Welcome to Sunday Scribbles!
Today marks week 38 of the 52 week writing challenge!
The prompt for Sunday 24th September is ‘Hoard’:
This weeks attempt is based on a conversation I overheard from my neighbours garden, with added dragons because you can never have too many of those! Related very briefly to The Boy and the Dragon from a couple of weeks ago.
‘You’ve too much stuff dad,’ Lily complained, as she picked her way across the garden, which was littered with tools and boxes.
‘I have too much stuff?’ her father retorted with a wave of his arms. ‘Says she, with boxes and boxes of her old things in my garage!’
‘I’m… sorry?’ Lily replied, face furrowed in a frown. ‘You said I could leave it here when I moved out. Till I got sorted.’
‘That was nearly ten years ago, Lil,’ her father said, hands on hips and stare stern. ‘Now, what you going to do about it?’
‘Leave it there? My place is small, dad, especially with Sasha on the way,’ Lily replied. Her hand rubbed absently at her belly, and she smiled.
‘Well, I don’t have room for it. You’ll have to move it. Sort it, or I’ll bin it,’ her father insisted. He gestured towards the garage.
Lily frowned. ‘What’s brought this on?’
‘Nothin’. Just can’t have it no more. Need my space back.’
‘Fine.’ Lily replied. She heaved a sigh and ran a hand through her hair. As she picked her way back across the minefield and into the house, she glanced over her shoulder. Her father was following her. He shoved her out of the way as she moved to open the garage door.
‘Don’t…’ he said, with a warning growl.
‘Don’t? You wanted me to move my stuff!’
‘Yeah, but there’s a knack to openin’ the door,’ her father insisted.
He motioned backwards and eased the door up. The contents behind creaked. Lily took a couple of steps back as a wave of brightly coloured balls cascaded out.
‘Balls,’ her father said, as the balls rolled into the street. ‘Now see what you made me do.’
The door creaked as he opened it completely, and Lily stepped inside. Fingers closed around a net, where a few balls remained.
‘Maybe if you hadn’t stored them right near the door, you wouldn’t have torn the net,’ Lily said.
‘Where else was I going to put them?’ her father replied.
‘Further inside…’ Lily suggested, and then tailed off as her head raised to regard the garage.
Boxes lined the walls, stuffed to the brim and stacked, squashed, around the garage. Sheets covered the far end, and Lily wrinkled her nose as she stepped inside.
‘What is all this stuff?’ Lily asked. Her hand trailed over one of the boxes, and she coughed as she dislodged a thick coat of dust.
Her father shrugged. ‘When you’ve lived long as I have, you accumulate things.’
Lily frowned and crossed her arms. ‘Which ones are mine then?’
‘Oh, they’ll be here somewhere,’ her father replied with a wave of his hand. ‘Probably at the bottom. Best start digging.’
‘Me?’ Lily asked. She stared at the boxes and motioned to her stomach. ‘I’m pregnant! You want em gone, you do the heavy lifting!’
Lily grabbed an upside down stool from beside the boxes, righted it, brushed it off, and sat, arms crossed. Her father heaved a sigh, but he moved to the far end of the garage and lifted down a couple of boxes. They scraped along the floor as he pushed them towards her.
‘See if you recognise anything then,’ he ordered.
Lily shrugged and pulled the first box closer. She covered her hand and coughed as she opened the lid.
‘Why keep a broken kettle?’ Lily asked, as she plucked a kettle with a large crack down the side from her fathers hoard.
Her father blinked and glanced at her. ‘For spares of course. The plug is still good.’
‘You don’t need it, dad, you have two more inside that work perfectly!’
Her father turned his back on her and pulled down a couple more boxes. Lily shook her head and put the kettle beside her. She dug around in the box in front of her and pulled out a large plastic paddling pool. ‘Our old pool, really?’
‘Your little ones might be grateful of that one day,’ her father replied, with a far off look. ‘Better than playing in the river.’
‘I’m only having one!’ Lily retorted.
‘That’s what they all say,’ her father replied with a laugh. ‘Then you get to my age with six kids and a house full of their junk.’
‘Most of this is yours!’ Lily protested. She ran her fingers over the paddling pool and was overcome with memories. A splash as her brother leapt in, a tight squeeze for six of them in a tiny pool. They were never allowed to play in the river, where there was room. Her fingers ran over a rough edge and pulled her from her memories. ‘This is broken!’
‘I can repair it, just like the kettle,’ her father said with a determined nod.
‘I’m helping you sort this. Get it in order,’ Lily said. She got to her feet and threw the pool on top of the kettle. ‘This stuff? Trash. You’re throwing it away.’
‘Absolutely not,’ her father replied. ‘It’s all good stuff, Lil!’
Lily followed her nose further into the garage, and it wrinkled in disgust. ‘It smells like something died in here.’
Holding her nose, she edged her hand towards a black sheet. Grasped it and peeled it back from a wooden box. Recoiled. ‘Eww! Why do you need banana skins and apple peel in here?’
‘Cover it up, you’ll ruin my compost!’ her father yelled.
Lily dropped the sheet. It thudded back over the half decomposed hoard of vegetable remains. She wandered over to the boxes and began to pull out items at random.
‘Look, dad, you don’t need any of this stuff. None of it’s been touched for years. This broken walking cane? Useless. These water damaged books? You can’t even read them!’ Lily said. She held up the items one by one, pulled from box after box. ‘This… what is this? A rug?’
It was a thin, dull, faded sheet, with small ridges and bumps littering its surface. Lily ran a finger over it and tugged hard at the edge. Firm hands grasped hers, and with delicate precision her father took the large scaly object away from her.
‘Never you mind,’ her father said, and he gestured to some boxes. ‘Those are yours, take em and leave me to my stuff.’
‘But dad…’ Lily tried to protest, but her father nodded between the boxes and the door.
Lily sighed and bent to grasp them. Tried to heft them into her arms. Failed. ‘I can’t lift these, can you at least load them into my car?’
Her father blinked up at her, eyes watery. ‘What? Oh, of course. Just gimme a minute.’
Lily nodded and left the garage to unlock her car. When she returned, she peered around the corner and watched as her father cradled the strange skin like object close. What did it mean?
She froze as she realised he was muttering.
‘This is all I have left of you, my dear friend. If only you could see them all grown up. They’d love to see a dragon, sat upon a hoard of treasure, yet now your skin sits atop a hoard of junk…’
As her father broke off into a sob, Lily gasped and ducked behind the garage door. Her brothers teased her as a child, claimed they saw a dragon in the woods where she never dared to tread.
‘I always thought they were making it up, but maybe…’ Lily said, with a glance at her fathers hunched form, ‘Maybe it was real after all.’
Thanks for reading!
My neighbour doesn’t actually have dragon skin in his shed (I don’t think… is that worth investigating?) but he did get pretty uppity about his daughter storing stuff in his garage. He’s lucky. My mum is still stuck with a piano my sister bought when she lived at home nearly ten years ago!
Next Sunday’s prompt:
The prompt for 1st October is ‘Villain.’
If you try next weeks prompt yourself, let me know how it goes. Post your attempt on your blog on the 1st October, and leave a link in the comments below this post so that I can read it 🙂
If you can attempt the prompt in less than 140 characters, you can also #sunscribbles on Twitter. I am super interested to see what you all come up with 🙂