Deal #3LineTales

three line tales, week 163: a special deal

The mall was closing down after forty years, having finally given into crippling debt, so all the shops that were still open were selling everything off.

Not since the first years of opening his small fast food stand, had Pablo been so busy serving hot dogs, burgers and sugared donuts, his stall was the only place left to get food in the mall now.

What would happened to him afterwards? Pablo didn’t know, those were thoughts for the future and he had always been about living in the now, so the mall was closing but there would always be hungry people to feed, he just had to go out and find them.

 

(Inspired by; https://only100words.xyz/2019/03/14/three-line-tales-week-163/with thanks).

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Could It Be? #FFfAW

It was a week and four days till Christmas, I had taken the kids shopping to buy presents for mummy and we were now driving home. The kids were dozing in the back, full of pizza, their excitement finally worn out. The sun had almost set and darkness had settled in.

‘Daddy, what’s that?’ Darla asked.

‘Where?’

‘In the sky. Is it Santa?’

I looked but couldn’t see anything, ‘it’s probably a plane.’

‘Doesn’t look it,’ Adam spoke up.

‘I don’t see it, but it’s too early for Santa.’

‘Maybe, he’s having a practice flight?’ Kim suggested.

I smiled, ‘perhaps he is!’

 

(Inspired by; https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2018/12/10/fffaw-challenge-195th/ with thanks).

Dear Diary #50

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Dear Diary,

It’s officially winter today, though it feels like it’s been here for awhile, expect for the snow which I hope keeps away for longer! The weather has settled into a pattern of being wild, wet, windy, cold and getting dark so early that all but the morning daytime feels lost.

Today, I’ve been busy getting the Christmas decorations out and some of them up. The kids, now claiming they are ‘too old’ for such things took awhile to get into the mood of things but those decorations that reminded them of silly times – a school play, craft pieces, a photo on Santa’s knee, helped to get them into it.

Of course, only two sets of lights worked! So I left Danny testing them in the shed and I took Emma out to buy some more and a few other things. The shops were busy as was to be expected but we got through okay. Christmas music was playing in all the shops and it felt like everyone had suddenly got this idea that now was the time to start celebrating officially. Though TV and shops have been creeping it in since the start of last month!

Back home and more decorations to put up and it turns out I was right to replace the lights as poor Danny couldn’t fix them. I cheered him up with hot chocolate and crumpets which were so lovely in front of our still new fireplace! A fire really does add that cosy, cheery feel to Christmas. I don’t know how we coped without it before!

I made a nice stew and dumplings for tea and we watched a Christmas movie, though the kids were still tutting and spent more time on their phones/games then watching it but at least we were all together and that’s good enough for me.

Then before we came to bed, I walked around and just smiled, Christmas is truly here and it feels so good and welcome, the perfect beacon of hope in the long winter nights.

Toy Train #3LineTales

three line tales, week 145: a steam train crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct

Brian had time to kill before his job interview, so he went into the toy shop next door, thinking he’d get some ideas for his kids Christmas presents.

The shelves were packed with classic toys and games, the latest must haves and reproductions of vintage toys, some of which pre-dated him but nothing drew his interested.

A whistle come from above his head, Brian looked up and saw a miniature steam train, puffing real smoke, click clacking on a metal track, that’s it, he thought, I’m going to buy them that this year.

 

(Inspired by; https://only100words.xyz/2018/11/08/three-line-tales-week-145/ with thanks).

Evil Fairy Princess #TaleWeaver

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Georgia pulled the car into a parking space as close to the supermarket as she could get. She turned off the engine and glanced at her children in the back seat. Two year old Ellis had fallen asleep and five year old Lottie was looking unhappily out of the window.

The weather was abysmal. Heavy rain and gale force winds were drenching and battering everything. Leaves and litter were being swept up into mini tornadoes and becoming stuck to everything as the rain glued them down. The sky above was dark and more like evening time then late morning.

