What do you see when you look at this picture? That’s what we are asked by Charli Mills and her latest prompt?
May 27, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story, using the above photo as a prompt. You can make it a garden party or an international spy thriller. Who is there and why? Does the backdrop scenery make an impact or is it ignored? The place is on an island, if you wish to make use of that. Go where the photograph leads you this week.
I’m sure a lot of people will see the beauty, imagine the pleasure of a boat trip on those calm waters, or a seductive cruise or a coruscating sailing afternoon.
Me? I see the land. The ‘thank heavens I’m now safe’. I am left utterly cold by water based trips. I do them. Some things, the Great Barrier Reef for example, cannot be viewed except from something aquatic. If you want to see Whales and Dolphins and Porpoises and not feel inexpressibly sad at their obscene confinement you need to board a boat and hang on to both the side and your stomach.
I know, I know. New Zealand had me black water and white water rafting and cruising on Doubtful Sound. But see, look at this.
When we landed from the waterfall, who expressed their relief in a rather visceral way?
And while this is an example of the extreme I’m no better if the water is smooth and the crew trustworthy.
It’s the out of my depth piece I loath. I am not in control of my destiny when there is a body of water between me and standing on solid land.
Once, in the Caribbean we took a catamaran trip to a beach for some snorkeling – I looked after the bags – and the boat was struck by lightening on the way back. All the power was lost and we sort of wandered for a bit. The children loved it, the Textiliste just read another a chapter but I let my imagination run riot. And not in a good way. I eyed the lockers where the flotation aids were kept. I ran a quick count of the aged, infirm and children and debated with myself how many I might have to trample. I even wondered if the Lawyer, then about 11 was a strong enough swimmer that I might take his jacket if I felt it necessary.
Twice I’ve enjoyed (and endured) holidays on the British canal system and the Thames and both have been slow paced and great fun until the last day when we seem to end up in A&E. It’s me, I know but that doesn’t make it any easier.
If I go back to the photo prompt I see the mountains and think ‘yes please’. But close up, near the shoreline, the open treads and lack of a handrail give me the screaming ab-dabs.
With that background, how do you expect the flash to end up? Get real. It’ll be hell.
‘Remember this one?’ Paul held out a photo.
‘It was a Sunday. You caught the sun, out on the water.’
Paul nodded. ‘We should take the children.’ He looked pointedly at Mary’s stomach.
Mary traced the steps to the water with her finger. ‘Do you think she’s still there?’
‘Rupert will find out.’
Mary held Paul’s hand. ‘I can’t believe she was living in the same village we stayed in on our honeymoon. We might…’ Her eyes filled.
Paul said quickly, ‘Remember that woman renting the finishing tackle…’
Mary stared. ‘Yes! You commented on her eyes.’
‘Green like yours.’
Go here to catch up on Mary’s story so far.
And on Thursday last week we went to see Fleetwood Mac at the O2. Great trip down memory lane. Boy, do they look crusty and the voices have suffered a bit but they put on a good show. The ultimate tribute band in a way, sort of near to what one remembers without quite being it. And this song has always been a favourite for its message, which I hope resonates with Mary: