Time To Read

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This work of fiction was inspired by the photo above for WATW and #8 — Sealed envelope from the week-long gifts challenge. It was also inspired by a fantastic horror movie (well, up until the twins–after that I think it gets boring). Enjoy!


 

I read as often as possible and particularly enjoy tales of swashbucklers and island adventures. It provides a much-needed escape from my life as winter caretaker for a summer hotel in the middle of nowhere. The job has its perks, mind you, like no guests or little kids running around, but when it turns into a blizzard outside and I’m the only one around for miles it feels like I’m on a deserted arctic island with no hope of escape. I can see why the previous caretakers all went insane, but not me. It’s basically an introvert’s paradise. The hotel manager worked out a deal with the library in town to stock nearly three hundred books for me to choose from over the winter. It’s only December and I just finished the last one. Now what? I’m bored. For three days I have wandered the halls of the hotel playing ding, dong, ditch to an empty room. It’s okay though. I’m not like the others. I’m just fine. Me, books, lots of time, and all the privacy I could want. Yep, just me and this huge empty hotel.

Bored.

Bored.

Bored.

Yep, still bored.

Snow.

Snow.

Good lord, more snow.

Christmas came, and I already knew what was wrapped in foil under the tree I decorated with foil stars yesterday. I know because I’m the one that wrapped them. That one’s a blender and that one over there is a box of foil. Somewhere in this sea of presents is a can of tomato soup. I like tomato soup. Don’t you? Maybe I’ll fix it for our lunch. Don’t wrinkle up your nose at tomato soup! It’s very healthy for you! At least, that’s what my grandma used to say.

Hey, did you give me that one? Which one? Open your eyes, you have ten of them! That one. Over there. The large brown envelope. Did you give it to me? What? No? Then who did? Well I don’t know who did! It’s sealed. Are you playing tricks on me? Alright! Alright! I’ll open it! Hold your horses! Sheesh!

I have no idea who sent it, but this is getting kind of fun. Like a treasure hunt in one of the books they left me. Look! Someone gave me a picture of a beautiful island with a hammock for one. Just what I want right about now. It’s snowing again. Big surprise! Snow, snow, snow. That’s all I see now. I’m not talking to myself. You’re here, aren’t you? Stop laughing at me.

Maybe if I try real hard and wish enough, then I could spend the rest of this miserable winter on this island. Alone. I am tired of all you guys singing, partying, and keeping me up all night. The manager didn’t tell me about the winter parties. It would be nice if you guys would invite me one night. Don’t look at me that way! I am a perfectly normal human being! I am not insane like the other caretakers. I don’t need your parties anyway! I have my books and my own imagination, thank you very much. An imagination that will take me to this island. Just you watch!

Snow.

Snow.

Snow.

Doesn’t it ever stop snowing!

Oh, look at that. It stopped snowing. That can’t be! Rubbing my eyes only makes it get brighter. No! Really! Hey! Everyone! Come look outside! It’s beautiful! Ha, I told you that if I wished hard enough I could be taken to that island. It looks so warm out there. Let’s spend the day on the beach. I’m sure the manager won’t mind. I just need to go find my bikini. Don’t tell me I didn’t bring one! I know the hotel’s pool is empty and closed for the winter. I’m going swimming in the pool, you idiot!

The sun is so warm. It’s been so long! The sand tickles my toes. Doesn’t it tickle yours? Ha ha ha, yeah it does feel like stepping on yeast doughnuts as they rise in between your toes. You’re funny. I’m going to hang in the hammock and sun bathe for a while. Wake me up if I start getting too red, okay? Will you? As, thanks, you’re a life saver. Yeah, this is a perfect summer day, isn’t it?


“Mr. Howard,” the sheriff said, “Perhaps you really should think about just becoming a year-round resort or at least stop hiring winter caretakers, please.”

The sheriff waved for the morgue’s people to come collect Miss Jensen’s body from the arms of the statue in the hotel’s fountain.

“Poor girl. She seemed so stable too. Book lover. Quiet. She said she wanted peace and quiet to write her first children’s book.” Mr. Howard sighed. “Maybe you’re right, Sheriff, maybe you’re right.”

