Sing Like a Caged Bird – Friday Fictioneers

Worked an 11-hour shi(f)t and am a tad wired. It’s 1:00 a.m. and I can’t sleep. This story swam in my head on my way home. After some deliberation, this is what I came up with. 🙂

Thank you, always, to Rochelle for being the ultimate cat-herder with this unruly group! This week, she chose Liz Young‘s photo. Last time I checked, it was July and not October which makes this choice all the more fun and challenging. Smooth, Oh Purple One!

Care to join in on the fun? It is, you know… Fun that is. And when people read your stories and comment on yours, as you do theirs, well, the joy is multiplied. So, do not be shy, click on the Blue Frog below and add your link. Easy-peasy!

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Sing Like a Caged Bird

“Send me off forever but I ask you please
Don’t fence me in…”

“Shut up!”

“No? Don’t like that one? How ’bout:

‘She’s in the jailhouse now…
Ah-di-o-dalee-eehee-dee-o-ti!'”

For Chrissakes… you are so not worth this agony. Stop!”

“What? You kidnap me, lock me up, hope to get who knows how much moolah from my folks and you want me to keep quiet? Screw you! I’m useless to you dead.

“I’m stuck in Folsom Prison
And time keeps draggin’ on….”

“Fine, Little Birdy, sing. You ain’t getting out ‘til your folks pay up.” He left, closing the door behind him.

Magnolia Overture

Karen and Marc are at it again.  They have these little chat sessions and next thing you know… it’s prompt time!  I could definitely NOT refuse this one.  Somehow Magnolia became the object of their desire to write.  OK, OK… when you read Karen’s beautiful post, you’ll understand.  Just so happens, that when it comes to flowering trees?  My ultimate favourite.  Marc’s wonderful story is here.  I honest-to-goodness don’t know how they do it.  But they do it so bloody well.  Instead of telling myself I just can’t play with the big girls and boys, I shall simply strive to do my best.  Now I am quite late to the party but there was no “write-by-date” so…

Magnolia Overture

She loved to walk.  She had her favourite destinations and usually decided on the spur of the moment which one she’d take.  Turn right? Turn left?  Go straight?  Either one would end up bringing her joy.  On this day, she chose right.  Once past the residential houses, she ended up in the first park.  In winter, a hockey rink would have a few people passing a hockey puck, or, depending on the time of day, a solo skater, practicing his shots. In summer this would be full of kids splashing in the water games.  But today it was spring.  The air was warm but now and again a breeze came by, teasing with a hint of cool – just to let her know that it was not yet summer.

She walked across the first park, through a walkway, across a street, through another walkway and bingo!  There it was.  A  huge magnolia tree planted in the middle of a field.  How did that happen?  No way the city would plant such a tree in a park.  It must have been some good Samaritan or lover of spring blooms to have donated such a gift for all peeps to enjoy.

It was an older tree with a good-sized grouping of trunks, the flowers starting just high enough for her to sit beneath.  She had brought a blanket and her book but instead of reading, leaned back and let her memories loose.

They met just as the first magnolia flowers appeared.  Each on a two-week solo vacation, no plans, free to do as they please.  Both expected to spend that time reflecting, visiting, ambling.  One particularly warm day, she was sitting at a table on a terrace, sipping a cool drink watching the passersby.  He arrived and chose a table next to hers and ordered himself a beer.  They smiled at each other and continued their individual reveries.

“This is going to sound ridiculously corny, but, have you been here before?” he queried, smiling.

She laughed in return, “No, actually, I’m on vacation.  You?”

“Same.  Where are you from, if I may ask?”

“Canada.”

“Canada is pretty big.  Care to specify by province, at least?”

“Well now, I am impressed.  Most Yanks don’t even know we have provinces,” she grinned.  “Just teasing.  I’m from British Columbia, more specifically from Victoria.  How about you?”

“The United States of America,” he smirked.  She raised an eyebrow.  “My turn to tease — I’m from Seattle, Washington.”

“Jeez.  We live so close to each other yet meet here, so far from home.  Are you travelling alone?”

“Yep.  I always dreamed of coming to New Orleans, to be here in the spring before it gets hot and disgusting.”

“Nice.  I have never been here in the summer but I have heard it is brutal.  I’m also on my own.  We were supposed to be four girlfriends à la Sex and the City, New Orleans-style but they all flushed me last minute.  I decided that I still wanted to come here.”

He dragged his chair closer to hers.  “You mind?”

