Daily Prompt · Random Scribbles · writing

Daily Prompt: Nothin’ But A Good Time

Daily Prompt: Nothin’ But A Good Time

 Imagine that tomorrow, all of your duties and obligations evaporate for the day. You get the day all to yourself, to do anything you please. What types of fun activities would make your day?

***

“What’d you guys get on that one?” Loren asked.

“Bogey” says Ronnie.

“Bogey” Phil piped up.

“Double” replied Carl.

“Guess, I take the skin with a par.” Loren smiled and entered the scores into the app that he keeps on his I-Phone.  “So, I get three skinnies since we pushed the last two.”

“How could you get a par?  Your drive was out of bounds.” Carl quizzed Loren.

“No, I was right on the border but the edge of my disc was touching fair.”

“Did anyone else see it?”

“You saw it didn’t you Phil?” Loren asked.

“I’m sorry Loren, I didn’t.” Phil shrugged his shoulders, picked up his discs and headed towards the next tee.

Ronnie looks over at Loren, “How come you always win when you’re keeping score?  It’s gonna be ‘pay to play’ for me today.”

They all moved to the next tee.  Loren grabbed his new driver and stepped up to the arrow painted on the walk.  “Anybody wanna spot?”

“Wake me when I’m up” mutters Carl.

Phil walks to where he has a clear view of the fairway, “Hold up, pedestrians.  …  Ok, clear.”

Loren winds up and releases his disc.  “Denied” everyone shouts in unison as the disc smacks a tree branch and drops to the ground.

UCI Nobody really cares who wins – Nice Day to toss a plastic flat ball around with your friends in a park-like setting!

***

Random Scribbles · writing

The Trifecta Meme and Some Other Stuff That May or May-Not Be True

I slid my index finger into the collar of my dress shirt and tried to loosen the cinch around my throat that passed for a necktie;  cleared my throat and slid the application across the desk to the HR representative (called personnel clerk, in those days).

“Please have a seat,” the personnel clerk said, indicating the folding metal guest chair on the other side of the desk.  I sat on the chair and it promptly collapsed, dumping me butt first on the floor.

I scrambled, quickly but ungracefully, to my feet, righted the chair, and abashedly said, “Sorry, I’ll just uh, stand, if it’s OK.”

“Whatever, suit yourself.  Let’s check to see if you have all the information filled in shall we?  All right then, first – ‘What is your name (real or otherwise)?’ I see you have your first name shown as TN.  Does that stand for anything?  Are those initials?”
“No, that’s my name, TN – TN Kerr.”

“Odd,” said the clerk.  “Let’s pick it up, shall we?  I’ll read the question and you just tell me what you wrote down.  I can check the paper and we can get through this a lot faster.  OK?”
“Sure,” said I.

“Describe your writing style in three words.”
“Eccentric, rubbish and somewhat entertaining”

“That’s four words.”
“Rub out rubbish then.”

The personnel clerk licked the end of his pencil and drew a single straight line through the word ‘rubbish’

“How long have you been writing online?”
“A year and some.”

“Which, if any, other writing challenges do you participate in?”
“Occasionally the WordPress Daily prompt and sometimes their Weekly Challenge.  I also hang with the OC Writers Guild.  We call ourselves Book Bandits and meet weekly.”

“Describe one way in which you could improve your writing. “
“Practice”

“What is the best writing advice you’ve ever been given? “
“Practice”

“Who is your favorite author? “
“I have two full time favorites; Adrienne Rich and Michelle Cliff.  I supplement that list by adding the name of whoever I am currently reading, as well.”

“How do you make time to write?”
“I get up really early in the morning”

“Give us one word we should consider using as a prompt. Remember–it must have a third definition.”
mouse
noun \ˈmau̇s\
plural mice
1:  any of numerous small rodents (as of the genus Mus) with pointed snout, rather small ears, elongated body, and slender tail
2:  a timid person
3:  a dark-colored swelling caused by a blow; specifically :  black eye

“Why would you pick ‘mouse’ of all the words to choose from?”
“You know, I was thinking three blind mice.  I can change it though.”

“Let’s move on” said the HR guy.  “Direct us to one blog post of yours that we shouldn’t miss reading.”
“The last one I wrote.”

