FOWC: Inherit

She sat in the solicitor’s office, nervously playing with the strap of her cheap leather handbag. She looked around at the oppressive and solemn decor and watched the dust motes as they danced in the narrow shaft of sunlight that barely lit the darkly paneled room.

She sat in the solicitor’s office, nervously playing with the strap of her cheap leather handbag. She looked around at the oppressive and solemn decor and watched the dust motes as they danced in the narrow shaft of sunlight that barely lit the darkly paneled room.

‘What on earth am I doing here’ she thought to herself as she waited for Mr Bloom to explain the reason for her presence. He seemed like a kindly man, an old fashioned gentleman who’d pulled her chair out for her and offered her a cup of tea which she’d declined after spotting the delicate porcelain cup and saucer on his desk; her hands were shaking and she didn’t want to embarrass herself.

Mr Bloom took the glasses from the end of his nose and wiped them slowly with a small cloth and regarded her with tired and rheumy eyes before smiling distractedly and pulling a buff folder towards him. As he slowly untied the pink ribbon that bound the file he said, “Thank you so much for taking the time to come to my office today Miss Solomon, I expect that you’re wondering why I asked to see you.”

Cathy Solomon smiled nervously and nodded. She was worried. Although Mr Bloom seemed perfectly pleasant, with her job as a social worker she was always at risk of law suits and claims of abuse. It saddened her deeply as she genuinely cared for the broken families that she cared for but she was enough of a realist to know that there were people in the profession who abused their positions. The elderly solicitor was still looking at her, obviously waiting for a verbal response but, as none was forthcoming, he pulled several sheets of paper from the file and began speaking.

“I have here the Last Will and Testament of Mr Sebastian Courtney; have you heard of the gentleman Miss Solomon?”

“Well, yes, of course, who hasn’t? He was a wonderful actor.” Cathy had often watched his films with her mother when she was growing up and she’d always been a fan, not least because of his handsome features and melodious voice. She’d been genuinely upset when she’d seen reports of his death. Her mother had never seemed to take the same pleasure from the movies as her daughter but she was just content to sit with her and watch the awed expression on her pretty, young face. Cathy’s eyes softened as she thought of her mother; they’d had such a close bond and she’d been devastated when she died at the age of just 45. Cathy had been 21 at the time and old enough to understand that her mother’s health had been slowly broken by years of working three jobs and never having enough to eat. She’d done it all for her daughter as she was determined to save enough from her meagre earnings for Cathy to be able to attend college and make a real life for herself. On the day that Cathy graduated her mother was there, so much pride in her eyes, and a beautiful smile on her face despite the pain that she was suffering.

That was one of the last days that they spent together but it remained a wonderful memory. Cathy had always wished that her mother had had someone to love her and take care of her but she never seemed interested. ‘After your father, I couldn’t look at another man’ was always her answer whenever Cathy questioned her about it. She would smile sadly and pat her daughter’s hand and then changed the subject. Cathy didn’t remember her father but knew that he must have been a very special man if he’d loved her mother.

Cathy realised that Mr Bloom was speaking to her and she drew herself from her reverie.

“……so, in conclusion, the house in Chelsea and all it’s contents will pass to you and you will receive a lump sum of £14,500,000. I expect that Mr Courtney’s wife will contest but she has no case; we drew up this will together, Sebastian and I, and it is clear and completely watertight.”

“I’m sorry” said Cathy, trying to make sense of what she’d just heard “did you say that Sebastian Courtney left money to me? There must be some mistake, I’ve never met him. You must have me mistaken for another Cathy Solomon Mr Bloom.” Cathy started to stand up but the solicitor waved her back down into her seat.

“I assure you Miss Solomon, there is no mistake. Mr Courtney carried the guilt of what he did for 45 years and this is his way of making amends.”

Cathy frowned, desperately trying to understand what Mr Bloom was telling her. The solicitor saw the confusion on her face and the penny dropped.

“Miss Solomon, did your mother never tell you about your conception? Who your father was?” he said gently.

“Yes, of course, his name was Michael and he was killed in a car crash a month before I was born. Mum didn’t really like to talk about him too much as it upset her, she really loved him.” Cathy was feeling overwhelmed and her eyes filled with tears.

“Oh dear” Mr Bloom took off his glasses and pinched the bridge of his nose trying to relieve the tension that was building between his eyes. “Miss Solomon, I really don’t know how to tell you this but, under the circumstances, I have no choice. Your father was not named Michael. Your father was Sebastian Courtney. As a young man he was very wild; he was rich, famous and had been allowed to do as he pleased for years without reproach. Your mother worked as a waitress in a restaurant that he frequented and one night……” He hesitated, unsure how to continue “…he made a play for your mother and, when she rejected him, he raped her.” He was quiet for a moment, letting his words sink in.

“Oh God! I think I’m going to be sick!” Cathy fled from the room, her hand over her mouth. She was back 15 minutes later, ashamed, shocked; there were so many emotions on her face and her eyes were wet and smudged black where she’d been crying. She sat back down facing Mr Bloom and, in a leaden voice, said “I don’t want his money or his house Mr Bloom, let his wife have it. Is there something I can sign to waive my rights?”

The solicitor looked surprised and concerned but said “Miss Solomon, you really shouldn’t make a decision right now, take a few days to think about it.”

