Orenda #WritePhoto #AtoZChallenge

Orenda; a mystical force present in all people that empowers them to affect the world or to effect changes in their own lives. 

I drove through the countryside, looking out for signs to the Thistle Horse Riding School. I had a job interview there this afternoon. I was over-excited, having spent a year looking for this kind of job. Openings didn’t come up often and most of the time they were all family run.

The realisation I was lost kicked in. I glanced at the Sat Nav but the screen was blank. Slowly down, I looked around and saw a wooden signpost coming up on my right hand side.

Pulling the car over, close to the sign, I got out and left the engine running. My sensible, flat black shoes crunched over tall grass, that left dew drops on my dark tights and black skirt. The grass boarded a farmer’s field that was green with new wheat and had fresh tractor cuts lining the ground.

I looked up at the sign that only pointed in opposite directions, fully expecting it to point me in the right way but it was blank!

Puzzled, I stared harder, thinking that age had dulled the words but no, someone had actually painted across the place names with black paint. Totally not useful!

Why would someone do that? I turned around, half hoping someone would come along so I could question them, however the single track countryside lane was empty. The only things I could see were green fields and a few trees.

I got back in the car, leaving the door open to let in the gentle spring breeze. The Sat Nav sat dead on the dashboard. It had been playing up for awhile, not keeping any power and turning off randomly. I should have got a new one but I hadn’t got around to it. Now, I deeply regretted my laziness.

The only think left to do was try and get maps on my phone. The signal wasn’t great but at least I got the idea I was still heading in the right direction and if I took a left at the end of the road, I’d almost be there.

Feeling a bit more confident, I carried on driving. The lane weaved like a snake before splitting two ways. Thankfully, this time the sign post was clear marked. To the left was the riding school, to the right a village and back the way I had come another village which I had passed through.

I went left and followed a short road towards a large gate which had a sign announcing Thistle Horse Riding School. I glanced at the dashboard clock and saw I was late by five minutes.

Getting out, I opened the gate, drove in then had to get out again to go and close the gate behind me. I parked in the visitors’ parking then took a moment to calm myself and check my interview suit was clean. I felt over the top and out of place at the stables in my white blouse, black jacket and skirt, but first impressions always count.

I left my car and followed the signs to reception/office which was little more then a shed before a gate leading to a courtyard and the first stable block. There was a brown pony tied up and with a saddle on waiting for the rider to return.

I knocked on the shed’s door. Through the window, I could see an older woman at the desk going through some paperwork. She was wearing tight black riding pants, a green polo t-shirt and had short dark brown hair. The woman got up, answering my knocking and came to the door.

‘Hello?’ she said

‘Hi, I’m Penny Wright. I’m here for the horse riding instructor job interview,’ I stated.

‘Yes. I’m Heidi Thistle, owner. Please come in.’

Butterflies fluttered in my stomach but I stayed relaxed. We shook hands and I took the other chair in the office. It was too cramped inside, but I tried not to think about it. I had to get this job, it was going to change my life, so I called upon everything I could to make it happen.

 

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2019/04/11/thursday-photo-prompt-decisions-writephoto/ with thanks).

 

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Granted (Her Part)

This was the right address for sure, though I still couldn’t believe it. The house is a straight rectangle, red bricked with large coloured glass windows. There was no front or back garden, instead there was just a gravel edging and small driveway for a car. A tall large, iron fence encloses the area with the only way in being a double gate.

I step to the side, still clutching the piece of paper and looking past the house. About eight feet up, was the end of a graveyard and there was only a brick wall keeping it from land sliding into the house.

I went to the door and rang the bell. I slip the paper into my bag and felt my slightly sweaty palms. A dog started barking. I jumped a little then hurriedly straighten out my cleaning uniform which consisted of blue trousers and a t-shirt. Long gone were those little black white laced dresses.

The door open, revealing a smiling old man with a pair of sunglass balanced on his nose. He had a nice light grey suit on and his right hand was holding the handle bar of a dog harness. I smiled at the yellow lab, who’s tail was wagging hard, before announcing myself.

Hi, I’m Daphne from the agency, we have an interview today.

He nodded, welcoming me in and closing the door behind me.

Can I stroke your dog? He looks very handsome.

I put my hand down and the dog licked my fingers. I laughed and wiped his drool away.

The old man indicted to the first room and we went in there.

So, this place is a converted Methodist church right?

He nodded and told me a brief history. Most of which I had read online.

I settled into the overstuffed chair, he had taken the other one, and looked around the room. It seemed sort of bare. There was a small fire place with some ornaments on top of the mantle, a matching sofa to the armchairs, a small side table and a glass case in the corner. The wallpaper was dark cream with climbing ivy flowers and the floor was wooden boards, beside from a large rug in the middle.

When he had finished I asked if he had ever been able to see?

He shook his head and launched into speech. One he’d given countless times. I really shouldn’t have asked, but the internet hadn’t told me much.

I understand that, don’t amputees feel the same? I’m sure I heard that somewhere.

My other jobs? There‘s been nothing out of the ordinary really. I just do what I can to make money. Things have been difficult these past few years.

You are a famous author. I’ve often read about you in some magazine or other. You’ve received many prizes and been to some huge events.

Well, I guess that’s one thing less to do, I thought and looked at Theo. He seemed mega happy, with his tongue rolling out and his tail beating a drum on the floor.

I’m afraid I’ve not read any of your works. I’m sorry.

