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fiction the white lines and the gaps between them were much longer than they appeared from the car: the length of her whole body, were she to lie down in the road. She had to stop herself looking over her shoulder, flinching from invisible cars coming up from behind. She thought of the people she'd seen so many times on the side of the highway, walking, walking along verges not designed for human passage, covering incomprehensible distances, toiling from one obscure spot to another. Their bent heads dusty, cowed by the iron ring of the horizon. In all her years of driving at speed along highways, Cape Town, Jo'burg, Durban, she'd never once stopped at a random spot, walked into the veld. Why would she? The highways were tracks through an indecipherable terrain of dun and grey, a blur in which one only fleetingly glimpsed the sleepy eyes of people standing on its edge. To leave the car would be to disintegrate, to merge with that shifting world. How far could she walk, anyway, before weakness made her stumble? Before the air thickened into some alien gel, impossible to wade through, to breathe? It was mid- afternoon but it felt much later. Towards the city, the sky was thick with bloody light. It was possible to stare straight at the sun – a pink bleached disk, like the moon of a different planet. The cloud was growing. As she watched, a deep rose- coloured occlusion extended towards her, pulling a wash of darkness across the sky. A strange horizontal rain came with it, and reflexively she ducked and put her hands to her hair. But the droplets were too big and distinct, and she realised that they were in fact birds, thousands of birds, sprinting away from the mountain. They flew above her and around her ears: swift starlings, labouring geese. Some small rapid birds were tossed up against the sky, smuts from a burning book. As they passed overhead, for the first time Lynn was filled with fear. Approximately fifty packets of potato chips, assorted flavours. Eighty or so chocolate bars, different kinds. Liquorice, wine- gums, Smarties. Maybe thirty bottles of Coke and Fanta in the fridges, different sizes. Water, fizzy and plain: fifteen big bottles, ten small. No alcohol of any kind. How much fluid did you need to drink per day? The women's magazines said two litres. To flush out the toxins. Would drinking Coke be enough? Surely. So: two weeks, maybe three. The survival arithmetic was easy. Two weeks was more than enough time; rescue would come long before then. She felt confident, prepared. Boldly, she pushed through the wooden flap and went behind the counter. The till stood open. Beyond were two swing doors with head- high windows, and through them a sterile steel- fitted kitchen, msafiri 150

Space If this space has attracted your attention, it's been put to good use. But think what it could do for your business if you used this space to draw the attention of the other passengers on this flight to your products or services. Could the person sitting next to you be a potential customer or partner for your business? More than two million people fly on Kenya Airways every year. Isn't it worth attracting their attention for your benefit? To find out more about advertising in msafiri magazine, contact: AFRICA: Esther Ngomeli- Ruhiu, Media Edge Interactive Ltd, tel + 254 ( 0) 20 2711747 / 2710814/ 5/ 6/ 9, email info@ mediaedgeint. com REST OF THE WORLD: Carol Filby, Africa Media International, tel + 44 ( 0) 1229 715000, email carol. ibb@ btinternet. com