Good morning, afternoon, or night. Today I’ve decided to participate in author Keith Edgar Channing’s “Kreative Kue”Please follow the link to Keith’s fantastic blog.
Here is the photo prompt:
“Pshaw! Really Josh, was it so morally bankrupt? Flushing the goldfish down the toilet and framing Sylvester? My actions liberated the poor thing, forced to swim in circles in that glass dungeon, that’s no life. ‘Course the dummy had the memory of well, a fish. Irritating! ‘Oh, look! A castle! Oh look! A castle!’ All day and everyday! Sheesh! Did everyone a favor!
“Yup! Looks like I’m really paying for it, huh, Josh? Enjoying the view, Sylvester? Oh wait, you can’t because you’re outside for the day and the curtains are closed. That’ll teach you for clawing the stuffing from my bed. This is waaay better, anyhow! The best part is, I know Dad will bring me to the store to get a new one this afternoon! All you’ll be able to do is meow for forgiveness as we drive away.
“Lucky for you Josh, that you’re a budgie. Frank’s now working at Marty’s Mattress Emporium; flys around jerking his beak towards every mattress, ‘Soooofft!’
“Parrots who squawk get shipped down the block! Ahhh! This is the life! Worship me! Worship me!”
Welcome to the second episode of ‘Flip-A-Story’. For those who are scratching your heads right about now, please let me explain. Back in September, I let my fingers do the walking by taking a cook book and, drumroll . . . flipping to a random page and concocting a story from whatever my index finger landed on. You can check it out here if you’d like: Flip A Story, Episode One .
Well, this time I chose remedies over risotto. Here’s the cover and the page:
Sawyer wiped the sweat from his eyes and kept focus on the whirling sewing machine, as he fed the fiftieth shoelace through the plunging needle. This was a special day and he had to finish before sunrise, or the surprise would be ruined.
The bare incandescent bulb began to flicker above, threatening to throw the dingy cellar into darkness. Sawyer raced to the ancient work bench and tugged at the stubborn bottom drawer. It always took a great deal of force to get that sucker open, being that it was almost as old as the farmhouse itself. He loved the place, in spite of the century plumbing that rattled like skeletons, and the groans of the old girl, as she settled further into degradation. He’d bought the place six years ago. The listing had promised a ‘handyman’s dream,’ and that it was! Sawyer giggled as he plucked a fresh light bulb from the drawer.
Scratching came from behind the heavy slab that opened to the cold storage room. It increased in strength, making the latch clank.
“That’s quite enough, Lovely! You’ll just have to wait!”
The scratching stopped and he could hear the soft pacing as she circled the room. Sawyer snatched his green work gloves and frowned at the red that covered their palms. “You’re getting sloppy, Sawyer.” He might as well burn these and get a new pair. The third ones in a month. Folks might get to talking about what he was up to. Nosey bunch, nothing to do but wag their tongues down at the corner store. As long as they kept their distance, he’d just have to put up with them.
He slipped on the gloves and changed the light, pleased that his work wouldn’t be interrupted by blown bulbs, at least. Sawyer glanced at the clock on the wall, five-thirty! He ripped off the gloves, tossed them on the stone floor, and went to work on the sixtieth shoelace. Thank the Lord for Amazon, otherwise the townies would really have something to gab about. Who orders two hundred shoelaces?
He worked furiously for a while, reaching one hundred laces, when the scratching resumed. At first Sawyer tried to ignore it, because sunrise was coming soon. However, his jaw began to ache from being clenched, and he lost it. Marching to the door, he gave it a hard kick and shouted for her to be quiet. What did she want from him? Didn’t she know he was doing this for her? He looked over at the bag sitting on the workbench and considered grabbing it. But she’d grown quiet again, so why waste a good thing?
He returned to his work and managed to stitch up another twenty laces before a knock at the front door caught his attention. His heart pounded as he raced to the top of the basement stairs and listened. Maybe the intruder would just leave. The knocking continued, this time it was followed by the raspy voice of Mrs. Thompson, his only neighbor. “Sawyer, I know you’re home! Your truck is in the driveway! I just want to let you know that they dropped your mail off at my house again.”
Mail? Really? Old bat! You had to come this early for such a trivial thing? Sawyer’s fists clenched and he eyed the old scythe that hung on the wall next to the stairs. No time for that, not today. He’d better go answer the door and get rid of her ASAP.
