Another Eve

Writing Prompts: Sci-Fi

(Your wife is a droid.)

Gunnar was, without a doubt, brilliant. World-famous for his coding acumen, he’d worked on just about every kind of tech platform imaginable.

One day, he and several co-workers were chatting around the water cooler. Gunnar was happily single, and the rest of his buddies were married. They wanted him to join their blissful club.

“Only if I get to program her,” he joked. And everyone laughed–except for the lovely new secretary who heard their chatter as she walked by. She stopped in her tracks, turning to look at the men, who had grown visibly uncomfortable. They checked their phones, their watches, their fingernails. All but Gunnar, whose back was to Brianna.

Gunnar, blissfully unaware of the eye-daggers piercing his back, began to describe exactly what he thought of as the perfect woman. “Gorgeous, of course. Long, wavy dark hair. Big brown eyes, like Bambi. Dimples. Not too thin. I like curves. Most important, she’s sweet and compliant. She won’t ever argue with me because I’m going to make her myself. She’ll be programmed to agree with everything I say.”

Beautiful Young Woman Image & Photo (Free Trial) | Bigstock

Brianna moved quietly away, shaking her head at his nonsense. But Gunnar was on a roll. He began thinking about creating his own droid, perfectly fitting his own imagination. He knew people who could make those ideas come true.

Ah, but her CPU! THAT would be all his to create! He could hardly wait to get home and begin outlining his plans on his own equipment. The more he thought about it, the more excited he became. His creation would far surpass any human female. She’d be brilliant, like he was. She’d be sweet, agreeable, never arguing or contradicting him.

The work was painstaking, detailed, and at times exhausting. He talked to his mom and sisters, probing their reactions to being commanded to do anything. He figured out how to program his droid, whose name, he decided, would be Eve, to accept his commands without question. He tested, retested, and tested again. There wouldn’t, couldn’t, be any bugs or glitches. She had to be firewalled against any and all attempts to hack into her and discover her coding.

He thought about things that were foreign to him: Emotions, feelings. He did want Eve to care for him, but figuring out how to program that was a conundrum. When he went too far, Eve began to express ideas, of all things! She didn’t need to have ideas! So he backed up and started over on that sequence of programming, installing only positive emotions, and requiring that they all be directed only to himself.

She was nearly finished. Time to take her out for a trial run. Her body was perfect. It was impossible to tell she was a robot. Her movements were smooth and natural. Watching her, he realized he’d forgotten about putting expressions on her face. Well, back to the drawing board on that one, but in the meantime, just for kicks, he decided to take her to work and introduce her to the guys.

She was stunning! His co-workers were amazed. How had he kept his girlfriend a secret for so long? But wait! She was almost a dead ringer for Brianna!

Just as that statement was uttered, Brianna herself came walking by. When she saw Eve, she stopped and stared. Gunnar wanted to sink through floor. He truly hadn’t realized he’d modeled Eve to look so much like Brianna, and he was completely embarrassed. But he gathered his wits and made the introductions.

Brianna said, “Well, they say everyone has a double, and I guessI just met mine! Nice to meet you, Eve. How long have you and Gunnar been a couple?”

Eve stared blankly, looking for a response. Brianna watched Eve’s eyes, wondering why there was so little in them. No emotion, no sparkle, no excitement at being introduced to Gunnar’s friends. Hmm.

Eve finally spoke. “We have been working for over one year.”

Brianna gazed at Gunnar’s red face, saw the beads of sweat on his upper lip. She thought about his comment over a year ago about programming the perfect woman.

“Well, Gunnar. It looks as if you’ve created your perfect, ideal wife. Never argues, does she? As long as you’re with her, she’ll do as she’s told. Should be interesting, though, to see what happens when you send her out of the house on an errand and she runs into something you haven’t thought to prepare her for.”

“Won’t happen. I’ve though of everything. She’s perfect, flawless. She’ll always do as I say!”

“Yeah, the perfect woman. You’re just like God, Gunnar. He created Eve, too. How’d that work out for Him?” Grinning broadly, she waited for his response.

