Stream of Consciousness Wednesday: The Accumulator, part forty six.

Off we go again, for another (very late) paddle in the shallows of SoCS, fishing for the next installment of this story, using Linda G Hill‘s prompt as bait;

” “well.” Use it any way you like. “

Is that all? Ok then…

The Accumulator, part forty six.

Scene: Interior of The Department hit squad’s car. Patrick is driving, with Carlisle beside him and Adam in the back seat with the bound and gagged squad leader.

It is just after dawn, there is a light mist in the air and our view into the car is from a rear-facing camera mounted on the bonnet.

As Patrick drives slowly along a wooded track, we watch him through moving reflections of lush green foliage, trailing tendrils of ivy and a canopy of tall trees, all of which are stretched by the curve of the windscreen as they arc overhead.

Then the camera begins to rotate, moving smoothly through a hundred and eighty degrees until it faces forward, just as the track opens out to reveal a circular clearing in the trees and the car slows to a stop, engine idling.

Directly ahead of us is a narrow wooden stile, partially hidden by the overgrown beech hedge into which it is built and the silvery timbers of the fence and its rough steps seem to be the only other exit from the clearing.

The engine dies and we hear car doors opening and closing, the silence of the morning only broken by a few early birds and the sound of wind in the trees.

Patrick and Carlisle appear on either side of the screen as they walk round in front of the car; they move cautiously towards the stile, each of them training a salvaged Department pistol on the dark gap in the hedge as they advance.

They take up position on each side of the opening and Patrick looks back towards us and nods, obviously to Adam, as we cut to

A wider angle shot, taking in the whole scene, including the car; we see Adam, pushing the barely-conscious Department man ahead of him, holding on to his shoulder to prevent him from falling as he staggers across the uneven grass of the clearing.

They reach the hedge and Adam looks at Patrick, keeping the former squad leader between him and any unseen threat in the darkened woods beyond, then pushes his prisoner forward.

“Climb.”

The man grunts through his gag, tries to twist his head round to look at Adam and receives a swift crack on the head with a gun for his trouble.

“I said climb, shithead.”

“Mmrghhow!”

“Right, do as you’re fucking told then.”

The man puts his right foot on the first of the two wooden steps on this side of the stile and Adam supports his weight as he climbs up, swinging his left leg over to straddle the fence.

“Ok, look at me.”

The man turns a baleful glare on Adam.

“Oh, you can look as pissed off as you like, but I just want you to know that I’ll shoot you if you even look like you’re going to make a run for it. Believe me?”

After a short hesitation the man nods and Adam continues.

“You are going to climb over and walk two paces forward, then you’re going to lie face down on the ground and stay the fuck there until one of us tells you different. Ok?”

Another sullen nod and the man awkwardly climbs down into the dark, drops onto the woodland floor with a rustle and snap of breaking twigs and waits in silence to see what comes next.

Carlisle looks at the other two with a grin.

“He didn’t get blown to pieces, that’s something, I suppose. Unless they have the place staked out, of course, in which case we’re screwed anyway.”

“Only one way to find out…”

Patrick takes a step back and levels his gun at the gap above the fence.

“…After you.”

Carlisle shrugs and disappears into the dark. Adam goes over next, Patrick takes a final look at the car which blocks the mouth of the narrow track, digs the keys out of his pocket and throws them as far as he can into the trees, then he too vanishes and before long, silence returns to the woods.

*****

Scene: A derelict farmhouse, roof mostly missing, windows smashed, evidence of old fire damage on one end. Outbuildings scattered around an overgrown yard in a similar state of disrepair; an old well, winch and bucket still intact, stone wall crumbling, stands alone in a corner. The rising sun is just beginning to burn off the early morning mist.

A slow pan of the perimeter reveals a broken gate and collapsed fencing, doing little to deter trespassers, should anyone think it worth the trouble, but it seems nobody has been here for years.

Movement on the left draws our attention to four figures emerging from the treeline by the farm gate, one of them being pushed ahead of the other three, hands tied behind him, a gag over his mouth.

We now cut to a close tracking shot of the four men, as they arrive at the dilapidated gate and drag it, screeching, out of the way, making their way carefully across the yard, scanning the surrounding buildings for danger.

“Wait a minute.”

Patrick stops and turns to the Department man, staring at him for a moment before reaching up and loosening the gag. The man stares back at him, maintaining eye contact as he spits on the ground at Patrick’s feet.

“Right, you’re on. Where to now?”

The man jerks his head towards the well.

“Over there, there’s a hatch.”

“Don’t go giving too much away, will you.”

Standing behind him, Adam gives him another friendly tap on the head with his pistol.

“Ow! Fuck you! Ok, ok! Jesus, alright…There’s a hatch at the bottom of the well, ok? There’s a ladder down the side, but you need a code.”

