. Chapter twelve, part three.

Gabriel and Evaristo returned to their homes and businesses. Mary, one of Lindy’s top IT support people, went with them to set up their systems. She remained there for three days until the contracts and schedules arrived. She printed two copies of each of them, which the two men studied. Gabriel signed the documents and Evaristo witnessed them. Mary then returned to Dar-es-Salaam with the documents. We had something of a sign-fest when they came back; Lindy, Moses, Max and I taking the role of signatory or witness on both sets of both agreements, one copy of each of which we subsequently returned to Gabriel by post as well as scanning and emailing them (in case the post failed – something that can happen in any country).

Max and I busied ourselves setting up the mechanisms we would need to have in place to support Gabriel once he set his project in motion. We knew that Evaristo would get him started on the legal and regulatory aspects, so we wouldn’t be needed until he was ready to build his management structures. We also worked closely with Lindy’s Holy Island team and Moses’ investment team to make sure we were all pulling in the same direction.

It was whilst we were engaged in this venture that a message came to me from David. Short and sweet, it said simply ‘Jess has started. Can you come?’ I responded to say I’d be as quick as I could. Less than five minutes later, I received a call from a man who announced himself as Harry Smythe, manager of Black and Gold Air Charters. He told me that, on the instructions of Knight Global Trading, an aircraft was standing by at Julius Nyerere International Airport ready to leave in one hour, and that he had dispatched a car to pick me up at my office in fifteen minutes. Wow, I thought, the boy moves quickly and decisively. Just at that moment, I was immensely proud of him.

“Trouble?” Max asked, apparently sensing that I was somewhat wrong-footed.

“No,” I said, “I had a text from David saying Jess in going into labour. That phone call was from a charter outfit telling me they have a plane standing by to fly me to London and a car is on its way to collect me.”

“David did that?”

“I imagine so.”

“So why are you standing here? Don’t you need to pack a bag?”

“I still have a flat in Knight Towers; should be plenty of everything there.”

As I said that, there was a knock on the outer door. It opened and an early middle-aged man wearing what looked like a chauffeur’s uniform entered.

“Mr Knight?” he asked.

“I am he.”

“Good morning, Sir. My name is Abel. I am to drive you to the airport as soon as you’re ready.”

“You have identification?” I asked.

“Of course, Sir,” he said, extracting from under his jacket an ID badge suspended on a lanyard.

I examined it and nodded. “Let’s go then, Abel.”

“Do you have any luggage, Mr Knight?”

“No, just me.” I turned to Max and placed my thumb and pinkie finger against my ear and mouth and said, “I’ll call you when I get there.”

Max wished me a pleasant journey and went back to her work.

Outside the office building, with half a dozen small boys guarding it, was a silver-grey Jaguar limousine. Abel thanked the boys, gave one of them some cash and opened the back door for me.

“Thank you, Abel, but I’d prefer to be in the front,” I said.

“Very well, Sir,” he said, closing the rear door and opening the front passenger door. I got in, and we drove through the morning traffic to the private charter area of the airport.

On arrival, he drove me to the apron where an impressive-looking aircraft was standing. A man whom I assumed to be the pilot was walking around the aircraft, touching various parts of it while a fuelling truck was pulping fuel into its tanks. A young woman in pilot’s garb approached me.

“Mr Knight?” she asked.

“Yes,” I replied.

“My name is Geri. I’ll be your pilot today. George, my co-pilot, is completing pre-flight checks. Thank you for coming promptly, Mr Knight. We have a tight schedule to keep to. This aircraft has to be in London within twelve hours to give us the turn-round time we need before embarking on a long-term charter. This flight was going to be fully crewed but without passengers. We’re delighted to have you aboard.”

“So my son managed to hi-jack an existing flight, rather than having to pay for a special flight? Crafty little devil.”

“As far as I know, we don’t have another aircraft available that could take you to London today. This one, a Dassault Falcon 7X, has an operational range of nearly six thousand nautical miles and should be able to make Heathrow non-stop.”

“How long?”

“Ten hours, give or take. Please,” she said, indicating the steps leading to the interior of the aircraft. I climbed the stairs. The interior of the plane was probably one of the most luxurious and comfortable-looking I could recall seeing. Two other cabin crew were in the aircraft and introduced themselves. Tom was a young Australian man, and Paalika, a woman of Indian heritage who was born and raised in Tanzania. They made me comfortable whilst Geri joined George on the flight deck and the engines started.

You think my job’s easy?

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Whilst rappelling down from my sleigh
To leave presents abroad on this day,
My elf shouted, “Look,
Ladder’ve fell from his hook!”
And I felt myself slipping away.

The ground started coming up fast
And I thought this year might be my last.
Then I saw that old light
And I hoped that it might
Catch my ladder and there hold me fast.

It did, and I hoped and I prayed
That the top of the rope wasn’t frayed.
My belief wasn’t wrong
The rope was well strong.
I should hope so, the price that I paid!

And then, in a stroke of pure luck
Along came a fire service truck.
I jumped on its ladder
(not too soon, with my bladder)
And climbed down as happy as Larry.

Who is this Larry? You say,
He’s my stand-in for Prancer today.
He crash-landed last year
Doesn’t have the all-clear
So he’s banished from pulling my sleigh.

You asked me and so I shall tell
No, my job doesn’t always go well.
It could oft-times be tragic
Without Santa’s magic
As the saying goes, “On that bombshell…”


This was written in response to Kreative Kue 240 published on this site.

Kreative Kue 240

Kreative Kue 239 asked for submissions based on this photograph:

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John W Howell is the author of the John Cannon trilogy of My GRL, His Revenge, Our Justice and Circumstances of Childhood, co-author of The Contract, and blogs at Fiction Favorites.

