Tuesday, 7 August 2012

United Friends Challenge #267 - Don't drink if you have to drive

Dio's Challenge
Write a story, any length, that has to do with the theme of snow removal.
Then wake me up when spring gets here.

PS - If you happen to be from Australia I am REALLY not in the mood to hear about the fact it is Summer therace. AH-CHOO!
What an evening that was. Fred did not arrive home until the early morning hours, but he had enjoyed himself. It was always fun to meet with his friends for a drink in the local bar. It was a wet and happy evening; it was even wetter on his way home as it had started to snow, but Fred did not really notice very much snow. He slipped and skidded on his way home, but it was an enjoyable evening, that was the main thing.

When he arrived home, Sheila his wife was already in a deep sleep and Fred was glad. No point in waking Sheila, she would not have very much understanding for his slightly inebriated condition. He climbed into bed and was soon in a deep sleep. Unfortunately it snowed all night and Fred was on standby for snow removal. It was a well paid job working for the local town, but it had its disadvantages. After a short sleep lasting four hours the telephone rang. It was not just a telephone, but the special mobile he had for emergency calls from his employer.

“Morning Fred” said the voice on the other end of the telephone. “We have a problem, heavy snowfalls all night and it has to be cleared away, otherwise it could become very dangerous.”

Although Fred had picked up the phone and was listening to the voice at the other end belonging to Charlie, his chief, he did not really understand as much as he should have, still having an alcoholic cloud blocking clear thoughts in his head.

“Is that you Charlie, what’s the problem? Snowing? Let it snow.”

“No Fred, the problem is that it is lying thick on the streets and it is your job to clear it away. You are on standby, remember.” Charlie was getting quite annoyed and the last word was said somewhat louder.

It was then that Fred awoke. He had a vague memory of stumbling through snow on his way home yesterday, or was it today.

“OK Charlie, stay cool I am on my way” actually meaning he was on his way from the bed to the bathroom. There was no time for a shower. Just a quick cat lick with a wet cloth, although he decided cleaning his teeth would also be a good idea. He left the house and the cold morning air hit him in the face like a sledge hammer. He took a step towards the garage and fell on his face. Was he still drunk, or was it the snow. He decided it was the snow. Thank goodness he had the snow plough in his own garage.

He climbed into it and drove off, still feeling just a little bit queasy. Luckily he did not have to clear the motorway, just the local streets in the village. If someone had been watching him drive they would have noticed that he was not exactly creating straight lines in the snow, but more something like a ski slalom, a little to the right and a little to the left. It was then that it happened. The plough at the front of the tractor came to a halt, so Fred put his foot down on the accelerator and there was a damp sound of something being run over.

Fred suddenly woke up, yes he had fallen asleep whilst driving.

“What was that?” he thought to himself (actually a bit more flowery, but we do not have to go into details here).

It was then that the door to a house opened just opposite the place where Fred had stopped. He heard a frail voice from an elderly lady.”

“Tiddles, Tiddles, where are you. Time for you breakfast. Oh, hello Fred, busy clearing the pavements and roads from the snow so early in the morning; have you seen Tiddles, my cat, she went out five minutes ago, and now it is time for her breakfast.”

“Morning Mrs. Jones” Fred said. “No I havn’t seen her” wondering what he had run over with his tractor and hoping it was not Tiddles. Tiddles was not just a cat, but Mrs. Jones cat. He remembered when she had called the firemen to get Tiddles down from the tree in her front garden. They had to call an ambulance as well, as Mrs. Jones had a shock. “I hope it wasn’t Tiddles” he thought.

It was then that he looked to where the tractor had come to a stop and saw something black peeping through the snow. Tiddles was a black cat, Fred remembered.

“Tiddles, Tiddles” Mrs. Jones now had a slight tinge of excitement in her voice and Fred felt weak in his stomach to say the least.

“There is something black peeping through the snow just behind your snow clearing machine” Mrs. Jones said.

“I don’t see anything” said Fred, trying to kick snow over the black thing showing through the snow.

“Of course, there is something black there.” And it was then that a stifled cat meow could be heard.

“That is my Tiddles Fred, “what have you done?”

Fred was feeling very worried, more than worried, he decided he would never touch a glass of alcohol again in his life. He saw himself being accused of murder from a very distraught Mrs. Jones.

“Fred, what have you run over with your snow plough. Tiddles, oh Tiddles. Please dig him out Fred.”

Fred decided to look the fact in the face, that he had become a cat murderer. He returned to his plough and took the shovel he had for emergencies. He had to climb over the seat to reach the shovel and then heard again another very plain and loud meow. He looked down and saw Tiddles had made himself comfortable in a blanket Fred had on the back seat . Was Fred happy, oh yes, he was.

“Mrs. Jones, I have found Tiddles. He is here in my driving cabin.”

Mrs. Jones was happy to have her Tiddles and Tiddles was also glad as he was feeling hungry, it was his feeding time. Mrs. Jones was so grateful that Fred had found Tiddles, she invited him in for a coffee and something to eat. Fred willingly accepted.

That morning Fred finished his job clearing the snow, but had learnt a lesson. If you are on emergency call, do not go out the evening before and be careful when clearing snow from the pavements. There might be a cat near bye. Oh, and the black thing peeping through the snow was one of those plastic bags used for rubbish. The garbage men were expected on that day.

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