Author Topic: Follyfoot. The final tears.  (Read 2561 times)

Offline pete.r.

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Follyfoot. The final tears.
« on: July 08, 2015, 08:12:49 PM »
                                                             Follyfoot. The final tears.

A story in three parts.


"Oh dear" said the Colonel, "I don't know what we're going to do." "What's the matter Uncle" she replied. "I've had this tax
demand from the Inland Revenue. I'm afraid I'm bankrupt Dora." "What about Follyfoot?" "Yes Follyfoot. I'm afraid I've no funds
to run it. We'll have to close" replied the Colonel. "There must be a way" answered Dora. "What if we all got part time jobs,
would that help?" "Well, we could give it a try I suppose" he replied. "I've got todays local newspaper, all the situations vacant
are in this issue. There's loads of jobs."

Everyone looked at the part time jobs pages.
"'Ere" said Ron, I quite fancy this one- "Part time ice cream driver wanted, two days a week, driving for Mr Lolly. You can earn
lots of lolly" it says. "Just the job for me, I love ice cream."
"And I fancy this one" said Slugger- "Artists require person two half days a week to hepl out in the studio. I love painting."
"Here's a job for me" said Steve, "A pizza place's just opened up in Tockwith, they want someone part time one or two days a
week. That'll be a change from burnt sausages and stew."
"And I fancy this job helping out in a sweet shop" said Dora. "I love chocolate."
"And I'll help out too" said the Colonel. "The local library want someone a few hours a week. I could read all the horsey books
in there. Right, we'll put all the wages we earn in this tin. Let's see how we get on."

                                                                           Two weeks later

The Colonel opened the tin. "Blimey" said Slugger, "There's only £2.50 in it. Better phone the police and tell Bert there's been a
robbery." "Nah, don't fink there's been a robbery" said Ron.
"Right" said the Colonel, "So tell me, how did you all get on?"

"I only lasted a day in the sweet shop" answered Dora. "It was fine until dinner time when all the schoolchildren rushed in. Then
it was pandemonium, pushing and shoving, there were hundreds and thousands of sweets all over the floor."
"Oh I think you're exaggerating a bit there Dora" said the Colonel."There couldn't possibly have been that many."
"No, Hundreds and Thousands is the name of a sweet" exclaimed Dora. "And then one little boy got a sweet jar stuck on his head."
"Good Lord" replied the Colonel, "Did you phone the fire brigade?"
"No" she replied, there was some W.D.40 in a drawer the owner had used to lubricate the door hinges, so I sprayed his forehead
with that. It worked, the jar came off, his head was a mass of sticky jelly beans and oil. I cleaned him up best I could and told him
to tell his mum it was brylcream on his head."
"Did she believe him?" asked Steve.
"Hardly," replied Dora. "She walked through the door just as I was untangling a sort of rainbow coloured mush from his hair. She
clipped him round the ear and then slipped on the messy floor. She spun round and sort of pirouetted on one foot, and, arms
flailing, demolished two jars of fizz bombs, a jar of flying saucers and three jars of gobstoppers. And a jar of sherbet tipped all
over the little boys head and stuck to his greasy hair. All the other children were dibbing their fingers in it.  The manager who was
out the back heard the commotion and came rushing into the shop. Unfortunately  he didn't see the floor was covered in
gobstoppers. He skated across the room, then whizzed past us screaming before crashing into the display stand near the
entrance to the store. He lay there, covered in jelly bones, gummy gold bears, juicy lips, pear drops and sugar candy.
What a mess. So that job was short and sweet."

"I didn't fare much better" said Steve." That job at the Pizza place was walking round with a sandwich board."
"'Ere, I didn't know Pizza shops sold sandwiches" said Slugger.
"It's a board you hang round your neck" said Ron, "An advertising board, you dimwit."
"Anyhow" continued Steve, "I was walking down the street. I didn't see the council workmen had got a manhole cover up, I fell
down it, the sandwich board covered the hole. I was stuck  10ft down, people were walking over it. No one could hear me. One
old lady peered down at me between the board and the pavement."
"What did she say?" asked Dora.
"Typical workman. Skiving again. No wonder our rates are so high"
"How did you get out" said Dora.
"The workmen came back two hours later after their tea break" he said. "Blimey" said Ron, "They couldn't have been very thirsty then."
"Then when they did come back one of them looked down at me and said "Crikey mate, it's deep and black at the bottom."
"Yes" said a woman onlooker, " A bit like the pizza I've just eaten."
"So that was the end of that job then. What about you Slugs, how did you get on at the Artists Studio" said Steve.

