The Iron Writer Weekend Quickie #30


The Iron Writer Weekend Quickie #30

One Picture

One Element

One Emotion

200 Words

A Hidden Trap Door

A Feeling of Incongruity

Lavender (the plant)

Please add your story in the comments below.

10 thoughts on “The Iron Writer Weekend Quickie #30

  1. Gates Manor has become something of legend to the neighborhood kids. They believe it to be everything from haunted to cursed to loaded with treasure. Every so often, kids get into Gates Manor and go exploring.

    “Hey Davey, what’s that word for when stuff is not quite right, like out of place or something?”


    “Yeah, that.”

    “Why do you ask?”

    Pete pointed at the floor in the corner.

    Davey looked in the corner, a dusty Persian rug lay at an odd angle. It was, as Pete pointed out, an incongruity. Davey walked over and looked at the rug. It depicted wild lavender fronds forming ornate interweaving patterns. The complex design would’ve effectively hidden the bumps beneath it, were it not for the thick layer of dust obscuring the patterns.

    “Something is under there. Give me a hand.”

    Pete came over and helped Davey roll back the large rug. Beneath they discovered a trap door built into the manor’s flooring. The two brothers looked at each other with wide eyes.

    “You think that’s where the treasure is Davey?”

    “Let’s find out.”

    Gates Manor has a well-earned reputation you see. Kids sometimes go in, but they don’t always come back out.

  2. Shaw waited for the doctor to come down from the bedroom. It was a simple case, only paperwork needed for this one. The constable had driven him over from the station.
    “There’s something wrong with this picture.”
    “What, this picture, sir?”
    The constable pointed to the Brueghel hanging on the wall.
    “No, the whole picture, the hallway. There’s something not right here.”
    The doctor walked down the large staircase, holding onto the polished oak rail at every step.
    “Well, I’m all done here, Inspector. Died in her sleep, the poor thing.”
    “Okay, Doc. I’ll put that in my report. Could you come and look at this, please?”
    They stood there, all three, looking at the large staircase from the front door.
    “Sorry, Inspector, but what are we looking at?”‘
    “I have a feeling of incongruity about all this, the placing of the furniture, the carpets. And all that lavender?”
    “Yes, she loved lavender, dear poor old Mrs. Mibbley, God rest her soul. Did a lot of flower arranging for the church. Always used lavender.”
    Shaw bent down and removed the Persian rugs to reveal a trapdoor.
    “So, did Mrs. Mibbley like a little something extra with her tea and biscuits?”

  3. Everyone was there; Amanda, Jordan, Susann, Michael, Mamie, Ian, Tannis, Maureene, and several other Iron Writers; about 12 of us in all. Some heated discussion was taking place amongst us concerning this idea to collect all the winning challenge entries from last year, publish them in an anthology, and use the proceeds to fund prizes.

    We all stood around in a semi circle at the foot of the stairs in Brian’s house. The inspector cleared his throat and stepped in front of the motley crew. “Attention people! People, PLEASE!” The police chief bent over and took hold of the carpet at the foot of the stairs and threw it back revealing a hidden door recessed into the floor. A few gasps arose from the crowd.

    The inspector stepped nearer the door, and grasped the pull ring. No sooner had he cracked it open, but the fragrance of lavender filled the air.

    I blurted out, “WAIT! Listen to me! He was using my hard work au gratis, and then charging me to see my own creation in print! There’s something wrong about that!”

    The inspector lifted the door, revealing Brian’s body covered in lavender to mask the smell.

    Amanda quipped, “RICHARD, he was teasing you!”

    “Oh …”

  4. ‘The bell tower is twelfth,’ the Anglican priest said, ‘the nave thirteenth, but extensively renovated in the nineteenth.’ He waved at the Victorian glass and the churchyard replete with its Yew trees, lavender and lilac bushes.

    He reached down to pull the covering carpets further back.

    ‘We found it recently,’ he said, ‘but it was listed as a treasure in the seventeenth century during the Civil War. Hidden in the crypt.’

    The expert bent down. ‘Persian, no doubt,’ he said, fingering its edge. ‘Re-hemmed, more’s the pity.’ He glanced up at the priest. ‘The Victorians couldn’t leave well enough alone.’ He patted the folded back rug. ‘Much more recent.’

    The priest nodded. ‘Donated after the Great War.’ He grimaced. ‘It was deemed better not to ask where they came from.’ He almost nudged the older rug underneath with a well-shod foot that emerged from under his cassock. ‘But…this one?’

    ‘You’re asking its worth?’ the expert asked.

    The priest nodded, sweat breaking out on his brow, aware of the incongruity of a priest caring about money.

    ‘A Persian rug of this antiquity? A hundred thou at least, give or take.’

    The priest closed his eyes. ‘Thank God. More than enough to save the bell tower.’

  5. Öffnen die Tür!”

    Günter stood behind his superior and waited, straining against the silence. This home was the tenth one today and it wasn’t even noon. He was so tired of it all… The violence. The bloodshed. The looks of horror on faces young and old. Mothers begging for the lives of their babies but none were spared no matter how long they begged on their knees with hands clasped together in supplication.

    No answer.

    The superior kicked in the door and rushed inside gun at the ready to meet enemies of the Reich.

    Silence greeted them. The room was small and dusty with little furniture. There was a small table holding a small lavender plant by the window. Underneath lay a once beautiful rug well worn. Günter narrowed his eyes in concentration. .. something was off. His eyes searched the room and landed on the rug. What is. .?

    Hinges. His breathing stopped and he had just a moment to decide. He moved over to the table and stood in front of it his boot covering the evidence of life. Endless moments passed.

    “Hier gibt es nichts”

    He sighed in relief and followed the men out closing the door behind him.

    • Thank you, thank you, thank you for standing on the side of compassion and grace! I believe with all my heart that these things actually happened.

      • Thank you Richard – I believe so as well. There had to be some that were caught up in the idea at first but soon realized all it entailed; possibly not strong enough to face death by disagreeing but strong enough to look away when faced with situations like above,

  6. A Lucky Find
    Danielle Lee Zwissler
    One night, as luck would have it, my wife had spilled wine on the old carpet in our library. We had an old house with tall book cases, and old drapery. We put my desk in that room, and filled the room with some of the finest literature. We hung out there every night, a drink of wine would usually accompany us, along with some classical music. It was a place where we’d talk about our day.
    The stain wouldn’t come out, and I decided that even though the old carpet was nice, it wouldn’t look good with a big red splotch. Victoria was heartbroken, and I was only slightly disheartened. Until I saw what was underneath.
    There, in the floorboards, under the carpet padding, was a doorway. Victoria and I exchanged glances and then searched for our flashlights. It didn’t take us long, and we were soon down underneath the floor, and into a secret storage room.
    Had she not had that glass of wine, we would probably never have discovered it!
    Old works of Shakespeare, beautiful handwritten books of poetry, and cases of the old Daily Jeffersonian! It was like hitting the jackpot.
    Since then, I’ve improved my writing by reading the old works and findings from under the floor, and I found that I could add a rich history to many of the old stories in the newspaper as well as the obituaries. I was also able to look up old classmates from the man years of yearbooks and other news clippings that were so greatly preserved.

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