Category Archives: story

A Man Walks Into a Bar

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From a prompt by Jane Goldsack

Prompt: Man walks into a bar

Arthur Deco walked into the Nineteen-Twenty bar in downtown Cityville; his need for a strong drink overriding his desire to get home.
Arthur walked up to the bar and ordered a neat double- malt bourbon and a Copycat to follow.

“A ‘Copycat,’ sir? What’s one of those?” asked the slim and anxious-looking bartender.

“A ‘Copycat’ means the same again. You just keep ’em comin’ – when I tell you to stop… ‘then’ you can just close the shop up for me.”

“Does that mean I can ‘stop’ serving you? You sure make it hard for a man to unnerstan’ what you are sayin’ mister!”

“Just you pour the drinks into my glass and I’ll relocate them down my throat. It’s that simple.”

The bartender / customer relationship worked well after this, as all conversation was muted and both sides kept to their tasks.

Eventually, Arthur positioned his hand over his empty glass.

“All done?” asked the bartender, just to confirm Arthur’s signal.

Arthur nodded.

Taking his wallet from inside his jacket, Arthur released two big bills to momentary freedom on the bar. The bartender rounded them up and rehomed them in seconds, and Arthur nodded his thanks before leaving.

Back in his auto, Arthur started the engine and drove off toward his home.

Drink-driving is a bad, bad thing; but, Arthur was as uncaring about that as he was about the parking ticket under his wiper.

Since his wife and daughter had been killed by a drunk-driver two months ago, Arthur had been on a path to disaster with only one outcome.

The man in the boot was the clown that had killed his loved ones; now, ‘he’ was about to meet a grizzly death.

The pounding from behind him was growing in intensity as Arthur coaxed a bit more MPH out of the old gal -they were doing nearly 90 when they didn’t make the turn on I48.

Arthur was soon reunited with his loved ones.

Sometimes Life throws you a handgrenade; sometimes it has a pin in it.

Start of a Novel – The Man in the Gabardine Mac.

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Start Sentence – man in the gabardine mac

The man in the gabardine mac rose to leave seconds after I had exited the room; pushing his way through the crowded après-theatre luvvies and onto London’s glistening streets – freshly cleansed with rain a la mode – to find that I had spirited myself into thin air; causing him to stop two paces beyond the entryway, where he glanced right, left, and right again.
“All safe to cross.” I softly spoke – my gun poised the obligatory five feet away from his back to avoid a spinning kick. The safety was off and I had no need to ask any questions.
“Move forward and let’s head for that black van.”
He moved forwards and, ducking down, spun.
Quieter than even he could hear, I had gone.
He cursed; but, I wasn’t there to hear it.

The Tale of the Toll of the Bell

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“That infuriating bell!”

It rang and rang and rang
After a while, the people got used to it
And it rang and rang and rang

After three weeks – exactly – it turned itself off
All by itself
Of its own accord

And the people noticed – it took them quite a few seconds; but, notice, they did, that the noise of the bell had stopped.

After a while, the people forgot about it.

Dream Sequences – Part 2 (a story in creation)

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NB please read Part 1 first at: 

Dream Sequences (a story in creation) http://wp.me/p1MjHq-1jS via

thank you

G:)

Part 2

Henry’s mind considered these things during the waking hours; to the detriment of his paying attention to his work and his driving skills – which were relatively called into question ‘twice’ on the way into the office; ‘many’ times ‘in’ his office; and ‘three’ times on the way back – once with almost disastrous consequences for an intrepid motorcyclist on a courier ‘Mission from G.O. Deliveries’ where he, the dispatch rider, had almost met his Almighty Employer.

Henry parked his dilapidated Ford Belligerent in an unusually empty space only a hundred and fifty yards from his flat, and ventured away from sanctuary and towards the quietude of the public library.

Henry was pleased to see it still there; he always assumed it would become a cut-price something-or-other overnight and his refuge from society’s babble would disappear like a traffic warden’s cologne after he’d photographed your car V.I.N. number not three seconds since you’d parked and popped into the newsagents for some Aspirin.

Henry found a table with seat near the Motoring section and dumped twelve back-issues of Exchange and Mart upon grubby surface.

It took him the effort of retracing eight issues before he found what he was looking for.

1926 Bentley, 3.0 Litre, British Racing Green, yada yada yada… up for auction at Rialto (Automobiles) Auction Rooms, Tuesday 7th, lot 458, estimate of £300K-£320K.

Henry whistled – and received a look of disapproval / approbation from a nearby librarian who was replacing ‘Humbly’s Diesel Engines of the 1950s’ or some-such tome.

‘Well, that detail was right.’ he thought. ‘A 1926 Bentley in reality looks just like the one in my dream – apart from the colour.’

