Monday, 18 May 2009

Portrait Of Words #9 .......

Jeff (A Word in Edgewise POW) has started up this monthly challenge, derived from a previous challenge from R.E.H.'s "Picture Fiction Challenge". Do pop over to Jeff's to read the other entries, you won't be disappointed. You can get the portraits for this month's challenge here.

Jeff says the rules this month are:
Same general idea as the other months, but with a slight variation this time. Instead of me dictating specific categories for each photograph, I'm going to display five pictures with the following guidelines:You may use all of the photos if you like, but please choose at least three of them to incorporate into your story. Your story can be factual or a work of fiction. It can be told in first or third person. Your story can be of any length or style. Long or short, comedy or tragedy, etc. . . it's up to you. The most important thing to remember is this: It's supposed to be a fun experience for everyone, and viewed simply as a writing exercise designed to stimulate creativity and camaraderie between fellow Bloggers. Make it enjoyable and let your creativity be your guide.

Hope you enjoy my story:

Adrian Logan picked up his luggage, consisting of a holdall, off the carousel at San Francisco Airport. Heading towards the Avis desk to pick up his hire car he looked around noticing how much it had changed since he’d last been here thirty years ago. He could hardly believe he’d been away so long.

Carrying the holdall he made his way through the airport to find his hire car, a VW Beetle. He could have easily afforded a bigger, flashier car but he had particularly asked for a Beetle. Climbing in the Beetle he familiarised himself once again with the controls then headed towards the Golden Gate Bridge and on to Marin County and Sleepy Hollow.

The traffic was manic over the bridge, though it didn’t bother him much, he was happy to take in the views of San Francisco Bay. He’d missed it.

Finding himself on Sir Francis Drake Blvd he realised he was only about five minutes from Butterfield Road, Sleepy Hollow’s main street.

Since he left, thirty years ago, he had been working all over the world in his chosen field of computers. He was successful, at least in his working life, but his love life had left a lot to be desired. He’d never married or had children, he’d been too busy making money. Now he was returning to the stomping ground of his youth, the place where the flower children had ruled, where LOVE had been the buzz word, where no-one thought they would ever grow old. The place where he’d spent his days in his uncle’s vineyard and his nights enjoying the golden liquid the grapes yielded. Now he owned the largest vineyard in the area, having been left it by his uncle, and he had given up computers and travelling, he just wanted to go back to the land and enjoy his remaining years where he’d been happiest, hopefully with the friends he’d left behind.

His departure from Sleepy Hollow had been swift. His uncle had brought him up when his parents had died in a road accident and then, when he was 21, told him he must make his own way in the world. He bought him a plane ticket to New York and gave him some money and a contact there, someone who would help him get started. Adrian hadn’t wanted to go but his uncle didn’t give him a choice. Saying goodbye to his friends had been hard but he told them he’d be back. He kept in touch with some but others had fallen by the wayside. Now he was back, he’d done some research and found that some of his old friends were still living in Sleepy Hollow and he intended to do some catching up.

A couple of days later, after settling into the house his uncle had also left him, he took out the list of names and numbers he’d brought with him and picked up the telephone. Within an hour he’d contacted half a dozen of his friends and arranged a reunion at the country club – “wear all your old gear if you’ve still got it” he told them.

He took a shower then went into the bedroom where he opened the holdall took out a pair of flared jeans, a multicoloured jacket, bandana and matching hat, and a pair of sunglasses and put them on. Gazing in the mirror he mused he didn’t look much older than when he’d left and his waistline hadn’t expanded that much, the jeans still fastened.

There was much backslapping and questions all round at the reunion. Lots of “do you remember whens” and “whatever happened tos”.

“Is Francesca still living here?” he asked Bernie, his oldest friend.

“She sure is Ade, she actually works here at the Country Club” Bernie told him “I’ll go get her.”

Within minutes Bernie was leading Francesca by the hand to Adrian’s side and they were sitting reminiscing like it was just yesterday.

“Remember the old Beetle I had?” he asked Francesca.

“How could I forget?” she said, blushing slightly. “Why didn’t you say goodbye Adrian? I came to meet you and you’d gone, no-one could, or would, tell me where.”

“I couldn’t bear to say goodbye to you Frannie, I didn’t want to leave you but I had no choice” he pleaded “can we start again? I never stopped loving you!”

“I’m happily married now Adrian so there’s no way for us to be together. I’m sorry it’s too late.”

“I understand Frannie, I hope we can still be friends though?” he asked.

“We can be more than that Adrian, we have something very much in common, it’s time you met your daughter. I was going to tell you the night you left but I didn’t get a chance. You also have a grandson.”

Guy in the hat - lovestruck
GG Bridge - pave_m
Grapes - iam_photography
VW Beetle - marie-11


Anonymous said...

You never cease to amaze me. Excellent story my friend. What we do in our youth can come back to either be a joy our haunt us. Wonderful. I so enjoy your writing. Aloha my friend :)

Anonymous said...

