Close Encounters – Friday Fictioneers

Happy Hump Day, Folks!  It’s Friday Fictioneer time and today’s picture sent me off in a direction I didn’t expect. Gotta love that.  Thanks, always, to Rochelle for keeping us cats herded.  And this week, thanks to David Stewart for this fabulous photo.  Do join in with your 100-word story inspired by this photo by clicking on the frogs below and adding your link.  G’head. It’s fun!

Cute Inspirational Moral Stories for Kids: Two Frogs and The Churned Milk

Click here!

Close Encounters

“Yo, Zit-Face!  Wait up!”

“That you Jelly-Belly?”

“In the flesh! Well, what’s left of it.”

“I almost didn’t recognize you!  You look amazing!”

“As do you, my friend.  And your face no longer looks like a neon pimple factory.”

“Tell me about it.  Talk about a hellish time.  Except for you, high school sucked.”

“I have so missed you.”

“Me too.  You in town for long?”

“I’ve moved back.  Turns out Mr. Fantastic wasn’t quite up to par.”

“I coulda told you that… but I won’t.’

“Appreciate that.  So tell me. what’s new?”

They linked their arms, “Where to start…”

 

 

 

 

 

Home Sweet Homes – Crimson’s Creative Challenge #125

When I saw Crispina’s choice of photo for her challenge, I immediately thought of one I had shared very recently. Of course I needs must…

Home Sweet Homes

Oh, I just love your place!  It is so green and sunny yet you’re protected from too much sun.  That stump makes a perfect table, to boot.  However, only one chair? Is it because you prefer to be alone or it’s just the way it is?

Thank you so much.  Yes, I do love it. The seclusion is a bonus and it’s not too far from society that I become a hermit! I am hoping to add another chair.  How about you?  Will you invite me over to your place?

Yes. You should know that I have a bit of a situation going on right now.

What do you mean?

How about you come for a walk with me.  Seeing is so much easier than trying to describe it.

***

Oh wow!  What a fantastic view!  Riverside!  And look at that! Two chairs and such a lovely table, and a lamp! Your décor is rather eclectic too!

Why thank you!  So glad you like.  You can see, however, there is a situation…

Yeah… Think the water level will go down soon?

I sure hope so.  Think I could stay at your place until then?  I’ll bring a chair…

The Ties That Bind – Friday Fictioneers

Late in the day but hey. We do what we can!  It’s Wednesday so time for Friday Fictioneers!  Today’s photo is brought to us by C.E.Ayr. As always, Rochelle is holding this motley crew together.  If you want to play along, just click on the frog below and add your link to your 100-word story.

©C.E.Ayr

Frog On A Orange Rope Stock Photo - Download Image Now - iStock

 

Friends forever! This string bracelet represents our friendship. I know it’s not much but it’ll do for now.  We’ll change it.  It’s a great idea, right?  Nothing can break us apart. No mean girls, no parents, no boyfriends.  We’ll always be there for each other.  Can’t you just picture us?  Two old ladies sitting on a porch still laughing and having pots of tea?

We chose to keep the string. I can hear that conversation like it was yesterday. I really did believe we would be those two old ladies one day.

I’ll never know what happened to end it.

Consequences – Friday Fictioneers

Happy Hump Day!  As you know, we Friday Fictioneers get confused about days, so many (most) of us post on Wednesday. Whatcha gonna do but go with the crowd?  Only time I’m more of a follower…  So without further ado, let us thank Susan Eames for the use of her picture and Rochelle Wisoff(no e) Fields for hosting this party every week without fail.  Care to join? Click on the frog and add your 100-word story’s link!

©Susan Eames

Cartoon Lame Injured Frog with Crutches #55960 by Ron Leishman

Click me!

 

Jules!  What have you done to yourself?

Broke my ankle.

Yeah, can see that. How the heck did you manage that one?

It’s not coz I’m old and frail!

