(c) all rights reserved · 3TC · Fandango's One Word Challenge (FOWC) · fiction · The Haunted Wordsmith · Word of the Day Challenge

Summer Cherry Picking

Image by fernando zhiminaicela from Pixabay

Rutger was a high school science teacher in the thumb of Michigan during the school year, but during his summers he became a vagabond in Europe, traveling to wherever his Euro-rail pass would take him, many times on a whim. One of the things Rutger loved most was taking photographs and choosing one location every summer to call his home base. This summer he called Geneva, Switzerland, home.

Rutger loved the warm and welcoming nature of the Swiss people in Geneva. Because he had learned to speak patchy French, he was also allowed to work part-time as a street photographer, paid under the table with cash or traveler’s checks. The authorities turned a blind eye when Rutger set up his tiny kiosk down by the docks on Rue de Mont-Blanc. What the authorities didn’t realize was this blindness would benefit them when Rutger’s camera happened to get a photograph of the long-on-the-lam crew that had been robbing Swiss banks for three years running. You see, these bank robbers’ faces were never recorded, but each one shared the same tattoo of Cher on their left wrist.

Inspector Clouseau was questioning everyone on the docks about the most recent robbery, which was across the street from where Rutger’s kiosk was set up. Clouseau asked to look at all of the photos Rutger had taken that day. Sure enough, one of the family photos of a man, woman, and their two teen-aged children by the fountain, showed that all four each had the Cher tattoo. No wonder why authorities had not been able to capture them, as no one would expect that configuration of a bank robbing team. It was a blessing that the father was one of the few who had paid for the photos with a traveler’s check. From there it was easy to track the check origin.

It was a summer that Rutger remembered fondly and one that got Inspector Clouseau a promotion.

The End.

Fandango’s FOWC is welcome, the Word of the Day Challenge is vagabond, Paula’s 3 Things Challenge words are Geneva, thumb, teacher , and Teresa’s Haunted Wordsmith Daily Challenge prompts are hard– soft-boiled mystery and the photo.


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Yes, the pun is terrible, but I had fun with it.






42 thoughts on “Summer Cherry Picking

              1. No it was way before The Last Waltz.. I was hoping you may have known…I think it was like 71…Robbie still had the round glasses

                Liked by 1 person

                    1. lol… some people don’t like it…but I ramble…I don’t mean to…I think it’s because I’m in IT and that is the way my mind works…jumping from one thing to another.
                      I appreciate it.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. I had to be skilled at multi-tasking in my job as a probation officer. It was perfect for me. They say you can’t be as efficient when you hop from thing to thing but I say that’s bs lol

                      Liked by 1 person

                  1. I think they did their first show in 69…Robbie had the flu and they got a hypnotist to get him through the show…at the Fillmore West…same place as the Last Waltz

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. Robbie had to be hypnotized to get through the concert? Isn’t he the one “Stage Fright” was about? Maybe the hypnotist said something strange that first time that spooked him….

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. He talked about that in his book…it is funny in a way. He doctor stayed on the side of the stage while they played

                      Liked by 1 person

        1. Have you heard of a group called The Strokes? I’m doing my coloring club with another song from Georgefest. The singer and guitarist is from The Strokes. He is amazing! I’ve got some of their CDs on the way from the L.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Enjoyed your story I certainly didn’t see the ending- at the beginning! I wonder where he is setting up base this coming summer?


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