"Terrible" he replied. "I had to pose in front of the other artists. Some of them were ladies."
"What's wrong with that?" asked the Colonel.
"I had to pose naked" replied Slugger.
"Flippin 'eck" said Ron.
"Yeah well, I kept me 'at on said Slugger." You wore your hat" exclaimed Steve. "Yers well, it was embarrasin'. There they were
with their thumbs and pencils sizing me up. Three of 'em had to put their glasses on. Trouble was me 'at kept fallin off, everyone
was laughing." "How could it keep falling off your head" asked Dora. "Oh it wern't on me 'ead" he replied.
"Good grief" said the Colonel.
"Well it was freezin' cold in there" said Slugger. "It went a funny colour and all shrivelled. I used me 'at to cover it up and keep it warm.
Mrs Carrie Oakey said if I gave her the measurements she'd knit me a cover for it."
"'Ere, ain't she the woman who goes round all the pubs singin" said Ron.
"Anyhow, it's better now" said Slugger. He took his sock off and put his foot on the table.
"There" he said, "Look, me big toes alright now.
I didn't do more than the one session."

"I loved my job" said Ron,"'Cept after the first day the gaffer said I'd eaten more ice-cream than I'd sold. And on the second day
I bumped into an old friend, Fred, who runs his own ice cream van called "Giuseppe's Genuine Italian Ice Cream."
We had a race through Tockwith town centre, 50m.p.h. Jingles going like mad, it was brilliant."
"'Ow can anyone do 50m.p.h. through Tockwith town centre" said Slugger.
"Only us and the police car that overtook us" replied Ron. "I tried to bribe 'im with a free Lolly Gobble Chock Bomb but it didn't work.
We both got a speeding fine and I got the sack."

"I didn't do much better though at the library" said the Colonel. "I bought a pair of new shoes for the occasion. Unfortunately
they squeaked. Everywhere I walked in the library it was squeak squeak squeak. Everyone kept pointing to the "Quiet Please"
sign. I could have done with your W.D.40 Dora. In the end I went outside for a smoke of my pipe. I came back in, I'd left the book
I was reading open on the table. I knocked my ash out of the pipe onto the book so I could tip it in the bin. However, the ash
was still hot. The book smoked, charred and then burst into flames. Luckily the chap sitting at the end of the table was reading a
book entitled "Safety in the workplace" and knew what to do. He grabbed the nearest fire estinguisher and fired it at the book.
What a mess, soggy foam everywhere and burnt paper and then, just as he was doing that, the fire alarm went off and the
sprinklers came on. We were all soaked. A bit of good news though, the foam stopped my shoes from squeaking. Three fire
engines arrived. A pity really because it was a good book I was reading."
"What was the name of the book?" said Dora.
"Blazing Saddles" replied the Colonel.

"So" said Steve, looking at the tin, "After all the deductions were taken out of our wages, that's all we've got."

"I'm afraid it's the end of Follyfoot" said the Colonel.

To be continued.........

Cut out the strong to help the weak

Offline pete.r.

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Re: Follyfoot. The final tears.
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2015, 06:15:59 PM »

"Crikey" said Ron reading the newspaper, after chucking out the situations vacant pages, "Someone says 'ere the world's going
to end on Sunday." "Blimey" exclaimed Slugger," better make a load of stew on Saturday then."
"'Ere Steve, maybe you'd like to walk round Tockwith with a sandwich board saying "The end of the world is nigh" said Ron, "Just
look out for manhole covers." "Yeah and for maniacs driving ice cream vans" replied Steve.
"How's it going to end then?" asked Dora.
"Oh unhappy days, it says 'ere the sun's going to burn itself out, Earth will be sucked into it and be cremated. A bit like your bacon and eggs Slugs" said Ron.
"For goodness sake" said the Colonel, "What're you ferreting about in the cupboard for Slugger?"
"I'm lookin' for me Nivea after burn lotion with Aloe Vera" he replied, "It's in 'ere somewhere."
"I think you'll find your sausages used it all up years ago" said Ron.

"Good grief" said the Colonel. "When you've quite finished with my newspaper Einstein, I'd rather like to do my crossword. Seeing
as there's only enough energy in the sun to last another five billion years perhaps I'd better get a move on with it."
"'Ere Colonel, do you think we ought to cancel next weeks papers then" said Slugger. "I give in" sighed the Colonel."
"What about Follyfoot Uncle," asked Dora.
"I'm afraid it's the end of the world for us" he replied. "We're bankrupt. The debt collectors are involved now. I'll have to sell
everything to pay what I owe. I'm sorry everyone."
"What about Daddy" said Dora. "He could help."
"Pru won't hear of it" replied the Colonel. "I don't think she'll shed any tears when we close, she's not a fan of Follyfoot."

