MUCKING OUT …A Drabble for FriFic
At a brownstone in Wicker Park, the new apartment manager goes to work…
“Where do we start?”
“What do you mean?”
“What do you mean, ‘What do I mean’, Ethel? You asked for help, this place is a disaster! Who the hell was this Doug guy, look at this junk!”
“He was a sweet guy, very poetic, and he loved the sea. Did I tell you he was a submarine commander once?”
“Didn’t look the sailor type to me, Ethel, more of a mountain climber, and definitely not a poet.”
“That’s why he moved to Hawaii, to live on a mountain. Pick something out, Cheryl.”
“He took all the good stuff, Ethel!!!”
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STOP THE MUSIC!!!… A Drabble for FriFic
“Hi, Cheryl, it’s me.”
“I know it’s you before I pick up the phone, stop telling me every time.”
“Well get over here, the shit’s going to hit the fan!”
“What the hell are you talking about, Ethel?”
“The kids, the kids downstairs playing music! I’ve called the cops!”
“No. I thought they were pretty good.”
“Well, you don’t live above them and have to listen to it night and day. Besides, I seem to remember you were pretty pissed when we were watching Big Brother, and now you won’t come over for Survivor.”
“Oh Yeah!!! I’ll be right over.”
♬ ♪ ♫ 𝄫♩♩♬ 𝄆 ♪ ♪ ♫ ♭ 𝄡 ♪ 𝄫 ♩ ♪ ♬
A 100 Word Flash Fiction for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers, based on her photo.
DIVING by Ula Grace
As we put on our bulky Scuba gear I smile in anticipation of the underwater trip we are about to take. I haven’t been diving in a couple of years so I’m a little nervous. But as soon as we get in the water that all goes away, and I immerse myself in the beauty and mystery of the ocean we are part, if only for a short time. We swim deeper and deeper toward our destination: a sunken ship. I am so enthralled by the fish that I fail to notice the huge shadow in front us until it looms up ahead recognizable as a boat. We swim over it. It is it’s own whole habitat, separate yet in union with the ocean. There is all kinds of coral and underwater plants growing on the hull and deck, and along the railing of the ship. Fish are everywhere, miniature purple ones swimming in schools, and large ones swimming solo. It makes me sad to leave this underwater paradise.
This installment in Ula’s Cuba Stories takes place in Playa Girón.
To read other stories… THE CUBAN DIARY
Photography for this story courtesy of Steven Gutmann
A CAUTIONARY TALE
Cook County General… Chicago, Illinois… Room 317… 11:30p.m.
Everything hurt. Cheryl looked at her friend and that’s what she saw. And that is what she would probably say when she awoke.
It had all started with that damn PennySaver ad. “Why waste money on a repairman when You can fix it?” “Let us show you the easy way to Do-It-Yourself!” She had told Ethel there was no easy way, and that a few online classes wouldn’t make her an expert on fixing things. But Ethel had replaced the cord on her window shade and fixed her blender, though she was out of her protein shake phase, so she had to give her credit for that.
Earlier that day, Cheryl had just fixed lunch and was going to watch the Big Brother episode she had recorded when the phone rang.
“Is this Miss Cheryl?”
“Hi Dominic, why are you calling me?”
“It’s Miss Ethel. She is going to hospital and you should know.”
Cheryl shifted in her chair and continued filling out the crossword in the Trib. ‘What the hell was Ethel thinking? Well this should teach that do-gooder a lesson. Let the landlord fix the damn dryer.’ Cheryl immediately felt sorry for that thought. ‘But really, any damn fool knows you unplug something before working on it. It says so on the back of the machine. Maybe they didn’t teach that in their fix-it class.’
The nurse had looked grave when Cheryl got to the hospital. Nurse Betty explained that her friend had received a serious electrical shock, but was expected to live. She was sedated and would sleep for sometime, they would call when she was awake. The doctor hoped there would be no lasting effects, but you never know. Cheryl thanked her, and said she would wait with Ethel, if that was okay. ‘It would serve her right if she got one of those white streaks in her hair like Angela Lansbury had in that movie.’
Cheryl was wishing there was another bed in the room when Ethel moaned, stirred and her eyes popped open.
“Where am I? What are you doing here?”
“I’m doing my crossword while I wait for you to wake up. Your dryer repair job didn’t go so well. Do you remember what happened? How do you feel?”
“Ooh, everything hurts.”
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The Speakeasy is back from summer vacation!
- Submissions must be 750 words or fewer.
- Submissions must be fiction or poetry.
- The following sentence must be the FIRST line in your submission: “Everything hurt.”
- You must also include a reference to the media prompt.
