Sunday Photo Fiction: The Exception #amwriting #flashfiction #history


Thanks to Alastair Forbes for holding this week’s SPF. 

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Credit: A Mixed Bag

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The White Horse is a popular bar and inn for tourists to stay at while visiting museums and decaying buildings in town. 

Many old ones have been restored in the style of their time period. However, some buildings have rotted away. These past glories are left in ruin because they cannot be torn down as historical sites. 

Although some people wish to restore these ancient buildings, the process of doing this correctly, with trades who are trained in forgotten skills, is frustrating. As well, there are a plethora of permits needed from the city, county, and state, along with, random inspections.

Architects and knowledgable art history professors complain, saying that the quality of work by rare trades is not accurate. Or perhaps, they say the right materials have not been used, despite these materials now being nonexistent. But few so-called experts understand that the price paid for not restoring ancient buildings is having them collapse, having history disappear. 

The White Horse, however, is an exception to such procedures. The popular bar and inn has been passed down from generations of family since the thirteen-hundreds. Over time, the same lineage has updated the bar and inn through each successive family. The building  contains upgrades from the fourteenth century until early 2010. 

For some reason, there isn’t much any government official or anyone else, can say about this. The same family line has lived here for over seven-hundred-years, having always owned the bar and inn. Can the state and historical societies reprimand them now? Not likely. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

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Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Poem – Wrapped Refrain – “Caged in the Keep”  #amwriting #poetry #flashfiction 


Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW.

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Credit: Majestic Golden Rose

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My prison or my home? I shall, 

Never know what these empty halls —

Are; if they contain friend or foe, 

If they care about me, don’t know. 

Married off to a stranger, not unkind, not cruel, 

Not a friend, not yet a foe, stately and no one’s fool. 

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Behind these walls, a sullen keep, 

I’m kept, without sunlight’s relief.

My thoughts aren’t considered, nor my —

Opinions valued, I’m defied.

No special princess, just his highnesses wife kept, 

Safe from the world, from experience, trapped, bereft. 

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Where did childhood’s freedom go? 

Where are the green fields, wild flowers? 

I just want outside but then you’d, 

Never find me again, I’d far go —

Back to my father, to a life of freedom glad, 

My prison? Tigresses caged attack when mad. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved

Writing 101: Day 3 – Secrets


Prompt: Secret – one word prompt.

Why do people have trouble keeping secrets I wonder? We all have some, big or little secrets. My Mom would always say when I was younger things like: “Amanda needs to go to Kingsway” then to me ” don’t tell your Dad I went shopping.” Or she would tell me to hide the evidence of fast food when we would bring it home every once in awhile before my Dad came home. Those were tiny secrets between us.

My Dad still does this too. He will say to my Grandma, “Amanda is tired and needs to go home now” when we visit. What he means was that he wanted to go home because he was tired. I’d roll my eyes at this secret.

When I was in University two of my best friends liked the same guy, we’ll call him James. One of them started going out with James and the other would talk all about him. I hated being in the middle of this drama. It wasn’t fair to me or my other two best friends and finally the friend going out with James told the girl who liked him. She was mad at me especially because we had been friends since high school. But I was close friends with the other girl too, so I didn’t think it was fair of her to be mad at me and not my other two friends. For awhile the friend who only liked James wouldn’t talk to me. But once the friend who was dating James became engaged to him, my friend who liked James realized her error. Funny enough, the friend who became engaged to James didn’t end up marrying him. It was such a big secret at the time, this drama I felt trapped by; but now I don’t think it’s as big as I thought it was. But to tell you the truth I’m not as close of friends with the friend from high school, but the friend who didn’t marry the guy she was engaged to, is still a close friend.

Secrets are such funny things. We feel so desperate to keep them at the time, then realize it wasn’t so bad to have that secret told whether they are large or small secrets. But then there are things you never tell, no matter how long it’s been. I never told my Mom how much I actually drank when my parents had to pick me up from a pubcrawl. I said twelve high balls in two hours, it was more like eighteen high balls and half a bottle of root beer schnapps. But I was twenty-one and could handle the one day hangover. Today I’m not much of a drinker, just some wine on the weekend of a couple of drinks. But I still think my Mom would be horrified of the amount. I’m sure my Dad had more of an idea, but he never said a thing. 

Secrets are strange. They can be really funny, when you wondered how can your friend like such and such a guy, what does she see? Or, that the person you were seeing and broke up with, your friends never liked. Or secrets of self-sabotage, you can see someone messing their life up the same way over and over again. But you can’t really say anything, because you don’t want to hurt their feelings. I’ve had experience with that. Sometimes you have to let people make their mistakes until they realize what they are doing. Telling them the truth can end friendships or at least add distance to them. 

I have a few secrets, but I don’t like to tell, too many people have opinions. And like I said, those can be dangerous. 

Writing 101 – Mrs Pauley


Do you see her lying there on the stretcher? The police and the paramedics around her and all the neighbours standing by shuffling their feet and talking quietly. Well, that’s Mrs. Pauley as stiff as a door nail, dead. She was a curious old thing but Mom said she’s lived there in this house where we’re gathered on the driveway, forever. She had six kids, didn’t pay her mortgage, never came out except to garden a bit.

I been in her house once. It was messy. There were dishes piled in the sink and bugs flying around the house. Mrs. Pauley’s house stunk like mold, mildew, and garbage. Oh, and that old lady smell. Not the good kind that Grandma’s house smells like but something putrid. Mom used that word I thought it aptly described the smell of Mrs Pauley’s home.

