Kreative Kue 290

Kreative Kue 289 asked for submissions based on this photograph:

DSCF0343aJohn W Howell is a multiple nominated and award-winning author who blogs at Fiction Favorites. Details of John’s books can be found on his Amazon author page

Rise by John W. Howell © 2020

“Easy. Not too fast.”

“How’s this?”

“Just a little slower.”

“Okay, I’m almost at idle.”

“Yeah, that’s good.”

“What is so special about this morning.”

“You should see this bench covered in frost. It is beautiful.”

“What does that have to do with slowing down the rise?”

“I wanted to get a picture of it with the sun coming up. The contrast is amazing.”

“I’m not sure about you.”

“What do you mean?”

“What diety do you know has a Minolta camera and causes the sunrise to be slowed so he can get a picture.”

“Well, none. So what’s wrong with having a hobby.”

“You are a god for heaven’s sake. You don’t go around taking pictures, and you certainly don’t cause the sun to be delayed.”

“Didn’t hurt anyone.”

“How do you know. There might be some creature totally dependent on the exact time of sunrise for something important.”

“Oh yeah. Then why did you invent Daylight Savings Time.”

“You are going to bring that up again, are you?”

“Well. You haven’t been able to fix it since you introduced it.”

“Okay, okay. Let’s just drop it.”

“No more said about my camera?”

“Just one question.”

“Shoot.”

“Where do you display those photos anyway?”

“Got a guy named Keith who takes em and puts them on display.”

“Does he know the source?”

“He has no idea. He thinks he took them. Lucky for me, he is a little forgetful.”

“Lucky for him too.”

“Amen.”

“Nice.”


My effort was:

Approach the bench.

I remember this bench from my teens. Gosh. That was not far short of sixty tears ago. We used to meet up there most evenings after we’d made our daily attempts to break the world record for speed of doing homework. There were eight of us: four girls and four boys and we were inseparable.

We lads had no trouble; our parents just accepted that we needed to spend time with our peers and, my Dad especially, believed that friendships made at that age can last a lifetime. The girls’ parents had what you might call an alternative view. They referred to our special place as the ‘tarting bench’.

Perhaps I should introduce us. I’m George. My dad was a motor mechanic. John’s dad was a telephone engineer and then there were the twins, Paul and Roger. Their father was something in the government, but we never found out quite what he did. We convinced John that their dad was something in the bakery business because Paul and Roger said his watchword was ‘knead to know’. I secretly think he was a spy or something. All our mums had part-time jobs but were basically stay-at-home mums as was common in those days.

We boys had known each other since infants’ school and had no secrets (except what the twins’ dad did for a living). Of course, at those early ages, when conversations were simple and innocent and we shared so much detail about our home lives, there is no way we would have had girls in our group, right up until puberty hit. Even then, though, our own sisters, by common agreement, were not allowed in what we came to think of as the bench gang. All we really knew about the girls – Gaynor, Stephanie, Jenny and Sue – is what came out in our evening conversations. That rarely included family beyond referring what they would do to us if we stayed out too late. In our circle, at  fifteen years of age, too late started at ten o’clock.

Over the course of the three or four years the bench gang was together, we were rather like the characters in Friends. Teen romances, what our parents called puppy love, came and went and pairings were short-lived but no less intense for it. Of course, we boys bragged amongst ourselves and I’m sure the girls did the same, but I don’t think any of us lost our innocence inside the gang.

Things changed when we left school and started jobs, college or university. That meant new friends, new loves, new benches. The gang slowly drifted apart.

Things have moved on a lot since then. Those of us that are still alive and in this country have been retired for some time and are contemplating entering our inevitable decline.

The twins left for South Africa when they were about seventeen; Gaynor was taken by cancer when she was only in her fifties. I haven’t heard from Jenny or Sue in ages, but I still exchange Christmas cards with Stephanie and John, who were married at twenty-one.

As for me – Stephanie was and will always be the only girl for me. I have never met her equal. Although I’ve led a full, happy and interesting life, I do now regret never even trying to find a mate.

All I have now are this cold bench and my memories.


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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.

7 thoughts on “Kreative Kue 290

        1. I have to have a small carcinoma removed from my nose in a fortnight. The surgeon wants me to isolate for two weeks before and for two weeks afterwards. I’m allowed out for my pre-op consultation on Thursday and for a COVID test the following Friday. I’m locked down until 21st December. Then I have an ophthalmology consultation on 24th!

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