Speakeasy #159… THE LEPIDOPTERIST

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The Speakeasy #159… THE LEPIDOPTERIST

Somewhere in Chicago a telephone rings…

“Hola, Gringa!”

“Hi, Ethel. Let me guess, we’re eating Mexican food today.”

“Si, mi hermana. Arturo’s is having a burrito sale. It’s on me.”

‘On me’ coming from Ethel meant she wanted something. Cheryl was proud of her friend for sticking with the Spanish class she had found in the PennySaver, but she was not about to tell her. Most of Ethel’s ‘projects’ lasted a week at best, and it had been a while since the ceramics fiasco.

“Let me guess. You have a new hobby.”

“You know how I’ve always been interested in Entomology, I’m going to be a Lepidopterist!”

“So now you’re taking Latin? What the hell are you talking about, Ethel, some English please?”

“A butterfly collector, Cheryl. I’m going to be a Butterfly Collector!”

“Okay, first of all, where are you going to find a butterfly in the city? Second, how does this involve me?”

“I’ve already collected one.  You know how I can’t harm animals, I need you to stick the pin in when I mount it.”

“Oh right, the PETA thing. All right, I’ll do it, but only after Arturo’s.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Western & Armitage…

“Uno burrito pollo con extra salsa y beanos, por favor.”

“I’ll have a number seven, Arturo, thanks.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Later on the third floor of a brownstone in Wicker Park…

“It’s kind of drab and not very pretty, Ethel. I didn’t know you had a net, where did you find it?”

“I used a jar, Cheryl. It was on the back porch by the light. I don’t want to hurt it and besides those beady little eyes give me the creeps. That’s why you have to do it”

‘All right, give me the pin. Where do you want it?”

It fluttered for a moment, magnificent in its struggle, then wilted and lay still.

“One thing, Ethel. I hate to break your butterfly bubble, but I’m pretty sure that’s a moth.”

✧ ✧ ✧ ✧ ✧ ✧ ✧ ✧ ✧ ✧ ✧ ✧ ✧ ✧ ✧

 

Speakeasy Managing Editor Suzanne Purkis has issued these instructions for this week’s entry in the writing contest:

  • Submissions must be fiction or poetry.
  • You must include the following sentence ANYWHERE in your submission: “It fluttered for a moment, magnificent in its struggle, then wilted and lay still.
  • You must also include a reference to the media prompt.  An American Silver Fox  by John James Audubon

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The sentence is courtesy of last week’s winner… A Z Gringa in the Bleached Bone Valley.  Her story is called No Time For Patience I loved it, and you will too.

 

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Incidentally, if ever in Chicago… Check out Arturo’s Tacos in Bucktown.  Fond memories of fabulous burritos after closing the bars…

arturos

FIRST COMMUNION ON EASTER SUNDAY… What better day?

tedstrutz:

Thought I’d put this on TedBook for Easter!

Originally posted on TedBook's DAILY PICS...:

FIRST COMMUNION ON EASTER SUNDAY... What better day?

Gael celebrates his First Communion with his family.  I have a feeling Netty will be in big trouble when Maria sees this photo.  I was honored to be asked to attend.

Fr. Hung Nguyen blessing the three children participating in their first Eucharist, at Saint Francis Church in Friday Harbor

Fr. Hung Nguyen blessing the three children participating in their first Eucharist, at Saint Francis Church in Friday Harbor

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My pal Gael

View original

Friday Fictioneers: CHERYL DOES A JIGSAW

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CHERYL DOES A JIGSAW ~ A Drabble for FriFic

“Hi Cheryl, it’s Ethel. How’s the puzzle going?”

“It’s a bitch, that’s how it’s going. You know how I like to start with the corners. Why in hell would you give me a round puzzle? And so much purple! You better get over here and help me.”

“It’s fuchsia, Cheryl. That’s fuchsia flowers from Hawaii.”

“So I gathered, Ethel. They’re pretty, but a butt load of fuchsia pieces to put together and no corners to get me started, so get over here.”

“Okay, shall I stop off at Pizza Doug’s and pick something up?”

“Great idea, round puzzle… round food!”

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friday-fictioneers

Interesting photo prompt from Captain Douglas M. MacIlroy… wearing his diving helmet while terrorizing children on the Big Island.

Check out Friday Fictioneers to read other stories, and be sure to read Rochelle’s.

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For more information about flash fiction, check out this post by Krista on The Daily Post

Speakeasy #156… EASTER HARES by Ethel & Cheryl

Gun Bunny

EASTER HARES

“Hi Cheryl, it’s Ethel.”

“Why do you insist on announcing yourself every time you call? Don’t you think I know your voice? My phone says who it is anyway. Did you start the poem?”

“Yeah, how’s this… ‘Back-to-back they faced one another, Drew their swords and shot each other’?”

“Ethel. It is supposed to be an Easter theme. Besides, I think that ones’ been done. How about this… ‘Two young hares, rump to rump like dueling pistols, crouched by the gate’.”