“Wait, that’s not a valid comparison! God gave His Eve a human brain, human emotions, the will to decide! No wonder she went wrong! MY Eve doesn’t have any choices!”

“You need to think about that, Gunnar. You really do!” Shaking her head, Brianna went on her way.

There was silence around the water cooler.

Dragon’s Tale of a Tail

Writing prompts: Young Adult

(It’s your first day of middle school. But when you’re half human, half dragon, that makes things a little tough.)

Doogie was tense. New school, new kids, new teachers. He’d been accepted just fine in elementary, where even the teachers thought he was kinda cool.

Bharatiya jyotish mantra saadhana .: Ketu ( Dragon tail) in various houses  and its effe... | Dragon tail, Dragon, Dragon drawing

He was glad, at least, that it was his top half that was human. He probably wouldn’t be able to make it in school if the first thing everyone saw was a dragon head!

Really, there were always mean kids to deal with. Usually he could just turn and take a swipe at them with his tail, and it would shut them down. But junior high kids? Holy cow, they were vicious! They tended to follow a mean-mouthed leader, and ganged up on their Victim du Jour with great glee.

He just knew he would be that victim. Daily.

Well, time to bite the bullet. He stopped and thought, “I wonder where that phrase came from?” So he googled it, and discovered that it’s what they used to do before anesthesia. Some poor soldier would get his leg or arm all mangled, and the doctor would give him a bullet to bite on before he sawed off the injured limb. “Didn’t want him to scream, I guess,” thought Doogie. “Shoot, just the idea of getting something sawed off would knock ME out!”

Sighing, he grabbed his new book bag, his lunch, and popped his cap onto his head. Deep breath, shoulders back, GO.

He walked to school, only a couple of blocks away. It wasn’t long before a gang collected behind him, as he had known it would, mocking and making snotty comments. Well, he could let the comments slide off his scaly behind and down his tail. Pretty soon, though, he’d have to face the threats and the big bully who would dare to touch him. Not a good way to start his first day in a new school. He suspected that a lot of it would be spent in the principal’s office, along with the angry, weeping bully. Man, he hated this!

Sure enough, Mongo soon stood in front of him. Doogie didn’t know what his name was yet, but “Mongo” popped into his head because the kid was huge. Tall, thick-bodied, his face squinched up in pretend confusion, his eyes sparkling with glee, he put out his meaty hand and put it on Doogie’s chest, pushing at him. His posse gathered around, eager for blood.

“Hey, Dragon Boy, whatcha think yer doin’ in our neighborhood? No half-n-halfs allowed here, Dragon Boy!” His posse snickered, waiting for more.

Doogie shrugged away from Mongo’s hand, sidestepped and kept moving forward.

“HEY! DB! I’m talkin’ to YOU, boy! I didn’t say you could leave!”

Doogie kept walking, waiting, knowing what was coming. He’d be glad to get it over with.

“DRAGON BOY! Yer not even wearin’ PANTS! No nekkid Dragon-Boys allowed!”

Doogie kept walking. His side vision was unusually good, being half-dragon, and he waited until Mongo disappeared from his sight. Then, winding up for a good one, he lashed out with his tail and sent Mongo flying, along with his posse. He enjoyed the satisfying whumps as they all landed.

Of course, they were close enough to the school now to be noticed, and it was just a few seconds before a couple of red-faced, puffing teachers came running up. They were mad at Doogie, of course, because, well, dragon tail. Not a fair fight.

“How dare you! You can’t go using your tail like a club! Come with us to the principal’s office!”

Doogie stood stock still. His tail made him heavy, and the teachers, each grabbing one of his human arms, couldn’t budge him.

“Just wait a minute,” said Doogie. “I’ll come with you, but you need to know that big kid shoved me before I send him tumbling. He’s not hurt, just embarrassed. It’ll prob’ly do him good, you know. He’s a bully.”

“That’s a LIE!” shouted Mongo, brushing off his pants. Bright red in the face, he advanced on Doogie. “HE started it! It’s not MY fault!”

