Month: November 2015

Til the ends of the earth: A Thanksgiving tale.

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook
PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

We followed that little bugger to the ends of the earth. At one point, we  lost sight of him, but he just couldn’t keep quiet.

I  spotted him in the thick brush, he was just standing there.

When we realized we couldn’t get a good shot, my son took after him on foot and chased him down the trail until there wasn’t a trail at all, just a steep cliff.

He tried to fly away, but everyone knows turkeys can’t fly. He landed below, on a soft pile of bushes.

We invited him to dinner. He was delicious.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American Blogger Friends.  This story is also my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers. Click on the froggy for more stories







…On the latest TV Shows: Blindspot

Just finished watching this week’s episode of Blindspot.

The premise of the show is about a beautiful woman who emerged from a gym bag totally naked (Why can’t I find gym bags like this?) except for the multitude of tattoos that cover her body.

Jane also suffers from Amnesia. She must have bumped her head at one point, possible when the gym bag was dropped on the street.

The interesting part about the tattoos is that in the center of her back, the name of Kurt Weller, her supposedly childhood friend and now a FBI agent who is assigned her case.

She goes by the name Jane Doe and apparently Kurt has strong feelings for her.

Each of the tattoos has a meaning, and each week, the tattoos are deciphered and often (I mean Always) lead to a case. Sounds interesting, right?

This week’s episode found the team (Did I mention that there is now a special task force created to find out the meaning of the tattoos?) deciphering a tattoo that lead them to a dog pound, which led them to a message board which led them to a possible hit. The funny thing is that although Jane was discovered some 9 episodes ago, all the cases that are discovered via the tattoos are recent.

Unless some little invisible tattoo artist breaks into Jane’s room at night and applies the tattoos, we may be dealing with time travel here, and that would be just too foolish.

The backdrop for the show reminds me of early episodes of the now cancelled Person of Interest, with it’s dark backgrounds and quick camera work. I can only hope Blindspot doesn’t evolve into the highly confusing program Person of Interest became.

Anyway, each week, Jane and Kurt are thrown into an adventure that exposes new skills Jane didn’t know she had. This week she speaks fluid Bulgarian. The first episode she discovered that she had Navy SEALS training. This little lady is chock full of surprises.

On a scale of 1 – 10, I give Blindspot a 7.

Flash Fiction: Lucky Shoes

Enter a caption


“Hurry up!” yelled Frank, but Betty continued searching through the house.

“I can’t go without my lucky shoes!”

“Then wear another pair” he said, deftly.

They have been saving for this trip since they first met. Ten years of wedded bliss without a proper honeymoon and now finally they are going….but not if they miss their flight.

“Wait for me, my shoe is stuck in this grate!” she begged, as her impatient husband rushed her.

Then they heard the blast. 129+ victims dead at the hands of terrorists. They would have been killed too, if not for her lucky shoes…

This is my entry into this weeks’ Friday Fictioneers.

Click on the blue frog (are frogs blue these days?) for more stories based on the prompt



a day at the races are no more

When the armed forces left our town in the late ’60s, they left many things behind. The best thing (at least for the younger people in the town) was the airstrip. Although the town continued running an airport, there was one length of airstrip that was no longer used.

The ‘Ramp’ as it was called, was that particular length of airstrip. A quarter mile of pavement that was relatively smooth provided the young men with an excellent race track. I heard that drag racing began soon after the army left, and by the time I was old enough to drive a car, the sport had excelled immensely.

On Sundays, many residents of the town gathered to watch the races. The racers were the richer kids in town, which made perfect sense, as this was not by any means a poor man’s sport.

The best car on the track and a fan favourite was a 1970 Ford Mustang that was customized with a 429 V8 engine, beautiful blue metallic paint, and a set of side-pipes. Rob Fitzpatrick owned the car and both he and the car were instantly recognizable wherever he went.

Most of the time, racers were from our immediate area. Genie Hanlon ran a big block Chevelle, the paint was a flat black and the car wasn’t anything special to look at, but could it ever go. Wayne Delaney ran a ’67 Camaro with a supercharger that deafened everyone when he ran the track.

Of course being 17, sitting in my old six banger and dreaming I had a hot rod was torture. On one occasion, my cousin Arthur (not rich by any means, but a true car guy) managed to find an old Javelin and fix it up. With a big block V8 jammed between the fenders, the little car could really haul ass.

Some guy in a rusted out firebird challenger Art to a race. Before he began the race, he asked if I wanted to come along. Mom and dad would have killed me if they seen their 17 year old son flying down the quarter mile in that old car, but I could not have been more proud…and excited.

100 mph down the track and I soon realized that the road was anything but smooth. At one point I thought he was going to lose the car, but thankfully he managed to control the car and we got back safe. We also won the race. The guy’s firebird stalled before he even got started.

On any given Sunday, there were approximately 100 cars racing, which brought lots of tourists into our town. Add to this the money brought into service stations and garages, and the Sunday races at the ramp brought the town a ton of money.

I still remember the last race on the ramp. A blue mustang and a pickup truck were running neck and neck (nobody knew what that guy had in the truck but it was fast) when suddenly a squad car passed the crowd, and with its lights flashing, waited for the racers to make their return run to the start line. Everyone was arrested and fined, and race day on the ramp ended. Apparently someone complained about how dangerous the races were. In over 25 years of racing, nobody was ever seriously injured, and there were no accidents during the races.

For a few years afterwards, a few people tried to organize racing again, but the heyday that was enjoyed during the 70’s and 80’s was now long gone.

A few years back, a few of the town’s residents applied for a grant to start a drag racing track in the town. They obtained many safety features, including an actual starting light. (back in the good old days a blonde in short shorts waving a red flag started the races) and bleachers for the spectators. Seeing how desperate the town was for some sort of entertainment, the old hot rodders came out of retirement and began racing again, but the racing group was hit by such high insurance rates that they had to give the thing up. Right now you can drive by the track, which has been fenced off by the government, but it is impossible to gain access to the quarter mile strip.

While racing was legal on the ramp, young drivers had an outlet for their energy. You never seen any kids speeding on the streets, and there were next to no accidents in town. Once the track was taken away, the kids searched for any straight, smooth quarter mile of pavement and raced there. A kid that I knew quite well lost his life when he was racing and he hit an oncoming car. This would have never happened if he were racing on the track. Kids will drive fast, why not give them a safe place to do so? Thats my rant for today

Tribute to a soldier who never returned home

He was just 17 when he left, but he looked every bit of 15. With his heart set on saving the world from Nazi Germany, he joined the army. Mommy cried and so did Daddy, but he never told anybody. In those days, men were strong and didn’t go crying. I still remember Joseph walking down the concrete walkway Daddy and him poured just last summer.

Joseph  was always mommy’s favourite. She denied that she had a favourite, but we all knew better. All 7 of us kids were proud of our  brother and despite the tears, mommy and daddy were proud of him as well, plus he promised to write every week.

It seemed as if Joseph was gone forever. At times we doubted whether he was ever coming back. Mommy kept track of all his letters, most of them stained with dirt and sometimes even blood. We knew it must have been hell over there, so far from home, nobody he knew or even trusted, but he stayed anyway.

A few of his friends came home early, either in body bags or with some part of their body broken or gone. Oh the town celebrated their return, but in time they were forgotten; just cripples who hung out at bars and usually caused trouble.

We got news reports on the radio about how our forces were doing, but the reports spoke about the army in general, never a specific person.

In the six years he was gone, things sure changed around here. Daddy was sick a lot. TB or something; at least that’s what the Doc said. Daddy couldn’t breathe very well, and couldn’t work. Mommy had to take jobs outside the house, mostly cooking and cleaning for the big shots in town. We almost starved.

I remember the day they made the announcement. The war finally ended. We anxiously awaited the return of our brother. When the bus pulled into town, we were there, mommy and all us kids. We waited patiently for all the soldiers to exit the bus. Joseph wasn’t there. Mommy cried her eyes out while trying to screen us from the terror she felt, but we knew how she was hurting.