Course not.

And it couldn’t possibly be because I had my arms full of groceries and couldn’t see the step right in front of me that I missed completely.

Right. And nothing to do with being lazy and not wanting to do more than one trip from car to house, too

Right. Nothing at all to do with that!

So. How long with the boot?

Three months.

Oh joy…

…oh bliss.

Walktober 2020

“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.”
Lauren DeStefano, Wither

It’s here!  One thing we can count on, Pandammit or not!  Walkober is what I’m talking about. Thank goodness for peeps like Robin who keep the good things happening, don’t you think?

Mother Nature decided to be most generous last weekend and I went out both days with my bestie, Julie. First time I am accompanied during Walktober and it was lovely. The result? Over 500 photos.  No, don’t worry, I won’t post them all here!  But oh… how to choose…

On Saturday we met up around 2:00 pm at the St. Bruno National Park.  There are miles of trails and there were quite a few people so we kept trying to take the paths less travelled, so to speak. We “done good”, I think.

We decided to search out some fungi, figuring there must surely be some, somewhere!  There were, indeed. Do not ask me to name a single one. I’ve zero clue.

I did not realise there are five lakes in this beautiful park.  We knew we wanted to make our way to the main one (in our minds, the only one) and tried to find a trail less populated without getting lost.  I’m assuming this lake was the main Seigneurial one! So beautiful and did not disappoint.

We found a lovely Salon de Thé that was open and were pretty sure would also have coffee, but if they didn’t, a nice hot tea would do.  They had the machinery necessary for us to each have a latte – would have been nice if it was hot and had more flavour but hey, it was something.  I do know that I would love to return post-pandemic to be able to sit for a spell.

Coffee in hand, we continued our walk.  We both wished we hadn’t missed the reds of the season. It’s amazing what one week does in terms of autumn colour.  The oranges were beautiful and we could see the yellows were truly taking over but when we saw red?  How could we not stop?  Though bright green and white also got our attention.

 

We headed back, passing by someone’s property, marvelling how people who lived in these areas were never outside to enjoy their own views.  Then again, when you have all sorts of people traipsing around your backyard, would you?  Once upon a time, those who lived here had found tranquillity. Now, they were smack-dab in the middle of a national park.  I might wait for after-hours myself, now that I think of it.

Have I lost you yet?  No?  Oh my goodness. You are all so kind.  That was day one.  Now, onto day two and the Parc National des Îles de Boucherville…

“The magic of autumn has seized the countryside; now that the sun isn’t ripening anything it shines for the sake of the golden age; for the sake of Eden; to please the moon for all I know.”
Elizabeth Coatsworth, Personal Geography: Almost an Autobiography

This time, we decided to get an earlier start. We didn’t stay long enough for the sunset the previous day and we couldn’t get to this park by sunrise, but still.  We didn’t want the same time frame.  We should have packed ourselves a lunch but that would have required either of us to be organised and honestly? It was Sunday. We have to be organised all week, let the weekend be more relaxed, eh?

We met, this time, at around 11:00?  Five little islands with 21 km (13 or so miles) or trails form this national park, it’s also a great place for kayaking, paddle boarding, picnicking, and you can even camp there – when life is normal, that is. Again, there were quite a few people. This is when I appreciate my time working on shifts. I could visit these areas during the week. Alas, those days are over. For now.  We set off, grabbing a map of the area.  We did take it out once to make sure we were going in the right direction and according to Jules, we were (I suck at reading maps.)  It was another spectacular day of golds and oranges with a few pops of red.  We were so hoping to see some wildlife – there are deers galore, but other than a frog, ducks, geese, a snake that slithered too fast to capture, and a few caterpillars – nuthin’. Sigh. But I have to say, it was pretty cool looking at my hometown from across the river. We had a perfect view of the old Ste. Famille Church.

It’s amazing how two areas, a mere twenty-minute-drive apart, felt so very different. There were so many textures to enjoy.