Doogie shrugged. “Touch me again, man, and you’re going to take another fall. Your choice.”

The irate teachers got Doogie moving (at least, that’s what THEY thought), and grabbed Mongo as well.

“Hey, you can’t touch me! Child abuse!” yelled Mongo, shrugging off the teacher’s hand. “I ain’t goin’ to nobody’s office! Can’t make me!”

So Doogie went alone to face the music, knowing exactly what would happen.

He fought off the urge to whack the teachers with his tail, but if he was going to make it through this school year, he had to have some backup from the principal. And when he saw the principal’s wings, he figured it was going to go just fine.

Icarus Reborn

Writing prompts: General fiction

Prompt: You’re chasing your dream of being the first person to fly.

Icarus Reborn

Abra was often frustrated by the requisite female wardrobe. Yards of skirts, flounced and frilled, bustled and crinolined to the point of ridiculous. Sleeves, poofed at the top, tight to the wrist. Bodices buttoned to the chin, too tight for taking a deep breath. No wonder, Abra snorted, females carried smelling salts. They were always fainting from lack of air! And hats! Mercy! She hated all of it, longed for the freedom her brothers had to run, jump, roll, tussle, and even ride a horse astride instead of the uncomfortable sidesaddles a lady had to use. One shouldn’t ever hint that a lady had two legs, after all! And they weren’t legs. They were limbs. Bah!

Gibson girls.

Someday, she determined, she would set aside all the stuffy silliness and set herself free of restraint. She’d soar like an eagle! Wait—soar? Fly! That’s it! she would rid herself of all the fabric that surrounded her like a cage, and she would FLY!

She dreamed of it all through her childhood, her “young adult” status, and finally attained her majority, as the saying went. She turned 21, and decided it was time to put her dreams into action.

Of course, she had to become a male in order to gain her goal. No one would be interested in helping a young female who was stepping out of her proper position, but a young male would be considered daring, and would be given respect even if he was a lunatic who thought he could fly.

So she whacked off her heavy long hair. She concealed her feminine appearance as best she could with loose shirts, loose trousers. She flattened her already small breasts with strips of linen. It was her good fortune to have a slight build, not richly curved as was the fashion for women–thus the silly bustles!

Her shocked and indignant parents looked on in dismay, fearing their only daughter would never meet a marriageable gentleman, but they chalked it up to a female fantasy, hoping she would settle down and find her place among other young women her age.

What they didn’t know was that she slipped out every night and found her way to an abandoned garage, where she meet her best childhood friend. He was a young man just about her age, and he was as enthusiastic about flying as she was. Her male appearance? He found it amusing, and enjoyed her daring spirit.

They had agreed that building wings to be strapped on their backs was not a good plan. Horace had read the classics, and didn’t care to be the new Icarus. They considered balloons, but others were already doing that. Besides, the garage wasn’t big enough to accommodate such an endeavor.

They finally decided that they needed a flying machine, one that could be powered by an engine fueled similarly to the new horseless carriages. They spent hours studying those machines, learning all sorts of things that made them excellent mechanics. They began to sketch ideas, learning about materials that would keep them airborne once they managed to rise from the ground. They learned about wings, and came up with ideas to model theirs on the feathered wings of large birds of prey.

Before daybreak, they would lock up the garage, sneaking home in time to be in bed before anyone else was awake. When Abra began to sleep well past the usual time of rising in their household, her family accepted it as just another of her many quirks.

The next time Abra and Horace met in their garage, Abra carefully approached him with an idea she hoped he would accept.

“Horace, neither of us knows how to create and build a gasoline engine. I think it’s beyond my own ability, and maybe yours as well.”

Horace, to her great relief, agreed with her. “I have a friend who loves to tinker with motors and fuel. He’s trustworthy to keep our secret, and I think he would be excited to be a part of our project. Should I invite him to meet with us tomorrow night?”

“Yes! Wonderful! I’m so relieved. I was afraid you would feel insulted,” she said.

“And I thought YOU would be insulted,” said Horace, grinning. “I guess we’re both just—smart! Smart enough to know our own limitations.”

