USE THIS PICTURE TO TELL YOUR STORY
Up to 250 words.
Include conflict and resolution.
My name is Florida Ann Town, and I live in Summerland, in the Okanagan Valley, where my outrigger canoe and I spend many hours on the lake. Right now the cherry season is at its peak, and I’ve been doing some volunteer picking for the food bank. But I must admit, I’ve also been doing quality control – also known as sampling the cherries. Nothing tastes better than a ripe cherry, fresh from the tree, still warm from the sun.
I’ve had several books published including On The Rim, The North West Company, and With A Silent Companion, and am currently working on another.
THE FENCE BREAKER
Dejection was written in every ounce of his being.
Jason’s sandy-haired head drooped, shoulders sagged, and one foot toed in toward the other.
“Can you give me one good reason why you broke our neighbours fence?” his mother demanded.
“I didn’t mean to,” he replied.
“What were you trying to do with that hammer?”
“I just wanted to see him,” he whispered.
“Who did you want to see? I don’t understand.”
“I thought he was hurt or something – he was crying, and I wanted to help.”
“Who was crying? What are you talking about?”
“The puppy.” He paused. “The little puppy. I could hear him but I couldn’t see him. So I tried to loosen one board in the fence – that’s why I had daddy’s hammer. I just wanted to see what was wrong.”
He paused, then added, “I only moved one board – just a tiny bit.”
“I’m sorry,” he whispered.
And then she began to laugh. A little giggle at first, that quickly bloomed into pure smiling laughter.
“Wait till I tell your father!”
“Okay, I guess we can’t keep the secret any longer.”
Secret? What was she talking about? Jason looked up, expectantly.
“The secret is – that pup is your birthday present. Now that you know about him, there’s no point in having him stay next door.”
“You mean – you mean he’s mine?”
Mom smiled. “All yours. But we’re going to have to do something about fixing that fence before your father gets home.”
BOBBY AND THE FENCE, by John D Robinson
Poor Bobby. How long had he been waiting? Maybe several hours, it felt like forever; it was the same every day.
This was the best part of the day for Bobby; Chloe would soon be home from school and the gap in the garden fence provided Bobby with a clear view of the street as Chloe rounded the corner.
Chloe appeared and began skipping towards the house. Bobby began barking and wagging his tail and pushing hard against the fence loosening one of the wooden slats, allowing Bobby to run blindly into the road. Chloe screamed as Bobby cowered in panic and fear in the middle of the road as cars swerved by either side of him. Bobby could not see Chloe but he could hear her cries getting nearer, his head began spinning and his eyes and limbs became heavy and he fell to the floor.
Cars screeched to a halt and the drivers and passengers began to approach the animal. Chloe pushed her way through the crowd and as she bent over Bobby, she fainted, bumping her head on the cold hard tarmac.
Several hours later, Chloe awoke to the wet sloppy licking of Bobby, who was sat on the bed, wagging his tail, his eyes bright as suns: she pulled him closer and hugged him and her eyes leaked in happiness.
“I’ve mended the garden fence,’ Father said. “Bobby will always be safe.”
“Get some rest now,” said Mother.
John D Robinson is a published writer in the U.K.
A DOG’S TALE, by Boris Glikman
Often my dog lies next to the front gate and stares longingly at the world through the gaps in the fence. He can clearly see freedom and wide open spaces outside. It seems to be right within reach, yet something impenetrable is in his way, the nature of which he cannot comprehend.
The mechanics of gate-opening is a deep mystery to him, but he displays great versatility in his efforts to solve this dilemma.
Sometimes he jumps up and down, yapping and wagging his tail, as if impatience will make the gate open quicker. At other times he resorts to aggressive tactics, digging under the fence to force his way out. Occasionally he lies patiently, having faith that the gate is destined to swing open sooner or later. Now and then he behaves as if there is no door, having convinced himself that he is outside already. Once in a while he shrinks back in fear when the door is unlocked, so accustomed has he become to being captive.
It has struck me, that I too am like him in a way. My nose too is pressed against the closed gate of illusion and ignorance. Beyond it I can clearly discern freedom, joy, and beauty. Yet some inexplicable force keeps the access blocked, and I can only gaze wistfully at the richness of life through the fence of my mind.
Boris Glikman is a published writer in Australia.
Thank you to everyone who submitted a short story to this challenge!