Discover Prompts, Day 11: Bite

Oddly, my mind just went blank.

Maybe that’s because there are so MANY directions one could take for this one-word prompt.

Let’s see. How about a bite of fiction?


Peanut butter and jelly. The ultimate American sandwich champion. For kids, at least.

Lizzy watched her ten-year-old champion eater take a huge bite of his sandwich. Grape jelly, always. Leaving a circle around his mouth, always. Which he swiped at with his arm, always. Topped off with a milk mustache, always, as he ran out the door to continue his important project of the moment. He’d be back inside within an hour, looking for cookies or an apple or whatever he could wheedle out of her. Always hungry, always on the move.

She loved him more than she had ever understood a mother could love her child.

Taking her after-lunch tea into her living room, she curled up in her reading corner. Taking a bite of her own sandwich, a much smaller bite than Jeffie would have taken, she relished the combination of salt-and-sweet. Her husband teased her about still loving her favorite childhood sandwich, but it didn’t bother her. He never turned down a pb&j, either.

Her book open on her lap, Lizzie let her mind drift to five years earlier, when Jeffie didn’t want anything at all to eat. He would pick listlessly at every tempting morsel she could create. One bite, maybe, but no more.

He was pale, losing weight, and had no energy. Finally, they took him to his pediatrician, who dropped terror into Lizzie’s heart when he referred them to a pediatric oncologist.

Lizzie didn’t dwell very long on the next couple of years. Tubes, needles, surgery, fear, cold sweat, sleepless nights, terror-driven trips to the ER. The feeding tube was unbearable to her. How she longed to see him take a huge bite of his messy sandwich, wiping the residue on his sleeve. She swore that if he survived this monster, she would never fuss at him again for wiping the jelly on his sleeve.

Children Patient Closing His Face In Hospital Bed Stock Photo ...

He did survive. He was a tough little kid, even at only five years old. He was eight before he really started to return to normal. Now, at ten, he was unstoppable. It was glorious!

And she never, ever scolded him again for wiping that last bite of pb&j off his mouth onto his sleeve.

Alpha Male

Note:  Mac was 15 years old this past November, and he was in a lot of physical discomfort.  He was still dedicated to my daughter, but he had so many problems that she knew it was time.  She had him put down a week ago today.  We will all miss this great little dog, who had a wonderful life and brought a lot of happiness to the whole family. I wrote the following story about a year ago. 


The last Christmas our daughter lived with us, we got her a puppy.  He was the offspring of a friend’s tiny little Maltese and the neighborhood Dachshund who came visiting one day when she was out on a running leash in their back yard. This little five-pound momma had a litter of six finger-length pups, with all the varieties of color and markings you can imagine from such a combination.

Our daughter used to babysit for this family, and she immediately fell in love with one puppy in particular. When she first met him, he fit nicely into the palm of her hand. She talked about him all the time. That was in the late fall.

My husband got busy and built a crate for the pup, without telling our daughter, of course. Just before Christmas, he passed the crate over to our son, who stopped  at the home of the puppies and picked up the one our daughter loved.  He was too cute for words by that time.  If memory serves he was about six weeks old.

When our son walked in the door on Christmas morning with the crate in his hands, Deb was completely taken by surprise. She was in tears pretty quickly, and Mac the Dachtese became our entertainment that day and for many months following.

That spring, Deb got her first phone call from the young man she would marriy.  He was quickly a frequent visitor in our home, and Mac wasn’t especially thrilled. At four or five months old, Mac’s attachment to our daughter was very strong. When Aaron showed up, Mac would raise his little black lips and snarl. There was never an all-out attack, just the snarl.  Often, Mac would insinuate himself between Deb and Aaron if they were sitting on the sofa. We laughed. Well, most of us did. Aaron wasn’t so sure.

Although Mac was doing well with house-training, we kept him off the living room carpet  by propping a piece of plywood across the opening between the living room and dining room, exiling poor puppy to the back side of the house. One day when Aaron came over, Mac was especially unhappy. He growled and howled, but no one took much pity on him. We all went about our business.

In maybe fifteen minutes, I realized Mac was nowhere to be seen.

“Deb, do you know where the dog is? I haven’t seen him in several minutes.”

“Uh oh.  Better check.”  Deb got up and stepped across the plywood, checking first in the kitchen and then coming back through the dining room to the bedrooms.  I’d gotten busy with something else, so when I heard her say, “Oh, NO! Mac! Bad dog! NO!” I  had to go see what the problem was.

