Cousin Eric’s Burger

I’ve been thinking of trying something on the darker side for a change so I hope you’ll accept this second response to the Friday Fictioneers prompt. My efforts at inserting a dark and sinister twist to a tale will begin with this scene from Friday Fictioneers Family picnic.

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, a gifted writer of historical fiction. Check out her blog for the “Blue Frog” link to all the other stories written for this prompt. This week’s photo prompt is supplied by CE Ayr a writer of short fiction tales with a twist. (Please note: this photo is copyright and cannot be used elsewhere without the owner’s permission.)

PHOTO © CEAyr

Cousin Eric’s Burger

Cousin Eric enthralled the children with his “alien space rock” story at the FF picnic.  Little Andy, especially, peppered Eric with questions until his mom finally shushed him.

While fixing their burgers by the grill, Andy piped up again. “Uncle Eric…”

“Hush! You’ve pestered Uncle enough.”

“But Mom…”

Dad frowned. “Not another word until after dinner.” Andy sighed and shrugged.

After they’d eaten Eric said, “Now Andy, what did you want to tell me so badly before?”

“Two flies landed in the ketchup on your burger and you didn’t see when you put the top on. It doesn’t matter now. They’ve…uh…disappeared.”

~~~~~~

Afterwards:
Our beloved Aunt Ardatha Flint, attending the event, took notes on the ruckus Andy’s announcement caused, for anyone who’s interested:

Andy’s mother and father were duly horrified, embarrassed and chastened. (Hop it, Mark Twain. Long live adjectives!)

Cousins Eric and Martin wrote a new blues tune for the occasion. Sounded something like, “There’s a bier on my steer,” but don’t quote me.

Cousin Shelley and other tender-hearted ones were blinded by tears. Cousin Dale — a bit sassy — burst something while rolling on the floor laughing. Didn’t catch what; I think she said it in French.

Cousins Bill and Russ gagged — but they’ve swallowed worse in their day. (We all know who munch the mums last week.) The Scottish cousins insisted, “Nothin’ but mutton for me!” Cousin Sandra, the cook, threatened to stuff them with haggis.

Cousin Sabina mulled over this extra spice while Cousin Reena vowed to reinvent the hamburger. The vegan cousins, feeling vindicated, were blooming with good cheer.

Cousins Iain and Indira I’d us indecisively; Cousin Kat searched for one of her nine lives that escaped in the ruckus. Cousin Keith puzzled over a text message he insists was written in Greek.

The British cousins bristled when they heard others joke about doing a Brexit from this unprofitable clan. “Rubbing salt in the wounds!” they wailed. Then when the Yanks started yukking it up about “Boston iced tea” I feared we’d have a Donnybrook.

But Cousin Linda urged everyone to remain calm, Cousin Sarah dealt with the pottier ones and Dr Ali in front of the stair, attempted to reprogramme the hotheads.

Cousin CE, just in from France, offered to make a short story of the fuss by feeding us all to Nessie. However, I’ve heard her bite isn’t too sound anymore.

Cousin Chris was extremely cross when her membership in the Miss Marple Mystery and Mayhem Society was suddenly and inexplicably annulled. (How I love adverbs!)

The Ages of Women

Another Friday Fictioneers prompt has come around and I’m cheating a bit this time. I’ve had this story in mind ever since I read about the three ages of women. No, I can’t claim credit for this bit of wisdom. it apparently comes from a Scottish grandma — whose name I of course can’t locate now when I want it. 😦

I realized lately that my new cell phone has no frowny faces, only variations of Happy-face. Is this a giant plot by a multinational corporation to force callers to make cheerful replies?

Anyway, with a happy smile I want to thank Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting this multi-aged group of writers — and for this week’s photo prompt as well. If you wish to join the gang in responding to this prompt, check out Rochelle’s blog, Addicted to Purple. (Does someone care to offer a countering “Three ages of men” version?)

Photo prompt © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

The Three Ages of Women

Helen squeezed Hazel’s arm. “I’m so glad you decided to join me on this trip. Travel’s much more enjoyable with a friend.”

“Well, I had been thinking I should stay home. Thought my children might not be able to manage without my helpful advice. Older and wiser, you know. Then a friend enlightened me on the three ages of a woman: ‘Muddle age, middle age, and meddle age’.

Helen’s laughter echoed in the narrow passage. “I’ll remember that one.”

Hazel grinned. “So I decided I’d better get some new interests in life before I slip into that last one.”

Nature Makes Cats Too Smart

It’s time for another round of Friday Fictioneers, the delightful group hosted by our devoted and tactful host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to join in the fun, check out her blog and click the blue frog to add your own 100 words to the melee.

The picture today was donated by Dale Rogerson expressly for today’s prompt. The copyright belongs to her and you need her permission to borrow it. No doubt there’ll be many different tales spun out of this photo; I myself came up with two. I’ll go with my first idea, revised and hopefully clarified.

So, gentle readers, here’s another dose of Winnie’s wry wit and wisdom.

From their hotel window Winnie observed the commotion below. “It’s that irritating cat again. Up in that tree, smug as can be. Third time this week.”

Raylene and Winnie watched the crowd milling around. The owner wrung her hands; someone shouted orders; someone fetched a ladder. Perched on his branch Sir Whiskers blinked superciliously.

Winnie rolled her eyes. “Imagine bringing your cat on a holiday!”

“And it loves to lead a merry chase. Sir Whiskers seems to relish having everyone scrambling after him.” Raylene shook her head. “Nature shouldn’t make cats that smart.”

“Or people that dense.”

Tales Out of School

