Round and Round #FridayFictioneers

Mary glanced down at the map then out the car window.

‘Which exit?’ her husband, Tom, asked as they entered the roundabout.

‘The second…? No, the third….?’ Mary tried to answer.

She consulted at the map but struggled.

Tom carried on going around, trying to hold his tongue. He wasn’t in the mood for another argument about directions.

‘I think it’s the second.’ Mary finally answered.

Tom drove once more around the circle of trees and took the second exit, ‘for Christmas I’d like a Sat Nav,’ he muttered.

 

(Inspired by; https://rochellewisoff.com/2019/11/27/29-november-2019/ with thanks).

The Keeper #WhatPegmanSaw

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I had heard the tales, who hadn’t? but I needed to see. The twisted road to the house was through an overgrown woods and a bubbling swamp. It seemed the perfect for a horrible castle, especially as the full moon was playing hide and seek with the clouds tonight.

The gates appeared and top was the green stone dragon.

I got out of my car and went forward.

Finding my voice, I asked, ‘Hello?’

‘Who disturbs me?’ the dragon’s booming voice rang out as he shook himself awake.

The tales were true after all!

 

(Inspired by; https://whatpegmansaw.com/2019/10/19/ljubljana-slovenia/ and also https://crispinakemp.com/2019/10/21/have-you-seen-our-dragon/ with thanks).

The Wasp

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The family had a picnic under the tree. They munched on sandwiches and cake whilst  sipping ice lemonade.

A buzzing alerted mother to the wasps, she waved one away. Father tried to swat another with his newspaper. Then the baby cried as a wasp landed on him.

Then the whole swarm come down! Wasps crawled in the cake’s icing, crept on the sandwiches and fell into the bottle of lemonade. They buzzed around, eager to feast on a picnic they had not been invited too.

Abandoning things, mother gripped baby and father the other two children, they all rushed back to the car and locked themselves inside hoping the wasps didn’t follow them.

Goosey Gander #CCC

Kelly froze and couldn’t get out of the car. The goose had surround her and were squawking loudly. The noise sent chills through her, like finger nails on a black board. Her hand began to shake on the door handle, she want to let go but couldn’t.

One of the goose flapped it’s huge white wings and rose up threateningly. Hissing ruptured and loose feathers dotted the ground.

There was a tapping on the window. Kely screamed, started the car again and tore away.

The farmer lifted his cap and scratched his head in puzzlement. Townies today!

 

(Inspired by; https://crimsonprose.wordpress.com/2019/08/21/crimsons-creative-challenge-41/ with thanks).

Taxi! #TwitteringTales

Everyone thought the job was easy; drive people from A to B but Dec knew there was more to it. With twelve years under his belt, he found the waiting boring, nervous still collecting customers and traffic stressful.

That’s why he’d decided to give up and move to the coast to work on a boat.

 

(Inspired by; https://katmyrman.com/2019/08/13/twittering-tales-149-13-august-2019/ with thanks).

Wicker #WritePhoto

I stopped the car too desperate to find a proper place and ducked into a field. I checked there was no one around then fumbled with my clothes. Squatting down, I happened to look across and the breathe caught in my throat.

Three figures were standing in the middle of the field watching me. I felt heat creeping across my skin, my knuckles turned white clutching hard on my bunched pants. There was nothing I could do and nowhere to hard.

Finishing, I redressed and thought about going over to apologise and explain I had a water works infection and couldn’t help it.

I half turned away before swallowing my embarrassment and striding across the field. I could feel my heart racing, my pulse beating loudly in my ears and my face must have been beetroot red with heat.

As I got closer, puzzlement crossed my mind, these figures didn’t look right. They were too still but perhaps they were in shock about seeing my accidentally exposure?

Closer still and the realisation hit me. I laughed loudly and went right up to them.

‘Wicker statues! Not real people at all!’ I cried out.

 

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2019/05/16/thursday-photo-prompt-wicker-writephoto/ with thanks).

Lorn (Part 2) #AtoZChallenge

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Lorn; lost, ruined or undone. 

The stairs looked forbidding, so Caleb and Beth climbed up slowly and gingerly. Beth had left the books on the doorstep, ready to collect when they left. Some of the stairs railings looked like they had been gnawed by rodents, making the banister unstable.

They found the rooms in better shape up here. The bathroom, four beds and the en-suit hadn’t been touched by the flood but the vandals and squatters had been here. The bath, toilet and sink had been smashed up; cream porcelain chucks covered a chequered lino floor and water stains dotted the wall like a painting.

