22/10/2014

BUFFALO - 100 word fiction

We have a busy couple of weeks ahead of us - my OH has been Chairman of the Royal British Legion Tenerife Branch for the past twelve years but is retiring this year. Before then he hopes that our members - all 17 of us - will win the Noel Rogers Trophy for the most Poppy Appeal money collected per capita. We have won it seven times in a row - last year we raised over €11,000. - and other branches haven't even come close!
So, with the Official Launch this Saturday, poppies to distribute, collecting boxes to round up, the Remembrance Service to organise, and the AGM to attend, the OH is a bit stressed, and my writing has had to take a back seat.
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Therefore I wrote this week's 100 word story in a coffee break half-way through shopping for groceries. Thanks as always to Rochelle for the photo prompt.
http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/


BUFFALO

Each photograph identified a building on the skyline but Buffalo ignored them. He climbed over the barrier to the beach where, with wavelets lapping his boots, he could open his memories.

Instead of buildings, trees and totem poles scraped the sky; tendrils of smoke pinpointed his village and their nearest neighbours a mile away; kayaks bobbed on the lake and water-birds soared.

Then a siren burst his dream and a patrolman said, “No-one’s allowed down there – go home.”
“I fished this lake before you were born,” Buffalo said, but he went.

Overnight all the photographs were obliterated by tribal symbols.

Please leave a comment - I promise to anwer them all!

36 comments:

  1. Hope you get the trophy.

    As for Buffalo, I fear there's no hope for him, poor man.

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    1. Thanks Patsy. Buffalo has outlived his time. :(

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  2. A sad situation - where natural places are transformed and old traditions and memories are obliterated in the process. I think Buffalo will have the last say, however, in the action on the picture posts is anything to go by. Wonderfully told.
    Marg

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    1. Thank you marg. Even the fields where my children played are now a housing estate.

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  3. Good luck with the Poppy Appeal. Sadly still very relevant.

    Your story recalled a visit to a reservoir one summer when the waters were low and outlines of buildings revealed. Another visitor had lived in the valley which was then dotted with small farms. This was their first visit back to the site since it had been flooded.

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    1. That must be the saddest visit to make - to see your old home rotting and waterlogged.

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    2. Indeed, Lizy. We only realised when they started pointing out which ruin had been a cowshed and which a barn. The children were quite young at the time but even they appreciated this was not a happy memory for that man.

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  4. Dear Liz,

    The old ways make way for progress. Is it really progress? Nicely done and best wishes with Poppy Appeal.

    shalom,

    Rochelle

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    1. Thanks Rochelle. Last year we were invited to collect by the gangway of a cruise ship and several Americans said, "Gee - Brits' Veterrans Day!" and gave us the euros they hadn't spent during their stopover in Tenerife.

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  5. Change is not always for the better, is it?

    Good luck with the Poppy Appeal.

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    1. No it isn't, and I hate skyscraper cities.

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  6. Well done for raising so much money for such a good cause. If we all came back in a few hundred years, I wonder what the Earth would look like?

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    1. One thing's for sure - we wouldn't recognise it!

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  7. I love these short pieces which you post each week - they really do set the imagination going. This one, particularly, caught my attention because as soon as I saw that photo I thought I recognised it. So you've had me looking through a couple of files of my photos and, yes, I do know where that was. I was along there in August when awesome natural forces seemed to be threatening to prevent us from getting home. So your post reminded me of a super quote which I spotted whilst waiting for our flight home: "Without my imagination I couldn't go anywhere." (Vigdis Grimsdottir) I'm 95% sure that lake is Reykjavik's City Pond.

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    1. Thank you Robert - and that's a POND? Love the quote.

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    2. Pond, yes. That's how it is named on the tourist map the City Pond. In Icelandic it's Tjornin and I though pond was simply an unimaginative translation, but no. That's what Tjornin means. :)

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    3. Robert, what a super quote! Thanks for sharing it. I know it will appear on my blog one day.

      Lizy, nicely-imagined story on the sadness of progress or "progress", depending upon how you look at it. All the best with the Poppies!

      janet

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    4. Thanks Janet - I like the idea of people having a private conversation on my blog!

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    5. Robert - what I meant was that it's very large for a mere 'pond'. I think of a pond as something you can throw a stone across :)

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    6. Yes, Liz, that's exactly what I thought as well. In winter, when it freezes over, folk take a short cut across it.

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    7. Eek! And there's another story!

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  8. "progress" --- for some the price is higher...

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    1. There's an awful lot of destruction wrought in the name of progress.

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  9. Instead of buildings, trees and totem poles scraped the sky Wouldn't that be grand? Poor Buffalo! May you once again win the most Poppy Appeal money.

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    1. Thanks Alicia - we are aiming to beat last year's total.

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  10. Oh, I do feel for Buffalo. I love the idea of him "opening his memories". Sometimes going back is harder than living with distant nostalgia.

    Good luck with the Poppy Appeal. :)

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    1. The house I grew up in is now divided into flats, the orchard is a housing estate. Going back can be a bad mistake. Thanks for your good wishes.

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  11. 'With wavelets lapping his boots, he could open his memories'. Lizy, that is the sweetest line here! And, you wrote this story during your coffee break -- all the vivid description and my favourite line--.I am amazed!

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    1. Sjilpa - thank you! You have made my day - and just before my bedtime, too.

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    2. Sorry Shilpa - my finger slipped - I must be tired :)

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  12. Wow, this was a great story written on a coffee break half-way through shopping. I'm with Shilpa on the "wavelets lapping his boots" line. Very poetic and well done.

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    1. Thank you, Russell - sometimes the words just fall into place.

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  13. Dear Lizzy,

    Normally my computer will not let me comment on a bloodspot blog, but in your case it is making an exception. I loved your story and main character. Spirits of the past walking among us in the present. And we need to listen to and honor them. Great take on the prompt written on a coffee break. I am envious and full of admiration for your skill.

    Aloha,

    Doug

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    1. Hi Doug - maybe the spirits of the past are influencing your computer! I like that typo 'bloodspot'. btw :) and thanks for visiting.

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  14. Dear Lizzie, Good luck with the Poppies, I've bought some before but didn't remember what they were for - I knew it was for a good cause - but that was all I could remember. Your story is great! Thanks, Nan :)

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    1. Dear Nan - so now you know what the poppies are for you'll buy one this year! They're only on offer for a few weeks each year leading up to Remembrance Day on 11th November - the First World War officially ended at 11am on 11th of November (the 11th month) which set the date in perpetuity..

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