Flash Fiction #206

Angels

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

WE STAND ON GUARD

Okay, gentlemen – and ladies, Mardi Gras is still a couple of months away, so this will be our first, get-to-know New Orleans tour. We will be focussing on safety – ways that people can hurt themselves.

Are there potholes where someone might trip and fall in front of a float? Is there a loose power pole, or low-hanging wires? Are there steep brick steps leading to the street, from a bar that’s overstocked with liquor? Is there a tree that some drunken moron might climb to view the parade?

Stay sharp! It will be a busy week for us Guardian angels.

***

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

friday-fictioneers-badge-web

Flash Fiction #73

Gutter

PHOTO PROMPT © C.E. Ayr

NEFARIOUS NEGATION

He surreptitiously followed her as she tottered out of the bar into the dark.  The cheap booze and clunky heels made her bodycheck a couple of buildings before stumbling left onto East 48th Street

He mustn’t lose this one.  She’d be SO enjoyable!  As he quickly sidled toward the corner, he could hear/feel a vibration – a deep hum.  A bright, blue-white light bathed the intersection.

When both had died away, he cautiously poked his head around the corner, to see only an empty street – no, there, in the gutter.  Now where had that drunk bitch gone with only one shoe?

***

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

***

I extend a wish for a happy and joyous Thanksgiving to all my American readers.  Enjoy, but watch out for DUIs and too much turkey.  After the fuss raised about Starbucks’ ‘War On Christmas’, which is really Commercial, not Christian, I was pleased to see last evening, TV ads for three large store chains who are staying closed for Thanksgiving day.

Poet’s Corner

Poetry

On Thinking Of My Love

And love Thee; And need Thee; And have Thee not,
Yet the Light of Thy Presence banishes the darkness of my loneliness,
Joy and sweet Happiness personified.

But the great pinions which would fly to Thee
By dark and dreary mundane passings, are clipped.

Oh Beauteous One!  Sweet life itself Thou art to me.
Full well know I Thou art my soul,
And my heart be not full and complete without Thee.

And forget Thee?
Say nay!!  For with me always art Thou,
In both angelic face and soul,
In sweet remembrance.

Thy kind, pure person,
With ever-happy, smiling countenance
And silvern, crystal laughter,
Desire I by my side.

Yet despair not and nor will I.
Soon, Love, shall we be rejoined,
That I may again drink deep of the pure, clear stream
Of my devotion, and offer Thee

On humble knees,
The obeisance
Of my love to thee.

Phoenix-Maker Thou art; Truly,
Shaper of Fate and Fortune,
To burn away the nothing detritus
Of a nowhere life,

And from the ashes, draw,
Hot and molten, the nub of an almost forgotten past,
To be forged on the anvil of Reality,
Into a tool with which to garner a fuller future.

Guide Thou art, taking by the hand
A soul, lost in the wilds of mediocrity and suburbia,
Drawing a willing spirit past
The traps and pitfalls and morés
Of reliability, and respectability, and responsibility,

To a haven of a life to be lived
And savored and enjoyed,
Not merely observed and endured.

Friend Thou art, and much, much more.
Lover even, to give of the heart and soul and mind and body
To one so unworthy of Thee.

Treat me as Thou will,
Yet I hope it be not ill.
Spurn me not, nor leave me lonely,
For now Thou art my one and only.

In the ongoing Autumn Housecleaning, I came upon this, one of my first (and fortunately few) love poems, in free verse and archaic language.  The wife and I are coming up 48 years married, so you can imagine how old this attempt is.  Be kind to the callow 21-year-old me, who thought he could impress a woman with poetry.   🙄

#459

Protection From Demons

Oops, sorry!  That title should read Protection, From Demons.  When the glaciers marched into and out of this region ages ago, they dug up and left behind a lot of stone.  This is one of the most geologically varied areas in the world.  When we moved here, I hired a separate van to move 3000 pounds of rocks that we’d obtained over the years, to be used for landscaping and garden accents, quartz, marble, sandstone, agate and shale, often with fossils in it.

Over the years, we have also purchased a variety of garden figures.  Not silly little gnomes, these guys have some character, like the characters who own them.