Patrick looks over at the well.

“And you have the code, correct?”

A pause.

Adam leans forward and speaks quietly, his lips an inch from the man’s ear.

“Answer the man. Ooh, and here’s a little clue; the answer is ‘Yes, sir, Patrick”, in case you were thinking of being a hero.”

“I have it.”

Adam laughs.

“Oh you little rebel. But that’ll do, I’ll let you off with that.”

“You believe him?”

Adam looks at Patrick, then at Carlisle.

“You know anything about this?”

Carlisle shakes his head.

“Nope. Mind you, I’ve been out of the loop a long time and they never tell plebs like me stuff we don’t need to know. Sounds like their style, though, they love all that Man From U.N.C.L.E. bullshit.”

“No problem, we have a volunteer here, don’t we, Mr Black Ops?”

Adam leads the Department man over to the well, pulls out a knife and prepares to cut his hands free.

“Hang on, how do we know he’s not going to just go down there and hit the alarm?”

Adam gives their unwilling accomplice an appraising look. Then he looks around the weed-choked yard until he sees something in the long grass and walks over to pick it up. He stands up holding a rusted milk churn, which he places on a low wall about twenty feet away. When he comes back to the well, he smiles and nods to the rusty metal cylinder.

“Since you were already in dreamland when your buddy got splattered, back at the house, I think you’ll benefit from a demo, watch this…”

Adam stretches out one hand and, with the merest flick of his fingers and a tinkling, tearing noise, the churn is transformed into a cloud of metallic splinters and vanished.

Straight away, Adam can see the message has got through; the man has gone a deathly shade of white and he appears to have trouble catching his breath.

“Yes, your colleague was liquefied, so unless you’d like to see what it’s like to go through the blender, I suggest you don’t try anything. I’ll be right up here, looking down on you to make sure you behave, so you’d better be very careful not to make me suspicious, I have a bit of a hair trigger.”

“Alright, stop showing off, are we ready to do this?”

“Just say the word, boss.”

Patrick gives him a look that says “Fuck you”, beckons Carlisle over to join them and they all watch the man The Department sent to kill them climb over the low wall and descend into the gloom.

************

To be continued using (next week’s prompt)…

Pingback to Linda G Hill.

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K’lee and Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge.

It’s time for another interactive episode of K’lee and Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge, for which I chose this week’s theme; Looking down.

I didn’t have anything specific in mind when I set the prompt on Friday, so yesterday I took a stroll round the park to seek inspiration.

I found myself looking down from the iron bridge that crosses the river; just in time to catch a canoeist paddling by.

Then, walking back, I looked down through the trees from a raised path at the end of the park, which used to form part of the old railway embankment. There I found steps, descending tunnels of trees and views of the woods down the steep sided bank, dappled in Autumn sunshine.

K’lee’s beautiful photos are HERE, but where are yours, let’s have a look..?

*****

To get involved with the challenge, post a photo to your blog on Monday, add a pingback to this post (or to K’lee’s) and don’t forget to tag your post #CosPhoChal.
Alternatively, add a link to your blog in the comments of either mine or K’lee’s post and we’ll come and check out your entry.

Any and all effects, editing, Photoshop, Instagram, morphing, collages or whatever other post production techniques you fancy are permitted, (in fact, they’re actively encouraged!) so get creative and turn your photos into artworks for the Cosmic Photo Challenge.

#CosPhoChal

Cosmic Photo prompt.

Good afternoon and welcome to the weekend; the time that K’lee and Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge hands out its regular prompts.

Today it’s my turn to pick the theme and, after I failed to capture any original material last week for K’lee’s Harvest Moon prompt, I thought I’d pick something a little less specific; Looking down.

Yes, that’s it, simple as that.

I don’t mind what you are looking down at, or from, just that you are pointing your trusty lens as straight down as you can, (although anything at an obviously downward angle is perfectly fine) which gives you a whole world of possibilities to explore for Monday’s post.

*****

To get involved with the challenge, post a photo to your blog on Monday, add a pingback to this post (or to K’lee’s) and don’t forget to tag your post #CosPhoChal.

Alternatively, add a link to your blog in the comments of either mine or K’lee’s post and we’ll come and check out your entry.

Any and all effects, editing, Photoshop, Instagram, morphing, collages or whatever other post production techniques you fancy are permitted, (in fact, they’re actively encouraged!) so get creative and turn your photos into artworks for the Cosmic Photo Challenge.

#CosPhoChal

K’lee and Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge.

Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of K’lee and Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge, which is prompted by K’lee’s theme of; Under the Harvest Moon.