“Alright then,” said the clerk.  “It looks like everything is in order.  We will put this application in our files and if we ever have a requirement for someone with your, how do I say it? ‘Particular skill set’ we’ll give you a call.  Please remember to turn in your visitor badge at reception on your way out.”

He stood, opened the office door and hollered into the hallway, “Next!”  A large girl with a nice smile met me at the door.  She was coming in and I was going out.  We danced in the doorway for a few seconds then both turned sideways and passed through at the same time.  Opposite directions.

“Good Luck” I said to her.  “Careful of that chair.”

The door closed behind me.  I turned and trudged down the hallway towards the exit, slipping my visitor badge into my shirt pocket.

Daily Prompt · Random Scribbles · writing

Daily Prompt: New Sensation

Daily Prompt: New Sensation

 Ah, sweet youth. No matter whether you grew up sporting a fedora, penny loafers, poodle skirts, bell-bottoms, leg-warmers, skinny jeans, Madonna-inspired net shirts and rosaries, goth garb, a spikey mohawk, or even a wave that would put the Bieber to shame, you made a fashion statement, unique to you. Describe your favorite fashions from days of yore or current trends you think are stylin’.

***

Marie LeBouf stepped out of the limo that had just pulled up in front of the terminal.  Thankfully she was heading to LA.  It was too cold here in New York and she could feel the goose bumps rising on her flesh.  She was wearing a 2 inch square of zebra print fashion tape,  her own design, covering a spot just above her left collarbone.  She walked a few steps toward the car boot and surveyed the crowd while waiting for the driver to unload her luggage.  She missed the days when you could wear boots and coats when traveling.  She studied the various colours, prints, positions and shapes of the patches that everyone was wearing.  Always scouting for ideas she could use, Marie was a people watcher.

A statuesque lady was standing in the taxi line wearing small pinpoints of pink tape.  They were so tiny she must have been wearing at least 100 of them, positioned artistically on her right shoulder and her left hip.  A man walked by with matching black tape circles on his knees, each about a 1 inch diameter.  She clicked her tongue in approval.  Basic black is always a good colour choice, regardless of your gender.  She decided that she would sketch up some concept designs in black while she was on the plane.  With any luck she would have some working ideas by the time she got to California.

As owner of LeBouf Fashions, Marie knew she was lucky.  She knew too well how fortunate she was to have been in the right place at the right time.  Marie had been trying to figure out how to unload her dear departed father’s glue factory when the Transportation Security Agency had figuratively thrown in the towel.  When it was announced that the best way to ensure passenger security was to have everyone using public conveyance travel nude she had invented fashion tape.  The TSA announcement, it seemed, had uncovered a huge problem.  It was against the law in 47 of the 50 states to appear nude in public and now it was to be forbidden to travel if you were not disrobed.  No one knew what to do about this but the stage had been set for a long drawn out legislative battle.

Marie had begun applying the adhesives that her father developed, to cloth and selling 2” wide rolls of “fashion tape”.  She declared that when wearing a small piece of fashion tape a person was not, technically, unclothed and would therefore be able to comply with TSA requirements and not be in violation of the law.  Much to her surprise the lawmakers had bought it and declared that as long as the total area of tape was less than two inches square this was a workable solution.  A new industry was born – Her Industry.  She patented her adhesive formulation and became a business leader and designer.  She still owned the original glue factory, and about a hundred others, globally, just like it.  She published fashion magazines and her face appeared on billboards all over the world.

She collected her luggage and briefcase, walked to the terminal and got in the security line behind a lady wearing a red diamond shape on her cheek.  How funny it was that people didn’t complain much about x-ray screening anymore.

***

Daily Prompt · Random Scribbles · writing

Daily Prompt: Never Gonna Give You Up

Daily Prompt: Never Gonna Give You Up

 You. We know *you* are vice-free, dear Daily Post reader. But, or perhaps we should say, “butt,” others around you and in your life are riddled with vices: they smoke; they eat too much celery; they hog the covers; they can’t keep their hands out of the office candy bowl. Which vice or bad habit can you simply not abide in others?

***

A business lunch
A dinner date
A birthday party, eating cake
A midnight snack
A bakery stop
Please remember not to talk.

