Wednesday, August 21, 2019

RED WHEELBARROW - WEP August 2019 Challenge



THE CENTREPIECE.


When she bought me I wondered if it was purely because the price tag was greatly reduced.

I had been left out in the rain, in the yard of the co-op, for what seemed like weeks. It had only been a few days, over a holiday weekend, but the damage was done.

Howie, the boss’s son was at fault, but hey, he was just a kid, that’s what his mom always said coming to his defence; and the boss always shrugged as he shook his head in disappointment. 

I wasn’t the only one being forgotten, but on this day, I was the only one being scrutinized. The woman grabbed my handles and moved me back and forth. She kicked my tire, and sighed. 

“John,” she said to the man standing off to one side trying to avoid me as I was jostled from side to side, “the tire looks flat already. Do you think it has a hole?”

“Nah, it just needs air.”

Well, I was relieved to know that all that was standing between me and a new home was some air. If I could breathe I think I would have taken in a long breath and slowly exhaled. But all I could do was stand there now that she had let go of me and watch as she slowly made her way around me eyeing the visible rust. 

“The rust won’t be a problem, it’ll get rustier with what we’re doing,” she said to the fellow that still seemed weary of getting in my way. If I had feelings I think I might not have liked him very much, he seemed rather indifferent – not sure if it was toward me, or toward her. And, feelings or not, I liked her.

Once in the back of their truck I bounced about as we made our way somewhere; somewhere other than where Howie would be and that could only be good.

Their yard needed work, and I could see right away what my job would be after my tire got air – I would be hauling loads of old bricks from what was once a chimney to what looked like a garden.

The bricks chipped away at my beautiful red finish leaving even more bare metal exposed to the elements. Yes, I was left outside; now that I belonged to someone I knew that would be my fate.

Finally, the last brick was placed around the newly planted flowerbed and I was given my first long cold rinse. Ah, how I loved feeling clean. But what did I look like, I wondered, how badly had I been damaged? I had felt the dents, the scratches, and even the harsh bangs as I was put through my paces. That was my job, so who was I to complain. But I did wonder, why paint me and make me look so good only to take it all away?

The sun beat down on me and I dried up to a point where the remaining paint started to flake. Next came a rough brushing followed by suction. Not sure what was going on, but I loved all the attention. I was being cared for and I liked that feeling. 

Days passed while I was left in the blazing sun. 

Alas, a day came when I was wheeled into a shed, it was dark, and if I dare say, a little dank and musty. I really wanted to be outside – oh the irony; you see, I had gotten used to the weather and its company. 

Something tickled me, all over, it was cool, slightly sticky. I felt fresh, new, as if I was young again, right out of the factory. Wonderful feeling indeed.

A few more days passed before I was wheeled outside and placed right in the centre of the flowerbed. I was covered in a cloth, heavy rocks were added, next came dirt. I wondered what was going on – where would I be taking this load?

The cloth was trimmed, flowers were added and positioned. How strange that such care was taken with this load. I was confused.

Suddenly, I heard her exclaim, “John, it looks amazing, that wheelbarrow worked hard helping us make this garden look so beautiful. It’s the perfect centrepiece.” 


Word Count 710
NCCO


I decided to participate in this writing challenge - I got the idea from DG Hudson, a blogger I follow - she posted for the last one and I really enjoyed reading her piece The Jewel Box of Mystery.

 WRITE...EDIT...PUBLISH is the website hosting these challenges.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed The Centrepiece.








STOP

Please SECURE your blog.

I have posted a short (2:49) video on how to easily correct this issue
HERE

Or, go to Settings, click on Basics - change HTTPS Redirect from No to Yes.
Your blog will be secure after that.

All websites need to use encryption to ensure secure transfer of information – 
sensitive or not.

51 comments:

  1. Oh what fun. I do hope the wheelbarrow realises just how important it is to the beauty of the garden.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. When I saw this WEP Challenge I was reminded of my long overdue promise to my wheelbarrow to do what I wrote. Ah, time does pass too quickly. :)

      Delete
  2. A story from the wheelbarrow's perspective. Very novel, and beautifully executed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you.
      My imagination wanted to play at being a wheelbarrow. My very banged-up heavily rusted wheelbarrow was my muse.

