October 28, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) include a tool in a story. How can it enhance the character, tension or meaning? It can also be a story about a tool or a character’s obsession for tools. Go where the prompt leads.
Charli Mills’s gives us the above prompt this week. Often Charli’s prompts open up a floodgate of memories but a tool is a worrisome thing as I am truly incompetent with any machinery, even the simplest. I’m a logical man but the ‘If A then B’ formulation evades me when I have a sharp object in my hand. In truth I generally fall within the Urban dictionary definition of this expression:
You’re a complete tool
You’re an utter dickhead
In my garage I have a machine for tilling the soil, a hedge cutter, a chain saw, a strimmer, a doofee that cuts the long grass that grows up against the trees (maybe that’s the strimmer?) – and I am banned from using any except under close supervision. This is not from an abundance of caution as this little story will testify.
Christmas. We need a tree. The local charity is selling Norwegian Blues or some such and the Lawyer and I are dispatched to acquire one and carry it home. To make this processes easier they use a machine that puts the tree in its own string vest made of tough nylon netting. We are advised to remove it from said netting on arrival home so the branches will drop before we dress it.
Living as we do in the home of a Textile expert we have dozens of scissors all of which are hidden from view, except those that have no cutting edge to speak of. I struggled to make an impression on the netting.
STOP. At this point a rational, logical, dare I say it – sane – person would consider alternatives such as waiting until someone with knowledge of scissor whereabouts came home.
Nope. Instead you ask yourself: what has a blade like scissors, cuts nylon netting and you keep in the kitchen drawer? Using a carving knife you can go up or down the netting super fast. You need to hold the netting to make sure it is under tension to make the cutting quick but otherwise this is a doddle. Under no circumstances do you hold it in such a way that a body part sits between the blade and the direction of travel…
Three hours later the top of my forefinger on my left hand had been sewn back on. When we arrived home the tree was safely up and the blood stains removed. The scar is there now, a white Potteresque streak that glares at me. I feel slightly queasy having written this. Time to move onto my flash, and we are sill in Ireland with Mary and Rupert hunting their missing sister…
Fishing for the Truth
Mary sat, holding Katherine’s hand. The woman stroked Mary’s fingers. Jerry and Rupert hung back.
Katherine’s 80 year old mother entered the room with a tea tray. Katherine stopped her stroking and clapped her hands. Mrs Potts explained, ‘She loves giving the cups to visitors. The tea is quite cool because she’ll probably spill a little. It’s a good distraction.’
‘You needn’t.’ Mary hated this.
Mrs Potts smiled. ‘We’ve thought about finding out about her background but assumed, you know, given the way she is. Now, where’s the swab. Katherine, open your mouth. I just want a little wipe.’
Here’s a link to Mary’s story so far.