April’s Guest Storyteller, Gary Bonn
I live in Scotland, write books, short stories, edit other people’s books and … oh, wot? … this is harder than I thought.
I’m delighted to have had two books published, and there’re more on the way. I like to write in as many genres as I can. This is more or less down to my friends at WriterLot, who challenge me with, “Gary, you haven’t written from the point of view of a frog”, write a story named “The Girl, The Kite, And The Broken Gate” and, “How about a sweet little vampire story too?”.
I baulked at the last and wrote the book, “Expect Civilian Casualties” instead. Why write about vampires? It’s been done.
Actually, WriterLot is a laugh. The members ensure that a new piece of writing goes up every day. We’re always happy to include guest-writers’ pieces, so feel free to contact me through garybonn.com.
A big thanks to Sarah for inviting me to this blog!
Sarah says: You’re most welcome, Gary. It’s always a pleasure having you visit my blog and grace the place with your originality and wit. As for your story below — that wry take on the inefficiency of road maintenance in the UK (both North and South of the border) — all I can say is LOL! And so, a warning to fellow bloggers, do not read what follows while holding a beverage anywhere near your computer keyboard for fear of spillage.
Bill Wild is acting a little odd today. The lashing sleet rattles his hi-vis jacket, but utterly fails to wipe the smug grin from his face.
With the ease of many years’ experience, he winches the generator from the glistening road and secures it on the back of his lorry.
A passing car slows and the driver’s window slides down. The driver shouts to Bill, ‘Thank the bloody gods. How long have these roadworks been here?’
Bill, given more to economical truth than downright lies, shrugs and says, ‘It’s been a while, hasn’t it?’
The driver goes on, ‘But what did you actually do? I didn’t see anybody working all these months.’
Bill shrugs again. ‘Dunno. I’m just the bloke that puts up the traffic lights and sets the cones out.’
The driver, under pressure from traffic behind, moves off into a flurry of wet snow, tyres hissing and squelching in slush.
Bill collects the last of the cones, stashes them lovingly, even patting them and muttering his thanks, and climbs into the cab.
He shrugs off his jacket and takes a moment to enjoy the way the warning lights on his lorry sweep swathes of yellow light, gilding the dripping trees and banks of bracken.
He’s looking forward to the headline news tomorrow. All it needs is one anonymous call and some photos plastered over the internet.
As Bill revs the motor; the lorry trembles and shakes like a wet dog.
A woman, half-hidden behind the wind-whipped foliage at the side of the road, lowers her camera; a mute witness of Bill’s triumph.
He says to his phone, ‘Call the headquarters of “For No Good Reason”.’
As he pulls away for the last time, a woman’s voice comes through the speakers. ‘Mr Wild, we are honoured to receive you into the ranks of the élite. A year and a day. Well, well, who’d have thought no one would question why roadworks sat there so long without anyone actually working? You are our first official Year And A Day member.’
Bill replies, ‘Thank you, Mary. But there’s more to this day, for me, than my becoming an élite. No way will Mac be able to top this. It’s a double victory for me. We had a bet on.’
‘You had a bet with Mac? That’s courageous.’
‘The loser gives all his traffic equipment to the winner. He can’t afford new stuff. He’s a goner.’ He smirks, cuts the connection, and turns the radio on.
After the booms of Big Ben, come the headlines.
‘The Queen’s Flight, carrying members of the Royal Family on their way to Balmoral, has been forced to divert to the only other open airport in the British Isles, Dublin. Prestwick Airport has been closed due to the inexplicable, overnight appearance of roadworks on the main runway.’