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Shank’s Mare to Summer

7 Jan

100 words for Friday Fictioneers based on the photo prompt below (courtesy of a brilliant stained glass artist named Jean L. Hays). Every road, just like most stories, has a beginning, a middle and an end. Most of us know where ours began, many have seen the middle and a very few know where theirs will end. No matter where yours takes you, remember to enjoy the journey. Aloha, D.

 

Begin the Route

(Copyright Jean L. Hays)

Headed southwest through bitter cold and spindrift snow towards a distant home, he found a battered sheet of drywall near an overpass and dragged it up to where the span met sloped berm, hoping to use it as a windbreak or makeshift mattress.

On the concrete abutment above the ashes of an old campfire someone had written in charcoal, “Not all those who wander are lost.”

He stared at the words for a long time, thinking of her, then shivered and returned to the highway to search the windblown verge for something to wrap himself in besides Tolkien and memories.

 

 

Down on your luck

End of the Trail

Long Time Coming

24 Dec

99 words for Friday Fictioneers, a caravan of sorts. People come and go at will, but their stories remain. The good ones are like rain in the desert.

 

Long Time Coming

 

After walking for an eternity over endless dunes, he came upon salvation in a verdant glade nestled between green valley walls shaded by long white clouds. Kneeling in reverence and gratitude, he placed his hands on either side of a slick fosse and inhaled the fragrance of moss-furred walls.

When his lips met wetness, warm and tremulous, he waited, savoring the moment. It was a sweet thing to be so close, to feel the wellspring of life tremble beneath him, and to know that he could drink deep until sated.

That night he slept and dreamt of geysers erupting.

 

Geyser dreams

“….’Twas all Astonishment”

3 Dec

100 words for Friday Fictioneers based on the photo prompt below. And for you…

 

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 12.10.25 AM

 (Copyright Janet Webb)

“I’m afraid,” cried Samahe as saffron and rose limned the eastern sky.

“Not even time itself will stand in the way of my return,” I whispered into my wife’s thick raven hair.

How the gods must have laughed.

At daybreak I left on the Silk Road, safeguarding a caravan of Lapis-Lazuli bound for distant Seres, far beyond the Taklamakan Desert.

A month out of Samarkand, bandits fell upon us. Carrion crows stripped my bones.

 

I will keep my promise.

 

For eight-hundred years and many lifetimes I have searched for my love.

When I find her I will never leave.

 

 

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SKull in Sand

“Into this life of cruel wonder sent,
Without a word to tell us what it meant,
Sent back again without a reason why –
Birth, life, and death – ’twas all astonishment.”
― Richard Le Gallienneرباعيات خيام

Last Line Lane, Speed Limit — Somewhere in the Eighties

12 Nov

100 words for the film buffs of Friday Fictioneers, directed by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, based on her photo prompt.

 

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(Copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields)

Was that Gaff behind the hotdog stand?

It’s too bad she won’t live. But then again, who does?”

 

A pair of tawny tomcats rested in the shade on a second floor balcony.

Deny’s will like that. I must remember to tell him.”

 

Two men at a bus stop share a bottle of liquor.

Well, what do we do?”

Why don’t we just wait here a while and see what happens?”

 

Walking through Hollywood, memories come alive. Well, most of them.

One thing about living in Santa Carla I could never stomach. All the damn vampires.”

 

 

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Honeymoon

5 Nov

One hundred words for Friday Fictioneers based on the photo prompt below from Jean L. Hays. Thank you for reading. Yes, you. Aloha, D.

 

Honeymoon

 

On a golden beach that bordered a green and rolling land, newlyweds Cam and Val explored flotsam and jetsam and quietly savored the feel of their clasped hands. They found a child’s toy bulldozer in the sand, took it as a sign and set up their tent on the spot. He built a driftwood fire as the sun set and stars rose out of a darkling sea into sable sky. Sourdough bread dipped in olive oil, wine and grilled kebabs was dinner, contentment their dessert.

That night as they slept, softly entwined, the moon looked down on them and smiled.

 

 

Phases of the Moon

A Four Monkey Day

1 Nov

three monkey day copy

Bonnie Carini never reads my blog.

She goes a mile a minute and has a lot on her plate so of course, I forgive her. We met in the late eighties when she was a diver for Atlantis Submarines and I was a green Co-Pilot. She moved on and we kept in touch through the intervening years. In June of 2003 I met her by chance at the Keahole Kona airport departure lounge. I was seeing off a friend and she was headed to New York for a week before going to the Faroe Islands with a small crew to film a documentary about life there. As they called her flight, she said I should come along as a camera operator, gaffer, interviewer and jack of all trades. They called her flight again, we hugged, I said I’d think about it….and off she went.

A week later I called her room at the Palace Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark, from my room at the same hotel and told her I’d see her at the airport the next morning for our connecting flight to Vagar Airport in the Faroes. She was only slightly surprised.

We spent three weeks that summer shooting footage and meeting people and finding our way around some of the most beautiful group of islands on the face of the planet. At breakfast one morning, sitting on the lanai of our rental house in Leynar and close to the end of our trip, we decided that we needed to tell a larger story about the islands and the people that grace them.

