Friday Fictioneers for March 25th, 2022

Our Friday Fictioneers Mistress Rochelle has conjured up an inspirational prompt photo of her own, which sent my muse back to the beginning of it all. My story follows Rochelle’s picture.

Click on the photo prompt (© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields) for a magic carpet ride to Rochelle’s purple palace.

 


Genre: Travel Fiction
Title: You Again?
Word Count: 100

***

I saw the snake, backed away, and warned Sarff.

“Is it poisonous?” she asked.

“I don’t know.”

A feminine voice said, “I’m not poisonous.”

Sarff said, “A talking snake. How cool. What’s your name?”

“I’m Petra. You’ll be okay. Just watch your step.”

I said, “Snakes can’t talk. It’s a trick.”

“You’re such a skeptic, Ormr. Read the Bible,” said Sarff.

Petra said, “The pomegranates at the top of the hill are yummy this time of year.”

As we climbed up. Sarff said, “Thanks. I love pomegranates.”

I said, “It’s forbidden to eat the fruit here.” They laughed at me.


Look both ways when reading fact or fiction.
Mind the gaps for hidden serpents.

Click on the pomegranate bush to read more inspired stories.

Sammi’s Weekender #247 (flummox)

Click on this graphic for Sammi’s blog to participate and to read other 42-word wonders.

 


Taboo to Torched

Frightened by arrogant kens against freedom,
shocked by hubris karens of hyperbole,
flummoxed by fiddling fascist Boards,
saddened as lone librarians dodge discovery,
humbled by youth’s perseverance;
I ponder and cry, with my personal pride,
I stand wondering why, ready to satirize.


 

Look both ways as you war against the lunacy of banned books.
Mind the gaps and detest book burning and the dark side of religious fanaticism.

 

Friday Fictioneers: My Sold Soul

Many thanks to the wonderful Rochelle for herding us cats on Friday Fictioneers. We write micro-stories inspired by a new photo each week, provided by very creative and imaginative compatriots. Here is the photo and my story for this week.

Click on this week’s PHOTO PROMPT © Douglas M. MacIlroy to link to Rochelle’s Blog.

Genre: Satirical Epistolary Fiction
Wordcount: 100


Dear Mr. Bill,

Back in 1969, you agreed to our soul safekeeping if you got lucky with one Fancy Fox.

Enclosed herewith please find your damned, odoriferous, devil-moth eaten, blackened, rotten soul.

Our Diabolical Board of Demons directed soul safekeeping be returned to original owners since repossession is inevitable.

Due to Texas PowerGrid uncertainties, the ravages of our dark virus experiment, and subsequent chip shortage, we are terminating soul safekeeping, forthwith.

Please store your stinking, grain alcohol-soaked spirit in a warm, damp, moldy place until we confirm by certification your final demise.

Insincerely,

Wormwood Chinaski,
Human Soul Safekeeping Division


Look both ways, keep smiling,
mind the gaps of the damned, and ride the soul train.

Click on Mr. Wormwood to link with all the other stories for this week.

Poetry: It’s August Again


It’s August again. Just another
one of twelve named collections of days
to mark our planetary position
relative to our Sun, called sol, in our
solar system spinning reliably about
in some outer spiral arm
of our Milky Way galaxy. Our home.

August is supposed to mean something important,
like some Roman title signifying reverence;
to hold in high regard. I don’t do that for August.

As a child, school started next month,
I was often bored, sunburned, a year older.
Halloween and Christmas were far off.
I feared some raging red-faced nun’s pounding footsteps
and bone rattling beads storming my way,
with some weapon of horror in her hellish hand.
Hormones made me feel things I didn’t understand.
I still don’t get all that. Crazy life.

As an adult, August now means hot and dry. West coast
wildfires raging on while US Forest Service bureaucrats
either fight or fiddle for smarter management
policies for mother nature to ignore.

