January 30, 2018 – Prompt – Write a Scene that involves a toe poking out of a sock

It was a giveaway, when I saw from under the bed, a toe poking out of a sock.

Little Sean, had run away from home. He was five years old. His father had punished him for leaving the door of the chicken coop open.

The weather was fierce, the rain came down in sheets. The temperature dipped toward the freezing mark. Where could he run and not freeze to death?

Police gathered on the family farm, along with neighbors. The search would be organized. In the meantime mom was frantic. She had pains in her chest, shortness of breath…tears. She slumped to the floor. Next thing my mother was being resuscitated.

Watching, I stood frozen. Then as she came to, I screamed. “Sean is ok! I found him under my bed with our dog Duke. He’s ok mom, he’s ok”!

Now, years later I am a mother of a five-year-old. I look back on that day when my brother disappeared and shudder. Sean was gone a relatively short time, but it’s a lifetime for a mother.

By Carol Camilla Taylor

 

*****

Setting: Aisle in a local home store
Characters: Cal and Jeff, local old-timers

Cal speaking in a hushed voice:
“I have never seen the likes of this.”

Shakes his head and chuckles
“Why, down-home we would never go out with such. It is just scandalous.”

Jeff using a loud deep voice:
“This is a different time and place. It isn’t that these folks don’t give a damn. They have a different kettle of fish to fry. Feeding nine mouths takes all their time and cash. Even the extra odd jobs don’t add up to enough.”

Cal
But they could take care of what they have. A toe poking out of a sock? Really? You’ve heard of “a stitch in time”? Next thing you know the whole sock will be just a rag. Why, in my day Ma would mend our clothes, even our socks.

Jeff
Ya, when did we start throwing away instead of fixing things?

Cal
Maybe the young in’s would like to learn some of the old skills. We sure could teach them a thing or two. Wanna give it a try?”

Dr. J. Mowczko

Our writing prompt responses are always a revelation and we welcome any replies. This week’s prompt was a first and it was all the result of the word SCENE. One can interpret  that in many ways. One member gave us a scene from a screenplay.

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Jan. 23, 2018 – Prompt – Travel, Breathtaking, Fruit

This weeks prompt use the three words in one or two sentences.

*****

The extremely sour taste of this citrus fruit after having to travel so far is absolutely breathtaking.Bobbi Van Raalte

*****

We were excited by the TV ad, traveled to Aruba, ordered way too many breath-taking fermented fruit juices they call Aruba Dulce, and the rest is a blank.

Donavin Leckenby

*****

In my travel to Asia I came across a breathtaking fruit called the dragonfruit. Ugh, you had to hold your nose to get it into the mouth, but the fruit tasted good.

true story.
Ellynore Seybold

*****

We traveled to the Grand Canyon where the view was so breathtaking I almost forgot to chew my fruit before swallowing.

Lorraine Ueeck

*****

I travel to the top of a hill giving a breathtaking view of the tomato vines. “Fruit, Vegetable,” I pour some salt on a fresh ripe one, and take a bite, “Who Cares.”

Graymayne

Jan. 9, 2018 – Prompt – Star,Milk,Book,

My presentation: Hollywood movie stars will milk every word, every dollar out of your book.

Kevin Draper

*****

Dear fellow travelers,

Hi, my name is Smudge! I’m a stray male cat who just got a new home. I had a family once before, and thanked my lucky stars every night – but something happened and then there was no food, no milk, no family.

I lived on the street for awhile and it was pretty rough. And then I found a house where a nice lady set out food for visitors like me.

She knew I was afraid, so she would sit with her book and be really still, talking sweet to me. She kept at it, twice a day for about 30 days.

And, one day, she reached out and touched me – – and it didn’t hurt!

She calls me Smudgie Big Head Robinson and says that’s my rapper name.

Yes, I have a new family now and they even let me sleep on their bed. I have 2 brothers, Jethro and Chico. Best of all, no one hurts me now – they brush me, feed me and pet me. So, don’t give up, keep trying everyday because there’s always someone out there to love you.