When you take a bite don’t speak to me
Until your mouth is empty, please.

***

I’m really not sure if ‘talking with a mouth full of food’ is a vice, a bad habit, or just nasty.  I’m really not sure if it qualifies as a subject for today’s prompt but – being the impetuous curmudgeon that I am – I went with it anyway.  These guys got it right though!

  1. On Homophobia | AS I PLEASE
  2. Volcano | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  3. Apathy | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  4. say what you mean, mean what you say | the hilarious pessimist
  5. Motes in Other’s Eyes/Daily Prompt | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  6. I drink too much – Daily Prompt | alienorajt
  7. Vices of many… | thoughtsofrkh
  8. Waking Up To A Nightmare And Daily Prompt | The Jittery Goat
  9. One Crazy Mom » Never Gonna Give You Up….Or Am I?
  10. Smelly, Stinky Vice Rant
  11. I.N.S.O.M.N.I.A. | littlegirlstory
  12. Vice and Versa | Kate Murray
  13. Close Enough | Rima Hassan
  14. DP Daily Prompt: Never Gonna Give Up | Sabethville
Daily Prompt · Random Scribbles · writing

Daily Prompt: West End Girls

Daily Prompt: West End Girls

 Every city and town contains people of different classes: rich, poor, and somewhere in between. What’s it like where you live? If it’s difficult for you to discern and describe the different types of classes in your locale, describe what it was like where you grew up — was it swimming pools and movie stars, industrial and working class, somewhere in between or something completely different?

 ***

“Why do the girls always get to go?” I asked my dad.  “What do they do over there?”

“Shh,” he hushed me.

“I don’t want to ‘Shh’,” I protested.  “I wanna know what they are doing. Are they havin’ fun?  Why can’t we have fun too?”  He took my hand and we turned away from the bridge.  Headed back east, headed back home.  I turned my head to watch as my sisters, Shelly and Annabelle, crossed the trestle to the other side of the river, but it was too late they had already melted into the throng of young women crowding up to the narrow entrance of the bridge, like a funnel.  I couldn’t spot them.

“Come on, Richey,” Dad said, “Lets finish up the yard work, and then we can go get some burgers.”  I surrendered, I gave up asking.  I knew he was never going to tell me.  But, like clockwork, every Saturday morning we would walk the girls to the bridge and send them on their way.  Then, sometime later that evening they would come back, always smiling and always happy.  Curiously, they never told us about their day either.

Then one Saturday night Annabelle didn’t come back.  Shelly did though, and she had another girl with her.  They told me the new girl was Annabelle but I knew she wasn’t.  Her eyes weren’t quite the same and she spoke with a slightly different cadence.  No way was this Annabelle.  This girl was a little scary.

That night, late, I screwed up my courage and tapped on the door of my sister’s room.  Almost immediately the door was pulled open, but just a bit.  The girl who was calling herself Annabelle peered out at me.  “Richey, what are you still doing up?” she asked, feigning concern.

“What are you doing up?” I countered.  “Who are you and, what have you done with my sister?”  At that, she came out into the hallway, softly closed the door, grabbed me and hustled me downstairs.  We went in the garage and she produced a small, but powerful pen light.

Switching it on she said, “it’s OK Richey, you don’t need to be afraid of me.  I’m not going to hurt you.  How did you get onto me so fast?  I thought I was better than that.  Do you think your dad suspects?”

“I know you’re not going to try to hurt me,” I said.  “If you tried I could scream and jump on the car.  The alarm would wake Dad up and probably half the neighbors too.  As for your other questions, you are obviously not Annabelle.  You talk funny and your eyes are all wrong.  Dad doesn’t have a clue but Shelly probably knows.  Why hasn’t she said anything?  You still haven’t answered my questions though – who are you and what have you done with my sister?”

“Shelly only knows and does what she is programmed to know and do.  We don’t have to worry about her.  She’s passive and because of her age, her capabilities are a bit limited. She’s about at the peak of her technology curve.

“My name is Ruby and I sure hope you’re not going to turn me in.  I’d be in big trouble if I’m found out.  You’re not going to turn me in are you Richey?”  I shook my head no, and she continued, “I’m from Concord, a city on the other side of the mountains.  I’ve been sent here to take Annabelle’s place until next Saturday so that our engineers can analyze her circuitry and software.  I’m sure you know that she’s quite advanced.”