Henry could have Googled this information in seconds; but, being of the sort of disposition that feels a book to be paper and words first – any other format (if you must) is a poor second.

However, finding A.R.P. might require a little of today’s modern-magic. He knew that needles in haystacks were a mouse-click away when the Interweb was put to use – Henry replaced the E&Ms correctly (in chronological order) and decided ‘now’ would be the time to seek out ‘Warden’ for any truths in ‘her’ story.

Henry had not had any dreams continuing his encounter with this enigma of a pretty, young lady who ‘they’ called ‘The mechanic’ or had that been a joke? He tried to visualise her face; arrange her features in proper order; remember her hair colour, style, length, but he was hopelessly hopeless at that sort of thing unless taking detailed notes at the time – which he hadn’t.

Not having had any more chances to gaze upon her smiling face, Henry had just taken to noting down the words spoken and the detail of the… the what? Hardly a date. She had been a knight in shining armour to his broken down damsel in distress – then she had galloped into the sunset without as much as a: ‘See you Tuesday; Rialto? Seven?’

Today was Tuesday. The 7th. Rialto! Where were the Rialto (Automobile) Auction Rooms?

—-

NB how do you think it’s going? No dreams in this bit; but, that is fine IMO. G:)

Where Did All The Money Go?

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As inheritances go, this one soon went. The millions were lost (never to be found) in various non-profit-making adventures – though that hadn’t been the intention – and within a year there were no visible a signs of the fortune – and very few signs that ‘he’ had had the misfortune to lack the business acumen to cope with it.
This meant that life had to get back to a reduced reality that only seemed to rub his snub nose into the dirt and shout at him ‘You idiot!’ on a regular basis. Circumstances had meant that he returned to a windowless ground floor (basement, if you like) of an apartment block, where he used to have a pleasant south-facing third-floor suite; and, until recently, owned the whole top-floor penthouse suite with its 360 degree views of the hoi-polloi below – literally as well as figuratively.

Times change. And, sometimes, all too quickly.

Dream Sequences (a story in creation)

A 1926 Bentley

A 1926 Bentley

If he’d turned that starting-handle once, he’d turned it a thousand times – truth be told, he’d never ‘cranked’ an engine into life, in his life; but, in his dreams, still he tried.
“Damn and blast this heap of junk!” he cried to the world. The world seemed to ignore him – then sent him a saviour in the form of Alice Pevensey.

“Hullo! Can I be of some help?” came the soft voice to the ears of Henry Hoshper. “It could be your plugs need a clean.”

Henry looked to where the voice was coming from; and had to gather his composure quite an amount before he could remove the caustic reply he had intended and replaced it with the slightly tame: “Be my guest.”

As is the case with dreams, a lot of the details are cloudy, inconsistent, or outright nonsensical; so, the fact that she had exactly the right size spanners and feeler-gauges to remove, clean, adjust and refit the plugs in the matter of minutes was par for the course.

Obviously the engine now started with the lightest of cranks and purred into life.

“Thanks.” Henry offered. Then added, with a bit more control (and a lot less fluster) “Thank you; that was efficient. Most impressive, Miss…?”

“Pevensey, Alice Pevensey; my friends call me ‘The Mechanic!’ ” she laughed. “Actually, they call me ‘Warden’ due to my initials – Rowan being my middle name.”
There was a twinkling lightness to her voice as if it we’re announcing the arrival of angels.

“I’m Henry Hoshper,” he offered, “as if I was Christened whilst the vicar was under the influence – though it’s never ever been ‘Hotspur’ in my family… I checked.” The offering seemed pretty lame even to him, but Alice kept smiling and patted the bonnet of the 1926 Bentley with a polishing cloth that had appeared in her spotless hand courtesy of the dream’s continuing providence.

Then Henry woke. This was the way of dreams, he thought; just start getting interesting and… “Good morning! Reality here.”

Henry thought for a while. He considered the significance of his dream. Then he quickly realised he didn’t have a clue about the significance of dreams. And why a 1926 Bentley? Did that signify his father, born in 1926, but, long gone now? ARP – there was a Second World War reference for instance; or did they have ARPs in the First World War – for the Zeppelins? No, the Bentley meant in or after 1926. Alice? Was she (or her name) relevant? Wonderland was surely a dream for Alice in Lewis Carroll.

Henry’s head had started hurting. It did that when he thought too hard. He went in search of a pen and some paper – or, even better, a notebook.

Armed with these, and a steaming mug of coffee, (always ‘steaming’ as an adjective, he thought – then dismissed that as being ‘off topic’) he went into the sitting-room (‘old-fashioned term’ he thought – almost called it a ‘parlour’). It was going to be one of ‘those’ days.

Anyway, his dad was never a Bentley; an Austin 7 perhaps; but, never a Bentley.

