Morning alarm (Flash Fiction For Aspiring Writers)

Sparrows chirped in the old oak tree bidding good morning to the neighbourhood.  Soon  life would be intruding on the quiet with dogs barking, children giggling at their bus stop and cars leaving for work. For now,  at such an early hour, only Toby Tyler was riding his bike delivering the morning paper.

Further, down the street a strange car had been parked all night facing the baseball field.  No one had noticed except for Mr. Baker. He always woke up at dawn and walked Bella before reading his paper along with his morning coffee.  Bella stopped to sniff the back tires and started barking.

Suddenly two teens awakened from their late night rendezvous as they peered out the back window.

“Oh shit! We overslept!” (125 words)

 

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts’18

 

Written for: https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2018/09/10/fffaw-challenge-182nd/

visit from an old friend (Flash Fiction)

GUILLERMO DIAZ
(c) Huffing Post Guillermo Diaz (Huck from Scandal)

The man had a thick brown beard that hid his face and neck.  His small brown eyes were hidden under his bushy eyebrows.  He was not tall and for North American standards, he was leaning towards short.  The man walked with a purpose like a bear searching for his prey.  Not a sound, not an expression, just bland apathy painted on his face. 

I hid behind the couch with my friend looking out at this strange man who had already kidnapped four of my friends and a baby.  The police had been contacted by the man but I never heard anything from them. 

My friend refused to run with me saying it was no use and she feared the man would only get more agitated and shoot us.   

I refused to give in without a fight, so I ran out the back door, jumped into my car and drove off to my old apartment where I had lived ten years ago.  The superintendent recognized me as I ran to him telling him I had to hide somewhere safe.  We went up to the sixth floor and looked out the window of his brother’s condo.  The bearded man had followed me.  I had to run again. I was running out of options. My heart beat so quickly, I thought I was going to have a heart attack.  Then, I remembered the secret hallway on this floor.  The superintendent knew my plan the moment I ran towards that hallway and told me to take his car, handing me his keys.  He said his car was where he always parked and he would try to slow the bearded man to give me a head start. 

The hallway brought me to a fire escape which landed behind two brown dumpsters.   The super’s car was there and I drove out the private exit that only the firemen were allowed entry.   I had no idea where I could hide.  I didn’t want to go to my workplace downtown to put my colleagues at risk.  My car was going west out of an old habit, towards the airport and then I thought of Rick.  No one knew of my past employment there.  It was too long ago and the warehouse would be a great place to hide so I could get in contact with the police. 

I drove to the side entrance of the warehouse and the huge doors were open, so I parked my car inside and screamed, “We have to lock down now!”   The shipper recognized me and buzzed Rick as he closed all doors.  I hid between the racks of nuts and bolts, too afraid to be seen in the front office.   

Suddenly I was in the office and so many people crowding around me with concern on their faces.  I briefly told Rick and asked if he could let me stay there. I went into his office and called the detective who was in charge of the case.  Detective No Name said to sit tight, that his men were still negotiating and told me not to worry.   

“Not worry!! It has been 36 hours and five people have been kidnapped and still nothing! What are you doing to about this?”   

Detective No Name explained he had other more urgent cases he was working on…his voice trailed and I yelled, “What is the amount of the ransom?” I was contemplating that I might be able to borrow from my mother’s house not yet sold and there is a little bit left in her estate.  I was wondering how many hundreds of thousands of dollars the ransom could be and discouragement started to weigh on me. 

“The kidnapper is asking for $3,000.00”.   

WHAT?!!! All this trouble for so little money?!!” I could not believe my ears. What kind of desperate person kidnaps so many people for $3,000?    

“Let me just pay it! Why can’t I just speak to the kidnapper when he calls you?  Do you know how many lives are at stake right now…how f*&^g stupid are you guys?!” 

My eyes adjusted to the darkness and I rolled over trying to get back to sleep to visit with Rick. 

(c) Cheryl-Lynn ’18/08/19

 

Author’s note: The bearded man looked exactly like , Huck, a character in the series Scandal.  Rick was my employer and friend when I first moved to Toronto.  He and his family made such a difference in my adjusting to my move away from home in the late 90’s.  A year after I left his employment, I got a call at work from an employee at his warehouse that he was tragically killed in a biking accident…such a  tragedy for a young man in his early 30’s.  I still think about him.  I feel blessed that I still am in contact with his family and twin sister from time to time. 

I often get odd dreams with my mom or grandmother but this is the first time Rick has ever visited me in a dream.  I could never get him back when I went back to sleep, only Mister Beard kept turning up. 

Isle Lasonde  (Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers)

 

This is the photo to inspire the flash fiction    (c)Ted Strutz

 

The Ferry blared its horn.  Jillian sighed as the children were getting restless already!

“Give me that!” squealed Leslie.

“Try and get it, whiner!” Sidney raised the stuffed teddy out the car window with a smirk on his adolescent face.

“MOMMY!!!!!

Jillian turned her head and gave Sidney, “The LOOK”. He shrugged and threw the teddy back on Leslie’s lap.

“Sidney, you promised to help me today.”

He looked down at his hands, hating to disappoint his mom, especially today.

Once they boarded the ferry, Sidney asked if  he could bring his sister up on deck promising to hold her hand.   Jillian felt a pang of remorse for being so demanding on her eldest child.   She promised herself to bring them to the Reservoir for lunch later when they returned inland.  The children loved feeding the swans and ducks there.

Twenty minutes later, the ferry was already approaching Isle Lasonde.   There were only three federal buildings and a military camp on the island.  They were going to a parole hearing at le Pénitencier Lasonde. (174 words)

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts ’18/08/15

Written for the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers   100 to 150 +/- 25 word flash fiction.

 

 

mind over matter (haibun)

© Northern Lights – Alien Study

Hot, heavy dampness hangs in the air, as she rocks in front of her window looking out over the river. The air conditioner is on the fritz again and the fans that had been running 24/7 give little breeze to comfort even an ant.  The temperatures are unforgiving at 40C and 92% humidity.

The house is silent except for the creaking of her rocking chair and the buzz of useless fans. Her breathing has finally calmed after her morning paroxysm of asthma. The weather in the past few weeks has forced her to use up all her sick days. She does not know how she will manage now with the weeks ahead if she is  unable to get to work…again. Her wheezing becomes louder and she knows she has to calm her thoughts or else she will have another asthma attack.

She often tries to use her imagery times like this. Placing a wet cold compress on her forehead she imagines she is in the Northwest Territories, hearing the crunchy sound of her feet on the snow as she walks outside. She is dressed in a down filled parka and snow pants and white clouds escape her mouth when she exhales. Night has already fallen and she waits patiently for signs from “the other side”. Looking up at the sky, she starts noticing the different hues lighting up the heavens and she is dizzy with joy;  she kneels in reverence, listening to the echoes of her ancestors. A veil of calm envelopes her until a piercing whistle from her tea kettle brings her back to reality.

lighting up the skies
blues, pinks and green waver
message from beyond
living in comfort
in her mind’s eye

(c) Tournesol’18/09/13

Written for: Mindlovemiserysmenagerie and Wordle

Calescent ((adj.) growing warm; increasing in heat)
Sheets
Paroxysm ((n.) any sudden, violent outburst; a fit of violent action or emotion: a severe attack or a sudden increase in intensity of a disease)
Temperature
Tea Kettle
Window
Breeze
Kneel
Forehead
Dizzy
Damp
Comfort

Bonus word: Sick Day

 

 

Usually when I start reading a book written by a fellow blogger, I put up the book and subtitle “Currently reading” but this one I read too quickly!! That says a lot about the author, Linda Hill.  

THE MAGICIAN’S CURSE:
A PARANORMAL ROMANCE, THE GREAT DAGMARU, BOOK ONE

The Magician's Curse: A Paranormal Romance The Great Dagmaru Book 1 by [Hill, Linda G.]

I have been selective in my reading in the past 5 years since I started blogging and love reading the works of some bloggers who have become so much more than virtual bloggers to me. Linda Hill is a woman who I admire for all that she does, as a full-time mom of three, writing books and novellas, writing prompts and encouraging other writers! She is a wonderful part of our WordPress community!

Had I known the young love of the magician was just a teen, I would have started reading sooner, being a youth counsellor for a National youth helpline.

Such a romantic fifty’s style novel with a chance meeting on a train, finding true love, not knowing what mysteries are behind this handsome magician! It is a timeless novel that seduces the reader to read on.

I had not read a romance novel in decades but having read Linda Hill’s book, All Good Stories a while back, I was totally entertained with her writing style that I completed it in an afternoon.

I knew, then, I had to read Linda’s Magician’s Curse, because I love her writing style. Although I know how skittish I can be with paranormal stories or novels, remembering how scared I was reading the Mayfair Witches by Alice Rice and Needful Things by Stephen King but, it was their writing that drew me in just as Linda Hill’s writing did, once again.

I started reading, The Magician’s Curse: A Paranormal Romance The Great Dagmaru Book 1, yesterday and after Chapter 2 I was hooked! I just finished it this afternoon.

The Magician’s Curse has just enough suspense and the pacing is perfect so the reader has time to catch up; there is romance, erotica (bravo, Linda, got me a tingling all over!) and more than a love story but a family’s saga brought down from generation to generation, you want to know more and more about, so you just have to read the The Magician’s Blood, Book 2.

Cheryl-Lynn Roberts 18/09/12

Bodily functions (SoCS)

A chat about bodily functions is our prompt today at Linda Hill’s SoCS, which brought to mind a funny story.  When my daughter was pregnant in 2004, I was starting menopause.  We would go shopping together and suddenly she would let out gas and then move aisle very quickly whispering to me why. We would giggle because I was starting the same problem.  So here we were at both ends of the spectrum of womanhood, farting away at our leisure and not caring at all.  Is fart a bad word, by the way?  I am part French, so we are bit more open about our language and translated in English may sound rude, so I apologize if that is not easy to read.

On to another memory with my daughter again seeing her singing in The South Shore Children’s Chorus.  The choir would sing songs from Les Miserable and they sounded so beautiful that I could not hold back my tears.  At the end of the show, she came up to me, tight lipped and squinting eyes, asking why I was crying!  I tried to explain to her that when Mommy is overwhelmed with beauty, I am moved to tears.  Well! this 10-year-old was having nothing of it.  On future presentations, I sat further away so she would not see me weep of joy.  What can I say?  I cry when I am happy, moved, tired of pain and sad.

Now lastly, since I have been struggling so much over the years and even more so in the past two years, my joint pain is something I dream of finding relief EVEN if it were for once a week. Once a week not having the pain wake me up when I roll over. Once a week when I get up, I don’t feel knives jabbing in my knees.  For over thirty years I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis of my neck along with Fibromyalgia. Finally, I found a rheumatologist who found I had rheumatism on my collar bones (hence why my shoulders hurt so much and is not because I type too much), a mix of osteoarthritis, arthritis and rheumatism made me sigh with relief because those conditions are considered more real than Fibromyalgia (in society and the medical field).   The sad part is my GP does not want to treat me, just suggests I retire which has no way of making my body feel better and I am waiting for a new rheumatologist since the other one moved.

But, on a good note, I am hopeful.  Last May I went to Vancouver, BC. where cannabis is sold in many shops and purchased a jar of MJ cream to see if that might relieve the pain. It did nothing but  a tiny tingle on my neck, nothing on my knees or shoulders.   So, when I came back to Montreal, I asked my GP if she would consider giving me a prescription for cannabis.  That was June 20th and I only received a response from one dispensary in response to my request for membership along with my doctor’s prescription.  They certainly took their time.  But I want to try different things to find some relief. When I say try something, I certainly am not interested in the THC high however I realize in some of the teas or creams have to have a little bit.  Well, we shall see when I drop by sometime this week to check out Club Compassion.  Wish me luck!