They worked, and sweated, and planned. They scrapped one plan after the other, and all the while, their newest partner tinkered on a bench with his metal and screws and bolts and tools as he developed his own contribution to their plan. Abra found great satisfaction in doing something besides her hated embroidery! She loved stretching her brain, learning something new every night that they worked.

Her days were occupied by learning how to run a household, supervise the servants, and do all that was considered proper for a young woman not yet married to attract an appropriate suitor. The problem, of course, was that there were no appropriate suitors for a woman out of her own time period. Men found her either boring or intimidating. She seemed doomed to spinsterhood–which was perfectly acceptable to her. She would be free, without the restraint of a husband, to do what she loved.

The months passed swiftly for the three friends. Their project began to take form as they drew, measured, considered weight, weather, winds. It was agreed that Abra would sit in the driver’s seat, steering with a set of bicycle handles attached to a pipe that was attached to the mechanism for turning left or right. They didn’t concern themselves with any device to set the machine back down on the ground, trusting the limited amount of fuel to bring that about naturally.

They spent a great deal of time on the wings. The were constructed of wood that was thin but sturdy, with several small strips that were hinged to the broader wing and connected with wires, in turn connected to a control mechanism near the driver’s seat. Abra hoped to control the flaps, as they called them, to catch air currents just as the feathers on a large bird would do. The trio had spent countless hours studying birds, watching them through telescopes, to understand how they used their feathers in flight.

They were ready. The watched the weather, looking for signs of a good breeze blowing in the right direction, and for clear skies. Their excitement rose as spring weather settled down to stay. And one morning, just before dawn, they rolled their machine out of the garage and down the street to a broad field that was outside of town. There were no houses, just a wide and lengthy expanse of grassy fields. Perfect.

Of course, as they trundled their odd machine down the street, people began to follow. Not many were up and about, but as the noise of their audience increased, more and more folks popped their heads out of windows, and rapidly dressed to join the crowd. This was something new, something different. They all wondered what this odd-looking “bird” would do!

Abra had already strapped on a leather helmet, and place goggles over her eyes. She wore leather gloves, and a jacket and trousers that would keep her warm as the machine gained (she hoped!) altitude. Her heart raced with excitement. “Even if it fails,” she thought,”I’m doing something I always wanted to do!”

By the time they reached their destination, the crowd following them was large and noisy. Horace and his friend urged the people to stay back, out of the reach of any disaster that may take place. Abra took her place behind the steering device. Horace’s friend checked his engine, checked the fuel, and then cranked it just as one would crank the motor of a horseless carriage. When it caught, coughing and spluttering and then settling into a steady roar, the two men each got behind a wing and began to push the machine toward a rise that would give the machine about 20 feet of drop to the ground below once it was aloft. They had chosen the spot with care, measuring and looking for impediments which they moved out of the way.

Suddenly, Abra felt the machine leave the ground! Oh, how her heart raced! She wanted to sing for joy, laugh and dance and turn somersaults! But she had a job to do, and she paid attention. She could turn left or right, and she had to maneuver the wing flaps to catch the wind. She’d never had so much fun in her entire life!

Abra could hear the crowd below yelling and cheering. She could see them running to keep the machine in view.

When she heard the motor sputter once, then again, she knew her first flight was coming to an end. She scanned the ground below, looking for the best direction for setting her bird down safely. She felt it begin to drop, and realized that the fuel was gone. Thankful for the harness that strapped her to the seat, she did her best to make use of the wing flaps, slowing her descent a little here and there, until she felt the wheel touch the ground and bounce, touch and bounce, touch and bounce. She pulled on the lever that would brake the wheels, and the machine lurched to a stop.

The crowd was going wild! They were excited, congratulatory, gleeful to have seen such a strange event.

Abra unstrapped, climbed down, and ran to her friends. They embraced, pounding each other on the back, yelling and screaming their delight. Abra, forgetting that her hair had grown, took off the helmet and tossed it into the air, whooping with joy.

