Nov 30: Oblique Strategies

Its the final day of my Oblique Strategies, for now, its proved quite hard to get my head round along with taking the photo, and joining in with other prompts namely with Ragtag and Mr Fandango. So it is with one final hurumph that I say thank you to Mr Eno and Mr Schmidt for their suggestions concerning the November blues experienced in Rural Worcestershire. Today it’s…

Remember those quiet evenings?

What looked like the Worlds worst Christmas tree was created on a giant thistle, decorated around the base with mutton sheep wool, which had slipped down over the drooping fronds of the plant to pick up the morning dew in its curls and to receive a frequent supply of dog piss, every time one passed. The thistle, about 5 feet tall had seen better days as we all had that year. The virus had taken its toll and as it seeped like water through a tiny hole in the lino, soon it had well and truly saturated the population, opening up a huge maw in the floor where the larger part of the citizenship fell into, consuming the whole macabre waiting room full of victims hopeful for a vaccine, leaving a decaying putrid mess of jumbled up bones and matter of what was once a proud nation.

A few survived, but the animals were either old or dead too, all the berries had been taken from the trees and hedgerows, sometimes birds dive bombing the pickers as they  plundered the slim pickings. The chap was looking for sloes, the bitter fruit which acts as sweet alchemy on a bottle of gin, of which he had one. One left, hidden at the back of his wife’s wardrobe, where she had left it. As she sunk into an alcoholic pit of no hope and deep despair, it seemed hopeless, people were dying a terrible wretched death and she couldn’t survive on just gin, it was amazing she lasted a week, before she never woke up again.

When he reached home, pockets bulging with the bitter fruit, his coat torn to ribbons, he descended to the cellar to fetch the essentials, he had some fuel for the fire and some matches to get it going, looking round in the single bulb gloom, he could see some further wooden furniture, but something else too right in the corner. He moved closer, stooped down and peered through his scratched spectacles. Rustling in his trousers he pulled out a book of matches, it had the name and logo of the club in the city he used to frequent on a Sunday. Most people were at home with their families but him? He loved the peace of those quiet evenings at the club.

He opened the book and tore out a match, rolling it up and down in his fingers. He positioned the match against the striker and struck. A small bright flash suddenly became an enormous fireball as he was engulfed in the intense heat of the inferno.

The following day, the house was little more than a charred amorphous mass of nothing of any use; a few strips of material, some green glass and a pile of blackened bones.


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