Igor 2       Igor

This is Igor.  He came to us blind, because he had one eye closed, and the other one missing.  We provided him with a blood-red marble to see with.  He spent years beneath the wife’s magnolia bush, which didn’t do well in sandy soil near the river, when we lived on the other side of town, but has grown and branched and bloomed in the clay-ey soil here.

a New Magnolia

The first photo shows the small, but blooming plant 15 years ago, before we moved.

Bare Magnolia TreeThe next shot is the same shrub, transplanted, after we moved, 12 years ago.  Not much more than a stick, we didn’t hold much hope for it.  You can see a couple of the accent stones we brought along.

 

Magnolia [2] 2009The blooming shot is from five years ago.  It blooms in the spring before it leafs out.  The last pic is from the same spot as shot number 2, giving some idea of how it continues to grow.  It’s a shrub magnolia, not the tree variety, but 14/15 feet tall.  We get some re-blooming, especially on the sunny top, mid-July/Aug.

Magnolia 1, 2013

 

Igor bade goodbye to years of Halloween trick-or-treaters.  He’s an anorexic 7.5 pounds of fibreglass and resin, easily talked into walking down the street with a teenager, like a three-pound pottery angel which disappeared off a flower table on the front porch.  Or maybe she was just embarrassed by the company she was forced to keep, and flew away.

Goliath [1]Goliath

When we had the chance to adopt Goliath, we gave him a Moonstone evil-eye – and Igor’s spot under the magnolia.  Goliath is 75 pounds of pure concrete, promising a hernia or broken foot to any potential thief.  Igor moved to the back deck.

Go Away

Go Away (front)

Back on the deck, he moved in with “Go Away”, my personal mascot.  I was going to use his photo as my gravatar, but decided on something a little more welcoming.  There are (un)welcome mats which also read Go Away, but it’s cheaper just to ignore the doorbell.  Back beside Go Away, is the wife’s final word to her flowers, “Grow Dammit”.  Seems to be working.

GrowDamnIt

They are watched over by Winged Victory, who can’t fly off the fencepost because of a six-inch spike up his little fiberglass ass.  He was the painted display model and the last of his discontinued line that we brought home from a Mediaeval Faire.  He is a grotesque, because only waterspouts are correctly named gargoyles.

Fence Boy [1]Winged Victory

Continuing in the son’s hear-no-evil, etc. theme, are the matched set of concrete goblins which he purchased.  I managed to set them out in the correct order.  The child whose head is full of even more useless trivia than mine, says their Japanese names are Mizaru, Mazaru, and Mikazaru.  Some sets include, “Do No Evil”, with the hands over his crotch.  As well, there’s the vertical, resin, green and white frog-set version.  He has others, indoors.

See No, Hear No, Speech No 1 Froggies

Back around at the front, keeping intruders out of the washroom window are two of three concrete goblin-lions.  They’ve been out there 24/7/365 since we bought them.  Sadly, the third must have had a crack, and this spring, freezing split it into three unequal pieces.  For backup, they hang out with a demented Sesame Street-like character the grandson formed in pottery class in grade eight.

                          Window Sill Grotesques [2]

If anyone manages to get through the window, without upsetting the goblins, or our cats, they are not welcomed inside by Hellboy’s younger brother, Redboy.

Red BoyLurking near the door, waiting to trip up unsuspecting Jehovah’s Witnesses, kids selling school chocolate, and other ne’er-do-wells, is The Thinker, looking like he just climbed down off an Aztec sacrificial pyramid after ingesting a bit too much peyote, and thinking about who he’ll have for lunch.

Porch Thinker [1]Thinker

Providing a stumbling block in front of a three-tier brass plant-stand and the aforementioned plant table, at the end of the porch, is Todd The Toad.  While not much for rending undesirables limb from limb, after the rest of the Wrecking Crew do their number, he eats up any incriminating DNA evidence.  He hopped home with us all the way from the three-ended bridge in Zanesville, Ohio.

Toad

Tod the Toad [1]Having written about a Yankee transplant in Kentucky whose God-fearing neighbors wanted him burned at the stake for having two little concrete demons out at the end of his driveway, it occurred to me to wonder what the neighbors thought of our unusual “pets.”  One weekend, when the neighbor-lady’s father was visiting from Buffalo, I asked if they were offended or worried in any way.

