Some Enchanted Evening – Friday Fictioneers

‘Tis Wednesday-Friday already!  You got it, it’s Friday Fictioneers time.  Despite the fact that our fearless leader Rochelle is out and about, gallivanting around the Western States on a road trip, still she makes sure we have our prompt.   This week, the photo she chose is one from Douglas M. MacIlroy  – thanks for letting us use your photo, Doug!

Should you wish to participate in this most addictive pursuit of creating a flash fiction in 100 words or less (excluding the title), then please do so.  Click on the blue frog and add your link.

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Some Enchanted Evening

It was going to be a beautiful evening, though mostly starless, thanks to the clouds.  Still, it was nice and warm and they would be able to sit by the fire for that extra cozy feel.

“Don’t forget to bring the Tiki torch, Babe.  It’ll keep the skeeters away.”

“Great idea.  How ’bout some wine, too?”

“Yeah.  And I think there’s still some cheese left from last night.  Might as well bring that too.”

While he retrieved the items, she positioned the chairs and table round the fire.

“So, where do you think we stand as a couple?” she asked.

A Break From It All – What Pegman Saw

Wasn’t sure I was going to make it.  Got snookered into another challenge prompt and then was otherwise occupied yesterday.  But today – why not today?  It’s freezing rain out there, the schools are closed and I don’t even want to think of going out if I don’t have to.  I’m sure something can be scrounged together to make a meal for tonight.  So as an alternative to getting numb bum syndrome on the sofa, watching 5 episodes of The Walking Dead (one down, four to go), I have taken a break to visit The Pegman!  Thanks always to Karen and Josh for hosting and accepting my late entry 😉

This week Pegman takes us to the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, to the ancient city of Mdina. You’ll find both streetview and photospheres to choose from you. Wander around and find your own photo, or you can use the one supplied in the prompt.

Your mission is simple: write a 150-word poem, story, or essay inspired by the location. Once your piece is polished, share it with others at the Linkup below.

Reading and commenting on others’ stories is part of the fun!

 

A Break From It All

What she wouldn’t give to find herself far, far away.  Away from the demands.  Away from the responsibilities.  Away from the house and kids and pets and anyone else pulling at her.

She didn’t want solitude; she liked having people around her.  Some folks dreamed of pulling a “Thoreau” and breaking from society completely.  Alone with their thoughts.  It was her thoughts that were driving her nuts in the first place!  She sure as shit did not want to be alone with them!

Yes, a place full of a different culture, good food, good wine, friendly strangers.   Being close to the sea would be nice, too.  Why not?  It was her dream.

She wasn’t fooling herself into believing that running away would solve all her woes or ease all her stresses but it sure would be nice to take a break from it all.  Just for a month or six.

Birthday Dinner

I swear, those two! Karen and Marc have done it again. This time they’ve dragged Frank in as well. Will be interesting if he plays with us this time. You see, Karen read an article, shared it with Marc, they extracted 11 words then emailed me, sending me a copy of the text that inspired this craziness (no, you cannot read it). Karen’s story is here. Marc’s is coming tomorrow, he said. Mine follows. And yes. It is my birthday today so, I went with that 😉

Birthday Dinner

She was invited to join her friends at the Clubhouse Bistro Bar to celebrate her birthday but declined, choosing to stay quietly at home, in her new comfy chair, with a TCM movie, a glass of wine and a burger picked up from the drive-thru. No cooking today. However, on her way out, she ran into that busybody Ethel with her passion for Jesus. What she would give to dunk that self-righteous Dinosaur‘s head in a bowl of Holy Water! Desperate to get away from Ethel, she quickly retraced her steps.

Sans burger, it looked like the Twinkies, sent by her friend, Marc, who was trying to bring her to the dark side after all their joking around about the merits of the “cake”, would be her meal. She couldn’t be cross with him now could she? She even gave him absolution now that she had nothing else to eat.

*******************

Now, I know this was shortlived, however, it did traumatize certain, peeps…

Gimme Another Quarter, Please? – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday-Friday morning, my Peeps!  Yessiree, it is indeed Wednesday which means we writers of Friday Fictioneers got our gift in our inbox from our fairy blogmother, Rochelle, even though she’s out and about gallivanting across the U.S. of A., enjoying the warmer climes than can be found in her hometown.  This week, she chose YarnSpinnerr’s interesting photo.

I figured it was time to send it to Frank over at A Frank Angle for his take on the pic.  While it was a good one, I just felt it might end up being done – which it was by a quick glimpse at some other stories.  I showed it to Marc at Sorryless who gave me the idea I did choose.  So, terribly sorry, Frank.  Next week!!  And thank you, B, loved your idea!

