ordinarily speaking. .. naturally occurring

Regular readers know I post a 99 word flash as part of Charli Mills weekly prompts and they continue the convoluted story of Mary North.

This is the prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) include a juxtaposition between the ordinary and natural worlds. It can be civilization and nature; an edifice and a nest or cave; a human act and a natural occurrence; acculturation and adaptation. Compare or contrast as the prompt leads you to write.

Currently Charli is selling her book idea in LA and I am in South of France writing this on my mobile.

View from Mons

View from Mons

Today we visited Mons 815 metres up in the Var forests.

Main Street Mons

Main Street Mons

Mons is a higgledy piggledy ancient town with streets designed for sinister spy stories not motorcars. It is attractive or would be without the Mistral.  That irreverent and inconsiderate wind gusting from 0 to 90kph in the blink of grit takes no prisoners. It isn’t cold but it digs and niggles like an unwanted younger sibling interrupting play time.

The Textiliste defying the wind

The Textiliste defying the wind

It is a natural occurrence that feels artificial like it bears a grudge. In the film Chocolat it changes the town’s character. I get that.  It’s a mood mover.  It makes you check your bags, it makes you duck in case of flying objects.  They even put rocks on the roofs to hold the tiles in place.

I don’t trust such a sneaky weather system.


And standing on the buttress that holds the town in place watching the locals scurry indoors and the church bell twist like it’s being tickled was to feel a part of something timeless, something that would have been invested with the supernatural not that many years ago

It’s a wind that speaks in groans and whispers, of pain long endured; it throws its anger at both the natural and ordinary world with a ferocity that knocks you breathless.

Un vent fou. N’est-ce pas?



And Mary? Here’s a link to the story so far.

Digging in

‘I’m sorry Madam.  We have to dig up every part. There may be more bodies. ‘

Mary shuddered. Not just the idea of more deaths but also the destruction of her parents pride and joy. The policeman was still talking.  ‘When was the cherry planted?’

Mary hesitated.  She knew exactly.  On the fifth anniversary of her mother’s death.  When they’d decided to use her ashes as the first foodstuff. She explained.

Even the policeman looked pained. ‘I’ll see if we can re-pot it for you.’

Mary couldn’t stop the tears.  So much death yet losing this tree mattered most? Why?

In the meantime,  au revoir from ici and see you back en Angleterre demain soir.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at geofflepard.com about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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25 Responses to ordinarily speaking. .. naturally occurring

  1. Sacha Black says:

    It is indeed 99 words. I checked for you. 🙂 Jolly good flash, you need to write a crime novel

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Roger Shipp says:

    Beautiful pictures! The quandary between the two :deaths” … nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. rogershipp says:

    I thought I had already posted? The quandary between the two deaths… Nicely done!
    I loved the pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Norah says:

    You did very well on your mobile, Geoff. I think you are addicted. I wouldn’t even have attempted. I think doing stuff on the iPad is difficult enough, let alone trying to use a phone! I congratulate you! This next part of Mary’s story is interesting. More bodies! Whose bodies? I wasn’t sure about the fifth anniversary and using the ashes as the first foodstuff. Do you mean foodstuff for the tree, or what am I missing?
    I hope you have enjoyed your sojourn in France and have a safe trip home.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Sherri says:

    Geoff you amaze me, I don’t know how you keep blogging even when away! Loved the way you brought in the juxtaposition of the two different deaths and the way Mary reacts to the possible loss of the tree. Also the way you describe that Mistral…always fascinated me that. Your pics remind me so much of our hols in France, love it there. And in case you missed it, I’ve tagged you for a Love Ten Sentences poem blog hop. Here’s the link, it’s so easy, and you get to write a poem… 🙂 Enjoy your hols…tres bien mon amie…

    Liked by 3 people

  6. AJ says:

    My gosh, Mary just can’t catch a break. And good grief, you’re blogging even on vaca! I bet you’re still reading everyone’s posts too! I don’t know how you do it… Lol

    Liked by 2 people

  7. willowdot21 says:

    Tres Bon! Double check the travel itinerary!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. 😀 An “ancient town with streets designed for sinister spy stories not motorcars.”

    No, writing posts (or anything for that matter) is not easy on the phone. That aside, great flash! I see a cherry tree in the corner of Mary’s living room soon. Beautiful flash.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Annecdotist says:

    Love your depiction of Le Mistral, Geoff, and in awe of you producing your post on your phone. I’ll occasionally do tweets on mine but that’s the limit.
    Lovely flash too – now I’m wondering what kind of cherry tree Mary has. We have one type that produces scrawny pale pink flowers early in the year (it’s good to have it blooming now, so I shouldn’t knock it) and another vibrant ostentatious number that performs for a few weeks around June – I’d hate to kill that one for the sake of some old bones!

    Liked by 2 people

    • TanGental says:

      We’ve just planted a fruiting cherry which is what put me in mind. I love our flowering cherries – the late sort you describe – but they are over far too soon


  10. Charli Mills says:

    You have a true writer’s soul! Once you let it out, there’s no sense in trying to pack it away. Mobile writing is tricky. My phone is more of a smart-ass than smart and changes all kinds of words on me. France looks much colder than LA, but I’m sure your air was cleaner. In LA there’s leather everywhere but no beef to eat. How odd is that? Great juxtaposition between ashes and cherry tree, life and death yet you still managed to carry out the progression of Mary’s story. Safe travels home!

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      France was, as the say ‘oop north’ in Anne’s territory ‘reet parky’ but glorious and, yes clean as a baby’s fart. Not surprised LA let you down on the carnivores front but glad it went well and you a re safe home. And glad you can see the progress of the flash; I’m begging to wonder if I should become a plotter not a pantster but that would be a trifle arrogant since who the heck knows where your prompts will take us; you sure as hell don’t so what chance do we have of second guessing!!

      Liked by 1 person

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  12. Autism Mom says:

    Beautiful descriptions and I love the dancing tree!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. That wind sounds very bad, and as for rocks on roofs, I’m just hoping the wind did not bring any down? The gale force winds we had here in the UK on Monday night kept me awake all night.

    I admire you very much for writing and publishing a blog post on a phone. I need a desk top (at least) to be able to do that.

    Hope France was good. Looks like you enjoyed yourselves very much having managed to get there, after reading your last post. Did your luggage finally turn up or was it waiting for you back at Heathrow?

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      It came, thanks Hugh, for which everyone was grateful – the senior Le Pard in the same underwear for four days is not a happy experience for either the bearer or the breather..

      Liked by 1 person

  14. So I’m guessing no having to turn underwear and socks inside out then? Good to hear.

    Liked by 1 person

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