Flash Fiction #66

Widdershins

PHOTO PROMPT © The Reclining Gentleman

WIDDERSHINS

He must be late! Everybody was coming back. Bloody British, they don’t know if they’re coming or going, but do it on the wrong side of the road. Everyone else had passed to the right on medieval trails, to keep the sword-arm free.

Not the English! No Sirree! At least they hadn’t passed this aberration on to Canada or the USA, although they’d led 50 other countries astray – if you didn’t look too hard at the definition of the term ‘country.’ Turks and Caicos Islands, and Vendu. Vendu?? There were sunglass kiosks in the malls that were larger than Vendu.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple website and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

 

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30 thoughts on “Flash Fiction #66

  1. micklively says:

    You want to steer with your left hand and change gear with your right? Now that is an aberration. 😉
    Good piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Archon's Den says:

      Steering is easy, and can be done with the left/weak/passive hand. Finding and selecting gears is more forceful, to be done with the right/stronger hand. Over here in Technology Wonderland, we have mystical cars with automatic transmissions, capable of selecting their own gears. It leaves the right hand free for – coffee, Danish, cell phone, electric razor, laptop, maps, makeup, filling out the accident report about how you hit the truck. (Sorry, lorry) 😯 😦

      Liked by 4 people

      • micklively says:

        Neither task takes strength, unless there’s something seriously awry with your car. Gear selection requires no subtlety: a digital input. Steering is analogue: infinite adjustment available. I do not want to drive keggy-handed.
        Automatic transmission is horrible. If I wanted to abandon all control, I’d take a train.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Dale says:

        I’m with you on the whole shifting gears left-handed…

        Like

      • Archon's Den says:

        Thank you so much for providing the old linguaphile with ‘keggy-handed’ and all its poor relatives to research.
        I too long for the days of standard transmissions, and actual control of autos. Automatic transmissions are now standard, and standards are only optional – and far more expensive. 😦
        I once owned a 1956 Austin saloon – left-hand drive for Canada, but the 4-speed column shift backwards to North American standard. Instead of 1st gear down and to you, it was away and up. It had a 3D display of gear positions inside the clear shift-handle knob.
        I used to lend it to my mother to run errands. I thought to ask one day if she had any difficulty locating gears. It seems she just put it in ‘a gear’ – Lord knows which one – eased the clutch out and went. She never stopped anywhere she’d have to back up. 😯

        Like

  2. mjlstories says:

    So what we’re saying is right-handed people should drive on the left and left-handed on the right – or is it the other way around?
    By the way, which end do you open your boiled egg?

    Like

    • Archon's Den says:

      Left-handed people should stay off the roads – see Mick’s ‘keggy-handed’ comment above. Next you’ll be saying that red-headed people should be allowed to drive. I used to have Jonathon Swift come over and open my boiled eggs for me. He carefully split them from one end to the other. Since he died, I’ve only eaten them scrambled. 😉 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. i was about to ask about left handed people. In cricket it is an advantage to be left handed but it seems in sword play and driving the opposite is true.

    Like

    • Archon's Den says:

      In baseball, left-handed pitchers have an advantage over right-handed hitters. I don’t know if there’s an advantage either way in sword play. I do know that the 90% right-handed majority caused most of the world to drive to the right. 😛

      Like

  4. Let’s just say an American driving his wife on a British road on holiday is a recipe for divorce. This might have happened to me. 😉
    More than once.

    Like

    • Archon's Den says:

      As I wrote this, I was reminded of Chevy Chase, and ‘European Vacation.’ Having rented a right-hand drive car, he got trapped, unable to exit the huge roundabout(rotary) near Buckingham Palace. Round and round – and round – they went. I’m reasonably sure though, that the American special-effects had them rotating counter(anti)-clockwise (widdershins), American style, rather than British clockwise. 😳

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Francesca Smith says:

    Entertaining, even for a Brit who does not know if she is coming or going.

    Like

  6. gahlearner says:

    When I was in New Zealand, one of these countries that have adopted the sinister way of driving, I never had a problem driving. Steering wheel and gear shift is in the right place, everything else needs only a few adaptations. It’d only get awkward with a car made for right-side driving. As a pedestrian however, I was close to being run over more than once. That ‘look left, then right’ before crossing a street has become an automatism that’s not easy to turn upside down… Fun story!

    Like

    • Archon's Den says:

      While arthritis has me walking less these days, when I do, I look in all directions, including up. I once lived on a three-lane, one-way street. I stopped at the corner, looked right, in the direction of anticipated traffic, saw nothing, stepped off the curb (kerb), and almost got run over by a high-speed Corvette, taking an illegal shortcut. 😳

      Liked by 1 person

  7. BrainRants says:

    Good thing we never adopted that driving on the wrong side of the car and the road thing. Never made sense to me.

    Like

  8. rogershipp says:

    Such frustration… breathe deep…. let it go…. Enjoyed the read!

    Like

    • Archon's Den says:

      Not frustration….more amusement, and bemusement. I have strong feelings of connectedness to the British Isles, but I still enjoy sometimes poking a bit of fun at the English, because my ancestors came from north of Hadrian’s Wall 😎

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Widdershins. I think I saw this on another blog. Does it mean all mixed up? I did chuckle at the comments. Yes we in America drive on the opposite side of the road or we say the British are driving on the wrong side. And all those goofy cars with steering wheels on the right. I like the line about having the sword arm free.

    Like

    • Archon's Den says:

      Thanx for stopping by. Even in my brief little Flash Fictions, I try to slip a bit of trivia education in.
      with-er-shins
      [with -er-shinz]
      Word Origin
      adverb, Chiefly Scot.
      1.
      in a direction contrary to the natural one, especially contrary to the apparent course of the sun or counterclockwise: considered as unlucky or causing disaster.
      Also, widdershins [wid-er-shinz]
      Compare deasil.
      Origin of withershins
      Middle Low German
      Middle High German
      1505-15; < Middle Low German weddersin (ne) s < Middle High German widdersinnes, equivalent to wider (Old High German widar) opposite (see with ) + sinnes, genitive of sin way, course (cognate with Old English sīth); see send1, -s1
      Dictionary.com Unabridged
      Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
      Cite This Source
      Examples from the Web for with-er-shins
      Historical Examples
      Once he built a small outdoor fire and walked around it, widdershins, for several minutes.
      Wizard – Laurence Mark Janifer (AKA Larry M. Harris)
      That was the wrong way round—the unlucky, uncanonical direction; the evil way, widdershins, the opposite of sunwise.
      Hilda Wade, Grant Allen

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Interesting, I didn’t know about the sword arm thing.

    Like

  11. Thanks, Archon. I’ve learned something. I never knew about keeping the sword arm free. Makes sense to me. The next time I’m on a horse and carrying a sword, I’ll remember that. Funny and well done. 😀 — Suzanne

    Like

    • Archon's Den says:

      And the handshake began as proof that each participant had no edged weapons, and trusted that the other did not either. 😯
      Twice in the last week, a check of ‘what others are writing’ about some of my blog-tags has brought me to several, Need a Taxi in Pune? – Looking for good Chinese food in Pune? – Want a good Hotel in Pune?, and I know where Pune is, even if I never need to hire a three-wheel jitney. 😛

      Like

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