“I don’t need to take any more time Mr Bloom” Cathy said with perfect dignity “Tell me what to sign and then I’d like to leave please.”

Extracting a sheet of paper from the file, the solicitor handed it to Cathy. He passed her a pen and showed her when to sign her name. “If you can just initial there and put the date at the top, our business is concluded. I’m sorry to have brought you such grief Miss Solomon but I am afraid it’s my job.”

Cathy rose and shook his outstretched hand. “Please don’t concern yourself Mr Bloom, I understand and thank you.” She turned and quickly walked to the door, eager to leave the dark and dusty office and return to her friends and colleagues. She didn’t know yet if she would tell them what had happened but she knew that she didn’t want to be alone.

Mr Bloom waited until she’d left the room, closing the door behind her, before picking up the phone.

“Mrs Courtney, Bloom here. It’s done. Miss Solomon has waived all her rights.” He listened for a moment before replying “Yes, she fell for it. I told her that it was rape, she will never know that your husband carried a torch for her mother all these years and never got over her leaving him”. He listened once again and then said “Yes, Mrs Courtney, you will  now inherit the entire estate.”

They said their goodbyes and Bloom put the phone down before leaning back on his chair, smug in the knowledge that he’d really earned his £1 million fee.

Written in response to Fandango’s one word prompt

Lisa x

 

Finish the Story – The Travelers

an enormous metal beast; it had wheels at the rear but at the front were giant clawed arms which served to change the direction of the machine but also to clear the dense forestation. It halted before the terrified survivors, the massive throbbing engines creating an illusion of life; a black heart of block and pistons beating. In their bewildered state the passengers didn’t see an internal hatch opening, they saw a giant gaping maw that they were certain was going to swallow them whole. 

I Have been tagged by the lovely Rory – from A Guy Called bloke and K9 Doodlepip to take part in Teresa’s of The Haunted Wordsmith Finish The Story.

Rules

1. Copy the story as you receive it.

2. Add to the story in some fashion.

3. Tag another person to contribute to or finish the story.

4. Please use FTS as a tag so I can find it or link back to part 1.

5. Have Fun!

The Travelers – Teresa’s Introduction

Alexander and Alistair waited in line to check on their flight. It didn’t matter how long the line was, or how tired they were of waiting in it, they were happy to be getting away for a week. Life had not been difficult, but it was still nice to finally get away–alone.

Alexander couldn’t wait to show Alistair around Pompeii and Alistair couldn’t wait to show Alexander around his old home. They enjoyed people watching in the airport and passed time telling stories of the old days.

Finally, it was their turn to check in. Alexander sat his luggage in the bin and watched as a scrawny kid retrieved it and threw it on a conveyor belt. He cringed and crossed his fingers that his cologne didn’t break.

It wasn’t until they were standing by the large window at their gate watching their luggage be thrown around like last week’s trash that they noticed it. Something was not right.

“Hey, Alistair,” Alexander said, pointing out to the luggage cart. “Do you see that?”

Alistair followed Alexander’s finger and squinted. “Yeah. What is that?”

“I can’t be sure, but it looks like …

Part two – Paula of Light Motifs II

The luggage on one of the other carts was all black with a lightning bolt logo. And sure enough, a black stretch limo with the same logo pulled up directly to the plane and out tumbled the crazy rockers the Zappers and their entourage.

“Oh no,” Alistair moaned. “Those lunatics will be on our flight!”

Alexander sighed. “Horrible. They always get up to some ridiculous shenanigans, but surely they’ll behave themselves in the air?”

“It’s too late to change our tickets?”

“Well, yes. Our luggage is being flung into the bowels of this tin can as we speak.”

The men stared glumly out the window, their previous good mood soured. When they were called to board, they stood in line without speaking, having mutually decided to stoically bear the flight and have fun after landing, when the nutty rockers had gone.

Women chatted behind them in line. “Oh my God! Did you hear that the Zappers are on our flight? I’m totally gonna sneak into first class to see them!”

“I have such a crush on Nikki Zapper! I bet he does something wild and we have to make an emergency landing!”

Alistair and Alexander looked at each other and rolled their eyes.

But all went smoothly during takeoff, and then as one of the flight attendants was giving the safety presentation, a blond man dressed in black leather popped out of the first class section, grabbed her, and kissed her.

Part Three Li at Tao-Talk

Several people in coach lifted up their cell phones to record Nikki as he laid one on Myra, the flight attendant, ooh-ing and aah-ing as they did. Myra was torn, as she was supposed to rebuff any advances by the passengers, no matter how famous; but on the other hand, she had been a global fan of Nikki and the Zappers for years, using her bene of free flights to see them dozens of times. She even had a likeness of Nikki tattooed in her cleavage. Throwing caution to the wind, she kissed Nikki back and soon they, locked in an embrace, were stumbling towards the bathroom – where they would be the newest members of the Mile High Club.

As they often synched with each other over the years, Alistair and Alexander looked at each other and rolled their eyes.

“Well, I never!” huffed Alistair.

“Indeed!,” puffed Alexander.

“Let the shenanigans begin. Where are those sleepers you packed? Time to take a snooze until the show is over,” said Alistair.

Alexander reached for his carry-on, which was stuffed under his seat, and retrieved enough for both of them. They asked another attendant for a handful of the little booze bottles to wash them down with. Soon they were fast asleep, snoring to beat kingdom come.

