The Sinister Reason Why You Can Never Visit Nowhere #freewrite #carrotranch

Here’s the second free write from the Carrot Ranch TUFF competition prompt which is now closed. A fixed 297 words, using the prompt ‘Papa’s Bar’.

 Papa’s Bar had been there since forever, trapped between the cemetery and the beginning of Nowhere. No track led into Nowhere. No one entered Nowhere. If anyone approached it, dared by others to step beyond the invisible line, drawn in men’s minds, they stopped, incapable of making another step. All Papa’s clients ignored Nowhere, even those big men with bigger reputations.

 

The inhospitable lands meant few stayed long in the town, other than to fulfil whatever their contracts said. Those chancers who assumed there must be rich pickings in somewhere so isolated remained for a day or, at most two and then left, chilled by the lack of warmth, of the dread miasma that seemed to drip from the rafters.

 

Papa O’Rierdon stood on the wooden step outside the door to the bar and dried another glass. He was tired and frustrated. Everything he had tried to encourage people to come, to stay had failed. He lifted his gaze to the shimmering air that seemed to emerge from the ground just beyond the imaginary boundary line, distorting what passed for a view. Even if no one else could hear it, he could: that sharp-toothed cackle. He alone could see the shadowy figure, its crooked finger bent in what passed for an invitation.

 

Behind him it was as if the town sighed out a final breath; the place was dying and only Papa knew why. Only Papa could stop the inevitable end, the final ignominy.

 

Dropping the cloth he marched across the line and into Nowhere. Papa’s nemesis, a small green leprechaun stood, hands on hips, grinning.

 

Papa growled. ‘Can we stood this stupid feud?’

 

The leprechaun nodded. ‘You ready to play now?’

 

‘Yes alright.’ Papa leaned forward and tapped the leprechaun on the shoulder. ‘Now you’re it.’

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published two anthologies of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand and Life in a Flash. More will appear soon, including a memoir of my mother's last years. I will try and continue to blog regularly at geofflepard.com about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. 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.
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16 Responses to The Sinister Reason Why You Can Never Visit Nowhere #freewrite #carrotranch

  1. You had me at: “big men with bigger reputations.” Love that. Just recently I wrote a similar line: “small dogs with smaller shits.” We must be on the same writing wavelength!

    Like

  2. Love a couple of money-lines:
    (O) …even those big men with bigger reputations.
    (O) … chilled by the lack of warmth, of the dread miasma that seemed to drip …

    Again, you tempt me with open imagery plagiarism. Back away from that valve sir. This flow must continue.

    Like

  3. Ritu says:

    Brilliantly done His Geoffleship!

    Like

  4. Such an unexpected twist there – well done!

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  5. JT Twissel says:

    You can’t make a bargain with a leprechaun!

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  6. Now wasn’t that a wee bit of an unexpected turn? I can ‘a even say I thought you’d be bringing The Little Folk into it.

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  7. What an imagination! I didn’t expect that ending, Geoff, which is always a delight!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My, where your mind goes, Geoff. A great entry for what I thought was a tough challenge (not that I’ve been able to enter these competitions).
    I love that last line, especially given that I’ve used the words “you’re it’ in a piece of flash fiction. Great minds and all that…

    Liked by 1 person

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