30/10/2014

THREE LITTLE INDIANS - a 100 word story

THREE LITTLE INDIANS

We didn’t have Facebook when we were young, we wrote letters, and we arranged our annual reunion by telephone. Gradually our numbers dwindled until there were only three of us – me, Jan and Betsy.

This year I arrived first and ordered our champagne, but when Jan arrived she was alone.
“Lunch for two,” she told the waiter, “But you can pour champagne for three.”
It was obvious he thought we were just two crazy old women as we toasted the empty chair, and then we proved him right by flinging Betsy’s glass at the wall.

Shame about the window.

Thanks again to Rochelle for the photo prompt which sends about a hundred writers across the world into a Flash Fiction Frenzy.
http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/
Read the others by following the blue froggy link on her blog.

28/10/2014

NEWSDAY TUESDAY

It's been hot week on The Rock with temperatures up in the 30s - just when we thought it was safe to turn off the fans and get out the blankets!
Unfortunately the heat also tempted people to take risks in the sea, and an elderly man became the eighth drowning victim of the season.





On Saturday morning the sunrise was gin-clear and the Tenerife branch of the Royal British Legion's Poppy Launch party was hot hot hot.
We raised 375 euros with our efforts, so it was, as they say, worth the sweat!


but this morning there is cloud and a hint - not a promise, mind you, just a hint - of rain to come.

Many locals would welcome it - looking at these cat-tail grasses and succulents releasing their feathery seeds into the atmosphere, it's no wonder we're all sneezing!


And of course, Hallowe'en is almost upon us. It took me aback to stumble upon this sight in a Chinese emporium in Las Galletas - a nasty reminder of the dreadful murder in a similar shop a couple of years ago.


I bought a witch's cloak - much more suitable at my age - and a huge bag of sweets for the trick-or-treaters.
 Happy Hallowe'en!


22/10/2014

BUFFALO - 100 word fiction

We have a busy couple of weeks ahead of us - my OH has been Chairman of the Royal British Legion Tenerife Branch for the past twelve years but is retiring this year. Before then he hopes that our members - all 17 of us - will win the Noel Rogers Trophy for the most Poppy Appeal money collected per capita. We have won it seven times in a row - last year we raised over €11,000. - and other branches haven't even come close!
So, with the Official Launch this Saturday, poppies to distribute, collecting boxes to round up, the Remembrance Service to organise, and the AGM to attend, the OH is a bit stressed, and my writing has had to take a back seat.
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Therefore I wrote this week's 100 word story in a coffee break half-way through shopping for groceries. Thanks as always to Rochelle for the photo prompt.
http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/


BUFFALO

Each photograph identified a building on the skyline but Buffalo ignored them. He climbed over the barrier to the beach where, with wavelets lapping his boots, he could open his memories.

Instead of buildings, trees and totem poles scraped the sky; tendrils of smoke pinpointed his village and their nearest neighbours a mile away; kayaks bobbed on the lake and water-birds soared.

Then a siren burst his dream and a patrolman said, “No-one’s allowed down there – go home.”
“I fished this lake before you were born,” Buffalo said, but he went.

Overnight all the photographs were obliterated by tribal symbols.

Please leave a comment - I promise to anwer them all!

16/10/2014

WHAT WOULD YOU SAVE? 100-word fiction

WHAT WOULD YOU SAVE?

Marjorie clutched the oxygen mask to her face and breathed deeply, but Jim had already lit a cigarette.
“Haven’t you had enough smoke for today?” Marjorie snapped.
“I need one,” Jim said, “Don’t you realise we’ve lost everything?”
Marjorie choked back a sob and glared at the collection of junk in front of her. “Is this all you managed to get?”
Jim shrugged hopelessly. “I just grabbed whatever was on the hall-stand, and you didn’t do any better.”

“Yes I did,” said Marjorie, “I’ve had Betty for seventy years - she's always been the first thing I’d save from a fire.”

There is a large element of truth in my story this week. Betty has been my friend and confidante since I was born, and in the event of a fire I would grab her first - right after my grandchildren, of course. 
What would you save?