Neither one knew how long they had slept, but both were awakened by the throbbing bassline of the latest Nikki and the Zappers tune, “Don’t Harsh My Buzz.” They were shocked to see….

Part Four Teleporting Weena;

…that the lights in the plane’s cabin had been turned off. Being that it was night time, they couldn’t see a thing in the dark. The bass guitar was still pounding out the beat so loud it shook their insides.

Suddenly an explosion of neon-like lights began flickering all around the plane’s interior, as the Zappers launched into their current number one song.  Passengers were crowding into the narrow aisle, and even just standing at their seats, dancing and singing along to the music.

The captain came on the loudspeakers: “Welcome to the party of the year…we present the Zappers for your inflight entertainment. Free drinks for everyone!

A big cheer rocked this unusual concert venue.

“Can you believe this?” Alistair asked as he busted a move right there in his seat.

Alexander looked at Alistair. They were grinning from ear to ear but didn’t roll their eyes at this exciting turn of events.

Cocktails and cups of beer were passed around, as the party continued through the night, 32,000 feet above the ground, but a sudden lurch of the plane made everyone gasp. The plane yawed to the left, then to the right. People screamed and tumbled into each other.

This is your captain…please everyone…sit down and fasten your seat belts…

***

Part Five – Sadje of Keep it Alive

……..we have a pick of air turbulence. It took repeated announcements from the caption to quieten down the passengers who were still hyped up from all the drinking and dancing. Eventually, everyone was seated, the belts fastened and a hush descended on the plane. Suddenly there was a jerk as the plane lost a lot of height very quickly. It was an air pocket that caused the loss in the plane altitude. There were quite a few screams and shrieks from many people.

The pilot came on air again.

I am sorry ladies and gentlemen we are in the middle of a storm right now. Please keep the seat belts on. I am afraid that we have lost power in one of our engines. I am trying to make an emergency landing………..

His announcement was cut abruptly and….

Part Six – Kristian’s Addition

…the oxygen masks dropped from their concealed compartments above the passengers.

Alistair and Alexander helped each other putting them on and then they squeezed hands.

The atmosphere had gone from one of enjoyment to panic. A few people had begun to get hysterical. Myra the Stewardess was trying to comfort one particularly distressed woman who couldn’t stop crying.

Then there was a loud bang and a hiss as the cabin filled with smoke. Alistair could just see Alexanders face through the haze. His eyes were scrunched tightly together and his grip on his hand was threatening to cut the blood supply from his fingers, but they were together and that was some comfort.

It was the impact of the plane hitting the water that sent luggage pouring out of overhead compartments and a few chairs broke loose, tumbling bodies around like they were dummies.

Myra lay at an impossible angle. Her legs bent backwards and her head twisted.

A figure lay face down in a black leather jacket and the strings of a broken guitar wrapped around his neck.

After the terrific noise of the impact, everything seemed deathly quiet. Alexander’s eyes opened, tears streaming down his face but he fixed Alistair with a desperate blue stare.

They had survived the crash but so many hadn’t.

A panicked voice suddenly came from over the tannoy system.

“This is the Navigator speaking. If there are any other survivors, please come to the front of the plane and make yourselves known.”

Together Alistair and Alexander got up from their chair and slowly made their way down the plane.

They were surprised to see…..

Part 7 – A Guy Called Bloke

cockpit-683529_960_720

………. that the cockpit was empty!

The navigator stood there, in a right mess, another steward was desperately trying to stem the blood flow from his left arm, well what was left of his left arm anyway! They could see by looking into the cockpit was not a good move – the Captain and the Co-pilot were missing. The navigator was mumbling about the fact that the two pilots had suddenly just disappeared into thin air and then all hell broke loose! That the aircraft lurched and then plummetted to the earth.

Alastair and Alex looked at each other in complete disbelief and utter astonishment. Behind them the screams of agony and anguish were filling the small space of the aisle .. and yet when they looked behind them, something was amiss, not quite right, it took them a few moments to comprehend that the loss was actually people. Before the crash, all the seats had been filled with passengers and yet now, if you included the dead, the dying, the subdued expressions of those in shock and the few others still, looking bewildered at them, they came to realise that, a good 50% of their part of the cabin was emptier than it had been?

“Well where, did they go?” Alex said to himself almost as much to the others?

“Which is what l have been trying to say!” mumbled the Navigator, “poof gone! Where who knows, Frank and Thomas were laughing and joking one minute and then l was disentangling myself from metal! Which is why my arm is not right. We didn’t hit the sea, we are not sinking which is good news. From what l could gather as l looked out of the windows as we were skewing across the surface, if anything we were skimming across a swamp!”

“Right!” Al said, “I think we should start to disembark, does this plane have one of those things that are like a Bouncy castle slide?”

“Yes of course.” Answered the Navigator, and with a small cursory move to the steward, he motioned towards the door. The steward after a bit of rough manoeuvring, managed to cast the door open and then aside and for the first time the four of them looked out into the world before them.

An overgrown jungled swampland greeted them, very mangrove looking Alex thought and said as much “Charming, just what we need a bloody jungle!”

“Right, well you must have a passenger list. I suggest we get everyone off the plane as best as we can, there must be other stewards throughout the aircraft? There must be first aid and medical equipment. We need to check the state of the craft itself to see if we are in any immediate danger of blowing up, and then , well then we will have to figure out where the bloody hell we are and what we do?” Alastair said officially.

