Awake In The Night

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It’s going to be another long sleepless night.  It’s frustrating sometimes to be one of the only people awake, while the world slumbers.  I am hot, my uniform seems too warm for the conditions and it sticks to me uncomfortably.  

The loneliness is the worst part.  Okay, my supervisor does come around periodically to check on things, but for the most part I am alone here in the night.  I often wonder why I signed up for this in the first place.  It’s not like the money’s that good, and the odd hours just emphasise that to me.

I jump as a light comes on on the control panel in front of meIt is the moment I have trained for!  I hope I am up to the challenge.

“Welcome to Happy Burger, can I take your order please.”

Padre

Tale Weaver #264 – Awake In The Night

 

 

The Mermaid’s Return

The banshee howl of the wind in the rigging was now beginning to be rhythmically punctuated by the drumming of the storm-swell surf upon the rocky shore.  Oh, if only our good ship, Mermaid could live up to her name, and carry us safely seaward.  But such was a forlorn hope as there was a sudden explosive crack as the foretop snapped, showering the deck with splinters.

Captain Higgins called the order to abandon ship, and before the words had fully left him, a titanic wave swept him from the deck and from our view.

“You heard the cap’in,” Rogers, the first mate bellowed.

The two remaining boats were lowered, and every soul remaining on the ‘maid scrambled to save themselves.

I was tossed from the gig into the icy waves, to be almost immediately dashed upon an up-crop of jagged rock.  Though winded, I managed to scramble upwards above the hissing spray.  I was battered but alive, but not so my lovely ‘maid.  With saddened heart, I watched her prow pitch heaven-ward as if to offer her spirit.  Then slowly at first, and then more rapidly, she slid backwards under the waves to rejoin her fellow mer-folk.

 

Padre

 

Daily Writing Prompt

The Clock

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Brainsparker app for iOS

Insomnia was plaguing Henry.  He lay sleepless watching the clock slowly ticking towards midnight.  Thoughts of the Doomsday Clock flashed through his mind.  It too was approaching the witching hour of destruction.  What would prove to be the cause of this devastation?  Thermo-nuclear holocaust?  Global warming?  COVID 19?  All made the sense of anxiety worse as they weighed upon him on this milestone of the midnight of his upcoming thirteenth birthday.

Padre

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #54

Prank

Wheeooop and Ewwwoo were swimming peacefully into the fjord when Ewwwoo said, “Isn’t your sister, Uuwuup afraid of crabs?”

“No she’s fine with them,” Wheeoop replied. “It’s me that can’t stand them.  They are just creepy.”

“Oh, sorry.  But in that case don’t look to your left. There’s loads of them.”

Wheeoop immediately leapt from the water shrieking “Crabs,” as Ewwwoo chuckled to himself.  It works every time!

 

Padre

Daily Writing Prompt Feb 18

 

 

 

 

Curiosities

 

“Why are those old books in the museum, Grandpa?”

“They are law books – books about the law, Sweetie.”

“Law books?  What’s law?”

“They are the rules we live by.  They tell people what they should and shouldn’t do.”

“But doesn’t the Great President do that for us?” the little boy asked with an expression of confusion.

“Well yes, Sweetie, but before the Great President’s father became ‘President-for-Life,’ many people worked together to make the rules.”

“That’s silly,” the child retorted.  “What if those people had different ideas?  At least now we know exactly what is right cuz the Great President tells us so.  And we don’t need lot’s of dusty books, we just need to read the Tweets.”

Grandpa took a quick look around the museum, noting the woman in the regulation black skirt-suit.  He then said in a loud but sad voice, “Exactly right Sweetie.”  Then trailed off looking down at the floor, “Exactly right.”

Padre

Sunday Photo Fiction

 

Intercepts

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War Room – Public Domain

“What will they do next?” the Prime Minister asked his Joint Security Team.

“It’s impossible to say for sure, Sir,” the head of Military Intelligence replied.

“Not so fast John,” the acting head of Communications and Intercepts interrupted.  “Prime Minister, we have had a lot of coded chatter on their system.  We have cracked several sections of it, and while most is as Sir John suggests, largely inconclusive, there has been a recurring mention of Kenya lately.

“We have picked up on that as well,” the First Sea Lord interjected.  “But it is usually followed by mention of Sri Lanka on most days.

“So do I have this right?  You are suggesting that the Terrorists are planning an attack somewhere in the Indian Ocean region, with Kenya and Sri Lanka likely targets?”

“I think that is a reasonable assumption, Prime Minister, but as I said before it isn’t an absolute,” Sir John replied.

Meanwhile in a fortified compound near Jalilibad, the network’s leader, “The Hyena” was sending his orders for the day.  Two croissants and a large latte, and be sure it is that nice Kenyan roast.   ‘The Scorpion’ would like a Sri Lankan bean cappuccino and a raspberry muffin.”

