Thanks to Nortina S for hosting Moral Monday’s one-hundredword flash fiction. This week’s prompt is: ” Always Be On Your Best Behavior.”
Melly lived in an apartment in a senior’s lodge which included a stone terrace. She potted flowers and made an effort to make her terrace pretty.
Melly told her friend Emily: “I can’t stand those boys biking; they unearth my plants at night, when I’m trying to sleep.”
Their friend Brett asked Melly: “Do you think it might be cats? I see those boys on their bikes and they always politely say ‘Hello’ to me.”
Melly made a point of ignoring Brett — whom she secretly liked. She was so obnoxious and rude, he left to go sit in his apartment alone.
Melly awoke that night when she heard noises. Peering outside, she saw the boys ride by on their bikes. Then she flushed when she saw cats digging up her flowers. She mentally composed her apology to Brett.
And now for our (optional) prompt. Today, I challenge you to fill out, in no more than five minutes, the following “Almanac Questionnaire,” which solicits concrete details about a specific place (real or imagined). Then write a poem incorporating or based on one or more of your answers. Happy writing!
Warm Spring Day at fifteen degrees,
In our pretty bungalow near the River Valley,
Gerber Daisies on the table, warm colours please,
Resting on a tablecloth, Easter pastels gladly.
The dog lies under the table in my art studio,
I’ve tried to paint her, but she never sits still long.
Driving downtown to immerse myself, with dog go.
Bask in the presence of the farmer’s market’s throngs.
Dog walking beside me, enjoying all her doggy friends.
Conversation with some guy about Hockey playoffs,
Not many Canadian teams made it, no matter in the end.
Many Canadian players, play for American teams, so layoff.
Walking down the street past ancient buildings,
Observing the walls speckled, thoughtless youth wrote graffiti.
Some call it ‘art’ while others would say ‘you’re dreaming.’
Obscenity scrawled haphazardly, done messily.
“Where’s your boyfriend?” Asks the aged vendor selling peaches.
I give him a smile, saying: “I’m happy to be single right now.”
Subject change, “Have you seen my new puppy?” Subject now out of reach.
Old guy is comfortable, complains of gas prices and frowns.
Oil prices particularly bad, so I let him know gas prices are low.
He doesn’t understand; when he was young gas cost barely anything.
Ready to move on, I don’t want to be rude; dog barks, “time to go.”
He talks more, the Terwilliger Park Foot Bridge opening this spring.
The new bridge has an amazing minimalist design,
I tell the vendor about biking there with my Dad,
When my brothers and I were younger, biking was fine.
Following closely, didn’t want to get spanked as we had.
Then slipping away I wander to other booths,
Comfortable in leggings and thin white sweater,
The dog wants to run, I can tell; We leave, dog approves.
Down to the river valley on the off leash trails is better.
We have to watch out for the Beavertaur — a mythical animal,
But some say they have seen it on the prowl.
Both beaver and minotaur; a creature quite unimaginable.
For those walking river valley trails, the situation could be foul.
My friend has sworn upon Wayne Gretzky’s statue,
That he barely escaped the Beavertaur with his life.
Made me laugh; today the dog and I are fine, no snafu.
We went on home and we had a nap, long day but no strife.
Gazing out my window, to the brick patio below,
Think we need outdoor furniture, to enjoy in the sun.
Remembering family friend, left life’s flow.
Gone for five-years already, in heaven’s quiet hum.
She babysat me when I was small, thirteen years my senior,
There sits the statue of a dog. I remember a certain dog. She had the qualities of queenleness, loyalty, and love. She was the bringer of fun to a childhood of bike rides down the off leash paths and long walks in the river valley.
She ran for miles with my Dad. My Mom said it would not surprise her if that is how the dog died, running her heart out. My Dad had a t-shirt that read: My running partner has four legs. The dog didn’t leave this world running; I don’t think anybody does.
To me the dog was a snuggle buddy at whatever time she wished. She would jump up on the couch and put her right paw on me and lean into me until a soft furry tummy was revealed. She’d push her nose into my hand and when I put my head down she’d strike with kisses.
