Tag Archives: fishes

The Spot Writers – “The Botanical Mystery Writer” by Chiara De Giorgi

Welcome to The Spot Writers. August’s prompt is to use these five words in a story or poem: besides, fishes, inn, owing, born.

This week’s story comes from Chiara De Giorgi. Chiara dreams, reads, edits texts, translates, and occasionally writes in two languages. She also has a lot of fun.

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 The Botanical Mystery Writer by Chiara De Giorgi

 “If you need me, I’ll be at the inn!”

I stepped outside and strode to the car. As soon as I sat behind the wheel, I regretted my words. The whole point of me staying at the inn for a few days was to get away, to have more space, to be quiet and finally be able to concentrate and write. The twelve chapters I was owing to my editor were screaming to be written, but there was always something more urgent, more important, more… I don’t know.

It was so frustrating! I had been so happy, when my agent had called me! Guess what? I sold your botanical mystery series! It’ll be a success, I tell you! It is as if you were born to be a botanical mystery writer! Yeah, well: apparently I was also born to be the wild card for my family, especially after that fateful phone call.

The advance from the publisher was good enough for me to quit my job as an underpaid waitress at the lousy diner just outside town, and my brother and sisters were quick to take advantage of the situation, Since you’re not working, please take Mother to the doctor’s tomorrow. Since you’re not working, please be a good auntie and pick up the twins after ballet class. Since you’re not working, please go to the grocery store and buy food for everyone. And so on. I’ve been so busy with everybody else’s needs, I haven’t had the time to sit down and write, yet. And my first deadline is coming up, in just a week. That’s why I booked a quiet room at the inn in the woods. I shouldn’t have told them.

Stupid, stupid, stupid, I muttered while driving up the winding road. They had never taken me seriously, neither me nor my ambition to become a writer. This world needs people who work with their hands, not people who play with their words. Why don’t you do something useful, something worthy? Do you really think you’ll be able to live off your books? And what’s a botanical mystery, anyway?

I gripped the steering wheel and grunted. Oh, I so wanted to show them! Maybe they’d been boycotting me on purpose.

Suddenly I pushed the brake pedal. I had never noticed that sign before: a B&B right up the hill. Not the inn everybody knew about. The sign said “B&B He Fishes – The Perfect Retreat – 4 miles”. If I met fishermen, they could assist me with the plot twist I was considering, which involved the attempted murder of a fisherman. The B&B was only four miles on the left, while the inn was twelve miles up north. It would save me precious time, besides being somewhere nobody would be able to find me.

I quickly typed a message and sent it to all my siblings: “If you need me, I WON’T be at the inn”. Then switched off the phone and turned left.

***

The Spot Writers—Our Members:

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Phil Yeats: https://alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com

Chiara De Giorgi: https://chiaradegiorgi.blogspot.com/

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C.A. MacKenzie is the author of (among other books) the novel WOLVES DON’T KNOCK, a psychological drama/thriller, available from the author or at various retailers including Amazon [https://www.amazon.com/Wolves-Dont-Knock-C-MacKenzie/dp/1927529387/].

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The Spot Writers – “Fair Treatment?” by Phil Yeats

Welcome to The Spot Writers. August’s prompt is to use these five words in a story or poem: besides, fishes, inn, owing, born.

Today’s post comes from Phil Yeats. Last December, Phil (using his Alan Kemister pen name) published his most recent novel. Tilting at Windmills, the second in the Barrettsport Mysteries series of soft-boiled police detective stories set in an imaginary Nova Scotia coastal community is available on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Tilting-Windmills-Barrettsport-Mysteries-Book-ebook/dp/B07L5WR948/

***

“Fair Treatment?” by Phil Yeats

I sat in the country inn waiting for my co-conspirators. Did anyone besides me harbour doubts about our plans for the evening? Our target was beyond redemption, a privileged individual born to wealth but no more than a petty criminal, a conman owing money to everyone. And his latest scheme, if it succeeded, would destroy the town and impoverish all its citizens. We’d exhausted all other options, but was it right that tonight he would sleep with the fishes?

***

The Spot Writers—Our Members:

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Phil Yeats: https://alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com/

Chiara De Giorgi: https://chiaradegiorgi.blogspot.com/

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C.A. MacKenzie is the author of (among other books) the novel WOLVES DON’T KNOCK, a psychological drama/thriller, available from the author or at various retailers including Amazon [https://www.amazon.com/Wolves-Dont-Knock-C-MacKenzie/dp/1927529387/].

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The Spot Writers – “Go Fish” by Cathy MacKenzie

Welcome to The Spot Writers. August’s prompt is to use these five words in a story or poem: besides, fishes, inn, owing, born.

This week’s story comes from Cathy MacKenzie. Cathy’s novel, WOLVES DON’T KNOCK, a psychological drama, is available from her locally or on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Wolves-Dont-Knock-C-MacKenzie/dp/1927529387/

MISTER WOLFE (the sequel) coming soon!

***

“Go Fish” by Cathy MacKenzie

Amber looked up toward the large blue-shingled house, which was so unfamiliar to her. What little they’d moved into the house two days previous was in disarray. The bulk of their furniture and other possessions weren’t due to be delivered for another week. Until then, the family would sleep at the Riverside Inn and spend days at the house.

According to her mother, there was plenty to do at the new house. “Dad has to mow the lawn, and I have to clean,” she’d said. “You kids can organize your rooms.” She had smiled. “And play, too. Summer will soon be over.”

Right, Amber thought. Organize our rooms? What is there to organize?

She was thankful she didn’t have to deal with school the same time as the move. But Labour Day would soon be upon them, marking the end of summer vacation. Luckily, her parents had bought a house in the same neighbourhood, so she and her brother, Julien, would still be attending the same schools.

Her mother couldn’t understand why it had to take so long for their furniture to be packed up and delivered. “Spencer, why don’t we rent a truck and move ourselves? This is ridiculous,” she had spouted. “We’re less than ten blocks away, for Pete’s sake.”

Apparently, the end of July was the busiest time for movers in their area, and Amber’s father wouldn’t admit he had procrastinated calling the moving company. She knew he had messed up when she overheard him arguing on the telephone with the company. She was glad he’d apologized or they might never have gotten a moving date.

Amber liked their new house, which was much larger than their previous one. The grounds were more spacious, too. Numerous colourful flowers grew alongside the house, mostly all foreign to her, although she did recognize the daisies.

And, of course, she was familiar with rose bushes that bordered one side of the fish pond.

But what good was a fish pond without fish?

“I can’t believe there’s no fish,” she said, glancing at her brother.

“Yeah, according to Dad, the previous owner said they died.”

“I don’t know why we can’t get more.”

Julien sighed. “Mom can’t be bothered. She figures Dad won’t help out and then it’ll all fall on her. In the spring she said we can get some. She hates the thought of them in the cold all winter. You know her.”

“But goldfish are supposed to survive over the winter. Though I don’t know how.”

“You’re supposed to make sure there’s a hole in the ice so the fish can breathe while they hibernate.”

“If they hibernate, why do they need a hole in the ice?”

Julien glared at her. “I don’t know. Just what I’ve read.”

“Dad says you read too much.”

“Yeah, well Mom says you daydream too much.”

She ignored him and stared into the pond. She shook the unopened container of fish food, which she had grabbed off the shelf in the garage.

“I’m going to sprinkle some food on the water. Maybe if the other people had fed them, they’d still be alive.”

“No sense feeding dead fish,” Julien said.

Ignoring her brother, she unscrewed the lid and sprinkled flakes on the water.

“It’s probably old. That’s why they left it,” Julien said. “Outdated. Not good for anything. And you know what? If the owners said they hadn’t fed the fish for two years, it’s probably more like five. Everyone lies.”

The flakes floated together for a few seconds and slowly separated.

“The poor dead fishes,” Amber said, swiping at her eyes with her left hand. She’d been teary lately, which was unusual for her, probably owing to the stress of the move. She was only twelve, but her hormones would be raging sooner than later. And more tears, she figured.

She shrieked. “Look! What’s that?”

“What’s what?”

“There.” She pointed. “Isn’t that a fish?”

While she watched, another bright orange fish swam alongside.

Another appeared.

And a fourth.

The last two were a paler orange. Almost translucent.

“I don’t believe it,” Julien said. “They can’t have survived for this long.”

“Look, they’re jumping at the food. We have to go tell Mom.”

“No, we can’t tell her. She’s got enough on her mind. Besides, if you tell her, she’ll freak about them all winter long.”

“What, then? We don’t tell anyone they’re here?”

“We’ll just come down and feed them every day. Then, over the winter, we’ll make sure there’s a hole in the ice. We can surprise Mom in the spring, once the snow is gone.”

“Mom wasn’t born yesterday. Don’t you think she’ll find out?”

“How will she find out? Besides, once she knows these fish survived, she’ll be more receptive to getting more.”

“What about Dad? Should we tell him?”

“No, Dad’ll only tell Mom. They don’t have secrets, remember.”

“Yeah, right.” She’d heard her parents talk enough about how marriages shouldn’t have secrets, no matter how small. She giggled. Her father hadn’t shared the moving van story. “Okay, it’s our secret? No one else’s?”

“Yep, it’s our secret.”

“Oh, I love secrets,” Amber said, already anticipating telling her mother. She might even tell her the moving van secret.

***

The Spot Writers—Our Members:

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Phil Yeats: https://alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com

Chiara De Giorgi: https://chiaradegiorgi.blogspot.ca/

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C.A. MacKenzie is the author of the novel WOLVES DON’T KNOCK, a psychological drama/thriller, available from the author or at various retailers, including Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Wolves-Dont-Knock-C-MacKenzie/dp/1927529387/.

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