the room at the end of the hall

untitled  PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

His room was at the end of the hall

a long walk for a little boy.

but he was sent there often

mostly when

his cruel daddy

wanted to

have his way

with the girls in the family.

Why can’t you love me

Daddy,

like you love my sisters?

DO YOU THINK I AM

A SICK MAN?

A MAN DOES NOT USE HIS SONS FOR LOVE,

ONLY HIS DAUGHTERS

AND MAYBE HIS WIFE.

Maybe that’s why

when the little boy grew up

he was

A monster to his sons

and their mother

because she refused

to give him a daughter

This tale of darkness, cruelty and two generations of abuse is my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers.

There’s more here…

WOTD Conflate (or The DatsFordev)

Word:

combine (two or more texts, ideas, etc.) into one:
“the urban crisis conflates a number of different economic and social issues”
Last evening, I spoke to a cousin of mine. For the first time in almost 60 years, he is living away from home, working on the big Alberta clean up. This past summer, a huge fire broke out in the area, and labourers from all across the country have been hired to clean the place up. My cousin is one of those hard working individuals. He is really lonesome up there, missing his wife and other family members. I reminisced about the good old days and we shared a few stories that made him laugh and ease his mind until he comes home. Here is one of those stories
The DatsFordev
When I was a kid, my favourite place to hang out was at my cousin Raymond’s house. Being sixteen, I always loved cars, and so did Raymond. He had built a garage on the side of his mom’s house, used the place to paint and repair cars.
Raymond was a few years older than I was, and was quite the comical individual. I could share a hundred funny stories, but today I want to focus on just one. The story of the DatsFordev.
I guess I have you confused now. Don’t worry, I will explain. You see, back in the day, there were tons of cars scrapped in various lots and in back yards everywhere. One day, Ray decided to gather a bunch of parts, and put them together to make a car. He had bought a little Datsun B201 for a hundred dollars or so, but the thing was a junk heap. (Back then, Datsun, Toyota, etc. were just beginning to sell in the country, and their quality was not up to par with the other cars of the time. Remember, this was the early 80’s)
I dropped down to Raymond’s place to find him in the garage, welding various parts to the back of the little car. He switched out the Datsun tail lights with those from an old Ford Maverick, he had a Chevy Nova grill on the front, and get this, he attached a Chevy Vega trunk lid to the back end of the little car, using of all things, Barn door hinges he snitched from his dad’s barn.
The surprising thing about this car, despite all the parts conflated together, the thing didn’t look all that bad. Raymond finished his work with a paint job using left over paint he mixed together. The colour, which consisted of at least ten different colours, turned out to be a nice shade of gold.
And then, he decided to put the thing up for sale. I thought he would never sell it, as to me, it looked like a pile of junk; but you know what they say about one man’s junk….
This guy showed up to buy it, he was some excited. “What is it? I never seen one of these before!” he said, excited.
“My own creation, made it from parts of several good vehicles” Raymond lied.
The guy proudly drove out of the driveway while Raymond and I laughed our heads off. “Got rid of all that junk, and he even paid me to take it.” Raymond bragged.
Sometimes I wonder what happened to that guy and his little ‘hybrid’. I bet he had a hell of a time licensing the car when the plates ran out. After all, what would you call it?

WOTD Gewgaw

DEFINITION: a trinket or bauble; something gaudy, of little value and use.

SENTENCE: The colonists handed out a variety of gewgaws to the natives on the two islands.

As of late, I have been checking out Twitter. I am totally amazed at the number of times the President Elect tweets his usual GewGaw. If he isn’t lashing out at a celebrity, he is sending offensive comments to very powerful countries like China. The guy really has to get the hell off of twitter.

A few weeks back, he was offended by jokes by Adam Baldwin, who, in my mind looks more like Trump than Trump does. This past week, he lashed out at Meryl Streep’s comments during her award speech. I am very afraid of what could happen in our neighbouring country if this keeps on. I even wrote a little poem to explain my fears.

There’s trouble coming

I kid you not!

He’s gonna ruin what we got.

He’s got a bad doo

and a worse attitude.

I am here to warn you

about this dude!

They gave him the house

they gave him the fame

and I’ll tell you somethin’,

they even gave him THE button.

He got the bucks, so he thinks he’s the man

pickin’ on things he doesn’t understand,

He’s rootin’ in a hornet’s nest

puttin’ our patience to a test.