“Our engineers believe that successful modifications were made to her organic CPU’s or supporting circuits during one of her recent weekly upgrades.  Our instruments indicate that her AI capabilities skyrocketed.  Have you noticed any changes in her behavior over the last six weeks or so?”

“Richey?… Richey? Are you still with me?” She tilted her head and looked into my eyes.  Then she reached out and gently pushed my jaw upwards, closing my mouth.

“That’s why the girls go to the west side every weekend?” I whispered to myself.

“Richey, how long have you lived in Stepford ?  Don’t you watch movies?”

***

Random Scribbles · writing

Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence

Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence

 This week, we’re asking you to make “silence” a presence in your post. We promise, it’s not as counterintuitive as it sounds!

***

The sound echoed down the hall.  He was at it again, pretending to call the game.  But, not just any game, no – The Seventh Game of the 1965 World Series. It was always the same game. He got most of the names right and he had the teams right but the winners and the scores changed each time he replayed the game in his head.  Aloud – for the rest of us to hear.

It used to annoy and may have even been initially designed to annoy.  Over the years though, I learned to anxiously anticipate these games.  I could lean back against the bars and listen.  It took me away from the monotony that was my daily existence here at Sandoval, waiting to die.  It gave me something to look forward to.  I could close my eyes and see the pitcher of the day struggling with his slider but sometimes, the pitches were working brilliantly and he was striking out batters one after the other.

On July 17th the game started later in the day than usual.  He had a big dinner that he finished first.  When it finally got underway it opened normally enough; with the announcement of the starting lineup.  Starting pitchers were to be Sandy Koufax, for the Dodgers and Jim Kaat for the Twins.  Koufax started with his curve but when that didn’t pan out he had quickly settled into a comfortable routine of fastballs that Minnesota sluggers just couldn’t seem to get the hang of. In the fourth inning Johnson hit one off the left field foul pole giving the Dodgers a lead that would turn out to be the game winner.  Two pitches later, Fairly scored, coming home from second and giving Wes Parker an RBI.  Kaat was pulled and a string of relievers finished the game for the Twins.

As the contest progressed there were a couple of scary moments for Dodger fans but Koufax went the distance, winding up with a three hit shutout, striking out 10 Minnesota batters along the way.  A spectacular pitching performance and a 2-0 result, earning the Dodgers a well deserved World Series win.

The guards came for him shortly after midnight.  With his hands and feet shackled he was escorted to the execution chamber.  He nodded or waved to each of us as he walked past our cells but the only sound was the chains rattling and dragging on the floor.  When the door slammed, a tangible quiet descended on death row.  Someone lay back on their bunk and the springs squeaked just a little.  I replayed the game I had heard that night in my head as I lay awake in the dark.  I guess I would have to silently replay that game over and over, until it was my turn.

***

Random Scribbles · writing

The Tragic Story of Captain Hook and the Neverland Grand Poetry Slam – Trifecta

***

“Yo-ho, Yo-ho a pirates life for me” they sang.  Mullins and Skylights were leading the crew of the Jolly Roger in a rousing rendition of the captain’s favorite song.  They were trying to cheer him up, break the slump he had been in for almost a year.

The door to the stateroom opened and the first mate, Mr. Smee, stepped on deck.  His face was drawn, the black circles under his eyes contrasted sharply with his long white hair.  The crew stopped singing and looked to Smee for a sign.  He shook his head and dejectedly walked to the poop deck.  Captain Hook was still in the doldrums it seemed.

Hook hadn’t always been a nasty pirate.  His seafaring career had begun as a poet pirate, and though he was an accomplished buccaneer, he was a phenomenal poet.  He wrote the lyrics of Yo-ho, arguably the best known pirate song in the world.  Not to mention the ever popular, “Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of Rum.” Some of his best work, that.

Hook was entering all the pirate poetry slams, raking in the booty, amassing more treasure with his poems than his pillaging.

