Poor Spirit

The old typewriter had a mind of its own. But not an educated one.

It came from the estate of Madam Petulengro. According to the local press, she was once a noted psychic and medium. She earned a living channeling voices from the great beyond, the spirit world, so I theorized the typewriter must be haunted by one of her spirits.

It didn’t write with spirit. I had estimated it typed at a second grade level; including misspellings, typos, grammar and punctuation.

So I guessed it wouldn’t be making me rich and famous by ghost-writing great literature, after all.

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Prompt: Monday’s Finish the Story for this week.

Photo by Barbara W. Beacham

Oh no, not Sunday.

For most people, Saturday’s a nice day off.

For me, it’s a living nightmare. (Because for most people, Saturday’s a nice day off). We’re talking a Dawn of the Dead, zombie-invasion, post-apocalypse un-fun time.

What I would like my Saturday to be:

Wake up with a terrific story idea, that kind that my subconscious wrote for me, and I just have to get it down before it fades away.

Then pop in a movie, relax on the couch. Just chillax and enjoy not-working. You know, like most people.

But that isn’t what I get. That’s never what I get.

Rather than launching another bitch-and-moan session, I’ll just move on and try to enjoy my evening, instead. The next horror show isn’t until tomorrow morning, after all.

Hmm. I might make that one.

Invasion of the American Public“. Rated XXX, this film may be too frightening for younger viewers.

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Remember when people were raised right? ::Shake my cane:: Get off my lawn, damn kids!

What’s your ideal Saturday morning? Are you doing those things this morning? Why not?

Swimming in the Desert

Coyote and the Skyfather are the oldest of friends. They’ve always enjoyed competition, contests, and riddle games.

One warm summer day, Coyote remarked to Skyfather, “It is such a hot day, I shall die if I don’t find a cool bath.”

“Let us see which of us can find the most refreshing bath,” said Skyfather, eyes already twinkling with the thought of a good trick he might play.

“Very well,” Coyote barked, “I accept your challenge.”

So Coyote was to go first and bathe in the Skyfather’s selected pool. Skyfather directed Coyote to a raised promontory, and told him to leap into the pool below.

Coyote leapt as instructed, and landed with a “fooph” in a pool of fine, gray dust.

Skyfather rolled on the ground, laughing, as Coyote jumped free of the dust-pool, hotter and more parched than ever.

(And that children, is why the Coyote is gray.)

But Coyote was undeterred and prepared his own pool carefully. He gathered hundreds of blueberries and added their juices to his favorite watering pool.

When Skyfather saw the pool he was to bathe in, he was delighted. He’d rained on this pool many times, and knew it to be cool and inviting. And so in he eagerly dove and swam for many refreshing hours.

When he climbed again from the pool, it was Coyote’s turn to laugh; for the Skyfather’s skin was now (of course) dyed a lovely shade of cerulean.

(And that, children, is why the Sky is blue.)

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(250 words)

Inspired by this month’s Storybook Corner prompt:


Why do I like it?

Well, sure, I know it’s a hotel room painting, not worth anything. But I don’t buy Art for Investment.

Staring down the railroad tracks, I realize it is a metaphor for my life.

See there, tiny in the background, those two figures? My parents, young , from when I was just a child myself.

In the middle, the little girl? That’s my daughter, walking home from a long day in grade school.

The dog in the foreground is Rex, my last and best friend.

The pile of dirt the tracks run down represents… Oh, of course.

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In response to this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt:

PHOTO PROMPT –© Dawn Q. Landau

Well…bleah, just bleah.


Infection successfully fought off, though the antibiotics kind of wiped me out for a while.

New book successfully pushed out the door, just in time to go back on the crap-of-dawn shift.

So, yippee for 4AM wakeup calls.

If I get quiet for a couple of days, I’m still here. The daily prompt didn’t trip my trigger today, so you get this wonderful post, instead.

Anyway, it’s a problem that will get better.

Difficult to feel inspired when you can’t uncross your eyes, heh.

Rain check on today.

RecDave Seal


Just like Paradise

Here in America, we take our retail very seriously.

The red carpet approach to the retail experience is where all of the paparazzi gather, hoping for a glimpse into the lifestyles of the rich and famous.

The limousines roll up, one by one, to deliver their loads of the Elite directly to the front door at WallyWorld.

The lovely ladies in their gorgeous ensembles and their handsome husbands in full tuxedo; the true joy of the American Retail Experience.

And their adorable children, each accompanied by their Von Trapp family Governess. Note how cultured and mannered and well-behaved all of the children are. Outstanding young examples of America’s Bright Future.

But all of the action isn’t at the entrance, oh no. Inside is the majesty and wonder of the most elite products of the fashion industry. Well-known designer labels, unique creations, models walking the runways proudly displaying this year’s colors and cuts in sizes up to 48XXXL (fondly known as “circus tent”).

And again, manners and culture are the order of the day. Note the cleanliness of the store, and the happy, well-mannered people politely waiting in checkout lines. The young gentlemen, eagerly waiting to scoop up a fallen kerchief and deliver it to a blushing young lady with a complimentary rose.

The smiling grandmothers, dispensing anecdotes of a lifetime’s collected wisdom to their descendants.

The local motorcycle enthusiast club, in their colorful local garb!

