Today Pegman took us to Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK. Having never heard of it I zipped over to Google and found the HMS Victory and this gazebo. 149-words later I present Cuthbert-the-Cad.

Cuthbert and I were to be wed within this gazebo. Standing tall in my gold-trimmed dress, breathing in a mixture of wax from one-hundred candles and the scent of seawater, I noted him waving his hat from the deck of the HMS Victory. The jingle of the small silver bells hanging above my head turned to a cacophonious clang.

Surprise overwhelmed me, for although he mentioned Lord Nelson readying the ship for war, Cuthbert never broached the subject of joining the Battle of Trafalgar. My fiance was a physician, not a soldier.

Mother cried when I destroyed my dress. Father stormed when I threw my silk slippers into the sea.

I expected to be grateful upon Cuthbert’s return. Unhurt he swaggered down the plank to whisper, “It was I who thought to preserve Nelson’s body in a barrel of brandy.”

“Pour yourself a toast,” I replied before turning away.

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cape disappointment

February 9, 1883

Dearest Mother,
     Although you warned me against wedding James Anderson, suggesting the hardships of a light keeper’s wife not worthy of our family, I find I quite enjoy living 250-feet above the high water mark of ocean waves.
    Yes, howling winds and the clang of the fog bell (imagine 1600 pounds of metal striking nine consecutive times every minute after fog rolls in) drive me mad, but, the songs of sea birds and the trill of thrushes counter-balance all discomfort.
     Between the times I cook, do the washing, take care of our darling Marie, all of 4 months now, I find solace in cleaning the Fresnel lenses knowing, wishing, hoping that if those 1,000 glass prisms are clean enough to direct lamplight to the central reflector, many sailors will survive the tumultuous waters churned up by the meeting of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean.
     I believe I  chose well.
     Henrietta

 

Today Pegman took us to London. Thanks, Karen and Josh for another wonderful place to spark our imaginations to create a 150-word story.

“Jordy, it’s true. As a child, I used that very box to phone your mum.”

“That’s dry, Grandpa. No one in their right mind would shut himself inside a greenhouse to chat someone up.”

“Look here, smart mouth, we all did. Nothing else for it. No cell phone, no wiffy.”

“Wi-Fi, old fool, Wi-Fi.” 

“It says Telephone right above the door.”

“Hype.” The young man’s cell phone bleeps. His attention refocuses.

“Maybe, maybe not.” The old man checks the clock tower. 4:20 p.m. He refocuses on the green tentacles behind the phone booth. “Jordy, give it a go. Step inside.”

“Not happening.”

“Please.”

“Reh-teh-teh.”

The young man jerks open the door. Steps inside. Tentacles wrap, wrap, wrap around the booth; squeeze. An enormous squeal of metal pierces the air. Glass shatters. The phone booth disappears in a puff of reddish-green smoke.

Smiling, the old man turns on a heel.

  • * * *

Dry– dull, boring, unfunny. A bad joke might be described as “dry”.

Hype – Over the top

Reh teh teh – Etc, etc

 

 

 

 

Before and Now

Posted: May 25, 2019 in What Pegman Saw
Tags: , , ,

Today Pegman took us to beautiful Varanasi, India. Typical of me, I found the most depressing picture in a collection of beauties and wrote a down-hearted 151-word story. (Sorry I went over my 150-word limit.)

Before the wars. Before the waters rose. Before the children and elders died. Before. Before. Before.
Before now, our city was full of laughter, the scent of herbs and exotic spices, music and life’s noisy clatter.

Our buildings were colorful. Deep pinks, brilliant oranges, gentle greens.
Women wore dresses sewn from gossamer silk and finely woven cotton. And smelled of Jasmine tea.
Wisemen grew long white beards and dispensed knowledge collected throughout the ages.
For three-hundred-years, there was no turmoil.

Then the storms came. Storms filled with lightning, thunder and too much rain. Storms between husbands, wives, and children.
Storms of unwanted people arriving from all over the world to flood our city with discontent for it is built on the last piece of land remaining above water.

There is nowhere to put them. They take what they want, especially our happiness, and give nothing in return.
So, this is now.

It’s Wednesday/Friday and Rochelle Wisoff-Fields has posted a thought-provoking photo taken by J Hardy Carroll to prompt our Friday Fictioneers gang to write a 100-word story.

My Aisha is talented, she shorely is. The first time that child picked up a crayon I knowed she was something special. Didn’t stay inside the lines, drew purplish cows and green moons.

On tuther hand, her brothers were all dumb as posts. No pappa should say that bout his own children but it’s God’s truth.
They proved it too. They’s all dead now. Drugs. Guns. Vehicular accidents.

But Aisha, she be sellin her paintings for five-hundred dollars a pop.

What? Hell no. I don’t let her keep that money. I’m the clever one in this family.

 

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The Aunties

Posted: May 11, 2019 in What Pegman Saw
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Oh, how my aunties scared me when I stepped out of line.
Screeching and preaching they descended en masse.
Hair all askew, arms waving. Each looking the same as the other in muumuus sewn from one, maybe two, bolts of glittering silver cloth.
After all, they were extremely large aunties.
At five I listened. At twelve I wished they would leave me alone. At sixteen I dreamed them all dead.
Now, at thirty, I want to conjure every piece of advise they passed down, doing their best to soften the tricky road to womanhood.

Be strong
Be gentle
Smile only when you mean it
Laugh loudly
Cry when needed
Open your heart when you can
But never, ever leave it susceptible to pain
Some men are kind
Some are cads
Make sure you can tell one from another
Have children
or not – you decide
We will always love you

Today is Wednesday/Friday and Rochelle Wisoff-Fields has provided the Friday Fictioneer’s gang with a picture taken by Jean L. Hays. I’ve always loved the prairie and tried to prove it with my 100-word story. Sorry, my muse went on the dark side.

The spicey smell of sagebrush, prairie grass warmed by the sun, and the scent of earth soaking up rain never grow old.
Howling wolves and yip-yipping coyotes don’t bother me one stitch. Shows things are still alive out on the plains.

My music? Prairie dog barks, the thrum of sage-grouse, and the flute-like whistle of meadowlarks. Don’t even mind the skritch of mice pilfering breadcrumbs.

It’s people I can’t abide. Asking fool questions when they knock on the door.

That’s why I built me a bunker. Sometimes it’s over-crowded but then one dies and the others can spread out a bit.

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