Welcome to Word Challenge Week!!!
Our first set of five words is the first one I was given. It inspired the whole concept of making a week out of it.
The five words were: Fox, Meow, York, Tulip and Black.
Have a think about those for a minute before you read how I linked them all together.
…and here we go!
An Accidental Encounter
Ashley Brinkley was the most fastidious receptionist employed at the Bostocks Inn, York, England. By the end of each day, she had emptied her in-tray, sorted her out-tray, read and replied to every received email, and had spoken to every guest to ensure that they were enjoying their stay.
At five o’clock she would hand over the reins to Kelly, who would take the evening shift. Kelly’s evenings consisted of taking one or two phone calls, and scrolling through the thousands of Facebook posts that would pop up on her newsfeed every other second. Ashley did enough work for both of them, and that’s the way that Kelly liked it.
‘Hiya, Kel,’ Ashley looked up from her paperwork for a split second, ‘I’ll be out of your hair in a few minutes, I’m just adding up these minibar charges for Mr and Mrs Finstock. They’re checking out tomorrow.’
‘No problem,’ Kelly replied, plonking her bag on the floor in the corner of the room.
Within three minutes, Ashley had carefully written four figures and a decimal point on the bottom of the page, and had filed that page away with the others.
‘Alright,’ she sighed, gently lifting her bag from the hook behind the office door, pulling out her keys, and slinging the bag over her shoulder, ‘I’m off. Careful of the man in room 16, he’s a sweetie pie, but he’s a complainer.’
‘Gotcha. Drive safely.’
A baby blue Camry was waiting in the parking lot at the front of the inn. With no hesitation, Ashley unlocked it, lowered herself into the front seat, and pulled out onto the road toward Wetherby.
Once out of town, Ashley began to relax. Work was behind her that day; she could relax on the couch with a bottle of shiraz, a block of rum and raisin, and Dawson’s Creek on Netflix. No doubt Humphrey would want in on the action.
As she drove, she listened to the radio—she sang along to every top 40 single and every classic.
Suddenly, a small, red fox scampered across the road. Ashley attempted to swerve, but the furry creature found itself under her tyre. In a split-second, the light of life was gone, and it lay limp on the sun-warmed asphalt.
Her tyres screeched as she slammed the brake pedal to the floor of her car.
‘Oh my god, ohmygod, oh. my. god.’ She muttered desperately under her breath.
Once the car was safely off the side of the road, she raced to the fox’s side. Compressions were diligently applied, and the Wetherby veterinary clinic was called. The lady on reception at the clinic found it hard not to laugh—trying to save a fox, honestly …
Ashley found it hard to maintain composure. The tears threatened to dribble down her cheeks.
‘I’m so sorry,’ she sobbed over the animal’s body, ‘I didn’t mean it. You just … and then …’
When she got home, Humphrey welcomed her at the door. He wove his way in and out of her ankles, meowing all the time.
‘Hey, Humperdink,’ she muttered; her voice was all nasally from the crying. She knelt down to pull the cat up into her arms. He immediately began to purr and rub his face against her chin. ‘Thanks for the love, bud.’
She knew that her guilt was slightly irrational; she knew that most people would brush this occurrence off almost immediately, but she wasn’t most people, was she? So with her heart heavy, she called her five closest friends—Jerry, Frieda, Becky, Loretta and Naomi.
‘Oh, honey, I’m so sorry.’
‘I hate it when that happens.’
‘Poor thing. No road sense at all.’
‘There wasn’t anything you could have done. You’ve done everything right.’
‘Oh, get over it, Ash. It’s a fox!’
Their responses rolled through Ashley’s brain. They all had varying things to say, but all said the one thing she was longing to hear—‘we’ll be there, don’t worry’.
The following Saturday, the six of them turned up on the side of the road somewhere between Wetherby and York. They were all adorned in black and had their eyes directed low.
Ashley said a few words about the fox she knew for the split second before the accident. She apologised again and all of her friends stood around her providing support and solidarity. And when the service was done, Ashley gently lay a bunch of tulips down.
With a sigh, contentment seeped through her veins, and she and her friends slowly trudged back to their cars. They drove back to civilisation and reality, wary of any other foxes that had a death wish that day.
And that’s it! Day 1 done and dusted! Tell me what you think!
See you tomorrow for day 2 and another five words!