Car #fridayfictioneers

To keep the kids quiet during the six hour drive down to Cornwall, I put together activity bags for them. Of all the things to pick from first, they selected car bingo. So there was a lot of shouting as we all spotted things on the list.

That was until my husband yelled out, ‘dead rabbit!’

Silence fell. I shot him a look and turned to the kids. They were upset.

‘Who want’s a sweet?’ I asked loudly and grabbed a packet.

That quickly helped everyone to forget about dead things.

 

(Inspired from: https://rochellewisoff.com/2017/07/19/21-july-2017/ with thanks)

Wings #writephoto

They circled as one giant black mass. Blocking the sky and the sun out, causing darkness to fall. Everyone stopped what they were doing and looked up in wonder. Then the birds began dropping like stones. Their lifeless bodies hitting roofs, cars, pavements and people.

Panic raged across the country. Everyone hurried to find shelter, whilst grabbing phones to take photos, footage and to call others. Cats and dogs went crazy trying to catch the dead birds but soon even other animals realised that something was very wrong.

Hours later, the bodies of all the world’s birds lay piled up on the ground. All countries had declared an emergence and everyone was either being told to stay home or if they were needed to come in right away.

No one could work out what had happened but one thing was for sure Earth was now in great peril.

 

(Inspired from; https://scvincent.com/2017/06/08/thursday-photo-prompt-wings-writephoto/ with thanks)

Derelict #writephoto

There was no telling what the small abandoned building had been used for over the years. Still though something drew me towards it every morning as I was running with my four dogs. It was a small sunken old fashioned pile of stones with a red tile and wooden frame roof. It sat at the end of a field which seemed abandoned too.

My dogs; a breeding pair of yellow labs called Peaches and Teddy, a husky mix named Dakota and a lopping great dane who had come with the name Frankenstein – Frankie for short, avoided the place as if there was something nasty inside. If I went too close they’d bark and howl for me to come back to them.

Today, the abandoned building was looking more forbidding. It also looked like some youths had taken to hanging out there. I slowed my pace and came to a stop, catching my breath. I bent over, putting my hands on my knees and dragging in deep warm breathes of summer.

Peaches came over to me, whining a little as she lay down at my feet. This was her first long run in awhile. She had five pups, who were almost twelve weeks old at home. They didn’t really need her any more, but she was a super good mother. I reached down and stroked her soft head.

‘We’ll go back home now,’ I told her.

Behind us, the other three dogs were having a tussle in the long grass. I whistled and they all began racing back to me. I glanced at the abandoned building and with a shrugged decided to check it out.

Walking over, I could see that someone had made a fire. There was a small circle of black ashes on the ground and the grass nearby had been burnt and flattened. There was a little graffiti on the side of the building, but that could have been there for ages. A beer can crunched under me and I stepped back in slight alarm. Nudging the can out of the way I went closer.

An unhappy barking came from Dakota and I turned to look at the husky. He was pacing, low in the grass watching me, his body language showing he was afraid. I looked for the others; Peaches was where I had left her, Teddy now sat at her side and Frankie was sniffing something far to my left.

There was a strange smell in the air as I got closer. The remains of the fire and wood which was understandable, but there was a sour stinging note as if something shouldn’t have been burnt. A feeling inside of me told me to get away, but I pressed on. What was so scary about a small tumbled down building with a funny smell to a fully grown man with protective dogs?

I peered through the doorway and heard a low moan. The wind? A person?

‘Hello?’ I called.

Teddy started barking loudly behind me. I ignored him and stared harder into the gloom. There was a little light coming in from the half open roof but not enough to fully see the inside of. What I could see was a mess of bricks and wood which might have been apart of the roof.

Horror movies began filling my mind out of the blue. I shook them off. There was nothing here and that sound had just been the wind. Stepping away, I went back to my dogs and made sure they were okay.

That’s when I noticed that there was no wind and the abandoned field was silent.

 

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2017/05/25/thursday-photo-prompt-derelict-writephoto with thanks)

Zoanthropy #atozchallenge

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Zoanthropy; a form of madness involving the delusion of being an animal. 