Sunday arrived. "Got all the stew made then Slugs me old mate" said Ron.
"Nah I decided not to bovver" Slugger replied. "Seemed a waste of good food if no ones gonna eat it."
"No one eats it anyway" murmured Steve.
"Good food!" exclaimed Ron, "Good food! The only thing that's good about your food Slugs is that when you cook beans I can 'ave a
bubble bath after."

"Hello" said Callie walking in, "Is everyone alright."
"Nah" answered Slugger, "We're waiting for the end of the world. Well, according to the Colonels newspaper."
"Actually" replied Callie, "I've been studying history at school. According to Nostradamus the world will end soon. He made lots
of predictions that came true."
"Which newspaper does 'ee write for then" said Slugger." Does 'ee write with Russell Grant."
"No, he died in 1566" said Callie. "He predicted the Great Fire of London 100 years later in Pudding Lane."
"Yeah well, it was a safe bet one of them pies was gonna catch fire sooner or later" exclaimed Slugger.
"There speaks the voice of experience" answered Ron.
"And Johan Jacob Zimmerman also predicted the world would end in 1694." said Callie.
"Just goes to show, you can't believe everything you read" said Ron, "Although he did predict a walking frame would be invented
this century."

"I'm no good at history" said Slugger.
"You should be" replied Ron, "At your age you've seen most of it." "Tonight Haleys Comet's visible in the sky" said Callie, only
comes round about every 76 years."
"Blimey" said Ron, "That'll be about the third time you'll have seen it then Slugs."
"Slugger thinks that before the Iron Age people walked round with their clothes creased" grinned Steve. "Hey, that reminds me,
when you did the ironing this week Slugger, you put too much starch in my underpants, they came out stiff as a board."
"Blimey" said Ron, "That must have been uncomfortable for your..." "Willy Willens called at the farm this morning" said Dora, "I
think he was looking for you Ron."
"He was useless at school" said Ron, "Talk about thick. He couldn't do sums. He once failed a maths test ten times."
"Blimey" said Slugger.
"He just couldn't add up. After his seventh attempt he said to the teacher "Oh well, never mind, third time lucky."
"And was it" replied Slugger.

"Right, that's it" said Steve, "I've had enough of listening to this rubbish and drivel. I'm going to do something more interesting
like watching the grass grow."
"Oh deary deary me" replied Ron. Now look what you've done Callie, you've gone and upset our Steve."
"No need to get annoyed Steve" said the Colonel, puffing on his pipe. "I mean, if nothing happens today, it's not the end of the world
is it?" Steve stood and stared at them all. Then he turned and stormed out of the house. Dora followed.
"I'm going for a ride on Copper" she said. "I'll come with you" said Steve "I've had enough of this madhouse for one day."
"No, you stay here, I need to be on my own" replied Dora," I need to think about Follyfoot and what I'm going to do next."
"Poor Dora" said Slugger, as he watched her ride off through the window, "It's hitting her hard."

Dora went for a ride. After a while she came upon a lovely chestnut horse in a field. "Hello" she said, "You look sad. You look like
it's the end of the world."
"It is for her" said a voice. There was an old man leaning over the fence. "Oh hello" said Dora, "I didn't see you there."
"That's Hayley" said the man, "She belongs to me. She's lived in this field for the last twenty years" he said, "With her mate Comet."
"Where is Comet?" asked Dora.
"He passed away two months ago" said the man.
"Oh I'm sorry" said Dora. "She looks so sad. I run a farm that looks after horses called Follyfoot. Perhaps you'd like us to take her
in and look after her and give her some company."
"What, get Haley to leave this field where she's lived all her life with her friend and companion. You'd never get her to do that" he
said. "First thing she does in the morning is she leaves her little shed and looks in Comets shed to see if he's there.
Wonderful thing love. You realise that when you've lost it."
Dora looked thoughtful. Her mind went back to that afternoon years ago with Steve by the small lake. The man patted Hayley.

"Just a minute" said Dora. "Hayley......Comet"
"That's right" he replied. "I named them after Hayleys Comet. Amazing sight" he said. "Only appears every 76 years. I was a young
boy when I first saw it. And now he said.......And now it's due today....Sunday February 9th. 1986"
Haley whinnied and looked up at the sky.
"And she knows it too. Oh yes, she knows it too."

A pensive Dora set back for Follyfoot. It was a lovely day. The sun was shining. The birds were singing. It was quite mild for February.
The Colonel rushed out into the yard.
"Great news everyone he shouted. Great news. All's well with the world. I've just opened yesterdays post. The Inland Revenues
written. They made a mistake with working out my tax bill. I don't owe any money. Follyfoot's safe."
No one heard the news.
Suddenly the sky went black. Black as night. And it went cold. The birds stopped singing.
Then there was a bright flash of light. And a loud roar.

And then there was nothing.

To be continued.........

Cut out the strong to help the weak

Offline pete.r.

