Kreative Kue 254

Kreative Kue 253 asked for submissions based on this photograph:

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John W Howell is the author of the John Cannon trilogy of My GRL, His Revenge, Our Justice and Circumstances of Childhood, co-author of The Contract, and blogs at Fiction Favorites.

The Beach by John W. Howell © 2020

“Come on out, the water’s fine.”

“Nope.”

“Whattya mean nope.”

“Not coming out.”

“Why?”

“Because I look terrible.”

“How can you say that?”

“It’s true.”

“Okay. Tell me about the problem.”

“It’s embarrassing.”

“How long have we been together?”

“I can’t remember. Our whole lives, I guess.”

“I’m the only one out here.”

“Yeah, so?”

“We’ve been together forever. Why are you embarrassed in front of me.”

“I guess it’s this suit. I’ve never worn one like this before.”

“What bothers you about it?”

“I almost hate to say. You’ll laugh.”

“Come on. I promise not to laugh.”

“Well okay. This suit bearly covers my breast and makes me look like I have chicken legs.”

“But that’s not a bad thing.”

“Go on.”

“You have a beautiful breast and shouldn’t be ashamed to show it.”

“And?”

“You are a chicken. Why wouldn’t you have chicken legs?”

“Typical rooster comment. You just don’t understand.”


This from Na’ama Yehuda, who blogs at https://naamayehuda.com :

Not Here by Na’ama Yehuda

They had everything.

The Papa Chair. The Mama blanket. The two Cub chairs. The inner tubes: one small, one large. Even tin cans emptied to serve as sand pails in the refilled beach’s rectangle.

What a perfect day!

The lake awaited, wet and cool. The silty mud. The pebbles, the weeds to wade across or pull.

They swam. They flipped. They raced. They flopped.

The hours passed. The contents of the picnic basket made their tummies nice and full.

They rested till the water once more called.

Then one cub disappeared.

“Nicko!” they yelled, frantic with the possibility of the awfulness that might unfold.

“One moment!” the junior responded from the direction of the small structure. “I’m not done.”

Relief was quickly replaced by wonder only to be followed by surprise and whiff of horror.

“Nicko??!!?” the Mama dashed across the small beach to stop what was already well set into motion. “That’s not an outhouse! It’s my changing room! Go in the bushes! Not here!”


My effort was

Tradition

The term time immemorial is generally accepted as referring to a period of time beyond which there is neither memory nor record. Highly subjective and somewhat nebulous, you may think. In English law, it’s historically slightly different.

During the reign of Edward I (1272–1307), there were drawn up three so-called Statutes of Westminster that attempted to codify all the laws of England. It is an ironic oddity of history that the statutes were written in Old French, then the language of law and government.

Among the provisions of the First Statute was one relating to the ownership of land and property and rights attaching. No claim could be entertained if the property had been in the ownership of the current occupant’s family since time immemorial.  The Statute specified the date of Richard I’s ascendancy to the throne — 6 July 1189 — as the terminal point for living memory. Anything that happened before that date was deemed to be beyond living memory, or, in legal parlance, the French equivalent of time immemorial.

The Prescription Act of 1832 effectively repealed that provision and set in its place a range of measures to determine legal ownership and rights. That means that the term is now of as little consequence in the United Kingdom as it is in the rest of the English-speaking world. Or, perhaps, the French-speaking world?

Why am I telling you this? Apart from the fact that I found it on the Haggard Hawks blog, as Richard Rogers so eloquently put it, not really by chance, I thought it would

  1. be of some interest, and
  2. pad out what is likely to be a short and probably rather dull story.

So there we have it.

Our practice of creating a small pseudo-beach in the middle the field at the back of our house hasn’t, as you might have been led to suspect from the foregoing, been going on since time immemorial and it certainly hasn’t been a family ‘thing’ since before 6 July 1189. In fact, it’s a tradition that has its roots in a significant event that took place a mere five years ago and has yet to repeat itself.

The event in question was a near-catastrophic flood. The water level stayed high for some weeks, prompting us to transfer all the sand from the children’s sand-pits as well as a couple of loads that the local builder didn’t seem to miss and dump it close to the high-water line. We also put out a changing tent, deck chair and a load of other beach furniture and made it look like a real seaside area. The kids loved it (they were quite young at the time and extremely gullible). It is now a family tradition and is known as la plage sèche – the dry beach.

Given that this area hasn’t flooded for five years and there’s no record of it ever having flooded before then, you may be wondering why we bother to do it every year.

I’ll tell you.

I was once a boy scout (okay, only for a couple of weeks before I was drummed out for something the memory of which has long faded into obscurity) and the motto ‘be prepared’ is embedded in my very core.

It will happen again, and I shall be prepared!


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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 keithchanning@gmail.com 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 next Monday.

8 comments

  1. Pingback: Kreative Kue 255 | Keith Kreates!
  2. Pingback: The Bubble | Na'ama Yehuda
  3. Pingback: Fore! | Keith Kreates!

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