Dr Amy Percy stirred in bed and slowly came awake. There was a familiar ringing in her ears. Rolling over, she looked at the alarm clock and saw it was a two thirty eight AM. Wondering who was phoning her at this time, she reached a hand out and picked up her mobile.

Peering at the screen in the darkness, she saw it wasn’t on. Tutting, she placed it back and grabbed her work’s mobile. The screen was lit up with an incoming call from a patient; Tim Banks.

Her finger hoovered between the green answer button and the red end call. She hit answer and pressed the phone to her ear.

‘Doctor?’ a low desperate voice asked.

‘Yes?’ she answered.

Amy rolled onto her back and fixed the sheets, so she was more comfy.

‘It’s Mr. Banks. It happened again! I’ve just woken up and there’s a dead bird on my bed. My window is wide open too….’

‘What kind of bird?’ Amy asked sleepily.

‘It’s like…erm….a blackbird? Yeah. It’s neck is broken. There’s feathers everywhere! What should I do, Doctor?’ Tim demanded.

‘Throw it out in the garden. Vac up the feathers then go back to bed, Mr. Banks,’ Amy instructed.

‘I need to see you!’

‘It’s the middle of the night….phone my office and make an appointment.’

Amy ended the call and placed the phone back on her bedside table. Settling down again, she prayed that she was fully booked tomorrow so she wouldn’t have to see Tim Banks.

God didn’t answer her prayer. Walking into her office and across the small waiting room, she saw Tim wanting for her. He was wringing his hands together and was sat far away from her actual first patient of the day; Camilla Brown.

Amy went up to the receptionist and waited till the older woman, Mrs June Meakings, who was sat behind a long desk looked up from the computer screen.

‘I’ve squeezed Mr Banks in first,’ June whispered, ‘I hope you don’t mind? He seems in a such a state. He said he’d been phoning here since six.’

Amy sighed. She could feel a headache coming on all ready.

‘I have his file,’ June added.

She selected a pale yellow folder from the top of the pile and handed it to Amy.

‘I’ll take Mrs. Brown’s too. Does she mind waiting?’ Amy asked with a quick glance over her shoulder.

‘No,’ June replied.

The phone started ringing, cutting through they conversation. They nodded at each other and Amy walked into her room.

She took a few minutes to set things up and flip through Mr Bank’s file. Then she picked up her phone and asked June to send him in.

Without knocking, Tim entered and went straight to the red long, low backed sofa. He sank down then began pouring his heart out to the doctor.

‘I can’t take it any more! I’m not myself! I worry every day and night. What if I change in front of people? What if someone sees me and recognises me? What if this doesn’t go away? I can’t live like this, but I don’t want to go to the insane asylum!’

‘Who said anything about an asylum, Mr Banks?’ Amy asked, looking over at him.

She had been taking some brief notes and her pen was paused in the middle of a line.

‘Well…that’s what happens to mad people, isn’t? You lock them all away!’ Tim explained, flapping his arms about.

‘Maybe in the past. Today it’s different…’

‘Drugs? I’ve tried everything! Nothing works. Maybe it’s supernatural. Like werewolves. I’m a werecat!’ Tim declared.

‘Now, Mr Banks!’ Amy snapped, ‘there’s nothing supernatural about your condition. Were-creatures don’t exist. Just like vampires and ghosts, it’s all fiction. People like to attribute their mental conditions to the supernatural because they find it easier to understand and blame. We’ve been through this before.’

‘I know Doctor! But do you really know that? What if the supernatural is real and we are in denial? What if you have powers?’ Tim asked.

Amy stared down her nose at him, ‘Mr Banks, I can assure you I don’t have any powers. Now. Let’s go over what’s happened since last time I saw you, five days ago. How many times do you think you’ve….changed?’

Tim thought, his eyes studying the ceiling before he answered with, ‘about three times, maybe more.’

Amy wrote that down in her notes then asked another question, ‘What have been the rough times of these changes happening?’

