Replaced Papers #FridayFictioneers

He was running late for his meeting, so he didn’t check his briefcase before leaving the house. All his paperwork was in there though as he had put it in yesterday afternoon, so why wouldn’t it still be?

He got to the meeting, flustered and feeling unprepared. He had to present the company’s finance report to the board, so today was not the time to be panicking.

Everyone was all ready seated, he apologised for being late and got on with things.

He pulled out the paperwork and looked for his notes but what he saw instead was brightly coloured children’s drawings.

 

(Inspired by; https://rochellewisoff.com/2019/10/30/1-november-2019/ with thanks).

Googly Eyes

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Sitting at the dinning room table, I watched my ten year old, identical triplet girls crafting a Halloween banner. It might only have been the first weekend of October but all ready my mind was on Halloween and I was encouraging my children to join in the fun.

The only problem was my three year old son, there was only so much crafting he was capable of. For awhile he had been happy to paint pictures, stick stickers and glitter on everything but now he was bored.

‘Mum! Coby is being annoying!’ Lottie cried.

‘He’s stealing all my pens!’ Hattie moaned.

‘Go away! It’s girls only!’ Kattie shouted and give Coby a hard shove.

He hit the floor hard and started crying.

‘Girls! Please!’ I snapped, ‘be nice to you baby brother.’

Picking the toddler up, I placed him on my hip, though he was getting far too heavy to carry around.

The girls all stuck out their tongues then got back to their banner making.

I signed, too tried to argue with them and sit at the head on the table with Coby on my lap. He snuggled against me, sniffing softly.

There was a bowl of squashes in the middle of the table which I had brought to do some autumn decorating with but hadn’t decided yet what to do with exactly. There where different varieties and colours; some looked like mini pumpkins, others mini watermelons, some were white and others were more tall then round.

A strange idea came to me, something I’d probably seen off a kid’s cartoon.

‘I’ve an idea Coby. Would you like to help, Mummy?’

He nodded into my chest.

I gathered what we needed then choosing one of the squash, I stuck googly eyes on it.

‘Look Coby!’

He laughed and I moved the squash about and made a ‘do do’ sound like the squash was walking along.

‘Do-do-a-do. Ah it’s such a nice day! But where are my friends?’ I spoke in lower pitched, funny voice.

Coby laughed and clapped his hands.

‘Do you know where my friends are?’ I made the squash say.

‘There!’ Coby said and pointed at the bowl.

‘So they are! Can you help me bring them to life?’

With a nod, Coby grabbed one of the squashes and we spent some time decorating a few of them. After, we played with them, giving them voices and making stories up.

When the girls finished the banner, we tided up and watched TV for a bit.

When their dad arrived home from his ruby matched, the girls rushed to show off their banner.

‘Impressive!’ he answered then listened as the girls told him all about which bits they had done.

‘Come see what Coby and I made,’ I finally got in.

The girls rushed back to the TV, happy they could watch something less toddler aimed.

Coby, I and my husband went into the dinning room and Coby delighted in showing off his brought to life squashes.

 

Bike

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Granny said ‘be careful’ but it was her first time on two wheels and keeping balance wasn’t easy. She hit a tree and spent the rest of the day in hospital.

 

 

 

The Butterfly Princess – A Children’s Story

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Once upon a time, a young Princess lived in a vast kingdom and her home was the mighty castle that stood at the heart of the country.

She lived with her parents; the King and Queen, nine siblings, many uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents, other relatives and an army servants. The family were extreme close and enjoy being together.

One early autumn day, the young Princess and some of the other children were playing outside in the castle’s huge maze of gardens. The girls were catching butterflies and dragonflies whilst the boys hunted for beetles, worms and bugs.

The young Princess caught a very pretty butterfly that had many different reds, oranges and yellows on the wings.

‘I wish I could be like you, butterfly and know what it’s like the fly,’ the Princess whispered.

When the Princess went to bed that evening, her back hurt and she couldn’t settle to sleep. Her skin felt itchy and burning. She called for her Nanny – who was one of many in the castle- by ringing the bell by her bed.

Nanny came at once and looked at the Princess’ back.

