Groke #atozchallenge (Part 2)

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Groke; to stare at somebody while they’re eating in the hope they’ll share. 

Monday morning found Sutcliff back at his office desk working hard. He had a meeting before lunch which over ran, so he arrived at Park Square later then normal. The area was less busy as most people had all ready gone back to work. Sutcliff was grateful for the extra quiet, that meeting had been intense.

Getting out his lunch box, he opened it and picked up half of a beef and horseradish sandwich. He heard a whining at his feet and looked down. The little brown and white dog was back!

‘Get lost,’ Sutcliff grumbled.

The dog cried as Sutcliff took a bite of the sandwich.

‘Where’s your owner?’ Sutcliff asked.

The dog yowled and pressed a paw to Sutcliff’s shoe.

‘If I give you a bit will you leave me in peace?’

Sutcliff took another bite of the sandwich then give the rest to the dog. The dog ducked under the bench and Sutcliff heard chewing sounds from underneath him. He ate the rest of his lunch in peace then went back to work.

The next day it was raining. Sutcliff sat on the bench under his umbrella and had his lunch. Just as he was wondering where the little dog was, he saw the dog entering the park and trotting over to him. The dog stopped at his feet and looked up pleadingly with sad eyes.

Sutcliff signed, ‘it’s just cheese today,’ he said.

The dog cried and shivered, the rain was dripping off it’s soaked fur.

Sutcliff opened the second half of the sandwich and give the chunk of cheese to the dog. The cheese was gone in seconds then the dog went under the bench. Sutcliff looked down and saw the little dog curled up there, behind his legs, sheltered from the rain. Sutcliff finished his lunch and went back to work.

The rest of the week, the same thing happened at lunchtimes. Sutcliff wasn’t sure how the dog knew what time he’d be at Park Square for but the dog was always waiting to share his sandwiches.

‘It’s meant to snow tomorrow,’ Sutcliff told the dog on Friday.

The dog put it’s head to one side then begged for more food.

Sutcliff had now taken to bring extra ham with him. He give the dog another slice.

‘Where do you live?’ Sutcliff asked then laughed at himself.

He had started holding conversations with the dog as if they had become friends. Sutcliff had also started patting the dog and scratching him – for the dog was male- behind the ears.

‘Anyway, back to work time now,’ Sutcliff spoke.

He gathered his things, said goodbye to the little dog and walked off.

It snowed over night and when Sutcliff woke up, it was still snowing. Standing in front of his apartment window, Sutcliff wondered about the dog. Where was he? Was he warm and safe?

‘It’s a only a dog!’ Sutcliff snapped.

He spent the morning doing chores but the thought of the dog didn’t leave him. It was still snowing in the afternoon and the sky was dark grey. Sutcliff put on his boots, scarf coat, hat and gloves then set out into the city centre. He walked as he would to work then took a short cut to Park Square.

The snow was thick on the ground and covering the tree branches. Sutcliff walked over to the bench, leaving deep footprints behind. He felt like a fool. What was he doing out here looking for a stupid dog? It probably wasn’t a stray after all and belonged to a homeless person or someone who just let the dog roam around.

He looked at the snow covered bench then turned around to go back. From far to the side, in an alleyway of two tall office blocks, Sutcliff thought he heard a bark. He turned his head and saw the little dog scampering through the snow towards him.

‘Dog!’ Sutcliff called and quickly walked over.

The dog rushed at his feet, jumped up and pawed at his lower legs, crying loudly. Sutcliff picked him up and hugged him. The dog felt freezing cold and wet. Without thinking, Sutcliff unzipped his coat and placed the dog inside. The dog snuggled against him and Sutcliff hurried out of Park Square and back home.

Letting himself back into the warmth of his apartment, Sutcliff took the little dog from his coat and placed him on the floor before taking his things off.

‘No messing, no biting or scratching or howling,’ Sutcliff told the dog firmly.

The dog sneezed a few times then began to sniff around.

Sutcliff went to the fridge and took out some slices of ham. The dog bounced over, tail wagging, tongue licking. Sutcliff give the ham over and the dog wolfed it down. From the cupboard, Sutcliff took out a bowl, filled it with water and set it down. The dog drink eagerly.

After showing the dog around his home, Sutcliff made a bed for the dog next to the heater out of some old bedding. The dog settled down and went to sleep, looking happier. Sutcliff sat on the sofa and watched the dog sleeping.

‘We’ll see how it goes,’ he muttered.

Pets were allowed in his apartment, so Sutcliff had no problems keeping the little dog who he decided to call Alfie. Sutcliff also talked to his boss and she let him bring Alfie to work each day which meant they could still enjoy lunch in the park together.

