Mountain Creek Station

Bill Holland has issued a writing challenge, and I apparently will do anything to get out of the slightest bit of yard work this morning. So, I jotted down a quick story. As with Mark Twain for those that try to find a message here - oh, he said it better.

“Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.

BY ORDER OF THE AUTHOR
per
G.G., CHIEF OF ORDNANCE”
― Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huck Finn


"A Writing Challenge: Are You Up For It?"

http://hubpages.com/literature/A-Writing-Challenge-Are-You-Up-For-It

When you are done with your entry, publish it on HP, of course, but also email me at holland1145@yahoo.com and let me know you published. I don't want to accidentally miss an entry.

Source

Mountain Creek Station

“After they built the wall, and gathered up all those with any knowledge of the crop or the harvest the walnuts fell to the ground. Only the crows got fat. That is the season the railroad closed down the spur as there was no crop to carry.” Eleanor sat on the front porch and told the story of what happened to her beloved, Mountain Creek Station, to her youngest son, Henry.

The boy sat dragging a knife blade over a length of walnut branch. Little spirals from the pile of shavings at his feet, rolled lazily along the covered porch tumbled by the first breeze of autumn.

“The Railroad men were the first to leave. Then the grocer closed up shop. Said he had no choice. He handled the mail, so there were no more mail deliveries. People in these parts are stubborn, mighty stubborn. Even after the Sheriff came by and said the county had let him go, people stayed. Many would gather in that old church," she nodded her head in the direction, "and whispered to the shadows, into the night.”

The boy tossed the stick into the dirt. He grabbed another piece of branch and forced the blade across the edge with the energy of youth.

“Many of the young men took to going out into the woods hunting game. Some brought home rabbits and some brought home fowl, but truth is the woods were hunted out years ago. Our living was made in the orchards and the fields. That made it worth the railroads time to send in cars. And where there are men, they got to have laws. And laws gotto have a Sheriff. Do you see what I’m say’n?”

The boy glanced down the dirt road leading into the woods.

“Man from the bank came by and told Jed Hargrove to pay or move. Jed couldn’t pay and the old silo on his place has turned to rust. The bank didn’t have nothing to do with harvesting, but damned if they would let the payments slide. Made no sense to me. Men and their thinking.”

The noise from an engine drifted to the ears of the boy.

“When things started gett’n really down, seems like they deliberately start a war with someone, just to give the young men somethin’ to do. That brought an end to the rabbit and fowl hunting in a big hurry. You could hear a bunch of flag waving talk on the radio, when we could get the reception.”

“Walk with me over to where your Pa and his Pa are resting.” Eleanor stood and walked down the wooden steps. Their feet rustled through fallen leaves. The sound brought solace to Eleanor. The boy just kicked leaves.

They paused at the stones that marked the lives of their loved ones. They both whispered beneath their breaths. They both surveyed their idle orchards. Trees with their wavering bare branches, sent a chill through Eleanor.

The sound of the engine drew closer. Henry ran to the middle of the dirt road to see if he could see what was coming.

Eleanor touched her fingers to her lips and kissed them. She rested her fingers on the top of her husband's stone for a moment. Then moved to his father’s stone and did the same. At the stone of her first child she knelt and wept a moment and leaned and kissed the stone.

Henry, turned, “They’re here. They’re here.”

Eleanor stood and walked towards her son. She saw the automobile approaching. “Come with me,” she said turning back toward the porch.

Henry did as he was asked. “Ma, why are you crying?”

She patted her son on the shoulder, bent down and picked up their bags that were sitting on the front porch.

Once inside the car, Henry turned and looked out the back window. He saw the bare branches of the walnut trees waving their goodbyes.

