Friday, February 11, 2011

CHARLIE + MABEL ~ By Absolutely*Kate . . . #FlashFiction Lovin'


By ~ Absolutely*Kate

Act One

Charlie was a sailor when his ship came in. He whistled low his favorite tunes. He heaped high his fondest hopes, back and forth, forth and back on the  first dogwatch from 4 to 6 pm when land was sited. It had been a journey to remember, and he was on a journey to discover, a journey towards all the what nexts a man who revered life could reasonably shove into a navy blue duffle bag.

Charlie loved life, people and a real swell gal named Mabel . . . but he didn't know that yet. He didn't know Mabel yet. And Mabel thought she was in love with Tommy. Tommy however, was infatuated with his new Nash Rambler convertible and would be not at all pleased later that evening when Mabel's chocolate shake would dribble down chrome and sheen in an unfortunate A&W car hop delivery scene. As Mabel's sense and sensitivities were on a subconscious quest for a man of gumption who loved life to join up with as a forever loving wife, back home 'round about midnight, she would pick up a pen and cross Tommy and his materialism grumbles clean outtasite off her Mr Wonderful list. 
But back to fathoming Charlie. Peering from the edge of the pier into a variegated dusk strata settling the aura of the western horizon, he passed his hand o'er dark waves upon waves of thick black hair, swiveling tall torso to advantage his best vantage back at the US Constant. Charlie's instincts knew when it mattered to hold moment to memory, indelible as Dale Carnegie would someday reinforce the technique in him . . . but not yet. The trusty barnacled ship had been this first mate's fate for a pack of years, the formative ones, the ones that made a lanky boy from a small city a bigger man of his own reckoning. Charlie's inner barometer attuned genuine readings of sensational smiles and the solid gaze knowing eyes bespoke. The insight of his sight saw the best within ordinary folk. Even when they didn't see it, Charlie brought it out of them the more, from purposeful or chance encounters. 
Mabel would be a chance encounter, that look-up-eyes-lock sparkanddazzle across a dance floor, but we're not hearing that music play . . . yet. A week or so of back pocket memories, while whistlin' Glenn Miller and hummin' Cole Porter, would transcend both their busy lives until a non-committal stroll on a lazy Sunday afternoon past a secluded portion of Perry Beach would open Charlie's wandering eyes to wonders smack dab before him. We haven't made it there yet either. Besides, Mabel had months to go, dating Roger next, a cultured college catch who had come a'courting. Roger was destined to become a pilot, a rich man and a happy Hawaiian home owner. Some destiny's distances are too far to travel for a close-to-home Midwest gal like Mabel, so, dreamer that she was, she'd still wave off Roger's hankerings with her best embroidered hanky, and they'd slowly part fast friends.
Charlie turned from his reverie at sea to see how the night might beckon. Wilma Jean, a local siren who had taken an immediate liking to the profile she'd seen touseling, decided to beckon. With a tousel like that, there could be gobs of fun to his tussle too. A femme fatale with Look Ahead flashing signal lights to her peepers was willowy Wilma Jean, if you know what I mean. The night was a bambino and time was on her side. Sorry to say, fresh lines weren't. 
"Hey Sailor, new in town?"

No missed-opportunity jerk, Charlie turned with a smirk. He caught the condition her tossed grin was in, heard the sultry giggle accompanying her wriggle and formed a contention about her intention. Oooh boy though, did Wilma Jean wriggle. It was shimmy on parade, just standing there. It was a homer in the 9th with bases loaded and DiMaggio taunting. It was how contour tight-skirted a waist and how cleavage graced why gorgeous breasts
are elevated.
"Is that an opportunity in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?"
Charlie chuckled. This dame was a looker alright, but some of the other qualities his journey had him yearning for, like substance and grace, talking long into the night or being on the same wavelength that silently spoke cross currents . . . just weren't all on board. But the night was a bambino, and he was hungry. "Saaaay, you know where a guy can get a good spaghetti dinner in this ol' town?"
Wilma Jean led Charlie to DellaRosa's. Della herself warned Charlie as she served a magnificent antipasto and the best house straw-basket chianti, about fast girls on speedy nights. "You looka like'a nice'a boy. Why you messin' wit dat one? She's a'trouble I tell you. Find yourself a nice'a girl. Ask her to be your wife. Kiss her close and dance her tight. Care and share ~ la vita bella. You'll be a better kinda happy spending all your days in a bee-yoo-ti-ful life." When Wilma Jean returned from the Ladies room, Signora Rosa slopped a little sauce on the red and white checkered table cloth and Charlie's date swore like a . . . well, like a sailor.
There were plenty of sly come-hither stares and sidling up the sizzle on the walk back downtown, but Charlie didn't find a very profound need aroused for what her ancient pitch was proceeding her to leading him to. Back at the pier, his faraway look, across dark night waters lapping against the stalwart Constant, preceeded their farewell. 