The crowd suddenly went silent. Abra turned to see what had caused them to go so quiet, and then someone shouted, “LOOK! It’s a FEMALE!”

The murmuring of the subdued crowd rose to an indignant roar. One of the men stepped forward, pointing at Abra. He hollered, “What is a woman doing in such a dangerous experiment! You should be ashamed!” He turned away, and the crowd went with him, shaking their heads and glancing back over their shoulders.

Abra and her friends stood quietly for maybe three minutes. Then, they looked at each other, grinned, and continued to celebrate their great success.

Giving Myself an Assignment :)

I’ve hit a serious dry spell. I need to get the creative juices flowing, and wouldn’t you know that as I was thinking about it, an invitation to look at 500 writing prompts to help beat writer’s block showed up in my email. How did they know? Well, what DON’T they know these days? Nothing is really private, folks, so be careful, little tongue, what you say. Especially if you have an Alexa, as I do, or some other gadget that can rat you out. Big Brother has become an e-reality.

Anyway, I won’t promise something every single day, like Sunday will probably be a day off. There are several categories, so this is the first prompt from the first category: Mystery and Thriller.

(You find strange, muddy footprints leading up to your front door.)

Who’s There??

Darla struggled with her bags, purse, and keys. She tried to arrange things so that she could put her key into the lock on her front door without dropping everything. Just one of the problems you learn to solve when you live alone–especially when it’s raining like the biblical Flood, and you don’t want to make a second trip.

She splashed up the sidewalk from the curb, not paying attention to much beyond getting inside where it was warm and dry. Glancing down, she noticed footprints that seemed to come from around the side of the house. Big, mucky, sloppy footprints. Up her steps. But NOT back down. What? Who–where on earth–

Footprint on wet street

She stood stock still, realizing that the only place those footsteps could go was inside her little house. The door was shut tight. There was no clear damage. No broken windows.

Her heart started ramping up, her fingers holding the keys shaking and her stomach churning. “Someone is inside. Waiting for me. Can’t go in there. What. . . .I know!”

She turned around and unlocked her car, dumping everything into the back seat. She rummaged for her phone, pulled it out of her purse, and with shaking fingers managed to punch in 9-1-1. As it rang, a shadow covered her window.

Terrified, Darla punched the door locks. She couldn’t tell if whatever was out there was friend or foe, and she was afraid to look.

Whoever it was, the person started banging on her window, yelling. She refused to put the window down. The yelling continued, and finally there was a response on her 9-1-1 call.

“HELP! I need help! There’s a large person banging on my car window! Yelling! I saw big, muddy footprints going up the steps to my front door, but not back down. Please help me!”

“Ma’am, I’ve put in a call to the police. Someone should be there in just a short time. Do NOT open your window!”
“But I didn’t give you my address! How do you know where to send the police?”

“Your phone has a GPS that pinpoints your location, Ma’am. Can you start your car and move away from the person at your window?”

“Yes, sure! But don’t I have to be here when the police arrive? Whoever is out there isn’t going to stand around and wait!”

Darla worked hard to keep from hysterics. The banging and yelling hadn’t stopped, and she was certain her window would be broken soon. She touched her brakes and her ignition button. There was no one parked in front of her, so she pulled forward and to her left, giving the car a little gas before she took off, checking that there were no cars coming up behind her.

Whoever it was out there, he (it had to be a “he,” or an unusually large woman!) grabbed her side mirror as she pulled away. She was sure he would break it off! She kept going, though, determined to escape.

She heard the CRACK! as the side window was broken off her car, and then she heard an ominous THUD! She glanced into her rear vision mirror and saw a heap on the ground, but nothing else. And then, to her immense relief, a police car careened around a corner and pulled up beside her. An office put his window down. Before he could speak, she was talking.

“I’m so glad to see you! I made the call to 9-1-1! Footprints to my door, but not back down the stairs. Big–something–pounding on my car, he broke off the side mirror. . . . “

“Okay, Ma’am. We see what could be a man on the ground behind your car. Did you hit him?”

“What? NO! I was trying to drive away, and he grabbed my mirror, broke it off. . .I told you. . .”

