This story was prompted by the photo below. It’s the first one I’ve posted since January 2016, as I found my flash fiction mojo had disappeared after I’d taken a two-week digital detox.
I sent in the photo as I thought it might make a good prompt and, having done so, felt I should make an effort to write something. This is the first attempt. I’m going to post another one from a slightly different angle. Time will tell whether I’ve got my mojo working again. Thank you Al for using the photo and for hosting week after week.
I’ll be interested to see how many stories mention the vacuum cleaner, as that was what drew my attention to the tree. Apologies to any experts who feel irate that I’ve used “hoover” as a generic term, when it might be an Electrolux or whatever. You have to save every word you can!
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The Secret Life of Plants
Startled by the squeal of a rusty hinge, Arthur threw down the tarpaulin and turned to scrutinise the open gate.
‘Oh, it’s you,’ he said, relaxing at the sight of his teenage granddaughter.
‘Digging up the tree, Grandad?’ Lucy asked.
‘No, love, just tidying up after next door’s dog. Digs where it likes.’
‘Maybe you should. Mum can’t see why you put that hoover up there after Granny … you know. Reminding you all the time.’
‘Sometimes a reminder’s good. Anyway, what brings you round?’
‘Mum heard the police were next door. With it being ten years since Granny left, well, she was worried. Oh, did you complain about their dog?’
‘Nah, you don’t set the police on neighbours. I saw them, though … detectives. They’re not bothered about dogs.’
‘Spose not . Should I stay, keep you company?
‘Don’t be daft, go and see your friends. I’ve got work to finish. Tell you what, next time you come, ring first, in case I’m up to my neck in muck.’
‘I thought you liked a surprise. Is it right what they say, that Granny ran off with that man she used to clean for?’
‘That’s what the police thought, love.’