Poppies and Pants

Dear reader,

The writing prompts for this story were; a telephone, poppies and pink underwear.

This story is again written for my 11yr old and I think I might turn it into something longer, it feels like it could go that way.




Jake knew he was growing up when his parents told him that he could have a telephone in his room. He was beyond excited about this prospect and planned how he would spend time after school phoning his friends for a chat. His parents didn’t understand why he would need to speak to his mates when he’d spent all day with them, but they didn’t usually understand much anyway.

Jake planned to have one of those walk-around phones and to laze on his bed, feet in the air, propped against his wall while he chatted about Minecraft or his summer holiday plans with his besties. His excitement grew as the electrician arrived to fit the telephone socket, this was a sure sign that his parents were serious, even if the electrician was uncle Dave with his butt crack showing.

Day after day he came home to a room devoid of telecommunication devices. He asked his parents how much longer he had to wait but they didn’t give him a straight answer, only that they were going to grandad’s on Sunday and they would sort it out after that.

Jake hated going to his grandad’s, it smelled funny and was so boring. He had an ancient TV that was the size of a small car which only had five channels so there was never anything to watch. He wasn’t allowed to go out and join in the post-dinner 5-a-side match on the green because they were there to see grandad, but all they did was sit there, drink tea and listen to the rhythmic ticking of the dusty grandfather clock in the hallway and chatted about the olden days.

His grandad would sometimes speak to Jake but it was usually prefixed with “when I was a lad” or “you don’t know how lucky you are young man”. Jake didn’t think he was lucky, all his friends had more stuff than him, but he was getting a phone in his bedroom with his own telephone number and none of his friends had one of them.

This Sunday, as usual, Jake got bored of the tea chitchat after 20mins and set off on a tour of the house. His grandad’s stuff was so old, he never seemed to buy anything new, even his house was ancient. It was always dark in the inner rooms, the windows didn’t seem to let enough light in even though they were taller than Jake. The carpets had thinned with age and were varying shades of brown and red around the edges which Jake supposed were the original colours of the now worn carpet. Jake wandered into what his grandad called the drawing room (he didn’t know why since he obviously never drew anything), there was a dark wood upright piano against the far wall. It seemed to be there as a home for the collection of nicknacks sat on top of it, he’d never heard his grandad playing, he wasn’t sure if he knew how. The piano had two candlestick holders on it which seemed odd to jake but he’d heard his parents talk about the ‘good old days’ when there was no electricity and families spent quality time together. He couldn’t think of anything good about having no TV or microwave to cook his popcorn.

Looking out of the window into the back yard, Jake had an urge to go in the shed down the garden. He’d never bothered to explore this before but since his parents were only half way down their teapot he thought it would kill a bit more time. The back door was unlocked so he started off down the concrete path that lead to the shed. It must have been a while since his grandad had been out here, he’d only ever really seem him in the living room drinking tea.

Jake was surprised to see that the shed was actually more of an outhouse when he got down there, it was brick built but painted brown which had made him think it was made of wood. It had a small window with a thin white frame which was so high up that Jake couldn’t see through it, even on tiptoes. The door was not a typical shed door, it looked more like a regular front door but it had three key holes for three locks, Jake thought this security was a bit excessive for a lawnmower. He tried the door expecting it to be locked but to his surprise it wasn’t. He pushed it open no more than 10cm and leaned his cheek against the door to peek inside. It was too dark to see anything clearly and nothing had jumped out at him so he pushed the door open a bit more for a better look inside.

The light from behind him inched its way into the shed as he slowly opened the door, leaving a dark void where his body was casting a Jake-shaped shadow. He didn’t know what he was expecting to find in the shed but it wasn’t what was now in front of him. On one wall of the shed was what appeared to be a desk covered in dials and displays. There was a large metal microphone with a set of headphones balanced on top of it and an old leather chair pushed underneath. There was a large map of the world on the wall above the desk with dozens of small coloured flags pinned into several countries, each flag had some writing on it but he couldn’t see what in the dim light of the shed. The desk had a large, black, old fashioned telephone sat near the microphone and a notepad and pencil sat neatly next to it.

Looking around the room, jake wondered what all the equipment was for, it reminded him of a radio station but without any iPod docks. When he turned to look behind him at the wall with the small window on it, he was amazed to see that it was covered in red poppies. There were hundreds of them, all stuck into green foam on the walls. Jake thought this was very strange decoration to have in a shed but he couldn’t take his eyes off of them. There was something surreal about the poppies’ presence in the room. They were in perfectly straight lines across the wall, not one was out of place. Jake had the feeling that he shouldn’t be there after all and he left the shed, closed the door and hurried back to the house.

When he entered the living room, the tea had been drunk and his parents were getting ready to leave. Jake’s grandad was talking about his adventures again, he never got to leave without hearing a story about the war. Jake didn’t think his grandad was old enough to have so many tales to tell but he always had a new one. This one was about a dog wearing pink underwear, walking down the street. Jake thought his grandad might actually be going a bit mad.

When they got home, Jake realised his dad was carrying a box.

“What’s in there dad?”

“It’s your telephone” replied his dad.

Jake was too excited to wonder why the box was so big, he bounded up the stairs to clear the perfect spot on his desk for it. When his dad set the box down and opened it he was disappointed to see him remove an old telephone identical to the one he had seen in his grandad’s shed.

“What the hell is that?” Demanded jake.

“It’s your telephone” Answered his dad.

“It looks like it should be in a museum, why didn’t you get me a normal phone?”

“Your grandad gave it to you as a gift and said he hopes it gives you as much happiness as it gave him” explained dad as he plugged the cable into the new socket.

Jake wondered what that was supposed to mean as his dad left with the empty box, he would be much happier if he had the walk-around phone he wanted. He picked up the receiver and held it to his ear, the familiar sounding dialling tone was there so at least it would work until he could get a better one. He attempted to dial a familiar number on the alien dial where the push buttons should have been. He watched as the dial turned under his finger and then returned to its original position when he let it go. He kept watching as he spun the disk with each of the numbers he dialled. On the next number, the dial stuck and he couldn’t get it to turn.

He sighed in annoyance and got up to tell his dad that he wanted a new phone and realised that he wasn’t in his room, in fact, he wasn’t even in his own house. He was in his grandad’s shed.

“Ah, Jake,there you I are. I’ve been waiting for you” said his grandad.

…. To be continued


Thank you for reading my story.

If you enjoyed it or even if you didn’t, please remember to comment and vote. Your feedback will help me to improve my writing technique and I will love you forever! (*I made that bit up*)

6 Responses to Poppies and Pants

  1. !shita says:

    Omg!!! What happens next!!! :O


  2. Pingback: That’s not Writing, That’s Typing! | Musings from a Novice Writer

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