The Feckrwe Expedition by John W. Howell © 2019

“Who turned up the fog machine?”

“I was going to ask the same question.”

“Boys. Take it easy. The air just got a little warmer than the snow, so fog is formed.”

“Thanks, pop, but the information doesn’t help us see any better.”

“That’s just it. It doesn’t matter about the visibility. I’ve been over this area hundreds of times. It’s flat as a board. No fear of falling into a crevasse.”

“You just said ass. Heh, heh.”

“I just said a word that stands for a crack in the Earth’s crust that could be dangerous should you fall into it.”

“Heh, heh, heh.”

“What now?”

“You said crack.”

“Okay, let’s just keep on walking.”

“Where are we going?”

“I’m glad you finally asked. We are heading for Bald Mountain.”

“What’s there?”

“There is an old gold mine that I think will be pretty interesting.”

“Real gold?”

“Yup.”

“Wow, that sounds exciting. How long till we get there?”

“I’m not sure.”

“Are we lost?”

“No. I just don’t know where we are exactly.”

“I see now why you named this expedition the way you did.”

“Smart boy.”


This from Na’ama Yehuda, who blogs at https://naamayehuda.com :

Going to Avalanche by Na’ama Yehuda

The sky was blue when they headed out. Crisp, cold, dry, and sunny, it was the perfect day for some easy back-country skiing.

They planned to be home by lunch.

They did not plan on the weather turning. On clouds so low and so fast that they’d reached zero visibility in almost no time at all.

Joshua could see that Daniel was two steps away from panic. That would not do. Not with the children with them.

“Take the rear,” Joshua ordered.

If Daniel frowned at his bossy tone, the heavy fog covered it. Joshua stood his ground, literally, till Daniel maneuvered his skis so he was behind the two youngest. Good enough.

Joshua took a breath and tried to get a read from the weather. It was probably best to shelter in place till the fog lifted, but if the weather was about to get worse, it was better they got back before conditions deteriorated further.

There was no way to know for sure, but his gut’s tightening signaled that the latter option was the one to take. His hand tightened around the compass hanging from his pocket. He’d need it.

“Mark! Sally!” he cupped his hands and called for the two older children who, true to form, used any break in skiing for a snowball fight. The wind snatched his voice and he realized that it, too, had gotten worse in the last few minutes.

“Daniel, get them!” he shouted. “Timmy, Ronny, Sid, and Shirley, stay close to me.”

Shirley nodded and clung to his arm. “Are we going to Avalanche?” her voice shook.

“Avalanche isn’t a place, honey,” he replied over the thunder in his chest. “It’s when a lot of snow slides down the mountain. We’re not in an avalanche zone, so you don’t need to worry.”

“But it’s all white,” she sniffled, “and I’m cold.”

“I know, little one. The weather turned on us. We’ll get everyone in line and we’ll get moving and you’ll soon get warm. Timmy, Ron, and Sid, you okay back there?”

The boys nodded unconvincingly.

Daniel herded Mark and Sally closer to the rest and sandwiched them between the younger children and himself.

“Let’s go!” Joshua yelled, his voice barely audible in the whistling wind. “Keep your eyes on the person in front of you. Daniel, use your whistle if you need help.”

Daniel lifted his ski in response.

Joshua concentrated on the compass, on the next few steps. Everything he loved in this world was behind him. The white settled all around and he felt small. Like when he was ten and the world had come down around him in a tumble.

He shook the memory away.

This time he was not going to Avalanche.

He was going to get them — all of them — home.


My effort was

There’s no arm in asking

“STOP. Everybody stop.”

“What’s up, Dad?”

“Straight ahead. Either there’s a Polar Bear right in front of us or my name’s not – erm. Oh, no!”

“What’s up, Dad?”

“I can’t remember my name.”

“What d’you mean, you can’t remember your name.”

“Who said that?”

“Me.”

“Do I know you?”

“Course you do. I’m your son.”

“I have a son?”

“Okay, Dad. You’re scaring me now, and I don’t want the rest to start – you know what they’re like.”

“Got you going for a while there, didn’t I?”

“Yes, Dad, you did. Now, what’s this about a polar bear?”

“It’s a big one, Son. Deserves capital letters.”

“Okay. What’s this about a Polar Bear?”

“Can’t you see it ahead? Big and white.”

“Might be the abdominal snowman.”

“What?”

“Abdominal snowman.”

“Do you mean Abominable Snowman?”

“Properly.”

“Probably.”

“Yeah, whatever.”

“The Abominable Snowman, if it exists, is in the Himalayas, not the Alps.”

“And Yeti’s stood right in front of you.”

“So it seems.”

“Be nice, Dad. Go up to him, show respect and offer him your hand.”

“I did – and he bloody took it. How can I hold my sticks now?”

“I’ll hold ’em for you.”

“You need to hold your own, Son.”

“How am I supposed to hold my own against a bloomin’ polar bear – sorry, Polar Bear?”

“Alright – bored now.”


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On to this week’s challenge: Using this photo as inspiration, write a short story, flash fiction, scene, poem; anything, really; even just a caption for the photograph. Either put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at keithchanning@gmail.com before 6pm next Sunday (if you aren’t sure what the time is where I live, this link will tell you). If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be appreciated, but please do also mention it in a comment here.

Go on. You know you want to. Let your creativity and imagination soar. I shall display the entries next Monday.  Following a family bereavement, I shall be in Florida for a week and shall not be able to produce a Kreative Kue. This Kue will, therefore, remain open until Sunday 16th December with the results being displayed the following day.