The wheelbarrow first appeared at 11:03am on Tuesday, George had noted. There was a fine mist of rain slowly fading. The wheelbarrow itself was edged in rust, where the pale green paint had finally fallen away. The inside, though faded with use, seemed to shimmer in a certain light. The first time it appeared no-one owned up so George thought nothing of it.
The second time it was another damp Tuesday morning. However, this one looked new, crisp paint and shinty metal glistened in the sun, breaking through the dark clouds. George made a note in his diary and carefully stored the wheelbarrow away next to the other one.
And that was how it went, the third one was on a Thursday evening and by the 7th or 8th George was desperate to find a pattern. He never saw anyone coming or going. Sometimes he would stare out the window for hours, his headphones on listening to Welsh lessons that he would never master. It was when he was listening to a session on weather and he heard Enfys, Welsh for rainbow, that it hit him. The pattern. Sure enough the next time he saw a rainbow, from the corner of his eye when watching telly one afternoon, he ran outside and there it was, leaning against the hedge as always. He tried to ignore the flecks of gold glistening in the bottom.
He bought a larger shed. When that was full he started to sell them. He eventually bought a warehouse down the road and the business kept on growing. He never realised how many rainbows they had round here. It always seemed to be just the right conditions.
One evening he had a knock at the door, and a tall lady stood in the rain. She had a fierce fire about her that seemed to make her eyes pulse. She wore a dark green hooded coat that stretched to her feet.
“Come in,” George said. “It’s horrible out there.”
She smiled a mischievous grin that reminded George of the time he used to slip extra penny sweets in the 10p bag from the corner shop. For some reason he blushed.
“Kind of you, sir,'' she said.
They entered the kitchen and she sat down, pulling her hood back to reveal a mane of thick, curled, blood-red hair. He nervously filled the teapot and brought it over.
“Are you the barrow man?” She asked simply, looking up into his eyes as he came over to pour the tea. He tried not to glance down at the bosom that peaked out of a pale green corset.
“Um, I, yes I guess so,” he mumbled.
She held his gaze for a moment longer than he was comfortable with and then she smiled again. “Interesting,” she said and sipped her tea. They were quiet for a while. George didn’t know what to say next.
“You know I work round here,” she offered.
“Really?” George mumbled stupidly.
“Indeed. We do, well I guess you could call it delivery...and finance.” She struck him with another smile, before continuing. “I’ve had a wee issue with one of my staff misplacing some delivery items and I’ve heard you might be just the man to help me.”
George looked outside, the rain was easing off and the sun was just starting to shine. The first glimmer of colour appeared in the sky.