Tag Archives: story

2050. Take a seat for Valentine’s

(Once in a while, like every thousand stories or so, I repeat a story. To honour St Valentine’s Day, here is a story (of true love) that I’ve told before!)

Come on, baby. Get over into the back seat.

Nah, I don’t want to.

(Smooch. Smooch). Come on, baby. Get over into the back seat.

Nah. I don’t want to.

(Smooch. Smooch). Come on, baby. Get over into the back seat.

Nah. I don’t want to.

Why not?

‘Cos I want to be with you.

2026. A place to retire

What an exciting thing to happen! Charmaine and Tristram had spent a lifetime raising three children and slogging their guts out. Now that the children had flown the nest, and Charmaine and Tristram had both retired, they made a decision to sell their house and move to a smaller house in a less busy environment where peace could reign in their sunset years.

But the exciting thing was this: a television company had issued an invitation for their house-searching to be filmed! The television compere would show them houses and hopefully before long a suitable house would rear its head. And rear its head it did; so fast and so suddenly!

It was the perfect house; with the right number of bedrooms and bathrooms and everything else. The kitchen was wonderful. The view was spectacular. The garden was big and challenging enough to keep their joint gardening interest alive. Charmaine and Tristram put in an offer.

The offer was accepted! They could move in two weeks. How exciting is that?

A week passed and Charmaine and Tristram packed lots and lots of stuff into boxes. Then on the eighth day, Tristram suddenly died. In his sleep. His unexpected death was a great stimulus to the success of the TV program.

(Footnote: Once again I’m calling for suggestions for an opening sentence. Please leave one sentence in the comments which I shall delete after jotting it down (so as not to mess up the comments on this story). Only one suggestion per person – if at all! The only reward will be a link back to your own blog, and if you don’t have a blog than like marrying Prince Harry it will be for the prestige and glory (but without the money) There have been 9 contributions so far. Thank you. More welcome!).

Herb: It sure wasn’t everyday that you see one, that’s for sure.

Yvonne: “I’ll really have to think about your offer,” said Alida.

Max: Sam and Molly bought a 1966 Mustang from Molly’s dad but when driving away they heard something rattling in the door panel.

Noelle: The sky outside the open window was dark with the portent of a storm.

Uma: Every time the one-legged raven returned to the village and filled the night with its grating caws, someone died the next afternoon and the skies wept till the funerals.

Inese: Trudy knew better than to be alone with Mr Hughes.

Doug Jacquier: If he had his time again, Clarence wouldn’t have bought the giraffe.

Nitin: A trumpet, a crumpet and a horse walked into a bar.

Dumbestbloggerever: I married Prince Harry for prestige and money.

2023. The tank

Heather and Peter had been married for eleven years or so. Heather had learned to put up with Peter’s eccentricities. In fact, she went further and knew that if she whole-heartedly and enthusiastically entered into the spirit of his latest eccentric enthusiasm he’d quickly drop it and move on, hopefully, to something less crazy.

Peter’s latest eccentric enthusiasm was to build a tank that could be lowered into the nearby river. The tank had a glass side and enabled a lover of the environment to sit in the tank and view the fish and all the goings on deep down in the beautiful clear waters. Of course, one wore swimming attire because the tank wasn’t water proof so one breathed through a tube that went up above the surface of the water. (Peter’s inventions were rarely perfect).

Heather feigned her usual enthusiasm. After giving careful instructions, Peter lowered the tank deep into the river with Heather inside breathing through the tube.

To be honest, once the sand on the bottom of the river had settled there wasn’t much to see. In fact, Heather didn’t see a single fish. She pulled the rope which was the sign for the tank to be raised. Once Peter opened the tank and Heather stepped out she explained as nicely as she could (so as not to dampen his enthusiasm) that she hadn’t seen a single fish and maybe the invention wasn’t the best thing he had done.

“Oh but you simply must have been lowered at the wrong time. Try it again!” declared Peter. “I promise you you’ll see a fish or two.”

Heather was once again lowered. Once again there were no fish. Heather pulled the rope to signal to Peter that she wished the tank raised. She should have waited longer. Peter blocked the breathing tube.

2022. The bottle

Dale was a keen gardener. Actually, that’s not particularly accurate. He had a love of gladioli and that’s all he had growing in a small patch in his back yard.  At least during the relatively short flowering season it got him out of the house for a couple of minutes a couple of times a day, much to the relief of his wife of fifty-two years, Eunice.

“I never knew that retirement would bring such stress,” declared Eunice not infrequently. “He’s always under my feet.”

“Retirement is such a stressful stage of life,” declared Dale. “It’s why I find solace in my gladioli. It pays to have some sort of hobby.”

Anyway, a strong wind came one early morning and snapped the stem of Dale’s prize gladioli. It was the only one he hadn’t staked. Eunice suggested they put it in a vase and display it inside. Dale agreed, although usually Eunice wasn’t permitted to touch a single stem.

“That’s what every second woman does with a man’s hobby,” said Dale. “No sooner does it flower than they want to cut it off and kill it.”

The problem with a gladioli stem is that it needs a tall vase. It was something, despite fifty-two years of marriage, which Eunice and Dale didn’t possess. Using an empty wine or beer bottle was crass. Something was needed with a touch of style. Eunice said she would get something suitable from the local junk shop. She popped off to the shops, and it didn’t take long before she returned with a deep blue bottle with a cork. It wasn’t too fancy, and it wasn’t too plain.

“The first thing we’ve got to do,” suggested Dale, “is to pull out the cork and rinse the bottle. You never know what that bottle’s had in it.”

He pulled the cork off and out popped a genie. (If you think, dear Reader, that this is a sudden and stupid turn in the narrative, know that it’s exactly where the plot has been heading the whole time).

“You have one wish!” pronounced the genie. “It rests within my power to bring back to life one dead person you name.”

What excitement! Who shall it be? Eunice and Dale began to argue whether it should be Aunt May or Uncle Vince.

Meanwhile, much has happened. The gladioli has withered, Dale and Eunice have divorced, and the genie (tired of waiting) scampered off in search of a brandy bottle in need of emptying.

2020. The camel was designed by a committee

(Today is story Number 2020 and will be my last posting for a while. (For those a little slow, 2020 is also the year!) Today too marks my 71st birthday, so what a splendid time to debloggerate for a bit! 2020 stories, 100 poems, nearly four hundred pieces of music – and thanks to you my readers, just under 40,000 comments! (Clearly, some of you can’t shut up!) I shall be back at some stage but possibly to do different things. After all, if a person hasn’t found a single story they liked out of 2020 then… whatever. I thought (inspired by a suggestion once made by Uma) that I might write some monologues. Or (as Iseult suggested) I might write Part II of an “autobiography”. Or (as I have suggested to myself many times) I might write another novel. Who knows?! Anyway, here is today’s story, the final, entitled “The camel was designed by a committee”.)

The Nobel Prize for Literature Committee called a very important meeting. They had invited a group of people to advise whether or not, for the first time in Nobel history, a blogger should receive the award. No one knows a blogger like a blogger. Apologies if your presence and what you said at the meeting was not recorded; the story would get too long – but whole-hearted thanks to ALL who read this blog.

Below is a rough transcription of the meeting. Andrea set the ball rolling.

Andrea: I really don’t think we should award Bruce the Nobel Prize for Literature. He would probably show his thanks by killing us all off in a story.

Uma: I agree with Andrea. Our world is dark enough without our adding to it. Mind you, it’s a Catch 22 situation; he’ll kill us off in the stories whether we say yes or no.

Nitin: What Bruce getting the Nobel Prize for Literature has got to do with Bozo the Clown is quite beyond me.

Yvonne: I’m not in favour of the Nobel Prize for Literature being given to Bruce. Imagine the interminable shopping lists he’d make once he got all that money.

GP Cox: He needs a bomb put under him.

Lisa: I agree with Yvonne on this one. I have tried to play his music on the violin and I think we should concentrate on his stories.