“All right. Please stay in the car and wait for us to see what’s going on.” The officers stepped out of their car, pulled their weapons, and carefully approached the heap on the ground. It didn’t move, and was throughly soaked by the rain. One officer place his foot carefully on what he assumed was a shoulder, but there was no response. Squatting, he rolled the man over, felt for his pulse. “Call an ambulance! He’s alive, but his pulse is slow, hard to detect. Skin very white, blue lips. We could have a heart attack here.”

As the second officer placed the call and did what he could to make the man comfortable, the first officer motioned for Darla to lower her window. His hat dripped all over the car and on her, too.

“Ma’am, it’s hard to tell until the medics get a look at him, but I kind of think this man was looking for some help. There’s something wrong with him.”

As he spoke, Darla had an adrenaline reaction, finally dissolving into tears, shaking like a leaf from top to toe. “You mean–do you mean. . . .to say. . . .he could b-be dying? and I w-was too afraid to help h-him?”

“Ma’am, under the circumstances, you can’t blame yourself. You weren’t wrong to be afraid. We still need to figure out the footprints. Are you sure they didn’t come back down the steps?”

By this time, the ambulance had arrived, and there was a great fuss as the man was loaded onto a gurney. As they wheeled him away, the second office saw his feet. Very big feet, covered in rubber boots that were caked with mud.

He told his partner about the muddy boots, and again the first officer told Darla to wait in her car. The two policemen walked up the sidewalk, saw the prints coming around from the side of the house, up the stairs–and then followed them as they stepped in the exact same prints they had made climbing up the stairs. The print wavered in the grass, back around the side of the house. The man was dragging his feet, leaving ruts. It looked as if he’d stopped, turned around, and then made his way down to Darla’s car.

Describing what they thought had happened, they tried to reassure Darla that she was not to blame, could not be expected to notice the detail they had seen, persuaded her that she had every reason to be afraid, and that she had done the right thing.

_________________

The next day, Darla called in asking for a personal day at work. She was still tearful, and hadn’t had a very restful night. At least, though, she knew what had happened. Her neighbor from three houses down felt sick, tried to find someone at home to help him, and the rest of the story told itself.

Darla picked up a bouquet, drove to the hospital, and took the elevator up to the second floor. She was looking for his room number when a tall, hefty man came walking toward her. He was connected by his IV to a rolling cart, and had an oxygen tube in his nose.

“Mr. Carter! Oh, Mr. Carter, how can I ever tell you how sorry I am! I didn’t recognize you, I thought–I thought—“

“Darla, I understand. You had every reason to be afraid. Best thing you did was call 9-1-1. I don’t know how this would have turned out if you hadn’t.”

“So, what happened to you? Are you going to be okay?”

“Of course. My old ticker was just letting me know there was trouble. I’ll be fine. My son is coming tomorrow to take me home. . . . .say, have I ever introduced you to my son?” he said, beaming.


Alas!

The Word Press daily prompt has been discontinued.  Now, that doesn’t mean I can’t write any more.  Of course I can.  But I enjoyed those one-word prompts, and they jump-started my brain and sent it in directions  it wouldn’t have taken otherwise.

Some folks, I understand, are setting up their own daily prompts.  That’s great.  I know there are other options out there as well.  But the Word Press prompt was accompanied by a grid that allowed us to read each other’s posts, and I’ve made several friends in the process.

Well.  Life changes, as it should, but this is one change I’m truly unhappy about.

Image result for unhappy gif

 

Always Hope

Broken

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. 

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Today this word takes me right to my own self.  I never thought much about how it would be to be physically broken at this stage of my life.  Never thought it would be such an effort just to go up and down a flight of stairs, or take a short walk, or climb up on a bed.  Getting in and out of a car can be a challenge.  Partly, it’s my height.  Or, rather, lack thereof.  I’m used to having to climb up on stools and ladders to reach stuff. It continues to be slightly annoying, but it’s nothing new.

