Finish the Story — The House By the Lake – Part 6

43935A6F-53E7-4937-B17E-5DD4E928CD4DI have been tagged by Fandango over at This, That and The Other to take part in the latest Finish the Story challenge from Teresa Grabs.

The rules for this challenge are

  1. Copy the story as you receive it.
  2. Add to the story in some fashion.
  3. Tag another person to contribute to or finish the story.
  4. Please use FTS as a tag so Teresa can find it or link back to part 1.
  5. Have Fun!

Here’s how Teresa kicked things off.

A house sat perched precariously on the edge of Clearwater Lake. It was a house that should not have stood, yet stand it did. It had been there for centuries and locals swore the same couple lived there the whole time. Locals never knew how right they were until the day the rains started.

“It’s just a little rain,” Susan said, watching the couple pile water and canned fruit into their shopping cart.

The couple looked at the checker and smiled politely. “The rain will not stop,” they said, “we’ve seen this before.”

No sooner had the couple left, Susan but dropped her smirk as locals poured into the shop chaotically looking for food. The once spring storm skies have turned …

To be continued


Sadje’s part 2.

….. dark grey and water came down in sheets. People were scurrying away in the downpour with their bags of groceries clutched tightly under their umbrellas. Susan thought that it would be prudent to get some stuff for her family as well, just in case… What am I thinking! She nervously chided herself and yet she bought some bottled water, cans of soup and other supplies and started home. The umbrella she had was too flimsy and inadequate to handle the rain and she was soaked to skin when she reached her place. She met Dan at the door who was getting the kids inside. She sent an inquiring gaze towards him and was answered by a nod. Dan knew something but didn’t want to say it in front of the kids.

After dinner when they had sent the kids to bed, they discussed the elephant in the room.

“Do you think there is something to be worried about, the rain I mean?” Susan asked him.

Dan looked a bit worried but smiled at her question. “You have heard the rumor too?”

“I was there when the Jackson’s were buying water and other foodstuffs in the store today. She said that the rain won’t stop! Do you know what she meant?”

Dan looked uneasy and said…….


Melanie’s part 3.

Dan looked uneasy and said, “Oh I suspect those people are just doomsday advocates. You know, those odd people who go about spreading lies about the coming end of the world!”

Susan frowned, disturbed at Dan’s cavalier attitude. “I don’t know about the doomsday idea,” she began, “sensible people have been telling us about the repercussions of our lifestyles for years and years. What do you think global warming is about, anyway?! All these horrid superstorms, which keep getting more and more severe. I wonder if there isn’t a grain of truth in the Jackson’s statement. Maybe the rain won’t stop this time.”

Dan snorted, but it was a weak uncertain sound. Susan knew he believed the same thing she did. But what to do about it? There wasn’t enough food and water available if the rain kept pouring down, not to mention the flooding that surely would occur and the destruction of life as they knew it.

Susan thought back to old traditions that she had grown up hearing about. Things about appeasing old gods and sacrifice. Maybe it was time for some out of the box thinking. Maybe someone should call Stephen King and ask him what he would do, if he were writing about the end of days brought about by a mega-storm, instead of a mega-virus. Susan shook her head at her whimsical train of thought.

The thing to do right now was to make sure her family was secure. Dan could put together some sandbags and …

There was a tremendous roaring sound and a portion of the side door nearest the small creek, broke apart. Muddy water began to pour into the hall. Susan screamed, out of pure reflex, and Dan and she clung to each other watching the water run. Out of the black night a voice boomed…


Kristian’s part 4.

Making them jump, then stand and stare in astonishment.

“Come on, jump aboard, this is your last chance,” said a man with a long white beard standing on wooden hand made boat.

Susan grabbed her raincoat and her kids and jumped onto the boat and Dan was not far behind. They saw they were not the only people on board, several of their neighbours were there huddled inside the bowels of the boat.

There didn’t appear to be anyone steering or rowing the boat and yet, without rhyme or reason, it appeared to float down the watery avenue that had once been the main street of town.

The boat then sailed out onto the lake towards the island. The lights in the house were lit like a beacon, beckoning them in. The boat pulled up against a wooden jetty and the strange bearded man jumped out and tied the boat securely.

“Come on everyone, we’ll be safe on the island.”

When they arrived at the house, the front door opened and to everyone’s surprise…


Fandago’s part 5.

…there were seven dwarfs standing in a reception line, greeting everyone as they walked into house’s foyer. “Oh my God, they are so cute,” Susan whispered to Dan.

Dan, always the skeptic, said, “I don’t know, Susan. I am not too keen on being ‘saved’ by some random, Gandalf-like Wizard who miraculously shows up at our home, shuffles us onto a crude wooden boat, and then leads us into Snow White’s house to be greeted by the likes of Dopey, Doc, Bashful, Happy, Grumpy, Sleepy, and Sneezy. Are we in the middle of some weird dream or are we dead, having perished when the muddy waters poured into the hall of our home? This whole situation makes no sense.”

