After messing about on a boat all morning, Kat realised she was starving. At work she skipped lunch, too busy to grab more than a hasty coffee. Today, the fresh air and unaccustomed relaxation had worked their magic on her appetite, and she was glad of the hotel perched by the harbour wall.
Her nose tingled with incipient sunburn, so she chose a table under an umbrella with a view through the masts to the sea. A handsome waiter brought her a tall glass of iced lemonade. She took a cooling sip, kicked off her sandals, stretched out her legs and sighed with happiness.
The menu was filled with tasty treats and she wavered between mussels and a mackerel salad. All the fish here was fresh; she’d seen the hotel chef on the quay-side that morning, taking his pick of the catch. Finally she chose the mackerel, then took a book from her bag, pushed her sunglasses up her head and settled down to read and wait.
She smelled the food before it arrived, a wonderful aroma of savoury hot fish. The same waiter brought her meal, complete with a napkin and proper cutlery. There was even a freshly baked roll.
Kat breathed in the fragrant steam and prepared to tuck in, but a couple of wasps dive-bombed the plate. She wafted them away with her book, then felt something soft and warm against her legs. A scrawny local cat must have smelled the fish. Before she could lift her fork he’d jumped onto her lap and helped himself.
“Oi!” she yelled, preparing to give chase, but without her sandals she was no match for the cat. Her tasty fish vanished at speed up the nearest alley, and she was left with the lettuce.
By Fiona Glass