May 17, 2016 – Shopping Binge

The bags were light, but Corie felt encumbered by them. She hadn’t wanted to go on this trip and the shopping binge she’d just finished weighed her down in her soul.  She usually had a lot of willpower, but she’d felt possessed by something she couldn’t shake off. It bothered her, why would she spend time and money on the stuffed animals and children’s clothes she’d bought? As she walked along to her car, she saw a storefront she hadn’t noticed before. Lives in the Balance was written on the big, red door. Curious, she stopped and peered through the front window. She saw a young woman sitting in a rocking chair holding a small child. An older woman was standing next to them. The women saw her looking through the window and smiled.

Karen Hydock


Ema went on one of her shopping binges.

Scot faced her as she stumbled in the door with all her packages.

“What the HELL are you doing to our budget?” he said. “I saw on the computer that Bank America has a red flag on our account! and what is that red Corvette doing in our driveway?”

“Well,” said Ema, “I’m celebrating my check from Amazon! I sold a million copies of my book, THE DEAL OF THE ART.”

“Oh honey,” Scot replied, I’m so proud of you…. sorry I doubted your talent.  You can go ‘binge shopping’ whenever you like. I’m quitting my job!”

Carol Taylor

May 10, 2016 – Prompt – A Knife in the Chest

Another Longer prompt: She pulled the knife from her chest and smiled. “Was that suppose to hurt?”

She pulled the knife from her chest and smiled. “Was that suppose to hurt?” And fell over dead.

Ten minutes earlier Jesse had been yelling at Carol. “You must listen to what I want you to do. If you would just do as I say, we could get over this. But no __you have to keep on and on.

“But Jesse, I just want to go home.” Carol said.

Jesse grabbed Carol by the hair with her right hand and with her left reached for the knife on the counter. She was in such a rage she stabbed Carol in the chest. “This is all your fault. Next time just do as I say,” she screamed.

Jeanne Neale


May 3, 2016 – Prompt- Eternal Plumber

This Week’s prompt was a long one so will put it all here: “After 300 years, North Korea is having trouble coming up with new titles for their dead leaders. Your father was the Eternal Plumber and you must tell your council what position yours will be.”


Wang Mu sits quietly in the Temple of the Excavator Mole meditating on his dilemma. What will his position be and by what name will he be called? His father was named the Eternal Plumber shouldn’t his name be the everlasting one.

Maybe he could be the Eternal Plumber the second or Eternal Plumber, Junior like Americans often call their sons named for them.

What he really should do is find a different profession. Perhaps he could become a carpenter, electrician or greatest of all a businessman. But, no that wouldn’t work all of those positions were filled and besides the only thing he knew and was trained for was plumbing.

He looked up at the Buddha on the ambo. Shut his eyes and intoned his prayer: “Oh thou of great Wisdom help me find my name and fill my position.  His chanting was interrupted by the cries of a female personage.

“Help, help,” she shrieked. “The stool is overflowing. I didn’t do anything but flush.”

Wung Mu’s face lit up he had it his name would be the Eternal Flushing. He would go to the council tomorrow and tell them, but now he headed down the corridor. He could help the woman. He was plumber and fixing and overflowing stool was no problem for the Eternal Flushing.

Christine Howard


Over 300 years the Korean hierarchy has bestowed “titles” on their beloved servants. The one in question was for a name for the “son of the eternal plumber”.

The challenge for the best “title”was posted on a Korean website that went viral.

Many people from the U.S. saw the request as silly.  Then they saw the prize of $300,000!  The website crashed.  No one knew the real reason.  Suspicions ensued. The CIA, the FBA and the armed forced were on red alert with the foreign website.

Was this a hoax?

I have no clue what’s going on.

It’s time to go back to watching the American political race.

Carol Taylor



April 10, 2016 – Prompt -The skinny handwriting expert repaired the bomb in the lonely diner before the storm to complete the cover-up.


“Wait? Was that blue or red?”



The moral of the story is:

Do not get a handwriting expert to fix a bomb!

J.L. Lahey


The skinny handwriting expert repaired the bomb in the lonely diner before the storm to complete the cover up.

He squinted to see the delicate components in the fading light, he was running out of time. This thing had to be fixed, set and go off after the storm started, but not too much after.

He needed the winds and rain from the hurricane to help obscure the scene and dispose of any damning evidence he might have missed. A flash of light shot through the room. That was close. It would be just his luck to be hit by lightning before he could finish the job.

Meleesa Stephens


February 23, 2016 – Prompt – Lights on Next 20 Miles

“Lights on Next Twenty Miles”

Chewy was just like any youngster, rambunctious, curious, nosy and petulant.  Towards dusk along a deserted stretch of West Texas State Route 56 heading south just past the sign that read “Lights on Next 20 Miles”, be began his nightly hunt for geckos, snakes and assorted bugs. Still a teenager, without the full bloom of plumage usually reserved for adult roadrunners, he presented a rather slender, awkward, adolescent aura rummaging for recent road kill of the new evening.