She found him in the bathroom.  He had spun all the toilet paper off the roll and trailed it all over the place.  Fun new trick.  But that wasn’t all.  In several places, this tiny little dog had dropped enough  doodoo to make a whole new version of himself!  Piles of it, all over the bathroom floor.  Then he had sneakered out to a corner in the dining room, leaving another pile in one corner.  When Deb found him, he was hiding behind the bathroom door.

“Oh gross!  Oh man!  I can’t believe this!  How could such a little dog have that much in him!  Mac, you little brat!”  As she cleaned up the mess, though, she began to laugh. And so did all the rest of us–except Aaron. This was  such a perfect display of alpha dog marking his territory, letting Aaron know who was boss, keeping Deb’s attention on himself.

Well, things are better now.  Mac has reluctantly accepted Aaron’s alpha male position, and has even  welcomed three new little people into the mix.  He and Aaron aren’t exactly what you’d call soul mates, but they do all right.



Friends At Last!


So I decided to mix up a DIY recipe for an all-purpose cleaner.  Simple ingredients:  cleaning vinegar, water, and a little baking soda mixed with  water.

What I forgot was that was the same kind of recipe we used to make volcanoes for science projects.

Everything went great until I poured the water/baking soda mixture into the  vinegar I had already poured into my spray bottle.


All OVER the place, including all over me!  What a mess.  I’m glad I hadn’t put in my aromatic essential oils yet.  But at least my kitchen floor is clean 🙂

The second try was more successful.  Mixed my ingredients more slowly, waiting for the soda to dissolve before adding it to the vinegar. Slowly.  In the sink.


The Note

Everything Changes

Walking down the street, you encounter a folded piece of paper on the sidewalk. You pick it up and read it and immediately, your life has changed. Describe this experience.


“Help Me!  555-6349”

Maddie stood with the scrap of paper in her hand, not even knowing why she’d stooped to pick it up.  One of those serendipituous moments?  Or just a fluke?

Well,  what on earth was she to do now!  Anyone with an ounce of common sense would toss the scrap in the nearest trash bin and forget it.

Maddie had never been famous for caution or common sense. Following her instincts, she pulled out her cell phone and punched in the numbers. She figured she was safe, standing in the middle of a sidewalk crowded with scurrying Christmas shoppers intent on their next purchase.

The phone range once, twice,  and the beginning of a third time when it was picked up. A breathy voice, whispering, said , “Yes?  Yes?  Are you calling to help me?”

“I found this scrap on the sidewalk,”  said Maddie. “Are you in trouble? Do you need the police?”

“Oh yes!  Please! No sirens, though.  They have to come quiet and quick. I live  right above where you’re standing, over the bakery. Look up.  Look up!”

Maddie glanced up to see a curtain twitch, and then the phone went dead.

She wasted no time in dialing the operator, asking for the police, and reporting what had happened.

“Ma’am, are you sure this isn’t some kid playing a prank?”

“I have no way of knowing that!  I only know the voice sounded desperate, afraid.  Please!  Can’t you send someone?  Quietly?”

“Okay, lady, but we’re going to need you to stay right there.  Don’t leave!  And I want your cell number.”

Maddie gave them her number, and backed up against the window of the bakery.  When the cruiser slid up to the curb, she waved to let the police know who she was.  One of them made a “stay there” motion with his free hand, pulling out his weapon with the other.  He and his partner opened the door to the apartment above and went into the buidling.

Maddie’s heart stood still.  She couldn’t imagine what might be happening right over her head.

Suddenly, there was a lot of  yelling, a loud scream, the sound of pounding footsteps.  A man in dark clothing came flying out the door, and Maddie moved purely on instinct again, sticking out her foot as he ran past her.

He sprawled, and the two officers were on him instantly, cuffing him and reading him his rights.

A woman  carrying a one-year-old baby came out of the stairway entrance, crying and holding the child as if she’d never let go. She spotted one of the officers talking to Maddie.

“Are you the one who saw my note?  You saved my life, and my baby as well!  That was my ex-husband, and he’d been drinking.  He was drunk enough that I was able to drop that scrap before he shoved me up the stairs. Thank you!  Thank you more than I can say for stopping, for caring enough to risk your own safety.”

