Charli’s prompt this week is
January 5, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a rattling sound. It can be an intimidating sound of protest, a disorienting loud sound, a musical expression or a gentle baby’s toy. Go where the prompt leads you.
We had some really rubbish cars in the 1960s and 70s: the first family car was a Hillman Husky which was okay, except for the fact you had to start it with one of those crank levers at the front that nearly always tried to break a leg or arm.
But after that they were rubbish, always going wrong. Consequently Dad became more and more neurotic about them. He was no mechanic, had the vaguest clue about the internal combustion engine, thought spark plugs had something to do with the lighting and the distributor cap something worn by a sales executive. The result was that at the slightest change of engine note his shoulders would slump, he would mutter something that we children were not meant to hear and say, in what felt like a dying breathe, ‘Oh god, Barbara, not again’.
To be fair to the old boy, we did suffer from a number of motoring disasters including a never to be forgotten moment when the handbrake cable snapped on a hill in Rye in Sussex – hilly is Rye – and we rolled slowly but inexorably back into a Mercedes with Dad tugging uselessly at the now free flowing handbrake chanting ‘No, no,’ and failing to apply the obvious foot brake, despite mum’s best efforts to get him to.
Best of all would be a new rattle. Once a rattle had been diagnosed Dad was fine with it – he bowed to the superior wisdom of all garage mechanics – omnipotent polymaths so far as dad was concerned – and happily let the rattle accompany our drives. But should a new rattle start up, or, terror of terrors, an old one stop (this had to mean, like a V1 bomb engine cutting out that death and destruction would follow within seconds) then he was hanging out of the driver’s window, even as we cruised along at 20, 30, 40 miles an hour, describing the noise, the likely cause (he had no clue really) and becoming increasingly morose.
These days cars don’t develop anything like the number of strange noises they once did but, having sat in the back of the car and watched my father make a complete tit of himself, I just ignore them until the car stops and then call a break down service. I’m just as stupid and stubborn as him, only a different type of stupid and stubborn.
And so to the flash and Penny and Paul doing a clear out.
Shake, Rattle and Roll
‘What’s this, Dad?’
Paul looked up from the box he was sorting. ‘Goodness, it’s your grandpa’s football rattle.’
‘What’s that?’ Penny eyed the contraption suspiciously.
Paul smiled, taking it. ‘Eagalllesss!!’ He bellowed and spun the rattle. Penny covered her ears. Paul laughed. ‘Football grounds were full of that noise in the 60s and 70s.’
Penny pulled a face. ‘I prefer those trumpet things you hate.’
‘Vuvuzelas? They’re awful.’
‘You’re just old-fashioned.’
Paul nodded. ‘Like REM and Beyonce are different I suppose. One’s tuneful and the other mush.’
Penny went back to her box. ‘We can agree on that then.’
this is a vuvuzla
and this a football rattle
and if you want to follow Penny Paul and the North family, go here...