Daily Prompt: Ring of Fire

Daily Prompt: Ring of Fire

Do you love hot and spicy foods or do you avoid them for fear of what tomorrow might bring?


I had to take a few different shots at this one.  I am passionate about chilies.

daily prompt-ring of fire


AS I PLEASE Karma For a Lapsed Veggie
Writing Prompts Spicy Ring of Fire
Mumbai Mornings Breakfast like a Bawa: 5 must-try Parsi breakfasts
Kate Murray Fire in the soil
The Jittery Goat Montezuma’s revenge and the Ring of Fire
The WordPress C(h)ronicle Ring of Fire
Perspectives on life, universe and everything Juicy and hot
Perspectives on life, universe and everything Oh sugar!
Casually Short Do I? Am I?

Daily Prompt: Pride and Joy

Daily Prompt: Pride and Joy

What’s your most prized possession? GO!


 

Angela found herself looking into the concerned face of the EMT. “What the hell?” she sputtered and sat up in the back of the ambulance

“We were a little worried about you,” the paramedic said to her, “Can you tell me your name?”

“Angela Torres, what’s going on?”

“Ms. Torres, we are going to transport you to Dominican for observation.”

“No you’re not, not until you tell me what’s going on.”

“There’s been a fire, Ms. Torres. Your apartment building’s fully engulfed. It looks like you were overcome by smoke but the firefighters pulled you out a couple of minutes ago. Was there anyone else in the apartment with you?”

“No, just me.” She lay back down on the gurney.

***

That was last night. Today she had been released from the Doctor’s care and had taken a cab back to what had been her home. What had been almost 60 apartments was now nothing more than a pile of ash and charcoal. Surrounded by yellow tape, the entire block had been cordoned off. Fire department personnel picked through the rubble. “Investigators,” she supposed. The smell of smoke and destruction lingered. She thought about that. “What does destruction smell like? It smells like this!”

There were a lot of people standing around. She saw old Mr. Najara standing on the corner looking at the ruins. He looked sad. He had lived in #43 and had always nodded his head and wished her a good day when they passed on the sidewalk or in the parking area. He was a nice man. She headed over to talk with him.

“Ms. Torres,” he addressed her when she approached. “I am so happy to see you. When you left on the ambulance last night I was concerned. Are you OK?”

“I’m fine Señor. Najara. And you?”

“I’m unscathed,” he told her. “But, everything is lost. My photo albums… gone. My reminders of my wife… gone. I fear without the photos of Bella I will soon forget what she looked like. I will lose the memory of her smile.” A tear ran slowly down his cheek disappearing into his mustache. He wiped his hand across his face, trying to regain some composure.

“I don’t think so Señor. I think your Bella will be with you always. You have your memories. The tangibles that you lost are nothing more than stuff.” Angela put her arm around his shoulders and pulled him close.

 


 

Knowledge Addiction Jamming
The Ambitious Drifter Imagination Is My Prize
The Jittery Goat Pride and Joy: Relationships
The WordPress C(h)ronicle Pride and Joy
Perspectives on life, universe and everything Free will!
Perspectives on life, universe and everything Perseverance

Speakeasy #159: What Does the Fox Say?


What Does the Fox Say?

The vixen lay on the knoll and watched as the two upright animals entered the clearing. She had seen these kinds of beasts before, though rarely, and only from a distance.  Her mother had warned her to steer clear. They were dangerous she knew, but they hadn’t noticed her. “This could be a good opportunity to study their habits,” she thought to herself. Realizing that she was in a unique position to learn more about these strange creatures she crouched a bit lower and stayed where she was. She remained still. She watched.

Her keen sense of smell told her that one of the subjects was female and one was male, she could not be sure from this distance but, she assumed the smaller specimen was the male as the brightly colored plumage would seem to indicate. Was that feathers or fur? Impossible to tell. The larger of the two removed a hump from her back and set it on the ground. Reaching inside it she removed a covering, like an extremely large leaf, and spread it on the ground. It was red and white checked. Food was then removed from what she now realized was a sac to aid in carrying their burdens. “Interesting,” thought the fox, “they have tools,” and she filed that fact away while she enjoyed the aromas of the food that had been carefully set on the ground.

