A New Alliance. #flashfiction

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Photo credit: Louise at Storyteller’s Abode

A New Alliance, by Pamela Schloesser Canepa, (c) 2020

She walked over and Henry bristled. “I’m here to be alone,” he said, curtly.

“Oh, I’ll just have a seat. You won’t bite. I can tell. Your body language says it all.” She set down her huge bag and sat, carefully holding her dress down. “You’re definitely overdressed.”

“So are you,” Henry said, realizing he’d been sized up. He moved his equally stuffed bag to the other side.

“How long since you cut yourself loose of your chains?” She asked.

“A year,” Henry replied, smiling. He thought he’d figured her out. “How about you? A pretty young woman, walking the beach, overstuffed bag. Do you sleep here?”

“Do I look crumpled and wrinkly? Of course not. This is how I pass the days. Two years.”

“Sorry, no offense.”

“Okay. Are you free for lunch?” She replied.

“Why not?”

Two years and twenty beaches later, Henry was still wandering the shores with Kaitlynn.

**A repost from my archives, from the challenge hosted by Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2017/05/22/fffaw-challenge-week-of-may-23-2017/

The Coconut Village, A Self-Love Story

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I had just spent a whole year single after a devastating break-up.  My job came through with a bonus at the end of the year, so I was going to travel.  The Bahamas became my destination.  Beautiful beaches, 80 degree weather, sunshine, and beautiful people with rich accents would fill my vision and my world for a few days.  Travel by cruise ship was my choice.  As we are stuck in our various hometowns due to COVID right now, it does me some good to look back on these memories.

It didn’t take long to decide who I would take.  There was no one I really wanted to go with me, no girls-gone-wild trip for me, and I wasn’t convinced I’d want to meet a man on a cruise ship.  This vacation was for ME.  I didn’t want to leave my ten-year-old son with my ex-husband, though, so I took him with me.  He was such a great kid for a ten-year-old.  I did not regret my choice.

Being the only adult in my partner, I got to make the decisions on where we would go, what tours we would take.  It all worked out! I kept track of my charge, planned our tours and agenda, and still had fun.  We took a tour of Queen Mary’s steps, a flamingo farm, and other lovely sites. Then, we took time to enjoy a beach a little bit away from the tourist hotels.

I paid for a cab which was more like a mini-van that could hold several people.  We found our beach that was riddled with gnarled trees, white sand, and coconut trees.  We sat, waded in the water, he swam, and I just wanted to relax on my towel.  Looking back, I feel as though I forgot to worry about a thing in the world, except keeping an eye on my son; but he was keeping track of where I was and did not want to wander either. I was home base.  I don’t remember us arguing about a single thing on that trip.

After a while, a woman is walking by and says to me, “Do you want’cha hair braided?”

“How much?” I ask.

“Six dollars per braid.”

“How about the whole head, just across the front?”

“Fifty dollars.”

I pulled the cash out of my pocket and said, “Okay.”  I explained to my son that I could not turn my head, and he HAD to stay in my sight.  He did. He sat and gathered some coconuts.  She began to braid. We talked about my son, her family, where I was from, and I forgot to worry about her fingers in my hair.  I forgot to worry about people I don’t know walking up to me.

A man came up with a box. “Coconut and rum! Two dollars.”  I forked out the money and forgot to worry about drinking something from a box carried by a man on the beach.  It was tasty.  I forked out more money and I don’t know how many I had, but nothing too crazy.

My son started going a little further and gathering more coconuts, adding in what I drank from.  I bought him his own coconut (minus the rum) to enjoy the coconut milk. He kept gathering more and when he had gone a little too far, came back when I called.  I explained that he had to stay safe and I couldn’t get right up.  When she finished my hair, I looked like a blonde Caribbean girl, or just like me trying to look Caribbean? It was cute, anyhow. 🙂

As it got closer to evening than afternoon, we had to walk back to find another cab.  No problem.  We got into a cab that was full of young guys having a party time.  Oh great, I thought.  They were a little noisy, but I joined in as they started singing old Motown hits.  It was so fun, and my son just looked at me and laughed. I can still picture the look on his face.

The next day, we woke up on the cruise ship and went to the pool.  I just took in the sunshine and the breeze. I was a little hungover.  He sat there quietly. When he went in the pool, he told me where he was going. I kept my eyes open, still relaxed, and soon, our dinner table partners, a woman with her grandson, came up and said hi, so my son had someone to play with in the pool.  He had a ball, and I sat there and relaxed.

