This week our topic is Five. Five items of the same thing or different things, or the number 5.
Here is my selection for this week:
This week our topic is Buildings.
This is my selection for this week:
writing from the heart, to the heart
Go to Debb's page to see next week's prompt and please feel free to join in.
*laser* *neglect* *he* *truck* *situation* *conventional* *spread*
A HARD DAY’S WORK
‘Hello, Darling,’ the wink that went with the phrase was cringe-worthy.
The gravelly voice, trying to be sexy didn’t fit the 50+ something, grey-bearded, weather beaten face that beamed up at her with his yellow stained teeth – well what was left of them. He was so smarmy that Elsie couldn’t stop the snarl that crept up her lips, thank goodness it was hidden by her face mask due to Covid.
She hated the situation she found herself in these days but there was rent to pay, bills to pay and food to put on the table for herself and the kids and her husband who was desperately seeking work which was hard to come by these days. So many people had been thrown out of work as businesses collapsed during the pandemic. Roger was looking and applying for anything and everything.
The Truck Stop Café, formerly known as the Blue and White café had been going for many years before it fell into disrepair and neglect. After a few years new owners came along and revamped the entire building, increasing the seating area inside and making an outdoor space. Situated on a busy A Road leading to various tourist sites, including a wildlife and safari park which was spread over 600 acres of beautiful countryside.
Elsie took the lorry driver’s order, typical for his ilk, full English breakfast, heart disease imminent but who was she to tell him he should enjoy a healthier eating style. The menu was so conventional for working in what she referred to in her mind as a ‘greasy spoon café.’
Elsie brought the food to his table, receiving thanks and a long, lingering look at her ‘attributes’. She should be used to the leers of the truckers but she always fought against the idea of being a sexual object. She needed the money and on the whole they were only being ‘friendly’.
Elsie made sure that at the end of shift she would walk out to her car with either Betty, a lovely, mother hen type waitress or with Ben, the shy cook. She would never admit that her heart would beat nineteen-to-the dozen if she had to get to her car alone.
She’d buy Betty and Ben something really nice at Christmas, just to show her appreciation of her colleagues.
As she entered their modest house, she heard laughter coming from the sitting room. As she peeked in, she saw Roger, Nathan and Amy, in hoots of giggles as they played with their young kitten, pointing the laser beam from the spirit level. Round and round Billy twirled, then as with all kittens and cats, he stopped and casually licked himself. He must be dizzy by now.
It made all her hard work, the long shifts, the sleazy gents she had to put up with, the smell of frying oil in her hair, the throbbing feet and tiredness all worth while to know her family was happy. They might not have much in the way of material things, the sofa sagged in one corner, the carpet was getting rather well worn in places but the love that emanated from her family was so worthwhile, it kept her going.
She wouldn’t change a thing. Well maybe a better job and Roger working but that would be for another day when things returned to a new normal once the pandemic was under control.
Word count: 585
This week’s CFFC topic is Real vs Fake.
This is my selection for this week's challenge:
Weekly writing challenge from the lovely Debbie Stanton.
Each week Debbie posts a prompt which we have to incorporate in to a story.
This week's prompt is a picture and four words as follows:
*protest* *arrangement* *continental* *balance*
Here is my story:
ALICE AND HARRIET
Alice pulled up and parked in the designated visitors bay for the warden assisted complex of flats where her gran lived. She looked forward to these weekend weekly visits with her Gran. They’d always had a lot in common and never, ever ran out of things to talk about, from Alice’s job, love life, Gran’s reminiscing over past events in her life and how much easier it was for her to live in a one-bedroom flat these days knowing there was a warden to assist if necessary.
The arrangement had taken quite a while to set up as these types of flats were scarce and only became available once in a blue moon. Now, though, Harriet was firmly ensconced in her new abode and had made such lovely friends. She also had a more active social life that Alice did herself what with her card games, bingo and organised outings.
Alice opened the boot of her car and pulled out a brand-new continental quilt for her Gran. Harriet had been bemoaning the fact that her old duvet was losing its comfort and was getting worn in places. Alice thought it would be a nice surprise for her.
Greeted with warm kisses and hugs Alice showed Gran the new quilt and proceeded to put the bed cover on it. Harriet tried to protest at such a gift and wanted to pay for it. Alice was having none of it. If she couldn’t treat her Gran once in a while then she wasn’t fit to be her granddaughter and that’s exactly what Alice told Harriet in no uncertain terms.
As they went through to the tiny kitchenette, still talking nineteen-to-the-dozen, when Alice spotted a flower arrangement on the window sill.
‘Oh my, Gran, what lovely flowers. They are so beautiful with all the colours so well balanced in the container. Where did you get them from?’
Gran blushed. Alice was amazed, she’d never seen her Gran redden like that before. Harriet was one of those women that seemed to take everything in her stride.
‘Do you have a secret admirer, Gran?’
Harriet’s blush deepened a bit more. There might be a gentleman friend, she admitted.
Hoots of laughter emanated from them both.
Gran said, ‘You are never too old to find romance in your life.’
‘Don’t you mean ‘love’ Gran?’
‘It’s early days,’ she admitted. ‘What will be, will be. At the moment we are just having fun and enjoying each other’s company.’
Alice’s eyebrows nearly reached the top of her head. It was the last thing she thought she’d hear her Gran say.
‘Wait till I tell mum.’
‘Don’t you dare! I’ll tell her in my own good time, if at all.’ Harriet winked at her granddaughter. ‘Some things just need to stay between us.’
Alice promised to keep quiet.