Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.


“Leap. It’s a funny word, really. The more you say it, the funnier it sounds,” thought Jessica as she stood on the ledge of the apartment house where she lived.

It was twenty stories high.  She’d  taken the elevator to the top floor, then climbed the stairs to the roof.  People used the roof.  There were little potted gardens, lawn chairs, and debris of all sorts.

In a daze, Jessica had walked through the clutter until she stood at the low wall surrounding the roof. Stopped.  Gazed out, and then ever so slowly downward at the traffic far below. Little toy cars and trucks, and miniature people scurrying like ants on their endless quest for food.

The noise wasn’t so bad up on the roof. The cacophony of city sounds seemed distant, muffled.  Of course, right now everything was distant and muffled.  It was as if she had cotton stuffed in her ears.  Mostly what she hears was the gluey thumping of her own heart, and the clashing of thoughts in her own head.

“Go ahead. Your life is over. Nothing left to live for, no reason to go on. You’re a useless piece of dreck, anyway. Useless. A failure. A loser. Ask anyone.”

“NO!  I’m not just garbage!  I’m young, I’m healthy, I can come back from this. There are at least two people who love me, who would grieve terribly. I can go back to them, go home and start over. . . .”

“Don’t be silly.  They’re ashamed of you.  Appalled at your lack of common sense, at what you’ve thrown away.  You’d only humiliate them, bring more shame down on their heads. Go on.  Leap.  Get it done.  It’s the one thing you could do right.”

“That’s a lie!  My parents love me, no matter what.  I KNOW they do!  They’d want me to come home, not be a coward and end my life this way. . . .”

“Pssshhh!  You’re a fool.  If you choose to live, you’ll just go on being stupid.  Making STUPID decisions, trusting the wrong people,  making STUPID mistakes and leaving yourself in the dust. Do it!  Leap.  LEAP!”

“I’m afraid.”

“You’re a coward.  Jump. Once you do, there will be no more choices to make.  Peace.”

“No, you’re wrong. I’m not a coward.  I faced my behavior and did what I had to do.”

“Then what are you afraid of?  LEAP!”

“What if you’re wrong?  What if my behavior wasn’t as bad as you’ve made me think? What if I just go back to my apartment, get some sleep, start a new job hunt?”

“Who would hire you, after what you did? Please.  Don’t be a fool.  Jump.  It’s the best solution.”

“No, I don’t think it is.  I think you’re a liar.  I don’t believe you.  I don’t even know how I got up here, but I’m NOT going to jump!”

Jessica turned, retraced her steps all the way back down to the third floor. As she pushed open the door to her apartment, her phone began to ring.

And there was hope.






All Day I Faced the Barren Waste. . . .

Longing for Gravity

You are on a mission to Mars. Because of the length of of the journey, you will never be able to return to Earth. What about our blue planet will you miss the most?


This sounds like a punishment for some dreadful crime!  Who would voluntarily leave family, friends and home to go on a mission from which there is no return?  Not me!

Let’s just say, though, that for some crazy reason I agreed to go on this horrible mission.  What would I miss most about the earth?

Water. Fresh water, river water, lake water, waterfalls, ocean water, rain and rain water, clouds, steam, vapor, mist, fog, snow. Tap water, bottled water, ice water, lemon water.

I know there have been reports of water on Mars, but there’s no real proof. Since our very  existence depends upon an abundance of water, it just makes sense that I would miss that more than anything else.

Except for family and friends.


Stupid Cold!

Pace Oddity

If you could slow down an action that usually zooms by, or speed up an event that normally drags on, which would you choose, and why?


Because I’m now starting the second week of coughing/sneezing/blowing/feeling AWFUL, I would absolutely speed up  getting through this stupid cold.  Press the fast forward button. Do a quantum leap.  Something. Anything.


She Grew a Spine!

Pat on the Back

Tell someone you’re proud of just how proud you are.


The first person who came to mind was a client, who shall remain nameless, who finally grew some spine and talked back to her evil husband.

I’m immensely proud of her for doing that.

Not that I advocate anyone should be disrespectful to a spouse in the general run of the day, but this man is doing his best to destroy her, inch by inch.  Takes her apart mentally, emotionally, verbally.  All. Day. Long.  He’s an incredible bully, big and strong and loud and intimidating.  She’s worn down, worn out, and ready to do as he wants her to do. He wants her to leave so he can claim she deserted him.

Don’t do it!  I’m telling her not to do it.  Her pastor and her lawyer are telling her not to do it. Stick it out, stay in there, don’t budge an inch.  He’s openly, flagrantly having an affair. He’s in the wrong.  She needs to stay put.

So  when she told me that she finally had enough, that she blew up at him, that she took him apart and left him in utter shock at her rebellion and then walked out while he was talking, I stood up and cheered!  Yes!  Happy dance time!

She didn’t walk out of the house or the marriage.  Just the situation of the moment.

She wins that round. I’m impressed.



Toot Your Horn

Most of us are excellent at being self-deprecating, and are not so good at the opposite. Tell us your favorite thing about yourself.


Here’s what I did with this one back on September 12 of 2015.


I’m not much in the mood for horn-tooting today.



