October 17, 2017 – Prompt – Smelly, Short, Number

Use the three words smelly, short, and number in prompt.

My yard needed cleaning, and the first thing I thought I’d start with was the old bricks and rocks next to my back porch. I turned over one of the bricks and awakened several short black and brown beetles that began scurrying around in all directions. They began smelling to high heaven. The vast number of them began crawling up my porch steps. Hopping over them, I raced up the steps and into my house to look for a can of insecticide.

Searching through one of the cupboards in the utility room, I spotted the can I needed. Other items crashed to the floor in my haste to withdraw the spray can out.

As I opened my back door, the creeping beetles began marching in over my threshold. I sprayed and sprayed as many as I could. Grabbing my broom, I swept the dying bodies to the ground outside and sprayed them again.

I looked to my right and spotted my shovel which leans against the outside wall of my home. Snatching the tool, I began shoveling the sheer numbers into the burn pile and lit a match.

I don’t know what kind of black beetles they were, but it was either them or me in my crusade. I wasn’t going to let them win.

Then, from the neighbor’s yard, a boy child walked over and asked, “Have you seen my bug experiment?”

©A. Nation-2017

 
WHAT SMELLS?
After a short vacation away, I walked into my kitchen, and something assaulted my nose.
“What is that smelly thing around here?” I said out loud.

Next thing I knew, hundreds of mice scurried around my feet. I jumped on the table without first stepping on the chair. I would have screamed if my voice had worked. After some minutes, I dare look where the mice came from.

The mystery was solved. My room-mate who I had not heard from for several weeks was lying in the pantry, her body mostly eaten away by the mice.

Ellynore Seybold, 10-17-2017

 

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October 3, 2017 – Prompt – A Substance that generates ideas, a spy

I couldn’t believe there was actually a dime store in the tiny town of Hopewell.  It brought back a flood of memories from my childhood.  Inside I spied the sewing notions, the kitchen utensils and the books that were at least 50 years old, but what really caught my eye in the stationary section was a small Pink Pearl eraser. 

 My Pink Pearl eraser memory was the day I stole a 5¢ eraser from a five and dime store. When I was a girl you used to get school supplies the week before Labor Day and they were expected to last all year.  Because I was a perfectionist, I had already used up my eraser and I really wanted a new one.  Dad said, “No”.

 I carefully looked around the store to see if anyone was watching before I slipped an eraser into my pocket.  I had no idea I would still feel remorse fifty years later.

Sandra Thiesen

September 26, 2017 – Prompt-You Wake up in a Different City than the One you went to sleep in.

You wake up in the different city than the one you went to sleep in.

The story is as old as some vintage wine. I pass out in one place and wake up in another. That’s the usual version. However, the strange version is that I only had a sip of  wine. It was given to me by a weird looking man whose clothes seemed to be from a different era and his hair was as wild as the look in his eye. He grabbed me by the arm as I walked outside my office. At first he was incoherent. He didn’t make much sense. Eventually I calmed him down enough to discover he had this bottle of wine from some distant relative and I had to take it back to that relative who incidentally had the same name as mine.

That’s all I remember until this morning when I woke up in a room  familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. The sound of horses outside work me up and when I looked out it was like looking at my home from a distant century. A horse drawn carriage stopped in front and a younger version of that crazy man stepped out and headed toward the house.

Linda Scott

July 25, 2017 – Prompt – It was like the grain in a slab of wood or like the crash of waves.

Zuri held the worn piece of driftwood tight in one hand. Around her, the other exiles held mementos of their past: a rubber ball, a diamond ring, a fountain pen. From her seat on the rocky hill, she could look over the sand dunes below, forming rows like the grain in a slab of wood or waves nearing the shore of her hometown. She could almost pretend that she was home, waiting on the pier with her sister or exploring tidal pools with her brothers. She would be safe, secure, with her family around her, her parents alive, her friends close and her subjects adoring. But she would miss her new friends, the exiles from other kingdoms. She would miss the new experiences, new books, new training and learning and growth… and she would miss Glen. He was worth it–at least, he was when he was present when she hadn’t made an instant decision to watch after his wild sister. In times like this, without him, she just had to remember.

Christie Powell

*****

I had that headache again the one proceeding every encounter with a dead person’s spirit. It hit me like the crash of a tidal wave, a tsunami of torment and it left me feeling like I was drowning.

I struggled to get out of bed the pain intensified. I couldn’t focus my vision, the room blurred and a wavery figure appeared.

“Please,” she said. The voice was that of a young girl. The presence became a more distinct silhouette. I realized this spirit was a very young woman maybe even a teen. She had long hair worn in a French braid that fell to her waist, and she wore a dotted sundress.

“What’s your name?” I asked.

“Alison. I’m Alison Sharp.”

“How old are you Alison?”

She gave me a strange look as if she was searching her mind trying to remember.

“Seventeen.” She finally murmured. “I just turned seventeen. I’ll be a senior in high school this fall.” She smiled then frowned.

There’s more to this story I thought.

Christine Howard

(This week’s prompt from Robin Christensen)

 

July 18,2017 – Prompt – At the end of my life I considered my most significant accomplishment ?

At the end of my life, I considered my most significant accomplishment to be simply me——a woman.

It didn’t matter that I shouted my angst against the war in Vietnam.

It didn’t matter that I had protested, vehemently, Monsanto and Ford’s three-time bailout.

It didn’t matter that I had sold more lipstick than the other gals, and it didn’t even matter that I had won a car.

What mattered was that I built a home, wrote poetry, found refuge in my garden. I shared my wealth.