Mountain Aires - Old Joe Clark

Dolly Parton-In My Tennessee Mountain Home

Other contributors

Majestic Mountain:
http://hubpages.com/relationships/Majestic-Mountain

Riding The Rails- Short Story - A Challenge by Bill Holland

http://hubpages.com/literature/Riding-The-Rails-Short-Story

Lookout Mountain

http://hubpages.com/literature/Lookout-Mountain




© 2016 mckbirdbks

More by this Author


Comments 91 comments

AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 3 months ago from California

I am loving this response to Bill's challenge Mike--your sense of diction in this piece is just wonderful--


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

OK.....another brilliant work of art by Mike.....I think I'll go delete my amateur crap now.

Awesome.....probably a winner. Of course, a winner. Who said you could enter this anyway, Mike? LOL......Peace, Paula


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Thanks Audrey - this was just an exercise prompted by Bill's challenge that I saw on Facebook this morning. It was nice to have the pictures selected and some guidelines.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Paula - In the fine print, Bill states he is the judge. So, no worries. You call him 'bro' - hint, hint, you have the inside track. Thanks for climbing over the mountain to glance into this contribution.

Thanks for the smile.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 months ago from Southern Illinois

This is a great piece of writing Mike. It was kind of sad, reminded me of stories written after the great depression. I took a completely different direction with my contribution. Funny how we all thought of families that had lost loved ones. Wasn't this fun? I wish more would offer challenges. HINT...


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hi Ruby - Yes, this contribution was deliberately set to feel like the depression era. You flatter my writing. I will go look for your contribution right now.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 months ago from southern USA

Oh, my, Mike, this is a briliant piece of writing! I'm amazed at how quickly you have written this gem in response to Bill's challenge.

This is certainly a winner ... I feel for Bill having to choose a winner.

I would say this is a classic for today's writing, and I recommend it as required reading, so I am sharing.

Bravo!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

I trust Bill to be totally objective because he's everyone's friend and I think he loves us all....Well, there must be some he doesn't love but that's his secret.

BTW, I flew over the mountain, Mike. If I'd climbed I'd still be up there somewhere, probably taking a nap!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 months ago from Olympia, WA

The cream will always rise to the top, my friend, and you are the cream here on HP....big fish in a little pond, but so capable of taking on an ocean. How's that for a metaphor?

Thanks for taking it on. Great story. I'll re-read it later when it is time to choose a winner. Bravo!


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 3 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

Well, the Hubbies are a bitter disappointment... Mike, you are the MASTER of Fiction Writing... and at least, I can say that to our 'peeps'.

This challenge feels like a balm - Bill has great timing. Looking forward to checking out other entries.

This story reminds me of an expression: "Mike, you can write the phone book and you'd do it in a style uniquely your own".

This helps a tiny bit in anticipation of my "Friday downer" as TCD is taking a BRIEF hiatus. No guilt intended! Hugs, mar


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Theresa – I too feel sorry for Bill having to choose a winner. I have read two other contributions and they both are very good. Thanks for such a nice comment. I think you have sent over enough energy for me to walk a mile this morning.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 3 months ago

Mike, I pity poor Bill to choose

The best of the best, if you will

Of the three that I have read

You all fill my muse with dread

When the things I wanted to say

You have all said

I hope my thoughts do not transfer to another

If it does, 'oh brother'

*

*

I love it Mike,

Blessings


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Paula – Yes, I am sure Bill will do his usual outstanding job with this as with all the other task he takes on. I thought I saw you fly over – thanks.

Now, what is this, that you have written enough for 2016. Perhaps a guest post somewhere is in order.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hi Bill - Thanks that is a whale of a metaphor. You pumped some energy into HP. Both Paula and Ruby did great jobs with their contributions. Thanks for the writing prompt.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Good morning Maria – I saw the voting ballad for the Hubbies. They seem to want us to burrow through all the sub-sites to select our choices. My first thought when I looked at the ballad, was, “Haven’t been there.” What is good for them does not appear to be good for us.

Thanks for such a nice compliment. “Chicken Soup For the Phone Book” hmmm

It is only Wednesday, isn’t that a long way from Friday?


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Shyron

.

