Thursday, October 07, 2010

I didn't expect that!

This weeks prompt at Writers Island is Envision.


‘And you, Keith, have won tonight’s star prize, an all expenses paid trip back to London in the year 1894’


I must admit, I looked quite dapper. I had on a frock coat (I believe that’s what they’re called) tapered trousers, a bow tie, and in my hand a rather fancy cane. Sadly those around me looked a bit scruffy in their tattered clothes, and as I passed by, many doffed their hats.I found that somewhat agreeable.


But the stench of unwashed bodies was horrendous. Smoke from coal fires choked the air, and stained the blonde Portland stone of the houses lining the street. Sewage ran down open gullies, and a herd of cows ambled past leaving steaming stinking pats on the cobbled road. I needed a libation, and I needed it urgently! However, finding a hostelry was not easy. The Temperance Society had been successful in shaming the working classes into a life of sobriety, and many had taken the pledge to abstain from imbibing intoxicating liquor. But I found an inn in Threadneedle Street and felt no guilt whatsoever  in downing a frothing tankard of jet black stout.


I overheard a conversation. It seemed that Tower Bridge was to be officially opened that very afternoon, the bridge which I crossed daily in my present life. It had been an era of rapid change in London. In the space of a few years the underground railway had transformed travel. The Houses of Parliament became the seat of power, and Big Ben began to signal the changing hour. The Royal Family moved into Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square became the centre of the city. There I was, in the middle of the age which gave London the sights and images that folk from the world over flock to visit in increasing numbers every year.


I suddenly heard a familiar sound, but one I didn’t expect to hear in 1894! The Nokia ringing tone!


I blinked a couple of time, the ringing stopped and everything had changed back to 2010. ‘Hey, you nodded off!’ said my friend Rosey ‘and it’s your round! Mine’s a chardonnay’.




19 comments:

  1. Fun to be expecting unpredictable, taken there, then brought back with a cliche - in a good way.

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  2. Isn't it funny how you never hear anything about something, then in a number of days you hear lots. I read the other day that the London Bridge we have here today isn't the original one! It's thought the dismantling of it is the inspiration behind the nursery rhythm 'London Bridge is falling down...'

    I found it quite amusing in the dream 'you' dreamt of finding alcohol, when in real life 'you' were in a pub ;-)

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  3. I like how worked in the history of London and its most famous landmarks. Nice twist at the end.

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  4. Loved this, the end took me by surprise and I always love that.

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  5. What a vivid dream!You did such an excellent job with the setting in London. Love how you were dressed and the hat doffing. Good pace and enjoyable read.

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  6. you had me walking alongside you, noticing the scruffiness and smell, I actually wrinkled my nose in response! Nice work, I like how you captured the feel of ol'london town.

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  7. Wonderful to read, I loved it!

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  8. Didn't see that twist at the end coming at all! Great imagery in there too.

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  9. good take on the prompt. different but definitely refreshing.

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  10. What a vibrant and colorful dream you had! Perfect!

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  11. Most enjoyable, and a good ending, too. Next time you fall asleep in a pub, perhaps you will envision the future...

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  12. A delighful read Keith.
    Pamela

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  13. As a history buff I liked and enjoyed your take on the prompt. Very good and detailed imagery, just enough to put the reader there with sights and smells.

    Elizabeth

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  14. I love time travel! Enjoyed your non-romantic version - with the all the sewage and stink!

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  15. It's good to be taken back to another time. Shame it wasn't real. Do you really smell things in your dreams?

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  16. Very fun read. Love and Light, Sender

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  17. A good twist on the time traveller's predicament. You captured the senses well and gave it a good twist at the end.
    Adam B @revhappiness

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