Alone in his lumpy bunk, but with a full belly of molto bene spaghetti, Charlie buoyed up his boyish belief in what the probabilities of the next twenty thousand tomorrows would bring a persevering man. Perhaps another port, perhaps more adventurous strolls, why, maybe even a dance hall. Yeah, that's the ticket. Contentedly he sighed, rolled on his side and turned the knobs on the wooden Philco to let the music play into his tomorrows:

I'm making believe
that you're in my arms 

though you're so far away.

Making believe
I'm talkin' to you;
Wish you could hear what I say.

There's plenty more to mutter on how Mabel became available, but we wanted to get this written by the time Valentines' Day calendared up to wax eloquent.  Mabel did dance her way into Charlie's heart, and never complained when he stepped on her toes. Their instinct knew they were so in sync that complaining wasn't how it goes. And many a beach knew their stroll, and the sun shined from their backyard upon their share and their care. They were so happy there, and there. Heavens, they were happy everywhere.

Alone on her plush mattress with the memory foam, the soft cotton sheets hung on the clothesline that day and the warm sky blue comforter, Mabel abled up her girlish dreams of what the propensity of the immensity of the last twenty thousand yesterdays had brought to a passionate, pleasured, laughing, loving woman. Always another home-cooked meal, cup of coffee poured, newpaper page turned, child's life shared would endear Charlie more the part of her. The best part, the heart part, that was always the easy part. Always she could feel the kiss to build their dreams on, dancing cheek to cheek, and only having eyes for him too. Yes, that's the winning ticket. Softly, she sighed, rolled on her side and turned the dial on the plastic Panasonic to let the music play over her yesterdays:

I'm making believe
that you're in my arms 

though you're so far away.

Making believe
I'm talkin' to you;

Wish you could hear what I say.
And here in the gloom

of my lonely room

we're dancing like we used to do

Making believe is just another way of dreaming
so til my dreams come true
I whisper goodnight, turn out the light,
and kiss my pillow 
making believe it's you.


The auras of their horizons smile,
as auras and love constantly do.
Charlie + Mabel
is indelible as a moment of memory,
constant and alive in sailing its true

(c) Valentines' Weekend, 2011 ~ Author Absolutely*Kate
for True Lovers everywhere 

Bathing Beauty photo credit ~ UppityRib
Golden Hearts Entwined ~ Mamjodh 
"I'm Making Believe" song warbled well by Ella Fitzgerald and the Ink Spots,
Lyrics by Mack Gordon,  Music by James V. Monaco 
I'm Making Believe Ella Fitzgerald with The Ink Spots Words by Mack Gordon and Music by James V. Monaco



Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Kate! That was just bee-yoo-ti-ful! I can hardly wait for Charlie and Mabel to finally meet!

Anonymous said...

Love, love, love this Kate! Your voice is so distinct, and so incredibly delicious, I just love it! I often find myself reading lines (of all your work) over and over again, just to get the feel of them, more than once.

Now you're going to have to take us through Charlie and Mabel's life together. *hint ;)

Harry said...

Of course Mabel's mattress would have "memory" foam...
Still, I kinda wonder what Wilma Jean's might have recorded. :)

"And many a beach knew their stroll, and the sun shined from their backyard upon their share and their care. They were so happy there, and there. Heavens, they were happy everywhere"

Lovey dovey good stuff K*G!

Happy V.D!

Matthew S. Magda said...

This is a sublime Preludes of a life's soul mating deftly done. That pocketful of memories is subtly harbingered in a way that blends twotimes as a seamless destiny. A destiny that reveals the profound linked paths that lives can take. The deeper structure of the universe is the sense I had as I read this beautiful story. Mable and Charlie are and always will be: US(S) Constant on the sea
Wonderful Kate.

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

Ladies, lovely ladies, leave it to You to *feel* true romance at the station, goin' for the long ride. CATHY and DEANNA, both passionate femmes, I thank*you for 'gettin' this one, for it just had its own kind of music edgin' it on.

We'll see what Act2 has to tell about this duo of delight, tryin' to get it all right. DEANNA ~ remind me to buy you a drink someday when we actually meet up - you always give me such a warm grin -- oh, you too Mrs Webster - and usually a giggle there too. ~ Absolutely*Kate

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

And generous gents, HARRY and MATT ~ No sliding anything by you observant guys. "Saaaaay", Har caught the 'memory' foam puff up and Prof of course commented on the meaningful feel of the universe and the soulmating of destinies. Wowzers! Lucky the ladies who give lovey*dovey stuff to you fellas.

Oh, I know how lucky one of those ladies are. Love both you guys, I do. ~ Absolutely*Kate, Katrina, K*G

Anonymous said...

Always a pleasure to sit in the last row at the Bijou. I've brought you a yellow rose, Dear Lady of many hats. Charlie and Mable are in good hands.

seana graham said...

So many great lines in this, Kate, and such insight into the kind of stalwart-but joyful-perserverance it takes to find that 'betta kind of happy' life.

A swell story to sneak up on Valentine's Day with, and I could hear that forties soundtrack in my head all the way through!

Kevin Michaels said...

An excellent Valentine's Day treat! Loved watching this one unfold - great visuals for those of us sitting in the row right in front of Jeannette. You put together a nice little tale of that search for love....can't wait for the next part (hope there's enough time to get to the snack bar and back before it starts).

KjM said...

"It was shimmy on parade, just standing there."

I'd better stop right there, or I'll end up quoting the entire piece there are so many gorgeous lines in it.

Charlie and Mabel fit together, just like the two arcs you draw here. Some things are just meant to be - particularly in the hands of a storyteller like you.

This was fun, sweet, with a wicked soundtrack running underneath it.

Excellently done.

seana graham said...

Kate, I tagged you for a meme. You might be a tad busy for it right now, but I thought it would be good publicity.

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

Seanna, oh SEANNA ~

Busy? Geeez Lady - Everyone knows 'people with time on their hands are dangerous' ... and I've never met the publicity in the face I've turned down for me or worthy authors to song & dance over ... so, I'll head out, take my RiverWalk with my lover this Valentines' Weekendy Sunday, and midst setting up the spots and kliegs for yet another DEBUT ~ KEVIN J MACKEY at the Romance is Roaming segment of AT THE BIJOU's FAB*FEB*FILM*FEST late into the night, I'll respond the way I know best ~ wholeheartedly, to your meme, Maam.

Honoured to be considered in such stellar company and shall be good to see Sean Patrick Reardon rise his head like Punxatawney Phil for what you've got querying in your theorying. ~ Absolutely*Kate

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

JEANETTE and KEVIN (the Michaels Kev, the one with the LOST EXIT book now out -- plug, plug, plug) ... I can hear you guys from your rows and the path Kevin has worn to the Sugar Shack in the lobby for more and more MilkDuds is tracking our red velvet carpets, but hey, we don't care -- Jed the janitor gets to bring his kids in free to help and AT THE BIJOU is all about a good time, a little shmaltz, a lotta thinkin', and major enjoyment. With you two grand HARBINGER*33 authors in regular attendance, how could it be otherwise?

Uh, Kev? You'll at least clean up a little under your chair?

JC ~ Thanks for the rose. I knew leaving one to salute your prolifics would get a bouquet of delight in full bloom!

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...


SEANNA with the grand epic ~ "Last Night at the La Playa" still playing to packed crowds AT THE BIJOU (just before this piece) ... and KEVIN J MACKEY ~ starring on stage and screen on Valentine's Day with a romantical glimpse into depths well felt . . . THANK*YOU both, for BIJOU'ing and the *blush* you doggone gave me.

CHARLIE+MABEL came from definite pieces of real life characters who DID find and build and soar their kinda soulmate stuff that we all seek to find. Fortunate I've been to hear, see, sense some of it and I'm fer sure gonna ask 'em to tell me more, tell me more so I can relate a tale or two back to your own shiny hearts. KjM - you plucked one of my fave lines out too - you do that a lot. Seanna - you summed up the sensation nicely. And both of you, I just 'knew' you'd hear the music play!

~ Absolutely*Kate

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

Can't add much more than what's already been said, other than I'm in awe of the style you write in, and you do it so well.

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

Sean Patrick, you make me blush and scuff my teal heels around as I shuffle my delight -- You, good sir are the edgy grit that tough writer stuff is made of. I'm glad to soften your smile every now and then when my characters tell me they're ready to come dance.

Much Thanks,
~ Absolutely*Kate -- lookin' real forward to seeing YOUR DEBUT in the RAT PACK REVUE ... coming up real soon ~ AT THE BIJOU