Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Artist

Today sees the start of the Blogging from A to Z  April 2015 Challenge

He spent each day alone in a shabby studio at the bottom of his overgrown garden. He lost his beloved soul mate some years ago and  was never blessed with children, so he rarely ventured  his empty house.  His studio became his home and sanctuary. There behind closed doors he created works of incredible beauty with paint upon canvas. 

Now and again an admiring collector would call by to claim another piece for their treasured collection. He rarely charged them a thing.

Otherwise the only contact he had with those outside was when his neighbour occasionally shopped for him, or when his supplier called by with his paints brushes and wares.

But one summer’s day he failed to come to the door. It was ajar so his caller peeped inside.

Gone were the paint splattered walls and sombre grey ceiling.

Instead they had become a backdrop for his vision of heaven. Angels adorned the walls; his savior looked down from above. He as a child flew a colourful kite in a silvery blue sky; his flaxen haired sweetheart skipped among spring flowers. His father looked sagely from one corner, whilst his smiling mother knitted in another.

He sat as though peacefully sleeping in his shabby old armchair with brush in hand, and a palette at his feet. Beside him his easel supported a blank canvas.

The artist had departed for a better place.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Walk on by

A short story inspired by this week's picture at Magpie Tales.

“Not far now” said Beth. Justin pulled her a little closer to him as they walked arm in arm down the rain sodden street. They turned a corner and suddenly the gloom was lifted by the garish lights of shop windows displaying their expensive wares to all who who could afford them and more that couldn't.

Justin stopped as they came to a jewelers.'Please god not this again' thought Beth as she saw the rows of rings temptingly glistening in the window. "I'm thinking of getting one of those" said Justin pointing a  display of Rolex watches. Beth sighed with relief. 

“Look at that poor soul” said Beth in a hushed voice as she noticed a pathetic figure sitting hunched in the doorway wrapped in a damp blanket. He stared out at nothing at all and seemed to be oblivious to them as they stood just a few feet away, but the scrawny dog curled up beside him slowly lifted its head and gazed at them with doleful eyes.

Beth stood and looked, but Justin tugged on her arm. “No wait Justin let me give him something”.

 “Please yourself Beth but I’m cold and wet and want to go home for a glass of something warm in front of the fire”

“Go then” said Beth “But you can forget staying at my place tonight you heartless bastard. This could be you one day”

Justin muttered something scornful under his breath then stomped off into the night.

It was last straw for Beth. Justin’s selfish attitude had long been of concern of her, and her friends and family had begged her to move on rather than become more involved with such this self centred individual who was more considerate to his precious dog than he was to her.

She never contacted him again, nor him she.

A few years passed and one bitterly cold winter’s night she passed a dismal soul cowering in a shop doorway, head bowed and covered in a filthy blanket. He didn’t raise his head but as she came closer his dog stood, looked up at her and started wagging its tale.

“Well at least somebody still loves him” she thought as she walked on by with a satisfied smile on her face. 

Picture Manchester by R.A.D. Stainforth



Saturday, March 28, 2015

The antique carriage clock

Written for Sunday Scribblings 2 where the given word is Wind

It was almost eleven and time for Bert to retire to his bed. He shuffled across the room to the fireplace and opened the glass cover on the old carriage clock which sat at the centre of the mantelpiece.

Since inheriting his grandfather’s clock some seventy years ago, his final task of the evening, every evening, was to wind the clock. Its' familiar clunking tick- tock was the only sound in an otherwise silent house.

He picked up a brass key and with a shaking hand inserted it into the hole in the the clock face.

But this evening he hesitated. Instead of winding the clock he stood for a few seconds, withdrew the key, closed the glass cover and made his weary way to bed.

When his daughter called in as she did every morning, she sensed that something was different. Then she realised, the house was silent; the familiar clunking tick-tock of the old carriage clock was missing and its hands had stopped at three minutes past eleven.

As usual she went to his bedroom to help him get ready for the day. But Bert had passed away during the night. And in his hand he held the brass key. 


Thursday, March 26, 2015

One Day My Prince Will Come

One hundred words for Friday Fictioneers

She wandered past the band.  ‘One Day My Prince Will Come’ they played.