Love from Smudge. 😼 AKA Gretchen Robinson

December 12, 2017 -Prompt – Write About Your Favorite Christmas Book or Movie

When I was a child, the only Christmas books I had was Twas the Night Before Christmas and Bambi. I still to this day don’t understand what sugar plums are supposed to be. Back then, I thought they were prunes covered in sugar. Ick!

But I did like my Bambi book with all the graphics including the cover, which had a fuzzy texture. The story kept me captivated as my mother read to me Bambi’s adventures until I would fall asleep.

Today, I don’t have many childhood items left, and when my mother died a few years ago, my sister pulled the thin hardcover book with the frayed and torn book sleeve and handed it to me. Now, I have the story of Bambi and Thumper to enjoy as long as I want.

Nancy Nation

*****

Great Joy! By Kate DiCamillo

My favorite Christmas book. My introduction to this illustrated children’s book was a Christmas Eve service. The pastor read a bit of it to tweak our interest.

A little girl is looking out her apartment window on a cold and snowy evening. She sees an organ grinder on the street along with his little monkey. She is worried about them and says so to her mother (there is no father in the story, perhaps he is off at war, the illustrations seem to be from that era).

Her mom brushes the girl’s concerns aside she is trying to get her out the door to the Christmas Concert.

At this point, the pastor paused, and read scriptures and a few hymns are sung.Then he continues the story.

On the street, the little girl lags behind her mother and stops to say hello to the organ grinder and his monkey. She invites him to the concert telling him there will be hot cocoa and cookies.

“Hurry,” says her mother.

The pastor stopped the story again, More scripture. More Hymns. Finally, he resumes the story. The girl is on the stage, dressed as an angel part of the pageant. Her turn to perform is coming, but she can’t remember her lines. but hasn’t been following the play. She is watching the door at the back of the hall.

It is almost her turn, what was she supposed to say?
Suddenly, the door in back opens. The man and his little monkey walk in, covered in snow. The little girl remembers.

“Great Joy!” she shouts.

Donna Costley

*****

A Post Script: One member was totally surprised that everyone hadn’t picked A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Even more surprising some members choose Die Hard as their favorite.

December 5, 2017 – Prompt – Pretend you are one of Santa’s elves. Write a journal entry about your day.

Everything was going wrong today. The toy manufacturing parts supplier was behind. The delivery vehicle was in for repairs, and they ran into difficulties that would take three more weeks to fix, and it is two days before Christmas. Several of the elves on Santa’s management team have called in sick. It was probably a result of the cold front that came in from the South Pole.

Who knows if there would be a traditional Christmas this year. All the Black Friday and Cyber Monday’s events have satisfied most of the Christmas wish lists for children in the US and probably around the world. Amazon is now offering free delivery anywhere in the entire world. How can Santa compete with that. I overheard Mrs. Claus urging Santa to retire since there was too much competition from online retailers. On top it, the ASPC has sent a cease and desist warning letter to Santa about mistreating reindeer. And NASA is concerned about the unauthorized use of airspace.

I guess that means that elves like me will be out of work. What business would hire a nine-hundred-year-old 3 foot 2 elf with no experience in the retail marketplace? Oh well … Ho Ho HO!

Linda Scott

*****

December, 26, 2016

So Christmas is over for another year. We overtime to build all those hover-boards, now we hear they are malfunctioning—catching on fire.

The big guy in the red suit is unhappy and searching for the culprit who assembled them improperly. That’s my area and I could lose my job before the day is over.

The bearded wonder was already in a bad mood because there was fog and snow on most of this trip and Rudolph had a cold and his nose wasn’t performing well. They had a few collisions with trees, chimneys and streetlights. Santa hit his head on a flashing yellow light and is dizzy this morning. He stumbled in to his bedroom and woke Mrs. Claus so she is in a foul mood too.

I think after I finish this I’ll write my letter of resignation. Maybe I can get a job with Jeff Bezos. I would think he can use help with all the orders he has to fill.

Mortimer Elf aka Chris Howard

November 28, 2017 – Prompt – use Flee, Coffee and Tradition in your response

Flee, Coffee, Tradition

It is a good tradition to drink lots of coffee before attempting to flee from the bulls in Pamplona.

