The sun is out and I am looking forward to a relaxing warm weekend. Roger Bultot’s photo-prompt reminds me to seek the shade if the sun becomes too hot. Thanks to our host Rochelle for presenting the challenge to write a story for our Friday-Fictioneers, a hundred words of fun. More contributions are available by clicking HERE.
We were called the city slickers in our faux Louis Vuitton short-sleeved shirts, embroidered ‘Domino Kings’. We played in the afternoon shade, sipping mint tea or black coffee, enjoying retirement in the street bustle. Slowly, our numbers dwindled. Tony went to stay with his daughters in Chicago. Charlie’s eyesight is blurry with too much brandy, and Derek is getting his hips replaced. Rich George is on a Caribbean cruise with Yasmin for two months.
Today, it is just us two playing pontoon. Darren is winning, and he is annoyingly cantankerous about George getting married.
Gifting items to Charity or Second Hand shops gives you a satisfactory feeling that the once treasured piece will find a new home. Better than it going to the rubbish landfill site. Although, buying something else to fill that space, kind of defeats the idea of having a clear out. I have known someone who has regretted giving away an item then spends days looking for a similar replacement!
Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers, and to John Nixon for the Photo-prompt.
I called him Grandad since he would come by and ask the same question. ‘Is it here, yet?’
Occasionally, I invited him in for tea and biscuits. He told me his wife brought it into the shop when she was angry with him, because he went fishing on their first anniversary. She passed recently, and he wants it back.
‘Someone will return it.’ He seemed convinced. ‘They always do.’ He would not say what it was. How was I to know?
‘Is it here yet?’ ‘Maybe tomorrow.’
Now, I haven’t seen him for months. Perhaps he found it at home.
Mary went to close the bedroom curtains, and looking through the window, she saw her neighbour wandering around in his garden. She glanced at her clock. It was almost ten o’clock at night, and a bit late for planting or pruning. Perhaps he was looking for slugs, it was the sort of thing he might do. Poor Mike, for the past year, he had struggled on his own as isolation didn’t suit him.
In the moonlight, the garden was a monochromatic scene where detail merged into the shadows. She saw Mike was now on his knees, digging with a trowel. Mary closed the curtains. She would take a hot drink to him and have a neighbourly chat. Everyone likes some company and a gossip, since living on your own isn’t easy.
Outside, a breeze rustled the branches of the sycamore and blew her dressing gown loose. She pushed open the side gate and closed it with a nudge from her bottom. In her bare feet, she tiptoed across the grass and stood behind him.
‘I know you are there,’ he said and continued digging. ‘Hot chocolate.’ He stood up. ‘Mary! you’ll catch a cold.’ ‘It was the wind.’ She passed him both cups and pulled her flimsy gown together and fiddled with the straps. ‘This is lovely,’ he said. ‘Hot chocolate,’ she said, and sipped her drink. ‘Yes, I know.’ ‘Look,’ she said. ‘It’s a bit late for weeding.’ ‘Oh, I can’t stand digging out the dandelions when they are in full bloom.’ The knot in the straps of her dressing gown slipped loose. She sipped her drink. ‘The flowers close up in the dark, so I dig up the plants when they’re asleep.’ ‘Oh, I see,’ she said. ‘Mike, why don’t you come over for a nightcap when you’re finished?’ ‘I don’t know,’ he said. ‘I still need to close the shed.’ ‘You do that.’ She closed her gown. She took the cups and ambled across the lawn. With a backward glance, saw him watching as she pushed through the side gate with her hip.
In her living room, she slipped a small log onto the fire and then fetched two glasses. She still had plenty in the bottle of her 12-year-old Macallan to encourage him.
A light hearted piece of old fashion flash fiction to raise a smile. Inspired by stories from Philip K Dick.
Mary wiped the kitchen sink and stared out of the window at the dull, dark clouds. Rain was on the way. Her entire world seemed miserable, as if a screw was loose and she wasn’t sure how to fix it.
The fridge motor interrupted her despondency, and its humming became a rhythmic beat of da–daa–dum–dum. She imagined herself in a Viennese Waltz cavorting with a tall hussar, so she twirled around the table.
The hoover in the corner perked up. “May I have the pleasure?” “Delighted.” Mary curtsied. She took the hoover by the handle and they danced around, flowing with the music.
Rain streamed against the window like violin strings as the fridge rumbled on; the slow-cooker gurgled, and the kettle whistled. Her washing machine shuddered out the bass of beating drums and the Dolce Gusto went whoosh, whoosh, sending aromatic plumes of percolating coffee into the air.