The first bedroom – possibly Grandpa’s room was mess of clothes, bedding and bits of furniture. The wooden bed was broken, the remains against the wall. Two double mattress were on the floor, blankets draping over. Someone had patched the broken windows with newspaper and old fabric.

‘Let’s spend time looking for things,’ Beth said.

Not giving voice to his disappointment, Caleb nodded and warned her, ‘look out for glass and needles. Who knows what was going on here.’

‘I’ll be careful,’ Beth answered.

The searched the room and found some coins, empty beer cans, food wrappers and a few photographs. The clothes weren’t worth going through. It seemed the house had really been robbed out.

‘Recognise anyone?’ Beth asked, sharing the photos with Caleb.

He shook his head, ‘no. Maybe they were Grandpa’s but I don’t know.’

‘Do you want them or not?’

‘No,’ Caleb answered and turned away.

He went into the next room which was a smaller bedroom. There were three single beds squished in, clothes heaped on the floor, rubbish in the corners and the smashed window letting all the elements in. On a bedside table, was a pile of used cigarettes, ash scattered about.

Caleb went in, just to check but there was nothing of Grandpa here. He meet Beth in the doorway and they moved on to the next two bedrooms. At some time, they had been children’s rooms going off the old wallpaper which was mostly torn away. Like the first two rooms, people had been sleeping in here but Grandpa had been using them as storage and there were a few boxes to look through, though they weren’t the first to do so.

‘More books,’ Beth said about the first box.

‘Any be saved?’ Caleb called.

‘Possible. Let’s take them. What’s in that one?’

‘A tea set…Some of it anyway. Few bits of smashed. Next one…’ Caleb trailed as he looked through another box, ‘videos.’

‘Same in this one too,’ Beth laughed, ‘and some music tapes….Your Grandpa liked sixties rock and country. Irish ballads?’

‘No idea,’ Caleb spoke, ‘there’s some photo albums here. They look okay and a school year book….Let’s take this box.’

‘Finally one,’ Beth pointed out, she moved over and opened it, ‘things wrapped in news paper…..oh, it’s horse!’

Beth held up a porcelain horse and Caleb crossed the room to look. Removing the rest of the yellowed newspaper, Beth passed him the brown and white horse. Then she picked up another wrapped form and peeled back the newspaper.

‘This one’s a shire horse. Look at the leather stuff, he’s ready to pull a cart!’

‘Do you want them?’ Caleb asked, running a finger over the cold, smooth face of the horse.

‘Sure,’ Beth said.

‘Let’s check theses drawers and wardrobe.’

There was only a few items of clothes, shoes and children’s toys. Caleb pulled a teddy dog out and turned it over in his hands. He didn’t recognise it, so put it back.

In the next room, they found more books and children’s toys. They saved the books and got ready to leave.

‘I forgot about about the attic,’ Caleb said soon after they had brought all the boxes they were taken down to the front door.

‘Where is it?’ Beth asked, looking back up the darkening staircase.

Caleb went back up and stood on the landing. He looked along the ceiling for a few moments the pointed out the almost hairline rim of the attic door, ‘there!’ he said.

‘Can you get up?’ Beth asked.

‘I’ll need a ladder….Maybe a neighbours got one,’ Caleb wondered, he came back downstairs, ‘you load the car and I’ll go and ask around.’

‘Okay…but don’t take too long, it’s getting late.’

They kissed, Caleb give her the car keys then headed out. Beth began moving the boxes and loading them into the back of the car. Soon after she had finished, Caleb appeared with a ladder and a middle aged man in tow. He had a grey, balding head, a rough covering of beard and worry lines on his face. His hands and body showed the lifestyle of a construction worker. He was wearing dirty jeans and an old blue t-shirt.

‘This is, Reggie,’ Caleb said.

‘Hi,’ Beth greeted the man.

‘We’ll go up. Why don’t you wait out here?’

‘No, it’s okay. I might be able to help.’

They went back inside. Reggie helped with the ladder then Caleb lifted the attic door and shone the torch from his phone inside.

‘Oh wow, it’s packed up here!’ Caleb called down, ‘looks untouched too. I guess no one was able to get up here. Okay, I’m going in.’

‘Be careful!’ Beth called.

‘I shall be. Here, let me pass stuff down.’