Should you be inspired to write your own take on this curious picture, click on Rochelle’s name for the rules and regs (they are not that demanding) or just click on the blue frog to read more stories and maybe add yours!

Get the link for your blog 

Gimme Another Quarter, Please?

Tongue hanging to the side in concentration, Tommy moved the lever, bringing the claw down towards the super hero toy he so wanted.  Pressing the special button, the claw opened up, he slowly moved the lever right over the toy, pressed another button and the claw closed over it.

“Yes!  Success!!” he shouted as he slowly pulled the toy up into the distributor box.

Nooooooo!  The toy slipped out of the claw and fell back into the pile.  The machine automatically turned off.

Disappointed, Tommy’s shoulders drooped.

Sure his mom would say ‘no’, still he tried: “Gimme another quarter, please?”

I’m a Fire Sign Dammit – Stop Trying to Put Out My Flame!

“Life is not easy. We all have problems-even tragedies-to deal with, and luck has nothing to do with it. Bad luck is only the superstitious excuse for those who don’t have the wit to deal with the problems of life. ”
Joan Lowery Nixon, In The Face of Danger

OK. Universe.  We gotta talk.  I dunno what I said to:

  1. piss you off, or
  2. indicate I needed more water situations in my life to, I dunno, cool off?, or
  3. request a shit star, to continue to fly over me, sending me challenges

But it’s enough, okay?  I’m good.  I understand.  I got it.

Let us move on to another vibe because, quite frankly, I just may crack.

It was enough for me to come home from vacation last April, just before my birthday, to a leaky pipe in the boys’ bathroom leading to a bulging ceiling, leading to a ruined floor.  It was more than enough for me to go into the basement, walk halfway into the room and have my socks soaked because there was a crack in my foundation and my carpet was wet almost all the way across.

These two items have been fixed.  In August for the dining/office rooms thanks to insurance coverage, the other, mostly bone but still kinda a work in progress thanks to François’ hard work and my hard cash.

Excellent.  We good.  I call the real estate agent, he comes over, we sign the paperwork, he sends that little fiend to tell me how to make this place pretty and lifeless.  I tell him I am getting new a new couch (today, some time between now and 10:00 pm) and that I’ll call him so we can have the photographer come in.

However.  We NOT good.  Are we? No, no.  You see, we seemed to have some sort of blockage in the boys’ toilet.  So, François, ever the handyman, passed the fish through it, felt something go and thought, cool beanz, we good.   But we weren’t were we?

No. Still not flushing satisfactorily so I talk to my cousin Marc, also a clever handyman, who says, yanno, maybe there is something stuck in the toilet itself.  Alrighty then.  Off comes the toilet and we (royal “we”, I did nothing) check and find nothing.  However, the “lead” in the pipe is all wonky so François decides to fix it and gets all the necessary stuff.  Does what needs to be done and we good, right?  No. We not good.

As he was finishing up the basement, he notices it’s wet under my new vinyl floor.  Pulls it up and.  Shit.  This seems to be coming from the toilet all the way upstairs.  Cleans up basement, removes toilet.  Hmm… something does not look right.  He now feels we need to bring in a plumber.  He has one and calls the guy.  Two days, three days, four days.. OK… screw him.

I say, “OK, Bumstead.  Ya done what ya can… Time for ME to bring in the professionals…”  I’ll call the next morning.

Yesterday, (the next morning) I went downstairs to get something or other and notice there is paper on the bathroom floor.  Open up the toilet.  Really?  Could no one have advised me that they blocked the toilet before leaving for school/work/whatevs?  So I flush and plunge and get the stuff down but this baby is NOT flushing properly.  Bloody hell.

Call four different plumbers, leave three messages.  The last one actually had a receptionist/admin person who said I was in luck, she could send a guy right away as he just became free.

Enter Samuel.  Nice kid (well, dad of two younguns but still a kid to me ;-)) decides to work on the basement toilet first.  Yep… doesn’t like the way it flushes so he uses the fish.  Nothing comes out.  Fishes a couple of times until we decide to take the damn thing off and see if we can see something stuck.  He sees a plastic something and can’t reach it.  Using every tool he can think of, a piece comes out.  Dang.  I know EXACTLY what it is.  It is the cover forone of my wall heaters.  Or part of it anyway.  Sam looks at me and says, “I’m guessing there is a second piece.”  I nod yes and the search for the second piece begins.  He went to get his special camera and could see it stuck to the side.  No matter how much he shoved and prodded, it was not budging.  We brought the toilet outside, took out the hose and tried to use the water pressure.  Nope.  Sigh.  Finally, after putzing around, the second piece finally comes loose.