‘Nettle rash? Or ivy? Perhaps something else?’ Nanny pondered, ‘well, whatever it is, here is some of Nanny’s magic lotion. It will cool and soothe and make that rash gone!’

The Princess nodded and let Nanny cover her upper back in a sweet smelling lotion.

That night the Princess hardly slept. She tossed and turned, not able to get comfy because her back hurt too much. She felt like her skin was on fire and began crying. The Princess rang the bell for Nanny and a maid then sat wailing till they arrived.

Nanny came and looked again at the Princess back. The skin was bright red and looked like it was bubbling.

‘Not a rash then. Sunburn?’ Nanny wondered, ‘don’t worry, Princess! Nanny has something for everything.’

Turning to the maid, Nanny asked for, ‘cold water, clean cloths and some warm milk.’

They washed the Princess back, put on a different lotion then wrapped her up. The princess sipped the warm milk then lay on her stomach and finally fell to sleep.

In the morning, the young Princess was running a fever and her back was worse. The King and Queen came to see her then sent for a doctor- the best in the kingdom. When he arrived, he was puzzled and declared that the Princess must have sat too close to a fire and had burnt her back.

Nanny disagreed with him but what else could it be?

The doctor give some medicines, instructions and left to see the King’s father who had come down with a bad cold.

By that night the Princess felt little better but her back was still bad and she couldn’t lay down on it. As she tried to get some rest, she felt something moving over her shoulder blades.

Ringing for Nanny, the Princess crawled out of bed and made it across her bedroom to a big mirror. She looked at her back but it was wrapped up and she couldn’t see it.

When Nanny arrived, the Princess told her but Nanny thought she was still feverish.

However, when the Princess awoke in the morning, her back felt like someone was cutting into it and she took the bandages off to see.

There on her back, growing out of her shoulder blades were a tiny pair of black wings!

The Princess gasped and called for Nanny and maid.

‘Look at my back!’ the Princess cried to them, ‘I have wings!’

‘Go and get the King and Queen at once!’ Nanny snapped at the maid, who hurried off to do so.

‘They are real!’ the Princess cried and she tried to move them.

‘How did this happened?’ Nanny muttered.

The King and Queen came and when they saw the wings they wondered if their daughter had been cursed by an evil witch. They decided they would have to seek magical help and the Princess would have to stay in her bedroom and no one would be allowed near her.

The Princess wasn’t happy but no one would listen to her.

Over the next few days and nights the wings carried on growing until they were almost as tall as the Princess was. They were very pretty and brightly coloured in reds, oranges and yellows.

Lonely and bored, the Princess learned how to control the wings and when Nanny and maid were not around, the Princess would try to fly!

This took a lot of time but she began to get the hang of the wings.

Then one beautiful, full moon lit night, the princess decided she wanted to go and fly outside. She crept through the castle using many secret passages and servant corridors. Finally, she made it out into the kitchen gardens and without looked back, she hurried to one of the other gardens furthest from the castle.

There she felt the breeze tug on her wings and she knew what to do.

The Princess stepped up onto a stone bench, she fluttered her wings, closed her eyes,  concentrated and jumped into the air.

She opened her eyes and looked down, her feet were off the ground!

She flapped the wings and rose higher and higher! Soon she was flying over the gardens then over the castle, over the city and towards the moon.

The Princess felt thrilled, she had gotten her wish to fly!

She yawed and decided it was time to return to bed. The Princess flew back to the castle, landed in a garden and sneaked back to her bedroom. No one could ever know what she had just done!

For the first night in a month the Princess slept well.

When she woke in the morning, her back felt different, lighter. The Princess looked down and saw on either side her butterfly wings! They had fallen off in the night. She was a normal girl again.

The End.

Waiting #FridayFictioners

A female voice came over the speaks, ‘we regret to inform you that due to extreme weather conditions all flights have grounded.’

A loud groan rose from the thousands of people packed into the airport. Eyes went to the windows where outside hurricane force winds were lashing heavy rain against everything. Thunder rumbled and forked lightening light up the black sky.

‘I’d rather be here then up there,’ an old woman uttered.

A babies started crying, children began complaining, teenagers rolled their eyes and buried themselves back in their phones and the adults prepared for a nightmare of waiting.

