Sunday Writing Prompt, July 18/21 – The Quiet One – Alice Thomas

It was known near and far that Alice Thomas was a quiet one. That was until she spoke and then she wasn’t. Crowds were known to gather, silence pervaded the town square as she argued the issues bugging her the most.

Her voice had a strident tone to it. Many were pleased she was the quiet one as her voice grated and her manner abrupt and though she lacked many of societies graces there was always a point to what she had to say.

Today her gripe was the garbage system, or lack of it.

The council wanted to halve the size of the general waste bin. It was nothing more than a cost saving venture by them and she wasn’t standing for it. Within minutes she had warmed up her vocal chords and she was giving the counsellors everything she had.

We knew nothing was going to change and so did she but that didn’t deter her from letting fly.

It was Sunday morning, the town square was buzzing with morning groups, the cafes were full, the sun was shining and Alice Thomas was holding court in the middle of the square.

If nothing else she was a source of entertainment, she was a reason the town square was so full of a Sunday morning. People liked to be entertained and Alice did that.

It took her twenty minutes to get out her grievances and then satisfied she’d had her say, gathered up her small wooden shoebox and wandered off. She didn’t acknowledge any responses, she didn’t engage in further discussion.

She longed to get back to her quietness.

Alice shut her front door and breathed a sigh of relief that her morning was over. There were times when she questioned just what she was doing. She was the most introverted person she knew, not that she knew many people.

It was like a force greater than herself took over and she followed along as it led her to the square. Her behavior was most un-Alice like.  

It took her some time to settle herself and several cups of tea.

This morning’s effort had taken it out of her and it was well into the afternoon before she felt her old self returning.

It was times like this when she felt the humiliation of standing in front of others that Alice was glad she had no phone. Therefore no one would be calling her. It was an important aspect to her maintaining her quietness. Though there would be sure, as happened each time, to be some mention of her in the paper the next day.

Realizing her fairy god-mother was standing in the corner with a smile that radiated love and understanding, Alice felt resolved to a life that was not all her own.

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Crimson’s Creative Challenge #138 – The Perfect Town

They lived in the perfect house in the perfect street of a perfect town.

But they were unhappy despite being told they had no reason to be.

Their every want was granted, their every mood satisfied and at the same time they suffered a nagging feeling for more.

They weren’t the only ones. In time they learned of others who experienced similar needs. Their neighbours also had a perfect life. They greeted each other with the epitome of graciousness.

It came as a surprise to everyone when it all blew up.

Contentment had met its demise.

Suddenly long held resentments surfaced, neighbours stopped talking, rumours spread, affairs long suppressed came flooding into the social consciousness. Chaos flourished.

Charlie Fuggs at number 23 Petunia Street wondered why it had taken so long.

As a wizard he liked chaos, he created chaos, he smiled as he watched his despicable neighbours get their long due comeuppance.

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Crimson’s Creative Challenge #137 – Crisp’s Thoughts on Burial.

We found a welcoming seat in the middle of the cemetery and were happy to rest upon it.

Crisp, my aged companion had dragged me out to the burial ground as she had a fascination for such places.

“I don’t want to be buried,” she said, “look at all these headstones, neglected, forgotten and going to ruin. We can’t even read the inscriptions they are so weathered.”

I could see what she was getting at.

“Cremate me and throw my ashes anywhere you want, even in the garden if that’s convenient,” she announced.

“You won’t be forgotten,” I said to her.

“I will you know, people forget, generations come and go. Who were these people? No one knows. I doubt if anyone cares now.”

“I see your point. I have had similar feelings.”

“I’ll spread your ashes over the vegies patch. Perhaps that way you can grow a decent tomato.”

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Crimson’s Creative Challenge #135 Crisp Spies the Aliens.

“Are they aliens?” asked Crisp as we wandered down the lane.

“No just two young people out on a ride,” I answered not wanting to agitate her.

Since Crisp, my aged companion, had begun to lose her mind the subject of aliens had come up more frequently than I liked.

She stopped in her tracks: “I think they are,” she stated, “I know about these things.”

“No, they are not aliens, just two kids out for a ride.”