Follow the link on this blog  http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/  to read other stories prompted by the photo.
And please leave a comment on mine!



12/10/2014

GO BANANAS!



A few drops of rain and the banana plant in our community garden bursts into flower. It's a plant, not a tree - actually it belongs to the herb family!
The spectacular flower is about 50cm long and a lovely purple colour. 
As you can see, the first petal is just starting to curl - what happens next is amazing.

Beaneath each petal nestles a tiny hand of bananas waiting to be fertilised.


At this stage they are all straight and pointing downwards, but that changes as they grow and ripen. We have watched our own plant produce a small bunch each year, but the sight of thousands of bananas growing inside a plantation is fascinating - next time you're in Tenerife, take a guided tour.


Eventually all the petals fall off and as the bananas grow they curve upwards to reach for the sunlight. You need to be strong to carry one of these huge bunches on your back as the plantation workers do., but it's the only way to get them to the lorries undamaged.


Canarian bananas are smaller than the American ones and much, much tastier. Since the Banana Wars, when America tried to price their rivals out of existence, Canarian bananas are making a comeback - and rightly so.
Each week we buy some from the local farmers' market where they sell 'Grade 2' - those that haven't reached export standard. 
We're not complaining - they're just as delicious.

So there you have it - my thought for the day - go bananas, Canarian-style!




09/10/2014

HOPE - a story in 100 words

After a hectic week celebrating two birthdays - my husband's and my daughter's - here I am again with a story prompted by a photo on -
http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/
HOPE

Molly eased herself into the chair, careful not to move it from the dents in the carpet. Her feet only just reached the floor.
She spread her fingers over the keys, imagining younger, sinewy hands, closed her eyes and air-played a song.
 Painful tears dripped onto her blouse.

The door opened, but it was only Paul.
“You’re always in here – I’m getting rid of this stuff.”
“Don’t you dare!”
“It’s been two years.”
“He’ll come home.”

Paul flicked the cymbal as he left.
The sound vibrated through Molly’s soul before soaring out into the world - a message of love and hope.

06/10/2014

A DAY IN THE MERCEDES MOUNTAINS

A couple of weeks ago we had a lovely day out with our son and his other half in the Mercedes mountains in North Tenerife.


These mountains, being so high above sea level, are green and lush compared with the drier south, due to more rainfall and cloud moisture.

There was some cloud that day which made the views misty, but as it kept the temperature down we weren't complaining. The roads are winding and precipitous, as are the terraced fields, and we saw several of these zip-lines.

Don and Magda are standing on the edge of an almost sheer drop, but assuming the cage was for vegetables rather than for people, we didn't risk using it! 
The barranco behind me was equally steep, although if I'd slipped, the cactus would possibly have broken my fall. Why is it that the steepness doesn't show up in photographs?



We had lunch in Bar la Cueva in Chinamada - a little hamlet at the end of a very narrow road. We ordered a dish each which, when we saw the portion sizes, was a mistake. Delicious food, and the first time I have eaten gofio - a Canarian speciality. 

Here are Bod and Magda inside the cave that gives the restaurant its name, but we ate outside.

There are several walks from there, notably to Pico de Ingles, but although the youngsters are experienced hikers, I certainly couldn't have made it that far. The little track I did explore was daunting enough!
Just round that corner I found myself looking across a deep barranco, in the centre of which was an isolated peak shaped like an icecream cone, totally covered in trees - truly spectacular.

There were lizards, quite large ones and not overly skittish,

and cacti and succulents as tall as me,
and little houses that were half cave with fantastic views, and a tiny church.

Bod and Magda walked further than I did and didn't, this time, need rescuing.
 A week earlier we had to drive to the middle of nowhere to collect them after they'd tackled a 6 kilometre hike that took them six hours. They had run out of water, despite taking as much as they could carry, and were so desperate that they drank from a standpipe in a field - they were lucky to get away without a bad tummy upset. Tenerife is an unforgiving place.







And on the way home we stopped in the forest - I could have stayed there longer.
So if any of you haven't been to Tenerife yet, or have only seen the tourist places, put a trip to the Mercedes Mountians on your wish-list.