If that don’t make you shiver,

This guy is quite terrible

think ’bout the Chinese and Koreans

and even poor Meryl

he’s calling them out

on Twitter.

The man needs a sitter!

Next word: Conflate

WOTD Challenge

During a trip to the local Dollar store, something my wife truly enjoys, I actually found something amongst the normal junk in the store. I found a Word of the Day calendar for 2017. Being somewhat of a word freak, this is right up my alley. I vow to write a post each and every day, based on the word of the day. This is my New Years Resolution…and we all know how that usually turns out. No matter, I shall do my best to keep this one. The $3.00 I paid for the calendar is a hell of a lot cheaper than that treadmill clothes hanger I bought last January.

The word of the day for December 10, the word is Passel (Noun)

DEFINITION: a group of individuals or objects of unspecified number.

SENTENCE: The Celebrity showed up four hours late with his usual passel of hangers-on.

Speaking of words, I have this thing about poor spelling. My brother and his wife, and the missus and I went to dinner  Friday, at a local bar/eatery. I am not normally a fan of those places, given my shellfish allergy, but the owner of the place, a huge man who spends more time at the gym than he does at his restaurant, promised me shellfish is cooked in it’s own fryer, everything else is cooked in another fryer, in another room.

The bar owner, and  his everyday Passel  of gym goers, sat at the bar glancing over to our table. “Go ahead and order whatever you like, I guarantee you need not worry about getting sick in here.” he assured me. I believed him. Great food.

The missus and I ordered wings and potato skins. While glancing at the menu, my prying eyes noticed a spelling error. Not just an error, but something that sent everyone at our table into a fit of laughter…well, maybe not everyone, but my brother and myself for sure.

Desert Menu (Yes, Desert….like the place with sand and scorpions)

Lemon Morang Pie…………………………………$3.50

(Gotta have me some of that Mo Rang Pie!)

and on the appetizer menu

Latts Fries. (Gotta love those Latts)

I have been known to point out menu spelling errors, but did I mention the big guy sitting at the bar?  I decided to not tell him about this…Hey, maybe I should buy him one of those calendars….

Tomorrow’s word:Gewgaw

 

 

 

Christmas Surprise

This Christmas was going to be the best one on a long time. Emma ordered each of her eleven children a Christmas gift from the Sears-Robuck catalogue. Jack was working at the time, and for the first Christmas in a long time, the Blanchard family of Codroy Valley Newfoundland would have enough money to buy gifts for all their children, even the older ones.

That was, however, until Jack lost his job. What a time to lose a job, right before Christmas. The worst thing was the big order Emma made. How was she going to pay for all those gifts? This year it looked as if Santa wouldn’t be making a stop at their house.

Jack, ever the optimist, believed that no matter what, the family would still have Christmas, and he proved it by hiking to the post office, which was miles away from their little farm house.

When he arrived at the post office, he was surprised to find a letter addressed to Emma. He ripped the envelope open only to find a check for $20, enough to pay for all the Christmas gifts. Turns out, Emma’s sister Elizabeth, who lived in Nova Scotia,  won the money at a Bingo game, and decided to send it to her younger Sister.

The entire family, especially Emma, was surprised when, on Christmas morning, all the gifts she ordered sat beneath the Christmas tree.

My mom told this story during our Christmas meal yesterday. It is truly a gift to hear such amazing stories from the people who lived them. Merry Christmas to all my blogger friends.

Judgment Call

 

untitled

PHOTO PROMPT © Lucy Fridkin

word count: 100 words

“I know how calm the waters are, but just look at the sky. A storm’s a’ comin’ I tell you!” Warned the old ‘Salt’.

Ignoring his advice, his crew boarded the small fishing vessel and headed out.

Well, the rumors were right, the fish were plentiful, probably the most cod in quite some time.

Heading back to shore, the winds began to pick up. The tides were rough, and the tiny vessel swooped from one side to the other, until the boat capsized.

“Hate being right” he said, as he and five other fishermen carried the casket to the church.


Many of my mom’s family were mariners who fished off the coasts of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. We lost so many, mostly through poor decisions and rough waters. This little story is my tribute to the men who lost their lives at sea; and my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers

 

Mr. Grumpy’s Christmas

Silas Hunt was a contrary old man who lived alone in an old house the kids claim is haunted. Silas almost never leaves the place, it is his sanctuary.

