This is the first section of the newest segment in my WIP series, Fetch. I was going to put it into the first book, The Ballad of Gerry Clifford, but then decided it would fit better into Gerry's son Daniel's story, and I don't know what number in the series that one will be.
The entire segment is 3000 words. I used multiple prompts, a list of which can be found following the segment.
The entire segment can be purchased from LBRY for 15 LBC (approximately 45 cents). Next week, you may be able to read the story free on my Reedsy profile. This will depend on whether or not they accept the story, but they usually do.
The late morning was clear and crisp as Sawyer Roth stepped out of the travel hostel. Suddenly, an overpowering smell of roses assailed his nostrils, followed by a taste like sour milk. He clasped his hands over his mouth. After all, it wouldn’t do for a civilized man to vomit on the street in the sight of the good folk out for a cool lunchtime stroll.
Sawyer hurried to the lavatory. After many miserable moments of seemingly endless sickness spewing from deep within him, he collapsed against the toilet, trying to bring the dry heaves under control. A halo began to form around his vision, and Sawyer knew that a skull-splitting headache would follow as it had every time since the first moment that he had breathed in the cloying scent of roses at five years old.
Sawyer explained to the sweet hostel-keeper that he was experiencing a migraine headache and wondered if she could provide him with a private room where he could pull the curtains and ride it out. He promised that he would pay extra, but the grandmotherly Desideria Ferrari wouldn’t hear of it. She rang for her assistant to take over at the desk, then hustled Sawyer into the rickety elevator and took him to a cozy little flat on the fourth floor.
“I have this room ready for my grandchildren when they come visit,” Signora Ferrari explained. “You call if anything you need, Signore. Tea, food, I fix for you. Ay, povoretto! The migraine headaches are un fardello terribile. I pray you rest well and dream them away. Nel nome del padre e del figlio e dello spirito santo. Amen.”
“Grazie Signora,” Sawyer responded, grimacing. “Perhaps you could bring me a glass of water so I can take my medicine and I would appreciate if you might fix me a pot of weak tea and leave it for me to drink throughout the day. Molte grazie per la vostra gentilezza.”
Desideria brought Sawyer some water and he swallowed his tablets.
“Rubbish setback this is,” he sighed. “I’ve not been back to jolly old Crouch End since I left at eighteen. Hopefully, this is the nadir of this trip. I wished to be off to the London museum to see that glorious new Renaissance art display. Well, I’ve had to inure these rotten headaches putting a dent in me best-laid plans from the time I was a knee-high nipper so it’s not as if it’s taken me by surprise.”
“Eh, the art has been around since the Renaissance, no? It will be there tomorrow or the next day. You rest now, dolce figlio di Dio.”
The touch of the kindly old woman’s fingers on his temples soothed Sawyer, and he drifted off to sleep. She pulled the door closed quietly and made the sign of the cross before leaving.
The Cerenarian Sea is part of H.P. Lovecraft’s Dreamlands. It appears in his story Celephais, first publication The Rainbow, May 1922.
“Seventeen” is a power-pop song released in 1988 by Winger.
The line “I like my girls a little bit older” comes from the song “Your Love,” released in 1986 by The Outfield.
Strong Setback Milk Cool Deep Inure- to grow accustomed to something undesirable Nadir- the lowest point Man Hands Sight Touch Lover
For today's prompt, have something unexpected and uncontrollable happen.
Write about a character who smells something familiar and is instantly taken back to the first moment they smelled it.
This piece was submitted to https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/ on 27 September 2020 for the above prompt. It was also inspired by the following prompt.
Write about a character who’s obsessed with an era they never lived through.
Povoretto = poor fellow
un fardello terribile = a terrible burden
Nel nome del padre e del figlio e dello spirito santo. = in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit
Molte grazie per la vostra gentilezza. = many thanks for your kindness
Been there, done that. Refuse to wear the t-shirt.
Your usual intriguing snippet. Thank you.