Stockpiling Against the Pandemic

Written for Chelsea’s Terrible Poetry Contest



They panicked the public with talk of the virus
The butcher was worried – his name was Cyrus
One night, when the store closed
He took all the bog rolls
Went home and confessed to a scroll of papyrus. A scroll of papyrus that he used as his journal and sometimes hid in the linen closet – on the top shelf under a bunch of pillow cases, unless he was keeping it under the bed, or in the garage; but then the police found it and he was arrested, went to court and got sent to jail… not for very long though (it was only toilet paper, after all)

A Bit ‘o Friction ‘tween Old Jenny and Mulvaney

Today I received an invitation I had not been expecting. Below is my acceptance of same. Thank you, Tish. This was fun.



Nobody believed that Old Jenny was dead. They believed that she wanted them to believe she was dead. One thing that Mr Mulvaney knew, for certain, was that Jenny was a gardener. She needed dirt beneath her fingernails to feel alive. She needed to feel the soil slip between her fingers in order to feel whole, to feel complete.

Once he learned she had left her watering can behind, Mulvaney put a watch on her allotment. After all, that can had belonged to her Ma, and to her Ma’s Ma ‘afore that. Jenny wouldn’t leave the watering can. Not for long. It was too dear.

img_5743_thumb

It had been several years since Jenny had slipped under the radar. I was one of three sentries Mulvaney had detailed to keep an eye on the allotment, an eye on the can. He was certain that she would come back for it. We were under strict instruction, that when we saw her, it was always “when” never “if”, we were to follow her, but not confront her. Once we knew where she was hiding we were to contact him, and only him. We were to let him know where she was. Then the guard would take over and we would move on to our next assignment. I hoped we never saw her.

I’d become quite fond of this part of the world. This Shropshire town of Much Wenlock, peaceful, picturesque filled with the kind of people my Ma had been. In this town there was all the things you would expect from a Medieval village. There was holy wells, cobbled streets, stocks and whipping posts. There was even a museum filled with all sorts of Olympian artifacts. I would love to stay here forever, but I knew I wouldn’t never fit in. I’m the proverbial square peg and Wenlock is the archetypal round hole.

Last week I was keeping an eye on the allotment but not paying too much attention. A job like this can lull you into a sense of complacency. All of a sudden I realized that a woman was lingering about the watering can. Her back was to me so I couldn’t tell who it was, exactly. I thought she might be a bit tall for Old Jenny and she moved like a younger girl, but I paid attention. If that can were to disappear on my watch; Mulvaney would have my hide for sure.

It turned out to be a false alarm, though. ‘Twas only Ms Farrell. She’d come out with her camera to take photos of the can.

I noted the date and time in my log so I could report the activity to Mulvaney. He’d want to know. He might even send someone by the Farrell’s to find out what had sparked the sudden interest in the old can. See if maybe Jenny had contacted them. I see Ms Farrell out with her Camera a lot. She just likes to take photos. She’s an artist and a writer too but I still needed to report the activity. Mulvaney could decide for himself if it meant anything. That’s not my job. Well above my pay-grade. I just watch for Old Jenny. That’s what I do.


Tish Farrell is a writer on the edge. She’s living her life to it’s fullest. I’ve followed her blog for years. I recommend it, highly recommend it. Stop by and graze on her words and photos. You won’t regret the time spent.

Neither Snow Nor Rain Nor Heat Nor Gloom Of Night

Written for this challenge – Gracias Sr. Mosey



It was midafternoon on a hot day in July. Cooper and Max were hanging out together, waiting for the Postman and wishing they had something cool to drink.

Max scratched the hair on his chin and then turned his attention on Cooper, “So, whatcha think, Coop? You in?”

“I dunno, Max; it kinda goes against everything I was raised to believe. I’m just not sure I can do it.”

“Jeeze, Cooper.” Max snarled, “He’s a Postman. He expects this stuff. This is the kind of shit we were born for. If you don’t do this, I will. Look here he comes now,” the postman rounded the corner a couple of doors down, “and he’s walking. Perfect.”

“Max, you might be bred for this…”

“What’re you saying, Coop? You better consider the consequences if you’re gonna trash talk me.”

No, Max. I don’t mean any disrespect, but man – let’s face it. You’re half Doberman and half Pit Bull. Me? I’m a Sheep Dog.”

“I’m ¾ Pit Bull, and let’s face it. That’s the beauty of this plan. He’s not expecting you to bite him. He’s expecting me to do that. Put your game face on. Growl, bark, and charge him. When you get there take a big chunk outa his leg. You can do this.”

Cooper nodded his head and raised the hackles on his back. The growl started deep in his belly and he began moving toward the hapless Mailman. He picked up speed as he moved forward. He barked. He barked again. When he was close enough, Cooper leapt and hit; knocking his target to the ground. The mailman was now on his butt, scooting backwards and away from his attacker as quickly as he could. When he fell further and was flat on his back Cooper stood on his chest. The letter carrier closed his eyes, waiting for the inevitable. Cooper wagged his tail.

“Hi,” he said, “I’m Cooper, I’m a dog. Do you have any dog treats in that big bag?”

“Damn it, Cooper,” shouted Max from the driveway. “That was disgusting. You make me ashamed to be a dog.” He turned and hightailed it away from the scene of the crime.”


  1. Did David definitely dance down Devon, dear?
  2. If you don’t do this, I will…

Hands

I found an intriguing prompt at writersdigest.com and I had some time so I decided to practice.



Chyna reached across the table and took his right hand in hers; in the dim light, she studied his knotted and lumpy knuckles as she massaged the back of his hand. He was old; his skin was thin, and mottled. He seemed relaxed and passive; accepting of her actions.

“Your hands are strong,” she told him.

“Used to be,” he replied, “not so much anymore.” He studied the differences. Her hands were young; his, old. His skin was parchment-like, fragile, and freckled with age spots; hers was clear and youthful.

Finally, she turned his hand over and ran the tip of her index finger around his palm.  She followed his life line first before shifting her attention to his unhealthy line. She clucked her tongue softly and moved her gaze to his eyes.

“What?” he questioned.

She took a deep breath, “I have concerns for your general well being; your health.”

“Why?”

“This line,” she pointed it out, “we call this ‘the unhealthy line.’ On you, this line is broken, composed of many parts. Rather than sweeping down with a single stroke, it is terraced as it works downward. This indicates ill health.” She shifted the location of her index finger, “But look at this,” she said, “look at your life line,”