Lakeland Forever!

Architecture, Fence, Border, Closed, Protected, Secret

Pixabay

The “Riven Times” were coming to an end.  For a half-century, the country had been divided as the result of a partition after the late war.  But the war was not the only thing that seemed to have been lost, the very sense of a national identity had been abandoned by many in the South as well.

To be fair, the idea of reunification and of being a united nation had arisen twenty years before, when international affairs seemed to favour self determination, but this proved to be evanescent.  A hopeful few, which held a faith that the land would again be one, verecundly waited their day to come.  And this would be that day.

Alex walked his post on the partition line.  Across the fenced boundary he could see the vague silhouette of the Northern soldier, as he too walked his post.  Who is this man? Alex allowed himself to wonder.  Was this a total stranger with different values, or some long lost cousin separated from him by time and political events?

Alex shook the thoughts from his mind and stared up at the stars.  There were several hours to go yet before the break of day, and the changes that the new morn would bring.  Till then he would need to do his duty and walk his post as yesterday’s snow crunched softly underneath his feet.

About an hour before dawn people began to arrive along the frontier.  This created some apprehension on Alex’s part.  He knew the border was to open, but his orders were sketchy at best.  Will it be as soon as the sun rises?  Noon maybe?  That would symbolic an hour, he mused.

The sun rose to a chilly morning, and hundreds of people now gathered near the crossing.  As the morning wore on, the crowds grew, and many were showing a distinct lack of patience.  Alex felt the weight of his duty all the more now.  The standing orders were clear, “No person without explicit clearance shall cross the border on pains of death.”  How could I stop such a crowd?  Would I want to?  Not today of all days.

At Nine O’Clock, Alex’s relief failed to arrive.  At Ten, an officer came and after a brief conversation on the radio, began to obfuscate to the frustrated crowd.

“The border will open today, as per the treaty agreement, and you will be able to freely pass.  The details are being arranged as we speak,” he assured them.

At noon, several official vehicles, along with dignitaries and reporters arrived.  A boring speech was made, and Alex was ordered to slowly open the gate.  News cameras captured the moment when young Corporal Alex Alexson lifted the barrier, and was the first to step across the frontier, and into the arms of the welcoming Northern soldier.

Jubilant crowds then streamed both ways across the border chanting “Lakeland Forever!”

 

Padre

Wordle #200:  “We have a special 20 word wordle in honor of the 200th Wordle . . . . Choose at least 15 words.

Sketch
Obfuscate– to make obscure or unclear: to obfuscate a problem with extraneous information.
Stars
Hours
Underneath
Evanescent– vanishing; fading away; fleeting.
Verecund– bashful; modest
Arms
Forever
One
Break
Lost
Bring
Patience
Capture
Softly
Faith
Solider
More
Weight

The Ranger

Ranger, Badge, Cowboy, Lawman, Marshal, Outlaw, Police

Pixabay

Danny felt a bit uncomfortable being around his mom’s boyfriend, Shane.  It wasn’t anything he could actual put his finger on, but he just gave him the creeps.

It wasn’t that he wasn’t good to his mother, either.  She had become rather sullen and morose after Dad’s death, and this Shane guy really seemed to put the spring back into her step.

Danny had privately shared his unease with his sister, Sarah who had a very similar take on this handsome man with the long Texas drawl.  Handsome, yes that was part of it, that Robert Redford kind of good looks, that just seemed a bit “too good to be true” when it came to the kind of men that usually showed interest in their rather plumb and ordinary mother.

“And what about his claim to have been a Texas Ranger, and Vietnam war hero?” Sarah had asked.  Whether it was undue curiosity, or a need to protect Mom; Sarah set about checking this guy out with a singularity of purpose.

That had been a week ago.  Sarah had said she was going to go over and sort things out.  Thing is, Danny hadn’t heard from her since.  He had rang her house a couple of times to no avail, and he knew she usually kept her cell phone turned off unless she wanted to make a call herself.

Danny stopped by Sarah’s apartment, and sure enough there was no one home.  He noted too that her mailbox was stuffed full as if she hadn’t been home for days.  He immediately decided that Sarah must have gone to Shane’s to confront him.  Worse still, it most have gone badly.

Danny drove straight to Shane’s place himself to check out his suspicions.

“Hey there Dan, how ya doing Pard?” Shane said as he opened the door.  “Come on in.”

Danny mumbled his thanks and cautiously stepped inside.

“So Dan, what brings you ’round?”

“I um, I just wanted to get to know you a little better,” Danny said replying with a half-truth.

“Well have a seat.”

As Danny sat, the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end.  There in front of him was a stuffed bald eagle with its claws extended as if swooping for an attack.  He then noted the old 30-30 rifle on the wall behind it and a framed photo of soaring eagles.

“See you’re admiring my eagles,” Shane said, causing Danny to involuntarily start.

