This week Charli Mills’ post is about mud though she has prompted us thus
February 9, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a rainbow in a puddle. Is it a silver lining of sorts or a false reflection? Think about what it might mean or convey. Simple science? Hope? Or the doom of humankind? Create action or character reflection. Go where the prompt leads you.
… nothing quite like it for cooling the blood…
Back in the early 1960s, when I began to watch TV programmes my parents watched and understand them a little, one early memory is a double act, cabaret style, involving Michael Flanders and Donald Swan. Flanders was bluff and big, a bearded behemoth compared to the sparrow-like, bespectacled professor at the piano, Swan. Flanders was dynamic, energised, animated to Swan’s controlled, precise, somewhat fey, minimalist. Yet Flanders was wheelchair-bound, a sight totally unusual on TV in the early 60s. If I understood disabilities then it was to feel sorry for the sufferer, to expect them to need help, to be somehow downtrodden, world-weary, disappointed. The antithesis of Flanders. He subverted the stereotype for me, he muddied the waters, if you like. And the two of them sang wonderful funny clever irreverent songs like this
Ah happy memories. Seeing mum and dad laughing unrestrainedly to these two men was a delight too. Nothing muddy about their relationship. But that doesn’t stop you appreciating the muddy times that sometimes occur, knowing that clarity isn’t always helpful. Rather like strong sunlight. It can illuminate or blind; it just depends on where you are looking, or maybe what you are looking for.
Here’s another song
And this week I’m cheating with two flash pieces, one on mud and one on Charli’s prompt, but linked. And Mary’s reminiscing about a fall….
The urge to call them back was almost overwhelming. Mary rocked Charlotte and focused on Penny, following Paul across the cliffside. He was confident, Penny less so, but determined nonetheless.
Mary shut her eyes, travelling back decades: another cliff, another daughter following her father. This daughter, her, slipping on the wet mud, falling, landing hard aware of the likely pain of the impact (there wasn’t) and her own mother’s screams. Her father, all worried face saying ‘not to fuss so.’
‘Mum, look!’ Penny and Paul stood on the top waving.
Did you ever really let go of your children?
What comes first: the cloud or the silver lining?
Mary focused on changing the baby while Paul pulled out the picnic. ‘You didn’t need to climb up there.’ She couldn’t look at him.
‘It was safe enough.’
‘Is ‘safe enough’ your standard? I had kittens.’
He put his arm round her waist. ‘She was terrified at the start and buzzing at the end. You know, she saw this rainbow, reflected in a puddle, when we finished. It was her pot of gold, challenging herself like that.’
Mary sighed. Was she the only one to worry the next cloud might be the one not to have a silver lining?
If you want to follow the rest of Mary, and her family’s story to date, click here...
And a PS. Yesterday I noted 1000 people were following this blog via the WordPress button thing. I find that extraordinary as indeed are some of you, my followers; you are of course all lovely but why someone who blogs about visas to Cambodia, or the best leggings money can buy in Tashkent is beyond me. Which makes me think back to when I started. I had about 3 followers when I was introduced to Charli’s Carrot Ranch and posted my first attempt at flash fiction. The prompt was ‘Serendipity’ and this my response:
Harry dropped his gaze to avoid looking at Sally. No point; she didn’t know he existed. He looked at the dog.
Milton looked back; he scratched his ear before lowering himself into a squat.
“No. Christ. Not here.”
Milton held Harry’s gaze as he shat on the pavement.
“Great” Harry stared at the sticky turd. He patted his pocket. No bags.
Harry glanced up, wondering if he could leave it. To his horror, Sally was a few paces away. She held out her crisp packet. “Here.”
As Harry cleared up, Sally rubbed Milton’s head. “Cute dog.”
Harry became Mary’s father (here, he’s a young man) and Milton remained his dog that dies in the first episode triggering all sort so complications. That was my sixth blog post. I’ve now done 1106 posts. Blimey, some journey, a lot of it involving these Rough Rides. So this is as f=good a time as any to say, to all of you, thank you and especially
Thank you Charli…