Then the Pan arrived in town. Called himself ‘Peter’ – he was a master of Couplets.  Word spread that the two were gunning for each other.  Inevitably, it came to pass that Hook and the Pan were facing off in the finals of the “Neverland Grand Slam” when it happened.  The judges called for… Haiku.

The Captain failed.  With only five fingers on one hand and a hook on the other, he couldn’t count the syllables for the second line.  He cried out and sank to his knees on the deck, beaten.

Peter was the champion.

Hook slipped into a funk that day, sequestering himself in his cabin on the Jolly Roger, anchored in this harbor ever since.  No more plundering or looting. No kidnapping, murder, or ravaging either. But worst of all, no more sonnets! Alas.

***

Here’s how it worked this week.  The Trifecta prompt is one word, its third definition must be used and there is a limit of 33-333 words.

The word is:

FUNK (noun)
1 a :  a state of paralyzing fear
b :  a depressed state of mind
2 :  one that funks :  COWARD
3 :  SLUMP  <an economic funk>  <the team went into a funk>

Again, I trust that I will be advised if I have broken any rules.  I’m still pretty new at this!

I am pleased and proud to announce that this posting was chosen as the second place winner in the Trifecta Challenge “Trifextra: Week 103“.  Thanks to everyone. I am humbled.  Gold went to The Word Pirate and it was well deserved.  Bronze was awarded to Kymm in Barcelona.  Everyone who entered deserved an award – Congratulations.

Daily Prompt · Random Scribbles · writing

Daily Prompt: With or Without You

Daily Prompt: With or Without You

 Tell us about the time you threw down the gauntlet and drew the proverbial line in the sand by giving someone an ultimatum. If you’ve never handed out an ultimatum but secretly wanted to, describe the scene and what you would say to put an end (one way or another) to an untenable situation.

***

Saying that ultimatums are an effective means of control is like saying that panic is an effective long term strategy.

I told her she could
But she did not have to come
She chose and I lost

***

  1. Daily Prompt: With or Without You-Solving Conflict | Journeyman
  2. Daily Prompt: Complex « Vicariously Poetic
  3. Daily Prompt: With or Without You | Under the Monkey Tree
  4. Feuding Neighbors Create “Sno-Man’s” Land | DCMontreal: Blowing the Whistle on Society
  5. A Very Big Mistake | Knowledge Addiction
Daily Prompt · Random Scribbles · writing

Daily Prompt: Don’t You Forget About Me

Daily Prompt: Don’t You Forget About Me

 Imagine yourself at the end of your life. What sort of legacy will you leave? Describe the lasting effect you want to have on the world, after you’re gone.

 ***

The old man took a spoonful of jello and raised it to his mouth. It was orange jello and it jiggled off his spoon and fell to his lap.  “Damn, orange jello” he said, “I hate orange jello.  I’ve always been a ‘yellow jello’ man.”

I smiled and leaned forward, “Why’s that?”

“I’m not letting you off that easy,” he pointed his spoon at me.  “You know you’re the second reporter to come interview me today?  Ask me something important.”

“What did the other guy ask you?”

“The ‘other guy’ was a girl.  Pretty little slip of a thing too.  I doubt if she was even 20 years old though.  She wanted to hear stories, stories about my life and my wars.”

“What did you tell her?”

“A bunch of lies.  That’s all she really wanted to hear anyway.  She hasn’t been around enough to understand the stories I could tell.  I gave her something to write about though.  No one’s left alive who can refute any of it.”

“Fair enough,” I said.  I gathered myself together, sat a little straighter in my chair and looked at the 121 year old man sitting across from me.  By all accounts, he was the oldest living man on the planet, and today was his birthday.  That’s why I was here – the paper wanted a fluff piece, a human interest story, so I asked him, “You’ve been around a long time, done a lot of things that no one else alive today has done, what sort of legacy are you leaving?  What kind of lasting effect do you want to have on the world?”

“How old are you?” he asked.

“About half your age,” I said.  I got my notebook out and prepared to write down his answers.  He surprised me.

“Legacies are bullshit.”  He said flatly, “legacies are for the arrogant.  They’re what presidents, heads of state, deans of universities, and captains of industry worry about.  People like me – we don’t worry about legacies.  We worry about the day to day stuff.  I don’t care how people remember me.  If everything works out right, the only things that people are going to know about me after I’m gone are the lies that little girl writes and, whatever it is that you decide to put on paper.  And, the only reason that they will have that is because I got to be so old.  Else, no one would care.  That suits me just fine.”

