Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Wednesday's Words on a Friday

The original Words for Wednesday was begun by Delores and eventually taken over by a moveable feast of participants when Delores had computer troubles.

The aim of the words is to encourage us to write, a story, a poem, whatever comes to mind.
If you are posting an entry on your own blog, please let us know so we can come along and read it.

This month the words are supplied by Lee and can be found here.

This week's words are:

1. audition
2. fantasy
3. misfortune
4. commitment
5. definitive
6. daunting


1. mysterious
2. defy
3. masterful
4. discourage
5. virulent
6. neurotic

This week I'm continuing, again, with Tom's Memories, which needs a better title, but this will do for now.

Here is my story: (I haven't used all the words)

Tom had stopped for quite a while at the halfway point, taking photos from every direction and angle, even lying full length on the ground to take a shot through the dried grass to the ocean several metres away. He had switched to black and white film then and taken each shot again. Mentally, he thanked Mr Roscoe for discouraging him from using only colour film. As his photography skills improved, Tom began to see why. Many of the black and white photos showed a shadowy moodiness that just couldn't be captured with colour film.

Tom grinned at the memory of following a pretty girl with flawless* skin to the Photography class, when he was supposed to be going to Philosophy*. The minute he held his first camera, Tom had been hooked.

Reaching the top of the path, Tom was surprised to see the Scenic Retreat was not as rundown as he first thought. Two solid looking buildings with a glassed over walkway between them stood before him and he instantly saw the attraction of the view and the privacy of the remoteness.

It was a place for fantasy and romance and Tom imagined it could look quite mysterious on a dark evening with a storm front rolling in off the ocean. He packed his camera back into its bag, took a deep breath and started towards the door with its bright brass knocker. 

One last look around, then he lifted the knocker once, twice, and heard the echo of it in his own ears before hearing the slow shuffle of footsteps on the other side of the door. A key turned in the lock and the door swung open. An elderly face, surrounded by snow white hair, turned up to see him, then the bright blue eyes widened in surprise as she gasped. "Frank! oh it can't be, but you look just like him."  "Mrs Saunders?" Tom said, "I've been sent up here by Bill Money, he said you might be able to tell me some stories of the past."

"Of course, of course, come on in. I'll get Ed. Come in here and sit down, would you like a cup of tea?"
"I'd love one," said Tom and Mrs Saunders took off down the hall, calling "Ed, Ed! come and see who's here. He looks just like Frank, I just about fainted away when I saw him standing at the door."

A man's gruff voice answered. "What are you on about now Sara? What's this about Frank? Frank's been gone almost twenty years, I'd say by now he probably isn't ever coming back."
"Well of course it isn't Frank," said Sara. "It's a young man who looks almost exactly like him. Clean up and go into the sitting room while I make us all a cup of tea." Tom heard the whole exchange clearly and wondered who this Frank was and about his own resemblance to him. A small spark of hope fired in his brain. His father? Could the mysterious Frank be Tom's father? 

Tom's commitment to finding out as much as he could of his past grew exponentially. The process might be daunting, but after what he'd just heard, there was no going back. If Mr and Mrs Saunders had answers for his questions, he'd be grateful for the rest of his life.

Ed Saunders entered the room, wiping paint spattered hands on an old scrap of towel and stopped dead in the middle of the room as he caught sight of Tom's eyes. "Frank," he whispered, and backed up to sit in the chair by the window, opposite Tom. He just stared for a moment, marshalling his thoughts and trying to hide his emotions. "Sara was right," he said. "You do look just like Frank. Who are you?"

Sara came in just then and set down a tray with teacups and a plate of buttered scones, a dish of strawberry jam alongside. "I'll just bring in the teapot," she said. "Then I think a good long chat might be a good idea."  Tom said, "My name is Tom, I arrived in Shark Cove last night. I'm a photographer and part time journalist." "Wait until Sara gets back with the tea, son," said Ed. "She needs to hear this too."

Sara bustled back in and poured them all cups of tea and Tom thought briefly that Bill Money had been right. In spite of being almost ninety, these two were as spry as a pair of sixty year olds. He realised with a small jolt that something here was familiar and he began to look forward eagerly to spending the rest of the afternoon talking with Ed and Sara Saunders. 

