Dover and Out

 

hashmarks

 

Jim felt at the stitches in his forehead. He hadn’t slept for three days straight. It had been a crazy few days in Belgium with the lads. Now he just wanted to get them all home.

But he stalled their stolen butcher’s van just at the wrong time. Framed within the yellow hash marks, they had attracted the attention of a uniformed figure who gestured for them to pull off the road.

Jim ignored him, fired up the engine and sped off towards a quiet area near the sand dunes. He knew to leave nothing behind. Within minutes, they were on foot and their transport was a blazing wreck.

They walked quickly to the docks, sweating from the heat and the stress. It was organised chaos at the quayside. They joined the long queue as it shuffled forward towards the waiting boats.

“I hope you’ve pre-booked, Jim”, came a voice from behind, “I only travel First-Class!” Then they were all joining in, to ease the tension.

“When’s the bar open?”
“Tell them to be careful with my golf clubs!”
“I do hope we’re home in time for tea!”
“You should have organised this better, Jim!”

After three hours, they gratefully climbed aboard the ferry and were looking to grab a few hours sleep. In time, the harbour and coastline slowly disappeared from view.

Suddenly, the ship pulled hard to starboard, knocking many off their feet.

“Stuka!” The bomb was a near miss, sending a plume of seawater over Jim and his comrades. A few raised their rifles and fired in defiance at the retreating dive-bomber.

They had survived this time. But there were over seventy miles of English Channel between Dunkirk and Dover. And in May 1940, this was the most dangerous stretch of water in the world. Sleep would have to wait.

‘Lest we forget’.

 

This story is inspired by the photo supplied by Al Forbes of Sunday Photo Fiction, 13th November 2016.  For more details click the logo.

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To view other stories written for this challenge, please click here.

Upturn Downturn

 

fallen-statue

(You can read how Abby’s story began here)

Hi! I’m Abby Downturn – a Lady from New England, living in a cottage in Old England. I used to have trust issues, but I’m feeling way better now!

I love the Olde English country palaces. Many’s the time I’ve had my nose pressed to the windows at Old Chuffing Hall. Until the injunction. Which was just a misunderstanding really.

Anyway, I managed to grab a few words with Lord Knows, the proprietor. And he only went and offered me a job in the Hall’s coffee shop! Said he appreciated my after hours service at the Red Lion Public House. I told him I’m not that kind of girl, and he laughed. I guessed it was the first time he’d done that in a while. He even lifted the injunction!

Anyway, during my lunch breaks, Knowsey, as I called him, started showing me around the Hall. I expected to be blown away, and I was. But it all looked tired, rundown and a little lonely. Since his wife passed, Knowsey has been hurting a lot, and this house has the scars to prove it.

So that’s why I became Housekeeper. To help get the place looking brighter. Eventually, he got the broken statue repaired. And Knowsey had a spring in his step, once more.

Then a lot of things happened, in a short space of time.

Knowsey’s money ran out – a huge tax bill threatened to bankrupt him.
The Hall was put up for sale. Old Chuffing Hall!
He asked me to marry him.
I said ‘I do’ and I did. Just a small, private function, with a reception at the Red Lion – 10% discount for former staff.
We rented a little cottage on the estate, while the house was being sold.

Then my trust fund was recovered!

So I bought the place. The ‘Whole Monty’, as they say. Once the Hall is renovated, we’ll be moving in. All a far cry from when I first moved over here and lived in an old caravan.

But sometimes a Lady Knows.

 

This story is inspired by the photo supplied by Al Forbes of Sunday Photo Fiction, 6th November 2016.  For more details click the logo.

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To view other stories written for this challenge, please click here.

Out for the Count

 

frankenstein

 

“And so finally, Fair Maiden, on this week’s ‘Out for the Count’, you also turned down a date with Contestant C – Frank, the ‘Green Machine’, from Bolton. Poor Frank! You said he was a bit too square for your liking, as he spends much of his time hanging around in science labs. The Nerd!

You also thought he was a control freak, as he likes to take full charge for 24 hours. But there’s no sparking this guy to life now. He also needs to get himself a better doctor – those stitches are brutal, man!

Off you go Frank, see ya!

So, Lady, you turned down our three eligible bachelors, which means you Held out for the Count!

And here he is, the ‘Vein Man’, Count Drac himself!

You, lucky lady, will be swept off your feet and taken out for a bite by Big Drac. He’ll come back next time and tell us all about it. A wink from the Big Fella there – he’s got something tasty lined up, no doubt!

So, we’ll see you next week folks, on ‘Out for the Count’, when DRAAAAAAC’S Back!”

 

This story is inspired by the photo supplied by Al Forbes of Sunday Photo Fiction, October 30th 2016.  For more details click the logo.

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To view other stories written for this challenge, please click here.

Ma’am and Dad

 

buckinham-palace

 

It’s been a few years now since we started going to the Royal parades at the Palace. Or ‘Buck House’ as my Dad calls it. He was always the Royalist, and proudly served his Queen and Country in Afghanistan. Took a bullet there too. But he was mostly cheerful, and I never heard him complain about anything.

He’d always make a point of going to London every year, in his bright red tunic and medals, to see the Queen and her Prince ride by in a beautiful carriage. He’d stand to attention and salute. Dad said she waved at him once, but he might have made that bit up!

One by one, we all got drawn in to his world, and travelled with him to London. We’d walk down the Mall, mix with the crowds, and soak in the atmosphere – so different from the quiet place where we live now.

We eventually learned the places to stand for the best view. Dad’s chest always swelled with pride when the soldiers rode past.

Every now and again though, I’d see his eyes glaze over. As much as he likes Elizabeth and Philip, he does miss Victoria and Albert. Dad always thinks of them as ‘his’ Queen and Prince. He’s seen a few come and go since then, but always come back to pay his respects.

Dad says, “Once you wear the Queen’s colours, you’re in for life, and the afterlife!”

 

This story is inspired by the photo supplied by Al Forbes of Sunday Photo Fiction, 23rd October 2016.  For more details click the logo.

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To view other stories written for this challenge, please click here.

Art for Art’s Sake

 

Queen's Seal

 

“And on to our final item – Lot number 42 – ‘The Royal Coat’, believed to be one of mysterious street artist Binky’s undiscovered earlier pieces.

A hush fell around the packed room. The auctioneer banged his gavel down with too much enthusiasm. It skidded into the third row, and rendered a tabloid journalist unconscious. No-one appeared to notice.

“Before we start, I must point out that this piece has an unusual covenant attached to it. The owner has to ensure the financial upkeep of the building to which it is attached.” Everyone agreed that the cost of the covenant would literally be a small price to pay.

With the gavel back in safe hands, the auction started. Things began steadily, with the serious players hanging back. But soon the price had crept up and over the £10 Million mark. Unbelievable! And so it went on…

When the hammer finally came down, there were gasps, cheers and hurried phone calls to editors. £520 Million was the final price!

Mr Inkerman and his class had been waiting nervously in a side room. When the news broke, there were hugs, high fives, and tears of joy. They hadn’t bid in the auction – they were, after all, just an art teacher and students in a crumbling college, that was being sold off to an uncaring City developer.

But Barry Inkerman (‘Binky’ to his students) had other ideas. They worked overnight on the college wall. It was all a bit rushed and raw – like someone learning their trade. But unmistakably Binky, for all that.

And now the college was safe. Who knows, it may even get a new extension for the Art department.

 

This story is inspired by the photo supplied by Al Forbes of Sunday Photo Fiction, August 28th, 2016.  For more details click the logo.

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To view other stories written for this challenge, please click here.