Stepping Up

Inspired by Paula’s Thursday Inspo #100, where she prompts with the image below.

As Paula is stepping back from this prompt, can I just take the opportunity to say thank you? I’m kinda late to the party on this one, but I have thoroughly enjoyed writing my responses, where my time and my imagination has permitted. Hosting a prompt has always scared me witless, just the amount of reading you’re committing yourself to, so… hat’s off to you, and thanks.

The boy, about ten years old, is seated on the carpet. He is playing with finger puppets. He giggles, laughs, clearly enjoying himself. The boy is dressed in the finest silk clothing, in handmade leather shoes which reflect the light like mirrors.

The boy is playing with a man. They are both laughing and joking. They might be father and son, were it not for a veneer of formality layered onto their informal pleasure. In fact, the man is a butler, merely a surrogate.

Their surroundings: both are sitting cross-legged on a sumptuous, red carpet. The room is a gallery, with sunlight streaming in from one side. They are surrounded by opulence. Gilt trim is everywhere.

At the far end of the gallery – twenty yards away – is a door. A man enters. He too is dressed well, and he walks stiffly, almost marching. He approaches slowly, gracefully. The boy giggles – through the mirrors on the ceiling, he can see the man’s thinning scalp. The two continue to play.

The man arrives. He clears his throat. He glares at the butler, who responds immediately. The butler jumps up and in an instant is standing to attention. The boy regards the visitor.

“I’m afraid, your majesty, that your time as dauphin is at an end.” Then, pausing for effective reverence, he bows. “God Save The King”.

Why Me?

Inspired by Paula’s Thursday Inspo #99, where she prompts with this image:.

Oddly enough I posted a poen just last weekend which fits this exact prompt, so rather than just rehashing something which would be the same thing with a few tweaks, can I just link to the original? I didn’t think it was half bad anyway.

It’s a short poem about a beast who meets a beauty and just wonders “how?” If you already saw it, I apologise.

Image showing a writing book and a quill

Liaisons Dangereuses

It’s been a while since I just sat down and wrote something freestyle. With raven hair and emerald eyes,Her beauty cannot be disguised,Her velvet skin, her heaving breastHer passion beats within her chest. A settled life, a path to tread,A comfort paunch, twelve years he’s wed,A pleasing job, devoted wife,His passion thrown into his life. … Continue reading “Liaisons Dangereuses”

Hard Times

Inspired by Paula’s Thursday Inspo #97, where she prompts with this image:.

He banged the door shut, then climbed into the cab. “Where to next?”, said Jack. His colleague picked up a clipboard, and tutted. “D’oh. They haven’t filled it in properly. It just says ‘Trumpton’ here”.

“Trumpton? Here’ let’s have a look.” Jack motioned for the clipboard. “Hmmm…”, he continued, “There’s a phone number here. Tell you what, let’s drive to Trumpton and give them a bell to find out exactly where they are.” He started the engine. He didn’t mind, really. It was a nice day, and he liked driving around the county. Life could be a lot worse than delivering for Cuthbert’s Furniture.

They wound their way along country lanes, through the picturesque Camberwick Green, with its windmill, and through Chigley. Past the station, where they saw the train pulling out. Oh, yes, it could be worse.

They arrived at Trumpton, parked up by the fire station, and Jack dialled the number. After an inordinate amount of time – it felt like they’d had to walk through the whole house to get to the phone – a man answered. “Trumpton?”, he said. He was momentarily confused. Of course, this was Trumpton, they had just driven here!

With all the tact he could muster, Jack responded. “Cuthbert’s Furniture here, sir. We have a delivery and were asked to call this number.”

“Right-ho. Bring it round. Front entrance. I’ll come down and meet you.”

Round, where? The man obviously assumed that Jack knew. But he couldn’t hide his ignorance any longer.

“Sorry, sir, who am I speaking to? And, we don’t have an address here, so I was hoping you could tell us where to deliver it?”

“Trumpton.” Then, realising that the conversation might last some time, he added “I’m Lord Trumpton. You’re delivering to me at Trumpton Manor. Do you know it?”

At last, the penny dropped. Jack had, after all, lived in the area his whole life. He had often driven past the manor and imagined the splendours that lay inside. And five minutes later, they were there, right outside a very grand but unkempt entrance on a gravel drive, overgrown with weeds. They were met by an elderly man, looking similarly unkempt. “Crikey, this is bound to be some enormous leather suite that’s a bugger to lift”, thought Jack. His thoughts were interrupted.

“I’m Trumpton”, said the man. “We’ve cleared some space just inside for you, so you can bring it straight in.”

“Very well, sir. We’ll have it in in a jiffy.” Trying to appear efficient, he continued: “come on Fred, look likely.”