Keith: As a poet and story writer who has lived in France I really think there are cases more worthy, such as…

João-Maria (interrupting): I agree with Keith. I can think of lots of Portuguese poets who…

Ian (interrupting): Since no one knows who I am I can speak the truth without any negative repercussions. All I can say about his getting the Nobel Prize is – balderdash. Bunkum. Hokum. (And (although he might hate me saying) possibly the one who writes enough stupid stuff to be appreciated).

Max: He doesn’t know much about popular music from the 60s and 70s, so personally I’m more in favour of awarding it to Bob Dylan. Someone like that.

Matthew: Bob Dylan’s already got it once. I agree with João-Marie; but not Portuguese poets. Colombian poets would be more suitable.

Noelle: The Pilgrim Fathers (and Mothers) didn’t get off the Mayflower to award the Nobel Prize for Literature to every Tom, Dick, and Harry. I cry Murder! Murder! It’s a “No!” from me because I usually found his methods of killing people under researched.

Sylvie: I suspect he hasn’t written any haikus, so it’s “Non” from me (which according to Google Translate is French for “No”).

Herb: I’ve looked back over my own blog over the years, and if length of service is anything to go on I shall have to recommend the same as Sylvie, only in English.

Chelsea: As a mother of five boys I simply haven’t got any spare time to voice an opinion, although it’s pretty amazing how much I get done in a day.

Terry: From my point of view, all I can say is I’m an Australian, and my excellent stories are…

Sarah  (interrupting): As a published author I cannot recommend the prize going to someone who has never been published. In fact, in researching the history of the Nobel Prizes I can’t think of a single unpublished author who has had a book published. Nor for that matter can I think of a published author who has not had a book published.

Alex: They certainly haven’t made any films using his stories. For that matter, they haven’t made even a sitcom. It’s pathetic. What a pathetic loser! What an insignificant personage! It’s going to be a big fat “No” from me.

Chris: And “No” from me. His poems don’t rhyme. Nor do most of mine but that’s not what we’re on about here.

Cindy: If it’s photographable I’m in favour of it, although he’s not particularly photogenic. Then again, not every bird I photograph is pretty. Some are downright ugly. On second thoughts, I’m voting “No”. Sometimes one has to take into account the feelings of the camera.

Marina: Hello from Greece. I’m standing at my easel wondering whether to write or paint my “No”.

John: It looks like it’s going to be a unanimous “NO”. I should know because I write excellent poetry and have two daughters who live in New Zealand. In fact, Bruce and I have just had a series of poems published in a new poetry anthology called “No More Can Fit Into the Evening”. Published by Four Windows Press in Wisconsin. More of that anon.

Inese: Bruce is as cunning as a fox, although he’s never seen one. I went for a long and very picturesque walk along a river bank in Ireland to think about this award, and I got so distracted by the beauty of the environment that I quite forgot to think. Mind you, I have played all 160 of his piano pieces. Unfortunately there’s no Nobel Prize for Piano Music.

Lindsey: Speaking of walking… who’s this walking up the garden path this very minute?

Gulsum: Why! It’s Bruce himself!

Bruce: Hands up! Hands up! This is a hold up! Stick ‘em up!

Tom: We can’t say we weren’t warned. (And Tom’s publishing company – Four Windows Press – is the publisher of the poetry anthology mentioned by John above. And Tom is also one of the editors).

Paul: Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot!

Iseult: Where is a murderous machete when I need it? Help! A machete! A machete! My latest novel for a machete!

Bruce: Ok. Just this once I relent. In today’s story, you’re all going to survive. Well, maybe not all… YOU – over there in the corner in the silly hat – I see you’ve already nibbled surreptitiously on some of the poisonous salami I put out for refreshments later on.

Simon: I haven’t eaten any of the poisonous salami. I eat only what I cook myself – unless someone else cooks it. Why don’t you get on your bike and pedal off?

Bruce got onto his bicycle and pedaled off into the sunset. Of course, he’s so unfit that it’s not impossible he won’t get far.

THE END

2019. A gaggle of gossipers

(Today’s story is the penultimate. Tomorrow’s story (Number 2020) will be the last – at least for a while. I am writing this in September so who knows! Tomorrow’s story has LOTS of links so it’s not impossible that it will automatically end up in your email trash. Just a warning!)

