This week’s prompts are at the bottom. Feel free to seize the prompts, twist them, form them, play with them as you will. All comers are welcome. The words below are just practice for me. I had a lot of fun writing them, and you know what I always say, “Practice makes perfect.”
Linda and I moved to Parkley Falls about six years ago come spring, and for the most part, we like it here. As we always do, we bought a three-bedroom, three-bath home on a cul-de-sac in a blue-collar neighbourhood. There were six houses on Haven Close, and we were in Number 3.
Our neighbours, in no particular order, were:
- Hans and Betty Christian, who had two young sons aged seven and four
- John and Reece Baskett, a retired couple in their early 70’s, John had been a butcher, and Reece a housewife.
- Richard James, a widower who seldom, if ever came out of the house without a drink in his hand.
- Ted and Emily Eskin a middle-aged couple; Ted sold gauges into the nuclear power industry and, Emily taught at a nearby Middle School. They had two daughters and a son – all in their teens.
- Amon and Talia Hart were the seldom-seen world travellers. Sometimes one or two of their adult children would come and stay while Amon and Talia were in France or Tahiti or wherever they might have gone on that particular trip.
All and all, it was a pretty good neighbourhood. We’d have barbecues and block off the end of the street on the fourth of July. The pool was always available at the Eskin’s as long as you knocked on the door and asked first.
The winter holidays were pretty interesting. The Christians celebrated Weihnachten, which is almost like Christmas. Lindy and I, along with the Basketts and Mr James, liked Christmas, Ted and Emily leaned more toward the Solstice, The Harts observed the Festival of Lights.
That first year Lindy baked and shopped to provide gifts for our neighbours. We gifted with cookies, cakes and other sweet treats. We ordered gourmet coffee and passed that along as well. We gave these delicious gifts to all our neighbours, except the Eskins. They received a plastic flamingo ornament to stand in their front yard. We had good reason to believe that it was their teenage son who, whilst the neighbourhood was sleeping, placed a flaming paper bag filled with dog poop on our front porch, rang the doorbell, and fled.
It’s distressing to be woken up in the middle of the night by the doorbell. When you couple that with a fire on the stoop; it becomes alarming, even traumatic. Then, adding insult to injury, my instinct was to stomp out the fire. I got dog shit all over my slippers and had to hose my feet off in the chill of the morning.
As the years have passed, and we have gotten to know our neighbours better, we have begun to recognize that sometimes your friends might temporarily fall from favour. That doesn’t mean they become your enemies, you might be angry or disappointed in them, and you might choose to convey that disappointment with plastic flamingos on the holidays. The following year, they might get sticky buns and sugar plums (you can’t stay mad forever).
Last spring, Lindy pointed out that every house on Haven Close, except ours, had a pink flamingo in the front yard. Most of the ornaments were placed close to the mailboxes, in the corners where the drive met the pavement. The lone exception was Mr James, who had planted his by the front door. As Christmas draws near, we realize that we are at peace with our neighbours and need not present anyone with a second flamingo. They all get goodies.
On Christmas Eve, Lindy and I exchanged gifts. I gave her a pair of cat slippers, and she gave me a new weed eater.
On Christmas morning, we woke to find six, yes count them, six pink plastic flamingos in our front yard. They were standing in a circle formation around the Spruce tree in the middle of our front garden.
Good thing they are all coming for Christmas dinner at our house today. Lindy is roasting a flamingo to serve with stuffing and sweet potatoes.
This week’s prompts are:
- women in kilts
- he was a ‘good boy’
- before she was a homewrecker
You can start writing whenever you want, just write, get the words down – and have fun!