Sunday, October 26, 2014

When poppies turn blue

(For Shadow Shot Sunday scroll down)

I feel a Sunday Whirl coming on! Here are this week's words-

       A bustling crowd of expressionless shoppers trekked from stall to stall in the crowded market square.
      “When poppies turn blue it will be too late” roared the strange old man standing in front of a display of autumn flowers. “When the roots of white lilies burst through the soil and point heavenward you will remember me and wished you'd listened” he roared pointing a gnarled finger at each of the stunned onlookers in turn
     “I've told you before, clear off and stop pestering what customers Ive got left before I call the cops” shouted the angry stallholder.
      The old man mumbled something barely audible beneath his breath, and then wandered off. He stopped and stared at a group of giggling teenagers. “Empty your minds of frivolous thoughts”   he bellowed whilst giving them a menacing glare. “Soon the clocks will strike thirteen” The kids stopped chattering and for a few moments stared at him bemused. Then they resumed their babbling and strolled off in the direction of the coffee bar. “You can laugh, it’s all in here” he barked tapping the crumpled cover of the tattered booklet he held in his hand.
      Turning around he faced an elderly lady walking towards him shopping trolley in tow. He thrust the book towards her “A literary forewarning of the apocalyptic catastrophe about to befall us”
     “What’s that luv?” she asked.
     “The epilogue” he growled “The final chapter.
    “You and your long words. I don’t know what you are talking about!” she chuckled as she made a speedy escape.
       The strange old man ambled away from the market square.

      The market was closed for the night. John from the council was performing his evening task of clearing away abandoned bags, sweet wrappers and all the litter that the shoppers and traders leave behind. The flower seller was packing the last of his unsold bunches in his van. John was scooping up a heap of flower heads and leaves. One discarded bloom caught his eye. “Oy, mate” he shouted to the flower seller. “Since when have you sold blue poppies?”
      He got no reply, so he turned towards the stall. The van stood alongside with its doors wide open but the flower seller was nowhere to be seen.
    And he’s not been seen since. As for the kids and the elderly lady, I have no idea if they disappeared too. But I'm sure I would have heard something if they had. I just know that if I bump into the strange old man in the market I’ll hang onto every word he utters – I have inkling he might just talk sense!


  1. Strange old men often know a thing or two!

  2. Sounds like the old man is really an alien, going around collect people for body parts. Make fun take what's going on.

  3. Well if people don't listen to sense, spout nonsense! They still won't listen but they can't say they were not warned. Blue poppies sound good. If this gets around they will be on sale next year!

  4. Love this & your blog, Keith. I will return, hopefully without blue poppies!

  5. Blue poppies! As you know, I think they kinda story..."I have an inkling he just might make sense" - what a perfect last line.