It’s Friday and time for my Guest Writer Spot, which gives writers the opportunity for their work to be seen and read by others. I accept stories, poems, articles – in fact, anything and everything. All you have to do is make sure your prose is no longer than 2000 words and your poems no more than 40 lines. If you would like some of your writing to be featured on my blog, please contact me here or by e-mail: email@example.com
This week, Donny Marchand is my guest writer. He’s featured a couple of times in my Friday slot but if you haven’t come across his work before, here’s a little bit about him, in his own words:
‘I have only started writing for publication a short time ago, and been fortunate to have had some modest success, in the placement of my work.
‘I have had four short stories published in a magazine entitled ‘Dimdima’ whose main office is in Mumbai, India. Two articles published in a newspaper, ‘UK Column’ who are based in Plymouth,UK, and one short story in a magazine ‘Stories for Children’ out of the U.S.A.’
Here’s his character-driven story:
Morgan chucked the day’s catch into the sack, threw it over his shoulder, and headed down the beach towards his shack as the setting sun nestled itself down on the horizon. Scuffing his bare feet through the sand as he trundled along was a ritual he took great pleasure in. Spraying the grains about was one of many boyish games he had never grown out of. A large jovial robust man he was slow-moving but not at all cumbersome. Like all the other natives on the tropical isle of Nirvana Cay, he didn’t see the need to be in a hurry.
As was his usual, he would stop off at Pop Remsey’s on his way home and part with some of his fish. The sullen, cantankerous old beachcomber found it difficult to stray too far from his lean-to these days and provide for himself, so Morgan felt it was only right to share some of his haul with him. Everybody neets help when they gets past dere prime was Morgan’s motto, and he adhered to it without the slightest bit of resentment.
The red snapper was always Pop’s choice and that suited Morgan just fine, as he preferred the grunt. On Fridays, one or two of the snappers always had to be saved for Catfish Tom, Morgan’s best friend who would mosey over to his place on that evening, as was always their custom to jabber away, eat and drink. The deal was, if Morgan would supply the snapper Tom would provide the yams and a bottle of rum. Of course the crafty old Remsey always made a big fuss about not getting all the snappers on Fridays, but Morgan knew he was just using one-upmanship to save face at having to take charity. For when he finally relented, the cunning old codger would twist things around as if he was doing Morgan a favour. Morgan on his part, was happy to let him make a meal of it.
“Why you keeps an ole mon waitin’, eh? You want him starve to death?” was Remsey’s bossy greeting.
“Does I hear de devil temptin’ me?” Morgan replied tongue in cheek.
“No you hears de grumblin’ of me stumik.”
“You don’t looks wasted away to me,” Morgan retorted.
“Wots on de outside aren’t always de same as wots on de inside,” snapped Remsey in a patronizing tone.
“Don’t know why I comes round here, let lone shares my viddles wid ya,” answered Morgan with a big grin.
Their opening banter had become so routine, that an outsider might have felt it was an obligatory requirement before they started to converse. Normally, it only lasted for a short period of time, but on Fridays it was a different story. On those days Remsey made it a habit to stretch the repartee to the limit, because the old coot knew he would be getting a smaller piece of the pie.
“Don’t see you is hard done,” bleated Remsey, “my door always open to you, ain’t it?”
“You don’t got no door!” exclaimed Morgan.
“Dats not de point, and you knows it.”
“What is de point den?” asked Morgan.
Aiming his finger at the sac, Remsey responded, “Dem fish, dey is de point. Always I helps you out, takin off your hands wots you don’t knows what to do wid. And every Friday you repays me by gypin me out of sum of dem.”
“I tells you over and over dems Fridays extras is for Catfish dats why, buts you doesn’t listen, never.”
“Dats your scuse. Dat womon she’s right.”
“Miss Patience, she says me once dat when dealin’ wit dat Morgan bloke, a person neetun lots a patience.”
“Dats easy for Miss Patience to say, cause dere sure is lots of her,” answered Morgan with an impish smile. Then he picked up his bag, pulled out Remsey’s fish, tossed them on a table and said, “Muss be goin now, Catfish comin’ soon.”
