Friday Fictioneers for September 30th, 2022

For our October’s eve challenge, Mistress Rochell has worked her magic of Friday Fictioneer redux by reviving a past portraiture of her own. It’s a busy time of year for our illustrious maven.

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, commenced at sundown this past Sunday, marking a time of the high holy days. Soon to follow will be Yom Kippur, then Sukkot.

Click on the picture of Rochelle’s lamps to be magically whisked to her blog page where her cauldron formula for fewer than 100-word stories can be realized.

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Genre: Semi-speculative Fiction
Title: Lamps of Enlightenment
Word Count: 100

***

“Whale oil lamps? Your witch’s coven meets here tonight?”

It’s our October bridge meeting. Don’t call us witches. We play cards.

“Tarot cards.”

Dammit Jim, I’m a doctor—a scientist. Rochelle will explain magic and witches in the Bible.

“She’s Jewish. They don’t believe in witchcraft.”

She’ll explain. The Witch of Endor is in ‘Samuel’ when Saul calls her. I want you gone.

“No worries. I don’t play bridge. They scare me.”

Before you go, please fetch my broom and large cauldron from the attic?

“Sure thing. Double, double, toil and trouble; lamps to burn and a cauldron to bubble.”

***


Look both ways when learning about friends.
Mind all the gaps lest someone put a spell on you.

Click the coven to be spell-cast into other lamp oriented fine fictional stories.

dVerse ~ Poets Pub Poetics: The good and the evil

This poem was rendered to meet today’s dVerse challenge offered by Paeansunplugged from Delhi. We are to write about the good and evil in mere mortals, the good in evil and/or the evil in good. For me, at no time is that enigma more profound than in times of war and battle.


Conundrum War

One story I’ve never told,

a confession…

if evil were evil enough,
if good were good enough,
I would simply tap a secret reservoir of courage…
but courage, too, has finite quantities,
yet it offers hope and grace to the repetitive coward.

I can’t fix my mistakes.
Once people are dead, I can’t make them undead…
killing and dying are not my special province.

Am I too good for this war?
Too smart, too compassionate, too everything?
I’m above it. It’s a mistake, maybe.


Look both ways at good and evil or take Hamlet’s advice and think it so.
Mind the gaps between and within our perceptions of what is better and what is truth.

 

Click the soldier for more good and evil poems.

Monday’s Rune: Speaking of Rude


Touché

Everything
I say and do,
makes me,
according to some
(hope not you),
sexist, racist, communist,
capitalist, atheist, and/or —
something else bad-ist,
or worse,
and so on.

The epithet “snowflake” implies
a melting softness, unlike icicle, and is both
insulting and a grounded gauntlet challenge.

I’m being verbally shoehorned in
by short-sighted, narrow thinking
like an ugly foot that doesn’t fit.

I could well
go off with my own difficult ways,
and face my personal world
for the rest of my days,
and forget to fit
their stereotypical clichés,
which some seem hardened
to claim that I always am.

That would be
such a great blow
to the cause
of human equality.
Since then,
all will see
and we will all be:
collective assholes,
magnificent they and
malevolent me.


Look both ways if you intend to make anything better.
Mind the gaps, saps, and crap chaps and be who you are—the real you.

And something better and deeper.

Sammi’s Weekender #278 (viable)

Click on this graphic to open up new prose and poetry using some viable form of literature.

 


Have a Cigar

Okay, boys and girls and everyone:
come close—closer—and listen to this.

The odds against us, you, or me,
being viable, of being born, of living on for years,
make it nearly impossible
to have happened at all. Statistically,
the chances that any of us exist is virtually zero.

Therefore, god or no-god,
each person living is by definition
a feckin’ miracle. Existence is miraculous.
We are, each of us, marvelous.
Let’s start acting like it.
Congratulations! Here. Have a cigar.


Look both ways and take in all that is seen.
Mind the gaps because in the game of existence,
their enormity is incomprehensible.

If you are interested, click here to read all about your chances of being.

And, finally, a bit of music: “Have a Cigar” (Pink Floyd) as covered by Elephant Revival.

