The Porthole

PHOTO PROMPT© Roger Bultot

I really like Grandpa’s study, but it is a bit creepy.  You see, he has a porthole to another world, a world that is strange and distorted.

My older brother tells me that I am full of beans, that I’m just seeing a mirror.  But why does it look so funny?  He said it’s “con-hexed” or something.  I knew there was magic involved!

When I asked Mom, she said, “Go ask Alice.  I think she’ll know.”

Who’s Alice?

And why did Uncle Bill laugh and call Mom “Grace”?

Grandpa is no longer here.

He must have gone through the porthole.

***

word count = 100

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by  Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  This week’s prompt is here and uses a photo by @ Roger Bultot . If you want to join or see other stories, go to the inlinkz linkup.

65 thoughts on “The Porthole

  1. James McEwan

    I think you have captured the experience of all curious children whose parents and elders tend to play around with them. It only leads to confusion and creates an imagination struggling to make sense of their throw away remarks. i wonder if it is really cruel. But sometimes parents just don’t have time or else can’t be bothered.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks.
      In a case like this story it is pretty much the adults don’t want to take the time to explain it, so a joke or two will do… I’m not sure if it is cruel. Although we need to make sure children understand the world around them, I have also read that we often explain too many things to them, not allowing them to develop the skills to figure things out on their own.

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  2. granonine

    I think there’s a lot more going on here than I know about. “The song,” for instance. You all seem to know what that is, but I don’t–never listened to rock music much past Elvis :) “Slick” nudges some distant memory but I’ll be darned if I can nail it down. Is Alice the Lewis Carroll creation? And who is Grace? See, I think this would mean a whole lot more to me if I were more “up” on things!

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      There is a lot going on here…
      The young protagonist (I was thinking 4-years-old) thinks there is a window into another world. Her brother tells the child that it is just a convex mirror. The little one doesn’t know the word “convex” so hears “hex” and thinks there is a spell on it, which opens the window to that other world.
      The child then asks her mother about this mirror that lets people go to another world. The mother instantly thinks of Alice’s second adventure, “Through the Looking-Glass” (“Wonderland” is the first). Teasing the child, she not only refers to the book, but to a song from the mid 1960s – the line “Go ask Alice. I think she’ll know.” Is from the song “White Rabbit”, but has been used a million times since then in popular culture (There have been several movies with the name “Go Ask Alice”, as well as books). Grace Slick wrote and sung the song (the best known version with Jefferson Airplane), so the kid’s uncle teased her mom about using drug references when talking to a child.
      OK, so the child has no idea who “Grace” is, and most likely thinks a more religious thing. Combining that into the fact that all of her relatives are at her grandfather’s house, but grandfather isn’t there, she figures he must have gone through that magic mirror that is really a window to another world. Nobody (so far) has gotten that they are all there at grandfather’s out without him because they are attending his funeral…
      OK, so 250 words to explain a 100 word story ;)

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thinking of the “psychedelic” aspect – I watched a video for the song today. I don’t think Grace blinked once during the entire song! I know dilated pupils are side effect of certain unmentioned psychedelics, but I didn’t know not blinking was as well…

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      1. Lorraine

        I was thinking of the “alternative universe” sense of your post — ie. the mirror led elsewhere. I should have been clearer. The play on Alice through the looking glass. I envisioned alien illegal immigration.

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          Yep, caught it. Similar ideas (portal to somewhere else) but different directions. Also, I think in both that portal may have been in the protagonist’s imagination ;) (That’s the way I read the space aliens, at least – somebody’s weird, delusional idea… but I could be wrong – he or she should be able to prove it soon ;) ).

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