Tuesday, 2 December 2008

MULTIPLY Pictures To Words - Segments Week 5: Uncle Tom and the cats

countryroad „Well, here we are Robert at last.“
“Yes, it seems funny to visit the house now that Uncle Tom is not longer amongst us.”
“Well it certainly has a big garden” and Carol was not so sure that taking over a house with so many trees and bushes to look after was exactly what she wanted.

Carol and Robert had been living long enough in the city where they were confronted with air pollution and untidy streets every day. Robert’s uncle Tom had disappeared and Robert was his only heir to the house and fortune. After all Uncle Tom was a millionaire. Although officially he was not entitled to taking over the heritage yet, he decided to stay a few days in the house with his wife. They also took their dog, Trixie with them, as she was part of the family. .

The suitcases were carried into the house from the car. It was mid autumn and the steps to the front door were covered in leaves of red and brown hues. Robert opened the door with the key he had received from the lawyer’s office. A smell of dust and stagnated air hit them from the house interior.

“Robert, the first thing we are going to do is to open all the windows and air this place out a bit” said Carol and she went to work opening windows and doors in all the rooms.
“Carol come here and take a look, I think we can use this room as our bedroom. It’s nice and big and it seems this bed here will be just ideal for the both of us.”
“I am sure it is, Robert. Look at the mirror in the wall over there, it is enormous.”
“Well at least we can see ourselves full length in it. I quite like it” said Robert, although Carol was not of exactly the same opinion. Having such a large mirror opposite their bed was a bit scary to her.

Suddenly they were interrupted by a loud bark and the noise of dogs feet. Trixie the dog had decided to enter the house and do some exploring. The mirror seemed to particularly interest her and she kept sniffing and barking at it.

“No Mrs. Human, I don’t think that is a good way to start the story.”
My big black cat Nera is at the computer again and reading my “Picture to Words.”
“Nera, you don’t know what is coming next.”
“Mrs. Human, I don’t think you do as well. You have been looking at this picture for three days without having an idea for something to write.”
“She’s right, Mrs. Human,” said Tabby her sister.
“And I object to putting a dog in the story” piped up Fluffy, the smallest of the cats.
“Cats, this is my story and I will write into it who I want.”
“But not a dog, Mrs. Human” they all said together.
It was true, I was having a problem with this picture. It just did not inspire me in any way, but I had now started and was hoping that the ideas would come as I write.
“How comes a room with a large mirror is going to be the bedroom. I would write the mirror out of the story or put it in another place.” Said Nera “mirrors are stupid things anyhow; they confuse us cats and we think we are being watched by other cats.”
“Now you have given me an idea” I said to Nera, so I will continue writing my story.
“Well I hope something exciting is will happen” said Tabby, “up to now it is a story for falling asleep.”

That night Robert and Carol spent their first night in the house. Carol did not sleep so well. She just could not get it out of her head that somewhere Uncle Tom might be watching them. She was glad that Trixie decided to make herself comfortable on the floor in front of the mirror. Carol just felt a bit safer.

The next morning Carol made some breakfast.
“Carol I think I will like living here. I slept like a log last night and you?”
“No Robert, I did not sleep well at all. I just don’t like that bedroom with the mirror opposite the bed. Thank goodness Trixie decided to stay there.”
“I was going to mention that Carol, I don’t think it is a good idea that a dog sleeps in our bedroom. In future she can sleep in the downstairs rooms.”

“You call that exciting Mrs. Human and Nera spoke up again. “So we have a dog that has to sleep in another room which should have been done in the beginning and a Mrs. Human that had a bad night. If humans slept like us cats, they would never have a bad night.”
“Nera you cannot compare a human sleep to a cat nap, and there will be a surprise coming soon in the story.”
“Nera, I think I will have a sleep. There is nothing in this story to interest a cat up to now” and Tabby curled up and closed her eyes.
“You know what I think” said Fluffy
“What you think does not interest me” answered Nera “little white cats with curly fur should be seen and not heard.”
“Yes, but I just wanted to say there is something with the …..”
“Still now Fluffy – let Mrs. Human get on with her story.”
“Thank you cats, then I will continue.”

“You know Robert, I quite like the house, but despite opening the windows and letting fresh air in, there is just a peculiar smell around and it seems to be strongest in our bedroom. I think that mirror has something to do with it, after all Trixie keeps scratching the floor in front of it.”
“Well ok, Carol I will have a closer look” and Robert went up to the bedroom followed by Carol and Trixie who went straight to the mirror.

“You see Nera, that is what I wanted to tell you. There is something wrong with the mirror.”
“OK Fluffy, so big deal. Whatever has happened I am sure the dog did it.”
“Cats, leave the dog alone. If I had put a cat in the story it would have just slept through the whole thing.”
“Mrs. Human we cats need at least 12 hours sleep per day, and we certainly would not have bothered scratching in front of a mirror.”

Robert had a closer look at the mirror and found it had hinges on one side.
“Carol I don’t think this is an ordinary mirror. It is more like a door; and sure enough he found a lock on the other side. By now Trixie was sniffing and scratching and jumping towards the mirror.
“There is only one thing to do Robert, either break open the lock or break the mirror.”
“Now don’t let’s be so drastic Carol. This door has probably not been opened for years.
Carol just felt uneasy about the locked mirror door and called the locksmith in the village. He arrived in the afternoon and went to work on the door.
"What do you think you are doing" said Robert when he saw what was happening and turned quite pale.
"Robert, I called the locksmith to find out what is behind the mirror. It was disturbing me."
The locksmith opened the mirror door and what did he find?

“That is exactly what I meant Mrs. Human. I know what he found, but Nera and Tabby wouldn’t listen to my wise words.”
“OK Fluffy, so what did he find.”
“That is quite simple Mrs. Human. Are you listening Nera and wake Tabby up? He found a chair behind the mirror and who was sitting on the chair.”
“I know” said Tabby “a dog. That was why the other dog kept scratching at the mirror. She smelt dog.”
“Stupid tabby cat; of course, she didn’t smell dog. She smelt meat, well sort of. Uncle Tom was sitting in the chair of course.”
“Bravo Fluffy, now you have spoilt the ending to the story.” I said
“Well not exactly Mrs. Human. You could write about Robert having debts and no money and had visited uncle Tom a week before to ask for money. Uncle Tom got annoyed, they had a fight and Robert hit him on the head with something heavy. Uncle Tom was dead and Robert hid his body on a chair behind the mirror. Tht was why he got worried when the locksmith was opening the mirror door. Then the locksmith called the police as it seemed a bit suspicious and Robert was arrested and put into prison. “
“Brilliant, Fluffy, but you forgot something” I said “Carol knew what had happened, but she didn’t know that Uncle Tom’s body was behind the mirror. She thought Robert had buried it in the garden. She didn’t really care, but just wanted the inheritance. She kept quiet about the murder of course and inherited the house and fortune and left Robert to his prison sentence.”
“That was exactly what I would have written” said Nera “writing stories is really not something difficult. You just have to have a few good ideas.”
“You know what cats, in future write the stories yourself – I give up.”

Pictures to Words - Segments Week 5: Uncle Tom and the cats

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