Five minutes later, he thumped down the basement stairs, having tossed the Bed, Bath, & Beyond flyer into the trash. That old hooked nosed hen had wasted his time for junk mail! Just another excuse to not mind her business. Well, he’d deal with her another time.
For the next half hour, he worked the machine and managed to reach one hundred and eighty-six laces. “Sawyer, you’re magnificent! She’ll love you for it!” But his elation spoiled like roadkill, as he noticed the ray of sunshine penetrating the only spot on the window where the black paint had chipped. “I’m too late!”
The scratching started again. Sawyer covered his ears, raced upstairs and slammed the basement door shut. A rumbling sound came from the driveway, and he pulled the curtain back for a peek. A UPS truck crunched across the gravel as it circled the cul-de-sac and parked by the front door. The driver hopped out.
Sawyer’s breath came in gasps, for he was both exhilarated and nervous. He reached for the doorknob, but he stopped himself from bursting onto the porch. Mustn’t seem too eager, that could arouse suspicion. No doubt that Thompson woman was spying from the bushes. Sawyer waited until the driver knocked, before counting to five and opening the door. He signed for the package and waited for the truck to leave before tearing it open.
“She’s going to love it! This will look lovely on her!” He held up the black T shirt with the golden prancing unicorn. The light from the stove was reflected by the sequined unicorn’s mane. Better hide this for now.
Sawyer neatly folded the shirt and placed it in the box. He slid the box under his couch and returned to the basement.
He was pleased that Lovely was no longer scratching and went to work again. “Sorry, honey, I didn’t finish in time, but I’m still going to get it done. I have another surprise for you. Just fourteen more laces and some tying up to do.”
A strange peace filled Sawyer, something he hadn’t felt in a long time. The pressure was off, and he knew his gift would hold her weight. He began to sing a nursery rhyme that his Momma used to sung, before she died in that fire. It was Lovely’s favorite.
“Lucy Locket lost her pocket,
Kitty Fisher found it;
Not a penny was there in it,
Only ribbon round it.”
The final lace was stitched, and Sawyer had just begun to string the laces together, when there was a pounding at the front door. He dropped his work and mounted the steps on shaky legs. Who was it, now? He was halfway up when Lovely began scratching. “Shush! Lovely! Do you want someone to find you? They’ll take you away from me! Now shut up! That’s it, good girl, keep quiet.”
He passed the scythe, too big and noticeable, better off to get close for better success. The pounding increased in volume. Pissed-off, he flung the basement door open and yelled for the intruder to keep their pants on. What he saw made his blood freeze. The local sheriff stood out there, arms crossed.
Sawyer gulped and took a deep breath. Had the old bat called the cops? Should have taken care of her earlier. Sawyer decided to keep his pocketknife in his pocket. It was no match for a gun. He opened the door and tried to smile, but he knew how fake it must look. A stupid, lopsided grin, that everyone made fun of.
Sherriff Michael Hainsworth gave him a stern look.
“Something I can do for you, Sheriff?”
Hainsworth’s eyes narrowed, and he held out the photograph of Jessica Steinbecher. Such a lovely young woman. Sawyer felt a stirring that he knew was inappropriate.
“Jessica’s been missing since yesterday morning. Never showed up for work and her family is worried. Thought she might have gone on one of her hikes, but she never goes for more than a couple of hours. You see her at all?” He tried to look over Sawyer’s shoulders, into the house.
Sawyer shook his head and added quickly. “Sorry, can’t say I have. I hope she’s okay. She’s such a lovely person. If I see her, you’ll be the first to know.” He wondered if it was possible for the sheriff to be deafened by his pounding heart.
“Umhmmm . . . you do that.” Hainsworth eyed him suspiciously but turned around and walked back to his cruiser.
Sawyer offered a pathetic wave as the cop pulled away and as soon as the taillights disappeared, he ducked into the house, shut the door, and locked it. He leaned against the wall and waited to catch his breath while slapping his forehead. “Focus, you’ve got a job to finish.”
He returned to the basement and finished the surprise. Lovely did a wonderful job of keeping quiet, despite the excitement she must have felt about his gifts. He took the gift and walked towards her door, gently knocking. “It’s me, Lovely. I know you’ll like this, I made it just for you. It’ll fit snugly and you can swing all you want.”
He put an ear to the door and heard her rapid breathing. How excited she must be! This was a demonstration of his love for her, and he knew that she would show him so much affection! He hid the gift behind his back with his left arm and opened the door with his right. The fragrant earthy smell hit his nostrils and he savored it. Where was she? The room had no light, so he frantically removed his flashlight from its holster and switched it on. He swept the beam across the cobwebby corners until it caught a pair of eyes that glared back from the farthest wall.