“Yes, Yes, impressive birds,” Danny said trying to regain composure.

“Do you play chess?” Sane asked.

“A little, though I’m not that good at it.”

“How ’bout a game anyway?” his host asked.

“Sure,” Danny said.

As they set up the board, Danny asked, “Have you seen my sister, Sarah recently?”

“No can’t rightly say I have,” Shane replied, but your Ma said she was goin’ outta town for some reason.”

Going out of town. Right. Danny thought.  Then why didn’t she tell me?  He’s covering something up.

“Okay, was just wondering,” Danny said aloud.

“You should wonder a bit less,” Shane retorted, “and focus on the game, Pard.”

Shane then sacrificed a knight in order to draw Danny into checkmate.

“I said I wasn’t very good,” Danny said trying to excuse his poor performance. “I think I should stick with Yo-yos.”

“You like yo-yos?” Shane asked.  He then pointed to three framed gold yo-yos on the wall behind Danny.  “Southwest champion 1966-69, back before I went to Nam.”

“Impressive,” Danny muttered.

“How ’bout some ice tea?” Shane interjected.

“Ah – sounds good.” Danny said.

“Come on into the kitchen, and don’t mind the mess.”

As they entered the kitchen Danny saw to his horror what seemed a large blood stain on the floorboards near the counter.

While the lanky Texan had his back turned, Danny slowly reached for a kitchen knife.

Just then Danny’s phone rang.  Scrambling to answer it, he said “Hello” without bothering to see who the caller was.

“Hey Danny, It’s Sarah.  I had some business to do in Tulsa, so decided to dip down to Austin and check out Shane.  He’s the real deal.  Twenty years a Ranger, and he even got the Silver Star in the war.  It’s right here in his records.”

“That’s – that’s um – wonderful,” Danny said.  “Glad you’re okay catch you later.”

“How ’bout some venison for lunch, Pard?” Shane said.  “It’s fresh just butchered it yesterday.  Sorry again for the mess.”

 

Padre

 

Wordle #199

 

1. Floorboards
2. Creep
3. Morose
4. Stain
5. Dip
6. Saw
7. Singularity
8. Knight
9. Neck
10. Soar
11. Yo-yo
12. Claw

Where Are The Flowers?

Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on Pexels.com

Where has that rose-scent – heady gone?

Has it dried and blown away?

Leaving just the husks left behind –

Like from Miss Havisham’s wedding day?

Or have they been picked with bright intent –

And now with tears – gone far away?

Like the blooms of which Pete Seeger sang

On tombstones now displayed

Where has that rose-scent – heady gone?

May they fresh in your vase be found –

Each day with enduring and pure emotion

And may you with your loved one dwell

Roses a symbol of an undying devotion

 

 

 

Padre

 

Photo Challenge #323

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blame

Industry, Factory Building, Ruin, Architecture, Factory

Pixabay

The public had stumbled along as if asleep.  It was almost as if the land had returned to an age of bread and circuses.  The Vox Populi was all about personal rights and privileges, yet not a single word was uttered about responsibilities.

It began in a way so imperceptible that almost no one ever saw it coming.  Never would they have perceived that rejecting the ardent cries of the oppressed would lead to their own freedoms fading.

Nor could they have imagined that the meteoric rise of a charismatic leader, and yet one who had no experience in the field of governance, would have such eerie consequences for so many.

How could this happen in such a place as this – one of the world’s leading liberal democracies?  Who in the end deserved the blame, when the nation descended into the blood orange oblivion of their own making –  the leader they adored, or they themselves?

 

Padre

 

“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

                                                                                                                     Pastor Martin Niemöller

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Wordle:

Vox Populi– the voice of the people; popular opinion.
Asleep
Fade
Stumble
Reject
Field
Meteor
Eerie
Never
Blood Orange
Blame
Place

The Royal Charge

Girl, Princess, Blond Hair, Dress, Story, Spring

Image by Adina Voicu from Pixabay 

Tristan glowered at the shapely young blonde, as she sat with her feet in the cool brook.

“I can’t go any farther,” she said.  “My feet hurt.”

Tristan watched the running water as it made swirls around her ankles, and wished he had never agreed to escort her to Hilliam.  It had seemed such an easy assignment, far better than staying to defend the keep.  Now, however, he regretted his choice more than ever.

“Princess, we really do need to move on.  This is not a safe place to be,” he urged.

“If you say so, Sir Tristan,” she said plaintively. “But my feet are even getting blisters.  Actual blisters, but you wouldn’t know how much that hurts, would you,” she added accusingly.

“No, Your Highness,” he said through gritted teeth as rose from his knees, and was forced to cling to his side, where dark blood was once again seeping from the spot the arrow had pierced him earlier that morning as he defended his royal charge.

Princess Katrina seemed blind to his discomfort.  After all,  she had blisters to contend with.

