The Prompt for the WRITE-ON group yesterday was the Wednesday Wordle. The words to be included in either a poem or short story are;
THIRD; PORTER; STRAW; FAULTY; TINS; CARE; EXTRA; SMALL; UPBEAT; PERPETUAL; BEGS; SAIL.
Well, I thought we would revisit Fred, Stan and Pete, just to see what they are up to now.
A Job Down Crawley Way …… Part 2
You remember that funny business down Crawley —yeah ? Well, it wasn’t long after Stan’s disappearance that Fred turns up, with ‘is cousin Jim in tow. Fred ‘as the weirdest look on ‘is face; sort of haunted, like. Weird. Anyway, they both come in. Fred says nowt, just plops ‘is-self down on a chair.and groans.
It was only the third or fourth time I’d met Jim. He seemed OK; an upbeat sort of a guy; always chewing gum; with a perpetual grin on ‘is mug. I didn’t mind him at all, quite cheery ‘ee was. Mind, ‘ee didn’t look too happy then.
“Bloody ‘ell, Pete” he says, “I ‘ope you can do summat wiv Fred I fink ‘ees gone wappy, can’t get no sense out of ‘im”
I looked at them both and said,
“Come on Fred. Wassup ?”
So, Fred starts his tale. I notice he keeps glancing round and peering under the table. Anyway, he tells me he’s only gone and got a job. —— Yeah ! A real job ! Proper paying one and all. Seems he’s a porter in an ‘otel. I laughs and says,
“Is it some sort of flop-house, wiv straw on’t floor ?”
But Sunny Jim chimes in and explains that it’s a real posh place, up West. I’ve heard ‘im called Sunny Jim on account of ‘is sunny disposition. But he ain’t too sunny today. So I asks Fred what he does at this ‘otel. I mean, he ain’t ever had no job before, so it begs the question
Well, he says his missus wants an ‘oliday. A proper one , not some jaunt in an old caravan, down to Canvey Island. Not some place wiv faulty plumbing and an outside, carsie. No, not ‘er. She only wants to go on one of them cruises. Sail round the Med, instead of one of them pedalos down the Lido.
So, here he is working nights at this fancy gaff. He has to take care of the guest’s needs. Carry their bags; collect their dry-cleaning; find ’em a girl, like as not ! Apparently he also cleans their shoes.
“Good grief !” says I “ I can’t imagine that. But what’s the flipping problem ?”
Fred sighs and, like I said, he tells the tale. He looks so pale that I pour ‘im a whisky,
” Get that down yer” I urge, so he does. He shivers a bit and wraps his plump fingers around the empty glass. I pour him another one, but extra small, and nudge him. He ain’t getting no more till he spills the beans.
“Well, Pete,” he utters, looking me straight in the face, “ There I was, down in the basement. I ‘ad all these shoes to clean, so I goes to get the tins of polish. I have to take care to get the right colours. Real picky, the clients are. Don’t want no navy polish on their brown loafers, or nowt like that you know”
” God,” I thought, “Get to the flipping point, while we are still young-ish2
He looks at his , now empty, glass, but I don’t take the hint. So he takes a deep breath.
“Well, it was all fairly quiet. I ‘ad the radio on, but it can only get one station, so flipping Michael Ball was crooning away. Then I sees a movement in the hall. It was a cat. Yes a bloomin’ cat. Tabby it was. So, I gets up to kick it out the back door. No animals allowed in the ‘otel, you know. Well, except Mrs Sangster-Parker’s Pekingese; but she pays extra. Well, the cat comes into the room, bold as brass it were. Jumps up onto a chair and looks me full in the face”
He takes a deep breath and Jim and I look at each other, not knowing if we should laugh. But the look on Fred’s face tells us we shouldn’t.
“Well, all night it followed me. Up in the lifts and everyfink. Wherever I went, it followed me. Like a little lap dog —- only it’s a cat. “
Me and Jim just looked at him as he put his head in his hands and sobbed. I still wasn’t sure what his problem was. I mean, just throw summat at the damned thing —- that’s what he should have done. But, you know, maybe it was the light, but the darndest thing was that, as I looked at the back of ‘is ‘ead —— I swear his ears were covered in fur ……
“Well ” I says, “ What’s the problem, mate ? OK, so it followed you all night. So what ? “
“You don’t understand ! It’s bin following me ever since. Everywhere I go ! In me ‘ouse; in me bed; even in the bathroom” he looked as though he was going to be sick
” IT’S HERE NOW “ ….. he cried. And ran out of the house, like a scalded …erm…well—–,cat !
Jim and I looked around but couldn’t see no bloomin’ cat nowhere. So Jim shook me hand and went ‘ome.
Funny thing is, I ain’t heard ‘owt from Fred since. But this morning two cats began following me ………..