(c) Cheryl-Lynn Roberts

 

Written for the Friday Prompt for Saturday’s Stream of Consciousness.

Dear Emma, and a Cherita

Dear Emma,

When I was a child, I remember picking up my bellbottom pants at the dressmaker one time. In the early 60’s I could not find any kind of long pants or jeans that were long enough and slim enough. In those days, Marilyn Monroe was the fashionable shape. Although Twiggy was slowly becoming a trend, in my part of the world, it was still more common for women to be shorter and curvier. Alas, I was pretty much a straight line more like Olive Oil at between twelve and fourteen.

Another client was just leaving the dressmaker as I was entering and she asked me how my mother and grandmother were doing. Of course, I shared the latest updates on my newly divorced mother and lifesaver grandmother who had taken us in not realizing I may have been a bit too open. Being naïve, then, was just assuming that people always inquired about you because they cared.

I remember trying on the charcoal grey bellbottoms and was so excited they fit like a glove and were long enough to wear with a boot or higher healed show. That was the beauty of tailor made clothes. Fortunately, her fees were very reasonable and in fact, less expensive than going to a designer shop to purchase clothes.

As I was leaving, the dressmaker looked at me seriously and said, “You must be careful. You are such an open book and you never know the true intentions of people when inquiring about you and your family.” I could tell she was concerned for me and I always tried to remember her wise words, but still, it is still difficult for me to think anyone would want to hurt me intentionally. And so years went by and I learned the hard way. I find learning through life experience teaches more, don’t you? What have you learned better through experience rather than through teachings of another person?

( a cherita)

a child runs freely through the woods

Stumbling on hidden roots and branches
Scraping arms and knees along the way

Fastforward several decades
Walking through the woods, listening to the birds singing
Leaves rustling, she leans on her walking stick

© Cheryl-Lynn ‘18/09/06

Daily Moments with Emma – August 9th, 2018

mile high ride (haibun)

Sitting in the back of the plane, they held tight during take off. As soon as the light went on to unbuckle the seat-belt, they both lit up their Mark Ten cigarettes. It was 1977 and people could still smoke in the back rows of a plane in those days.

It was their first trip overseas. Heck, it was their first time in a plane. They had booked a tour of England, Scotland and Wales for two weeks. The wife’s ulterior motive was to conceive their first child in the UK, the birthplace of her paternal grandparents.

After a few hours, the plane felt like it was going over pot holes on Quebec roads. The couple were scared and did not realize that turbulence can do that but does not mean there was any danger. The woman seated next to them on the aisle tried to reassure the couple who looked out the window with doe eyes. One could not mistake it was their very trip in the air.

By the time they arrived at Heathrow Airport, they were so relieved they had landed! They still had to take the train into London, then a taxi to their hotel. They were staying at the Green Park Hotel just across the park that brings you to Buckingham Palace. But they didn’t know that yet.

They looked like typical tourists walking on the streets of London, hesitating crossing the the street, not knowing which side to look in their matching bright yellow and green hoodies.

Cotton candy ride
Bumper cars, roller-coasters
Crossing overseas

© Tournesol ‘18/09/06

Daily moments – finally writing

I have not been writing for quite some time.   I find it more difficult writing on my iPad even if I purchased a few keyboards.  It is just not the same as a laptop. I wanted to purchase a Mac Air but I have spent so much lately. My trip to Mexico for my son’s wedding, clothes and wedding gift…so I thought since my 8 yr old laptop died, I just wanted a very light weight and inexpensive, so I bought a Chromebook Asus. Perfect…hardly any memory at the price I paid but I don’t need any since I save everything on my cloud . 

I am quite pleased with this purchase among many other clothing purchases I have made all ON SALE! My mother educated me well on sales [chuckles]  I could not help but think of her especially when I was shopping at Taylors which was one of her favourite stores. There are only 5 in Quebec…four on the South Shore and one in Granby, in the Eastern Townships.  I went across the street to the Mall to get one dress for the brief wedding ceremony performed at Fort Chambly outside by a Notary because the legal marriage cannot be done in Mexico. It was just the immediate family and so lovey at the Fort on a glorious sunny day and the pictures of the rapids made it even more special.  My children were raised in Chambly so it made it even more special they they chose this spot. 

