The Bartlett School – part 7 of 7 2/9/2019

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George couldn’t help thinking about those “Bad times,” Jan had fleetingly referred to. Everyone goes through “Bad Times”. His mind started to work overtime. Just how bad and bad how? Now he was starting to sound like a jealous lover he thought. I hope this guy’s got better things to do, he projected.

“Jan, I just happened to be in town collecting some antiques for our new season and heard you were here. How lucky is that!” Paul said exuberantly. Yah, how very lucky, George grumbled to himself. Jan smiled and had to agree. “So! George! Are you planning to stick around? I thought I’d take Jan off your hands to see the town. Don’t get to these little places very often.” Little places my Ass, George thought. Some sort of big time Jerk. “Um” George stumbled. Quick George think! “Well Jan and I have plans for Dinner.” He smartly quipped. “Good! I’ve heard there’s a great little Vegan restaurant not far from here! I’ll join you. On me!” he pumped. George was now in panic mode. “Why don’t we finish our lunch?” he smartly suggested. “Will you have a something?” “I’ve had my lunch.” Stated Paul, “One lunch per day will suffice, but Thanks.” George was at a loss for words. “Look! I’ll let you guys finish up with your school business, however important that could be, and meet up with you later. Say three o’clock?” he questioned. “Fine!” George said happily. Better qualify that George thought. “Too bad you can’t stay.” He quickly added, trying to be sincere. “Well Jan my dear, I guess later it is! Be back at 3 on the nose!” he added. He’s currently got one damn lucky nose right now, George imagined. One DAMN lucky nose. “

This, time Paul swung OUT, of the room hailing good-bye to the crowd. George waved a happy anon.

Jan had been sitting there watching George’s futile attempts to put Paul off. “George, come sit by me.” She patted the couch next to her. The animal in him obeyed happily. No whimpering! George! NO WHIMPERING! as he sat close.  “George.”, she reassuringly said, “Paul is just a dear old friend. As simple as that.” she put. “It was frankly nice to see him after all these years. He’s harmless.” George considered this for a moment but quickly concluded HARMLESS as my great aunt’s cat! “Oh, I understand Jan, just a good friend from way back.” He smiled, as thou he understood. “It’s time!” cried Carl. “Let’s not let our fearless leader wait! Off to the foyer! Shall we.” What now he thought.

As the group gathered slowly everyone was curious. Murmurs here and there and some pretty sarcastic remarks were dismissed. “Settle down please! Settle down.” Demanded our fearless leader. Just then everyone gasped at the sight of a mystery guest striding towards them. Who could this be? Jan looked at George and George shrugged. “Ladies and Gentlemen! Please settle down.” The man was tall and lanky, all dressed in black. He had a monkey on his back. His face was painted with black and white stripes. “A rather unusual man” whispered George to Jan. “Unusual is putting it mildly” added Jan as she grasped his hand. I kind of like this guy, mused George, as he tightened his grip.

“OK, here’s the happy surprise!” This fine gentleman will be our host for this evening’s proceedings. “We are having a Murder Mystery Night tonight! The room gasped. I expect all of you to participate. No excuses allowed. We will be passing out your character descriptions and a general scenario for the evening. We will begin at precisely 7 p.m., at which time a formal dinner will be served on the auditorium stage. Any questions?” He acted like he was merely announcing an upcoming recess, George pondered. “What should I wear?” A despondent Jerry cried from the back. “How long will this thing last?” from another. Carl almost fainted he looked so white. Questions flew! Suddenly the Monkey got excited and started screeching. Jan’s grip got tighter as she slid closer to him. George’s mind then started to wander but quickly came to, when the man in black threw up his massive arms and waved his cape into the air. Silence suddenly prevailed. “Well! If you’ll all now return to your classes, we can get on with our day. Your instructions will be disbursed accordingly. Should you need any assistance please proceed to the office.” Slowly the group disbursed. Jan’s hand slipped back to her side, as she calmed. George secretly stretched his fingers trying to get the circulation back. “What now?” Jan whispered, with a twinkle in her eyes. George shrugged his shoulders and said with a smile, “Just another day, but a whole lot better than the last.” “Shall we?”