Getting out, Georgia moved quickly. She helped Lottie out then picked up Ellis, hugging him to her side. Taking her daughter’s hand, they walked towards the large, brightly light shop. The weather seemed to victimise them; the wind howled around like a hungry wild animal and the rain pelted down.

They reached the sheltered entrance. Georgia, feeling like she had just waded through a monsoon, collected a shopping trolley and placed Ellis into the baby seat. She then reached to take Lottie’s hand again.

Marching onwards, they joined the queue to get in and pushed through the automatic sliding doors which had broken under the pressure of people moving passed. Warm air buffed them but it was hardly enough to take the chill off, let alone dry them.

Stepping inside, Georgia sighed deeply as she looked around, regretting her decision to come out. It seemed everyone else had gotten the same idea too.

The supermarket was chaotic. The noise of all the voices like a stormy sea; children were crying or shouting, teenagers were arguing and moaning whilst adults battled in-between in the shelves and the elderly were complaining loudly to anyone who would listen.

‘You want to go in the trolley?’ Georgia asked Lottie, gently.

‘I’m too big for that now,’ Lottie replied with a pout.

‘I know, but it’s busy and I wouldn’t want you to get lost,’ Georgia explained.

Lottie shook her head then pointed and said, ‘Halloween costumes, Mummy!’

Georgia looked over and saw a nearby rail unit weighed down with a range of different costumes. A few people were gathered around, selecting ones.

‘But you all ready have one from last year,’ Georgia replied, ‘a blue witch dress. Remember?’

‘I don’t want to be a witch!’ Lottie cried, ‘I want to be an evil princess fairy!’

Before Georgia could grip her, Lottie went over to the costumes and began looking through the girl ones. There were two rows of pretty, bright colored dresses and a row darker dresses.

Pushing the trolley over, Georgia joined her, debating if it was worth trying to tell Lottie she wasn’t having a new Halloween costume. Then, they both saw at the same time a wonderful sparkly bright pink and purple dress with layers of lace bunched together for the skirt with sliver and gold stars on it.

‘That’s not very Halloween like,’ Georgia said, wondering if someone had accidentally placed it there.

‘I want it!’ Lottie gushed.

Georgia checked the size and found it was big enough for Lottie, ‘I’ll get it you then.’

‘Now I need wings, Mummy! and something….but not a hat, to go in my hair,’ Lottie said.

‘What does an evil princess fairy look like anyway?’ Georgia asked as they found some white sparkly wings behind the unicorn onesies.

‘Like a normal fairy princess but with an angry face,’ Lottie replied.

Georgia laughed.

 

(Inspired by; https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2018/10/18/tale-weaver-fairy-tale-193-fairies/ with thanks).

 

 

 

 

 

Stocking Up #TwitteringTales

September payday arrived, Kim had worked overtime to have enough money for her shopping spree. At the till, she watched the cashier cashing up everything.

‘That’s a lot of books!’ the cashier said, counting eighteen total.

‘It’s my winter stock pile,’ Kim replied, grinning.

 

(Inspired by; https://katmyrman.com/2018/09/10/twittering-tales-101-11-september-2018/ with thanks).

Chain #TwittingTales

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She walked down the hardware shop’s aisle of chains and selected the thickest, heaviest one. She brought some other things too, just so it wouldn’t look suspicious. Back home, she fixed the chain to the metal clips then attached it to her Newfoundland’s collar.  No longer would he been escaping the garden.

 

(Inspired by; https://katmyrman.com/2018/07/03/twittering-tales-91-chains-3-july-2018/ with thanks).

Fountains #WeeklyWritingChallenge

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Joy had been fussy all day which had, as far as Mercy was concerned lowered the whole tone of shopping in the city center for holiday clothes. Tried from dealing with the four year old, Mercy decided to finish early and try again when she was alone.

Buying drinks and snacks, Mercy pushed Joy in her pram which was full of things she had brought, across the road to the large patches of grass that made up the ‘gardens’, though really it was just two rectangles of grass divided by a large sunk circle area where there was seating and water fountains.

