Promises, Promises!

“Come on, Judy, it will make us tons of money. And it’s only for a little while. I’ll build you a fine house, I promise.”

Judy was young, and she loved Eddie. Trusted him. She hated the mess and the smells–gas, oil, exhaust, and rotting rubber–but she agreed. Just for a while.

Time passed, and the pile of tires grew. Judy’s patience did not. Years of promises, all for nothing.

She still loved him, but she hated living with all that mess and filth.

“I’ve had enough, Eddie. Enough of your empty promises. Goodbye!”

Earth People are Weird

PHOTO PROMPT © LIsa Fox

Zing and Zang shivered in the snow. “Why did we have to come here?” whined Zing. “What is that thing, anyway?”

Zang, who had done his research, explained that it was a place built for humans to deposit their personal waste.

Zing was appalled. “That’s beyond primitive! It’s just disgusting! You mean, one person does that right on top of another person sitting underneath him? Yuck!”

“Well, I imagine the top place isn’t actually used. It’s what Earth people call a parody.”

“If they feel that way, they should flush their politicians!”

Image result for cute aliens

Horrible!

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

“Mooooommmy!” shrieked Netta. Sobbing, breathless, Netta trembled.

“Netta, what on earth?” Mommy didn’t see any blood, but Netta was ghost-white.

“Netta, calm down and tell me. Take a deep breath, let it out. Now listen: You won’t be in trouble. Just tell me.” Mommy gathered Netta up close, waiting.

Through sobs, Netta said, “I went out to get a stick of wood like you said. I took it from the top of the window, and all the wood came crashing down, and–and—there was a HUGE black SNAKE that jumped out at me!”

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(This story started writing itself the minute I saw the prompt. The original word count was 176. After the pruning session, this is what was left.)

Home!

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

Anders’ thoughts were centered on Kari, whom he would hold in his arms tonight for the first time in months. How he had missed her warmth, her open-hearted love for him and their children.

It had been six months since they had sailed away. The whaling had gone exactly as hoped. There would be celebrations in many households tonight.

Home, however, filled his heart and mind with a craving he’d never felt before. As they sailed into the familiar harbor, he looked forward to telling Kari that this had been his final voyage.

Look Out!

PHOTO PROMPT © Jennifer Pendergast

(This picture immediately took me back nearly 30 years, when I was teaching high school English and history. My story today is true, and It still makes me smile. Keeping it under 100 words will truly be a challenge! Names have been changed to protect the guilty.)

(By the way, I clicked the wrong pic for the link page. It was just above the one I usually post. I decided to let it be. I can hardly remember being that young! High school grad pic. Age 17, 56 years ago!)

Mrs. K was short. Ronnie was a tease.

One day, she went back into her classroom after lunch to find that there was double-wide masking tape on the carpet, running like a road between the rows of desks. He had inked the tape into lanes, and had set up stop signs. There were several matchbox cars and trucks on the road.

Ronnie was on his hands and knees, directing traffic. As I entered the room, he hollered, “No! Mrs. K, don’t cross there! A big truck is coming. . . . . .LOOK OUT! NOOOOooooooo!

He was very pleased with himself. 🙂

Primitives

PHOTO PROMPT © Douglas M. MacIlroy 

Zing and Zang loved technology. They had a deep interest in the projects over which Earth people labored. The projects seemed primitive to them, but they had to admire the dedication Earth’s scientists had for creating their antiquated machines.

“Zang, what do you think this is going to be? It looks to me as if it’s nearly finished.”

“I’m not sure,” said Zang. “Looks as if they’re trying to find ways to bring light into their buildings, but what a complicated way to do it!”

“For sure. I wish we could help them.”

“We can’t.”

Image result for cute aliens

Pass the Salt

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

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“Ketchup.”

“Catsup.”

“Snobs call it ‘catsup’.”

“Not true. Used to be that’s all it was ever called.”

“What? Why’d it change?”

“Well, for one thing it’s been around for donkey’s years. Probably has a Chinese origin, called ‘ke-tsiap.’ It was kind of a runny fish sauce. Like most things, it changed across time. The main reason the name is now ketchup is that the Heinz company wanted their product to stand out, on the shelf, so they created the new name.”

“So, not much difference between catsup and ketchup?”

“Nope. Hey, could you pass the salt?”

Dragon’s Tale of a Tail

Writing prompts: Young Adult

(It’s your first day of middle school. But when you’re half human, half dragon, that makes things a little tough.)

Doogie was tense. New school, new kids, new teachers. He’d been accepted just fine in elementary, where even the teachers thought he was kinda cool.

Bharatiya jyotish mantra saadhana .: Ketu ( Dragon tail) in various houses  and its effe... | Dragon tail, Dragon, Dragon drawing

He was glad, at least, that it was his top half that was human. He probably wouldn’t be able to make it in school if the first thing everyone saw was a dragon head!