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Re: Follyfoot. The final tears.
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2015, 05:59:45 PM »

There were fire engines, police cars and ambulances everywhere. "I can't blieve it" said one of the firemen, "How could this farm have
been hit by a meteorite from a passing comet. It's impossible." The whole area was flattened and cordoned off. The Lightning Tree
lay there, blackened and smoking, its branches twisted. It had witnessed a terrifying disaster. Callie arrived on her pushbike. "I've just
heard the news" she said to one of the policeman." Is everyone safe.?" "I'm sorry" he replied, "We've found four bodies, they've all perished, they're unrecognisable. I'm so sorry, there's nothing anyone could have done, it was a freak accident. Accidents happen.
They wouldn'thave known a thing about it." "They were my best friends" she replied tearfully. "I was with them only this morning.
But there should be four people, the Colonel was stopping there all day today." "Then there's one missing" said the Chief Constable.

A small crowd had gathered. "I can't take it in" said Lady Carne. "The whole farm's been wiped out." The poor Colonel.
"So sorry" said Lord Beck to Callie, "Jolly nice people, wouldn't hurt a fly, what."
"Look" someone shouted, "Someone's coming."
A figure appeared walking down the track towards where the farm once stood.
"Steve" shouted Callie, "Steve, is that you?" "Ron, is that you" called out Mr Stryker. "I rather think it could be Dora" exclaimed Lord
Beck, "Jolly fine horsewoman." "Geoffrey, is it you" shouted Lady Carne. "It looks like Slugger to me" said Bert the policeman.
The figure got nearer and nearer, and then they recognised who it was.

"Ron! yelled Mr Stryker, "Ron, it's you. You're safe." He rushed forward and hugged his son.
"I heard the explosion in Tockwith" said Ron. "It fetched me off me bike, damaged the front wheel. Had to get the bus back. What's
happened?" "Follyfoot was hit by a meteorite" said the Chief Constable." I'm afraid there's no survivors. Good job you wern't at
the farm otherwise you would have been........Well, you wouldn't have had any chance."
"What were you doing in Tockwith" asked Mr Stryker.
"I had to go to the police station to pay a speeding fine that I got driving an ice cream van."
"A speeding fine driving an ice cream van" said his dad.
"It's a long story" said Ron. "It doesn't matter. Nothing matters anymore. Poor Slugs, Dora, Steve and the Colonel. It's Sunday,
isn't it? That bloke was right. It's the end of the world." "You were lucky" said a passing ambulance man, as the four bodies,
covered up, were carried on stretchers to waiting ambulances.
"Yeah" said Ron......."I lost all my friends. I lost my job. I lost the place I loved. Yeah......I was lucky."

                                                                       Two weeks later

Ron sat on the end of his bed, strumming his guitar. His dad walked in. "Here" he said, putting a newspaper on the blanket, "I know
you've had a bad couple of weeks but you'll have to think about getting a job eventually. It's got all the situations vacant in this
issue, don't suppose you've ever looked at them before. You never know, you might just find yourself a job. I remember buying
you that guitar fifteen years ago Ron, I don't think its ever had a decent tune played on it in its life, you were no Eric Clapton" he
said walking out of the door.

Ron glanced over at the newspaper. All of a sudden a chill swept across the room. Ron felt a shiver go through his body.
Suddenly the newspaper turned over pages on its own. It stopped open on the situations vacant page. Ron could visualise
everyone round the table choosing their jobs to try and help save Follyfoot, everyone laughing and joking together.
And then the newspaper turned over pages on its own again. It stopped open on another page. The headlines read "Meteorite
victims at farm buried yesterday." There was a picture of his four friends. "I should have been there" he murmered. "I should have
been there with them." Tears welled up in Rons eyes, then streamed down his face and dripped onto the guitar strings. And as
each tear dropped onto a string miraculously notes and chords started to play. It was beautiful music.
And Ron could hear voices. The voices of Angels singing.

Ron Strykers father found his sons body later that evening, still clothed, lying on the bed.
"He didn't come down for his supper doctor" he said. "He always comes down for his supper. I went to his room to fetch him and
found him lying there. I think he just gave up on life."
"Well there's no sign of a struggle or of him taking his own life. We'll have to get forensics in but I think you'll be proved right"
replied the doctor. "Funny thing is" said Mr Stryker, "There's no sign of his guitar. He loved it, this last fortnight he's not let it out
of his sight, he's took it everywhere he's gone, seems to have been a comforter to him".

Mr Stryker walked over to the window and looked at the cold dark winters night outside.
He looked up towards the Heavens, and just, for a brief moment, he thought he could hear Ron strumming his guitar.
Tears rolled down his cheeks.

And shooting stars fell from the sky and down to Earth.
As if the Angels were crying too.

                                                                                             THE END

Cut out the strong to help the weak