Alex looked at his friend in confusion, “How do you know all of this?”

“Well l was huge fan of the disaster movies from the 70’s, l am just repeating what they said and it’s common sense surely?”

“Right, well l am very impressed Al, must be said”

“Thanks Alex, however now is not the time for praise, now is the time for action.”

At that moment in time, as the four looked out into the darkness of the surroundings they were now in, they heard something very heavy crashing through the undergrowth! If that wasn’t disturbing enough, the screech was!

“Oh my lord, what the hell is that?” The Navigator moaned.

Before any of them could answer, the undergrowth parted and crashing out towards them was ……..

And here’s my contribution:

an enormous metal beast; it had wheels at the rear but at the front were giant clawed arms which served to change the direction of the machine but also to clear the dense forestation. It halted before the terrified survivors, the massive throbbing engines creating an illusion of life; a black heart of block and pistons beating. In their bewildered state the passengers didn’t see an internal hatch opening, they saw a giant gaping maw that they were certain was going to swallow them whole.

The screaming began and quickly turned to mass hysteria as people fought each other in an effort to put as much distance as possible between themselves and the machine that had so terrified them. Alistair and Alex clung to each other; they too were afraid but their desire not to be separated in this awful moment overrode their natural flight response. Their breath came in short, sharp gasps and Alex could feel Alistair’s knees start to give way.

“Alistair!” he hissed “Come on, you can’t collapse on me now”

Alistair shook his head and tried to lock his knees, he couldn’t let Alex down, but he could still feel the violent trembling that coursed through his body; he clung tighter still and hid his face in Alex’s jacket. Alex’s eyes, meanwhile, were fixed on the hatch in the machine, it was now fully open and someone, or something, was emerging from it. The hairs on the back of his neck rose up and he was aware of being exposed; a quick glance around him confirmed that all the other passengers had fled into the forest. He and Alistair would, it seemed, face this thing alone.

“What do you want?” Even to his own ears, his voice was unsteady.  At the sound of his voice, Alistair turned his face away from Alex’s shoulder and looked at the emerging figure. He fought to maintain control of his bowels as it climbed down from the machine and slowly walked towards them; the last thing he heard before his terror overwhelmed him was the voice of the creature saying……………………………………

I am passing the baton on to Billy because he’s a great story teller and I’ll be fascinated to see what he does with this – over to you Billy :O)

Lisa x

FOWC: Release

Mark could feel the touch of leaves against his cheek as a slight breeze moved the frail branches of the bush that shielded him from view. His legs were beginning to cramp as there was a chill in the air and he’d been in the same position for quite some time but he daren’t move, she would be home soon.

Mark could feel the touch of leaves against his cheek as a slight breeze moved the frail branches of the bush that shielded him from view. His legs were beginning to cramp as there was a chill in the air and he’d been in the same position for quite some time but he daren’t move; she would be home soon. He’d been watching Sarah Adley for weeks, delighting in her animated face and her sensual body; he’d always known she was the one.

His patience was rewarded a few minutes later as he heard  a car door opening and Sarah’s laughter as she said something to the driver. A male voice replied and Mark couldn’t make out what was said but he could feel jealousy rising in his gut; Sarah was his and his alone. He changed his position very slightly, careful not to make a sound, so that he could watch her cross the road and skip along the path towards her front door. He could hear her high heels clicking and see the movement of her long skirt as it caressed her delectable thighs; Mark touched himself and felt the swell beneath his hand as he contemplated what was to come.

Sarah had paused with her hand on the control panel for the large gates that marked the entrance to the property. She turned her head, staring into the darkness, a frown on her beautiful face and Mark caught a glimpse of her long neck and the large, single diamond that nestled in the small dip just between her collar bones. How he longed to feel his hands there, to push his thumbs into that indentation and watch the life fade from her terrified eyes. His breathing quickened. There was fear on Sarah’s face now but she hadn’t moved other than to reach into her Hermes clutch bag; her hands were slim and her fingers long and Mark imagined them on his body, touching, clawing.

Mark could feel that he was losing control of his body as his erotic fantasy consumed him. He didn’t want it to be like this but to be so close to her and knowing what was going to happen was too much to bear. Another slight breeze brought her faint perfume to his nostrils and he felt the pure pleasure of sweet release, followed by a heat that ripped into his chest. He fell back onto the grass, lungs heaving and sweat pouring. The last thing he saw before oblivion took him was Sarah’s inviting smile.

“Mrs Adley, I can completely understand your actions, under the circumstances, but you must also appreciate our position” Detective Inspector Slater’s voice was stern “You do not have a carry permit for that gun”

“You’re right Inspector, I don’t” Sarah’s voice was soft and weary “But what was I supposed to do? He’d been stalking me for weeks, sending messages telling me how he was going to rape and strangle me. I’ve shown you the evidence, tell me, what else was I supposed to do?”

“Leave it to us!” Slater was losing patience, he hated it when members of the public took matters into their own hands.

“Leave it to you? Like last time you mean? I told you people that Mark raped me and what did you do? Nothing!” Unshed tears tightened Sarah’s throat and her voice became hoarse “Just because of his fame, his wealth and his insufferable bloody arrogance, I was attacked, hurt and humiliated and you people did nothing!”

Inspector Slater felt sorry for the woman as she put her head in her hands and gave way to quiet weeping but he had no choice; the law was the law and they couldn’t tolerate vigilantism.