“No, not at all.  Why don’t you just join me officially?”  She held out her hand, “My name’s Charlotte.  Most of my friends call me Charlie”

His warm hand clasped hers, “Pleased to meet you, Charlotte.  Such a beautiful name.  I’m Dante.”

“As in inferno?” she could not help but ask, tongue firmly in cheek.

“For you to find out!” he laughed, eyebrows wiggling up and down.

She smiled, ever more curious about this handsome stranger.

Afternoon turned to twilight, turned to evening.  Soft jazz played in the background.  Their conversation never waned, food was ordered, eaten, neither remembering what they ate.  They left the restaurant and walked the streets of New Orleans, hand in hand, their conversation ebbing and flowing as if they’d known each other forever.

They spent their two-week vacation wrapped in each other.  Loving, talking, sharing, eating, laughing.  One room got cancelled and their solo vacations became a couple one.  They visited whatever took their fancy and come evening, visited each other.  Listening, touching, tasting, feeling, whispering.  Every day, as they left to explore, they marvelled at the magnolia tree planted right outside her Air BnB.  The blooms so much larger than either had ever seen in their hometowns.  “So beautiful,” one or the other would comment. and off they’d go.  Museums, Bourbon Street, French Quarter, City Park, Garden District, they played it by ear, deciding as they went along.

On their last day together, a sudden wind swept through, blowing most of the blooms off “their” magnolia tree and sending them in all directions, save the ones that swirled around them, encouraging them, embracing them as they held each other close, loathe to separate.  They swore they would return.  While neither of them was married they laughed and said it could be like Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn in Same Time, Next Year.  Both film buffs, they needed no explanation.

However, that also implied they would only see each other once per year…

 

 

A Run in the Woods – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday evening, my Peeps.  It is Friday Fictioneers time and, though my head is stuffy and my mind fuzzy, I wanted to play with you.  With a little idea from Frank at A Frank Angle, I came up with this.  Thank you, always to our leader, Rochelle, for keeping us cats in line.  And this week, thank you to Karen Rawson for this wonderful picture.

To play along with us, click on the blue frog and add your link.  Not sure what to do?  Click on Rochelle’s name and read the rules and regs.  Easy-peasy!

 

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A Run in the Woods

Frank and his dog Zeus loved to run in the backwoods. It was quiet and they rarely encountered other people. Every time they got to the stairs leading to the top of the hill, Frank made like Rocky and ran up, taking them two at a time, pumping his arms in the air once he reached the top. Zeus danced around him enthusiastically.

Frank decided to run down but he missed a step near the end, rolled, and landed flat on his back in the mud, staring up, wind knocked out of him, ankle broken.

That was graceful, eh Zeus?

 

Birthday Dinner

I swear, those two! Karen and Marc have done it again. This time they’ve dragged Frank in as well. Will be interesting if he plays with us this time. You see, Karen read an article, shared it with Marc, they extracted 11 words then emailed me, sending me a copy of the text that inspired this craziness (no, you cannot read it). Karen’s story is here. Marc’s is coming tomorrow, he said. Mine follows. And yes. It is my birthday today so, I went with that 😉

Birthday Dinner

She was invited to join her friends at the Clubhouse Bistro Bar to celebrate her birthday but declined, choosing to stay quietly at home, in her new comfy chair, with a TCM movie, a glass of wine and a burger picked up from the drive-thru. No cooking today. However, on her way out, she ran into that busybody Ethel with her passion for Jesus. What she would give to dunk that self-righteous Dinosaur‘s head in a bowl of Holy Water! Desperate to get away from Ethel, she quickly retraced her steps.

Sans burger, it looked like the Twinkies, sent by her friend, Marc, who was trying to bring her to the dark side after all their joking around about the merits of the “cake”, would be her meal. She couldn’t be cross with him now could she? She even gave him absolution now that she had nothing else to eat.

*******************

Now, I know this was shortlived, however, it did traumatize certain, peeps…

Gimme Another Quarter, Please? – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday-Friday morning, my Peeps!  Yessiree, it is indeed Wednesday which means we writers of Friday Fictioneers got our gift in our inbox from our fairy blogmother, Rochelle, even though she’s out and about gallivanting across the U.S. of A., enjoying the warmer climes than can be found in her hometown.  This week, she chose YarnSpinnerr’s interesting photo.

I figured it was time to send it to Frank over at A Frank Angle for his take on the pic.  While it was a good one, I just felt it might end up being done – which it was by a quick glimpse at some other stories.  I showed it to Marc at Sorryless who gave me the idea I did choose.  So, terribly sorry, Frank.  Next week!!  And thank you, B, loved your idea!

