Tagged: stories

Why?

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Yes, Laura; I’m on my way home now.

Where am I? I’m walking across the car park, the one in front of the old Mairie – you know, the building that lost a great chunk of its render in the riots last Michaelmas.

That’s the one.

I know it’s a long way off. I’ll be as quick as I can, but it’s going to take the best part of an hour, depending on the traffic.

You’d think, wouldn’t you? Trouble is, everything they do seems to make it worse, not better. Anyway, why did you want me to call? You know what time I’m expected.

Really?

I didn’t know you had an appointment this evening; there’s nothing in our shared calendar.

Okay. What time do you expect to be back? Do I need to walk and feed the dogs?

Fine, I’ll do that. You didn’t say what time you’d be back.

What do you mean, you won’t?

You’re leaving me?

Is it something I’ve done? Something I’ve said?

Then, why?

Are you still there? Laura? Hello… hello…


This was written in response to Kreative Kue 222 published on this site.

Kreative Kue 222

Kreative Kue 221 asked for submissions based on this photograph:
KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA
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.

The Collection by John W. Howell © 2019

“Merciful heaven, Mary. When was the last time we picked salad greens?”

“It’s been a while. Just see if you can find some young leaves.”

“Young leaves?”

“Yes look under the plant. Those top leaves are way too big.”

“Okay, but I’m not holding my breath.”

“Yes, please breathe. Makes the work go easier.”

“Yeah, pretty funny. Whoa, what’s that?”

“What?”

“I’m not sure. It looked like a dog with big ears.”

“Probably a bunny.”

“A bunny? I thought bunnies were small and furry.”

“What do you mean?”

“This was big and hairy.”

“Oh, stop. You said you would help me with the harvest. We have a lot to go before nightfall. These boxes won’t fill themselves.”

“I’m not kidding. This guy was huge. He had red eyes too.”

“Please. Just keep picking. Whatever it is it is more afraid of you than you are of it.”

“It must be plenty scared then. Ow.”

“What now?”

“He bit my behind.”

“I’m sure. No matter what you say I’m not going to stop the picking is that clear?”

“Crystal. Can I go get my gun?”

“No, you may not. You have fallen behind with your foolishness. Keep picking.”

“I heard a snarl.”

“Probably your deviated septum.”

“I’m not kidding.”

“Fine. Go get your gun but I swear you are more of a danger to yourself than that animal.”

“I wish I could believe you. I’ll be right back.”

“I have to wonder about him.”

*

“Okay, I’m back, Mary. Mary?”


My effort was

Where?

“Are you sure it was here, Albert? It was a long time ago, you know.”

“As sure as I am of anything. I clearly remember bringing her out of the house and carrying her down to the garden, like it was yesterday. She was heavy, too, down all those steps.”

“And it was here, this close to the house?”

“Look, I told you she was heavy, didn’t I? I really wanted to put her down under the big oak tree at the bottom, but she was just too darned heavy for me to carry that far. I was only about eight at the time.”

“Couldn’t anyone have helped you with her?”

“Maybe, but Dad was in one of his moods at the time – you know he was sick, don’t you? He wasn’t just bad-tempered, there was something not right in his head. Doctors said he was going senile and that made him crotchety. It wasn’t the knowing he was going senile made him angry, his tempers were just one of the symptoms. They didn’t have fancy names for it back in them days. Didn’t really understand what was going on. Not like now-a-days with all these scans and such like. Anyway, that’s why he couldn’t help.”

“And your Mum?”

“Too busy looking after Dad and trying to keep him happy as well as all the work she had to do. And before you ask, I didn’t have any brothers or sisters; none that lived past five, anyway.”

“So you were an only child, effectively?”

“You cotton on quick, don’t you? I didn’t have brothers or sisters, so of course I was an only child. Queenie, our Alsation, was the only friend I had back then. Inseparable, we were.”

“And that’s what we’re looking for now? The place you buried Queenie?”

“Oh, no. We’re looking for where I buried that annoying little ginger kid I killed with that shovel over there.”

“Little… ginger… What?!”

“Well, she was asking too many questions. Got on my nerves, she did.”

“What sort of… oh, forget it. Let’s look some more.”

“Yes, let’s.”


P1040523a
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 keithchanning@gmail.com 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.

Where?

“Are you sure it was here, Albert? It was a long time ago, you know.”

“As sure as I am of anything. I clearly remember bringing her out of the house and carrying her down to the garden, like it was yesterday. She was heavy, too, down all those steps.”

“And it was here, this close to the house?”

“Look, I told you she was heavy, didn’t I? I really wanted to put her down under the big oak tree at the bottom, but she was just too darned heavy for me to carry that far. I was only about eight at the time.”

“Couldn’t anyone have helped you with her?”

“Maybe, but Dad was in one of his moods at the time – you know he was sick, don’t you? He wasn’t just bad-tempered, there was something not right in his head. Doctors said he was going senile and that made him crotchety. It wasn’t the knowing he was going senile made him angry, his tempers were just one of the symptoms. They didn’t have fancy names for it back in them days. Didn’t really understand what was going on. Not like now-a-days with all these scans and such like. Anyway, that’s why he couldn’t help.”

“And your Mum?”

“Too busy looking after Dad and trying to keep him happy as well as all the work she had to do. And before you ask, I didn’t have any brothers or sisters; none that lived past five, anyway.”

“So you were an only child, effectively?”

“You cotton on quick, don’t you? I didn’t have brothers or sisters, so of course I was an only child. Queenie, our Alsation, was the only friend I had back then. Inseparable, we were.”

“And that’s what we’re looking for now? The place you buried Queenie?”

“Oh, no. We’re looking for where I buried that annoying little ginger kid I killed with that shovel over there.”

“Little… ginger… What?!”

“Well, she was asking too many questions. Got on my nerves, she did.”

“What sort of… oh, forget it. Let’s look some more.”

“Yes, let’s.”

 


This was written in response to Kreative Kue 221 published on this site.