That Pretty Bowl

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

He gave her the bowl for Valentine’s Day one year early in their marriage. She treasured it because he wasn’t much of a gifter. Not that he didn’t care; just that he didn’t think of it. She understood, and valued any gift he offered all the more.

It came to be known as “That pretty bowl.” It had celebrated with the family over the years, holding fruit, or vegetable salads, or concoctions of Jello and whipped cream. Sometimes she filled it with the flowers of the season.

Now she was gone. Her daughter has the bowl.





© Photographer prefers to remain anonymous.

The other kids all had good boots, although many refused to wear them. It just wasn’t cool.  They’d rather have cold, wet shoes and socks all day.

Ian’s boots were definitely not cool. Old, ratty galoshes, they were held together and water-proofed with duct tape. Ian hated them.  His shoes had to last, though, so he pulled the ugly things on and zipped them up.

Head down against the wind and rain, he set his jaw against the comments that would come.

At least he had dry feet. Idiots.

Evil Empire


“No!  We can’t go there!” Zang’s eyes were big and round with fear as he gazed up to what looked like an evil robot. “Look at its eyes!  They’re crossed!  Surely a sign of evil,” he insisted.

“I agree,” declared Zing, boldly holding his ground. “Zinnia/Peony, whoever  you are, we’re NOT going there!”

Zinnia sighed. “You two are trying my patience. You’ll do as  you’re told.  It’s nothing but a building. I have things to show you in there.  No harm will come. Those are NOT eyes, you silly boys. It’s just the way the lights are shining.  Come on!”

Life Steps

PHOTO PROMPT © Karen Rawson

Jed had run up and down these steps as a young man, hauling lumber to build his house, hauling furnishings, never missing a step.

He’d walked up the steps, carrying his new bride so close to his heart that she asked him to let her breathe a bit.

He’d carried their babies up and down, glorying in watching them grow, learn, and eventually leave.

He’d helped carry his beloved Sarah’s coffin down the steps, grief so heavy he thought he’d die.

Now, his knees were a problem. But then, “Grandad, you comin’?” made the trek worthwhile.



PHOTO PROMPT © Jan Wayne Fields

He stood gazing across the land that unrolled to the far mountains.  His long black hair, secured by the band around his head, blew in the gentle breeze that tugged and pulled at him.  He inhaled slowly, savoring the scents that rose from the ground, the underbrush, the trees.

In his mind, he replayed the stories of his ancestors as they lived and died in this same land. So much joy, so much pain, so much lying, so much death.

A single tear tracked his lined cheek.

Time to go home. Back to the reservation.

(I hope you won’t mind if I leave Zing and Zang waiting in the sidelines now and then. This picture  was so evocative, partly because of a book I’m reading, that the story insisted on being written.  Zing and Zang, with Zinnia, will return when the photo prompt doesn’t take my heart and mind in a totally different direction.)

What’s Fun?


Zing, Zang, and Zinnia (oh, yes–Peony had told them her Zekonian name) got settled into the ramshackle old house. Assuming the form of human children, they explored outdoors.

“It’s pleasant,” commented Zing. “I like grass. But what is that  piece of equipment with the chains?”

“Zing, you’re too curious!”  Zang was cranky.

“It’s a game humans play,” said Zinnia. “See those plastic discs in the basket? They toss the discs into the chains and get a score when the discs drop into the basket.”

“But why?” asked Zing.

“Just for fun, Zing. It’s called Frisbee.”

“Fun?”  Zang grumped. “What’s that?”


A Hideout

PHOTO PROMPT © Yarnspinnerr

“This is. . . . . .sad,” remarked Zing. “It has been neglected.  Why do you want us to stay here?”

Peony was patient. “Because it’s neglected. No one knows who owns it. No one does any upkeep.  The yard is overgrown, the house needs painting, and the windows are so dirty no one can see  what’s going on inside.  It’s perfect.”

“But, Peony, you can see there is no power for lights, or cooking. Or heat. What about that?”

“You two are going to need to learn to trust me.  If you’ll cooperate, I promise I’ll tell you my Zekonian name. Follow me.”

Getting to Know You

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson



“Neither,”said Peony. “Earth people like to make odd designs and use them for decorations”

“How do you KNOW this?” demanded Zing. Who ARE you?”  His antennae quivered with both fear and indignation.

“I am Peony.  I am from your planet.  I have been looking after you, protecting you. You are both very innocent.  Too trusting.”

“What is our planet’s name?  Who is our Leader?” asked Zang, doubting.

“Zekon, of course.  And our Leader is Zedion the Great.”

“But your name—it starts with that “Puh” sound. Not a Zekonian name.”

“It’s for undercover work, Silly!”

A Meeting

PHOTO PROMPT © Fatima Fakier Deria

Zing and Zang perched on the edges of the white garden chairs. Every fiber of their bodies was on alert. They had switched to invisible mode, and so had the third person they both watched with curiosity and fear.

Peony was relaxed in a chair across the table from them.  She, too, was invisible. She smiled, understanding their fear. They had known that they would be watched, for their own protection. They hadn’t known that the little girl who flitted in and out of their sight would be a watcher.

This would take some time.

The Trail


PHOTO PROMPT © Björn Rudberg

Anna pulled the horses to a stop. She sat very still on the seat of the buckboard, pondering the strange sign. She’d never seen anything like it, but it was a clear warning to go no farther. Who put it there?

Clearly, others had gone before her. The track was evidence of that.  She’d known it was a dangerous trail, but she was intrepid and curious, a sometimes dangerous combination.

Pulling her shotgun closer, she clucked at the horses and slapped the reins, moving slowly forward.

Too bad her sunbonnet blocked her vision.