Wednesday 1 November 2017

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 28

This week's photo prompt is another one from Sarolta Ban who is a Hungarian photographer and artist. I love her surreal work.

This story developed as it went along. I did rather enjoy it. Hope you do too.

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Cutting Action

Roger found the first one on his desk when he returned from his hourly walk round the house.

Writing wasn’t just a solitary business it was a motionless one too. The walk round helped him clear his head, especially when he was busy editing. It was so hard to decide what to cut out and what to keep. He was so undecided on what worked and what didn’t. The walk not only got his legs moving but his mind too.

The tight ball of paper was lying in the middle of the blotter pad when he came back. He wondered if someone had thrown it in from outside, but the large leaded windows were shut.

He picked up the crushed paper and unfurled it. There was one letter written on the lined sheet of notepaper, a large C. It looked handwritten. It looked like he’d written it, but he knew he hadn’t. He frowned and screwed it up, tossing it into his wastepaper basket.

An hour later when he went to the kitchen to make a cup of tea, he found another one by the kettle.

Roger checked the windows, they were all closed. He even tried the backdoor, it was locked. This time the letter was a large U.

He made his cup of tea and took it back with him to his desk, racking his brain as he walked trying to imagine who would have thought it was a fun game to play on him. He half expected to find another ball of paper on his desk, but this time it was a pair of scissors, lying there as though someone had just been using them.

He sighed and put them back in the pot on his desk. How could any of his family members or friends be doing this? They were all at work or school.

“Hello?” he called out the study door, hoping to prompt anyone who might be lurking into a response or movement. But besides startling himself with the loudness of his own voice, there was no other sound. He stood in the doorway for a few seconds, letting the silence permeate. All that reached his ears was the ticking of the clock in the hallway.

When Roger turned back to his desk there was another ball of paper.

The fear that ran up his body rolled all the way along his arms, too. He watched the hairs lift with the goosebumps. He edged his way to the desk and peered at it, a little afraid to touch it. He forced himself to breathe and relax; he was being silly. He snatched it up, opening it to find a big T this time. 
Cut?” he mumbled to himself. What could it mean?
But he didn’t have time to ponder as a strange sound emitted from the kitchen. It was like the cutting sound Magpies made. Were there birds in the kitchen?

He didn’t hesitate to find out and rushed along the hallway, coming to a sharp halt at the door: There were scissors, lots of pairs spread out across the counter. What?!

He watched them, waiting for them to move or make a sound. Nothing.

Then came a tearing, crunching sound from his study. He rushed back. A collection of scrunched up balls of paper were piled on his desk. What was going on?

The cutting sound came again from the kitchen, then the crunching sound in the study. The balls of paper shuddered and rose.

Roger sank to the floor. He must be going mad. He shut his eyes and covered his ears willing it to stop. He stayed that way for several minutes.

When he uncovered his eyes the pile was still there, but when he took his hands away from his ears there was silence.

He waited. Nothing.

He slowly stood up and went over to the desk. He picked up one of the balls and opened it. Besides the letter there was a number on it. He opened another and found the same. He opened them all and then put them in number order. The message spelled out:



  1. This is a homage to this week and last week's pictures! I didn't get time last week, but both pictures spoke to me in the same way...