Multiple Word Prompt Story – Driftwood Dry

This story was inspired by the following word prompts:

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/11/02/taint/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/11/02/rdp-friday-friday/

FOWC with Fandango — Dry

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/11/02/daily-writing-challenge-nov-2/

cloud, fluff, whipped cream

 

Friday dawned but he couldn’t get that taste out of his mouth. The taint left by one of the most unpleasant weeks he’d had in a long time.

He started the week with a Father, a Partner and a job. One by one they’d all gone.

He felt like a dark cloud had entered his life. He felt his life ebb away through his fingers like a slowly dying river during a dry spell.

Dry was the word, he felt as dry as driftwood.

So, his father had been ill for months and the prognosis had been clear, but there is always that little spark of hope in the back of your mind that thinks maybe he’ll defy the odds. Maybe he’ll get better.

He hadn’t really been that close to his dad growing up. His mum was one of those larger than life characters who held the family together by force of personality and with her aura of love. His Dad was just there, in the background. When his Mum died suddenly though, he had become close to his Dad. They had both lost their rock.

Then they went back to their separate lives. His Dad started going to Bingo and He’d met his partner and they’d set up a house together.

Then the magazine he wrote for acquired a new owner. A new owner with a new agenda. The articles he wrote were not compatible with this new agenda and more and more he found that his articles were not being included in the final draft. It was only a matter of time before they laid him off. Why pay for a writer whose work isn’t getting published?

It couldn’t have fallen at a worse time. His Father died in hospital on Tuesday and on Wednesday his partner decided to move out. OK so they hadn’t been spending much time together lately, so he wasn’t interested in sex anymore. With everything going on, he had trouble being interested in anything at all. So, Steve moved out Wednesday, he’d found someone who appreciated him better.

Then Thursday he was called into the boss’s office and sacked. Technically he was freelance, so they just decided not to renew the contract, but he had focussed on this job and hadn’t submitted any writing to any other journal for months. His income was bound up in this one role, and he’d lost it.

As he took a sip from his Cappuccino he choked, the whipped cream had gone off. He threw it away and made himself a cup of instant then he stared at the blank computer screen. His fingers poised over the keys but failed to move.

Completely dry; he couldn’t think of anything to type. His head was full of fluff.

His mobile began to ring across the room. The sounds of Pharrell Williams song Happy rang out rubbing salt into his wounds. His instinct was to ignore it. It could be Steve asking to come around and get more of his stuff. He could do without that. Let him wait for a bit. Then it rang again so he picked up the phone. It was his Agent ringing.

“Hey, Jack, how’s things?” His literary agent always sounded upbeat and full of life even when he was turning down draft after draft of the novel he had been trying to get published for years.

“Oh, Hi Keith. I’m not in a great place at the moment” Jack responded.

“Great, Great, listen, I have some good news for you”

Keith wasn’t the kind of person who actually listened to what someone said, his own thoughts were more important.

“What Keith?” The brusque response had no effect.

“Your book, I told you that final draft was brilliant,”

Jack couldn’t let this statement go without challenging it, “You said it was even worse than the last draft I’d sent you. You said you would see if any publishers would be interested but you didn’t hold out much hope.”

“Well, it grew on me and, my friend, what’s more important, the publishers want to see you first thing Monday morning. They love it! I hope you are up for writing the sequel because they are prepared to pay big money for it.”

Jack could barely contain himself enough to write down the details of when and where to meet.

“See you Monday,” he said.

Then, feeling a renewed sense of energy, he began typing chapter one of his new book.

