Odd Prompts

Odd Prompts: Wonderland Snippet

 
 

This story is coming out in dribs and drabs. I’ll continue to put up the bits with prompt responses in them. Unfortunately Indian Summer is also giving me the allergies. So my brain, she is not what she should be. 

Wonderland

Johns was staring at the derelict car. 

“What is it?” Shelby asked. 

“There’s movement in there,” He said, jerking his chin at it. 

Shelby took a couple of steps towards the car and a burst into laughter. 

“What?” Johns asked, sounding annoyed. He came up and peered into the windows.

“There’s chickens in there.” 

“Yeah and look,” She pointed.

On the sidewalk side one of the doors had been removed entirely and in its place was a fitted door of chicken wire.

“It’s a chicken coupe.” She said. “Get it? Coupe?”

 He groaned. “This is probably against some city ordinance.”

“Do you care?” Shelby asked. “I don’t care, and nobody’s complained about it. That’s not why we’re here, so move along, detective, move along…”

 Chuckling, she turned away from the car and looked at the gap in the fence.

“Someone went through here recently. It’s not a beaten path.” She pointed out.

“So now you’re a woodsman tracker type.” He snipped, then added, “Yeah, I see what you mean.”

 The dead dry weeds were broken  – fresh edges showing white against the weathered grays and browns. It wasn’t that hard to see that somebody had come through here, and in a hurry, not being careful. 

“They said he was running down the middle of the street shouting.” She pointed out, “And he said when they could still talk to him that he was being held prisoner.”

 “Yeah, so maybe…” 

 Shelby cautiously pushed through the weeds and into the yard, and as she looked around she said,  “you know, I think…”

 Johns finished her sentence for her. “This is the backyard of the deader we found earlier.”

“Okay, now this is really creepy.” Shelby pointed, “There’s a shed. I know he was not in the house.”

 “Agreed,” He said, his tone clipped. 

Shelby noted that Johns, like she had done, made sure his pistol was ready for action as they edged closer to the shed. The golden light of the sunset fell over their shoulders, turning everything to gilded beauty. Even the weed tangled neglected yard. Shelby noted a trashcan that had been tipped over: one of the big city jobs with wheels, and then there was a rustling movement inside it. So she crouched down, carefully to one side, to take a look at it. Sunlight streaming inside made the chicken turn to pure gold and as Shelby got too close, the hen raised herself up off the nest she was sitting on revealing three golden eggs below her. She erupted into squawks of complaint about the intrusion on her space.

“Another chicken?” Johns asked. 

Shelby stood back up. “She is sitting on some eggs in there. Probably goes with the chicken coop.” 

He chuckled again, “right. Let’s do this.”

 They didn’t  expect to find anything in the shed. They had been loud enough on their approach, between talking and the chicken, that anyone in there would have shown themselves by this time. Of course, if they were hiding… the door hung open from a busted hinge and Shelby pointed silently at the still padlocked hasp that had pulled right out of the rotted wood, screws dangling futilely from it. The scar where the hasp had been pulled out was still fresh. It had just been done. No time to weather the wood again. 

The whole shed leaned drunkenly to one side and looked as though it should’ve fallen down, given the assault on the door from the inside. By unanimous unspoken agreement, they both drew their weapons and came at the door from the sides where they could not be seen immediately. Peering into the darkness, they were looking for movement and there was none. 

***
I was prompted this week by ‘Nother Mike, with “There was a golden chicken in the trashcan. Squawking at the indignity of it all. With three golden eggs underneath.” Which was a challenge in a non-magical story! 
I prompted Fiona Grey with “The words came out all jumbled together, a salad of nouns and verbs with a dressing of adjectives and croutons of prepositions.” 
 
You can find out more about the Odd Prompts challenge over at MOTE. Come join us! 
 

3 thoughts on “Odd Prompts: Wonderland Snippet

  1. Interesting. BUT, and this is just personal taste, not criticism, I liked your Mike Hammer styled stuff more. Feel free to attribute this to the fact it’s the Marine Birthday (245th) and I’ve been toasting lost comrades.
    To wit:
    “Here’s to the soldiers of the sea.
    And the ladies of our land.
    May their ships ever be well-armed,
    And their ladies ever well-manned.”

    1. This is an exercise mentally. The conceit is to not only use the weekly prompts, but use the framework of Alice in Wonderland to hang a buddy cop story on. I’m being silly and having fun.

      1. Understood. So this is like that improv comedy show, I think it was called “Whose Line Is It?” where you do off-the-cuff stuff based on random input? Drew Carey was on it. I was just spitballing reactions. I liked it well enough, just liked your previous stuff even more.

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