ISN’T IT ALWAYS

Jean-Louis watched the person in the water.

He had piloted his small coal barge for thirty years, travelling back and forth along the canal between Arles and For-Sur-Mer on the coast.

The canal was straight, had only one lock, and passed through farmland and a nature reserveIt was unusual to see anyone on the paths alongside the canal, let alone jumping into the water to meet his barge.

He picked up his pole with the mooring hook attached and held it out to the incoming swimmer.

The man gratefully grabbed the hook and Jean-Louis pulled him aboard.

Merci,’ the man said, having regained his breath. He wore only a shirt and underwear.

‘Pas de problème,‘ Jean-Louis replied.

‘You must think I am crazy.’

‘The thought had crossed my mind,’ Jean-Louis said, taking hold of the tiller.

‘There is a good reason for my strange behaviour.’

‘It is none of my concern,’ Jean-Louis shrugged.

Problème de femme,‘ the man explained.

‘Ah,’ Jean-Louis nodded his head. ‘N‘est-ce pas toujours.’


photo-20171009154709601
Copyright BarbCT

Written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story in around 150 words, based on the weekly photo prompt. Thanks as always to the challenge host Priceless Joy. For more information visit HERE.

To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

Translation:
Merci – thank you
Pas de problème – no problem
Problème de femme – woman trouble
N‘est-ce pas toujours – isn’t it always

39 responses to “ISN’T IT ALWAYS”

  1. LOL somehow I knew that without the translation, but thanks for letting me know I was correct.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, thanks Janet. I think most people will understand, but I thought I should include a translation just in case 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wisdom tells us we cannot run from our problems, but I’ve never heard we can’t swim from them. Thanks for the laugh, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, thanks Sue, glad you enjoyed 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great story! My French is apparently passable enough that I understand all but the last line.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Funnily enough I wasn’t going to include a translation because I thought everyone would get it – until I wrote the last line, then I thought I better just to be safe 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. 🙂 A nice start to this week’s tales. Loved the read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, very kind 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Haha! Hope there wasn’t an angry husband with a shotgun behind him. Good, fun story Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Varad – he certainly seems to have made a quick exit from somewhere 🙂

      Like

  6. hahaha. Loved the dialog.
    Great story , Iain. Now, i can even claim to know a little French . Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Moon, you’re welcome 🙂

      Like

  7. Can’t live with ’em and you can’t live without ’em.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Those last two lines pretty well sum up my life especially as one of my problèmes avec les femmes took place while I was living in France!

    Click to read my FFfAW!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can see you jumping into that canal Keith! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hahaha! What fun! Had a jolly time reading this. Thank you, Iain!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re very welcome, thank you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Hahahaha! He is swimming away from a woman. Great story Iain!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Perhaps more than one woman! Thanks PJ.

      Like

      1. Oh, that is right! I hadn’t thought about that!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Haha! The last line is exactly what I was thinking. Fun story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you liked it, thanks 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I loved the story Iain, but I think if une femme had overheard the conversation, she’d have followed on with “et vice versa”. Three languages in one sentence – I’m feeling like a veritable polyglot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I think she would have a lot more than just that to say to him 🙂 Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Haha, what better way to escape than diving in. Cute write!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Very interesting read Iain Kelly. Thanks for the translation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome and thank you for reading.

      Like

  15. Ah imagine a woman saying man trouble- why oh why is it always woman trouble!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, there are 2 ways to read this. You could take it at face value – 2 men having the old moan about woman trouble, or you could see in his reply a note of sarcasm – ‘isn’t it always’ – as in that is always the excuse, when we really know that the trouble is caused by men and not women!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Thanks for the little translation there, Iain. I didn’t get the last bit at first but on scrolling further got my answer. A catchy last line.
    Makes me wonder the what and where that made him land in a minimal state. A whole new direction to wander.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Norma, I thought that last line might be a bit of a stretch for the non-French speaker, glad you were able to get the ending.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, the translation made it easy. 🙂
        Otherwise there’s always a Google, I guess…for most of the things.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. And for a woman jumping it would’ve been man trouble. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Either way, it seems the person jumping is really the one causing the trouble 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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