Opening the door to the truck, Jack then saw the suite for the first time. It was the gaudiest piece of green Ikea junk that he could have imagined…

Gross

Inspired by Paula’s Thursday Inspo #96, where she prompts with this image:.

I saw today’s image and couldn’t get our own little ball of stealth out of my head.Here is a short post I wrote last year. Hope you’re not squeamish!

HEALTH WARNING

Two warnings, actually, because this is a bit more crude that my usual attempts at poetry. So buyer beware. Inspired by Paula’s Thursday Inspo #95, where she prompts with this image:.

He had pissed off his girl in the ghetto,
So she hit him in groin with stiletto,
Got him right in the sac,
And his bollocks turned black,
And since then he’s been singing falsetto.

Hopefully the women out there, at least, are chuckling! (The men are probably wincing.)

The Great Escape

inspired by Paula’s Thursday Inspo #94, where she prompts with this image:.

It was another lazy day at the mansion. They had staff for everything they needed, and one day tended to blend into the next.

Four o’clock. That ritual which was afternoon tea. Cinderella was seated with the two ugly sisters, and right on cue, a butler arrived with a steaming pot of tea. Hot on his heels, another, this one delicately balancing a large carousel of sandwiches, scones, and the most delicious-looking chocolate cake.

“Before we start”, announced Agnetta, “I just need to freshen up”, and she rose to leave the room. “That sounds like a good idea”, added Annifried. “I’ll join you, and then we can settle down and enjoy our tea, uninterrupted. The sisters rose to leave.

On their return, Agneta started pouring the tea, which by now had brewed nicely. But something was not quite right.

Annifried had noticed it too. The asymmetry on the plate had given the game away, and seconds later, she realised. But, just a fraction too slow.

As she rushed out of the house, the last voice that Cinderella heard was the furious voice of Annifried. “WHERE’S THAT BLOODY CAKE?”

The Great Outdoors

inspired by Paula’s Thursday Inspo #93, where she prompts with this image:.

I didn’t really get much from the picture except that there is a lot of blue! So I had a little fun with the word:

We went camping, where comforts were few,
Tried fishing, there from a canoe,
Was no good, I capsized,
So I checked on my flies,
When I got to my bait, it was blue!

The Rivals

inspired by Paula’s Thursday Inspo #92, where she prompts with this image:.

As far as the public knew, Frank Jones and Tony Alsop were colleagues, on the same team. When one spoke, the other backed them up, because those were the rules.

Ever since their days at university, their careers had seemed conjoined. The student Jones had once dated had even gone on to marry Alsop. Jones had never liked him, even back then.

They had risen through the ranks together, elected as junior MPs in the same intake. While Jones’s policy was one of keeping his nose clean, however, Alsop was altogether more fiery. His instincts drew much admiration, but he was also prone to the occasional gaffe.

They had progressed through the ranks steadily. Jones was regarded as a safe pair of hands, and few eyebrows were raised when he was invited to become a part of the government, albeit with a junior role. He could not help but feel satisfied that he had leap-frogged Alsop – he had always known that his dependability would win out in the end.

Alsop had followed him, however, three years later. He had raised his profile sufficiently to come into the government, immediately overseeing a department of his own. More of a risk, perhaps, but his talent was unquestionable.

Shortly after Jones himself had been invited to eat at the top table, that risk became evident. It was a nothing issue, so why had Alsop chosen to make a stand? Inevitably, perhaps, it cost Alsop his job. But the Prime Minister was damaged too, and, wounded, led the party to only its second electoral defeat in the last thirty years.

The Prime Minister did not hang around, resigning a day later, and several former cabinet colleagues urged Jones, with age on his side, to put himself forward as her successor. It was inevitable that Alsop also threw his hat in.

For the “party faithful”, Jones was seen as too tainted by his government ties, and Alsop won the election quite handsomely. The two pledged to work together to get themselves back into power.

And it was going well. There was little love lost between the two, but for the public, they wee united in their goal. The current government were in trouble, and Alsop and Jones had the unmistakeable air that they were simply waiting to take over.

And then, six months before the election was due, Jones’s landline rang – it was not yet 5 AM. As he sleepily wandered through to his machine, he just caught his secretary’s voice asking him to call back urgently. “It’ll wait”, thought Jones, trudging down to the kitchen. He turned on his mobile. That couldn’t be, surely? Thirty missed calls? He rubbed his eyes and checked the display once again. He dialled his secretary, who immediately picked up. “Turn on the News Channel”, came a curt voice.

Jones stood gaping at the TV and could not believe his ears. Alsop? Died last night? Heart attack?

A week later, Jones had made sure that his bouquet was the largest at the funeral. When he saw that the cameras were on him, he even managed a sniff.

He stood, expressionless. Not even his own mother could have guessed what he was thinking.

“I’ve finally beaten the bastard”.