A Fools Journey – A Wanderlust

 

A Fool’s Journey

It was a challenge I couldn’t refuse. To travel to the most distant corners of the world in a hot air balloon, it sounded like an amazing adventure to me.

Continue reading A Fools Journey – A Wanderlust

Multiple Word Prompt Story – A Spark of Creativity.

This short story was written in response to the following word prompts:

river, sunset, safe

He sat at his desk and just stared into space as outside, a glorious sunset turned the sky pink and the walls for the room changed through a panoply of orange hues. The clock on the wall ticked a full hour before suddenly a spark of consciousness began to ignite in his previously blank eyes. He picked up the fountain pen, dipped it into the ink and wrote in an erratic, spiky fashion. An idea had come to him, a river of thought had sprung from some place within his empty mind. The scratchy sound of the pen would have been like nails on a blackboard to anyone’s ears if there had been anyone around to hear it. The place was deserted. The door was locked to keep him safe.

He finished and threw down his pen in triumph. A broad grin erupted on his face and the look in his clear blue eyes changed again from amusement to madness.

On the piece of paper was written the words, “Let there be light” and somewhere in the universe, a new world began.

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 3rd January 2019

The Singer – The Sequel

Screenshot_20181111-230029_Google-01

Yesterday I wrote a short story based on this picture and the word ‘Sultry’ in response to the challenge set by Laura M Bailey on her blog  – See the link below:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/11/12/manic-mondays-3-way-prompt-the-singer/

I had a few very encouraging comments from my blogging friends that they wanted to hear a bit more of the story, and so here is the sequel.

I hope you enjoy it:

The Singer – Part Two

He pulled on his raincoat as he stepped out of the nightclub. It was still raining heavily, so he turned up his collar and stood with his back against the brick wall. The guttering provided enough of a shelter from the rain for him to light his cigarette. He could still hear her voice, slightly muffled, from inside the building. She was singing another old classic, “That’ Old Black Magic”. It reminded him of the spell she had cast over him when he’d first laid eyes on her.

‘How many years had it been?’ he pondered as he took a puff of the cigarette. ‘Must be ten years ago now.’

Her hair had been shorter then, and blonde. She wore less makeup back then too.

It had been at his local fair. He’d gone along because he’d had nothing better to do and there were usually opportunities to be had whenever crowds gathered. His ordinary appearance became a camouflage in those sorts of places and he enjoyed the anonymity and the advantages that gave.

She’d been singing then too. A Cole Porter song “I’ve got you under my Skin”. He felt her reach across that crowd to him. She was singing to him and him alone. He fell instantly in love with her. She had won his heart.

He had found out a little bit about her. She was a local girl who loved to sing. He sent her flowers and chocolates. He even sent her a valentine card. They even went on a date to an Italian restaurant. Then she turned cold toward him, sent back his letters and refused to see him when he turned up at the bar she worked at. How could she entice him one minute then reject him the next? He couldn’t take that rejection. She even went so far as to go to the police and get a court injunction on him. He wasn’t going to give up that easily. He managed to get into her apartment one night. He only wanted to talk, just to explain himself, he loved her. She had to understand that. He wouldn’t have hit her if she hadn’t screamed.

So he spent a few weeks in jail. That didn’t bother him, it wasn’t his first stint, but when he came out she’d gone. Moved away. He had been hunting for her ever since.

Now, he’d found her, at last.

He took the cigarette end out of his mouth and threw it on the floor then crushed it to pieces with his heel.

He walked down the alley behind the club and found the rear entrance unlocked. No one was around. He jumped when a metal trashcan fell making a loud clang that echoed in that narrow alley, but it was just an alley cat. Like him, really, he smiled at that though.

He opened the door into a dark space that was clearly used for storage. There was a room with a gold star on it with ‘Claudia Van Horn’ emblazoned across it.

He could hear her still singing on stage. Her rich, throaty voice was belting out the finale of her final number. Carefully he crouched down behind a large crate of beer to wait patiently for her to finish.