It was a buffer time between a bad break-up and my son’s angst-riddled, terrible teens.  But this vacation served to show me there are rewards when you just let yourself do WHAT YOU WANT to do. It also gave me a focus to look back on when those teen years happened, to remind me that, yes, my son really is a good person, and we can get along quite well. Sometimes, making time for my son has been an important act of self-love.

 

 

 

 

 

Weekend Coffee Share.

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at http://eclecticali.wordpress.com

Summer is winding down for me, but not before a last little weekend jaunt for fun and sun in St. Augustine Beach. It really is lovely.

This little guy wasn’t happy to see me packing, but my mom got home later that same day and she and my son we’re here to take care of him. He was so ecstatic when I returned today.

We got our share of sun, walking, nature, good food and fun.

The beach wasn’t too crowded Friday afternoon, but everyone was quite curious about this little rock star who likely just wanted to find shade. Kenny said this was not a sea turtle. He passed right by us and looked Kenny in the face as if to say, so long!

Writing Status

On the author front, the Detours in Time audiobook has been recorded and just needs to be edited! I may have a narrator for Undercurrents in Time! The Malachi manuscript has been sent to its second beta reader, and I discovered an old serial story of dystopian flavor that I really should dust off, polish, and grow to fruition as a novel or novella. I plan to! I haven’t thought about this stuff since we left town Thursday, but I am catching up on e-mail today and remembering where I left off. There is plenty to keep me busy!

So, that’s my week in a nutshell. Never a dull moment, but I think I did a great job for a couple of days forgetting my to-do list! Have a great weekend and week to come!

A Proposal. #FlashFictionforAspiringWriters

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Michelle DeAngelis. 

It was the perfect vacation spot with a lovely, romantic backdrop.

He asked her to be there with him, and she regretted not a moment of it.

“The sun awakens us, and the sound of island music seranades us to sleep.  What could be more perfect, my beauty?” he asked.

He was shirtless most days, and she revealed her back at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Not one proprietor minded.  Flip flops were the norm, even in fancy restaurants.  After a month, they frequented less of the fancy restaurants, and were more likely to grab a sandwich for dinner and sit on the beach.

“That used to be us,” she remarked, looking at a couple carrying a cooler and towels.

He kissed her softly and pleaded, “Can we stay?”  He reached for her hand and led her to a shack off of the tourist strip.

“Yes,” she beamed, eyes glistening.

**A 149 word story.  My story is a response to this week’s photo prompt at Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

Goodbyes and New Beginnings. #Flash FictionforAspiringWriters

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Ted Strutz. 

Upon arriving in Maine on a solo voyage, Kirstie rented a car.  It was beautiful and relatively mild here in the summertime.  She loved the local seafood and sights.

In two weeks Kirstie would marry a Wall Street stockbroker.  Of course, Richmond thought she was traveling with friends.  He’d intervene if he knew otherwise.  The longer she stayed in Maine, the more she loved the people, their accent, their attitude. Particularly that of Steven, the owner at Manford’s Clam Shack.  It was he who suggested she take a short jaunt to Nova Scotia, as she sat at the bar one night chatting.

“Only if you accompany me,” she answered. Then blushed.

He didn’t know she was set to be married.  When asked, Kirstie only said she was here to make a life change.  Steve pondered, realizing it was rare for him to take even a weekend off in the summertime.  This wasn’t the kind of thing he did.

“Deal,” he said, eyes smiling.

Days later, Kirstie sent a letter of goodbye to Richmond.

*A story 174 words long

 

Can you write a story with a beginning, middle, and end in 100-175 words or less based on a photo prompt?  It is challenging but quite a lot of fun.  Let your imagination fly!   Visit Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers 

View other flash fiction entries and/or submit your own based on this week’s photo prompt!

#WeekendCoffeeShare, Recouping from Vacation

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Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Alli

Coffee is a must today!  I’ve been quite sluggish for the last week.  You see, my son and I traveled to Rhode Island for five days in mid-July to see my dad.  It was beautiful there!  I’ll be honest, my dad is no dottering old man.  He works full-time at age 74, attends many community functions, and holds a position of leadership in his church.  He also lives a very healthy, active lifestyle despite having had three heart attacks.

