“Really this is disgusting, Michael. Buy yourself a new keyboard, they aren’t that expensive. This one’s beyond the reach of Mr. Clean or Lysol wipes. I don’t even think compressed air would move anything.”
“Mum, leave me alone. I’m playing games.”
“Oh, like Super Mario? And what’s that one? Oh, yeah, the one where the guys a pimp and kills all those hookers and sells drugs?”
“It’s called —”
“I just want to play can I? I know you have that Guitar Hero one and I swear I bought you a dance one.”
“Oh, ah. It wasn’t my thing sold that dance one. And the one with the hookers was ‘Grand Theft Auto.’ I don’t think you’d like that one Mom.”
“It’s pretty gory . . .”
“I heard all about it from my friend at work, Michael. She played it when she was sick a few days, at home. Took her a bit but she figured it out.”
“Mom, I don’t want you playing that game. Besides I’m playing Warcraft. . .”
“Who’s the Mom here? I want to play that game.”
“Okay Mom, I’ll buy a new keyboard. I’ll order one now. Please let me play Warcraft in peace?”
“Well. . . ”
Michael grumbled to himself and pushed his Mom gently out of his room before locking the door behind him. Mothers . . .
Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this prompt, focusing on having a Refrain in a song/poem/prose; some kind of repeating phrase. Also, I’m including and reworking lyrics to “My Jolly Sailor Bold,” from Pirates of The Carribean Four: On StrangerTides, using Disney’s words as a Refrain or chorus and my own for the verses.
Alice was home from school. She hated boarding school, but she hadn’t had a choice. Her father had insisted his daughter have the best education a girl could have. This meant school was not merely academics as it was for boys. Her boarding school was an all girls boarding school and a great deal of focus was put into “the finishing school” aspect of education for women.
She needed to learn how to be a proper hostess and wife; those were the ideals of the Victorian woman. She needed to be the angel in the house, the moral compass of her household.
Alice spent countless classes based on the proper religion for an English girl. The God her school taught about, was an an angry God; judgemental and all powerful. He didn’t seem particularly forgiving. But she was told doing her duty as woman would make God happy.
Alice and her best friends Margaret and Prudence, often liked to cause trouble. They played tricks and sometimes skipped their more tedious classes. The girls were often punished with rulers smacking their hands soundly until they couldn’t feel them. Or writing lines of verses from The Bible until their fingers were too numb to write or days.
All in all, the school couldn’t punish Alice and her friends how the would’ve punished other girls. Her and her friends were daughters of enomoreous patrons of the girl’s school.
That being said, Alice was excited to go home for the summer. She thought fondly of her childhood, her dreams that always wandered to her childhood fantasy world Wonderland.
When the carriage dropped her off, Alice approached her home with a bit of trepidation. Her mother had been angry she had left flowers all over the headmasters office. The man had almost had a heart attack and Alice had laughed and laughed when she heard what he discovered. Bringing her suitcase with her, she opened the front door.
Suddenly, the house started to move in various directions from the front entrance. Staircases opened from every way, along with doors leading to God knows where.
Alice had a peculiar feeling, she was travelling back to her childhood world. Staircases continued to rumble and groan as they moved. Leaving her suitcase, Alice jumped onto a staircase leading to a familiar giant golden door knob with a large decorated keyhole underneath.
Suddenly, the door knob sneezed. “You again. I thought I’d seen the last of you.”
“Alice, yes? I remember. I had a cold last time you were here too; although, you’ve grown since then. Thinned out too, you were a bit fat for awhile, all that bread.”
She gasped, “Excuse me, the ideal woman these days, has a round body with childbearing hips, my teachers told me and my mother agrees. And you aren’t even real. I’m dreaming.”
“I wish the staircases would stop moving and the rest of the house weren’t so confusing. I have no idea where to go and I really was looking forward to a nap, ” Alice complained.
The giant door knob sneezed again. “No Alice, I know you and you know me. You know us all. It’s been a while and you’ve blocked us out. We tried to visit, but you convinced yourself we were all childhood dreams, despite having been to Wonderland twice.”
“You do play delightful tricks at school, I must say –you, Margaret, and Prudence. You should’ve brought them along . . . Then again, they wouldn’t believe Wonderland is real either. They don’t believe in magic, but you do. Oh, you deny it Alice but you do believe. You wouldn’t be back here if you didn’t,” the door knob lectured.