Next summer we returned for six weeks and began writing Pilot Whale Fog, a story of a musically gifted boy befriended by a pilot whale in a country where the whales are most often referred to as ‘dinner’. We returned to Hawaii and tried to market our nascent screenplay but truth be told, it needed a lot more work. The seed was there, but it needed water and care. In 2010 through 2012 we spent many days meeting in Kona at the Royal Kona Resort to rewrite, reshape and reboot the screenplay. During those long days, if we found lightning in a bottle and the work went well, we would ask the waitress at the oceanside bar for one of their little plastic monkeys they used to decorate Mai Tai’s. I’ve got a drawer full of them now and the result is a finished product that is a hundred times better than the original. Since then Bonnie has done what she does best and pushed the work, getting it out into the wider world and in front of as many people in the business as is humanly possible.

This October we received word that the screenplay for Pilot Whale Fog had been made an Official Selection at the 2014 International Family Film Festival to be held in early November in Los Angeles. This is thanks to a lot of perseverance on her part and I want to thank her for it on the pages of this blog. That way if she ever does read it, she’ll know that it means a lot to me to have been on the journey with her. I know it’s not the Oscars…yet, but it’s pretty cool. (You can’t get there if you don’t try and if you don’t ask, the answer’s always ‘no’.)

So, thank you, Bonnie. Today’s at least a four monkey day.

Aloha,

D.

 

Official Selection

Yank Thou

29 Oct

100 words for Friday Fictioneers based on the photo prompt below.

 

Three Cheers

 (Copyright Melanie Greenwood)

Early Wednesday morning. The courtyard was empty. Queen Elise, in Tyrian purple, sat poised on her throne. Her kingdom spanned the known world and many imaginary ones but she had no staff save for some reprobate jesters and old Reverend Spooner, her herald. Another week was about to start.

The hour arrived. The courtyard filled. Reverend Spooner quieted the room and spoke to the assembled throng.

“On this, the second anniversary of her coronation, please join me in offering a heartfelt three chairs for our queer old Dean!”

Elise sighed, then smiled. At least Russell hadn’t called her that yet.

 

 

Queen Elise and Reverend SpoonerQueen Elise and the Reverend Spooner

Lyme Regis, Then and Now

21 Oct

100 words for Friday Fictioneers based on the photo prompt below.

 

Loch ness2_edited-1

(Copyright The Reclining Gentleman)

 

“Sooty-winged tern.”

“Pterosaur.”

“Common shelduck.”

“Dimorphodon.”

“Stop that, Mary. None of those creatures are out there.” said Mary’s birding partner, Shannon, from behind her binoculars.

“It’s not what you look at,” Mary replied quietly. “It’s what you see.”

“Leave Thoreau out of this.”

“I can’t help it, Shannon. In the Jurassic period the ancestors of today’s birds ruled these wetlands.”

“When was the Jurassic?”

“Long ago, Shannon. In deep time.”

 

In the distance, curtains of mist parted. Something rose silently from the water.

 

“What on earth?”

“Plesiosaurus marcrocephalus.”

 

 

 

PLESIOSAUR SKELeton

(Research for this week led me to the story of Mary Anning, whose spirit moved through my character, Mary, and breathed life into my tale. She was a fascinating woman who should be remembered for all that she endured thoughout her life and for her contributions to our present day window on Deep Time.)

Five after Whatever

15 Oct

100 words for Friday Fictioneers based on the photo prompt below.

Five after Whaever

(copyright Douglas MacIlroy)

 

I was building a cuboctahedron when a packet of hot peppers fell from an opening and onto the workbench. I peered inside and found myself seated in a restaurant opposite a beautiful woman with sparkling eyes and a sunny smile. Across the street sea met sky beyond a pristine white sand beach.

“I was strolling on the boardwalk when a craving for Calimari alla Griglia came over me.” she said.

“And I was….Oh, never mind.”

“This is going to be an unusual relationship, isn’t it?”

We meet at Scalini’s in St. Heliers every Thursday at five after.

Scalini's

Like Roses

13 Oct

 

I usually only post when the subject has merit of some sort. Today I’m posting because I want to share something and ask a question.

I’ve been sorting through five and a half boxes of old manuscripts of the first novel I co-wrote with John Pace, titled The Last Resort. I’m saving files of attendant research and snippets of early copies to establish provenance and throwing the rest away. In one box, along with several ‘good’ rejection letters from major publishers at the time, letters from our agent and bits of history germane only to us, I found four copies of a poem which I’ve included below.

Something about it resonated with me and I thought about using it as a flash fiction submission for Friday Fictioneers. Have any of you have ever read Like Roses. Can you tell me the name of the author?

Sincerely,

Doug

 

P.S. To those of you who have ‘followed’ me recently…and to the faithful old timers…thank you. I hope you agree with my preference for not constantly spamming this space with filler. I do appreciate your readership and try my very best not to abuse the privilege. Aloha, D.

 

Like Roses

The freshness

of her smile delighted;

Like roses.

And her life

was filled with beauty;

Like roses.

Peaceful

from the land she grew;

Like roses.

Abruptly

but inevitably she was snipped;

Like roses.

May the earth

fall gently on her coffin;

Like roses.

What do you think of this poem? (WordPress will not let me add spaces between stanzas…or this poor workman doesn’t yet know how to format in WordPress) Who wrote it? John Pace? Perhaps someone out there knows the author. I’d like to give them credit. Thanks for reading.

Like roses