“Catfish, umpf,” griped Remsey.
Morgan chuckled, said his goodbyes and headed on towards his home.
No sign of Catfish yet was good news for Morgan as he arrived at his place. Without any interference from that gabby pest he could get the cooking fire started at his own pace. He placed his sac of fish on the table next to the barbecue, which in reality was an old worn out metal pigs’ trough he had found, covered with a dilapidated rectangular window frame with wire mesh attached across the face of it. Removing the frame out of the way first, he then went to his wood box at the side of his shack and grabbed a load of his saltwater treated driftwood, returned and placed it inside the trough.
“Now, where does I put dem matchus,” he mumbled to himself. He searched all his pockets but they weren’t to be found. Then he remembered he had left them on the shelf inside, so off he went to get them. Returning with the fire sticks, he lit the wood stood back and proudly admired his handiwork. Ten minutes later, up popped Catfish.
“You gots dem embers glowin’ yet Morgan?” asked Catfish as he laid the yams and rum down on the table.
“Deys gettin’ dere, so jus hold you horzes,” Morgan retorted.
Impatient as ever, Catfish started to unwrap the yams he had prepared, and open up the bottle of booze, so Morgan went to get some mugs, plates, and utensils. By the time he got back, Catfish was standing, rum in hand anxiously waiting to pour.
“Keeps ya shirt on,” moaned Morgan, “lets me puts dis stuff down, and checks da fire first.”
“Hurry ups den,” answered an eager Catfish, “we don’t want dis here good hooch to ‘vaporate, now does we.”
A chuckling Morgan placed everything on the table, then held his hand over the barbeque and said, “Ain’t ready yet. Maybe be ‘nother ten minutes or so.”
Catfish shrugged and filled the mugs, handed Morgan his and they made their usual toast while parking their bottoms down into the rickety old chairs that Morgan had put outside his shack for these occasions.
“Stop off te Pops on de way ‘ome did ya?”
“Least I can do for der cranky ole guy is drop off sum fish soes he can eat,” answered Morgan.
“Why you does dat for der miserable ole sod, is baffle to me.”
“Cause he’s all lone an kinda helpless dats why. Truth is, somedays we is gonna be jus like him also.”
“An who gonna help us den?” questioned Catfish cynically.
“Somebody I hopes.”
“You is always such da optomust.”
“If dats whot I is, den dats whot I is. Maybe we bees lucky and gets an optomust takes care us when wheez gets ole.”
Morgan then got up to check the barbeque; decided it was ready, and proceeded to put the yams and fish on to start them cooking.
“Dat still don’t splain why you puts up wid Pops,” said Catfish.
“Wid some folks you just neetun patience,” explained Morgan.
“Well all my patience is in dat bottle, an I only shares it wid my friends,” Catfish jovially answered.
“You bein’ truthful dere,” said Morgan. “And jus soes you doesn’t tries my patience, when da foods need a turnin’ you be da one to gets up an does it.”
Morgan knew that if he let him, Catfish would sit there on his lazy backside all night, and let him do all the work.
“Speakin’ of patience I runs into her in town jus de udder day,” said Catfish.
“Who you talkin’ bout?”
“Miss Patience!” exclaimed Catfish, “she were dere wid dat
bag o’ bones Tootsie Crabtree.”
“You means dat string beans we used call Tootsie Roll?”
“Dat be da one.”
“Dey musta make some sight, I betcha,” sniggered Morgan.
“Yeah,” chuckled Catfish, “da two of dem reminds me of dat rhyme we liked to sung when we wus kids. You knows der one bout, da race and, der pillow case.”
“I used to like dat song,” Morgan replied, implying the picture of the ladies in his mind had put him off it.
“Anyways, says she don’t sees you at da church lately, an wants ta know if you is still ‘round.”
“Whot she means latetly? I aint’s never bin church my whole life. So whot you tell her?”
“I says to her, corse he still ‘round, I sees him Fridays at his place all weeks.”
