A Chapter by John Alexander McFadyen

McPherson sat in front of the small grey stone house overlooking an olive grove where goats grazed amid a perfect quiet Mediterranean day. He could smell the pine, oranges and lemons as their scent wafted across the small farm. In front of him he could see the rugged slopes of the hillside covered in Aleppo pines, olives and carob trees as it swept down towards the sparkling blue waters to the north, which separated the island from mainland Europe. The small village lay nestled on a hillside of the spectacular Besparmak or Girne mountains, which separate the narrow fertile coastal strip from the huge fertile central Mesaoria plain. McPherson’s view overlooked the port of Girne or Kyrenia as it was before 1974, a picturesque ancient port where the majority of holiday complexes are situated.  Turkey was barely 64 kilometres away to the north while Syria lay due east some 100 kilometres.  He watched the dust cloud that approached along the valley and saw the form of the Mitsubishi truck as it drew nearer. He thought about the past very little these days preferring to concentrate upon the simple, honest life that he now enjoyed. He had always been amazed at how he could switch off in warm sunshine.  The truck pulled into the short unmade-up road leading to the farm, a dust cloud was thrown up as it pulled to a halt at the front of the stone built house.  McPherson had risen and walked round to the front as he saw the truck leave the road.  The driver was an older man with skin darkened like leather by the Northern Cyprus sun, he opened the door stepped down from the cab and greeted McPherson with a cheery thickly accented ‘Yasoo Meester John’ before moving to the back to begin unloading the five litre water containers and the cardboard boxes containing melon, tomatoes, cucumber, cheeses, wine in five litre flagons and a variety of household cleaning products. The old man was wiry in build but had muscles that were used to lifting.  He wore a richly decorated vest and baggy black trousers known as ‘vrakas’ indicating that he was one of the four hundred or so Greek Cypriots who remained in the Turkish north-west third of the island. John McPherson lifted the heavy box from the man’s grasp and took it through the front of the house to the small kitchen. He rested it upon the scrubbed pine table before going to the large American style refrigerator and pouring cold lemonade from a see through pitcher into a glass which he took frosted from the freezer and handed to the old man. 


The old man accepted the refreshment gratefully, drank it down and left cheerfully gabbling in Greek and waving his arms in farewell as he returned to the pick-up and set off back down the hill towards the coast.


McPherson returned to the kitchen, picked up from the scrubbed pine table the picture postcard showing the port of Kyrenia, in Greek hands prior to the 1974 Turkish invasion.  He turned it over and reread the message he had written carefully on the back:

“Dear Dave,

Hope all is well.  Jim will be coming over again in two weeks. I hope you and your wife will be able to make it in September. We will never forget your kindness.

John, Sonia and the kids”



© 2012 John Alexander McFadyen

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ps I am a sun worshiper so to escape to it was real for me.

Posted 5 Years Ago

he didn't choose to do what he did. life foisted it upon him while he was in a state of frailty. Claire you are a trooper to read the whole tale.

Posted 5 Years Ago

An idyllic end to a wonderful tale, full of twists, turns and surprises. Not sure he deserves the happiness he's got after what he did, but then life isn't always just. The two halves of the story are very different, yet follow the same themes. Overall a clever and thrilling read and a wonderful accomplishment.

Posted 5 Years Ago

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3 Reviews
Added on July 22, 2012
Last Updated on July 22, 2012


John Alexander McFadyen
John Alexander McFadyen

Brixworth, England, United Kingdom

Well, have a long and complicated story and started it as an autobiography on Bebo but got writer's block/memory fogging. People liked it though and kept asking for the next chapter! fools.. more..