“Well can we at least travel slower?” she asked matter-of-factly.  “I just can’t believe you have made me get blisters.”

“Yes Highness, slowly it will be.”

 

Padre

Wordle #193

Glower– to look or stare with sullen dislike, discontent, or anger: a look of sullen dislike, discontent, or anger
Plaintive– expressing sorrow or melancholy; mournful
Dark
Where
Knees
Blind
Pierce
Side
Cling
Easy
Blonde
Running Water

The Big Sell

The Man In The Suit, Costume, Man, Guy, Brunet

Pixabay

William, never Bill or Will, was scrupulous is his mannerism, behaviour, and most importantly, his appearance.  “Dress for success,” his father had told him.  “It is the making of the salesman.” And a salesman he was.  Five times running – the Salesman of the Year, and now on track to break his own record.

To be honest he didn’t seek the career.  It was in the end his father’s choice.  But he loved his father, even if he was a grueling taskmaster.  But his entry into the world of sales, wasn’t that he feared the severity of the old man’s reaction if he didn’t, but rather that he didn’t want to break his heart.

His dad had been a salesman back in the “bad old days” when sales representatives spent weeks at a time on the road, crisscrossing the Midwest.  They were always on the move to make that next illusive sale.  Dad was good at it, but he wanted his son to not only follow in his shoes, but to be great at it.

But times had changed.  The internet, video links, and scheduled face-to-face meetings had now replaced much of the long drives, and nights in dingy motel rooms.  But some customers were “old school,” and wanted to meet their suppliers in person and on demand.

One such potential buyer was Hagerty’s.  Try as he might William just didn’t seem to have the power to close the deal with them.  It was not for the want of trying either.  William had harnessed all of his father’s advice, and drawn from his own experience as well.  He always arrived when summoned, and always put on his “A” game.  Hair combed, clean shaven, pressed suit (even when others were more casually attired), and always articulate.  Ultimately, William was a polished example of the ideal salesman.

As it happened, the chief buyer of Hagerty’s had contacted him yesterday afternoon.  He was to arrive at the company headquarters by 11 a.m., and be prepared to make his pitch to none less the CEO of the company.

William arrived at the airport at 10, secured a rental, and headed to the corporate headquarters with only about fifteen minutes to spare.  As he approached the building the mother of all storms broke loose.  William tried to wait out the worst of it in the car, but with the appointment only five minutes away, he made a dash for the foyer.

He arrived soaked to the skin, and his usually impeccable hair was an Aeolian wonder.  There was no time to spare, however, and punctuality was even more important than appearance according to his father.

“I am here for a meeting with Mr. Brown, and Mr. Hagerty,” William said to the receptionist.

“They are expecting you,” she replied.  “Room 601, the elevator is to your left.”

William hurried to the destination, and before he could knock the door opened.

“Come in, William,” Tom Brown said.  “Mr. Hagerty this is the Acme representative.”

“Have a seat,” the CEO said.

“Why thank you, Sir,” William said settling into the chair. “I would like to thank . . .”

“No worries, son,” the executive said. “And you can save your breath on your pitch.  We will take 6000 units to start.”

“That’s nice to hear,” William said with some confusion.

“We have always liked Acme stuff,” Mr. Hagerty explained.  “It was just that you seemed a bit too full of yourself by my reckoning.  But I can see now, you’s human after all.”

 

Padre

Wordle #190

1. Confusion
2. Aeolian (of or caused by the wind; wind-blown.)
3. Move
4. Week
5. Seek
6. Harness
7. Break
8. Choice
9. Power
10. Scrupulous (having scruples, or moral or ethical standards; having or showing a strict regard for what one considers right; principled: punctiliously or minutely careful, precise, or exact)
11. Hear
12. Severity

All Part of the Game

Lake, Boat, Water, Sailing Boat, Sailing Vessel

Pixabay

Will Harvey was set on winning the competition.  There was a huge £100000 prize for whoever could break the record for circumnavigating the globe withershins, against all prevailing currents and without the aid of an engine. 

All had started well.  In fact, yesterday he was a full two days ahead of schedule when things seemed to turn to grief.  His vessel gave a sudden jolt, and then shimmied before listing heavily to port.  He noticed that his unwanted companions, the bilge rats, began to scurry upwards, and then to abandon ship.  Then, the craft jolted again, capsizing and throwing Will against the ceiling.

Well what would you do in his shoes?  He did the only thing he could do in the circumstances.  He held his breath and swam to position himself on the upturned keel.  He then retrieved a broken plank and began to feather and square the board in order to propel himself forward.

As he arrived in the harbour, there was quite the commotion.  The initial cheers at his arrival became muted, the screams could be heard as people looked aghast at his vessel.  Personally, Will couldn’t see what all the brouhaha was about.  He waved to the crowd, and headed of for a much needed cup of tea, unaware of the three metre long tentacle still attached to his boat.