Dad’s active lifestyle was witnessed firsthand by my son and me.  I mean, Dad had things planned for almost every day we were there.  He rents an apartment very near the beach in R.I.  We walked from there to the beach many times.  The weather was heavenly.  Even on days he called humid, I was pretty comfortable, as it always seemed to be at least 10 degrees lower than it would be in Florida.  Our activities ranged from walking to the “Clam Shack” for clam chowder, to the beach, walking on the famous and gorgeous “Cliff Walk” that was about 4 miles one afternoon, and walking to the town of Newport the next day.  He took us on a ferry to tour lighthouses on the bay and took us sailing with his friend who owns a sailboat.

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This is where I got to see his stubborn spirit that has likely been around since youth.  He has had to be self-reliant all his life, as his family grew up poor.  Having many siblings meant his parents had to send him to a farm to work in the summers.  He entered the Navy in his twenties, and I guess his love for the sea never left him. His friend also sails several times a week, and they are quite the pair, fearless old men with sea legs.  🙂  We went way out beyond the bay and toward the sea.  My son went down to the cabin, but one of the guys said that would make a person feel more queasy.  After a while, I went there too, just to feel I had something to grab. (There was a table attached to the floor).  I felt shaky, weak, and ready to be sick.  None of us did, though.  Soon, we were heading back from the sea and into the calmer waters again.  We were out there for hours.  I could safely say that I enjoyed 80% of our sailing excursion.  Overall, it was a good experience.  My discomfort was a minor thing; I didn’t ask them to head back, though I am sure at one point I asked “when” we’d head back.  The calmer waters allowed for some beautiful views.  At the end, I had to admit the old man was tougher than I was.

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It was a really enjoyable trip, though, especially the Lighthouse ferry boat, and I attended church with my dad at a Center for Spiritual Living. It was great, and all of his friends there were quite lovely.  He took my son kayaking one day, and I walked to the beach to enjoy the lovely weather.  All in all, it was nice spending time with my father, and I even got some bonding time with my son.  He learned a little bit more about who we are.  When it was time to head home, I was probably good and tired.  The airline flight and getting home at 1 a.m. didn’t help.  The next day, I got new car tires.  The day after, I woke up with a cold, and it grew more harrowing day after day, but I just stayed in, rested, and took the Mucinex.  A week later, and I’m still awfully sluggish in the morning.  At least the big excitement of this summer is over.  All that is left is my mom’s birthday next week.  July is, in a big way, about family this year.  August 6th, I head back to work teaching.  There will be lots of changes this year, but today it is still summer break, so I need to honor that.

Thanks for stopping by for my Weekend Coffee Share!  Have a great weekend.  How was your week?  Are you looking forward to summer’s end?

 

 

 

Vacation Wind-down. #poetry

Sunset at Middletown, Easton Beach, R.I.

A haiku

A sunset completes the circle,

Dusk til dawn, beginning to end.

All so the journey can start again.

(c) Pamela Schloesser Canepa, 2018

“You Call this a Vacation?” #amwriting Friday Fictioneers

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PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bulltot

 

“This used to be a hospital?”  Roma asked, pictures flashing through his head.

“Yes, in fact…” the guide continued.

“Big deal,”  Billy grunted.  He should’ve known better than to come all the way here with Roma and his hippy mother and foreign dad, from, where was it again?  To stay in a room with no cable t.v., no pool, no cell service…

“I love History!”  Roma jogged over to a tour guide in costume.

“Let me tell you the horrors of this inner chamber!” The man said, ghoulishly.

An hour later, Billy emerged from the building a converted History buff.

~100 words~

 

**Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle at https://rochellewisoff.com/ and restarts every Friday with a new photo prompt.  Flash fiction stories are to be 100 words or less, with a beginning, middle, and an end.  Proper credit must be given to the owner of the photo.  Add your own by clicking the Inlinks button at the Sept. 1 post at rochellewisoff.com.  Thanks for visiting my blog!

#WeekendCoffeeShare. Who Says I Can’t Still Vacation? #amwriting

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Welcome to the #WeekendCoffeeShare, hosted by Diana at parttimemonsterblog.com!  If we were having coffee today, on 8/13, I’d tell you…

Summer’s over, but I can still visit Endless Summer in my mind!  I’ve been back to work this past week, getting ready for the new school year, trying to stay on the positive bus.  I know how to do it, so I’m going to try.  For me, it certainly involves relaxing, getting away (even if only in my imagination), and to avoid workplace negativity/ burnout or dwelling on national and world news (Ugh).  So, this morning for coffee, I’m visiting Italy with a dark roast and a bit of almond milk with sweetener.   Yes, it’s 11 a.m. and I’m still working on my coffee. Don’t judge! I like where I am.  So, in my imagination, I’m sitting, sipping my coffee and staring out at this.  Ahh.