That would certainly change the meaning of "reunion"!

snowelf said...

I love that she is happily married. :)


Salute said...

I really enjoys reading your stories. Sounds like Frannie was a day late and a dollar short.

Daryl said...

Love it ..

Batteson.Ind said...

lol!.. there's probably something about great minds and all that... lol!.. thanks for sharing!

Akelamalu said...

Oh you're very kind Thom thankyou m'dear. x

Yes it would Citizen :0

Me too Snowelf :)

Frannie was definitely too late when it mattered Salute :(

Thanks Daryl x

LOL yeah great minds eh Watercats!

Dianne said...

a lovely story that takes place in one of my favorite parts of the world!

Ron said...

Excellent, Akelamalu!

LOVED the "ending!!!"

It made me think about "I wonder what's going to happen??"


Maggie May said...

We were travelling down the same route this time, Akelamalu! Similar stories. I enjoyed yours!

Clouldn't get your link to work from Jeff B's.

Julia Phillips Smith said...


cheshire wife said...

What a lucky guy!

Thank you for your recent comments on my blog.

Jo Beaufoix said...

I love that. I love that she moved on but also respected him enough to tell him about his daughter. Brilliant.

Dr.John said...

Great story with at least one romance that worked out. It was good he got to discover a daughter and a grandson. I guess this is a happy ending.

Sandi McBride said...

Wow...well done! I just loved this!

bettygram said...

Good story. Life goes on. I hope his child and grandchild can develope a relationship.

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

she is a great character and that makes the story i think...

smiles, bee

Spiky Zora Jones said...

A daughter and grandson!!!!!

OMG...he ssure missed out on so very much.

I love your story...wonderful wonderful.

I love how you write. You hold me through it so easily and I always want more.

So I have to ask. More please. :D

ciao honey...this is a fab post. I really enjoyed it.

G-Man said...

Of course we like it!
It's typical Ake Brilliance!!!

Travis Cody said...

Well, a bit of a bittersweet ending there. Very enjoyable.

Thom - - Dr. John said...

Wait for it. . . wait for it. . . BAM!!!

Love your endings. The whole story is great, don't get me wrong, but the way you can spring a twist in is masterful.

don't know why the link you left doesn't work. Looks like everything is typed correctly, but for some reason it doesn't load your page.

Thumbelina said...

Very well done Aelamalu. I wasn't expecting that at the end. A love story in the true sense of the word! Great story.

quilly said...

Jeff is correct, your link at PoW doesn't work, but I knew how to find you!

Poor Adrian - -of course, I'd feel sorrier for him if he'd tried to contact her but somehow couldn't. The "I still love you" sounds a bit hollow after all those years of silence -- even so, he may redeem himself in the eyes of his grandchild, and in so doing win over his daughter and Frannie as well. You've woven a tail with a tragic, yet hopeful ending.

Also, I am hearing an interesting echo though out the different stories. Do you hear it, too?

Roan said...

I'm glad she didn't wait around for him. Loved the ending!

Finding Pam said...

Did his Uncle know that Frannie was with child? Is that why he had to leave town so fast or is there another reason?

Once again, I love reading your stories. Just wonderful twist at the end. Frannie did the right thing to tell him about his family. Maybe they will have a friendship in time.

I am up and posted my dear.

Akelamalu said...

I've never been there Dianne so I did a search on google maps to find where the Golden Gate Bridge lead to. Of course I knew it lead to San Francisco but nothing more than that. I hope I didn't mess up with the place names etc. :)

I'm pleased you enjoyed the ending Ron and it's great that it kept your interest to the end. xx

There seems to be quite a few of us got the same inspiration from the photos this time Maggie :) I've put the link right at Jeff's now.

Zoiks Julia?

Yes he is lucky Cheshire Wife :)

So glad you liked it Jo x

Yes it is a happy ending Dr. John as long as Adrian makes up for lost time. :)

Aw thanks Sandi xx

Me too Bettygram :)

Thanks Bee :)

He did miss out on a lot Spiky but hopefully he'll make up for it. I'm so pleased you liked it. xx

Oh you're too kind G-man, thanks honey. xx

Ceers Trav, I'm pleased you enjoyed it. :)

I put the link right Jeff, I think it's OK now. Thanks for your kind words about my story, I'm flattered. :)

Aw thanks Thumbelina how kind you are. xx

Yes Adrian could have tried to contact Frannie over the years so I'd be inclined not to believe him Quilly. Yes I had noticed the echo - I think the image of 'summer of love' struck quite a few people. I'm glad you found me despite the link not working. :)

I'm glad she didn't wait around too BJRoan - he may never have come back! Glad you liked it.

I think his uncle may have had an idea Pam - how evil was he?:0

Linda said...

I knew it - I knew there would be a twist!!

I just love your stories - love 'em!!

Akelamalu said...

LOL you know me too well Linda - I'll have to write something without a twist now! :)

Anonymous said...