Maddie’s life was changed.  She became close friends with Julie, met Julie’s brother and fell in love with him.

And yes, they all lived happily ever after 🙂


The Guilt that Haunts Me

Share a time when you were overcome with guilt. What were the circumstances? How did you overcome you guilt?


Elise fought the memories day and night.  During the day, she had to deliberately block them from her mind, replacing them with other thoughts.

At night, though, when she was asleep, there was no defense.  Over and over again, she struggled and tossed and turned through the events, waking up in a sweat, often with tears pouring down her face and onto her pillow.

Jed, her husband, didn’t have a clue.  She’d never told him, never revealed what it was that so often tormented her dreams and robbed her of sleep. She shrugged off her miserable nights with, “Just a bad dream.  I don’t even remember what it was.”

The lie compounded the guilt, of course. Jed didn’t deserve to have such a weak, deceitful woman for his wife.  He was a strong, godly man; a man of character and infinite patience.

“Elise, there’s something.  Something you’re not telling me, something you  need to tell me.  The sooner you do, the sooner we can get past this nonsense.  Why can’t you trust me?  Don’t you know that there’s nothing you could tell me that would stop my loving you?”

The tears would flow afresh, and she would always burrow her face into his broad chest so he couldn’t see the pain and confusion in her eyes. He would hold her, comfort her; but she began to feel a distance opening up between them. She knew she was the one who had to bridge the gap. Finally, one night after the dream was particularly vivid, she broke.

“All right!  All right, I’ll tell you, but you’ll never be able to love me again, and you’ll never want me in your life.  You just don’t know. . . .

“I was raped when I was 15 years old.  It was my own fault.  I went sneaking out with a man who was 25, and my parents had forbidden me to see him.  One night, when I met him at his apartment, he’d been drinking.  I didn’t know anything about that, because Dad never drank.  Anyway, we started to make out, and I was so dumb. . . .I really didn’t get what was happening.  When he started pulling at my clothes, getting really aggressive, I tried to tell him to stop.  It enraged him.

“It was awful.  He really hurt me.  And after it was done, he pretty much threw me out and told me never to come back, that I was just a stupid little girl and he needed a ‘real woman.’

“So now you know.  If you want me to leave, I will.  I wouldn’t blame you.”

Jed was silent.  He gathered her up against him, gently but firmly.  She could feel his chest heaving, then felt the hot tears he was shedding as they dropped onto her head and her face.  She was shocked!  Jed was crying?  Why?

“Elise.  My poor Elise.  It was NOT your fault!  Sure, you were wrong to disobey, to sneak out, to meet that jerk.  But it was HIS choice to rape you, and HE is the guilty one.  We need to talk more about all this, and if you think it will help we can go to the pastor or a counselor and get you some help to get past this.  But know this:  I will always love you.  You are not defined by what someone else did to you.  This changes nothing between us, except that I’m glad you finally told me.”

It took time.  Months.  But gradually Elise was able to forgive her attacker, to let go of her guilt, and to trust in the love of her husband and her God.

No guilt has to be permanent.


In non-response to the daily prompt, which held no interest for me today, here’s a story I’ve been thinking about developing.


“Write about what you know,” came the sage wisdom of experienced writers.

Well, good grief.  What did Ellie know?  Growing up in a preacher’s family wasn’t all that unique.  Being poor wasn’t, either.  Having parents who learned how to scratch and scrimp was pretty common for the baby-boomer generation. Some of those boomers, like Ellie herself, had applied a lot of what she learned from her Depression-era parents, and she and Trevor had managed to make a pretty good life for their family without ever becoming well-to-do.

There were lots of nevers in Ellie’s life.  Never been divorced.  Never had an affair. Never even been unfaithful in her thoughts. Never lost a child to illness or accident.  Never had a miscarriage. Never touched alcohol, never smoked a cigarette. Never watched porn, even after the computer era brought it right to her fingertips. Never ran away from home, never touched illegal drugs or got addicted to legal ones. Never had sex before marriage.

So what  was there about her life, and her experiences, that would make an interesting read for people who were used to watching the most horrifying violence in movies and on TV?  What could she write about love and romance that would appeal to people  who treated sex like  a casual event, and indoor sport?  What could she write about childrearing when her own kids had all turned out to be  normal, law-abiding citizens rearing their own families the same way she and Trev had done it?