Once again, Tim give it some thought before answering, ‘Well, it’s been the same as normal. Mostly at night. I always go to bed at ten on on the dot, as you know. So, around midnight maybe? Or in the early hours? Though I think there’s been two in the afternoon for sure now.’

‘Oh, really?’

‘Yes. Doctor. I had a nap you see. I’ve had a bad cold and with not really sleeping at night, I decided to have a doze in my back garden. The first time I awoke and was soaked wet through! It was like…pond water and I smelt of fish. It didn’t rained at all and it was blazing sunlight.’

Amy pressed her lips together, but didn’t say anything. Tim went on.

‘When I got changed, I peered over the fences of the nearest houses and the one right on the end has a large pond with fish in it! Well, I broken in and looked around the garden. I found a dead fish beside the pond and the stones were all wet.’

‘Another animal could have done that,’ Amy mused.

‘The next day I had my second nap,’ Tim continued, he’d not heard her, ‘and when I woke, I was soaked again and there was like slime all over my hands. The fish smell was worse too. I went back to the pond and it was empty of fish! I think I’ve eaten them all!’

Tim dropped his head and pressed his hands to his face. His shoulders were shaking. He took in a few deep breaths and seemed to compose himself again.

Amy pulled a face and scribbled some more notes down. This was a complicated case and she had been out of options for awhile now. She had contacted other doctors in and out of the field, but they had been stumped too. A man who fully believed he turned into a cat wasn’t something that could be easily fixed.

Hygge #atozchallenge

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Hygge; being so cosiness and comfortable that you feel content.

The fire crackled and popped as it hungrily consumed the wood. The yellow and orange flames licked around the inside of the brick fireplace, spreading warmth around the living room.

Carol sank into her favourite chair, finally able to rest after the busy day she’d had. Putting her feet up, she made sure she could reach the cup of tea and the box of chocolates on the side table.

Her little dog, still slightly wet and now tried from his walk, jumped on to her lap and settled down. She stroked his silky coat automatically as she looked into the fire.

There was a strong possibility that this was the last time in a good few months that she’d now lit the fire. Every day felt more like spring and it was getting too warm for cosy nights in like this.

Carol felt a pang. She loved the fire and it would be hard to not relight it till the middle of autumn. Of course, there might be cooler and wet days which would call for extra warmth, but they were always far apart.

‘The fire just makes everything better,’ Carol uttered.

Her little dog made a soft yipping sound.

Carol sank further into her chair, enjoying the feeling of being content.

After a few minutes, her mind picked up that thought thread again and she said aloud, ‘all have to surround myself with other things that bring the same feelings. Though nothing can compare to the warmth and light of a fire.’

Starting to make a list in her head of other cosy things, Carol started to doze off. Her little dog was snoring and the fire was making a nice lullaby now. It was all she need to fall asleep to.

Gigil (Part 2) #atozchallenge

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Getting into bed that night, I was tried and felt like I could sleep forever. Eva hadn’t stopped going on about the bunnies all day and Tyler had decided to support her with that. At bedtime, they had both gone into a melt down and it had taken forever for them to sleep.

My husband was in bed all ready, reading a book, but I could see he was dozing off. I turned out my light and settled down.

‘Are you going to get them a rabbit?’ my husband, Dave, asked out of the blue.

‘No,’ I replied, ‘what’s the point? They’ll be bored with it by the end of the week. Then I’ll have to look after it.’

‘Or maybe not…Ava’s old enough now. It might be good for her. I had a dog at her age. I’ve always wanted another one,’ Dave said dreamily.

‘No dog either,’ I said gruffly, ‘now, I’m going to sleep.’

I pulled the duvet over and stopped listening to him.

‘I’ll be a nice Easter surprise. Say you’ll think about it,’ Dave suggested.

‘I’ll think about it,’ I answered.

Snuggling down, I fell asleep quickly.

 

Over the next week, Ave and Tyler didn’t let the wanting of a bunny go. My hopes that they would do started to fade and it seemed my children became more determined to force my hand everyday. I didn’t give in and pretended I couldn’t hear them.

