Kreative Kue 332

Kreative Kue 331 asked for submissions based on this photograph:

P1030129a

John W Howell is a multiple nominated and award-winning author who blogs at Fiction Favorites. Details of John’s books can be found on his Amazon author page

The Watch by John W. Howell © 2021

“How do you know?”

“I’m telling you I smelled the shampoo.”

“How can you smell shampoo when it’s not been used?”

“Come on. You know as well as I do that stuff can leave an olfactory trace that can be picked up for miles.”

“Yes, but mom isn’t even home.”

“Which makes our situation all the more precarious.”

“So you think this back-to-back watch scenario is going to help?”

“Look. If we spot the old man coming out of the kitchen door with some sad excuse of a treat, you know he’s got a bath on the brain. I just think early warned is early armed.”

“So, what are we going to do?”

“When we spot him, we run like hell.”

“That’s not very dignified.”

“Who cares? It keeps the suds out of our eyes.”

“Look, here he comes.”

“Treat?”

“Yup. A piece of turkey.”

“Turkey, you sure. Let me look. Damn, you are right. It’s turkey.”

“What does it mean.”

“Worse than I thought.”

“Tell me.”

“A trip to the vet. Let’s take off.”

“Maybe it’s not.”

“Don’t be a fool. If he was holding that pathetic bacon treat bag, it’s a bath. Turkey is a full-on vet trip.”

“Where should we go?”

“I saw something on the path. It’s drawing flies, so a good place to roll. He won’t come near us then.”

“But that will beg a bath.”

“Which would you rather have? Vet or bath.”

“Let’s go.”


My effort was:

Opposites Distract

“Anything, Trev?”

“Nah. Nothing.”

“What time is it supposed to happen?”

“About now, from what Master said.”

“What time is it now?”

“Why are you asking me, Lysse? I haven’t got a watch.”

“Can’t you see from the clock on the village hall?”

“Can’t see it?”

“Why’s that?”

“It’s three kilometres away. On the other side of the hill.”

“Why wasn’t I told that before?”

“Dunno. Have you ever asked?”

“Not as such, no.”

“By not as such, I take it you mean you haven’t.”

“Yes… no.”

“Which one is it? Yes, or no?”

“Both.”

“How does that work?”

“Yes, it means I haven’t, and no, I haven’t.”

“Isn’t that saying the same thing?”

“As what?”

“Sometimes, my podgy old mate, I have trouble understanding your thought processes.”

“No.”

“No? What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means, Trevor, that I have no idea what you are talking about.”

“What are we talking about?”

“We were trying to work out what time it’s supposed to happen.”

“What? “

“The thing Master told us to watch out for, or guard against or something. Anyway, something is supposed to happen, and we have to be ready for it.”

“You do know I can’t tell the time, don’t you?”

“You can’t?”

“No.”

“And you don’t know what it is…”

“Not exactly.”

“Because?”

“I wasn’t really listening. Anyway, you were there, too.”

“I was busy watching what I thought might have been a rat running across the road.”

“And was it?”

“Turns out it was a leaf blown by the wind. Did I tell you I’m having trouble focussing on things?”

“No kidding! So neither of us heard what he said we had to look out for?”

“Yes.”

“Who?”

“Neither of us.”

“That’s what I said.”

“And I agreed with you. Yes, neither of us heard.”

“You’re supposed to say no.”

“Why?”

“Because neither of us… Oh, I give up. Anyway, here’s the situation… we are here, one of us looking east towards the field and one of us looking west towards the road. Nobody is looking south towards the gate. Okay so far?”

“Sounds about right.”

“And we don’t know what we are looking for, which direction it will come from or when.”

“Uh-huh.”

“And we are doing it because Master told us to and we’re faithful servants.”

“Got it in one.”

“Okay. As long as that’s understood, I’m fine with it.”

“Me too.”

“That was hard work. Nap?”

“Too right. Goodnight, Podge.”

“Nighty-night, Trev.”


P1010242a

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.

Opposites Distract

P1030129a

“Anything, Trev?”

“Nah. Nothing.”

“What time is it supposed to happen?”

“About now, from what Master said.”

“What time is it now?”

“Why are you asking me, Lysse? I haven’t got a watch.”

“Can’t you see from the clock on the village hall?”

“Can’t see it?”

“Why’s that?”

“It’s three kilometres away. On the other side of the hill.”

“Why wasn’t I told that before?”

“Dunno. Have you ever asked?”

“Not as such, no.”

“By not as such, I take it you mean you haven’t.”

“Yes… no.”

“Which one is it? Yes, or no?”

