CAN I HAVE MY BALL BACK?

The chairs and table sat in the centre of the garden, with uplighters in either corner. Around the four flawlessly straight sides a selection of rare flowers and plants, all in symmetry.

The gardener snipped the last piece of grass with his lawn clippers. A smile spread across his face. He had taken the patch of poor quality soil and created perfect harmony.

He could hear the children playing nearby. The sound of a ball being kicked. He raised an eyebrow in disapproval at the thought of the lawn being trampled.

There was a louder kick. Looking up into the sun he watched in horror as the ball dropped over the wall. It cannoned off an uplighter, knocking it over, ricocheted into a plant pot that smashed, rolled across the rare and fragile Jamesia Americana, before settling on top of a miniature Chusan Palm.

After a moment the doorbell rang. He stormed to the door and flung it open, to be greeted by a small boy.

‘Please, sir. Can I have my ball back?’


photo-20170508154649843
Copyright Yarnspinner

Written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story in around 150 words, based on the weekly photo prompt. Thanks as always to the challenge host Priceless Joy. For more information visit HERE.

To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

55 responses to “CAN I HAVE MY BALL BACK?”

  1. Oh no! That poor gardener. I cringed in sympathy as I followed the ball’s trajectory. Your story goes perfectly with the picture.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I saw that picture my immediate thought was how can I mess up that perfect garden! Glad you liked it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. How easily a “perfect” garden is disturbed. Great story!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nicely planned garden and story. Well written,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very kind, thank you.

      Like

  4. Like a Hollywood film I expect a beautiful relationship to start. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the grumpy old man and the precocious kid!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. OHHH my! And what was the gardener’s response? 🙂 Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hopefully he calmed down 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Aww man! What a perfect garden to disturb!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, please don’t tell me that he yelled at the kid!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think he calmed down and they became friends…. Maybe!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. These things happen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When it’s your passion and hard work that is ruined though, you sometimes lose perspective.

      Like

  9. Oh my gosh how horrible! But how could you get mad at such a innocent looking face? LOL! Great story Iain!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks PJ, he won’t stay mad for long I’m sure!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Wonderful story. You know what I love about so many of your stories, Iain? Well, I mean, besides how well written and engaging they are. So many let the reader take the ending and add a little extra scene of their own. Which is kinda cool. Nice job here, I loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks John, very kind. I do try to leave the reader with something to think about.

      Like

  11. Goes on to prove that order always attracts chaos. Loved the characterization and build up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This reminds me of Mom. She used to hate those kids who used to ruin her perfect little garden.

      I think I have broken more windows than the roses in the bush LOL

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ha, I was the kid with the ball too 🙂

        Like

    2. Thank you, and thanks for the prompt – your garden?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No. This pic is from a resort deep in the jungles of Coorg in South India.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I enjoyed your description of the chaos.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. What a perfectly relatable story. Nice one, Lian.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Had a gardener neighbour as a kid. He would return all the balls that strayed into his garden… sliced perflecty in half.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ouch,a harsh lesson!

      Like

  15. We, sweet story. We have a house in our neighborhood like that where the guy is out there every day doing something in the yard. It’s gorgeous, but who has the time??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree,would love a tidy, beautiful garden, but just not enough days in the year to do it.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. humanity would be perfect if not for all the damn humans! great detailed story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true! Thanks.

      Like

  17. Interesting word – uplighters. Well done.

    Like

  18. The poor gardener! Although I couldn’t help but feel a smidgeon of sympathy for the boy. A humorous take on a very common situation. Let’s hope the boy got his ball without too much of a lecture.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A word of warning and a disapproving look – this time! Thanks Chris.

      Like

  19. Brought back some sweet childhood memories. Thanks for writing this.
    Best wishes,
    Moon
    https://aslifehappens60.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome and thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Great story, Iain, that brings back many memories. My brothers were always kicking their footballs over into neighbouring gardens when we were kids. For some reason I was always the one who ended up going round to ask for them back! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, I seem to remember getting my sister to do that too!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Great story. (I can recall a neighbor getting hostile with me when I simply stepped on her grass! I felt from then on…she was a mean old woman!) Hopefully, he calmed down when he saw the child! Perhaps he suggested they repair the garden together which would teach the child to be more careful, ability to become friends, and learn a bit about gardening. A lesson he would probably never forget. Thinking on the positive side today…. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely, I see a friendship blossoming here. Thank you for your comment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  22. ooops, i hope the gardener won’t be too pissed off! nice take, Iain!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I’m sure he’ll calm down. Eventually!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. that’s good news 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  23. Aw, probably frightened the poor kid. It’s damaging to his garden but I’m sure the kid will be terrified of strangers if the Gardner is mean. Especially if he’s carrying certain tools around – hedge clippers?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, yes, or anything big and sharp 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Ouch! The poor gardner. I pity the kid too. I wonder what’s in store for the lil guy. Maybe he could hug the anger out from the gardner 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  25. That poor gardener. The kid probably had no idea that his actions could have such an impact. I wonder how he reacted to the kid’s question 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think he’ll get his ball back, just maybe not right away!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good to know! 😁😁

        Liked by 1 person

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