Life in Poetry reading, writing, reflecting

Life in Poetry reading, writing, reflecting
April showers bring May flowers

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

⌗WEP-IWSG challenge CAGED BIRD, a short story

Good Morning, and thank you for visiting.

I signed up for the June Challenge of the combined WEP-IWSG community of writers.
If you would like to know more about Write...Edit...Publish go here
and the Insecure Writers' Support Group  go here

I wrote a short story for February, theme, 28 DAYS that you can read here
I did not write anything for Jewel Box because  I was participating in the A to Z Challenge April 2019 (Tenth Anniversary) for the first time and still groping around for my marks !
If you would like to sign up for the next (August) challenge go here and save the page.

Here is my short story with the theme CAGED BIRD.
It is set in Sitges, Catalunya, on the Mediterranean coast.

Where I wrote the story. Been going there since 2009. Home away from Home, every May.

Tim and Sam

The early morning sun crests the Garraf and twinkles onto the sea. A shaft of golden green paints a path onto the lapping waves. As the minutes pass, the carpet of cloud rolls up as the orb climbs the cliffs to explode in the sky.
Timothy, on his terrace, sips at his tea and nibbles on an apricot cereal bar. A bowl of strawberry flavoured cream bears witness to an earlier feast on awakening.

                  ' You're up early ! ' Sam crumpled features appear through the French windows to the terraza. He pulls up the chaise-longue to bask in the clear breeze.
                    ' The parade is this afternoon, remember ! I still have some last details to attend to. '
                    ' I thought Luis had everything in hand ! '
                    ' You know me, I don't want to leave anything to chance. '
                    ' Control freak ! ' Sam scolded playfully.
                    ' On ne se refait pas ! '
                    ' Would you like some breakfast ? Although it looks like you have a head's start. '
                    ' Quit taunting ! If you're making tea, brew a full pot, will you please ! I'll just nip into
                      the shower. '

Sam hands him his canvas bag overflowing with accessories and Tim grabs his keys.

                      ' See you near the Platja de Terramar at 2.00, be on time !'
                   ' Don't worry, I'll be back from my four-hour hike in the Garraf...' Tim narrows his eyes and his teeth clench. ' Just kidding ! You should see your face ! You're such an easy target. '

                  Tim closes the door behind him and clatters down the narrow winding, paint-flaked, wooden staircase. He secures his canvas bag in the basket and hops onto his bicycle.
The town is quiet. Some late-night revellers are talking loudly on the beach, re-inventing the World. Some early bathers are criss-crossing laps in the sea. A few wisps of dawn clouds linger. No wind disturbs the surface of the water. The midget waves break, whispering on the fine sand.
                    Tim turns into Luis' courtyard and stands his bike next to the workshop door. Luis is drinking coffee, still in his bathrobe, shiny-eyed, dishevelled head.

                         ' Todavía, no estas listo ! '
                         ' Charlando con amigos y cerveza hasta las dos ! ' Luis replies.
                         ' Fissa, tenemos que levar todo el equipaje hasta el magatzem . '

At the warehouse:

                     ' Podremos, quizá , poner mas flores alrededor de su cabeza, torsado en la corona !          
                       Que opines ? '
                     ' Si, si, buena idea.'
Tim and Luis select a few irises and pink roses to stick in the thorns about the statue's head. She looks stunning. A bright muslin dress flows around her legs and reveals an ample bosom, in a tight V decolleté. Her giant feet with splayed painted toes stand in light leather sandals.
Satisfied with their creation, Tim, Luis and a few other members of their gang shove at the levers around the float and stir the wheels towards the sliding doors of the hangar.
Tim steps outdoors and joins the Mayor and Esteban, the parade supervisor.
                              ' Estamos listos, esperando en su siñal.'  Tim greeted them.
                       ' Bien, bien. Unos rezagados todavía . Digamos un quarto de hora antes de empezar a constituir la fila,'  explained Esteban.

Sam is idly gazing over the ripples, looking at the gulls dipping in and out of the surface, emerging with gleaming peixets. The parade should be coming from the Avinguda de Salvador Cassacuberta any minute now. Tim had sent a text. Sam heard the band first. Trumpets, cymbals, trombone and Sac de Gemecs. Then, at tree level, he glimpses feathers, bright specks against dark green leaves.
The sight is awe-inspiring. Float upon float laden with baskets of flowers: roses, tulips, irises, lavender...surround the statues. Queens, princesses, angels with gigantic breats and huge thighs bulging from tight robes. Some have beards, some have hair cascading to their feet. Reds, yellows, white, orange. Rainbow banners: ' Sitges, Juny 2019 '.
The paraders are all dressed up in gay dresses and suits. Some with plumed helmets or flower twirled crowns, others with hawaian reaths about their necks. Women, men. children join in. They dance to the thunderous tunes. They sing along to the Catalan chants.