The subjects sat together on the place that they had prepared for themselves and she thought, “Now they will eat.” But that was not the case. The small one began removing his brightly colored plumage and the vixen soon realized that she had been wrong – this was the female which meant the larger, more monochromatic, one was the male. This was confirmed in due course after they rolled around in the grass, making strange noises for a while, and his less brightly colored plumage fell aside.

“A mating ritual,” the fox realized. This was truly a strange and rare occurrence. To her knowledge none of her skulk had ever witnessed such an event before. She would have great stories to relate when she returned. But she soon realized that there was a problem. The vixen was no stranger to mating; she knew that there could be no consummation if the male remained flaccid.

The smaller beast, the female, was trying hard to help – coaxing, teasing, cajoling, and for a moment it seemed that she might be successful. It fluttered for a moment, magnificent in its struggle, then wilted and lay still. The fox wished that she could understand the noises they made, so strange they were. She heard the male, “I don’t know, Ann. This has never happened to me before.” What could it mean when the female seemed to growl and snarl? When she stood on her back legs and began replacing her brightly colored plumage? Soon the male did the same. Before he was done, the female left the clearing, stomping her feet and going back the way she had come.

The male gathered the red and white checked covering and hastily stuffed it back into the sac. He reached toward the food and then, deciding against it, hefted the sac onto his back and quickly chased after the female making noises that sounded like, “Wait, Ann, Wait.”

The vixen knew that she had just witnessed the beasts failed attempt at mating. She also realized that there was a huge mound of abandoned food in the clearing. She lay still and watched for awhile to ensure that they would not return. After what seemed an appropriate amount of time she rose cautiously and began to pick her way down from the knoll towards the waiting feast.


 

The Prompts:

Okay, this week’s sentence prompt, provided by last week’s winner, AZ Gringa,can be used ANYWHERE in your piece. And the media prompt is a painting of a silver fox, by John James Audubon, celebrated artist and naturalist.

The Painting

silver-fox-825x350

The Sentence

“It fluttered for a moment, magnificent in its struggle, then wilted and lay still.”

The Rules tell us to “Remember to think outside the box when you write your piece. Exercise those fabulous writer’s muscles! Think about how others might use the prompts, then go in a different direction.”

This week I took that suggestion to heart!

Daily Prompt: I Can’t Stay Mad at You – I’ll Have to Kill You Instead

Daily Prompt: I Can’t Stay Mad at You

Do you hold grudges or do you believe in forgive and forget?


 

I Can’t Stay Mad at You – I’ll Have to Kill You Instead

Yesterday, I was preparing my entry for the Yeah Write ‘Gargleblaster’ challenge. I found this wonderful new challenge a while ago, shortly after the closing of Trifecta. Both Gargleblaster and Trifecta emphasize precision in writing, paring the superfluous. Gargleblaster responses are limited to 42 words where Trifecta had been limited to 33.

The Gargleblaster kickoff post yesterday included a link to a fine Globe and Mail article about ten words that could be easily eliminated from your writing to make it stronger. These were:

Really, Stuff, Quite, Amazing, Very, Just, Things, Got, Perhaps/Maybe, Literally

Rebelliously, I managed to work them all into my Gargleblaster entry. It was great fun. Today, I thought a good exercise would be to limit my Daily Prompt response to a 33 word microfiction (viva Trifecta). Then I decided to challenge myself a bit more and do it twice. Once without the Globe and Mail’s 10 words and once with all 10 – I wasn’t sure it would be possible.

Without the ten from the article I came up with:

Rick looked at Angie. Angie looked at Rick.
“I’m so sorry Ricky.”
“It’s OK kiddo. It’ll be alright.”
“But will we be alright?”
“Of course we will.”
He grabbed her throat and squeezed.

Including the ten from the article I got:

“I’m really very sorry Ricky. It’s amazing, but things just got out of hand. I don’t quite know how.
“Perhaps, you’ll forget this stuff. I am literally very afraid.”
He grabbed her throat.

I’m still not sure it’s possible. I got two stories that are similar but different… Maybe that’s the point.


Journeyman I Can’t Stay Mad at You- A Story About a Man……
AS I PLEASE Impressions of poverty
The Wandering Poet Daily prompt: Grudgie grudgie grudge!
Knowledge Addiction I Don’t Hate You
yi-ching lin photography hat y it’s easy to forgive
The WordPress C(h)ronicle I Can’t Stay Mad at You
She Writes ENVY (an original poem)
ALIEN AURA’S BLOG: IT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND! I can’t stay mad at you… littlegirlstory I Can’t Stay Mad at You – that’s a waste of my precious time !
fibijeeves I can’t stay mad at you – Occupational Hazard!!
Snow’s Fissures and Fractures I Can’t Stay Mad at the World (Cause in the End, I Love Myself More)
the FLAVORED word Rocking chairs weren’t meant to give you blisters –
Perspectives on life, universe and everything Far away
Perspectives on life, universe and everything Us
From Hiding to Blogging Emerging from the Darkest Shade
the intrinsickness Family Reunion
SERENDIPITY I NEVER FORGET ANYTHING The Forgiveness |
T J Therien New Blogging Policy Regarding Bullies
PIECES I can’t stay mad at you
psychologistmimi On the eve of a grudge storm: You will succumb
Tech Girl Forgive Others, if you want to be happy

 

Yeah Write: Gargleblaster #159

Gargleblaster #159

Really, this stuff is quite amazing. I arrived very late, because my clocks had stopped, it didn’t seem to matter though. Just look at all the things I got. Perhaps, Toots was wrong. Maybe flea markets are literally the place to shop!

This week’s ultimate question was suggested by Erica M, and comes from Alice Munro’s short story A Real Life.

Have all your clocks stopped?

The answer must be 42 words.

Daily Prompt: It’s My Party

Daily Prompt: It’s My Party

You’re throwing a party — for you! Tell us all about the food, drink, events, and party favours you’ll have for your event of a lifetime. Use any theme you like — it’s *your* party!


 

A Party Recipe

One day with accommodating weather?
A few Cocktails (optional)
Masses of savory foods cooked with green chilies
Good friends (Carefully cull any clowns and magicians)
Abundant coffee and chocolate chip cookies
Plenty of stories and conversation

Mix together in a large room or garden.
Stir frequently
Spice to taste
No garnish required

Serves everyone.


 

Kate Murray Parties
The WordPress C(h)ronicle It’s My Party
The Jittery Goat The Daily Prompt and (a short story) The Bascom Curse
The Road Less Travelled By It’s My Party
wannabedeenbuddy Tea-Party for 4+4
marilandscaping It’s My Party
Jayne’s Daily Thought It’s My Party!!

Daily Prompt: She’s So Fine

Daily Prompt: He’s (She’s) So Fine

What was it that drew you to your significant other? Their blue eyes? Their ginger countenance? Their smile? Their voice?


 

Wiley let the magazine fall open. Of course it fell open to the center fold. He pulled the bottom of the page back so that he could see the photo. Immediately he developed one of those thousand yard stares and 17 year old Tyler knew, that although Grandpa was looking at the magazine, he was seeing something else.

Eventually, Wiley set the magazine on the table and showed the photo to his grandson. “You asked about your Grandma, Tyler, that’s your Grandma.” He said. “Since the fire, this is the only photo I have of her, everything else was lost in the flames. I had to buy this old Playboy on EBay to have this picture, and it cost a fortune but it was worth every penny.”

“I shouldn’t be looking at this Grandpa,” Tyler turned his head away, “She’s naked.”

“Of course she’s naked. She’s the Playboy centerfold model. They’re always naked. But look at her Tyler, it’s OK. Models pose and have their photos taken knowing that people are going to look at them. It’s OK to look.”

Tyler brought his gaze back to the page, “I never knew her,” he said, “But she looks like Mom, with different hair. She’s pretty.”

“Aye, she is pretty. That’s a fact; but the photo doesn’t show what made me love her. I loved her voice. Husky, soft, and melodic, every word she spoke was a song. When she talked the birds would hush their singing and listen. When she laughed the sky would smile.”


Perspectives on life, universe and everything Far away

Perspectives on life, universe and everything Struck

Basically Beyond Basic He’s (She’s) So Fine

The WordPress C(h)ronicle He’s (She’s) So Fine

The Jittery Goat The Daily Prompt and The Short Story – The Lonely Dream Maker

Yorkhull’s Blog Do we need a significant other?

A Squeeze of Bliss It’s Always Been About You.