“Well the rabbits work, I guess, but why do they have to have guns? How about bows and arrows if they have to shoot something?”

” I could see bows and arrows. Ethel, it is supposed to be a dark piece, they should be shooting something.”

“Wait! Cameras! The rabbits have cameras and they are shooting pictures instead of people. The rabbits are blackmailing people instead of shooting them!”

“That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard, Ethel. No one said anything about people. They should be shooting chicks. Ambushing baby chicks. Besides, how could they work a camera, their paws are too thick.”

“Very funny, Cheryl. Then how could they pull the trigger on a gun, if their paws are so thick? I think we should enter the egg dyeing contest instead of the poetry contest.”

“Maybe you’re right, Ethel, who ever heard of a dark Easter anyway?”

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Ethel & Cheryl ‘borrowed’ the Young Hare from Lauren Mortimer, a fabulous London illustrator.  Please check out her work.

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This week’s Speakeasy submission had to included this line by Alien Aura (last week’s winner) to be used anywhere in the story: “Two young hares, rump to rump like dueling pistols, crouched by the gate.” Editor Suzanne Purkis also instructed us to make reference to the media prompt, which this week is the song Glory Box, by Portishead, which you will find below.

 

THE ROAR OF THE GREASEPAINT

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THE ROAR OF THE GREASEPAINT… A Drabble

“Guess what, Cheryl? I’m in a play!”

“Let me guess? Are you acting or a prop?”

“Haha, very funny. I’m going to be Dorothy Gale! Betty is directing at the Senior Center.”

“Wait a minute, Ethel. Dorothy is a young girl? Why in the hell are you playing her, won’t that seem a little weird? And, how are you going to remember all those lines, you can’t remember a grocery list.”

“You’re going to cue me, Cheryl. I’ll look young, because everyone else is way older. I’m the star, it’s my chance to shine.”

“Just don’t break the Spotlight, Ethel!”

✰ ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰

friday-fictioneers

This week’s photo prompt is from Kent Bonham… check out his blog for the real story of the lights.  To see other Friday Fictioneers stories, head over to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields blog. 

Trifextra: Week 105… “GOOD-BYE”

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GOOD-BYE

“Dammit, Cheryl, I need more than 33, why can’t I have 333?”
“Well, they said 33, and you know them, Ethel. Why don’t we just say this…”

Thanks for the memories, we’ll never forget you, Trifecta.
You introduced us to a new writing world.
Inspired us to be daring, be better writers.
We’re so glad everyone liked us.
Good Luck!

“Okay, that works I guess, but I’m still not happy, Cheryl.”
“You’re never happy, Ethel. Say good-bye.”
“Good-bye.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Goodbye… Ted

THE TRIFECTA WRITING CHALLENGE

MY PRIDE OF JOY…

MY PRIDE OF JOY...

One of the first to cross the finish line in the 10K Run put on by Run Ladies Run in Friday Harbor today.

I meant to put this on TedBook’s Daily Pics… Well, more people get to see this now…

Trifecta: Week 114… GOODBYE

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“This news does not satisfy me, Cheryl.”
“What’s that, Ethel?”
“Trifecta Writing Challenge is folding their tent. I loved the writers and their stories.”
“Me too. They won’t stop writing, we’ll find them.”

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Here is this week’s prompt… Using the third definition, your piece must be exactly 33 words.

SATISFY  (transitive verb)
1a : to carry out the terms of (as a contract) : discharge
b : to meet a financial obligation to
2: to make reparation to (an injured party) : indemnify
3a : to make happy : please  

 b : to gratify to the full : appease
4a : convince
b : to put an end to (doubt or uncertainty) : dispel
5a : to conform to (as specifications) : be adequate to (an end in view)

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This news does not satisfy me either.  After three  years, The Trifecta Writing Challenge comes to an end this month.  The Brainchild of Lisa Harvey, TWC has been a solid weekly platform for writers to strut their stuff.  Prompts always challenging and never boring, the number of writers submitting entries swelled, sometimes reaching 100.  That’s a lot of stories.  I don’t remember how I found TWC, but I’m glad I did.  I had been writing 100 word stories based on a photo prompt for Friday Fictioneers, many of who write stories here, and I got up my courage to submit a story to TWC… the cruciverbalist… was my first.  I learned so much about writing and gained new confidence by reading and writing at The Trifecta Challenge.  And, not only that, but I’ve made some good friends.  I’ve started submitting some stories at yeah write and still take part in FF.  I have fond memories of my time at TWC and thank the editors for all their hard work. I’m sure we’ll meet again.  When I told Ethel and Cheryl they were not happy.