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Groke #atozchallenge (Part 1)

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Groke; to stare at somebody while they’re eating in the hope they’ll share. 

Every week day lunchtime, Sutcliff left his desk at his city center office and walked the few minutes to Park Square. No matter the season or the weather, he always had his lunch on a little rickety bench under the only tree in the Square. Whilst he ate a sandwich and apple, he watched life going by.

The first Friday of April was a surprisingly warm and sunny day. Sutcliff left his desk and office feeling cheerful. All his morning tasks had been done and there was hardly anything for him to do this afternoon. He walk his normal route over to Park Square; half way down King’s Way street, across the road and a right turn on to Elmhurst Street. Then another right on to Park Square road, around the corner and down to the iron fenced plot of green land.

Towering office buildings and smaller shops lined either side of the streets. People dressed for work and casual wandered by. Their footsteps and voices mingling with the rumbling traffic on the one way roads. Everyone seemed to be in a hurry to get somewhere except for Sutcliff who walk slowly, enjoying the brushed warm air and freedom from his desk.

He reached Park Square and opened the first of three gates on to the tiny park. He stepping onto the compacted sand and yellow gravel path that was shaped like an upside down letter ‘T’. Short, yellow-green grass lay on either side of the path and the small elm tree stood at the back in the middle. Sutcliff walked over and sat down on the bench under the tree.

There was no one else in the tiny park, though a few people walked passed. Sutcliff looked up at the office blocks around him, he could see empty desks through the windows and people moving about. Sutcliff smiled to himself, loving this quiet corner. He slipped off his leather messenger bag and took his lunch box and water bottle.

He opened the box, took out half of a ham salad sandwich and was about to bite into it when a small whine noise made him pause. Frowning, Sutcliff looked down and saw close at his feet a little white and brown patched dog. One of the dog’s ears was up and the other was down, beady black eyes were staring into Sutcliff’s own and white whiskers were twitching as the dog’s wet, black nose sniffed.

Sutcliff closed his mouth, not taking his bite and glanced around. He had seen dogs being walked around here before but there seemed to be no owner in sight. He noticed the dog wasn’t wearing a collar and looked a bit on the thin side. Maybe, it was a stray? Shrugging, Sutcliff ignored the dog and began to eat the sandwich.

The dog started crying. Sutcliff glanced down then about again. There was still no one around. The dog whined louder and moved closer to Sutcliff’s feet, it was clear what the dog wanted.

‘No. Go away,’ Sutcliff said loudly.

The dog backed off little then sit down and kept watch as Sutcliff ate the rest of his lunch. Sometimes, the dog would make little noises and move its head around. Nothing seemed to distracted the dog’s eyes away.

Sutcliff packed his things away, relaxed for a few minutes then got up. He kept his distance from the little dog as he left the park. Closing the gate behind him, Sutcliff looked back and saw the dog sniffing around the bench, looking for scraps.

Sutcliff went back to work and give the dog no more thought.

To Be Continued…

 

The Tree #TwitteringTales

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The Druid tree stood bare in a forest full of green. Only when a person of nature magic touched the empty soil at the base would the tree awaken. The branches would fill with green leaves and pink blooms then the trunk would open, revealing the secret grove of the Druids.

(Inspired by; https://katmyrman.com/2018/01/16/twittering-tale-67-the-tree-16-january-2018/ with thanks).

Crow #writephoto

The crow was out there in the dead tree cawing loudly again. I pressed my forehead to the condensation covered spare bedroom window and searched for him. In the early evening, storm coloured garden, the sooty bird was difficult to spot unless you knew where to look for him.

I forced on the highest branches which were bobbing in the wind and there was the crow. He was silhouetted against the dark grey sky, his head thrown back, cawing continuously. It was hard to tell if he was sounding an alarm or just making a racket to disturb me.

Stepping back from the window, I rubbed my aching head and reminded myself there was nothing I could do about the crow. He was just another problem I’d inherited from my recently passed mother. Turning on the TV to try and cover some of the crow’s noise, I got ready for my night shift on the building site.

When I was ready to leave, I went to the back door which we’d always used as the front door. Yanking down the handle, I tried to rush outside but a black mass flew in my face. I shouted, twisted away and tried to grab the thing. Feathers whipped my face, claws scratched my arms, a sharp beak tried to peck at me.

I stumbled outside, almost tripping on the step. Catching my breath, I turned and looked into the doorway. A single black feather lay there. I peered in and spotted the crow hopping around the kitchen. He was busy making himself at home amongst my mother’s pots, pans, glass bottle collection and tatty books.

