Tuesday, November 9, 2010


The prompt this time was Teenage Summer, with the genre of your choice, and the word count under 1000. I should warn you--this is not exactly Frankie and Annette at Beach Blanket Bingo, but there are teenagers and then, there are teenagers. This is simply the recounting of how two of them spent one summer. After all, we all do march to a different drummer, don’t we… Please enjoy.


Mrs. Chamberlain and esteemed classmates, I am very pleased to be able to present to you the slides from my recent summer excursion. For our latest birthday, my twin brother, Zach, and I received new camera equipment and various types of mounts, which we happily took with us so that we would be able to share our experience with all of you. We were able to quickly make duplicates, so Zach is at Riverfront Boys Academy at this very moment sharing our memories with his professor and classmates. I cannot express strongly enough what this trip meant to both of us. Boarding here at our respective academic institutions since first grade has, of course, been an extremely rewarding experience. But at the time of holidays and other special occasions, our parents came to visit us, and we were not permitted to visit or view the outside world. However, since we now have both attained the age of 16, we can begin to utilize our training and go beyond the books. We can now truly experience life with all its perks and blessings.

Dale, would you please assist me and shut off the lights? I will now share with all of you my fondest memories.

This first one is a shot of our arrival at the airstrip. It’s a bit dark, since we were the only arrival that night, but that does really make things a whole lot easier. The crowds are so annoying, and all of you know how waiting irritates me. Our vehicles were readily available, and we were able to get quickly on our way to our cabin on the beach. We decided to go to Fort Lauderdale in Florida. Apparently, young people of all ages congregate there for their summer vacations. We had heard that they party all night long and would be willing to go anywhere to do absolutely anything. Zach and I quickly decided that would be the perfect locale.

This next one was taken at the beach about a half mile from our cabin at noon. Notice all the young people, and all their bright and eager faces. Such a friendly crowd to be sure; all ready and willing to lend a hand with planning yet another evening’s festivities.

Here we have one showing a group of teens staying at a hotel down the beach from where Zach and I stayed. There were seven of them altogether. They had come down from some high school up north to spend a couple of weeks on the sand. We invited them all over for a cookout the third evening we were there, and they all came. They were positively delightful. Every one.

Here are Zach and I sitting down to breakfast in our cottage. We had plenty of leftovers from the cookout the night before, and we thought it would be fun to have something different in the morning. Notice how much space we had in that cabin. All the rooms were huge, especially the kitchen. All the latest appliances and cooking utensils, which really came in handy when you consider how much Zach and I both love to cook.

Now, this next one has such an odd side. We met this boy and his sister, who were also there on summer vacation just like us. We had them over for a cookout the very same night, and it was too wonderful. Small world, huh?

Here’s one of Zach and I at one of their gatherings one afternoon. We didn’t attend too many of them, of course, as Zach and I have quite the aversion to the sun. But it was enjoyable in its own way, and it did allow us to make the acquaintance of quite a number of young people and allow us to learn where they were staying. This made it possible for us to approach them at a later time to invite them to our cabin for a meal. The whole process seemed to flow quite smoothly when we encountered them away from larger groups.

This last one is of Zach and I after we had finished packing for our return and we so desired a remembrance of that wonderful cabin and the yard behind it that bordered the shore. See in the corner there, the large built-in grill. We truly enjoyed so many tasty meals that were prepared there, and it was perfectly constructed to accommodate our particular tastes. Believe it or not, after removing the heads and limbs, one was able to broil two entire torsos at the same time, and all the flesh cooked quite evenly.

This Fort Lauderdale place is quite the perfect location and Zach and I intend to return next summer. It is quite well stocked with the young and the fit--not an ounce of fat on any of them to be sure. A bit of seasoning of course, but tenderizing was not necessary for any of them. Let me know if any of you would like some recipes. I don’t have any for pre-teens; there weren’t too many of them at that particular time. Now, the older ones, for instance, the ones between, say, 21 and 25, I believe a rotisserie setup would be more advisable. Being larger and having more meat on them would most likely require a longer cooking time and constant turning for even browning.

In case any one of you would like to join us next year, you are more than welcome. In the event you plan on going on your own, you will have a very easy time of it. It’s amazing how complacent and trusting these young people are. Make sure you offer them some free alcoholic beverages and food, and they will come quite willingly. A couple of tablets in their drinks renders them quite cooperative, and then it’s on the grill with them and you’re off to prepare a nice salad.

Any questions?


  1. Fort Lauderdale, it’s really fantastic place for summer. I have visited this beach and really enjoyed a lot with my wife over there. Even I took lunch in nearest Honeymoon bed breakfast. It is amazing and unforgettable picnic.

  2. Oh Joyce, I did laugh at this one ... it flowed so nicely and evenly and I kept picturing some grave teen in front of her classmates reading from a prepared text. It was very funny and the ending especially. Perhaps they are part of some wacko church ... great fun!

  3. Thanks much, AT, for stopping by and commenting. I personally have been there too, and loved every minute of it.

  4. Thanks, Matt. I had a lot of fun with this one. When I first read the prompt, I thought, oh no. I can't do something like this, and then the idea popped in my head, and I had to go with it. I kept trying to picture her in a darkened classroom with index cards... Love to find humor in the darkest moments. So glad you enjoyed it.

  5. Oh yes, the index cards! That works so well. I had to come back and write again, because I kept picturing your narrator before her class being so serious, trying to dress up what is basically 'show and tell' in a sophisticated and relevant way. I really like the structure the slide show gives - great choice - and also how you did not give all the slides equal measure. And your ending! Having read just a few of your stories, I do recognise this story has a nice 'Joyceian' (?) twist!

  6. You are a disturbed individual :)

    I thought this one would be hard(ish) to really get into, but the dark humor worked well

  7. I think it's a VERY good thing that the kids were not in the mood to take a couple of to-go duffels back to school with them. That would just about have cleaned out the 2020 class of spring-breakers and left nothing for the summer comers to eat. Wonder if the patents chastised them for not bringing a snack home for them. Laughed a lot throughout . . . does that make me a bad boy? Wonderful tale , Joyce. Thanks

  8. Great piece Joyce, I really enjoyed the way you darken the mood gradually and we're left in no doubt about what it is we're hearing. You are like a great quality product that we will buy again and again because you always deliver.

  9. Matt, Thank you so much for your additional comments. I realize the subject matter was a bit odd?, but picturing everything in my mind helped me to sneak some humor in there, I hope. The slide show idea really appealed to me because I thought it would be bizarre, and Joyce does love bizarre. I wanted to show the presenter as someone trying to be just as serious as she could be. I mean, there are grades at stake. I do try very hard to provide real 'eye opener' type endings as much as I can. More fun that way.

  10. AJ, You're right. Glad they only took photos and some memories back with them. I would hate to have to picture Ft. Lauderdale deserted! Mom and Pop were in my original draft down the beach in Miami enjoying some snacks, but decided I would save that for another story. If laughing a lot through this makes you bad, what does that make me? I snickered just thinking about it! Glad you enjoyed it!

  11. Thanks Richard, for stopping by and so glad you enjoyed this. I wanted to kind of sneak up on the reader and then startle when the light finally came on! Thanks for letting me know I succeeded.

  12. Hi, Chad. Thanks? Yeah. Thanks. Disturbed is good. Right? lol. Glad you enjoyed my tale.