He began by repeating what he'd told Ed, then defying logic, brought out the photo of the jetty reaching out into the water, the one that had started him on this journey. Tom found himself telling Ed and Sara about finding it, then coming here and seeing the jetty for himself, then the memory that came back to him. Sara held on to the photo and began to cry. "This is Cherie's work," she said. "I remember when she took it, she developed a whole roll of these in the dark room out back."  "Cherie?"  asked Tom gently. Sara came to sit beside him, looking intently at his face, his hair. "You must be the little boy," she said, " you look so much like them, I thought you were Frank when I saw you at the door, you'd be little Tom, you disappeared the night Cherie was killed." 

Tom felt suddenly like he'd been punched in the chest. His voice was hoarse when he said "Tell me everything you remember. Please, I have to know."  "Wait a minute," said Ed and went into the adjacent room, returning with a shoebox that had been sealed with duct tape. 

 "I think we need to start right from the beginning and in this box is all we have left of the things Frank and Cherie left behind when they stayed here. You'll stay for dinner now of course and I'll have Stephanie make up the bed in that room for you. This is going to be a long story and probably you'll hear things you might not want to know. But I look at you in this light and all I see is Frank and Cherie. Sara is right, you must be Tom, you'd be about twenty now?"

"Twenty just last week," said Tom. "Can you tell me my last name?"  "Kendall," said Sara. Your parents were Frank and Cherie Kendall, you are Tom Kendall. There was a nationwide search when you vanished, the police are going to have to be told that you are here, but that can wait while we talk all this through. 

Tom said, "My foster parents, Robert and Vanessa Moore are coming to Shark Cove in a couple of days. They're sure to want to hear all the stories too and I'd like them to meet both of you as well, if you don't mind." 

"Of course not," said Ed, "they'll have more to add to the story I'm sure." 
"Maybe not too much," said Tom. "I've only been with them since I was twelve and all of my earliest childhood records have been lost in an office fire."  

He smeared jam on a couple of scones and ate while thinking. He arrived at a definitive moment and said,"I'd like to hear first how Cherie, my mother, died. What happened that night? I remember hearing a scuffle, then someone came into my room and wrapped me up in my blanket so I couldn't see anything, then carried me away. After that I only remember being lost and alone in a big city." 

** two words from last week's list
the picture is one I found through Google images, thank you to whoever put it there.


  1. Looking forward to the continuation of this story. There has to be a lot more.

    1. S.J.Qualls; at least a few more chapters. I have ideas, but they'll need to fit with next week's words.

  2. This is excellent, and I hope (insist) you continue. With or without Words for Wednesday.

    1. Elephant's Child; I'll definitely continue and if next week's words can't be woven in, then I'll put up something new and keep working on this in the background.

  3. OMG I am LOVING this story. When you finally draw it to its conclusion you need to submit this to a magazine or short story publisher
    No kidding..

    1. only slightly confused; I've been thinking the same thing and I'd like to thank you once again for getting me started all those months (years?) ago.

  4. River this is wonderful and you are now destined to keep us posted on all of Tom's discoveries. So exciting!

    1. Granny Annie; I'd like to keep you all posted, as long as the words for Wednesday's fit. But if I publish every chapter here, can I then submit it to a short story publisher?

  5. .. fabulous developments River .. I'm so enjoying this story .. xxxxxx .... Barb xxxxx

    1. Barbara; I'm glad you're enjoying it. I am too. I'm wondering what Ed's sealed shoebox is going to reveal.

  6. Great, River. You've continued to capture the reader's interest and hold it prisoner.

    I'm with the others who have left comments...your story must continue.

    Well done, once again. Thanks for playing around with the words I've given this month. :)

    1. Lee; I need to thank you too for the words that kicked this off. A daunting set of selections each week that turned into something good.

  7. This one just keeps drawing you in, well written River

  8. Vineeta Yashssvi; welcome to drifting. Next part is next Friday. Have you read the previous parts on the previous Fridays?

  9. I'm absolutely hooked.
    What a great story and I also thought the image you'd used from google fitted so well.

    All the best Jan

  10. Lowcarb team member; I don't always use an image but if I find one that fits I find it adds a little extra interest.