 

Friday Fictioneers for September 23rd, 2022

For the last full day of global top-half summer, our waving but unwavering maven of history’s mysteries, Rochelle, has boxed-up a deal with Alicia Jamtaas. That duet has flat-out challenged our fictioneer muses to contrive artful `songs or stories of fewer than 101 words. I don’t think titles or postscripts count, lest she DQ’s me.

Click any box, bike, or item in Alicia’s photo and UPS will pick you up and creatively deliver you to Rochelle’s post of purple passions to open the what-ifs and where-how’s of joining the fray.

PHOTO PROMPT © Alicia Jamtaas

Genre: Murderous Mystery
Title: Friends in Low Places
Word Count: 100

***

“You didn’t have to shoot him, Bill.”

“His last bad joke. My gun’s in the blue-handled box.”

“Nothing’s priced. What’s up behind the curtain?”

“Porno auditions. You should try out.”

“Focus, Bill. We need that damn gun. This shooting people over jokes needs to stop.”

“It wasn’t the joke. He was an asshole and an organ donor. I made the world a better place with one shot.”

“Oh? HE was now? Okay. We’ll pick up what’s left at the morgue tomorrow. She wants a grand for the box. She must know.”

“Well, crap! Ask her if she’s an organ donor.”


Look both ways to make your world better.
Mind the gaps, especially in murder plots.
“Remember what the dormouse said, feed your head.”

Click on the man with a gun to read more boxes of fun. Was that the punch line?

Monday’s Rune: A Memoirish Library Essay


Howdy! And Happy Monday, Y’all.

Since the American government still had an active conscription/draft system, I enlisted during my senior year in high school (1964). I eventually went to college after four years in the U.S. Air Force, which would later result in my first of three closely related “career” choices.

In May of ’66, I married Yolonda. More than half of our first two years together were spent as 20/21/22-year-olds living and working in Ankara, Turkey. I was not sent to Viet Nam. Happy Honeymoon.

I started college in September of 1968, as one of what would become known as Vietnam Era Veterans. I registered as a sophomore transfer from the University of Maryland, Overseas Division.

The Viet Nam War was raging and nearing its high-point years. LBJ was about finished. The Tet Offensive had hardened much more of U.S. public opinion against the war. While not ambivalent, I disagreed with both sides of the argument at that time. I was confused, as were many Americans. I had two short term goals: graduate and get a job. Yolonda was the Brazos County Attorney’s Secretary at the time. Every cop in the county knew her.

We lived in “on campus” student housing. Our “home” was a small one bedroom, one bath, unairconditioned apartment in southeast, central Texas. We eventually bought and installed a window a/c unit.

The campus library was my retreat, a place to read, study, and to people-watch. At the time, everyone exiting the building was forced to have their possessions searched to prevent theft.

One evening, Yolonda waited for me at that library while I was part of a psych department research study. I found her waiting in our car. She asked me if I would know if my penis was exposed out of my pants. She had been cock-flashed by a student employee. The perv got busted, and we’ve been sharing the experience for fifty-plus years. They are everywhere.

I’m writing this while sitting comfortably, sipping coffee, and eating a pastry from my public library’s coffee bar. These days book checkout is on the honor system, and nobody is searched.

I still like libraries. I am not a prodigious reader, although I read every day. Libraries are strangely comforting to me even though everyone has access to the facility, library card or not. Libraries are what they are and do what they do. The same is true of people.

My first library from childhood was in an old, mid-19th century, church building and still is. I also like old church architecture. Maybe there is a reason for my library/church juxtaposition of interest. I recall no pervs in the stacks from back then, but if those books could talk… (wait, we have talking books nowadays.)

Computer stations at the Central Branch of the Osterhout Free Library

It seems like it began for this boomer with the assassination of JFK. My first ten years after high school, the sixties, and early seventies, were a coming-of-age time for me and a tumultuous period in American History.

More than fifty years later, I still like to sit in libraries and write, read, search for books, people watch, and sip coffee. I may ponder what others say or claim. I think about how differently we all see the world and each other.

But at this point in my life, I really don’t give a shite what anyone thinks of me, except for Yolonda and our three middle-aged kids; less so, a few teeny-bopper or early 20s grandkids.

So far, I think I pass muster. Sort of.

