First Line Fridays: Heat Panic #FLF #fiction #amwriting


Thanks to Dylan of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting FLF.

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Credit:Thomas Shelberg via UnSplash

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Three hours into the desert [Sandra felt the jeep’s] engine choke and buckle, rolling dark smoke into the pale blue sky.

“Are you kidding me?” Sandra asked her husband Jim. “We’re going to the Grand Canyon something people do all the time from Vegas and the damn Barbie jeep breaks down? Don’t they maintain these things, check that they’re working before they leave us in the open desert?”

Jim gazed at his wife his eyes half closed. The temperature was a sizzling 45 degrees Celsius and growing up in Toronto’s cold winters meant he didn’t handle the heat well. Sandra’s harping made Jim feel that much worse, sweating prufesly in the leather seat beside her. 

“Jim, Jim? Are you even listening to me? How long is it going to take for them to send another jeep? Why is everyone else so mellow about this? It gets cold in the desert at night and what about the snakes and scorpions?”

Jim groaned out load and Sandra gave him a dirty look. “Sandy, its hot right now,” he mumbled. “We’ve no air conditioning and if it gets cold soon that would be great for everyone. I’m sure the tour company will find us soon. Our jeep’s Barbie pink as you say.”

“Oh and could you calm down? You’re frightening the elderly couples,” he said whispering into Sandra’s ear as to not offend the two couples nearby. 

Sandra gave Jim a weird look then continued yapping. The tour guides who had been on the radio the last hour with their company were now glaring at Sandra as they too sufferered in the heat and from her constant questions. 

The older couples had it the worst, Jim thought. No one wanted any of them to undergo heat stroke since the temperature  seemed to affect the four of them the most. Sandra’s constant complaining wasn’t helping the matter. 

“Simmer down, lady,” one guide told Sandra,”This happens sometimes. Another jeep is a couple of hours away, if you can control yourself until then.”

Sandra didn’t care, she kept talking. 

Jim was surprised when a lady in her seventies, named Meg, smacked Sandra’s face hard. So hard he could see the red outline of the woman’s hand on Sandra’s sweaty cheek. Sandra was so shocked she didn’t say another word except to ask for a bottle of water every couple of hours. 

Megan winked at Jim and said: “Nothing like a good smack in the face. I think the heat was getting to your wife. She seems to be okay now that I smacked her and that she’s drinking water instead of talking.” Jim laughed bumping fists with feisty Meg.

“Okay?” Jim asked Sandra later. 

“Yeah good now, just a little panic attack I think. The heat was getting to me.”

Jim laughed at this stroking Sandra’s back. 

The evening sky in the desert turned from twilight into glittering black with giant stars. All eight people in the jeep sighed with pleasure as the blistering heat cooled and they were awed by the fantastic celestial bodies. 

When another pink jeep arrived the next morning, no one complained about the heat or Sandra. Both problems had been eclipsed by the perfect temperature and the starry night viewed under them. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

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SpillWords Published Poem: Free Verse – “The Persistent Consistence of Water” #amwriting #poetry 


Hey, just sharing another poem published on http://www.spillwords.com, to whom I’m grateful to collaborate with. I think you guys have seen it before but here it is again:

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The Persistent Consistence of Water” By Amanda Eifert

http://www.spillwords.com

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

NaPoWriMo: Poem – Long Lines – “Eleven- Years Strong “


Finally, our prompt (optional, as always!) Today’s prompt comes to us from Megan Pattie, who points us to the work of the Irish poet Ciaran Carson, who increasingly writes using very long lines. Carson has stated that his lines are (partly) based on the seventeen syllables of the haiku, and that he strives to achieve the clarity of the haiku in each line. So today, Megan and I collectively challenge you to write a poem with very long lines. You can aim for seventeen syllables, but that’s just a rough guide. If you’re having trouble buying into the concept of long lines, maybe this essay on Whitman’s infamously leggy verse will convince you of their merits. Happy writing!

Please see NaPoWriMo for more information.

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Missing the ladies, who I grew into adulthood with and we saw,

The Grand Canyon in its burnt orange and red glory set,

Peering far down into the canyon, too close to the edge smiling,

Pulling each other back, to flash pictures on cameras all of us worn.

And planning each Thursday night to go dancing and drinking down on Whyte,

Collecting free drinks, shots from young men, paying ninty-nine-cents at the end.

Frequently, snapping pictures at winter formals, wearing our finest,

Staying at the fanciest and most historical hotel for sixty bucks,

Four girls to a room, preparing their hair and makeup, perfection, beauty.

If only I could be as fat, as I thought I was at twenty-one-years-old,

Thinking my stomach stuck-out, it wasn’t concave, it was fine and flat.

Walking through Vegas in stiletto heels, not feeling the pain, lost shoe —

My friend had a lovely Silky black-heel, she dropped walking back, barefoot.