But the weakness, the slowness, the uncooperative muscles?  I wasn’t expecting that.  Not yet. Most of it is due to the back problems that started  about three years ago.  If you’ve never had serious back issues, be thankful.  And please don’t think that those who suffer are just faking it, for goodness’ sake, or using it as an excuse to get out of work. While I know there are those who do that sort of thing, most of us would LOVE to be able to put in a full day’s work without the accompanying pain and debility.

 

Image result for back pain is real

I took a lot for granted before all this mess started. Bending to pick up a baby, to make a bed, to clean a toilet or tub, to scrub a floor–never thought about it.  I had the strength and energy I needed, and I guess I just expected it would always be there.  Sure, you slow down a bit as the years go by, but I truly didn’t think that at nearly 71 I would be in this condition.  Maybe by 85 or 90.  Not yet.

But, lest I leave you on that gloomy note, I have NOT given up or given in. There is a lot that can be done to restore strength I lost while I really couldn’t move much at all. Working on it.  Hoping to improve. There’s always hope.

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/broken

Life Without Wifi

Juxtapose

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. 

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To place next to something else for the purpose of contrast.  For instance, my two grandsons here in South Dakota are both very nearly six feet tall.  I am 4’11”  so  if I juxtapose myself between them, there is a very strong contrast 🙂

Usually, though, this is done in an artistic sense.  Placing black and white photos next to colored photos of the same subject creates interesting contrasts and comparisons.

Image result for juxtaposing black and white photos with colored photos of the same subject

This iconic photo, originally done in black and white (which I think is more effective, actually) creates a whole different sense when placed next to the colored version.

Have you ever wondered if that poor girl  was shocked out of her mind by this experience?  It is my understanding that they were complete strangers.  I don’t know, some people think this is romantic.  Not me.  I think I’d have wanted to smack him up alongside the head 🙂

Anyway.  You haven’t heard from me in a few days because we’re on vacation, and I don’t have  access to good wifi.  Ken brought me here to the library this morning so I could do some catching up.

I’m not sure when I’ll be back online. And I’m finding that, while I do miss writing my blogs, I’m able to exist quite happily without the internet 🙂

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/juxtapose/

Unrealistic Guilt

Guilty

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. 

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Here’s another huge counseling issue.  Yesterday’s prompt, assumption, took me to marriage counseling.  Today, this word takes me to the ugly realm of abuse.

I understand why victims of abuse feel guilt.  At least, I think I do.

The woman whose husband beats her for no discernible reason accepts the burden of guilt for his abuse. “I just need to be more careful,” she’ll say.  “It’s my own fault.  I aggravate him, and I need to try harder.”

Wrong at every level, but it’s nearly impossible to convince her that she is NOT guilty. Only when she “gets it” that he doesn’t beat up anyone else will she begin to question his right to knock her around whenever he feels the need of a punching bag.  He can control himself at work or anywhere else but all his anger and aggression gets unleashed on her.

She is not the guilty one.

Image result for unreasonable guilt

Victims of sexual abuse often feel guilty. “I must have done something to make him/her think it was okay,” or “Well, I shouldn’t have been wearing shorts” (when I was three or four!) or “I was flirtatious” (when I was too young to know what that meant).

Unreasonable guilt. Sexual predators do what they do because they can. So, so many times I have told a suffering adult, molested as a child, “You are not defiled by what someone does to you against your will.  You are NOT impure. The offender is.  What he did is a felony!  You are not to blame. No matter what a demented society may say or think,  a predator ALWAYS has the choice NOT to sexually assault or abuse someone else.”

It makes me crazy when a woman who was raped becomes the guilty person in the eyes of so many people.  “How was she dressed?  Was her skirt too short, her pants too tight, her top too low?  Where was she?  Why was she alone?  She was probably asking for it.  She probably enjoyed it.”

Good grief.  Rape is a crime of power, not lust.  It is a violent assault, and it makes a woman into nothing but a piece of meat.  Rape has been perpetrated on NUNS,  who are totally modestly clothed and, I promise you, were not “asking for it” nor “enjoying it.”