I knew I was going to have trouble with this one, as I don’t have the technology for decent photos of the moon, but I did find an old shot which captures the feeling of a moonlit night, albeit at a resolution that could best be described as “interpretive”.

This was taken at the Weird Weekend in August 2013, so it’s not even a harvest moon although, given the occasion, it was suitably “eldritch”.

I’m sure K’lee came up with something way better than that, so check it out HERE.

Now, you bunch of luna-clicks, show us what you got…

*****

To get involved with the challenge, post a photo to your blog on Monday, add a pingback to this post (or to K’lee’s) and don’t forget to tag your post #CosPhoChal.
Alternatively, add a link to your blog in the comments of either mine or K’lee’s post and we’ll come and check out your entry.

Any and all effects, editing, Photoshop, Instagram, morphing, collages or whatever other post production techniques you fancy are permitted, (in fact, they’re actively encouraged!) so get creative and turn your photos into artworks for the Cosmic Photo Challenge.

#CosPhoChal

Stream of Consciousness Sunday: The Accumulator, part forty five.

Right, let’s get back into the swing of things and continue with this story, using Linda G Hill‘s SoCS prompt (provided by Joey from Joeyfully Stated while Linda is away, meeting her adoring fans on a book signing tour) which means that this week, our mission is to include;

” “save/safe” Use one or both. If you start and end with either of them, you’ll get bonus points. “

That doesn’t sound too difficult…

The Accumulator, part forty five.

Scene: Exterior of Carlisle’s safe house at night.

The unremarkable Victorian terraced house is immersed in the shadows, midway between two streetlights in a nondescript suburban residential road, the number, 42 is just visible against the peeling green paint of the front door, as the moon breaks through thickening banks of cloud.

Unlike many of its neighbours, which are warmly lit and occupied, have well-tended gardens and cars parked outside, no lights show in any of the widows of number 42, the tiny yard is untidy and overgrown and to the casual observer the house appears deserted.

However, this hasn’t deterred the four men in a car parked in front of the lockup garages just up the street, who are keeping a very close eye on it, indeed and the camera now focusses on them.

We watch from outside Carlisle’s house as the men climb out of the car, quietly close the doors and walk towards us. Stopping at the low wall and rusted iron gate which separates the house from the pavement, three pull guns from inside their identical black leather jackets and one swings a pump-action shotgun down from a shoulder strap.

The lead man nods to the others and they keep a watchful eye on the street as he steps forward and kneels in front of the door, places his gun on the step and takes a bunch of strange looking keys from a pocket. Selecting one, he quickly goes to work on the lock until there is an almost inaudible click and the door swings open.

*****

Now the director gets all creative again and we cut to…

Scene: A four way split-screen view of;
Carlisle – upstairs in the middle of the empty front bedroom, gun in one hand, phone in the other, eyes fixed on the screen;
Patrick – standing by the door in the kitchen, lit by the glow of a second mobile phone on the table, its screen showing a view of the hallway outside;
Adam – sitting on a wooden chair in the bathroom at the top of the stairs, facing the closed door, arms outstretched in front of him, an expression of concentration on his face.

The fourth view is of the front door from inside the house and, as the door silently swings open, the image expands to fill the lower half of the screen, as Carlisle, Patrick and Adam are shuffled into line at the top.

The leader, One, rises from the ground and, pistol held in front of him in an overly-dramatic, two-handed grip, sidles into the hallway. He sweeps the gun up the darkened staircase, back to the closed kitchen door ahead of him, then he slowly moves down the hall.

Two follows close behind and immediately takes up position by the door to the living room, on the left-hand side of the hallway.

Three creeps slowly up the stairs, shotgun swinging back and forth between the darkness ahead of him and the landing above, where the banister rail is silhouetted against moonlight coming in through a window in the back bedroom, the only room where the door is open (intentional, of course, designed by Carlisle to reduce the night vision of anyone climbing the stairs).

Closing the front door, Four watches Three get to the top of the stairs and flatten himself against the wall next to the bathroom door, then he follows and moves past him, bracing himself against the landing wall opposite the front bedroom.

We see all four men in position, the briefest of pauses, then;

One reaches for the kitchen door. He grips the handle in his left hand, raises his gun hand for a second, signalling Two to be ready, then brings it down sharply as he twists the handle and kicks open the door.

Two does the same at the living room; kicking open the door and moving inside fast, his silenced pistol spits rapid shots into the corners of the room, before he dives sideways, firing a final shot into the wall behind the door as it swings slowly shut.

Waiting at the top of the stairs for this cue, Three takes a step sideways and fires the shotgun at the centre of the bathroom door.

