Crafting Tales and Catching Stories

I remember enjoying the crisp fall day. I remember a squirrel barking at something from his perch in the tree near the porch. I remember the breeze sending a rain of yellow leaves down on the lawn. That is all that I remember until I woke up in the crate.

The dampness of the crate and the way things moved made me suspect that I was on the water. The muffled sounds around me were faint and foreign. I knew I was in trouble, but it would be a while before I realized just how much trouble.

Instinct had me check my pockets for something – anything – that might be able to help me from the dark place where I was now trapped. My cell phone, my keys and everything else that tied me back to that crisp day on the porch were gone. It seemed impossible, but it sure felt like that crate got even darker in that moment.

A faint spear of light managed to pierce one corner of the crate. I was thankful for the last few months of yoga because it would take some serious maneuvering to make use of that crack. The twisting rocked the crate enough that it should have attracted attention, but no one noticed or cared. The darkness now seemed to be sucking out the oxygen around me.

The first look was of nothing but other crates. I twisted a little more and saw what I took to be the edge of a ship. Footsteps closed in and I managed to rock the crate and cry out, but the steps faded without even slowing. Any hope of getting help faded with those steps. I was alone, with no idea of where I was, no idea of how I had gotten into the darkness, and no idea of what I would do next.

This story started in a chat room tonight. We were discussing phishing scams that come through emails and someone mentioned one that came from a friend that said she was stranded in foreign country with no passport and no money. Someone else mentions that it would make a great plot to a book – and the writers were off.

Stories hide all around us – it is just a matter of grabbing hold and capturing the images that dance through the mind. Some are worth sharing, some give birth to even larger tales, and some are just there to keep the fingers limber until the next image dances through.

Share your tale from this single prompt:

A woman is stranded in a foreign country with no wallet, no cell phone and no money. Comment back and we will create a list of all the great ways our minds DO NOT think alike.

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  • She opened her eyes, slowly, keeping them squinted against the brightness of the sunlight. She sat up abruptly, then regretted her hasty action, as her head began to pound. Closing her eyes tightly, she stayed as still as possible until the pain lessened.

    She tried again. A field surrounded her, the plants only ankle-high. Several hundred yards in any direction she could see trees, thicker on her right but thinner on her left. Easing herself to her feet, she began her trek in that direction.

    She was pleased to find that, other than her headache, which was now a dull throbbing, she appeared unhurt. She checked her pockets, only to find them completely empty. She searched her memory, but was unable to recall what had resulted in her current location, and unclear where, indeed, she might be.

  • I was there last night and have opted to take this tale from the side of the woman’s husband.

    The thought had entered my mind on several occasions. Usually as a fleeting fantasy, when she had been especially nagging or just to talkative. I never would have acted on them. After all men around the world know ; “You can’t live with them and you can’t live without them.” My father used to add “And it’s illegal to kill them.”

    No, I never would have acted on my thoughts to get rid of my wife except for that squirrel. We had just had an argument and she had stormed out of the house. I went out to get the last word, in even if it was to empty air, when I saw her just standing there staring up into the trees. She was watching a squirrel who to my mind seemed to be having an argument of his own with something. “Probably Mrs. Squirrel was nagging him as well.” is the thought that ran through my head.

    That’s when the thought came to me. “You can’t live with them and you cant live without them and it’s illegal to kill them. No one ever said you couldn’t send them on Holiday. Yeah, YEAH!! This could work. All I need is a crate and a forklift.”

    So I carefully reached into her pockets and removed her cell phone, wallet and her key’s. After all she wouldn’t be needing them where she was headed.
    Then to make sure she was good and out I went inside and got that cast iron skillet she is so proud of using and I hit her in the head again. Sure now that she would be out for a while, I pulled her inside and shut and locked the door.

    A quick trip to Wal-Mart for a disposable cell phone gave me the means to enlist some help. I knew my brother-in-law had always wanted to be an only child so I gave him a call. I quickly outlined what had happened and laid out my plan to him. I heard a chuckle on the other end and he agreed to help me out.

    When he arrived we put her in the back or my SUV and headed to the docks. When we arrived it was well past midnight There was an empty crate and forklift setting next to a container ship right at the first berth we came to.

    With so maneuvering we got her in the crate all the time listening for some one to cry out or the police to show up. After getting her in and the crate secured. I carefully Picked it up with the fork lift and placed it at the end of a row of crates sitting on the ship’s deck.

    Then I went home to enjoy my peace and quite. This was going to be like a holiday for me. She always talked about wanting to visit exotic places now she was getting her wish as well. The way I saw it this was a win win situation for both of us. If I had only thought this through I would have realized what would happen next…