Finder’s Keepers

It had taken them all afternoon to build the dummy. Her arms were tired and scratchy from stuffing pine straw inside the old jeans and button up shirt.

But it was worth it.

The dummy sat upright in a rocking chair on the front porch. The feetless jeans were shoved into a pair of cowboy boots, the handless arms tucked into a pair of workman’s gloves. And an old cowboy hat, hung from a piece of fishing line, hovered just over where a head would be.

Running back inside to drop off her tools (a rake and a pair of scissors), she grabbed the big bowl of candy and headed for the porch to join her straw man companion.

On the porch, the once occupied rocking chair sat empty, slowly creaking back and forth as though someone had just pushed out of it.

What happens next?

She noticed the trail of straw that started not at the chair, where she thought it would, but instead several feet out off of the porch.

Almost as if someone had tried cleaning up after themselves but heard her coming and run before they could finish.

“All right, you kids!” she hollered, holding the bowl of candy out as if in a peace offering, “Bring back my scarecrow and I’ll cough up the sweets!”

“No!” a tiny voice screeched, “He’s ours and we’re keeping him!”

And my brain wondered off and forgot about this until the last moment. This tiny post was brought to you by the 1st Wednesday prompt from Chaotically Yours.

Interesting Mystery

He wakes up in a nondescript hotel room, the kind you’ll find, cheap, near any major interstate. He doesn’t know where he is. The last thing he remembers is leaving work Friday afternoon, ready to unwind with some laps at the pool.

Bruises bracelet his wrists; there are tears in his jeans. His wallet, with its twenty dollars, is still in his pocket, along with a jingling array of change. His face, in the mirror, shows weeks worth of beard growth.

Taking a breath, he opens the hotel door. The sun spills pale and bright over the trees, the hoods of cars. The air is full of the odor of fall, crisp air, moldering leaves, woodsmoke. His skin prickles with gooseflesh and something sour and hot stirs in his stomach.

There’s a newspaper rack just down the way. He buys one. The date is September 23.

That sour-hot feeling crawls up the back of his throat.

He’s lost three months.

Where did they go? 

He wasn’t aware of the woman sitting across the street at the cafe, a book lay in front of her and her head tilted as if reading but her eyes watching him through her dark glasses instead. No smirk adorned her pale lips which, instead, were twisted in slight confusion.

Why is he just standing there?

The man was still staring at the newspaper in his hands, though it was wrinkled now from the clenched fists and threatening to rip down the middle. With a harsh look on his face, he closed the newspaper, managing to finally rip it, though not completely through. He folded it again and tucked it under his arm. With his other hand, shaking though it was, he tried to comb through his hair. It didn’t help make him look less shaken, but it seemed to make him feel better, because he straightened his back and began walking purposefully down the road.

The woman watched him, carefully turning a page and once he was out of side actually looking down at the print in front of her.

A smile graced her lips, one that spoke of nothing but ill for the one it was for.

This is going to be far entertaining than I initially thought.

The first part is the prompt from Chaotically Yours, a prompt that I have only been able to take part in once before. I like these prompts, but they only come during the first Wednesday of each month and I am very forgetful at times. The middle part is my response to the prompt. I hope it was enjoyable.

One Voice, Many Speakers

She’s been beach combing for hours, hunting for unique shells along the tide line, putting dead ones in her bag, throwing the live ones back into the sea. As she turns to start her trek back, she stumbles over the sharp spires of a lightning whelk.

Whatever lived in the shell has vacated it, leaving an unobstructed view of the smooth, pink walls. Holding a hand against her left ear, she lifts the shell to her right, waiting to hear the rush of wind and water.

Instead, a voice emanates from the shell.

“Why are we doing this again?”

“Because we must find the Master!”

“But the Master left eons ago!”

“It was five minutes, FIVE MINUTES  YOU BLASTED-”

“Why are you guys always fighting?”

The voice continued to talk to itself in it’s tinny little voice, changing who was controlling the voice every sentence. She dropped the shell like a hot coal and like a hot coal that one has been holding for a while, her fingers refused to budge.

Great, now she was stuck with some kind of Dis-associative Identity Disorder Shell.

She hated going to the hospital to get weird things removed from her person. You’d think she’d have learned her lesson about picking things up in random places the last time she’d gone to the hospital to remove that marble she’d poked with her bare foot.

The first section is a prompt from Chaotically Yours, the second section is my continuation of the little story snippet. I’m very tired so this was the first thing to jump to my fingers and of course it’s a little silly.