“Mrs Adley, Mark is dead. You shot and killed an unarmed man.” Slater took a deep breath “Sarah Adley, you are under arrest for the murder of your ex-husband Mark Adley, you have the right to remain silent but, anything you do say, can and will be used in evidence against you. Do you understand?”

“No, I don’t understand Detective Inspector Slater, I really don’t understand”

Written in response to Fantastic Fandango’s one word prompt.

Lisa x

 

 

Published!

I am chuffed to little mint balls to be able to announce that I have had a short story published over here at Literally Stories. Honestly, these guys absolutely rock, unlike many sites, they respond quickly and, more importantly, they actually give excellent constructive criticism, especially Hugh, (who’s lovely). 

I am absolutely chuffed to little mint balls because today my short story has been published over here at Literally Stories. Honestly, these guys absolutely rock; unlike many sites, they respond quickly and, more importantly, they actually give excellent constructive criticism. I’ve sent a few stories off to them over the last couple of months and this is the one that they’ve chosen for publication. I couldn’t be more thrilled or proud :O)

Not only that and, I confess I had to read the email 3 times this morning to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, my poem The Promise has been nominated for Publication of the Month by the lovely people at Spillwords. The award will be decided by public vote so, if you’re not busy and can spare a minute I’d be really grateful if you could put a check in my box (if you see what I mean).

Lastly and, most importantly, I like to give a big virtual hug to all the wonderful people in the blogging community who gave me the confidence to submit my writing in the first place :O)

Lisa x

#BlogBattle: Loss

At her age, she had never expected to find the man of her dreams but here he was, standing before her and, better yet, he was smiling and that beautiful smile was only for her. All her life Sarah had been overlooked or, worse, ignored; she was unassuming, deeply sensitive and incredibly kind but she was plain and she knew it.

At her age, she had never expected to find the man of her dreams but here he was, standing before her and, better yet, he was smiling and that beautiful smile was only for her. All her life Sarah had been overlooked or, worse, ignored; she was unassuming, deeply sensitive and incredibly kind but she was plain and she knew it. She always described herself as nondescript; her hair lacked bounce or shine, her eyes were a clear blue but small, her nose far too strong for her face and her mouth a tiny rosebud. No individual feature was unappealing but together they just didn’t work.

The man before her, on the other hand was, in her opinion, magnificent. His hair was very dark, almost black, his eyes twinkled a deep green and his smile, oh that smile! The crows feet and the lines at the corner of his mouth showed her, immediately, that he was someone who laughed a lot, who loved life and Sarah was drawn to him in a way she’d never felt before. It was for this reason that she felt no hesitation when he held out his hand to her; she rose from her seat and walked into his arms. A perfect gentleman, he put one hand on her waist and the other on her shoulder and then he led her into a dance. Sarah moved with an easy grace that was new to her. She had always been, what her mother referred to as, ‘cack handed’ but with this man guiding her steps she felt as though she was floating.

“Will you stay with me Sarah?” his deep, melodious voice floated on the air and delivered the words that she had longed to hear for so many years. They were filled with the desire to really know her. She looked into his eyes and saw her face reflected there but, for the first time, she did not shy away from the image because, in his eyes, she was beautiful.

“I will stay with you gladly Michael” As she said the words she tried to remember when he had told her his name but she just couldn’t recall, how strange! ‘No matter’ she thought. Their dance ended as her body twirled around his, their fingertips just touching, her skirt flowed around her legs and she laughed with the joy of it all.

“Shall we go?” Michael asked her when she glided to a halt before him. He took both her hands in his and smiled; she was ready to go anywhere with this man and she walked with him gladly into the darkness.

David sat beside Sarah’s bed, her frail hand in his, and he wept. He had loved this woman for 50 of his 75 years and now she was gone. Painfully shy, he had never summoned the courage to tell her how he felt and now he cursed his weakness. Just before she died, Sarah’s face had lit up; he would have given anything for her to look at him like that, just once. He supposed he should be grateful for the fine friendship they’d had for all those years but it was to late now; she was with the angels. All he had left were his memories and, now, a profound sense of loss, for her and for the love that they’d never shared.

I’ve never taken part in a Blog Battle before but was intrigued by the challenge set by Jaye and Anita (do pop over and visit their blog, I am sure they’d love to see you) so this is my offering.

Lisa x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOWC: Forlorn

“OK Miss Bell, you can calm down now, the ambulance is on it’s way, you’ll be in the hospital very soon”

“Ttthhhannnkyou” the hapless Miss Bell sobbed and stuttered.

“OK Miss Bell, you can calm down now, the ambulance is on it’s way, you’ll be in the hospital very soon”

“Ttthhhannnkyou” the hapless Miss Bell sobbed and stuttered.

“It’s alright, hush now, you’re going to be fine” The young woman had been clinging to him like a limpet to a rock for the last 20 minutes and he was fast running out of platitudes. He wasn’t helped by the fact that he’d lost all feeling in his right arm where he’d been cradling her. He tried to shift his position slightly but she just tightened her grip, he sighed and tried to keep hold of  his fast dwindling patience.

“Miss Bell, please” The incessant sniveling was really beginning to get on his nerves.

“I…..I…….could….have…….died”

‘Oh, for heaven’s sake, how many times was she going to say that!’ He tried not to roll his eyes.

