Sunday, 1 April 2012

Trumpets of Doom

This story has been brought to you through "Story-telling Sunday" invented by Sian Fromhighinthesky  Why not pop over there after you have read my story and see all the other stories.

Our little van
In the mid eighties I had a games shop. I sold wargaming figures and Fantasy Roleplaying Games and figures. I also sold board games and the paints to do the figures but that's irrelevant here. I didn't make a lot of money, in fact I made very little money and was put out of business by shoplifters. That's not my story. Because I had to return a castle to the company that made it and it was too big for the post office to take we agreed to take it in our little van when we were going on a camping holiday and drop it off on the way. The company was in Boston Lincolnshire so we dropped off the castle and went on to Skegness to find a camping site.
Now you have to remember that we didn't have a tent so we had borrowed one off my cousin. Mr M had camped in this tent before, which was why we had borrowed it. We remembered when we were more than half way to Boston that we hadn't put the camping stove into the van when we packed it so we had no means of cooking anything - or boiling a kettle. Still it was an adventure.
The campsite in Skegness was flat, so that made things easy. There was no one there to check us in but there weren't many other campers, just half a dozen small caravans and one camper van. We chose a spot near the fence and dragged the tent out of the van.
This was where I discovered that while he might have camped in this tent before he had never put it up and couldn't remember how the poles fitted together or how they held up the canvas.
In fading light we spent over an hour fiddling with poles and crawling in and out of the tent fabric while the other one held it up. I had long hair then and even though it was in a plait it soon began to resemble a huge birdnest flopping around on my head. Eventually Mr M remembered how things went and we soon had the tent up and the guy ropes firmly pegged - to a smattering of applause from the other campers. Apparently we had provided some good entertainment and one or two were surprised that we didn't have a stand up row. What they didn't know was that we had lost our tempers and done the row bit when we had packed the van so there was no way we were going through that again, far too draining of energy!
We then went for something to eat and to ring Mr M's mother and tell her where we were - a tradition when we go on holiday "Hi Mam, guess where we are..." that sort of thing. We wandered along the promenade, looked at where the seas would be when the tide came in and then bought fish and chips and headed back to the tent.
As we walked down the slope to the campsite I said "ooh, look, donkeys!" and pointed to the overgrown field next to the campsite. Now, I don't know about you but if there are several animals in a field I have to count them, I just have to ok? "Seven donkeys, isn't that lovely?" Mr M glanced at them and, of course, because I had counted them, he had to count them too. "There's nine not seven" he said. I looked sharply at him and then turned to the donkeys and counted them again.
This time there were fifteen! "Great Scot! they must be coming out of the ground or something!" Another quick count, this time both of us were doing it, and there were twenty odd donkeys moving slowly through the belly high grass and weeds.
They were coming out of the ground. There was a tunnel that leads from somewhere by the beach and comes out in the field and that's where the donkeys were taken and their saddles and bridles taken off before they were let out into the field.
We ate our supper and as it was now quite dark we went to bed.
Sometime around 2am the world came to an end. Well, not really but I went from horizontal and asleep to sitting up terrified in one swift movement. Mr M was sitting beside me also wide awake and wondering what the unearthly noise was that we had heard. If my hair wasn't so long it would have stood on end.
And then it happened again
You now have to try and imagine just how much like the trumpets of doom the sound of at least ten donkeys braying can be. Especially when they are lined up against the fence next to your tent.
Once my heart was back in my chest and not stuck in my throat I lay down and went right back to sleep again. Mr M said, in the morning, that my snoring soon soothed him and he fell asleep too.


helena said...

A nice chuckle for my Sunday morning. We had a simmilar experience with peacocks which make a very eerie noice too

Ruth said...

I did laugh at snoring being soothing!

Mary B said...

That did make me laugh, especially the donkeys coming out of the ground bit.

Scattychick said...

Heehee so did you get a dawn chorus as well or just a midnight one?

Miriam said...

I loved the bit about the donkeys coming out of the ground too! and you being the campsite entertainment...we have been there. Thank you for another wonderful tale.

Jane said...

lol, this made me chuckle!

Sian said...

lol! Your story about the magically multiplying donkeys made me laugh out loud. We have a bit of a thing for donkeys here. And the bonus story about the Gaming shop? Fantastic! I'd love to hear more.

As always, a pleasure.

Mitralee said...

oh my donkeys coming out of the ground!!!

Unknown said...

LOL ... magically appearing donkeys. Thank was great! Thanks for sharing.

Cheri said...

This is pretty funny. And everytime someone tells a story about camping, it just makes me more convinced that I much prefer fancy hotels!

JO SOWERBY said...

i love the story of the tent going up but add in the donkeys and we have a winner. i love the idea of them galloping around their field and playing jokes at 2am, naughty donkeys,
jo xxx

Missus Wookie said...

Disappearing games figures and reappearing Donkeys - great fun. We love board games here and my youngest brother in law used to paint all the tiny figures as a hobby.

Glad you got the tent up and hopefully enjoy the rest of the holiday.

Julie J said...

You can always rely on a camping holiday for a funny story. But a donkey tunnel - didn't see that one coming.

Ginger said...

I'm not particularly fond of camping but I sure loved your story :) It gave me a good laugh!

Anonymous said...

lovely story - can imagine your shock/stupefaction at the donkeys coming out of the ground!

Melissa said...

What a wonderful story - I like how you've included so many details, even returning the castle. I cannot imagine waking up to that sound so close to the ten!

furrypig said...

I have had lots of fun camping maybe I should try and think of a story to share though I haven't anything as exciting as a field where donkeys magically appear. I just wonder if you got up and left the next day???