Another week, another rerun. Enjoy!
(Sorry, I put the wrong link on the InLinkz. I’ve fixed it now!)
This week’s rerun is a double billing for me; I wrote two stories for this prompt back in the day. Both are below, although if you’re short for time, feel free to just choose one! Original posts are here and here.
Washed up. That’s what he’d called them. Washed up.
Not shiny and clean. But like a body on a beach: the flotsam of life. That’s what her husband, Tom, had meant when she told him her plans. It’s too late to travel the world, Janine. We’re washed up.
Janine squeezed sand between her toes and watched the sun setting far out to sea. She took a sip on her pina colada and smiled.
If she was washed up, she was a pebble. Yes, buffeted by the waves, and the sand, and the journey, but only to make her more beautiful.
“Glad to see you, son. Couldn’t stand another minute of that clap-trap. Stinks being the only one really alive around here. Sharp as sausages, that lot.”
Andy had a soft spot for the Colonel’s grumbling; it made a change from the cheerful repetitions of many of the residents.
“Takes a certain sort of chap to engage with a mind like mine. They haven’t a clue. Might as well be addressing a wall as some of them.”
Andy pushed a cushion further down the old man’s crumbling spine as he walked past. The Colonel carried on his monologue to the rosebush.
This one’s not so old, just a little over two years, but it offers you two links – the story I wrote for Adam Ickes’ prompt photo, and the older story that picture reminded me of.
Once again, a chance to rerun an old story with the Friday Fictioneers this week. This one was actually one of my favourites, although not one I suggest to Rochelle for a do-over. My story is (was) here. Your feedback is always welcome … although not as much as your babysitting assistance would be😉
This week’s rerun is a new one for me. I was away for its original version. I’ll post my story below and welcome your comments; my own thoughts follow it so as not to pre-influence yours.
I take their silver coins, these travellers, and I carry them, one by one, to the teeming world on the other side. A few of them know my name, most do not. A few of them thank me; most barely notice the ferryman taking them from living shore to dead.
One day, a coin will spill from your jaw, and I will take it, open palmed, for my labours. Will you see me? Will you know my name, my parentage, my history? Will you take the hand that aids you aboard, or shun it in one final push for independence?
I had originally planned to write something a little more subtle, linking the Staten Island ferry with Charon on the Styx, but leaving it up to the reading to decide which it was.
Then I wrote the line in bold below, which gave it all away, but which I loved. It didn’t make it into the final edit of the story, but once it had crept in, I felt the piece needed me to be clear. The Ferry fell away and only the Underworld was left.
Darkness and the Night, Father and Mother, Uncle and Aunt… all a single unholy coupling that made me fit only for that endless grind of conveyance.
So, in the end, there is very little of the picture left. I would like to edit longer, but the little boy who was one when this image first appeared is now three and a half, and is pretty peeved that I took even half an hour out of his day to write this. Charon isn’t the only one who would appreciate a bit of appreciation and a break😉
This week’s rerun is one I suggested. Reading through my previous contributions, I felt this was a favourite. It’s a lot less intense than a lot of my stories have been over the years; I suspect I’d recently watched a romcom to put me in this mood, but who knows? It’s also a happy example of when I’ve managed to wander a decent distance away from the prompt photo, although the title still links it.
While I’m here, and in a rather tangential link (rerun – run – walk), if you would like to sponsor me and Sebastian for a walking challenge in aid of Sick Kids, please wander over here. It’s a great charity, doing lots of great things for children’s health in Canada, and although we have been fortunate only to need their telephone helpline (so far, touch wood), I am very happy to know that a fantastic children’s hospital is nearby if my kids ever needed it. No expectation, but thank you if you do!