Friday, March 13, 2020

Nightingale Floors

                                   Nightingale Floors


                                      I have Nightingale Floors.  Do you?

       Many years ago, I won't say how many but let's say less than a century, I was in Japan for two weeks. While there I signed up for a tour and one place we went to see was a warlord's home.  It was like the Japanese homes you see on the television with the sliding panels and thin walls and take your shoes off at the door. 
         To maintain his power he invited the warlords. and their families, who were possible threats to visit him.   (Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer.) When they all arrived he gave them an elaborate feast, with music and entertainment.  They each had to return the gift with their expensive feast and entertainment, so as not to lose face.  It was set up so the visiting warlords had to spend so much money they could not hire soldiers to raise a coup against the host warlord.
        As the visiting warlords and their families slept in the main house, the master warlord had all the floors in the sleeping area made to squeak when they were stepped on.  No one could get up at night without alerting the host.   He called his floors the Nightingale Floor.

      My hallway floor squeaks.  I like it, especially at night when I am settled in bed.  You might think, You live alone, why would the floors squeak?   First, I don't say the floors squeak I say they tweet or sing like a Nightingale.  They tweet because the characters in my books come at night to speak to me about themselves.  They have a tale to tell and they want me to write it for them.
      After they leave, sometimes I fall asleep a bit sad, but mostly I drift off with chuckles under my breath.  I get such amusing pictures of the characters from what they say that I have to laugh.  For instance, these characters have not been placed in a book yet but here is the tale they told me.

I was almost asleep when a tweet, tweet, tweeter tweet, tweet, woke me up.  I looked at the door and of course, I didn't see anyone as I don't see people who aren't there.  I am not crazy.

"All right, what do you want?  Tell me quick so I can get some shut-eye."

A male voice spoke, "We are here...."

"We?  Who are we?" I asked.

"I am a Lutheran pastor, next to me is a Baptist pastor, next to him is a Methodist pastor and at the end is the Presbyterian pastor.  We are from the same town and we have a huge dilemma and want you to solve it."

"I don't solve anything.  I write."

"If you solve it you could write about it, so it is in your best interest to listen."

"Okay, if I listen, not promise to solve anything, but listen, will you go away?"

"Yes."

"Spill it."

"The problem is...."

 "Me," said a female voice.

"Who are you?"

"Ceilia Silliphant. And I am causing the problem. I am a Presbyterian."

"How is that a problem?"

"I have a little shop where I make and sell hats.  Hats for ladies, for little girls and babies. I sell a lot of hats as people like my designs."

"That is true, Pat.  I am the Lutheran Pastor and my wife buys our little girls their Easter hats at Ceilia's shop."

"Yes, and all the ladies in the Methodist congregation wear her hats," said another voice.

"So what's the problem?"

"I make hats people like all week and I do enjoy it.  I really do. But on the weekend I create a truly original one for me.  One that only I would wear.  And I wear it on Sunday to church.  Every Sunday for a month and each month I create a new one."

Another pastor spoke up.  "That's the problem.  The first Sunday of the month all the people in our town, men, women, and children all go to the Presbyterian Church service to see her hat.  No one goes to the other three churches.  We work hard on our sermons and no one is there to hear them.  But they hear the Presbyterian pastor's sermon and then they talk about Ceilia's hat and his sermon all week.  We don't like it and want it to stop."

Another voice spoke.  "Cecilia, tell Pat what your hats are like."

"Well,  last Sunday I wore a hat that had a stick poking up about 12 inches from the top with a large flamingo feather on it, pink it was, and on the stick  I had multicolored ribbons winding around and then at the brim I had children figurines holding the end of the ribbons as if the pole was a Maypole."

     "Tell her the rest," spoke a voice in the dark.

     "The children did sort of,   kind of,   maybe,   looked like  several children in the town."

     "Yes, and all the ladies were sure they saw their child on the hat and it started several arguments."

     "I am sorry, but I just can't give up making my original creations. And I have to show them to everyone as I am proud of them, and my mama always said to wear your best to Sunday going-to-meeting service.  So I have to do it."

     I heard her pathetic sigh. "I have no answer for you, especially at this time of night.  I will pose this dilemma to my Pat's Snippet Friends and ask them to submit their ideas.  So please leave, tweeting the floor as you go and let me sleep.  Good Night."

     "Good Night, Pat.  Sweet dreams and don't let the bedbugs bite."

     What a thought to go to sleep on.    

     You may meet these characters, someday, in one of my books.

       I  love the tales the characters tell.

        Please solve the problem and submit your suggestions so the characters do not come back to disturb my sleep again.  I need your input.    HELP!