“Oh Lovely, don’t be mad. I’m sorry I put you in here, but, well, gosh darn, I just didn’t want to ruin the surprise! Please forgive me! Oh wait, you will, here it is! Do you love it? How about some kisses? Come on now! It’s better than that old mattress and you can swing on it! Lovely! Come here now! Do you have any idea how long it took to make this hammock? Argh! Let me get the bag, that’ll do the trick.” He closed the door, snatched the bag from the work bench and went back into the room. Reaching into the bag, he took scooped a treat and held it out.
“Yes, that’s a good girl! Come and get it! Here, climb into the hammock.”
There was a knock at the door and Sawyer’s heart sputtered. The sheriff? “Stay here and enjoy your gift. I’ll be back to get you soon, promise.”
He shut the door and crept upstairs. This time he slipped out the pocketknife for he’d had quite enough of these interruptions. At the top of the stairs, he cracked the basement door and peeked towards the large window in the front door. The blood rushed to his cheeks, he tossed the knife, bolted to the door, disengaged the lock, and yanked it open.
“Uncle Sawyer!” The ten-year-old hollered and gave him a big hug. Tanya looked up at him with her big blue eyes. “Did you get it?”
Sawyer feigned ignorance. “Get what?”
“Oh, would you stop it already. It’s all she’s been talking about since we left home. I love the new paint job on the porch, you always were a fan of red.”
“Good to see you, Sis.” He winked at his niece. “It just arrived, so I didn’t have time to wrap it. Go look under the couch.”
She hugged him again. “You’re the best uncle ever!”
Tanya was about to rush inside, but stopped to ask, “Did you finish it?”
“Yup. She’s trying it out now. I had to coax her with some treats, but I think she’ll get used to it.”
“Awesome! I’ll go downstairs and say ‘hi’ to Lovely as soon as I get my shirt.”
“She’s right you know.”
“About what, Jen?”
“You being the best uncle. You’re also the sweetest man I know. Who else would have saved that poor kitten from a busy highway after it was struck by a car? Especially one that can’t meow, anymore? Who else spends hours making a hammock so that his kitty can sleep comfortably with her bad hip?”
“Oh, I’m sure there’s another bitter, lonely bachelor with OCD, who’s got a few spare hours. Besides, I had to lock her in the old storage room because she kept trying to steal the laces. Made it as comfortable as possible though.”
“Hey, do you know a young woman by the name of Jessica Steinbecher?”
Sawyer’s face fell. “Yes, why, did they find her?”
“Yes, thankfully. She’d been hiking the Pine Bluff Trail when she slipped from an outcrop and broke her leg. Stuck out there all night. Just heard it on the radio on the way here.”
“Thank goodness! The sheriff came around early this morning asking about her. I thought maybe she was dead. Nice kid, used to buy Girl Guide cookies from her.”
“So, are the locals still as bored and gossipy as they used to be?”
Good morning, afternoon, or night. Today I’ve decided to participate in author Keith Edgar Channing’s “Kreative Kue” Please follow the link to Keith’s fantastic blog.
Here Is The Photo Prompt:
“Morning Maybelle! Have anything juicy today?”
“Shh! Keep it down! Patience, Julene, I’m hungry.”
“Hmm . . . oh, sorry, just do that when I get nervous. Ooops! Pee, too. Sorry about the splatter.”
“Yuck! Hold on, let me wipe this muck off! There, better now. Well, now, Julene, let me see. Oh! Yes! See the calf lying down next to Molly? No, don’t move your head to look! Pshaw! After everything I’ve taught and you’re still a bovine! And stop rubbing your head against the buffet table! Honestly!”
“Nervous habit, sorry.”
“Annyyywayyyyss . . . as I was saying, the dreadful tail nipper is not Ferdinand’s!”
“Must you copy everything I say? Especially at the same time!”
“Sorry, Maybelle . . . wait? Did you say—”
“I’ve heard his real father is a . . .”
“A what? Tell me, or I’ll pee again!”
“Shh!! He’s a Jersey.”
“Really? Oh, how delicious! Not as tasty as the candy bar. Um, I think it’s called Jersey Malt?”
“Ugh, Jersey Milk. You are still just a b—”
“Not the ‘b’ word! I’ll tell Molly what you said.”
