May 7, 2019-Prompt-A Feeling of dread crept through me as I watched the birds flee.

“What was that?” I hollered at my dog Duke. No answer. Fine! Duke went on point.

“They are gone now, Duke.” I watched the birds fly away through the dense forest of trees. All of a sudden, I heard several gunshots ring out.

“What the hell was that?”  No one is supposed to be hunting here. It’s posted land. A feeling of dread crept through me, as I spied a stranger pulling a bloody man’s body across the path in front of me.

Kip Scott

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April 30, 2019-Prompt-My Boss came into work wearing a T-res costume, and the day just got worse from there.

My boss, the curator at our natural history museum, is known for his sense of theater, but today he’s over the top. I had brought my Cocker spaniel to work with me, as I had to take him to the vet in the afternoon.”Skippy” took one look at this hulking green monster and peed all over the carpet. He jumped up and down, barking his head off. My boss, Stephen, was wearing the outfit to kick off “meet the dinosaurs week” at the museum.  Not a “kick” for Skippy or me though. I picked up a few of his pellets, put him in his travel cage, and left early for the vet. Skippy probably didn’t need a flea bath anymore, as they were all scared away. He and I could use a couple of tall ones however at the local saloon.

Tom Rutherford

April 23, 2019-Prompt- Put Your Character in a Precarious Situation

Was Billy still angry?

In spite of our Smack-down fight a week ago, I was hanging from a rawhide Reata knotted about my waist one quarter down the one hundred foot cliff. I had dropped hand over hand on the frayed two-inch jute rope as Billy let me down. Now I had let go of the jute and relied only on the rawhide. Billy was to keep the Reata from sliding across a rock above while I hung free and lifted the owlets into each sack looped under and over my belt.

Our wrestling for fun always turned into mad fights. Was Billy was still angry? Both rawhide and jute belonged to his dad and I’d not seen them before we borrowed them from his River Road Construction business truck. From the nest ledge, it was still about seventy-five feet to the huge sharp boulders at the cliff base. Neither rope would reach past the rocks and dropping from their ends would not be a painless choice.

Now Billy had to take up the slack in the rawhide as I climbed back up because neither of us trusted the frayed jute alone to hold my weight. Could I trust him? This was way past the best time to ask. I had won the Smack-down Billy started. He was really mad when he left and today was the first we’d met since that fight.

Donavin Leckenby

February 5, 2019 – Prompt -peel,wood,lace, light,blue

I’m not sure I want to go through with this, Annie said to herself as she slipped the light weight dress over her head and put her arms through the lace bolero.

It had been a rough day. It seemed like something was wrong.

She had just met him today. His eyes were as blue as the sky but there was something that made her skin prickle when he touched her arm as he helped her step down off of the train. It wasn’t a good prickle either! Why had she agreed to meet him for lunch!

The air had turned chilly, a wind ruffled the tree leaves. She shivered as she threw a piece of wood on the smoldering fire in the fireplace. Maybe he won’t come. I hope he doesn’t she thought as she settled into a chair by the fire and began to peel an orange. Oh! I hope he doesn’t. I was stupid to agree to see him again.

Just as a clap of thunder split the air there was a knock at the door
.
Lorraine Ueeck

January 29, 2019 – Prompt – a photo

polar bearDammit, where the heck is that smoked salmon? I asked Mama Bear to be sure to pack it- she knows it’s my favorite. Too much junk in here. Baby Bear’s stuff; toys, diapers, onesies. Maybe that little blonde-haired wench stole it at the 7-11 we stopped at. Now what was her name? “Goldie” ? “Lockslie” ? NO It was GOLDILOCKS !

Tom Rutherford

*****

Jack was a wildlife photographer. During his vacations, he took pictures of deer and eagles in the North woods of Wisconsin. He longed for retirement when he could travel outside Wisconsin to see the “real wildlife” in places like the Yukon . When the time finally came for his retirement and he had enough money saved for a pickup truck and gas to go far North to the Yukon. The truck was old but he outfitted it with the simple necessities of an RV.

He had traveled for weeks from Wisconsin’s Fall weather to the winter-like climate of the Yukon. One day as he traveled along the back highways, expecting to see all the wildlife like moose and polar bears, he ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere. He was tired and took a snooze just as it started to snow. He pulled the blanket over his face to keep warm and fell asleep. While he slept a bear started to climb into the back end of his truck. He was shocked to awake from his slumber to see this big furry bear sniffing at his camera laying on the floor. Needless to say he didn’t get the shot as the bear took his camera with him as he ambled away in the driving snow.

Linda Scott

January 22, 2019 – Prompt – Insanity is the Right Way

Dave has been an AI researcher for over twenty years now. He spent all his waking hours trying to bring consciousness to computers. There have been great accomplishments in the field including self-driving cars, real time language translation and handwriting recognition. But to Dave, none of these is true intelligence. None of these are self aware or introspective. They all produce the same results consistently and reliably. This is necessary for a car, but is it right for true intelligence? Dave is going down a new route now. He has been studying people incarcerated in institutions and trying capture the essence of the patients there into his programming. It is his new mantra now, that insanity is the right way towards true intelligence.

