Forgotten Memories #writephoto

a flash-fiction piece

Just a wall, we wouldn’t have noticed it, but a door, that’s something else. Remember how it drew our thoughts to imagining what could be on the other side?

Not that we would have bothered with a boring old door when there was that wall to climb. Besides, doors have locks, and a lock needs a key, and we didn’t have one of those between us. Which was a good job, really, because, I said, who wanted a key to unlock a door in a wall when you can climb over it instead? Not us.

It was apples on the other side, if you must know. Not that we went a bundle on apples; especially not those kind as they were sour green cookers. Remember, we made the little one eat a whole half of a big ‘un until he said he felt sick and threatened to tell his mum? He would have as well. We gave him nine pence and a button – that’s all we could muster between us – to keep him quiet. I don’t know if he ever told on us; we didn’t hear anything bad.

Not being able to eat the fruit, we had a battle instead, dividing ourselves into two tribes, standing apart and hurling great, green apples at each other. It was a laugh. Until Graham caught one in the gob; made his lip bleed; bright red all down his yellow shirt. And he cried.

He ran blubbing to the door and, somehow, he had it open, just like that, and was off home. The door hadn’t been locked at all, all that time. Fancy that? Still, it was a good job we hadn’t tried it first because, as I say, who wanted to walk through a silly old door when there was a perfectly good wall to climb?

written for Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo #writephoto prompt – “Forgotten”.

(The image incidentally brought to mind HG Well’s short story, “The Door In The Wall”. It’s good; it’s part of a short story collection of his and I recommend it.)

The Incomplete Angler

Thinking a little more about it, I wonder how similar writing is to angling for a fish.

You should know the fish, your quarry, its repose, what attracts it and what it likes to eat. You bait it appropriately and when it bites, rather than haul it in, care free and rather clumsily, you play it, carefully and craftily, until it is in the net and yours.

I prefer the British way of angling where the fish is set free again, to be tempted and teased by other fisher folk at another time.

I read a story once and now I can’t remember who it was attributed to or who its subject was other than the subject was an eminent thinker. This man would often be seen at a certain lake or riverside, sitting beside a rod and tackle box. Actually, I’m not sure about the tackle box, the absence of one may have drawn the narrator to enquire about his method.

When asked if he’d caught anything, he would reply “nothing”. Then when asked whether he ought to consider changing his bait, he said he never baited his hook to avoid any possible distraction of having to deal with a bite. He simply enjoyed sitting by water, hidden in plain sight amongst fellow anglers so not arousing suspicion, and he found this peace conducive to his true purpose: thinking.

This is probably closer to my relationship with writing and blogging; not so much fishing for readers but fishing for thoughts, amongst the company of fellow bloggers.

Shakespeare and the end of the heatwave

An appreciation of Shakespeare is another thing I didn’t learn at school. What were they playing at? If I had the means for time travel maybe I would go back and sit in on those lessons and see if it was anything I missed. I would also have to have the power of invisibility, of course.

Sure, education is wasted on the young, some say, and, true, often you need the perspective which comes from having had experiences to appreciate some things, and possibly adults then take understanding for granted and schools forget to explain to their uninformed charges, why.

Yesterday evening, we went to see the final performance of Twelfth Night in the grounds of Hatherop Castle which is itself, these days, a school. In 2011, a small group of old friends came to see Macbeth here. A picnic in the grounds followed by the play performed by the Cotswold Arcadians. I had no idea whether it was my thing or not, whether I could even follow what was going on, or even get what they were saying.

My only experience of Shakespeare had been studying isolated passages of Julius Caesar and The Merchant of Venice before the state curriculum experimented with a “Modern” syllabus so some of us opted for isolated passages of Arnold Wesker and old George Bernard Shaw instead.

As it turned out, Macbeth was brilliantly performed and, though the language was strange, I got it. The following year, we saw A Comedy of Errors and since we have gone to Hatherop to see Richard III, A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream and Pericles. It’s becoming a regular event.

It’s typical of our treacherous British climate that following five weeks of dry, scorching heatwave, when it came to the day of the play, the heavens opened and it rained stair-rods. We were all right, seated beneath canopies. The actors are incredible, carrying on regardless of the downpour, out in the open. True professionalism. Good actors too; I’m sure the Bard would have been pleased to see it.

Next year, it will be Love’s Labours Lost. Let’s hope the weather will be kinder. Still, whatever, it’s Shakespeare, innit?

Cotswold Arcadians