As we walked along, Julie reminisced about late summers spent working on her friend’s farm. (Actually, I also went to high school with Marielle – just didn’t hang around her!)  They were expropriated some time just after we graduated from high school and are now settled up the road from my childhood house. Julie was trying to visualise where it was exactly but we could not find any “remains”.  So we kept walking until we spotted an old barn and, without having to discuss it, started towards it, through a field that has been ploughed. How weird. Of course, once we crossed the uneven terrain to arrive at the said barn, we saw there was a sort of road that we could have taken. What’s the adventure in that? And what is so intriguing about old barns?

Once we were done exploring this old barn, we followed the “road” and it led us to three more abandoned buildings. One looked like a storage shed for, I’m not sure, grain for animals? It was very low to the ground. One looked like an atelier (workshop) of some sort and the main one might have been a stall for horses – I didn’t venture inside but there was a structure that looked like it might have been a well once, right beside it.

After taking a bazillion pictures, we slowly made our way back.  We ended up at a lookout point and found that as we watched the grasses sway like waves, and the few trees in the middle, it gave us a sort of African Serengeti Steppe vibe (okay, maybe we were both weird but you be the judge!

There is a golf course on one of the islands and the only way to get there is by ferry. How cool is that?

Our feet were feeling the two days’ worth of walking and we were glad to see the parking lot.  Such great company and we are planning on making this a regular thing.

I wasn’t planning on going on and on but it’s all Robin’s fault. She said go big for this year. So I did!  Hope it wasn’t overkill. 🙂

Heck, I’m plumb tuckered out from creating this ramble, so I’ll be taking a week off starting tomorrow – completely unplugging.  Please note, if I don’t get to any comments right away, don’t think I’m dissing you, I’ll take care of them upon my return.

Weekend Writing Prompt #179 – Lucid

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend. How you use the prompt is up to you. Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like. Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise. If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments. Should you want to play along, click here and leave a link in Sammi’s comments.

 

Wind and leaves create a symphony
in the crisp, autumnal air

Sun renders all it touches
with a lucid and effulgent glow

No deer, no beavers,
no racoons, to be seen

But loons and mallards
caterpillars, a frog

add to the luminescent day

 

 

 

A Proper Send-Off

I know I promised you the moon today, Marina, but I feel compelled to write something else.  Tomorrow good for you?  I sure hope so.

I am sitting in my quiet house, having just returned from Patrice‘s funeral.  The boys stayed behind with their gang to celebrate him the way twenty-somethings “should” – starting with a shotgun beer in the parking lot, no doubt, followed by who-knows-what and I should not know.

Visitation was held from 10:00 am till 3:00 pm today (plus four hours yesterday from 4:00-8:00 pm) followed by the religious ceremony in the chapel, which was the room right beside – a rarity, not the chapel, but the religious ceremony.  Most of my family came and it was no easy feat for all the “kids” who had hung out with Pat on the cruise. It was just so surreal.

There is a different dynamic when the deceased is a twenty-two-year-old healthy, full-of-life type.  I’ve been to far too many forty-somethings and fifty-somethings funerals already since, let me see, 2001 – so almost twenty years.  And I thought THEY were all too young.  So this?  No. Almost impossible to wrap one’s head around it.

Life celebrations have gone from boards with pictures or albums on tables showing the life of the loved one to movies or montages of their life scrolling in an endless loop.  I thought seeing a fifty-year old’s was hard. This was a punch in the solar plexus.  They had a corner for Pat’s art, a long table with various pictures and favourite pieces such as a hockey shirt, his football trophies and such and, of course, a beautifully done video.  And, oh Lordy.  I was not ready to see him lying in his coffin.  Everyone gets cremated now.  Visitation is an urn with a 16″ X 20″ (or two) photo beside the urn. Not this time. They went old-school for this.

