Home > Fiction > FF – This Land (is) Mine

FF – This Land (is) Mine

Here is my story for this week’s Friday Fictioneers, hosted as always by Rochelle. This week’s photo was contributed by The Reclining Gentleman.

The photo is quite a lovely scene, therefore my story will not be bwahaha :-).

To read this week’s other stories, click on the blue froggy.

Copyright The Reclining Gentleman

Copyright The Reclining Gentleman

 

Albert finished planting the last flower and stood up gingerly, his old bones making the task a chore. He shook his head angrily.

Thirty-seven years he’d worked this allotment, his little patch of England. Now it was destined for pointless “luxury housing”, but who was going to listen to a sickly old man, even one who’d fought for King and Country in Belgium and France?

He tottered away as quickly as he could. He could hear the bulldozers approaching and wanted to be far away when they encountered his war “mementos”, carefully buried and primed under the flower bed.

 

  1. Holly
    February 10, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    You show ’em, Albert! 🙂

    Like

  2. February 10, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    Oooh they are so in trouble.

    Like

  3. February 10, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    Appropriately, the son and I have been joking lately about the Looney Tunes character Marvin the Martian and saying “there was supposed to be an earth-shattering kaboom.” That kind of works really well for Albert’s story. This is a spot-on darkly funny one for me (gallows humor, as they say; or should I say grenade? I don’t know for certain. I’m not up on WWII militariana). In any case, I do love it, Dr. Ali! Now, if only Mr./Ms. Unethical Moneybags Corporation were on that bulldozer . . .

    Like

    • February 10, 2016 at 8:53 pm

      I was actually thinking “grenades” – I think a few of those were brought back as souvenirs. I haven’t seen Marvin the Martian for ages!
      Sadly, I imagine the architects of this sad affair are sitting pretty in their ivory tower.
      I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. February 10, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    Power to the people! You go, Albert!

    Like

    • February 10, 2016 at 8:53 pm

      Albert will not be cowed by the faceless wielders of power!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. February 10, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    If only a few war mementos would actually stop a few bulldozers. It’s so ironic that the cities where they first got rid of every inch of green space are now trying desperately to reclaim what they threw away.

    Like

    • February 11, 2016 at 8:42 am

      These war mementos will stop at least one bulldozer when they go off!
      At least many cities are trying to get the green back…

      Like

  6. February 10, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    Gooooooo! Albert!

    Like

  7. February 10, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    What a beautiful story, Dr. Ali!
    And I love the idea of his carefully primed war mementos! Brilliant!
    He’s a regular “Jack-in-the-Green,” your Albert!

    Like

    • February 11, 2016 at 8:43 am

      He likes his green spaces! Though he’s being quite drastic about it…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. February 10, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    Oh Boy! Trouble in River City when that little bomb goes off.

    DJ

    Like

    • February 11, 2016 at 8:44 am

      Yep. Let’s hope he can totter away at speed!

      Like

  9. February 10, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    It seems Albert isn’t giving up his little bit of England too easily – though, perhaps, he’s taking rather drastic actions! But, who knows what obsessive gardeners are capable of when they get angry. They may even turn green! 🙂

    Like

    • February 11, 2016 at 8:45 am

      Never come between a gardener and his allotment 🙂

      Like

      • February 11, 2016 at 6:20 pm

        My husband had three of the things for years. I never had to buy a vegetable or soft fruit for years. On the downside (I think) I didn’t see much of him, either. 🙂

        Like

      • February 11, 2016 at 7:46 pm

        Wow, three? In some places there’s a waiting list of years for just one 🙂

        Like

      • February 11, 2016 at 8:18 pm

        Strange isn’t it? There are always plenty of vacant ones around here. I was an allotment widow for years. 🙂

        Like

      • February 11, 2016 at 8:29 pm

        🙂

        Like

  10. February 10, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    Ha ha! War mementos eh? I suppose these days that would make him a terrorist. Great little story Ali 🙂

    Like

    • February 11, 2016 at 8:46 am

      Yeah, I did think he’s probably into the realms of the Terrorism Act. And all he wanted was somewhere to grow his carrots 🙂

      Like

  11. February 11, 2016 at 1:47 am

    Albert, you tricksie little hobbit! I’m guessing those aren’t next years flower bulbs you’ve buried.

    “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender”

    Like

    • February 11, 2016 at 8:48 am

      Maybe he’ll stand on a nearby hill, reciting that very quote as the lead bulldozer flies up in the air!

      Like

  12. February 11, 2016 at 1:53 am

    Looks like they picked on the wrong veteran!

    Like

    • February 11, 2016 at 8:48 am

      Yep, for sure. Albert’s going to fight for what is his.

      Like

  13. February 11, 2016 at 3:06 am

    I didn’t know one could take war “mementos” home 🙂 Good story…looks like he is still fighting for his country.

