Waiting. . .

The soggy shoppers were determined. Nothing would make them leave, get out of the rain, allow anyone to get in front of them. Mostly, they were civil. There was tension in the air though, and very few would meet the eyes of anyone they didn’t know.

One woman confided in her friend that she was wearing adult incontinence underwear. She also carried a boatload of snacks. Just in case.

One man had two super-sized bodyguards with him. Their eyes were cold.

A passer-by asked his companion, “What on earth is going on?”

She sighed. “The new iPhone is out.”


Hung Over

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

Leaia gazed upward, feeling nausea rising as she watched the utensils floating free. Why were they floating? A sifter doesn’t float.

She squeezed her eyes shut, surprised at how hard it was to open them again. Sticky, gummy, itchy. Hot. So hot. Swallowed. Pain, heat, never swallow again. Ears throbbing, head pounding, nose closed up and making her a mouth-breather.

Eyes open. Floating sifters, floating colanders, floating strainers, floating . . .

Nausea. Bitter, sour, rising, hurting her throat. Keep it down! Can’t! Throat-searing, stomach heaving. Sick, so sick.

Never again. Never ever. Just not worth it.

A Random Conversation


“What are you reading, Dear?”

“The Ambassadors. By Henry James.”

“Ah. Never had the nerve to pick that one up. Too deep for me.”

“Charles, did you know Karl Marx is buried at Highgate Cemetery?”

“No, Love, I didn’t. Is that significant?”

“I suppose not. Just wondering why a German revolutionary landed here in London for his eternal rest.”

“Maybe Germany wouldn’t accept him back Rather like George Soros. I understand Hungary won’t let him back into his country. Odd sort of man, really.”

“Hmmmm. Maybe it’s not true that the best things in life are free.”

The Plant

“Mommy, that’s not a plant. It’s . . . something. . . else. Something awful.”

“Don’t be silly, Pumpkin. It’s just a plant. I just need to trim it back.”

“You can’t. You’ll see.”

“Of course I can!”

“No. It’s reaching up to find a way through the ceiling to my room. I’ll be gone one of these days.”

“Oh, my word! What an imagination you have! I think you’d better stop watching The Twilight Zone.”

A couple of months later, Pumpkin disappeared overnight. The neighbors thought Mommy went insane when she shredded the plant–until the shreds began to grow and reach and stretch. . .

Silly Kids

PHOTO PROMPT © Linda Kreger 

They picked up momentum as each person joined in the effort of getting Grandma up a tiny little hill. The older of the two brothers; then Big Bear, then their wives, laughing so hard they could barely walk.

People stopped to watch, taking pictures with their iPhones.

Grandma was laughing with them. All just good fun.

Then a palace guard approached, seriously commanding them to HALT!

“Are you aware that there’s a very steep descent at the top of this hill? Slow down, now!”

As he turned away, they erupted into laughter again, including the guard.

Real Men Don’t Need Directions

PHOTO PROMPT © Jan Wayne Fields

“Are you sure you remember how to put that tent up?”

“Yes! For pete’s sake, a six-year-old could do it! Leave me alone!”

“I have the directions right here. Looks to me like you need them.”

“I DON’T NEED THEM!” Go away and let me work!”

“Well, okay. I’ll put them right here on the grill.”

He fussed and fumed, putting poles together and taking them apart until he had such a mess he couldn’t even tear it down, never mind put it up.

Then a quiet little voice said “Daddy? I’m six. I know how to read the d’rections. “

The Place

Jimmy and Bobby walked past The Place daily on their way to and from school. They made up stories; scary, funny, fantastical. They talked about finding a way in, but they knew they couldn’t do it.

One day as they walked by, they heard a whisper: “Pssssst! Please help me!” Their hair stood straight up on their heads, and they made it home in half the usual time.

Mom called the police. The officers who came to their door were skeptical, but the boys were convincing.

They called for backup. It was like a TV show. . . . . until the ending. . . . . . .