Jan 15th – And as she walked away, she took it all with her

January 15th – And as she walked away, she took it all with her.

22.25-22.35

She couldn’t really leave it there.

That wouldn’t be fair to anyone, really. After all, most of it was hers, and what wasn’t hers wasn’t going to make any difference to anyone, not in the long run. And she had a big bag.

The trouble was, Katie was getting a bit of a reputation. One woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure is fair enough, but one woman’s half-drunk bottle of Pinot Grigio is that woman’s half-drunk bottle of Pinot Grigio, and to see it disappear into the depths of Katie’s more-than-adequate bag was more than some people could bear. Especially as (or so it was rumoured), Katie carried a supply of corks with her in her more-than-adequate bag for the sole purpose of stoppering up the spoils of war and carrying away her plunder.

The Minesweeper, they called her.

Behind her back.

Obviously they didn’t say this to her face: in all other areas she was fine, she was Katie. She split the bill in restaurants without question, she was a good host, she always bought a round. It was the fact that she took half of everyone else’s round away with her that was the problem.

After a particular barbeque, on a warm summer’s evening, where the wine and the conversation had flowed freely, and Katie had been heard clinking as she made her way out of the back garden, they decided to do something about it.

It took some planning.

The following weekend, a Bank Holiday weekend where the sun shone like it too didn’t have to go to work on Monday, the plan they’d hatched the previous Saturday was put into place.

Nobody did anything different. They talked, and opened the wine, and drank the wine, and opened more wine, as they always had done. Except this time, on the pretence of showing Katie something exquisite in the guest bedroom upstairs, she was spirited away, and a couple of holiday strength laxatives were spirited into each open bottle that had worked themselves into Katie’s part of the patio. Nobody tried to look too closely as, one by one, the bottles casually made their way into Katie’s more than adequate bag. There were knowing smiles as Katie clinked her way home at the end of the evening.

She was going to have a shit Bank Holiday.

It was only later the next day, when their phones lit up and the WhatsApps were flying, did they realise what had happened.

Katie’s grandmother, and five other ladies from the nursing home, were in hospital, three on a drip. One was on a drip. The local press blamed the nursing home management; the nursing home management blamed a visitor who ‘had brought in treats for the ladies in strict contravention of the rules.’ Katie wasn’t named, but she wasn’t answering her phone.

Katie’s friends, obviously, blamed themselves.

 

Inspired by a prompt from here

The Centre of The Earth – Dead Deer

The Centre Of The Earth

The first trick she learned was atypical. Standing on the beach, with the castle behind you she stretched out her arms and the fireworks began to tumble down the castle walls, down the mound where it had sat for hundreds of years. Her mysterious mask flashed in the moonlight as her extravagant gestures built the atmosphere, the anticipation. Now the fireworks emerge from the sea, behind her. Quite the spectacle. The crescendo comes, an ear splitting noise and a blinding, mammoth flash on the beach between you and her. The smoke wafts around. She strikes a triumphant pose, arms still outstretched proudly, arrogantly even. Now the smoke clears to reveal, from nowhere, a monkey. A slightly bewildered monkey, it is true.

Her confident strut changed almost instantly, panicked she looked from side to side. Where was it? What the fuck had happened? Where in shitting-bollock-hell had a christing monkey come from? She looked aghast. The crowd gasped, then laughed. She ran away, off the beach. So did the monkey.

* * * *

some years later

Standing on the sea front, now without the mask, she is pedalling cheap card tricks on tourists. She is good, good enough to earn some food and drink every day, anyway. At weekends in the high season she even pulls a rabbit out of a hat. Knowing in her heart that now she is just a common street slight-of-hand-monger, nothing special. Hell; most tricks are better than the rabbit one these days. If only her big, first, untypical trick had worked that day, all those years ago down on that beach right there.

She never did find out what happened to the elephant.

with apologies to Sonido Lasser Drakar

Today I wrote from 13:28 to 13:38. I was prompted by idea “She was nothing but common until she donned the maskhere. My other writings here. All my prompted writing here, and my tweets here