Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Wednesday's Words on a Friday



On Wednesdays, assorted people have been taking monthly turns at putting up a selection of six (or twelve) words which is called “Words for Wednesday”.

We have taken over this meme from Delores, who had been having computer problems.
This month the meme continues here, with words supplied by Mark Koopmans.

Essentially the aim is to encourage us to write.   

Each week we are given a choice of prompts: which can be words, phrases, music or images.   What we do with those prompts is up to us:  a short story, prose, a song, a poem, or treating them with ignore...

Some of us put our creation in comments on the post, and others post on their own blog.  We would really like it if as many people as possible joined in with this fun meme.

If you are posting on your own blog - let us know so that we can come along and read your masterpiece.
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. Ireland
2. treacle
3. palatial
4. Harry
5. over-55
6. ballistic

and/or

1. boring
2. lemurs
3. rations
4. trauma
5. scolded
6. financial

Here is my story:

 I'd applied for a house-sitting job and was excited to be one of the applicants on the interview list. The agent met me at the gate and before we walked up the path she informed me I was the fifth applicant to be interviewed. The previous four had been rejected, apparently 'the house' didn't like them. 

I looked at the unassuming structure before me and wondered just what was going on. It seemed like any other house to me and I said so. "Oh, don't be fooled," said Karen, the agent. "It doesn't look big from here, but the rooms are large, there just aren't very many of them. Only two bedrooms and a large kitchen-dining-living area, plus a bathroom and separate laundry."

I nodded as if absorbing the information, while secretly smiling inside. Two bedrooms? Large bedrooms? I couldn't wait to see inside.
"Shall we go in?" I said.
"There is something about the house, and the owner too," Karen said. "Nobody can explain it. I'll let you see for yourself."

We entered the yard and as I walked towards the house, the air seemed to thicken, I felt like I was wading through treacle. Time slowed, and I had the feeling the house was watching me. But I wasn't afraid, there was nothing malevolent here. Magic perhaps, but not bad magic.
I stopped and looked at the house, gave it a good once-over and smiled. I liked what I was seeing, and as the air thinned to normal, I felt the house liked me too. 

Maureen, the owner, met us at the door. She'd been watching for us through the window and had seen me slow, then stop and smile at the house. She explained to me that three of the previous applicants hadn't even made it to the door, they'd been scared off by the house watching them.

"Does it really watch?" I asked. "I felt the air thicken and  felt the watching, but is it the house or someone in the house? Is it magic?"
"Oh it's definitely the house," said Maureen. "and it likes you. I'll give you a tour and try to explain it."

She showed me the bedroom first and my heart went ballistic with excitement. I'd spent five years living in a tiny flat where the bedroom was barely big enough to contain my single bed. Now I was looking at a room large enough to hold a queen sized bed with plenty of spare space around it. 
To me, this was palatial, and I could be sleeping in it soon.
Maureen saw my excitement and laughed, a lovely tinkling sound. "I think we've found a match," she said. "The house and you. Come and see the kitchen next and I'll tell you why I need you."

Karen was waiting in the dining area with a sheaf of papers ready for me to sign. The kitchen was fabulous, I loved it on sight. I'd never seen so much storage space.

We sat at the table with cups of tea and Maureen began her tale. Her family was Irish and legend had it they were related to leprechauns. Nobody coud prove anything, but they did seem to always be extremely lucky and their homes were always warm and welcoming to good people. If a house suddenly felt cold, there was a person inside that the house didn't like.

"Anyway," she said, "the house likes you and I do have to go home to Ireland. My father, Harry, died and my mother hasn't been able to get over the trauma of losing him. I'm going home to lend a hand for as long as mum needs me. So this contract will be open-ended, I will need you indefinitely. 
I've laid in enough rations to see you through the first week and after the paperwork is signed, I'll show you where the nearest shops are. Did you notice the community centre across the road? it's a retirement village for over-55's, I'll take you there too. They're a lovely bunch, nothing boring about them just because they're old. They're active in so many ways, crafts, excursions... What do you say? Do you think you could stay here? I can tell you like the house as much as it likes you."

I was almost too excited to say yes. 

The paperwork was quickly signed, then Maureen showed us the rest of the house. The second bedroom had been turned into an office, the walls were covered in photos of Ireland and also, to my surprise, photos of lemurs. Maureen explained she donated regularly to a fund that helped keep the lemur colonies in Madagascar safe from poachers who stole and sold the babies to unregistered zoos. 

Karen said she had to be leaving, she had another house-sitter to sort out in another area; we shook hands and waved her goodbye, while Maureen asked how I was going to get home, since my staying there wouldn't begin until the following Monday. 
I said I was very used to riding the buses, she needn't worry about me.

We walked down her street and Maureen pointed out the shopping centre, the medical centre and the small park where some of the over-55's met on early summer mornings to do their TaiChi exercises.

She also explained the financial set-up of the house. During her absence, all rates were being paid by her, via direct debit from her bank, the gardener too. There was no need for me to worry about any of that, she was paying me a handsome weekly amount to care for her home; electricity and phone bills were to be paid by me. If anything needed repairing I was to contact Karen who would arrange the necessary work and see that it was paid for. 

I mentally scolded myself for all the worrying I'd done in the past week about jumping in feet first, getting out of my comfort zone, taking on such a challenge. This was a dream come true; I was determined to do well at this and make Maureen, and the house, glad they'd hired me.

9 comments:

  1. I love this. It sounds like a dream come true.

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  2. That is a lovely story. It's always nice to hear a pleasant ending. I kept thinking there was going to be some sort of malevolent
    twist to it. Quite clever of you how you used all the prompts.

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  3. What an interesting story you have written.
    Well done and using all the words :)

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  4. Elephant's Child; thank you. It didn't go quite where I wanted it to, I want more magical interaction between the house and the sitter, I think I'll name her Patricia.

    Cheryl; thank you. I like pleasant endings. I don't think I could do malevolent.

    fishducky; thank you too. I think this one needs a chapter two.

    Margaret-whiteangel; thanks, it feels unfinished to me, there's more waiting to be discovered and written.

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  5. What a pleasant story, thanks for sharing.

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  6. When I saw that list of words to be used, I thought Mark had raised the bar, and using all of them would be a tough task. Silly me! I should have known better. You did a super job with them. And, yes! A part two would be a great idea.

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  7. Very good, River....well done, indeed. :)

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  8. Romance Reader; welcome to drifting and thank you.

    Susan; it definitely needs a part two, but if next week's words don't seem to fit, I'll have to struggle along with a chapter two on my own.

    Lee; thank you. I liked your story too.

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