It wasn’t long before he heard the roar of the audience, giving her a standing ovation and saw her stumble rather listlessly back to her dressing room, closing the door behind her.

Like a panther, he leapt from the shadows and within moments had slipped into her room. The nightclub was closing and the customers were making a racket as they finished their drinks. Some of the crowd were attempting to copy the songs they’d heard. It was a raucous din, but it played into his hands.

She was seated in her chair in front of the mirror and hadn’t heard him open the door but when it clicked shut she turned around.

He stood there with the belt from his raincoat in his hands and just stared.

This close he realised the makeup was even heavier than he thought. The years had changed her face slightly; her features were no longer quite as fine, still attractive, but not as youthful as they once had been.

Her mouth fell open and she gasped his name “Joe?”

“That’s right honey, it’s Joe. It’s so nice to see you after all this time, Christina. You thought by changing your name you could escape me? We were meant to be. When will you accept that?”

She tensed as he started walking towards her pulling his belt tightly between his fists.

“What are you going to do Joe?” she said, quietly. He knew he didn’t have long before she would scream. He had to act quickly.

“I can’t bear the thought of you running away from me again. You won’t run away this time” He said and pounced.

Her leg came up hard and caught him between the legs.

He screamed and fell to the floor and then the dressing room door slammed open and a female police officer stood there with a gun pointed at him. “Freeze” She shouted.

Then Christina laughed coarsely and reached up and grabbed her long red hair. It came off in her hands. It was a wig.

He realised that he had been wrong, it wasn’t Christina at all.

The policewoman kept her gun pointed at him with her right hand and with her left removed her cap, revealing short blonde hair and the face that was etched in his dreams, this was Christina.

“You didn’t know I had a younger brother? Meet Clay, he’s a drag artist. Oh, and I’m a police officer now. I knew you’d be after me again someday and I decided that rather keep running in fear, I was going to get you. I joined the police to help save other women from people like you and I knew one day I would see you again and I wanted to make damn sure I was ready. I reckon that’s Strike Three.” She turned to two other police officers standing outside and said: “Book him boys”.

The End.

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 13/November/2018

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/11/13/listless/

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/11/13/daily-writing-challenge-nov-13/

Valentine, heart, fair

 

 

Friday’s Fun Three – another fun challenge from A Guy Called Bloke

klee-1949981_960_720

So my friend ‘A Guy Called Bloke’ has set some questions. I wanted to be the first, but I dallied and dillied and Sadje beat me to it.

See here:

Friday’s Fun 3

Friday’s 3 Things Challenge

So here are the questions.

Name three things –

 

You can dunk in tea or coffee?

  1. A digestive biscuit
  2. A Custard Cream
  3. A Jammy Dodger

(These are all kinds of Biscuits, or Cookies, that I like to Dunk in my tea. It takes some skill to hold the biscuit into the tea just long enough so that it softens but doesn’t fall into the tea.).

You can enjoy at a carnival?

  1. Avoiding the crowds
  2. Trying to win a goldfish
  3. Playing on the Dodgems.

You can’t enjoy when it’s windy?

  1. Sailing
  2. Table-Tennis (Ping Pong)
  3. Tightrope walking across Niagara Falls.

Your body can’t do?

  1. Flying
  2. Turn Invisible
  3. Walk through walls.

You don’t learn at school?

  1. Economic and fiscal competence
  2. Learning to tolerate and respect others.
  3. The Secret of Life

You can put onto a pizza?

  1. Cheese
  2. Red Onion
  3. More Cheese ( I love cheese).

You can eat with?

  1. A Knife and Fork
  2. A spoon
  3. Just stick your head in the trough and use your mouth.

You don’t suggest you do at home blindfolded?

  1. Carve a Turkey
  2. Light the Gas Fire
  3. Adjust the TV Aerial on the roof.

That are important to you?

  1. My Cup of Tea
  2. My friends and Family
  3. My Chickens

That you love to do at the beach?