And why would Henry have one? His tastes didn’t stretch to (or couldn’t afford to) the price of classic cars.

NB this is just the start of an idea written whilst on my walks this morning. If it has any hopes for continuation, then my work gas just begun. Any thoughts on the above please let me know. Thank you, G:)

Tails From The New Forest #1 Squirrel’s Detective Agency?

In the forest
The mighty forest
The squirrel sleeps tonight.

Except for this one night
When he was awoken
By a strange ‘un-forest-like’ noise…

“Ker-a-vick! Ker-a-vick! Ker-a-vick-ma!”

Squizzel (for that was his name) rubbed the sleep out of his eyes and shook his head to clear away his dreams of hidden treasure. He leant out of his bole-hole in an old Oak tree and listened carefully for the sound to happen once more.

In a short time…

“Ker-a-vick! Ker-a-vick! Ker-a-vick-ma-da-na!”

He heard the sound – which was more a single voice – coming from the direction of the fallen tree-trunk.

“I shall have to go take a looksie.” Proclaimed Squizzel, to nobody in particular. And he prepared himself for… “An ‘adventure!’ ”

Squizzel was an only child.

And he lived on his own.

But, he was a good squirrel, a red one at that, with a sense of humour and a love of squirrel-life.

He was also particularly brave. Or stupid about the dangerousness of danger. However, he had reached the ripe old age of three, and was an essential part of the forest scene.

Squizzel uttered his battle-cry “Chir-a-chir-chip!” and set forth.

Tbc

Story To Be Written Here… (Updated)


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I was sat stirring my wooden coffee with my wooden coffee stirrer, when…
… I thought ‘it was a break for only 15 minutes.’ It meant I could only get to see her for 15 minutes…. But she didn’t come… I waited for her… just to ask her if she would like to come with me tonight to the concert… It would be the first time I could really talk with her… I waited… and she never came.

Next day, I learned that she had left the company…

… I still think of her. Her pale blue eyes, blue hair, blue demeanour… Her name had been Skye – it probably still was – but, like the lightness she was, her absence made all the shades of blue… well, less blue, if you know what I mean. She had spread her wings and had flown away.

I sat there everyday for those 15 minutes, stirring my wooden coffee, gazing hopefully at the revolting doors in the hope that Skye would return…

Please continue the story, as NiaSunset (photographyofnia.com) has done, and I have done (graemesandford.com) in the comments box below and I shall update the post with your words. Just a bit of fun. G:)

Thank you

Jack, Who’s He? (A little story – feedback much appreciated)

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Jack! Who’s he?

The steam rose from the surface of the water, like covering smoke from a destroyer in a World War 2 sea encounter.
Though this was an encounter with the prospects of a much better outcome for both involved parties.
Wrapped wIthin the clouds were Jack and his latest flame, Gil; condensating wine glasses were close to hand and the aroma of strawberries crept through the incorporeal whirls of vapour.
“This is the life!” commented Jack; accompanying this statement with more than just a sip of wine and a toast to an unseen provider of ‘The Good Life!’
“It’s not three bad!” replied Gil. “Beats a rub down with an oily rag.”
“That’s for afters!” laughed Jack.
“Just need to let the pores open up. Nothing like a soak and a steam to clear those pores.”
Gil was never effusive on topics. Jack did all the leg work in a conversation; Gil added some punctuation now and again; but, generally, just agreed.
The evening had been full of fine wining, dining; and, now, reclining in a pleasantly supportive jacuzzi. ‘Worth every penny, pound, and both missing limbs!’ had been Jack’s comment on the extravagance. Quite self-effacing as his humour often was; his joke being that the jacuzzi had cost him an arm and a leg; whereas in actual fact it had been an IED that a colleague had triggered back in ’07. ‘Double ‘0’ 7!’ Was Jack’s take on the year! It was amazing how his innate sense of humour had kept him afloat (excuse the term) through much that would have sunk (and again) others.
Gil was possessed with all limbs and had known Jack before the ‘Big Bang – for me!’ incident. Now they were lovers.

And the steam filled the night air above them as the music of the night played upon the scene.

Amanda Upon The Verandah 1

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Amanda, standing like a standard, upon the verandah (flapping about a lot in the breeze of a conversation about the restoration and conservation of Restoration conservatories) lost the plot – along with her floppy-brimmed hat – and, as it was rather hot, she decided to faint upon the grass – which meant a little stroll before that place was reached.
“I feel faint!” she cried limply; and fell to the cushioning surface.
Sadly, everybody else had gone back into the house to grab a quick drinkie before tea.
Amanda surreptitiously glanced around.
“Bother! I shall have to put that one down to bad planning.” and, climbing to her feet, she toddled off after the others to empty a few cut-glass decanters.