JL Lahey

*****

Cora’s tradition was to put salt in the coffee.
Not too many in the park liked that. It just wasn’t their thing.

Where it started was from Yuma’s water. Way before everyone decided, except for Cora, that desalted water was the “in” thing.

We all used to joke, “There was a process if you drank Yuma’s best outa the tap: first you go get the snippers, second find an indestructible tumbler, third open the faucet wide, fourth you let about five inches ooze out, more if you really liked the salt, fifth you snipped that off, and last you added distilled water and mixed vigorously.

Well that old joke didn’t go over well, and those who reacted unfavorably had to be ready to flee or face another tradition: a mild form of tar and feathering. Cora had frequently endured such festivities.

Afterward, she always replied to the inevitable question from someone in the mob, “What did you think of that?”

She’d retort, “Well except for the honor of the tar, feathers, and rail, I could have done without the ceremony!”

Cora still puts salt in her coffee, and that’s the way it comes for all guests at her home.

Donavin A. Leckenby

November 14, 2017 – Prompt – Write About a childhood Thanksgiving

Only one thanksgiving from when I was young, and I mean ten or under, stands out in my mind.

It wasn’t the meal itself that stands out; it was the people. It is the only Thanksgiving I remember with my grandmother; she passed away when I was twelve.

I remember sitting at the bar in her kitchen; I think I was 7 or 8. We made cut-out sugar cookies and decorated them, but they weren’t what I wanted to eat. I was holding out for the doo-dads.

My sister put olives on her fingers, but I wouldn’t because then I would have to eat them – no thanks.

We all sat down to eat – adults around the table, kids at the bar. I remember the loud rumble of my father’s laugh and the happy sounds of my grandmother in the never quiet chatter of twenty or more people.

It’s rarely the food or the event I remember – It’s the people, the laughter, the voices and bits and pieces of the stories they told.

Meleesa Stephens

*****

Thanksgiving was a time of cousins, older cousins, five even older cousins who were I thought, very cool, but also condescending.

They knew things — like dirty jokes told in my grandparents’ backyard. Bernalk, with one foot up on the cement block that was the base of the clothesline. Always the teller. Glen, Jeanette, Lucille, and Lloyd leaning in, snickering, guffawing, belly-laughing. Then Shushing, in case one of the adults heard and came around the corner.

They would watch me, my cousins, making sure I stayed in back by the dried up strawberry patch, out of earshot. Making sure I didn’t ask, during the middle of the turkey dinner being set out in my grandmother’s kitchen.

“Mom, what’s a rubber.”

Donna Costley

November 14, 2017 – Prompt – Tell about your first or best childhood friend

My best childhood friend was Nasilla Nnoc as she secretly called herself. Allison was my first memory of a special friend. We shared many horse experiences they were her favorite and the Beetles as they were popular in our teenage years. We both liked McCartney, but she told me I was to like George Harrison. We shared a friend called Wayne Halgarth.

We were opposite in some ways I was the oldest of six kids, and she was the youngest of two and her older sister was off to college and discovering the World. We did visit her older sister in Seattle, WA.

We met in an obscure small town named Elgin, in eastern Oregon in 4th grade and continued to keep in touch although we moved to different high schools in different states our freshman year. She introduced me to her boyfriend, and we shared him for a while, his name was Sam Valentine Brandt, he was an artist.

Allison and I got drunk on her father’s moonshine  given to him at the mill where he worked. It was in a Vodka bottle in her refrigerator, and we had it with tomato juice for breakfast one morning when I stayed with her.

We told her mom that we wanted to listen to the radio in the pickup. So we went out, and she decided we could drive it, I shifted gears, and she used the clutch, brake and gas pedals as we drove a couple of blocks and then back.

On a country road, we were greeted by the dogs of our farm friend we planned to visit. She turned to run, and I grabbed her and said, “We can’t run or they will chase us.” They kept coming but only followed us up the lane. I like to think I once taught her something.