The End

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 02/November/2018

Multiple Word Prompt Story – Flag Flying Fervour

This was originally written in response to earlier prompts, but I am now sharing it again in response to the Ragtag daily prompt for today: Flag

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/10/23/rdp-tuesday-flag/

 

Fervor

FERVOUR

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/06/15/a-new-daily-post-word-prompt-june-15th-2018-word-benevolent/

BENEVOLENT

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/06/15/cataract/

CATARACT

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/06/15/three-things-challenge-15-june-2018/

Here are the three words for 15 June 2018: Jolly Roger, guitar, iceberg 

Flag Flying Fervour

Winston Pickle was a typical English gentleman. He tried his best not to be rude to people. He stood out of other people’s way on the street and always opened the door for a lady. He thought of himself as typical, but actually, he was a dying breed. 

That day he opened a letter from his local council. As he read it, he could feel himself becoming overwhelmed with emotion. 

Dear Mr Pickle, 

I am sorry to have to write to you concerning your decision to fly a flag in your front garden. It is against our all-inclusive policy at the council to allow such flags to be flown and as such I must ask you, before it causes offence, to remove it forthwith.

Others who wished to fly flags have elected to fly a Pirate flag. You may consider this option.

Yours Sincerely

Mrs Bigginthorpe

Senior Council Secretary.

Winston was taken aback. The flag in question was the flag of his country, the one he was living in and he flew this flag out of a sense of national pride and patriotism. Young men, including his dear Father whom he never knew, died to defend that flag. He had a patriotic fervour, but like many like-minded people, he was not an extremist who went about being rude to people of different cultures. He didn’t want to start wars or invade anyone. 

He just couldn’t understand the council’s attitude in this. They even suggested he fly the Jolly Roger, a flag flown by murderous criminals and that would be less offensive to people than his own flag! 

Winston decided to speak to his neighbours and see how they felt about this. If any of them were offended by the flag he was flying, then he would take heed.

He started with his neighbours across the road, who had lived in the area the longest. 

Mr and Mrs Khan were a very nice couple who had brought up four children in that house but all had moved out years ago. Like Winston, they were now retired.

They invited him in and offered him a cup of tea. Mrs Khan had made a lovely fruit cake which he devoured eagerly.

“So my old friend, what is it you wanted to ask me?” asked Mr Khan.

Winston showed him his letter. Mr Khan had to get out his reading glasses, he had a cataract in his right eye and was still waiting for his appointment with the NHS to remove it. 

After he read it he looked at his neighbour of the past thirty years with sad eyes. 

“I have heard this is happening a lot at the moment. It is so sad. Of course, your flag is not at all offensive to me. It is a flag. The fact that some nasty thugs decide to do horrible things while wearing it or spray it on walls with swastikas doesn’t discredit the flag. People love their country, I respect that. You have always been a good neighbour to us. I will write to the council and let them know you are a good man.”

Winston went to his other neighbours, ones that he didn’t know as well. They all listened to what he had to say and agreed with him that he should not be made to take down his flag.

In a way, this sad event had resulted in something really positive. Winston Pickle had gone round and met all his neighbours. He was surprised at how nice they all were. He felt slightly ashamed he hadn’t made more effort to get to know them earlier but then you’re never too old to make a change. 

He was so happy at how kind and benevolent his neighbours had been to him, he decided to host a garden party and invite all the neighbours to it. His back garden was only a little courtyard but his front garden was huge. Big enough to have a marquis tent put up. He sent round invitations for a weekend in August. 

The day of his party, he was making a salad with some of his homegrown tomatoes and some iceberg lettuce, when people started to arrive. 

Mr and Mrs Khan had brought with them some pakora’s and pani puri that they had made and their son Sanjay had come along too. Sanjay was a musician and had brought his guitar with him. 

As they were all sitting in the garden watching Sanjay playing the guitar and singing folk songs leaning against the flagpole, the postman came by and handed Winston a letter.

It was from the council again. It had been six weeks since the last letter.

It told him that due to the number of letters they had received concerning him and his flag, they have decided to revoke their original order. He could keep his flag flying. 

Winston was overjoyed, looking at his neighbours he felt an overpowering love for all of them that went beyond mere fervour. They were family now.