Should you be inspired to write your own take on this curious picture, click on Rochelle’s name for the rules and regs (they are not that demanding) or just click on the blue frog to read more stories and maybe add yours!

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Gimme Another Quarter, Please?

Tongue hanging to the side in concentration, Tommy moved the lever, bringing the claw down towards the super hero toy he so wanted.  Pressing the special button, the claw opened up, he slowly moved the lever right over the toy, pressed another button and the claw closed over it.

“Yes!  Success!!” he shouted as he slowly pulled the toy up into the distributor box.

Nooooooo!  The toy slipped out of the claw and fell back into the pile.  The machine automatically turned off.

Disappointed, Tommy’s shoulders drooped.

Sure his mom would say ‘no’, still he tried: “Gimme another quarter, please?”

I’m a Fire Sign Dammit – Stop Trying to Put Out My Flame!

“Life is not easy. We all have problems-even tragedies-to deal with, and luck has nothing to do with it. Bad luck is only the superstitious excuse for those who don’t have the wit to deal with the problems of life. ”
Joan Lowery Nixon, In The Face of Danger

OK. Universe.  We gotta talk.  I dunno what I said to:

  1. piss you off, or
  2. indicate I needed more water situations in my life to, I dunno, cool off?, or
  3. request a shit star, to continue to fly over me, sending me challenges

But it’s enough, okay?  I’m good.  I understand.  I got it.

Let us move on to another vibe because, quite frankly, I just may crack.

It was enough for me to come home from vacation last April, just before my birthday, to a leaky pipe in the boys’ bathroom leading to a bulging ceiling, leading to a ruined floor.  It was more than enough for me to go into the basement, walk halfway into the room and have my socks soaked because there was a crack in my foundation and my carpet was wet almost all the way across.

These two items have been fixed.  In August for the dining/office rooms thanks to insurance coverage, the other, mostly bone but still kinda a work in progress thanks to François’ hard work and my hard cash.

Excellent.  We good.  I call the real estate agent, he comes over, we sign the paperwork, he sends that little fiend to tell me how to make this place pretty and lifeless.  I tell him I am getting new a new couch (today, some time between now and 10:00 pm) and that I’ll call him so we can have the photographer come in.

However.  We NOT good.  Are we? No, no.  You see, we seemed to have some sort of blockage in the boys’ toilet.  So, François, ever the handyman, passed the fish through it, felt something go and thought, cool beanz, we good.   But we weren’t were we?

No. Still not flushing satisfactorily so I talk to my cousin Marc, also a clever handyman, who says, yanno, maybe there is something stuck in the toilet itself.  Alrighty then.  Off comes the toilet and we (royal “we”, I did nothing) check and find nothing.  However, the “lead” in the pipe is all wonky so François decides to fix it and gets all the necessary stuff.  Does what needs to be done and we good, right?  No. We not good.

As he was finishing up the basement, he notices it’s wet under my new vinyl floor.  Pulls it up and.  Shit.  This seems to be coming from the toilet all the way upstairs.  Cleans up basement, removes toilet.  Hmm… something does not look right.  He now feels we need to bring in a plumber.  He has one and calls the guy.  Two days, three days, four days.. OK… screw him.

I say, “OK, Bumstead.  Ya done what ya can… Time for ME to bring in the professionals…”  I’ll call the next morning.

Yesterday, (the next morning) I went downstairs to get something or other and notice there is paper on the bathroom floor.  Open up the toilet.  Really?  Could no one have advised me that they blocked the toilet before leaving for school/work/whatevs?  So I flush and plunge and get the stuff down but this baby is NOT flushing properly.  Bloody hell.

Call four different plumbers, leave three messages.  The last one actually had a receptionist/admin person who said I was in luck, she could send a guy right away as he just became free.

Enter Samuel.  Nice kid (well, dad of two younguns but still a kid to me ;-)) decides to work on the basement toilet first.  Yep… doesn’t like the way it flushes so he uses the fish.  Nothing comes out.  Fishes a couple of times until we decide to take the damn thing off and see if we can see something stuck.  He sees a plastic something and can’t reach it.  Using every tool he can think of, a piece comes out.  Dang.  I know EXACTLY what it is.  It is the cover forone of my wall heaters.  Or part of it anyway.  Sam looks at me and says, “I’m guessing there is a second piece.”  I nod yes and the search for the second piece begins.  He went to get his special camera and could see it stuck to the side.  No matter how much he shoved and prodded, it was not budging.  We brought the toilet outside, took out the hose and tried to use the water pressure.  Nope.  Sigh.  Finally, after putzing around, the second piece finally comes loose.

