June 20: Flash Fiction Challenge – Waiting

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June 20, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about having to wait. Who is waiting and what for? Think about how the wait impacts the character or the story. Go where the prompt leads!

It was Godot all over again. I was at the agreed meeting spot, in a city I didn’t know with the promise of so much.

I arrived early, thank goodness for GPS as it took me straight to the meeting place. Around me was busy, people going to and fro, cafes packed with engaged couples and lone readers buried in their texts oblivious to all around them.

I needed this job, I waited, growing ever impatient but for how long?

I checked my messages.

Looked up left and right.

I felt powerless, unable to budge, in case he came.

 

Written for: https://carrotranch.com/2019/06/21/june-20-flash-fiction-challenge/

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Thursday photo prompt: Forgotten #writephoto – The Fullers

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The Fullers had long discovered that being forgotten was to their advantage. It meant no one bothered them any more.

After the drowning incident when their youngest had been discovered in the dam and the family blamed for neglecting their children they had withdrawn from the community content to live on the edge of town and away from the glare of public opinion.

It also afforded them the opportunity to grieve in peace, if such a thing can be done. The death of their sibling had greatly affected the surviving four children who in the first month after the death of their sister refused to say her name for fear of the pain generated within them.

They shut themselves behind the wooden door to their house, windows and curtains were closed permanently and they spoke rarely to any neighbour who came near them.

As time went by and the grass grew over the path to their front door people stopped worrying about them, the feeling was they had made a decision to isolate themselves and ignore the goodwill offered to them.

Within the Fuller house though there existed grief like they never thought possible. They had been a close-knit family, they did a lot together, the youngest child had wandered and why no one noticed was never realised other than it was a day when the family was occupied in a game they loved and didn’t notice the youngest one slip away. By the time one of the older children asked about the youngest it was all too late.

The family were devastated by the death and doubly so when stories emerged in the local press about how the children were neglected and left to roam free.

None of that was true, but it hurt the parents immeasurably.

 

Written for: https://scvincent.com/2019/06/20/thursday-photo-prompt-forgotten-writephoto/

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100 Word Wednesday: Week 125 – The Big Smoke

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Dad said the big smoke was about tall buildings, lights and lots of people and cars.

He was right.

I felt overwhelmed. I wanted to get back to our hotel and hide.

The noise was deafening, I could hardly hear dad telling me what I was looking at.

We’d only been there an hour, and already I was wanting to go home.

Then he turned into Timezone, and everything changed. There were slot machines and games, wall to wall.

I was happy tolerating the noise and whatever just to indulge myself in what appeared to be a version of heaven.

 

Written for: https://bikurgurl.com/2019/06/19/100-word-wednesday-week-125/

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Tale Weaver #228 – Cooking – 20th June

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I never quite believed cooking could be fun and enjoyable until I heard the story of another blog friend about cooking at her place and her kids all sitting around helping and chatting about one thing and another.

It wasn’t always pleasant for me. So many mouths to feed and so little time and money for anything fancy.

So often it was ‘stage food’ a name given to a mincemeat and vegetable dish that could be cooked up and feed a multiple of mouths. For that was how it was then, many mouths, always hungry and meal times a lottery as to who would like dinner and who’d spit it out.

Cooking was a stressful time because you were all the time trying to please the ones you were feeding, and they were so often critical.

Having a meal thrown at you was always an indication that it wasn’t satisfactory. Not that anyone ever tried to improve on what you cooked for that was stepping into the brink, and no one ever wanted to do that.

So meal times became so stressful it was easy to fain putting it off and then offering to buy take away as that was always a sure-fire winner.

It was different when my wife cooked, as then it was all hands on deck, galley slaves to the fore and a meal fit for a king was prepared. It took hours, loads of washing up and cleaning, tantrums and blame handed out willy nilly.

But she needed to demonstrate her skills and satisfy her audience.

 

It’s a long time since those days, and things have changed a lot.

Cooking through some quirk of fate has become enjoyable. We have family dinners now where the kids come round with their families, everyone brings something, and they often marvel at how my cooking has improved.

No longer is ‘stage food’ on the menu though they remind me of it from time to time.

It’s allowed me the opportunity to experiment, to try new dishes and tastes and so far it’s been successful mainly because I feel no stress, less anxious and look forward to the challenge each time we meet.

Recently a friend needed help to prepare meals for her disabled son who had been diagnosed with diabetes. We spend an enjoyable afternoon cooking various meals and packaging them for him. Each meal was checked against sugar and carbohydrate content, and we felt we had prepared some meals he would enjoy.

It’s so much easier to cook when you know what you prepare is going to be appreciated and not thrown back at you as sub-standard. That the people you are sharing your meal with are there to not only have dinner but to spend time with you and that has become apparent to me in recent years.

Sometimes I think we could have spaghetti on toast and that would be fine as we enjoy each other’s company so much.

 

Written for: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2019/06/20/tale-weaver-228-cooking-20th-june/

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Crimson’s Creative Challenge #32 – The Crypt

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Crisp my aged companion was browsing through a handful of brochures when she uttered a rare exclamation of delight.

The crypt of the famous author, Arthur Snurd, was just a few ks away from us.

The number 28 bus took us to the crypt site. Crisp was intrigued by the letterbox on the front gate, saying NO Junk Mail as she suggested it would fall on deaf ears anyway.