I try to be respectful of August.
It’s the end of summer, the gateway for September
as promised glories of Autumn soon fall upon us. Coolness.
And color. And feelings. October promises more.
My apologies to summer lovers, tanned bodies,
teacher’s times off, vacations (because kids), and to Caesar.
I say it every year. Only Christmas can save August.


Look both ways to seasons past and yet to come.
Mind the gaps in government policies.
They’re only human, even if they can’t admit it, until the mic is hot.

Sammi’s weekender #208 (solitudinarian)


For Ian

Somewhat solitudinarian, I’m bein’
in the midst of my septuagenarian age,
hopeful of promotion to octogenarian
like that Marion the librarian; she who was
so totalitarian with stacks of authoritarian;
and me, such a wild child barbarian seeking
both libertarian and egalitarian ideals
like equalitarian and nonsectarian, except for
agism which seemed contrarian to Yossarian
the prelapsarian in the books of Merrion.

I see centenarian as a contractarian goal
even for the Rastafarian or Merion, or the lost
latitudinarian with limited access to a seminarian
or a utilitarian agrarian humanitarian.


Look both ways with rhymes for reasons.
Mind gaps for grammarian parliamentarians
from other generations.

Poetry: Going Down? (NaPoWriMo day 30)

This final prompt challenged me to write a poem in the form of a series of directions describing how a person should get to a particular place. Sarcastic humor has my heart.


You may need to buy a ticket,
live a normal life, and do
human things, but they say
there is a way to Hell.
Who alive knows for sure? (Many)

To ensure arrival, you’ll have to die.
Before that, good intentions should
provide a smooth ride. You’ll wanna
mean well, tell the truth about what you think,
eat lobster and for God’s sake,
want what the Jones’s have,
or you’ll want one of the Jones’s,
or dislike the Jones’s as in no love.

Lie about the Jones’s.
Make a self-portrait.
Say “God damnit” or “Jesus Christ.”
Ya might say God’s name to no purpose (in vain)
Laugh at a George Carlin’s joke, or forget
the day it is when it’s Saturday or Sunday.
Work weekends, since Sabbat is negotiable.

Argue with Mom or Dad.
If ya marry the wrong person, get a divorce,
have an affair, kill them, then you should
find things warming up. Or just
be who or what you were born to be.

Having sex with anyone, especially
if ya likes it; or, if you’re shy,
having sex alone has been known
to get ya where you want to go.

If not, maybe just think about having sex,
or eat bacon (see the relationship there?)
Belong to some other religion.
Piss off the Pope if you can.

In the south, dance with a person
of the opposite sex, or better
dance with the same sex, except for girls,
unless you think of sex with her.

Drink booze or coffee if ya live
near a Salt Lake. Try pot. Try gambling.
Keep all your money (trash tithe)
Finally, you must certainly die,
but fear not, they tell me this is easy.


Look both ways for sarcastic humor.
Mind the gaps unless there are too many.
If so, look for the god of the gaps.
Above all, have fun and enjoy life,
especially if you’re Hell bound anyway.

Got My Ticket

Poetry: Rant (NaPoWriMo day 19)

Today is day 19. I was challenged by NaPoWriMo to write a humorous rant. In this poem, I was licensed to excoriate (I prefer bitch) to my heart’s content. I ranted about ranting.


Let Me Explain

I’ve been okayed to rant.
I should be good at this
cuz lots of practice,
but I need a subject;
like in a poem, something
specific to rant about.

I prefer small audiences
or choirs to preach to,
preferably from my own tribe.
I need to know what I’m
talking about, no random topics
that just piss me off for now;
politics, religion, or both might work.

I should stand. My face will redden.
I need not be near breakables,
like nick-nacks or small animals. I can
frighten cats, small dogs may cower
into a corner, and I need a timer.

Like I’m Italian talking normal,
I need to waive my arms and make
gestures about the size of fish I caught,
or the size of my antagonist’s penis.

