‘You realise no one is going to buy this place, right?’ Adam’s hand appeared above the back of the sofa, stray screwdriver retrieved. Sally took it off him, one knee wedged so firmly between the cushions that she stayed stuck when she tried to stand. ‘It’s a fixer-upper,’ she shrugged. ‘People like that sort of thing.’ ‘No, they think they like it,’ said Adam. He’d stood up and Sally choked down a laugh at the dust wig haloing his bald head. ‘What?’ he asked. ‘Nothing, nothing,’ Sally spluttered. ‘Just maybe you’re right. It might be time to get a hoover.’
The heating has been on since six and the kitchen is warm. Beyond the windows trees are grey skeletons, the lawn knotted with weeds. Three fence panels slump away from their posts, and the sun is out. Through the glass it pretends that the heat in the kitchen is its doing. Kara knows it’s lying and pads barefoot across the tiles. The kettle has boiled but she leaves it, takes the jar beside instead, twists a slip of paper free. ‘Live,’ it reads. She folds it and places it back, rooting it towards the bottom. Tomorrow she may pull different.
‘There’s never much green out here is there?’ said Bobby, reaching out to pinch the thorn end of a twig. The bush had rooted into one of the fissures running along the face of the valley and Bobby could see its thin, grey roots spidering outwards in tendrils. He twisted his hand and the twig crumbled. ‘Sorry,’ he muttered and dusted the debris away. He turned and walked the fifty yards back to his car. The boot was still open, the spade inside. ‘I should have found somewhere nicer,’ he muttered, gripping the handle. ‘You would have preferred somewhere green.’
Kittles Bay had been a family vacation spot for the Jones longer than Kaitlin could remember. One February, when her brother was off for half-term and she wasn’t quite old enough to have started school, her father had driven them out to the craggy shoreline ‘just because’. Hunched up in his hoodie, her brother complained it was too cold and hid from the churning, grey sea in the rattling tin can their father coaxed awake each morning. ‘This!’ said her father, feet wide apart on a giant link and arms spread outwards, ‘is where the giants fled the Old King!’
You learn certain things about people when you live in a small village. Like Mr Bartlett who always order three pints of lager before a pint of bitter, or Mrs Caraway who will always bake a malt loaf for the August fair despite claiming for the past six months that she was going to try something new. Everyone is odd. You just notice it more in small villages. Thomas Green however, was very odd. One Christmas he collected odd socks from the neighbours, and hung them around his porch. I asked my mother why. “Because,” she said. “He just does.” [100 Words] I was really stuck for what to write this week, and since my car’s suspension decided to give up on me over the weekend, leaving me stuck in Shropshire with my parents, I thought why not draw upon local inspiration. [In the sense of odd neighbours, no one I know actually hangs odd socks as decorations.]
“What are you doing in my garden?” asked the fairy, her sword level with James’ nose. James froze. The fairy, because that was the only word he could think of to describe the tiny, fluttering creature currently pointing her cutlass at him, was scowling. “I asked you, what you’re doing in my garden!” she demanded. “Your garden,” James spluttered. “This is my garden! I just bought it.” “Pah,” the fairy snorted, “You humans. You cannot buy fairy gardens.” “I could show you the paperwork,” James suggested. “Paperwork!” laughed the fairy. “Trust me human, paperwork is the least of your concerns.” (100 Words)
“Smile!” chorused her parents, grinning themselves as Elaine stood beneath the rusted sign marking this trail as Route Illinois Sixty-Six. Elaine scowled. How dare they drag her trekking through some stupid American Jungle when everyone else she knew was off to the new Neptune Spa Resort, or Jupiter’s six month musical festival, Fiz Brain. “Come on sweetie,” her father coaxed. “What’s the matter?” “Earth,” she spat. “Who even comes here anymore?” “It’s very popular according to the travel agent,” said her mother. “With old people” Elaine snapped. “It’s totally lame!” “Honey-bee, please-” “No Dad! This sucks. You’re ruining my life!” (100 words)
“I wouldn’t touch that!”Timothy’s gloved finger hovered an inch away from the gloopy mess situated in Dr Jessamine Bell’s lab while the boss herself tapped out instructions on the hologram screen behind.“Is it dangerous?” he asked, retracting his hand and ramming it safely into his lab-coat pocket. “Haven’t tested it yet. Could just be gunk with severely funky odor.”Timothy nodded, eyes still fixed on the sample. “They found it topside right?”“Yeap,” said Jessamine, popping the ‘p’. “But why bring it back?”Jessamine shrugged. “Supposedly saved the Director’s life.”“How?” Timothy asked.“Stopped her bleeding to death.” Photo Credit: Madison Wood It’s been a while since I wrote anything for Headquarters so I thought to myself, why not use this prompt as a chance to come up with a couple of new characters and a new idea to move the story along. Now I just have to write the segment which covers the finding of the gunk with severely funky odor
[PHOTO PROMPT -Copyright – Jan Wayne Fields] Sir Edward had started fifty different novels seated at his grandfather’s desk and that was where they all remained. Each one tucked away at various stages of incomplete, to be returned to when he finally found the inspiration to do them justice.His wife had laughed at him.“Another one? Really my love, I’m starting to think that your desk may be cursed?”He shrugged her off with a fresh page, tucking away her scorn with the rest of his words.“It’s a poet’s desk,” warned his father. “You won’t write much but rhyme.”“Perhaps,” said Sir Edward, “but there’s still plenty to write.” [104 Words]
You were always the better dancer. I had the legs but your feet could rattle out steps quicker and slicker than my heels could. Your feet could kick, spin and twirl, sashaying circles around me. So I stopped dancing and stood still. It didn’t matter that I had the legs, the curves the lips, the perfect smiles for photo flash moments. You were the dancer who flew down streets and step-ball-changed down walkways; toes never quite touching down long enough for me to count the footwork. You choreographed your life into routines that only you knew. Knowing you didn’t help.