Flash Fiction #255


PHOTO PROMPT © 
Ted Strutz

THE ICEMAN COMETH

When a younger lion runs off an alpha male, he often eats any cubs.

Young Michael came to work one month-end Friday, looking quite morose.  His divorced mother had remarried a year ago.  As he got ready for work, his step-father said to him, “Give me your house-key.  I’ve sold the place.  We’re moving today, and not telling you where we’re going.  We’ll leave your belongings on the porch.

I’ve heard of kids running away from home.  This was the only time I heard of Home running away from a kid.

Schwarzenegger played Mister Freeze, but this guy was COLD!   👿

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

’21 A To Z Challenge – B

Back in the old days, you young whippersnappers, I occasionally published ‘Remember When’ posts, to pump up my older readers’ nostalgia, and show the younger ones what they may be fortunate to have missed.

This year, for the letter B, I’ve decided to rant and rave about the

BANDERSNATCH

an imaginary wild animal of fierce disposition.

a person of uncouth or unconventional habits, attitudes, etc., especially one considered a menace, nuisance, or the like.

The word was coined, with the first meaning, about 1855 by the Anglican Deacon, the Reverend Charles Dodgson, hiding his identity as the author Lewis Carroll.  Hide he should!  He wrote about fantastical, imaginary creatures, and strange words that didn’t exist.  In his Alice in Wonderland books, he has poor Alice eating magic mushrooms, and drinking absinth-like liquids which distort her perceptions and cause hallucinations, making her to seem to shrink and grow.  The good pastor was a drug fiend.

From the original meaning has come the more recent value, and much of it may be due to recreational drug use.  Nostalgiac and déjà vu terms for these people might include miscreant, or ruffian.  Today’s paper printed three Op-Ed letters, and they were all about people who litter, especially the community trails.

One woman says that she and her husband go out (properly masked) for walks together.  Each of them takes a store-issued plastic bag.  They don’t get a block away, before both are stuffed full of picked-up trash.  There are garbage pails each block, where the trail crosses a street, yet these lazy swine can’t wait even that long.  Some clean up after their dogs…. and then toss the compostable bags into the undergrowth.  Some of them hang up on bushes, making them look like Bizarro Christmas trees.

Forty years ago, one of the city’s mottos was, Kitchener – Klean As A Kitchen.  More recently, one of the local newspaper wags has suggested, Kitchener – Klean As A Kow-shed.  Spanking unruly children is no longer allowed, but I’d like to take a few of these Bandersnatches out behind the woodpile, and introduce their posteriors to a good length of flat maple.  Would you like to watch the YouTube video?  👿

Flash Fiction #254

PHOTO PROMPT © David Stewart

DREAMS UP IN SMOKE

Cheryl offered to help him with his writing.  A couple who worked at the newspaper dropped by each Friday, and they often discussed the craft.  “Join us.”

The husband said the first thing they did, was smoke dope.  “It frees the creativity.”  He silently demurred, not for moral or legal reasons, but from skepticism.  He’d be the abstaining benchmark.  “I’ll get a beer and catch up.”

A Cheech and Chong blunt got passed around…. around…. and around.  Potatoes, motorcycles, redhead in sales, socks with sandals…. Bright topics bubbled into the conversation – and were immediately forgotten.

There was no creativity here.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Flash Fiction #253

PHOTO PROMPT © Jennifer Pendergast  

FREE BIRD

It is so comforting to Know – to know no doubts – to have all the answers, even when they are not the right ones.

People feel safe when they can identify – apply labels to others – politics, religion, gender, language, nationality.  It gives the illusion of control of their lives.

Other folks, and their related social problems, are complex, and fully-formed.  They are not easy, one-dimensional, cookie-cutter simple.

It is usually better to make decisions and form opinions based on reality, rather than preconceived notions.  More people should try it.  They might find those feared – and hated – Others…. are quite sweet.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Flash Fiction #252

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

COLD ENOUGH FOR YOU?

We should just take over Canada, like a 14th Colony.  Then we wouldn’t have to worry about them exporting oil to us.

Are you nuts??!  Then we’d have to install hot-air ducts up there.  I don’t know how they survive.  Summer is the first week of August.  I had to go to a place called Moosejaw.  It made Minnesota look like a sauna.  I just kept driving south until the wind didn’t hurt my face anymore.

Just let them be hewers of wood, and drawers of water oil.  They’re polite but rustic, and a bit naïve.  Biden will handle them.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Flash Fiction #251

PHOTO PROMPT © Liz Young

THE QUEEN OF HEARTS

I just sat down at the kitchen table, when the wife called from the bedroom, where she was battling a cold.