If Yolonda is there, she will tell me
to sit on my hands and keep my mouth shut.
I’ll claim NaPo permissive prompt status
or poet’s privilege, but she won’t care.
She’s heard it all before.
I’ll call him “needle dick the bug fucker,”
for laughs, then I can sit down and let it all go.


Look both ways, be it a declaration of war,
burying the hatchet, smoking a peace pipe, or opening kimonos.
Mind the gaps because that’s where the trouble starts.

Poetry: What They Were


Now abandoned, there sits an old home
convent campus of providence sisters,
a cloistered retreat,
once a thriving worshiping community.

Now greedy developer fodder,
this sad waste-like memory rots,
loved only by climbing and scratching
brambles of blackberries. There’s
no salvation for the old.


Look both ways for revitalization of the past
and for the hopes of the future.
Mind the gaps for invasive species.

Click Image for link to PEW article.

 

NaPoWriMo: 30 poems in 30 days (day 6)


Day 6 prompt: write a poem from the point of view of one person, animal, or thing from Hieronymous Bosch’s famous, bizarre triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights. After spending too much time searching the five-hundred-year-old hallucination on wood, I decided on one of two snakes from the left panel.


Blame Game

They could have blamed the moon,
or that unicorn, which never existed,
but no. Let’s go low, they said.

Talking creepy crawlers, snakes,
and fruit peddling serpents make
splendid scapegoats. Why not a goat?

We can’t talk, bark, purr, or bleat.
She points to me, he believes her,
and all hell (right panel pun) happens.

Pin it on snakes, they said. Scary,
but defenseless. Look at panel two’s
big party of naked fruit eaters.

We got the rap for all of that. Sinners
should blame monkeys. At least they
look and act like you people.

And what’s with the guy
growing flowers out his arse?
Who does that that? Not us.

So, what do you get? Panel three.
From a diluted old man
with bad acid in his enema.

Time now to get over it.
Past post-medieval art is fine,
slithering snakes are silent.


Look both ways, or with triptychs, three ways.
Mind the gaps, it’s where the story’s told and the pictures fold.

Click for link.

Poetry: Unintelligent Design (NaPoWriMo) Day Twenty-three

Today I was prompted to write a poem about an animal.

Note: Prometheus (forethought) and Epimetheus (afterthought) were spared imprisonment in Tatarus. Zeus gave them the task of creating man. Prometheus shaped man out of mud, and Athena breathed life into his clay figure.

Thus Zeus,
before humans roamed Earth,
set Forethought and Afterthought
to task. Animals lived and roamed
without reincarnation or karma
fish swam, birds flew, and each
creature of day or night,
did the natural things, no karma required.

Dinosaurs upset a jealous god—gone!
With Athena, Prometheus made man.
But then monkeys mated with people
and Afterthought declared, “now
we need second chances”—
reincarnation, and karma came to be.

Humans did not know
what they were nor what to do.
so they caused trouble for goddess Gaia,
fought, became reincarnated afterthoughts
in lower and lower life forms to learn,
but each time, the lower form of
human was worse than the last.

Afterthought said to Forethought,
“look now, lower forms we need
for karma, these are slow learners.”
They created Lumbricus terrestris.
Earthworms that eat dirt and crawl
into the ground and are slimy and ugly
and are both male and female,
thus confused and lost bird food.
But to no avail as human nature
continued to confuse the gods.

Nirvana was vast and empty
when Afterthought reminded
Forethought, “Have you noticed,
we create humans, they fuck with monkeys,
die into lower karma never moving up,
and Zeus is pleased, laughing at us?”

Forethought said, “Indeed. We need a cover story.
I have one about a talking snake, two naked
humans too dumb to know it, some other god,
a garden, a tree, and an apple or some variety of fruit.”
Afterthought said,
“Without reincarnation and karma, no one
will ever believe that story. You need
worms, snakes are too hissy.”

Look both ways in forethought and afterthought but live in this now.
Mind the gaps and respect the worms,
you too have a next life and karma keeps adding up.