Traffic Lights

PHOTO PROMPT © Na’ama Yehudah

Zing and Zang perched on top of the yellow car. Invisible, they observed the drivers’ obedience to the traffic lights.

“How do you train millions of people to obey three simple colors? Look, they ALL follow the rules! Even the walkers wait for the green light before they cross from one side to the other.” Zang was amazed at the conformity of the people.

Zing thought for a moment. “You know, we should be able to use this system in some way when we take over. We need to make sure we report it!”

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At the Window

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Elise opened her eyes, groggy from her afternoon nap. At first she thought she was still asleep, dreaming, as she took in the ladder propped against her window, and the feet and legs she saw.

Her eyes traveled up the legs. The rest of the–man?–was concealed by the curtain. The feet weren’t moving. Neither up nor down. Could he see her? She flipped the afghan over her legs, made sure her robe was closed.

Eyes wide, she watched as one of the feet drew back, hesitated, and then swung hard into her window.

Practical vs. Pretty

PHOTO PROMPT © Ronda Del Boccio

Zing and Zang stood transfixed, watching the contraption slide slowly earthward. The bulging balloon canopy obviously worked like a massive set of brakes to slow the descent. The whole structure was just enormous, and compared to what they knew on their home planet, seemed rudimentary.

“Why don’t they just use reverse blasters?” wondered Zang.

“I guess they don’t know about that yet,” replied Zing. “Sometimes I can’t believe how backward they are. They seem somewhat intelligent.”

“Well, it’s colorful. I don’t know what it’s for, but it’s pretty.” Zang paused. “Practical isn’t always pretty.”

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Are We There Yet?

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

Brett was restless. The back seat contained a cooler that took up not quite half of the space. Brett’s legs were long and gangly. He stretched his arms across the back of the seat, touching the window frames on both sides.

Bored, he cracked open the cooler. Mom’s radar ears didn’t miss a thing.

“Close it, Brett. We just had breakfast an hour ago.”

Deep sigh. “When’s lunch?”

“Three hours. Read. Play a game, Sleep. No more whining.”

“I hate this.”

“Not as much as I do.”

Lunch was over. Brett sighed.

“What’s for supper?”

Lotus Fountain

PHOTO PROMPT © David Stewart

Zing and Zang stood transfixed at the beauty of the enormous flower in the midst of the fountain.

“Zing, the’s the BIGGEST flower I’ve ever seen!” Zang’s voice was filled with awe.

“Yes. Yes, I think it is for me, too. I wonder how they made it grow to be so HUGE!”

A woman standing nearby glanced at the two strangers. “Surely you know it’s not a real flower,” she said.

Zing and Zang sagged in disappointment. They flashed to invisibility, shocking the woman who had burst their bubble.

“Well, my goodness!” she said. “Some people!”

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Music Fest?

PHOTO PROMPT © CEAyr

It was an annual event in Allentown. Music Fest was a delight for all sorts of things, including aromatic food, throbbing music, carnival rides, and multitudes of booths to investigate.

Not all was happy this year, though. It was hard to imagine staying six feet apart in the usual throngs. Harder still to sing through a face mask. Licenses for food booths were much more restrictive than usual, and most had been denied.

It just didn’t feel very festive, with only one stage and two food canopies.

Dratted virus!

Sailing, Sailing!

PHOTO PROMPT © Jan Wayne Fields

I need to apologize. I almost always read every single post. But not this week. For a variety of mundane reasons, I just couldn’t get it done. Nothing earthshaking or life-threatening. I promise to do better this week!

Polynesia was first discovered in 1595 when Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira found the Marquesas Islands. The Dutch, (during the Golden Age of Dutch exploration and discovery (ca. 1590s–1720s), were the first non-natives to undisputedly explore and chart coastlines of Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, Tonga, Fiji, Samoa, and Easter Island. (Wikipedia). That’s part of the history. Now for the story:

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“Kapitein Janssen, this is the most beautiful part of the world I have ever seen!”

“Ja, Bram. It is. I could live here for the rest of my life!”