      Delete
  3. This is great! So glad the wheelbarrow is going to be outside and showcasing all that hard work! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you.
      It's been a thought (these last few years) to do this with my not-so-red, heavily rusted, banged up wheelbarrow. This may motivate me.

      Delete
  4. Hi,
    Excellent idea! A talking wheelbarrow. I wonder sometimes do things like sofas, chairs and beds or whatever think about how we treat them. The idea is unique and gave me a warm feeling. Especially at the end. Great job.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi back. :)
      I'm a fan of writing in the voice of things not human.
      I too wonder what my things are thinking about how I treat them - often I can be heard (only by my walls I'm sure) talking to said things. My fear is that one day they will answer - and then for sure I will know I am from a world beyond. LOL

      Delete
  5. I enjoyed reading your story from the perspective of the wheelbarrow, one with limited awareness yet still with the desire to be of use -- and taken care of. The ending surprised me and fit perfectly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you.
      I think my own well-used wheelbarrow would like to be taken care of - it's been a passing thought to do so - alas, it's still only a passing thought.
      I'm glad you liked the ending. :)

      Delete
  6. Marvelous and very inventive! A wheelbarrow POV - what a novel concept.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you.
      In my Flash Fiction Photo Prompt Stories (I've been writing them since 2015) I occasionally find myself in the voice of something not human - it's where my right brain likes to wander. So, I indulge it. I never quite know where a photo will take me.

      Delete
  7. I love the POV. Great idea and well done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you.
      I imagine if my old well-used wheelbarrow could speak it would tell me to put my words into action... it desperately needs a little TLC, and a place in my garden as I now longer need it for my renovations.

      Delete
  8. This was such a clever take on the theme! This was indeed the perfect ending to the story. Well done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you.
      I can see the wheelbarrow enjoying being in the centre of what it helped create. At least if I was it I would think so - I often wonder about inanimate object... what if they really can sense and feel... kinda spooky, eh! LOL

      Delete
  9. Hey Jenny. Welcome to WEP. Thank you for being so supportive and doing the rounds of the other entries also.
    I adore this flash. I think you've dropped enough hints throughout the story for a reader to think (a) she murdered him (b) hmm...she's grieving, but I don't think it's (b). Correct me if I'm wrong.

    Thanks for a great WEP entry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Denise, thank you for hosting this WEP, along with your amazing team.
      I'm happy you dropped by.
      I'm wondering if you may have left me a comment slated for another story - I think I know which one, and I too wondered about (a) - which I think it was.

      On a side note - I wonder if you know your WEP site is NOT SECURE - it does not provide encryption protection for those visiting it.
      A quick adjustment to your Blogger Settings would make it secure. I posted about at the end of my story above.
      Info, and a short video of what to do to fix the problem can also be found HERE

      Cheers, Jenny

      Delete
    2. A quick follow-up to my comment:

      I can see now where you may have found hints of murder and/or grieving. I had just finished reading another story with those undertones and as I did not see them in mine I thought maybe there was a mixup.

      Yet, reading the comments that followed yours I now see those very undertones in this story. It's made me laugh to think I may have some dark suspense in this tale without knowing it.

      I regularly write FF (under 1000 words) using photo prompts and a timer set for 15 minutes. I am always quite surprised where my right brain takes the photo.

      For this occasion I knew I needed a beginning, middle, and end - so, after writing the piece I played with it. The ending was formulated in my timed writing and became my focus. I did not see the possibility of something else lurking in the folds.

      I normally share my FF with my first reader, and often get feedback that surprises me - I went lone wolf on this one. My bad, hahahaha.

