Wednesday's Words on a Friday

On Wednesdays, Delores, from Under The Porch Light, has a word challenge 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. minute
2. aggrieved
3. instantaneous
4. burlap
5. satchel
6. purloined

or:  "I'm sorry, I don't understand Klingon" 

Here is my story: 

His face wore an aggrieved expression as he stomped up the front steps and into the Police Station. He carried his possessions in a burlap sack, tied at the neck with a long length of pyjama cord and slung across his shoulder to hang at waist level. He reached the front desk and burst into unintelligible speech, thumping the counter for emphasis as he did so.

The sergeant on duty took a step back and stood quietly, waiting for the shabby man to run out of steam. When he had finished ranting, he stood still, chest heaving from the exertion of the shouting.

Sergeant Barry then said quietly, "I'm sorry, I don't speak Klingon."

The change in the demeanor of the shabby man was instantaneous. He straightened, looked the Sergeant in the eyes and calmly asked, in perfect English, "how did you know it was Klingon?"

Sergeant Barry replied, "my sons have been watching Star Trek episodes for weeks now, I recognise the language pattern when I hear it, although I don't understand what they say, or what you have just said. Now, how can I help you?"

"Just a minute," said the shabby man as he began searching his numerous pockets. He located a photograph and showed it to the Sergeant. "This is my satchel" and indeed the crumpled old photo did show a satchel, in an older style and made of leather.
"It is a very important satchel and now it is gone from my possession. Someone, (fist thump) has purloined my satchel! (fist thump). The shabby man's eyes began to look a little wild and his next few words were again in Klingon.

Sergeant Barry waited again for him to finish and then addressed the shabby man by name.
"Stephen," he said, "look at me Stephen, and try to tell me where you were last night. Perhaps the satchel is still there."

He watched as Stephen thought, his face a mixture of fleeting movements and emotions. 

Coherent thought was hard for him these days, he'd had a complete mental breakdown after being laid off from his job three years ago and his merciless wife had packed up her things and walked away. Medication kept him reasonably steady when he remembered to take it, but when things went unexpectedly awry, he went a little crazy and spoke nothing but Klingon.

Stephen's eyes cleared and he looked at Sergeant Barry, "I was in the old boat shed, down by the river. I remember now, I stashed the satchel in the old rowboat for safety, it's still there. I'll go and get it."
He turned and walked away, his posture resuming its slump, his face becoming blank again as he turned west towards the river.

"What was that all about?" asked the new detective inspector who had been listening from the next room. Sergeant Barry filled him in on Stephen's history and mentioned the importance of the satchel which contained all of Stephen's papers, identification, medical records and so on.


  1. Ground Hog Day?

    Good touch, I was wondering how he knew his name.

  2. River this is BEAUTIFUL, and my eyes are leaking.
    How wonderful that Sergeant Barry is so compassionate.

  3. Lovely story and an amazing use of the words.

  4. Hi River,

    I appreciate how you incorporated the words into an intriguing satchel of Stephen's life.

    Thank you and g'day, River.


  5. joeh; ground hog day? possibly for Stephen as he often forgets where he slept and where he stashed his satchel.

    Elephant's Child; Thank you. The whole small town is pretty compassionate, they give Stephen food when he is in the mood to accept it and the local doctor talks to him often in the park to check his condition.

    fishducky; thank you, the words just poured themselves onto the page.

    Delores; thank you for this challenge, it really gets the brain ticking over.

    klahanie; that's good, the satchel of Stephen's life. And true too, the satchel is all he has to remind him who he is.

  6. ... great story River... I loved it..... xxxxx Hugs ... Barb xx

  7. I'm glad I chose this moment to revisit your blog after such a long break! This is sensational!!! You're so talented and I look forward to reading more of these little gems!! Have a great weekend, my friend!

  8. That was brilliant and so different from your other stories and you showed how understanding some people can be of those with disabilities. Wonderfully well written. I'll give you 110 out of 100 for that one.

  9. Barbara Neubeck; thank you so much.

    Red Nomad OZ; they're here every Friday, feel free to read past efforts.

    Mimsie; thank you very much. :)

    Rose~from Oz; thank you too.


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