Kreative Kue 181

Kreative Kue 180 asked for submissions based on this photograph:

My thanks to John W Howell, author of the John Cannon trilogy of My GRL, His Revenge, Our Justice and Circumstances of Childhood, co-author of The Contract, and who blogs at Fiction Favorites, who sent:

Watching by John W. Howell © 2018

“Hey, Ralphie. Take a look.”

“What is it?”

“It’s one of them boats that goes out in the sound looking for whales.”

“Seems kind of dumb to me.”

“Yeah me too. I can’t see spending all kinds of time on a tub like that when all you have to do is look out toward the horizon and see all the whales you want.”

“Well, maybe those folks want to see a whale up close.”

“I’m suposen’ that could be true alright.”

“For the life of me, I can’t see what is so exciting.”

“I’m with you. You seen one whale you’ve seen them all.”

“Especially those big ole grey things.”

“Can you believe how those rubes ooh and ah when those hulks break the surface in one of those amateur grabs for attention.”

“I guess they think that is a hard thing to do.”

“How about when some dope asks the captain if they can pet a whale?”

“I know right? You would think the whale was a pet dog or something.”

“Well them folks have nothing to fear. Most of those big guys eat Brill and not humans.”

“Yeah. I would like to see some tourist try to pet a shark.”

“They might come away missing a limb for sure.”

“You ever had human?”

“God no. I smelled one and was convinced to stay with my fish diet. Don’t think I could handle that heavy protean. How about you?”

“I was running with a pretty bad crowd and happened on a swimmer. I was tempted but glad I took off.”

“See we are the best.”

“I still don’t see why they call us killer whales though.”

“Yeah. Go figure. Want to follow that boat and put on a show?”

“Might be fun. A couple of jumps ought to do it. Let’s go.”

My effort was:

Bon voyage !

“Are you sure we’re doing the right thing, Alfred?”

“Of course I am, Mabel. Be honest. In all the years we’ve been married, have you ever known me to make a bad decision?”

“Not that I can recall.”

“Well then.”

“Apart from that business with the pest exterminator, when—”

“We agreed we’d never talk about that. It was a simple misunderstanding.”

“I’d still love to know what you thought he meant, though.”

“All water under the bridge, my dear.”

“Literally. Ooh – and the time you invested in—”

“Okay, so I’ve made a few little mistakes. Tell me someone who hasn’t.”

“Me. I haven’t. Unless you count agreeing to marry you as an error of judgement.”

“So, you’re trying to tell me that in all the time we’ve been married, and even before that, you’ve never made a questionable choice?”


“In all your life?”

“In all my life.”

“In that case, if you’re so right, what do you think about what we’re doing now?”

“I’m not sure. I have my doubts, but you seemed to have your heart set on it, so I thought it best not to argue.”

“But isn’t that what you’re doing now?”



“No. I’m just asking you if you’re sure we’re doing the right thing.”

“By which you mean what? That you think we’re not?”

“By which I mean that I don’t know. I’m not looking for a fight, Alfred. I’m looking for reassurance.”

“What reassurance do you need?”

“For a start, is anyone on board this thing qualified to drive it?”

“I don’t know, Mabel. I’m as sure as Hell not but I expect someone is. How hard can it be? I have to admit, though, I thought tossing the entire crew overboard was a bit excessive, but sometimes the ends justify the means.”

“But are the ends right?”

“What do you mean by that?”

“Well, perhaps things’ll settle down. Perhaps what everyone’s been saying won’t happen. Perhaps there is a plan, and when it comes to fruition, we’ll all understand what’s going on now.”

“And perhaps we won’t. Look. I know you’re the leader of the optimists’ party and all, and you always want to see the best in things, but don’t you think that, just occasionally, we of a more pessimistic bent may have a point?”

“I don’t know, but you always seem to see the bad in people.”

“I see what is on display. If someone comes in waving a gun around, I think he’s going to shoot someone. You’re likely to think he’s just acting out; missing his mother or something and just wants people to notice him, to respect him.”

“Wasn’t it the philosopher Phaedrus who said: ‘Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many; the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden.’?”

“You may very well think that, Mabel. I couldn’t possibly comment but as Sigmund Freud, who is a bit more recent than some old Greek philosopher from half a million years ago, is supposed to have said, ‘sometimes a cigar is just a cigar’.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“You’re telling me that things aren’t always the way they seem. I’m merely suggesting that sometimes they are.”

“Anyway, what was the final plan you lot came up with last night?”

“Simple. We seize this boat and escape to Ireland.”

“Ireland? Why Ireland?”

“We all have some Irish heritage, don’t we?”

“Do we?”


“Do you even know where Ireland is? How far it is?”

“Does that matter?”

“I think it does. And what if Ireland won’t take us?”

“We’ll go to Italy.”

“Because we all have some Italian heritage, right?”

“See; I knew you’d get it in the end.”

“Italy’s a lot harder to get to from here than Ireland. Why not go to Scotland. We all have some Scottish heritage, too.”

“None of us plays golf. Anyway, isn’t Scotland somewhere near England?”

“No closer than the US is to Canada or Mexico. What difference does that make?”

“For a start; no-one we know claims English heritage. On top of that – you’ve seen the movies. The English are nearly always the bad guys. It’s that accent.”

“Which one?”

“Duh. The English one.”

“Again, which one? London? Yorkshire? Birmingham? Cornwall?”

“They’re all the same, aren’t they? British.”

“Of course they are, dear. The same as Alabama, Seattle, New York and LA accents are all the same.”

“They’re not. They’re all different.”

“My point precisely.”

“You baffle me sometimes, Mabel. I’m going to join the guys up front singing the official anthem of this voyage.”

“Which is?”

“♫It’s a long way to Tipperary♫”

On to this week’s challenge: Using this photo as inspiration, write a short story, flash fiction, scene, poem; anything, really; even just a caption for the photograph. Either put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at before 6pm next Sunday (if you aren’t sure what the time is where I live, this link will tell you). If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be appreciated, but please do also mention it in a comment here.

Go on. You know you want to. Let your creativity and imagination soar. I shall display the entries, with links to your own blog or web site, next Monday.


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