  1. Have a cup of tea.
  2. Explore all the rock pools and caves.
  3. Walk along the sand and enjoy the Whiff of the sea.

That you do in the morning?

  1. Open my eyes
  2. Have a cup of Tea.
  3. Wish I’d gone to bed earlier…

That you every time you log in to your blog?

  1. Check out what friends like A Guy Called Bloke are doing.
  2. Respond to comments
  3. Try to think of something new to write.

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/11/09/whiff/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/11/09/rdp-friday-skill/

 

 

The Strange Inheritance – Finale – A Multiple Word Prompt Story for Halloween.

This is my final part of the horror story I have been writing. Halloween is almost over.

If you want to read the full story, I have linked to it here:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/10/31/the-strange-inheritance-story-recap/

This story contains the following word prompts:

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/10/31/bloodcurdling/

FOWC with Fandango — Weight

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/10/31/your-daily-word-prompt-wicked-october-31-2018/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/10/31/rdp-wednesday-costume/

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/10/31/daily-writing-challenge-31/

Halloween, ghosts, goblins.

 

James held Jennifer’s weight in his arms as she continued to cry into his shoulder.

“How did you know? Did you find her body in the cellar?” Jennifer’s’ voice was muffled and it barely sounded like her at all.

“I found something in the Cellar. It wasn’t her body. Something is going on in the cellar, there are books down there and scientific equipment” James hesitated before continuing “There are also jars containing body parts. I recognised Aunt Elizabeth’s eyes.”

Jennifer pulled back and stared into her brothers face. Her eyes were open as wide as they would go, he could see the whites all around her pale grey irises. She looked deathly pale too. He smiled at her, to try to reassure her and patted her hand.

“How did you know she was dead, Jenn?” 

“She came over to me as I was reading and spoke to me. I thought it was her, but then she changed into a girl and ran through that bookshelf. She was a ghost, James. I hate this place, there are ghosts here. I want to leave. Can’t we go now, before its too late? It’s Halloween and I don’t want to stay here after nightfall.”

“You know full well we can’t leave. We would forfeit Uncle Joshua’s money and everything we’ve done will be in vain.” James smiled again.

A thought passed through Jennifer’s mind. If the Aunt Elizabeth that came to her just now had been a ghost and there was a jar in the cellar that already contained her eyes, then maybe the Aunt Elizabeth they had heard screaming in Old Uncle Joshua’s bedroom had been the real one. Maybe the one they saw afterwards in her bedroom, that had been a ghost, or something else in disguise. She looked back at her brother who was grinning at her. James was sullen and morose, it wasn’t like him to smile like that. His eyes too were intense, bluer than she remembered.

Quickly she jumped up and ran to the door.

“Jenn? What’s up?”

She turned and shouted.

“Are you really James? Or are you some trick? I can’t stand this any more.”

James stopped walking towards her and suddenly the same thought occurred to him, nothing is quite what it seemed in this place.

“How do I know it’s really you for that matter? Look, Jenn, we’ve got to trust each other, or we’ve had it. Remember in the orphanage, I gave you my teddy bear when the warden said we couldn’t sleep in the same dormitory. What was it called, do you remember?”

The memory came flooding back, the loneliness of the orphanage. She used to cry herself to sleep every night missing her mother and father and James kept sneaking into the girls’ dorm to comfort her. When they caught him there they would beat him, but he still came. Then he gave her his teddy bear. What was it called again? That’s right, it was called Mr Micawber.

“Mr Micawber, I remember”

They both relaxed then. The feeling that they were not on their own gave them some comfort.

They sat down on a leather sofa and looked through the window at the grim light. It was still hours from sunset but it was one of those days where the grey clouds kept it from becoming true daylight. The view down to the lake would have been pretty on a sunny day, but today it only gave a modicum of comfort.

James had picked up the journal from where Jennifer had dropped it on the floor.

“So, what’s this you’ve been reading, Jenn?” 

“It’s horrible James. It’s Old Josiah Van De Gaard’s journal. He was wicked, a monster. He murdered his own child. I think he was dabbling in devil worship too.”

