Tag Archives: Peru

Donde es Wally?


Down broken back-roads and over hostile territory the journalist journeyed, till finally he arrived at a one-horse town and a nameless bar. There he encountered a sunken-eyed, bearded vagabond.

‘I knew someone would find me eventually,’ the vagabond growled.

‘I’ve come a long way to hear your story.’

‘Mine is a tale of hardship and woe. Have you any idea what it’s like to endure the indignity of being constantly pointed out in a crowd, no anonymity, the butt of every joke and sarcastic aside – forcing you at last into exile?’

‘Why didn’t you just take off the stripy top and stop wearing that bobble hat?’


Written for: Friday Fictioneers


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El Stake-Out (Dos)

Hijo de puta! Walking around Reading – minding my own business when – boom! Nana Grande of Peruvian ‘gang’ fame (El Stake-out) appeared right on my six – A plastic bag on each hip (presumably full of guns and cocaine) – moving like stink – little moccasins tearing up the pavement – three and a half feet of raw terror. I got in a cheeky reverse photo before veering off through a car park and into Homebase…


Todo es bueno…pero no! Nana Grande was in there too, loitering in the weapons department (rakes and hoes). She looked up and there was a sly expression of recognition.

We stood side by side at the check-out, like the world’s slowest car(t) chase. Ahead of me an old biddy made small-talk, unaware of the life and death struggle taking place behind. To my right NG took the lead and placed her items of torture (pegs and hoover bags) on the counter.

I know this looks like one of those grainy photos you see of Loch Ness or Big Foot, but the one she took of me as I was standing at the check-out (whilst possibly planted some kind of nano tracker) was crystal clear – The cojones on this woman!

As I write she’s probably in a knitted treehouse relaying the day’s events to Rosa, El Colonel and Big Mike, planning some garish pan-pipe / blow-dart related demise. My cards are marked people…

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Peruvian stand-off

In an earlier post (El Stake-out) I evoked widespread scepticism amongst the writing community by suggesting that a nefarious cadre of elderly Peruvians were at large and up to no good in the Royal county of Berkshire.

Well get ready to apologise people cos I’ve got absolutely no evident for a second incident!

Quick recap: Four Peruvians in fully lacy regalia – I bump into them freakin everywhere – The 6th sense: I see red people – followed them / they followed me – presume other people can see them too, but this is yet to be verified. I may turn out to have died at the beginning (spoiler alert)…and you’re all caught up…

For weeks now it’s been quiet – Not even un peepo pequeño, but on Tuesday morning…

…Hills meadow, the scraggy bit next to the car park, a lone man walking along a solitary path at dusk, late for his train, flustered, handsome etc. He looks up…and blocking his path…the four Peruvians (the two women at least – the man are waaay back). They see him. There are devilish smiles of recognition. The punishment for having arbitrarily stalked them one afternoon will be swift and severe. Its too late to run; too late to take a photo (conveniently). He later pens an exact drawing of the ordeal and hazards a guess at their names (Big Mike levitated apparently).


In his head he hears David Attenborough narrating: ‘The Berkshire man is bigger, but at 39 he’s well past his prime. The lighter, nimbler predators can sense that he’s disorientated. They wait to see if he’ll do something douchey like fall into the canal or start crying…’

A few years back I narrowly avoided  a head on collision with an ice-cream van in Sri Lanka. Later I envisaged my father reading the eulogy and choking back grief in order to savour the immortal line: He died a clown’s death. Given the choice however between ice-cream and South American smack-down I’m going with the former. Either way I’m winning the Darwin Awards that year, but everything’s relative.

What to do?

Think dammit. Your cover’s well and truly blown. You need to reach your extraction point. Where is it? You don’t have one. You are, after all, an IT consultant… I wonder if there are men who died simply from watching too many Steven Seagal movies…I tell you what – don’t think!

Big Mike’s looking tasty – all four feet of him. I’m reckoning that if push comes to shove I can probably drop kick him into a bush, but then the women’ll be all over me like stink.

How to appease them? The only Spanish I know fluently is the phrase ‘Lo siento para mi esposa’ (I apologise for my wife) and, though useful as a general statement, is of no practical application here!

But wait, a woman is coming and she’s pushing a pram. I’m going to avoid a massacre by invoking operation human-shield. The Berkshire man is past them, onto the train, still debonair etc.

But now I’m having to get up 20 minutes earlier every morning to go the long way round the park, and Google’s been no help. Typed in “some sort of tracking device (or blow dart) that fits into a panpipe” – Nothing.


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El Stake-Out…

In Reading there are four Peruvians. I mean, there may be more – come to think of it, there are almost certainly more, but for the sake of argument there are four – two women, two men – none of them taller than five foot. The women walk twice as fast as the men and are always doubling back on themselves to chastise their male counterparts who subsequently never speed up. Hand on heart I couldn’t swear they’re Peruvian. I went to Peru once and can attest that they dress like Peruvians – all multi-coloured woolen clothes and lace bonnets / bobble hats respectively, they speak Spanish and have reddy brown Peruvian skin, but I couldn’t say for certain. Could be Bolivian or Venezuelan…

Anyway, I see them everywhere. It’s like dead people – The Six Sense (or El Seis Senso). They come careering past me in the park on the way to work (at least the women do – the man are waaay back), they pass me again on the way home, I see them at the weekend in town, crossing duel carriageways, weaving through traffic, late at night shuffling under lampposts, everywhere. I believe the word is ‘ubiquitous’ (or possibly ‘omnipresent’).

I’m not being racist. It’s not like I can’t tell Peruvians apart. It’s definitely the same four people.

This last weekend I had friends over and needed to stock up on supplies. I went into town where I encountered my Peruvians friends on no fewer than six separate occasions. As I had seen them twice the day before I deduced that something suspicious was afoot and decided in the heat of the moment to follow them around and unearth their nefarious endeavours.

I recognised from the outset the lunacy of my actions, but this was quickly overridden by the boundless self-confidence that imbeciles have in abundance. I only planned on a five-minute detour, but quickly ascertained that they had no destination – they just moved around in circles looking at stuff – up the high street, round the back, over to the band stand, back up the high street, back round the back, back to the bandstand. I started thinking of computer programs and The Truman Show. Then I thought about solipsism and reasoned that it (and everything else in the universe) was merely a figment of my imagination – itself residing in a jar someplace. As they started their third lap I broke off the pursuit and went to a supermarket.

They were waiting for me at the exit.

I went to a cafe

The same.

On the way home I looked over my shoulder and saw that they were following me. I’d obviously been rumbled. At the final corner I quickened the pace and made a dash for the car. As I pulled away there they were – the women (the men were waaay back) in the rear view mirror, memorising my number-plate (probably), with a view to…

Anyway, should anything happen to me…


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