We each married the first time, on the same day, but across the state from each other. I had called to invite her to my wedding. She came for a visit on her honeymoon.  I realized she was pregnant, but I did not tell her I was too. Our first children were born ten days apart.

Our friendship died over a letter she wrote about selling drugs while our children were in grade school.

I’d like to know how she is, as it’s been over forty years.

Carol Bouchard

*****

I was just about a year old, barely able to walk when I first saw him. He appeared to be a shadow moving in the corner of my vision. And then one day he stepped out of the shadows and looked me straight in the eye and said, “Hi my name is Georgie, will you be my friend?”

I didn’t know much about reality at age one, but I did suspect it was odd for a stuffed bunny to talk, much less to move on its own.

Since I didn’t talk at age one, I just listened to Georgie talk sing and dance to entertain me.

By the age of a year and a half, I was uttering words that Georgie would use. My mother and father were shocked when I blurted out the f-word. After all, I had no idea what it meant.

By the time I was ten my vocabulary had greatly expanded from other ten-year-olds. I learned the hard way which words were not acceptable. When I did use unacceptable words, I had my mouth washed out with soap. That happened so often my friends would call me Ivory.

Georgie stopped talking to me when I was 12. He and I got into a fight and ever since he pretended to be just a stuffed bunny.

Linda Scott

November 7, 2017 – Prompt – The Best or Worst Story From Your Childhood

A Child’s Story of Growth

1953. Fifteen years old.
That was the year we moved from Toronto to Miami.
From the moment my mother and I departed the bus, I was amazed, stunned, fascinated.
America.
The panoramas and the people were festive.
New experiences of joyous encounters around every corner.
Here are a few that I still recall (from that time some 65 years ago).
Pizza
No winter.
No drab streetcars.
Endless sunshine.
Girls with budding breasts and scant clothing.
Shiny cars, all new, washed and spotless.
Palm trees.
Glass buildings.
Astonishing varieties of foods.
Friendly teachers, and surprisingly helpful.
And many more wonders.
Only one of them distressing–how little they all knew about Canada.
My schoolmates were inquisitive, but their questions betrayed their ignorance.
It was as if they thought Canada was backward, uncultivated, possibly even barren.
They were helpful, thoughtful and comradely.
But they were also so ill-informed about other societies; nearby ones let alone distant ones.
How extraordinary.
Now that I am one, American, that is; I understand it better.
And having accumulated a few degrees here, I now know that the problem is a combination of education salted with a few sprinkles of arrogance.
And now that I’m one of them, American, that is, I’m keenly aware that I must eliminate that touch of arrogance from my mental constitution.
Why? You ask.
Because Arrogance is not a synonym for Greatness.

By Lloyd Rain 11/1/17

*****

She was the new girl on the block. She stood with her friends in her home’s front yard.

All of us boys were there: Rick on his black, BMX, Joe on his blue Huffy and me on my bright yellow, banana-seated bike.

We were, as twelve-year-olds often are, showing off trying our best to get her exclusive attention.

I got off my bike to climb the tree, as Joe had already done, followed by her little brother. I don’t remember what she said that made me stop climbing, but stop I did right under the tree.

When it started to rain, I am confused by the lack of clouds and the panic-stricken look on her face. She rushed me into her house and cleaned me up.

I should have thanked her little brother for my first kiss.

D.T. (Gray) Richoy

*****

My mother was a divorced single parent, and as a child, we moved around a lot. We finally settled in El Cajon, California. It was a farm community where she found work at the local diner. We believed that we had found our forever home. I loved it there; the people were so welcoming and kind.

Unexpectedly, in October 1955, my mother died, and I found myself homeless and penniless. It was the worst experience of my life.

I was very blessed to have five families offer me a home. One lady was the bookkeeper at the local High School. She and her husband offered me a home. I went to live with Mom and Pop Sherman, and they became my new family.

A couple of months later, Coach Carmichael called me in her office. She told me that someone had helped her out when she needed it. Now she wanted to return the favor by helping me. She offered to pay my tuition and books for four years so that I could attend San Diego State College.

My greatest loss became the greatest gift of my life. I was given a future.

Jean Dunstan

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