Jeff (A Word in Edgewise) has started up this monthly challenge, derived from a previous challenge from R.E.H.'s "Picture Fiction Challenge".
The object is to:
Write a story of any length or style. Long or short, comedy or tragedy, fact or fiction, etc,etc... it's up to you.
Use each of the picture representations in your story. (one from the wild card options)
Here's my story:
“Just hold my shopper would you Jack, whilst I nip into the post office and pick up the mail for the hotel” said Mary. Jack felt a fool but he did what Mary asked. Jack thought her job as manageress at the countryside hotel was too much of a challenge and the strain was beginning to show.
The truth was, Mary thoroughly enjoyed her job at the hotel. It was really upmarket, catering for the country set who still participated in fox hunting, had their own horses and arrived for dinner in their carriages. Mary had really come up in the world from her poor beginnings as the daughter of a fairground worker. Jack dropped Mary off at the hotel telling her “I’ll pick you up later.”
In her office Mary sifted through the mail stopping at an envelope addressed to Mary Leach, which was her maiden name. Taking the letter opener she sliced open the envelope. A cold hand gripped her heart as she read the contents.
Her past had caught up with her.
Twenty-five years ago she had walked away from the fairground, her parents and her baby boy, who had been conceived from her relationship with Michael, the boy who helped run the Carousel with her father. She and Michael were in love but her father said they were too young at fourteen to know what love was. Michael and his family had left the fair and Mary’s baby had been taken away at birth, the only reminder she had of Michael was the rose bush he had planted outside her parent’s caravan. Mary missed Michael so much but no-one seemed to know where he and his family had gone.
As soon as Mary reached her sixteenth birthday she packed her bag and left, vowing to find Michael. For a few years every time a fair came to town she would go and ride the carousel hoping that maybe, just maybe, Michael would be there. Eventually she gave up looking and created a more acceptable past for herself. Finding work was easy for Mary, she was pretty and a hard worker, she started off as a chambermaid and worked her way up gradually to Manageress, through a series of hotels around the country.
Eventually she met Jack and they married. Jack knew about Mary’s family and what had happened to her at such a tender age but it wasn’t something she broadcast to all and sundry, it didn’t quite fit with her position now.
Going back to the letter Mary couldn’t believe what she was reading, somehow Michael had found her and was coming to visit – today!
Suddenly the telephone rang.
“There’s someone at the front desk looking for you Mary, says he’s a friend” said the receptionist.
Stepping out of her office Mary recognised Michael straight away.
Michael held out his hand “Good to see you Mary, how have you been?”
“Hello Michael, won’t you come into my office?”
Michael explained he had never wanted to leave her but his family had insisted and like her, as soon as he was old enough, he had started to look for her, just as she had looked for him.
“I have something for you Mary” said Michael. He reached into a bag and pulled out a pot containing a rose, which was identical to the one he had planted for her all those years ago, and an envelope which he passed to her.
“Open the envelope” he insisted.
Once again Mary took the letter opener and sliced the envelope, inside was a photograph of a line of Coldstream Guards.
“I don’t understand Michael, what’s this?” asked Mary.
“The second soldier from the left in the photograph is our son Mary. My family brought him up and I thought you might like to know just how well he turned out!”