Multiply Stuff 2

Dio’s Challenge

Write a story, any length, that has to do with the theme of snow removal.

Then wake me up when spring gets here.

PS – If you happen to be from Australia I am REALLY not in the mood to hear about the fact it is Summer there. AH-CHOO!

It was the first major snow fall of the season and I looked at the shovel in my hand and muttered under my breath. The words froze solid and fell to embed themselves in the snow at my knees. It was a good thing that I was wearing snowshoes, or I’d be completely buried. I’d heard of heavy snow, but this was ridiculous.

I used the shovel to break up the frozen words while I contemplated clearing twelve feet of snow with a plastic shovel. I didn’t want them thawing in the sun and upsetting some innocent passer by. I decided that my first move was to go back inside and thaw out.

The fact that my pants had frozen stiff and broke off at the knees didn’t help my mood. Yet after drinking a pot of tea, I replaced the broken pants with some old wool ones that itched like crazy but were unlikely to shatter and went back outside. It was still a brisk -55 so I had to watch my language as I pushed my way back out the door on the second storey.  I had wondered when I arrived why there was a door twelve feet off the ground with no steps leading to it. Now I knew.

I decided to start at the road and dig toward the house. I thought I remembered parking my truck closer to the road for some reason. The work of shovelling stairs down to the road kept me thawed out enough that I had to stop and break the occasional mutter that slipped out past my lips. I took to using the names of the Kings of Israel instead of more traditional curses. Someone might be startled by Hezekiah bleating out of thawing snow at them, but they could hardly be offended. I made it down to the road and started tunnelling into the snow bank. I couldn’t throw the snow far enough, so I just pushed it to the side of the road.

The sound of a head light shattering told me that I had found my truck. Another half an hour and lot of obscure kings later I had dug far enough to open the door and climb in. Oddly enough the truck started. I let it warm up while I tried to clear some more space. The exhaust not only set me to coughing but thawed out my words and I was inundated by a cacophony of Ahab’s, Jehoshaphat’s and even a few Jezebels. Before I expired completely I clambered into the cab and gunned the truck out of the snow. The truck slalomed along the road banging off the snow on either side until I got to the windswept top of the hill. I parked it there. Then walked back to my home.

Unfortunately my wild maneuvers had collapsed the steps, So I had to dig them out again. I had no idea where my snowshoes had gone, so I waded back to the door and pulled myself into the house. I sent another pot of tea down to thaw out the first one and turned on the weather.

They were calling for heavy snow tomorrow.

This is a somewhat fictionalized account of digging myself out of snow in Labrador, where it wasn’t unusual for a storm to drop ten or twelve feet of snow on my house.

Celticfrog’s Challenge

Rewrite a common fairy tale from the view point of the villain.

“It’s funny you should ask,” Griselda said peering around the room carefully,  She slid a little closer to her visitor. “You can’t be too careful. That fairy godmother can play pretty rough you know. She’s not called the Godmother for nothing.” Apparently there was no sign of any semi-omnipotent beings because she sat back and took a long slug from her beer.

“So you want to know about Cinderella before she became famous?” She drank another slug of beer for courage.  “We didn’t call her Cinderella, you know.”

“What did you call her?” the visitor asked.

“Huh? Oh.” Griselda peered at her beer and shrugged. “Mostly we called her ‘Hey you,” sometimes, ‘stupid’. My sister, may she rest in peace, had some good ones.”

“What happened to your sister?”

“She died of infection after cutting her toes off.”

“Why would she do that?”

“What country did you come from?” Griselda looked wistfully at her empty glass. “I’m going to have to tell you the whole story, I guess.

“Ma married this bloke with a big house and lots of money. The only problem was when he died we found that he didn’t actually have any money. It had all been tied up in some mortgage scheme. When the bottom fell out of  the market the old geezer left us broke. The only good thing was that his daughter was there to take care of the work. I mean, she owed it to us after the old guy croaked.

“She didn’t see it that way. She was always complaining that we didn’t help and we were nasty to her, blah, blah, blah. We weren’t any nastier than we needed to be. It takes a lot of energy to lay out a proper whipping, and most of the time we were just too busy. So she got uppity.

“The King decided that it was well past time for the Prince to get spliced. I figured the old fart was waisting his time. Like the Prince wouldn’t even look at me! I’m about as much woman as you’re going to find in these parts. But the King was the King and so they were going have this ball, and all unmarried women were commanded to attend. What kind of fun was that going to be? An entire room full of women and one eligible man. I don’t swing that way, but there was going to be a buffet, and the King commanded it right?