“You gonna gets me plenty suffrin’ wid you big mout. You doesn’t says where I lives does you?”
“Doesn’t have to, cause she already knows. Says she gonna come visit you not too long now,” and with a broad grin across his face Catfish continued, “me suspec’ she’s lookin’ to you for da husband.”
“Lord has mercys on ma soul!” Morgan cried out.
As the night rolled by they continued to drink, eat, and chew the fat till the wee hours of the morning, when Catfish headed home, and Morgan went inside to get some sleep.
A reluctant Morgan sat quiet as a mouse, hoping Miss Patience would give up and go away, but his expectancy was to no avail. Repeatedly banging and yelling, “Morgan I knows you in dere, so open up dis door,” her persistence finally won the day, and he acquiesced.
“Miss Patience, how nice to sees you,” said Morgan, while begrudgingly biting the bullet.
“Why you takes so long answer?” snapped Patience.
“I was in da back, didn’t hears you,” Morgan replied.
“Whot you lives in Buckingham Palace now.”
“Ids my ears. Isn’t whot dey wus before, when I jus’ young boy.”
“Sounds fishy story to me.”
“Zactly dat, I was scalin’ dem fish, an when I is doin’ dat I doesn’t listen any udder ting.”
“Well mizzer don’t hears nutin, is you goin’ vite me in?”
Morgan swung the door wide open and gestured for her to enter. Once inside Patience looked all around, gasped and shouted, “How you lives in dis mess? You is shameless!”
“Dis ain’t no mess, dis is how it jus like I wantin’ it. Everyting got it’s place, so I knows where to finds it.”
“It neet one big cleanups for starts.”
“I cleans it myself every New Years day, an dats good ‘nough for me and der fish.”
“Da pigs wouldn’t lives here. Dey’d get sick.”
“Pigs doesn’t stays here, soz don’t matter.”
“One pig does! An whot ‘bout Catfish, he no complain?”
“Me an Catfish everytime sits outside.”
“An dats where we is headin’ rights now,” muttered Patience as she walked outside.
Morgan felt this sudden urge to shut the door behind her, but constrained himself as he knew it wouldn’t do one bit of good. She would just scream, shout, and bang away till he opened up again. Maybe I can run off and hide at Pops or Catfish’s place he thought, but on second reflection he disregarded that idea as fruitless. She’d probably hunt me down and find me anyway, he surmised.
“Well, is you comin’,” growled Miss Patience.
As they sat down, Morgan had to stop himself from laughing as he watched Patience struggle and squirm as she squeezed herself into the chair. It was quite a funny sight, and he couldn’t help but imagine her trying to get out of it, with the chair stuck to her backside.
“Why I don’t sees you te church on Sundays, Morgan?” Patience asked officiously.
“More dan likely, cause I isn’t a church person, “ Morgan retorted.
“Well den you should bees. Give you chance to smarts up, and be ‘spectable. A mon whot dress in da suit can makes someting of himself. Why you wants to looks like da bum alder time?”
“I ain’t gots no suit, and I doesn’t needs one. Der cloths on my back is all I needs to be whot I already is.”
“And whot is dat you being already?”
“I is da fishymon, dats whot I is,” replied Morgan proudly.
“Whot good be a fishymon, ‘cept be da smelliest mon on dis here island.”
“I is happy whot I is, and dats all whot madders. So I be ‘blidged is you would jus ‘cept dat an lets me be.”
“You house a ramshackle, you furniture is fallin’ parts, you duds like hand me downs from hobo, you stinks like der fish, and you ain’t gots no real job, an you tinks all’s ‘bout you life iz jus hunky-dory? Whots wrong wid you mon, git grip on youself. Befores you knows it, one day soons you gonna be ole an ‘crepid, wid no money, an no ones to looks after you. Den where you bees eh?”
“Maybe I gots nutttin’, but one ting I is certains of. I doesn’t neets all dis naggin’. I surely don’ts.”
“I tells you what you sorely neets.”
“You neetun Patience….”
“I sho doz!”