All this took a good two hours.  Crap. (Yeah, yeah, pun intended.)  Puts the toilet back on and it’s time to move upstairs for what I originally thought was the “big” job.  He takes one look at the hole and says… “Your pipe is cracked.”  WTF!!  He says he’s going to have to change the section of the pipe and, to not break the tile, will have to put a hole in my dining room wall.  He looks at the time and says, how about I come back tomorrow morning so you don’t have to pay over time.  Uh. Yeah!

Fast forward to this morning 10:30-ish.  Samuel comes in, brings his tools and gets to work.

The hole he had to make…

The pipe he cut out…

One of the cracks that were made by someone who worked really hard to remove the lead…

The hole where a screw was inserted – probably when the kitchen remodel was done in ’98, removed and the hole left untended…

And, newly fixed pipe.

Excellent.  We good?  No.  We not good.  The toilet has a crack in the base.  Ahhh  f&*?%!  He takes it off the seal (another wasted bit of cash) and we look to see if it’s only on the surface or on the inside.  Of course it’s on the inside too.

So.  Yay.  Call François, ask him if he feels comfortable installing the new toilet now that everything else is good and he says yes.  Sign and pay the bill and send Samuel off to his next client.

Now I have to buy a toilet.  Check on-line, find the best price is across the over-pass from my house and make my way out.  As I am looking at them, I realise they look kinda high in the back.  Call the house and ask Willow to measure the floor to the stupid shelf (no, I am NOT removing the shelf.  The bathroom was painted when previous problem was fixed.)  30 inches.  Every fricken toilet is 30 to 31 inches.  Really?  Are you shitting me?  (Again, pun intended.)

So, there is one.  Yes, count ’em.  One.  Only one toilet that stands at 27 inches.  Just so happens to be on sale to boot.  Sorry.  I lied.  There is another that stands at 28″ but it is $500 and you have to buy a seat. Doesn’t even come with a friggen seat!  What the hell is that all about?  Plus the base is only 10″ while all the others are 12″.  Bloody hell.

Get the “bathroom” guy to help me put it on the trolley and make my way to the cash.  Go buy groceries and come home.  Look at the box in my trunk and in the list of contents, I see nothing about the bloody seal.  Ah come ON!  I take no chances, drive over the overpass and spend an extra $3.

François arrives and gets to work.  Measure everything.  The toilet will fit… Yay.  Oh.  The tube connector doohickey is too long!  Samuel had installed a brand-new one.  François goes into Mick’s “Plumbing toolbox” and finds another the right length.  We good?  No.  We no good.  The connector itself is metal and the new throne is plastic.  Sigh.  Off he goes to the store to find another.

Looks to me like it may still be a tad too long but what do I know?  Is it supposed to curve like that?  Do we actually give a rat’s ass at this point?  No, we do not give a rat’s ass.

I think the new toilet looks just fabulous, don’t you?

There are still a few things to do to make this house chic and swell.  A new added job of closing up that new hole and painting it.  Thank you, Mick for being the best keeper of every-friggen-thing so I have a little jar of paint.  And maybe I have to thank you for your part in that, Universe.

So I beg of you, change my ju-ju.  Allow the rest of this journey to selling this house go super smoothly and we good.  OK?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mistaken Identity – What Pegman Saw

Good Saturday, my Peeps! What does Saturday mean? Well, if I’m inspired – and I try to be – it’s What Pegman Saw time! Thank you always to Karen and Josh for hosting this. It’s fun to have an extra 50 words for a prompt – and to be able to choose our picture!

This week Pegman is in Billinudgel, New South Wales, Australia. Here you’ll find streetview, or a whole deck of 360 photospheres to chose from. So, take a look around. Maybe you want to enjoy some fresh oysters and kick back with a pint while you’re here.

The Pegman challenge is to write 150 words inspired by the location. Once you’ve created your story/poem/essay, share it with others at the linkup below.

Mistaken Identity

He looked around The Shed with satisfaction. He was quite pleased with all he had accomplished in such a short time. New country, new business, new identity. Life was grand indeed.

“Excuse me, Sir, you the owner?”

“Sure am. What can I do you for?”

“I’m Detective McGraw, from.Canada. Looking for a guy who goes named Stan Simpson.”

“Really? Weird. Never been there. Too bloody cold. My name is Fred Frampton.”

“You sure? You’re a dead ringer!”

“They say we each have our doppelgänger out there. Guess you met mine. Now, would you like to see the menu?”

“Nope… I’d like to see your I.D. I’m not convinced you’re not the guy I’ve been searching the globe for.”