“Both.”

“How does that work?”

“Yes, it means I haven’t, and no, I haven’t.”

“Isn’t that saying the same thing?”

“As what?”

“Sometimes, my podgy old mate, I have trouble understanding your thought processes.”

“No.”

“No? What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means, Trevor, that I have no idea what you are talking about.”

“What are we talking about?”

“We were trying to work out what time it’s supposed to happen.”

“What? “

“The thing Master told us to watch out for, or guard against or something. Anyway, something is supposed to happen, and we have to be ready for it.”

“You do know I can’t tell the time, don’t you?”

“You can’t?”

“No.”

“And you don’t know what it is…”

“Not exactly.”

“Because?”

“I wasn’t really listening. Anyway, you were there, too.”

“I was busy watching what I thought might have been a rat running across the road.”

“And was it?”

“Turns out it was a leaf blown by the wind. Did I tell you I’m having trouble focussing on things?”

“No kidding! So neither of us heard what he said we had to look out for?”

“Yes.”

“Who?”

“Neither of us.”

“That’s what I said.”

“And I agreed with you. Yes, neither of us heard.”

“You’re supposed to say no.”

“Why?”

“Because neither of us… Oh, I give up. Anyway, here’s the situation… we are here, one of us looking east towards the field and one of us looking west towards the road. Nobody is looking south towards the gate. Okay so far?”

“Sounds about right.”

“And we don’t know what we are looking for, which direction it will come from or when.”

“Uh-huh.”

“And we are doing it because Master told us to and we’re faithful servants.”

“Got it in one.”

“Okay. As long as that’s understood, I’m fine with it.”

“Me too.”

“That was hard work. Nap?”

“Too right. Goodnight, Podge.”

“Nighty-night, Trev.”


This was written in response to Kreative Kue 331 published on this site.

 

Kreative Kue 331

Kreative Kue 330 asked for submissions based on this photograph:

DSCF0168a

John W Howell is a multiple nominated and award-winning author who blogs at Fiction Favorites. Details of John’s books can be found on his Amazon author page

The Show by John W. Howell © 2021

“I thought I would call with a report. It is going better than I expected. I’m very pleased it’s going so well.”

“You should be. You put a lot of work into this show.”

“The people seem to like the wine and snacks. Thanks for that idea.”

“You are so welcome.”

“I think if we keep getting this kind of reaction, we should think about a regular gallery.”

“Most definitely. How many have you sold?”

“Hum, what?”

“How many pieces have you sold?”

“Er. Well, to tell the truth, none.”

“None?”

“Up-and-coming prospects, though. A couple is eyeing the rhinoceros.”

“I hope they get that thing out of the house.”

“What’s wrong with the rhinoceros?”

“The fact that it looks like an armadillo?”

“My interpretation.”

“So, given the state of sales, I think the gallery might have to wait.”

“I think you’re right. Sad thing.”

“Aw, darling, don’t be downhearted. What bothers you the most?”

“Having the cars outside.”

“Yeah, I understand that. Call it a sacrifice for your art.”

“So much washing.”

“Sushhhhh. It’ll be okay.”

“And wet sponges.”

“Let it out.”

“Buckets.”

“That’s where it is at, isn’t it, sweetheart.”

“Bawlllllllllllllll.”


My effort was:

The Heist

Two men are talking together at the back of a small, local art gallery. Interestingly, they are not looking at each other. Let’s listen in.

***

“What do you think, Stan? Worth our while, or not?”

“It’s only been open for a couple of hours, Lex. I haven’t seen many pictures moving yet.”

“Word on the street was that there are a few paintings here that could be worth big money.”

“Which ones?”

“I don’t know, do I? I ain’t no art critic.”

“So, how are we supposed to know which ones to nick?”

“Stanley Aiden Conway—”

“Don’t use my full name in public! People will hear.”

“So, what if they do? We ain’t done nothing yet so no harm’s done.”

“But if we do do something, they’ll know.”

“Calm down, Stan. If, and I mean if, we find something of value here, we won’t make our move until much later, by which time it’ll be different people in here, won’t it? And they won’t have heard me call you Stanley Aiden Conway—”

“Shut up, Lex! The helpers’ll be the same. And if any of the people here are artists or their mates or relations they’ll probably be here all day, too.”

“Fair point. So, Stan.”

“What?”

“Forgot what I was going to say, now. Oh yeah!  You asked how we’re supposed to know which ones to nick.”

“And?”

“And we don’t.”

“Don’t what?”

“Don’t nick any paintings.”

“Why not?”

