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. print
2. mayhem
3. indigenous
4. plastic
5. jeep
6. triangle

we also have: destroyed in a blaze of white hot heat

Here is my story:


The immediate area surrounding the indigenous plants centre was mayhem. Crowds of onlookers, held back by a triangle of police rope, jostled for space to watch as the firefighters continued to hose down the smoking remains.
The trucks had arrived too late to save anything inside the building, the fire had been fierce and fast, the interior had been completely destroyed in a blaze of white hot heat.
Beyond the rope, the nursery owner, Willie Hagan, sat in his jeep staring at the mess while tears coursed down his wrinkled old cheeks. Five years he'd spent building up the place, from a ramshackle roadside stall. He'd planned a grand re-opening for tomorrow. Flyers had been printed and put up all over the small town, there'd even been a notice in last week's Herald. 

Willie's eyes travelled over the wide yard surrounding the smoking remains. By the north corner lay a pile of melted plastic pots which he'd marked for sale at half price. East and south of the sales centre were the potting shed, now water damaged, and row upon row of indigenous plants, far enough away to be undamaged by the fire or the water gushing from the hoses.
He could still sell those, and he knew he would, the townspeople had looked forward to the opening as much as Willie had, they'd be there as soon as he was allowed to open the gates again.
But all of his best plants,

 150 kangaroo paws ready to plant out,

 150 grass trees ready for planting,

dozens of smaller grasses and native shrubs that he had coaxed along, all had been moved inside yesterday, ready for tomorrow's sales. 




and the wildflowers.

Willie was devastated, five years of hard work, gone in an instant. He'd have to start over. 

But how had it happened? It would be a week or more before the insurance inspectors discovered the cause; Willie was sure there hadn't been a deliberate cause, not arson, he didn't have an enemy in the whole town, he'd lived there the whole of his 70 years and knew everyone like they were family. 
After speaking to the chief fire officer, Willie sighed heavily and drove slowly home. He'd try to sleep, but knew he wouldn't, the stress was too heavy right now. 

Willie rubbed the head of the big old golden retriever sitting in the passenger seat and decided he would walk Roscoe for a while. They could go down to the dam and check the yabby pots. It would help take his mind off the fire for a few moments.

 checking the yabby pots,

this is a yabby.

grass tree against the sunset.

grass tree in a pot.

 Thank you Google images and all participants thereof.


  1. Poor Willie.....and what a great use of both prompts....and pictures as well no less. You have outdone yourself this time.

  2. Poor, poor Willie. I am glad that he is sure that the community is behind him.

  3. Excellent! Poor Willie--to lose a life's work, yet to find joy in the other extensions of his life.

    Love the photos.

  4. Outstanding story and all the beautiful pictures to give it truth. You tell a great story and it is most believable.

  5. Delores; I thought pictures would help people realise I set this one in Australia.

    fishducky; perhaps picture books are my thing rather than novels.

    Elephan't Child; it's a small town and Willie has lived there since birth as did his parents before him. Everyone knows him, he know everyone.

    Susan Kane; not to worry, Willie will start over. Gardening is in his blood.

    Manzanita; a great opportunity I thought, to show you northern hemisphere people some of our plant life.

  6. Excellent story, River. I really feel bad for Willy. At 70, it can feel almost overwhelming to start again. Let's hope there's a big community spirit in the town.

  7. well done River, both prompts and pics as clever woman, well done and the story is awesome.

  8. That's an excellent story - and the photos really made it!! Well Done!!

  9. Marie; Willie is very young in spirit and the whole town will help with rebuilding.

    The Wicked Writer; thank you. This was quite a challenge, finding pictures to suit was fun.

    Red Nomad OZ; I knew the photos would help and give our northern friends a taste of Australia too.

  10. That is lovely, and the photos are beautiful. You always have such good ideas for these stories!


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