Bill’s challenge, to all was so clear

Grab hold of the wheel, sit back and steer

You can go far or you can stay near

Tell your muse, she has nothing to fear

.

Put your feet up, pop the top on a beer

Open the laptop, over her shoulder you’ll peer

As your muse, types away at a story we are waiting to hear

Just get her started and be of good cheer


Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia

This is a lesson in short fiction writing, Mike. When I grow up I want to be able to write like you :) A very nostalgic tale and a joy to read. I concede now, but at least I tried :)


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello John. Thanks for the visit. Oh, don't concede! I see you just published something. We can all sit back and see how Bill handles this challenge. I might just pick dart board at twenty feet to make the selection.

Best of luck to all who enter.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 months ago from southern USA

"Brilliant" ...meant : )


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Haha, I knew that!!!!! Happy Thursday.


Suzie HQ profile image

Suzie HQ 3 months ago from Dublin, Ireland

What a powerful and beautifully written piece, Congratulations and best of luck with Sir Bill!


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Suzie HQ, thank you. What a nice compliment.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 months ago from Texas

I like this one, too. It has such an authentic feel to it. Some of you here on HP have such a knack for short stories. I"m trying to catch up on them all because I didn't want to read them before I answered the challenge myself. I' would've been too intimidated to try!


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello shanmarie, no need to be intimidated. We are all here to sharpen our skills as writers and of course for the associations with other creative thinkers. Thank you for considering this story as one worth your time.

Good luck with your contribution.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 3 months ago from Dallas, Texas

You've risen to the challenge on this one, Mike. It's good to see a new line of characters developing within this story. The main character reminds me of the characters photographed by the late Dorthea Lange who documented the lives of the homeless, the unemployed and those ravaged by the depression. She brought the plight of the poor to the limelight of photography and gave them a face. Your narrative is like an illumination of the stories behind the photographs. Nice work.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 months ago from Central Florida

Fiction is definitely your niche, Mike. I enjoyed your story. Sorry I'm late in reading; I wanted to publish mine before reading others so I wouldn't be influenced by others' ideas in response to Bill's challenge.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Peg and thank you. This was a very quick writing exercise.Sometimes it is best to go with the flow. Bill set guideposts every step of the way. I appreciate your visit today.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Sha - I guess I learned a thing or two from a life spent reading. Thanks for the visit. I'll be over soon to read your contribution.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 3 months ago

Mike,

I love your response

I just knew you had it in you

To write with such a punch

And I am thrilled as I can be

To see the poem you wrote back to me

*

*

Again many Blessings to you.

P.S. I love every song Dolly Parton wrote/sang. Thank you.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Shy

I see you stopped by

to say hi

.

you are good at these poems

so, I'll have to try

when I visualize Dolly

my thoughts are, 'oh my'

.

my humor is mellow

and often is dry

I have to stop now

or being to cry


Emese Fromm profile image

Emese Fromm 3 months ago from The Desert

This was so sad and so beautiful.... great story, well written. Wow! I feel lucky to have read it.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Emese Fromm - Thank you, your comment is very kind.


Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

Jo_Goldsmith11 3 months ago

I have so missed reading your work. This is awesome and just as good as others. Really enjoyed your song selection(s) too. I think they fit perfectly entwined with the story.

But this one really hits it home. Enjoyed the read.

Blessings & hugs! ((((((((((( Author Mike ))))))))))))))


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Jo. Bill's challenge has lit a fire under Hubpages. So many have joined in his challenges. He should start his own Web Page, called Billspages.

Thanks for the visit.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Really! You aren't kidding, Mike! Every time I think I've read the last one, another pops up. I need to catch up! This mountain climbing is killing me! Bill, look what you've done! LOL You've created yourself a huge project buddy!


