Residential Farm by Raymond Roy #sundayphotofiction

“Residential” Farm By Raymond Roy

As the priest drove away, painted smiles on my new guardians, transformed into distorted scowls akin to grotesque masks in a Twilight zone episode.

The Mister, seethed,“Well Mrs., looks like we have that summer labor we’ve been prayin fer.” Mister was a scrawny crotchety person. Shoulders bare, void faded blue straps of baggy overalls.

The Mrs., although equal in height to Mister, was at least three times his girth.Belching loudly,she walked, protruding rib fat caused her arms to orbit around her body, similar to Randy from “A Christmas Story”never actually being able put them down.

The Mister, spewed an ebony stream of tobacco-laden spit, landing squarely on a saw legged grasshopper, What’s your name“Injun,? It wasn’t the word Injun, but how it was said. The tone inferred dominance. A wave of Familiar Rage sets in.

Grasshopper recovered, burst forth, ricocheting off a scrap sheet of tin roofing. The ping carried. Grinning internally, I too would have my escape, after dark.

“My given name, Binesi. It means…”

“Enough chatter Injun!”

(…”Thunderbird” I thought to myself)

“Get to work! Start by hauling that wheelbarrow to the compost pile. Earn your keep? You can sleep in the loft with the chickens.”

Word Count-200

Update:When I wrote this back in 2018, I had no idea what was to come. Mass grave of 215 residential school children We learn from history, lest we repeat it.

Written for Sunday Photo Fiction a 200 word limit fictional story based on the provided photo prompt. Thanks Dawn Miller for this weeks photo.

Fictional yes but many beyond the boundaries of Canada are not aware of North America’s Residential school system which was a a cultural genocide of our continent’s indigenous people. Truth and reconciliation of Canada A great novel which I enjoyed was When the Legends Die addresses the destruction of a little Indian Boys heritage while bonding with an unlikely father figure.

Peace to you all.

-Goroyboy

The Message By Raymond Roy #writephoto

Photo Credit Sue Vincent

The Message By Raymond Roy

If I could talk what would I say, to the Lummi, the Shuswap, and Ojibwe

I would share my sorrow of broken *Magic Pots, of runs of Salmon, no longer caught.

Empty plains are where the Bison would run,

Wiped from Mother Earth, like a setting sun.

Dignity destroyed by Firewater, making orphans of both son and daughter.

If I could talk, much to my dismay, man would not listen, Yes he, God’s very own creation, from the Mother Earth’s clay.

Blind greed for gold and oil desecrates sacred lands, destroying our Nations, our tribes, and our bands.

To all the nations, empower the child, to embrace Mother Earth, the wind, and the wild.

Be fathers to your children, watch dignity grow, mankind may depend, on this message, from The Crow.

-Peace

-Goroyboy

Written for Sue Vincent’s Photo Prompt Thank you to Sue!

*There is an Ojibwe story of Magic pots that encouraged creativity and had special powers. Five little girls broke the pots and intern were turned into crows, and from that day forward the Ojibwe made no pottery.

#FFFAW Flash fiction for aspiring writers. “Creek runs through it” by Raymond Roy. 

Photo credit Maria at doodles and scribbles
Summer days fishing for rainbow trout, wading through a snow melt creek of British Columbia with my older brother Danny,….those days could never be long enough.
Our hearts would flutter as we hiked into the trees toward the creek. As the sun warmed the trees you could smell the sweetness of pine sap and hear the dry grass and twigs snap under your feet. At times snow stubbornly hung on in the shade.

As we stepped into the water for the first crossing of a pool, I could feel the icy water flood through the eyelets of Converse Allstars, it took my breath away. I could feel life’s challenges melt away in the purity of that pristine snow melt creek water that was Mill Creek.

Working our way through the pools of crystal clear water, we would dip our lines in, the shadows in the rocks would come alive . The small trout would flash in the sun as you felt that exhilarating tug of your first bite. 

Word Count=167
This is a portion of one of my favorite stories called “A Creek Runs through It”. Submitted to  Flash Fiction for aspiring writers. The entire story can be found by clicking here. Peace to you. 

Presentation of his first fishing vest to my Grandson 2016

“A Creek Runs Through It”

Summer days fishing for rainbow trout, wading through a snow melt creek of British Columbia with my older brother Danny,….those days could never be long enough.

