There is something in the work of Leanne Cole that speaks to me. I find this strange connection both puzzling and entertaining. Every other Thursday she posts an image, trying to inspire fellow bloggers to write a story, a poem…to search for that hidden muse, lurking in her exceptional photos. This week she added a twist:
“This photo is the end of the story, and you have to write what lead to this.”
So here it is, another of my crazy stories, hope you enjoy it. I even took her post title Quiet Thursday and made it a part of the story.
Copyright – Leanne Cole
Thomas Whitfield was a quiet man. If truth be told, no one really knew him.
In a small town in the middle of nowhere, everyone knew everyone, from the day they came into this world until the moment they became dearly departed. It was not unusual for people to leave, to run off in a hope of a better future. But it was unheard of for a stranger to settle down.
So, when the town’s only train dispatcher, young Ducky Thompson ran of with the postman’s wife, the elder Mrs.Nucklecheck, not only did it provide the locals with a months worth of gossip, but it created quite few problems with the train schedule. The trains were derailed, the routes changed, the whole town was in uproar. It took an entire week until the replacement arrived.
Mr. Whitfield came to Pipe Falls on a quiet Sunday morning, with two bags and a little corgi named Thatcher. He settled in quickly, being one of those friendly, but not overbearing folks. The locals observed his daily routine… early morning walks with Thatcher, quick lunch at noon, afternoon drink at Mrs.Woodward’s tavern, bike rides before the night settled in. Thatcher was a star in her own right, following her human companion on their everyday business, making friends with kids and other dogs, wagging her tail and her funny ears at anyone who would look her way. Yes, Mr.Whitfield and Thatcher became town’s favorites very quickly.
There were talks. He was a widower. No, he never married. No, his wife left him. No, he left her. There were no children. No, he left his child with his parents. No, his wife took his son when she ran away. The truth was, no one knew the truth. At first, the mystery peaked their interest. But as with all things, with time they gave up.
Months passed by and the town settled into its own quiet day by day existence. The rummers reached Pipe Falls of Mrs.Nucklecheck leaving young Ducky for some Polish Count, which left the poor fellow quite heartbroken. The news gave no solace to Mr.Nucklecheck, who concentrated on training his son Edgar for a postman job, trying to forget his wife with whom he shared a bedroom for 24 years.
No one thought it curious when Mr.Nucklecheck and Mr. Whitfield started spending time together. After all, they were of the same age, both without wives, with many things in common. They would spend afternoons at Mrs.Woodward’s tavern, talking about the weather, sports, cars…the usual stuff. Sometimes the old widow would join them, sharing funny stories about late Mr.Woodward. After awhile, Mr.Nucklecheck and Mr.Whitfield started to share their evening meal in the Nucklecheck residence, often accompanied by young Edgar, who would listen with eyes wide open the stories about big cities and far away lands that Mr.Whitfield shared with the Nucklechecks. It was a pleasant time they spent together and throughout the winter, Mr.Nucklecheck felt his resentment and bitterness over his wife’s betrayal disappearing slowly.
When the spring finally arrived at Pipe Falls, it was like someone lifted a curtain after a long, dark winter. Everything came to life. Flowers bloomed, birds resumed their singing competitions, colors sneaked back into the nature and people’s clothes. There were talks of a circus coming into town after 20 years, as a part of their annual spring fair. Mr.Nucklecheck planned his early retirement, with young Edgar more than ready to take over his postman duties.
It was a quiet Thursday morning when Mr.Nucklecheck set down at the dinning table, newspapers and glasses awaiting for him. He thought to himself how kind his son is, leaving a steaming cup of coffee and a fresh crumpet for his old father. “I raised him well.” he murmured to himself. That’s when he noticed a letter. Puzzled by the discovery, he took the paper in his hand and read it.
I am sorry to leave like this, but I knew you would try to stop me. Thomas and I are in love, and nothing and no one will come between us.
With his heart clamped in an invisible grip, sharp pain traveling from his hand to his chest, Mr.Nucklecheck’s last thought was: “Damn, we’ll need both a new postman and a new train dispatcher.”