Wednesday 13 July 2022

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 258

This week's picture prompt was take by horror writer Patrick McDonough over on twitter. He said: 

"I work at a wastewater treatment plant. It’s a weird job. Most areas I work in are perfect settings for Horror and Crime. Today, I walked in a room that demonstrates that perfectly."

Something a little bit different. I wasn't sure where this was going to go, but I think it worked out alright. 

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.

A manniquin in a blue t-shirt and white shorts, with a yellow climbing strap around his torso, is lying on a grey concrete floor, with limbs twisted sll different ways, as though just thrown down. It is lying in a shaft of sunlight. Image taken by Patrick Mcdonaugh


Amanda put a hand on his leg and patted it. Yes, you’ll do nicely, she thought to herself as she started the car engine, happy to have someone along for the ride. It would give her neighbours an eye full too, which was her plan. Bunch of stickybeaks who loved putting their noses into everyone’s business; she hated them. She knew that sounded harsh, but it was true and the sooner she moved away from here the better.

She took a deep breath. That sort of talk didn’t help her, it only wound her up. But she wasn’t having any of it today, oh no, they could go stuff themselves. She had someone new here and they could stick it where the sun didn’t shine.

She waved to Gloria who was out in her garden pretending to tend to flowers, when really her life was so non-existent she would hover out there to see what everyone else was doing. It was the price you paid when you were on your own. It got lonely. But that was going to change for Amanda now. This was the first step; the next was getting out of this sad-sack neighbourhood.

She grinned at the surprised look on Gloria’s face when she registered Amanda’s companion riding along with her. Yes, that’s right, be jealous. She sniggered to herself. Sod you all!

Work would be more tricky; people there weren’t so easily convinced – or interested. Why would they? They all had lives. She’s seen their photos on their desks of their spouses and children. She’d heard them chatter about how busy they were with all their social engagements. They knew how to rub it in.

She’d taken pictures: a selfie with him behind her in the car, and one seen through the car window. She imagined herself saying, ‘Oh yeah, that’s my boyfriend’. And they’d all be smiles and wanting to know more. She might finally get to be in on some of the conversations in the lunch room. It could open up a whole new world.

When she got to work she had her photos ready. She pinned them up on her corkboard, and waited. Then an email came in from the boss and her stomach dropped.

She hadn’t thought any of them would notice. He’d been in a room that no one had been in for months. There’d been a thick layer of dust over everything in there. It had taken her ages to get him out, taking him home piece by piece over a long period of time. Nothing had been said, no notices had gone up. And now, just when she was ready with the next part of her plan, suddenly they wanted to run an employee’s first aid course, and wondered if anyone knew where the resuscitation dummy had gone. Damn! And worse yet she had the evidence here right in front of her.

She snatched the photos off the cork board and pretended she was off to the toilets, taking a quick divert down to her car in the underground company car park.

She hadn’t been stupid; she’d made sure he was out of sight in the boot of her car, but now she had to dump him. But where?

She scanned the area and saw a blue door across from her. She went over and tried it. It opened into a little cleaning room. Perfect! She chucked him in there, letting him fall to the floor in an undignified manner. Sorry, she thought to herself, you were nice and all but it wasn’t working out. If I lose this job, I’ll never get out of that shitty neighbourhood.

She scurried back out, keeping a watchful eye, but no one was about, and returned to her desk unseen. She sighed. She didn’t know what was worse, having no one in her life or losing the fake one.


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