The Fall : Literary Lion

The Fall

Sometimes I fall.

It’s a mystery to my children. They always want to know why.

“What happened Mum?” my son asks. “Did you trip over something?”

“I don’t know,” I reply.

He gives me that strange look of his that he’s been practicing since he was a toddler. I find it amusing so I smile and he retorts “It’s no laughing matter Mum.”

I try to display a serious tone and reply “No, of course it isn’t,” and because I daren’t look him in the eyes ; I look down bashfully.

My daughter is preoccupied with the state of my health.

“Did you feel dizzy Mum?”

“I don’t think so dear”

“Don’t you remember?”

“Not really; I was just walking normally and then… I wasn’t, I was laid out on the carpet.”

Then my son turns to my daughter and they exchange glances and suddenly I know exactly what’s coming.

They have this theory that explains it all. To them anyway.

My dear late husband was quick and sure. He knew what he wanted and destroyed any obstacles that might impede his progress.

I had to continually try and keep up with him and when he left the house it was as if he was in a hurry to get back. He strode out at a dashing pace; determined to get where he was headed to as quickly as possible, and I was left trotting a few paces behind, trying, but rarely succeeding, to catch up.

My children often saw me continually off balance, and always about to fall but I rarely did. Well maybe once or twice. I suppress another smile.

So they think I fall because I continue, out of habit, to walk without measuring my stride, or paying attention to my gait.

“You must slow down Mum,” my son says and I nod. It’s no use contradicting him.

“Let’s make an appointment with your GP,” adds my daughter.

“Yes dear,” I answer.

Again, we’re back to where we always conclude.

Maybe one day they’ll understand that there are no reasons or remedies.

I just fall. (347 words)

This is the current Literary Lion challenge which is to write  a piece of fiction in around 400 words inspired by the word Fall.

I’ve just come back from holidays having seen three large waterfalls (Niagara Falls in Canada, Godafoss et Gullfoss in Iceland). I resisted the temptation to use a waterfall as a subject!

Change : The Daily Post Photo Challenge

Niagara Falls

I’m just back from a wonderful Transatlantic cruise-tour from Southampton to New York via Iceland which is why I’ve been a bit quiet here for the past few weeks.

Here is my entry to this weeks The Daily Post Photo Challenge which is Change.

A few days ago my wife and I were at Niagara Falls and this photo seems appropriate and pertinent. We were on a boat that sailed to the middle of the Falls. I just managed to get a few shots before the camera got very wet. That will teach me to leave my GoPro at home! Thanks to my bright red plastic poncho the camera is safe.

What a ride that was! Pity you can’t hear the roar of the falls or get so excitingly soaked. This is, in my mind, change in many forms. I hope you agree.

The Witch : Mondays Finish the Story

The Witch

From her small balcony, the witch watched the world go by. She sat in full sight of anyone that happened to pass by.

Her long, unkempt hair rests uneasily upon the grubby shawl that adorns her bent and ungainly form.

Her hooked and crooked nose erupts from her face that is covered in warts and festering pimples.

Her twisted and deformed mouth display just blackened stumps.

She really is an archetypal witch.

She looks down to the street below where a man points to the oncoming traffic and gives a friendly wave.

She scowls as several tour buses pass slowly by. The Guides point to her balcony and the tourists point upwards with startled expressions.

As the last coach disappears she gets up, rips off her wig, spits out her dentures, removes her false nose and reaches for the packet of make-up removal wipes.

Smiling sweetly she recounts her well earned dollars.

Not bad for an hours work.
This is my entry to this weeks Monday’s Finish the Story written in a howling wind from my cabin aboard the Caribbean Princess trying to avoid a storm off the coast of Newfoundland, heading to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The Appointment

Here is my entry to  Sunday Photo Fiction. I’m on a Cruise Ship somewhere between Bergen and the Shetland Islands and with satellite wifi it’s a bit of a miracle that I can post but I’ll have to add the categories and tags later. Sorry! It was such a pain that I might miss a few weeks. We’ll see.

