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Rated: E · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2220804
A ploughman's surprise.
Mordecai’s Problem

Old Mordecai stood up slowly, brushing the dirt from his hands. The westering sun had kissed the tops of the trees forming Aldeburgh Wood and the light was beginning to fade towards dusk. It had been a hard day’s work and now it was time for the farmer to return to his tied cottage and the rest from his labours it promised.

With practised hands, he unhitched Dobbins the horse from the plough and they made their way over the furrows towards the gate that led into the lane. “Home again, home again, eh Dobbs,” said Mordecai as they began the long walk to the cottage.

Overhead, rooks were massing in their overnight trees, squabbling over the best places, and the sky faded to the colours of evening. Mordecai’s muttered comments were swallowed by the sound of Dobbins' hooves on the hard earth of the lane. Another day in the eternal round was behind them.

It was dark when they arrived at the cottage and, when Dobbs was ensconced in his stable with a full manger of fresh hay, Mordecai was very ready to enjoy relaxing at last. He pushed open the door to his home and entered the dim interior, lit only by rush lamps on the walls. The sound of weeping greeted him.

Mordecai’s wife, Henrietta, was sobbing into her arms as they rested on the kitchen table. The old farmer moved to sit beside her and embraced her shoulders.

“What is it me dear? What ails thee that you lament thus?”

Henrietta raised her head to gaze at him through wet and reddened eyes. “Oh, Mordecai,” she gasped, “The TV is broken.”

Mordecai shook his head in exasperation. “Don’t be silly, dear. The TV won’t be invented for hundreds of years yet.”

Word Count: 295
For Daily Flash Fiction 5/1/20
Prompt: 300 words including the line “The TV is broken.”

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