But our best friends, leave us at a time not of their choice. They are inflicted with sickness, sometimes, ill health that a vet cannot even diagnose. I woke fifteen minutes too late to say goodbye to her. I petted her anyways, she had this beautiful soft fawn coat.
And I stroked her back and her little ears as she lay on the counter in the back of the vet. She was to be cremated. The blanket she was covered with was truly the veil of death, taking her away. My Dad and I tried not to cry as we both went out to the car. But tears escaped us as we drove home.
No dog is exactly the same, but they are each unique. Their time in years is short, but they are never forgotten. I place my hand on the statue and memories flood my mind. This statue is not of her, but to me, in my heart, it’s Nikki.
Nathan is a 25-year-old University of Alberta student with a major in Human Geography and a minor in German. He works as a Bike Mechanic for Sustain SU (Student Union) at the University of Alberta. Being part of the Sustain SU is not just a job for Nathan, it is being part of a leadership team that focuses on the environment. Senior volunteers and employees have meetings and events in which they hope to make Sustain SU a better experience for other volunteers.
Nathan’s major in Human Geography is helping him to train for jobs such as an Urban or City Planner. Jobs such as these may include dealing with zoning applications at a desk or planning for areas in the City of Edmonton such as Century Park, for example. A planner stands as an intermediator between different clusters of people in the city such as the civic managers (City Councillors, Mayor), individual citizens, different interest groups (volunteers, community programs etc.), and civic builders\development companies. “A planner will bridge the gap between all these groups because all four of these clusters are required in the city and need someone to organize them” comments Nathan. Planners can also be hired as individual consultants.
The subject matter of Human Geography highly appealed to Nathan because he is
interested in “how we design and interact within the city. A planner can change ideas and designs that influence the city, which City Council votes on.” As a Planner, Nathan believes he will have the ability to change infrastructure decisions in a city and not just have to live with them like many other citizens do.
As for Nathan’s minor in German, he would like to do an internship and study abroad or do summer school to improve is fluency. Nathan has a great interest in travel and would like to see more of Europe. He would like to go to France and Eastern Europe as well as Germany which he loved. Nathan would also like to visit many of the United States. What he enjoys about many places in Europe and the States is that “they have a great deal of biking tours and bike friendly roads/paths in which he can travel on.” Nathan not only loves being a bike mechanic but likes his bike as a mode of transportation for leisure in which he can see many parts of other cities and countries.
Nathan spends most of his time at school, especially in the Bike Library where he has a computer set up that he can also do school work on. He spends a lot of time at home and visiting his girlfriend and enjoys watching movies and doing crossword puzzles. On Wednesday nights, he goes to Swing Dance lessons and he often goes to Swing Dances on the weekend. He also spends a large amount of time helping out with Sustain SU.
Nathan appreciates having a girlfriend in a relationship because he says it is “nice to have someone to be close with more than others and to talk freely with.” He also likes having someone there that you can be with “without words and understand each other” completely. He thinks that people who are single should “just be patient and not go around looking for a significant other.” The best way to find a relationship is just to be friends with someone first because you develop a stronger relationship with someone you know better. He cautions single people to enjoy being single and not just be focused on dating. He thinks people should “make something good” out of their free time not being an attached person.
In the future, Nathan might like to work for the City of Edmonton but he would also like to experience other cities that are more forward thinking. “People in Edmonton and even in Alberta are conservative and are often stuck in their ways and this can make some people more self-centered,” Nathan believes. “It can be frustrating” he cautions. People need to look into the future and consider what the future will be like for their descendants. Seeing different cities will allow Nathan to experience different ways cities and people work and act together.
Not to mention, the environment is a big issue for Nathan. “There is so much evidence that in one-hundred-years the world will be majorly effected by environmental issues if [we] don’t do something now. People don’t consider what the world will be like . . . “says Nathan. “Just because you want to drive your car to work every day or throw objects out” to get the latest edition of something means people are not considering the effects their actions will have on tomorrow.
As for the next 5 years, Nathan would like to be graduated from university. Since, he enjoys doing such a variety of things and he is planning for a daily job with set hours he is not sure how that is going to work out. But for now, he expresses that he has times that are up and times that are down. Sometimes he is really busy and sometimes he is not so busy at all so he would like to just focus on the here and now and getting through each day.