Kite / Cometa - The Ink Well Prompt #12: Childhood Summers

in The Ink Well14 days ago


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This is my entry for The Ink Well Prompt #12: Childhood Summers

When I was little I didn't like summers and it wasn't because I loved school, it was because it meant leaving the comfort of my home and by then I used to be an indoor cat.

I remember it like it was yesterday, as soon as summer came, our father would take us to the mountains, to the countryside and sometimes to a friends' farm. My dad loved nature. But for me, the thought of having to go to the... you know, outdoors, in the middle of nature, where there are bugs, flies and crawling creatures, gave me the creeps.

And don't even get me started on how difficult it was to spend the nights in those places. In total darkness, in the small hut where we used to stay, perhaps with a gas lamp or a small candle to light the outside, especially for those who wanted to release their physiological needs at night, which I obviously never dared to do, it was too traumatic for my vivid imagination.

Away from the hustle and bustle of the city and technology, in the open countryside, with only the stars as my witness, all sounds were amplified. The hoot of an owl, the flapping of one animal falling victim to another, the tormenting and neverending chirping of crickets, the croaking of frogs, and worst of all, the tiny legs of insects and lizards crawling around corners.

You will understand that for a child, whose concept of time was totally different from that of adults, the hours could be endless and even more so the afternoons and evenings without television. Because I forgot to say that those places never had electricity or any kind of technological advance.

I always regretted missing episodes of Fantasy Island or I Dream of Genie, as well as other exceptional TV series.

However, when my father had to work in the summers, then things were different. It was great to be able to watch TV all day long, not that I had the 300-ish channels there are today, by then there were only 4, but for a kid, it was mesmerising.

I remember the first time I watched Cartoon Network, it was totally awesome, 24 hours of cartoons and no commercials, for a kid it was paradise come true.

But I've gone off the rails from what I really miss about my childhood summers, flying kites, what we know here as flying "papagayos".

My mum used to bring thin twigs of dried bamboo, don't ask me where from, and sheets of coloured tissue paper. She would make a rhomboidal structure out of the former, which was the frame of the kite, and then cover them with tissue paper. She used glue to paste the materials together and finally made a long paper braid that served as a tail for the kite.

We would use the morning to build a couple of kites and then, in the afternoon, when the sun went down, we would walk to a field not far from home, where we could fly the kites.

My mother's soft hands were very skilled at crafting, whereas mine were stubby and my fingers always got sticky and ended up with bits of tissue paper stuck to them. I spent more time getting the sticky bits off my fingers than I did building the kite.

We would tie a string to the centre of the cross that formed the frame of the kite and then run across the field, to make them fly. We had to run two or three times to get them high enough to fly, then we would give them more string to make them reach incredible heights.

They were unforgettable moments, the coolness of the breeze contrasted with the summer heat. It was a physical activity that didn't require hitting, kicking or scratching. I wasn't a fan of playing any kind of sports. But feeling the force of the pull of a kite high in the air was captivating and seductive.

Sometimes we would give so much string that the kites would rise so high that it would become a small speck in the sky, by which time, the force was so great that the string would break and the kite would be free of its tether and could soar through the sky at its leisure. We never got them back.

The afternoons ended with an ice cream or some candy or even better, a 'chicha', a sweet and thick drink made of rice and milk. A nectar that sweetened the end of a fun day.

See you next time, space cowboy (should I say cowgirl too?).






Esta es mi entrada para The Ink Well Fiction Prompt #12: Veranos de la infancia

De pequeño no me gustaban los veranos y no era porque amaba la escuela, era porque significaba salir de la comodidad de mi casa y para ese entonces solía ser un gato de interiores.

Lo recuerdo como si fuera ayer, apenas llegaba el verano, nuestro padre nos llevaba a la montaña, al campo y algunas veces a una finca de unos amigos. Mi papá amaba la naturaleza. Pero para mí, el solo pensar que tenía que ir al baño a la intemperie, en plena naturaleza, donde hay bichos, moscas y seres rastreros, me daba grima.

Y no me hagan contar lo difícil que era pasar las noches en esos lugares. En total oscuridad, en la pequeña cabaña donde solíamos hospedarnos, quizás con una lámpara de gas o una pequeña vela para alumbrar el exterior, en especial para aquellos que deseaban ir al baño por la noche, cosa que, evidentemente, jamás me atreví a hacer, era algo demasiado traumático para mi viva imaginación.

Lejos del bullicio de la ciudad y la tecnología, en el campo, con solo las estrellas de testigo, todos los sonidos se amplificaban. El ulular de un búho, el aletear de algún animal siendo víctima de otro, el incesante y atormentante chirrido de los grillos, el croar de las ranas y lo peor de todo era escuchar las pequeñas patitas de los insectos y lagartos arrastrándose por las esquinas.

Entenderán que para un niño, cuyo concepto del tiempo era totalmente diferente al de los adultos, las horas podrían ser interminables y más aún las tardes y noches sin televisión. Porque olvidé decir que esos lugares jamás tenían electricidad o ningún tipo de avance tecnológico.

Siempre lamentaba perderme los capítulos de La isla de la fantasía o Mi Bella Genio, así como de otras series de tv excepcionales.

Sin embargo, cuando mi padre tenía que trabajar los veranos, entonces las cosas eran diferentes. Era genial poder ver tv todo el día, no es que tuviera los 300 y pico de canales que hay hoy en día, apenas eran 4, pero para un niño, era algo hipnotizante.

Recuerdo la primera vez que vi Cartoon Network, era algo totalmente impresionante, 24 horas de dibujos animados y sin comerciales, para un chico era el paraíso hecho realidad.

Pero me he ido por la tangente y me he alejado de lo que verdaderamente extraño de mis veranos de infancia, el volar cometas, lo que aquí conocemos como volar papagayos.

Mi mamá solía traer ramitas delgadas de bambú seco, no me pregunten de dónde, y hojas de papel de seda de colores. Con las primeras hacía una estructura romboidal, que era el armazón de la cometa y luego las cubría con papel de seda. Usaba pega o cola para pegar los materiales y finalmente hacía una trenza de papel larga que servía de cola para la cometa.

Aprovechábamos la mañana para construir un par de cometas y luego, por la tarde, cuando bajaba el sol, salíamos a pie hacia un campo no muy lejos de casa, en donde podíamos elevar las cometas.

Las suaves manos de mi mama eran muy hábiles para hacer manualidades, en cambio, las mías eran rechonchas y siempre mis dedos quedaban pegajosos y terminaban con pedacitos del papel de seda pegados a ellos. Pasaba más tiempo quitándome los restos de pega de mis dedos que construyendo la cometa.

Amarrábamos un cordel al centro de la cruz que formaba el armazón de la cometa y luego corríamos por el campo, para hacerlas volar. Debíamos correr dos o tres veces para que ganaran la altura suficiente para volar, luego, le dábamos mas cordel para que alcanzara alturas increíbles.

Eran momentos inolvidables, el frescor de la brisa contrastaba con el calor del verano. Era una actividad física que no requería golpes, patadas, ni arañazos. No era fan de jugar ningún tipo de deporte físico. Pero sentir la fuerza del jalón de una cometa elevada en el aire era cautivante y seductor.

Algunas veces cedíamos tanto cordel que las cometas subían tan alto que se convertía en una pequeña mancha en el cielo, para entonces, la fuerza era tanta que el cordel se rompía y la cometa quedaba libre de sus ataduras y podía surcar el cielo a su conveniencia. Jamás las recuperábamos.

Las tardes terminaban con un helado o algún dulce o mejor aún, una chicha, una bebida dulce y espesa hecha de arroz y leche. Un néctar que endulzaba el final de una jornada divertida.

Hasta la próxima, vaquero del espacio (¿Debería decir vaquera también?).

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Beautiful childhood memories, jadams2k18 :)) But that's sad that you didn't like the holidays in the country and in the mountains. Your father probably didn't even notice when you silently went on holiday with him. And often it's because children don't have equal participation. Because if everyone sat around the table and figured it out, then maybe a holiday home in the countryside would be chosen where there is also a TV :)

Hiiii! Thanks for coming by!

Your father probably didn't even notice when you silently went on holiday with him.

Yeah, you're right. That makes me sad now :/

Because if everyone sat around the table and figured it out, then maybe a holiday home in the countryside would be chosen where there is also a TV :)

It would have been nice. Those were different times :)

This is a lovely memory--rather, memories. You have a knack for sharing details that bring a moment, or a place, to life. As pleasant as this was to read, it wasn't really a story. You need some sort conflict, some central action that demands resolution in order for this to be a story.

However, I gave you an upvote anyway because this was such a pleasant read. Thank you for thinking of the Ink Well when you write creatively. I hope to read more of your stories in the future.

I appreciate your feedback. It is true that it is not a story as such as it requires an arc, where a character is developed. But, I wanted to go back to my memories of my summers and I couldn't avoid capturing them.

I feel that I learn a lot in your community, thank you very much for your support.

I hope to read more of your stories in the future.

You can bet on that ;D

I actually wanted to ask you a favor, if it's not too much trouble and you can do it any time you have some free time.

There's a story I wrote not too long ago that didn't get much reception although there was one reader (@suntree) who did read it and loved it. And that made me very happy :)

https://hive.blog/hive-148441/@jadams2k18/unexpected-encounter-short-story-encuentro-inesperado-cuento-corto-eng-spa

Maybe it's too much to ask, but it doesn't matter how long it takes. It would be a pleasure if you could give your opinion on it.

I enjoyed reading this very much. Even though it technically lacked the elements of a story, it conveyed effectively a child's experience of summer. I liked especially the child's skewed view of his/her father's experience. The father's good luck, time off from work, was bad luck for boy/girl. That meant vacation in the country. The father's bad luck, having to work in the summer, was good luck for the child.

Children do see the world differently.

I hope you will write for us again. You have a knack :)

Children do see the world differently.

You are totally right ^_^

I hope you will write for us again.

You betcha! (I think this how it's written... hehehe)

You have a knack :)

Hey! Thanks :D

They are very tender memories that I'm sure you miss. I liked every detail you expressed.

Appreciate it, thanks for reading ^_^