Swearing loudly, I slammed the door and left. Getting in my car, I drove to work, my head all full of that damn crow. My mother had made him a pet, having found him as an abandoned chick and now he refused to become wild again. I had tried capturing him and taking him far away and to animal charities but he always ended up coming back.

Arriving at work, I tried to become calm again but it was so hard when I knew the crow would be waiting for me. Taking deep breaths, I went about my shift which thankfully was quiet. I finished at six am though with the dark winter sky and the sun having a lay in, made it seem like it was still the middle of the night.

Coming home, I felt tried and once through the door, the annoyance started again. The crow was waiting for me, perched on the back of a chair. He watched me with beady eyes and I swear if he could’ve spoken English he would have demanded I leave.

Sighing, I pulled up the chair next to him, carefully and sit down.

‘How about we just become friends?’ I suggested.

He put his head to the side, seeming to consider me then give a slight nod.

‘You respect me and I’ll respect you,’ I added, ‘and now I’m off to bed.’

Getting up, I clopped upstairs in my work boots the soft cawing of the crow following me.

 

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2018/01/11/thursday-photo-prompt-crow-writephoto/ with thanks).

Mists #writephoto

He watched the mists rolling across the field and patchy woodland from his bedroom window. He was still in his pajamas, the blue and white stripped ones that his wife had brought him last Christmas. His lower back ached and so did his upper legs, as if he been sleeping on a pebble beach instead of the well worn soft bed.

He did the morning exercises like his doctor had told him too. The bending and stretching helped a little but he’d still need some pain killers to get through the day. Perhaps, he’d take a bath later, if he remembered though he already knew it was going to be another day inside; watching TV, reading, napping, cooking then falling asleep on the sofa.

Watching the mists would entertain him for awhile and if it cleared up maybe he’d go for a walk. It didn’t though. Just like the snow and ice the other day, the mists hung around as if they were happy to be there. He didn’t really mind, it was interesting to see how the mists give everything an out of focus look.

In the evening, it was nice to see that the mists even softened the too harsh Christmas lights coming from other peoples’ houses. He looked at the small tree his daughters and grandchild had set up for him before the front window. The lights were on a timer so he didn’t have to do anything. He and his wife normally put the tree up and placed the children’s presents under for them to open on Christmas day…

This year, he’d be going to stay at his eldest daughter’s for a few days. Then his youngest daughter was bringing her family for New Year’s week. He was looking forward to seeing everyone and having the company. It was going to be just what he needed to being some brightness and colour back into his life again.

 

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2017/12/14/thursday-photo-prompt-mists-writephoto with thanks).

Dear Diary #40

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Dear Diary,

It’s here! It’s HERE! December has finally come and with it the count down to Christmas! I raced home from work today and got as much stuff out of the attic as I could. Joe said I should have waited for him. It was dangerous to balance on the ladder and lower the heavy boxes, but I said I only got the light ones that I could drop easily. I pointed out that two boxes were actually filled with new stuff and hadn’t been in the attic.

Joe did the whole muttering and rolling eyes, but I know he doesn’t really mean it. He’ll soon be just as caught up in things as I am! I put some Christmas music on and we got the rest of the boxes down. We unpacked everything, got the tree out and set that up before the living room window. We decorated it together, going with a theme of silver and red this year. I let him put the star at the top to cure his grumps. Then we held a switch on and it was just so magical!

We put lights inside the front windows, the door, the dinning room window and our bedroom window which faced the front of the house. I found places for the ornaments, the sweet jars and the Nativity. Joe hung up the holders for the cards and some more decorations from the walls and ceilings.

It was late when we stopped and yet there were a few things left to do. Joe declared it drink and snack time whilst watching a movie. He let me pick and of course I choice Jingle All The Way, I know he secretly loves that one!

I just wish we had a fireplace. That would make everything much more better. I told that to Joe again and he said the normal when we move house. That really can’t come soon enough for me! But it’s a couple of years off still as we save up again. I like our little house though, especially right now as it seems fitting for a place in Santa’s Town! One day though I hope my dream home comes true.

Season Change

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The tree didn’t blow in the wind. It just stood frozen at the end of the field.

Tree House

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As kids we said the tree house was haunted but it wasn’t till we were adults that we found out the truth.

(Inspired by https://katmyrman.com/2017/10/10/twittering-tale-53-10-october-2017/ with thanks).

Old Tree

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The tree stood still with the ghosts of all those had been hanged there drifting forever around it’s tangled limbs.

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)