Coming fast, just over the closest hill, a pair of headlights sped towards Chewy’s fate.  Bobbing down to snatch a scrambling grasshopper he gobbled his last meal.

Pat Stone


Roadside sign – Lights On Next 20 Miles

We popped over a hill as we were heading southwest out of England. We were going toward the Channel.

In front of us was a roadside sign reading “Tunnel Ahead. Lights On Next 20 Miles”.

John Gable

February 16, 2016 – Prompt – A relative leaves you a metal detector in their will. You use it for fun in your backyard and discover something you weren’t expecting.

I couldn’t believe I was named in my rich Uncle Harvey’s will. When I received the invite from the executor, I was excited to find out how much he had left me. Several of the relatives and I were waiting with anticipation as the will was read.

To my disappointment, the lawyer said, “And to my favorite niece, Wendy, I leave my metal detector because she is always looking for something. I couldn’t believe it, but I accepted the verdict with grace and took it home where I stuck the detector in the closet.

I thought I had meant a lot to my uncle. I took him places when he couldn’t drive, I fixed his dinners when no one else did, and I also planned his dinner parties.

One day several months later, my daughter came into the house crying.

“What is it sweetie?” I asked.

“I lost my ring that you gave me outside in the backyard,” she whimpered.

A light bulb flashed in my mind.

“You are in luck, we have Uncle Harvey’s metal detector. We’ll go outside right now and find your ring.”

Once outside I switched on the detector and couldn’t understand why it wouldn’t work.

“Let mommy check this out,” I assured my tear stained daughter’s face. I unscrewed the part where the batteries should be and saw in the dark chamber something loose inside.

When I turned it upside down, beautiful stones came tumbling out into my hand. They looked like diamonds.

“Don’t worry honey, we can get you a new ring.”

©A. Nation 2016

March 4, 2014 Prompt– “sifting through sand”


The cat peered up with great blue eyes, periwinkle orbs too big for its sunken face. It was a dirty cream color, with a black face and feet. Three black feet. The back right leg was missing, amputated at the hip. I had suspected that there was a cat nearby based on the evidence I had found, sifting through the sand in the playbox out in the yard, but this was the first I had seen of this scruffy stray.

It opened its mouth and meowed silently.

“What do you want, eh?”

It meowed again, a thin thread of sound. It stared at me.

“What? Did Timmy fall down the well?” I picked a bit of ham out of my sandwich and held it out, but after sniffing it politely, the cat declined. Strange.

It meowed again expectantly.

“I don’t know what you want, okay?”

It sat down on its good side and tilted its head strangely, ears slightly flattened, and waited. I watched it for a minute, bemused, until I noticed that the stump of the missing leg was wiggling back and forth. It was trying to scratch. I wondered how long it had been since he or she had lost that leg, and if it had been one unscratchable itch after another.

I reached out and scratched its dirty ear. A gravelly purr rose from its thin chest and its bright blue eyes squinted nearly shut with contentment

By Abby Eskew


On The Beach


I can still remember the one and only time I had sex on a beach some fifty years ago.  The beach was Half-Moon Bay just southwest of enchanting San Francisco.  The night was brilliantly clear, the moon lit the world, the wind was essentially zero, the waves lapped just enough to provide a delicate sensuality, and we had a blanket.  Who could ask or anything more?

It was awful.

My wife was the loveliest female on earth and still, it was dreadful.  It was impossible to keep the sand separated from the action.  No matter how hard we tried and how careful we were, sand crept everywhere.

When it was finally over, she and I argued for an hour about which one of us got the worst of it.  She finally came up with the best analogy — it was like sifting sand through all our body parts.

We fervently agreed, we’d never do that again.

By Lloyd Rain

Prompt for February 11, 2014 was two tiny clay Feet

Note: This weeks prompt was a pair of tiny feet. Less than two inches and sculpted by our member and artist Carol Taylor.

      A new guy in town was talking about an experience he ran across while out hunting. He noticed foot prints in the dirt. What was unusual was the fact the prints looked human; but there were 5 small toes and one large to extending upward. He came across this rare species that had a lot of ‘apeish’ features, but was able to communicate in any language.

      It was noticeable, that when this creature spoke and  it was telling a lie, the large toe would lift upwards and stay extended until it was another person’s turn to talk. Where did it come from? Another planet or galaxy? Maybe a left over from the Stone Age, and had somehow got an education. Possibly, this being channeled information.
It was difficult to hold a conversation, as you kept staring at the big toe to see how it was responding.
The possibility of some mutant form of life entered my mind, as the man was talking about this.
Maybe it was made up and we were all being suckered in to a practical joke. Even though the tiny feet did look real, the fact that we live in an age where anything is possible; or can look possible, even if it is not.
The man had made a mold of these feet and it was up to everyone to determine what the true story was.
By Shirley Lentz


I followed the foot prints past the corner and out into the woods.