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Good morning Paula. I think a better name than Billspages would be Hollands Landing. What do you think? I have read quite a few contributions to Bill's challenge and also, my emails about comments to 'hubs I am following' has not been this high in a couple of years. Have a beautiful Saturday - heck Sunday too.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

I'm late to the party, it seems. What a cool challenge, Bill. And Mike, you will be, and are, a very hard act to follow. In light of HP's disappointing "Hubbie Awards" (I'm sorry but are they kidding?), this is not just a breath of fresh air -- it's pure oxygen for the writer/reader's soul. I have to agree with Bill in that the cream always rises to the top. I'd hate to compete with you on this one, Mike. I can hear Old Joe's music in your imagery, sense the longing and sadness, and the flow of Eleanor's story that culminates in the bare limbs of the walnut trees that, sadly, do not stand alone. Beautifully done.

Happy Labor Day everyone. :-)


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Well, that is it. No matter how Bill votes, your nice comment here makes me feel like a winner.

I think I figured out what is wrong with HP. It is administered by computer ‘types.’ They like their statistics and have a numbers fetish. I looked at the ballet and was amazed at the amount of research it would take even to cast a vote. Of course I did the research and did cast votes for some quality hubs. It will be surprising to see if any one hub received more than one vote. I was shocked to see who many splinter web sites that HP broke into. I wish them well.

Bill mentioned he found a new site (Niume) and John (Jodah) founded a new site (Creative Exiles).

Your comment has me reeling.

...

Happy Labor Day everyone.


cam8510 profile image

cam8510 3 months ago from Columbus, Georgia until the end of November 2016.

Mike, there have been so many different approaches to the prompts, it is becoming a showcase of the talent of creative writers on this site. You have mined the emotional and social conditions of a town that is literally disappearing. This is outstanding writing which I will be looking at again to see how you develop your characters so well. That happens to be one of my weaknesses. Thanks for participating and giving us such a fine story.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello cam8510. Here in this piece, and with no conscious intention, not a word was said about the characters. Much was implied. The mother was older, old enough to have lost a husband, and her oldest child – yet young enough to have a young son at home. She refers to the young men hunting in the woods. The reader has filled in all the blanks. I have been aware of the power of the reader since I joined Hubpages. The comments often ‘teach me’ about writing. All the best with your writing. And thank you for such a strong comment.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 3 months ago from Toronto, Canada

Well, Mike, you had me at Hello. By "Hello" I mean shameless and unwarranted threats to persons attempting to commit unspeakable crimes.

Honestly, when I saw Mark Twain's quote - all was said. No motive, no moral and no plot - the story is perfect.

A little aside: I have just encountered a mere mention of Mark Twain's attitude towards motives, but I did not know the whole quote, so for that - thank you (persons attempting to find meaning in my words must be .... [fill in the blank]) - that is my Mountainous challenge to the rest of the world, may it rest in peace.

Your story is perfect. The problem with perfection, however...

However short your story is, most lines sent me thinking about too many things that we have discussed previously, like ages ago - when most things and institutions mentioned in your story - were already malfunctioning.

the one about the banks "having none of it" -

The bank didn’t have nothing to do with harvesting, but damned if they would let the payments slide. -

And young men being sent to war -

“When things started gett’n really down, seems like they deliberately start a war with someone, just to give the young men somethin’ to do"

and the whole apocalyptic, shall I say "mood" hoping not to be shot. Metaphorically, of course. What would be done to persons attempting to find metaphors? Can't be shot twice, can they? Even though the repetition will constitute a motif. Sadly. Or gladly. Or both.

I hope my comment did not violate any ground rules set by Mark Twain as I hold him in high esteem whether it is allowed or not.

To reiterate, (a motif), your story is perfect and I would gladly proclaim you a winner because on the one hand, I have no intention of reading other people's "homework" and on the other, I know that choice makes us utterly unhappy. It's not having not enough of choice that brings us to ruination, but the excess of it. Sometimes to choose between two things is a challenge. So, I like to choose from one option.

Damn! I did not want to write a long comment, but I guess it is my writing voice - either keep the lid on or have all of it.

