The Choice


The people crammed into the arena screamed and cried, worshiping the images on the screens, begging for their gods to honor them. Some even prostrated themselves on the ground, but were trampled by the dazed, crazed crowds.

Amped-up music added to the maelstrom. Drumbeats were deafening. Some people wanted to get out.

When they discovered that all exits were blocked, they panicked.

Suddenly the music stopped. A black pall of silence dropped over the crowd. One lone voice, deep and resonant, said, “You have chosen what you have chosen.”



PHOTO PROMPT © Amanda Forestwood

Close your eyes and turn off the TV or your music. Keep this picture in your mind. What do you hear?

I hear the laughter and whispers of children, barefoot and free, running up or down the steps to hide from each other.

I hear the careful steps of lovers, trying to find a secret place to be alone.

I hear the terrifying crash of swords against shields and helmets as enemies battle up and down these ancient steps. I hear the more modern thump of boots as soldiers try to regain lost ground.

I hear life.

(If you are seeing a display of click-bait, I apologize. So far I can’t figure out how to get rid of it. I’m working on it!)

Lights Out!

“Uuuuuuhhhhm, you want me to make something with this stuff? What? Coleslaw?

“Well, I mean, I don’t mind, but don’t you have, like, a food processor? Blender? Anything that will speed up the process? And I’ll need a juicer, too.

“What’s that? You think I need to learn to do things the way they were done before electricity? Why on earth would that be a good idea?

“Oh, come on. You don’t really think our whole grid is going to blink out on us! That’s just political scare tactics!

“Hey! Grammy, turn those lights back on!”

Thinking about Stuff

PHOTO PROMPT © Jennifer Pendergast

Cilla was a quiet little girl. Contemplative and dreamy, she could gaze for a long time into the flames of the fireplace, or trace the patterns on the carpet with a stockinged toe.

“Cilla, what are you thinking about?” Mommy would ask.

“Oh, just things. I don’t know. Stuff.”

When an auntie gave her a box of markers, it was as if her world exploded into color.

These days, she’s a graphic design artist in a thriving fabric manufacturing industry. All that thinking about “stuff” has eventually made her famous.

And she misses her Galaxy chocolate bars.

A Pleasant Evening


What a perfect date night! Warm, calm, not too much breeze, but cool enough to refresh.

The others on this floating piece of paradise were not unfriendly, but mostly wanted to stay in their own lanes. Quiet conversation and the clink of ice in glasses provided all the background noise necessary.

The man who guided the boat that pulled the barge had his own thoughts. No one was close enough to chat with him. Probably wouldn’t, anyway.

“I wonder,” he thought, “if anyone in this batch of customers will think to give the driver a tip.”

(I forgot to put my link up on the Link board yesterday. It’s there now.)

Still a Monastery

PHOTO PROMPT © David Stewart

“Is it still an active monastery?” asked one of the tourists.

“Yes, but there are very few monks now, compared to when it was built.”

The visitors watched silently as several monks filed by–orange, red, and yellow robes.

“Are the colors significant?”

The guide paused. “You know, I’m not sure.”

“What do they actually DO all day?”

Another tourist spoke up. “They do alms in the morning.”

“Begging?’ sneered another.

“Keeps them humble. They have daily chores. They meditate and discuss their doctrines.”

“What a drag,” offered a young man,

“But it harms no one.”

Silence reigned.

Can’t Please Him


He didn’t enjoy eating out. “The food’s better at home. It’s too dark in here. Everything is too expensive.”

Trouble was, he didn’t enjoy eating at home, either. “Just leave the seasonings off of my portion. I don’t care for this. Why do you make it? Can’t we just have plain food, not this fancy stuff?”

She was weary of trying to cook for such a fussy eater. Finally, she took off her apron, put on her jacket, and said, “I’m eating out. You do whatever you please. Just clean up after yourself.”

And they lived happily ever after.

Only Stone Survives

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Ghostly echoes of children’s laughter whispered around corners and tunnel entrances. Squeals of delight when one child found another; shouts of glee when one reached “home free” without being tagged.

Other echoes whispered in the breeze: Soldiers with clanging armor; priests shuffling along the walkways; secret lovers hiding in caves all shared the same ruins now.

People come and go. Brick, stone, marble–only the dead remnants of hundreds of years remain to testify to the lives that passed among them.


Has anyone else had trouble with your “like” and “share” buttons? Mine have disappeared, much to my chagrin, and I’m not finding much help in restoring them.


PHOTO PROMPT © Amanda Forestwood

“Oh look!” sighed Melinda. “The beautiful music I could play!”

The violin’s owner approached. “I overheard your comments.” He adjusted his instrument and drew his bow across the strings. Exquisite notes sang out.

“There, see, Mama? I KNEW it would be wonderful!”

The violinist handed the instrument to Melinda. “Try it.”

Melinda adjusted the violin. Expecting to hear beauty, she drew the bow across the strings and heard dull, squeaking, off-pitch sounds instead. Tears welled up.

“The instrument needs an experienced musician to draw out its music. Someday, if you practice faithfully, the violin will sing for you, too.”

Code Cards!


“Zing, what do you suppose all those cards are for? Unique designs! Are they for fortune-telling?”

“No, I don’t think so,” replied Zang. “Fortune-telling cards are called Tarot Cards. They look different from these.”

“Hmm. They all seem to have different, rather silly-looking characters on them. We should see if we can find anyone actually using them.”

“Where would we look? “

“Wait–maybe they’re special code cards, for secret messages!”

“Let’s just send images home to Zerkon. The code-breakers will figure it out quickly.”

“Well, I hope they don’t think we’re just joking around!”