Dan walked up to the man with the long white beard and said, “Where are we and what is going on here? We put our lives in your hands and you bring us to this strange house with these little people waiting to greet us. I need a rational explanation for all of this. I demand an explanation.”

The man with the long white beard glared at Dan. “Your cynicism is well placed, my friend,” he said. “We are at a way station, neither here nor there. We will remain here until fate guides us to our next steps.”

“What next steps?” Dan asked.

The man with the long long white beard smiled. “You are about to find out, my friend.” Just at that moment, the front door to the strange house flung open and standing in the doorway was none other than…


StrokeSurvivor‘s Part 6

a small, clean -shaven man. As he gradually appeared in the dim light, Susan could see that he looked younger by some years, but there was no mistaking the family resemblance to her own “escort”. “I couldn’t find any more”, he said. More what? The question was left unanswered.

Susan, fortunately, was starting to think clearly. “We need a roll call”, she announced. “Do we know anybody who lives close by, who isn’t here?” For a while, there was silence. Dan was alerted by a tugging of his sleeve. He looked down to see his eldest daughter. “Mrs Brennan”, she whispered. Of course, old Mrs Brennan owned the beautiful Rose Cottage next to the creek.

Dan took control. “Yo’re right. We have to look for Mrs Brennan”, he said. “That creek will be bursting by now, we have to find her. We might be stuck here with a bunch of weirdos but we’re not in immediate danger. We need to find her and bring her here”. “That’s impossible”, a voice piped. It was Gandalf: “You can’t get off the island”. There were murmors of agreement from the dwarves, but Dan had to try something.

“Who’ll help me?”, he asked. Fromthe rescued party, a man and a woman stepped forward. “We can’t just do mothing”, the woman said. “Okay, we all got torches? Make sure those coats are wrapped well!”, Dan said with an air of determination, before wrenching the door open again. Susan hugged the children. “Dad won’t be gone long”, she said, trying to stifle her own tears.

Outside, the rain was still lashing down. Even Dan’s powerful torch was not much use, and he stumbled twice as he retraced their steps from the boat. Finally, the three broke out of the woods and reached a small jetty. But instead of the boat they had just arrived in, they saw…


and I tag New Epic Author to continue the story.

Fandango, I hope you like my weirdos. You are warped, my friend 😆.


Testing, 1, 2, 3 (Fandango’s Rriday Flashback)

Fandango posted about how he is getting ready to move house, so his WordPress activity will be hit and miss for the next few months. But he made it today and has posted his Friday Flashback.

I have always liked the idea of his Friday Flashback, so shall also post my own. As much as anything, it reminds me of where I was. Hopefully, you will find it entertaining too. Whether he gets to post or not, I’ll continue to post under the Fandango’s Friday Flashback tag, just to stay consistent with my previous posts on the theme.


I guess when I started the blog, I had a mission just to describe my life, and my Flashback post today talks about my regime toward testing my diabetes. It’s interesting to read the post, because my regime has now changed quite dramatically.

As I mentioned in the post, a few times I have measured my sugar frequently, over a 24h period, just to build up a picture of how it varies during the day, and I knew from these plots that my sugar followed a curve. It tends to be at its lowest when I wake, and its highest around suppertime.

I also noticed that a few times, I happened to measure my sugar levels at suppertime, and they were uncomfortably high. Despite the readings in the morning being good.

So, I decided that I had to start testing myself not just in the morning, but in the evening too. This also allows me to directly regulate each dose of insulin.

Of course, just testing myself more often didn’t change the numbers any. But it means I am now double-careful about what (in particular, how much) I eat for lunch. On days when I don’t have to go out, I’ve also found that splitting my morning insulin ito two has helped – just taking ½ of the dose with my breakfast, and the other ½ with my lunch. No more insulin than before, just more spread out.

Anyway, safe in the knowledge that everything has now changed, I hope you enjoy my flashback!

Mister Bump

I follow a couple of diabetes-related groups on the internet, and if you’re so minded, it’s possible to have heated debates with people on the subject of how often you should test yourself. I mean, test yourself as often as you want, but bear in mind that for each test, you have to prick your finger, so you really have to ask yourself whether pricking yourself too frequently does it any harm. For example people who have pricked their fingers for many years often complain of poor circulation in their fingers and toes, but the Catch 22 is that diabetes itself causes poor circulation!

Anyway, I thought I’d describe my routine. Bear in mind that as I’ve blogged many times, I take insulin. Twice a day.

My daily testing regime, on top of that, is just to satisfy myself that I’m taking the right amount of insulin. To achieve this…

View original post 290 more words

Wasted Potential

A while ago now, one of my friends posted about suicide – she specifically highlighted male suicide. It was a very objective accont, facts and figures. In addition, the TV News a few days ago presented an article about veterans’ suicides, so I thought it might be useful to publish my own experiences. Truth be told, I have had this post written for a while, but (a) I’ve never been 100% happy with the wording – the post probably has a hundred edits under its belt, and (b) it’s on such a sensitive subject, I’ve never been sure that the time was right to publish.

My own experiences during my daughter’s teenage years (this is not just a male thing). We had all sorts of issues with my daughter. As a teen, she sat in the next room from where I am right now, and cut herself. I knew nothing about it despite only being a few yards away. It was clear to us that something was wrong, but not the extent. When we did try to get help, every time we asked, we were told we fell through the cracks in the system.

To compound things, aged fourteen, a girl in the same class as my daughter, Megan, committed suicide. For many people, life at the age of fourteen can be pretty shitty, but most of us get through it somehow. This girl decided to hang herself instead.

We saw some interesting effects from my daughter.

First, my daughter started describing Megan as her best friend. I have no idea whether this was indeed the case, but I do know that we hadn’t even heard the name spoken before her suicide. So, they might well have been friends, or it might have been an attempt by my daughter to exaggerate her loss. My daughter had tried to do that before, but certainly never on the same scale.

The second effect was that the event normalised suicide. Does that sound weird? What I mean is that my daughter subsequently tried attempts of her own. Clumsy attempts, which fortunately didn’t succeed. She is twenty now, it is not something we discuss but she seems to be navigating life’s ups and downs. I guess she’s glad she didn’t succeed. She lives on her own so certainly, if she did want to do anything, she has ample opportunity.

I say fortunate, and I mean that of course because my daughter is still alive.

But I also see this from my own perspective, too. It feels quite selfish, but it is unavoidable. Because I know fingers would have also been pointed at my wife and I. In fact, we had very little interest from social workers, except in adversarial circumstanses, when everything had become inevitable – all our earlier metings were confined to being told how we didn’t qualify for something or other. And, I include the Police in this too – they will say that they are not social workers, which is absolutely fair enough. In fact, they tried to “help” the situation just by trying to build a criminal case against my wife and I (which wasn’t there). You wanna know why I don’t trust a policeman? That’s why. That’s how they operate. Black and white. A child is harming themselves, therefore the parents must be abusing them.

So, had the worst happened, I can only imagine what they would have tried to conjure up.

Despite this sorry episode, however, I do accept that suicide can be justified. In fact, I get irritated at the simplistic mantra that suicide is bad and that we should do what we can to prevent it. A former head of the UK’s armed forces said as much in the news article. Frankly it seems perverse to me that it is okay to build an environment in which somebody is left wanting to kill themselves, but all the same.. please don’t! In the case of veterans, this story comes around every year or so, so you can judge the scale of their efforts for yourself. (In their defence, the evidence against them is just anecdotal right now, because nobody has yet thought to measure such things.)

Every suicide is a tragedy, somehow, but each of us has a set of scales, reasons to live versus reasons not to live. For most of us, if we even spare it a thought, the scales quite easily tip one way. I guess that most of the time it is so obvious, we don’t even think of it. But what do you do when the scales tip the other way?

When the scales tip the other way, then I believe that suicide is a rational course of action. I think it is a pity if they do tip the other way, and the reasons why they tip the other way might not be sound, but all the same, I can understand that they might.

Imagine two extremes – somebody being worried about something, say. Money, for example. Something which many people woud say does not warrant taking one’s own life. Yet, it happens. Then, somebody with a terminal illness might decide on suicide, rather than prolonged agony for both themselves and their loved ones.

There is a whole spectrum of reasons, and I think we must view every case individually. Even somebody who commits suicide unnecessarily (we might judge), we should probably then ask ourselves why they perceived that things were so bad, that they took their own life.

So I don’t buy the straightforward mantra that suicide is bad. There is more to it than that. In fact, when somebody simplifies the issue that much, it does leave me wondering whether they have any real concept of what is going on in people’s minds.

I am, however, going to end the post on a yes, but…

I do still think from time to time of Megan. As far as I know I never knew her, never even met her, but suicides are uncommon, after all. Fourteen. I mean, if you’re gonna go, go. I understand that people have their reasons. But people need to give themselves a chance to live a little first. Megan would’ve been twenty now, same as my daughter. Not long passed her driving test, even managed to total that first car, but she was out drinking and clubbing with her mates at New Year, presumably enjoying herself….and goodness knows what else she gets up to that fortunately, I know nothing about! But she’s trying to carve out a life for herself in the big, wide world, unfettered by any constraints from her ever-so-square parents.

I wonder whether Megan would feel the same way now?