 

(Inspired by; https://rochellewisoff.com/2019/06/19/21-june-2019/ with thanks).

Roots #WritePhoto

They say family roots run deep but how does that apply to an orphan? Especially one in his fifties who’s only just found out that his parents weren’t actually his.

Sitting down in the root maze, under my favorite trio of trees in the park, my thoughts were clouded by betrayal and lies. My ‘parents’ had never told me and now they had both passed, the lawyer had been the one to break the news.

Sitting in the leather chair, a huge desk between us, I had read the looks on the lawyer’s face and decided he was going to tell me some super bad news. Like; ‘your parents had nothing to leave you. Or your parents left everything to a cat charity.’ But no, it was; ‘James you are adopted. Margret and William were not your biological parents.’

I didn’t know what to say or then did he have the right family? Was this the last joke of my father? Funny man he was, always up for a laugh and a prank. But no, it was all true. Here was accounts from a police officer and social services and newspaper cuttings too; Baby Boy Found Abandoned In Park; Police Appeal For Parents To Come Forward. 

The lawyer said no one knows who my parents were but Margret and William created a paper trail if I wanted to try and find out. The lawyer give me a box file then my not parents’ house, money and everything else. I left numb and not sure what else to do I came to the park and the trio trees.

Reading through the some of the papers, it interested me to note that I was actually found close to here, in a yellow blanket. Perhaps, that’s why I had always been drawn to here or maybe it was just one of those things. Whatever it was, wasn’t important right now.

I felt myself slipping away, everything I had known no longer felt true. Who actually was I? I felt like an actor playing the role of James McBride who had forgotten his true self.

I shoved everything back into the box file and looked up. The sunlight was dancing through the leaves of the trees, like disco lights. I shut my eyes.

I was still me.

My parentage didn’t change anything.

 

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2019/05/09/thursday-photo-prompt-rooted-writephoto/ with thanks).

Post It Note Shorts

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Schools closed due to snow. No one to look after kids, taken day off, gone park to build snowmen. Loves.

Christmas Day

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The sound of children’s voices talking woke Ellie up. She stirred, wanting to go back to sleep after staying up so late finishing off the Christmas preparations. The excitement of her children wasn’t going to allow her that lay in though.

Her bedroom door crept open, squeaking too loud to be ignored and Ellie felt her husband waking up beside her. She nudged him before flipping the duvet back and turning on the lamp. In the glow, she could see her two children standing in the doorway, red stockings clutched in their hands.

‘What is it?’ Ellie asked sleepily, even though she knew the answer thanks to their bright, smiley faces.

‘Christmas!’ they both shouted and dashed for the bed.

Ellie burst into laughter. Her husband groaned then woke up, realising what was happening as the kids began unwrapping presents.

‘Is this all from Santa?’ he asked, looking around in pretend awe.

‘Yes!’ the children answered then began babbling over what they had found in the stockings.

Ellie smiled, her whole body filled with happiness at seeing her children so joyful and this was just the start of Christmas Day, there was a lot more to come throughout the next few hours.

The Santa Express #FridayFictioneers

The Dobson family stood on the platform wowing over the red steam engine billowing out clouds of smoke.

‘It’s the Harry Potter train!’ Cat cried.

Her parents laughed, ‘no, it’s Santa’s train!’

They boarded an empty compartment and sat on rough red plush, lumpy spring box seats.

The train whistled, pulled off jerkily then gained speed and soon was chugging through the Yorkshire Moors.

Sometime later, Santa appeared and handed out presents.

Cat received a soft toy pony and Harley a set of toy cars. They played whilst their parents sipped warm mulled wine and watched the countryside go by.

 

(Inspired by; https://rochellewisoff.com/2018/12/05/7-december-2018/ with thanks).

The Loneliest Day

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The phone rang, Jen tutted and abandoned the cake batter she had been mixing to answer it. It was probably a cold caller and she should just let the answer machine get it but she had finally got month old baby Louis down for his afternoon nap and didn’t want anything disturbing him.

‘Hello?’ Jen said into the phone.

‘Hi, it’s only me,’ her husband, Mike spoke, ‘I tried your mobile. I thought you might be a sleep.’

‘No,’ Jen replied with a sign, ‘I was in the kitchen.’

