MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “fiction”

Sculpted memories

js-brand-tree

©J.S. Brand

The things you remember are the things that are strange. The ones out of the ordinary, that are often nothing like expected.

When Mario told her he had a surprise-picnic planned, what immediately sprung to mind was something romantic, in a green field, with tall trees, flowers, silence and plenty of fresh air for them to breathe in and relax. They would also preferably be alone.

What happened though, was something Marisol could never forget. Mario took her to the neighbourhood park, where he prepared a mini-barbecue, under a sculpted tree.

He said this would surely create a lasting memory.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

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The lure of a bookstore

https://s26162.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/bookstore-slide-2MCD-superJumbo.jpgFor Martia, walking into a bookstore was like walking into a magic realm. In the words of Jen Campbell, “you see, bookshops are dreams built of wood and paper. They are time travel and escape and knowledge and power. They are simply put, the best of places”. In fact, she could hardly ever walk into a bookstore and not leave without buying something.

Martia’s life revolved around books. She loved reading, wrote a blog about books and worked as an editor in a publishing company. She lived and breathed books.

Yet, ironically, she could not find the words to describe how much she adored these tomes of paper. As environmentally-unfriendly they were, there was nothing like the smell that transpired when flicking the pages of a new book. Used books also held their secrets gripped within their pages. Because no one could read a book and remain the same person.

Martia had learned to appreciate even more people who read. Not on an electronic device, but the actual paper copy. Books, she said, made our minds sharper, life more exciting, they lift your spirits, lower your stress levels and make your heart more compassionate. Books always had something new to say. And there is a book on almost anything by almost anyone. What you should be careful to do is pick out the right copy – find the book that says something, in language worthy of the paper it is printed on, that makes you think and makes you want to change things.

“A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking” – Jerry Seinfeld

The language of communication

language-barrierIt’s a strange feeling not being able to communicate due to language barriers. It’s something like feeling helpless and incompetent; as if somehow you are found wanting in certain circumstances. However, this is not always your fault.

Barry found himself abroad on his first trip in years. He had finally overcome his fear of flying – as much as possible to be able to take a quick trip to the neighbouring country he had heard so much about. The target was to relax and get away for a couple of days. To regroup and return stronger and rejuvenated.

But instead… the opposite occurred.

There are some people who see it as a matter of nationalistic pride to refuse to speak in a language other than their own. No matter how much their economy needs tourists, they do not seem to care to put on a smiling face or to even demonstrate the minimum amount of courtesy. In their view, they are not paid enough to serve others. At least not the way they should – politely and brightly. They see foreigners as intruders that come to disrupt their own routine and who inconveniently what things done differently. So many even refuse to speak to them in a language different than their own, one that is universally understandable.

Barry had never faced a similar situation before. In the seven languages he spoke, he always had one way or another to talk to almost every one he met. But here, everything was different. It was almost a stubbornness, a not wanting to communicate. They spoke in their language and their interlocutor could simply sense the tone. Or see the gesture. S/He would get the point sooner or later.

Barry felt unwanted. It was very bad to feel so inhospitable in a country you invested money into going. You were injecting cash into their economy, the least they could do was show they appreciated it.

In the end, relaxing was not as much as trying to remain calm. The best he could do was acknowledge that he was not going to be the one to alter an entire mentality or culture. Being upset about things you can’t change won’t help. All you can do is decline to fall to their level, and maintain your own dignity.

 

Set in stone

stone-house

©Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

It was part of their family heritage ever since her relatives remembered. But she was around to see it refurbished. The stone walls were whitened and reinforced and the interior completely renovated.

As a child, she pretended it was her castle and she was longing for her prince to come riding along on a white stallion.

Over the years, she stopped being so demanding though. He didn’t have to have a horse. And he didn’t have to be royal.

When she saw him approach, she realised that all that mattered was him being a decent person. And to love her.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Nature’s work

sandras-shells

© Sandra Crook

Look at the pretty seashells and corals over here”. The little girl approached the so-called “Nature Table” barely tall enough to look over it. She stared at the natural sponge, the hardened corals and the various sized- and shaped- seashells. She looked perplexed.

Under the water they look more alive”.

The museum guide suddenly felt helpless for words.