Padre

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie

Withershins
Brouhaha
Competition
Yesterday
Ceiling
Shoes
Feather
Scurry
Tentacle
Grief
Tea
Engine

The Diary

Image result for papyrus

image: Smithsonian

Ontario laid down his pen and swiveled his chair away from the desk.  Though he was euchred, he was more than happy with the outcome of his labours.  Being a habitual mythomane, the idea of forging the private diary of St Paul was right up his street.

The plot hit him when he was visiting Cairo and found a cluster of papyrus sheets for sale in an antiquities market.  He quickly bought them and then set about on his research.  Though he had been a lazy student at school, he nevertheless enjoyed languages, so after brushing up on his biblical Greek which had been required at his private school, he began.

He initially practiced on modern paper in order to preserve his precious antique paper.  He then took his handy work to a museum to compare his efforts with originals.   The problems were soon evident.  His ink was too dark, even though he used a recipe he had found in an old manuscript in the library.  Experimentation, however, led him to add strawberry juice to the mixture.  This proved a runaway success, and led to an ancient faded effect, equalling some of the lightest examples in the National Museum.

His fictional forgery soon took shape, and while not perfect, it would be enough to get past the “experts” at a major “historical” channel which were more interested in ratings than facts.  His cheat proved a great success, and he profited greatly as copies of his “great find” had wide circulation in certain sectors.

By the time true academics and scholars had time to scrutinise his manuscripts, Ontario had already cashed in, and was living a life of luxury in the Caribbean.

Padre

Wordle #164

1. Cheat
2. Pen
3. Shape
4. Perfect
5. Strawberry
6. Euchred- utterly done in or at the end of one’s tether; exhausted.
7. Lightest
8. Wide
9. Swivel
10. Runaway
11. Mythomane- a person with a strong or irresistible propensity for fantasizing, lying, or exaggerating.
12. Cluster

Good Deed

Image result for kitten free photo

The men of the renovation team had yet to arrive for the day, and most were still at the nearby cafe having their morning coffee.  In one of the flats overlooking their building site, a little girl played with her kitten on the balcony. Such are the vicissitudes of life, that  her beloved pet jumped from the balcony onto an exposed beam of the incomplete building.

The girl decided she was going to retrieve her kitten, and jumped to join the cat on the beam which was seven stories in the air.  As she did so, she struck her knee which not only smarted, but caused her an injury which kept her from being able to make her way back to the balcony.

Glazier, Harvey Johnson was the first to arrive on the site in order to replace some windows on the fifth floor.  As he removed the first of the glass panels, he could hear the pitiful cries of the girl.  In an act of benignity, Harvey ran to the incomplete seventh floor, and shimmied across an adjoining beam to the girl.  She remained just out of  reach however, and their fingers just being able to touch.  In an act of desperation, Harvey, overbalancing himself, was just able to pull her back to safety.

As for Tiger, the cat, he wandered to the end of the beam and hoped back onto the balcony.

Padre

 

 

Wordle #160

1. Air
2. Beam
3. Retrieve
5. Vicissitudes– noun successive, alternating, or changing phases or conditions, as of life or fortune; ups and downs
6. Benignity– noun a good deed or favor; an instance of kindness
7. Touch
8. Men
9. Morning
10. Life
11. Smart
12. Glass

Appeal to A Greater Power

 

Image result for plastic bag on grass

earth day network

A group of strepitous youths were kicking a ball around on the village green.  There was something comforting and familiar about the experience as it had been their practice for the past three years to come together for a kick-about on Saturday afternoons.

But if in their thoughts today would be the same, they were mistaken.  For as they were in the middle of their game a man of about fifty-five strode through the middle of the green, oblivious to their presence.  He had his nose in a paperback and munched a sandwich which he took from a plastic bag at his side.

As he finished his snack, he let the bag drop and it rolled across the field and got caught on a tuft of grass.

“Hey mate,” Jonny Wilson shouted at the offending individual.  “Are you going to pick that up?  This planet is my generations inheritance.”

“Spare me the platitudes, your generation owes mine for your very existence.”

This was more than Jonny and his mate Ian could stomach and they knew exactly what to do to bring a resolution to the situation.

They hustled towards the man, and then reaching him knelt down to retrieve Ian’s mobile from his rucksack.  Ian then slid the cursor across the screen and began to type: “Greta, we urgently need your help in Little Wayham.”

 

Padre

 

Wordle #157

1. Type
2. Strepitous- adjective boisterous, noisy
3. Platitude– noun a flat, dull, or trite remark, especially one uttered as if it were fresh or profound.
4. Roll
5. Green
6.Familiar
7. Thoughts
8. Cursor
9. Tuft
10.Paperback
11.Plastic Bag
12.Hustle