Power. Fear. Money.


Zing and Zang perched on the fire escape, watching and listening to the people far below.

“We haven’t been to China yet,” observed Zing. “People here seem very concerned about China. Zang, you have deeply studied Zerkon. Has our own planet ever been at war with our own people?”

“No, Zing. Nor with any other planets, as far as I know. War is costly and counter-productive.”

“Then what is the point?” queried Zing.

“Power. Fear. Money.”

“Seems to me they have more to fear from each other than they do from us “aliens!”


Bloganuary 2023: Jan. 3

Today’s Prompt: What is the earliest memory you have?

I have several memories of being about three years old. Most of them are little snapshots, not complete memories. This one is a bit bigger than a snapshot, probably because of the fear element.

Keep in mind that this would have been 1950-51, long before we had our first television. I have no idea where these vivid dreams came from, other than my rather fertile imagination.

I would be all tucked in, waiting for sleep to come, but with an underlying feeling of dread. I had learned to expect exactly what happened: Footsteps! Someone or something chasing me! I wanted to run, but my feet were heavy and I couldn’t get moving. Louder and louder, faster and faster, the bogey that followed was catching up! Then, I discovered I could fly. Soaring up to the top of a high building, I looked behind me only to find that the bogey could fly, too, and nowhere was safe. . . .

And then the dream would vanish. I would wake up in tears. It was so real, and it happened every single night.

My poor mother was losing sleep, of course, because I would wake up in such a mess. One night, she decided to sit by my bedside and see if she could figure out what was triggering my nightmare. And she did! I tended to sleep on my side, tucking my hands under my ear. She realized that those footsteps I heard were actually my own heartbeat, which would speed up as my fear increased.

Once she explained it to me, I wasn’t afraid any more.

The dream never came back.



Heights and falling. Two great phobias, and they tend to come as a packaged set.

Cathy avoided elevators, especially the popular new ones that were built into the outer wall of very tall buildings. Some people raved over the view, exclaiming at how beautiful and exciting it was.

One time, she couldn’t avoid it. She trembled the moment the doors slid closed, sweating and cold, jaw clenched, eyes squeezed shut. The man beside her laughed at first, not realizing she wasn’t faking. Her terror was real. He whispered, “We can take the stairs when we leave.”


I’m late by my own standards. I usually get these done on Wednesday. I’ve had a tough week with ongoing lumbar pain. Serious pain seriously saps one’s energy. Saw my pain doc on Tuesday, changed up my meds a bit, feeling like things have settled down a bit already. Anyway, the delay helped me with this one. I was stuck yesterday, but saw my story immediately when I looked at the picture again today 🙂

PHOTO PROMPT© Jennifer Pendergast

“See those eyes? Right next to each other!”

“You have a vivid imagination.”

“No, LOOK! It’s almost like there are eyeglasses!”

“You see animals in clouds, too, right?”

“Wait–oh no! L-l-look–the ice is breaking. . .”

“Oh puhleeze! It’s not frozen that deep. There’s a current.”

“I’m getting out of here! You’d better run!”

“Nope. Not afraid of monsters.”

And then a deep, rumbling, earth-shaking growl came from the the stream. “You should be afraid! The Ice Man cometh!”

A Good Girl


Her father had always intimidated her. Rarely, he hit her– but just his voice, his eyes and face, could make her feel stupid and do stupid things. She knew he enjoyed himself.

When she said she wanted to take driver’s ed at school, he said, “No. I’ll teach you myself. ”

Every session was an endless commentary on her stupidity, her worthlessness. She began to grow angry instead of fearful.

The day she accidentally hit the gas instead of the brakes ended his litany of abuse.

No one doubted her. She’d always been such a good girl.

Scary Place

PHOTO PROMPT © Anne Higa  

Zing and Zang trembled in the darkest corner they could find. Their surroundings were dismal. Dark, bleak, cold, musty. Water poured from a pipe into a deep cistern. Moisture clung to the walls.

“What on earth. . . ” started Zang. He couldn’t find any more words.

“Well,” pondered Zing, “They’ve sent us back in time, as they warned us. Good thing we’re invisible.”

As they watched and listened, storing everything in their memory banks, they sensed the fear. They watched the furtive glances, and heard the murmuring voices. Whatever was going on here filled them with terror.

Image result for cute aliens

At the Window

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Elise opened her eyes, groggy from her afternoon nap. At first she thought she was still asleep, dreaming, as she took in the ladder propped against her window, and the feet and legs she saw.

Her eyes traveled up the legs. The rest of the–man?–was concealed by the curtain. The feet weren’t moving. Neither up nor down. Could he see her? She flipped the afghan over her legs, made sure her robe was closed.

Eyes wide, she watched as one of the feet drew back, hesitated, and then swung hard into her window.

The House Broke!

PHOTO PROMPT © Mikhael Sublett

“Mommy! Mommeeeeee!” wailed the little boy, his voice full of tears.

Mommy rushed to her child’s room, only to find it in shambles. Her little boy peeked out of a hole in the wall, his eyes filling his whole face, the tears pouring down his reddened cheeks.

“Come out, Benjy. You could get hurt in there. Come to me, Baby.”

“Mommy,” sobbed Benjy, “There was a HUGE BANG, and the house broke! I’m scared!”

“So am I, my Sheifale, little lamb. Come now. We must find the shelter.”

“I don’t understand. Why do they hate us?”

Faded Memories

After Mom died, Daisy and Jonas had the overwhelming job of sorting through almost 90 years of accumulated stuff. Mom would have called them memories, the building blocks of her life.

Shoe boxes filled with snapshots in black and white, 70 years and older. Some were cracked, yellowed and faded beyond recognition.

Mom as a war bride, aged 16, sitting proudly by her sailor who would ship out a month after they married. Her hair and makeup made her look older, but knowing her as Daisy did, she could also see the fear and dread in Mom’s eyes.

It was a long war.

They Can’t See Me

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

“Why do you keep putting up the tape? It’s a mess!” Jacob was impatient. This was an old conversation.

“Because, Papa, if I can’t see them, then they can’t see me.”

“Keila, that is silly. No one is looking for you!”

She grew taller, and more tape went up. More and more. And one day, Jacob didn’t come home. Ever.

Keila put up more tape, waiting, fearing.

When the heavy tread and the impatient banging on the lintel finally came, she pretended she couldn’t see them. But they saw her.