Crying at 3:00 am (forget), remember times smiling and laughing.

Working in the same store, I dream I work their at night with my ladies,

Now raising kids, puppy training, fiancés, husbands, moving in — life changes.

From twenty-years-old to thirty-one-years old nearly; eleven years still strong.

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Writing 101: Day 18 – Viva Las Vegas.


Prompt: Compose a series of anecdotes.

  
I destination I will always love to visit is Las Vegas. I have been there six times since I was twenty-two-years-old. Some people say it’s fake and gaudy. But there is a carefree and indulgent attitude held by the people who come to frequent Vegas. And the chances that I will get to visit Italy, Paris, and Rome (some of the places the hotel themes are based on) is much slimmer. I come to Vegas for the shopping, the shows, the good food, a comfortable and luxurious hotel room, the clubs, and to meet people who want to get away from the everyday hum-drum of life. 

  
My first visit to Vegas was with friends for eight days. We booked a Grand Canyon Tour that we had to be up for at 5:30 am to walk to catch a tour bus. The night before we played sociables, a drinking game, where each of the cards stands for something related to drinking. So, things such as girls drink, guys drink, give two drinks to whomever you choose, rhyme time etc. I went to bed about 1:00 am and my friends about 3:00 am. No one was a happy camper walking to Southpoint where this tour bus waited that morning. We all looked pasty and awful with our hangovers. And all of us were so tired we fell asleep as soon as the bus started driving to Arizona. The rest of the passengers thought it was funny how we all passed out. But we all woke up feeling much better and awestruck by the Grand Canyon. It is simply one of the most stunning natural sites I have seen in my life. 

Later on a night we had had decent sleep,  we rented a limo and drove all around Las Vegas. We saw Freemont Street at night, and dressed up for the evening, we participated in Tony and Tina’s Wedding, and later walked into a club at the Wynn Hotel called Tryst. It had a beautiful waterfall inside the club. We took lots of pictures that night and it was memorable being with my friends and figuring out how to maneuver our way around Vegas. 

  
I went back with friends to Vegas a year later. We were doing a three day stint, which means we were running on adrenaline due too a night that lasted to 5:00 am and days that began around 10:00 am. We saw and did a lot of interesting things in Vegas. I think the most memorable was The Phantom of the Opera at the Venetian Hotel. I also had my first massage the last day which was heavenily. 

Unfortunatly, a large chunk of this trip was pure girl drama. There was free champagne for ladies at a club we were at and our bartender was giving the champagne away like it was going out of style. I stopped drinking before my two friends, champagne tends to make me queasy if I have more then a a glass or two but my one friend threw up in a basin after way more champagne then that and we had to leave the club. Friction had been building between the three of us and one friend L decided to stay and flirt with some guys she met even though we had to leave because T was sick. L had a great boyfriend at the time, her husband now, and we liked him and felt bad for him; this wasn’t the first time she had been flirting with guys who were not her boyfriend. Anyways, the three of us made it back to our hotel room at the same time. 

I was so angry at my friend for ditching us and flirting with random guys instead. She was mad because she thought we left her. We yelled at each other loudly. I can only remember very few times I have been so mad at someone that I yelled at them like that. But this fight had been brewing all summer. My friend T tried to stay out of it but she couldn’t because she was the reason I was so mad at L for leaving us. L left the room immediately with her stuff, to stay with the other three girls we were there with. She wouldn’t talk to us. That night T and I cried in our room until the sun was high in the sky in our window at the Paris hotel. It took until October to work things out, and Vegas had been in August. 

  
With my parents Vegas was a different experience. We had a car to drive around in and we drove out to Red Rock Canyon. I did quite a bit of shopping with my Mom and we stayed at the hotel, the Venetion. The Fashion Show Mall in Las Vegas is awesome and so is shopping in the Forum Shops at Caeser’s Palace, and in the shops at the Venetion. If you are looking for a bargain you can try the Premium Shopping Outlet in downtown Las Vegas as well there are some more reasonably priced shops in Planet Hollywood. 

The Venetian hotel rooms were luxurious and beautiful. In colours of red and gold, two beds were swathed in curtains with a giant headboard. The beds are so comfortable and our room had a sunken living room beside the beds. The large bathroom had two sinks, a separate room for the toilet, a makeup vanity, a huge tub, and a roomy glass shower. Although it was beautiful, complete with a private pool on our level, it was incredibly ardeoush to get back to our room because the Venetian is a big hotel. But it was gorgeose because it had Italian Renaissance paintings and sculpture all over the hotel and you could step into the gondolas and travel right around the canal in the Venetian and outside where it was especially beautiful at night. The Belagio also has this beautiful light show that we watched when we were there. It is the same one from Oceans 11 where after the heist Brad Pitt, Matt Dameon, George Clooney, and all the other wonderful actors in that movie stood before leaving one at a time. 

