Therefore, I offer this small bit of fiction, with a bow to the people of Scotland for giving a town this distinctive name, which fairly leapt out at me from the Google map, as I was thinking of Kerry and today's challenge. Anyone else mentioned in this story is a figment of my very own imaginary garden.
The Red Telephone Box
When Scotland Yard appointed the local bobby in a remote Highland farming town to be their man on the spot in Skarfskerry, he agreed, but said the cellular phone they issued him wouldn't work, as it was too far from a BT tower.
Because he rented a room from the MacKenzie sisters, and had no phone of his own, he was told to use the telephone box at the end of Skarfs Lane, the one in front of Messy Jack's rundown cottage.
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Imaginary Garden with Real Toads
None of the villagers would use a credit card in a phone box. In an interview with the Skarfskerry Weekly Telegram, Mrs. Angus MacLeach said, "I've always used coins and I'm tae auld tae change now."
"Besides," the bobby reported, "when I use it, everyone gathers 'round to listen to everything I say. They're out there listening now, even as we speak, to coin a phrase, as it were."
"We'll get you your own phone box, then," his supervisor told him. "We'll let you know, as soon as we know, where our men have installed it."
In their infinite wisdom, Scotland Yard's Telephone Installation Branch decided to locate the special red box on the back side of a hill, where none of the villagers would overhear top secret (in the supervisor's opinion) phone calls. It wasn't at all convenient for the local bobby, of course, but his motorbike was equipped with special tyres. He could ride to within fifty yards of the box, whose phone would work only if he called a particular number in London.
One evening, toward dusk (which comes early that far north in the autumn) the bobby's trusty motor bike hit a rock and threw him to the ground, seventy-five yards away, where his left leg broke in at least one place, mayhap twa, he later told the doctor.
"And that rock," he told his supervisor, "was not there the previous day, I swear."
Ignoring his supervisor's London-bred opinion that nine-tenths of Scotland consisted of rocks, he announced he no longer wanted to work for Scotland Yard. "It is dangerous to a man's health. I couldna get frae ma bike tae the phone box, ye ken, and I may have frozen if a nice young lady hiker hadna come ower yon hill."
"Do you mean to say," demanded his supervisor, scandalized, "you gave my private Scotland Yard number to a strange young woman?"
"Och, I wouldna do that," exclaimed the bobby, "but even your telephone installers couldna disable a red telephone box's ability to call 999."
© Kay L. Davies, October, 2011
To see how others responded to the photos of Britain's telephone boxes, please check out Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.