So back to my shopping. I went downtown in Montreal two weeks ago and found some tops and pants but I was not really impressed.  I knew there were a few items at Taylors I wanted but found it too expensive. Already one dress was above my usual spending budget.  Anyway I decided to go the first Taylors that is in Saint Lambert. Little did I know that the summer sales had begun!!! So I purchased two outfits and one is definitely the dress I will be wearing at the wedding ceremony in Mexico, 

This heat has not been easy this past week though. In fact, our offices’ AC was not functioning properly and working at 30C is not easy especially since we work on a crisis line…comfort is certainly appreciated.  Even more appreciated was that the supervisors understood and management shut down the offices in Montreal for two days so our other centres had to pick up the slack. I felt bad for them though. 

Today I woke up nauseous from a migraine and fighting a head cold. It took a few hours before the migraine meds kicked in and I walked to the drug store to pick up some things for my trip.  I sure hope I don’t have a problem with the food…I know, I know, I heard not to drink the water and peel fruits before eating.  I had food poisoning three weeks and my tummy is still sensitive. All my meals have been based on white rice or quinoa.  Good think I love rice! 

I played around with my laptop when I got back to download a few apps and the time just flew. By nine o’clock, I finally had sup’, which was my first meal of the day.  (I don’t eat much when I have a headache).   I do prefer eating later though, so I don’t much all evening…well, not as much.[she chuckles at her own joke!] 

And that is what I have to say in one stream of consciousness for this week’s prompt at Linda Hill’s Saturday’s Stream of Consciousness which is “sup”.   

© Cheryl-Lynn ‘18/07/07 

Written for Linda Hill’s Saturday Stream of Conciousness 

 

Dear Emma, May 21/18 ( haibun)

(c) clr’18

Dear Emma,

I finally got off my fanny and went out to do a few errands today. After three days of resting, icing several parts of my body, it was time to move or else it will be worse for me. I found 5 fun exercises to strengthen my calves, knees and thighs. I did a few today but have to check that video since I don’t know them by heart yet.

I walked to my pharmacie first but when I approached and noticed not ONE car in the parking lot, I realized that it is a holiday today. But of course [she slips her forehead with her hand] it is la Fete des Patriotes or for outside of Quebec it is May 24 or Victoria weekend. Regardless on what you want to call it, it is the first long weekend where many people drive out to cottage country. Some go camping and I remember in Toronto there were amazing fireworks but there are none here in Quebec. Since Quebec changed the name of the holiday to Patriots Day, you would think they could celebrate that at least…but what do I know.

I decided to walk over to Super C which is a much cheaper grocery store than Metro and picked up more than a few things since they are finally getting a good selection of organic food as well as gluten free products as about 30% cheaper than Metro. So I will walk that extra 1 km for sure now. I had to stop piling things in my basket figuring. How much would fit in my 2 bags and backpack.

Walking a bit slower back, I stopped in front of Mikes Restaurant thinking they would be closing soon as in the winter they often closed at 8pm due to lack of customers. Well, to my delight it is busy and so here I am typing a little message to Emma, sipping my Belgian Moon and waiting for my seafood poutine! Okay, so it is not too healthy but it IS gluten free [she chuckles to herself].

Tomorrow I have an appointment with my podiatrist for my achy toe and feet, then off downtown Montreal to my first appointment with a new chiropractor. I am told she has a holistic approach and I am praying she can treat me for my knees and perhaps my shoulders and neck too. Anything is better than what my GP is doing …which is nothing.

Gotta go now and finish my savoury dinner. Thanks for listening, Emma

twilight dinner
savouring seafood delights
sipping Belgian Moon

(c) Tournesol’ ‘18/05/21

P S for you newbies who do not know who Emma is, she is my personal journal I have been writing to for the past five years on another blog.