All Things Cute and Beautiful Being Alone (Again)!

the FLAVORED word Red Mustangs and ET …

Life Confusions #Forever Alone

Knowledge Addiction My First Crush

ALIEN AURA’S BLOG: IT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND! Eyes? hair? Height? Looks? Daily Prompt

 

Daily Prompt: If I Had a Hammer

Daily Prompt: If I Had a Hammer

If you could learn a trade — say carpentry, electrical work, roofing, landscaping, plumbing, flooring, drywall — you name it — what skill(s) would you love to have in your back pocket?


 

Max anxiously opened the box that his dad had given him. He ripped the festive paper from the outside with gusto. It was heavy. Not too heavy in a literal way but heavy for its size, that was for sure. Max had asked for a laptop, he was smitten by the new, high performance machines from Dotcom. This box seemed a bit small for that though. Max wanted to write on a computer or even on a typewriter, which this box was definitely too small to be. He was tired of writing with a pencil in a notebook.

Whenever he asked his folks for a computer though they came back with the same argument, “We get you all the notebooks and pencils you ask for. You’ve got it easy boy.” They would say. “Abe Lincoln had to write with charcoal on the back of a shovel. Ancient Greeks and Romans had to write with a chisel and a piece of stone. Count your blessings and quit whining.”

Max knew they were right. He had it easy compared to those who came before him. But, jeeze, this was the 21st century. Stephen King composed with a word processor, even in the last century Hemingway had a typewriter. He wished his parents would get with the times. How was he supposed to hone his craft without the proper tools?

Finally the box came open and Max ripped the packing paper out so he could see what was inside. There nestled in the box was a hammer, a chrome plated claw hammer with a curved wooden handle.

“Umm, thanks Dad.”

“That there’s a hammer for the ages,” his dad told him. “That’s a Craftsman framing hammer. Chrome plated with a hickory handle, that puppy’ll last you your whole life and, if anything happens to it, you’re covered. It has a lifetime guarantee.” Dad was beaming, “Now that you have it I’ll take you to work with me on Monday and you can learn to swing it properly. Nothin’ like practice to make a good framer out of you. You can be just like your old man. Whadda ya say?”

Max looked at his dad. He looked in the box at the silver hammer. He wanted to hit Dad on the head with it. His name was Maxwell after all, and he had a silver hammer. Poetic justice? Perhaps, but Max swallowed his disappointment and smiled across the table at his father. “Thanks Dad, that’ll be great.”

Max sat there while his father unwrapped the necktie that he would never wear and his mother opened her large box to find a new vacuum cleaner. She feigned delight but Maxwell wasn’t fooled. He could read the disappointment in her face. He knew she craved something pretty. Something unnecessary. Something whose only function and purpose was to inspire delight.

God, Dad is such a tool! He thought then immediately regretted it. His dad may be an insensitive boor with no idea what would make his family happy but he cared for them. That was apparent – he just didn’t know how to demonstrate his love. Mom understood this but, she always hoped that things would change. She always hoped her husband would get a clue. Max thought his mom was long suffering and destined for disappointment in perpetuity.

After lunch Max took his new hammer upstairs to his room. He sat it on his desk and pulled a notebook and pencil out of the desk drawer. He studied the hammer for about an hour. He turned it over; he spun it around on the desk. He held the head and felt the texture of the silver colored metal in his hand. He rubbed the handle and felt the smooth warmth of the hickory noting the contrast between the two materials of which the hammer was constructed. After a while he set the hammer back down and picked up his pencil. Opening his notebook to a blank page Max began to write…

Today I obtained a new hammer. My father gave it to me. He’s a good man my dad…


 

Daily Prompt: Teen Age Idol

Daily Prompt
Teen Age Idol

Who did you idolize as a teenager? Did you go crazy for the Beatles? Ga-ga over Duran Duran? In love with Justin Bieber? Did you think Elvis was the livin’ end?


 

Tommy got up early that morning. It was 4:00am when Dad came in and touched his shoulder. He got up, dressed, brushed his teeth and made his way downstairs. Dad was topping off the thermos with coffee. “You ready for this Tommy?” he asked.

“Yes sir. May I have some coffee, too?”

“You bet”

Dad screwed the top on the thermos and handed it to Tommy, grabbed the lunch basket that they had packed the night before and they headed out to the truck but not before looking in the studio. Dad paused and looked at the canvas perched on the easel. His palette and knives were sitting on the stool. “I need to introduce more red and orange tones.” He said to himself and then they went outside.

