Finish the Story 2019 #3 – One Day

This was a great distraction and an opportunity to think outside the box. As of late I have shied away from nominating and participating in certain things as my anxiety seems to have hijacked my thoughts about me but here it is me writing outside my comfort zone. The awesome Kristian has helped do this by nominating me to add to the story. I wish it was more but I would like to hand the pass the torch to Jay-lyn another amazing blogger that I love to read. All of this is possible thanks to the talented Teresa over at The Haunted Wordsmith.

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!

Part one – from The Haunted Wordsmith

Victor tugged at the rigging and twisted the rusty knob on the gas tank. He didn’t like leaving his family’s lives in the hands of a second-hand balloon, but what could he do? Everything was gone already; he was lucky to have found this under all the other rubbish in the dump.

“Here, Papa.” Maddie handed him her small, floral bag filled with all her worldly possessions.

He looked in her eyes and smiled. “Thank you, sweetheart.”

“Is there room, Papa?” Jacob clutched his bag close to his chest. “I don’t really need it if there isn’t.”

Victor took his son’s bag and looked inside. Tears flowed down his cheeks. “There is always room for our dreams.” He tucked the wrapped notebook and Maddie’s bag into a small cubby in the balloon’s basket.

Maddie went in first, then Jacob.

“Victor,” Rose said, wiping the tears from her husband’s face, “we are doing the right thing, aren’t we?”

He held her hand against his cheek and closed his eyes. Silently, he nodded and took a deep breath. “It’s the only way.”

Victor helped her into the basket, then he climbed in and turned the knob on the flame. The family waited and watched as the sky filled with balloons. Friends and neighbors made the same choice they had. Many would, some didn’t. It was the only way.

As the balloon tugged against its last connection to the Earth, Maddie screamed and pointed. Victor turned and saw …

Part two – my Addition

The horde of Invaders, wearing their strange red painted leather armour and waving their jagged swords in the air, come marching over the hill.

No one knew where these strange people had come from. It had only been a year ago when radio waves from space had been received that proved they were not the only inhabited planet in the universe. Then they arrived with their great big ships. First, they took over Washington DC. No one had cared when they publicly executed their President, most people didn’t like him much anyway, but then they started turning people into slaves.

The world had been so divided against each other that they could not stop this mighty external force and now they had made it to California.

America was finished. Only one country now held any chance of resistance. They were going to try to make it to Russia. His grandparents had fled from there to escape Communist ideology and now he was trying to go back. He hoped the little bit of Russian he remembered being taught on his Grandmothers knee would be enough to get by.

Victor jumped into the Balloon basket and cut the rope. The wind picked up and they drifted off, just in the nick of time.

The prevailing wind blew them Northwestwards across Oregon and slowly out to sea.

Rose began dishing out some of their meagre food rations, bread and cheese, when she started laughing, hysterically.

Victor grabbed her arm “What is it?”

Rose looked up into his face and said …….

To be Continued.

Jo’s Take:

Rose replied through giggles, ‘Our passports are under the cheese. Why are we hiding these?’ ‘I was trying to hide the cheese.’ Victor giggled at her. The mood instantly lightened in the small basket when Rose and Victor smiled as the horde disappeared under the canopy of the forest below. Victor leaned over and whispered, ‘let’s try to set good examples for our children.’ Rose nodded as he kissed her cheek.

The asylum seeking family sat in the basket quietly wincing in unison as the wind whipped tore through the worn woven wicker. Rose could see the kids were shivering and getting scared. Out of her gear bag, she pulled out a sleeping bag a bundled it around her children. ‘You guys want to play a game?’ Just as Rose was about to tell the kids she could hear screaming from below. Victor peered over the side and….

The Story that’s Getting Away: Grotesque Angels

This started out to be a short story and it feels like it has a mind of its own. I had characters developing in different ways than imagined and characters I didn’t even know were there. It’s becoming a bigger undertaking than I thought and I’m going to try and limit myself to sharing 500 words at a time.


Gargoyles have been around for an eternity and possess a wealth of history, meaning, and tales. Now visitors viewing these stone creatures post pictures on social media sites and not give them a second thought. I was once one of those people not so long ago on a trip to New York taking pictures of all the old churches, parks, and the gargoyles. We don’t have them in our small town just some old churches and a couple of bars. The trip was a success and I have beautiful pictures to prove it.
I had been home a week when I noticed a gargoyle perched on my neighbor’s porch as I walked by.
‘Hey Sal, when did you get that cute little guy?’ I asked her pointing towards her step.
Sally looked down with a puzzled expression, ‘Hmm…I didn’t get him, maybe George did.’
‘He’s great, have a good day.’ I waved and continued about my daily errands. I did my marketing because being gone on a trip I didn’t have any food and needed to stock up.
‘Oh, son of a…’ I danced around holding my foot.
Sal must have been proud of her new statue and moved him to the end of her pathway because I almost tripped stubbing my toe on the damn thing walking back home. Groceries spilled out all over the sidewalk. I cursed more very graphic language and when the stinging went away I packed up my staples and headed home but with a little hitch in my giddy-up.

About a week later, staring out my office window, I noticed that the schoolyard has adopted three of their very own stone gargoyles. They didn’t look as mean but more fatherly.
‘Oh, hey Minnie,’ I exclaimed as she walked past my office.
‘When did the school get their new sculptured friends?’ I asked as she stepped in and pointed her gaze in the direction of the schoolyard.
‘Oh I don’t know, I never really noticed those before. Maybe they’ve had them and we never paid any attention. Think about it, how often do you survey a school playground when you don’t have kids?’ She raised her eyebrow and pointed at me implying that I should think about that.
‘You know, one of the legends that surround these pieces of art is that they are to protect people from evil. That’s why churches have them, to protect the congregation.’ I said just as a matter of factly as she brought up not having kids. First, you need to have a husband or at least a boyfriend to produce offspring. Truth be told, this small town doesn’t have that many bachelors seeking mates. They are either too immature and or aging to concern themselves with those ideologies. I always wanted a family and she knows that’s a sore spot for me. Sure she set me up on blind dates or a friend of a friend type of date but they weren’t my type. She knew what I was saying without saying it.
‘Lunch?’ Minnie asked but what it really was is a change of subject past the awkward silence.
I packed mine today but it’ll keep in the fridge. Are you thinking Buck’s or the deli?’ I asked taking her proverbial olive branch.
‘You decide, she replied and disappeared.
‘Noon?’ I hollered and off in the distance I think it was a ‘yup,’ for her reply.

We sat at a booth in Buck’s Diner because I wanted some real home cooked food. My father and mother had their first date here. Hell, I think everyone’s parents had their first dates here. The mashed potatoes didn’t come from a box and the rest of the food didn’t taste like it was commercially made. The waitress set down our lunches; Minnie a salad, and the fried chicken and mashed taters for me.
‘How was your trip? Meet anyone interesting?’ Minnie asked as I was shoveling a huge forkful of taters and gravy in my mouth. I held up one finger and handed her an envelope of the pictures that I thought looked the best for print. She daintily took a bite of her salad and delicately took the photos out of their protective sleeve.
‘Not really but I was only there for the art. But one thing I missed was this right here,’ I took a huge bite out of my chicken leg.

TO BE CONTINUED…..

Jo/© thecreativeptsdgal.wordpress.com

 

Pat York, Pat. “Front View of House.” Flickr, Jonesboro, http://www.flickr.com/photos/60464669@N06/5681550750.

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