A Wish In Time #writephoto

This week’s prompt for #writephoto is

A Wish In Time

Cliff Erosion spun the wheel on his tractor and set off on the second run down the Long Field. He felt his shoulders sink towards his armpits as he took in the slight slope as it wended wearily in the direction of the far hedge. A mile? Ten? It seemed never ending. How many times had he ploughed this benighted strip of Olde England? Enough, certainly, to have it named after him. He knew ever contour, every smear of clay, splodge of flint. He pushed his foot down, not that it would make much difference to how much time it would take and…




What the actual…

Ploooonnn… Hellooooo!

The tractor had skewed sideways and ground to an abrupt halt. Cliff tried to see what he’d hit: it had to be huge, given the noise. But what was that ‘hellooo!’ all about? He opened the door and swung his legs over the side. He was certain there was nothing there. He’d have seen it. Wouldn’t he?

As he dropped to the ground and peered under the wheel he was aware of a face peering back at him.


‘Are you okay?’

‘I’m just dandy! Top form. Spiffing. Above par. Chipper.’

As Cliff watched the face changed through a dozen versions, the only constant being a rather magnificent handlebar moustache. Cliff felt dizzy.

‘Are you going to pull me out?’

‘Oh. Of course.’ Cliff checked the tyre it appeared to have squashed the man into the mud. ‘I think I ought to call an ambulance.’

‘Don’t be silly. Can you see the lamp?’


‘Brass. Curly handle and ornamental spout. The sort of think you see and instinctively want to rub.’

Not sure where this was going, he knelt by the wheel and stuck his head behind it. Sure enough there was a lamp, apparently unscathed. He reached for it and… he withdrew his hand quickly.

The lamp followed it and before Cliff could scrabble back, the lamp latched onto his fingers and began rubbing against the tips.

While Cliff was still reeling from the animated ornament, the face swelled out of the spout and ballooned above the prone farmer.

‘Well, this is splendid! And you are?’

‘Er, Cliff.’

‘Well, Ercliff you may think I’m a djinn.’

‘Not really.’

‘No? What do you think I am?’


‘Ho ho. No, see I look like a djinn but I’m actually a dtonic.’

‘Very funny. What are you doing under my tractor?’

‘Waiting for you, Ercliff.’

Cliff scratched his head and pulled his face into something thoughtful and vaguely constipated. ‘I’ve been ploughing this field for longer than a 1970s drum solo and I’ve not seen the lamp. How’s you get here?’

The dtonic had the decency to look embarrassed in about seventeen different ways. ‘Someone dropped me.’ The crestfallen expression morphed into something more hopefully. ‘Still I’m here now. So…’

Cliff sighed. ‘Three wishes?’

‘Not exactly.’


‘The thing is as a dtonic I support a wish, give it context. Fr’instance, if you wished to have some fancy sports car, I’d provide assistance with insurance, advising on garaging, sort out lessons in maintenance.’

Cliff nodded. ‘The woman of my dreams?’

‘Guidance on personal grooming – yours, shoe bargain shopping, discreet conversation openers and how to mansplain while seeming to be listening.’

‘What about an unfeasibly large organ?’

‘An appropriate cleaning regime and the latest in support undergarments.’

‘And you can’t offer me any of the wishes themselves?’

‘Indeed, no. But… what are you doing? Ercliff?’

Cliff wasn’t listening. He put the lamp on the ground in front of the largest tractor wheel. When, two hours later, his wife appeared with tea, she asked him why he’d just ploughed one furrow, seemingly seventeen times.

Cliff sipped his brew. ‘I wish I knew.’

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. 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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19 Responses to A Wish In Time #writephoto

  1. joylennick says:

    Got to feel sorry for the man… xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Obviously he rubbed him up the wrong way!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. willowdot21 says:

    Just goes to show you need to be careful what you wish for! Those Dtonics are more trouble than their counterparts!
    I love the line , “longer than a 1970s drum solo ” it’s so true!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good twist on the genie. What a loser! Hopefully, it will be longer than a 1970s drum solo’ before that lamp is found again!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow.
    Such a fun piece Trent !

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Geoff . . .
    I meant Geoff.
    Dratted Dtonic. . .

    Liked by 1 person

  7. V.M.Sang says:

    I love the idea of dtonic instead of a djinn. (Not really instead of. Quite obviously they should both go together.)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Bridgette says:

    Highly enjoyable!


  9. Pingback: #Writephoto Round-Up – TRACTOR – New2Writing

  10. Jemima Pett says:

    dtonic! Had me on the floor, that did. Oh, dear (wipes eyes). That was fun….

    Liked by 1 person

  11. KL Caley says:

    Aaah he should have asked dtonic where djinn was as he’d be able to advise him! Brilliant story, Geoff. Hilarious. Thank you so much for joining in with #writephoto. Just catching up on all these crackers. 😊 KL ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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