This week’s writephoto prompt is
Mel O’drama wasn’t one to moan, but seriously what was it with this urge for a bracing walk on Christmas morning? She surveyed the bog as it stretched away towards the low hills. Even the snow seemed fed up with hanging on. It had done the pretty falling and settling bit but a frosty night and a hee-haw morning had seen most of it dissolved into the oily gloop that the spiky grasses hid.
‘You’re Uncle Theologian would love this.’ Mel’s father blew on his finger tips, a singularly useless gesture as he’d lost them to frostbite twenty two years before. ‘He’d say it reminded him of yomping to Port Stanley in 1982 or some such.’
What was it with her family, Mel wondered. Her uncle worked for a book binding company and the nearest he’d come to the Falklands’ war had been an autobiography by a royal engineer. And what about her father? He’d lost his fingers because he’d been stupid enough to try and make an igloo as a shelter when they’d broken down on the A82 in the bitter winter of 1999, even After they’d been offered a hot drink and several blankets by a local farmer. Her father always said it was when he was racing huskies in the arctic circle as a bet.
The only sane one in the family, her mother, had stayed inside to cook the Christmas lunch and despite her offering to stay and help she’d been shepherded outside ‘to look after the silly sod’. Thanks mum. Thanks a bloody bunch.
‘What do you say we make it to the top of that hill,’ her father waved at the barely there hillock on the horizon, ‘as see what the view is like?’
Mel scowled at the sky; it had the sort of tired grey hue that reminded her of her grandmother’s smalls – not that they were small in anyone’s dictionary.
Her father was already heading across the moor, carefully testing each tuft of grass before trusting it with his weight. He looked back at her, grinning. ‘Come on, Mel. It’ll be an adventure.’
She followed his footsteps, wondering in what world this tedious excuse for a walk could be described as an adventure. ‘If I fall in, dad, I will poison your turkey.’
‘Ha! You always exaggerated. I…’
Her father stopped abruptly and stared at the ground. Mel was vaguely aware he wasn’t moving but her focus was on her footing, as she determined not to become a victim of the cloying mud.
‘Well, I’ll be blowed.’
Mel joined him, wobbling violently on her tuft. ‘What?’ She couldn’t hide her irritation.
‘There?’ He pointed a few feet in front of where he’d stopped, at a dark pool of peaty water. He positively vibrated with excitement.
‘Come on, Dad, I’m not in the mood for games. There’s no alien spaceship there or a long hidden army of invading Vikings or…’
Mel lurched back and sat with a splash in a puddle. Her father was bouncing up and down balls of his feet, making small clapping motions with his hands. Some sort of green scaled monster of the sort drawn to represent Nessie had risen several feet into the air and now looked down on them, as if surprised to see them as they were him. Her father had already pulled out his phone and was fumbling with the Lock Screen, oblivious to the inherent risk of standing so close to some freak of nature.
Before he could take a picture and Mel could process what she’d seen, the monster leant forward, flicked his phone from his grasp and said in a light Scottish baritone, ‘I think not, sunshine,’ before spinning round and diving back into the murky depths.
In moments the turbulent waters had settled back to how they’d been before this extraordinary vision and apart from the fact her father’s phone now lay some fifty feet away on the top of some heather it was as if nothing had happened.
Her father could barely contain himself. ‘Well! What did I say? An adventure. That was fantastic, wasn’t it?’
Mel understood her father’s excitement. Seeing some thing like they’d just witnessed was amazing. But better still, in his eyes, was the fact she’d seen it too. And she’d have to corroborate his story and they’d both be disbelieved. Her life was officially as good as over.