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Four O’clock (Carrot Ranch)

January 28, 2020

From Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch is this week’s challenge.

In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a park bench. Use this gif to choose a timeframe and write the story behind that particular scene. Use the time as your title. Go where the prompt leads!

Click here to read stories or to join in with one of your own.

Four O’clock

A morning walk. Four O’clock, before the realities of the day begin shining on the concrete of downtown.

The busses haven’t started running yet so the streets are quiet. Marquette Avenue is lined with bus shelters and it’s in the 6th street shelter that I see him every morning. You know what he looks like 4because you’ve seen him, or someone like him, before. They’re generally invisible, but when they’re asleep on a bus bench at four in the morning, they stand out.

I walk over, step into the shelter and leave a package of Hostess cupcakes for him.



The Adventures of Me (Terrible Poetry Contest)

January 28, 2020

Are you ready for the 56th edition of the Terrible Poetry Contest? I bet you are, and if I’m correct, and I bet I am, then simply head over HERE and check it out.

This week Chelsea says: “The Topic is an epic poem about a great adventure. Laudable deeds and grand gestures will be your comrades-in-arms, even if your adventure proves to go no further than locating a missing sock. These sorts can run rather long, so let’s cap the poem at a Length of 200 words.”

The Adventures of Me
(Or an Epic Poem of (not-so) Laudable Deeds and (somewhat-less-than) Grand Gestures)

I climbed the ladder.
Climbed it well.
Hoping to remove the gutter smell.

I grabbed the gutter.
Grabbed it hard.
Tossed the gunk down on the yard.

Then I felt wobbly.
Knees got weak.
Bent my head and took a peak.

Ground below.
¡fear of heights!
Someone give me my last rites.

Please God end this wild adventure.
This great misguided risky venture.

(Suddenly I started thinking of rhymes archaic
but wanted to try and stay prosaic so we continue . . . )

I don’t do adventures.
No laudible deeds.
I sit and worry as thoughts stampede.

Why climb a ladder?
I don’t know.
My brain is filled with diced tomato.

My attempts at adventure.
They don’t go well.
And last about as long as a snowball in (you-know-where).

I shouldn’t share this.
I’ve got some gall.
But I do it because it’s
Terrible Poetry after all

and I am
proud to be a

Terrible Poet.

You know it.

Winter Terribleness (Terrible Poetry Contest)

January 13, 2020

It’s the Terrible Poetry Contest. Number 47!


Here is the prompt:
The topic is “The Bleak Midwinter”. T for a lengthy of a standard 3 – 75.5. Make it terrible.

Midwinter Terribleness

If I were in the cussing mood I’d have a lot to say about winter.
But I’m not in that mood so I’ll just call it win-TURD.
I am in a Pinwheel cookie mood.
You ever had one of those?
If you have then you knows –

-just how good that marshmallow is on that cookie base
with the rich, creamy chocolate covering the face.

And when you eat them not a creature is stirring and wh

(75.5 words)

That Morning (Carrot Ranch)

January 11, 2020

If wives are being carried then that means it’s Heikinpäivä. If you want to know what Heikinpäivä is then you’ll have to mosey over to the Carrot Ranch and read all about it in this week’s prompt. And after you’ve read about Heikinpäivä, you can read some of the words of the wonderful storytellers there.

= = = = = = = =

January 9, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a carried wife. Why is she being carried? Who is carrying? Pick a genre if you’d like and craft a memorable character. Go where the prompt leads!

= = = = = = = =

That Morning

Roger watched Ellen, feeling the same love he’d felt for 53 years.

What did she ever see in me?

He never rushed these feelings and this morning was no different. He watched her feeling love.

Roger became Ellen’s caregiver when Alzheimer’s left her unable to care for herself. “Please promise me,” she begged shortly after the diagnosis. “No nursing homes.”

He promised.

Roger would forever question Ellen’s reason for being out of bed alone. He lifted his wife and carried her to the bed. Setting her lifeless body down he kissed her forehead and lay down next to her.


To lie with you once more
To lie with you
with our dreams
entwined together

To lie beside you
my love still sleeping
to tell sweet lies
one last time
and say goodnight

– Robert Hunter

One Afternoon (Carrot Ranch)

January 6, 2020

It’s the first prompt of the new year over at Carrot Ranch. Give a click HERE and play along or just sit back and read some good pieces of flash fiction.