“Yes, I know but you didn’t. Miss Bell, honestly you’re going to be fine; look, here’s the ambulance now”

‘Thank God for that’ he thought as he eased Miss Bell up into standing, thereby relieving his aching muscles.

“Alright love, we’re here now, can someone tell me what happened please” The paramedic took calm control immediately.

“Um, well, Miss Bell had an encounter with a tiger..it was only a baby” he added hurriedly “There are notices everywhere warning the public not to enter the enclosure but she just………” He tailed off and look at the incredulous faces of the two paramedics.

“Miss Bell” one of them said “I have to ask, what on earth possessed you?”

“He……he….was..so…little and he….he…just…looked so…….forlorn, I wanted….to….hug….hiiiimmmmmmm” The last word turned into a pitiful wail and she threw herself into the arms of the paramedic.

A tiny tale written in response to Fandango’s one word prompt.

Lisa x

FOWC: Mitigate

“Mr Reid, are you ready to make your opening statement?”

Simon Reid took a deep breath and then put his hand to his head to make sure that his wig was on straight, this case was being televised and he was damned if he was going to be filmed looking anything less than completely professional especially as he was up against Marty Jackson.

“Mr Reid, are you ready to make your opening statement?”

Simon Reid took a deep breath and then put his hand to his head to make sure that his wig was on straight, this case was being televised and he was damned if he was going to be filmed looking anything less than completely professional especially as he was up against Marty Jackson. That man was like a Doberman, handsome, sleek and alert and Reid had always felt like a terrier next to him; excitable, snappy but canny in his own way. He would never have Jackson’s style and presence but he could fight with the best of them; he got to his feet.

“I am, thank you your honour. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the details of this case are complex in the extreme but at it’s root we have murder, plain and simple and it’s your job to determine whether the man before you in the dock is guilty. The prosecution will argue that John Durham is personally responsible for the deaths of over 200 men and women”

Reid paused for a moment, his lively blue eyes scanning the faces of the jury. As he had hoped, their look was one of universal shock. All details of this case had been kept away from the press until today and it played to his advantage; they were staring at the man in the dock in disbelief. John Durham was well known to them, with his chiseled good looks and startling green eyes he was the media’s darling and his mellifluous voice could charm even the most hardened journalists.

“Each of these deaths was pre-meditated, which is why this is a charge of murder and not manslaughter, and each and every one has left a grieving family who cannot understand why this man in the dock before you took the actions that he did. These families want justice and it is up to you, ladies and gentlemen, to give it to them. During this trial, you will be shown photos that you will no doubt find highly distressing, broken and ravaged bodies, burned beyond recognition; these are John Durham’s victims”

There was a sharp intake of breath from many in the courtroom that seemed to blow around it like an autumn wind; no-one spoke as the Judge had warned before the trial began that anyone creating a disturbance would be ejected. Reid paused in his rhetoric once again to let his words sink in and looked over at his opponent, Jackson, but he was giving nothing away, his expression unreadable, eyes facing front.

“The defense will try to convince you that one man  could not be responsible for all these murders and that his accomplices should be tried along with him but we will prove that the blood of these men and women has stained this man’s hands alone. It is John Durham who must suffer the consequences of his actions for it was he, and no other, who set this play in motion and he who must answer to the families of his victims”

Durham looked stunned as he listen to these words. He had been under public scrutiny for long enough that he could keep his head high but the tension was showing in the muscles of his jaw and his famous green eyes were dark and strained. His hand picked at a stray thread on his shirt, plucking at it over and over; even this small sign of stress was picked up by the hawk like cameramen who lined the back walls of the courtroom.

Reid gathered his robes beneath him and retook his seat, confident that his opening remarks had had the desired effect; everyone in the room, aside from the Judge and the other lawyers, was in a state of shock, unable to take in the enormity of what had been said.

“Mr Jackson, would you care to address the jury?” The Judge looked to the defense barrister to make his own opening statement.

Marty Jackson was a skilled orator and was known, to his peers, as a dangerous opponent. He never raised his voice and was never seen with a hair out of place but he could tear a witness to shreds in minutes so that they were tripping over their own words and doubting their recollections. However, this was different. This was not a man accused of murder, this was a celebrity accused of multiple murders and there was only one way he could begin if he were going to undo the damage caused by Reid’s opening remarks. He rose and turned to face the jury.

“John Durham is the Prime Minister of Great Britain, he is the man that the over-whelming majority of you voted for” Jackson watched as they shuffled in their seats like children caught in the act of doing something naughty, feeling the seed of guilt by association that he’d strategically planted.

“We are a country at war” he continued “and John Durham….”

“No, Mr Jackson, I’m going to stop you right there” The Judge’s voice rang out clearly across the courtroom

“Your honour, with respect, this is most improper” Jackson was shocked and glanced across at Reid who also had a look of disbelief on his face; a Judge interrupting opening statements was unheard of.

“I realise that Mr Jackson but this country has been in a state of war for almost 50 years now because, historically, a collective, a Government, cannot be held responsible for the death of its soldiers when in combat. However, there is always only one deciding mind, one man or woman who will give the order to fight and, in this case it was John Durham. I’m sorry Mr Jackson but, in this case, there will be no mitigation, your client is to be tried for murder……”

Written in response to the fantastic one word prompt from Fandango, albeit delivered a little late..

Lisa x

The Meaning of Life (Part 6)

“What in the name of Zeus and all his minions are you eating now?”

