Wednesday Write-in #41


Welcome to the Wednesday Write-in!

CAKE.shortandsweet runs a write-in every week to writers to practise their skills, and get chatting to each other about their work. Everyone is welcome to join in, and the more people you tell, the more everyone will get out of it.

Prompts

audit  ::  smother  ::  lost property  ::  plumber  ::  disneyland

Guidelines

There are no hard and fast rules, but here are some brief guidelines:

  • You can use the prompts as inspiration or try to work them into your story somehow. Use as many as you want.
  • When your story is done, post it online (your blog/twitter/in a comment here), tag with #wednesdaywritein if you like, and comment with a link so we can read it.
  • Please take the time to read and comment on as many other stories as you can.
  • If you want to write a poem, a script, or something completely different, feel free.

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Read our Previous Issues and check out the Submissions page if you’d like to be a CAKE.author!

Any questions? Otherwise, have fun writing!

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26 thoughts on “Wednesday Write-in #41

  1. The crude hand written sign read ‘closed for audit’. We were stunned; we had heard that Disneyland never closed. The sign just didn’t gel with me either. For all their billions of revenue, it was unusual that a piece of soiled brown cardboard suspended by a shoelace was all they could afford.

    We had returned early as we wanted a quick visit to the lost property office to check if Mike’s phone had turned up. We watched as a well-built man slipped out of the gate, he carried a canvas bag.

    “Excuse me.”

    Mike shouted over to him, and then approached.

    The bag looked heavy; the muscular guy placed it on the ground. As he did a strange metallic sound rang through the air. He spoke with a bizarre dialect, the words that poured out between his thin lips sounded electronic.

    “I’m the plumber, what do you want.”

    For some reason he turned aggressive.

    Mike raised his right hand, he shook his head and continued to approach the agitated man.

    “Calm down buddy, I just want ask you something.”

    The ‘plumber’ rushed forward and swung at Mike’s head, then grabbed Mike around the neck.In a split second a powerful arm was wrapped like an anaconda around Mike’s throat. He was trying to smother him. I barreled forward to stop it, but the plumber hit me hard knocking me to the ground.

    I fell awkwardly hurting my hip and elbow, my head landed beside the bag. I glanced inside; my eyes caught the three black marks on the yellow background, the tri foil radioactive warning sign. I parted the mouth of the bag to unveil what looked like an explosive device.

    A cold shiver ran down my spine. That was quickly followed by the cold steel barrel of a Beretta M9 being pressed firmly into the centre of my forehead.

    “You’re not Mickey Mouse, are you?” I said.

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  4. Elf and Safety
    ‘It’s no fun being an elf in Mr Ramsbottom’s Disneyland Extravaganza. We’ve got to be all smiley and jolly while kids who should have been smothered at birth paw at us and the bigger ones pat our heads like they’re so clever to be tall. When we’re not on public duty, so to speak (sounds like we’re royalty!), we run around like skivvies sorting lost property or directing plumbers to leaking toilets and the like. We feel overlooked, and let’s face it, that can easily happen when you’re vertically challenged. On the other hand when we’re working we’re stared at like we’re exhibits in a zoo. So really, it’s hard to find a happy medium.
    ‘Talking of happy mediums. The Madam I went to in the ‘ye olde fortune-teller’ tent was miserable as sin. I was complaining about my lot and hoping for a bright forecast, and she started giving me chapter and verse about her own problems. But I digress.
    ‘I’m only doing this interview to highlight the safety issues for smaller people, and I don’t mean children. Our union did an audit of the escape exits and we elves couldn’t have reached ninety per cent of the handles. OK, we’re not really an official union but we’re a strong group. There are four of us.
    ‘I’ve got to go now. Time to put my smiley face on for the next lot of primary school hooligans. But I hope you’ll print the bit about fairground safety because we feel a bit at risk. We small people can have big problems you know. Bye for now.’

  5. Found this a tough one but here it is anyway. Look forward to reading.

    Job Satisfaction

    My teacher disapproved when I told her my career choice:
    ‘Working in lost property! Do you mean with the police force?’
    ‘No, I mean in a booth at the train station,’ I said.
    ‘No one chooses to do that,’ she said.

    I do.
    I am the most fastidious lost property officer ever. I am the Cilla Black of the train station reuniting this with that. I give eyes back to spectacles, return hands to briefcases, find battered teddies their skinny-armed embrace and send keys home to locks.

    This is my vocation.
    I feel sad for the sagging jacket hanging without form and dust it down. I give it a
    sleeve-in-pocket, Savile row pose (sometimes I add a handkerchief for panache). The crumpled umbrellas that yearn for a stretch take it in turns to spread out like peacocks on top of the counter. This will often do the trick.

    There aren’t always happy endings, though.
    I have sleepless nights worrying about the bracelet. It tells its own story with its little silver church and stork clutching a pink heart. A ruby eyed Mickey Mouse displays its character.
    I dream that one day the charm I bought for it will complete its story. It says simply:
    ‘Lost and Found.’

    • Wow. I’m actually blown away by this.

      I have to quote the bits I love the most:

      ‘I give eyes back to spectacles, return hands to briefcases, find battered teddies their skinny-armed embrace and send keys home to locks… The crumpled umbrellas… take it in turns to spread out like peacocks…’

      Reading this makes working in a lost and found sound like being a magician, bringing inanimate objects to happy life all around. Your story was emotionally wrenching, particularly (of course) the concluding paragraph. I found this story absorbing, and really touching, and rather beautiful. Really well done.

      • Thank you very much. I wasn’t sure about this one; however, I ended up liking the idea of it myself and hope to work on it some more especially after such a positive response! Thanks for taking time to look so closely as well.

    • I liked this one a lot. I loved the part about worrying about the bracelet and how every item has its own story. Very touching. 🙂

    • This is lovely and very sad. I feel this girl will end up living life in an unreal world consumed by lost property and enjoying no human relationships. Love the umbrellas spread out like peacocks.

    • I really like the way s/he describes his job. Delightful. And your character is different to those working for Northern Rail. I lost three coats on the trains last year and not one was found! (Yes, I know it’s my fault.)

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