The prompt:

January 2, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about something found in a hutch. It can be any kind of hutch — a box for critters or a chest for dishes. Go where the prompt leads!

The story:

One Afternoon

She laid two bony hands on the table, leaned forward, and with a moan of effort, stood up. She grabbed her cane and shuffled away.

“Where you going, grandma?” I said, hoping I hid the hope in my voice.

She didn’t answer, but she didn’t have to because when I saw her walk to the hutch I knew exactly where she was going. Third drawer, left side. That’s where she kept them.

“It’s been a while, love, so today we’re going to play a game.”

Third drawer, left side, that’s where my grandmother kept her deck of magic cards.


High School Aftermath (RDP)

December 27, 2019

From the Ragtag Daily Prompt, today’s word is “Aftermath

I don’t know why, but I’ve been thinking a lot lately about school. Grade school, junior and senior high and if I’m going to be honest then I’d have to say that school was pretty much a pain in the buzzipsky for me until I made it to college.

I suppose I could talk about the time I tried to join the wrestling team in the 7th grade, but as a short fat 12-year-old in a sport broken down by weight and not by age, I had to wrestle a tall fit kid three years older than me and he pinned me in less than a minute. It was painful, both physically and mentally, so I did what any embarrassed fat kid might do: I never went back.

I could also talk about the time I tried to join the football team in the 10th grade, but as a not-so-very-much taller, but slightly less fat 15-year-old, I wasn’t in very high demand on the football field. I wasn’t sure how to join the football team so I just showed up in the locker room one day shortly after the practice season had started and after everyone left for the field I walked up to the team manager, who was easily identifiable as the only kid dressed just like the coach in a white polo shirt and shorts, and I told him I wanted to be on the team. He told me to wait in the locker room while he went to get a uniform and equipment for me and after waiting 30 minutes I figured out that he wasn’t coming back so I left. Like the tall fit kid I had to wrestle three years earlier, the football manager guy probably didn’t like me too much either.

I don’t suppose I can blame the wrestler guy or the manager guy because growing up in junior and senior I didn’t like myself all that much either.

But school wasn’t all bad. Band was good because I fit in because in band all you had to do was like music and play an instrument and I could do that. I could do that just as well as anyone who might be three years ahead of me and I could do it better than a wrestler guy or a manager guy. And English was also good. Reading and writing, what’s not to like? Band and English not only helped keep me sane throughout junior and senior high school, but they helped average out the C’s I got in pretty much everything else and the D’s I always got in gym and math.

Math. I’m not sure I ever got a grade above a D in math. Although I can credit my ability to balance my checkbook as an adult as my having learned something in math so it must have some value in my life. Math had something else going for it, too, because in high school, for whatever reason, I had math every year in the afternoon after lunch and every year after math I had band.

If I miss anything from school it’s band. The other kids, the different bands, being a part of something and especially walking home carrying my trumpet case in my left hand and feeling special.

Free write

December 9, 2019

I took a writing class once a long time ago and the teacher had us begin each class with a five minute free write. I didn’t like it or hate it, it was just OK.

Confession: sometimes I didn’t do the free write and I just sat there doodling for the five minutes while thinking about nothing in particular. My justification for that was that I figured I only had so much time to write before my hand would start to hurt (this was before the age of laptops) and I didn’t want to waste the time on a free write. I wanted to save it for the meat and potatoes of the class.

I think there might be some debate as to whether or not it’s “free write” or “freewrite” but don’t take my word for it.

I thought I’d take some time today to free write a little bit and see if that didn’t help unfreeze my brain. I’ll try a free write for five minutes and see what happens.

Here goes . . .

12-09-19 free write – It’s been snowing lightly all day and I pretty much hate it. People can’t drive when it snows. Winter sucks and it’s just started.

The end.

I didn’t quite make the five minutes.

Confession: I never really intended to free write for five minutes. Hopefully that doesn’t make me a liar.

I’m going to go watch some music videos. For what it’s worth, except for the acrobatic flips, when I was younger I could dance like the folks in this video.

Confession: I could never dance like the folks in that video.

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