All Stories, Romance, Short Fiction

Week 317 – ‘Manners Maketh The Man’ Is Just A Saying And Not A Singularity, Opening A Door Is Just Manners And Emily Dinova’s Saturday Special.

Well here we are at Week 317.

This week is like the old saying about buses. (For all the kids reading this – A bus is not your mum or dad giving you a lift somewhere, it is a big long vehicle that takes loads of you as long as you pay. Paying is when you give your own money to someone in exchange for items or services that you need / want)

I like to teach the youth of today – From a distance that is. I’d hate to do something radical like talk to the wee mutants. To be fair, I don’t think they can hold a conversation without typing it badly. I like to teach the youth of today – From a distance that is. I’d hate to do something radical like talk to the wee mutants. To be fair, I don’t think they can hold a conversation without typing it badly.

Apart from having no respect what-so-ever for snowflakes, royals, royalists, politicians, sensitives, spoilt wee bastards and the daft fuckers that procreated them, I would consider myself mannerable. I’ve been happy to be respectful to folks at work and to use ‘Sir’ and ‘Madam’ when talking to fuckstain customers. I did not call my managers ‘Wankbag-Fuckwits’ whether I thought them to be or not. I open doors mainly because I want the person closest to me to sod off. And I listen intently to people as I really don’t want to talk to them.

All joking aside, I am very mannerable. But the one thing I can’t get right is the standing when a lady enters the room. I always sort of miss-time this and I feel as if the moment has gone. They come in, I pause and then stand up and they think I’m leaving. Since they think that, I don’t want to disappoint so I go. That’s fucked up many a dinner date!

I’d hope that most of us have grown up with manners and when you have, it’s so difficult not to say please or thank you. If someone has really fucked you over and you’re not happy, you need to repeat to yourself, ‘Don’t say thanks, don’t say thanks, don’t say thanks…’

‘There we are sir, I know that you have waited an hour for your soup and yes my thumb is in your food, but don’t worry, it’s too cold to do me any harm.’

(Don’t say thanks, don’t say thanks, don’t say thanks…)

‘Thank you. (BASTARDDDDDD!!!!!!!)

The reason I mention manners is me and Diane had a ‘conversation’ about this the other day regarding submissions and what we expect. There are still some folks out there who don’t do themselves any favours. It’s so sad that in these days, there are still folks who don’t follow simple common courtesy.

And that has nothing to do with an unconscious need to oppress women as some fucking idiot who stated this on Social Media about opening a door for a lady. That guy needs to simply fuck off and spontaneously die. Jesus Christ!! What has the world come to where you can’t even open a door for ANYONE without it being scrutinised as some sort of biased / bigotry or oppression. Give me someone being unconsciously thoughtful instead of an absolute bell-end analysing and coming up with something that is just not there!!

– Oh back to the buses! Like the old saying – ‘You wait for ages and then two come along at the same time’ We have that going on as we have another Saturday Special!!!

I’ll come to that but I’ll get the review done and dusted first.

Onto this week’s stories.

We had three new writers, a fourth timer and a guy who has now become a part of that elite band of writers who are in double figures which means he’s joined the under three percent club.

Our topics this week include; an additive, a group, an icon, control and the craft.

As always our initial comments follow.

First up was Susan De Felice who has graced the site on three previous occasions.

Self-Made Grocer‘ was our starter of the week.

‘A bit grim…But there’s nothing wrong with that!’

‘The characters are very visible.’

‘Susan captured the feeling of their lives very well.’

On Tuesday we had Yash who has reached a milestone – Very few writers hit ten or over.

Time Enough‘ was next up.

‘This was so well done. You found yourself not liking the narrator.’

‘You did end up with some sympathy for him.’

‘I reckon he’ll end up sad and alone and in a house full of clocks.’

Three newbies in a row.

We welcome them all, hope that they have fun on the site and as always, we want to see more of their work.

John Giarratana broke the back of the week with, ‘Take The Giants In Five.

‘I liked the idea of this.’

‘I don’t know how folks would feel if this was true.’

‘The idea of him in a pin striped suit in a bar in America is rather interesting.’

Our next new writer was someone who doesn’t seem to have been, if that makes any sense.

Monika R. Martin is one of our busy commentators. Now you are able to see what a skilled writer she is.

The Incident With The Knife‘ was her first story for us.

‘Excellent tone.’

‘I liked where this went. There were no excuses, just acceptances and logical calm reasoning.’

‘Some very accomplished writing!’

And we finished off with our last first timer.

Gail Boling was published on Friday with, ‘One Last Act.’

‘I don’t normally enjoy this type, but I really did enjoy this.’

‘The story enthralled me to the end.’

‘The final scenario was one of many that it could’ve been. This one worked very well.’

That’s us for another week.

Usual reminders folks.

Comments make us smile.

No comments make us sad.

Folks who don’t comment and should make Jesus cry.

Now when asked who would want to make Jesus cry, Hitler said he would. But that was because Jesus had stolen Hitler’s pudding in the unit where they live. The reason that I know this was Napoleon told me so.

…And have a go at The Sunday Re-Run. Just pick an older story that you’ve enjoyed and write a spiel or an introduction. Throw in a few questions for the writer and we’ll publish exactly what you send us.

Okay, onto today’s special.

Anyone who has read this posting over the years will know that every now and then, we find something that we wouldn’t consider a traditional story but there is something in it that we want to share. (Type in Saturday Special on the search bar of the home page and have a look at them all. Every one is so different.)

This happened with ‘My Old Life Of Youth’ by Emily Dinova.

We both felt that this was such a brilliant build up and a wonderful piece of character description that the only fault we could find was that there was no more for us to read.

The quality of the prose is superb and the skill in piquing the readers interest is exceptional.

We would strongly suggest that Emily takes this away and adds to it. This could be easily developed into novel length, such is the strength of the characters.

It gives us great pleasure to introduce today’s Saturday Special:


An Old Life of Youth by Emily Dinova

He was an odd sort of man and she was a strange kind of woman.

Together, their laughter never stopped and screams of delight always struck from her vocal cords anytime he would quirk his brow and say something unfairly witty. She never forgot to wake him up with a hand-rolled joint accompanied by a mug of steaming black coffee. And he would massage her back and kiss her neck every night until falling asleep beneath the stars.

They lived removed, away from the bustle of city life and artificial lights. Both abhorred forced conversation and polite conventions. He was too inappropriate for the general public and her amusement over his antics only fueled the raucous and wild behavior that commenced each and every time they visited the mainland. However, when they were alone, lost amongst the forests of vivid green and rushing waters filled with limestone and life, there was a connection between them that required no words, no jokes. With nothing but peaceful calm and a hand to hold, they would adventure off into the unknown and explore the mystical.

Hardly ever sober, whether in a drug-induced haze of clarity or the fiery passion of hard spirits, they would learn new things about one another. The way she would sunbathe on the rocky banks of a rushing river would bring enlightenment of the artistic to his mind, and he, teaching her the history of the woods, full of secret gullies and echoing caverns.

Some would say the two were out of balance. She was air and he was fire, together their flames could burst open the sun. There was power in their touch, the way they were drawn to each other no matter the circumstance… whether they lay naked on a moonlit beach or dressed in black-tie at the opera, he was always touching her, and her body always leaning into his.

He was rough, rugged, aged by war and tragic loss. His hardness was only subdued by her soft love. She was empathy: emotional to the extreme and unable to feel less even at the expense of her own sanity. His dark humor and impulsive nature were matching of her own. They flowed together, in the dark and light no matter what sort of climb it might be, they grew together—the roots of his old soul and the blooms of her youthful essence blending to turn everything green.

 Some thought it was crazy, his being so old and still so young at heart, tattooed and strong like some time-lost Viking, to acquire her, a rare sort of treasure thirty years younger with any man wishing for the chance to experience her free and open thinking.

But there was no other she wanted. There was no other that could compare. Boys had no experience on life matters, they could not compete with the man who gave her such laughter and pleasure and peace.

Hidden away from the world was where they remained, a small island only accessible by boat. Up in the foothills of ancient forests they resided, smoking the days away and finding beauty in every raindrop and heartbeat.

She hardly got dressed which made leaving his arms quite impossible. It was quiet and stormy, always teaming with nature. The air never felt so clean.

It was not their differences that brought them together, but the union of two souls who understood the distinction between what makes a life livable or unforgettable. They chose the latter in one another’s gazes and were reborn into a state of ethereal bliss.

Emily Dinova

Image by Monika Iris from Pixabay 

Great post as always Hugh – several points had me laughing aloud but none so much as the idea of you like a jack-in-the-box when women enter the room. When we meet up I do hope the place has a revolving door – I could play for hours!!! dd

13 thoughts on “Week 317 – ‘Manners Maketh The Man’ Is Just A Saying And Not A Singularity, Opening A Door Is Just Manners And Emily Dinova’s Saturday Special.”

  1. The Dinova piece is lovely. In fact, I think it might be a poem.

    Manners? I keep mine on the trim out of spite for the human race. Have you noticed that only villains say please and thank you anymore in the movies? The good guys always have to come up with a devastating Dorothy Parkerism that no sensible person can see coming together in the mind of Vin Diesel.

    Just gave both cats their morning “Crack Nip.” That’s what it is called. I get it from a guy who knows a guy online. Something tells me it is probably illegal. I pour both fiends a big ol mo fo Scarface pile of the stuff and watch them chatter optimistically at the mated eagles who roost not far from here. There’s no point to this last paragraph. But it was very polite of you to have read it.


    1. Hi Leila,
      Thanks as always!!
      Cracking point about ‘The good-guys’ and few manners.
      Even Mr Bond when unzipping some ladies dress with a watch magnet wasn’t that courteous. To be fair though, when asked if he used protection he would always say, ‘Yesh, of coursh, I have an umbrella that shtops bulletsh.’
      Watching cats on their Crack-Nip is hysterical! We once had a wee feral psychopath who would enjoy sniffing the kitchen floor after we bleached it and would lie on his side and floor swim in circles. We never dared doing cleaning the floor when he was ‘On the Nip’.
      There is a sweetie drug here in Britain. You can’t eat one without eating the whole tray and once you’ve ate the whole tray you look for someone to mug to get money to buy more. I don’t think it effects kids in this way only adults. Stay away from ‘Toffifee’. (I’ve just checked, it’s marketed in some parts of America as ‘Toffifay.’
      It’s nasty. I’ve had to drink a bucket of brandy with a ladle and chase a few dragons to get the plastic toffee, bad chocolate addiction from my system!!
      Be aware!!!


  2. A fun and well-rounded post. Good satirical humor about manners, a poetic Saturday special and great graphic to boot. When The Beach Boys sang about their 409, I never realized it was a green bus.


    1. Hi Dave,
      Thanks so much!!
      I hadn’t even noticed the number on the bus! (Not one of ‘The Beach Boys’ best!)
      I love the phrase ‘Hawd the bus’ (Hold the bus – As in take a pause) but if you say that to anyone under thirty, they look at you as if you’re daft. Isn’t it sad that so many kids went from mummies and daddies taxi service to using their own car bought by mummy and daddy. Walking a mile to get a bus is one of the old skills that is dying out!
      All the very best my friend.


  3. Hi Emily,
    I just wanted to say that it is a privileged seeing your work on the site today. I really do hope that you think about expanding this. With the clarity you have in your mind about this couple of amazing characters, you could take them on a long journey into novel territory.
    All the very best.


    1. Thanks Hugh! Honored to be included in this Saturday Special 🙂 I will definitely consider it, but for today I’m working on another few stories to send your way (and drinking excessive amounts of whiskey to celebrate!)




  4. Diane,
    I had typed, ‘These days my knees aren’t up to meeting you.’
    Then I thought that sounds a bit risqué.
    Then I wondered if it would make you blush.
    Then I thought maybe I shouldn’t have typed that.
    Then – Here we are!!!!!!!!!!!!

    (Thanks as always!! The buses made me smile. I take it the avocado one is from the seventies??)


    1. ha ha. I am going to assume that because you imagine us crawling inebriated through the Cow Gate in Edinburgh over old cobbles and you would worry that you might need knee supports. Worry not – I anticipate we would be so well lubricated that it would be as nought.


  5. That Dinova piece though – brilliant and beautiful. Very relevant as well with the theme of love in isolation.


  6. As always I look forward to your ‘rants’ and you share your opinion well, I hope you don’t mind that sometimes I have to laugh. About manners. I’m the sort of person who was raised with manners, and although I’m an introvert I strike up conversations (pre-COVID) with people on the bus, at the check-out, while walking the dog. I smile too. To me, this is a sample of manners. I speak to strangers as an act to make the world a better place, smiling, saying thank-you, is just part of that.

    About the bus coming in twos: that is a conspiracy on the part of the drivers. While I’m making this up and have no proof, I know it’s true.

    About people on the bus. While living in Victoria, BC I was often on the bus and one time I smiled at this woman who undoubtedly could have kicked my ass. I’m not stereotyping, but she was the sort of woman who in a bar-brawl, yeah you’d want her on your side. Anyway, that one smile was all it took. She prevented several people from using the fold-down chair next to me just so that I wouldn’t have to be crowded. One smile. Now that is power.

    Once again, thanks for the kind words about my story.


    1. Hi Monika,
      Glad to make someone smile!
      You are more than welcome regarding the comments on your story – You deserve all the plaudits.
      You mentioning buses remind me of a time that sorry just wasn’t enough.
      I used to work mad hours in a past life and had to get the bus home. I worked sixteen miles from where I stayed and the bus journey was about an hour. I was continually knackered and really didn’t know what planet I was on.
      One Saturday I caught the bus and fought sleep for as long as I could but it beat me. I woke up with my head on some poor wee wumins shoulder with more drool than I am proud of. I stared at her, she stared back and all I could say as I wiped my chin and her collar was ‘Sorry’ – Not one of my best moments. (Not one of my worst either!)
      Thanks as always, it’s a pleasure to see you around the site.

      Liked by 1 person

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