James opened the book and skim read it. He was always a quick reader, he had a much faster brain. “Yes, It looks like you’re right, he was into something really dark. He was looking to make himself immortal! Jenn, you know what?”

“No, James, What?”

“I think he succeeded. I think he’s here in this house somewhere.”

“Don’t James, I’m scared enough already. Where could he be, we’ve searched everywhere in the house and you’ve searched the cellar.”

“We haven’t been inside the master bedroom, it’s been kept locked. He’s got to be in there.”

“That’s enough James. I can’t take any more of this. I don’t want to find out any more about this horrible house. Let’s just leave. While we still can.”

“No Jenn, I promise I won’t go looking any more. We’ll stay together from now on, but we’ve got to stay the night. We’ll inherit a fortune. We’ll get Aunt Elizabeth’s share now too.”

“How can you be so callous, James. She was our Aunt.”

“She was a hateful, selfish old woman. You don’t remember like I do. She deserved what she got. It’s just the two of us now, but I’ll look after you, I promise. Haven’t I always?”

From then on, they stayed together, stuck firmly with the glue of absolute terror. In the kitchen, Jennifer heated up the dinner that Mrs Ponsomby had left them and they ate it sat at the table as they watched the meagre daylight slowly diminish. They had turned on all the lights of the house already, every single lamp. They had also brought the torch down from upstairs so they would not be caught out by any sudden power cuts.

The additional light didn’t seem to help that much. The noises started even before sunset. The voices whispered at them, called to them.

They could hear footsteps overhead. Scampering steps like little goblins running up and down the stairs. Jennifer heard the same cackling laughter that Aunt Elizabeth had made before she’d transformed into a ghost child.

“You should have gone, while you had the chance. Too late. Too late now. You’re mine now.”

This was no whisper but the loud deep voice of a man, it came from the floor above.

Then they heard a bloodcurdling scream and all the lights went out.

 

Quickly, James pulled the torch out from his pocket and the kitchen illuminated. Jennifer started lighting the candles they’d placed around the room, then held his hand in a vice-like grip.

The door to the cellar flew open and the same voice came calling.

“Come to me now. It is time, at last. The final step. Your blood is mine.”

Jennifer ran screaming towards the front door but James grabbed her and held her tightly. He was smiling at her again. A twisted smile. His eyes seemed to glow. Then he began walking toward the cellar door, pulling her along. She struggled and screamed but he was too strong. He was always stronger.

“That’s it, come to me. You can’t resist the call of the blood.”

He dragged her down the steps into the dank cellar. A red light came from somewhere further in.

“Yes, bring her to me. I must have blood to be fully released.”

Then she was the creature standing in the main chamber of the cellar. It wasn’t human, or at least, it wasn’t anymore. Horns sprouted from out of the bald cranium, the sunken eyes in that old mans face glowed red. The gnarled old hands ended in claws and the grinning mouth contained a multitude of pointed fangs.

Jennifer tried desperately to pull out of her brothers grasp but his grip would not lessen. He stood staring blankly at the demonic presence that their great-grandfather had become.

An almighty crash sounded coming somewhere above them. The fiend looked up and shouted. “Noooooo!”

Down the cellar steps, figures emerged each wearing a costume of red satin robes with black masks. They were chanting in Latin.

“Dies irae, dies illa solvet saeculum in favilla teste David cum Sybilla. Tuba, mirum pargens sonum per sepulchra regionum coget omnes ante thronum. Quod sum miser tunc dicturus, quem patronum rogaturus cum vix iustus sit securus”

As they chanted the demonic figure roared and grew larger, exploding from its prison within the body of that old man. Remnants of flesh remained at the monster’s feet as it expanded to fill the space to the vaulted ceiling.

A figure wearing white robes and a black cap ran forward and threw white powder over the floor and over James and Jennifer too.

The other figures formed a circle around the creature and continued chanting, getting louder, filling the space with their voices.