A few days before Easter Sunday, I picked up chocolate Easter eggs and other treats for us all to share. I also brought Ava and Tyler soft toy rabbits, not to make up for the lack of a real one, but in the hope of distracting them. I hide everything on the top shelf of my wardrobe.

On the eve of Easter Sunday, when the kids had gone to bed after we’d spent the day at the parking doing an Easter egg hunt, I was curled up on the sofa next to Dave. We were watching a murder mystery TV drama and I was enjoying a glass of red wine.

‘Did you think about the rabbits?’ Dave announced during the advert break.

I looked up at him, a frown on my face, ‘No. They’re not having rabbits. I all ready told you that.’

‘Ava isn’t going to let it go, you know.’

‘She will soon enough,’ I declared.

‘There’s enough space outside for a hutch and for them to run outside. There were two left in the pet shop,’ Dave added, ‘I thought we’d agreed…’

‘Wait? Agreed? Dave…Did you…?’

I looked fully at him, words fading as his express changed to become blank. He was faking it badly though.

I whacked his leg, nearly splashing the rest of my wine. I got up, anger filling me.

‘Where are they?’ I asked.

‘In the garage. I made sure they were warm. I got a get deal on the hutch, food and stuff. Pretty cheap, lot less then I thought it was going to be,’ Dave rushed, ‘Beth, they are really cute. I don’t get why you don’t want them.’

I sank back against the sofa, my thoughts whirling.

‘You can take them back on Tuesday. The pet shop should be open then. I’ll keep Ava and Tyler out of the garage,’ I voiced.

‘Come and see them,’ Dave said.

He got up and helped me stand, even though I didn’t really want to. I placed my wine down and followed him grumpily out of the room. Through into the garage we headed and tucked away behind the old jeep my husband had been working on forever was a large double level hutch.

I put my hands on my hips and watched him open a small side door. Two light brown baby bunnies where snuggled together, sleeping. Dave gently picked up and give it to me. I refused, but then he pressed the rabbit to me and I had no choice.

The bunny was warm and fluffy. A damp nose nuzzled into my hand and whiskers tickled me. I felt something melting inside of me.

‘See? They are really nice. The woman in the pet shop said she breed them and her children have been handling them. She said they’d be suitable for Ava and Tyler,’ Dave explained.

I stroked the bunny in my arms. A part of me still against this whole idea. I’d end up looking after them for sure!  Maybe, that wouldn’t be a bad thing?

Gigil (Part 1) #atozchallenge

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Gigil; The urge to squeeze something that is unbearably cute. 

My two children pressed their faces against the front window of the pet shop. I was too tried and weighed down with shopping bags to shoo them on. The Land Rover was just a few more cars up in the parking bays. I walked over and around to lower the bags to the floor next to the boot.

I dug in my handbag for my keys, my eyes straying to keep an eye on the girl and boy still standing at the window. I opened the boot and put everything in, making sure things wouldn’t be squished on the ride home. Closing the boot, I walked back around.

‘Come on, Ava, Tyler,’ I called.

‘But mummy! Look at the bunnies!’ Ava shouted back.

‘No. Come on now,’ I said sterner.

‘Sophie’s getting one for Easter. Can we have one? We never get anything,’ Ava whined.

‘No and you get lots of things. Now come on!’

Ava give shake of her long blonde hair and turned back to the window.  Tyler had his hands pressed to the glass and seemed fixated.

I stomped over and scooped him up. He’d only just turned five, but he was small and thin. A fussy eater and an insomniac with little interest in things other then watching the TV. Tyler wiggled to get comfy then settled into my arms. He’d thrown a tantrum in the supermarket and was now tried.

‘Look, Mummy,’ Ava picked up, ‘they are just so fluffy and cute!’

I looked, just to indulge her. There were three glass boxes in the window at child eye level. Inside the middle box were four baby rabbits. They were small and light brown, a few had darker patches, they all had black eyes and twitching pink noses. Their small ears were straight up and they were hopping around, doing rabbit things.