All this took a good two hours.  Crap. (Yeah, yeah, pun intended.)  Puts the toilet back on and it’s time to move upstairs for what I originally thought was the “big” job.  He takes one look at the hole and says… “Your pipe is cracked.”  WTF!!  He says he’s going to have to change the section of the pipe and, to not break the tile, will have to put a hole in my dining room wall.  He looks at the time and says, how about I come back tomorrow morning so you don’t have to pay over time.  Uh. Yeah!

Fast forward to this morning 10:30-ish.  Samuel comes in, brings his tools and gets to work.

The hole he had to make…

The pipe he cut out…

One of the cracks that were made by someone who worked really hard to remove the lead…

The hole where a screw was inserted – probably when the kitchen remodel was done in ’98, removed and the hole left untended…

And, newly fixed pipe.

Excellent.  We good?  No.  We not good.  The toilet has a crack in the base.  Ahhh  f&*?%!  He takes it off the seal (another wasted bit of cash) and we look to see if it’s only on the surface or on the inside.  Of course it’s on the inside too.

So.  Yay.  Call François, ask him if he feels comfortable installing the new toilet now that everything else is good and he says yes.  Sign and pay the bill and send Samuel off to his next client.

Now I have to buy a toilet.  Check on-line, find the best price is across the over-pass from my house and make my way out.  As I am looking at them, I realise they look kinda high in the back.  Call the house and ask Willow to measure the floor to the stupid shelf (no, I am NOT removing the shelf.  The bathroom was painted when previous problem was fixed.)  30 inches.  Every fricken toilet is 30 to 31 inches.  Really?  Are you shitting me?  (Again, pun intended.)

So, there is one.  Yes, count ’em.  One.  Only one toilet that stands at 27 inches.  Just so happens to be on sale to boot.  Sorry.  I lied.  There is another that stands at 28″ but it is $500 and you have to buy a seat. Doesn’t even come with a friggen seat!  What the hell is that all about?  Plus the base is only 10″ while all the others are 12″.  Bloody hell.

Get the “bathroom” guy to help me put it on the trolley and make my way to the cash.  Go buy groceries and come home.  Look at the box in my trunk and in the list of contents, I see nothing about the bloody seal.  Ah come ON!  I take no chances, drive over the overpass and spend an extra $3.

François arrives and gets to work.  Measure everything.  The toilet will fit… Yay.  Oh.  The tube connector doohickey is too long!  Samuel had installed a brand-new one.  François goes into Mick’s “Plumbing toolbox” and finds another the right length.  We good?  No.  We no good.  The connector itself is metal and the new throne is plastic.  Sigh.  Off he goes to the store to find another.

Looks to me like it may still be a tad too long but what do I know?  Is it supposed to curve like that?  Do we actually give a rat’s ass at this point?  No, we do not give a rat’s ass.

I think the new toilet looks just fabulous, don’t you?

There are still a few things to do to make this house chic and swell.  A new added job of closing up that new hole and painting it.  Thank you, Mick for being the best keeper of every-friggen-thing so I have a little jar of paint.  And maybe I have to thank you for your part in that, Universe.

So I beg of you, change my ju-ju.  Allow the rest of this journey to selling this house go super smoothly and we good.  OK?

 

 

 

 

 

 

All the Rage – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday-Friday Fictioneers Day, my peeps!  Today I have attempted a “Rochelle-esque” story.  Plus, it’s my photo and I swear, when Rochelle asked me for it, I knew exactly what I was going to do.  Well sorta-kinda exactly.  I also swear, I did NOT read her story first.

Should you like to attempt your own 100-word story based on my picture of the New-ish Montreal Symphony House, then click on the blue frog and add your link.  Easy-peasy.  If you want the official rules and regs, click on Rochelle’s name above….And THEN add your story 😉

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©Me, Myself and I

A “Rochelle-Style” Historical Fiction

100 words

All the Rage

Charlotte looked at the metal contraption warily.  “It looks heavy.”

“Oh contraire, Mademoiselle.  It is actually going to reduce the weight of the dress as you no longer need to wear so many petticoats.  Now turn around and lift your arms, s’il vous plaît.”

Charlotte did as Monsieur Milliet requested as he lifted his invention and placed it over her head.  He then tied a ribbon around her waist to hold it in place.  “Voilà!  Is is not magnifique?”

“Oui, Monsieur.  Let’s try it with my dress.  It would be scandalous to waltz about in just my petticoat and hoop!”

Originally created by Mr. R.C. Milliet