And to conclude my prelude - why it was Mark Twain that caught my eye - remember when I mentioned one interpretation of Sleeping Beauty as a person having trouble sleeping and needing sleeping aid?

It was from the book about Fairy Tales and I made a mountainous mistake by renting it. From day one and every night I have nightmares and I only managed to get through 15%. What did I expect exactly from the book titled "Off with Their Heads. Fairy Tales and the Culture of Childhood"?

Curiosity was behind all of it. As it turns out as far as little people were concerned - curiosity and disobedience were capital crimes and most offenses lead to deaths of the little perpetrators portrayed in all its gory details.

The first nightmare was - I was disembarking off the boat (the pirate boat which brought its human cargo either so be sold into slavery or worse, subjected to painful and prolonged deaths) somehow hearing and trying to run towards the voice saying "Canadian citizens this way, quickly", but, of course I did not make it and a certain fate was looming over when I decided that I cannot let it happen to both of my children, a boy and a girl, seven years of age approximately. So I decided to kill them myself to spare a certain you know what. I was strangling the girl first and seeing all that I saw in her face... When I woke up, it was this detail about strangling children that I did not have that bothered me the most until I realized that I was strangling Hansel and Gretel.

That story will never be same for me.

The moral?


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Svetlana – you caught me preaching, as I would expect, from someone that served in the hills with me, in the rebel camps. (Inside joke, folks.) Your comment suggests to me what midnight discussions would have been like had we attended university together. Of course you attended, as I, well…..

Mark Twain has always been a favorite with me. He maintained his humorous, public attitude, while all around him his life was a string of tragedies. You likely have read extensively and Mark Twain deserves a place on everyone’s bookshelf.

Let me take a moment to applaud Bill Holland, as his challenge has brought some many back, if even for a moment to Hubpages. I would not be shocked (well, maybe) if Twilight Lawn stopped by with his dry visions.

In the old variety shows, there was a common act where someone would come out and get one dinner plate, after another spinning on old narrow rods. The idea struck me, is that how our world is run. Everything looks like it is going well, as long as someone with good reactions keeps the momentum up. Often the plates start to crash to the ground and break. We saw a lot of plate breaking in 2008, 2009, 10-11etc. So, yes, we have discussed this during all those long nights at the cafés and coffee house.

I have it on good authority that there are good choices. Nothing first hand, understand, but you can look around and see that some people have made choices, that brought them glimpses of happiness.

You have a beautiful writing voice, and are welcome to comment anytime.

As for, "Off with Their Heads. Fairy Tales and the Culture of Childhood" – it seems to have penetrated the corridor of your literary sanctuary. So, close the book and let it slip away. Your imagination simmers, well enough, without that added ingredient.

Assign your subconscious the task of working up material for use in your new pursuit of entertaining by making people laugh.

Very nice to see you here. And thanks for the ‘perfect story’ comment – now that is funny.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 months ago from Shelton

You are an amazing story teller.. I was telling Faith Reaper that I had to vote for you as the best writer here.. and I'm not afraid to print the truth..

you make writing readable.. took the challenge head on and came out smelling like a rose..:)


cam8510 profile image

cam8510 3 months ago from Columbus, Georgia until the end of November 2016.

Amen to that, Frank.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Thank you Frank - that is very kind of you to say. HP is filled with many fine writers, like yourself. We all have our styles. By the way, I appreciate the vote.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Thanks cam8510.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 months ago from South Africa

And so everything comes to an end. Thank heavens for new beginnings!

Excellent descriptions and dialogues!

Thank you, mckbirdbks :)


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Martie - Thank you for taking a moment to read this contribution to Bill's challenge. He has revitalized HP with this challenge.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 months ago from Olympia, WA

You are as good a writer as we have on this site and very deserving of your Hubbie! Congrats, buddy!


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Thank you Bill. I appreciate the encouragement.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 2 months ago from Toronto, Canada

Did I miss something? Most likely. Congrats on what? Did you win?