A label above them read; New In! Baby rabbits for sale. £20

Looking more into the shop, I saw the glass box on the right was empty; the sawdust clean for another animal. The box on the left contained another rabbit; he was alone, grey and blueish in colour and bigger then the babies. I looked over at the poster above him. Rehoming, Male adult dwarf rabbit. Two years old, suitable with neutered rabbits, older children only. £10.

‘Can we go in?’ Ava asked.

‘No. We have to go home. Tyler needs a nap now and there’s too many things I need to do,’ I said.

‘But I want to touch one!’

‘No, I said!’

She was only going to get more attached if we went in. I reached for her hand and when she didn’t take mine, I picked up her hand. I tugged her away and reluctantly Ava sulked after me.

To Be Continued…

Cynophilist #atozchallenge

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Cynophilist: A person who loves dogs. 

Even though it was a warm sunny day, the blinds were drawn over the top floor photography studio’s windows. No sun was leaking into the cool room which was artificially lit to create the perfect cast of light and that was just how Pepper liked it. Standing next to her tripod, with her hand on top of the large camera balanced on top, she waited whilst her assistant, Angel, rearranged things.

‘Stay still and be a good girl, Tilly,’ Angel was saying gently as she placed the tiny puppy in an overlarge tea cup.

Pepper watched and felt the tiredness of holding a smile on her face for so long. The little black and tan terrier puppy was so cute. It was hard not to smile. The cuteness was made made even more so by the set up for third lot of photos; puppy at a tea party. Pepper and Angel had made up the small platform to look like a small garden with a picnic and afternoon tea going on. Tilly, the puppy was the center piece.

Angel stepped down from the platform and out of view. Leaving Pepper to do her side of the work. Looking at the camera screen, Pepper took a few photos, till she had the perfect one. Then getting out, she went over and scooped the puppy up. Tilly yipped and wagged her tail madly. Her little tongue licked everywhere it could and Pepper broke into laughter.

‘This is still the best job I’ve ever had working with dogs,’ Pepper announced.

‘Mine too,’ Angel answered.

She had come over as well, a clipboard in her hands.

‘What scene is next?’ Pepper asked as she cradled Tilly in her arms.

‘The cakes,’ Angel replied.

They both smiled at each other. This scene was going to be fun to photograph.

The Hub

Library High Angle Photro

I had no idea what the person next to me was doing. In fact, I had no idea what anyone in this office or even building was doing. It was a strange thought and one that had not even dawned on me before.

I looked around, taking in the long rows of desks, the tops of computers and stacks of papers. Someone was sat at every desk, typing or writing away, their heads mainly down. There was a low murmur of voices, tapping keys, scrabbling of phones and churning of machinery. Around the walls of the room rose the bookcases. They were packed with multi-colored book covers and contained all the knowledge of the world, from start to finish.

How long had I been working here now? Five, six, seven years? And not once had I thought to find out what this company was and what the other workers did. There had never seem to be any need though. I had always known my job and just got on with it. The awareness of everyone else had been there, but I guess I had never really noticed.

I peered over at the person to my right. It was a woman and she was busy tapping on a laptop. There were books, paper and pens scattered on her desk. She ignored me, either not realising I was watching or not caring. She was working on a research piece about monkeys, something which I could link to my own work.

I turned to the left and looked at the man there. His desk seemed the same as the woman’s, only he had no laptop and busy handwriting notes. There were many large books open before him. He was writing about monkeys in films. Once again, he didn’t seem to care I was watching him.

I got up and slowly made my way around the room. Everyone was researching and writing about something different and yet it all connected together. Finally, I concluded that we were working on a complete history of Earth’s animals. Each person had been given a different animal and subject matter which at first seemed a little out of place, but was actually a piece of the jigsaw we were creating.

I went back to my desk. My thoughts really awake for the first time.

Cat Life

Black and White Cat in a Tree

In the mornings, he would sit in the tree and watch the village. At lunchtime he would come down, visit three houses for lunch then curl up somewhere warm and quiet for the afternoon. In the evenings, he strolled around till late then mewed at doors till someone let him in.

 

(Story inspired from: https://first50.wordpress.com)