Tossing their lunch in the truck bed with the tackle boxes and rods they got in the cab and Dad fired up the old Chevy Apache. It was cold but not too cold. Tommy could see his breath when he exhaled and he amused himself with that while Dad let the truck warm up. “Why do you want more orange, Dad?” Tommy asked.

“What? Oh, on the painting. I need ‘em to tie the composition together – to keep your eye from straying off the edge of the canvas.” Dad said. Dad was a right brain guy.

Tommy was a left brainer.

A slight knocking started from the engine. Dad did what he always did when his truck didn’t sound right. He turned up the radio until he couldn’t hear it. Then he lit a cigarette and they pulled away from the curb, headed towards the lake about 30 minutes away. Tommy started asking questions.

“How many stars are there, Dad? We’re studying space in school.”

“Lots of them, I guess. I never counted.”

“Mr. Parks, my science teacher, told us that it can take millions of years for the light of a star to reach earth so that we can see it. Do you think that’s right Dad?”

“Must be, if Parks says it’s so.”

“He started telling us about the speed of light and light years yesterday. I’m not sure I understand though. What’s a light year Dad?”

“I expect it’s the same as a regular year, with 1/3 less calories.”

“It’s pretty easy when you explain it,” Tommy said, “Mr. Parks made it sound really complicated.”

They pulled in by the side of the lake and got out of the truck.

“Let’s get some hooks in the water, shall we?”


 

Daily Prompt: The Wanderer

Daily Prompt: The Wanderer

Tell us about the top five places you’ve always wanted to visit. GO!


 

Phil pushed open the door at the travel agent and went inside. The atmosphere evoked professionalism and a sense of calm. Plush carpet covered the floors. Travel posters covered the walls, depicting exotic locations – they were designed to tempt the customer.

A middle aged woman was seated behind the only occupied desk. She was on the phone. Receiver in one hand and eyeglasses twirling in the other, she wore her hair in a manner that suggested a recent visit to the stylist. The jacket she wore over her white blouse matched the colour of the office walls, a pastel green teal. She waved to him and signaled that it was OK to sit.

Phil nodded his head but chose to study the posters. Singapore, Buenos Aires, Kenya, and London all beckoned from their respective showcases. Phil took the time to study them all, while he eavesdropped on the one sided conversation that he could hear.

“Ok, then. Sounds good to me… I will wait for your fax. Uh huh… thanks.” He listened to her set the phone back on the cradle and spun towards her and, away from the poster when she addressed him. “What may I do for you today sir?” She asked. She came around the desk with her right hand extended to shake.

“These are very interesting posters and I would love to visit all these places. But today, I’m mostly interested in booking a trip to Iceland,” he told her as they both headed back towards her desk.

“Iceland? How exciting, we don’t often have people here looking to go to Reykjavík. Do you have family there? Or, are you perhaps an adventurer?”

“Neither, I’m afraid,” Phil responded. “I want to meet women.”

“Really? In Iceland? I’m not sure I understand. Wouldn’t it be a lot simpler to meet women right here in Omaha?”

“That’s not what I hear.” Phil said, stone-faced. “My buddies at the lodge told me that there is a single woman at the base of every tree in Iceland. They said you can just walk through the forest and take your pick. That sounds ideal to me. Say, do you know what Icelandic women look like? I guess it doesn’t really matter. If I get there early enough in the season there should be plenty to choose from. I shouldn’t have any problem finding one I like.”

“I’m afraid your buddies are pulling your leg. There’s not a lot of forests in Iceland.”

Phil looked at the nameplate on her desk, ‘Irene’. “How do you know that Irene?”

“I’m a travel agent,” she replied, “It’s my job to know things like that.” She smiled.

Phil looked at her left hand, ‘no ring’. “Can you get away from here for a while Irene? I need to learn more about Iceland. There’s a coffee shop just across the street… my treat.”

Irene tilted her head to the side and studied Phil. He held his breath in anticipation. Time seemed to stand still. After what seemed like forever, she nodded her head and said, “Sure.” She grabbed her keys from the top desk drawer and headed to the front door. She set the little clock to say “Back in 20 minutes” and locked up.