Ted

俳句… HAIKU BOMBERS #2… St. Paddy’s Tacos

          Quill Shiv has a new Haiku writing prompt… A photo of Saint Patrick.  
My result:
                         You can make your own
                         corned beef, cabbage and salsa
                         at the taco bar.
Corned Beef and Cabbage Tacos… In 1986, back in my Restaurant Days, I went to work for Jerry Franco.  Jerry was a bit of a culinary impresario on the Sacramento restaurant scene.  He had just reopened The Town House on 21st Street, down the block from The Sacramento Bee newspaper.  The Town House had been a Mexican Food tradition, and had been sitting empty for a few years after the owner retired.   Franco had opened in a blaze of glory, courting the news hounds and the denizens of California State Government. Having just left a job managing The Fabulous Fifties Cafe, I was ready to mingle with and serve adults.  So I went to work for Jerry as a waiter/bartender/manager.
It was a fun place to work, and we did some crazy promotions to try to make the The Town House a success.  Big lunch business, big after-work bar business.  He kept a few Mexican items on the menu, along with the ‘Upscale Designer’ dishes he came up with.  Each Happy Hour, we featured a Taco Bar, where the patrons could make their own tacos, to wash down with their Martinis and G & T’s.  For me, that taco bar was a pain in the ass, since I had to leave the bar and run back in the kitchen to replenish the supplies.  But the tips were pretty good as long as the food held out.
Saint Patrick’s Day was coming up, and The Town House, along with every other bar and restaurant in Sacramento… no, in the United States… was looking for ways to make some money off one of our more important Drinking Holidays.  I had the bright idea to put corned beef and cabbage on our Taco Bar for the day.  Jerry agreed that it was a brilliant idea, and gave me full credit, in case it bombed.  Getting free publicity was not too difficult, since we always made sure to ‘take good care of’ certain writers from up the street.  Low and behold, we saw some nice mentions in the gossip and the What’s Going On In Town sections of the Bee the day before, and our Happy Hour was packed that St. Paddy’s Day.  In fact, two guys drove down from Hangtown at lunch time to try the CB&C Tacos.  I had to plead with the cook to make some for them.  At Happy Hour, the idea was well received, lots of new people came in, and best of all… Mr. Franco even stuck around to help stock the Taco Bar.
So, when I saw the photo prompt for this week’s Haiku… for some reason, I thought of those Corned Beef and Cabbage Tacos, and working at The Town House.
About 4 months later, I left for the Neon Restaurant Lights of Chicago.  I later heard that the Town House had closed and that Franco was the chef at a seafood joint in Cape Cod.  Last time I was in SacTown, it was a gay bar.

THE CUBAN DIARY… WHERE THE REVOLUCIÓN STARTED!

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The Foreign Correspondent and her Mother

WHERE THE REVOLUCIÓN STARTED!

The Comandancia in the Sierra Maestra, near Bayamo

 I hike on the orange path, climbing over large rocks embedded in the dirt. I am almost wading through the slick mud. The weather is cool, refreshing to hike in. The view from the edge of the path is breathtaking, I could spend the whole hike just looking over the side into the valley below.
jungle
After about an hour of walking we reach a flat space that the guide says is a place for the helicopters to land. We walk past the helipad and get to a small wooden building, our guide opens the doors and we walk inside. It is dark inside, until our guide flings open the windows and grey light begins to fill the small room. As my eyes adjust to the dim light, I see that it is some sort of museum. There are old typewriters and a sewing machine. In the middle of the floor is a 3-D map of the Sierra Maestra. On the map there is a miniature flag, not the  Cuban flag, but the flag of the revolution, red and black, with 26 de Julio (26 of July) on it, marking the spot where the Comandancia is. 
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By the wall, is the memorial plaque for a soldier who died before the revolution ended. The memorial is a simple cross made of what looks like driftwood, with his name and the date he died engraved in Spanish on a tin plate that was probably his.  
fidels house
When we leave the museum our guide closes the windows and doors enveloping the room in darkness again. We continue on, and soon the guide stops and points to a place where there is no grass and there are rose bushes and says that it’s the grave of the man whose memorial we saw in the museum. We move on and come to the house of the secretary, it’s empty except for some shelves built-in to the walls. After this we reach steps made of the trunks of small trees stripped of their bark. We traverse these steps carefully as they are wet and slippery. After about ten minutes we reach another building, this one the guide also had to open, inside there is a kitchen and a bedroom, our guide explains that this was Fidel’s house.  We all got our picture taken with it, but we couldn’t go inside. We leave the house and pass a small building which the guide identifies as Fidel’s outhouse, so of course my papa has to get his picture taken with it.
outhouse
We move on and reach a building with the letters ACTL above the door, they stand for Administracion Central de la Tierra Libre (Central Administration of the Free Land), the former headquarters of the Revolution is now an old structure on the verge of collapse, it seemed amazing it had stood this long. After this we leave the Comandancia. It’s another long hike back to the car that brought us to the trail head, interrupted only by a short coffee break on the way down.
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Our Foreign Correspondent, Ula Grace, reports on her visit to Cuba with her parents Krista and Steve.
To see other stories… THE CUBAN DIARY
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For my friends on the Moonshine Grid

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