Alice stomped her foot, “You’re not real.”
“I am indeed, open me. Better yet, have some of that bread you like so much, in your left pocket first; it should do the trick.”
She gasped and frowned when she put her hand in her pocket and found the delicious bread. She nibbled on the edge. Alice hadn’t realized how hungry she was. She took a bigger bite of bread and sighed with pleasure.
“Not too much,” the door knob cautioned. She sniffed and raised her nose at him; she had shrunk in size considerably. Carefully, Alice turned the icky runny door knob nose, she needed no key. She stepped into another world; wiping her hands on her skirt, before gazing up in shock.
Alice truly was in the Wonderland of her youth. It appeared to be the same as she dreamt it to be. A path lay in front of her and she saw her body had become small. The grass and foliage around Alice was lush and towered over her.
She started to think of her old Wonderland friends when she came upon a catapillar on a large mushroom.”But you’re a butterfly now,” she said to the catapillar without thinking.
The catapiller sniffed at her and took a long drag from his hookah. “Whoareyou? Have you figured it out yet? Time does pass. My great-grandfather spoke of you. Time doesn’t move so fast here. He’s out flying about and I’m waiting until I can fly too. Why have you returned?”
Alice blinked rapidly. “I don’t know. I went through a doorway talked to a door knob, shrank, and now I’m here. It’s not a dream is it?”
The catapullar laughed, taking another drag. “I assure you. It’s all quite real. There’s a pathway going that way,” he pointed to his right. “You should go there. It leads somewhere important.”
“I see it’s a dock and we’re below it. It’s so large. Should I go below it in the sand? Or should I grow larger and go ontop of the dock. It’s quite big when you’re only six-inches tall.”
The catapillar laughed, inhaling his hookah promptly after . “There you go insulting those of us only six-inches tall again. Do you have bread in your pocket to grow taller?”
Alice searched in her right pocket, “No bread but I think the mushroom you are laying upon has one side which will make me larger. Alice ate of one side which made her shrink more, than climbed up the mushroom to eat off the other side. She grew until she was her normal size again.
“Curious and curiouser,” she said. “This is all too familiar. I hope there’s no seagull who thinks I’m a serphant ready to eat her young.”
“You can say that again,” the catapillar said smirking. He bowed his head as Alice walked off, having shoved a piece of mushroom in her right pocket for future use.
She walked ontop of the dock until there was nothing but a short stairwell leading to a row boat in the sea. She recalled this moment in her second journey to Wonderland. But there should be a sheep somewhere she reasoned.
On que a sheep appeared and they both rowed off into the sea, but it wasn’t really a sea. Alice thought it was more like a river. The sheep said: “Bahhh,” then smiled at Alice.”Hello Alice have you learned to feather yet?”
“Oh, that’s a rowing term. I understand now. Same with catching a crab. I was so young then, sheep. I reached for those rushes remember? They’re still look and smell lovely. You can never catch the most beautiful ones, they are free.”
The sheep bleated and sighed. “Do you ever think, Alice, that beauty is not meant to be tamed or kept?”
“It’s a curious question coming from a sheep. But I think beauty should be left to exist and shine. You’re saying I should leave the lovely smelling rushes alone?” Alice asked.
The sheep sighed again. “I’m not talking about rushes. You should pay attention Alice. That school you go to and those Victorian norms and rules of society, do you think they’re all correct? Do you believe everything you are taught without question?”
Alice wrinkled her forehead and thought. “No not really. My bestfriends don’t either. It’s why we play tricks, skip classes, it’s why I sit in class bored. I do not want to be a proper woman, a tamed or kept Victorian housewife with her brood of children. I don’t want to think God is always angry and mean; I think he’s benevolent too.”
“Ah, I didn’t think you agreed with your education. I think in the future things will be better, only wait and don’t grow-up too much. Don’t forget Wonderland –we’ll see you when you dream. We need your wildness, Alice.”The sheep bleated again and Alice instantly, woke up.
She was riding in a carriage to her house for summer vacation. She attempted to remember her dreams. Alice swore she dreamt of Wonderland vividly. But all she could remember was a sheep telling her to stay wild and untamed. She grinned thinking of the tricks she played at school. She wasn’t a tame women yet; never if she had her way.