Logical thinkers, they had no problems.  The dad asked, though, “Shouldn’t they be facing outwards?”  He don’t know us very well, do he?  On the wall, just inside the front door, is a small parchment which reads, “Remember, as far as anyone knows, we’re just a nice normal family.”  They’re there to protect the rest of the neighborhood from us!

SDC10459

Rebound

The bouncing ball of public comment has not yet come to rest on some items which I had previously commented on.  I thought I’d give them a quick revisit and see if I’m still as miffed, and people still think they can run their mouth off, and no-one will notice.

Re; the Alleged black mugger, dead in the park.

I know his Mamma misses him and still thinks the world of him, but….you still can’t say anything bad about a dead person.  As part of his sterling qualities, she was quoted in today’s paper, saying that, “He was interested in music.  He worked on a CD.”  Big F*** deal!  I’m interested in women, but I have no idea how they function.  Notice, she didn’t say that he sang, or played an instrument, or created music in any way.  “Worked on a CD” might mean that he was the guy who heat-sealed on, that indestructible wrapping that you need a blow-torch or crowbar to remove.  It could mean that he cleaned, oiled and reloaded a pistol for some punk rapper.  If he was all that interested in music, he shouldn’t have been alone in a park at 11:30 P.M., Allegedly with a fake gun.

Re; The guy who was strip-searched, after his 4 year-old drew a picture of a gun.

He has received an apology from the local Chief of Police, and a promise that “procedures will be reviewed”.  Apparently he’s as impressed with that as I am.  He says he still plans to pursue legal recourse.  A female columnist in today’s paper was all gushy about the “sincere and responsible apology”, and felt he should accept it and just move on.  Her article claims his ordeal lasted only four and a half hours.  His humiliation and embarrassment may last the rest of his life but, the original article said that he was left in a cell “overnight”, with no clothes, and only a blanket to cover him.  Somebody’s wrong/lying.

Police still claim that, the reason he was strip-searched, was that he was to be put into general population, and they didn’t want him to pose a threat to other prisoners.  Were they going to put him in with the others naked?  After going over his clothes, they should have been returned to him no matter where he spent the night.  It’s either sloppy police-work or harassment tactics.  I think the Chief would rather plead guilty to sloppy work than admit to bully-boy methods, that’s why the promise to review procedures, to divert attention from the unacceptable alternative.

They claim they were going to put him with others, but forgot(?), and left him alone, in a single cell.  That is yet another example of sloppy work/harassment!  It smacks of the recent story from the States, of a fifteen-year-old boy, picked up on a bullshit charge, thrown into a single cell at the end of the cell-block, and forgotten for three and a half days.  He had to drink his own urine to survive.  Somebody gotta get out and write them traffic tickets, but there’s no quota!

Re; Gay/Straight high-school support groups.

The Catholic Church, and its more vocal supporters are all over the Provincial government on this issue.  They’re playing the, “We’ll make up the definition.” game.  The premier is a Catholic, with teens in a Catholic high-school.  The female Minister of Education also has two kids in Catholic schools, and yet they are accused of ganging up on the poor, defenceless Church.

The definition game is that they are claiming that the government’s edict forces them to violate their moral code.  Which one?  The one that says they can demean people they don’t approve of?  Render unto Caesar, that which is Caesar’s, and get on with it.  The moral code as I understand it, is, Love the sinner, hate the sin, so form the damned groups, love the unloved ones, and put the moralistic preening away.

Actually, after all of this, it’s still not about the groups, it’s about the name.  They simply don’t want the word gay included.  The fundamentalists worry that allowing the use of the word might somehow imply that the Church or its agents approve of those they view to be sinners.  In a different version of the definition game, they claim that the government is forcing them to use the term Gay/Straight Alliance.  In fact, the legislation prevents the Church from forcing the groups not to use the commonly accepted name.  The students are free to call their groups anything they want, with no pressure from the state, but the fundies know what name the kids will choose, if only to p**s off these Bible thumpers.

These are the people most likely to disparage the picayune peccadilloes of the al Qaeda.  It’s like the pot calling the kettle anal retentive.  Apparently they don’t own any mirrors.  There is much in the Church, and in religion, that is good, but this is just OCD central.  Some of these people need professional help, or at the very least, signage at the end of their driveways, directing them toward reality and tolerance.  All this fuss about a word!  People used to be tortured to death, and wars fought over things like, how many Angels can dance on the head of a pin?  Are you pleased with how far we’ve come?