Basic Skills

Image copyright: Kent Bonham

“Swivel on this,” he roared, stretching out his right arm, palm of hand facing upwards, middle finger pointing to the sky.

“Swivel on this,” they echoed, mostly getting the gesture right – some body language is universal.

“Again,” he said. Again they echoed.

The language students were a motley bunch from a number of countries and mostly from war zones. Just getting here had shown determination and spirit – essential for survival in this deprived neighbourhood in which the authorities had dumped them.

The curriculum he had devised was eccentric – but then this wasn’t a ladies’ Swiss finishing school.

“Once more,” he called.


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ weekly 100 word Friday Fictioneers challenge found here.

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45 Responses to Basic Skills

  1. The universal lyric of profanity thank you darlin’ There will be a short(p) tryout after this commentary.

  2. give thanks you darlin’ There will be a scant(p) mental test after this commentary. The oecumenical language of profanity

  3. DevBlog says:

    The universal speech of profanity A primer on the musical phrase “Sit on it”? The universal speech of profanity

  4. leroyjhunt says:

    The universal language of profanity A primer on the phrase “Sit on it”?

  5. markmhamann says:

    Thank you darlin’ There will be a short test after this comment.

  6. Strangely uplifting. The universal language of profanity

  7. Sarah Ann says:

    The images are great in this. Love this story and its universality. There are always different ways to communicate clearly 🙂

  8. Miles Rost says:

    What’s next? A primer on the phrase “Sit on it”? XD Well done, Patrick!

  9. rgayer55 says:

    In the Beverly Hillbillies movie they referred to it as “A California Howdy.” Everytime someone shoots me the finger, I think of that line.

  10. gahlearner says:

    Funny story. Good that they all know what it means. Gestures are tricky…

  11. Survival skills. I like it!

  12. Philippa Prinsloo says:

    That is so funny 😂

  13. Dale says:

    Now that was beyond unique!! And I’m still grinning…

  14. Delightfully different – I’m still grinning!

    Click to read my FriFic

  15. Hahaha! Thanks for making me laugh 🙂

  16. Nan Falkner says:

    It is kind of comforting to know that we speak some of everyone’s language. Very nice!

  17. wmqcolby says:

    Well … at least they all know they’re all STILL number one! 😀

    Thanks, Patrick! Great story!

  18. Dear Patrick,

    Eccentric is one word for it. Nicely done.



  19. Haha, so imaginative. So believable 😬!

  20. Sandra says:

    Such a unique take on the photo. 🙂 Well done.

  21. granonine says:

    Funny. Universal language, indeed 🙂

  22. Rowena says:

    Ha! Quite funny. Always important to learn the essentials. Well done.
    xx Rowena

  23. Iain Kelly says:

    Haha, love this Patrick. Essential skills indeed!

  24. This was so very wonderful. I loved this excellent piece of writing. Very well done, PATRICK.

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