Phallon watched the fish swim in the pond his Grandpa had installed in his backyard. He enjoyed visiting his Grandpa each Saturday. Grandpa had put the pond in because young Phallon loved the fish so much as a toddler; ‘fishes’ had been his first word.
Now he sat with Grandpa who asked him about school and of course the girls in his school. Uncomfortable, Phallon wished Grandpa didn’t ask him about that.
Grandpa simply laughed,”Phallon, I’m only teasing you. It’s good you have friends who are girls and that there are girls you like. This Jennifer, have you asked her out?”
Phallon’s face turned red, “Yeah we’ve gone to a movie together and bowling. I want her to be my girlfriend but her parents say she’s too young to have a boyfriend.”
Grandpa nodded a smile on his face, “You’ll find the right one when you’re older. When I saw your Grandma the first time, my heart lept out of my chest. I wonder if I will ever meet that right girl of yours and see you marry her?”
Phallon felt uncomfortable again, “Why wouldn’t you be there Grandpa? You’re only eighty-one?”
Grandpa patted Phallon’s hand then squeezed it, “You know, my boy, I’ve been sick a long time. It’s a battle I’ve mostly conquered, but my strength is waning these days.When you get married someday, think of your old Grandpa, okay?” Phallon nodded feeling a lump in his throat.
Two-years later Grandpa succumbed. Phallon was sixteen and felt raw inside. He returned to the fish pond in Grandpa’s back yard. He noticed the fishes were floating and the reality of life made tears wet his cheeks. In the mess of the last two weeks including Grandpa’s funeral, no one had remembered to feed the fish.
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,
When I removed the contents from my tote-bag, I was perturbed to see a tattered book inside.“I could see the corner of folded yellow parchment stickingout of the torn lining of the battered book.”
“What’s this?” I whispered. Instantly, I heard chanting. In my mind I pictured two woman murmering magic with candles in a circle around them. It was as if the image had been placed in my mind.
Suddenly, the parchment opened in front of me. Oddly, the symbols on the parchment made sense to me. The parchment was a spell for immortality. I had no time to think, the words of the incantation flew from my lips:
Live forever, consequences well known,
Speak the words, let your time now cease flow,
Your string never snipped, fate overlooked you,
Alone, you will wander, the cost is many souls.
When I stopped chanting, the parchment and the book had disappeared. My boyfriend stomped in the front door. Before I gave him a hello kiss, he said: ” Something about you is different.” Then I kissed him hungrily and he disintegrated in my hands. I burst into tears and I learned the price of eternal life — my kiss was the kiss of death.
Thanks to Roger Shipp for hosting this Flash Fiction challenge.
It’s a somber Sunday in September. All the rain we have been wishing for all summer finally came and it’s cold, wet, and uninviting out for a Labour Day Weekend. I didn’t have much planned for this weekend, something I miss about not having a boyfriend was having someone to do stuff with on weekends like this. My friends are now spread out over the city so it has become more difficult transportation wise to do things with them. But I’m excited for a friend’s Birthday next Friday. At least I will make it for the dinner part and we’ll just have to see about the going out part. Another friend turns thirty today but I’m not sure what she is up to.
I’m all about getting organized to take this one silly class. I realized I don’t have the textbook and can’t get it until the end of the month. Plus, it took so long for the U of A to get back to me on how I should approach this course as a disabled student that I just mailed the forms in with doctor’s letter on Friday. Plus, their is a portion of funding I have to apply to for student grants/loans and I’m waiting on this pin to access my grade 12 diploma marks. They said that would take 2 weeks by mail to receive. Meanwhile, class starts Tuesday and I have no idea how any of this is going to work out — taping lectures and getting handouts. It has made going to just one three hour class stressful.
On the medication front, I have emailed my doctor after a really bad last appointment where she didn’t do anything helpful for me but leave me between a rock and a hard place. She did not increase the amount of one drug I need to fall asleep or increase my clozapine so I can sleep just on that. So, hopefully she responds to the email and I get that sorted out. I’m worried about how that will affect my course. Clozapine is an antipsychotic and those pills can be really aggravating side effects wise.
Every Sunday I go and get my blood work done as per the Clozapine. It’s nice because the place we go is usually deserted on a Sunday. I did a bit of shopping at Kingsway this week and am wondering why places are so late in getting Fall clothes out. It gets chilly pretty quickly here. Wish I had more exciting things to tell you but life is a bit of lemons lately.
I have a makeup blog coming out, a fall fashion one, and the usual flash fiction stories.
It has been a tough two weeks. This week I made a friend who turned out to be a fake and only wanted one thing. It’s understandably difficult for me making friends my age so it was a bit disappointing after all this talking to have the relationship come to nothing. Some people are disappointing but they are who they are I guess.
I struggled withe break up with A. We made up and then broke up again all in the expanse of one week. But I finally feel right again having painfully worked through our issues, this time I hope for good. Nothing worth having is ever easy and I feel that we are both stronger because of our difficulties. I don’t know how many couples break up and get back together a bunch of times, I am told. But I guess this is weird for couples who just stay together to understand. But I feel now our relationship has direction and that A will treat me a lot better. Having him home going to school helps a lot right now. Because sometimes I think distance creates problems between us but I’m told since he takes my good and bad, I too have to accept his good and bad. I think I can work harder at doing that.
I was so busy going to a doctors appointment on Tuesday and then off to Winner’s because I’m really trying to organize the space I call my room. There is still vacuuming, dusting, and organizing to do but I organized my scarves, jewelry, and got a new duvet and cozy flannel sheets with Christmas gift cards. There is so much left to do I wish I could do more at once.
Wednesday was the dentist and I was just exhausted after. And today I ended up staying up too late chatting with said bad friend and was exhausted even more by 2 am when I finally fell asleep. Today I woke up at 11 am and didn’t get much done. I fell down the stairs yesterday and am so bruised up I am moving like an elderly women. I did do my nails. I love bubble gum pink by Quo Orely and got a non chip top coat to help it last on my fingers in the same brand.
I am going to dinner with A tomorrow after his class and that will be so nice. In the day I plan to relax and clean up a few more things in my room. The next week I have to go visit my Great God Mother Evelyn at the hospital and I’m looking forward to some Winter Fest at the U of A with a couple friends.