    Like

    • February 11, 2016 at 8:52 am

      You’re not supposed to, but a lot of stuff like Luger pistols, grenades, flags and such entered the country after WWII.
      The piece of country he’s now fighting for may be slightly smaller but he’s not giving it up without a fight!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. February 11, 2016 at 4:38 am

    Uh-uh someone’s in trouble! Haha. Clever take on the prompt. 😀

    Like

    • February 11, 2016 at 8:54 am

      Yep. But he’s making his escape! I’m glad you liked it!

      Like

  15. Lata Sunil
    February 11, 2016 at 5:12 am

    Oooh that last line. I re-read. Did he really? Good story.

    Like

  16. February 11, 2016 at 7:57 am

    I felt so sorry for Albert and then wham! He’s not ready to lie down and surrender.

    Like

  17. February 11, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    I can sympathise with Albert’s distress but he’s taking it to extremes!

    Like

  18. February 11, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    The old soldier strikes again. Ha!

    Like

  19. February 11, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    Picture is very pretty, seems Spring is on its way 🙂

    Like

    • February 11, 2016 at 3:45 pm

      Yes! I don’t know where the chap who took the photo lives but I have seen some evidence of daffodils in my garden 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  20. February 11, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    There I was all sentimental, feeling with Albert, and then your ending hits. I’m still laughing. Kaboom.

    Like

  21. February 11, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    That’ll show them! Never underestimate the strength and resourcefulness of people who have survived the horrors of war. And if only more people could see that flowers matter far more than luxury housing, the world would be a much more peaceful place

    Like

    • February 11, 2016 at 7:44 pm

      If we’re not careful the whole world will be one big housing complex.

      Like

  22. February 11, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    Now there’s a man who knows how to bear a grudge. Wow!

    Like

    • February 11, 2016 at 7:44 pm

      No-one messes with Albert’s allotment!

      Like

  23. February 11, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    They should listen to Albert! He is a very serious man!

    Like

  24. February 11, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    They are definitely going to regret this luxury housing deal, Ali! I don’t blame him for feeling resentful. Great story!

    Like

    • February 11, 2016 at 8:29 pm

      Yep. Maybe they can fill the crater with water and call it a swimming pool. I’m glad you liked it!

      Liked by 1 person

  25. February 11, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    Maybe it will speed up the demolition a little… War mementos… I think Albert showed them the meaning of mine

    Like

    • February 11, 2016 at 8:32 pm

      Faster than bulldozers. He certainly did – both meanings.

      Like

  26. February 12, 2016 at 2:50 am

    I guess after Albert ends up blowing the first innocent demolition crew to bits, the heartless, rich, stuffed suits will merely hire a fresh bunch of lads to continue the work on Albert’s old stead…

    Like

    • February 12, 2016 at 8:12 am

      Does Albert have any more mementoes hidden away, I wonder…?

      Like

      • February 12, 2016 at 11:59 am

        Wow. It might take an entire army to get that swanky new place built!

        Like

  27. February 12, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    Dear Ali,

    I’ve learned a new term this week. In the states we say “yard.” Apparently over there you say allotment. Nice to know these things. So stuff my belongings in the boot of my car and then lift the bonnet to see what’s going on. 😉 Seriously, I love the cultural exchange.
    And I loved your story. It seems like poetic justice for the old veteran. Well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

    • February 12, 2016 at 1:11 pm

      Dear Rochelle,

      I did wonder about “allotment” in the US. I know the term “yard” from American TV, which I generally translate as “garden” (it doesn’t need grass or plants or anything in the UK to be a “garden”). An allotment is specifically a small piece of land you can rent from the council, usually well away from your house (may even be miles away). Technically speaking, you are only allowed to grow vegetables and such there, not flowers. In some parts of the country, the waiting lists for allotments run into years!

      I’m glad you enjoyed my story. Poetic justice indeed, if perhaps a slight over-reaction on Albert’s part!

      Ali

      Liked by 1 person

  28. February 12, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    Never underestimate the power of the aged! They still wield some power!

    Like

  29. February 13, 2016 at 2:39 am

    sad it had to end this way. but i guess he didn’t have any choice. 😦

    Like

  30. February 14, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Oh no! That’ll show’em. Very good.

    Like

    • February 14, 2016 at 11:17 am

      I fear Albert’s allotment is still going to get bulldozed, though 😦

      Like

  31. February 14, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Wow, Ali, what an ending twist that was. We have a seemingly harmless old man and all at once he’s a mad bomber. Good story, though. Well done. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Like

    • February 14, 2016 at 3:36 pm

      You never can tell from first glance!

      Like

  32. February 14, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    Wow, great twist at the end! Love it!

    Like

  33. February 15, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    Well I didn’t know this allotment term, it’s an interesting concept and I would imagine especially coveted in highly populated areas. Good for Albert!

    Like

    • February 16, 2016 at 8:08 am

      Yes, in some areas there are waiting lists which last years. It’s also traditionally a place where hubby can get some “peace” of a Sunday 🙂 So you can understand why Albert is loathe to give his up!

      Like

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