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!)

Got Your Back, Pal

The Friend Who Just Stands By

When troubles come your soul to try
you love the friend who just stands by.
Perhaps there’s nothing he can do;
the thing is strictly up to you

for there are troubles all your own
and paths the soul must tread alone,
bad times when love can’t smooth the road,
nor friendship lift the heavy load.

But just to feel you have a friend,
who will stand by until the end,
whose sympathy through all endures,
whose warm handclasp is always yours—

It helps somehow to pull you through,
although there’s nothing he can do.
And so with fervent heart we cry:
“God bless the friend who just stands by.”

Google tells me this poem was written by
William Carlos Williams, 1883-1963

Thrift Shop Find: A Good Read

Book Review: THREE CAME HOME

When the Japanese army took over Borneo in May 1942, Agnes and Harry Keith and their 18- month-old son were taken prisoner along with others associated with the British colony there.  The men were put in one prison camp; the women and children in another, along with a group of nuns.

This insightful book reconstructs the scene immediately before the invasion, the two years and four months they were interred, and their trip home. If you don’t value your freedom enough, this book is a MUST READ.  With clarity and charity Mrs. Keith details life in the two prison camps, their ways of coping with abuse and starvation rations.  She describes guards, prison commanders and interpreters as well as her fellow prisoners.

In her opening she says,  “The Japanese in this book were as war made them, not as God did, and the same is true of the rest of us…  If there is hate here (in these pages), it is for hateful qualities, not nations.  If there is love, it is because this alone kept me alive and sane.”

Three Came Home, by Agnes Newton Keith © 1946, 1947
Published by Little Brown and Company,  Boston,  MA, USA

Agnes Newton Keith has also written LAND BELOW THE WIND, WHITE MAN RETURNS, and BAREFOOT IN THE PALACE.  Although I haven’t read LAND BELOW THE WIND, I know it describes their life in Borneo (an English colony in the South Pacific) before the war and the reviews were favorable.

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.

The Fish We Toss Back

Two fishermen stood on a bridge one day
each dangled their line in the swell
hoping to catch a fat fish for their lunch,
a size that would fill them up well.

The first man caught several smaller fish;
and dropped each one into his sack.
“Better than nothing, I guess,” he declared.
Sniffed the other, “I’d toss them all back.”

“I’m a hungry man,” the first replied.
“They’re a little more work to de-bone,
but these ones will make a half-decent meal.
Now I’d better be hurrying home.”

“Well, I’d never settle for these little guys,”
the second man said, then he spat
as he tossed back another unworthy fish.
“My appetite’s bigger than that.”

The first man went home and fried up his catch;
they made him a right tasty dish.
The second still casts his line from the bridge
in hopes of the right size of fish.