“Watch them, any minute now they may do something you’ll forever regret.”

It was at this precise moment they did look back and spy us. There reaction was worth noting as it left my gobsmacked.

They urged their horses on and both rose into the sky like a scene from ET.

Crisp watched, then nodding her head said: “There I told you so.”

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Sunday Writing Prompt, May 23/21 – Speak Now, or Forever Hold Your Peace

What happened started off so innocently. We were kids, we played, we made fun of the old neighbours, especially the weird and wacky ones.

We picked on old Mrs Kelty.

We kids thought she was a witch and so we taunted her every chance we had to cast a spell over us.

We thought it was great sport until it happened.

We must have gone a step too far because Mrs Kelty cornered us one afternoon and told us to stop before it was too late. We thought she was joining in the fun.

The next day Jack’s mum rang to say Jack was missing. His bed had been slept in but she couldn’t find Jack.

They searched high and low, police, SES the lot. No sign of him.

But I know where he is.

He’s in a shoebox in the corner of my room.

Mum thinks I’ve found him, large green frog out in the garden but I know it’s not a normal frog, it’s Jack.

I found him on the end of my bed. Sitting there with a mournful look on his face.

How do I tell his mum what’s happened to him. He gives out these pathetic scratchy croaks and I watched him devour some flies he found on my windowsill. Gross is what Jack would say.

Its been six months and as well as Jack, our mate Archie has also disappeared. I don’t know what has happened to him but Mrs Kelty is looking very smug these days.

I know Jack can’t stay in my room. He needs a pond, somewhere to be a frog. I thought of the garden but our cat eyed him and I felt it might not be such a good idea as Jack was unpleasant to the cat every chance he got.

I took him down to his place. His mum takes great pride in her garden and they have a small pond with a fountain in one corner. I placed him in the pond and he seemed to like it.

I’d taken him home, I felt better about that.

Next door to Jack’s is Mrs Kelty and every so often I see her looking over the fence. She wanted to know if Jack was happy in the pond. I told her he was and was she going to turn him into a boy again?

In time she told me, it was important, she said for us all to have learned a lesson.

I said we were sorry we picked on her.

Apparently we weren’t the first, nor were we the last she told me as she waddled away cackling to herself. Jack gave a little croak and jumped back into the pond.

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Crimson’s Creative Challenge #132 – Crisp and the Grassy Knoll

Crisp, my aged companion startled me when she made the claim it reminded her of the grassy knoll.

“I was there you know,” she said, “I saw who did it but no one believed me. I was very young at the time and the world wasn’t in the mood for news of aliens or things like that. They wanted blood and so that poor man who later got shot was the one.”

By my calculation Crisp would have had to be about 8 or 9 if she did in fact see the event.

“Little greenish men they were. They shot a light then turned to me and told me to shush. I didn’t know what had happened until later and even when I told my mum she dismissed me.”

Crisp’s world was closing in on her, she confused so many things, mixed up her reality with history and I felt sad most days remembering what she used to be.

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Sunday Writing Prompt – Great Balls of Fire

When it happened, it astounded everyone.

Not again was the cry around the room.

Poor Cousin Harry had gone up in a ball of fire.

It wasn’t until Harry’s dust was cleared away that the talk turned to “Have we got a problem as a family?”

This was because we all remembered Uncle Cedric going the same way. Was there a genetic issue with us all?

Those of us who were there on the two occasions recalled the moments before both men went up in their respective balls of fire.

Harry had coughed a few times, stretched his collar and remarked that his feet felt unusually hot.

Cedric had also had the cough, he loosened his tie, as he’d just come in from Sunday Church, kicked off his shoes and then it was all over in a flash. It freaked out those of us who were there as the sermon that morning had been on the fires of hell. Reverend Repent or Burn had been in fine form. We all left the church chastened and determined not to do anything that might invoke God’s wrath.

Needless to say, attendances and plate collections boomed in the weeks that followed.

But Harry was a mystery. He was a good boy, quietly spoken, he worked diligently both at home and at his studies. It got us all wondering if there was more to Harry than met the eye. After all Cedric did have a lot to answer for. He led a precarious life in every bar for miles and there were rumours Cedric had fathered more than one child in the district. Rumours were all that were as no woman in the district wanted to admit she’d had anything to do with him.