“Kids these days, they don’t even understand Christmas” he grumbled, while on a rare excursion to the grocery store.

“Ah, kids are kids” repeated the saleslady.

He grumbled all the way home, mostly about the children  in the playground near his home.

One of the kids, a small blonde girl, approached the old man. Noticing his long grey beard and ample belly, she asked  “Are you Santa?”

“No, I am not Santa, now Git!” he ordered.

Upon arriving home, he stamped his feet on the step, hauled the door open, and slammed it behind him.

The creaky old floorboards sounded as he scuffed along to the bedroom. A loud squeak came from the bedroom door, as Silas entered the room.

Inside the bedroom, the walls were adorned with pictures of a man, his wife and a crowd of children. Surely the man in the picture cannot be Silas, he hates kids, everyone knows that.

As Silas lay in the bed, he drifted off to sleep.

“Dad, what are you making?” asked a small child, his britches patched and worn.

“Never you mind, young one. Go ask mom what she has on for supper.” said the father.

“Daddy, can I have a pony for Christmas? I promise to feed it” said Suzie, the youngest child.

“Ask Santa, maybe he will bring you a toy pony.” her father said.

“Thanks Daddy, I love yo…”

A loud knock on the door startled Silas. Half asleep, he sprang to his feet and headed for the front door.

“Santa, Santa!” the person hollered.

Peeking out through the window,  Silas seen her.

It was the little girl from the playground. Her clothes looked tattered, her shoes torn and ripped. There was something about this little girl that scared Silas.

“Oh My God, she looks just like my Suzie” he thought. He ran back upstairs, tears running down his wrinkled face.

“Go away, you are dead! Go away and don’t come back, ever!” he pleaded. The knocking persisted. “Santa, are you Santa?” “Let me in, Santa” “Let me in, Daddy” she hollered.

“Daddy? Suzie? Is that you my love?” He asked.

Silas ran to the door and hauled it open. There was nobody there. There wasn’t even any footprints in the snow. He imagined the entire thing.

That night, Silas sat in the old rocking chair in the kitchen. In his hands, he held a family picture. Vivid memories filled his head, mostly of a happier time when his family were with him, and of Christmas. He remembered making toys for the small ones, while the older ones helped their mother prepare Christmas dinner. He remembered her too, her soft hands holding his, the two of them planning to spend forever together. He remembered all the good things, and sadly, he remembered the bad.

He thought of that horrible day. It was Christmas Eve when Mary decided to take the kids to the store to shop for their father’s gift. It was going to be a surprise, so nobody told him they were leaving. The roads were slick that day, too slippery for a good driver to stop, let alone a drunk driver.

They say they didn’t suffer. The doctors tried everything, but couldn’t even save one of them. Five children and his beautiful wife Mary, all dead. The driver? He walked away without a bruise. He was the Shopping Mall Santa, out for a few drinks before spending his day bringing Christmas cheer to the little ones.

Sadly, Christmas is not always a happy time for most people, especially seniors. This Holiday Season, try to remember those who have trouble celebrating the birth of Christ; and for the Love of God, Don’t drink and drive. Merry Christmas to all who read this, my Christmas story for 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things are ‘looking up’

untitled

PHOTO PROMPT © Jan Wayne Fields

Word Count: 100

Nellie was a nagging wife to her long suffering husband Walter.  Nellie demanded they spend the weekend in the park.

Upon arrival, Nellie demanded they set up camp under a gigantic tree.

Glancing above the tent, Walter noticed a dead branch hanging directly overhead.

“Not a good idea to…” He began to explain, but Nellie cut him off.

“You get out and move the car, I will set up the tent!” She demanded.

Frustrated, he moved the car, driving it into the tree. The branch came thundering down, flattening the tent….and Nellie.

“Great camping trip!” He thought to himself.

This is my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers. Click on the little frog for more stories based on the photo prompt.

making the people dance

I remember going to the bar with my friend Dave. Dave owned a piece of crap Disco system, and was hired to play a wedding for a friend of his….a very pretty friend of his. I agreed to help him out, but what I really did was discover how much I wanted to be Mr. Cool DJ.