James shook himself free of his enchantment and looked around him, he remembered nothing since the lights went out in the kitchen above. The smell of sulphur and decay filled his nostrils. The sight of the huge demon made him fall back. It was then he realised he was still holding Jennifer’s hand. She was staring at him like he was a monster.

What’s going on? Who are you?” James shouted at the man in white.

“We are the Order of the Black Rose. We are here to finish off this Demon for once and for all.”

One of the red-robed figures cried out “Quickly Doctor, we can’t hold it much longer. He is too powerful. He is breaking free.”

The figure in white pulled a long-bladed knife from his robes.

“It has to be this way. I’m sorry. Our former leader, Joshua Van De Gaard discovered the secret before he died. He spent his whole life keeping the demon that his father had become contained, but he couldn’t break the original pact. As long as there is Van De Gaard blood running through someone’s veins, Josiah Van De Gaard, or the demon he has become, cannot die. Only with the death of every Van De Gaard can we finish off this monster.”

The man pulled Jennifer up from the floor where she had fainted and grasped her hair in one hand exposing her neck. He lifted up his blade ready to strike.

“No, Wait!” James shouted and grabbed the mans wrist, holding the knife “She isn’t a Van De Gaard. She’s not my sister. My Sister died of a fever before I was sent to the orphanage. I couldn’t bear the thought that I had failed her. I wanted to protect her, but I failed. At the orphanage I met this girl, she looked so much like Jennifer that I decided I would protect her instead. I called her Jennifer and eventually, she forgot who she really was. I am the last Van De Gaard.”

James wrestled the knife from the Doctors hand. He held it firmly and then plunged it into his own chest.

The Demon screamed, it’s head fell back and a white light emerged from its gaping maw.

The chanting grew louder and the Doctor began chanting different words that echoed around the chamber with great power.

The Demon exploded and all went black.

**********************************************************************************

 

Jennifer awoke from a terrible nightmare. She was laying in a strange bed with a feather pillow under her head and a hideous pink candlewick bedspread over her.

She didn’t recognise the room. It wasn’t her flat, that was for sure. It was a small room, with a tiny window through which sunlight was streaming. There was a writing desk in one corner and on the wall opposite was a large crucifix.

The door opened and a lady came in carrying a tray. She recognised the woman and a name came into her head which she spoke out loud.

“Mrs Ponsomby?”

The woman came over and placed the tray on her lap then put a hand to her forehead before replying.

“That’s right dear, quite a turn I had finding you unconscious on the kitchen floor. Dr Forbes has been in to see you. He said you would be right as rain. I’ve brought you some chicken soup, that should help build your strength up. I knew you’d catch a chill, sleeping in that draughty old house by yourself. Well, all that’s done and dusted now. There’s a solicitor chap downstairs who wants to see you, but I said he’d have to wait until you’ve had something to eat first. I expect he’ll want to talk about your inheritance. I’ll send him up in a little while.”

“Thank you, Mrs Ponsomby,” Jennifer said weakly.

She smiled and left the room.

As Jennifer lay there, she felt a cold sensation come over her. Then on the desk, the pen began moving on its own. She heard the scratch-scratch sound as the fountain pen passed over a scrap of paper. Then the pen dropped to the floor and she felt the coldness leave.

Pushing back the tray, Jennifer jumped out of the bed and picked up the paper. Scrawled on it were only a few words.

“I protected you the only way I could. Love, James.”

 

THE END.

 

Copyright@ Kristian Fogarty 31st October 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Multiple Word Prompt Story – A Manifestation of the Truth.

This story was written in response to the following word prompts:

Firstly the three things challenge from The Haunted Wordsmith:

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/10/24/daily-writing-challenge-24/

Corpse, Murder, Greenhouse

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/10/24/manifestation/

Manifestation

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/10/24/your-daily-word-prompt-frighten-october-24-2018/

Frighten

FOWC with Fandango — Abstract

Abstract

 

 

“I think it is a simple manifestation of some kind of spirit,” he said removing his special ‘ghost detecting’ glasses.