So, as we looked down at the charred remains of Harry’s working boots we wondered if it was a genetic issue and who might be the next one of to go up in a ball of fire.

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I don’t seem to have a poetic word left in me.

Its disturbing for I thought I could find one

When the urge took me that way.

I’ve discovered there’s no point fighting it

After all if its not there, its not there.

I’ve looked at the blogs I follow

There’s wonderful verse about flowers, pots,

Landscapes and the brave folk who look to discover themselves.

There are pieces of prose I cannot but admire

But me there is in these recent days nothing is forth coming.

Writing goes like this.

Its like a drought of creative thought.

I have to sit and let the words come again.

I’m reminded of a cartoon I saw recently,

A man receives a box from Ikea

On the box is written “The Latest Blockbuster Novel”

Inside he finds the box is full of letters,

My mind is like that at present.

So the rest of you keep up the wonderful work

I look forward to reading your words

As I struggle to assemble mine.

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Crimson’s Creative Challenge #130 – Windy Day

It was a particularly windy day. My aged companion, Crisp, was having trouble keeping her hat on. Added to that her skirt kept blowing up so she was having a devil of a time holding one on and keeping one down.

I suggested we should get out of the weather, as it wasn’t doing either of us any good when we spied a feather blowing our way.

“It’s the fairies doing this, upsetting nature,” she announced and looking around for more evidence to satisfy her ever increasing loss of mind.

She was still sharp in lots of ways, but they too were decreasing and blunt was becoming a more apt word.

“They’re up to mischief, so you’d best be on the lookout, never know when they might reach out and strike you down. We wouldn’t want that, as where would we be then?”

I think it was instinct when I felt her holding my hand.

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Sunday Writing Prompt, April 25/21- Define Insanity – Brain Fever

 As it had been raining for the past week, Lester had decided that enough was enough.

After all, the rain prevented him from going outside, and it was outside that Lester liked to be. He was an optimist, and he believed in positive thinking, which his mum always told him was the way to end the rain and hence allow him outside.

As it was with the rain pouring down and showing no sign of letting up, his mother had confined him to his room and the dining room so as not to take any chances.

She told Lester he had a weak chest, whatever that meant, and was forever hovering around making sure he was doing what she asked.

It was the Tuesday morning when she found him, curled up in the corner of his room chanting over and over: “Rain, rain, go away, come again another day.”

“Lester,” his mother explained, “the rain will go away; we have to be patient for it to happen.”

But Lester was having nothing to do with that idea as he was determined to make it go away with positive thought. He then curled himself into an even tighter ball and increased the volume of his chanting.

Outside, the rain pelted down.

Lester stopped eating, stopped drinking and even though spoken to very sternly by his mother and his father, refused to give up on his quest to stop the rain.

His parents grew more and more worried.

They called in the Doctor.

By this stage, Lester had lost weight, was trembling uncontrollably, and his chanting was becoming an incoherent babble.

Still, the rain came down.

The Doctor came quick, quick, and looked Lester over, poked and prodded him, listened to him, sympathized with him about the weather and then declared in his learned ability that Lester had rain fever.

“What do we do?” asked his parents.

“There’s only one thing we can do,” replied the concerned Doctor, “I suggest we admit him to the local insane asylum; they are well equipped to deal with cases such as Lester.”

“But it’s a place for mad women. Are you saying Lester is mad?” asked his mother.

“I’m afraid so,” replied the Doctor, “I can have men from the asylum here within the hour. I think it is the best course of action. There’s no telling what lunacy this boy may descend into.”

With that, the Doctor left, leaving the parents even more worried. What will they say about them at the club, they wondered.

Lester was collected, and on the way to the asylum, the rain stopped, and the sun came out.

Lester was delirious with excitement. “I did it,” he exclaimed as the wagon he was in arrived at the asylum.

“You’ll like it here,” said a nurse in a voice that left Lester feeling more unsettled than ever. “We’ll make a woman out of you yet,” she added as she led him through the door.

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