I knew there was a prompt I forgot about this week! How could I forget the wonderful Jacqueline’sEchoes of My Neighbourhood? So, I haven’t taken any recent pictures lately but I have some more pictures looking back to the past.
This wonderful warm women was my Great Grandma Kendal. She lived in Church Bridge, Saskatchewan, where my Grandma grew up. I don’t remember exactly how old she was when she died but she was in her early to mid-nineties. I have longevity in my genes. I remember visiting my Great-Grandma’s house a couple of times as a child and teenager. When I was 5-years-old and My Great Grandpa Kendal was still around, my Great Grandma Molly sang to me How Much is That Doggy in the Window and gave me some fabric and buttons to sew little pillows with, for my Barbie dolls.
When I was about thirteen-years-old, we visited Great Grandma (her name was Molly) again. One time on the visit when everyone else was gone she told me to come and sit with her. She told me when my Grandpa Willard Eifert married my Grandma, my Grandpa had a bit of an attitude. He thought my Grandma’s farm family was a bit beneath his own family who were all highly-educated pastors and nurses. She told me it took time for my Grandpa to get over this. She also told me my Great Grandpa Phillip Kendal had a dream about heaven shortly before he died; in his dream God showed him heaven and it was beautiful in a way he could barely describe. The last thing she told me was not to cry for her when she died because she would be in heaven and happy. I didn’t cry for her, I knew better when she passed away.
This is my other Great Grandma on my Dad’s side, her name was Ida and she was an interesting woman. She liked to dress well, and would save up for one expensive suit, rather than buy a few cheap suites. She married my Great-Grandpa Carl Eifert who came from around Leipzig, Germany when he was a little child. Carl became a Lutheran Pastor and Ida gave birth to many children, sons who also became Lutheran Pastors and daughters who married Lutheran Pastors or became Nurses. My parents helped Great Grandma Eifert out a great deal when she still lived in her house in my home city. Later, her children moved Ida to White Rock, BC, closer to her daughters,and we visited Great Grandma Eifert there when I was a young girl. I have a memory baking cookies with her when I was three or four-years-old too.
Ida lived a long life, into her nineties as well. In fact, she passed away when I was almos fourteen-years-old, in July. When she died my family viewed her body at the funeral home. It was disconcerting to see that our hands looked exactly alike. So, I know who I inherited my hands from.
Two-weeks later, after Ida’s death, her son, my Grandpa Willard Eifert passed away exactly on my Birthday. It was a terrible birthday spent at the funeral home, helping Grandma pick out caskets (etc.) My Grandpa Eifert was young when he died, seventy-three-years old. I miss him so much to this day. I think his funeral was the first funeral I openly cried at.
I was close to my Grandpa. I often slept over at his and Grandma’s house in the city. I spent time out at their parsonage near Wataskiwen when my Grandpa was still a Pastor, before he retired. My Grandpa smoked a lot until he quit in his fifties but the damage had been done. On the Eifert’s side, we have bad lungs and my Grandpa had emphysema which resulted in him having an oxygen tank eventually. When he died it was due to his smoking. His heart had been beating at a runner’s pace for twenty-years and it finally gave out. It still makes me sad because you never think the last time you see someone alive, is the last time you’ll see them. Last time I saw Grandpa he was in hospital and he said he wasn’t doing to well. We didn’t stay long.
What I remember with my Grandpa the most is all the time we spent playing chess and cribbage. I learned cribbage when I was seven-years-old and only beat my Grandpa three times at Chess ever. Twice he was tired so I don’t count those times. We played Yahtzee and Uno and deciphered cryptograms and crossword puzzles. In the mornings when I was over, I would wake up early and help Grandpa make breakfast. At the parsonage, there was tractor rides and VBS to go to at Grandpa’s Church in the summer. When Grandpa died my Godfather told me the greatest gift I could have received was my Gandpa going to heaven on my Birthday because he was no longer in pain and with his Lord.
My Grandma also pictured here, is a special lady. She is about eight-six and slowing down but doing well. I played games with her when I was younger. We also did all these fun crafts such as making our own Christmas ornaments. I helped her bake items such as Apple stroudal and homemade donuts. She was in her house until recently and is in a seniors place now. She is a kind person who loves to talk and be social. She was a great Pastor’s wife and is involved in Church to a great degree still. I need to visit her soon, she came back from a vacation seeing her sister with my Dad. Having an adult relationship with my Grandma is different from having a relationship as a kid. I wish my Grandpa hadn’t smoked so he could be here too, and I could have an adult relationship with both my Grandparents.