Tim emerges from behind a winged gruffalo, jumps in motion and runs towards Sam onto the steps running along the Rambla.
The parade rolls and rumbles along the Passeig Maritim. The crowd leaves the floats on the Plaça dela Fregata to proceed up the steps. At the canons, they pause. Aficionados take pictures with the sea for background, sparkling under the late afternoon sun. They all climb the last steps to the Plaça del Baluard and the church bells toll to welcome them. Down the paved Caller de Fonoller, along the fishing harbour until they can no longer continue. They were not going to explore the goat trails of the Garraf , at least, not today.
Up through the cobbled alleys of the old town, they stamp or creep according to their disposition.
                             ' Una birra si us plau ! '
                             ' Una margarita per aqui. '
                             ' Un gin tonic amb un shot de tequila per aka. '

a blast of trumpets, a clash of cymbals and they are off to the next bar de nit, exceptionally open at this early hour. The big drum beats to the DJs' tunes and everyone dances: style or no style, nobody gives a hoot.

                                ' It's half-nine, better start for the Platja dela Ribera. ' Tim shouts to Sam above the din.
They jostle their way down the Caller de Bonaire and check on the floats. The Mayor has posted sentinels to guard the giants and their paraphernalia.

Suddenly a crack, a whoosh and the sky explodes into a billion stars. Best fireworks in the World !
A last blast takes flight and rains rainbow sparks.

                                  ' Here come the cages ! ' exclaims Sam.

The flower-weaved bars are opened and a hundred white doves take to the the moon. When the Ooohs and Aaahs, the applause have died down, Sam turns to Tim.

                                  ' Let's have a kid. '

Tim smiles, banana mouth.
                                  ' Gabriella can be our surrogate mother. ' he adds.

They put their hands around eachother's waists and sway towards home.


And just for fun, here is a poem that I wrote in December 2015, which is oddly appropriate....
I haven't changed a word ! The World works in mysterious ways !


I know why the caged bird sings.
he sings for freedom - he sings
to draw attention to his lot.

He sings to bear his confinement.
He sings as soon as the sun
crosses the horizon. He sings

to the sparrow, to the tit who sit
on the branches of the lime tree.
He sings to forget.

The caged bird sings
when he hears the bluejay
strain. He sings when 

the mockingbird is silent.
He sings because he was made
that way and his vocal chords

have not been taken away.
The truth is like a waddled-up
handkerchief soping wet

in a pocket. May the air flow 
through the bars and cool
the feathers

of the caged bird
when he has finished
his song.


Break Free, Queen, go here
Live Forever, Queen, extract Highlander. go here

Funeral for a friend, Sir Elton John, LIVE Prague, May 2019. go here
Song for a Guy, video, go here
Someone Saved my Life Tonight, LIVE, Old Grey Whistle, 1982. go here

Fool's Overture, Roger Hudgson, video, go here

Don't Give Up, Peter Gabriel, LIVE World Tour with Paula Cole, 1993. go here

My photos Sitges, 29th-31st May 2019

The Official guide to Sitges Gay Pride June 2019, on Wordpress, go here

Sitges tourist information site, Visit Sitges, go here

Thank you for visiting and reading. Please feel free to like/dislike, comment, discuss and I will be sure to reply and visit your blog to read your own contribution.
Sunny here in Toulouse, Spring in full bloom, Summer soon.
Have an inspiring weekend.


  1. Hi Sue - thanks for the visit. Sitges looks to be a fascinating Spanish town - I like the idea of the festival ... but it sounds a very touristy area. Caged bird - Free ... one feels so sorry for them ... Cheers Hilary

    1. Thank you Hilary. Sitges is lovely anytime of year, except in the summer, like all Spanish coastal towns, but it is not as crowded as other seaside locations on the Mediterranean as it does not offer tall hotel buildings, accomodtion so not many people can holiday there. The locals are still a majority, with people from Barcelona who have holiday homes and tend to come every week-end. The old town of Sitges is very lively with people who work and live there all year round.

  2. Weird, I know I left a comment here last week or before when I read it. Did blogger suck it up or it get lost in limbo somewhere?

    Anyway, try try again. Great pics and really brought the parade and town to life. A fine poem too.

  3. Don’t worry Pat, you’re not going crazy ! No comments appeared for two weeks. Then I went on Blogger and comments an I had masses ! Been trying to reply to them ever since ! I replied to you, then went onto your contribution.
    Blogger would refuse to let me comment on my own blog ! It would disconnect me as soon as I viewed the post. Now I have two lists of comments !
    I was so put off by having no comments, I didn’t take the time to visit other WEP posts ! All very confusing.
    Now I have discovered I need to follow my own blog. Sign up with my email as a reader, before I am notified of comments ! And allowed to reply !
    No wonder I created another blog on Wordpress, that most people visited for the A to Z challenge.
    Will probably be posting this reply on your my icon has not appeared !
    Ha it has worked. I think Blogger (which is Google) won’t publish anything posted on Safari ! When I’m on Ecosia, it recognizes me. So I guess to see your previous comment, you have to power my site using a Google related search engine !
    Or you can follow me on Wordpress at
    But you won’t have my archives from 2013 to 2019.
    Sorry. But I’m pretty new to all this, especially petty feuds between google and apple !


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