Lost: One Bench #Throwback Thursday

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 fixed his stare on what was left of his pint as Samantha continued to berate 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?’ The voice came from an older gentleman stood beside the garden gate.

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 pointed at the folder sticking out of Michael’s pocket.

‘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.

‘Did you read the content?’ The man asked, glancing at the folder in a way that would seem to suggest he was about dash in and 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.”

Incomplete

“Tomorrow morning, that footstool goes!”
And I’m left to listen to my own voice’s echo,
As it bounced back off half-painted walls
And round corners without the skirting-

Next weekend’s promise still etched in pencil.
But faded past the point of a stranger’s notice,
And even your mother has stopped commenting,
On the second landing’s crooked light fixing.

I must have asked you a hundred times before,
To throw out that footstool in the hallway.
Bought at some junk shop, three streets away,
And just awkward enough, so that I stub my toe,
Every single time I walk through the dam door!

The same door you painted pink to annoy John,
Next door’s tenant with a grey tweed suit,
And a hate for anything even mildly creative!
God he hated you! With a passion unmatched.

At least he did-

Last week he said how he’d admired you.
He said that you artwork was unparalleled!
You would have snorted in his face,
And asked him “what else you would expect?
You were a genius with a paintbrush after all!”
I just nodded and smiled.
You always said I was too polite to others.

That footstool you put in the hallway…
I try, but I can never throw it out.
Unlike the ashes, those I-

Your mother has them. Above her mantle piece.
She wanted a way to keep you close,
One that would match her interior design.
And I wanted that horrible urn out of the house.

You exist more in a footstool than an urn.
Though your mother wouldn’t agree on my thought.
She never did appreciate your…
I think she referred to it as ‘taste’-
Though some of those conversations are lost.

Like I said, she’s stopped about the light fitting,
I’m hoping she’ll leave the skirting alone soon.
Apparently I’m foolish to leave things in this state.
“No one wants a house half finished.”
She seems to forget that I still live here,
And there are memories I refuse to erase.

Shattered Symphony

Before the ice crept into your veins and settled,
Before the cracks in your heart were petrified,
Was there something other than ancient dust?
Hiding in the hollow echo of disused synapses,
Where nerves once sparked into singing chords
Rattled down time taut strings of frozen organs,
Buzzed through the vena cava and battered valves,
To swell lungs full with gasping, desperate breaths
While drum beats thundered, and the tempo jumped,
Crescendos of flustered words and twisted tongue,
Chasing the sun drenched notes from honeyed lips
To pin them down, caught upon a pulsing manuscript.

If there was once something more than what is now,
Then how did the rhythm crumble from its arches?
And why did the melody shatter sharps to flats
Tumbling from the stave etched in your arteries,
To clatter through the first of frozen teardrops,
That came when the ice first crept and settled in.