‘Okay. I just wanted to let you know I’m not sure what time I’ll be home,’ Mike explained, ‘there’s been a full office computer crash. Some idiot downloaded a virus yesterday and it’s super bad. I’m not letting anyone from the IT department leave till we’ve fixed it.’

‘I see,’ Jen uttered.

‘I’ll get something to eat on the way home. Don’t wait up for me, you still need to rest as much as possible.’

Jen nodded.

‘How is Louis?’ Mike asked.

‘Good. He’s sleeping now and he drink a full bottle before.’

‘Super! I got to go. Got the big boss at my throat. See you later, Honey.’

‘Bye,’ Jen said as the ring tone beeped in her ear.

She hung the phone up then stared at it. Why did things like that had to happened? Jen hugged herself and tried not to let the silence of the house get to her. Feeling a slight chill, she moved back into the warmth of the kitchen.

There in the bright lights, surround by cooking equipment and ingredients she could pretend that everything was normal again. Busying herself with finishing off mixing the cake batter, she was just about to divided it into the paper cupcake cases with a baby’s cry came from the living room.

Jen paused and tried not to rush off. Hoping, he would stop and settle again, She began scooping batter into the cases. She made it to four then give in and went into the living room.

‘I’m coming, Louis,’ she called.

Jen stood over pram then picked Louis up. She mumbled things to him and snuggled him. Then realised he needed changing and went and did that. Wrapping him up again, she tried to get him back to sleep but he seemed too awake. Placing him into the pram again, she wheeled him into the kitchen and parked him up.

Finishing dividing the cake mix, she placed the tray into the oven and set the timer. Washing her hands, she tidied everything up then wondered what to do next. On the counter was a pack of spaghetti and a jar of bolognese sauce, this evening dinner.

‘We won’t be needing this now,’ Jen said aloud and put them away, ‘I’ll have some soup instead and you can have some more milk.’

Louis made a moaning sound and Jen checked on him. He had taken both scratch mitts off again.

‘How do you do that?’ Jen wondered.

She put the mitts back on and wheeled him back into the living room. There, she put the TV back and set the channel to one with afternoon game shows as had became her habit. Picking up Louis, she sat cuddling him on the sofa. He dozed on and off then wanted feeding again.

The timer went off whilst she was feeding him and Jen, who hadn’t mastered juggling a baby and other things yet, had to place him down and go to get the cakes out. Louis started crying and her repeatedly tell him she was coming right back had no effect. Cakes out and left to cool, she washed her hands and hurried back to breast feeding him.

Settled again, Jen felt waves of tiredness drifting over her. Louis was a heavy, hot, soft bundle in her arms. The house was warmer now as the heating had come on. Rain was tapping against the windows and even though it was almost four o’clock, night had rolled in.

Realising, she should close the curtains, Jen got up careful and placed Louis in his pram again. She went over to the window and looked out. The street lamps were on and there were cars and people outside. A front door across the road was open, light pooling out and two people were stood in the glow.

A stab of loneliness hit Jen. Her hands slipped from the curtains. She had been ill throughout the whole of her pregnancy and had to have time off work sick then take early maternity leave. Luckily, she and Louis had got through the birth fine, but Jen was recovering and hadn’t left the house much in the last ten months now.

Family and friends had been regularly visitors throughout those months and Jen was grateful for those mornings and afternoons spent with in their company but the mid-week period was the worse time. It was just her and Louis for eight or nine hours whilst Mike was a work and everyone else was too busy.

Jen closed the curtains and tried to get rid of the dreadful feeling filling her up. She checked on Louis who was fast asleep then went into the kitchen. She ate one of the just cooled cakes and made herself a cup of tea.

To help focus herself, Jen thought about plans for the next few weeks. After her last hospital check up, she would started to go out more. She had seen a mums and babies play group advertised at a local church on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. There was also baby swimming on Monday and Friday mornings at the sport centre. On Wednesdays there was the lunch club at her work that she could take Louis too as well.

‘See? You are going to be fine,’ Jen said aloud, ‘just get better.’

Grabbing another cake and her cup of tea, Jen went back to the sofa. Adverts were flashing on the TV and Jen got ready to watch the next quiz show, feeling that little bit better.