Mercy found a good spot and give Joy the orange juice. It was a brilliant day; hot and sunny, with a cooling breezy and not a cloud in the sky. Mercy could almost believe that she was no longer in rainy England but in an hotter country. It was busy though and just as the shops had been crowed so was the street. There were people everywhere! The noise was like a constant loud humming.

Joy was fussing again, tugging at the straps holding her in the pram and making straining noises. Her juice forgotten but still clutch in a small hand. She was too big for the pushchair now but her habit of running off meant things had to be this way. Joy was a cute toddler but all ready spoiled by grandparents who had always believed they’d never get a grandchild. Mercy blamed them for the problems Joy often give her.

‘What is it now?’ Mercy asked.

Joy waved her free hand and give a little screech, ‘water!’

Mercy looked and saw that there were children playing in the fountains. Water jets were shooting up at different heights and seemingly at random in what would have been a nice display, if not for the children running about between them. As Mercy watched, she noticed some of the kids were only half clothed; wearing just shorts or underwear, some even had swimming costumes on.

‘No,’ Mercy said firmly, ‘drink your orange juice.’

‘Mama, mama!’ Joy cried and strained more at the straps halting her freedom.

‘Now you stop that,’ Mercy snapped and moved the pram around.

Joy threw the juice bottle away and tried to stand up in the pram.

Ignoring the watching eyes from the people around them, Mercy picked up the bottle, found it half empty and placed it into the pram. Then she put her hands to her daughter’s shoulders and eased her back down.

‘Now, listen, Joy, I said no,’ Mercy spoke in a low voice.

Joy’s face crumpled and fat tears began flowing. An awful wailing sound came out of the small mouth and more heads began turning to look.

Mercy gritted her teeth, getting ready for the rant that was about to happen.

‘You won’t get any sweets.’ Mercy snapped.

Joy screamed loudly and kicked out her legs madly out. Her hands pounded the straps and Mercy had to grab on to pram to stop it from falling over.

‘Fine, fine! You can go and play!’ Mercy half-shouted.

She released her daughter with a few clicks and Joy tumbled out of the pram.

Not dazed at all, Joy forgot her tantrum and stumbled off to the closest water fountain.

Mercy lowered her head, re-arranging stuff in the pram as if nothing had happened.

 

(Inspired by; https://secretkeeper.net/2018/05/21/weekly-writing-challenge-142 with thanks).

Easter Eggs

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I was too old for chocolate Easter eggs. It was so hard resisting though when the shops were full of them. There was too much choice and that’s what put me off; do you go for plain and cheap? Fancy and expensive? Or something totally different like not chocolate but a egg made out of cheese!

I had to buy some for the grandchildren, there were six of them now. It wouldn’t be right them coming over and granny not having had a visit from the Bunny. It was always better to go for the Easter eggs that were cheapest choice or on a good deal. I got them last minute as I always did so I wouldn’t be tempted to eat them myself! This year, I went with a deal; three eggs for five pounds. They were good large ones too!

And I might have brought one for me….Well, you need to treat yourself more often when you are almost ninety!

The Grotto (Part 3)

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We walked back down the queue which was full of chatting children and parents. Willow hugged the present as if she was never going to let it go. I really hoped there was a unicorn inside of there. Glad that was over, I realised I needed the bathroom and a drink.

‘Hey, how’d meeting the Big Man go?’ the male elf said loudly.

I stopped and grabbed my niece’s arm as he suddenly stood before us all green and bells tinkling. There was a huge grin on his face and he was just too happy. He reminded me of the Grinch after he’d stolen everything.

‘It’s fine thanks,’ I muttered.

‘I got a present,’ Willow said proudly and showed him the box.

‘Wow, that’s just great! You must have been good this year then!’ the elf said in fake shock.

‘I’ve been good! Can I have a present?’ a little boy’s voice shouted from the queue.

The elf turned and replied, ‘of course you can!’