Well,” he began, desperately trying to say something positive.

Water is their natural habitat. But out here, we can observe them better, right?

Strange,” the little girl said.

Despite the waves and the water pressure look how pretty and strong they are”.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Cooking temptations

https://usateatsiptrip.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/gettyimages-887636042.jpg?w=1000&h=600&crop=1His father was the one who taught him to be patient and follow instructions. To risk in trying something new. To be creative, inventive and artistic in everything he did. He was the one who taught him how to cook.

His mother was an excellent cook. Her food was finger-licking tasty. But she was the “safe-type”, the one who preferred to follow instructions exactly as they were written with few if any deviations from the recipe. Like all women, she preferred order in her kitchen.

His father, on the other hand, had a mastery for cooking up his own recipes. He usually made a mess out of the kitchen, but prepared something spectacular in the end. He found that if something looked pleasant to the eye, it probably tasted good too. He was the “innovative chef”, the one who didn’t mind trying unprecedented procedures or cooking methods. Who preferred to get burnt and learn than to keep doing the same thing that was passed down to him. He was the one who wanted to have something new to pass on to the next generations.

So when Anton graduated from the top gastronomy school in the world, it was only natural that he would distinguish himself in the sector. A kitchen was more his home than his living room. He did not fear the blades of his knives or the fire of his stove. What he most anguished about what his most severe critic: his own future wife. For he knew that the best way to a person’s heart is through their stomach. And it was all down to the judgement of their taste buds to give the final verdict.

Cat attacks

https://www.chewy.com/petcentral/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/kitten-mom-cat-TS-480025920.jpgThe entire house woke up from the shrills of a mother cat in the back yard. Recently, having given birth, the cat was overwhelmed with mood swings and the urge to protect her newborns at every cost.

The kittens had not yet opened their eyes, but their fur had already formed polychromatic waves making them irresistibly cute to anyone who saw them.

The cat raced across the yard, night or day, at the sight of any intruder. She even attached the previous batch of her own kittens out of fear they would harm the new arrivals.

But, as a true cat, she would always welcome a caress, a tender stroke on her head and under her chin, and food, of course. But that was whenever she felt like it.

Because like a true cat, life happened according to her own rules.

The tenant of the clock

jhc-clock

©J Hardy Carroll

It was a present from the global travels of a great uncle. It was a gift passed down each generation. It was one that carried the history of its owners with it.

It was finely crafted and had an essence of another era. It stood out in every home it was placed. But that was its point after all: to remind you that you should stand out of the crowd.

One night in its new location, a faint scratching woke everyone up. It wasn’t the clock ticking.

It was something hiding inside the clock-tower: a tiny kitten seeking a home.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

A vintage outfit

©MCD

©MCD

The rattling outside his window in the middle of the night did not wake him. Nor did the scratching of the metal on the pavement disturb his sleep. He paid no attention whatsoever to the movement on his front yard at the break of dawn.

But when he woke, he found it there. Right outside his garage door.

It was just as he imagined it would be. Light brown with silver, red, blue and yellow lines and a green and gold rim round the wheels.

A motorcycle with a sidecar.

It was vintage but he had always dreamed of one. He even knew the little-known fact that “a motorcycle with a sidecar is sometimes called a combination, an outfit, a rig or a hack”.

In his head, he was already racing in the countryside with the “outfit”, among green trees and pick-nick perfect valleys. Driving like in those old movies he used to watch, and hoping he wouldn’t hit a tree and split from his other half.

But… he lacked the company. The one to sit in his sidecar.

Just at that moment, someone made their presence felt.

A gentle bark and a wagging of its fury tail as it approached was all he needed to persuade him to let his fleece-golden Labrador be his sidekick in this new adventure.

Reflecting feelings

nathan-sowers-dawn-millers-friend

©Nathan Sowers

It was the only thing left over from the yard sale. And she didn’t understand why. If she could afford it, it would have been the first thing she would spend her money on. It was plain and “normal”, but sometimes what looks simple is more than that. Plus, it definitely had a story. It must have. Nothing so “ordinary” was every what it appeared to be.

As the sun set, she found herself mesmerised by it. The clear reflection of the garden shed had captured her attention.

Or perhaps it was the flickering light that appeared at its window.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

 

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