Suzie glared at him “Are you trying to frighten me? What is this manifestation doing in my greenhouse anyway?”

Dr Finklefoss detected the aggression in her voice and rightly put it down to a response from feeling anxious. Fear of the supernatural was a common thing. He experienced it every day among the ill-educated and narrow-minded people he was forced to deal with.

He preferred working with the spirits rather than the living. Dead people were much easier to get on with.

“I would suspect that the murder took place in your greenhouse and that would explain why tools and plants get thrown around and why your glass panes are frequently broken. It will explain why there is a distinct cold zone in the middle of it too. This is where the poor young woman was killed.”

If she’d been anxious before, the look she gave him now was positively terrified.

“What murder, what are you talking about?” she shouted.

“You hired me to find out why you were getting these strange occurrences? Surely you must have suspected a supernatural reason and yet now you are acting like I am lying to you. She cannot harm you. All she wants is to tell us what happened to her. She is going to lead me to where her corpse is buried. She only wants the truth.”

Dr Finklefoss followed the spirit as it led him on a long and abstract path through the woods.

Suzie followed some way behind, her steps were strangely laboured.

As the spectral form stopped above a mound of disturbed earth, Dr Finklefoss realised that this spirit had not been dead that long at all. The spirits face distorted, a look of shock and fear marred the young girls face. She pointed behind him in warning, but it was too late. He felt the hard whack of the iron shovel as it caved in the back of his head. Then nothing.

Suzie dropped the shovel and watched the man bleed to death. A cold smile curled the corner of her lips. “There are some truths that I’d rather were kept hidden, thank you, Doctor.”

She returned to the house and resumed the identity of her wealthy sister, who no one suspected had a twin sister kept locked away in an institution. Well, she’d been locked away until last week, anyway and now she was enjoying herself for the first time in ages.

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 24/October/2018

The Strange Inheritance – Part Six – A Multiple Word Prompt Story

This is a continuation of a story I was writing some time ago. See here for the last instalment.

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/09/24/the-strange-inheritance-part-five-a-multiple-word-prompt-story/

This story was inspired by the following word prompts:

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/09/30/quintessence/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/09/30/rdp-sunday-secrete/

FOWC with Fandango — Radical

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/09/30/your-daily-word-prompt-talisman-september-30th-2018/

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/09/30/three-things-challenge-30-sept-2018/

Today’s things are: farewell, retirement, pasture

 

James returned to the Kitchen to find that Mrs Ponsomby had breakfast well underway. 

The smells of the sausages and bacon sizzling in the pan made his stomach rumble. It was one of his favourite aromas.

Jennifer was helping Mrs Ponsomby by beating the eggs with a little milk. 

“Go and Wash your hands, James, you’re all covered in grime and cobwebs from that cellar” Jennifer chided automatically falling back into her role as the bossy younger sister. Since growing up in the orphanage, they’d always been close but the last couple of years they had led separate lives. He worked in the City as a bank clerk and Jennifer was a teaching assistant at a Primary school in the suburbs. They both had their separate little dingy flats and led separate lives, meeting up occasionally. It was funny how being back together they had reverted. He was once again the protective older brother.

Obediently he went upstairs and cleaned himself up, then returned to the dining room and set the table. 

Continue reading The Strange Inheritance – Part Six – A Multiple Word Prompt Story

Multiple Word Prompt Story – A Heart and a Packet of Crisps.

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/09/28/jaunty/#like-466

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/09/28/friday-rdp-justice/

https://fivedotoh.com/2018/09/28/fowc-with-fandango-heart/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/09/28/your-daily-word-prompt-lithe-september-28th-2018/

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/09/28/three-things-challenge-28-sept-2018/

Today’s things are: crisps, chips, beans

 

A Heart and a Packet of Crisps.

With his hat set on his head at a jaunty angle, he was ready to face the day.

‘What will the day bring?’ he wondered and bounded out the front door.

He waved at his neighbour who was emptying rubbish into the brown wheelie bin perched permanently outside the front door. The neighbour didn’t wave back, only stalked back into his house and slammed the door.