This was back in ’93. Soon after, I went and bought my own ‘system’. Visiting the old Radio Shack store, my money ( all $5000 I borrowed from the bank) and I were soon parted. I arrived home with every piece of equipment my loan money could handle.

The salesman (a former Disk Jockey) said Ross Sound was the equipment that would last a lifetime. A set of  400 W speakers and an amp that cranked out even more wattage, this thing had a great sound. He threw in a mixer board, two cassette decks, and two CD decks. My dad and I made wooden boxes to hold everything. I couldn’t wait to start playing dances.

My first dance was for a dart party at a local bar. The crowd were used to the regular DJ, but since he was sick that night, I filled in for him. Armed with 29 music cassettes, I learned a valuable lesson…I didn’t know squat about DJing.

Luckily, the club owner used to DJ in his younger days. “You have great equipment, that stuff will last forever; it’s your music that sucks.” Sound advice (pun intended).

As soon as I got home, I joined Columbia House. They had a special on where you received 10 CD’s if you purchased one. I joined ten times. I made up names, I used my brother and sister’s names, hell, I even used my cat’s name. When all the tapes arrived, I was in heaven.

This was the beginning of a long career (try 23 years and counting) in which I was the guy who made people dance…like in the song.

In no time, I had gathered over 500 cassette tapes and CD’s, and soon made the move to digital.

One night, I spent hours transferring my cassettes and CD’s to mp3 files. When finished, I had over 5000 songs, some good, some not.

My next few gigs were easier than the first. I actually had a few songs people requested. In the years that followed, I took advantage of music downloading, using such ‘then legal’ methods as Napster, Sky Rocket, and eventually Torrents. I hit all the yard sales, and gathered whatever music I could find, and transferred those to digital as well. In the first ten years I played, I had amassed over 10, 000 songs. currently I have over 70,000 songs.

I was doing two gigs a week, and spent most of my young adult life in bars and night clubs. sometimes the room was so smoke filled, I had to crouch down to see if people were dancing. I put up with jeers, threats, and boos, but also a few ‘yays’. I was hit on more than once by pretty but drunk ladies, some offering to take me home for the night. I was offered free drinks and even a few joints, and one night, some guy offered me a white powder. Of course I always kept it professional, and turned down the booze and the drugs, and sometimes even the women.

These days are much different. A struggling economy meant many of the club goers have already left town in search of more money and stable jobs. This little town once boasted over ten night clubs, now there are only two. And nobody seems to want to go out and have a good time.

Still, from time to time, my wife and I take a gig. It is fun for us to sit and watch as the crowd dances and hoots and hollers, and every now and then, we get up and dance with them. Two years ago I played my best gig ever. I played my own wedding.

It took me three months to create the perfect playlist. I studied our guest list, and tried to remember  peoples’ favourite songs. When I finally compiled the list, I played it at another dance I was hired to do, and it went great.

On the night of our wedding, there was no DJ sitting behind the equipment. Everything was pre-programmed into the computer. We were able to spend the evening walking around talking to our guests while the music blared from the speakers. The dance floor was packed all night, from 9:30 until closing time at 2:00. Best gig ever!

I still do a few dances, maybe one or two per year. I enjoy playing the oldies. I don’t have much use for that ‘new stuff’, even the country songs have gone to hell…no way to dance to the stuff.

I thought about selling my stuff off, but having played for over 20 years, I feel my music is a part of me. So is the equipment, which is still exactly the same stuff I bought back in 1993. He was right, it does last forever.

 

who was that guy

He walked around in sandals and a robe

and performed miracles around the globe

He healed the sick and the blind, and even came back from the dead

at least that’s what he said.

I think his friends called him ‘Earl’

He bragged about being known throughout the world

and how he had so much to give…

at least in the mental hospital where he lived.

……………………………………………………………..

I wonder what would happen if Jesus did come back? Would we take him serious, or would someone lock him up for sounding crazy? Would he even make it that far? Suppose some woman did become pregnant, not for her husband, but as she would put it, ‘for God’, would her husband stick around, or accuse her of cheating? Would she even get to the point of giving birth or abort the baby?

These days, most kids (and adults) even doubt the presence of God in their world. Schools have removed religious education from their courses, crosses are removed, and prayer is banned. Hell, these days you can’t even wish someone Merry Christmas…for fear of offending.

Jesus, if you are planning on coming back, I think this is a good time….