She didn’t like kids to much, she said we were noisy and loud. But my Mom told her that kids were just loud and became over excited easily. Mrs. Pauley didn’t have much use for other neighbours opinions and she let my Mom know that.

Curiously today though, I watched as a couple of cop cars pulled up to her house. I was sitting on the step in our front yard working on my math problems. Math was so hard! The police officers knocked on Mrs Pauley’s door but she didn’t come out. She wouldn’t have even if she was alive, she didn’t care for coppers. The police knocked again then tried the door. Strangely, the door just opened which was odd because Mrs. Pauley always locked up tight to keep the riff-raff out.

I guess the house really smelled because the police came out covering their mouths and noses with their hands and an ambulance arrived. Neighbours began to come out on their lawns and some crept to Mrs. Pauley’s drive way to see if they could help. But into that gruesome place went the paramedics and then later they brought out this stiff body covered up. I swear I could see Mrs. Pauley’s hand curled hanging from the stretcher as if she’d just been drinking her coffee.

She had six boys but none of them were here. They lived all over the place, Mom said. I was grossed out as we went over to Mrs. Pauley’s driveway and I could smell the stagnant house. My mom talked to the police said she had seen her just hours ago. Just like that Mrs. Pauley’s continuous presence on the block ended. They sold her house, cleaned it out first, and there was a funeral Mom went to with Dad. I didn’t miss her, but I knew I should.

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Tattoo, For Me, For You?


www.theriskobserver.com
http://www.theriskobserver.com

When I was 4 years old I use to go over to my Godparent’s house where I was babysat by their youngest son. He had tattoos all over his body and I decided right then and there that someday I was going to have a tattoo but it would have to be the perfect tattoo. I did not like some of the skulls and dragons my Godparents’ son had as his tattoos. I wanted something gorgeous, something unique.

Fast forward to grade 2 or 3: my class at school is at a tattoo exhibit at the old Edmonton Art Gallery. I remember seeing many beautiful tattoos of flowers, butterflies, women, and all kinds of symbols. Symbols that meant something to whomever had been the lucky or sometimes unlucky recipients of these tattoo stencils. Some of them went back to the 1700’s for sailors who had gotten tattoos back then. Some of these tattoos marked people as criminals.

In tattooing today, a thermal-fax makes a stencil of your tattoo and it is placed on the shaved area of your body that you would like your tattoo. Even the finest of hairs can get in the way of doing your tattoo. Deodorant or soap and water is used to push on the stencil and create a dark impression of the tattoo you are going to be getting on your body.

After, the tattoo artist prepares their tattoo machine. The inks will be placed in little tiny cups called ink caps and the needles and tubes will be removed for their ‘sterile’ pouches and placed in the machine.  Clean and distilled water will also be placed into a cup for cleaning the needles during the tattoo process.

Next, a bit of ointment is placed on your tattoo to help the tattoo stencil stay on longer and to aid the needle in sliding across your

www.kristiemichelle.deviantart.com
http://www.kristiemichelle.deviantart.com

skin smoothly, which is definitely better for the person receiving the tattoo. The first few minutes of getting a tattoo are the painfullest and after that your skin gets use to the procedure. More people pass out from the idea of the needles on their skin then the pain of the real needles.

Once the stencil of your tattoo is filled in, the tattoo artist can go into detail with colors and shading. The needles used for color are called magnums or the tattoo artist may use a different machine altogether. After the tattoo artist will probably take a picture of the cleaned up tattoo for his or her portfolio. A bandage will be applied after some ointment and it is important that you take care of your tattoo according to the tattoo artists instructions (Hudson).

When I was 18 and a lot of my friends were getting their tattoos I hesitated. I just hadn’t found the right tattoo. It took me 10 years to do that. I was on Pinterest and came across this picture of these beautiful light watercolor flowers on a girl’s arm. “That’s my tattoo,” I remember thinking and I think that if I can handle the pain I will definitely get that tattoo. But now I am considering adding some color, maybe just pink all over the flowers.

Getting a tattoo is a difficult decision to make and many thoughts go into the process of getting a tattoo. Some of the people on Facebook who I asked to share their opinions with me on the subject said that “they need[ed] their tattoo[s] to mean something.” A couple of women also said that visibility was also something they thought about when they got their tattoos. They didn’t want their tattoos visible for special events or so that people got the wrong impression of them. A lot of people thought they were very cool but hesitated to get one because they thought they would get bored with them easily. Other people said that they used their tattoos as “a reminder of something important to motivate themselves” and that they used them as “stories” and “inspiration.” Still others were allergic to the tattoo ink and worried about the pain, not to mention, the price of getting a tattoo done. Someone also said that they didn’t want their tattoo too big so it was overwhelming. I really appreciated the help everyone gave me concerning deciding to get a tattoo done.

20131208-151215.jpgMy consultation is next Monday and I’m anxious to hear what my tattoo artist has to say. Some of the things I am scared about is that my skin will be too sensitive or that I will be allergic to the ink. I am also scared I won’t be able to handle the pain for hours on end and that my tattoo will be too expensive. Although, most people I talked to thought it would take anywhere from 2-4 hours depending on the skill of the tattoo artist. So here’s hoping everything turns out alright. What I am most thrilled about is that the picture I found will be something I will be proud to have on my body when I am 89 years old. It will be a memory of my youth. For me my tattoo will be a symbol of strength even in fragility.

You see we live in such frail human bodies that can get sick at the drop of a button. But our spirits endure long after our bodies are gone and God makes us stronger than we even thought possible in life. Our strength lies in our weaknesses in the most delicate parts of our lives, this is when we find what makes us strong, just as there is strength in a fragile flower.