“Eanun utta uffn” The unintelligible sounds were the product of a tongue temporarily jammed to the roof of a mouth. A few seconds later there was a noise like a large plunger being forcibly pulled from a drain and some concentrated chewing.

“What in the name of Zeus and all his minions are you eating now?”

“Eanun utta uffn” The unintelligible sounds were the product of a tongue temporarily jammed to the roof of a mouth. A few seconds later there was a noise like a large plunger being forcibly pulled from a drain and some concentrated chewing.

“A peanut butter muffin, I’ve been experimenting” The face contorted with the effort of a tongue not quite long or fine enough trying to remove the last vestiges of muffin from between the teeth.

“Diet going well then!?” Although stated clearly, the speaker tried to cover his words with the shuffling of paper; this was a touchy subject.

“I am glorious in my perfection” He rose to his full height and gathered his flowing robes around his ample frame.

“Only since I let the robes out…….mutter…….podgy…..mutter”

“Hmmph, you’re one to talk, I notice we’re short on chocolate hobnobs again and I haven’t been eating them..hang on a minute have you seen this audit report?”

roman-empire-dessert.jpg“I am not giving up my morning hobnob just because you’ve decided to take up baking! Anyway, have you seen the creatures in the factory these days? Half of them have their bellies hanging somewhere around their knees and your Roman Empire dessert is a least partway responsible you know…….what audit report?”

“Ahhh those were the days” said with fond reminiscence “All those sins at one time; I love it when we’re busy don’t you?”

“Talk about rose coloured glasses! What bloody audit report?” There were definite notes of impatience in his tone

“This one. The latest furry creatures audit” Unfortunately waving a piece of paper within 2 centimetres of someone’s nose does little to aid their ability to actually read it.

“Give that here”

“Don’t snatch!”

This could have degenerated into a hair pulling, air slapping kind of argument had the numbers on the offending piece of paper come into clear focus.

“What the f….?”

“Yes, precisely. What has been going on down there? Who’s in charge of the furry ones because whoever it is they’ve got some explaining to do!” There was no doubt that there would be little time for explaining in between all the noisy berating.

“It’s old Bob but you pulled him off the furry ones so he could help out with the fishy ones after the creatures decided that the water we provided was no good unless it was encased in plastic, remember?”

“Bugger! Yes, I remember now. Get him up here and tell him it’s an emergency, there’s hardly any of the stripey ones left and they’re my favourites, I loved that design”

“I still prefer the tartan but you never like any of my ideas” He received the kind of glare that could melt tarmac and started backing out of the room in a hurry but then something caught his eye

“Boss, what are you doing exactly, that’s my new bum design, I’m calling it the Brazen Buttock” He’d been keeping up with fashion, unlike his boss, and knew that, when it came to bums, bigger was definitely better.

“I’m painting a few” He did indeed have a paintbrush in hand and was drawing an outline, the tip of his tongue poking between his teeth as he concentrated on keeping his hand steady.

“Why and why only a few? I thought we could put that design into full production next week” This said with the kind of disgruntled irritation of an employee who feels that his talents are rarely fully recognised.

“I’m sending a message; I don’t think we’ll need more than 10,000 or so”

“10,000? That’s nothing! I might as well not have bothered!” He could barely stop a tear from falling

“Oh don’t sulk, these buttocks will be very, very special but just not for everyone that’s all” He was not actually an unkind boss and this was said with an encouraging smile. “I’m only going to use them for the creatures that think killing the furry ones is some sort of entertainment or a way to make that honey they all seem so keen on”

“Honey??…Do you mean money?”

“Yep that’s the kiddie. There I’ve finished, what do you think?” He held the buttocks before him proudly. Painted on them were 3 red rings with a red circle in the middle.

Ok, I get it, it’s a target but won’t they just be able to put trousers on or something?” To him it seemed like a pretty large flaw in an otherwise crazy plan.

“Not with the paint I’ve used.” Said with a sly grin “Do you remember when we decided we needed something to jazz up the firmament?”

“Sure, we bought in all that glow in the dark stuff……oh I get it now….ooohhh sneaky, I like it” He grinned broadly and remembered why this was the bloke in charge.

“Excellent! Now run down and find Old Bob and I’ll start fixing on some of these buttocks. I’ll teach those creatures to stop knocking off the furry ones if it’s the last thing I do” With grim determination he fixed his stare on a group of poachers; they didn’t know it but their lives (and their buttocks) were about to change forever.

This was written in response to an announcement from the charity Born Free that the tiger is at risk of extinction, thanks to mankind. The poachers who hunt them and the developers who destroy their habitat are on the road to ensuring that our grandchildren or great grandchildren may talk about tigers in the same way we talk about dodo’s. Therefore, I am using this post to try and do what little I can to help spread the word before these beautiful animals are lost to us forever….

Lisa x

 

 

FOWC: Avid

“Mr Stevens, can you please tell me where you were on the night of the 17th?” DI Manning did not like the man sitting in front of him and he was having a hard time disguising the fact. Cole Stevens had a fleshy face, bulbous nose and slack wet lips, added to which his personal hygiene left more than a little to be desired.

“Mr Stevens, can you please tell me where you were on the night of the 17th?” DI Manning did not like the man sitting in front of him and he was having a hard time disguising the fact. Cole Stevens had a fleshy face, bulbous nose and slack wet lips, added to which his personal hygiene left more than a little to be desired.

