Fictionary: Unexpected (Bravado Part 3)

[This is the 3rd and final part of this story. Read part 1(Bravado) and part 2(Insidious) if you haven’t already. ]

The next morning Charlie started his day normally, heading outside to wake the farm at dawn. As soon as he left the coop Betty called all the hens together.

“Our very own rooster has been scheming against us. Stealing our eggs for that fox!”

A few gasps, followed by excited clucking at this unexpected news.

“Shhh,shhhh, pay attention! I heard them talking yesterday and Charlie promised him even more eggs!”

Agness fainted at those words.

Betty continued, “Now…we are not going to let that happen! No more of us are ending up like our dear Millie!From now on, we use a buddy system to make sure all the eggs are guarded each day until the farmer collects them. He won’t be so bold as to take them when we are watching.”

The hens all agreed and each picked a buddy to help guard the eggs. They had just returned to their perches as the rooster returned from his task.

Charlie entered the coop and seemed to pick up a changed vibe. It was as if the hens avoided looking at him as he strolled the length of the coop.

“Good morning, my dears!”, he said.

Blank stares greeted him in return.

All that day he did not find an egg he could sneak away, too scrutinizing were the hens. He decided he needed to escape the stares and headed outside.

“Where are the eggs you promised me?” The words felt ,as much as heard, the fox close enough he could feel Fred’s warm breath.

“There will be no more eggs”, Charlie said quietly, all bravado gone. “They know.”

Without a word the fox pounced on the rooster. Charlie crowed his last, a plea to anyone that could hear.

It was enough to alert the farmer who came running toward the coop only to see the fox dash under the fence and into the woods, rooster still in his jowls.

The farmer secured the fence so the fox no longer had a way in. Then set out to find another rooster, knowing there was no saving Charlie now. He retuned later in the day with a cage. He walked it out to the coop and set it down inside.

“Girls, meet your new rooster, Randy!”

[The end]

Word of the Day Challenge: Unexpected

Special thanks to the following:
Capri23auto for the hens image

Pixel-mixer for the fox with chicken image (I know those are wolves not a fox)
pneumann70 for the crazy rooster image

I hope you enjoyed the story!

SharedHere – 2018 – James Sponseller

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Fictionary: Insidious (Bravado Part 2)

[This is a continuation of Fictionary:Bravado, read part 1 here.]

“I can try to get you a few more eggs”, offered Charlie, “Only until you find another source that is. I can’t stick my neck out for long.”

Fred’s look of worry faded slightly at that response. “Thank you, Charlie! Tomorrow, same time and place?”

“Yes! Now get out of here before you get us caught!”, Charlie bawked.

Fred padded over and squeezed under the fence, then disappeared from view.

Betty pulled her ear away from the hen house wall where she had been listening. She was not going to end up like Millie for lack of eggs.

“Girls! Listen up!”, she clucked to the other hens. “All hens meeting tomorrow morning, crack of dawn, when Charlie leaves to wake the farmer. He’s up to something insidious and we’re putting a stop to it!”

[To be continued…]

SharedHere 2018 – James Sponseller

Word of the Day Challenge: Insidious

Special Thanks to Kaz for the image.

Fictionary:Bravado

Charlie peered around the corner of the hen house, looking to see if any of the hens would see him returning. The coast clear, he stepped into the muddy yard and headed for the ramp that would take him up into the shelter.

Halfway up the ramp he stopped as he heard footsteps padding close behind. He turned, mustering all the bravado a lone rooster can, and glared right into the eyes of the red fox standing at the bottom of the ramp.

Charlie puffed out his chest, bright feathers rippling, and stretched tall. His bright combs adding to his height, making him appear larger than life, he stepped forward.

He started berating the fox.

“Fred! Just what do you think you’re doing? We had an agreement! Remember?!”, Charlie bellowed.

“Shhh, someone will hear! It’s the youngins see. Ever since Farmer Johnson across the valley got rid of his chickens they haven’t been getting enough to eat. My youngest has fallen sick now. I’m afraid we need more than the half dozen eggs you’ve been providing.”, said the fox.

“How many do you need?”, replied Charlie.

“A full dozen would do us well.”

“A dozen!”, Charlie sputtered, “I could never sneak that many out without raising suspicions! I’m not sure how we’ve managed a half dozen a day for this long now. Poor Millie, I had been sneaking her egg away each day. Her mind being addled and all she never noticed. Sadly, the coop keeper noticed no eggs were coming from her roost and she’s been sent to The Pot.”

“Oh dear!”, replied Fred.

“The others, I think they notice something is amiss but haven’t pinned it down yet. I’ve had to let that filthy rat into the coop in broad daylight just to take the heat off me.”

“My my…what am I going to do?”, Fred pondered, “I can’t go back to my den empty handed.”

[To be continued…(Fictionary:Insidious (Bravado Part 2))]

Word of the Day Challenge: bravado

Special thanks to TheDigitalArtist for the image.

SharedHere – 2018 – James Sponseller

Fictionary: Symphony

Allen and Susan were having their first date night out in what seemed like forever. Between their kids’ recitals, practices, and games there didn’t seem to be time for just the two of them anymore.

Allen had arranged for his mother-in-law to watch after the kids for this special treat for his wife Susan. He had been planning for weeks and had managed to purchase tickets to a performance of Tchaikovsky’s final Symphony, his wife’s favorite classical composer.

The evening was going great! Dinner was nice and the orchestra performance had been wonderful so far. The musicians were just coming off of a crescendo, their instruments growing silent when a loud noise rang out from Allen’s pocket.