Mr. Hyde, the Principal, was sitting at his desk one day when his secretary knocked on the door.

“Charlie Johnson’s mother is here asking to see you, sir. Something about a comment the teacher made on her son’s report card.”

“All right, send her in.” He frowned, wondering what sort of complaint he’d have to listen to now. He stood as a thirty-something woman entered his office. “Mrs. Johnson, glad to see you.” He shook her hand politely. “How can I help you?”

She held out a report card. “Mr. Hyde, we need a little clarification on this remark Charlie’s teacher made. We just can’t make it out.”

“In fact,” she continued, “”none of our friends can decipher it, either. We had a bunch in for a party last evening and for fun we passed Charlie’s report card around — even offered a prize if anyone could tell us what it said — but none of them could. So I thought I’d better get the answer from you.”

Hyde opened the report card and looked long and hard at the comment. “I’m really sorry, Mrs. Johnson, but I simply can’t read it. I believe it’s Mr. Thwaite’s writing, though. Let’s get him in here to tell us what it says.”

Mr. Hyde reached for the intercom button by his desk and paged Mr. Thwaite, who came hurrying to the office.

Thwaite glanced at Mrs. Johnson and nodded, then asked, “What can I help you with, Mr. Hyde?”

“I can’t make out what this remark says and Mrs. Johnson here would like to know. Could you kindly interpret it for us.”

Thwaite flushed slightly and took the offered report card. He looked at the indecipherable scribble for a few minutes, looked blankly at the wall, then back at the report card. His face lit up as the light dawned. “Yes, I remember now. It says, ‘Charlie needs to take more care with his handwriting’.”

(A sad but true tale related by Principle Hyde – perhaps at his retirement party? 🙂 )

(Story redone from an old Friendship Book. Originally posted in Christine Composes March 2013)

Versatile Blogger Award

Back at the beginning of May fellow blogger Hussein Allam nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award. As you can see I’ve been procrastinating — but now it’s time to get with it. Thanks very much for this honour, Hussein.
Versatile Blogger 1

I copied this symbol from another blogger who had posted it, and because I’m that sort of a person, I googled “Versatile Blogger Award.” One site showed all the images drawn up for this award. I counted seventy before I quit, but there must be 100 variations.

Versatile Bl 4

This is a rather nice one. Matches my header. 🙂

According to the write-up, if you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger award and you should now:Versatile Bl 2

  •  Thank the person who gave you this award.
  •  Include a link to their blog.
  •  Next, select at least ten blogs that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  •  Nominate those bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.
  •  Finally, share with your readers seven things about yourself.

Oh, how can I pick ten or even fifteen bloggers when I know of so many who would qualify! Check out my Blogroll in the right side bar and you’ll see quite a few worthwhile blogs. I realize some bloggers I follow don’t want awards, and some a few of the ones who do accept them have just gotten an award of some kind. I usually decline awards myself, but thought “Maybe this time.”

So I’ll nominate the following dozen bloggers and let them decide if they want to pass it on:

— Dale in Quebec who blogs at A Dalectable Life. We do fiction together and exchange silly, encouraging, and delightful comments.
— Eric Wicklund from TX blogs at Momus News. With a sense of humor a lot like mine, Eric writes twisty fiction tales and sci-fi stories.
Jellico’s Stationhouse. Another creative flash fiction writer whose writing I enjoy.
— Stacey at In the Corner. A wife, mom, teacher, cancer survivor, soon-to-be published author, shares her battles with the big bad C 🙂
Tiny Lessons Blog takes her readers for enjoyable walks through the salt marsh in the FL keys.
— Cindy, a relatively new blogger has wandered the world, now lives in NJ and blogs at Bird Flight
Chrissy Adventures Another interesting Mom and blogger who says every day is an adventure.
Bedtime Book Blog An English mom with five year old twins, she reviews their bedtime story books on her blog. Great suggestions for new parents.
— Jennifer Ann Fifield, the poet behind The Writing life
That Travel Lady in Her Shoes is another blogger and book reviewer you might enjoy.
Kathleen Duncan I reblogged one of her articles here recently, excellent advice about what to say to a bereaved parent.
Jo, the Inquisitive Writer. I thought her newbie blogging tips were really helpful.

Versatile Bl 5

For those who want a more jazzy image

Seven things about me:
— I was married to Bob at age 17; a mom at 18; and became a Christian at age 21. Now I’m a grandma, too. 🙂

— As a couple we’ve lived in five provinces from AB to QC, plus my folks and I lived for a year in BC when I was  five. I’ve retained a few dim memories of travelling through the Rockies by train, looking down into deep mountain gorges. Eeek!

—We’ve “got a friend in Pennsylvania.” In fact lots of them, as we visited there quite a few times when we lived in Ontario. We’ve travelled as far south as Mississippi and as far SW as eastern Kansas. Didn’t see any sign of Dorothy, Toto, or a twister though.

— I started penpalling back in 1984 and have carried on with some of my penpals all these years since.

—I was editor/publisher of a penpal newsletter for four years when we lived in Ontario. Canaquest Friendship magazine was started by Pauline Campbell; I took over from her.  I’m also a published author with one children’s book to my credit: The Rescuing Day.

— I’m a cancer survivor. Treated for breast cancer when I was 27 and thankfully never had a recurrence. Almost 37 blessed years! (However, I developed chronic lymphocytic leukemia four years ago and was treated last year. I’m doing okay now.)

— I might be a fairly good artist today if I’d ever had lessons. It’s on my bucket list to someday paint a picture.