#writephoto – Approach – When My Car Broke Down

I had that sunken feeling when the car broke down. Of all places it was not that far from my destination, my Aunt Mary.

Aunt Mary was what we in the family referred to as eccentric. She had strange ideas about a lot of things but mostly it was her insistence that she only grew carrots in her front garden. Inside the boundary fence and either side of the front path, there grew carrots as far as you could see.

It encouraged the rabbits she once told me and they were a source of food to her. Every meal she made you had rabbit of some sort mixed into it.

Right now the problem was to get help with the car and as night was approaching there was limited daylight to work in.

There was a mist rolling in and through it, I could see Smith’s Castle looming above me. Smith’s Castle was impressive. Large and foreboding.

It had been called Smith’s Castle since 1456 when the village smithy’s invaded the castle and carried off the aristocratic Fortesque-Smyths and claimed the castle for themselves.

I found the front door and with a sense of trepidation rang the doorbell feeling a bit like Brad and Janet in Rocky Horror.

The door creaked open and a small balding man in a dinner suit stood there. “You rang?”

I explained my predicament and he watched me with eyes that suggested not a lot of what I was saying was getting through to him.

“I’ll get the mistress, wait here’” he said.

I could hear the creaking of opening and closing doors, whispered voices and the patter of tiny feet.

I suddenly had the feeling I was in the wrong place. Small faces appeared around the door, there was a fanfare and the door swung open to reveal the most beautiful woman.

“I love an entrance,” she said looking me up and down. Behind her, the small faces peered at me from behind her skirts.

“May I use your phone? I’ve broken down,” I asked.

“Of course, and then we’d love to have you for dinner,” she announced before spinning round and swanning off.

I then understood the line: “You can check out any time you like but you can never…….”

Written for: https://new2writing.wordpress.com/

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Crimson’s Creative Challenge – #166 – The Top of The Hill

We had to get to the top.

She instilled a sense of urgency about getting there.

There was a lot of huffing and puffing, the climb was exacting for two people at our advanced age but she was driven to get there.

She was like that when she became determined. There was no stopping her and logic was never a factor.

So on we went, struggling to put one foot in front of the other, heads down realising this was a much bigger effort than we imagined.


“What’s there?” I gasped.

“The other side,” she replied never missing a beat.

And suddenly there it was. The other side.

“Don’t you feel a sense of achievement?” she asked.

By this time I was sitting down, ever so grateful for the seat some kind soul had put there. There were no words between my gasps of exhaustion.

Written for: https://crispinakemp.com/2022/01/12/crimsons-creative-challenge-166/

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#writephoto – Antique – Sally’s Antique Wares and Stuff


Antique – Image by KL Caley

Sally’s Antique Wares and Stuff was located in the middle of the High Street, just down from the Post Office.

You couldn’t help but walk past it as you made your way down to the PO or the supermarket.

Sally believed you had to have something to catch your customer’s eye.

In her case, it was a shop crammed with wares, which appeared to have little to no order. She had the philosophy that if you saw something you liked then crawling over a bunch of other stuff to retrieve the piece you had spied could result in another sale.

And it worked.

My mother, on her way to buy milk one day, had been on the lookout for a Royal Doulton dinner plate to replace one she had broken when she saw one in Sally’s shop. It was in a far corner and to get to it she had to squeeze past a number of shelves packed with crockery of all sorts of value and not.

Needless to say Mum arrived home with a bag of plates, cups and saucers all of which she announced were bargains and she couldn’t bear to leave them there. So her shelf of old and ancient bits and pieces was rearranged to fit in the newly purchased items.

Mum was very proud of her purchases and said there was a chair she fancied as well but we reminded her that there was limited space in our house as it was and any large item purchased in future might result in one of us kids having to move out to the shed.

Mum thought that was a great idea and we could see her mind ticking over as she contemplated the idea of one of us moving out. None of us kids was volunteering I must say and we were still short of milk.

Written for: https://new2writing.wordpress.com/2022/01/06/writephoto-antique/

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Reena’s Xploration Challenge

It’s new … does it mean it’s welcome?

