On Wednesdays, Delores, from Under The Porch Light, has a word challenge meme which she calls “Words for Wednesday”.
She puts up a selection of six words which we then use in a short story, or a poem.
I’m hopeless at poetry so I always do a story.
It’s a fun challenge…why not join in?
This week's words are:
or we can use a video clip of The Mamas and The Papas singing California Dreaming as inspiration.
Let's see what I can come up with............
Jimmy Raven: Chapter Two
On this latest trip to his tropical jungle destination, Jimmy Raven had chosen to travel by train and bus. Planes were too fast for his liking; handy if he was in a hurry, but this time he wanted a more leisurely pace.
He wanted time to read through his notes from the previous trips, time to gaze at the changing landscapes, time to think about what might lay ahead.
Jimmy had spent the last three years at his home in Alaska with his mum Molly, leaving only occasionally to visit several museums to help with cataloging and displaying of the artefacts brought back from the ancient village they had unearthed all those years ago.
He remembered the time fondly, he'd been a boy then, nineteen when the field trip began, thirty-two when it was over. A lucky find while digging a drainage trench had turned a field trip into a full blown archaeological dig. A small area to begin with, the site had been extensive by the time it was over. No one had expected such a find, the entire archaeological world had been excited.
Now he was returning, not to the dig site, but to the nearby village where he had made so many friends. Packing away his notes, Jimmy turned his attention to the passing scenery, the dense trees and small clusters of simple huts indicating he was nearing 'his' village. He thought of it as a second home and looked forward to seeing his best friend Isabel again. They'd met when he was nineteen and she was sixteen, had become best friends immediately and Jimmy had been an honoured guest at her wedding to Carlos Manuso when she turned twenty. They had three children now.
Early in the evening, the bus arrived at the village and Jimmy was surprised to see how much it had changed. The small, simple huts had become larger adobe structures, Mexican in style and the streets were wider now to accommodate the cars owned by several of the people. The Hotel had two stories now, with more rooms than the four Jimmy remembered.
He collected his key and made his way to room #10. Opening the door gave him the biggest surprise so far. Clearly the decorator had a love affair with the early 80s and velour.
The stuff was everywhere! Velour curtains, velour cushions on the side chair, a velour bedspread. Even the towels in the small bathroom were velour.
All in a lovely deep shade of raspberry, but rather overwhelming.
Jimmy put down his case and opened the closet. Yes, there was enough room. He gathered the cushions, folded them into the bedspread and stashed that package in the closet. There was still room to hang his shirts.
He took a quick shower and changed into unwrinkled clothing. Three days on trains and buses had put several hundred new creases into his old suit jacket and he hung it up near the shower while he washed so the steam could take out some of them.
Then with a sparkle in his eyes, he set out to find Carlos and Isabel's Cantina. He had a plaque to present to them, their help had been invaluable during those early days on the dig.
It had been Carlos' rickety old jeep that had taken Rob to the hospital when he had sunstroke; it had been Isabel's mother who supplied the whole team with flour, sugar and eggs when their own supplies ran out. Isabel's father had brought barrels of water.
Isabel herself had brought a knowledge of local history that prevented many a mistake when identifying pieces that were unearthed over the next twelve and a half years.
Jimmy, thirty-five now, wondered if Isabel and Carlos would recognise him. He still had the waterfall length of glossy black hair, but streaked now with a little grey here and there and there were plenty of laughter crinkles at the corners of his smiling eyes. He wondered also if he would recognise Isabel. She would be thirty-two now.
As he neared the Cantina, Jimmy heard music he hadn't heard since his early childhood.
The Mamas and The Papas singing California Dreaming.
The receptionist at the Hotel had mentioned a jukebox when Jimmy had asked directions, so he'd known there would be music, but he hadn't expected to hear something last heard on his dad's radio when he was eight. The sound brought a grin to his face and he realised he remembered every word. It had been his dad's favourite song. Unheard all these years, since his dad was caught and killed in an avalanche.
Jimmy spotted Isabel behind the coffee machine at the same time she spotted him by the door and she screamed for Carlos.
"Carlos! Come quick! Jimmy is here!" and Carlos came running from the outdoor room where he was manning the huge barbecue, spooning sticky sauce over ribs and turning chickens on a rotisserie. They were preparing for the Saturday evening crowd, the first diners were due to arrive quite soon as the sun was beginning to go down already. By full dark, the Cantina would be packed with families, a crowd of almost indecent proportions feasting on Carlos barbecue platters.