Who wanted to read about people she knew?  People who went to church, believed in God, loved their country, and lived their lives the old-fashioned way—God, home, and country?

Wouldn’t they rather read about horrific murders, the evil minds of sociopaths who had no conscience, the sexual escapades of men and women who were physically beautiful but had no moral compass?  Look at the popularity of those Fifty Shades books!  Why, even some of her own friends claimed to enjoy the books and get all hot and bothered by the sexual violence they portrayed.

As Ellie sat quietly in her living room, hands busy with the afghan she was knitting, quiet music filling the room, she wondered why she had this strong urge to write when it seemed to her that she really had nothing to write about.   Nothing new, nothing sensational, nothing that hadn’t already been written to death by hundreds of other wannabe authors.

Write about what you know.  Hmph. “I know about being a normal girl, with hopes and dreams; making dumb choices, making embarrassing mistakes, floundering through the process of falling in and out of love; learning to curb my impulses, tame my tart tongue, train my temper.  I knew abour rearing normal kids.  Well, they’d all been amazingly smart. I never had the homework struggle that a lot of my friends did, because my own brood just didn’t need much help.  That had been a blessing, especially during the years I’d been a teacher in their school. “

She knew about hard work. Plenty about that. She was grateful for these senior years of relative peace, calm, and quiet. These years weren’t nearly as labor-intensive as her forties and even fifties had been.

She knew about going back to school at the advanced age of 50, competing with students half her age.  She knew about being a psychotherapist, and she knew about being thankful for how normal her own life had been compared to that of a lot of her clients.

She knew about pain, both physical and emotional. She understood suffering.  She was glad she’d started the counseling career after she’d been around the block a few times.

Still, was there really an interesting story in all of that?  In any of it?

Ellie’s eyelids slid cosed, her head nodding off to one side and her hands going still.  Her thoughts had opened lots of windows on memories long past, and her afternoon dream took her through one of those windows. Transported back in time, she found herself riding in the back seat of her dad’s 1955 Chevy, legs and feet pushing and shoving against her sister’s to keep a few inches of leg room as they drove through what seemed like endless miles of nothing.

Oh, yes, now there was a story.



Another Day on the Beat

Ripped from the Headlines!

Head to your favorite online news source. Pick an article with a headline that grabs you. Now, write a short story based on the article. 


A suspected Oklahoma DUI driver plowed a stolen SUV into a cop and his squad car, called herself God as she was Tased and sang Christian hymns while handcuffed — a bizarre saga chronicled on the officer’s body camera.

