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Torfaen Tales

Moth Balls

by Karenne Griffin

 

 It was the most exotic, luxurious holiday we had ever dreamed of. I never thought I’d win such a thing in a competition. My previous winnings had amounted to a set of shelves that I left behind with the ex-husband. But suddenly, my new man and I were off to a fabulous couples-only, all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean.

 We flew Club Class, and it was wonderful to be able to stretch out. I don’t normally drink alcohol when flying, but we indulged in a couple of glasses of champagne. Okay, a whole bottle. We felt like the rich and famous even before the plane touched down.

 From the airport we were whisked away in a limousine to a waiting motor launch. It was night so we couldn’t see much of our surroundings. Duncan squeezed my hand. ‘Is this really happening?’ he whispered. I nodded and grinned.

 The engine slowed, and the launch pulled in beside a wooden jetty. The sun was rising like a hot orange globe above the horizon, casting a rosy glow over the low-lying, palm-fringed island that was to be our home for the next two glorious weeks.

 Another limousine awaited our arrival, driven by a large, dark-skinned man wearing a smart uniform despite the hour and the tropical climate. He stowed our luggage in the boot and drove at a sedate pace to the resort.

 As we approached through the trees we gasped as one. We’d never stayed anywhere like this before.

Our car pulled up outside the central clubhouse, and our driver opened the door. We clambered out. I gaped around at the abundance of exotic flowers.

‘Just go inside and check in,’ said our driver in his deep, molasses-rich voice. ‘I will take your luggage to your bungalow.’

Duncan pressed a tip into his hand. We’d been advised that tipping was expected. Well, we’d won £5,000 in cash as well as the holiday so we could afford to be generous. 

With the formalities completed, a pretty young woman escorted us to our quarters. She showed us how all the mod cons worked and smiled broadly at the tip Duncan gave her. 

We ventured out through the sliding plate glass windows onto the verandah. Our private verandah, below which was our private swimming pool. Okay, it was far short of Olympic-sized, but still big enough for a welcome dip. Our bungalow was on the edge of the complex, and beyond the trees we could see a pure white sandy beach, beyond which glistened the turquoise sea. The bay was like a neat bite out of the coastline.

‘Last one in the sea is a big tid!’ I called, already flinging off my clothes and searching for my bikini.

Our first day at the resort will linger in my memory forever. After an invigorating swim, we breakfasted on our verandah. Then we decided on a massage and a sauna to relax us even more.

‘I could get used to this,’ I sighed, as my masseuse placed warmed stones on my back. I looked across at Duncan. He was already asleep regardless of the foot massage he was receiving.

After lunch we walked along the beach, round the bay and out on the headland. Although the bay was calm, the sea beyond was choppy due to the trade winds, and waves crashed majestically onto the rocks. Another leisurely swim gave us an appetite. Back at the bungalow we dressed for dinner and headed for the best restaurant. The lobster was superb!

After dinner we decided to sit out on our verandah and soak up the warmth and sounds of the tropical night. Duncan found some soothing music on the sound system, and we left the sliding doors ajar. Suddenly there was a loud plop.

‘Something’s just taken a nose dive into my lager,’ said Duncan. ‘Something big and black. Looks like a moth,’ he added, holding his glass up to the table light. ‘I’d better get him out before he drowns. Or drinks too much of my lager.’

We laughed at the thought of a drunken moth flying in lop-sided circles. But no sooner had he fished out one moth than another dived into his drink.

‘Bloody hell! It’s all full of black stuff off the moths!’ he grumbled.

‘There are more glasses in the cupboard, and more lagers in the fridge,’ I reminded him. Then I noticed my glass of wine contained a large moth doing backstroke.

‘We’d better go in,’ I suggested.

Then we noticed there were moths circling around the wall light in our bedroom. And around the bed lamp I’d switched on. And when I went into the bathroom I was dive-bombed while sitting on the toilet. They were everywhere!

‘We could always ring reception, get someone to remove them,’ I suggested.

‘And look like a couple of idiots?’ protested Duncan. ‘No thanks. We should be able to catch them and put them outside.’

Needless to say, we didn’t manage to catch all of them. We spent a disturbed night with moths the size of light aircraft flying around, bumping into the walls and dropping on us. Even with the lights out they continued their air raid.

In the early dawn I awoke at Duncan’s shout.

‘I thought that was you stroking my leg, but it’s a moth inside the bedclothes. And look, even though I covered my water glass with a coaster, somehow a moth has got in. These are super-moths. They’ve got more balls than any I’ve ever seen back in the UK. Or anywhere else for that matter.’

So we had to seek assistance. We didn’t fancy the nights of our sojourn in paradise being spoiled by these monsters. While we were at breakfast the Moth Finder General sought out all remaining offenders. And when we returned he showed us how to pull down the mesh netting on our verandah in order to prevent further intrusion. When Duncan pressed a wad of notes into his hand his eyes popped out like gob-stoppers.

‘No, sir! That is too much!’ he protested.

‘Please, take it,’ we insisted.

We prepared for another day on the beach, glad that the moth invasion had been dealt with.

‘I don’t suppose we’re the only dumb tourists,’ conceded Duncan.

Of course the Night of the Moths featured highly in tales told of our holiday once we returned home.

 


Last Modified on: 05-11-2015

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