We lost Daddy that summer too. What a bummer year. After all those years of dealing with TB, it finally took him.

We still wait for Joseph, hoping that one day, a bus will arrive and he will step off and hold us in his arms.

I help mommy lots now. She has to work for all the big shots, keeping their kids fed and their houses clean. I do all that now, I am boss here over all the little ones, but I still miss my  brother.

A few years back, while volunteering at a senior retirement facility, this story was relayed to me. Annie, a very sweet old lady reminisced about her brother, and how they lost him at such a young age. The workers in the home thought she was crazy, always talking about some guy named Joseph. I listened to her and found that she was quite sane; even at 97, she never forgot one detail of her young life or about her brother.

I presented her story here, for the world to read. I feel that since tomorrow is Remembrance Day here in Canada, it would be a good time to tell her story. Lest we forget not only those who lost their lives fighting for freedom, but also for the families who like Annie, anxiously awaited their loved ones to return home.

me and Khaled and the bus trip across Newfoundland

It  was the winter of 2004 when I made so many trips across the island on the DRL bus. It was just after I had undergone surgery to remove a large tumor, and I still hadn’t completely healed from the surgery. My right eye still wasn’t blinking properly, and staring at anything for any length of time hurt like hell. From the date of my surgery (Dec 12, 2004) until Dec 12 2010, I traveled across the island (by bus) eleven times for MRI tests and doctor visits.

Lucky for me, I brought along my trusty Ipod Classic. The little gadget had 80gb of storage, and I was fortunate that I loaded on several audiobooks prior to my trip. My brother told me about this fantastic book he had read about two Afghanistan kids, so I decided to start with this one. The book was entitled ‘The Kite Runner’, and the audio was actually read by the author himself. I don’t believe anyone can present the material as well as the person who actually writes it, and this proved it.

While on my trip, I was totally captivated with the story. I never noticed the bus leaving, or even stopping.

The other passengers on the bus must have considered me to be rude, as I never spoke to anyone, just sat there listening to Khaled tell me the story. One lady who was sitting next to me asked if I were a deaf mute. Talk about the nerve; and even if I were a ‘deaf’ ‘mute’, I wouldn’t be able to hear her question or relate my answer.

A few of the people I shared a seat with poked me with their elbows and received a dirty glare, which usually works. The worst thing about traveling long distances on the bus are the people who sit next to you. Some of those people are downright annoying and I always seem to get the worst ones.

On this trip I was unlucky enough to be sitting next to an old lady who tried to convert me to Jehovah’s Witness. I think I turned the volume up even louder than I had it before. Eventually she got tired of shoving pamphlets in my face and went on to bother someone else in the next aisle. Poor guy. I bet he wished that he had Khaled read to him as well.

One guy asked what the little gadget was. When I took a small break from the story I explained to him that I had a guy in the little box and that he was reading a book to me. I know, cynical, but hey, gotta have some fun.

At the end of the 13 hour bus trip (We got caught in the middle of one of the worst winter storms in the past five years and had to stay put numerous times and wait for the driver to be able to see at least three feet in front of him), everyone else was at their wits end, while I stepped off the bus relaxed and satisfied with the trip. I thanked the bus driver (While everyone else cursed him) and went on my way. If you haven’t listened to a book before, give it a try. Very relaxing to say the least.

Friday Fictioneers: Laying the blame


“I don’t think I should be in here!”

“We wouldn’t be here if you did your job.”

“Hey, he was supposed to clean up afterwards. They should never have found that bracelet.”

“It wasn’t my fault, I was going to clean it up, but then you showed up!”

“I really liked that girl, and you killed her!”

“She wasn’t good enough for you, at least that’s what Momma said.”

“I said no such thing. I said that you weren’t good enough for her.”

The blame game went on for hours….trouble was, there was only one person in the cell.

This little tale of multiple personalities is brought to you by this week’s Friday Fictioneers’ photo prompt. Please click on the froggy for more stories based on the prompt.