Really, there were always mean kids to deal with. Usually he could just turn and take a swipe at them with his tail, and it would shut them down. But junior high kids? Holy cow, they were vicious! They tended to follow a mean-mouthed leader, and ganged up on their Victim du Jour with great glee.

He just knew he would be that victim. Daily.

Well, time to bite the bullet. He stopped and thought, “I wonder where that phrase came from?” So he googled it, and discovered that it’s what they used to do before anesthesia. Some poor soldier would get his leg or arm all mangled, and the doctor would give him a bullet to bite on before he sawed off the injured limb. “Didn’t want him to scream, I guess,” thought Doogie. “Shoot, just the idea of getting something sawed off would knock ME out!”

Sighing, he grabbed his new book bag, his lunch, and popped his cap onto his head. Deep breath, shoulders back, GO.

He walked to school, only a couple of blocks away. It wasn’t long before a gang collected behind him, as he had known it would, mocking and making snotty comments. Well, he could let the comments slide off his scaly behind and down his tail. Pretty soon, though, he’d have to face the threats and the big bully who would dare to touch him. Not a good way to start his first day in a new school. He suspected that a lot of it would be spent in the principal’s office, along with the angry, weeping bully. Man, he hated this!

Sure enough, Mongo soon stood in front of him. Doogie didn’t know what his name was yet, but “Mongo” popped into his head because the kid was huge. Tall, thick-bodied, his face squinched up in pretend confusion, his eyes sparkling with glee, he put out his meaty hand and put it on Doogie’s chest, pushing at him. His posse gathered around, eager for blood.

“Hey, Dragon Boy, whatcha think yer doin’ in our neighborhood? No half-n-halfs allowed here, Dragon Boy!” His posse snickered, waiting for more.

Doogie shrugged away from Mongo’s hand, sidestepped and kept moving forward.

“HEY! DB! I’m talkin’ to YOU, boy! I didn’t say you could leave!”

Doogie kept walking, waiting, knowing what was coming. He’d be glad to get it over with.

“DRAGON BOY! Yer not even wearin’ PANTS! No nekkid Dragon-Boys allowed!”

Doogie kept walking. His side vision was unusually good, being half-dragon, and he waited until Mongo disappeared from his sight. Then, winding up for a good one, he lashed out with his tail and sent Mongo flying, along with his posse. He enjoyed the satisfying whumps as they all landed.

Of course, they were close enough to the school now to be noticed, and it was just a few seconds before a couple of red-faced, puffing teachers came running up. They were mad at Doogie, of course, because, well, dragon tail. Not a fair fight.

“How dare you! You can’t go using your tail like a club! Come with us to the principal’s office!”

Doogie stood stock still. His tail made him heavy, and the teachers, each grabbing one of his human arms, couldn’t budge him.

“Just wait a minute,” said Doogie. “I’ll come with you, but you need to know that big kid shoved me before I send him tumbling. He’s not hurt, just embarrassed. It’ll prob’ly do him good, you know. He’s a bully.”

“That’s a LIE!” shouted Mongo, brushing off his pants. Bright red in the face, he advanced on Doogie. “HE started it! It’s not MY fault!”

Doogie shrugged. “Touch me again, man, and you’re going to take another fall. Your choice.”

The irate teachers got Doogie moving (at least, that’s what THEY thought), and grabbed Mongo as well.

“Hey, you can’t touch me! Child abuse!” yelled Mongo, shrugging off the teacher’s hand. “I ain’t goin’ to nobody’s office! Can’t make me!”

So Doogie went alone to face the music, knowing exactly what would happen.

He fought off the urge to whack the teachers with his tail, but if he was going to make it through this school year, he had to have some backup from the principal. And when he saw the principal’s wings, he figured it was going to go just fine.

Take a Trip!

PHOTO PROMPT © Brenda Cox

Adam and Elise were honeymooners. Their funds were limited, so they took a “staycation” and did day trips that were inexpensive. They’d had a wonderful time.

They spotted the carousel, and decided to take a ride. As they walked, talking and laughing, a flower-painted bus drove between them and their destination. The doors swished open, and a handsome man with a sparking white smile invited them to “take a trip with the tour bus.”

Forgetting about the carousel, they climbed in.

No one ever saw them–or the flower-painted bus–again.

Zing and Zang Return!

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

“What a fascinating window!” declared Zing. “It seems cluttered and messy, but I’ve noticed a lot of Earth people seem to enjoy clutter. Look, there are all sorts of things!”

Zang took his time, browsing from left to right, top to bottom. “Is there anything anyone would actually NEED, Zing? Why are they using those strange dark-colored glasses?”

“I believe the dark glasses are meant to protect their under-developed eyes from the glare of their sun.”

“They really are primitive, aren’t they? Such fuss and bother, preserving images of ancestors. And using artificial protection for their eyes!”