Shrugging the unfriendly response aside he continued walking into town.

He decided to treat himself. His breakfast usually consisted of a couple hobnobs with a cup of tea, but today he was going to have a fry up.

He walked into the Rusty Kettle Café. Doris came over wearing her usual easy-wipe plastic apron and a bored expression on her face.

“Egg, Chips and beans please,” He said, pleasantly.

“Want toast with that, love?” Doris replied.

“No, Thank you.”

“It comes with a mug of tea or coffee, which do you want?” Doris asked.

Remembering what the tea was usually like he responded: “That’s OK, Can I have a glass of Orange juice instead?”

“OK,” Doris said and scribbled the order down on a grey pad of paper.

In a short while, he was tucking into one of his favourite meals.

He took huge pleasure from the salty savouriness of the flavours and was grateful that he managed to avoid getting any baked bean juice or tomato ketchup on his favourite blue pullover.

When he went up to pay he also bought a packet of Salt and Vinegar flavoured crisps. He wasn’t hungry, but they will do for lunch later.

Having enjoyed his meal, he practically skipped and jumped out of the café. He had a lumpy middle-aged figure that couldn’t really be described as lithe, but he was rather nimble on his feet. That came from going to Salsa classes every Thursday evening down at the Civic centre. Madame Carmen had said his moves were quite adroit of his age.

He walked down to the park and sat on a bench by the duck pond. There wasn’t a lot of people about, which suited him fine. He felt nervous around people unless he knew them.

He sat and contemplated his life. Forty years old and not a lot to show for it. He’d inherited his parent’s old terraced house and that had saved him from wandering the streets after his wife had kicked him out. How long ago was that now? Seven? No nearer Eight years ago now. Just then he smelt the rather unpleasant odour of old seat and coming out of his thoughts saw a tramp sit down on the bench next to him. He was wearing an old anorak and fingerless gloves. The tramp held out a hand.

“I’m sorry, I haven’t any money on me. I don’t even have any bread to feed the ducks today. I do have a packet of crisps, you can have them If you like?”

The tramp smiled at him.

“Thank you, my friend. That’s the first kind thing anyone has done for me this week. You’re all heart.”

The tramp began crunching on the crisps and then continued talking splattering crisp crumbs all over his coat. “Mmm, Salt and Vinegar, my favourite. What’s your name then?” asked the Tramp.

“George, George Harper. What’s yours?” George replied.

“You know, no one has ever asked me that before? Not since I’ve been on the streets. Bert, the name’s Bert. Hodges is my surname. I hope you don’t mind me asking, but are you alright? You looked a bit sad when I sat down next to you.”

George found himself telling Bert all about himself. His wife who had chucked him out when he’d had a breakdown and been discharged from work. They’d given him a pension but it wasn’t a lot to live on. His wife ended up getting a job to pay the mortgage and then decided that she didn’t want to share her life with him anymore. He remembered her screaming at him, calling him a useless waste of space. He went back to live with his parents in their tiny house. He slept in the same room he had grown up in, it made it feel he had regressed back into childhood. Then he lost both his parents. His dad died from Lung cancer and then his Mum from pneumonia. If it hadn’t been for the Samaritans he wasn’t sure he’d have been around much longer. They’d suggested the Salsa classes that he so looked forward to every Thursday.

It was strange, All the terrible things that had happened to him, he’d never really told anyone, not even the Samaritans about everything, and yet here he was telling them all to a complete stranger. Probably because he was a complete stranger.

Just then he noticed his neighbour again walking along with his dog on its lead. He smiled and said “Good Morning.”

“Don’t you talk to me. Why don’t you get a job? You scrounger. I can’t bear people like you. You’re just a drain on society” He continued walking and dragging along his dog.

“Someone you know? He wasn’t very friendly, was he?” Said Bert.

