This week’s photo could have been taken for my story a couple of weeks ago. So much so, that I decided to add a part 2 from a different perspective. If you know Melanie’s story at all, you might wonder who this is. I had Mrs Mwanna in mind to begin with, but now I’m wondering if it could be her Dad. Up to you.
Thank you to Brenda Cox for this week’s photo. Not sure why WordPress isn’t letting me caption it direct.
The merry go round’s gone to rack and ruin.
That’s what I think when Melanie tells me her theory about God. The man in the middle is too busy spoiling everyone’s fun to notice the paint is faded and the horses have lost their smiles.
I know the emperor’s naked, but pointing it out would be counterproductive. For me, the beauty could never be the horses anyway. For me, it’s the little girl in the bright flowery dress who still sees gleaming gold and prancing ponies. The girl clutching my hand, squealing her delight and enjoying everything about the ride.
I’m not sure about this week’s story. I wrote a 200 word version and have edited and reworked it so many times, I can’t tell if it loses the point. I’d love to hear your feedback, good and bad. And apologies in advance for using the C word when it’s barely even October!
The Christmas After
That first Christmas after Mom left, Shannon knew things wouldn’t be the same. Last year, she’d got a big doll’s house with only a small tear in the wallpaper. Her one-legged Ken carried Barbie across the threshold and Dad had made little furniture out of cardboard boxes.
There was no big gift this year, but Dad appeared at the door holding a folded square of paper. “Christmas a little lean this year, Bubblegum” he said.
In Dad’s shaky handwriting, the note said “IOU: One afternoon window shopping”.
“Thanks!” she said, trying to mean it. “I only got you a hug.”
Dawson met Donald on the plane. They shared a joke about kids demanding gifts on their return. They lost track of each other after baggage reclaim – a grandiose name for the pile of bags on a worn-out trolley in the entrance hall.
A week later, digging yet another home out of the rubble, Dawson heard his name yelled from the river. Donald was in full vacation mode, paddling through the gentle swell. The earthquake had made hotels desperate for guests, Donald said. Watersports were free. Dawson should get out of the mud and join him on a jetski tomorrow.
When I got home, Mum wanted to know all about the host family where I stayed. They taught me so much – they always followed up with the English if they said something I couldn’t understand. I couldn’t tell her my favourite lesson though.
On the way to a super fancy restaurant for dinner, we were running late when a huge wagonload of straw pulled onto the road in front of us.
“Merde!” shouted the Dad.
The Mum looked at him and whispered “Les enfants!”
So he turns to me. I thought he was going to apologise, but he translates instead.
Being married to a Rear Admiral, it’s no surprise that Lady Margaret favours the nautical metaphor. Moving to a bigger house, she gathered us together to announce that “a rising tide lifts all boats,” without giving a moment’s thought to the boats who’d be getting up 30 minutes earlier to light five extra fires and shine twice as many brass knockers.
Recently, she’s been heard to say that “we’re all in the same boat”. I suppose, in a sense, we are. Same boat, same storm. But only some of us are in steerage, avoiding rats and bailing out the bilge.
Not my favourite phrase of the era, as you can probably tell. I do enjoy a bit of Zac Brown Band though:
Hetty liked Professor Billmore in spite of his quirkiness. He biked around the grounds with his cape billowing and any student foolish enough to get in his way was treated to a peremptory bark and a flight into a nearby bush, but if you gave him space, he always acknowledged with a wave.
It wasn’t until Hetty’s train home was late one day that she learned more about Professor Billmore’s eccentricities. She was on Platform 9, willing the engine to appear, when she heard the familiar shout. She turned to see half the bicycle disappearing into the wall behind her.
Riding through the countryside was Owen’s freedom. Nobody asked him anything and if they had, their voices would’ve been drowned out by the roar of the engine.
If Alan was out for a morning ride, he wanted to hear the larks; the gentle burn in his thighs wasn’t just a price worth paying, it was part of the experience.
Pulling up outside a café atop the hill, the two men stared, uncomprehending. Then Owen peeled down his leathers, revealing his shirt.
“Don’t see many United fans round here. D’you see the game Saturday?” Alan smiled at his new best friend.
I have a shirt for the Red Bull Formula 1 team. It wasn’t cheap but it’s comfy and I love it. More than that, I find it evokes a fascinating response. Formula 1 fans are not as widespread as soccer or hockey fans, but there are more of them around than I realised, and my shirt almost always results in me finding one! Instant friend. Or rival, depending who they support! 😉
“Pixies?!” My nephew spun towards me. He’s used to my scientific answers: refraction makes the sky blue, bites itch because of histamines, etc. When he asked how the dispenser gives him soap, he was probably expecting light beams or heat sensors.
“Pixies,” I said. “They sit in the machine and whenever they see a hand coming towards them, they panic! The Watching Pixie calls up to the Defensive Pixies and they fire soap!”
His eyes lit up. “But soap isn’t a weapon!”
“Makes the hand go away, doesn’t it?”
A full minute later: “Is soap pixie poop?!”
If you enjoyed the science in this week’s Friday Fiction, check out this old Inspiration Mondays story about how fridge lights work.