The winding road to “Wait Awhile”

Free Write Friday, Kellie Elmore

Credit: Richard Baxter

Credit: Richard Baxter

The words below are set to Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday photo prompt, Photo by Richard Baxter.

The winding road to “Wait Awhile” (a beginning: The rolling hills)

The voice of the GPS announces thirty miles till our destination, about time I recon. I’m Clint, in the passenger seat next to me is Em, short for Emily. In the backseat we have Matt and Charlotte, we’re not couples, we’re just all good friends, on our way to a secluded surf location that a film producer, location scout friend of Em’s said we should check out. Em’s friend, a nice girl, gave us the coordinates for the location, but I’m beginning to think they maybe not quiet right. The dirt road we are now following, resembling more of a goat track, still fantastic open country, rolling hills, just the road’s not too good. There’s even a powerline out here.

Oh no, this doesn’t sound good. The motor starts to splutter and soon we are rolling down a slight hill, best pull up off the side here in case we have to roll start. Em reminds me, did I get the fuel gauge fixed or did I at least fill the car up last night, I did neither, mmm, we maybe in a bit of trouble here. We all get out of the car, checking to see if our phones work. No such luck, so like sheep we all make for the top of the hill we just rolled down. What a difference that made, not a single bar for any of us, hey look, there’s a house over on the next hill. As sheep do in a situation like this, we make for the house, back down and up the next hill.

The name on the entrance to the access up to the house reads, “Wait Awhile”. We may just be doing that, with some luck, maybe someone will be home. As we get closer to the house, it begins to look a little worse for wear, as if time has not been kind to the old place. The front door is half hanging off, the glass in the windows appears to be broken or blown in, and it seems like the paint and weatherboards have seen better days.

Matt and I have a quick look inside the old place, no one has lived here in years. Back outside we go, Em, the tomboy that she is, has just bolted up an old steel tank next to the house and starts heading up to the ridge capping at the peak of the roof., Charlotte shouts out. Do you think that’s a good idea, while she tries to work an old water hand pump next to a well. Thoroughly rusted, no chance of moving that, Charlotte. Matt says, while pondering where the hell are we.

Em! Can you see anything?
Nope, just lots and lots of more hills and grass.

Em starts to come back down, then there’s a creak and a groan as sheets of tin and rafters give out from beneath Em’s feet, we all paused shocked for a moment, as everyone of us then turn racing back into the house. I’m yelling, Em, Em, you alright, and all I’m hearing in response is… Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! As we find her in what appears to be the kitchen, already out from the under the rubble and wrapping her tee shirt around her outer right thigh several inches above the knee, another cut on her left calf trickling blood.

Matt, you want to go get the first aid kit, while Charlotte and I check Em out properly.
On to it…

Removing my shirt, we stem the blood flow from Em’s calf, there’s a few other minor cuts and what look like abrasions and soft tissue damage that will make for some bruising.

How deep’s that cut Em?
You don’t want to know, let’s just say I was less than impressed with what I saw, and leave it at that, please.

Soon Matt is back with the kit, we move Em out to the front porch before anymore roof collapses. I manage to convince Em to let us take a look at the cut on her thigh, as we did need to clean it up, get some antiseptic cream and a proper bandage on to keep the cut closed proper. For both cuts. Charlotte helped clean up the abrasions with Matt, and with a little bit pain relief medication, the little we had, soon Em was patched up and ready for the frontline again.

The four of us sat there on the timber boards of the porch, not sure what to do next. Matt had already had a scout around for fuel, Charlotte had checked to see if the old phone inside still worked, no luck there either. Me, well I searched for it all, if only. I know, all the if onlys in the world won’t make a difference to our situation now, plus, Em is surprisingly chipper about the whole thing at the moment, but that could change.

I wonder, can a house float adrift through the sky, like in “Up”, or a car fly, like in Chitty Chitty, Bang Bang, would that make a difference. Dark birds begin to circle… Is this the end, are we to be left here to “Wait Awhile”?…

continued: The dark birds

27 responses to “The winding road to “Wait Awhile”

    • Thanks, Annie… That part came easy to the surface of the write from experience, I’ve fallen down a well, and I’ve seen a friend fall through the top of an old steel tank.

    • We have a thorny vine like plant down here that’s call/nicked named Wait Awhile, if you get caught up in it for some reason, it takes a little while to get out of it without ripping yourself to pieces. Not the kindest plant when doing survey work amongst it.

      When I started writing short stories again back in May of last year, I used a lot of he (a name) says, or she (a name) says, etc. At the time I had a proofreader/editor go through a couple of the stories and they suggested I drop a lot of the says parts, as it is obvious who’s doing the talking. So I’ve been practicing/experimenting with how to write dialogue in different ways to see how it colours and feels. The title to the FWFs writes, I always add the title last, as I am never sure where the story’s headed.

      No editing with an initial write, but I did have to dart outside part way through for half an hour to get some yard work done as a storm was coming. Over the last week I have also been expanding the FWF tale I wrote of “Riggers and Brothers” using the above conversational format.

      For the streaming consciousness run on the story, I applied the principals of Murphy’s Law, coupled with personal experience, and the recollection of different events witnessed. In my head this makes for a natural stream with the flow, as when transforming experiences into fictional tales it is faster to recall and write than it is to make it up from scratch about things one doesn’t know.

      For the FWFs I also try to avoid the use of complex words and keep it all on easy/simple/everyday in terms of conversation/narration to let the writing flow uncomplicated.

    • Thanks, Charles…

      I wasn’t sure if the house would fly, I’d have to probably think more on the stream, edit some, and then ponder some more, so I stopped.

      A photo prompt offers one small moment, what happens before or after that moment, are the most interesting places to travel.

  1. I liked this a lot. I’m ready for the monster or monsters to jump out from around the corner, or in this case the storm. You can feel it coming.

  2. Awesome story Sean! You create a wonderful tense mood, and you reference “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”! The dialogue was well written, and I liked the point of view. I loved this piece!

  3. Thanks, Heidi… Love a mood to liven up while its waiting for something. After I wrote “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, I thought, ah, they still don’t have any fuel.

  4. Pingback: The winding road to “Wait Awhile” (continued) | Sean Bidd·

  5. Pingback: The winding road to “Wait Awhile” (cont…) | Sean Bidd·

  6. Pingback: Short stories update | Sean Bidd·

  7. Pingback: The winding road to “Wait Awhile” (continues some more) | Sean Bidd·

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