“Go ahead. She’ll laugh at you again and then you’ll miss out on the rest of- oh, hi Lucy! So glad to see you!”
“Wow, still synchronizing your greetings, I see. I’m well, thank you. Just a nibble and I’ll be off. Got to help scare away the bloody gophers. They keep digging holes and twisting hooves.”
“Pfff! Only women with more udders than brains.”
“Beg pardon, Maybelle?”
“She said that you look udderly amazing today! Did you just get some new lipstick? Green is the new brown, you know.”
“Huh? No Julene. I just found a fresh batch of caterpillars! Yum! So tasty, they way they pop in your mouth! Their juices running down your lips!”
“I’m going to be sick.”
“Oh well, in that case, I’ll pass on the hay. See you girls later.”
“She does that on purpose. See the smile on her face? She’s disgusting.”
“Hey-hey! What’s up?”
“Yes! That’s the spirit! Going to be a good one! Gonna’ get all up in that prune-faced farmer Macko! Or is that, Wacko! Ha! I slay me!”
“You go, baby girl! You show him the ‘what-for!’”
“Huh? What for? What are you talking ‘bout Jules?”
“Uh, whatever you are. Um, I guess.”
“Nah! Just messing with you, girl! I’m gonna’ hide the salt lick on him again! This’ll be the fifth one he’s bought this month. Oh, ya! He’ll be mutterin’ and whinin’ ‘bout cost and such. Gonna’ be righteous stuff.”
“What’d you say, Makebelief?”
“Um, I’m sorry to correct you, Tammy, but it’s—”
“I know what bigmouth’s name is, but she’s so fake, they oughta’ park her on the front lawn, with a flag saying, “Welcome to Macko’s Farm, ” stuck in her b—”
“That’s quite enough! Why, I just saw a tasty patch of hemlock, all you can eat.”
“Trying to kill me, huh? Well, that ain’t right!”
“Ugh! I’m tired of living with such common Bos Taurus.”
“What’s that! It’s growling like that weird T-Rex monster thingy. You know, the one with the large back legs and the itty-bitty front ones? But this one’s swallowed Farmer Macko whole! You can see him in the gut. Eww!”
“You mean the tractor? And no, Macko is perfectly fine. He’s driving the truck.”
“Oh ya, now I remember. Well, it’s coming this way!”
“You’re right, Julene! Remember the last time?”
“It’s stopped! Oh Maybelle, Macko’s ripped the truck’s mouth open and he’s coming towards us! He’s got that neck thingy.”
Happy day-before-Friday. Sun’s shining here once again, and the grass begs for a cut. It can wait. Well, at least until I finish posting here. Today I’ve decided to participate in author Keith Edgar Channing’s “Kreative Kue” Please follow the link to Keith’s fantastic blog.
Here is the photo prompt:
“So, Mr. Wrightbottom, can you tell us about the endangered Snufflepotomaus bird that inhabits this area?”
“Actually, that’s Snufflepotomaas, but I’ll forgive your ignorance. I’ll do better. I show one to you.”
“Um, are those M&M’s you’re pulling out of your bag?”
“My what? You mean my satchel? And ‘duh’ . . . I mean of course these are. Watch and learn. Look towards the long grass, near the base of that larger tree.”
“Okay! I mean, Larry, turn the camera that way.”
“Nyuk! Nyuk! Gobble! Gobble!”
“Oh . . . okay, and what is that move you’re doing? What does bobbing your head and sticking out your tongue do?”
“I’ ‘aw’ ‘in’ in’.”
“Ummm . . . it draws them in?”
“You’re nodding, so I guess that’s a ‘yes’.”
“Mr. Wrightbottom, what exactly is going on he—”
“Hey! We told you yesterday to stay out of here! This time I’m gonna’ call the cops! Flattening the ground keeper’s tires in his driveway, and then stealing his clothes from the locker! You’re going to jail, buddy!”
“What the **** is going on here!”
“Psst! Dave, we’re still on the air.”
“Oh ****! I mean, keep rolling! This boring gig just got a whole lot more exciting! Who knew the crazy guy could run! Did he just . . . aghh! Could have gone all day without seeing that!”
“I hear you Dave, in all my years I’d never thought I’d watch a naked man being chased across a golf course, while dropping M&M’s from his bag.”
“It’s a satchel! And who’re you calling crazy!”
“Apparently he can hear well, too.”
“Okay, I guess that’s a wrap, or unwrap. Larry, you want to go for a beer?”