Note the wide aisles, perfect for the stately progression of electric “handcapped” carts. There will rarely be an actual handicapped person using one, of course–they were only too happy to give up their carts so that the “circus tent” shoppers can relax and motor about in the height of corpulent style.

Yes, with joyous wonderlands such as these in which to spend our weekends, it’s a surprise that anyone can pry themselves away and go back to work on Monday!

I’d love to spend all of my time here in WallyWorld. How could anything be finer?

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Write a piece about a typically “local” experience from where you come from as though it’s an entry in a travel guide.

“This must be just like living in Paradise
And I don’t want to go home.”




Dysfunctional Reunion

“Look,” said Erebus, propping his feet on the cooler and popping a cold one. “They won’t be here for a few minutes, so we may as well relax, right?”

I shook my head. “Duty. It isn’t as much fun as gathering your bros together for another kegger, but it is a part of the job.”

“Stick in the mud.”

I didn’t dignify it with a response. I’m too curvy for “stick” to apply.

The cavern is huge and, of course, sunless. There’s the smell of brimstone and rotten eggs wafting on the breeze from the “up” side, and the smell of putrefaction and decay near the “down” end. The smell came from the vultures feeding on a giant’s liver down there.

The Hekatonkheires guard the passage back to Tartarus, but we’re all old friends by this point. On most days they only nod as we pass through. A nod with fifty heads, each.

The entrance to the cavern begins glowing, growing brighter. Erebus grabs himself a fresh beer and moves through the stalagmites into the right hand side of the cavern, as far as he can get from my position in the middle.

My daughters step into the cavern, and pace toward me. They both look exhausted, as usual at dusk. Hemera comes toward me, while Aether steps around the outside of the cavern to take up the spot opposite Erebus.

The bright glow issues from Aether. She is surrounded by a corona, a glowing nimbus of energy that causes stalagmite shadows to dance in the cavern with every step she takes. Erebus moves to block most of the direct illumination with a rock formation, and gathers his shadowstuff protectively around himself.

The moment Aether reaches her accustomed spot, she scowls across the cavern at her father.

Erebus lifts his beer in a distant toast, and she turns her back on him. Neither is a great fan of the other.

The transformation begins. The light from Aether dims from her normal bright yellow-white, through the oranges and into the fading reds of sunset.

In complement, the darkness spinning and swirling around Erebus grows deeper, inky tendrils obscure more with each passing moment. He draws power from her, and he always waxes when she wanes.

Separated by the full width of the cavern is the closest they ever come touching.

Hemera greets me with a hug and a kiss.

“Good evening, mother,” she breathes.

I hold her tight and a tear drops from my cheek to hers. I hold the hug for as long as I possibly can, but I know time is fleeting.

“Take care of your sister for me,” I whisper.

She affirms with a tightening of our hug. “You take care of dad.”

And at last we must part. Twice a day. I wave as my daughters turn toward the cavern’s exit, to spend their night in Tartarus.

“See you in twelve hours,” I call after them.

Erebus meets me at the entrance of the cavern.

“Ready for another wild night?” I ask.

He shoulders his beer cooler, and we begin our nightly journey to the upper world.

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Hmm…the Daily Post people are being quite kind to me today; free land and free resources.

I think we’ll avoid the more obvious and saccharine sweet responses. Though I might choose one of those, if the Money Genie dropped a pile in my lap–it would make for a pretty boring topic to read about.

Instead, I want to build something trivial and fun. I’m going with a paintball variant.

Steve Jackson published a game called “Killer” back in the dawn of time, when I was in college. If you’ve ever played paintball or laser tag or anything similar, you’re probably familiar. Every kid that’s ever played “Tag” could pick it up quickly enough.

But basically, you get a bunch of Bros, give them a hit list, and send them out to “Kill” each other….with squirt guns, water balloons and the like as weapons. Any weapon you can “improvise”, as long as it’s certifiably non-lethal.

  • Bitten by rubber snakes!
  • Poisoned with peanuts!
  • Electrocuted by ropes!
  • Bombed with pillows!
  • Shot with a banana!
  • Hosed & sprinkled, squirted and boffed . . . even ping-ponged!

Paintballs hurt. I preferred the disc guns and dart guns, much more personal and foot chase-inspiring. Nerf makes loads of perfect weapons for Killer, so does Super Soaker.

The big problem with the game (as we found out while being chased around Bradley U. by campus security) is that there aren’t many available locations where your “bros” can chase each other like kids around in the dark waving guns, safely. We also got chased out of Bradley Park by the Peoria cops (apparently fireworks on public land was frowned on, who knew?)

But it is fun as hell. Good, clean, white-boy nerdy fun. All we need is a well-designed building, with lots of good ‘hiding places’. And enough insurance, I suppose. Ugh, sign of the evil eye, lawyers begone.

We played once in I.C.C., which had a cool snaky-building layout with lots of cubby-hole hiding spots, but not enough stairs or floors.

Designing the perfect layout for Faux Urban Warfare would actually be the very best part of the challenge.

Stocking a store with Faux-improv-weapon “supplies” would be a good time, too.

Obviously, it would be nearly impossible to turn this into a viable business. So we’re talking about spending a boatload of money for a really, really trivial purpose.

Just-for-fun answer given a Cash-Genie scenario, right?

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You’re given a plot of land and have the financial resources to do what you please. What’s the plan?

Had ta be there