Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Wednesday's Words on a Friday



On Wednesday’s, Delores, from Under The Porch Light, has a meme which she calls
“Words for Wednesday”.

She puts up a selection of six words which we then use in a short story, or a poem.
I’m hopeless at poetry so I always do a story.

It’s a fun challenge…why not join in?

This week's words are:

1. static
2. precursor
3. inclement
4. tractor
5. stump
6. racing 

and just to make things more interesting, Delores has given us six extra words to use if we wish, in another story, or in the same story.

1. thump
2. bump
3. clump
4. dump
5. rump
6. plump

Here is my story:

Robert gripped the handles of the old stump-jump plough, sweating profusely as he bumped along behind the plump rump of Millie, the gentle old Clydesdale. He thought about those new-fangled tractor machines some of the neighbours had now.  "Plough your field in half the time", they all said. Robert didn't think much of that idea. What would he do with half a day and nothing to fill it with? Barney over at The Dams had taken to spending several hours a day at the pub, while his Missus, Jean, "shopped". Robert snorted. Huh, shopping! What could she possibly be buying every day of the week? How many 25 pound sacks of flour and sugar does one kitchen need?

No, Robert preferred the slow way of his work, the way each task led naturally into the next, the days slipping along like syrup. Feeding the chickens led to gathering eggs, which led to scrambling a couple for breakfast, then Shirley would stir a couple into the batter that would become their afternoon tea cakes. Yes, the old way was best for Robert and Shirley.

He stumped along behind Millie, glancing at the sky, inclement weather was on the way, he could tell by the static in the air, always a precursor to thunder and lightning storms, electrical they called them now, often followed by heavy rains and wild winds.

Across the field he could hear the steady thump of the heavy barn doors as Shirley herded the chickens and cow inside to be safe from the storm. The pig was already penned in there and squealing against the change in atmosphere. "Sensitive little bugger," thought Robert, "always knows." The pig's squealing earlier this morning had alerted them, they'd come out on to the porch to feel the air was alive with electricity and had the peculiar yellow tint that always preceded a lightning storm.

As he shook another clump of mud off his boot, Robert glimpsed the first flicker of lightning above the hill behind the dam. No thunder yet, but he urged old Millie on, these things moved fast, they were racing against time now. Millie turned the final furrow and headed for home. She knew the barn was the safest place to be in a storm. Parking the plough and settling Millie with a bucket of oats only took a few minutes, then Robert headed for the house, noticing along the way that Shirley had primed the generator in case they needed it later. 

He dumped his boots and hat in the "wet" room, then ambled into the big, warm kitchen, where Shirley had mugs of hot tea waiting alongside slices of freshly cut bread and plenty of yesterday's mutton piled on plates. "Going to be a rough one Shirl," he said. "Lightning's already showing above the dam, should hear thunder any minute now."

Shirley smiled and gave him a hug. "Nothing to worry about love," she said, "we're safe inside, all the animals are in the barn and there's plenty of wood for the stove. I've got a nice beef stew going for dinner and an apple pie in the oven. Sit down and eat your lunch now."

She bustled about pouring more tea and setting the sugar bowl closer to Robert as the rumble of thunder began overhead. They both glanced out the window in time to see a sheet of lightning light up the landscape. The storm was moving faster now, they were glad to be warm and dry inside.










17 comments:

  1. This is wonderful. You have excelled yourself - and Robert and Shirley's life and philosophy sound pretty good to me.

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  2. I always love your stories & this is one of your best!!

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  3. This is SO good.....you do an amazing job with the words,.

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  4. This is one of your best, so true! I love how you created the storm, the tension, the relationship between Robert and Shirley.

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  5. I can see it all in my minds eye, the farmer ploughing the field, the coming storm a warm barn full of animal noises and smells and the couple enjoying their lunch with the stew bubbling away filling the room with lovely smells as the storm rattles away in the distance.
    Merle.............

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  6. Elephant's Child; I prefer the slow way of getting through my day too. I did it when the kids were small, then spent years rushing around because I was working, everything had to be done quickly, now I'm back to taking my time.

    fishducky; I'm pretty happy with my stories too. Thanks.

    Delores; thank you very much.

    Susan Kane; I was hoping the storm tension and relaxed lifestyle would show through. I could see it myself, but wasn't sure others would.

    Merlesworld; by the time I hit publish the storm was probably lighting up the sky all around with rain pelting on the roof while they were safe and warm inside. I'm glad you could see it like I could.

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  7. I don't know why River but that one made me cry it was so beautiful. I guess I've always wanted to live the country life and that made me realise why, even including all the hard work.
    You way with words is wonderful. I wish I had but half your talent. I'd take a pass on the thunderstorm though even if they are a part of life.

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  8. And why AREN'T you submitting your work? You have the knack for keeping your reader engaged and anticipating.

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  9. Mimsie; I made you cry? wow. I had no idea the story was so emotional. I was hoping to make people see the difference in the easy pace of days gone by and the constant rush the world is in now.

    Linda O'Connell; don't really know who to submit to and how and would they keep asking for stuff I can't produce? These are things I'm hoping to learn when I start the creative writing course next Thursday. There was a one day course on "getting your writing published" but I missed it.

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  10. Fantastic! I agree with what the others have already said: this is one of your best. I'm thrilled to hear you're starting a creative writing course next week. You've got the talent; the class will sharpen them. Bet it'll be fun, too!

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  11. You are a great artist painting with words! I would pay for that!

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  12. Susan; Thank you, that's the main reason for doing the course. I often start a short story, but don't know how to continue past a couple of paragraphs, the course should help with that.

    mm; you'd pay me? wow. and thank you.

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  13. You should definitely enter for The Age short story award for 2014. This year's entry has just closed on 1 nov, but you can start thinking about, get a few drafts going.
    J
    Entrants can submit up to three stories, each with a maximum length of 3000 words. The stories will be judged anonymously and the winner will receive $2000 plus publication. Second and third-placed writers will win $1000 and $500 respectively and their stories will also be published in The Age.

    Entries close on November 1 and winners will be announced in mid-December. Please visit the Age website to read about competition guidelines and find out how to submit your entry.

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  14. mm; I'll check out The Age website, thanks. I have several short stories that I haven't used on the blog yet. Is there a minimum length? My longest story is only just over 600 words. And it has already been on the blog here.

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  15. Wow, this is lovely. So vivid! I really wanted to be in that cosy kitchen at the end with that wonderful good warming supper!

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  16. So glad to hear you are doing a creative writing course. you definitely should start submitting your stories.

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  17. Jackie K; I love the kitchen on a stormy day, especially if things are baking. It's a safe and secure feeling that goes deep in the soul.
    I'm looking forward to the course which begins this Thursday. I contacted The Age to find out more about the comp. and learned that stories must not have been published anywhere before and since most of mine have been exposed to the world via my blog, I'll have to get my thinking cap on for new stuff.

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