Going back, that’s all she thought about, going back and sitting on that bench under the pergola, under the sky, close to her dreams…
She used to have dreams. She used to sit there and smile, looking up and enjoying the colors of the sunset. She used to think life was whatever she wanted it to be.
She was far away now, so far away, too far away. She looked at the sky but the colors weren’t the same. She wondered if the bench was still there.
Then, she heard the sirens. It was time to move… and hide… again.
PICK TWO: quirk, pride, exposed
The querkleyhew (Querculus arrigiosus) is the pride of the tree-lined avenues of London. It sheds its boughs wherever they extend more than a few yards from the trunk, and at a certain height, the upthrusting members terminate themselves similarly. The exposed wounds heal into lumpy nodules exuding resins harvested for incense. In former times they were also, following the mediaeval doctrine of signatures, favoured as a salve for amputees. Every spring, clusters of thin shoots sprout from these terminations, which would be woven into charms against wounds in battle.
The uninformed mistake this curious habit of growth for over-zealous pruning.
The First Emperor, Qin Shi Huang, hankered after immortality. He sent out explorers to discover the secret. Some stopped in comfortable towns, and wrote back long missives describing their fictitious efforts. From these sprang the myths and legends of China. Others travelled, but only to explore the far-flung provinces. From these we have the great works of geography. A few took the mission seriously, enquiring of alchemists, magicians, and sages, but obtained only hints with which to search further.
Only one succeeded. But he kept the secret for himself alone, and it is said that he lives among us still.
Henry is not the sharpest tool in the box. His heart’s in the right place, but he’s still hopeless, even so, he’s a nice guy – just don’t trust him with anything important.
That’s why everyone was so shocked when I asked him to be my Best Man.
“You know he’ll lose the ring… Go to the wrong church… Turn up late… Think its fancy dress?” – Everyone warned me off, and tol me to pick someone else.
But, would I listen?
Too late, I realised, as he stood smiling gormlessly at the altar.
I tried again…
“Hank! Er… ring?”
I’m not academic. I’m not one for grammar, phrasing, or worrying about sentence construction. Those are all very well if that’s your style, but I’ve no interest in semantics or word games.
As far as I’m concerned, good old fashioned plain speech is more than sufficient for most occasions, although I’ll admit sometimes my vocabulary lets me down.
Like now, I have a hankering… But that’s not the word. It really doesn’t convey what I really feel inside. And you’re sitting there, humouring me, smiling indulgently.
I’ve just remembered the word for the feeling I have…
I got a Hankering
When you’re old and have spent the better part of your life eating in restaurants you got to balance dinning out with dinning in with the reality of a fixed income. To that end I and my partners and crime have decided on Taco Tuesday. Yup I got a hankering for tacos and Taco Bell allow a more than generous supply of Taconess. Some may even during the listening of this tale, poo poo the quality of Taco Bell food. Or the lack of Je ne sais quoi. There t-a-c-o-s not Japanese A5 Wagyu Striploin Demi-glace served at the French Laundry
The dust covered cowboy makes his way into the saloon. Weaving his way through the tables, cattlemen and soiled doves, to the bar.
“What brings you to town, friend,” asked the bartender?
“I got a hankering for Whiskey, Neat. And I ain’t your friend…friend.”
The bartenders grin fades away as he reaches under for the loaded 45 and sizes up the cowboy. Searching the stranger’s grimy face for clues to his intent.
“You best come up with a whisky bottle. Friend. You want no trouble from me. Understand?”
The bartender snatches the bottle and pours the stranger a drink.
Billbert climbed into his mother’s car, looking behind them to see if Marissa was really following. The Ferrari kept pace behind their car.
“Mom. Can we stop at McDonald’s before we get home? I have a hankering for a cheeseburger.”
His mother slowed the car so she could safely stare at her son. “You have a what?”
He cleared his throat. “A hankering. You know, a persistent urge or desire.”
“I know the word. I’m just wondering why you’re using it.”
Billbert shrugged. “I don’t know. Something prompted me.”
She shook her head. “Whatever. You can’t argue with real hankering.”
Work provides a catered lunch.
It’s not some fancy affair with chafing dishes and silverware.
It’s just large orders from local restaurants in a family-style buffet line.
The office assistants rotate the schedule of caterers.
Some are good, some are bad, some are awful.
Some forget things, and others are frequently late to arrive.
I look at the calendar and plan out the lunches I will eat.
And the ones I choose to order soup from the deli.
Of course, if there’s any leftover buffet salad, I’ll pack that for home.
Can’t let good food go to waste, you know.