“I told you already” Stevens’ voice was wheedling and childish “I was at home with Mother; we had fishfingers, chips and beans for dinner, I remember because it’s my favourite, and then we watched a film” All this was said with a wide eyed, seemingly genuine innocence that, with any other suspect, Manning may have accepted but there was something off here. Stevens hands were in his lap, his manner was non-aggressive, he was obviously making efforts to be friendly but there was something repellent about him.

“Your Mother will confirm this if we question her will she?” Manning had, in fact, already spoken to Mrs Stevens and she had confirmed that her son was at home with her on the night in question; he could see where Cole had got his good looks and charm, the woman was an absolute harridan. She’d berated Manning for several minutes for having the audacity to arrest her beloved son, confirmed his story with a curt ‘yes’ and then slammed the phone down.

“Of course she will, Mother would never lie and she brought me up the same way, I promise you Inspector, we were together, at home; a cozy little twosome” Steven’s let out a little giggle, no doubt at his own pathetic attempt at wit.

“And yet one of your neighbours reported seeing you leave the house that night and said that you didn’t return for..” he checked his notes “almost 2 hours. Are you telling me that she’s lying Mr Stevens?”

“Well I did put the cat out at around 7.30pm, just before we had our dinner but then that was it for the night. I went back inside and Mother and I got comfortable in front of the telly. Maybe, Maureen, I assume it was Maureen, heard me open and close the door and just assumed I’d gone out” Steven’s ugly face was open and he was smiling slightly, obviously trying to ingratiate himself with the detective.

It had indeed been Maureen Fisher who’d given them the information, she was a known busybody and not very popular in her neighbourhood as, not only did she spy on everyone, she was also a notorious gossip.

“Do you know Detective” Stevens was leaning forward and saying to Manning, in hushed, conspiratorial tones “that woman caused the break up of the Beckett’s marriage. She told Sally that she’d seen her husband kissing another woman. I never knew if it was true but I could see that she took great pleasure in telling that little story, I can tell you. I try to be friends with everyone, as does Mother, but we both struggle with Maureen”

Manning was aware of Maureen’s reputation and, under normal circumstances he’d take any information she had to offer with a pinch of salt but there was something about this man in front of him…..he wanted to believe that he was guilty.

‘Damn’ he thought to himself ‘I can’t afford to lose objectivity here. Am I targeting this guy because he looks like such a creep?’

Stevens had no real record except for an incident 3 years previously when he’d been accused of abducting a child. That and the neighbour’s testimony had been enough for Manning to warrant questioning him. The notes showed that he’d protested his innocence, saying that he’d found the boy wandering alone in the Supermarket and was taking him to the police station when he’d been stopped by a suspicious security guard. The young lad had been crying for his Mum and did not look as though he was with Stevens willingly. However, the Mother admitted that she’d taken her eyes off the little boy while she was sorting out her other two kids, no harm was done and the case was dropped.

“How do you explain that the witness saw you re-entering your property at 10.30pm that night? This wasn’t a case of hearing a door open or close, she actually saw you and she said that you were carrying something”.

Stevens’ eyes flickered for a brief moment but the look had passed before Manning had any time to really register it

“I am sure I don’t know Detective, perhaps it was another night? I did collect some dry cleaning from the late night place in Rossamund Street on the Thursday, maybe that’s what she saw. She does like a tipple or two in the evening our Maureen, it wouldn’t surprise me if she’d got her dates confused” He rolled his eyes and motioned with his hand to indicate having a drink. It was another childish action and Manning wondered at the man’s intellectual capacity, he didn’t seem stupid but then he didn’t seem the full ticket either.

Manning knew that he had no real cause to keep Stevens in custody but he felt sure that he was hiding something and wanted to interview him further. He leaned forward, thinking about how to frame his next question.

“Guv!” The door had flown open and Sergeant Greaves entered at a run. He stopped alongside his boss and whispered in his ear

“There’s been another one Guv, 5 year old girl, missing since last night” the words were spoken urgently and with the desperate energy of a man who’d delivered bad news such as this more than once.

Manning shot up, almost knocking over his chair in his haste

“Stevens, you can go but I might be wanting to speak to you again, do you understand?”

“Yes Detective, of course, it would be a pleasure” those flabby, fleshy lips curled into a smile

‘Urgh!’ Manning thought to himself as he followed his Sergeant out of the room and motioned for a WPC to escort Stevens out of the building.

“Thanks dearie” said Cole as he turned up his collar and walked in the direction of the nearest bus stop.

‘Mother will be pleased to see me back’ he thought ‘she’ll need some help down in the cellar now. It will be such a nuisance moving all those sweet little teddies’ that’s what Mother had always called them, ‘teddies’, she’d taught him so much over the years and he really did love her dearly. ‘I’ll have to do something about Maureen though’ he thought ‘such a nosy woman!’ He’d been so careful to be quiet that night but she’d obviously seen him coming back in.

He hadn’t really wanted to go out but Mother had made his favourite dinner and she’d been so insistent that he find her another little teddy, she’d always been such an avid collector and it was nice for them to have something to do together. He sighed. He felt sorry for his Mother in some ways, she’d never been quite the same since the accident with his little brother, poor Teddy, he missed him………

After a short absence, Fandango has hooked me with another of his one word prompts

Lisa x