The Appointment 
He gazed into the shop windows along the High Street as he walked towards the car park. Nothing really caught his eye. Lots of stores were either boarded up or had for sale signs. 
His phone vibrated in his pocket. A text message. 

’Just a friendly reminder that your appointment with Anne is for 4pm’

He checked, 3.20 pm. He had ample time. Ten minutes to reach the car and ten more to drive to the Medical Centre. No problem. He kept the phone in hand.

Perhaps a quick coffee, he wondered? Better not: he’d always preferred being early.

Damn these mid-afternoon appointments. They ruined the day. 

He quickened his pace. The possibility of being late always stressed him. 

He turned the corner, and entered the car park, narrowly avoiding a woman in a shocking pink raincoat carrying two voluminous supermarket bags. 

“Sorry!” He said, turning slightly, but she just hurried along oblivious. 

Turning back he was unable to avoid the wheelchair, the frail elderly woman occupant, or the rather burly individual pushing it, coming at great speed in the opposite direction. 

Before he knew what had happened, he was straddled over the overturned wheelchair his elbow firmly planted in her midriff. Time stood still. The only sound he heard was the clatter of his phone on the Tarmac.

Then it was sheer pandemonium as the woman screamed, and the man shouted, “can’t you look where you’re going!!” Everyone turned to watch. 

His fingers tangled in the spokes of the wheelchair; he tried in vain to reach out and grab his phone with his free hand. 

Then he saw an immense American Truck approaching: It’s chrome gleaming, in the afternoon sun. 

The squealing brakes didn’t cover the sound of crunching plastic, as the trailer rode over his mobile. 

His afternoon appointment was no longer at the top of his list of priorities. 

Daily Post Photo Challenge : Connected

The challenge for this weeks Daily Post Photo Challenge is Connected.

This post  portrays the connection between the Atlantic Ocean (via the Caribbean Sea) and the Pacific Ocean : The Panama Canal.

My wife and I transited earlier this year on the Queen Victoria. It was a memorable passage.

Entering into the Panama Canal from the Caribbean Sea
The Passage at Gatun
Leaving the Gatun Lake
About to pass under the Bridge of the Americas (and into the Pacific Ocean)
An Admiralty Chart of the passage.

This is a rather unusual view of the canal from a first floor cabin!

The Poem : Literary Lion

This fortnights Literary Lion Challenge word is Limerick. It’s so enjoyable to be able to spread to 400 words from time to time! The featured photo is (c) Laura Gabrielle Feasey

The Poem

”Write me a poem,” pleaded Caroline, her face upturned with deep green eyes that twinkled pleadingly in the night light’s shine.

“I thought you wanted me to read you a story,” I replied.

“Yes, tell me a story but I need a poem that I can give to Mark.”

It was just a few days before Valentines Day and the whole school was in effervescence.

“Have you bought the card?” I enquired.

”Yes, Mum helped me choose it in the supermarket.”

“Are you going to send it as a surprise?”

“No I’ll give it to him on the way home.”

Mark had been walking Caroline back from school since the beginning of term. I often watched them from the upstairs window as they turned the corner of the street and walked the last few feet to the house.

I observed Mark glancing often at Caroline and imagined that he was trying to pluck up the courage to hold her hand.

I remembered living a similar experience when I was at school. I can’t remember her name, I think it was Anne. It took me more than two weeks to hold her hand and then it was even more awkward when a few weeks later, I went to kiss her on arriving at the front porch of her bungalow. When it finally happened, it was with clenched lips, and romantically very anticlimactic.

I read Caroline her bedtime story and leaned down to kiss her on the cheek before going downstairs.

As I started to pull the door behind me she stirred and said “Promise me Dad.”

“Sure thing buttercup. I’ll do my best.”

I went straight to my desk, poured myself a large glass of Pinot Gris, and after searching in the top drawer for pen and paper, started to write.

I’ll try a Limerick I thought.

After 10 minutes, I’d thought of something, and read it aloud before folding it, ready to slip into the envelope tomorrow morning.

“There was a young boy called Mark
That took Caroline on a walk in the park.
He held her by the hand
In front of the bandstand
And blew her a kiss before it got dark.”

(362 words)