“No. It’s probably because I reported him to the RSPCA because I could hear his dog whining and he never took it for a walk. They fined him. It seems to have done the trick though, he’s taking it for a walk now. Also, he doesn’t understand that I don’t work because of my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I worked for the fire brigade, you see. I had to go into a school that had burnt down. A boarding school. Not all the kids had managed to escape. I just couldn’t get over what I’d seen.”

Bert patted George on the shoulder. “I don’t suppose you’ve told your neighbour that?”

“No, I haven’t wasted my breath.”

Bert stood up and grabbed Georges arm with surprising strength. “Come with me, George.”

Bert led George out of the park and over to a top of the range Mercedes that was parked out of the way.

“What’s this? Not your car, surely?” George asked.

“I will let you in on my little secret,” Bert said. “I am not really a tramp at all. I just like to carry out a social experiment. I like to see how people treat me when I can’t possibly be any help to them. Sometimes people give me money, I always hand that in to the local shelter, I’m not a fraudster. No one has ever sat with me before and asked my name, or given me their packet of crisps, or told me all about themselves. Never before. You are a very special man. Despite all you have been through and the way your neighbour treats you, you still showed me kindness. I think that deserves something. How would you like to come work for me? I need someone I can trust.”

“A Job. I don’t know. I’m not sure I can do anything. Why should you care about the hand that life has dealt me? It wasn’t your fault.”

“No, but I see what has happened to you as a great injustice, and life should be balanced. I want to restore the balance by giving you the justice you deserve. What do you say?”

George didn’t know quite was to say. He shook Bert’s hand, smiled and got into the car.

George Harper is now deputy director of the Have a Heart Charity. They sponsor unsung heroes that have fallen on hard times and see that they get the treatment that they need and help them back on their feet.

The End

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 28/September/2018

A Multiple Word Prompt Story – A Fatal Alliance.

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/09/27/alliance/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/09/27/rdp-thursday-hirsute/

https://fivedotoh.com/2018/09/27/fowc-with-fandango-eager/

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/09/27/three-things-challenge-27-sept-2018/

Today’s things are: death, humor, stupid

 

It was a most unlikely alliance.

Death held out a bony hand, protruding from his black flowing cape. The other hand still grasping the blood-stained scythe.

The other figure stood on two legs in an awkward fashion, with its body stooped as it grasped deaths hand in its own. One bony the other fleshy and hirsute.

The figure’s heavy brow raised and it gave an eager grin. Death had granted the creature and its descendants the ability to learn and evolve.

Death, being a skeleton, was incapable of smiling but he displayed good humour in other ways.

When the stupid figure lumbered off to continue its lowly existence, Death skipped off in the other direction, jumping and clicking his heels in a show of triumph.

Stupid though this creature was, Death knew that it would eventually evolve into an animal that would be responsible for more deaths than any other.

He had made an alliance with humankind’s ultimate nemesis: Humankind.

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 27/September/2018

Colonel Tom’s Marching Band

This story was inspired by the Haunted Wordsmith’s Three things challenge:

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/09/26/three-things-challenge-26-sept-2018/

Today’s things are: bakery, muffin, snare drum

Here is my story:

The Marching band came down the main street of the town playing Sousa’s The Liberty Bell.

The band was truly dreadful and nothing cleared the street faster than hearing the Marching band turn the corner. The snare drum was always out of beat with the side drum. The Trumpets were always flat, the trombones were sharp and the notes the clarinets played were never even imagined by Sousa or any other composer. The conductor, Colonel Tom Starkey grinned enthusiastically as he walked backwards in front of the band waving his white baton. What a shame he was completely tone deaf.

As the band reached the bakery someone wearing a balaclava ran out into the street clutching bread and cakes. The masked figure began throwing baked items at the band.

A chocolate eclair fell into the tuba and a muffin blocked the bell of a trombone.

Colonel Tom’s face ended up covered in cream and sponge.

The mysterious masked figure ran off down the street.

At the town meeting afterwards, they discussed the incident.

It was decided that rather than try to trace the perpetrator of the bun fight, they would instead proclaim him a hero.

The End

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 26/September/2018