Together, the three of them emptied the attic. There were cardboard and plastic boxes filled with books, photos, film, bric-a-bric antiques, papers, two landscape oil paintings, old toys, including a collection of metal cars, a small stuff rocking horse that had seen better days, a sixties recorder player and some other things.

‘There were treasures in this house after all,’ Beth cried.

‘Some of this stuff could be worth a bit,’ Reggie stated as he inspected one of the paintings which showed a river going though a forest with a herd of deer coming for a drink.

‘Beth! Look at this!’ Caleb yelled.

‘What is it?’

‘My grandparents wedding stuff! Their clothes and photos. Wow! This is amazing. Here, I’m going to pass it all down.’

Excitedly, Caleb passed Beth and Reggie a huge white box and another that was black. Then a battered cardboard box, over flowing with dusty fake flowers, photo albums and other things.

Beth took the lid off the white box and couldn’t believe her eyes. Folded inside was a lacy white wedding dress from the fifties with a huge veil laying on top.

‘I can’t believe this survived,’ Beth uttered.

‘The old man probably wanted to forgot all about it,’ Reggie cut in, ‘from what I remember, she died young.’

Reggie handed her a loose photo which showed a  veiled bride sitting in the back of a Rolls Royce.

‘What happened?’ Beth asked.

‘Some disease. She was only like in her thirties.’

‘That’s sad.’

Reggie nodded then Caleb yelled there were some more boxes and they got back to work.

The attic was soon empty and Caleb climbed back down, ‘thanks for your help, Reggie.’

‘No probs. Be nice to see this place fixed up and lived in again. Those yobs made a right mess,’ Reggie said.

‘Yeah. The builders are coming tomorrow and hopefully, things will be better,’ Caleb explained.

‘I can’t believe all of this was still up there!’ Beth gasped, she had been looking through some of the boxes, ‘how are we going to fit it all in the car?’

‘I’ll give you a hand,’ Reggie said.

They loaded the car up, just about fitting everything in. They said goodbye to Reggie and watched him taking his ladder back across the road to his house.

Caleb then turned and looked at his Grandpa’s house.

‘You okay?’ Beth asked.

Caleb nodded, ‘just feeling bit tried.’

‘Same. Let’s get back to the apartment, unload all of this and get take out for dinner.’

‘Then tomorrow, we’ll be back to see the start of things.’

‘I’m sure it’s what your Grandpa wanted,’ Beth said and put her hand on Caleb’s shoulder, ‘he wouldn’t have left everything to you otherwise. I’m sure he was proud of you, despite everything. But none of that was your fault.’

‘I know,’ Caleb said quietly, ‘it was my drug addict teenage mum.’

Beth squeezed his shoulder but didn’t say anything else.

Caleb started the car and they drove away into the evening light.

Out Of Luck #3LineTales

three line tales, week 164: a couple on a road trip

Three hours later, the stolen car started having problems, the engine was making strange noises then it died and silence filled the air broken only by Amy’s and Chad’s rushed breathing.

They sort each others hands, clutching fingers tightly as they looked out of the window and saw coming through the dirty snow a number of shambling moving dark figures.

Desperately, they had tried to get away, to survive the threatening plague but luck had run out on them, there was nowhere left to go, so they stayed in the car, holding hands and waiting for the end.

 

(Inspiration by; https://only100words.xyz/2019/03/21/three-line-tales-week-164/ with thanks).

Rusted #FridayFictioneers

Once the car had been someone’s pride and joy, a key family member and creator of so many memories. Then somehow, the car had ended up abandoned in the middle of the woods. Teenagers robbed any parts they could sale and also used the inside to drink, smoke and make love.

Over time, the car become little more then a shell of rust. Rain leaked through the roof, wind blew through the shattered windows, plant and tree roots grew around and through the body work.

Another group of people, urban explorers, became interested and once again the car give joy.

(Inspired by; https://rochellewisoff.com/2019/01/23/25-january-2019/ with thanks).

 

 

Winter Glare #CCC

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The old lane was little used and nature grew wild. Trees blocked out most of the light expect in winter, when weak patches highlighted the ground.

For me, it was the perfect hiding spot. I pulled over the car but kept the engine running and got out. I gripped a shovel then the metal box which was super heavy. I dug the hole quickly, lowered the box in and covered it over.

There, my past was gone, never to trouble me again.

I got in the car and drove off, heading towards a better future.

 

(Inspired by; https://crimsonprose.wordpress.com/2019/01/16/crimsons-creative-challenge-10/ with thanks).