Spaceship Training?

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

“Zing, look!  That machine is like a spaceship, but they forgot to close the cover!  And each of those buckets has small human—children?–trapped in it. Listen to them scream!  We should help them!”

“Zang, you’re always so impulsive. Just wait.  We need to do good recon. Look, nothing happens–they just go around and around. ”

“I wonder why?  Maybe they are training the children for space flight.”

“Maybe.  It’s not a very good system, though.”

The machine slowed to a stop, and the children  dismounted. They laughed and chattered their way to the next ride.


The Web


Ruth stared at the web, twiddling her fingers and humming.  Over and over the same gestures and the same melody.  Her voice was cracked, her hand so arthritic that her fingers barely moved.

“What is she thinking?” whispered Ellen, Ruth’s daughter.

“Hard to say,”responded the nurse.  We don’t  know, at this advanced stage, if there is any cognition.”

Ellen’s son, who was eight, walked up to his grandmother.

“Hi, Grammy. Can I sing with you?”

No response.

So Brady started singing, using his hands to do the motions.

“The itsy bitsys spider went up the water spout. . . ”

Ruth smiled.





PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

“Earth people are most strange,” observed Zing. “I wonder what kind of animal this was?”

Zang pondered. “Maybe it’s one of those sore things–I can’t bring up the word.”

“Oh! Zang, you are brilliant. Die-no-sore!  But—this one had so many legs!  How many legs does one die-no-sore need?”

“Well, its body was very long. I suppose you’d need lots of legs for such a long body. But look how flat it must have been!”

“And the ones that just dangle?  What were they good for?”

Now Zing pondered. “Drainage, I suppose. Or maybe heat evaporation.”


The Thing


photo prompt@Ted Strutz

“We must send a picture of this immediately!” stated Zing. “This is important. Our scientists must analyze it.”

Zang paced with care around it, gingerly touching now and then and watching the wheels spin to nowhere. “I don’t think it does anything,”  he said.

“Oh, it must!  See how the smaller discs sparkle  and pulse. It’s probably recording us!  We should hide!” Zing was terrified.

Zang shrugged. “But it can’t GO anywhere! If it is transmitting our voices or images, whoever receives it  will see only Earth children looking at an odd structure. I don’t think it’s harmful.”

Zing trembled.


Be Careful!

PHOTO PROMPT © Björn Rudberg

The stacks of warm hats looked like  children  facing the window, aching to get outdoors and play until their little noses froze and they had to come back inside for hot chocolate with marshmallows.

However, they were more sinister by far than they appeared.  Innocent shoppers had no clue that what they were seeing had been devised by a government think tank. The yarns were embedded with brain scanners that recorded every thought and sent it back to the Big Brother Computer deep in the bowels of the earth.

Make your own hats, people.  It’s safer.

The Sentry

“What is THAT?”  Zing’s voice trembled. The thing was three times taller than he was. It had two golden eyes that burned into his soul.

“I don’t know, but I think we should bow,” answered Zang. “You know, show some respect.”

As evening shadows gathered, Zing and Zang gazed up to the face of the thing, wondering what to do next. Without warning, it flared into a globe of light, and a low humming  issued from it.

Zing and Zang trembled. They tried to hide behind each other.

“Wait!” said Zing.  “Listen!”

“You are doing well. Be careful of humans.”


Crying Tree

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

“Mommy, why is the tree crying?”

“Oh, Honey, trees don’t cry. That’s just  melting ice that froze overnight in the cold.”

“No. The tree is crying.  Mommy, what’s in that pile of leaves?”  The little girl pulled her hand away and ran toward the tree. Kneeling beside the leaves, she began to spread the pile, searching for. . .

“Mommy, look!  It’s a tiny little kitten!  Oh, I think it’s alive, and it’s crying!  Mommy, Mommy. … ”

Mommy sighed, knowing her daughter’s determination. “Yes, we’ll take it home.”

“Thank you! I told you the tree was crying!”


PHOTO PROMPT © What’s His Name

“What is it?” asked Zing.

“Dunno,” said Zang.

“Think we should check it out?  Looks like a trigger at the top.  Could be a weapon.”

“Okay, but be careful.   Find a stick or something to open it;  it could be a trap.”

Zing found a sturdy branch. He waited for Zang to pick his way through the cluttered old barn.

“Okay, ready?” Zang nodded, and Zing carefully nudged the oval lid upward. revealing the ringed piece underneath.

“Empty.  Okay, take the lid off the back piece. Careful.”


They didn’t know how lucky they were.

Fibber McGee’s Closet


PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Judy and Uncle Bill  opened the door to  Aunt Reenie’s storage closet. They both stood speechless, taking in the  years of accumulated  miscellany.

“It’s Fibber McGee’s closet!” said Uncle Bill.

“Who?  What?” asked Judy.

“It’s an old radio program. Look it up.  Well, let’s get it done.”

Aunt Reenie was Uncle Bill’s aunt, nearly 100 years old when she decided to die.

“What useless junk!”  Judy  declared.

“Maybe. But Aunt Reenie was thankful for everything she had. There are some good stories in this closet.”

“Really?  Like what?”  The time flew as they cleared it out.




I’m Sorry

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

The fire was quickly contained in the small apartment building.  Most of the damage was from smoke. The adjacent buildings  were sprayed  to protect them from  sparks that could jump like  fleas from  dog to dog.

The firemen searched from one apartment to the next, checking for tenants. Finally, they found an old woman with a small child on her lap.  Her oxygen machine was unattached, her eyes open but empty. The child patted her cheeks, crying, “I’m sorry, Nana, I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.”

The matchbox lay empty by the chair.