What really mattered is that I accepted the life he chose for himself–the way he wanted to live–and who he was meant to be.

Robin Christensen

*****

I woke to another dull day as usual.

Same daily routine, but I am nothing if not predictable.

Home, train, work, sometimes a stop at the store for necessities, on Payday’s, I sometimes grab a Pizza. Then of course it’s back home.

However, a startling interruption of reality as one of my neighbor’s was being attacked. I didn’t think, I just charged in, a mad rush of noise that made no real sense, the sharp smell of a brisk winter evening, but no real sense of anything else.

I can’t say how long it took, but the thug ran off.

My neighbor tells me the ambulance is coming.

I can only think, I am happy for the one day I lived.

J. Graymayne

(This weeks prompt contributed by Jeannie Browning)

July 11, 2017 – Prompt -A retired superhero returns to the workforce after her grandson goes missing…

It was strange to be back at work, strange and sad. Nedra would have been happy to never be at this office again. She had been happy in her short retirement, three years of catching up on family time. She’d been able to pretend she didn’t have the gift that had gotten her labeled a superhero.

But now, after the worst call she’d ever received, she had to start again. Her six-year-old grandson, Gregory, was missing. Nedra had called all her old contacts, with no satisfaction. The reason soon became clear. The kidnappers wanted her. The terrorist group that had taken her grandson wanted to exploit her ability to speak with the dead in order to find out the wishes of their recently dead leader.

She intended to convey the message that they better return her grandson alive and soon, or else she would arrange a face-to-face meeting between what was left of their group and their departed demented dictator.

Karen Hydock

(This week’s prompt contributed by Christie Powell)

June 27, 2017 – Prompt – Write about your 1st Birthday

God I hate birthdays.

Both my parents died when I was young, and my various guardians were uninterested in such childish things as birthdays.  Thus, the first birthday I have any real recollection of was my twenty-first.

The guys took me out for a beer, my first legal alcoholic drink. I really wasn’t looking forward to it because I never took to alcohol a whole lot anyway.  Nevertheless, I nursed the beer until my “friends” began to get irritated with me and started chiding me with, “Chugalug it.  Chugalug it. Chugalug it.”

And so, fool that I was, I did it.  All 12 ounces went down like a shot — and then all 12 ounces came right back up in a horizontal, six-foot-long projectile laced with bile and several implanted hors d’œuvres which spattered over most of my very surprised associates. That was when I discovered that I was allergic to beer, and most other alcoholic beverages.  I knew there was a reason that I had shied away from booze most of my teens and now I had irrefutable proof.

That was 57 years ago. And surprise, surprise; none of those friends have ever again asked me to chugalug anything, not even a glass of milk.

And whenever a birthday rolls around, I hide in a closet.

Lloyd Rain

 

June 20, 2017 – Prompt

This week’s prompt was this picture. Contributed by JL Lahey.

4572480633_2c7ea3e0da_bWhen I volunteered to work in the college lab, I didn’t realize what I was getting into. I found out much to my surprise that I was in charge of taking care of all the strange body parts in jars and the skeletons stored there.

Campus life was rather dull and boring, and no one ever came to the lab unless they had an assignment to complete. The hours dragged by, so I decided to make a game out of my job. My goal was to get more of the students in the Science program to come to the lab.
Each Wednesday afternoon I started taking Harvey, one of our biggest skeletons, for a bike ride around campus. I had him stuffed into the basket on the front of the bike. Harvey, that’s what I called him, carried a big sign on his lap. It read, Hey Guys do you want to party? Come hang out with me on Fridays from 4 to 6. Free Beer!

I also arranged for loud music to play in the background. We certainly got everyone’s attention. From that time on the science lab “rocked” every Friday afternoon and evening. The school professors didn’t know what to think, but I won “The Campus Hospitality Award” that year.

Strange what a friendly skeleton and free beer can do!

Jean Dunston

June 13, 2017 – Prompt – Found

Found – A Collection of Cliches

I finally found my way home after spending a fortnight wandering in the jungle. There was a huge pot of gold at the doorstep.

“Finders Keepers,” I exclaimed.

Then I found out riches can’t buy happiness and I still felt lost inside.
I found myself searching for words to express my emotions.

Jeannie Browning

(This week’s prompt from Karen Hydock)

June 6, 2017 -Prompt -Danger

June 6, 2017 -Prompt – Danger

The sign by the cliff-side read “Danger. Stay on the path.” The rocks rose straight up, crossed with lines and pockmarked with handholds, a climber’s dream despite the raging river and jagged canyon walls below.

Keita Sage looked at her twin brother. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”

He was already climbing. “Last one to the top babysits Avie tonight.”

Avie, their younger sister, squawked a protest, but Keita and Glen were already climbing.

The rock crumbled under Keita’s hands. She veered south to keep out of her brother’s way, but the rock here was smooth. Her fingertips found the smallest crack, and her toes bent back painfully as she stuffed her bare feet into the impressions. Was he ahead? She didn’t dare look. Sweat dripped into her eyes and made them sting. Her arms trembled, her fingers seemed rubbed raw. Never mind beating Glen now, she just wanted to get off this cliff without falling.

At last Keita heaved herself over the ridge. She flipped to her back, panting, as her brother joined her.

“Was it worth it?”

Keita whirled. Her dainty sister perched on a nearby boulder, watching them. “How’d you get up here?” she demanded.

“Easy.” Avie’s smile grew. “I followed the switchbacks.”

Christie Powell

(This week’s prompt from Meleesa Stephens.)