Kreative Kue 244

Kreative Kue 243 asked for submissions based on this photograph:

John W Howell is the author of the John Cannon trilogy of My GRL, His Revenge, Our Justice and Circumstances of Childhood, co-author of The Contract, and blogs at Fiction Favorites.

Diary by John W. Howell © 2019

Dear Diary,

I certainly hope someone takes the time to read this message after I’m gone. I will try with the last remaining strength to chronicle the whys and wherefores of my demise. Where to begin? I suppose the best place to start, Dear Diary is in the beginning.

I have to laugh since where else would I start. The ending is quite clear. I’m held captive by this exceptionally strong being who looks like a dog. Let me assure you it is not a dog but some interstellar traveler that I managed to interrupt during one of its experiments.

Where was I? Oh, Yes. It began when I walked into the yard and beheld (I love the term beheld) this monster digging in the turf. I told it to shoo, but instead of leaving, it ran after me and cornered me in my bedroom. After what I would call a sterling resistance by Moi, I finally succumbed to its power. Although it did not speak, what it wanted was clear. Maybe it did a telepathic number on me, but I somehow knew I was to lay in the bed, and it followed.

I tried to get up, but it reached over and secured me by the neck. It is very crafty in allowing me only enough air to marginally meet my needs. Its control is absolute. Even now it sleeps but still has me in its power.

“Keith. Where are you?”

“In the bed, love.”

“Is Ranger with you?”

“Yes. Sound asleep.”

“What are you doing?”

“Oh, just writing a little story.”

“I hope you finish before I get there.”

“Not to worry, my love. I think it is done.”

My effort was

Talk about a bad start!

I’d always looked on Tony as a brother. Not in the same way as the Tony who is my brother but, you know, closer than just a friend. We’d been through all sorts of scrapes over the years – I could fill a book talking about them.

Yeah, I know it’s what I do these days, but I was speaking metaphorically. I would never put all my experiences with Tony down on paper firstly because it would end up as just a bunch of shorts, not a coherent story – there’s no narrative arc running through it, see? Just a bunch of happenings, events, call ’em what you will, that spread over a lot of years. Big gaps between them sometimes, too. And the relationship we had was one of those you could pick up after four or five years and it would be as if the last time we were together was only a few days ago. You know what I mean? Course you do.

Whats that? What’s the other reason? I’ll tell you. Some of them – and I’m not going to give you any dates, places or names, but some of them could well still be on the list of unsolved crimes at various police stations. No, not all of them in this country. We travelled a bit together over the years, did Tony and me.

Anyways. Me and Tony met up yesterday evening for a quiet drink and a chat to see in the new year. That’s what he said it was, anyway and I had no reason to think he had anything else on his mind – except that he’s Tony, so of course he had something planned that was certainly not just a quiet drink and a chat. If it was, it would have been a first for us, I can tell you!

So we met up at the Railway Inn at seven. Tony came up from London by train and the Railway is the nearest pub to the station, which is why he chose it.

We hadn’t been together in more than three years, so there was a fair bit of catching up to do. I’d changed jobs – last time we met up I was working as a general labourer in a small building firm, but I took some classes in my spare time and I’m now administrative assistant to a doctor in private practise. No, not a GP, Dr D is a dematologist and venereologist. No, it’s quite common to link the two disciplines.

I knew you’d say that – it’s exactly what Tony said, but I prefer medical administrator to pox doctor’s clerk. Yes, I know where that expression is supposed to have come from and although it’s not meant as an insult, it still has connotations, if you know what I mean.

So, anyway. I met Tony at the Railway and we caught each other up on what had happened in the last few years. He’s still Tony – wheeling and dealing, doing odd jobs here and there, mostly straddling the line between kosher and not but still making loads of money. He laughed at me when I told him what I’m doing now and as well as him calling it what you just did, he kind of implied that it wasn’t the sort of job a bloke like me should be doing. When I pressed him on what he meant, he came out with a stream of homophobic stuff that I don’t care to repeat here.

Yes, that’s exactly what he called me.

I decided to let it go, mostly because we’ve been mates for so long and I didn’t want to let a thing like that spoil it for us. Besides, I knew he’d come round and although he’d never apologise for what he’d said – Tony’s never been one to apologise for anything – I believe he’ll backtrack on it and end up wishing me well. Mind you, I’m only making about a fifth of what he is, so I expect that’ll hang around for a while.

Later in the evening, he confided in me that he had a new job, too. He now works for an influential family of Italian origin as a kind of man Friday, I suppose. A cross between a gentleman’s gentleman a la Jeeves and… well, I don’t know. The word he used sounded like a factotum, although he used a fifferent vowel in the first syllable.

His description of the job alarmed me a little, and he became very defensive when I told him. He said it wouldn’t be in my best interests to disrespect any member of the family or anyone in their employ, meaning himself. When I asked him what they would be likely to do to anyone who did disrespect them, he went quiet.

“Just as I thought,” I said, “Nothing. These people are all mouth and trousers; all bluster and no action.” He advised me to stop talking like that and pointed to his chest. I mouthed the word gun with an inquisitive look on my face, he mouthed back wire.

The rest of the evening went normally – no, quietly, more like which certeinly wasn’t normal for us. We had a decent meal, which Tony paid for, we had a few more drinks and ended up the both of us a bit merry – not drunk by any means. Tony said he had a big job to do for his employer this morning, so had to leave early and make sure he was fresh enough to do whatever it was they wanted him to do. I was grateful for the early night as I’m still in the middle of rearranging Dr D’s computer and paper filing system and with all those foreign names and medical terms I needed to be one hundred percent with it, too.

Anyway, when I woke up, I found this bloody great pitbull or whtever it is next to my head with its paw pressing on my throat. I think it’s asleep. I hope it’s asleep – yes, I can feel its breath on my ear.

I mean, what’s that all about?

Okay Jim, I’ll let you know – Alexa – end call.

On to this week’s challenge: Using this photo as inspiration, write a short story, flash fiction, scene, poem; anything, really; even just a caption for the photograph. Either put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at before 6pm next Sunday (if you aren’t sure what the time is where I live, this link will tell you). If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be appreciated, but please do also mention it in a comment here.

Go on. You know you want to. Let your creativity and imagination soar. I shall display the entries next Monday.

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