The Vader theme from Star Wars resounded from his phone in the silence left by the now quiet instruments. He had thought it was funny to use that tone for his in-laws when he set it up. Here and now he did not find it so funny. He fumbled quickly for the phone in his pocket, trying to silence the offending device, very conscious of the glares from nearby patrons. No glare more penetrating than that of his now mortified wife.

He managed to silence his phone, dumbfounded how he had forgotten to turn it off in the first place. Worried that the call may have been about one of the children, he excused himself sheepishly and made his way to the lobby to call his mother-in-law back.

“Oh Hi, Allen”, came the voice at the other end of the line. “Is Susan enjoying her night out with you?”

“Uh, well she was…”, he paused a moment, “So I am just calling you back, is everything ok with the kids?”

“Calling me back? I didn’t call you…”, a few moments of silence and then, “Oh, it does show in my call history, must have dialed by accident. I’m sorry. The kids are just fine!”

Allen gritted his teeth slightly, glad everything was fine with the kids but annoyed at the embarrassing ringing of his phone over nothing.

“That’s good. Listen, I need to get back to Susan. We should be home on time.”, Allen said and then hung up the phone.

Returning back inside to his wife, he assured here the kids were fine to which he received a cold shoulder. He wasn’t going to forget this night. No, his wife was not going to allow that. For years he would hear about the night his wife almost enjoyed the symphony.

[The End]

Thanks to Word of the Day Challenge for the prompt.

And special thanks to TravelCoffeeBook for the image!

SharedHere 2018 – James Sponseller

Fictionary: Awkward

Awkward. That’s one way to describe how Kylie felt after rounding the corner right into an open locker door. Mostly she just wanted to melt away. To be away from the glares and stares of the other students crowding the halls between classes. As if her day hadn’t been going bad enough, now she had the whole school gawking at her clumsiness.

Just then the locker door swung closed. Standing at the locker was none other than the high school’s star quarterback, Brock.

“Was that you?”, Brock asked, looking almost sympathetic.

“Uhh, sorry.”, was all Kylie could manage. She looked about, hoping to see an easy exit from the situation but no path seemed clear.

“I’m sorry, Kylie isn’t it?”, Brock said. “I’ve seen you around. I hear you play a wicked game of soccer.”

Kylie blushed slightly at the compliment but mostly because her biggest crush was actually talking to her.

“Yeah, soccer is the best!, uhh, not that football isn’t good too.”, she replied, knowing his status on the school team.

Brock smiled a warm smile as the butterflies bounced about in Kylie’s stomach.

“Would, uh, would you like to hang out after the game this Friday?”, Brock asked, his turn to seem a little nervous.

“Yes, I think I would like that very much!”, She replied with little hesitation.

“Perfect, meet me back here after next class and we can exchange numbers and plans.”, Brock said.

They both left off towards their next classes, a bit hurried to beat the bell. A final glance they shared between them just before passing out of sight. Awkwardness forgotten, Kylie thought just how good the day was after all.

[The end.]

Shared Here -2018 – James Sponseller

Special thanks to tlparadis for the lockers image.

Fictionary: Wanderlust

The tracks continued on, running ahead through a tunnel of growth, obscurring what lay ahead.

Good., Kevin thought to himself. I enjoy the suspense of what lay ahead the most.

Though his journey had already surpassed his planned timeline, he continued on, his pace heightened by the unknown lying just out of sight. He knew he would have to head back soon but gripped as he was by wanderlust he forged ahead.

As he entered the tunnel under the growth he could feel the hair on the back of his neck rise, a creepy feeling settling into his gut. He looked around warily, searching for the cause of his reaction but nothing stood out.

The breeze rustled the leaves all around him, adding to his sense of unease. Kevin continued on, more cautious than before, eyes and ears alert for any danger.

He looked ahead to the light streaming into end of the tunnel some distance away. Seemingly the same distance as when he looked ten minutes earlier. He did not understand how that could be and decided he had better turn back after all, the tunnel longer than he had expected. Turning around, the entrance seemed every bit as far. Kevin began to panic and started running toward the entrance. An entrance he would never reach.

The djinn laughed, satisfied with the curse he had laid upon his latest victim…

[The End.]

Special thanks to Torfi007 for the tunnel image!

Shared Here – 2018 – James Sponseller

Fictionary: Succinct

Welcome to today’s Fictionary, where I pick an image from pixabay and create a fiction based upon it. Prompt idea from Word of the Day Challenge!

[At a laboratory, late, cleaning crew making their rounds]

“Did you here that?”, Michael asked over his shoulder to Kelly, his coworker for the evening.

No reply.

Michael looked back and nodded, of course not, he thought, glancing at the ear buds firmly planted in her ears, Kelly nodding to the music as she gathered the trash.

Walking around the desk he found the source of the noise he had heard. There on the floor lay several amber shards of what might have once been a ball. Picking the pieces up, he could clearly see how they had fit together before it fell. An odd recess in the pieces would have made a hollow spot, as if something had been trapped inside.

He gently set the pieces on the desk. While looking for a piece of paper to leave a note for the research staff he spotted a bright orange sticky note. Handwritten quickly was the succinct message, DANGER! DO NOT BREAK!

Michael glanced around cautiously, suddenly feeling alarmed. He heard a THUD as something hit the floor behind him and turned to find Kelly sprawled out, clutching her very swollen neck, a bright red sting mark clearly visible. She shuttered briefly and lay still, lifeless eyes staring up at him.

He turned to flee the room, reaching for the door and felt it, a stinging pain in his left shoulder. He managed only a couple more steps before collapsing too, the second victim this night.

Danger indeed! It should have remained captured always…

[The end]

Special thanks to stux on pixabay for the image

Shared Here – 2018 – James Sponseller