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In reality, I’m sitting here choosing that as my reality by using my words and my keyboard.  You see how this writing thing works?  It has saved my life on occasion.

I must confess, I’m drinking coffee late because I slept in due to being out last night dancing with friends.  One of them was in town so I knew I’d see her and a few other mutual friends.  My boyfriend and I met them.  It was a great escape, talking about non-work stuff, watching a crowd of people I don’t know, who all seem impossibly younger than I but not caring or worrying that I look a fool when I hear a song I’ve got the nerve to dance to.  I  know, that seems like a run-on sentence, right?  I’ll leave it be this time.  Anyway, wearing sneakers helped a lot.  I’m at an age where comfort is key, and a t-shirt, sneakers, jeans combo is my go-to attire.

Funny, I was going to mention how I am empty in the writing area lately, but it is doing me right today.  I don’t know if you like it, but I like where it’s taking me.  Yes, my thoughts seem a little disorganized, and I apologize.  Summer left me unfocused, but I really needed to relax.  The writing I’m doing right now is helping me keep my state of mind positive.  The purposeful writing that I need to do to get my ideas channeled into writing projects will likely come when it truly feels like fall.

Since summer’s over, and fall is on its way, let me share my letter to fellow teachers.  I see an epidemic with new teachers and some veterans that leaves them with little personal life, children who long for them to come home, or neglected friendships and relationships.  Some of them work during the summer to set up a room, only to find they were re-assigned to a different school.  Others are just so tired that they take it personally when kids don’t respond to them (the latter is me; I did that).   Really, those long days will happen in the fall, when you have to reach a parent right away or some other urgency occurs.  Right now it is too soon to stress out.  So, here it is:

 

Dear teacher,
Yes, your classroom looks good enough. Go home! Yes, you’ll likely forget some little detail. It means you’re like the rest of us. Go home and remember you’re a human being with friends, family, hobbies. Relax. It will make your first day smile much more genuine when you meet those kids.
Signed, 
A 17 year veteran teacher who has been there.

 

I plan to be the teacher who is all about positive energy this year, and it will happen because my brain is calm and relaxed.  That’s my goal.  I’m also planning on things going smoothly with the family, so that my brain energy is focused on being all that I can be for myself and for the needs of others.  Yet, if someone in my family needs me, this calm state of mind could only be helpful at that point, as well.

Have a great week, everyone!

**Please visit Diana’s blog at parttimemonsterblog.com to check out other Coffee Shares or to share your own by clicking on the blue linky button.  You may also feel free to leave me a comment about your week, your taste in coffee, vacation experiences, writing progress, etc.

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. “My Friend.”

Photo credit, (c) Louise at The Story Teller’s Abode

We’d been friends for many years.  That year, our families took a vacation together.  The sights were beautiful.

Michael was not sleeping.  He was constantly on the go.  His dad wouldn’t let him go alone for fear he’d not return, so I tried to keep up with him.  Once, his dad accompanied him, and they’d both come back angry.

I was tired.

It was sunrise.  He grasped my hand and raced us toward the water.  “A boat!  We’ll sail in a boat!”

He looked crestfallen as we saw that the tide was low.  Michael sat in the wet sand.  “I’m sorry.  I think I’m out of control.  I never asked what you want to do.”

I smiled.  “I want to sit still with you, and watch the tide come in.”

“Still my friend?”

“Yes, still friends, Michael.”

He put his arm around me and said, “Thank you for looking out for me.”

I sat pondering, knowing that someday I’d need my space, hoping he’d understand.

~The End~

 

165 words

A prompt photo will be provided each Monday pm to be used as a base to your story. Please include photo prompt with your story.

2. Linking for this challenge begins on Monday pm and runs to the following Monday pm.

3. Please credit photo to photographer.

4. The story word limit is 100 – 150 words (+ – 25 words). Please try and stay within this limit.

5. Please indicate the number of words in your story at the end of your story. (It doesn’t count into the amount of words).

6. This is a flash fiction challenge (stories in 100-175 words or less) and each story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. 

You can join the flash fiction fun at flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com