I don’t really have a favorite news source, since they’re all questionable in my mind–liberal or conservative, it doesn’t matter.  There’s always more than one truth.
This article caught my eye on my Facebook feed this morning, and I haven’t read the whole thing, but it sure triggered my imagination. . . .
     It had been a long, tiring day for Luke and his partner, Chad, as they patrolled their beat in the racially charged city. It seemed to Luke that there was just constant, unrelenting anger and hatred bubbling up from the very pavement of the streets and sidewalks.  It was a tough time to be a cop.  It was a tough time to be a white cop or a Black one, it really didn’t matter.  You couldn’t do anything right, and there was always the likelihood of some  fruit loop out there taking a couple of head shots at him and his partner.  They knew they risked their lives every day.  It wore on you after a while.
     During the course of the day, they’d written up the standard traffic stops, dealing with  people who were either irate, nervous, hateful, or contrite. Sometimes, all of the above.
     Then there were the hysterical calls from people who had injured themselves and needed help RIGHT NOW!  The truly serious injuries, the nothing-to-it stuff, all had to be handled with professionalism and dispatch.  And of course there were always the groups of “I’m a tough guy and no cop can scare me” young hoods who were so brave that they could only operate in gangs.  Catch one of them alone and you had a different kid on your hands, scared to death and willing to rat out all his buddies.
     Well, their shift was almost over, and Luke was looking forward to home and a shower, and time with his family.
     Until the big SUV came roaring straight at their squad car from what seemed like nowhere.  Luke immediately hit his lights and siren, hoping to wake up the oncoming driver.  He  pulled his weapon out of its holster, ready to shoot out a tire or whatever else he needed to do.  At the same time, he tried to figure out what direction to swerve his vehicle into without doing damage to other cars on the road.  He quickly pulled to the right,  other cars giving him room, and the SUV whizzed by on his left, too close for comfort.
     The SUV kept going, so Luke did a quick turn-around and went in pursuit. He came right up on the  speeding vehicle, pulled alongside, and motioned for the driver to pull over.  Something–his lights, the siren?–must have gotten through to the driver, because she did slow down and pull over. Rolling to a stop,  she put her head down on the steering wheel and began to sing  Amazing Grace in a gravelly, tuneless voice. When Luke approached her side of the SUV, she looked up at him and said, “Hi, I’m God!  What can I do for you?”
Then she started to laugh hysterically. Without warning, she whipped her door open. Luke stumbled backward, nearly fell, but managed to keep his balance. As the woman,  obviously drunk, rolled out of the car with her arms flailing and hands balled into fists, Luke drew his taser.  She kept coming at him, laughing and yelling that she was God. When she got close enough to land a punch, he warned her again and let go with the taser.
      Bam!  She went down hard, twitching and drooling.  He and Chad, who had come up on the other side of the SUV, rolled her over and cuffed her.  When she came around, they would put her in the back of the squad car and take her in.  Drunk driving, assault on an officer–that would be for starters.
     Of course, quite a crowd had gathered.  They were your standard looky-loos, along with some folks who just always seemed to show up with their race-baiting venom.
     “Hey, man, why didn’t you shoot her?  ‘Cause she’s white?”
     “Hey, Cop, how come you didn’t beat her up?  No Black woman would have gotten away with that!”
     “Police brutality!  I saw the whole thing!  Nobody deserves to be tased like a dumb animal!  I want your names and badge numbers!”
      Luke and Chad let it flow over their heads while they finished securing the SUV, and then getting the woman up on her feet.  She continued to sing, laugh, cry, and talk crazy. She reeked of liquor and was stumbling drunk, seeming to be unaware that she was cuffed and in custody.
     Just another day, and a perfect way to end a long shift.  Luke was startled, though, when a young woman approached him and place her hand on his forearm.
     “Officer, I just wanted to thank you for getting this person off the road.  You probably saved her life, and maybe the lives of other people. Good job.  Thank you.”
     Yeah.  A good way to end the day.

Twenty Minutes

You have 20 minutes to write a post that includes the words mailbox, bluejay, plate, syrup, and ink. And one more detail… the story must include a dog named Bob


“What a beautiful day,” thought Maisie, as she put her outgoing letters in the mailbox.  Raising the red flag at the side of the box, she turned around to go back across the street and up her driveway.  Enjoying the fresh cool scents and breezes of early morning, she paused for a moment before going back inside.

There were huge old pine trees guarding her driveway, and a brilliant bluejay arrowed from the west sentinel to the east sentinel, filling the air with his unmusical screeching. How could anything that looke so pretty be so discordant?

“Well, back to work,” she thought.  She had a mountain of paper to clear from her desk before she could get down to the four hours of writing she scheduled for herself every week day. Keeping that schedule was an endless battle. There were so many distractions!

And one of those distractions was still at the kitchen table, mopping syrup from his plate with the last few bites of the pancakes Maisie had made for the family. The only one still at home with her was blue-eyed Matthew, not quite five years old. His mop of black curls always made her fingers itch to wander through that coarse, messy  mop.  Matt, however, had other ideas. Finishing his breakfast, he jumped down from his chair, gathered  his plate, cup, and fork, and took them to the sink where there was hot soapy water waiting for the last of the morning dishes.

“Mom!  Mom!  MOM!!”

“What, Mattie?  I’m right here!”

“Mom, can me and Jeffie  go swimming in his pool this morning?  His mom said!  Can we?  Please? “

“Matt.  ‘May Jeffie and I. . .’ sighed Maisie.  She wondered how many thousands of times she had made a similar corrections as her children grew up. Well, this was the last one.  Patience.

“Yeah, that.  So, ca—may we?  Boy, that sounds weird!”

“Yes, you may, if Jeffie’s mom will be there with you.  We’ll talk about it when she comes to pick you up.”

The doorbell rang, and it wasn’t long before Matthew was waving to her from the back seat as Jeffie’s mom drove him away for the day to play with his best friend.

“Silence.  Just a couple of quick chores, and then I can sit down and get to work.”

Maisie flew through the house, setting things to rights, throwing a load of laundry into the washer, setting out a package of chicken breasts for a stir-fry for supper.