Before the Cocahalla freeway was built, it was a 4 hour drive from Lynden, Wa. along winding mountain roads to Merritt. First through Hope, Boston Bar, Spences Bridge and then finally “Merritt, Copper Capitol of Canada, a Lake a day, as long as you stay” the sign read.
Just before getting to our Grandfather’s house, your nostrils were filled with the sour mash-like scent of the wood mill. If it were after dark, you might see a series of sparks ascending from the metal domed screens of the scrap wood furnaces. The embers danced like fireflies twirling to escape into the pitch black abyss of the Rocky Mountain sky. Magically they transformed into the stars that shone so brightly, you felt you could reach up and touch them. This was my First Nations homeland. For over 10,000 years, land of the Shuswap nation.

Long before Feng Shui, Grandpa’s small wood tar-papered house provided all of life’s essentials, Running water was found at the kitchen sink, Heat was a Wood burning stove in the living room. Security- At night the front door was locked by a hunting knife wedged between the door and the jamb. The Entertainment center was the laminated kitchen table with a pint of 5-star Canadian Rye whiskey, deck of cards and a cribbage board.
I remember thin fabric hung over the kitchen sink window, futile in its efforts to filter out the intense mountain sun. On the window sill, there was a miniature prank outhouse that when you opened the door, a little boy figure would pop out and whiz water on you. The sweet smell of Old port cigarillos and scent of rye whiskey hung in the air. For a 10 year old boy, the best place in the world was sitting on Grandpa McIvor’s lap during a poker game.
“What a bunch of fisherman I’ve got “” “boy you’re a real smart feller”, Grandpa would say, waiting to see the gleam in my eye at being praised then like a skilled showman , ” “oh I meant a fart smeller”… What kind loving man Ernie McIvor was. Watching him surrounded by his grandkids was to imagine a king with his treasure.

“Well we better dig some worms if we are going fishing.” Grandpa would declare. Outside the foundation of his house stood a one foot high berm. This was home to a bounty of Canadian crawlers. With a coffee can full of worms Danny and I jumped into Grandpa’s truck and off we went.

Just on the edge of town, we would stop for some Old Dutch salt n vinegar chips, and always the generous one , Grandpa would treat us to penny candy.

Mill Creek was a ways past Lundbum Lake with gravel roads, steep drop offs and hairpin turns.

Grandpa would drop us off at the the top of the mountain , “see you guys at the bridge this afternoon”.

Our hearts would flutter as we hiked into the trees toward the creek. As the sun warmed the trees you could smell the sweetness of pine sap and hear the dry grass and twigs snap under your feet. At times snow stubbornly hung on in the shade.

For bait, we carried a Band-aid tin with worms, tackle boxes were a few split shot and hooks in our shirt pockets.
Our poles were 6ft branches with plenty of fishing line wrapped around one end.
Our stringer was a snapped off “y” shaped branch that looked resembled a divining rod. We left one part of the y long and snapping one short.
As we stepped into the water for the first crossing of a pool, I could feel the icy water flood through the eyelets of Converse Allstars, it took my breath away. I could feel life’s challenges melt away in the purity of that pristine snow melt creek water that was Mill Creek.
Working our way through the pools of crystal clear water, we would dip our lines in and shadows in the rocks would come alive . The small trout would flash in the sun as you felt that exhilarating tug of your first bite. One time I got so excited, I yanked my line out so quickly that I flung my poor trout far behind me into the woods.

While threading our long stem stringers through the trouts gill and out it mouth, scarlet blood residue was a sure magnet for horse flies and bees.
Walking down the creek it was almost best to stay in the frigid water as to keep your legs numb. Once your got out and they began to warm, they ached as the circulation returned, sending shocks to every nerve as if turning on a power grid.
All too soon our shadows lengthened as approached the bridge where Grandpa was waiting. Welcoming us with a chuckle and a wisecrack, we would head back to Merritt with a handful of small rainbows and a lifetime memory.
For those times so long ago, I still cherish them today. Thankful for two great men in my life, my brother and a loving father figure. Ernie McIvor, May he rest in peace, Amen

History Note from my Aunt Sharon McIvor:

“Wonderful Ray. The Mill Creek area is our traditional territory It is called Zoht in our language. The Creek runs right by where your Grandma Suzy, great Grandma Mary, great great Grandma Enulx and their ancestors lived and many were born there. It is traditional unceded Nlekepmux (Thonpson) territory. Grandma Suzy and her siblings fished that creek as did me and my siblings. When you got to Boston Bar that was the beginning of our Territory. It runs all the way to.kamloops. Kamloops is the beginning of Scwepmux (Shuswap) territory. Your Grampa Ernie was Swepmux although he was born in Merritt .”
Thanks Aunty.

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