Bill


Look both ways for what is right. Arguing does little good.
Mind the gaps lest they become crevasses of civil division.
Find your tribe and take a side. Keep trying to understand.
Support public libraries, not book bans or burns.

Sammi’s Weekender #277 (renege)

Click on this graphic to open Sammi’s page with links to more 49-word renege writing pieces.

Renegade Renegade

I was born into a world that no longer exists.
I was dealt this hand when my life began,
then and there.

Convinced, cajoled, and directed into treaties and agreements by threats, guilt,
intimidation, and false promises;
when given limited control, I reneged.

I wasn’t the liar. Not then.


As days pass, everything changes in us.
Regret and mind past gaps enough to make things right.
“For everything there is a season and a time….”

Friday Fictioneers for September 16th, 2022

For mid-September, our fantastic Mistress of Friday Fictioneering fantasy, Rochelle, poked us with the picture of Pincushion Hakea flowers provided through the good graces of Trish Nankeville.

The lovely photo inspired my memory, and I considered a quote by Henry David Thoreau that Rochelle has posted on her blog in the past, it’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see. Some say it was written as, “The question is not what you look at, but what you see.” (From the essay, “Walking.”) Whatever—close enough. What you see is a good theme.

I’m fascinated by the work of people who see around us the things I miss: the artists and photographers who’s work I often borrow to enrich my world. Through their art, I get to see what they see: a lovely natural world.

Click on Trish’s photo of the red pincushion flowers to be transplanted into Rochelle’s blog where you can learn how to set your roots into the Wednesday, Friday Fictioneers writer community.

PHOTO PROMPT © Trish Nankeville

Genre: Autobiographical Fiction
Title: Thoreau’s Pincushion Hakea
Word Count: 100

***

We walked the path near the lake. Jay was a talented amateur photographer who did all his own film processing.

He said, “It’s like hunting. Look there. What do you see?”

I replied, “Weeds and stickers.”

We knelt and he spritzed water on the weeds.

“Look closer.”

I looked. “Wow. I didn’t even see the flowers much less that spider’s web. Now it all glistens.”

He said, “Everything is a subject or a scene. I use other things, lighting, angles, and point of view to enhance it. I do more in the lab. It’s the beauty of nature artfully staged.”

***


Look both ways. What you see matters.
Mind the gaps for the hidden fruits of nature’s beauty.

 

Click on Waken Pond to float over to the FF squares page where more wonderful stories are linked.

Monday’s Rune: The Value of Time

 

When Dad’s a Dick

I returned to your place of business, like I said I would.
A clown-man there told two jokes. At first,
I glared at him to the silent end. The other
I interrupted so I could give you my coffee order.
I allowed him to finish. I again stared
before telling him his joke was unfunny and that his
comedic skills were woefully lacking behind his
overflowing obnoxiousness. Was he your father?

You would not take my money. He paid.
I sat quietly, typed my poem, drank the
Americano and chewed the muffin.
Now I wish I hadn’t. You
did not look at me or say another word. Then,
you left.

Sorry. Henceforth, the city library
has much more to offer and
better silence, too. No jokes.
Is Divinely Beautiful your real name?
Tell your father that my low opinion
of him has declined and my vote
is not for sale.

No apology necessary.


Look both ways but think on your feet.
Mind the gaps of silence when the wind passes.

Expect the unexpected, they say. How?

 

Sammi’s Weekender #276 (bandage)

Click the graphic for Sammi’s blog and more bandaged 61-worded wonders.

Keepin’ Safe

‘hello-‘ello! C’mere, lad.
I hope you’ll be keepin’ well.

It happens every year
after a wee bit, a donnybrook
somewhere near here,
sorry now, so
me shillelagh’s swingin,
callin’ fer bacon.

Not well then are ye?
wackin’ the cod,
wi’ narry a nod, nor a bandage
or pad to be had.

T’ank you for feelin’
brave to go, smart to not.


Look both ways on whisky drinkin’ festival days.
Mind the gaps at the tube and lads at the pub.

The annual Donnybrook Fair near Dublin included fiddlers and dancers, but it was best-known for the frequent eruption of whiskey-fueled fighting – often involving heavy clubs known as shillelaghs. “Bacon” is Irish slang for police and “cod’ for fool.