Picture It & Write

Again the people over at Ermilia’s blog have posted another Picture It & Write article. For those who don’t know what this is, they post a picture and then write a brief story about the image. They then ask for you to join in, your can either carry on their story or write your own. You can also do poetry and even something in another language (providing there is a translation posted along with it). I encourage everyone to give it a go because it helps get the “creative juices” flowing. My entry is below the image.

Sign here. Simple instructions but something didn’t sit right with me. I had read through the contract. I had read and reread, and whilst nothing stuck out, there was still that feeling in the gut of my stomach.

I had my reservations it was obvious, but what for?

The conditions of the contract seemed great, but maybe that is the reason for my anxiety? Sometimes things really are TOO good to be true. But then again, if there is a contract, they have to stick to it and if they don’t then they will be liable for a lawsuit.

Taking a deep breath, I signed.

“From the date set out below the signee, you, will relinquish ownership of his/her soul. In return, Death will grant thirty more years of life to the above named third-party. He will leave them be until such a time during the final year of their life that he believes is their new ‘true time.’”


7 thoughts on “Picture It & Write

  1. with that final signature, he ordered the country to go to war. he hated himself for doing it, but he had no choice.
    after all, they’d killed his predecessor, and tried to kidnap his own son.
    and if the Republic of Amunde wouldn’t take care of it, they’d have to do it themselves.

  2. It all seemed so final, so unutterably sad. Helena, her face half hidden behind her long blonde mane, picked up the pen in front of her and sighed.

    “Go on, just one swift movement of your pen and you’ll be free for every.” George winked at her, his face belying the action. A hard, cold, calculating face. The face of a solicitor working out his fee…the face of a man calculating his chances with a woman about to get a lucrative divorce.

    Helena bit her lip and turned the pen in her fingers. It had all started as a harmless flirt on the tennis court, nothing more. How could she have let it go this far? She stared at her reflection in the window across the office. Helena…with her eyes red from crying and a nose to match…not a face that could launch a thousand ships…not a woman who could expect men to go to war over her. Just a woman in her late thirties who was about to sign away her marriage and last hope of getting back together with the man she adored. For what? An ex-tennis pro turned legal representative of women just like her…women with too much money and too little backbone?

    She inhaled deeply, threw the pen across the table and stood up. “It’s over. Finished. I can’t do this anymore.”

    “Then sign the damn divorce papers and make an end, there’s a good girl!” George was about to lose his patience. His fingers involuntarily stroked the What Car? magazine, the red Ferrari on the cover matching the colour of Helen’s nose. George caught his reflection in the window opposite. He’d look so handsome, so irresistible in a car like that…the divorce settlement would take care of his outstanding loans for the office lease, his condo…Ferrari-champagne-party-time here we come! George picked up the pen and held it out to Helen once more.

    “I can’t do this anymore,” Helen repeated and picked up her wedding ring instead, which George had moments earlier detached from her finger. She turned to leave. The Ferrari and George’s confidence seemed to speed down the road of oblivion. He made one last effort.

    “Remember the wonderful time we had in Paris? It could be like that every day…and every night, Darling,” he laid his hand on her back and let it slide down to her hip. “I know what my Baby likes, don’t I?” He tried to insert his fingers between her belt and her skin, but she pushed his inquisitive hand away.

    “No, actually you don’t, George. You just think you do. I tell you what this baby would like. She’d like to see your bill, right now. Here, give me that pen, so I can make out a cheque.”

    Helen grabbed the pen and signed her married name to the cheque. She looked at her signature and felt laughter bubbling up in her. “Ferkel” had never been a surname to be proud of but today it felt like the best name in the universe! Weren’t piglets a symbol for good fortune in Germany?

    Mrs Helen Ferkel left her solicitor’s office with a springy step. Her husband would be at home now…hopelessly trying to work out the instructions on a microwave meal for one. She would sign her name across his chest with lipstick before the day was out!

    1. for me, short stories – being short, and without the plot of a novel – rely on a “twist.” my interest hinges on knowing that i’m going to be guided in one direction very convincingly, and all the billboards and signs are enticing me to where i think i’m going. but then just as i’m turning into the driveway, something changes, something is twisted. that twist is what makes me enjoy a short story. like that last sentence about the lipstick.

      1. Thank you. I wrote this little story straight into the “comment” box as a spontaneous response to the picture – so no inner critic or censor could spoil my fun.

  3. Marty paced the room again. This time, as the previous, he arrived back at the chair and noted thirteen.
    “We don’t have all day, Mr. Gresch. And you’re not the only one interested in this offer. If you leave now, I’d easily pay you two grand if nobody else walked in, ready to sign, before lunch.”
    Marty paced once more but stopped at seven.
    “Mr. Gresch, I wish there were more I could tell you or throw into the deal, but I swear, I’m at the limit. Even if I wanted to offer more, I don’t have that kind of power.”
    Bullshit, though Marty. Nobody here has more power than you.
    The man straightened his tie, which was already straight, and began to gather up papers into folders and folders into a worn, leather satchel that had seen another century.
    “Gimmie the pen,” barked Marty as he reached the desk and put his glasses back on. He’d been in his office almost an hour, wavering on the deal, and the physical motion of signing his name seemed to take just as long. Each curve, each stroke was like climbing one more flight of stairs, only to find another around the corner. When he finally dotted the I and crossed the T, it was like a key turning on his own front door. As he put the cap back on the pen, it closed not with a click but a thud. He’d probably signed his name thousands of times in his five dozen years, but never did it take so long.
    “You won’t regret this,” sang the man with the perfect tie as he again gathered papers into folders and folders into a satchel that had seen better days, but it still had more days ahead than behind.
    “Will I see you again?” asked Marty.
    The man smiled. “Up to you, Sir. If you need me, or even if you don’t, I’ll be around.”

    The man closed the office door behind him. Marty could faintly hear the, “Have a nice day” aimed at Barb, the receptionist, who watched him until the front door closed behind him. The sun glare was too strong, and he seemed to disappear into the overexposure.
    From in his office, Marty watched the front sidewalk after hearing the door close. He waited to see which way the man walked and what his car might look like. A full minute later, there was still no sign of him, but there was a knock at his door.
    “Come in Barb.” She did.
    “Mr. Gresch,” she pouted with too much lipstick. “I’m not feeling well. Would it be possible to leave early today?” She waved a hand at her neck as she leaned her head back and her knees weakened.
    “Maybe you should sit down,” Marty smiled and he pointed to the couch that his patients usually reclined upon during their sessions. “I’ll get you some water.” When he returned with a glass half full, Barb was already unbuttoning her blouse, trying to release the heat that suddenly was burning insider her.
    Three towns away, Mrs. Gresch stopped drying dishes and reached for her stomach. It was as if a pin had been hidden in her breakfast and ambushed her with a stab.
    Four towns away, a man with a perfect tie checked his watch before knocking on the door of a small house as a man peeked from behind a curtain.

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