My wife went into labour at what I thought was the most inopportune time. Barely a year before my son had been born. He was a difficult child, demanding, and a law unto himself.

I felt as though I had finally gotten a handle and how best to deal with him when I was faced with the prospect of having to go through it all again.

As we drove to the hospital my resentment grew. I felt trapped into an everlasting struggle with babies.

But when baby is due and making all the signs of coming out into the world there is not much you can do but be there and see what happens.

In the labour ward, there was a huge photo on the wall of a flowing stream, I think it was meant to provide mothers with a sense of the baby flowing down her tubes and out into her arms.

I took many a deep breath anticipating what was ahead of me.

Baby was born but there was a complication and my wife had a bleed. The nurse had already sat me down, out of the way, and gave baby to me to hold while she and the doctor did their thing.

I sat there and looked down at my new daughter. As I did so she opened her eyes and looked at me and I instantly fell in love with her.

Every thought of resentment went out the window. Here was this tiny bundle of life looking up at me, her dad, and I couldn’t have been more pleased.

She was new, and she was welcomed.

I tear up every time I recall that moment and she and I some forty years later have the best relationship.

Written for: https://reinventionsreena.wordpress.com/2022/01/06/reenas-xploration-challenge-212/

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Eugi’s Weekly Prompt – Chapter – January 6th

I read another chapter

It’s a grind I have to say

Disappointing when her other novels

Have been gripping page-turners.

But I’m determined,

I know it will improve

Words are so much like that

Luring you in

Taking you places so often foreign.

I’ll give it another go later

I owe it to myself and the storyteller.

Written for: https://amanpan.com/eugis-weekly-prompt-chapter-january-6-2022/

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Crimson’s Creative Challenge #165 – Uncle Seth

She asked me what the photo reminded her of.

It’s a seal.

It reminds me of a lazy oaf. Like my Uncle Seth.

She claimed he’d made laziness an art form.

Seth sat about the house demanding his mother’s attention-getting her to run here and there. Never seemed able to lift a finger to help himself. Though it never stopped us from giving him the finger. When we did he’d complain to mum that we were mean to him and she’d then tell us off. She said he was delicate and wasn’t able to do like the rest of us.

But we knew different. We’d seen him reach the top shelf, run to get the mail and leer at us in contempt. He was very unpleasant and I was glad when they came and arrested him for things we never spoke of.

Written for; https://crispinakemp.com/2022/01/05/crimsons-creative-challenge-165/

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Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #150 – Alice Jenkins

In our town, Alice Jenkins was the girl everyone looked down on. She was ostracised at school because she was what we called a swot.

She was a brain; she did all her schoolwork, produced outstanding assignments and always received the top marks in the exams.

In a school where most students strove to reach the depths of mediocrity, Alice stood out like the proverbial sore thumb.

Her teachers loved her; here among the throngs of disinterest was a student who had some drive.

The Librarian loved her she was the only student to use the library for what it was intended. If it wasn’t for Alice most books would never leave the shelves. As it was the only activity in the Library was at lunchtime when the boys descended on the gaming and sports magazines the Librarian had purchased in the hope that some of them might read them rather than look at the photos.

Alice’s parents were publically embarrassed by their daughter’s behaviour. They wanted their daughter to fit in, to get too far above herself, to have friends, who like themselves, never made much of an effort at school.

Instead, they had a daughter who was all things they weren’t. As Alice grew there came a spark in the back of their minds that their girl might be more than they were. Perhaps she would leave home and work in the city. Perhaps she might aspire to something more than an office secretary or shop assistant.

They decided to not discourage her but rather do all they could to support her, who despite her love of learning was a quite a lovely child.

Alice didn’t have a very good time at school, but she persevered through the ridicule and bullying as she had set her sights higher than working in Mediocrityville.

Years later she returned as the CEO of the local land council and found so many of her schoolmates working there, leaning on shovels, pushing wheelbarrows and struggling to make ends meet.

It was then, that Alice Jenkins became the girl everyone looked up to.