Charlie caught up to me and wanted to know what I was doing

“I’m following these foot prints.” I said

“Why?” he asked.

“Well, who around here would come sneaking around my bedroom window with bare feet in a foot of snow?”

“Whoa, they are bare aren’t they?”

“Yes, and did you see anything else different?” I asked

“No!” Isn’t bare foot enough?”

“Count the toes.” I said.


“Just count the toes.”

“One, two three, rout, five, six, six!” Charlie counted two more times. “Both feet have six toes!”

“And,” I said,” look how big they are.

“I think I might be following Big Foot.”

“Big Foot!” he cried, “no way. He is not real.”

“Well, let’s follow and see what we fine’”

Thirty minutes later, we heard a rustling in the trees. Low angry growls that made the hair rise on our arms and shivers run up our backs.

We inched forward, quietly, so we thought.

A sudden rustle, a deep growl, the bushed parted and we stepped back in fear, as out stepped Joe. Huge fake feet covered his shoes.

“Gotcha!” he yelled and ran away as fast as the fake feet would carry him before we could catch up and render our revenge.

By Mary Hanley


He loved it when she massaged his feet. The nerves in his feet seemed to send

messages directly to his whole body, his back, his shoulders, his arms. It

was the perfect way for her to settle him down after a stressful golf game.

She called it a micro massage, saying it was easy for her to sit down with his

ankles on her knees and push and pull and squeeze his feet and toes. He was a

very big man and he had seen that it was hard work for her to massage his

shoulders and back, leaving her looking flushed and exhausted. She had told

him that she enjoyed giving him a foot massage, it even relaxed and amused

her, looking at those odd toes of his, bent every which way. He had credited

the look of his feet to the hand-me-down shoes he grew up in. Their wedding

anniversary was Valentines day, only three days away – what could he give

her? A walk through a local craft market had solved his problem. He found

nestled into a tiny heart-shaped velvet-lined box, two miniature feet, no more

than two inches long. He believed that the little feet, with six toes on each

foot, the big toes arched up in saucy disregard, would also amuse her, and

give her enjoyment of holding a part of him, given from his heart.

By Lorraine Wait

Prompt for January 28, 2014–A Gourmet Chef

The shit was going to hit fan. The Gourmet Chef was having a bad day. First the soup boiled over, next the oven temperatures was too high and the cake burned. It was unfortunate, because he was cooking for a relative’s wedding reception. The party was going to be a huge event, 200 in attendance. Ready to throw in the towel he knew the stress was getting to him. He decided to call on a lady in the neighborhood that had an outstanding reputation for cooking and selling meals. She was a large black lady – as round as she was tall. He called her and she agreed to help out, free of charge. After they threw out all the burned food – she took charge. The chef was surprised later that night – after dinner was over – he found her business card under every plate, complete with her picture.

By Carmel Westerman


A gourmet chef overheard the request and stepped forward to ensure the accuracy and propriety of the response.

“The lacerate de la gran muscular must be oblique a la finle cut. Then sizzle le lacunar en la lactates.”

Hector, the new assistant, stood over the grill, spatula in hand, and listened in deep concentration. He turned to Ralph and translated.

“Flip the burger and cook it medium well.”

By Kevin Draper


A Gourmet Chef What Gerald wanted to be when he grew up was not what he ended up doing. At age three, Gerald got a cowboy outfit and pretended to trot around the house on a horse made from a broom handle. That lasted until he was four when he got a plastic replica of a shotgun. Gerald stalked around the backyard hunting big game. The only thing he saw was the neighbor’s black cat, which he proclaimed was the one that got away. At age six, Gerald had a tour of the local fire station with his class. All he could talk about was driving the big fire truck and rescuing folks from burning buildings. When Gerald entered high school he took a science class and wanted to be the first scientists to discover a new clean source of energy. At age 16, he broke his finger playing baseball and went to the hospital. There he told the doctor he wanted to go to college to study medicine. Gerald never did finish college. Instead he got married at age 18 and went to a technical school to become a gourmet chef. He couldn’t find a job as a gourmet chef and ended up flipping hamburgers at McDonald’s.

By Linda Scott

August 6, 2013 Prompt–Write about the Sound, the Color and the Smell of Loneliness

There is nothing as lonely as silence – it’s like a thick white mist –

in solitary confinement or separation from God.

No sight, no sound, not even the tick of a clock and nothing to touch.

Your cry goes unheard as you swim through the clouds,

hoping to connect with something real.

Carmel Westerman