Tuesday 28 January 2020

Snakes and Ladders

Michal Reiben


I’ve been picking oranges in the orchard since five o’clock this morning. Now I’m on my break with the other workers lying on the grass, drinking tepid water taken from the irrigation system out of a paper cup which someone had the foresight to bring along and which is being passed around. The slightly warm water tastes disgusting and so I try to imagine to myself that it’s cola.

“A snake,” someone shrieks. I look around in alarm and see a large black snake slithering through the grass, its scales shining in the blazing hot sun. We scatter, I run towards a ladder leaning up against one of the orange trees and climb up it….

“Wake up sleepy head. It’s your turn to throw the dice.”

I wake up with a start, flutter my eyes open, for a moment I stare at my brother who is sitting across the table from me and calling me ‘sleepy head’ and register where I am. Then I look down at the table before me and see the game of ‘Snakes and Ladders’ spread out on it,  to one side stands a bottle of Coca-Cola and a paper cup.

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