Written for: https://fivedotoh.com/2022/01/03/fandangos-flash-fiction-challenge-150/

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JSW Prompt 3rd January – On Being a Part-time Weekend Axe Murderer.

Thursday was that day in the week where things seemed to get done. It could have been the urge to act since the previous three days had been an exercise in idleness and the weekend was looming and so deadlines had to be met.

In my case as a part-time weekend axe murderer, a lot of the preparation had to occur before the weekend and Thursday was always the ideal time to do so.

There was nothing worse than waking up on Saturday morning knowing you’d done nothing in preparation. Panic would set in, the job would be half baked and my anxiety levels would be through the roof.

You can’t be an effective axe murderer if your nerves are all on edge. You could stuff the whole thing up and clients don’t like a half-arsed job. They like clean and neat.

So Thursday morning was head down, bum up, planning as meticulously as possible, dotting I’s and crossing T’s.

By Saturday afternoon all was ready to go. I had a plan to get to the set location, a plan of execution and always a plan to retreat or if successful a plan to exit gracefully.

After years of this, I have considered the possibility of going full time but then I’d miss my day job as a gravedigger.

I arrived as per schedule and took up my place behind the rose bushes. It’s prudent to do the job outside, as there’s less mess to clean up.

My target approached and as he stopped to pick a full bloom red rose I struck. He never knew what hit him. Over in a flash. I was in the car and off before anyone knew it.

I’ve become very efficient, it’s why I get so many jobs.

Written for: https://athling2001.wordpress.com/2022/01/03/jsw-prompt-1-3-2021/

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#writephoto – The Retreat – Meditation By The Pond

The retreat was nestled in off the highway and surrounded by luxurious gardens all meticulously manicured.

This was to be a silent retreat, a time for me to meditate and try to come to some understanding of myself. Not to discover myself, but more to understand who I was.

The running the retreat had appeared in a long white flowing robe and introduced us to the purpose of being here.

Our destiny was in our hands, we could come away enlightened by the experience or we could go back into the mediocrity from which we had come.

I was ready to embrace the time; I had convinced myself that the weekend would be a good thing for me.

It was remarkably peaceful, the gardens set my mind at ease, and my fellow participants all seemed focused and committed.

By late afternoon I had found a spot away from the guesthouse and by a small pond and here I wanted to practice my meditation.

I was well into it when I heard a sound. The water in the pond was being agitated. It bubbled up as if a force was pushing the water upwards.

Then a head appeared. Then a body.

Then a look of shock as I was spied sitting watching.

The head belonged to a small man who shook water from his head and gasped.

“So frightfully sorry to interrupt you,” he said, “wasn’t expecting anyone to be here. Lovely day though isn’t it? Never mind me just go back to what you were doing.”

The calm of my meditation had left me. I was speechless even more so when he dived back into the water showing me a bare pink bottom as he disappeared.

I relayed my experience to the retreat leader who appeared concerned. “A little man toy say, appeared?” he asked.

“Yes,” I replied.

“That’s ok, you’d have been in trouble if his siren daughters had appeared. I’ve lost a few men to the pond over the years. Difficult to explain to the families, the police and what have you. I’ve asked them not to come to the surface when I have a retreat on. Sometimes the memos just don’t go through.”

With that, he walked off and left me wondering what I had just experienced. “I’ve imagined the whole thing,” I thought to myself. “They said meditation could take you to new and wonderful places.”

The next morning I went back to the pond. I couldn’t believe my eyes…..

Written for: https://new2writing.wordpress.com/2021/12/30/writephoto-the-retreat/

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Eugi”s Causerie Weekly Prompt – Promises

It’s no good making them if you never keep them,

It’s like going in circles, treading water and all that.

But we always make New Year promises,

And everybody knows we’ve forgotten them by next week.

It’s some sort of game you play isn’t it,

Say things, make things up

Knowing you’ll never honour a single one.

Well yes, it’s the tradition of welcoming the New Year

Resolving to make yourself a better person

At least that’s the intention

Until life takes over

Then it’s every man for himself.

Yes, I’m not playing this year.

Written for: https://amanpan.com/eugis-causerie-weekly-prompt-promises-december-30-2021/

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