Padre

FOWC with Fandango — Impossible

The Inquisitor

Instrument, Old, Sextant, Protractor

Pixabay

“What’s that you carry’n, Mister?” the boy asked as Steve Jonus passed him on the street.

“What business is that of yours?” Steve replied.

“None, I s’pose,” the youth said. “It’s juss that it looks curious.”

“Curious?” Steve replied unwittingly being drawn into the conversation.

“Yep, ain’t ever seen anythin’ like it before.”

“It’s a sextant,” Steve said. “It’s to help me make maps.”

“What do you need to make maps for?” the boy retorted.

“So people can find their way to places,” Jonus explained.

“Like where?”

“Like to Centreville,” the cartographer said.

“Why’d they need a map for that?” the boy queried. “It’s juss on the otter side of the bridge.”

 

Padre

Tale Weaver #262 – Carry

 

 

After the Advance

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public domain

The Second Corps had advanced, and after several hours volley fire and artillery duels the Federal troops had begun yet another retreat towards Washington.

The fighting now in a lull, Corporal Cooke sat down to take a much needed rest.  At twenty, he was already proved himself, so thought he could afford the break.  He opened a haversack, and took out a month old copy of Harper’s Weekly.  Though old, he had not yet had a chance to read this edition.  He scanned the pages, and shook his head at the inaccuracy of the woodblock prints.

After reading several articles, he put the magazine back into the sack and took out an envelope.  The address was in a delicate feminine hand, and he sniffed the paper to see if it retained any sign of dainty scent.  He then took out the letter.  It began with the words, My Dearest Harvey.  The letter was mostly chatty little accounts of what was going on in the town back home, but some lines hinted at her undying love.  He folded the letter and placed it back into the envelope, and withdrew the photograph of a handsome young woman with big expressive eyes.  He smiled as he looked at the pretty face, and then returned the picture to the envelope as well.

As he replaced the letter back into the haversack, he took out three pieces of hardtack biscuit, and a half eaten link of hard sausage.  He drew his bayonet and cut the meat into three pieces and placed each onto the square crackers.   He let each bite slowly soften in his mouth before chewing them and swallowing – making the most of each and every mouthful.

The recall soon sounded, and Corporal John Cooke of Jubal Early’s Division stood up and grabbed his rifle-musket.  He bent over and collected all of the percussion caps out of the belt pouch of the body of the dead Pennsylvanian he had been leaning up against.

“Thank you kindly for the lunch, Harvey,” he said to the corpse giving it a friendly nod of the head as he departed.

 

Padre

 

FOWC with Fandango — Advance

 

 

 

Rendezvous?

François pointed to a spot on the other side of the valley.  He and Alexandre had set out from their two cabin base-camp three days before.  They were now hopefully in the home-stretch of their return journey.

Things had not gone well for them.  They were only an hour out when they surprised a mother bear tending he cub.  The dogs went wild, and Tacheté had barely escaped a mauling.  He shot off into the woods, with the other dogs on his heels.  The intrepid trappers had little choice but to follow them.

It took several hour to round the dogs up, and by then night was beginning to fall.  Therefore, they were forced to make a make-shift camp for the night.  In the night, snow began to fall.  Because of this and being in unfamiliar surroundings, they wandered the next day, and now into the third.

“I am certain it is on that side of the valley,” François said, as Alexandre shook his head unconvinced.

“Are you really sure you even want to go home?” Alexandre asked.

“Why would you ask that?” came the reply.

“Well, the last thing you said to Sophia was, ‘I am taking the dogs for a walk, I’ll be back in a couple of hours.’  You will be in la merde, my friend.

“Hmm,” François said after a moment.  “Have you ever considered visiting Montreal?”

Padre

Daily Writing Prompt

 

 

Letters and Such Like

Hunter Morgan was mighty proud of the new home he had built in the Willamette Valley.   He had arrive in Oregon from Mason County only a few weeks before.  He immediately set about building the house that he would share with his new wife, Mariah, a fellow Kentuckian he had met on the Little Train on the trail.  The couple now stood before the completed structure.

“What’ja think, Riah?” the farmer asked.

“I think it’s perfect?” the eighteen year old replied, giving him a big hug.

Hunter went to the wagon that had been their home, and took a chair and carried into the house.  He then returned and carried his bride across the threshold, and sat her down on the chair, before returning to the wagon to carry in their possessions.

As he brought items in, Mariah began to assemble them, and put things away.

Hunter brought in the final chest, a straw packed box of dishes that had been given to them by Mariah’s parents.  When it was opened, they came across a framed sampler that Riah had stitched a few years before.

Though Hunter couldn’t read, he could recognise most of the letters, and especially the ones which were in his name.

“Riah darlin’, you is right clever.  I have the perfect place for this.”  With that he took the frame and placed it with pride of place above the mantelpiece. “There, now we can always see your letters and such like.”

Padre

Daily Writing Prompt