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 2 months ago from Toronto, Canada

I wanted to address your comment properly, Mike, but I was afraid that I will write another plotless senseless immoral unmotived story, which I apparently shall.

A few key points (or shall I say Heights, even though you say "Hills" and I tend to think "Trenches" or what was that song called "Through the Valleys and over Hills", was it?) I did not want to forget.

In short, Heads Over Hills or Brain Over Kills.

I found a perfect plotless, motive-less immoral story/book - it is called dictionary. By the way, I did not intend to make fun of your relationship with perfection - I forgot about that and I am glad that you reminded me. Now that was funny.

I wanted to mention Twilight Lawns - it seemed very unlikely that he would have participated in Bill Holland's challenge and I meant no disrespect to him and his initiative either.

I don't know Ian all that well, but I would bet that he would not find the imagery inspiring. He is very particular about the images, they tend to be classical and aesthetic. The imagery did not speak to me either for quite the opposite reason - I want images to be bright, shocking and mine. So, that makes your skill admirable - you take what's given without a fuss and create a "perffff...", sorry, narrative.

Ian did leave a comment on a his own hub recently and it did strike me as alarming - maybe you want to pay him a visit -

=====

http://hubpages.com/relationships/Wounds

====

The "Off with Their Heads" challenge - I could not get through much of the book, but it is certainly interesting. The trouble is - ever since I started reading it and stopped - I have nightmares every day/night. Maybe it shall take its course and then get out of my system.

And on the illusion that everything is working until it's not. I've lived that illusion personally simply due my illness. When the rest of the world sees that "everything is in order", there is no need to look any further. When things break down, it's time for "where were our eyes?"

On the prize, I think.

Or perhaps on the price.

I believe wisdom does not come without broken and shattered glass and China. That's a fairy tail for you - and then all hell broke loose and stayed that way ...ly ever after. There you go, the eternal evergreen cliffhanger.

I had a point here somewhere, but I lost it, maybe on a wrong page of that plotless dictionary, so I'd better stop now before you start getting nightmares.

Cheers,


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Svetlana. Yes, I won something. One of my hubs was voted best hub on Letterpile, which is a site that HP moved my hub to.

As for your note, maybe you can flood your psyche with Dr. Seuss, and wash away the imprint left my reading the Sleeping Beauty item. It must have touched something very deep in you to cause that impact.

I don’t have anything in common with perfection. I am not even close to being a perfectionist. Not on any level. I am OK, with that, which just verifies my indifference toward perfection. Now, that is funny.

There is such a labyrinth of ideas in your thoughts and comments. I hope you are writing somewhere, or for some body.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 2 months ago from Toronto, Canada

Then congratulations are in order. A reward well deserved.

Can you give me the link to that hub, please?

As for perfection, maybe we both forgot - I was referring to your signature line, "Perfection I know nothing about" - it was my all time favourite.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hi Svetlana - I did forget. I still stand imperfectly by that statement.

Here is the link:

https://letterpile.com/creative-writing/The-Carria...


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 months ago from TEXAS

Good that hadn't read your story before venturing to submit one! I love this story, Mike. You captured time and space in a few simple scenarios and characters! Bravo! And congratulations on winning the contest!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 months ago from England

How did I miss this? Wonderful! congrats on winning!


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Nellieanna - Thank you. That is very kind. Your writing brings happiness to so many. I appreciate your visit and support.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Nell - Thank you. Great to see you here. I better be careful, or Bill will make me famous.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

Wanted to swing by and congratulate you on winning, dear Mike.

Bill made a difficult, but excellent, decision. Hugs, Maria


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 months ago from Queensland Australia

Congratulations, Mike. My original comment was proved right :) Well deserved.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 months ago from Southern Illinois

Congratulations Mike. I loved your story, but of course, I love all your stories. You have a way of touching the heart, yet write in a fashion that excites, brings back memories etc. Cheers my friend!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 months ago from Central Florida

Congratulations on winning Bill's challenge, Mike! Well deserved.


