Long Reads, Short Stories & Flash Fiction
Comments 4

The Bench

English: Wooden bench at Marriott's Way, Norfolk

English: Wooden bench at Marriott’s Way, Norfolk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“How can you forget where you left it?” Samantha demanded, shooting Michael a withering look before closing her eyes and counting to ten. In a moment she would let out a deep sighing breath and give Michael her best, ‘why do you insist on embarrassing me’ stare before ordering another drink from the bar and forgetting the subject altogether.

1,2,3,4-

“I mean really Michael!”

Michael blinked, confused as to where the last 6 seconds had gone and why she hadn’t ordered a large glass of red wine. She wasn’t following the natural order.

“It’s a bench!” Samantha spluttered. “You cannot misplace a bench! Especially not one of yours! They’re massive and made of wood. WOOD MICHAEL! WOOD!”

Everyone else in the pub had fallen silent now, the hum of conversation dying as all eyes turned to stare at the couple having the argument. Or rather, Samantha yelling at her bemused husband since Michael rarely said two words to anyone about anything.

“I could understand a nail or two, perhaps even your level metre, but misplacing a bench is on a whole other level.”

Michael hand drank half of his pint by the time that Samantha had started berating him for losing the garden bench he had made, on commission, for Miss Appleway’s new patio. He really didn’t understand why she was so concerned; he would remember where it was and then collect it. Forgetting the rest of his pint he stood up from the table and headed for the door, leaving his wife purple faced and furious.

Hailing a cab he climbed in, sat down, and nodded when appropriate to the driver’s chatter. He didn’t notice the manila folder sticking out from beneath the front seats until he was almost home. Ignoring the driver’s comments on the weather Michael ducked down, and yanked the folder out.

There were three sheets of paper inside, all gibberish and slightly crumpled. There was nothing to say who they belonged to, or what they were about, just block text and narrow margins.

Rolling the folder up, Michael stuck it into his jacket pocket. I didn’t fit of course, but it stayed where he’d put it. In the morning he’d ask around the town and see if anyone had lost three sheets of nonsense.

“Here we are mate!” The driver said cheerfully, throwing a grin back over his shoulder as Michael clambered out of the taxi. “Nice looking place!”

Pulling out his wallet Michael paid him, watching him drive off before diving into his trouser pocket to search for keys. His house was one of row of terrace building, set back in tiny manicured gardens with box-hedges and gravel paths. What set his and Samantha’s apart from the rest was the array of strange wooden carving dotting the lawn and perching in the hedge.

“Excuse me Sir?” came a well defined Eton voice. Michael acknowledged sadly that his house keys were not in his pocket and turned to face the man approaching him instead.

“May I ask where you found that document?” The man dressed in a black suit and bowler hat asked.

“Taxi.” Michael responded, gazing up at the front of his house and wondering how long it would be before Samantha got back. She’d probably be late home, thinking that it would punish him for abandoning her; or something like that.

“Did you read the content?” The man asked, glancing at the folder in a way that would seem to suggest he was about to snatch it.

Michael shrugged.

“Utter nonsense.” he told the man.

The man in the suit sighed. “I’ll take that as a yes then. I am terrible sorry for this, but you never can be too careful in these situations.”

Michael nodded, assuming that whatever the man had said required his agreement, he had been more occupied with the splintered window ledge on the second floor.

It would take Samantha another three months before she noticed it, and then another five before it was fixed.

~~~~~

Michael Remmet

Aged 29

Died 17th September 2012

Short-Suffered Husband

Has anyone seen his bench?

Written for the writing challenge on http://outwherethebusesdontrun.com/2012/09/14/prompt-this/

My prompt was “The absent-minded carpenter found the top secret document in the taxi to avoid the argument.”

This entry was posted in: Long Reads, Short Stories & Flash Fiction

by

Carol Forrester is a twenty-three year old writer trying to be a better one. Don’t ask her what her hobbies are because the list doesn’t get much beyond, reading, writing and talking about the same. She has a 2:1 BA degree in history from Bath Spa University and various poems and stories scattered across the net. Her flash fiction story ‘Glorious Silence’ was named as River Ram Press’ short story of the month for August 2014 and her short story ‘A Visit From The Fortune Teller’ has been showcased on the literary site Ink Pantry’s. Most recently, her poem ‘Sunsets’ was featured on Eyes Plus Words, and her personal blog Writing and Works hosts a mass of writing from across the last five years. She has been lucky enough to write guest posts for sites such as Inky Tavern and Song of The Forlorn and is always open to writing more and hosting guest bloggers here on Writing and Works. With hopes of publishing a novel in the next five years and perhaps a collection or two of smaller works, Carol Forrester is nothing if not ambitious. Her writing tries to cover every theme in human life and a lot of her work pulls inspiration from her own eccentric family in the rural wonders of Shropshire life.

4 Comments

  1. faithebear7 says

    Oooh. Nice fill of the prompt, witty and quick pace. (also I’ve just stumbled on your blog in an attempt to follow more fiction-y blogs, hence the commenting all at once).

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