  
  
There were other times and other memories that I have coming to Vegas. This last time was just my Mom and I. We spent a lot of time out in our bathing suit by the pool at Treasure Island (which is the closest hotel to all our favourite shopping destinations). Are room was not as nice as the Venetion or Paris rooms but still a huge step up from your average hotel room in most hotels else where. We saw different shows and shopped at varied places. We played the slot machines and got free drinks while we did.

In the end, Vegas is  a memorable place to visit, good or bad. I think everyone loves the crowds and rowdy atmosphere at 3:00 am. There are so many beautiful hotels too. But after a trip, it is always good to be in your own bed and away from the crowd.

Writing 101 – Loving Las Vegas


Vegas 2Some people may not agree with me when I say I love Las Vegas. They will point out the “fakeness” of the large hotels and the smoke in the casinos but I have many memories in Las Vegas and I do not think of these minuet details when I think of it.

When I think, of Las Vegas I think of majesty of these huge impressive and monumental hotels that can hold thousands of people enthused  to have a good time. I think of the warm spring temperatures and the dry heat that sweeps through my bones and makes me want to lie outside on a lounging chair for as long as my pale skin will allow, and enjoy the splash of the water in the pool. I think of the way palm trees and beautiful foliage surrounds me and captivates me in this desert paradise.I don’t think of the fakeness, rather I think of all the work and all the effort needed to create such massive and beautiful places for people to vacation in, the classy rooms in each hotel each with a unique yet concrete style, the shows, and the shopping.

My favorite place I ever stayed in Vegas was in the Venatian and anyone whose ever been in the Venatian knows the beauty of Las Vegas hotels, the frescos and paintings of italian masterpieces adorning the roof and walls of the hotel, the canal going through the hotel with bright blue water ways where tourists can take a gondola ride through the shopping and restaurants leading outside into the Vegas heat and sunshine. When I went to the Venatian our room was gaudy and fantastic, so luxurious. Beds with gold curtains, and massive red head boards; a sunken living room with a couch and chair that looked out on the balcony on the Vegas sites below; a large bathroom with a water closet, makeup table, double sink, large glass shower, and a big tub where one could sit back and relax after a taking in a show at a hotel.

You see, for me Vegas is a place that crackles with electricity, with energy, and vibrancy. It is a place that has become a part of me, an affordable getaway where as they say  ‘ what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.’

The first time I ever visited Las Vegas I was 22-years-old and Vegas was freedom for me after a long and difficult journey through my universityVegas 6 studies. It was a place I found independence. I went to Las Vegas with 6 friends, 5 girls and 1 guy. We went to Tony and Tina’s Wedding and since we were the only people all dressed up as if we were actually going to a wedding, we became part of the show, our entire table. We took pictures of everywhere and everything especially on a 1 day and 10 hour tour of the Grand Canyon a truly magnificent experience in itself.

I will never forget those dusty red gradiated cliffs that when you looked down made you dizzy and overwhelmed by the glory of nature, that a giant glacier and river had carved a path through these cliffs and now we looked upon the layers of sediments and glorious desert color scheme as if it was a giant quilt in the burning Arizona desert. We spent the night before the Grand Canyon playing Sociables, a card and drinking game, so that we all arrive hung over and in desperate need of sleep on that 5 am tour bus. We all passed out on the way to Arizona and I never sleep on tour buses.

Vegas 4We spent days shopping, at the Fashion Show Mall, through the Venatian and Caesar’s Palace, through Planet Hollywood, and at the outlet mall downtown. Roland, the only guy with us, was sick of shopping by the time the trip was coming to an end. We lounged by the pool and ate succulent and delicious food at many restaurants and we took a limo ride through the strip all dressed up to the nines and visited Old Vegas. We saw a colorful and energetic light show and walked through the old casino’s as some country singer who is now famous, put on a lively performance. We walked so much and my friends went on the rides on the Stratosphere, careening near the edge of this freakishly tall building and spinning around over a part of the strip in mid air. We made friends and took pictures at the Stratosphere and with male strippers at the Rio. We wore carnival beads down the strip and drank gigantic drinks mostly full of tequila or vodka.

Later, my friends and I would return to Las Vegas and later I would go with my parents a couple of times and each time in Las Vegas I have discovered something new about the Vegas strip that blows my mind. A club with an indoor waterfall at the Wynn called Tryst, free champagne all night at another club, and M&M factory, The Phantom of the Opera done Vegas style, Cirque de Soleil to the songs of the Beatles, the Hoover Dam, Red Rock Canyon, the 25 cent slot machines at the Casino, how to play Black Jack, and so many memories of good times with friends and family it’s no wonder that this place is more real to me then the nature of many places. I don’t care what you say because baby, I love Las Vegas and if I could be somewhere now that is where I’d like to be.