We slipped past him and hurried away into the crowd. I’d had enough of this. Heading into the toilets, there was another queue to join but at least it wasn’t as long. I sighed and lent against the wall. Feeling tried and fed up of all these people. I shut my eyes but still the sounds came. A baby was crying loudly behind a closed door, a child was singing Jingle Bells, a young couple were having an argument and there was a constant chatter of other voices.

I felt Willow tug on my coat and I looked down at her.

‘That elf was a bit weird, wasn’t he?’ Willow asked.

‘He was just really happy, that’s all. It’s how they are, I guess…and I really needed the loo,’ I added.

‘Auntie Angel, tell me the truth, is Santa real?’

I rolled my eyes at her use of my name. God, I hated it with a passion. Like how people hate the taste of fish or the sight of a spider or the same Christmas song on repeat. And how I was meant to answer her question? I didn’t want to be the one to spoil Christmas but I hated to lie.

‘What did Santa say?’ I asked instead.

‘If I believed in him then he was real,’ Willow replied slowly.

‘Do you believe in fairies and unicorns and magic?’

‘Yes, I do! but Santa is just different…somehow.’

‘He’s more magical then the rest?’ I suggested as we become the head of the queue.

Willow shrugged and studied the colorful wrapping on the present.

After we’d been to the toilets, we went to a coffee shop, got drinks and small cakes then we walked to the bus stop. I avoided going anywhere near the Santa’s Grotto which meant we went the back way out of the shopping outlet and had to go around. Willow was quiet for the rest of the time, lost in her thoughts.

The bus was busy and I had to stand. A kind, older lady moved her shopping so Willow could have the seat next to her. I placed the bags at Willow’s feet and hung on tight. The bus driver must have been running late as he zoomed off and raced the traffic. The bus smelt like sweaty bodies, dirty water and oil. People were trying to keep to themselves with headphones, newspapers and phones whilst a few chattered about this person or that present or how they were tried of Christmas already!

‘Have you been to see Santa today? the older lady asked.

Willow nodded.

‘And that’s a present from him? You must have have been good girl then,’ she added.

Willow smiled a little and with a quick glance at me, said to the lady, ‘yes.’

‘Your sister’s so nice to take you shopping isn’t she? Did you buy a present for your mum?’

I pulled a face but held the words back in. I was too use to people guessing the relationship between us now. At least no one had called me Willow’s mum today! That’s always the worse, especially when you then work out the age difference.

‘My Auntie,’ Willow corrected, ‘she took me shopping for my family. We are best friends and she’s far more fun then my parents or baby brother.’

‘I bet she is!’ the lady said and smiled more brightly at me. ‘Are you going to save your present till Christmas day?’

‘Maybe…Do you believe in Santa?’ Willow asked.

‘Willow!’ I snapped.

‘It’s fine,’ the lady waved away, ‘yes I do believe still. It’s hard with all this technology and growing up so fast now. But Santa’s out there still, a symbol of hope and happiness for anyone who keeps believing.’

‘I like that,’ Willow said then under her breath, ‘but I’m still not any closer to the truth!’

The rest of the bus journey was normal and we got off before the lady did. We said good bye and merry Christmas then found ourselves stepping into a sleet storm. As the doors closed the bus pulled away, we hurried up the street we both lived on. My older brother’s house was first and the house I currently shared with my grandparents was close to the end of the street. Willow ran up the pathway and rang the doorbell. I had a key somewhere…

The door opened and we both rushed in.

‘It’s almost snowing!’ Willow cried to her dad.

‘It’s really meant to start tonight,’ her dad added, ‘what’s that? a present for me?’

‘No! It’s from Santa!’

‘Another one?’

Willow giggled and ran off to find her mum without taking anything but her boots off.

I looked at my brother, we were so alike we could still be mistake for twins at a distance. Same brown hair and brown eyes, same slightly over weight bodies, though he looked better then I did at the moment. There was four years between us but we’d been through everything together.

‘Hi Alex,’ I said, ‘it was hard to say no to her! but at least all the present buying is done now.’

‘Thanks, Angel. She’s really attached to you,’ he replied.

‘I should go…’

He pulled me into a hug then we said our goodbyes.

To Be Continued…