Monique and Marcel had known each other for years. They were good friends since university days. Now both were widowed. They usually met once or twice a month for coffee and a chat. Each found support from the other in their loss.

After some time they started to hear rumours: they were a couple, they were dating, they were inevitably going to get married… None of this was true, but rumours stick.

“Apparently they haven’t as yet moved into the same house,” said Nora Cudworthy to Mabel Johnstoneville. “You’d think they would. After all, they do everything else. They should stop pretending we don’t know and move in.”

“I heard,” said Sandy Monteverdi to Joe Devon, “that they were having an affair long before their spouses died. I’m not surprised, judging from the way they carry on these days.”

“It’s unbelievable! Unbelievable!” said Carmel Cranford to Tessa London. “They have their grandchildren come to stay and I heard that Marcel and Monique spend all their time otherwise engaged. Unbelievable!”

“Enough is enough!” declared Monique to Marcel. “Let’s add fuel to the fire. Let’s go away together in the same car to some fancy resort somewhere and leave them to chatter.”

And they did! Off they trundled ostentatiously in the car.

While they were away the nearby volcano erupted and utterly decimated the village. It was like a modern Pompeii. The whole gaggle of gossipers was gone. Of course, Monique and Marcel were safe. But there was no one left to announce their engagement to.

2018. DIY murder

Everything costs money, and when Deidre discovered how much it was going to cost to have her husband murdered she decided to do it herself.

She knew that even a DIY murder was going to cost money. Fortunately she had a little nest egg stashed away which she had built up over time for this precise purpose. This murder wasn’t a spur of the moment thing. Now, where was I?

For starters, she had to purchase a gun. You can’t go and shoot someone using a gun you’ve just borrowed off a friendly neighbour. They might begin to suspect, especially since they lived next door. But Deidre didn’t want to go through all the hassle of getting a licence and goodness knows what. She would have to get her gun from some cheap outfit in a back alley.

Then there was the business of corpse disposal. These professional hitmen had their methods. They had done it many a time. But poor Deidre would have to shove Clive’s corpse into the back seat of her old 1977 LTD Ford and deposit the body in some secluded forest somewhere.

Then there was the cost of having to get the carpet cleaned – if in fact she were to pull the trigger in the living room. Quite frankly, Deidre ascertained, the cost of this DIY murder was getting to be as expensive as a professional job. But as Deidre was fond of say, “I shall stick to my guns”.

Her husband was such a happy person and so obliging. Deidre didn’t hate him, but she had had enough. She didn’t want him to die slowly. Seven years marriage was seven years. One can’t obliterate the memory of it with one bullet shot. Dear sentimental Deidre! She planned a final outing. They would go for a picnic to the lake.

It was while at the lake eating their tuna and lettuce sandwich that they stood next to the most beautiful waterfall. It hurtled down the cliff below them in a most dramatic manner.

“Such power!” declared Clive.

“Such a precipice!” declared Deidre.

She gave him a little push. It was free.

2015. The trials of having a pet

Charleen rented. The rental agency inspected the house every seven weeks. The inspector pretended the visit was in case anything was needed, or if anything needed fixing. In reality, the inspection was for the sake of the landlord. Make sure those horrible renters are not destroying my property.

Charleen loathed these inspection but was grateful she got seven days warning. It gave her time to “tidy up”. It also gave her time to hide her pet dragon. The rental agreement had stated “NO PETS” and in particular “NO DRAGONS”. Charleen had kept her dragon for well-nigh twenty years. It was impossible to find a landlord who would allow a pet dragon. The only way to find accommodation was to lie about the dragon – and hide it every seven weeks.

Charleen’s dragon was called Constibelle. It was a very pretty name for a dragon. The thing that Charleen detested the most about dragons was that they stained the carpet like you wouldn’t believe. It was possible to house-train them, but it wasn’t an easy task. Fortunately Constibelle’s was house-trained, but there were a few accidents on the way, and Charleen had to tastefully arrange mats and furniture to hide the stains. She dreaded the day when she might have to move house, and the final inspection would reveal the dragon stains in hideous detail.