“Simply because we don’t have the means to dispose of them.”

“You mean we can’t fence ’em.”

“Precisely.”

“So, remind me. What’s the point in being here?”

“You aren’t thinking, are you, Stan?”

“Go on, then. Enlighten me.”

“People come here to look at paintings, right?”

“Right.”

“And if they see one they really like, what do they do?”

“I dunno. Buy it?”

“Precisely, mon petit bijou, they buy it.”

“Don’t call me that. You know I don’t like it.”

“That’s why I call you it. Anyway, they buy it and, at the end of the day, we lift the cash. Genius, n’est-ce pas?”

“I get that, but why all the French all of a sudden? It’s just showing off.”

“It is indeed showing off, mon frère. And do you know why I show off?”

“Because you can?”

“Because I can. Can you?”

“Not in French, bImon ‘e’ vIchaw’chugh, vaj bImonta’.”

“What the hell was that supposed to be?”

“Klingon.”

“What did you say?”

“If I speak to you in Klingon, you won’t understand a word.”

“Now who’s showing off?”

“And do you know why I’m showing off, Lex?”

“Yeah, whatever. Do you get the plan?”

“I do, except for one possible minor snag.”

“That being?”

“What if they pay by cheque or by card? We don’t have any contacts for that and the nearest you’ve been to the dark web was screaming when there was a spider in your bath.”

“Be that as it may, old son… Ey up! Who are those two?”

“That tall man and that short woman?”

“No, that piebald stallion and the flying pig! Of course that tall man and that short woman. Quick. Follow my lead. Act nonchalant…”

***

At the other end of the gallery, a tall man is speaking to a short woman.

“These two?” he asks.

“Yes. They’ve been hanging around since we opened. They looked at one of my pieces for a long time then moved to the back. And the strangest thing? They haven’t had a glass of wine or a piece of cake all day.”

“Why is that strange?”

“That’s what most people come in for.”

“Not to buy art?”

“Not so many, sadly. And another thing. I overheard them talking earlier. I think they’re planning a heist.”

“A heist? You’ve been watching too many American cop shows, Madam. What else did you hear?”

“Well, the one with the green shirt, pale trousers and pigeon toes is called Lex and the other one, the one who actually looks shifty, his name is Stanley Aiden Conway.”

” Stanley Aiden Conway, you say?”

“I do.”

“Hang on a sec…”

The tall man raises his hand and speaks to his cuff (well, it takes all kinds). He turns to the short woman. “Stay here,” he says and approaches Stan and Lex.

“Are you Stanley Aiden Conway?” he asks.

“Who’s asking?”

“Detective Sergeant Greenhalgh, City Police.”

“Greenhalgh – is that how you spell it?”

“No, but I never was any good at spelling. Failed the first year at Hogwarts which is how I ended up in this job. Anyway, I assume you are Stanley’s brother Alexander Oliver Conway.”

“So, what if I am?”

“I have reason to believe that the pair of you are engaging or attempting to engage in what I call a criminal endeavour, namely the theft of works of art. Am I right, or am I wrong?”

“You are wrong, Sergeant.”

“Oh?”

“Shut up, Stan!”

“We were planning to wait until some punter bought one of these things then we’d relieve them of the cash.”

“I said shut up, Stan!”

“Too late, Alex—”

“It’s Lex, not Alex.”

“Either way, I have your confession on tape.”

“Ah, but we ain’t done naff all yet, have we? So, what are you going to arrest us for, eh? Eh? Eh?”

“I hadn’t thought of arresting you; I was just going to write you up. However, since you insist—”

“We haven’t insisted on anything.”

“Well, I do insist, and I have the powers to make it stick. So. How does conspiracy to commit a felony sound?”

“Good luck pinning that on us, Copper!”

“Oh, grow up, Stanley. You’ve got to learn when to give up.”

“Stanley Aiden Conway, Alexander Oliver Conway: I am arresting you on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a felony. You know the rest, don’t you?”

“Nope. Let’s hear you say it and woe betide you if you don’t get it right.”

“That’s it. Tell him, Lex.”

“You do not have to say anything. But, it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.”

“That’ll do. Okay. Ahem. It’s a fair cop, Guvnor, you got us banged to rights.”

“Do you know, no-one has ever said that to me before. Properly made my day, it has. Now, be off with you, both of you, and I don’t want to see your ugly mugs on my patch again!”

As the two men ran off, the Detective Sergeant turned to the short woman and said, “That should put the value of your paintings up a notch. It was worth putting that word out, wasn’t it? Now, about that wine…”


P1030129a

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.