Is today the day my prince will come she wondered?

She meandered between the beds of nodding flowers

Is this a sign ?

He was handsome and his dog fine-looking.  As they strolled in her direction his dog bounded up to her. He followed.

He smiled enchantingly and she smiled sweetly in return.

Is this him?

“Hi” he said. “Hi” said she.

She gazed into his glinting eyes. He gazed into hers.

My prince?

“My dog likes you” he said. “What’s his name?” said she.

“Prince” he said. 

Picture prompt ; David Stewart 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Major has a hot flush!

It's Three Word Wednesday time again and this week our given words are Chilly Glorious and Petite

It should have been a glorious event. Sadly it wasn’t, due to constant interruptions by Mickey Dobson who just had to keep heckling. 

It was the afternoon of the Fittlewick Flower and Vegetable Society’s summer show awards and the villagers were crowded around the platform in eager anticipation of walking away with prizes.

In the fluttering marquee Mrs Green’s gooseberries stood proudly alongside  Mr Adam’s artichokes, Mr Cox’s cucumber and Mrs Cook’s cabbages.  Little Miss Peters' petite petits-pois were like arranged like tiny green jewels.

Opposite stood an equally impressive floral display. Miss Mason’s magnolias were magnificent and Mr Shaw’s sunflowers shone. As for the Reverend Richard’s roses, well praise be!

As far as the eye could see the sagging wooden trestle benches displayed every type of flower, fruit and veg imaginable. 

Mickey Dobson had entries on both tables. Sadly his Dahlias had drooped and his peas were passed their best. His beans were brown and his petunias mostly petal-less.

But as far as he was concerned his exhibits should have been awarded the Best in Show Shield.  And boy did he complain as one by one the awards were handed out to everybody but him.

He moaned when John James received his certificate for the biggest and best beetroots, he jeered when Mr Pocock's potatoes were praised and went bonkers as Mr. Brooks was handed the Best Basket of Blossoms bronze badge.

The atmosphere was chilly to say the least. After a while the village policeman PC Percy Potter had to put down his glass of Mr Winstanley’s winning white wine and intervene.

Mickey Dobson was duly escorted towards the exit. “A curse on your cauliflowers and blight on your begonias” he yelled at the red faced and furious Master of Ceremonies Major Mason.

Calm was restored and the MC started speaking again. “And now dear folk I will open the Golden Envelope and reveal the name of the winner of this season’s coveted Silver Shovel and Spade Set for the villages best overall garden”

 A hush descended on the tent.

“And the award goes to...oh...erm.." The Major stopped speaking and started fanning his face with his hands as his cheeks and nose reddened..

"PC Potter, would you mind popping outside and bringing Mickey Dobson back please?”

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Water water everywhere!

Wordless Wednesday

A few of the pictures I took in Kerala South India. Click to enlarge.

Gone fishin'

The fish shop

Waiting for the school bus

Pleasure boats

More pleasure boats!

Our pleasure boat!

Home sweet home

To see more photos and read about my trip click HERE

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Springtime in England

Written for Magpie Tales and  MindLoveMisery

Leaden lumps of rain pound down from a slate grey sky upon a lake of blackened water. On its surface dance a thousand diamond coronets. 

Here and there flashes of silver as fish leap, jump, and frolic.

A majestic swan head held high, swims serenely twixt reeds and lily pads, unconcerned, seemingly unaware of nature’s fury.

A moment or two later shafts of sunlight shoot between the clouds which retreat to reveal a silken sky of lightest, purest blue.

The ancient oaks, moments ago sombre hunched and dour, salute the sun resplendent in their new coats of palest glossy green.

Bird song breaks the silence, and a fox ventures from its lair. A squirrel sits bolt upright and surveys the scene whilst rabbits bounce and a croaking frog looks on.

A cloud of insects tumbles in the air and a frantic dragonfly hovers, darts then hovers again.

For this is Springtime in England.

This is part of our photo prompt at Magpie Tales

Our word at MindLoveMisery is Vernalagnia which refers to the romantic mood heralded by spring.