“Comes the big night and my sis is all uptight about how she’s going to catch herself a prince. I’m like, ‘Right, If you didn’t have a face, you couldn’t tell if you were coming or going.’ Even that little snit was dreaming about going. Ma told her she could go, as long as the chores were done. It’s not our fault she was born lazy and hadn’t got done. A big house like that takes work you know.

“So off we go to the ball, figuring maybe the place’d be decent by the time we got home. The ball was even worse that I figured. All the women were standing around with their ‘assets’ almost hanging out and that prince making googley eyes at the foot men. The buffet was cold too.

“Everyone is standing around miserable when this chick comes in and just takes over. Suddenly the prince is all over her. I think she must have have pheremones or something. I’ve never seen any thing more disgusting. People go on and on about her shoes, but it wasn’t her shoes the prince was trying to get into.

“Midnight came and she ran out leaving the prince all hot and bothered. He didn’t take long tracking her down. That’s where the shoe thing comes in. He had this slipper she’d dropped for him. Everyone was supposed to try it on and he was going to marry the girl it fit. Now, how ridiculous is that? It could have fit half the kingdom, but he came to our place first. My sister’s big feet wouldn’t fit so that Cinderella [email protected] suggested she cut her toes off. Poor girl died of sepsis just a week later.

“Cinderella was already up at the palace by then and couldn’t care less. The wedding was awful quick, and I expect the baby’ll come quicker. It’ll serve her right. I think whatever she gave him is wearing off too. I saw him eying up the footmen again right after the wedding.”

Mary Patricia’s Challenge

Christmas Wish List

You are allowed eight wishes inside your Christmas stocking this year.
Write a poem about the eight wishes you have chosen.
You can fill your stocking with anything you wish for.
(It does not need to be material things.)
Merry Christmas everyone.

What do I wish for Christmas?

New cars, more cash more clothes, more booze?
Nothing really for this guy
I have all I can possibly use.

I would like to hear angels
Sing of peace to all on earth
To kneel at a rough wood manger
And delight in a miracle’s birth

It’d be fun to ride on a camel
and follow the star with the wise.
bringing my own gift to offer
To see the joy in God’s eyes

To walk with the twelve would delight
Even my hardest of sorrows
Seeing the healed rejoicing
In their newest tomorrows.

I can’t say at the cross I’d stand
I fear my faith would shatter
Yet here too my God reaches out
To say that even here I matter.

What do I wish for Christmas?
My wishes I’ve scarcely begun
To realize that in the Christ Child
They’ve been answered, every one.

Celticfrog’s Challenge

Write a story using the following two words …

Munificent
Ubiquitous

You can use any form of the words, and write any kind of story.
Poetry is good as long as it tells a story.

I gave little Joe a black look and rotated my shoulder carefully. Didn’t feel like anything was broken. Danged horse. This is the last time I go out on a cattle drive with a young horse.

The others were looking on with the customary mix of sympathy, amusement and impatience. They did, however, keep their mouths shut. Regardless of what my horse thought. I was the boss on this drive.

It started with my father-in-law’s munificent gift of a hundred head of cattle. True to his nature, I was required to ride up into the hills and round them up for myself. The ride up wasn’t too bad. My string of horses was well trained and as comfortable with me as I was with them. It was just my luck that they went lame or sick just as we got the cattle rounded up and ready to head east to the plains.

Little Joe was an afterthought of a horse that I added to my string to give him experience. I never intended on riding him much while I worked. But things being what they were I was riding him, and being thrown off him, on a daily basis. Who ever heard of a cattle horse that didn’t like cattle?

I mentally added the shoulder ache to the ribs and knee that were complaining about hitting the ground a little too often. Then I climbed back up on that son of a devil’s back and we went to work again.

The cattle weren’t any too happy about being moved from their wide open range through the narrow valleys. So we were constantly chasing down cows that made a run for freedom. Little Joe had a knack for picking just the moment my mind was on something else to stop, crow hop or otherwise buck me off.

The others had rounded up the strays and got the herd moving again. I took my turn at the back tasting the ubiquitous dust through the bandanna over my face.We were at the tail end of a long day with the sun at our backs when we run into the bear. I heard the bear cough as it charged and had my 30 30 out of the scabbard when Little Joe reared up in panic and dumped me on my ass.

I was sure I was done for, but the bear went after Little Joe who was barrelling off into the dust. From the ground I could shoot at the bear and know I wasn’t going to hit any cattle. The first shot hit the bear in the shoulder, the second just behind his head.

The others kept the cattle moving away from the bear scent and we avoided a full fledged stampede. I caught up to Little Joe and stared at him while he trembled and dropped his head.

“Stupid horse,” I said, and put the rifle back in the scabbard. I took the reins and felt all the aches and twinges and began walking after the herd. We wouldn’t go much further tonight anyway. Cook would want to have bear steak for supper.

I was safer on the ground.

 

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