Your books. I’ve no read any of them.

Read to you? Yes, of course. I use to do that in the home I worked in. What other duties will I have? I know what the job advert said, but it would be nice to clarify.

Well, that all seemed reasonable. I’m happy with that. Would I have to live here though?

I thought about telling him I was planning to move in with my boyfriend. But I held back. He waved a hand up as he spoke then it dropped as he become thoughtful once more. I waited, trying not to stare, but finding nothing in the room to set my eyes on. He opened his mouth again and told me the tasks to do with Theo. The dog looked up loving and excitedly as his name was said.

Yes. I love dogs. I’d be happy to help care for him.

Questions? Do you need support getting in and out of bed? Or the bath tub?

Well, that’s fine. What about the weekly shopping? Ah that’s good know.

How many people have you interviewed now? You don’t have to tell me and I’m just curious.

Allergic to dogs? Why did she even apply? The agency stated you had to be okay with dogs. That would make sense. Oh, well I guess most people are. Still though I’m sure you’ll make the right choice…. Me? Oh? Well, thanks. Can I have some time to think about it? Would that be okay?

Yes, I’ll get back in touch before the week is out. How many more people have applied?

I nod away as he flows on to into story then remember he can’t see. I look around the room again and decide that I might take the job. He seems a nice enough old man and it doesn’t seem like too much trouble.

I laugh as his story tails off and points out one flaw.

Didn’t the Victorians hide anyone with a disability away? Or something?

He sighs and agrees with me, before getting back to the interview.

No, there’s nothing else I can think of right now. Any questions from you?

He brings everything to a close then stands up.

Oh, it’s okay. I can show myself out. Please.

He waves me away and commands his dog to the door. Theo takes us there, his tail forever wagging. At the door, I watch his hands feel across it for the latch and handle. I fight down the urge to help him.

I will let you know. Thank you for seeing me today. Shall I get that…? It was nice to meet you too.

He opens the door and we say our goodbyes.

I step out and walk down to the gate. The door shuts behind me and I take in a deep breath of cold autumn air. I turn back as I step onto the street once again and look up at the house. Yes, I think I’ll be taking the job.

Granted (His Part)

Image result for old man in a chair

I’ve never been able to see. Let me make that clear before we start. As for your other questions, I’ve been told the easiest way to experience it is to wear a blindfold. Do I miss it? How can I missing something I never had. Would you miss your finger if I cut it off? Why of course you would, because you’ve had that finger all your life. You know what it can and can’t do, you know where it is, etc. If I took it, there’d be days when you believed it was there still. Yes. I do believe that amputees have similar experiences.

Now, about the job, the agency told me you’d had lots of pervious work, some of it sounded quite different from what’d expect of a young woman. Yes, I know things have been bad. I got lucky, I guess, old family inheritance and the early discovery of a gap in the book market. Money is never anything though.

Ah, you heard about that did you? Well, I don’t write much these days. And don’t worry about having to take me to any public events, I’ve not been to one in years. In fact, don’t worry about having to take me anywhere. Theo does all of that, don’t you boy? Good dog. Good dog.

Sorry, what did you say? No, of course not, why would you have read any of them. There are some none braille ones knocking around somewhere. You’ll find it’s the same with some other books I have. Speaking of which, would you be okay to read to me sometimes? I’ll probably fall sleep and start drooling before you’ve even read the first page! But it would be so nice to hear some of the stories again. Now, what else is there?

Oh, your duties, so as well as that, daily; cleaning, cooking, opening my letters. Once or twice a week; shopping and some errands. No, you don’t have to live here, though there are many bedrooms available. I can give you all the keys, no worries there. Let’s see what else was there? Oh, feeding Theo and making sure he was water. I always take him for his walks, it’s good for me. Though, you could give him a bath and a brush. I think he’s due one. Would that be okay with you?

Good. Any questions? No, you won’t have to get me up or put me to bed. I might be an old man, but I’m still capable. No bathing either. Yes, I’ll give you the shopping list and money. You’re the third interviewee I’ve had. The first one was allergic to dogs. Can you believe that? She sit through the whole thing sneezing. I told her I was sorry about the dust then as she was leaving she told me, adding that she couldn’t accept.

The second was a middle-aged man. He did well, but I don’t think I’ll be choosing him. There was just something, I don’t know. He was a fan and he’d never had a cleaning job before. Seems he was very down on his luck.

So, if you want the job, Daphne it’s yours’. Ah of course, take all the time you want. But please get back to me soon. I shall have to be back in touch with the agency before the week is out. Would that deadline suit you? Unfortunately not, you are the last. I only had three apply. I guess it’s because I demand too much. Most just wish for a simple cleaning job, not to be cook and butler too.

Sometimes, I think I was born into the wrong era. If I had lived in the eighteen century or even further back I could have had a whole army of servants. I don’t know. Maybe, that might have been the case…. Is there anything else? No, good. Please, let me show you to the door. Don’t worry about it. If I don’t get up every now and again, I’d just stay sitting or lying and there’s no way I’m ready to give into that. Follow me. Good boy Theo, front door. Door, Theo. So, you will let me know won’t you? Yes, just call me. Here we are. No, I’ve got it, thanks. It was nice to meet you, Daphne. Thank you. Goodbye now.

Well, Theo what do you make of her? She seemed nice didn’t she? A good replacement for Mary, would you say, boy? I know, I know. It’s time to go out now. Go get my keys. Good dog.