Interrupt – Sunday Photo Fiction

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge presented by my old friend Al Forbes.
The idea is to write a short story (200 word max) inspired by what you see in his picture (below).
When I saw Al’s fairly unambiguous photo today I laughed, because it reminded me of an incident a few months back, before the Mediterranean sun roused herself from winter slumber.
And I rambled on rather lengthily, sorry.
Click on this link to enter your tale, and see what others have written.

Copyright Al Forbes

Copyright Al Forbes

Interrupt

It is cold today.
I am inside the little café in the square.
I lean on the counter, scribbling furiously.
I am in the zone, the story is flowing.
I become aware of a shadow at my shoulder.
I look up, a smile already forming.
I know a lot of good people in my little town on the Mediterranean.
A stranger is trying to read what I am writing.
My smile stays, but doesn’t reach my eyes.
Can I help you, I ask, in French.
What are you doing, he asks in return.
I look meaningfully at the pen in my hand, then at the paper in front of me, covered in words.
I am knitting socks, I say pleasantly.
He shakes his head, staring at my illegible scrawl.
Which is in a language he clearly does not understand.
That is incredible, he says, amazing, unbelievable.
I grunt, shrug, already bored with him.
My eyes and thoughts go back to the page.
You must have a beautiful heart, he continues, that is fantastic.
No, I respond curtly, it is just writing, it is what I do.
I am really impressed, he enthuses, I have never met a writer before.
Are you trying to wind me up, I ask, less pleasantly.
No, no, he insists, this – he indicates the spidery hieroglyphics that fill the pages spread before me – this is awesome.
The word he uses is ‘énorme’, literally ‘huge’, but used colloquially in this sense.
I pause.
Be nice, I tell myself.
Thank you, I say to him, then turn back to my story.
Are you writing a novel, he persists.
I am not writing anything, I tell him.
He looks at me in astonishment, the question in his eyes.
I grin.
Too many interruptions, I say.

About ceayr

A Scot who has discovered Paradise in a small town he calls Medville on the Côte d'Azur, C.E. Ayr has spent a large part of his life in the West of Scotland and a large part elsewhere. His first job was selling programmes at his local football club and he has since tried 73 other career paths, the longest being in IT, with varying degrees of success. He is somewhat nomadic, fairly irresponsible and, according to his darling daughter, a bit random.
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23 Responses to Interrupt – Sunday Photo Fiction

  1. julespaige says:

    Ah, perhaps that is why I like to write in more secluded places.
    Fun that it could be nonfiction too.

    Like

  2. I’ve heard more than once this statement that “they are moving away from teaching cursive”. I used to be a teacher who taught cursive. This, in my opinion, will be another enormous blunder made by the U.S. school system. This rates right up there with not teaching the vowels and consonants to help children sound out words. I also never really liked the “New Math”. I had to teach it in Grade 1 when some of the children just sat and looked at me as though I was speaking a foreign language. The math skills of many Americans are now at the bottom of the barrel. How can people sign documents if they can’t write cursive? Real life isn’t Star Trek. What happens if the computers go down for some reason. Here in India, the electric goes off all day in one out of seven days. Power is not limitless in many areas. Ray Bradbury said he got a story idea when he was in the desert with just a pencil and paper. Are people going to “print” everything by hand? That takes much longer than writing in cursive. Are we all supposed to buy typewriters again and learn touch typing? Good thing I know touch typing as it may come in even handier if I have to go back to a typewriter. We take computers for granted, but just ask someone who’s traveled like yourself in some places overseas. Computers don’t work well in many locations, Neither do mobile phones. Now I’ll climb off my soapbox. 🙂 — Suzanne

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    • ceayr says:

      It might be a generation thing, but I agree absolutely with what you say above.
      Children don’t need dumbed down education, they should be stretched, their minds and their imaginations engaged.
      If we just consider what children, all children, learn in the first 2 years of their lives we get an idea of their capacity for development.
      Which most education systems then attempt to suppress, in order to make them all the same.
      Thank you, Suzanne, for your passionate if somewhat off topic comment!

      Like

  3. mandibelle16 says:

    Liked this CE. I can picture you writing and frustrated with this man. Many people do not understand writer’s need a bit of silence and concentration to write. They forget you are writing, and pepper you with questions as you work, as with this guy. Relatable piece for sure. This happens to me too 🙂

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    • ceayr says:

      Interruptions are inevitable here, the locals always stop to shake hands and say hello, ca va.
      But the occasional stranger is persistent and almost annoying.
      Although in your case it is probably an excuse to talk to the pretty young lady.
      Glad you enjoyed and could picture the scene.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “As they move away from teaching cursive in schools in N. America, your pen scratching will become more of an entertainment should you head to NYC!,” she laughed. “I write cursive and the story brought more than one smile! People, tapping away on their tablets and phones have looked at my notebook and pen a tad odd at times,” she added.

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  5. Dahlia says:

    Haha – knitting socks! I wonder if the man got the point?

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  6. Graham Lawrence says:

    Probably not French humour 😉 I laughed out loud.

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  7. This is something I could definitely see happening as I was reading it. Love the images that you paint with your words 🙂

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  8. Anja says:

    Some things just never change 🙂

    Like

  9. Haha knitting socks. Brilliant. I read that, hearing your voice. I like that story. I think that is the way I would have responded as well.

    I am running out of images to use. It won’t be long before I go to ones that look similar to ones I have used before. Although I am attempting to avoid birds 😉

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      Glad you enjoyed, Al, it can be a struggle to stay polite sometimes.
      Is your camera puffed out?
      Will I smuggle a few secret shots across La Manche under cover of darkness?

      Liked by 1 person

      • My camera is tired. I can’t seem to take a decent photo at the moment. Although I have been trying again of late. I took a break for a little while so hoping that helps. There was a lot going on with a regatta yesterday and I took a fair few photos then. Although they were from my balcony.

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  10. Dear CE,

    Knitting socks made me think of Mad Magazine’s snappy answers to stupid questions. The last line also made me laugh. Love the dialogue. I could imagine this scene.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    PS Back to my own knitting.

    Like

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