The End

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 15/June/2018

 

 

My 10 year old self – A short story

I am reposting this story in response to Esther Chilton’s Challenge to post a story, poem or Limerick on the subject of favourite childhood memories:

https://esthernewtonblog.wordpress.com/2018/10/18/i-challenge-you-to-36/

 

This story was written in response to the Tuesday Writing challenge posted on the Go Dog Go cafe, see link below:

Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge July 10, 2018

It was also written in response to the Word of the Day word prompt: Deviate

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/07/10/deviate/

and the Three Things Challenge on the Haunted Wordsmith Blog:

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/07/10/three-things-challenge-10-july-2018/

Today’s things are: monkey, April, brick

 

Looking back on my ten year old self I have only dim and distant memories of what life was like. I remember everything was much bigger then, people in particular, but also houses, trees, brick walls and ruined castles.

I seem to remember I had a passion for climbing things. In my memories I always seem to be climbing up something, trees mostly. My Mother used to say “He’s just like a little monkey” as I would often disappear up a tree only then to re-emerge in the branches swinging from a limb.

I was also fascinated by Castles. Near to our home was a ruined castle which we used to visit and take picnics too. Only from April to September, never in Winter. I also remember at school taking part in a cross-country race from the train station to the Castle ruins and back, which would have been about 4 miles. When I never returned to the finish line, my parents were rather distraught. Then followed the planned route back to the castle only to find me climbing its walls. I was always one to deviate from my intended course as soon as something much more fun distracted me. I had completely forgotten that I was supposed to run back to the train station, I had wanted to stay in those familiar walls of stone and brick.

In my head it was my castle and I was King of it.

The End

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 10/July/2018

A Multi Prompt Short Story – Happy Families.

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

Word of the Day: Woebegone

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/07/15/woebegone/

Shery’s One Daily Prompt: Scorn

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/07/15/your-daily-word-prompt-scorn-july-15th-2018/

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/07/15/three-things-challenge-15-july-2018/

Today’s things are: great-aunt, ant, plant

Happy Families

It had been a while since I’d been to the family homestead. It was a rambling clapperboard house that at one time housed two extended families. Now only Mother lived there all alone. Walking up the pathway I passed plant after plant that was withering and dying in that long hot summer. It had been months since we’d had any rain.

The door creaked just like it always did as I pulled it open and walked into the relative coolness of the dark hallway. It smelt of wood and beeswax. All the wooden furniture was polished to a high shine. I felt a bite on my ankle. Looking down I saw a solitary ant climbing my bare leg, which I promptly squashed beneath my fingertips. The long hot dry summer had brought out a lot of ants lately. God, how I’ve prayed for rain.

“Mama, where are you? It’s me Laura” I called out, my voice echoing around the practically empty dwelling.

“Laura, is that you? I’m upstairs dear, In Aunty’s room.”

There were a lot of bedrooms upstairs that were practically untouched, except for dusting, since the previous occupants had departed. Her Great-Aunt Sally had lived in the bedroom at the very end of the landing and for the last few years of her life had rarely left it. It was still full of all her knickknacks and memorabilia.

I walked in to find my Mother sitting on the bed crying. I sat next to her and put my arm around her.

“There, there Mama. Great Aunt Sally’s been dead twenty years, why are you carrying on so?”

“No, it’s not that. There was a storm last night and it blew over that old tree, the one that your Grandfather planted not long after he bought this place.”

I still couldn’t understand why she sounded so woebegone. All this fuss about a tree. I couldn’t help feeling some scorn. It was a lovely tree, but It was only seventy years or so old, not really that old as trees went. I gave Mama another hug, but she pushed me away.

“You don’t understand. There was a body buried there, under that tree. The storm brought it to the surface. It was wrapped in a tarpaulin, but it was unrecognisable. There was a locket with it and in it was this key.”

I looked down at the small, ornate brass key in my Mothers frail old hand.

“What was the key for? It’s too small to be for a door.”

