Tag: Short Story

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Proxima Centauri b, Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències, Valencia, Spain

Rant ! Pic and a Word Challenge #235

It’s like it’s Earth but it’s not Earth

She shook a little with her distress
Speaking between tightened lips
Just barely containing a primal scream

I don’t mind the old-Earth tenements
Their utilitarian simplicity
But why does every other building
Have to look like the cover
Of an Arthur C. Clarke paperback
Couldn’t we come up with
A more interesting ‘future’
Than one dreamed up by hack illustrators
Over two centuries ago

Jinessa was just getting started
When she goes full rant
You can either cower and exit
Or saddle up and ride it for the eight count
I struggled to get a foot in the stirrup
As her exasperation rose

Oh my gawd
But it feels like someone
Stripped the life out of the colour wheel
I mean I get it
Proxima is not good old Sol
But why does it have to suck
All the juice out of orange
All the indigo out of the sky
All the crimson out of my hair!

She’d wanted the change
As much as I did
Coming here was her idea
It took most of our combined savings
And a serious cut in our lifestyle
To pull it off
Those tenements she mentioned
Were functional and clean
But hardly the standard she’d lived in
All her deeply privileged existence

And why does the atmosphere have to smell
Like fucking plum pudding
What is up with that
Even a hamburger tastes like
A sickeningly sweet yet
Gaggingly pungent holiday desert
Why doesn’t it explain all that
In the brochures
How was it kept out of the news

But life with Jinessa was a bit of a rodeo
Whether it was staged here on Proxima b
Or back on Earth
Truth is I love this most about her
Well not so much the ranting

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Moonset Over Blackcomb, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

Moon ~ Pic and a Word Challenge #230

In the cold quiet
Of a winter night
Me and the Moon
We have a chatter

Chunky frozen snow
Crunches underfoot
Shhhh, hisses the Moon

Be still
Listen

This I do

But all I hear is the Moon
Simmering on the snow peaks

Shhhh, Say I
To the full flood moon
Which does not know chagrin

Ahh, my friend
Replies the Moon
Would you have heard my sizzle
Had you never listened?

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Energy Beam, Sea to Sky Highway, Tantalus Lookout, North of Squamish, British Columbia, Canada

A Momentary Lapse of Fiction

The energy pulse slammed into the car
Which quivered briefly
Before vapourizing with a flash
Brighter than the beam
Which destroyed it

As the momentary daylight faded
The mist which was once my Toyota
Settled into the crater
That had been a parking lot

I hoped the owner
Of that formidable weapon
Hadn’t acquired my new position

The concrete barrier I’d sheltered behind
Suddenly seemed feeble protection

Night returned and I got the fuck outta there

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Empty Cafe, Museu de les Ciències, Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències, Valencia, Spain

Something a Little Bit Right

It was great when I heard
My favourite cafe opened up again
Hadn’t had a decent cuppa in over a month

Can’t afford an expresso machine of my own
Just the bodum I picked up at the grocery
The day I also found yeast

Yeast!

Rarer than toilet paper

Rarer than a kiss for a single bloke like me
In this freakin’ pandemic

Anyway, the bodum
If you double the usual amount of grounds
I suppose it’s OK
If you got really good beans
Real dark, the Tanzanian is the best
Ground to the perfect chunkiness
But it ain’t nuthin’ like Frank’s americano

I suppose even if I had an expresso machine
It still wouldn’t be nuthin’ like Frank’s

I dunno
The guy’s magic

And a good guy too
We get on
I’ve followed him around for a while
His fourth cafe in five years
“I get bored if I stay in one place too long”
He told me once

So anyways
I hear the cafe’s opened up again
An’ I rush right out there

I see through the glass
Frank’s on today
Sweet!

I also see inside there’s a bit of a queue
And the tables and chairs are all set out
Lined up tickety-boo
Sparse and empty
Like a display in an upscale furniture store

Every time I walk in here
I get the same tingly feeling up my spine
Heat on the back of my neck
That cringe you get
When you feel like you’re in the wrong place

I like Frank’s last cafe better than this one
It has armchairs and a fireplace
All warm and cozy
Like a family room
I’d hang there for hours
Chattin’ up regulars and whoever

This one’s all artsy as fuck
Greys and blacks
Angular and hard
Not the kinda place you go to hang
I almost always take my java togo

I got no reason to hang
People come here to confer with clients
Whine to their colleagues
About their stock market woes
Suit and tie designer shit

“Aesthetics”
Frank told me once
“Looks over comfort”
“Image over presence”

Ass thet icks

Fuck that shit

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Giants, Badlands, Drumheller, Alberta, Canada

Giant ~ Pic and a Word Challenge #158

There I stood, at the feet of giants, myself measuring no taller than the smallest of their toes, and standing as high in my own shoes as possible. One giant leaned down, only slightly, though the Earth trembled beneath his shifting weight. He peered at me, squinting, as I would to better observe an insect trundling across my boot. A snort. Dismissive. The earth heaved again as he rose. The atmosphere rumbled with his voice.

“I beg your pardon if this offends you,” he began, it seemed to me, in rather gentle tone for a being known to have bellowed up a hurricane, “but you seem mighty small for something which calls itself ‘King of this land and all the land you’ve ever known,’ some small trifle claiming to command us, the Brethren of the Mountains, as his subjects.” Gentle, perhaps, but not without a significant undertone of malice.

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Gallery Bistro, Port Moody, British Columbia, Patrick Jennings' show of photographs, poetry and stories is now on the walls.

The Unlikely Path

Photography came early. In high school. Late ‘70s. With my father’s Nikkormat and Mr. Haust’s photography class. There was a year as a “Photographic Illustration” undergrad at Rochester Institute of Technology, one of the best photography schools in the Americas, at the end of which my professor said, “Patrick, I don’t think you’re going to be a photographer.” In the sense that he meant, at the time, he was right. I’m not much of a “Photographic Illustrator”; I don’t make my living from photography. But, then, here am I.

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Harmony in Word and Form: 2018 Gallery Exhibit featuring Pix to Words photographs, stories and poetry.

Harmony in Word and Form

I apologize, everyone, for being AWOL these past few weeks, and for not posting Pic and a Word Challenges. But I do have some exciting news.

All of my creative energy has been directed toward completing preparations to hang a gallery exhibit featuring photographs, stories and poems selected from Pix to Words. Very exciting! And a much larger task than I allowed myself to believe.

Lots of new stuff coming as a result. When things calm down after the opening (perhaps a bit during … stay tuned to the Facebook Pix to Words page if I can manage some live feed from the reception.)

Pic and a Word should return August 26th, the day after the Opening Reception.

Thanks for your patience!

And wish me luck. =)