Mary skipped and spun, swinging on the arm of her handsome Mr Hoover, waltzing around her ballroom. A spectator in the clock sprang out and called cuckoo, cuckoo—just as the timer on the oven played an allegro bleeping in consonance with the kitchen orchestra.
She heard the front door slam. Her music stopped. Quickly, Mary shuffled the hoover into the cupboard. She strode into the hall.
“I am shattered,” her husband said, “and completely worn out.” He gave her a pitiable peck on the cheek. She hung his jacket on a peg as he slouched into the living room and slumped onto the sofa.
“Did I hear our white goods singing?” “No,” said Mary. “We don’t call them white anymore.” “What!” He kicked off his shoes and laid back. “I am too tired to argue.” “They are called appliances,” she said, reaching into his trousers’ pocket for a long flex cord and she plugged it into a battery recharging pack. “Ah! That’s better.” He closed his eyes.
Mary returned to the kitchen and made a call on her mobile. A loud voice answered. “Mr Wong’s Magical Electrical Emporium.” “Mr Wong, it’s Mary.” All the appliances rumbled, and the Dolce Gusto hissed. “Yes, Mary, do you need a repair?” “Sort of Mr Wong. Do you have any hussars?”
The appliances sighed. They were safe. She wasn’t disposing of them.
“A new man? Why not repair the one you have?” “Mr Wong. My husband has degenerated. He’s worn out and completely flat.” “We can fit a new battery.” “It’s no use. I want one with style and stamina.” “Okay, I will bring a fresh one tomorrow. Anything else?”
“Yes, I seem to have a screw loose in my head. It hurts.” “An emergency!” said Mr Wong. “It is! Oh yes, an emergency. Oh, it really is.” “I’ll bring some spare parts immediately.”
Mary grinned. Mr Wong was always gentle with her parts, and his tuning was so invigorating. She smiled and felt so cheery already.
His great-grandfather, Malcolm Roper, rebuilt a Ford Model T as a favour. Afterwards, he founded the family business and was a self-taught engineer. His expertise attracted the transport king, Jack Hills, who paid hush cash to service his fleet of Ford AA trucks that distributed crates of Marlboro contraband from the docks. Times were good despite the depression, and the family drove Austin 12 cars. They wore double-breasted threads with a Colt in their pockets.
That’s history, nowadays they only fix Hackney Cabs for big Tony. ‘Why does he pay them extra expenses?‘ ‘I do not know! Your honour.’
Certainly, sir. We have a range of paranormal spectacles.
Yes, our mood range. The rose lens lets you view the world in eternal, euphoric happiness. Our blue ones present a cynical world of bitterness and grievance. Apparently, they are very popular with politicians. Our nostalgic glasses will let you wallow in a mud pool of missed opportunities and shameful regrets. However, this monocle will swell you with pride as you relive achievements and insurmountable success at the expense of others.
These, in cotton wool to avoid distortion, give a view of our future. You may not like what you see.
My first motor bike was a Triumph Bantam 125 and my first car was a Ford Anglia 1200cc. Not surprisingly, examples can be found in motor museums all around the UK. The Transport Museum in Glasgow has on display five models of cars that I once owned over the years. The Ford Capri being perhaps one of the most iconic in its time. The only navigation system in use in those days was the AA Road Map which worked a treat.
This week’s Friday Fictioneers photo prompt stirs the yearning for the open road. More stories here.
Infidelity of a Goddess
This picture reminds me of my Triumph Bonneville and how Diana, her hair whirling from beneath her helmet, would hold on tight. I loved this feeling as we raced along the roads in the summer.
We’d stop at the Craven Arms for a Theakston’s Best Bitter beer, and afterwards we’d speed to the coast. Where, among the dunes, we stared at the moon drifting among the stars.
We planned a journey from York to Paris and across Europe to Berlin.
It never happened; instead she ran off with Charlie on his Harley Davidson.
This week’s picture prompt for Friday Fictioneers adds a sense of modern humour, taking a selfie of a selfie!
More story contributions from Friday Fictioneers can be accessed here.
The Aliens are Here
Something caressed his face as goosebumps erupted along his arms, and a cold air whispered, ‘Martha’. John looked in the mirror. “Is that really you? I miss you.” Since Martha passed, his sixth sense alerted him to soft moans and shadows that danced across the mirror. He was not alone.
For goodness’ sake, he was a scientist searching the universe for intelligent beings on other planets. Yet grief warped his imagination towards believing in the paranormal.
What was life without Martha?
Were the aliens observing him and trying to communicate? He sensed the cactus plant was reporting his every move.