Finally, she filled Bob’s water and food bowls, and her long-time companion rose slowly from his rug, stretching and sighing. He shook as only a dog can shake, smiled up at Maisie, ignored his food and water, and ambled off to the study where he knew she would spend the morning. When Maisie got there, Bob was already stretched out on his  favorite bed, slapping his tail against the floor as she pulled her chair up to her computer desk. 

After changing the ink cartridge in her printer, Maisie glanced over at him. “Well, Bob, time for you to nap and me to work. You sure do have a nice life, you know?”

Bob smiled again, closed his eyes, and snored rhythmically to the tap of her computer keys.

Grandma’s Story

Write about anything you’d like, but make sure the post includes this sentence:

“I thought we’d never come back from that one.”


“Grandma, what’s the scariest thing that ever happened to you?”

“Oh, my, I hardly know if anything really scary has happened to me.  Let me think.”

The children tucked in on either side of her watched her face, intrigued by the lines and wrinkles that graced her cheeks and eyes. They thought she was beautiful. They waited quietly, wondering what story they were about to hear.

“Well, I guess it was pretty scary during the last war, although your grandpa and I were too old to be involved directly.  We helped as much as we could, secretly and quietly.   The government had succeeded–well, they thought they had, anyway–in taking away all gun, from us common folks.  They promised us that if no one had guns, there would be a lot less crime.  Of course, you know how silly that is, because when all the legal guns were ‘confiscated,’ then the only folks who had them were the ones with illegal guns. You know, the bad guys who robbed and killed.

“But some of us were smart enough to hide our weapons, knowing that we may need them for protection against our own government sometime soon.  So we hid them, and we hid the ammunition.  What we didn’t know was that so many other people had the same idea.

“You see, we’d been watching the news from around the world, watching as terrorists took over cities and countries, murdering people who wouldn’t agree with their religion.  We watched hundred of thousands of helpless, unarmed people being marched off to be executed.  And we knew it could happen right here in America. So we tried to be prepared.

“You see, our founding fathers in this wonderful country had provided in our Constitution that every citizen had the right to keep and carry weapons, including guns.  When a government tries to take away guns from all the citizens, it’s because the government wants complete control. They’ll tell you it’s for your own good, but it really isn’t.

“Anyway, when government troops began patrolling every town and city, to keep us ‘safe,’ we knew it was time to prepare to fight.  Word spread like wildfire that there were citizens willing to take a stand, even though we knew we might not survive.

“Then, the most wonderful thing happened!  In a town not far from here, the troops had been ordered to attack a home where it was suspected that the people were hiding weapons.  When the troops stormed the house, they were fired on by the people who lived there. They were shocked!  And one of the leaders  got to thinking, and realized that he shouldn’t be attacking ordinary citizens who had done no harm.  He ordered his men to halt, to cease fire, and they did. Troops are always taught to obey orders instantly,even if they disagree or don’t understand.

“Then the leader stood up and addressed his men.  He told them he was no longer willing to attack and/or arrest good citizens who had done no harm.  Was anyone with him?  Would anyone stand with him?  And all his men stood strong and tall and said they would stand; they said they would fight against their own government to protect law-abiding people who had done no wrong!

“Word spread pretty fast, and soon there were hundreds of thousands of troops all across this country who took a stand against tyranny.  It was a long and ugly war, but the tyrants were defeated, and that, my dears, is why you can still live in freedom and even have a gun in your house if you want to.”

“Wow, Grandma!  That does sound scary.  It sounds like a fairy tale!”
“Yes, I know. At the time, we just did what we had to do to survive, but there were times when I really didn’t think we’d come back from that one!”

Time Stood Still

Feb. 16 2014 Mondays Finish the Story:

Little did they know when the photographer took their picture that they would find themselves trapped in a painting.  With the flash of the bulb in the old-fashioned camera, everything went deathly still. No birds twittered, no water lapped at the shore. No breeze stirred the trees, and no clouds floated serenely overhead.

The tantara of the trumpet stopped. The drumsticks went silent. The oom didn’t pah, and the voice of the singer stuck in his throat. Unable to move, to even blink an eye, the four musicians remained caught in the poses they had struck just before the flash.

The photographer smiled as he rolled them up into a scroll, took them to his shop, and carefully framed them.

It wasn’t long before someone bought the picture and took it home.  His guests would often stop to gaze at it, saying things like, “Those men look so familiar!  I wonder where I’ve seen them before.”