“In my day – I have seen people come into this world and I have taken people out.  I have walked through jungles and deserts.  I have trod the steel deck plates of submarines and surface craft, airplanes and battle tanks.  I walked the concrete and asphalt pathways of some of the world’s biggest and most beautiful cities.  I have won big and lost bigger.  I have both loved and cried.  I have dined on caviar and I have subsisted.  I have experienced the pleasure of making good friends, and at my age I already lost most of them.  Do you really believe, I was thinking about my legacy during all that?  No, I was too busy living.”

I stopped writing.  I looked up at the old man.  He was looking back at me, his gaze unwavering. “Maybe you’d like to hear why I like yellow jello after all?”

***

Daily Prompt · Random Scribbles · writing

Daily Prompt: Money for Nothing

Daily Prompt: Money for Nothing

 If you’re like most of us, you need to earn money by working for a living. Describe your ultimate job. If you’re in your dream job, tell us all about it — what is it that you love? What fulfills you? If you’re not in your dream job, describe for us what your ultimate job would be.

***

I pulled into the garage and parked next to my bike.  Opened the car door for Irene, and we pushed into the kitchen.  “What the heck am I going to do now, Rene?”  I asked her.

“What do you mean?  What kind of question is that?  You’re retired now.  You can do whatever you want.” Irene said as she walked across the kitchen and snagged a cup from that little rack of cups that she likes so much. She poured about an inch of thick, dark coffee into the cup, and lifted it towards me.  “Want some?”

I shuddered, “no, thanks though.” Irene was one of those people who would leave a coffee pot on all day and drink from it all day too.  This particular pot had been going for at least 8 hours, probably longer.  I was pretty sure that what she was pouring would not be to my liking.  But, she liked it.  On more than one occasion Irene has been known to forget to turn off the pot at night, get up the next morning, and drink what was left while she was making a new one. It’s those new ones that I’ll have a cup from.

I looked down at the gold watch I had just been presented, 10:00PM.  “I haven’t been up this late in 30 years,” I said.  “You watch; when 3:00AM rolls around my eyes’ll pop open just like they always have.  But I won’t have anywhere to go.  I won’t have a job to do.  No one’ll be depending on me. I worked for the paper for 50 years.  All of a sudden, I don’t work for the paper anymore.  That’s a huge void in my life I am going to have to fill somehow.”

“Get a hobby, travel, read.  Fix this house up.  Lord knows it could use some fixin’ up.  You’ll think of something.”  She came back over to me, stood on her tip toes and gave me a peck on the lips. “You always do.”

“Love ya,” I said, “I’m going to bed.”

“Be right up.”

It wasn’t the alarm, I hadn’t even set that, but something caused me to stir and roused me.  I took stock of my situation and opened my eyes.  It was dark and it was quiet, Irene lay still in the bed next to me.  I looked at the glowing numbers of the alarm clock across the room 3:00AM, I was afraid of this.  Downstairs, I started a pot of coffee and made some toast.

I ate my breakfast and stared out the front window into the night.  Now what?

I don’t think it was a conscious decision and I was unsure why I was doing it but, I found myself easing open the door to the garage.  I got my bike and headed to the gas station out by the highway.  I eased over to the curb across the street, staying in the shadows.

Tommy Parr was getting his papers organized, getting ready to ride his route.  His shiny new bicycle was leaning on its kickstand nearby.  He looked up from what he was doing, a puzzled expression on his face and surveyed the street.  He spotted me across the road, smiled and waved.  “Mornin’ Mr. Stricklin,” he shouted.

I waved back.  Tommy was going to do just fine.  He was 15 years old, the same age I was when I started with the paper.  He had what it took to be a great paper boy.  I knew, I had trained him and I had been the best paper boy this town had ever known.  Tommy got on his bike and started off on his route.  I knew that the first paper he would throw would land squarely on the Evan’s front walk.  Tommy had a good eye.

I turned my bike around and pedaled back home.  Whatever you do – do it well.

***

Here are some offerings from people who write well!  Enjoy.