The Jade Camel #1

Joey hunkered down in the corner of the heavily-graffitied bus shelter, trying to evade the spiny tentacles of the stiffening breeze blowing off the river Mersey and up the eponymous street that led from Otterspool Promenade onto the busy pavement-cracked main road.

Jealousy coiled its long yellow fingers around him, clutching at the frayed edges of his grungy army-surplus parka as he watched the rich folk in their fancy cars hurtling past him on their way back to the city, while a dull summer sun slipped slowly into the west, raising an ironic eyebrow and casting a rose-tinted light over the poverty-stricken suburbs and abandoned factories of the urban fringe.

Now fumbling his pockets for his last fag, Joey’s grubby nail-bitten fingers fell upon his latest treasure; a smile twitched about his lips, smoothing his habitual scowl and suggesting the possibility of a less desolate future for its twenty-something wearer. His latest jaunt down to the low-tide river, grubbing about among the detritus lodged in the sludgy mudflats, had yielded his best find yet.

He gripped the object tightly, a glimmer of hope kindling; he’d be popping around to visit Phil ‘The Fence’ tomorrow.

Perhaps, finally he’d hit the jackpot.

next episode


Written in response to two challenges:

Di of Pensitivity 101’s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge: JACKPOT, JAUNT, JEALOUSY
Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge’s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt: SHELTER

MORE SIXES HERE!

Photo credit: illustration from a book somewhere on my bookshelves which I cannot presently locate 😉

75 thoughts on “The Jade Camel #1

  1. A nice beginning, Chris, and one that points to another of your tales, methinks! Have your characters been chewing your ear again? 🙂 Looking forward to your next episode.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I was wondering if anyone would spot the reference. Well done, Tom! As for my characters, they’re always muttering in the background. It might not be exactly what they were after but he or she who shouts loudest is sure to get a part! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love it! It wasn’t until I read the prompts that I realized it is, in fact, only six sentences! One thing I like is how you show rather than tell us about his personality, as in “his grubby nail- bitten fingers” and his “habitual scowl”.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Loved these images, Chris.
    ‘the spiny tentacles of the stiffening breeze blowing off the river Mersey’
    ‘a dull summer sun slipped slowly into the west, raising an ironic eyebrow’
    My wife’s a Liverpudlian and I have visited there with her (including all the Beatles’ shrines). Up The Reds! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A Liverpool saga. Good one, Chris. I think I knew a few Joeys and Phil the ‘Fence’s in my inner city upbringing, and was even a bit Joey myself at times (though too early to say as your story is only on episode one)… but the working class vibe is there for sure. Also, the tale plays out like a late 80s/early 90s gritty music video… city boy, bus stop, no money, hope found in surprising ways maybe? Look forward to more!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. A new serial story! Excellento.

    Engaging (and accessible) character to open. Very good

    Urban underbelly setting.

    What else does a story in which the MC is both described (and we Readers informed of his personal world) with a seamless CV on the back of a thumb-bent pack of matches need when we’re treated to. line:
    …”grubby nail-bitten fingers fell upon his latest treasure; a smile twitched about his lips, smoothing his habitual scowl and suggesting the possibility of a less desolate future for its twenty-something wearer.

    Let the tale unfold.

    (Added bonus, as a student of serial story writing, will totally be taking notes)
    Note 2: leave installment on the promise of a mystery explored.

    cool

    Liked by 1 person

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