The place was packed with mask-wearing mourners of all ages.  the priest came in and told us that he would give one prayer and then ask us to make our way next door to the chapel, leaving the family to say their final farewell in private.

Standing by your bench, watching your own twenty-two-year-old and his four friends, plus Pat’s cousin, roll the casket to the front, while this song is playing is sobering.  These young men were doing their best to hold it together as they performed their solemn duty, then sat together and let their emotions do what was needed.  This song just about killed me.

Father Sylvain was perfect.  He said beautiful things and asked those who pray to pray; never preaching

Jules, Marilyn and Maude (his parents and sister) came up and Jules spoke for them. He started off by saying he promised Pat he wouldn’t cry and he spoke beautifully, his composure cracking only at the end; his wife and daughter on either side of him, giving him what he needed to push through.  My heart broke for them.

I know Pat’s family chose music that he loved and when this song played, I watched as their heads bopped to the beat. I know it wasn’t the lyrics they were feeling.

Father Sylvain introduced Charles-Olivier to come and say a word and the five young men stood up as one, the four surrounding him as he read the beautiful post he wrote the day he found out he lost his friend, his gym partner, his clown, the one who always said how much he loved them who was now his guardian angel.

There were the usual blessings and the thank yous and, as the following song played, we were all invited to come up and use the provided Sharpies (and Purell) to write something on the casket.  Now THAT is a beautiful thing.

May I say that I do not want to do this again.

 

 

Staying the Course – Crimson’s Creative Challenge #93

Crispina’s challenge has sent me down a path I couldn’t seem to avoid. It’s been a week since Pat’s death and we are still reeling so I apologise ahead of time!

Staying the Course

He had never been afraid of the dark or going it alone before and he wasn’t going to start now. He was, however, a mix of angry and sad that life had dealt him yet another blow.

“You can grieve for a bit but then you have to keep moving forward, my friend. But know this. I have your back and when you see a light in the darkest corners, that’ll be me, there for you.

“And, when your own journey is over – and that’s not for a really long time – I’ll be there waiting for you.”

The Problem is You Think You Have Time

The Universe is funny.  Here I was, trying to put into words this sudden, heartbreaking event and along comes Merril with her dVerse prosery prompt that is exactly what I need.  We had to use the phrase: “when it is over said and done / it was a time / and there was never enough of it.”  –Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, “A Time” Truly. I could not have asked for better.  My son lost his best friend in an accident this weekend. We are all trying to come to grips with it. My heart is broken.  As there are still questions to be answered, I could not do the post I truly wanted to do so this is just perfect.  Then Iain showed me this drawing by Pat, dated September 24, 2017.  I shiver.

“The problem is you think you have time… ”      drawing by Patrice Chevalier, September 24, 2017

 

Born at the age of nine, a friendship for the ages.  At ten you went away to summer camp, doing who-knows-what that shall remain a mystery. At twelve, you went to the same high school and made the football team, where, in your first year, you were undefeated.  By fifteen, you two got kicked out for your “entrepreneurial skills” (which shall remain unnamed – one of many stories to tell in your old age) and to different schools you went. Yet that glue was a good one, its bond secure.

As young adults, you have travelled and experienced thrills most people only think of.  When it is over, said and done, it was a time. And there was never enough of it.  You were supposed to do more, share more. You were to remain forever best friends.  At twenty-two, your adult lives were just beginning.

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #167 – Nuance

Had been hoping to squeeze this into my weekend during work hours but that was not meant to be. Sometimes you just can’t create, even in the ebbs of the regular flow.

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend. How you use the prompt is up to you. Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like. Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise. If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.  Click on the box below to join in on Sammi’s challenge or read other takes on this wonderful word.

 

Simple beauty painting the sky

in subtle and nuanced palette

the softest of violets and blues

morphing into brighter pinks and oranges

reminiscent

of love’s journey, where

A chance encounter turns into a friendship

Grows

Glows

into love