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Rated: E · Book · Opinion · #2314225
A repository for prompted blog/writing interpretations.
#1065619 added March 8, 2024 at 12:33pm
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Ol' Man Pike
PROMPT: Move your body, pike...
         Myrtle and Hester wheezed just enough to indicate their lungs were under a bit of stress. Not too much mind. They could still gasp out a flowing conversation as they power-walked down the retirement home's expansive hallway. At least they considered their efforts to be a power-walk. Their heads were tilted to one side and they endeavoured to lift their feet in a timely manner, one might say briskly. They also remembered to pump their arms , but that proved difficult only because they needed to hitch up their drooping sweat pants and wave at their fellow retirees.
         "I say Myrtle, isn't that ol' man Pike?"
         "Hmmm, dear?"
         Myrtle had just taken note of Mildred's new hair colour de jour, a startling mauve and it almost snatched her breath away.
         "You remember him. That ghastly man with the pointed snout and the large, jutting teeth. Wasn't he fond of brandishing a long, pointed stick at us? I mean we only were in his yard to gather up a few apples. All the kids helped themselves and he just let them rot."
         Myrtle seemed not to hear, so Hester did the unexpected. She threw one arm out and across her friend's ample chest. As Myrtle stumbled and pulled at her wayward pants she glanced at Hester.
         "What 're you doing? The cookies wait for no woman. I do hope they aren't crumbly raisin. Mildred will beat us to the window table and be all smug about it. She likes to hide the sugar cubes, too and you know very well I simply cannot sip my tea without them."
         "Look. It's Ol' man Pike sitting by the reception desk. Don't you see his resemblance to the fish? The pointed snout?"
         Myrtle couldn't help herself, she tsk-tsked.
         "It's not polite dear to refer to his rather prominent nose as a snout. I'd describe it as hooked. I think of fish having bulging eyes and pursed bubble-blowing lips. But, yes, that does seem to be ol' man Pike. What is he, pushing one-hundred?"
         "I thought he was a hundred back when. Old grouch. You'd be all scaly too if you floundered that long."
         "Is he moving in? Where did you learn about the pike anyway? I don't recall you so much as baiting a fish hook."
         Hester shrugged. "One night in the t.v. room I watched the Discovery Channel. George clutches that remote and won't give it up for anyone. He's got a death grip on that thing. We could have viewed the latest episode of The Bachelor, but no, we learned about stinking pike."
         Myrtle whistled. "The hunky former diver? I'd swim with him anywhere, anytime. Wait, you know what else a pike is?"
         "Oh please enlighten me. It may be a trivia question come game night. I bet Mildred and George haven't a clue."
         "Okay you asked for it. A pike is a type of dive. I never tried it myself, you know, heights and all that."
          Hester giggled and several rheumy eyes stared.
         "We did a hasty decidedly ungraceful dive over ol' man Pike's cedar fence. You landed with your dress bunched around your head and your scrawny legs flailing in the air."
          "Those apples were full of worms. Mom wanted to know where I'd picked them. Should we stop and say hello? There must be a statute of limitations or with any luck memory loss."
         Straightening their clothing and patting their hair Myrtle and Hester sidled over to the newest resident slumped in a wheelchair. They cleared their throats with a subtle ahem and the man before them acknowledged their presence with a familiar glare.
         He rasped, "What's this then coming down the pike? Do I know you?"
          Both women shook their permed heads and stammered a greeting.
         "It's a pleasure to meet you Mister Pike," they chorused as if rehearsed.
         "Where's my stick? They took away my bloody stick. Have you seen it?"
         "It may be in your room. Those porters snatch up everything. Anywho, welcome. Perhaps apple pie will be on the menu today."
         "Apple? Why d'ya say that? I was warned not to bring any apples. Kids always after my apples. Chased them away I did. Two girls in particular were relentless. Didn't appreciate my pike either. Wife said it was just a stick. What did she know from nothin'?"
         "I'm certain we'll see you again after you've settled in. We must be off. Pressing matters at hand and all that."
         Myrtle tugged at Hester's sleeve and jerked her head in an unmistakable nod.
         As they resumed their journey to the dining room where tea awaited Hester murmured, "That's a relief. We've not been outed. Our reputations have not proceeded us. I feel like extending my arms over my head and cheering, don't you?"
         In reply, Myrtle the former English teacher snickered.
         "That specific move is also a pike. Silly old language, eh?"
( 820 words )

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