Farm, Travelling, Contagious: use these three words

Welcome back to the daily prompts. The fourth for this week.

Farm, Travelling, Contagious: use these three words

‘I hate visiting the farm.’ Josh stamped his foot, crossed his arms, and scowled his worst scowl. The one where he screwed up his whole face  – nose, eyes, teeth bared.

He’d been practising in the bathroom mirror, hoping it gave him a scary pirate type face to scare away the school bullies.

They’d laughed and told him they hoped whatever disease he had wasn’t contagious. As this was the second time Josh had come across this word, he looked it up on the family PC and decided if he ever truly did have a disease, that it would be one school bullies could catch and it would be fatal.

‘Tough.’ His mother, immune to scowls, folded a thick sweater and placed it on top of the heavy jeans in Josh’s case.

Josh tried another tack.

‘I get tired with all that travelling to get there,’ he moaned. ‘Why can’t we go to the beach instead?’

‘Too cold for the beach.’ A long-sleeved tee-shirt was added to the jeans and sweater.

Josh heaved a sigh which came all the way up from his stomach. He uncrossed his arms and felt his forehead with the back of his hand.

‘I’m hot,’ he said. ‘Probably coming down with something. Could be contagious.’

His mother snorted and turned to face him. ‘What is it you hate about the farm so suddenly? You used to love going there, helping Grandpa out with the animals, gobbling up Grandma’s roasts and puddings.’ She gently squeezed his skinny arm. ‘It’ll put some muscle on you.’

Josh shuffled his feet. It was true. Once. Now, to be honest, he was scared to go there.

He blurted it out. ‘Last time we were there, Grandpa was worried about a disease which meant he had to keep the hens in the barn. He said it’s contagious.’ He put his palms together, pleading. ‘I wouldn’t mind the bullies at school dying horrible deaths, but I don’t want to be the first one to go.’ 

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2 thoughts on “Farm, Travelling, Contagious: use these three words”

  1. For Simon, travelling had always been contagious, addictive. Barely had he finished one trip than he was already planning another.
    So much so that he wondered how he ever found the time to hold down a job. But, of course, without a job there would be no income – and hence no travelling. A Catch 22 situation, if ever there was one.
    However, this latest sojourn was to a farm. Not all that far, a couple of hours drive, and he would be driving through the gate.
    Simon couldn’t wait. He had read all about the farm on the Internet – cows, pigs, chickens, horses – the whole box and dice really.
    It belonged to his uncle Peter, his father’s younger brother, but for some reason he had never visited.
    Perhaps he had been too busy planning all those overseas trips to worry too much about a local destination – even if it did belong to the family.
    The sun shone brightly as he climbed behind the wheel of his car to start the journey and he happily sang along to songs on the radio as he ate up the miles.
    His uncle had owned the farm for many years and had built it up into a massive commercial concern that turned over millions of dollars every year.
    About 20 people helped Peter run the farm and his reputation as a successful businessman was legendary throughout the district.
    Simon couldn’t remember the last time he had seen his uncle. He thought it might have been for his 18th birthday – but he couldn’t be sure. At least 10 years, anyway.
    With about 50 kilometres to his destination, the countryside began to take on a different complexion – luxuriant green grass and gentle slopes leading to distant foothills.
    No wonder his uncle could run so much livestock, thought Simon, with luscious land like this to farm.
    About half an hour later he found himself at the ornate entrance to the farm – Sunny Hill Estate – and was perturbed to find a group of people gathered around someone lying on the ground. A saddled but riderless horse stood nearby, still breathing hard, restrained by a lone male.
    Simon climbed from his car. “What’s happened?” he asked.
    “It’s your uncle – he’s been thrown from his horse. We think his neck is broken.”

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