      Delete
  10. Hi Jenny - I loved reading your story from the first person viewpoint of the wheelbarrow and am glad it was loved and honoured in the end. I agree with Denise that there was a hint of something unsavoury when the couple was choosing to buy the wheelbarrow - possibly a murder, or something the unpleasant man was upto.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my, and here I thought this little story was so obvious. LOL

      Now that I've read it again with a different eye, I see... yes, there could be a hint of some sort of unsavoury business hidden between the lines. I never thought of murder or mayhem, yet, now I can see it may lurk in this story.

      Thank you for sharing your take on this tale. It fascinates me to see the different view points.

      I'm enjoying reading so many wonderful comments, and, I'm also finding the stories from other writers to be a wonderful morning read with my first cup of coffee.

      Delete
  11. Hi Jenny - good to see you and to know it was DG who prompted you. I must write to her - we met when I was over ... it was just lovely, and I'm so pleased that meeting came about - circumstances prevailed for the rest.

    Poor wheelbarrow all covered up ... but providing a little garden of cheerfulness ... I too thought the delicate covering and moist stickiness might turn into something gruesome! Clever use of tickled ... loved it - cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Hilary - thank you for dropping by and reading my story.

      I'm happy to read you visited with DG. I hope your visit to this part of Canada was all you dreamed it would be.

      The tickle and stickiness were in reference to what it might feel like to be painted. Given the end purpose of this well-used wheelbarrow a fresh coat of paint was in order.

      In light of the last few comments I have seen my story in a new light and see the potential for something gruesome too. That said, I hope it read more as a feel good tale for this little red wheelbarrow than anything dark.

      Sending smiles your way, Jenny

      Delete
    2. 50 - 50 ... or perhaps I should say 90 - 10 ... just an unhappy decision ... but loved being on the Island and the brief couple of days in Vancouver - the 90 part. Situation was not good ... but one remembers the good times - the bad times may come out in the stories at some stage ...

      Oh no - your story was delightful ... a happy one - just I'd see a few things recently that were gory!

      Cheers to you - good to be in touch again - Hilary

      Delete
    3. 90-10 sounds much better than 50-50 - but it saddens me to think your adventures on the Island had a 'situation that was not good'. Best to single out those memories that were good, and I'm so glad Vancouver was part of the good. I feel sorry we were not able to connect - maybe one day I'll be over your way and we'll have a cup of tea. :)

      In the meantime, it's wonderful to be in touch again. I've missed blogging, I've missed the camaraderie. Sending smiles your way, Jenny

      Delete
  12. The wheelbarrow got used as it wanted, at least what it thought it wanted. Hopefully all prettied up is what it is cracked up to be for it. Great way to write from its perspective.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do hope getting a new paint job and becoming a flower pot was on my wheelbarrow's agenda too. If not, well too bad! LOL That's what was swirling around my imagination and what my fingers tip tapped on the keypad.

      Funny how ideas pop in and out of the mind and then one finally lands on the paper (screen as it were) - I really am enjoying all the different stories being put up on the Link List - some great reads indeed.

      Thank you for stopping by.

      Delete
  13. It was quite an ending for the wheelbarrow. Let's hope it enjoys it while it lasts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you.

      Yes, you never know when another "job" comes along and that wheelbarrow is put through its paces again. Could happen, after all it is a wheelbarrow!!

      Delete
  14. I love this story from the perspective of the wheelbarrow. I didn't read, see or feel anything sinister when I read it as others did.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you.

      I was worried my mind was playing tricks on me, as I did not see it either - when rereading my story I tried to feel the undertones of mystery, and I guess it could be there - but I'm so happy you read it and came away without murder or mayhem in your thoughts. LOL

      Funny thing, the mind, eh!

      Delete
  15. Welcome to the WEP! I enjoyed this story of a wheelbarrow's life. Funny how many of them in this challenge have ended up holding flowers. There's something very appealing about that way of turning a utilitarian item into a work of art.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BTW, I didn't see anything sinister at all, and had to go back and look very hard for it! Now I do wonder about the suggestion at the beginning that John and the woman (his wife?) maybe don't get along so well. That seems to vanish by the end, and the focus stays where I think it belongs--on the wheelbarrow.

      Delete
    2. True, lots of stories included flowers in their wheelbarrows.

