Mud mud glorious mud… #carrotranch

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….

Mud slide 

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.”
“For that.”
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

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. 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.
This entry was posted in creative writing, flash fiction, miscellany, prompt and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Mud mud glorious mud… #carrotranch

  1. Ritu says:

    Wowzers! Congrats on your 1000 followers!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Awesome, Geoff! Kudos on the followers.
    I was feeling *muddled* but I really enjoyed this post!. 😉 Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. willowdot21 says:

    Great oaks from little acorns grow.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s more than 1 follower per post picked up Geoff – you must be dropping something sweet 🙂
    I admit to finding it odd how, on my blog anyway, there is a huge number of people who never visit, never read, never like or comment or interact in any way and yet apparently hit the ‘follow’ button.

    You introduced me to Charli just over a year ago on the light catcher giveaway and I have followed along quietly ever since. She really is quite remarkable isn’t she and most certainly deserving of your thanks and adoration 🙂 And that first short story reminded me of Harry Spittle, not just because of the name, this could have been an excerpt from Dead Flies ………. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. jan says:

    I’m always amazed by the way you can spin out clever shorts every couple of days (or is it every day?) Shat, hey? Not a term we use over here but I like it. I’ve got some odd followers too. Ah well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      Never sure if the well will dry up. Part of it is this urge to find a new take or to try a genre I’ve not touched. There’s so much scope to dug past the obvious but often I’m annoyed how I only see they other story too late. Always good to be unsatisfied


  6. Mick Canning says:

    Well, Geoff, congrats on the following, super shorts and thanks so much for the Flanders and Swann!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Over 1100 posts? Wow, Geoff, you go. I’ve only written a mere 320 something. I feel like a tiny flower standing next to a big mountain. What’s it like up there? Shall I bring some cake? 😀
    Congratulations, and well done to Chari for oiling those writing cogs.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I second (or fifth) that wow. The followers and the posts. (I’ve no idea what my numbers are but nowhere near that, I am sure.) Cake will most certainly be involved. 🙂 And those early days of flashing are remembered fondly by all, I think. A fantastic community over there at Carrot Ranch run by the head Buckaroo.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Charli Mills says:

    It’s pure serendipity how it all came together. I was mesmerized by your father’s letters you had begun to post and give explanation to. Your first flash, I misunderstood a phrase and I think I insulted you inadvertently trying to be clever with it, yet you showed up with another flash! I’ve been amazed to watch your writing grow and bloom the way I imagine you saw your mother’s garden take shape over the years. If she was prolific with plants, you inherited the gift with words. And how Mary’s story has grown from that single seed is absolutely amazing. I cherish her story and your friendship.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: The Murky Side of the Rainbow « Carrot Ranch Communications

  11. Norah says:

    I can identify with Mary and her need to close her eyes and not look. I do the same. We never let go, never stop worrying.
    Congrats on 1000 followers. I’m proud to be one of them. Keep up the great writing!


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