©J.E.Goldie 2/08/2019

“I don’t think there’s any difference between a crush and profound love. I think the experience is that you dissolve your sentries and your battalions for a moment and you really do see that there is this unfixed free-flowing energy of emotion and thought between people, that it really is there.” Leonard Cohen

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The Bartlett School – Part 5 of 5, 2/2/2019

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George chose a lovely bench near the small pond that they’d installed the previous year. “It was stocked with mature Koi fish hoping we’d have a pond full.” He said. “What we didn’t know is, that Koi eat their young. Luckily not all of them. Will you just look at those Koi Jan.” he smiled proudly. “They say they can live to be over 100 years old. Imagine that!” She glanced sweetly at George. “Yes, I know. We had quite a few at the Shaw. One, in particular, visited us every Summer for years then Wintered at home in a tank. I think he really liked his summer home.” “You were at The Shaw? Wow that’s interesting.” “The Shaw, yes” she responded hesitantly, not wanting to continue this line of questioning, Jan quickly changed the subject. “So, George aside from teaching your way into oblivion for the last 20 years, what else have you been up to….

“BUZZED YA!” came a call from behind, it was Carl yet again, bow flocking tie and all. “Shouldn’t you be in class Carl?” “Oh no,” he offered, my kids are all caught up for the day! Time for me to play.”  I almost commented on his lousy attempt at poetry but that would have been kind. “You two should come along with us to see the puppet act across the park. They say it’s grand! We’ve got time!” he offered exuberantly. Jan quickly piped up “George! That would be lovely! Lets!” Well I guess, “Yes let’s” was all I could say. “Lead the way Carl!” I added, only because it was the polite thing to say. Jan happily, jumped up and grabbed Carl’s arm, an arm I wanted to remove permanently. “Let’s go see the magic!” I added, trying to pretend I was truly interested. “It’ll be great George!” she beamed. That’s all I needed from Jan. A little beam of radiant sunshine! he mused, isn’t life grand! He suddenly felt light. Lighter, younger and filled with hope. “Onward!” he commanded. Now is the time for all good men, something or other, he thought. He bolstered his wit, cleverly bowed, and added with a smile, “My Lady and Gent”, he offered with a dramatic jester. OH! Man, oh man. Cool it George! He felt a light blush coming on. Jan raised a brow and he winked.

A crowd had already gathered. Laughter was ringing through the air, the pre-school kids were giggling and laughing so hard tears were running down their cheeks. All seemed well with his world.

“Looking a tad dark over there!” commented a man from the lawn. “Don’t call for rain.” someone added. “Hasn’t rained in weeks and we’ve been needing some.” another quipped. Carl in his usual commanding way, suggested we might find some cover, just in case. “Nice big tree over there.” He pointed. “Carl! That’s the most ridiculous suggestion I’ve heard in, I dunno. Under a tree in a storm?” Carl cringed. Jan rolled her eyes.

“I said I heard a rumbling!” cried a disgruntled old codger. His wife looked over her too thick glasses, pursed her lips and hushed him up with a stare that could stop a lion in its tracks. Even I felt intimidated. “George?” Jan whispered. “Maybe we should go back to the school. I’m also sure I heard some rumbling. I think he’s right.” I looked around, Jan looked at me and Carl, well, Carl just looked. Decision time, I thought. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. “Oh heck!” he decided. “We can sit this out for a bit longer.” Didn’t seem to be bothering anyone else, as he checked the heavens once more. Beautiful day!

What’s that saying? Don’t count your chickens?  

BOOM! All hell broke loose! Kids were screaming, puppets were flying, and the old man was cursing like the devil himself. Blankets and picnic baskets were rolling around like tumble weeds. “GEEZZ George!” shouted Carl, “Nice decision! I told ya we should a moved sooner!” Suddenly Carl sounded like he was going to cry. “Carl!” I said quietly trying to calm him, “It’s OK fella, just a little rain.” “Look! My suit! My bow tie! All ruined!” he wept. Jan gathered herself quickly as they hurried through the rain and thunder. “Carl?” I offered sincerely. “That fine suit and that first-class bow tie of yours never looked better.” Carl smiled.

©J.E.Goldie 2/2/2019

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✨Happy New Year 2019!✨

It’s been just over a month since I started this Blog. I had no preconceived ideas about what to expect.

          My message is a positive one. I have come to love the responses I am privileged to receive. Indeed, I am delighted when so many of you who follow, do respond. I have read some wonderfully written prose, poems and stories. I have read some brilliant and honest insights. I have laughed and cried.

          My initial exposure to social media was a long time ago and my, how things have changed. Sometimes I wonder if its better. There were no ADS, no hidden agendas, no public postings and no messenger, telling you your messages were being ignored or not responded to. It was simply sharing ideas, knowledge and a kind of communal friendship. Peace and harmony generally prevailed.

Bottom line is:

I’d like to thank all my followers for their support. As writers, designers or whatever your medium or philosophy is, we need to know at least one person is reading our posts.

May the coming year bring you all your hopes and dreams, your good health and friendships!

Love Jen 💜

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