Monday, August 22, 2011

Do people really change with time?


unidentified photo, found in a Missouri antique shop


as shared by Tess at Magpie tales


It was a hot July afternoon. Hitting the 3rd bottle of Heineken from ice box, he wiped sweat from his forehead on his upturned sleeve. What is it with summers? First you wait for them to come by and when they do, you can’t seem to wait for them to get over.

Okay Jeff! Just one more plank and the deal is over. Stop grumbling! He cuffed himself mentally.

Keeping the bottle aside, as he was working on the last plank he remembered summers weren’t always so grumpy. In fact, as a child he never felt the heat of it. Along with three of his friends he used to have a lot of fun in summers. They had their own Fantastic Four version, scooping around the small town looking for trouble. He grinned at the things they sometimes found out. Folks here were scared of them especially during summers when schools were off and the fantastic four were let loose. Moreover, July was a special month to him because it was his birthday month. He used to rule their group for an entire day with no school, no studies, lots of cake, many surprise gifts & just pure fun.

Lost in his thoughts, he hammered the nail by mistake on his thumb.
With an Ouch! and serious cursing he was brought back from flash back.
Silently appraising his work he jumped down the last tree step he just plugged in.

There! It looks good. It could use one more coat of paint.

He had been working on the tree house which the four of them had built and battered. All his friends long gone their separate ways were coming in town a week later and he wanted to give them a big surprise by bringing back some of their memories. He was considering about that paint job, rubbing at the back of his neck, when a car honked from behind him. It didn’t register him instantly that the honking was for him as he was spaced out again with his mind imagining the dumbfounded faces of his friends when they see their tree house again. Screeching tootle of the car then pierced through his thoughts and he winced as he turned around.

Surprise. Surprise. Surprise.

Three voices screamed simultaneously from the car.

Holy shit! What are you guys doing here? Jeff yelled as he ran towards the car.

Emma all but shrieked

Hap Hap Happy Birthday Jeffie boy!

Just the way she always used to wish him. Behind her Erick was smiling widely.
From the front seat, Ella whistled wolfishly.

Speechless as he saw his three friends beaming at him, he wondered did anybody ever get over their childhood?


***Written for Magpie Tales #79. Have a look and enjoy some refreshingly nice takes on the prompt!

36 comments:

Titus said...

Thank you for that ending!

Laurie Kolp said...

Who says we have to grow up? Childhood memories keep us young.

Mimi Foxmorton said...

You know, that really IS the way it is with summers....... lol

Nice writing! I'm really loving Magpie! ;)

Have a creative day!
~Mimi
www.collagepirate.blogspot.com
www.yellowdogmagic.blogspot.com

Jackie Jordan said...

Three things I know for sure: His parents weren't home, because he's drinking his Dad's beer, you don't hammer nails while intoxicated - hence the smashed finger, and I really like this story...

Berowne said...

What one does for friends; nice take.

Brian Miller said...

no i try to hang on to it as long as i can...smiles. nice tetures to this piece, except hitting your thumb...yikes...done that too many times...

Mystic_Mom said...

I totally love this, I want to hear more now! More! More! :-)

thingy said...

No, I don't think so. Not with childhood friends anyway. I see us as the kids we once were, and always will be, with each other.

Terrific write, ET.

Steve Isaak said...

Enjoyed this a lot - excellent write.

One suggestion: change the exclamation point to a question mark or period (yes, it works with that, too) - the reason why I suggest this: the exclamation point is odd enough in its placing, so as to be jarring (not the kind that heralds a clever/distinctive work, but the kind that jars readers out of their immersion in your story.

This is a minor nit, and might be an editor's bias, though. Either way, it's still excellent and immersive.

Sue J said...

I think we should all retain as much of childhood as we can. It keeps life wonderful. Nice Magpie :)

Erratic Thoughts said...

@Titus
Thank you for dropping by:)
Glad you liked it!

@Laurie Kolp
Exactly...they always make us smile at odd times.You know once I was smiling while standing in a crowded bus and I got some weird looks for that...I was remembering a prank we pulled on a friend :D

Erratic Thoughts said...

@Mimi
Hey thank you for your lovely words,I have loved magpie since I was first introduced to it...

@Jackie Jordan
lol...you got the inside story;)
Glad you liked it!

Erratic Thoughts said...

@Berowne
Sure,it sometimes amazes me too :)

@Brian Miller
Oh yeah me too,I do it all the time...and yes even I try to hang on to my friends...
Thank you for your kind words:)

Erratic Thoughts said...

@Mystic_Mom
:) you made my day, I will keep it going in the next one !

@thingy
We have a lot of innocent n lovely childhood memories,it is hard to forget them,isn't it?
Thank you so much for your encouraging words...

Erratic Thoughts said...

@Steve Isaak
Thank you so much for pointing it out, don't know why I put that exclamation there..Corrected it :D
Glad you enjoyed it :)

@Sue J
Sure, it deos:)
Thank you...

Tattered and Lost said...

I'm hoping they all piled in the car and drove through the night with the windows open, a cool breeze making them smile.

Deborah said...

I just LOVED this! :o)

Friko said...

What a lovely story; so happy and as carefree as they were when they were young.

robkistner said...

Oh, the summers of youth - a magical realm, but too soon we lose the wonder... nice write...!

....Petty Witter said...

Oh to be young at heart. Thanks for this post, I so enjoyed the ending and like Tattered and Lost hope they drove off into the night all smiling.

the green breaker said...

I would have to agree with Laurie. :)

Susannah said...

Lovely piece! It is so nice to read something with a feel good factor and this has it. Wonderful. :-)

Stafford Ray said...

Laurie's right but I add that it isn't just the memories is it. It is a way of thinking and the tree house illustrates that he and you still do.

Emily said...

I love it! So much sensory detail - I could feel the heat.

Erratic Thoughts said...

@Tattered and Lost Such a nice thought,they might have,I'm sure :)

@Deborah Glad you like it :)

Erratic Thoughts said...

@Friko
Thank you so much for your kind words:)

@robkistner
So true, thank you for dropping by:)

Erratic Thoughts said...

@Tracy(....Petty Witter)
:) Glad you liked it...I sure hope they did

@the green breaker
:) So true!

Erratic Thoughts said...

@Susannah
Thank you so much,glad you liked it!:)

@Stafford Ray
You said it all,just what I was thinking :)

Erratic Thoughts said...

@Emily
So glad you liked it,Thank you :)

anilkurup said...

Speechless as he saw his three friends beaming at him, he wondered did anybody ever get over their childhood?

The line is speechless. Friends and the ones from childhood they never grow up and together they are stuck ever in childhood.

Everyday Goddess said...

I really enjoyed this piece!

Bee's Blog said...

Summers of childhood always stay in the mind and you captured that so well.

Alka Gurha said...

Friends and childhood...a beautiful story.

Erratic Thoughts said...

@Anil Glad you liked it.Welcome here :)

@Everyday Goddess :)

Erratic Thoughts said...

@Bee's Blog
Yes they do,those are beautiful moments.Thank you :)

@Alka
Thank you so much:)

Siddhartha Joshi said...

This is awesome Manasi, I really liked the happy ending :) And the context is perfect...you have captured it very well...