It shocks me, every single time and even though I’ve lived long enough to know better, that when a woman is raped, she has to endure the torture of being put on the witness stand and being exposed in her most personal, private life if she dares to report the crime and bring the predator to justice.

And please don’t give the tired old argument that sometimes women lie and accuse innocent men. Yes, that does–rarely–happen, and it’s appalling. The topic here, though is not the innocent man who is accused;  it is the innocent girl or woman who is assaulted, and then assaulted again when she reports it; the one who lives with a burden of guilt that society gleefully allows her to carry.

I hate it.  Really hate it.

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/guilty/

 

Marriage Counseling

Assumption

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. 

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This is a word that takes me right to the marriage counseling I often do in my office.

 

Image result for counseling an angry couple

 

To assume anything, in this context,  is to believe, not always with a factual basis, that another person thinks, feels, or reacts negatively toward you because he has nefarious motives.

I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard one spouse say to another, “No, that’s not true!”  “No, that’s a lie!” “That is NOT what happened!” and so on. The assumption is always there that the other person  has negative motives, and is trying to win at all costs.

Sometimes she is.

However, both individuals are equally frustrated, equally angry, equally quick to assume the worst of the other.

I often wonder how that happens to two people who profess to love each other.  Does it start before “I do”?  Or does it come along with the very first disagreement, and just slowly escalate into such venomous behavior?  There is a point at which so much anger and hatred have developed that I don’t know if there’s any hope.

Many times, I point out to a couple that if one person always has to be right, then the other always has to be wrong. That’s a really terrible imbalance of power, and the “wrong” person is going to become bitter, hopeless, and angry.  That person will eventually leave the relationship, emotionally if not in physical reality. There are more couples than you would believe who share a house, but nothing else.

Assumption is a dangerous thing.  It is NEVER true that you know what someone else is thinking. When you assume that you do, you’re making it impossible for that other person to convince you that he/she doesn’t actually have those thoughts at all.

Very rarely do I believe that divorce is the best option. If the one who always has to win, though, refuses to leave that position, there really is no hope.

I hate that.

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/assumption/

Disappear to Lie/Lay

Disappear

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. 

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Maybe you’re old enough to remember this 1954 television series, maybe not.  It was quite an innovation at the time.  It concerned a couple who were killed in an automobile accident, but who came back to complicate the life of their friend Topper.  They could appear and disappear at will, which made poor Topper crazy and created a lot of laughs for the loyal viewers.

I’ve often wished I had the gift of being able to disappear, haven’t you?  There are times when I’ve wished I could simply vanish, without making an awkward entrance or exit. Perhaps during a long, tedious, and excruciatingly boring lecture of some sort, it would be nice to just POOF!  Or maybe you happen to be on a date with someone who makes your skin crawl. POOF!  You’re gone, and the nasty guy has no clue where you went.  (It was a blind date, of course. No one who has any sense would choose to go out with such an unpleasant sort.) (I don’t remember ever going on a blind date. If I did, I’ve shoved that memory into oblivion.)

Or maybe you’d just like to make PART of yourself disappear, like however many pounds you’re overweight.  Now, that would be  a vanishing cream that anyone would pay money for, wouldn’t it?

Are there some people you’d like to POOF! out of your life?  I don’t have many of those these days.  The older you grow, the more selective you become–at least, that’s what has happened for me.  The annoying types I run across now and then aren’t really a part of my life, so I can comfortably ignore them.  Like the guy last Sunday who was riding our bumper down the main street of a small town.  We were looking for a particular restaurant, found it, slowed down to make a left turn. Idiotman behind us (way too closely behind us, driving way too fast)  layed/laid on his horn so hard and long you could still hear it after his truck had disappeared.

Layed?  Laid?  Hmmm. After giving myself a short remedial course on the principal parts of these irregular verbs, I’ve come to the conclusion that neither is appropriate, and that this  is an American colloquialism that  isn’t grammatically correct no matter which verb you use.

Aren’t you glad you know that?  You’re very welcome.  And no, I’m not quite sure how I got from disappear to lie/lay.  It probably doesn’t matter.

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/disappear/