It’s not often that I write fiction at the moment. However, Geoff Le Pard from TanGental http://geofflepard.com/ put me onto a blogging challenge: Alissa Leonard’s Finish That Thought at http://alissaleonard.blogspot.com.au/2015/06/finish-that-thought-2-49.html . It’s a flash challenge to write a story of up to 500 words using the first sentence.
This round the first sentence had to be: “I’ll tell you what you need, and that’s a rocket scientist.
and this is the special challenge Set your story in a war zone.
Here is my contribution,
Man and His Shed
“I’ll tell you what you need, and that’s a rocket scientist.”
Margaret had had more than enough of George’s endless tinkering on his almighty invention ever since he’d retired.
After all, for at least the last ten years, whenever Margaret had mentioned doing anything at all, George’s stock standard response was: “when I retire”. This list had grown from caravanning around Australia to replacing the threadbare carpet, pruning the hedge and even to mowing their lawn, which had now metamorphosed into a veritable jungle. Indeed, the yard had become such an embarrassment that Margaret now parked around the corner and had acquired a PO Box. She was officially “of no fixed abode” and thinking about making it permanent.
Sick of nagging and his feigned stubborn deafness, something of a cold war had broken out at No. 15. While there was no masking tape dissecting the house, they kept very much to themselves. Their only common ground was the dog.
Yet, Margaret knew too well that at her age, a man in the hand was something to hold onto. After all, although well-preserved, she was hardly a dolly bird anymore. Moreover, all the men “of a certain age” (with the exception of George, of course) were dying like flies creating a “man drought”. Mary didn’t help things either when she complained: “all they want is a nurse or a purse”, as she bid 3 no-trumps.
Still, Margaret could be fiercely independent in her own way, reminding herself that a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.
All she needed was a good book…and the dog!
Besides, if she ever got stuck, there was always Audrey’s bloke…a young uni student who did a bit of mowing and repairs around the house. The talk was that he “had talents in other areas” and that his lifesaving skills extended way beyond the beach.
Quite out of character, Margaret had requested his card. It was carefully tucked away in her purse but she hadn’t quite plucked up the courage to call. She’d make herself a cup of tea and as she walked towards the phone, the cup rattled in its saucer, betraying her inner torment. She felt like an anxious school girl again. Only back in the day, she’d never called a boy. Oh no! Man was the hunter! It was her job to sit by the phone and wait but she’d never had to wait long.
She still doesn’t know why she picked George. Good, reliable George who was an up and coming accountant but Margaret couldn’t see any future in a Beatnik.
For no particular reason other than the extreme heat, Margaret waded through the grass and flung open the doors of the shed. She couldn’t make head or tail of what George was working on but it was out of her world.
“I’ll tell you what you need and that’s a rocket scientist.”
It was clear they no longer needed each other.
But then there was the dog…