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 2 months ago from New Delhi, India

Congratulations for winning the challenge! Well deserved.

What an excellent response!

You are an amazing story teller. Sorry I missed reading it earlier.

Thanks and have a good day!


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello mar - thank you - you are so very kind.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello John - Any chance you can predict, that I will win a million dollars? Just to test your predicting powers. ha Thank you for your continued support.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Ruby - You make me want to write some more. Thank you, since the days of Emerald Wells Cafe you have visited by my Hubs. Much appreciated.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Good morning Sha - Thank you. So kind of you to stop by and offer congratulations.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

ChitrangadaSharan, Thank you for taking the time to stop by and offer congratulations. There were so many people entering the contest. I congratulate Bill for bringing so many writers out of their shell to offer an entry to his challenge.

We all won.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 months ago from Texas

Congratulations! I knew yours would be one of the entries at the top.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Yo Bro!! What prize do I get for predicting this?? I just knew it! I always used to tell my sister I was psychic....and she would correct me and say, "Paula, it's psycho"

MIKE!!! See?? I told you didn't I? I think I deserve a prize too, damn it! Awwww, seriously Mike, Congratulations. You deserve to be our winner. and you're a cute winner too! I would throw roses for you, but they're expensive and I'm broke. It's the thought that counts. Bravo HUGS...Paula


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello shanmarie - Thank you what a nice compliment.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Paula - What a charming compliment. Thank you. Thanks for the support and the smiles.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

That's me, Mike~~"Charming"....like the Toilet Paper. :) I'm glad I can make you smile, but maybe we shouldn't announce that online. This is how nasty rumors start. I've been trying like hell for months to start it. No one is buying it.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

There can only be one possible reason - everyone is broke. So no one can buy into anything. No, not like the Toilet Paper - silly.

Have a great week.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 2 months ago from Toronto, Canada

Mike:

So, I am assuming that you won both - the Mountainous Challenge and the Letterpile Prize, am I right or confused?

Congratulations regardless.

Frankly, I declared you a winner before actual winning which is totally different from "predicting" that you would win.

There is no confirmation bias with me (aka "told you so")

I've read some chapters from your Carriage Driver(2) - I have not left a comment yet due to extenuating circumstances, but I noticed that many of your readers have all your stories as their favourite. I can say while I liked the Letterpile winner, I still prefer the Mountainous Challenge.

What makes the choice upsetting to most is that as soon as some work is proclaimed as "the best" it makes the rest of it "not the best", which is the problem inherent with choice. The problem with honesty is different, but I stand by my choice - between the Mountain and the Underworld Peaceful Movie I choose the Mountain.

I probably should leave a proper comment on that hub, but I wanted to tell you this,

Remember when you said (not verbatim) that when people asked you how you were doing, you answered "It could not be better if I would write it myself"?

So, for some reason I think (correct me if I am entirely wrong), that the Mountain Challenge would resemble the movie in your theater - Chapter "Peaceful Departure" (preferably on a horseback).

Speaking of movies - just as the others gave you strange looks - your statement was stuck in my head and I recently watched a film "Experimenter", where the main character, Stanley Milgram (real scientist, the mastermind behind experiments on Obedience and Authority) says "It's bad enough when your life resembles a bad movie, but nothing prepares you for the time when your life actually becomes a bad movie".

So, I would say, write and direct that movie now and I would vouch for including the Mountainous Challenge as one of the episodes.

I feel that I stand alone on some summit of some remote mountain and even though people will give me strange looks, I would not be able to see them - neither people nor looks, so I can give advice, make predictions, issue proclamations, write and direct my own bad movie.

P.S.

I have also won something - mind you, indirectly (I'm not good with direction yet) - the vocalcoach's hub "Why You Hate Your Voice and How to Fix It" - was a answer to the question I asked four years ago. Of course, I wallow in the light of self-importance far from the public view - on that far out summit.

P.S.S.

