Up Close And Personal #prompt #shortfiction

Willow Willers has sent me another eye pic as a prompt. This is the picture

And this what followed. When you’ve finished reading head over to Willow’s blog and rummage around; I know you’ll enjoy yourself.

Until today, Naomi Flutterbung had thought of it as just another job. Feeding the family, keeping the militant aardvark in causes to rail against and saving enough to recalibrate her Jerome’s moral compass was enough, thank you very much; she didn’t need to spend her hard earned spare time contemplating the mysteries of the Oracle Rock. Cleaning it kept her more than busy.

Funny thing, though, she admitted to Mrs Gorsewibble, her fellow cleaner and as devout a supplicant to the majesty and mystery of the Oracle’s powers as you’d find this side of a jelly blancmange sculptress. You spend your life up close and personal with the most revered example of the infinite incredulity that the universe could throw out and one day you realise you really should know what the fuss was about.

Thus it was that, that Thursday as the two women donned their regulation tweed twin set, pearls and rubber diphthongs Gloriana Gorsewibble began to explain the theological nuances behind the Fuss. ‘Twas a miracle,’ said the older woman as she tested the first rung on the Ladder of Infinity. ‘Before the Fuss, believe it or not this was just a rock face. Just crevices and nooks with a light dusting of lichen. Then the Oracle awoke.’

‘Just like that?’ Naomi followed her co-worker up the Rungs of Insight. ‘Sort of like when you wake with a start?’

‘Pretty much. That’s what caused the Fuss. One moment the cliff was strung with ropes for the final eliminator for that year’s Double Buttock Abseiling Dropathon and the next the Oracle…’

‘The socking great eye?’

‘The Optimal Magnificence, yes, was there.’

‘And the lashes?’

‘There’s some controversy about them. Some say they were fully formed at the start of the Fuss, but others say everyone ran away at the start sure they’d disturbed some ancient Mountain God and thought hiding might be a good place to start any kind of revering, so the records of what was and wasn’t there at the start are a bit sketchy.’

Gloriana paused, and wound up her bucket and sponge. ‘Shall I do the HolyIris and you can give the lashes a rub down?’

This was the usual arrangement and Naomi had never questioned it. Today though… ‘Would it be okay if I did the Iris?’

‘Well, now, of course, you should take a turn but you need a steady hand and…’

‘If you fell ill, I’d have to, wouldn’t I?’

‘I suppose, though I’ve done this some seventy one years and not missed a day…’

‘You might like a break.’ Naomi decided, if she didn’t take the initiative she’d never get a chance. While Gloriana was distracted securing her bucket, she scuttled past her on the last of the Steps of Sight and confronted the enormous Eyeball. It was huge and very impressive. She’d always thought of it as a bit of a con, most likely some clever sculpture but now she was in front of it, it did look very lifelike.

‘Naomi, you need…’

Naomi shut her ears to the no doubt well intended advice of Gloriana. She dipped her sponge in her bucket as she said, ‘What can go wrong?’

Using the wrong cleaning material for a start. It was only as she wiped the full sponge across the surface of the Oracle that she remembered it was full of lash bleach, a very caustic product.

For a moment she held the pose, thinking she had been right all along and this was just a bit of, albeit humungous cliff art. Then the whole edifice shook, water gushed out of the side of the Oracle, a deep booming rumble that might have been something saying ‘fuck’ had anyone been able to hear the details on so low a register emerged from the depths and the Oracle snapped shut, crushing Naomi in the process.

Once again the people ran away. It didn’t take Priests and Theologians to articulate what everyone thought.

If the Oracle could open and shut then what was to stop it developing a hand and giving itself a good old rub. And if so, no one wanted to be around for the consequences.

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 three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. 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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12 Responses to Up Close And Personal #prompt #shortfiction

  1. Ritu says:

    Love it. Classic Geoffle!
    And great pic, Sis!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Mick Canning says:

    Brilliant, Geoff!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. willowdot21 says:

    Good grief… The possibilities are frightening…
    Only you could see all that in one fowl swoop! I am impressed!
    I love the photo too Ritu 💜

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Fantastic! And loving the picture …

    Liked by 2 people

  5. A fine conclusion

    Liked by 2 people

  6. V.M.Sang says:

    Very clever. Love it.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Elizabeth says:

    As I contemplate upcoming cataract surgery I must say that image did nothing to calm my nerves!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jennie says:

    Oh, this was good!

    Liked by 1 person

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