Menton, France – 1989

menton

This was my entry for the 2009 Ventura County Reporter’s Short Fiction Contest. The only requirement was that it be 100 words or less. It received an honorable mention.

Menton 1989
by philip scott wikel

In Menton on the cote d’azur there’s a youth hostel on the plateau st. michel. You must climb 1,000 steps to the auberge de jeunesse. A sign above the door reads “egalite’, fraternite’ liberte’.”

A white South African sits alone.
I ask him, “what’s it like there?”
“how do you mean?”
“the political situation.”
“how do you mean?”
“the apartheid thing.”
“i’m not sure what you mean.”
“you know, Nelson Mandela?”
“i’m not sure i know what you mean… the media.” (he shakes his head)
“you did say you were from south africa?”
“i’m not sure i know what you mean?”

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