“It was the key to this box. No one could open it when she died but we didn’t think there was anything important in it. Not enough to force it open.”

I remembered the beautiful small box, inlaid with scented sandalwood, that now lay on the floor, open.

Also, on the floor, lying as if it had just fallen from my Mothers hand, was a small leather-bound book. The kind used for keeping a diary or perhaps notes and recipes in.

I reached down and picked up the book. I recognised the highly ornate handwriting from birthday cards I had received as a young child. It was Great Aunt Sally’s writing.

She had written. ‘Why I killed my Sister today.’

The End.

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 15/July/2018

Cave Tu Autem In Periculo – A multiple Word Prompt Short Story

I hope you enjoy this macabre tale. It is Friday the 13th After all 😉

 

Cave Tu Autem In Periculo

“No, I won’t do it. You know I’m not in the least superstitious but I tell you Suzie, that place gives me the creeps” Said Andy vehemently.

“Andy you’re behaving like a petulant child. I told my parents we’re going and that’s that.”

A lot of people didn’t want to spend time with the In-laws but in Andy’s case it had nothing to do with his Father or Mother-on-law, they were fine, upstanding folk. They didn’t have much sense of humour and were definitely not what you could call fun, but they were quiet, kind and considerate.

They never popped in to visit, which Andy took as being a kindness. No newlyweds wanted their parents or in-laws popping in all the time.

No, they never popped in, but occasionally they did want them to come and stay. He had been putting it off since the last time. He had never felt such fear in all his life.

The noises in the night, the messages on the mirror and the way the paintings looked at you, all convinced him that the place was haunted.

Continue reading Cave Tu Autem In Periculo – A multiple Word Prompt Short Story

A Multi Word Prompt Story – A Longer Visit

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/07/12/your-daily-word-prompt-concomitant-july-12th-2018/comment-page-1/#comment-334

 

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/07/12/three-things-challenge-12-july-2018/

Today’s things are: tapestry, comedy, Big Apple

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/07/12/rdp-42-groove/#like-466

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/07/12/solace/

 

A Longer Visit

I went to visit my Mother in hospital. As a rule, I hate hospitals and try my best not to go there. I often send “Get Well Soon” cards or a bunch of flowers, if friends or relatives find themselves unlucky enough to end up in Hospital but I rarely visit.

My Mum, just like me, hated hospitals and I knew she’d expect me to visit and need me to distract her from where she was.

It was a relatively routine operation but I always worried about her. She had the appetite of a flea. I don’t mean that she bit people, well only when they deserved it, I mean she ate very little.

Her idea of breakfast was a yoghurt drink. Her idea of lunch was half a sandwich or a hamburger without the bun. Her idea of dinner was possibly the other half of the sandwich or just a Cup of tea.

Her frailty always made me worry.

Continue reading A Multi Word Prompt Story – A Longer Visit

The Start of It – A short story, with familiar characters.

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/07/11/abundant/

Abundant

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/07/11/your-daily-word-prompt-redolent-july-11th-2018/

Redolent

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/07/11/three-things-challenge-11-july-2018/

Today’s things are: admire, loyal, fireplace

The Start of It.

Audrey Patterson hated wearing black. It was such an unbecoming colour, especially on the old. When she was younger, then it had looked fine on her tall frame, with diamonds sparkling around her neck. That had been during the Roaring Twenties and she had been young enough to get away with it. Now black made her old pale skin look even older. She’d had to wear these dreary clothes though. It didn’t do to wear any other colour at a funeral, especially one of an old friend like Claudia Halifax. People would think she was being callous if she’d worn a brighter colour.

She was very sad to lose her friend. Although Claudia was younger than her and had lived a more carefree existence with her entourage of young men she liked to keep about her, she had admired her a lot.

Continue reading The Start of It – A short story, with familiar characters.