Honey, could you make me a Keurig coffee?

When I deliver it.

I’m bored, and I left my Kindle downstairs.  Could you get it?

Could I have the Butterscotch-flavored creamer?

I have a headache.  Would you get me two Aleve?

I can’t take these with hot coffee.  Would you bring me some cold water?

I should know better than to sneak some ice-cream.  What isn’t dripping off the table and being licked up by the dogs, is strawberry soup.  😯

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Flash Fiction #250

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

THE LONG, SLOW CLIMB

When is a Starbucks not a Starbucks?  When it’s right across the street from the city hall, but in a building that’s designated Historic, on which they can’t hang any exterior signs.

He’d studied welding in Community College, till he found out about clothing fires, toxic fumes, and blindness from ‘welders’ eye.’  Waiting for his barista betrothed, he was soon as adept as any employee, and was quickly hired, himself.

COVID slashed their hours and income in half, but it did give him free time to study online, as a Civil Engineer.  Education is the best way up and out.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a visual prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Flash Fiction #249

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

RELATIVE RELATIVES

Hi Daddy!  When are ya comin’ home??

My business deal’s almost finished.  I’ll be home on Friday.  Anything interesting happen?

The roses died.

Oh…. why?

The heat from the fire.

Fire??!  What fire?

When the garage burned.

The garage burned!!? How?

The firemen said that it was sparks from the house that set it on fire.

The house was on fire!??  What happened?

Mommy says that it happened when the furnace exploded.

Furnace exploded!??  Was anybody injured?

No Daddy, but we’re gonna hafta get some new roses when we get out of this motel.

MOTEL!!??

Here’s Mommy.  She can ‘splain.  😳

***

Aah – the innocence of childhood.  Everybody’s got their own priorities.  Daddy’s may be home-owners’ insurance.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Flash Fiction #248

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

THE MALE MUST GO THROUGH

The late, great, Bob Bryant.

Well, the only thing he was great at, was being late.  He was born almost two weeks after his due date, and never caught up.

He was late for breakfast, late for classes, late to get his drivers’ licence, and late for his senior prom.  His Mother told him that he’d be late for his own funeral.  If he’d shuffled his feet faster, he’d have been on the sidewalk, instead of shuffling off to Buffalo, in front of that bus.

Here he was, returning from the crematorium.  With COVID-delayed postal delivery, Mom would be right.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

’20 A to Z Challenge – W

 

 

 

I recently told a reader that I spoke/wrote all my Scottish Gaelic in English.  I told another that I did the same thing with the Spanish that he contributed.  It seems so simple, yet it’s harder than it seems, because there is no English language.  Every word in the language came from somewhere – everywhere – else.

The English language imports words from other languages wholesale, and then claims them as its own.  Some words are ‘naturalized’ – accepted and commonly used – more, and more quickly than others.  Then there are words that only pretentious wordnuts (with the accent on Nuts) like me, are even aware of, much less occasionally use.  This brings us to today’s (and yesteryear’s) social-commentary word

WEISSNICHTWO

wise-nicked-woe

Its meaning in the original German was, not clear where.  It came into English with the more substantial, definitive meaning of know not where.  In almost two-hundred years, I’m sure it must have been used a few times.  It was dragged, kicking and screaming, into English in 1833 by the British writer, Thomas Carlyle.  It was made famous – or infamous – by its use in his Latin-titled book, Sartor Resartus.

Even back then, he used it to describe a First-World problem.  World cities, especially those in Europe, were losing their visual culture, and were becoming homogeneous, indistinguishable, one from another.  There were Jews in Belgrade, Arabs in Marseilles, and Irish in London.  If you roused from a drunken stupor and wandered into the streets, you wouldn’t know where you were, until you fell into the Thames, or the Seine, or the Moscow River – and with the state, or lack of, municipal sanitation, even not then.

He used the word Weissnichtwo as the name of an indefinite, unknown, or imaginary place, like Utopia, Brigadoon, or Shangri-La.  The problem situation has only got worse over the years.  With the ubiquitous McDonalds, Domino’s, and Starbucks, and rampant, often war-driven immigration, a traveler might be anywhere.

I imagine that you’re just over there, shaking your head at this word.  You could be much closer to my next post soon, if you pop back in a couple of days.  I promise not to use any of those big, foreign words.  Might even offer up a few chuckles.   😀