Not to be a pedant - which means precisely that - being a pedant - but "Perfection I know nothing about" is the first line in your profile which I was reminded of when I clicked on your name after reading the winning hub "The Carriage Driver".

I tried to make my point as unclear as I could, I'm not sure I succeeded - connection between the Summit and Underworld is unreliable.

Congratulations again,


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 months ago from southern USA

Congrats Mike on winning Billybuc's challenge!

This is a most deserving winner of a hub no doubt.

Peace


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

kallini2010 "My life, it could not be better if I were writing my own story." It is funny because, I am writing my own story, as are you. As for choice - look at your shoes. Do they match? That is a choice, an honest choice.

Thank you for offering your congratulations.

The Carriage Driver series addresses the theoretical (rather than theological) question what comes next? And if there is a heaven, who gets in? You know, I have no insight into either question.

I have chosen to write 'feel good" stories. There is plenty of "feel bad" stories and news out there. You intellect and logical training allows you to posture yourself on a summit. Mountain Creek Station and The Carriage Driver - 8mm Life, had nothing to do with each other.

As for the theater of life - I can't teach you anything about that: as you dance.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Sure glad Bill awarded this to you. I just love it.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Theresa - Thank you. I have visited your Time Machine article a couple of times now. I see many others have visited as well. It is a grand piece of writing and leap into our collective imagination. Most writers began as readers, but you knew that. Have a great week.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Ericdierker. Thank you. Bill's challenge sure stirred up Hubpages. So glad I could participate, and feel lucky, that the piece was chosen the winner.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 months ago from southern USA

Oh, that is so sweet of your, dear Mike, to revisit. I know I am overdue to publish. I had actually started a hub for this challenge but the deadline crept up on me. I may still publish it one day as another story.

We certainly do learn a lot from reading other great writers, like yourself!

Bless you


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Theresa - Your busy schedule, not allowing you to finish your entry, was very likely the edge I needed!!! As always, I appreciate the blessing.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 months ago

Mike, congratulation on winning Bill’s challenge

No one deserves it more

But, Bill chose the very best

Like he has always done before

I wanted to be the first to say

How happy I am you won

But, I could not pass up a chance

To spend the day with my son


Suzie HQ profile image

Suzie HQ 2 months ago from Dublin, Ireland

Mega CONGRATULATIONS Mike on winning Sir Bill's competition, so deserving!


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Shy - Thank you for such a nice congratulations. Glad you had time to spend with your son.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Thank you Suzie HQ - That is very nice of you. I appreciate the visit.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 2 months ago from Toronto, Canada

Mike:

It is clear to me that I failed to deliver a clear message, but that's alright, I'm not going to dwell on it for as you stated before that kind of clarification is more suitable for elongated conversations over a cup of... or glass of... maybe a whole bottle of...fill in the cup-glass-bottle.

Just one thing: I did not mean "bad" as "feel bad".

However:

It has never occurred to me that matching shoes was a choice. Matching shoes to the outfit, yes, but left matching right, it escaped my imagination. (if mismatching shoes was what you meant)

Do you mind if I take it as a Chapter for my book on shoes? It begins with "A Wedding Dress" and delves a lot into the realm of shoes. I don't know what that book is ultimately about quite yet, but I certainly don't want to give you an impression that I took a "matching shoes" challenge in a pejorative kind of way. I find it interesting and fun.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

kallini2010, my young friend, any creative spark that I send your way, you are free to run with. Whether the shoes match or not. My wish for you is that you write: and free your imagination to soar where that creative mind of your takes you. We will all be better for it.


annart profile image

annart 2 months ago from SW England

Superb story in your inimitable gentle style. Congratulations on winning! The most worthy in my opinion too. Sorry it's taken me so long to get round to reading!

Ann


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Ann, no worries, we all have so much to attend to, it is a wonder we do as well as we do, keeping up with so many fine people here on HP. Thank you for such a kind comment. Now we will all burrow in and see what winter has in store.

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