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Space Camp And Beyond

The Crapaud family lived on a little farm near a pond not too far from Huntsville, Alabama. All summer the kids would do nothing but talk about wanting to go to that Space Camp that NASA has in Huntsville. Every year, that’s all they would talk about. Mama Crapaud would just shake her head listening to their nonsense. They know they can’t go. They smell. No matter how much they bathe…the kids smell. They can’t help it. The whole family smells. It’s just the way it is. It’s always been that way. Mama Crapaud thought they just needed to get used to it and ignored the kids when they begged.

Finally, one hot July evening, after the kids had snapped her last nerve, she started screaming at them. “YOU AIN’T GOIN! YOU CAN’T GO! YOU’RE TOADS FOR CRINE OUT LOUD! NOW LEAVE ME ALONE!”

The kids cried themselves to sleep annoying the whole neighborhood. Mr. Krapo who lived next door paid Mama Crapaud a visit the next morning. They talked things over and Mama Crapaud agreed.

“Hurry up, kids,” she told her children. “Mr. Krapo is going to take you on a little trip.”

Together Mr. Krapo and the three Crapaud children hurried to their ride into Huntsville. There he introduced the kids to Mr. Krӧte who knew a NASA engineer, who knew a scientist who needed volunteers to go to space.

Two months later the Crapaud children got more than their wish…they went into space.


This short was inspired by the Three Things Challenge prompt: space camp, toad, smell

 

Art Lover Turned Artist

“You are quite the esthete,” the gallery owner said.

“Thank you, Edward,” April said, smiling. “I do love your selection of artists.”

“All local. You’re are artist, aren’t you?”

April nodded still breathing in the newest addition to the collection.

“Well, let me know if you ever want to show anything here, and I’ll fit you in.”

“Thank you!” April gasped as her face lit up.

She festinated around town buying all the essentials – paint, canvas, farm-fresh organic carrots and cauliflower, and fresh manure. Once home she set to work creating her newest masterpiece. After five years of being an artist, she was finally going to get her big break.

A week later she returned to the gallery with her masterpiece. Edward was busy with customers, so he simply waved for her to set it in the back and that he would call her later. She happily complied and returned home to wait for his call. A few minutes after she left, customers began sniffing the air. Art gallery patrons do not often complain when people pass gas, and they tried to ignore the rudeness of whom ever polluted the air, but as the minutes passed, the smell increased. People began covering their noses and coughed. Edward was doing his best to not embarrass whomever made the foul odor but opening the door and standing in the doorway waving a clip board was not doing anything to help.

As customers left complaining about the gallery, Edward was beside himself. He plugged his nose the best he could and waded through the growing stench was still filling his gallery and tried to find its source. Perhaps a skunk slipped in somehow? Although he didn’t know how a skunk would have navigated New York City safely just to come to his gallery.

Nothing on the gallery floor. His eyes were watering now, and he began gagging. He had to find the source of the god-awful stench. He picked up a small trash can and took it with him as he headed into the back room. After losing his lunch again, he saw April’s piece wrapped in brown paper that was dripping from the bottom. Dripping? Art? He was almost afraid to look, but he had to find the source and remove it.

Edward ripped the paper, lost tomorrow’s dinner, and discovered the source. Her painting was a farm scene complete with fresh…um…yeah. He dragged the painting outside, dripping and dropping its paint throughout the gallery. Around the corner to the dumpster. In the dumpster. Even flies fled the stench.

Three rounds of cleaning and a week later, Edward hung the out of business sign on his gallery. It was impossible to remove the stench from all the artwork and the expense of reimbursing all the artists for their loss. April had essentially driven him to bankruptcy all because of her warped aesthetics.


This short was inspired by:
FOWC with Fandango — essential
Word of the Day Challenge — esthete
Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day — festinate

Worth A Thousand Words # 6

Welcome to a new daily photo prompt

Worth A Thousand Words


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Photo credit: pasja1000 @ pixabay.com

Use the photo prompt above to find your inner muse and set it free. No limits on word count, genre, rating, etc. Let your imagination run wild.

To participate, simply write a story for your blog and either link back directly to this page or post your link in the comments.

Please use WATW as a tag so that I can find your stories easily if the pingbacks don’t work, or you forget to post a link in the comments.

Remember, no word limit, the longer the better, read what other’s have written, and most of all, HAVE FUN!