Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Portrait of Words # 20

This writing challenge has changed. Originally Jeff (A Word in Edgewise) started up this monthly challenge, derived from a previous challenge from R.E.H.'s "Picture Fiction Challenge", but Jeff has given it up and Dr. John (Dr. John's Fortress) and Thom (Thom's Place 4 Well Whatever) have taken over. The challenge is now every two weeks and you can get all the details here, where you can also pick up the links to read all the entries. Do pop over and read, you won't be disappointed.

The challenge is you are given a number of pictures and must use some/all of the pictures to create a story.

Madge and Ethel were so excited about their trip to Sydney, Australia; neither had been abroad before so it was a huge adventure. Once they had gotten over their jet lag they started on the itinerary they’d drawn up before leaving England and first on the list was Sydney Opera House.

A shopping expedition at the Queen Victoria Building was also on the ‘to do’ list, Ethel and Madge were thrilled with the shops and the fashions the mannequins displayed in the windows. The pair were fascinated by the two mechanical clocks, which featured dioramas and moving figures from moments in Australian history. They were intrigued to see a sealed letter displayed in a dome, which was written by Queen Elizabeth II in 1985 and is to be opened in 2085 by the future Lord Mayor of Sydney and read aloud to the People of Sydney. No-one knows what the letter contains except the Queen.

A visit to Sydney Old Town had been recommended to them and they decided to go because there were rumours that it was closing down. Something that proved to be true as it did in fact close in 2003, the year after their visit.

They thoroughly enjoyed themselves wandering round the streets discovering the lifestyle of Old Sydney Town, seeing redcoats on parade, hearing the cannons and watching stories unfold before their very eyes by the actors and actresses such as pistol duels and a convict rebellion. They sat at the back of the Magistrates Court and heard convicts being tried, convicted and punished, as well as having a ride on a bullock drawn wagon being driven by a jovial man, who looked like and ageing Gerard Depardieu with a moustache.

It was whilst riding on the wagon that Madge started feeling unwell, she complained of stomach pains and was sweating profusely, then complained of feeling sick. Suddenly Ethel screamed “A spider, a spider!” pointing to a huge black thing scurrying across the bales of hay they were sitting on.

The driver pulled on the reins and stopped the cart telling everyone to get off immediately. “Were you bitten?” he asked Madge. There was a class of children on a school outing on the ride and he asked them if they had seen the spider, they said they hadn’t. Taking no chances he radioed for help and within minutes a car had arrived with a first aider who quickly telephoned for the air ambulance thinking that it was a possibility Madge had been bitten by a Funnel Web Spider from Ethel’s description of it. Madge by this time was in panic mode and feeling decidedly unwell. The first aider tried to reassure Madge by giving her the anti-venom, which they always kept because of the distance from the nearest hospital, and telling her they were only sending her to hospital as a precaution and she would be fine.

After making sure that nobody else had been bitten the first aider suggested they carried on with the rest of the tour and the children were ushered away by their teacher, who decided to take them to the tuck shop to take their minds off what had happened.

Standing by the bubble gum machine the children were laughing and joking and the teacher thought how insensitive children could be, they weren’t worried about what had happened to poor Madge at all. Luckily for the children, the teacher didn’t see the realistic looking replica Funnel Web Spider that they were passing round.


Do you know 5th November is Blogblast for Peace?

Bloggers all over the world will be posting the same post

Dona Nobis Pacem
Latin for "Grant Us Peace"

and flying a Peace Globe with their own message for Peace. The Title of the post is important. The goal is for all blog post titles to say the same thing on the same day.

Write about peace that day or simply fly your globe.

Be part of it, join in by going here and following the instructions of how to get your Peace Globe and join in the biggest Blo gblast for Peace ever - it's really easy honest.

"There is no way to peace. Peace is the way."
- A.J. Muste.


quilly said...

Oh those evil children!

Great story! I never saw the end coming.

Nessa said...

Those little stinkers. You got me, too. Very entertaining.

Tuesday's Tales #1 - John

Anonymous said...

Very well done my friend and thank you. Those little brats. LOL. You got me on this as well. Excellent as always :)

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

cheeky little sots! ha ha ha

smiles, bee

Sandi McBride said...

You do it every time! Now there are some kids who need tearing out of the frame!

Linda said...

Oh those naughty, naughty children! To totally mess up poor Madge's holiday like that!! Like Miss Bee said, "cheeky little sots!"

Shrinky said...

I always love the twist you put in your tale! Smile.

Daryl said...

Oh now that was great fun ...

Akelamalu said...

Evil through and through Quilly! ;)

Yep definitely little stinkers Nessa LOL

Glad you enjoyed it Thom x

Very cheeky Bee!

Aw thanks Sandi :)

Wicked children indeed Linda

Thanks Shrinky :)

So pleased you enjoyed it Daryl :)

Susan at Stony River said...

Those rotten kids--but, typical! And poor Madge; I hope she enjoys Australia enough to get the spider out of her head!

Great story, I enjoyed that!

Bill ~ {The Old Fart} said...

What Susan and everyone else said, those Kids. A really good story, like the rest didn't see the end coming.

cheshire wife said...

Madge certainly had a trip to remember! I didn't see that end coming!

Sandi McBride said...

Just popping back in to say that Collards are very similar to Kale...we ate Kale in place of Collards when we lived "across the pond" and found it quite a nice make Pepper sauce, we pack a clean hot pint jar to the brim with cayenne (fresh green and red whole ones) and pour boiling vinegar into the jar, cap immediately and turn upside down to seal. When opened, keep refrigerated, but pour the vinegar over greens for an extra little kick...when the vinegar gets low, just add more vinegar.

Dr.John said...

I did not see that coming. You are so sneaky and creative.
That is one fantastic ending to a great story.

Fandango said...

You fooled us dragons you did. Are human kids really that bad? Shame on them.
Very well written sad story.

Spiky Zora Jones said...

Akelamalu: hehehe. spider...bad bad children. I would scold but secretly I'd want to give them high fives...woo!

loved it sweetie.

Ron said...


LOVED. LOVED. LOVED the ending!!!

And I howled at your reference and photo to Gerard Depardieu with a moustache!

That was brilliant!

Well done, m'dear!

Thanks for sharing!

Have a great Wednesday!

Maude Lynn said...

What a great story!

Akelamalu said...

Thanks Susan. Poor Madge had to fly home as soon as she recovered. :(

I love it when people don't anticipate the ending Bill, thanks m'deario.

Oh yes, Madge won't forget that holiday ever Cheshire Wife!

Great recipe Sandi thankyou. :)

You're too kind Dr. John. If I can fool you with the ending I've done a good job! :)

Some human kids are worse than that Fandango! I bet young dragons don't play tricks do they?

They were naughty Spiky but I admit the thought made me chuckle too!

I didn't know who it was in the photograph Ron - I live a sheltered life. (wink)

Thanks Mama Zen :)

Anonymous said...