Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge Day One: Hot Stuff

Delighted to accept the Five Photos, Five Stories challenge when invited first by Irene and then by Norah, I’m looking forward to at long last joining in.

The challenge as follows:

‘Post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge’.

Thank you so much Irene and Norah for tagging me!

To start off with Day One, I’m cheating slightly by combining the photo/story challenge with Charli’s prompt for this weeks Flash Fiction challenge:

‘In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes the phrase, “Man, it’s a hot one”.’

It’s been a while since I kicked up some dust over at the Ranch, and it really is a hot one over there in Idaho. I remember that kind of heat; my heart goes out to her and her neighbours, as well as my friends in California living under the threat of wild fires raging out of control.

Our heatwave here in the UK, although not in the high temperatures of other, hotter parts of the world, but uncomfortable enough when humid, sticky and not an air conditioner in sight,  seems to have disappeared into showery bursts of cool.

This is the time of year when I scooped up the kids from our home in California to visit family in England.  Starved of the summer days of my childhood,  I danced in the rain and breathed deeply into the fresh, cool air.

But I got used to the blistering California summers by staying indoors in air-conditioned homes and cars.  I forgot that back in the UK, everyone rushes outside to sunbathe as soon as the sun peaks out from behind the clouds, desperate for the warm comfort of its Vitamin D drenched goodness.

In California, I never sunbathed as it was impossible to stay in that kind of heat for long. But it was the heat of a summer in Las Vegas that knocked me flat when I first visited in 1979.  It was the first time that I felt the kind of heat that melts the rubber on your flip-flops and fries your skin to a crisp.

This then is my entry for both challenges.  Hope you enjoy!

(c) Sherri Matthews

(c) Sherri Matthews

Hot Stuff

“It’s already noon, let’s go.” Knocked back by air so hot it felt like a blast from a furnace, Jules slammed the motel door shut.

“Man, it’s a hot one out there.”

“What d’ya expect stupid? Vegas isn’t exactly by the sea is it? We’re in the middle of a freakin’ desert.”

“Well, I wanna have some fun. C’mon, the Casino’s air conditioned, right?”

The afternoon scorched on as Gus and Jules staggered from one Casino to the next.

The lobster was cheap, the Tom Collins free and The Chapel of Love was only a short, hot walk away.

*******

I have no idea who to invite for the story challenge, as I’m out of the loop as to whose done it and who hasn’t.  If anyone would like to join in, please feel free to do so. 

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri has been writing full time since 2011. Currently working on her memoir, 'Stranger in a White Dress', she has been published in a variety of national magazines, websites and three anthologies. Sherri raised her three, now adult children, in California for twenty years and today, lives in England’s West Country with her hubby, Aspie youngest, two cats, a grumpy bunny and a family of Chinese Button Quails. She keeps out of mischief blogging, gardening, walking by the sea and snapping endless photographs. Her garden robin muse vists regularly.
This entry was posted in Family Memoirs, Flash Fiction, My California, Photo/Story Challenges and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

67 Responses to Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge Day One: Hot Stuff

  1. TanGental says:

    oh do I remember Vegas in the summer? About 7 years ago we were there in August! Having chilled swimming pools, a first, was a treat but walking between the casinos and amazing structures even at ten at night was beyond unpleasant. You do have to visit, if only because you can’t believe it until you see it. But once only. On the flash loved the take and the neat reference at the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Yikes! And I thought July was bad!! The heat just doesn’t go away there does it? I do have a Vegas story, but I won’t say anymore because…shhh….it’s in the book 😉 I’ve not been to the ‘new’ Vegas. Both boys have been there in recent years and said just the same as you. Great to go, the once. Eldest son said he preferred the older part with more character interestingly. That old Marlborough Man still presiding over Sin City it seems. And thanks Geoff, glad you liked the flash and caught the end 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Heyjude says:

    My personal theory is that if it is hot enough to singe your nostril hairs as you breathe, then it is too darn hot!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Been to Vegas in the summer heat. Wouldn’t do it again. I was tickled pink to see that those ‘Chapels of Love’ really do exist. 🙂 That cocktail looks very interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      It’s crazy hot there in the summer isn’t it? Haha…yes, me too Sylvia 🙂 That cocktail is actually from our holiday in Crete a few years ago. I’m glad I took the photo now, it came in very handy for the story 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Tom Merriman says:

    Your whole post was sweltering, Sherri, not only your piece of flash fiction!
    I prefer the cooler side of things, sunny and not ‘too’ hot… I wonder if I’d be able to cope with California or Las Vegas…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Haha 😀 Thanks so much Tom, I’ve been a bit hot under the collar over this whole laptop thing as you know, so it’s good to send the heat somewhere else for a change 😉 You would cope with California much better than Las Vegas, trust me. Actually, northern California is much cooler, especially along the coast with the marine layer in the summer. San Francisco for instance feels postively chilly sometimes. So you would be fine there 🙂

      Like

  5. I enjoyed the prelude to the flash fiction just as much as the story itself – which made me giggle and cringe at the same time 🙂 Welcome back Sherri! ❤

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…yes, it is a bit cringey isn’t it? 😀 So glad you enjoyed the read, thank you so much Pauline and also for your lovely welcome back 🙂 ❤

      Like

  6. Our last trip to Vegas was 112 degrees, and as we left the hotel, we felt our shoes sticking to the melting parking lot, making that sucking sound as we walked.
    It’s so good to have you back, Sherri, and writing wonderful flash fiction!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      I never forgot that sound!! Way too hot for me! Thanks so much Marylin for your lovely welcome, it’s so good to be back and writing flash fiction again 🙂

      Like

  7. Mabel Kwong says:

    That was a funny short story, I loved it. Summer fun, summer shenanigans 😀 That orange drink looks very inviting. I hope it helped keep you cool. And hopefully it doesn’t get much hotter over there in the UK. In Australia during the summer, when it gets hot I try my best to stay indoors…somehow going to the beach, I end up feeling much hotter! Hope writing is going well, Sherri. Glad to see you’re back 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Oh I’m so glad you enjoyed it Mabel, thank you so much! Haha…I love that…’summer shenangians’, lol 😀 See what getting carried away in Vegas will do to a person? 😉 That photo was actually taken a few years ago during mine and hubby’s holiday in Crete. I don’t usually drink cocktails, and I can’t remember what was in this one, but I had to take a photo! It came in handy for this post! It’s cooler now here, and we’ve had some rain, for which I’m glad for the garden of course! I bet it gets so hot in Australia in the summer. I hope though that it isn’t too cold for you now and that things are going well for you. I’m getting there with my memoir Mabel, thank you. That was one good thing of not blogging. Now I hope to get back into a good routine again once caught up, and thank you so much for your lovely welcome back. See you soon 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Luanne says:

    LOL, as if! Phoenix is Vegas hot, trust me. California is . . . not. I can’t wait til I get to go to Cali! Soon soon, I hope. Scotland isn’t TOO far away from England, and I will never forget being there in July with us in our winter coats, freezing and my poor preteen daughter in her short pants (what do you call those that end below the knee? they were in style) and flipflops! She had no idea it could be so cold in the summer!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Yikes…and I do know how hot that is!!! Cali must be perfect for you 🙂 When we lived on the coast, it was a lot cooler with all the marine layer in the summer but when we drove only 20 minutes into San Luis Obispo, it felt sweltering at 80! Then I had a shock when we moved to Paso Robles more inland when the summers are 100f plus. The day I had my daughter it was 116f. I begged them to keep me in the hospital a day longer (we didn’t have air con at home). Oh yes, it is colder in Scotland but we’ve had July’s like that here, although the last few summers they’ve been like the summers I grew up with, warmer and when it’s warm and sunny here, it is so lovely. But when it gets hot, it gets humid and then we get thunderstorms. Our British weather is unpredictable that’s for sure and such a shame you didn’t have good weather for your visit. Your poor daughter 😦 Capris?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Luanne says:

        Yes, Capris! Haha. I am starting to lose words, and that is really scary. OK, you have had it the worst, heat wise. 116 when you had your daughter and no AC at home? NO!!!!!!!!!!! That is just awful. Really. The WORST.

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        I had to look it up Luanne, I guessed at first culottes, ha!!! Thank God for Google is all I can say LOL 😀 Haha…well, that was not an every day occurrence, but yes, we lived in that house for 2 years and I was so glad to move to a house with air conditioning after that.

        Like

  9. Charli Mills says:

    There’s a reason Vegas is as hot as hell…lol! Lured in by the gaming, kept happy with cheap buffets and free drinks, your flash captures what often happens next….Chapel of Love! Great take on the prompt! Stay cool!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      LOL 😀 They don’t call it Sin City for nothing!! Thanks Charli…glad you liked it, although I suspect that Jules will wake up the next morning desperate to find a divorce lawyer 😉 Likewise…think of your river…cool and crisp and clear…

      Like

  10. jennypellett says:

    Aha, not everyone here rushes into the sun, Sherri. Although I’m fortunate in that I have easily tanning skin, I can’t bear the heat so sit mostly in the shade if outside. I’m not a FAN of air conditioning either, so my summers tend to be uncomfortable.
    Good story though, I love this idea of five pics five stories. You never know, I might give it a go…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Oh you are fortunate Jenny. I tan much easier now but when I was younger I just turned a lobster red. And then tanned. Eventually. Haha…not a FAN. Clever 🙂 I didn’t like not being able to go outside in the heat in California but also didn’t like living in with air conditioning all summer long either. I used to get more sinus infections over there. Strange isn’t it?
      Glad you liked the story, thank you , and that’s great! I’ll hand you the challenge then Jenny when I do Day Two tomorrow and link to your blog. But no obligation if you decide not to…and actually, I did think of you but didn’t want to put you on the spot 🙂

      Like

  11. Pingback: Man, It’s a Hot One « Carrot Ranch Communications

  12. restlessjo says:

    I might have known you’d have a drink waiting for me when I finally got here, Sherri! That’s just the kind of classy lady you are 🙂 Don’t mind if I do. Grim reality is the ironing (still lurking!) but I can keep an eye on Andy at the same time. Lovely to be back in your summerhouse 🙂

    Like

  13. It takes me so long to get to the bottom with all the comments to read. Don’t want to miss a thing. Just sat a moment to eat a bite before the next chore. I loved this story and felt like I was right there. Actually, I have been. Was married the last time at 1:00 A.M. and the temp was 99 degrees at that hour. We used one of those chapels and it was the cheapest wedding in history. It was mostly a business arrangement. My daughter needed health insurance, her dad had lost his and my job didn’t offer it. So there you are. It was 24 years till I pulled out of that business deal. I hate heat so Vegas is not somewhere I would make a destination for any reason again. Loved the drink photo. Was it a good drink? Looks yummy. 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh Marlene, I just love the way you write and tell such a powerful, honest story in just your comment alone. And what a story you share! Bet you were glad when that business deal ended 😮 Phew. 24 years is a long time. The heat there is unreal, in more ways than one. As for the drink, I took that photo on holiday with hubby in Crete a few years ago. It came in handy for this post! I can’t remember what was in it but you can see why I had to take the photo with it’s rather colourful array of cocktail ‘art’ 😉 Thanks so much for reading and sharing your story with me, I love getting to know you know better and better 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Seyi sandra says:

    Always love your 99 words or less fiction! You write it so well, you should write a book with stories like that, it would be fun! :)The dialogue here is crisp and scorching, more like the Texas sun! Glad to see you back my friend!
    Much love and Blessings to you! 🙂 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hello dear Seyi! Thank you so much for your wonderful welcome back and encouragement as always. It means a great deal to me to receive your feedback on my flash fiction, as I am such a newbie at it but feel safe to play here and have some fun with it 🙂 I will be over to you now to see what you have been up to…and sending much love and blessings to you too 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Seyi sandra says:

        It’s great visiting Sherri, I’m just glad you had your laptop fixed. My laptop charger packed up this evening, would have to buy a new one tomorrow. I’m typing this on my phone and it’s different! Hope you’ll have a wonderful weekend, it promises to be sunny.
        Much love to you and yours dear Sherri.😎😉😀

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        Thanks Seyi, and hope you got your charger sorted out! We had a wonderful weekend thank you with my boys visiting 🙂 Hope you did too. Much love back and have a great week ahead my friend 🙂 😀 🙂

        Like

  15. jeanne229 says:

    Just had to take a break this afternoon and see what you’d do with “hot stuff.” Being a denizen of Phoenix where the thermostat regularly tops out at 115 degrees F. or thereabout in summer (about 46 C. I think…) I thought I’d be able to handle Vegas over 4th of July a couple of years ago. But the walking and ultra artificiality of it all did me in. We have the sense here to stay in our cool cars or offices or pools until after sundown, when the dry air can suddenly bring a silken chill to damp skin. Lived in London for three years in the 90s and loved the rain and cool. When the temp did hit 80 or 90 one July, it felt more stifling than home ever had. The contrast effect I guess and the humidity. Lived in California too, LA. Reveled in living with no air conditioning, a breeze ruffling the curtains. Anyway, about your flash. Loved it. Great twist at the end, revealing the real “hot stuff” at the end of all those short-lived Vegas dreams. Great you are “back in the saddle,” as Charli might put it.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Jeanne! Always such a pleasure to hear from you. Wow…another blogger said how hot Phoenix is and that is scorching! I know just what you mean about Vegas, it is surreal there. Even after dark, it is stifling and yes, so very artificial. Your different experiences with heat sound so much like mine, I can relate to every single one. And yes, the humidity here in the UK makes for very uncomfortable days even though the temperature would seem to contradict that. You know what I’m talking about! Love the way you describe LA 🙂 Thank you so much for your lovely welcome back and feedback about the flash…I suspect things weren’t so hot the next morning 😉 😮 It’s good to be back in the saddle and look forward to heading back out to the Ranch once Charli has returned, bless her. Have a lovely weekend Jeanne, great being in touch 🙂

      Like

  16. Norah says:

    What delightful reading – your post, the flash and the comments. I’ve been back three times now to make sure I’ve read them all. The reading might be delightful if not the heat. Our summers here can be very hot and humid. I think it is the humidity that gets me more than the heat itself. It can seem suffocating. Thinking of the heat reminds me a bit of “Mad dogs and Englishmen”. I try to avoid the sun as I have very fair skin.
    Like others I was a bit tickled by the “Chapel of Love” at the end of your flash. I was listening to a talk by Sir Ken Robinson (one of my favourite educators) and he spoke a bit about Vegas and getting married in a chapel there; said that he’s the third person in his marriage – but at least he is alive (not the like other one who sings and jiggles his hips).
    Great post! Great flash! Great to have you back.
    Oh, and thanks for the mention. I hope you enjoy the challenge as much as I did. I look forward to reading your posts.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh Norah, wow, that’s so kind of you, I’m thrilled you enjoyed the whole read so much 😀 I am with you about humidity, I find that very hard to cope with. I found it very hard experiencing it here after living in California so long, as I got used to the dry heat. Haha…yes, I wrote a post last summer (or what is 2013?) about the way us English go out in the noonday sun! Now I will show my ignorance here, as I don’t think I know about Ken Robinson. I googled him but still bringing a blank…yikes!! Thank you so much for your lovely comment and I’m delighted that you and Irene invited me for this great challenge. It’s a wonderful way to get back to blogging after so long. I thought I had lost my blogging spark. Great to be back Norah 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Ste J says:

    It took one day of hear before I heard people talking about some nice rain, we are a nation of fickle weather haters. as soon as you mentioned Vegas it was somehow inevitable that a wedding would happen haha, love it, you can’t go Vegas and not get married, it’s the law or something I heard.

    Like

  18. quirkybooks says:

    That glass has going a lot going on xx

    Like

  19. Ahh after reading your flash fiction challenge I am thirsty for more!! 😉 And oh the heat is something you have to experience to fully understand. It’s why I will always be a lover of the Fall and Winter months. Having spent 15 years in the San Joaquin Valley I am no lover of the Summer months. The photo has me craving something more than this cup of tea so gotta run……. ❤

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…time for a large G&T methinks dear Diane 😀 Yes, that’s some heat you experienced. How we love our fall…and how we danced when it rained 🙂 So hoping it is cool for you this summer…and thank you as always for your great comment. Cheers to you my friend 🙂 😎 ❤ xoxo

      Like

  20. I guess the heat went to their heads 🙂 It’s been quite hot enough here for me, never mind Las Vegas. But that’s a wonderfully summery image and a mischievous story to go with it 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…it definitely did Andrea 😀 And I think that Jules will wake up with a very sore head the next day 😉 I’m glad you enjoyed the flash, thank you so much …and yes, it has been very humid and sticky here hasn’t it? I get quite headachey in this weather and love it when it breaks with the rain and wind. And so we look to autumn… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Sherri I have been to Vegas and was always fascinated by the quick marriage chapels. I only visited in the freezing winters, so can only imagine what the dessert heat would be like. Great short fiction, you put me right there.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Same with me Kath, I was fascinated when I first visited Vegas, not quite believing what I was seeing! I’ve never felt heat like it, coming straight from England and our summers, I didn’t know what had hit me! Thank you so much, I’m delighted you enjoyed the flash 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Icy Sedgwick says:

    What a wonderful idea! And given it’s only 12ºC today in the north east of England, that photo was a sunny uplift to the day 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment, glad to know it warmed things up for you a little 🙂 It’s not so nice here in the south west either, gloomy, dull and showery today…

      Like

  23. Love the last line of your flash. I love the heat , not quite so keen on humidity but in the desert I doubt it would be too humid. Yes, I enjoyed your flash immensely and glad to have you back in the saddle. 🙂 ❤

    Like

  24. Marie Keates says:

    My first experience of intense heat was Morocco in July. I thought I was going to melt!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Great photo. Absolutely love the flash. 😀

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh I’m so glad you enjoyed it, thanks Sarah! So sorry for my late reply…only just saw this, not sure why…but a lovely surprise nonetheless to find you 🙂

      Like

  26. Hi lovely lady! I am so behind on my reading. I have been spending less screen time and opting for more outdoor and family time. It’s been kind of nice but I miss so much of the virtual world!
    I love the picture of you with your fruity drink. 🙂 My experience with horrendous heat is when we went to Miami during a summer. Why we did this I still don’t know, but it was unbearable – particularly the sand burning our feet. Puerto Rico can get pretty hot too but it’s a more moist heat as opposed to that dry inferno-like heat. Nice story to go along with the photo! I’m off to check on your other posts. xo

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hello back lovely Maria! You are so kind to come this far back and read my posts, thank you so much for taking the time. I know just what you mean, it’s great to get out and about, especially in the summer, but I miss blogging so much too! I think it’s an addiction 😉 I couldn’t wait to get back once my laptop issues were sorted! I bet you didn’t go back to Miami for the summer after that, yikes! The first time I felt that kind of heat where the sand burnt my feet was in California and I was shocked. Vegas was something else again 😮 Looking forward to catching up 🙂 xo

      Like

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