Saturday (not in the Park)

So far today, my productivity consists of:

1) wake up, moan, bathroom, groan, etc.
2) goodbye dear, have a good day at work.
3) crawl back into bed, nap just a little bit longer.
4) crawl back out of bed, moan, groan, etc.
5) bag up the trash for delivery to the designated trash receptacles, lest it overfloweth upon yon floors.
6) sit down and look for the daily prompt which should be there by now, but isn’t, grumble.

Sounds exciting, huh?

Once again, blog campers, We Are On Our Own. That’s ok, we’ve been here before. Stream-of-consciousness babble powers, activate!

Damn, tummy-rumble asks why we didn’t put breakfast in somewhere between steps one and six. Breakfast is something I do with other people, rarely with just me. Breakfast requires Cooking, or at least Pouring Cereal. Too much effort, generally.

The Idiot Box calls, with its siren song, drawing us. Come, zombie-out, accomplish nothing at all and wonder where your day went. Cooommme.

Back, foul temptress, back to the demon-hells which spawned thee.

See, I have enough will power to overcome the Siren Song of the Idiot Box. At least most days.

Tummy is growing more insistent. “Surely then, if you are not to watch tele, we should eat?” Clever ruse, mister. But I’m on to your game.

The Internet…check your email, maybe some facebook… Oh, the whole distraction first team line-up is with us this morning.

You goofy exercise nuts have probably jogged three miles by now, in your young and tight little bods. Well I’ve jogged down the hall, to the bathroom and back, so there. And it’s January. Pay attention.

Eventually, I will reach the end of this post, almost certainly without having ever discovered its purpose. That’s stream-of-consciousness babble for you, Pulitzers are unlikely to be awarded.

At least I can then indulge myself with one or other distractions and not feel horrible guilty while the blog screen stares at me. It stares! Damn blog-stalker.

Could be back in bed napping some more, couldn’t I?

Scroll up, scroll down. No, nothing more to add. Time to go dive into a distraction!

Maybe tomorrow I’ll have an actual topic. Nawwww.

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Easy Fix

One night, Dave got to bed early, slept through the whole night, and did not have to get up too soon. He woke up feeling well and truly rested, for the first time in…well, it seemed like eternity.

All through the day, amazing things started happening. Peace talks in the middle east ended in handshakes. Terrorists turned themselves in to police all over the globe. All of his favorite teams won. Uncle Sam discovered huge bookkeeping errors, and announced the most massive tax refund in history. People at work were actually cheerful and smiling. A cure for cancer was announced.

At the end of the day, as he climbed back into bed, he reflected on how such a simple thing could have such profound and worldwide effects. Tomorrow, maybe, he’d let the President know that he’d discovered the secret that would save everything. And it was so easy!

He set his book aside and closed his eyes. And all was right in the world.

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You guys knew I was the Center of the Universe, right? All human misery comes from my lack of sleep.

Write a post about any topic you wish, but make sure it ends with “And all was right in the world.”

All is not right with pingbacks.


“You kids be quiet,” Old Tom scowled at us, “Hush up and listen.”

We were on the sideslope on a stretch of the B&O Railroad, waiting for the train Old Tom promised us tonight.

My little brother kept fidgetin’. I slugged him and listened.

Maury died last night, Old Tom had told us. The Grand Patriarch of the Hobo Nation. When Old Tom talked about Maury, it was in hushed and respectful tones. Reading us the obituary earlier, Tom’s eyes filled up with tears. He told us Maury was the last true hobo alive, and what passed today was the final chapter of an entire way of life.

“Listen,” Old Tom whispered.

We heard it. Excitement built in me with the distant steam whistle. I smacked Jimmy to remind him stay still.

Rumbling, growing in volume. Huffing and chuffing, steady earthquake beneath us growing and growing. And the squeal of iron on the rail.

I glanced at Old Tom. She was coming to a stop. The majestic engine swept past us. And the coal cars, passenger cars— The sharp squeal of brakes, the rattle of boxcars beginning to crawl past us one by…

She stopped.

The boxcar door rolled back, and inside was Maury. Leaning out and offering a hand.

“Come on Tom,” said the ghost of Maury, “I reckon there’s room for one more. Come to Glory.”

Old Tom died happy, and just in time to hitch a ride on the final run of the Wabash Cannonball.

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249 words. Inspired by this Storybook Corner prompt: – The Old Train

And my Dad, he was fond of the (Roy Acuff? I think) version of the song, back in the day.

I suppose the story makes more sense if you know the mythology of the Wabash Cannonball. But it’s not required.

And all free today

Warming my feet by the fire, I pour another cognac for my guest.

“Oh yes, I’m always been quite interested in your work, particularly how long you’ve managed to evade the authorities. You see, I believe that I have an entire fertile new ground that could require your services, sir.”

Mr. Greely didn’t say anything. But he smiled as his long fingers swirled brandy inside the snifter and he inhaled deeply of it.

“There are certain establishments, you see. And the children are known to run wild within them, delinquents uncontrolled by their criminally negligent parents. Terrible mischief sir, quite terrible. Running, screaming, wanton destruction of property.”

Greely’s eyes sparkled beneath the brim of his battered silk top-hat.

“Something really must be done sir. I’m lead to believe that such is your business, is it not? Perhaps a visit from a certain wagon might be arranged?”

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Come on, Kiddy Winkies

What person whom you don’t know very well in real life — it could be a blogger whose writing you enjoy, a friend you just recently made, etc. — would you like to have over for a long chat in which they tell you their life story?