      I did also enjoy the stories that veered to the dark side. I'm one that often pulls the demons out of the dark recesses of my mind - giving them an airing now and then to keep them at bay. This lighter, happy-ending version made my mother happy. :)

      I'm glad you didn't see anything sinister in it - in writing it that had never been my intent. Though now I am tempted to write such a version. (and still might)

      Delete
  16. What a great reward for that hardworking wheelbarrow. Loved the irony of wanting to be outside after initially being merely resigned to the fate. Loved how you conveyed the curiosity and enthusiasm for the unknown.

    Well done Jenny :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I'm happy you enjoyed the story I wrote.

      The photo prompt for this challenge reminded me of the hardworking wheelbarrow I own waiting patiently in the (dark, dank and musty) garage for its promised fresh coat of paint after spending most of its life in the elements.

      Funny what lives in our subconscious - a story prompted by guilt. LOL

      Delete
  17. How clever to write the piece from the perspective of the wheelbarrow. I'm glad it was rewarded for its hard work by being repainted and given a new, aesthetic purpose.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just want to add that I didn't notice any creepy undertones that others have mentioned. I read it all with a smile on my face.

      Delete
    2. Thank you.

      I'm happy you enjoyed my story as it was written - without murder or mayhem. (Not that my imagination wouldn't have loved going in that direction too.) LOL

      I do enjoy dark tales, but when writing this piece I only felt the sadness of the wheelbarrow; its desire to be cared for was the thread I used to weave this story.

      This story came from a part of my subconscious where my own hardworking wheelbarrow gets its long awaited fresh coat of paint. I still hope a shiny red wheelbarrow will adorn in my yard.

      Delete
  18. What a great perspective! I was confused at first about what the cool tickle might be, but after reading the comments it made sense. I've seen wheelbarrows used for flower gardens and they are so adorable! One day I hope to have one in my yard as well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you.

      I was wondering about the tickle bit - trying to feel what paint might be like (I've not been painted yet) and hoping the feelings the wheelbarrow was experiencing (fresh, new, young again) might elude to that.

      In my neighbourhood there are several wheelbarrows used for flower gardens too, and I agree, they are so adorable. I hope you and I both get to enjoy one in our respective yards one day. :)

      Delete
  19. A truly unique perspective and take on the theme. Well done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you.

      This POV was fun and if my wheelbarrow could talk I know it would be asking for fresh paint and a place in my garden.

      Delete
  20. Such a perfect ending. I toyed with the idea of writing from the wheelbarrow's POV. I'm kinda glad I couldn't get it together. Don't think I would have come up with something so sweet. I really enjoyed reading this story. Nicely done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww, thank you.

      I'm sure you would have come up with a sweet wheelbarrow tale too. :)

      It delighted me to read the wonderful stories of wheelbarrow moments that stood out, and became forever memories, in this WEP challenge.

      Delete
  21. You took the theme and created a unique POV. A wheelbarrow goes through so much and sees so much, a centrepiece is a perfect reward. I love this, Jenny - and I read round the dark clues. And I'm a crime addict with clues like autumn leaves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you.

      I'm glad you were able to enjoy the happy ending for this wheelbarrow tale - dark clues aside.

      Having used (and abused) my wheelbarrow through a year-long renovation, and exposing it to the harsh elements, I think it has crept into my subconscious and is haunting me.

      In some respect I'm surprised I didn't write a dark tale of a wheelbarrow gone mad - taking some crazy revenge on its owner (me!). I would not hold it against my wheelbarrow - it is rather forgotten and neglected. Bad Jenny, bad! LOL

      Delete
  22. Nice job. Liked the point of view.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Very creative and a unique take on the prompt, kudos! I'm glad the wheelbarrow found it's place in the sun. Thank you for posting this excellent flash and welcome to WEP! Look forward to reading more from you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you.

      I appreciate you stopping by and reading my story. I'm glad you found my take on this prompt to be creative and unique; writing from the wheelbarrow's POV was fun.

      Delete

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.