Arthur Snurd, besides writing the definitive text, ‘How to be Grumpy and Enjoy Yourself’ was also deaf. Crisp had read his book on the plane trip and had delighted in reading sections to me, thinking I needed to know these things.

The crypt, of course, was locked but there was a plaque on the side that detailed his life and bibliography.

Crisp told me it was a treat to visit his last resting place where she was sure he found peace.

 

Written for: https://crimsonprose.wordpress.com/2019/06/19/crimsons-creative-challenge-32/

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Photo Challenge #268 – Alice Munns

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Alice Munns is up early,

She’s out in her garden

Tending to the many plants, she fosters.

Each is known to her,

She chats away to them

Encouraging, singing at times.

Alice Munns is proud of her garden

Her blooms are the talk of the street

She turns the soil with love and care

Her garden makes her feel fulfilled.

Alice Munns pulls away a weed and scolds

“Know your place,” she says

Discarding it to the compost.

Standing back, she surveys the scene

Sighs as she knows as everything

Is as it should be.

Alice Munns loves her garden, and her garden loves her.

 

Written for: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2019/06/18/photo-challenge-268/

Posted in Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Finish the Story — The Locomotive Part Three

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Teresa’s bit:

Every summer since Charlie turned six was spent on Grandpa’s Iowa farm. Charlie loved to run through the fields chasing butterflies and spent his nights laying on the cool grass, watching the fireflies and Milky Way. Life was perfect until the train arrived.

“I don’t believe it,” Grandpa said, shaking his head. “Are you sure?”

Frank, a family friend from the other side of town, nodded. “Saw it myself two nights ago out by Cooper’s Ridge.”

Grandpa pulled his old handkerchief from his pocket and wiped his brow. “What are we going to do? We can’t let it happen again. Charlie… I can’t… I won’t.”

“What’s the matter, Grandpa?” Charlie walked into the kitchen when he heard his name.

Grandpa’s face turned white as he grabbed Charlie by the shoulders and shook him. “Don’t you ever get on that train. You hear me, boy? No matter what he says, or what you see happening inside, you never get on that train.”

Charlie was terrified by Grandpa’s expression and could only muster a whimper.

“I’m going to let you go,” Grandpa said, hugging Charlie as tears streamed down his face. “He’s not going to get another one.”

Later that night, as Charlie laid in bed and imagined the mysterious train that had terrified his Grandpa, he heard a whistle in the distance. Slipping on his shoes and bathrobe, Charlie stood at his window and watched as a train appeared through the night’s mist and blew its whistle again. Charlie rubbed his eyes and gulped.

“Wow.”

“You get out of here,” Grandpa shouted as he ran out the front door carrying his rifle. He fired twice and screamed at the train. “You can’t have him! You can’t!”

A well-dressed man stepped into the doorway of the train, looked at Charlie in the window, and said, …

Fandango’s bit

“Boy, you come over here. Don’t make me come and get you, Charlie.”

Charlie was conflicted. He remembered his Grandpa’s warning to him to never get on that train. But the man calling out to him looked so dapper and debonair, just like those men in the fancy magazines his mother would look at back at home. And inside the train he saw other kids playing and partying, having what seemed like a lot of fun. And where was Grandpa?

“Charlie,” the man called out once again. “It’s time to go. You need to come out here and join us on the train before we leave for the next stop.”

“I need to get dressed,” Charlie called out to the man, stalling for time as he tried to figure out what to do.

“No, come as you are, Charlie, you’re fine,” the man called out. “Your Grandpa is already on board, and we have new clothes for you here.”

Charlie grabbed his stuffed teddy bear and slowly walked out of the house and approached the train. The well-dressed man had a broad, welcoming smile on his face and held out a hand of encouragement to Charlie as he neared the train.

“Come on, boy,” the man said, his hand still reaching out to Charlie. Charlie was still hesitant as he thought about Grandpa’s warning, but he couldn’t resist the draw of the man and the train. Charlie reached up and grabbed the man’s hand and was gently assisted onto the train.

“Welcome to the Soul Train, Charlie,” the man said. “Go inside and meet the other children.”

“Where’s Grandpa? Where does this train go?” Charlie asked.

“Relax, Charlie,” the man said, his smile now appearing more sinister than welcoming. “We’re headed straight to ….”

My bit:

Boomtown where all your dreams will come true.”

Charlie thought that sounded a good idea and looking around found himself in a small room in which there was a tiny window that looked down the corridor of the carriage he was in.

He expected to see the many children he saw when he was being lured to the train, but instead, there was no one apart from the scurrying of a few rats.

Then unexpectedly a rat’s face appeared at the window he was looking through, and he stepped back in fright.

The rat looked at him and shook its head as if disapproving. Charlie found himself against the far wall of the small room as the rat continued to gaze at him.

Then to his amazement, his body shrank down to the floor. His nose grew, his body was wracked by a momentary shudder as a tail grew out of his rear end, and he realised he too had been turned into a rat.

The man responsible for luring him onto the train reappeared at the same time the train gave a jerk and moved along its invisible tracks.

Charlie looked up to see the man standing over him a pleased look on his face as he opened the door of the room and beckoned for Charlie to go through into a room filled it appeared with rats similar to himself.

“Good boy Charlie,” he heard the man say, “you will all come in handy when we…

I now pass this story into the more than capable hands of Crispina at https://crimsonprose.wordpress.com/

 

 

Written for: https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2019/06/17/finish-the-story-2019-12/

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing prompt | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments