DERNIER MOT - PIRATE PUBLICATION
In the time-honoured tradition of all local papers, who dedicate themselves to reporting the most trivial of events, the Midi Libre has published an article about Yours Truly and her forthcoming romantic novel.
The journalist came round so long ago, that I'd forgotten all about it until Marie-France burst through the back door into the kitchen this morning.
"Salmon-ta!" she sang. "You're in the newspaper! Where's this book you've written? Can I read it? Can we have a copy for the library?"
"Of course you can, but it's in English," I said. "Sorry..."
"You will get it translated," said Bernadette, appearing from behind M-F.
"This'll put us on the map," puffed Alphonse-the-Maire from the doorstep. "You don't mind me coming in, do you? We're going international. We'll have to get a village website. And an information board for all the tourists..."
"It's just fiction," I said. "I Married A Pirate! An amusing story about romance and love..."
"We'll need a bus park," said Christophe. "To deal with all the visitors. Like they've got in that there Condom. To stop them parking all over the war memorial."
"Tu es un intello, maintenant," said Eglantine darkly. "And we all know what that means. You don't mind me coming in, do you?"
"No, not at all," I stuttered. "Have a seat. But it's hardly intellectual, this book. It's full of jokes. It's a romance with a happy ending. It has a rude parrot..."
"Told you so," said Eglantine. "That's what happens to intellos like you. They turn into sex fiends. Always talking about letters and feelo..."
"Philosophie," said Marie-France.
"It's on Amazon," said Amelie, walking into the kitchen. "I just checked. You don't mind me coming in, do you?"
"What on earth...?" said the SP, arriving home at that moment. "Oh hello, everyone. Must go, lots to do..."
"Not so fast young man!" cackled Eglantine. "You come back here a bit. What about this woman of yours? How does it feel to have a star in the house?"
"Ah well, she's always been a star to me," he said gamely. "Especially when in the throes of... um... creation."
"Thank you," I muttered.
"As long as she leaves me out of her novels," he continued, "I'm a happy man."
"Can you put me in a book?" said Amelie. "Please?"
"You can put us all in," said Alphonse.
"Well I do sometimes write about the village in a magazine," I confessed. "I do this column, about daily life in the Cévennes. The people, the events..."
"You mean US?"
"No, well... I mean I disguise everything. I mean, I don't use your real names or anything."
"No, I'd never do that. I mean, privacy is important..."
"Not to us."
"I'd never betray your confidence. I don't mention exactly where we are or any... what? What did you say?"
There was silence in the kitchen. Apart from Bella dealing with a grass burr in her knickers and Bad Boy Tombo meeping for cat cracklies, no-one moved. You could hear people blinking as they stared at me.
"We want to be famous," said Alphonse slowly. "We don't care about privacy. We want to be flooded out with tourists parking their cars in the gardens, walking in the graveyard, eating sandwiches on the fountain, and drinking beer in the church."
Everyone nodded and looking round the kitchen at their eager faces, I suddenly had this image of Moisson flooded with paparazzi; flashlights going off in all directions and tv crews fighting for a glimpse of Bella doing the bins...
Blimey. If that happens, I'll have to ring the Midi Libre.
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