A RIDE AROUND THE CITY… by Ula Grace
The wind rushes through my hair as if in a hurry. We breeze down the ocean side highway in our neon pink Caddy at the start of our tour of Havana.
Our first stop is the Hotel Nacional, a hotel built in the 30’s and famous for housing people like Al Capone and others. We speed toward our next destination: Vedado. On the opposite side of Havana as Old Havana, otherwise known as Habana Viejo in Spanish. Next the Plaza de la Revolucion, with the black outlines of Cuba’s greatest now dead heroes: Ché Guevara and Camlio Cienfuegos. Below Ché there is his famous quote “Hasta la Victoria Siempre” (in English “For Victory, Always”).
We leave the plaza and drive onward. My favorite place is next: The John Lennon Park. I had been waiting to go here throughout the whole drive. We arrive at the park to find dry, scraggly, yellow grass and burning bronze benches, one of which a bronze statue is lounging with the words “Ustede puede decir que soy soñador pero no soy el único” (in English “You may say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one”). I rush out of the car to sit next to my Idol for a picture, but I have to sit on my bag because the bench is too hot. As we reach the bench we are met by an old man holding a pair of eyeglasses for the bronze John. He carefully places the glasses on the statue and waits for us to finish taking pictures. As we walk back to the car, I look back and smile to see how carefully the little old glasses man handles the little bronze glasses.
We go next to a lush green park and stop for a beverage. When we leave I decide to sit on the back of the seat and my auntie Krissy sits up with me. We ride like that to our next stop: a green house that my mom specially requested to see. But we couldn’t go inside. To end our tour, our guide took us through a tunnel under the ocean to a castle. All in all it was a fantastic tour in a ridiculous car and was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Another installment from our Foreign Correspondent, Ula Grace, as she recalls her visit to Cuba with her parents Krista and Steve.
To see other stories… THE CUBAN DIARY
ANTIQUING… A Drabble for FriFic
Somewhere on Maxwell Street… Chicago’s South Side…
“Come on, Cheryl, where’s your sense of adventure?”
“It’s dirty and gross here!”
“Wait till you see it. It’s beautiful. An antique!”
“Old and dirty does not antique make, Ethel. You know I don’t like used.”
“Get off your damn high horse. Besides, there’s pork chop sandwiches, don’t try to tell me you won’t like those.”
“That’s the only reason I came. Where’s this chest of yours? Stop! Wait a minute… I love this!!”
“But, it’s old and dirty, plus the glass is cracked, Cheryl.”
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, Ethel.”
HOT STUFF… A Drabble for FriFic
In a brownstone three flights up… the sound of food being spit out.
“Good God, Ethel, what the hell is this?”
“It’s my new ‘culinary de force’, Cheryl. I’m bringing excitement to my cooking.”
“Excitement! Inedible, it’s so damn hot. I hope you meant ‘du jour’, because I don’t want to taste that again. And, don’t pull that pouty face with me! What did you put in that soup?”
“It’s my new thing. ‘Rooster Sauce!'”
Ethel proudly displays a bottle of Sriracha.
“Rooster sauce my ass, Ethel. There should be a Dragon on that label. One word… ‘Moderation'”
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I recently received this photograph in the mail. Jesús Joglar, who specializes in pinhole photography sent it to me from Barcelona, Spain. I was involved in a postcard exchange and was delighted when this month’s postcardpal sent me such an interesting print. I was going to post the photo on my photoblog, but thought it really should be on TedBook for all to see. Here is the information Jesús furnished describing the photo.
Enclosed please find a contact copy of my pinhole photograph entitled ‘horru’, the name of the raised granary, a typical way of keeping the food (corn grain, pork cured meat, etc.) in Asturias, a region in the North coast of Spain where I come from.
I made it with a Zero Image 45 pinhole camera with a pinhole ø of 0.28 mm, a focal length of 50 mm, what gives an f/176 and <116˚ using 4×5 black&white Fomapan 200 [ISO 200] film with an exposition time of 10 sec. I developed in homebrewed Ilford ID-11 stock at 20˚ C for 6 min [12 sec 0 / 1 min] and made the contact copy in Ilford Multigrade IV RD De LUXE Pearl.
I hope you like it! With warm regards… Jesús Joglar
Well, I not only like it… I love it and am going to frame it and hang it on my wall with other works of art. I have no idea what Jesús said in his second paragraph, but I imagine my photographer pals Joan Benney and Jaime Powell Shepard will be all over it. The only pinhole photographer I know is Fiona Small here in Friday Harbor… a talented artist and actress, and one of my favorite people to photograph at the County Fair.
To see a bit of Spain and learn more about Jesús Joglar’s Pinhole Photography… LIGHT THROUGH A HOLE