Shelter #microcosms #shortstory

Microcosms this week is a picture prompt 

img_0034

Picture courtesy of @TheShakes72

Norman thought of himself as meticulous; Daphne thought him slow. He started many jobs always intending completion. Rarely did it happen. However the construction of an air-raid shelter was one project Daphne determined Norman would finish.
Norman’s problem was a Victorian urge to over-engineer. The neighbours dug a simple pit which they covered in corrugated iron. Norman hunted out precious bricks, while assessing ground conditions and the best prospect – east-facing he thought.
Progress was slow. Bombing raids came and went. Daphne and the boys sheltered with the neighbours. Meanwhile Norman pottered and pointed and pontificated.
The boys joined up and still Norman built. VE Day passed in a blur for Daphne as she imbibed more oak leaf wine than was recommended.
When she returned, as the rain blew away, Norman was waiting. ‘It’s done.’ At the top of the steps, he added, ‘Pity it’s over really.’
Maybe it was the worry about her boys, off to the Far East, maybe it was the year’s of using the neighbours, maybe it was just the drink but Daphne saw red. She ran at Norman’s back gurgling incoherently and pushed.
The combination of wet steps and the force exerted sent Norman tumbling. He lay inside the door, clearly dead.
Daphne sighed. She made herself tea and then some concrete. In a surprisingly quick time she bricked up the entrance and begun filling in the steps with soil. If anyone asked about Norman she said, ‘He’s decided on a fresh start.’
No one questioned Daphne. When, 60 years later the shelter was opened, none of the family still lived. The dead man was assumed to be a vagrant.
Indeed it wasn’t the body that caused the stir but Norman’s magnificent shelter. In death, at least his precise handiwork had been appreciated.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published three books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars and Salisbury Square. In addition I published an anthology of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand this summer. A fourth book will be out soon. This started life as a novel in a week on this blog and will follow later this year. I blog about all sorts at geofflepard.com and welcome all comments. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
This entry was posted in creative writing, flash fiction, microfiction and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Shelter #microcosms #shortstory

  1. LOL. You know… that probably happened somewhere. Well told, Geoff. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes indeedy – I once knew a Norman and had I been wed to him, I imagine that may have been his fate!! 🙂 Happy New Year Geoff, we cross over in 16 hours………

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anabel Marsh says:

    I believe you must have met my brother-in-law 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Charli Mills says:

    Fantastic tale and this is an awesome line: “She made herself tea and then some concrete.”

    Liked by 2 people

  5. leslcm8 says:

    Enjoyed that, Geoff. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Rowena says:

    Very English to make yourself a cup of tea before mixing the concrete. In Australia, we have a handyman franchise called “Hire A Hubby” because evidently Norman isn’t alone. A few years later, an interesting ad appeared about the handyman doing more than household repairs and suggesting the husband might need to take up DIY instead.
    Well written, Geoff and very plausible.
    xx Ro

    Liked by 2 people

    • TanGental says:

      Thanks Ro, and yes sadly it seems to resonate a lot!!. Love the idea of a hired hubby. There was a children’s book when my two were younger called the Dad Library where you could borrow the sort of dad you needed that week – sporty, good at physics, understanding, ready for fun etc. My two were always debating which one they wanted…

      Liked by 2 people

      • Rowena says:

        That Dad Library sounds like a great idea. I bet they didn’t have the ATM Dad in there. There’s at shirt you can buy here with ATM Dad on the front. I didn’t dare buy it for my Dad or Geoff. I’m trying to keep my ATM activities quiet…under the radar.

        Liked by 1 person

      • TanGental says:

        Yes it’s still the more formal Bank of Mum and Dad here but some extortion racket. Not wishing to depress but this one is still paying out to the two customers agreed 23 and 26.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Rowena says:

        Not meaning to depress you but my parents have gained two new customers…the grandchildren. Our isn’t a high volume user but our daughter would empty the bank given half a chance. A lot of her requests are cheap by themselves but they add up. My parents cover their activities are Miss is a dancer. The classes are cheap compared to an instrument but there are a lot of extras. Still, we’re happy to support us and are hoping that Miss Bank will be supporting us in old age.

        Liked by 1 person

      • TanGental says:

        No ooooooooooo!!! Not fair!! Still you can’t take it with you

        Liked by 1 person

      • Rowena says:

        Yes, but I don’t want my kids to spend it before I get a turn!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Eileen says:

    Oh! How delightful. Your imagination is amazing, but your combination of clarity and subtlety of expression just wipes me out. That’s the best laugh I’ve had in a long time. You are so good at describing the foibles of human nature. This was a lovely start to my New Year. Lots of good wishes coming your way. Keep on keepin on.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Eileen says:

    Reblogged this on Laughter: Carbonated Grace and commented:
    Too good to not share.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. lucciagray says:

    Terrifying😨 Poor Norman…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. livelytwist says:

    Brilliant storytelling.
    Eileen’s reblog brought me here.

    Liked by 1 person

If you would like to reply please do so here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s