Reaching for his wallet, he asked, “So what’d he do?”

“Killed a cop while robbing a bank.”

“Whoa!” Fred looked McGraw right in the eye. “Here. You see? I’m not him.”

Metamorphosis to a Painted Lady

Karen, over at Table For One, bless her heart, got all wrapped up in PBS’ “Nature – Sex, Lies, and Butterflies” the other night, and got all excited with ideas for a prompt.  She “promptly” (I’m such a comedienne, aren’t I?) emailed both Marc at Sorryless and me with this challenge.   Now, originally, we, Marc and I, both thought that we could pick and choose between the following ten words:

  • Metamorphosis
  • Virgin
  • Flight
  • Rudder
  • Hover
  • Antenna
  • Clap
  • Control
  • Painted Lady
  • Juvenile

But noooooo… as her post today shows, Karen used all TEN WORDS in one post!  Sneaky one, that Karen is.  Of course, the gauntlet has been not only drawn, but thrown down, so what’s a girl to do?

Her best.  That’s all she can do.  Her best.

 

Metamorphosis to a Painted Lady

Katie was now a young woman, as far as she was concerned.  She was no longer a juvenile 13-year old. At 14, she was ready to face the world as a woman did.  Her mother would never cease to hover over her and try to control everything she did and everywhere she went and everyone she hung out with, as long as she remained under her roof.  Katie swore that woman had antennae and could sense her every move!  She was done with it.  After all, there were cultures where girls got married at 14, some even younger.  Proof that she was definitely grown up.

At midnight, when the household was asleep, Katie emptied her piggy-bank, packed her backpack and took flight.  She was going to go to the big city and prove she was now a woman, capable of taking care of herself.  She hopped on the bus, chose one of the many empty seats, leaned her head against the window and dreamed of the possibilities awaiting her.

Her stomach fluttering in excitement, she stepped off the bus, right in the centre of town.  She had never been there by herself, and definitely not at one o’clock in the morning!  She felt like spreading her arms wide and turning around à la Mary Tyler Moore.  Her mom loved that show and owned all the DVD’s and made her watch them.  The thought of her mom brought an immediate lump to her throat and a falter to her step.

No!  Stop thinking like that!  You are not a boat without a rudder, you are on a path to womanhood.  Having shaken off the doubt, she lifted her chin, squared her jaw and took a step forward.  The City was not for babies and she was out to prove she wasn’t one.  Katie was awfully glad it was not winter and that her light jacket was warm enough.  She didn’t have to worry about freezing to death.

Ah.  Finally.  The main drag.  People. Lights. Life!  A nice-looking man came up to her, smiling, and asked if she was lost.  She shook her head no and kept walking.  He turned and quickly adjusted his step to hers.  “So, young lady, where are you headed?”

“I’m just walking around, taking in the sights.”

“Mind if I keep you company?”

“Yes, I do mind.  Please leave me alone.”

“I can’t do that.  There are rough people out there just looking for a nice young thing like you.”

“Why is that?”

“Come on now, Sweetie.  Why do you think?”

“I don’t know what you are talking about.  No one would come looking for me.”

“I bet you are a virgin, aren’t you?”  Not waiting for her response, he continued, “Do you know how much some men would pay for such a treat?  To be the first one to screw you?”

Hey eyes wide, she looked at him and sputtered, “Wh-wh-wh-at?  Sh-sh-sh-surely not.  Why are you such an awful thing to me?”

“What’s your name, Sweetie?”

“Katie.  Katherine, actually.”

“Katie, my name is Steve.  Walk with me. I want to show you something, okay?”

She knew she shouldn’t follow a stranger, a male one at that, but she nodded her head yes and followed him.  They approached an intersection and he nodded towards a small group.  “See those girls over there?”

“Yes.  They look like young women, to me.”

“Well, they’re not.  They are about your age and have been living on the street for a couple of years already.  We call them the Painted Ladies.”

“Why is that?”

He sighed. “They are hoookers. They sell their bodies for money.  Probably half of them already have the clap.”

“The clap?  What’s that?”

“A venereal disease you, young fool.  One of many you could catch.”

Her mouth formed an O and she looked at him, her lip trembling.  “I’m not going to be one of them.”

“Honey, you stay out here all by yourself, you will become one of them.  I would really hate for you to go through that type of metamorphosis.  I can tell by the look of you that you come a good family.  One that is probably going crazy looking for you right now.”

With that, Katie felt her whole body deflate.  She knew he was right.  She was so not an adult yet and now was regretting her rash decision.

Steve took out his cellphone and handed it to Katie.  “How about we call your folks, have them pick you up?  I’ll wait right here with you till they show up.”