Then disaster struck. Constibelle died. Quite suddenly. The neighbours wondered why Charleen was digging such a huge hole in her back yard, but Charleen explain that she was hoping to plant a well-grown apple tree.

Those of you who have never had a pet dragon will be unaware of the two possible things that can happen upon the death of a dragon. Either nothing happens at all, or dragon stains made during the course of a lifetime miraculously disappear. In this case, nothing happened.

Charleen was devastated. She grew to despise her departed dragon. Why had Clara’s pet dragon performed a miracle upon its death and why not Charleen’s? Selfish selfish dead dragon.

To hell with the corpse. The hole digging was abandoned. Charleen threw the dead dragon into a dumpster. She swore she would never get another dragon. She would never make that mistake again. Her next pet would be a pterodactyl.

2011. Visiting an aunt

Let me tell you about my aunt. Her name is April. One day I decided to visit her, so I went to the train station to buy a ticket.

When I was lining up to buy a ticket a plumpish lady pushed past me in the line and said, “Get out of my way, you wheezy little wimp.”

To be honest, I saw red and retorted with, “Who the hell do you think you are?”

The man in the line behind me said “That’s no way to talk to a lady” and I said “Zip it, Sweet Pea”, whereupon he punched me on the jaw. I wasn’t taking that sitting down so I punched back. We got into a huge fight; in fact the whole queue of people got into a huge fight; in fact the whole railway station got into a huge fight. And half the people fighting didn’t even know what they were fighting about.

After a few minutes the police came, and I got arrested and taken away, so I don’t know how the incident ended. I got put in a room (I suppose it was a cell – I’m not sure what the inside of a cell looks like) and told to wait. I reckon I waited about two hours. When this woman eventually appeared I said, “Look, I think I lost my wallet in the scuffle,” and she said “Who cares? It’s your own fault. Shut up and show us some ID.”

I said “All my ID is in my wallet, you dumb cow,” and she stormed out saying “Wait here.”

Well I reckon I waited two more hours and then a policeman turned up and I said I needed to go to the bathroom, and he said “You’ll have a place to pee soon enough” and asked for my ID. I told him about my wallet and he said the same as the woman: “Who cares? It’s your own fault.”

He then asked if I could phone someone who could verify who I was and I said I lived alone and didn’t know anyone in town because I was relatively new here. So he said, well where did you used to live? And I said that I used to live with my Aunt April. The policeman said, “What is your Aunt April’s name,” and I said “It’s April you nincompoop. I just told you. You don’t know diddlysquat. ” And he said well he couldn’t contact everyone in the world called April. She must have another name, and I told him it was none of his business. I don’t have a right to be handing out people’s names willy-nilly.

The policeman said, “Wait here” and left. I tried all the doors and they were all locked except one and that was a toilet thank goodness. The policeman reappeared again and said the same thing, “Wait here.” And that’s what I’ve been doing these last two or more hours; waiting. I guess I won’t be visiting my aunt today.

2010. Happy Thanksgiving!

Every year, apart from whose turn it was to cook the turkey, the Haslett family drew lots as to who would bring what on Thanksgiving. Over the years it had crumbled a little into abeyance because Olga always did the pumpkin pie. In fact she usually did two pumpkin pies. Even those who detested pumpkin pie thought that Olga’s pumpkin pie was to die for.

With her husband off work now with various shut-downs, money was a little tighter than usual so Olga was pleased that in an earlier time she had made some pumpkin purée and stored it in the freezer. Everyone else was a little hard-pressed for cash too, so they all jointly decided that they would make do with ingredients they could find without too much extra expense. Decima’s husband had an excellent vegetable garden so the responsibility for side dishes fell to Decima – although Stacey said she’d do a salad. It was Connie’s turn to do the turkey, and Arnie was an expert at concocting homemade apple cider.

All went hummingly. It was pumpkin pie time! It didn’t look quite right, but Olga said she had varied the ingredients a little according to budget demands. Oh dear! It turned out not to have been pumpkin purée at all, but carrot soup. Both are orange. Everyone screamed with laughter, but coupled with an extra glass or two of Arnie’s homemade apple cider, all agreed it tasted none-too-bad.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends!