You Just Have to be Patient – Blog Hop Story

I haven’t participated in the Blog Hop for ages, but I just couldn’t resist the cuteness of the first photo.
If you want to participate, here are the rules:
1) Use the two photos in your story.
2) Keep your word count 500 or less.
3) You have until next Tuesday night to link up your story.
4) Use the Blue Link to add your story at Leanne’s or Debb’s websites.
5) Have fun, don’t stress, and let those creative juices flow!
dogsbythedoor

Six pairs of eyes stared at me through the glass door. All of them set in incredibly cute faces. Well, I was not going to be intimidated; I was going to do the gardening without them and that was that—nothing would change my mind.

I resolutely turned my back on them and reached for my purple and black gardening shoes. ‘That’s odd…I’m sure they were here last night.’ I thought I heard a snicker, but when I turned around all I saw was six pairs of eyes staring at me through the glass door.

Do you think she knows?

Of course she doesn’t, she’s a human…she’s not smart enough.

But if she finds out, we won’t get any treats.

Yes we will, you can just look at her with those cute puppy dog eyes of yours and she’ll be putty in our hands.

I don’t have puppy dog eyes!

Of course you do Jazzy…you’re a puppy.

Oh…I forgot.

Grrrr…sometimes I wonder why I try to train you lot in espionage.

Shhh, she’s coming inside.

Right, you lot…keep together now. Just shuffle backwards like I taught you.

‘Have you seen my gardening shoes, Buddy?’ I reached down and scratched the velvety ears of my youngest fur child.
gardeningshoeNot one word, Buddy, grrr, not one word.

‘What’s wrong with you this morning Trevvy, did you get out of the wrong side of the doggy basket.’ Trevor was the oldest of my six fur babies and if I didn’t know better, I’d say he ruled the others like a sergeant major with a bunch of raw recruits.

I looked around the sunroom. There was no sign of my missing shoe. ‘I wonder if I left it in the laundry after I cleaned it.’

Okay, now when she comes back, you scratch at the box, Tessa, bark and run towards her. Then go back to the box and bark again.

Why?

Because the shoe is in the box, and we want her to think we’ve found it for her.

Oooh, all right, Trevvy…

Grrrr, don’t call me Trevvy; I hate it when I’m called Trevvy.

Sorry, Trevv…um, Trevor.

She’s coming, she’s coming.

‘What is it Tessa? What are you so excited about?’ I went over to where Tessa was scratching at a box and reached down to check but thought better of it. ‘You haven’t found another garter snake have you?’ I hatedsnakes, but thankfully, the only ones we found around here were garter snakes. Occasionally, one would get inside if the kids left the back door open. Tessa kept scratching at the box and wagging her tail. I leaned closer.
‘Oh Tessa, how clever of you! You’ve found my shoe. Good girl, good girl. Now, on with the gardening.’ I paused at the door, ‘oh, all right, you can all help me. But no digging!’

Well done, young Tess—go to the top of the class.

Thanks Sergeant Trevor.

See, I told you humans could be trained. You just have to be patient.  

 

Posted in Wednesday Blog Hop | Tagged , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Tracking into Fear – Sunday Photo Fiction

Each week, Alastair Forbes offers one of his original photos to all Wordsmiths who like a challenge. This week’s photo is no different. You can join in the fun and add your story and read some great flash fiction at Sunday Photo Fiction. My story appears below starts after the photo.

Railway tracks

This is bloody ridiculous! We’ve been walking for hours along this blasted track.

‘I heard that James.’

‘Heard what…I didn’t say anything.’

‘You didn’t have to.’

James felt his heartbeat quicken. He’d forgotten about Leo’s ability to read thoughts. Supposed ability he reminded himself.

Leo sighed, ‘James, we’ll get there when we get there. Grumbling and swearing about the situation isn’t going to make it happen any sooner.’

Alternating between wanting to walk ahead of Leo to see whatever it was they were looking for first, and walking behind him in case whatever or whoever it was they were looking for was less than friendly. Then again, if he walked ahead of Leo, who’s to say Leo wasn’t the danger. Maybe it would be safer to walk behind him…maybe.

‘You’re getting paranoid James.’

James frowned. Was it just his imagination, or were the tracks vibrating? A few minutes later, he decided it definitely wasn’t his imagination. The tracks were vibrating—seriously vibrating. And humming—loudly. Everything screamed at him to get off the tracks, but his legs refused to obey his brain.

‘Relax James. Just take a deep breath and enjoy the ride.’

Even as Leo spoke, James felt the track drop away and send them hurtling into an abyss. A wave of vertigo washed over him and he threw up. All around him, white lights pulsed and he was vaguely aware of Leo saying, ‘He’ll be okay.’

And then he blacked out.

Posted in Alastair's Photo Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Manor of Dreams – Scribe’s Cave #35

Written for The Scribe’s Cave.  All you need is 50-200 words about the picture prompt to take part. My offering begins after the picture.

(c) desertedplaces.blogspot.com

(c) desertedplaces.blogspot.com

Jess loved this old manor house, despite its state of disrepair. There were dozens of rooms where she and Daif, her grandfather’s stable boy, spent hours exploring and going on quests. She never wanted things to change.

Orphaned when she was eight, she’d been sent to live with her grandfather, whom she adored. He’d indulged her and allowed her to run wild but climbing down a rope to the stairs had turned the rest of his hair grey. ‘Jess, you’re almost twelve. You have to stop leaping and climbing like a boy, you need to grow up.’

Jess laughed. ‘Oh grandfather, I’m never growing up.’

This was her castle and the only other place she loved as much were the stairs overlooking the mist shrouded valley. She’d been climbing down ever since she’d been old enough to tie a rope around the balustrade and swing down to sit on the stairs and listen to the wild birds calling to one another and dream dreams she knew would probably never come true.

Posted in The Scribe's Cave | Tagged , , , , , | 22 Comments

Rock On – Sunday Photo Fiction

Each week, Alastair Forbes offers one of his original photos to all Wordsmiths who like a challenge. This week’s photo is no different. You can join in all the fun and add your story and read some great flash fiction at Sunday Photo Fiction. My story appears below.

*     *     *

(c) Alastair Forbes

(c) Alastair Forbes

There had always been rumours about the site—rumours of giant serpents and of animals disappearing. The archaeologists scoffed of course, but Nathaniel wasn’t so sure. The saying, “where’s there’s smoke there’s fire,” kept running through his mind.

Local legend said the serpents appeared once every three hundred king of moons. Nathaniel wondered what a king of moons could be, and decided it had to be a super moon, which occurred roughly every eighteen years when a full moon was closer than 360,000 kilometers to the earth at perigee. The question was, when would the next super moon occur in relation to the legend. Computer calculations soon showed him he had only to wait a month.

He wondered if there was any way to observe the area without being observed. Then an idea came to him as he watched his son flying a kite one Sunday afternoon. It would probably cost a bit, but he figured it would be worth it.

Now, floating silently in tandem on the hang glider, the weather was perfect. The warm air rising from the valley kept them aloft effortlessly. hang glider

“The wind is starting to gust too much; we’ll have to go down.”

“Please, just another couple of minutes.”

“It’s too dangerous. It’s starting to get dark – we could be…”

Below them, the land seemed to shimmer. The rock wall moved in an undulating motion and four sheep grazing nearby vanished.

His camera set to rapid shot allowed him to take dozens of pictures in seconds. “No one is going to believe this,” he grinned as the hang glider dipped and landed on a nearby hill.

The headlines in the morning paper screamed: “Hang glider pilot and passenger vanish. Locals blame legendary serpent.”

Posted in Alastair's Photo Fiction | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments

Visions of Sugar Plums – The Daily Post

© Boarding1now | Dreamstime.com

© Boarding1now | Dreamstime.com

As a child, I didn’t really have any visions about growing up until I was about thirteen. Until then, I was too busy surviving childhood. But for all that, I knew I wanted to be a writer of some sort.

At Christmas and birthdays, when asked what I’d like, my request was always the same: “I want a book.” So I read. And read. And read. Losing myself in the stories; who would want to grow up?

When I reached junior high, I began to contemplate the future and thought maybe I could be a journalist. My father would have been okay with that—possibly even proud of me—but my mother had different ideas. I should add here that when I was born in 1948, my mother was forty-two and my father was sixty. So, although my dad was quite open to what I might be “when I grew up,” my mother’s idea (although not stated aloud) was quite different. I would stay with her and take care of her in her old age, which was quite a common expectation of a daughter back then; especially if you belonged to the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum.

In my second year at junior high, we did a “vocational aptitude” test, and mine showed that I had low-level math skills (no surprise there, so a career in science was out)stressed-out-primary-girl-child-holding-her-head-100155111  and high—very high comprehension skills. The comments at the end of the results stated: “A career in journalism is quite within the scope of the results.” I don’t remember much else, except something about needing to study more blah, blah, blah especially in math to make the most of my opportunities.

I was on the cusp of a great career—the Pulitzer Prize beckoned. Then, three months before my fifteenth birthday, my father died of a sudden heart attack and I grew up. I became an adult and went out to work to support my mother.

My first job was behind the cash register in a butcher shop. I hated it! My second job was in a department store (again behind the counter) selling whatever the particular department I was assigned to that day sold. I do remember getting into trouble with my supervisor for being too generous with the soft-serve ice cream cones (a new innovation in stores at the time) when serving children. Both these jobs only lasted a couple of months.

Then came my big break (in my mother’s eyes at least) and I began working for the New South Wales Department of Motor Transport (DMT is our version of the U.S. DMV). I began in the lowest job available—opening the mail. Thousands of letters and payments for driver’s license or car registration renewals and paper cuts were in abundant supply. mailroom-300x225

Everyone was regularly tested for their honesty. The supervisor of the mailroom would take the cheque out of an envelope and replace it with cash, then put the envelope into a particular bundle for the day’s victim. I remember one poor girl being accused of stealing $120 (a small fortune considering our weekly wage was $17.50), but it turned out the supervisor’s stupid assistant had given the bundle of mail to the wrong girl. It almost cost her job. It did cost the assistant a verbal dressing down for his carelessness. We were all delighted. He was a horrible, slimy little man who smelled disgusting.

Travelling to my place of employment was the hardest part of the job, It meant a twenty-minute bus trip, an hour and a half train trip and finally another bus journey of fifteen minutes—just one of the joys of being an adult that I certainly hadn’t had a vision of as a child.

I stayed with the DMT until I married and had my first child, but by this time, I had climbed up a few rungs on the ladder, been through four different departments and now had a plum job at the local DMT in the town where I lived motorRegistry1 (it didn’t rate being called a city until 1979). Travelling two hours each way to and from work was now just a memory.

Looking back now that I’m retired, I realise I was right to want to hold onto my childhood as long as I could. Childhood is precious and can be cut short by circumstances beyond our control, and I’ve always accepted that—though not always gracefully. My childhood was tough, and there was not much time to play with friends. We owned a poultry farm with 3,000 chickens in various stages of life, and when both my parents became ill at the same time, I had six months off school (I was eleven) to do all the work with the help of a local teenager in need of a job.

My childhood was lonely. I was an only child—only I wasn’t. But that’s a story for another time.

 

Posted in The Daily Post | Tagged , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Unrequited Love – Sunday Photo Fiction

(c) Alastair Forbes

(c) Alastair Forbes

“I think I’m in love.” Jeremy sighed as he sank down onto the grass.

“Say what?” Percy almost choked on the salad greens he was eating.

Jeremy sighed again, “She’s beautiful.”

“Who’s beautiful?”

“My future bride – I just saw her again.”

Percy looked at his friend in confusion. “Saw who? What are you talking about Jerm?”

“She was at the park yesterday, and again today. It must be fate…we’re meant to be together.”

“Jerm, if you don’t start making sense, I’m going to knock you from here to Michaelmas!”

“You don’t believe me!” Jeremy’s eyes were bright with unshed tears.

“Okay, okay, why don’t we go to the park and you can show me the love of your life.”

Jeremy leapt off the grass and flew down the road towards the park. “C’mon, Percy. Quick, before she leaves.”

They arrived at the park and Jeremy pulled Percy into the shadow of a tree.

“See? What did I tell you? Isn’t she gorgeous?” Jeremy was all of a flutter.

Percy looked across the sports oval to the object of Jeremy’s amorous declarations. He stared, rubbed his eyes and stared again.

“Jeremy, you great pillock, you need glasses. That’s not a lady-beetle. It’s a bloomin’ half-deflated soccer ball.”

———————————-

Every Sunday, Alastair posts one of his flash fiction photo prompts. To join in (you only need 200 words or less), or just read some of the crazy tales, go to Sunday Photo Fiction.

Posted in Alastair's Photo Fiction | 18 Comments

The Scribes Cave – Rebirth

Derelect Church“It’s just perfect!” Jenny spun in a circle; joy written all over her face. “I absolutely love these tiles, they’re gorgeous!”

“Just look at the thickness of these walls, Jen!” Matt patted the window ledge he was sitting on. “Put some double glazing in and you’ll hardly hear any of the outside noise.”

Recently married, Matt and Jenny had just bought the old church on the edge of the village. They couldn’t believe it when their bid at auction was successful.

“Skylights,” Jenny pointed to the rows of windows high up on the walls, ”all the way along. They’ll let in heaps of light.”

Matt stood up and wrapped his arms around her, “What do you think about designing the fireplace on the old organ?”

Jenny tilted her head to one side as she examined the object of Matt’s suggestion. “Big screen television on the wall above the fireplace using the old organ speakers. We could get them refurbished and polished – couldn’t we?”

A slow smile spread across Matt’s face, “How did I manage to marry someone so smart?”

They continued to stand in the middle of the building enjoying the peace and contentment that washed over them. It was as if the old church approved.

- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -

Written for “The Scribe’s Cave” a place where fiction dwells. Pop over and add your piece of flash fiction based on the picture. You only need 50-200 words.

 

Posted in The Scribe's Cave | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments