And the Sky is Gray

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Pitter-pat, the soft all percussion orchestra damped all sound as it dampened the skeletal trees and smudged the image of the neighborhood John could see out of the rain-streaked window.

And he just sat there, staring, mind numb.

“All the trees are brown,” the Mamas and Papas sang.  Why was the winter rain so sad?

John shook his head.

The site of so many summer revels was lonely and forlorn, nobody in those outdoor chairs, nobody at that picnic table.

He turned inward and looked at the glowing computer screen.

When this news breaks perhaps people won’t be as sad.


word count = 100

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

I had a hard time writing “Gray” instead of “Grey” in the title, but had to keep up with the song…

And for the song:

(Click here if you don’t see it below)

38 thoughts on “And the Sky is Gray

  1. Pingback: 170 – Gray – Beach Walk Reflections: Thoughts from thinking while walking

  2. Bill

    Y’all made me look.

    I have 20 M&P songs on my (iPhone) playlist. I never pass any of them up.

    Regarding the album cover, I found this: Five versions of this M&P album cover were produced:

    Cover number 1: The original cover (the one you show) features the group in a bathroom, sitting in a bathtub with a toilet in the corner. These were pulled from stores after the toilet was judged indecent. I think it was 1066. They have since become valuable on the collector’s market, with one copy selling at auction for $300.

    No. 2: Most of the toilet bowl is covered with a scroll listing the presence of “California Dreamin'” on the album.

    No. 3: Two additional songs from the album are shown on the scroll: “Monday, Monday” and “I Call Your Name”.

    No. 4: Same as No. 3 but with a gold record award blurb added (in black) to the left of the group.

    No. 5: Black cover with a closely cropped shot of the group that hid the fact that the picture was taken in a bathroom.

    Cover art was by photographer Guy Webster.

    This cover shows the artists as “The Mama’s and the Papa’s”, a grammatical error that was not corrected on any of the album’s reissues.

    Oh, and I enjoyed the contemplative story, Trent. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I think I learned more about the history of folk music from Creeque Alley than any documentary… lol. That’s one thing I love about M&Ps – anything and everything that happened in their lives was fair game for a song, even a “secret” affair.
      Thanks! Glad you liked the story.


  3. Resa

    On a winter’s day
    and warm
    Church…along the way
    Began to
    winter’s day

    LOVE this song! Your take on the pic is A++++++++++++++++++++

    On Leave today
    a winter’s
    California Dreamin.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. granonine

    The Mamas and the Papas–I wonder why they put apostrophes in that album cover. Which has nothing to do with anything except my inner English teacher.

    And I have the ear worm too. Good thing I liked that group :)

    Liked by 1 person

            1. trentpmcd Post author

              I haven’t used my disc-changer in ages. i do still sometimes get CDs because the music isn’t available digitally and I want access at any time (i.e., I can’t stream), but it goes on my iTunes right away.

              Liked by 1 person

        1. trentpmcd Post author

          Well, there is -one- single formula for World Peace. I won’t go into details, but “no people, no war”. lol. OK, a bit drastic and I’m sure I will find few willing to buy off on it, but it would work. Sorry, sick sense of humor.
          I have found that with most deep issues, the deeper I go, the more complicated it is. On an economic plan, if you change part A, parts A1 – A2000000000 are all effected and we need to see what the consequences are before we move to parts B, C, D… ZZZX, ZZZY, and ZZZZ. I have never heard nor seen in writing anyone who has even gone into 0.0001% of the complexity I see in my mind, and though I may not be very smart, I am smart enough to understand that I only understand 0.00001% of it, if that much. I know that economists and even politicians simplify it so normal people understand, but I really hate that the talking heads all simplify it even more to try to win people to their ideology.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Ocean Bream

            I see and hear what you say. I don’t think many people (myself included) see it with that kind of complexity although I like to think I am wise enough that I know I don’t understand one percent of the complexity of solving world peace. The thing is, there are different perspectives, and how do we know which is the correct perspective based on what you believe? Because if you choose one perspective and start to solve it that way A1 to Z-whatever, you’re missing the links of all the other perspectives and their A1 to Z-whatevers. Like who is right? Each side is strong in their conviction. You wouldn’t know unless you went through all the variables of all perspectives. Could you train an AI to figure it out like a calculation? Given that human behaviour, while pretty predictable, can also be very unpredictable? But yes, for sure I agree that the talking heads shouldn’t simplify it too much to win people over. I think there is a problem with people not knowing as much as they ought to these days. Knowledge seems these days to be surface level. Which is ironic considering we are surrounded by knowledge and how easily accessible it is. Forgive me if I sound like I am rambling. I hope my meaning comes across lol.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. trentpmcd Post author

              Actually, I was thinking here more basic economics – I know we started with world peace, but that is even more complex and much, much more dependent on people – one persona can influence millions, so how do you account for a Hitler or a Putin that can twist a nation to their own image?
              So when I have gone down the rabbit hole of trying to figure things out before I realized that it was totally and completely impossible part of it was trying out all of the different ideas and perspectives that I knew about. Obviously I missed many and don’t really understand others I think I do, but I tried. And, yeah, maybe an AI could help, but there is still that human nature thing in their. You can program it as well as possible, but…
              Anyway, yeah, I’ve been rambling too ;)
              But I do agree 100% with your assessment that people have gone more and more to sound bites and the surface despite having more and better access to so much information and knowledge.

              Liked by 1 person

  5. Marilyn Armstrong

    Winter does seem to make many people sad. Our weather is so complicated and erratic, about the only time when I really LOVE the weather is in the fall. Winter snow can be beautiful, but it’s expensive to clear and difficult to maneuver, so I could be just as happy without any snow at all! Not as pretty, but a lot easier to manage, rain falling and all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I am on the Cape today and it has rained all day non-stop – I very much relate to that part of my story ;) I do like the snow quite a bit, but am tired of snow removal, which is one reason I am slowly migrating from New Hampshire to the Cape – it snows here, and there are nasty blizzards, but there is a lot less snow and the salt air makes it melt pretty quick.
      I love, love autumn!


  6. rochellewisoff

    Dear Trent,

    As soon as I read the title I heard California Dreamin’. Thanks for the earworm. Listening to the recording as I write. I loved the Mamas and Papas. ;)
    If the earworm isn’t enough, your well-written piece leaves me hanging. What good news????



    Liked by 2 people

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      The Mamas and Papas are great. It might be boring, but this is my favorite song of theirs.
      The good news? Cure for Cancer? Cold Fusion? A solution for World Peace? It is whatever works for you ;)

      Liked by 2 people


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