INVITATION TO TAKE A RIDE… A Non-fiction Drabble
Checking my mail. The usual holiday catalogs. Here’s one from Figis wanting me to buy fruitcake. No checks or bills, so that kind of evens out. Wait a bit, here’s a brown envelope postmarked Seattle. What’s really odd, is the way they did the address… letters cut out from something… addressed to ted strutz. Maybe some new advertising gimmick to catch the eye. Inside, letters attached to a paper bag.
Walk on to the 8:05 ferry
on December 4th
Prepare to b gone all night
don’t forget your hearing aids
don’t ax questions
You think I’m kidding?
You can imagine my surprise when I saw this week’s Friday Fictioneer’s photo prompt. It was one I had taken, and Rochelle-Wisoff Fields had chosen it to be this week’s inspiration for some 100 Word Flash Fiction. I wanted to wait till Friday was almost over to explain the photo and not influence any of the Fictioneer’s writings. It has been fun to read the different takes the photo evoked, and you can see them by going to the Fictioneer’s link page. As of now, 81 writers have linked their stories… I’ll be #82.
There are two types of ferries that service the San Juan Islands in the state of Washington. Located at the top of Puget Sound, in what is called The Salish Sea. The San Juan Islands consist of something like 172 islands, some no more than a rock… but since it is always above water, it’s officially an island. I live on San Juan Island… it was named for an explorer called Juan… and is the county seat. I live in Friday Harbor, which may or not have been named for an indian called Joe Friday… but that’s another story.
The ferry serves the 4 main islands Lopez, Shaw, Orcas and mine. You board in Anacortes on the mainland (although technically Anacortes is on Fidalgo Island which is connected by bridges and is not part of the San Juan Island Group) and travel by ferry-boat to the different islands, and can even go to Victoria, British Columbia on Vancouver Island (which sails once a day).
There is another run, which is the Interisland Ferry, it is a little smaller ship. The MV Evergreen State was built in 1953, and holds 100 cars and 1000 passengers. That is what I was on when I took the photo. I was the only passenger. In 17 years riding ferries, and I ride the Interisland a lot, I have never been the sole passenger. Let me tell you, it was a strange feeling, almost scary. I walked about the passenger deck and had the weirdest feeling, almost like I was in some of the stories my fellow fictioneers have written, they tend to run to the macabre, cheerful lot. It was around 5 p.m. when I took the photo, as the sun was starting to set. I thought it was an interesting shot, with the eerie calmness of an empty boat (that should have been busy with people doing all manner of things, including jigsaw puzzles) and the beauty of the scenic calm outside.
If you ever get up Seattle way, come up and take a ride on the ferry… I’ll buy.
I do not know who sent me the invitation, but I have my suspicions, my birthday is Dec. 4, 1943… do the math, it’s a milestone of sorts. There are two Prime Suspects, but they are not fessing up. I guess I will have to wait till I walk on the ferry and see who’s there. I will be sure to take my hearing aids… maybe there’s a Steely Dan concert I don’t know about.
April ’14… Here’s one I wrote for Friday Fictioneers… I thought it would be fun for my yeahwrite friends to see. I’ll post the follow-up story next week.