At the same time, Four lifts his right foot and kicks in the bedroom door. A burst of gunfire comes from inside, just as he fires into the darkness, but none of the rounds are aimed at him, so he takes a step into the room and looks down to see a mobile phone…

*****

On the top three screens, we see;

Carlisle – still staring at the phone screen, he watches as Two dives across the living room below him and tracks the movement with the gun in his other hand. As soon as Two stops moving, Carlisle fires half a dozen rounds straight through the floor as he throws the phone into the corner of the room and swings round to face Four, who looks in confusion at the phone’s cracked screen and, too late, sees movement from the corner of his eye. Carlisle puts a bullet between his eyes and he collapses.

We see Patrick, as he desperately grabs for the gun, after the door explodes inward and One follows it, he tries to jam his finger into the trigger guard and the weapon goes off, horribly loud in the enclosed space of the kitchen. He clamps his other hand on the man’s neck, forcing him round so they are face to face.

The gun goes off again, but their flailing sends the shot into the ceiling. Then Patrick hits One with a jolt of power and the man is thrown against the door behind him, falling heavily onto the kitchen counter and sliding to the linoleum floor unconscious.

Finally, Adam; sensing the man’s presence outside the bathroom, his eyes open and his hands snap upward, palms facing forward. A flash of silver ripples hits the door and goes through it in an unstoppable explosion of splintered, burning wood and molten lead from the man’s shotgun blast.

Three practically disintegrates in the lethal storm, (but only from the knees up, his feet and lower legs, boots intact, remain standing outside the door) just a few lumps of bone and shreds of material can be identified, after the cloud of blood clears and the beam of a flashlight cuts through the gloom from below.

Then Patrick’s voice, shaky but in control, for now.

“Jesus fucking Christ. Adam? You ok?”

“I’m ok, yes. Think I might have overcooked that one a bit.”

“A bit? Yeah, I’d say so.”

Carlisle steps out of the bedroom, reloading his pistol and looks at the devastation on the stairs.

“Bloody hell, Adam, you made sure of him, didn’t you? I’m fine, too, thanks for your concern, I’m touched, really I am. Now, did we manage to keep one alive?”

Patrick nods, his face pale and strained.

“Yes, the one in the kitchen is still breathing. I only gave him a small shock, but he’ll be out for a while yet.”

“Right, let’s get the fucker tied up and find their wheels, we can’t question him here after…this…”

Carlisle gestures around him at the gore-splattered walls and points to the pair of disembodied feet on the landing.

“You also better hope that poor sod wasn’t the driver, if the keys were in his pocket, we’re screwed, hahaha”

With that, Carlisle picks his way down the stairs past the worst of the carnage, mutters something about there being some rope under the sink and disappears into the kitchen.

Adam looks at Patrick and shrugs.

“He’s right, we’ve got to move, but I don’t think they had time to call for backup, do you? So for now, at least, I think we’re safe.”

************

To be continued (using next week’s prompt)…

Pingback to Linda G Hill.

Cosmic Photo prompt.

K’lee is at the helm for K’lee and Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge this week, so I had to wait until he posted last night, hence the late prompt.

But I now have your mission, should you decide to accept it and, depending on your local weather, it’s a good one; Under the Harvest Moon.

As simple (or not) as that.

Just provide us with some lunar loveliness for Monday’s post and you will have completed your Cosmic Challenge for the week.

*****

To get involved with the challenge, post a photo to your blog on Monday, add a pingback to this post (or to K’lee’s) and don’t forget to tag your post #CosPhoChal.
Alternatively, add a link to your blog in the comments of either mine or K’lee’s post and we’ll come and check out your entry.

Any and all effects, editing, Photoshop, Instagram, morphing, collages or whatever other post production techniques you fancy are permitted, (in fact, they’re actively encouraged!) so get creative and turn your photos into artworks for the Cosmic Photo Challenge.

#CosPhoChal

Rooms and pathways: An Autumn walk at RHS Rosemoor.

A tour of one of England’s finest gardens, reposted from my photography blog, Photo Sans Frontiers.

{So please click the link and check out the photos, as I’m trying to save space by posting picture heavy posts over there, thanks}

Photo Sans Frontiers

Having a week off work in October and a sunny day at the same time, well that was too good an opportunity to pass up; so today Rhonda and I took advantage of a free entry offer at RHS Rosemoor and, of course, I took plenty of photos.

The large, sprawling gardens are cleverly laid out in a series of themed spaces, obscured from each other by the use of hedges, trees and hard landscaping, using the curves and perspective of connecting paths to draw your eye onward to the next horticultural treat.

There’s something for every gardening taste; formal rose gardens and the geometric precision of tightly clipped fir hedges; vibrant colours of the hot garden and a glorious mixture of textures in the foliage garden; the walled kitchen garden and fragrant delights of the herb garden and, my personal favourite, the lush and beautiful lake area, with its…

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