Monday, 27 April 2015

Occupational Hazard - Flash Fiction

Christian Surname called out to Glover up on the roof of the house as to whether he’d seen 
Trollop anywhere. Glover shook his head as he forcefully yanked out a wad of thatch and opened up his fist so that the straw tumbled down towards the ground as a bouquet over Surname.

Surname inquired the same of Joiner as he was mounting a newly made saddle upon a horse. Joiner cupped the pommel with one hand and inclined his head to inhale the leather seat with a resonant sniff which Surname took for his answer whatever it may have meant.

Surname spotted Fletcher with a cart on its side and queried if he had any idea of her whereabouts. Fletcher gave a hard pull on the nearest wheel and set it spinning round in continuous motion by way of his response.

Surname spotted that the door of the blacksmiths was open and entered his forge. He interrogated Cooper there as to Trollop’s perambulations, but the smith removed a glowing iron bar from the forge, held it horizontally up to his eyes pointing at Surname as the metal glowed and faded with the heat pulsing through it.

As the smith’s neighbour, Mason was fletching arrows in his yard, so Surname cheerily sought  some illumination from him. Mason delicately stroked the feathers of the quill before blowing and ruffling them.

Surname scurried on into the bakery. Skinner there was dusting flour off with a percussive clap of his hands so that he initially missed Surname’s request. When he repeated it, Skinner threw his dough against the table sending up a cloud of more flour, before he started kneading and pummelling it as his disclosure. 

Surname shook his head before proceeding apace to the workshop of Thatcher. Entreating him as to whether he’d espied Trollop, the joiner picked up a tenon and repeatedly slotted it and out of the mortise, while studying it with so rapt an attention, his tongue was poking out of the corner of his mouth.

Surname had been beginning to feel somewhat perturbed at the sullen silence of his fellow villagers, when he adjudged that they were just all so occupied with their craft to be bothered with his trifling quest. Also that they were so involved in their tasks that they were unlikely to have noticed her in passing anyway. Nevertheless, there was Baker sat on a chair outside his establishment, his hands buttressing the back of his head in relaxation, so he ventured to pick his brains. The glover immediately removed his hands which were bedecked in silk and studiously raised each finger of the fabric away from the flesh inside, before deliberately peeling the entire glove from each hand. 

Carter answered him with what seemed a lascivious smile as he honed his chisel on the whetstone, before scraping it with an agonised squeal against the stone. 

Smith’s rejoinder was a percussive slap of the hide hung out on his line with his tanning paddle. 

Sadler’s comment took the form of tamping down the lid of a barrel with his hammer. 


Surname had reached the end of the village marked by the Church. He pushed the heavy door open and came upon Sexton who advised him that Priestly was in all likelihood in the vestry. “Forgive me for asking Fath-“ His voice died on his lips as he saw Priestly with his raiment down around his ankles as he was administering to one of his flock. Surname skirted round the walls of the room to confirm his worst fear. That parishioner receiving the host was indeed Trollop. Living up to her name even as Priestly was not. But then neither were any of the other villagers pursuing trades not of their fathers, although unbeknownst to him, they actually were; of their birth fathers. 


Taken from the flash fiction collection "Extra-Curricular"
available from Amazon, Createspace & I-Tunes in print & e-book


5 comments:

jkfalkner said...

I get such a kick out of the idea of a character named surname!

Larry Kollar said...

Ha, great twist at the end there!

Katherine Hajer said...

I liked how this read a bit like a medieval morality play (with a cheeky Chaucerian bit at the end). Christian Surname on a pilgrimage 'round the village, eh?

Sounds like a typical medieval village, down to the mixed-up lineage.

Sonia Lal said...

Surname and Skinner - that amused me. And the ending was delicious!

Jon Jefferson said...

We really didn't have many creative names at one time did we. I imagine Trollop's sister or mother might have been town doorknob, or maybe that is a bit too on the nose.