Many people don’t like weddings, they think they are tedious and a waste of time and money. But not me. I love weddings. The events leading up to weddings are exciting and I adore seeing how happy all of my friends have been as they walked down the aisle in beautiful,lacy,beaded, silky, and tailored wedding gowns.
The second event for Korinda’s wedding and by far the funnest (we thought) was the stagette at Northland’s Race Track. I arrived about 3:00 pm in my new navy and white striped and fitted dress and patent navy pumps to see the girls who had arrived before me betting on the horse races at the race track. More girls arrived and everyone was wearing a fascinator and lovely dress to go with the racetrack theme of the stagette.
There was a wonderful dinner of delicious food and toonie drinks at the bar. We were all tipsy and having fun playing games and as 6:00 pm chimed, we all got onto a school bus stopped at a liquor store and drank as we drove to the Legislature grounds for stagette pictures. There were many wonderful water features as we took pictures, often our feet were bare in the water as we held up our dresses so they wouldn’t get wet. We giggled and all climbed into a giant pool where we took a group picture of all of us holding up our dresses half way up our thighs and smiling. It was a picture that captured a wonderfully fun and lovely moment for all of us invited and for Korinda.
I think it was because we were having such a good time that we didn’t notice the men in suits and sunglasses as we were all tipsy and giggling like fools. We started to notice them when they closed in around us and it seemed a bit weird to us that there were so many of them. They looked corporate and Korinda was extremely upset that they were imposing on her wedding event. Her mother Annette and some of the other Moms who had come along went to talk to some the suits to see what their enclosure around us meant.
” The young women and yourselves aren’t allowed in the fountains,” said a dark-haired man in a pinstripe black suit. His tie was dark purple and his shirt a dark purple too. To anyone else, he and his colleagues would’ve looked like members of our wedding party, but they weren’t.
Annette got angry at the suit in the purple tie and shirt, ” Listen, you, this is my daughter’s wedding, and there is no law against going in those fountains and even if there were I’m sure no one would mind for stagette or wedding pictures. It’s a special time, people aren’t going to care.”
The suit shook his head and grabbed Annette’s arm and held it hard. ” Listen lady, this is corporate and government property now and your trespassing. Not to mention your daughter needs our permission to get married and to have wedding events, something she and her husband haven’t done.” Annette looked confused. The purple shirted suit spoke on, ” We are the law now, we are in control, and we say what you can and cannot do. We’re the government, and this is no longer a democracy. This is a corporate military state, and in a military state, people who are smart fall in line.”
We all heard what the man articulated to Korinda’s Mom and both Korinda, her Mom, and her bridesmaids were angry and ready to take the lying *ssholes in suites on. But a wisp of fear also passed through those of gathered at the stagette on the Legislature grounds. Where was the military this man talked about and who was the man in the purple shirt who addressed us?
As if to answer our questions, another man wearing a purple shirt and tie asked one of the bridesmaids named April, where we were going next, ” to a club, downtown,” April mentioned scathingly. The man nodded and took a fuming April by the wrist. He pulled out a handgun, as did the rest of the corporate men in suits, and lead each of us onto the bus. They took away all our liquor, dumped it all in the grass, and sat on the bus with us as us girls silently looked at each other and bit our lips in fear. The men accompanied us to the club Korinda had chosen. They stepped outside the bus and watched as we all entered the club. We could not quite comprehend these men as they put their guns away and told us have a safe time.
The first man in the purple shirt, wrote Korinda a ticket for taking her stagette pictures on Legislature fountains. No one was allowed on government property without permission or proper identification, apparently. The ticket was a warning and he advised Korinda to apply to one of the newly appointed judges for her marriage license as her wedding was coming up in a month and bit. He told her a bit of cash would get the license through on time on top of the regular fee.Her old license was null and void.
The men holstered their guns and got into black Sedans that had suddenly appeared out of nowhere in front of the club. We all watched in awe as the men in suits drove away and we were left standing in front of the club not sure what had happened. Apparently, overnight their had been coup and Alberta was now an independent state-run by a corporate militia. How strange and terrifying was that realization and poor Korinda, her stagette had started off so well.