A multiple word prompt short story – A Hopeless Romantic

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/07/09/rejuvenate/

REJUVENATE

https://fivedotoh.com/2018/07/09/fowc-with-fandango-lesson/

LESSON

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/07/09/three-things-challenge-09-july-2018/

Today’s things are: museum, sneeze, romance

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/07/09/rdp-39-dart/

DART

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/07/09/your-daily-word-prompt-kerfuffle-july-9th-2018/

KERFUFFLE

A Hopeless Romantic

I am a hopeless romantic, it has to be said. I love a bit of romance, but it never works out the way it does in books, does it?

I remember taking this lovely creature to one of the most romantic places I could think of. What could be more romantic than the Hunterian museum in London? It is the museum for the royal college of surgeons and is full of dissected body parts preserved in formaldehyde. What could put you in the mood for love better than staring at someone’s body preserved in a jar?

Well that date didn’t end well.

Then on another date, I took the lucky girl to the Portrait gallery. Unfortunately, I was allergic to her perfume, La Nuit d’amour, which made me sneeze everywhere. If you see a portrait in the gallery with a green mark in the bottom left hand corner, that was me. I also managed to sneeze over her too. So that didn’t work out.

I’ve learned my lesson now, I always take an antihistamine now before heading out on a date, just in case.

On my last date I took her on a spa weekend. Personally, I felt she took offence far too easily. I only said that she could do with something to rejuvenate her? I pointed out that her Crows feet were much more reduced in size after the face peel. Maybe she was just annoyed that I insisted we split the bill when It was clear an invite back to her place was out of the question. I had to dart left pretty sharpish to avoid her slap. As I dodged out-of-the-way she accidentally ended up hitting the Manageress behind me. What a kerfuffle THAT caused. I posted bail for her, but was she grateful? No.

I suppose I am just no good at picking the right girl.

I’ve joined an online dating agency now, so fingers crossed.

I’ve got pretty high standards though.

The End

 

Disclaimer: This story is totally fictitious, please do not make any assumptions about me from this story 😉

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 09/July/2018

Pride goes before a Fall – A short story.

https://swimmersweek.wordpress.com/2018/07/08/big/

Big

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/07/08/three-things-challenge-8-july-2018/

Today’s things are: canyon, river, hot

The Word of the Day Challenge: Lissom/Lissome

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/07/08/lissome/

Pride Goes Before a Fall

I had met a guy at my local bar. The special one, just for our kind of people. If you catch my drift. 

He was young, lean and handsome and when he sat next to me at the bar and asked my name, I nearly fell off the stool. 

“Hi, I’m Mike” I said, “What’s your name?”

“It’s Leroy. I’m new in town, my folks have just moved here from Connecticut. I heard that this is the only place for us in this town. You must get bored with seeing the same people all the time.” 

“It’s not so bad. We’re a friendly bunch” and I gave him my best smile. “Can I buy you a drink?”

“I’ll have a Pina Colada thanks Mike.” 

Continue reading Pride goes before a Fall – A short story.

The Empathy of Aliens – A multiple Word Prompt Story.

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/07/04/three-things-challenge-4-july-2018/

Declaration, freedom, fireworks

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/07/04/your-daily-word-prompt-mellifluous-july-4th-2018/

Celebrate

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/07/04/independence-2/

Independence

FOWC with Fandango — Fireworks

Fireworks

The Empathy of Aliens

‘When did it all go wrong?’ General Anderson asked herself. 

‘We started off trying to defend our freedom and independence but somehow along the way we have lost ourselves.’

She didn’t voice those concerns out loud. She was sitting at a desk and opposite her was a representative of the enemy. This alien species that had come from nowhere to take over the earth, or reclaim it, so they said. They were tall and willowy with huge heads and pointed craniums. They claimed to have come to earth 6000 years before and had taught the earthlings about agriculture, farming, irrigation and how to build great monuments. They claimed to have taught the Mayans, the Egyptians and other ancient civilisations all their secrets. 

Continue reading The Empathy of Aliens – A multiple Word Prompt Story.