Cheers
Stephen Smith

January 15, 2019 – Prompt – apple, car, sidewalk and bowl

THE APPLE INCIDENT
Saturday morning I was driving my CAR back from the grocery store. It was raining so hard that my windshield wipers could hardly keep up. With the visibility so bad, I could hardly make out the boy on his bicycle riding on the SIDEWALK next to me.

He was peddling hard through the puddles and had no raincoat or hoodie for protection. All of a sudden he veered off the SIDEWALK right in front of me! I slammed on the brakes and braced for what was sure to be a tragic accident. My tires slid on the wet pavement, and I miraculously stopped before slamming into the young man.

My groceries were everywhere, with eggs and yogurt on the dashboard. The red delicious APPLES I had purchased had become ammunition as they flew from behind me like mortars.They barely missed my head.

I got out of my car and found the young man shaking and crying, but unhurt. I gave him and his bent bicycle a ride to his home.

When I returned to my own home I gathered up my groceries, what was left of them, as best I could and cleaned up the mess in my CAR The red APPLES seemed non the worse for the wear, so I placed them in a silver BOWL on the kitchen table.

Tom Rutherford

******

The Rolls Royce came careening around the corner, two wheels jumped the curb onto the sidewalk as the passenger window opened and a long arm threw something at the homeless person standing with his back against the building.

Whatever was thrown the man caught it, flailed his arm violently and screamed back as the car bounced across the curb into the proper lane of the street and sped off.

I went over to check the homeless old man and asked, “Are you alright? Whatever they threw at you did it cause an injury? Just in case, I got at least most of the license plate number!”

The man seemed angry when he looked at me but spat, “I am ok NOW!” He showed me what he’d caught. It was a bowl and held what appeared to be an apple pie.

Now I was puzzled, but before I asked he volunteered, “It’s my lunch. My son-in-law always delivers it that way.”

Donavin A. Leckenby

December 11, 2018 – Prompt – What do you think Santa’s Elves do on there day off? Write a story about an elf that gets into trouble on his day off.

Pinkey was an elf, different in every way from all the other elves. To begin with, Pinkey was aptly named for the fact that his nose would turn a bright neon pink whenever he did something that would put him on Santa’s naughty list if he was an ordinary human. But he wasn’t. He was an elf, not just an ordinary elf. Pinkey was the son of Santa’s brother and an elfin witch. Perhaps that’s why Pinkey was always in trouble and Santa didn’t fire him.

It was days before the Christmas rush, and Pinkey was bored of all the work. So he went to the reindeer stable and “borrowed” Rudolph for a joy ride. Pinkey misjudged the distance when he rode Rudolf too close to the North Pole. Rudolph hit the pole and hurt his nose and wouldn’t be able to lead the reindeer through the dark polar night.

Santa was furious with Pinkey whose nose glowed an exceptionally bright neon pink. Santa thought that if Rudolph couldn’t guide the sleigh perhaps Pinkey’s nose could.

And so it was that Pinkey with his own the pink nose led all the reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh to make the rounds on Christmas eve. However, true to his mischievous nature, Pinkey ate all the cookies and drank all the milk that was left out for Santa.

Linda Scott

 

December 4, 2018 – Prompt – A man enters his house and notices several things are just slightly out of place.

TWILIGHT (Bob Kelly)
“Hmmm… I must have left a newspaper on the floor this morning,” I thought as I stepped on the neatly folded newspaper.

I had just gotten home from work and walked through the dimly lit house into the kitchen where I was greeted by the bitter smell of freshly brewed coffee.

“What the hell? Did I forget to reset the timer this morning?”

After dinner I tried to watch the evening news. I had to search for the TV controller and when I finally located it, discovered that the channels were all mixed up. This was really starting to annoy me.

Yes, I had recently had a stroke but had never before faced this kind of confusion.
Later that evening as I was preparing to brush my teeth, I discovered that all of the brushes were neatly placed in the cup but upside down. Likewise, the toothpaste was not in its usual drawer but instead was two drawers away. An eerie silence seemed to fill the house.

I fled to the safety of my bed and lay quietly in the dark. Suddenly the radio beside my bed blared to life and the opening cords from “Twilight Zone” flooded the room.

November 27, 2018 – Why I Write?

November 27th, 2018

Today as I write about Tito a beloved Communist leader after visiting his Parliament in Belgrade last May, I remember the smell of the pink with yellow center rose that was named after him. Learning about his funeral that was attended by many dignitaries on Both sides of the Cold War. It was said no funeral rivaled it for five years by Pope John Paul II, then thirteen years later by Nelson Mandela.

I was sitting writing these facts in my NaNoWriMo novel, as I received a text from a neighbor saying she had just heard our neighbor down the block didn’t make it out of surgery. It was a sad day in our neighborhood, as we’ll miss Jerry’s smiling face. He was a retired Air Force officer. I saw Jerry walk across the street as I was on the way to meet a friend for church. I’d been told he was leaving the next day for Palm Springs as it was a dangerous surgery requiring at least four specialists. He had a hernia of the diaphragm that needed repair. I impulsively jumped out of the car and hugged Jerry so hard it broke my dollar store glasses, I had tucked into my blouse.  Saying I hoped to see him home soon.

When I told my friend of his passing, she said, “I want to go to the movies.”

My thoughts were she needs, “Calgon take you away time,” (an old bubble bath commercial). I prefer to feel the raw emotion, “That’s why I write!”

Carol Bouchard