“Even the people are–well—it’s hard to describe such beauty!”

Picture/Photo: Tahitian woman making the traditional welcome ...

“Indeed, Bram. But we must not take advantage of their friendliness.”

“You will have to keep the men on board, Sir.”

“I cannot. They need to get fresh water; they need to hunt to fill our hold for the voyage home.”

“But. . .”

“Bram, I am Kapitein. I can perform the marriage ceremony. I suspect there will be many.”

Final Chapter

I’ve been invited to write the ending to a “pass it on” story to which several other bloggers have contributed. You can read the first several parts here. And now to wrap up this fascinating adventure!

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The motor coughed, belched out black smoke, and then grudgingly chugged into a steady rhythm. What a relief! He had to get back to his own family, as well as the rest who had gathered in that strange house, occupied by a number of unusual folks. As Dan steered his boat in the direction of the house, he thought about the old couple who seemed so sure they’d seen all this before. He thought about the “seven dwarves” who had welcomed in the stragglers from the flood. He considered the Gandalf clone who had rescued them, and that man’s strange philosophy about going nowhere until fate intervened. Then, the missing boys; the houses that were being destroyed; how everyone would find shelter.

Even though the rain was still thick and the wind raging, Dan thought he saw something in the water besides trees and rooftops. Yes! There it was again! A flash of light—-SOS! Someone was signaling for help. He headed in that direction, and soon found the two lost boys clinging to the trunk of the tree. They’d been using a cell phone to signal. They told Dan about sliding off the veranda roof into the water, thinking it would be fun to let the water carry them wherever it would. Now, they were just happy to be in a boat! They huddled together, seeking warmth and talking about having a peanut butter sandwich.

Dan was listening to the small motor, hoping it wasn’t running out of gas. So far, so good. He was hungry too, but mostly wanted the warm hugs from his wife and kids.

Atop the hill where Misty’s house was sheltering way more people than there was room for, Dan caught sight of a bonfire. Where in the world did they find wood dry enough to get a fire started? Well, in any case it was a welcome signal, and he took the boat carefully through the debris that rushed past the boat. He pulled up to the landing, moored the boat, and helped the two weary boys find their footing. Fighting the wind and rain, the three of them trudged up the muddy yard and tumbled into the house. Cheers erupted, and what seemed like the whole town rushed them and hugged, back-slapped and handed them towels and hot drinks.

Susan and the kids finally got through the crowd, clinging to him as if they were afraid he would leave again.

That night, people traded stories, talked about how they got up the hill and away from the flood waters, wondered what had happened to the motley crew at the old house on Clearwater Lake, and discussed how to go about recovering and getting back to normal. Many of them assured Misty that they would help clean up the mess in her house and restore her pantry and refrigerator.

One by one, they started to drift off to sleep wherever they sat or stretched out. They kept warm because there were so many of them. As Dan’s eyes began to close, he held Susan in one arm, his kids in the other, and fell asleep. He dreamed, strangely enough, of the biblical story of Noah and the Ark 🙂

The Box

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Keeping their distance, Zing and Zang circled the box. “What do you think it is?” questioned Zang.

“How should I know?” Zing was irritated,

“What should we do?”

“Why do I always have to have the answers? I don’t know! What do you think?”

“Uh–I don’t think we should touch it.”

“Duh, Bright Boy! I’m sending images to Zirkon’s headquarters. They’ll direct us.”

Suddenly, the message came to them both: “Under NO circumstances are you to touch that box. Return home RIGHT NOW!”


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Don’t Be Normal!

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

“Ahh, very pretty place,” sighed Zing. He and Zang had just entered the elegant dining area in a posh hotel. The snow outside made the room seem even more cozy.

“What do we do now?” asked Zang. Nervous, he tugged at his collar and wondered why humans put up with such confinement.

“We sit at a table and wait for someone to bring us food.”

“Really? Then maybe we should make ourselves visible, or we’ll be hungry all day!”

Zang laughed. “Right. And try not to speak normally. They’d think we’re space aliens or something!”