Shape Up or Ship Out

Write a letter to the personality trait you like least, convincing it to shape up or ship out. Be as threatening, theatrical, or thoroughly charming as is necessary to get the job done


Dear Interrupter,

Have you ever watched The View?  Their trademark is interrupting.  They interrupt each other, their guests, and sometimes themselves. It’s the most annoying thing ever.  I watched once for about 15 minutes.  That was enough for me.

I know I’ve written about this topic before, somewhere.  I admit to being guilty of it, although I really try not to butt in. We all do it. Even though we hate being interrupted ourselves, we do it.  It’s the American way.

Listen to a political debate.  Well, no, don’t.  It will raise your blood pressure and make your ears bleed.


We assume we know what the other person is going to say. We get hung up on something that he already said, and we butt in to contradict or ask for clarification.  We’re so busy thinking about what we want to say next that we aren’t listening, and we let our mouths engage before the brain.

People who have ADD are the world’s worst interrupters.  They don’t mean to be rude, and I can cut them a break. It’s still annoying not to ever be allowed to complete a sentence, but I know their motive is not to be obnoxious.

I also know that there are times when you really thought the other person was finished, and you start to respond, and she starts up again and talks over you. This happens to me in my work, especially when someone is so distressed that she really can’t listen yet.  I’ve learned to just be quiet during the first couple of sessions with this type of person. She really isn’t ever finished.  She just stops to gather her thoughts for a minute, and then she goes forward at full speed.

That kind of situation isn’t annoying to me.  The person is overwhelmed, and needs a safe place to vent.

It’s the know-it-all, everyone – else-needs-to-shut-up-and-listen bloviater who annoys me. This person always has a very loud voice and is able to shout over a room full of people who are conversing with one another.  He cannot tolerate anyone not listening to his words of knowledge and wisdom. No other conversations are allowed.  He must be the center. And he makes it his right to interrupt anyone else who may be talking, because what he has to say is unquestionably more important.

Dear Interrupter, I wish you would go away. You make my tired ache.


A shame-faced Buttinski


Crime Scene

Mad Libs

Turn to your co-workers, kids, Facebook friends, family — anyone who’s accessible — and ask them to suggest an article, an adjective, and a noun. There’s your post title! Now write.


There’s no one here to play the game, so I’m looking at the stuff on my desk.  First, I see the stapler.  Then a mess.  The stapler, the messy desk. We’ll go with that.


The desk was cluttered with so much stuff! The sweepers  were going to have a hard time covering all of it.  Frustrated, Steve raised his eyebrows at his assistant.

“Did you ever see such a mess?  And on top of everything else, there are several bottles of fingernail polish all opened and spilled everywhere, including the blood.  Our perp was pretty careful to cover his tracks.”

“Yeah, but we’ll get him, right, Steve?  I mean, with all our nifty  technology and everything, we’ll find something that will identify him.”

“Yeah, I guess so.  Look,  you take the desk from the printer to the wall, and I’ll work from the far end over to your wall.  Let’s get to work.”

Papers that had probably been piled up neatly were now strewn carelessly on the desk, the floor, and the chair where the body had been found.  Thankful that he didn’t have to deal with a corpse, Steve pulled on his nitrile gloves and got to work. He decided to work the chair first.  It was a good-quality office chair, with many adjustment options and a webbed seat and back.  Apparently the victim had been short.  The chair was so low that Steve knew he’d never have been able to sit comfortably in it. As he worked, he bagged and tagged whatever he found:  Hair, skin that had stuck to the headrest, scraps of fiber from fabric. He stopped short when he found the first staple stuck in the seat back.  Glancing over at Ron’s part of the desk, he located the stapler.

“Hey, Ron. Are you gloved up?  Good.  Pass me that stapler, would you?”

Ron handed him the stapler, and Steve opened it up.  It was empty, which seemed strange.  He looked in the desk drawer, and sure enough there was a box of staples; it was about half empty. He checked, and the staples were the right size for the stapler. Huh.

He carefull went over the rest of the chair, dusting for prints as he worked.  He found many more staples, bagging them all as he went.  It seemed as if someone had  just worked the stapler at random wherever the urge took him.  As he worked the chair, Steve noticed the staples on the floor all around the chair.  The surface of the desk was also full of them.  One of the strangest things he’d seen in his long career at working a murder scene.

He picked through the fingernail polish. “A short victim, probably a female, who liked fingernail stuff,” he thought.  Grimly, he dropped each opened bottle and its cap into an evidence bag, tagging everything. He stood and looked at the blood spattered with polish, and realized that it, too, was filled with staples. Weird.  Just weird.

“Hey, Steve!  Look at this!”  Steve went to stand beside Ron, who was inspecting the printer. It was covered with different shades of polish, and staples were stuck in the polish in random patterns.  Steve opened the printer, waited for the cartidges to come to center, then pulled one of them out.  Yup.   Staples and fingernail polish. And bloody prints.

“Whoever pulled this job is a complete wacko,”  said Steve.  The detectives are going to have a great time figuring out all this stuff.  I’m glad all we have to do is check for prints and bag and tag.  We don’t have to understand it.”

And they got back to work.


I’m Not Telling!

Evasive Action

What’s the most significant secret you’ve ever kept? Did the truth ever come out?


Um. You want me to tell a significant secret right here, on the internet?  No.

It’s still a secret, and it isn’t up to me to decide whether or not to tell the world.

It shall remain a secret forever unless the one who shared it with me decided to go public.