Old man’s boat

The souls of the dead queue on the rickety old dock. Their shuffling for position can only be heard by those who were sensitive to the voices of the dead.

I sit alone on the dock with my bucket of pennies. It’s the only way to clear the crowd from the dock, because not many still follow the Old Ways. Without me to cover fares, the line would never stop growing.

Charon doesn’t like it much. He snarls and considers it cheating the rules.

But as long as I have plenty of coins, I can stay off his boat myself.

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Inspired by this Friday Fictioneers prompt:

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright – Georgia Koch

Grandpa’s place

When I awaken, the first thing I do is feed.

You have heard tales of the vampyre, but I am older. Like him, I awaken in the night.

One of my favorite shapes is the hyena. For his strength and ability to survive in climates like mine. His cunning and sensitive nose catches the scents and tracks the prey. Through the dunes, through the desert at night I move. A shadow, silent and hungry. My body shivers with excitement as the scent grows close, and I begin to dig at the grave.

I am ghūl. And your grandfather is delicious.

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Careful what you ask about.

What are the things you need to do within 30 minutes of waking up to ensure your day gets off on the right foot? What happened the last time you didn’t do one of these things?

Hey, ya gotta try to make something out of these weird prompts. Can’t introspect ALL the time.

Seething Santa

Angrat amused herself by dreaming up new ways to plague the villagers when Mom wasn’t looking.

It was the annual celebration, on the first Christmas since her sister’s wedding. The family and members of the senior staff were all exchanging gifts, Secret Santa style.

Angrat was bored with the proceedings, as usual, and wishing for this holiday to be over. So she fidgeted and dreamed about plagues of rabbits and rains of deer urine and such, for the villagers who lived at the base of the castle’s hill. She had to wait for Mother (the Queen) to be otherwise occupied and not paying attention, of course. Timing is everything.

Henry the Butler was trying to hand her something.

“Oh, it’s my turn,” Angrat said with a start.

Colorful paper around a small heavy box, tied up with a tasteful bow. Angrat hated it. But she unwrapped her gift with care.

A crystal ball. She scowled up at Beneficent, of course her sister, it couldn’t be from anyone else.

But this wasn’t a scrying ball. Inside was a snowman, and a tiny witch in a minuscule peaked hat. As she watched, snow fell inside the globe, and shaking it made the snow fall harder.

A teeny snowball flew across the tiny scene and knocked the witch’s peaked hat off, a perfect shot. And two tiny little giggles.

She looked up and Beneficent nodded. “Us, of course. When we were little.”

For some inexplicable reason, Angrat’s eyes filled with tears. She muttered a quiet, “thank you,” and made a quick break for the spiral stairs.

After she reached the depths of the castle dungeons, she hurled the snow globe against the stone walls with a scream.

Damn the witch.


When they heard the scream echoing up from the dungeons, Beneficent nodded and snatched the wager back out of Très Charmant’s hand. Angrat’s rage was her defining characteristic, silly of Très to bet against it. He would learn.

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I can’t help it. They keep begging me to be in more.

Hoist the Black Flag

“Come on Nigel, now’s our chance to make a break for it.”

Rog and Nigel slipped from the vault room, being cautious to evade detection.

“Those old geezers, we should have sacked the lot.”

“Right, Rog. Let’s get out of here first, you know those old pensioners have lost their minds.”

“Well it’s all about the efficiency, isn’t it? This bloody antediluvian firm and their antiquated methods and their outdated equipment. Bloody shame, letting their profit margins slip away.”

“Shh… I think I hear them. Singing,,, Sea chanty?” Nigel whispered.

“Oh sod, they’re coming back. Run for it.”

The corporate managers broke for the stairs. But when they approached the top they met the angry, cutlass-wielding mob of accountants coming up.

“There they are boys, grab them,” cried the pirate captain.

The scurvy crew eagerly swarmed over the efficiency experts. Rog and NIgel were carried to the roof and forced to walk the plank at umbrella-point.

Oppressive corporate overlords forget only at their peril:

Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
—H. L. Mencken

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Inspired by this Sunday’s Photo Fiction prompt:

A pre-Victorian building that is now one of the major banks in the UK.

And yes (hell yes) by the Crimson Permanent Assurance skit. The very first thing that photo/style of building reminded me of.

For those of you who don’t know your Monty Python it can be found here:

Oh damn, never gave this thing a title. Oops.

Today’s prompt is about photos, by me, of me.

In general terms, I don’t do either. I know, it’s horrible. Looking back many years of marriage, raising Brad, etc. I’ve been in no more than a handful of pictures. I’ve taken…well, none.

Fortunately, that’s Annie’s thing, and she’s managed to squeeze some in.

Summer 2014, Brookfield Zoo.
Summer 2014, Brookfield Zoo.

This is the most recent, really. Annie and Bob and I went to Brookfield Zoo to watch a summer concert/fireworks show thang. That’s a big old bear that the Brookfield folks made into a bench/seat/touristy photo op thang. We just stumbled on it while walking around in a rare quiet spot (in Brookfield, quiet is really rare). And Bob (hi Bob!) snapped the picture.

Not much of a story, no drama. But such is my life.

I do have that awful squint and look more like Pop every day. And what’s up with that smirk?

The pingbacks appear to be busted again so many of you may never see this anyway. Enjoy not-seeing me!

With an image subject like me, no wonder photographers flee in terror!

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Gotta Try

What was the last picture you took? Tell us the story behind it. (No story behind the photo? Make one up, or choose the last picture you took that had one.)

Ah, I’m supposed to make a story up. “Here’s me and Annie, just before the big bear ate us and chased Bob clear to the parking lot.” Tada!