A FRIEND IN NEED… FridayFictioneers


A FRIEND IN NEED… a drabble for FriFic

A telephone rings on the Northside of Chicago…

“Ethel, it’s Cheryl.”

“Cheryl!  What’s wrong?”

“What do you mean what’s wrong?  Nothing’s wrong.”

“But, you never call me.”

“Well, I’m calling you now.  Is your power out?”

“No. I thought you said nothing was wrong?  I know what this ‘nothing wrong’ call is all about.  Your power is out and Survivor is on tonight and you’re afraid you’ll miss it.”

“Okay, yes!  Aren’t you the detective?”

“I guess we always call when we want something, Cheryl, and I want anchovies on the pizza you are bringing with you tonight.”

“Wait a minute.”

“Just on my half will be fine.”

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Friday Fictioneers 100 Word Flash Fiction… This week’s photo prompt is by Chairwoman Rochelle-Wisoff-Fields… go to… ADDICTED TO PURPLE… for more info.

For more stories based on the prompt… 


While looking for one of my old stories, I came across this one, which I always liked. I thought I’d bring it back for another reading.




Last Chanceby Max Welton

It is hard going, but the demolition is scheduled for tomorrow.   The brush that started at your ankles now reaches chest height, the fence is in sight.  Past bulldozers, poised like fierce beasts to devour the hapless sanitarium, you enter the north wing and hunt for room #36.  An excited sadness overwhelms you as you search her room for what was hidden within the wall.  After the accident her decline had been swift.  Seventeen years since you learned the truth about Daisy, it’s now or never.   An unseen hand guides you to a loose wallpaper patch,  glittering Art Deco reveals itself. Her bracelets are safe once again.

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So, that’s it!  The start to my first novel. …

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SCREAM… In an Imaginary Garden


SCREAM… In an Imaginary Garden

On the Northside of Chicago, a telephone rings…

“Hi, Cheryl, it’s me Ethel, have you decided!”

“Which Ethel?”

“What do you mean which? I’m the only one you know.”

“Haha, decided what?”

“Your costume!”

“I told you, I don’t do Halloween, and I’m not coming over to help you hand out candy to brats.”


“Okay, I’ll wear a scream mask.”

“Because you love the movie?”

“Because you make me want to scream.”

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Ethel and Cheryl decided to take part in the costume party at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads today.  Mama Zen wants us to write about our Halloween costume in 65 words or less at toads.  My friend Björn Rudberg wrote an interesting poem today and introduced me to Mama Zen.


CHEF BO… FridayFictioneers



CHEF BO…a drabble for FriFic

On the Northside of Chicago, a telephone rings…

“Hi Cheryl, it’s me, Ethel.”
“What’s up?”
“One word, Cheryl, Chef Bo.”
“That’s two words. What’s Chef Bo?”
“A new Chinese restaurant on Irving! We have to go.”
“You know I don’t like Chinese, Ethel.”
“Well, you like Birds Nest Soup, Cheryl.  And I’ll bet they have barbecued pork.”
“Liked, I found out how they make it, disgusting. I like the pork and I guess fried rice is okay. What’s with the Chef Bo obsession?”
“I have a coupon.”
“Of course you do, Ethel! If you had one to Hell we’d be crossing the river Styx. Okay, but you’re buying.”


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Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting Friday Fictioneers and C. E. Ayr for the photo prompt.

For more 100-word stories based on this photo, click here… 

FAMOUS LAST WORDS… Shapeshifting 13 #73


FAMOUS LAST WORDS… Shapeshifting 13 #73

Everyone watching horror movies screams…

“Don’t go down in the basement!”

Yeah, right.

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Friday Fictioneers… THIEVES IN THE LIGHT

I haven’t written much in TedBook lately… Lazy, Busy, Writer’s Block… take your pick.

This story was back in 2012 to a great photo prompt by wmqcolby. While Rochelle at FridayFictioneers is taking a break to write a book, she’s rerunning some of the best prompts from the past. I always liked Thieves in the Night.

Here are the current stories…  


They broke the window and slipped in the back door.

“Darker than a son of a bitch! Can’t see a God Damn thing.”

“Shhh… don’t talk like that in here. Take my phone.”

By the light of the silvery cell, they made their way forward.

“Kind of spooky, all these eyes watching us. They said the cross with the man was solid gold, I sure hope so.”

“Shut the fuck up, and follow me.”

Sudden bright lights through stained glass turn the apse into a kaleidoscope.

The Man on the Cross is shimmering to the sound of sirens.


Friday Fictioneers 100 Word Flash Fiction… This week’s photo prompt is by Chairwoman Rochelle-Wisoff-Fields… go to… ADDICTED TO PURPLEfor info.

To see other Fictioneers’ stories…

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Through the Looking Glass…Again

In 2013 I reblogged a poem by KC called ALICE. I rarely reblog anything, but now she has written another poem that I love and want to share. Step into the World of Kyotzeta.


The mirror me has other eyes,
I meet them, not from vanity,
Dark they are, and umber hued,
The color of insanity.

Pinned like a butterfly I stand,
Meeting that endless gaze,
Till terrified I wrench away,
And dash into the maze.

The path before me twists and turns,
All distance an illusion,
At every bend another choice,
Each step ends in confusion.

The Sound of Madness watches me,
Her mocking gaze surrounds me,
Laughing as I stumble past,
And walls of glass confound me.

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My Trip to Copán, Honduras… Rotary and the IPA




February 2016… As the wheels touched down on our Boeing 737 in San Pedro Sula, I started an adventure with no idea what an incredible experience it would be. I had flown from Seattle with fellow members of the Rotary Club of San Juan Island, Bill Hancock, and Paul Mayer, on a service trip to Copán, Honduras. On the plane with me were Rotarians I had yet to meet, from the Fidalgo Island, Burlington, Stanwood/Camano and Sedro-Woolley clubs. Roger Kelley, of the Burlington club, was there to greet us, and after money exchanged and bags loaded, led us on a delightfully grueling 3 1/2 hour bus ride to Copán Ruinas. Waiting at Hotel Don Udo’s were Peter and Carolyn Martin, in charge of the International Project Alliance (IPA), made up of clubs in our region, ready to put us to work.

P1040740 (2)A joint project between the Rotary Club of Copán and the IPA, we had come to Honduras to deliver school supplies and set up a mobile library for 18 schools in remote Mayan villages.  Some Rotarians would help with the construction of classrooms at the 400 student school in Cabañas (pop. 2,500), and others would attend planning meetings and visit project sites for a wide variety of IPA projects.  A full and busy week ahead of us.

On the plane were five large Tupperware totes full of Spanish language children’s books, that IPA member clubs had purchased and assembled, to be used in the mobile library. P1040182The Copán Club provided a book rack for each school, and plans were to rotate the books from village to village every three months. The amazement and excitement of not only the kids but their parents, when they saw those books was worth the price of the trip. P1040795Can you imagine seeing a Dr. Seuss or Dora the Explorer, or any book for that matter, for the first time? The Copán Rotarians had prepared pink and blue backpacks filled with notebooks, pencils, other school supplies, and most importantly… a school uniform, consisting of a white shirt and blue skirt or trousers. Those kids would be ready to start school. Without what was in those backpacks, the child would not be able to attend school, a requirement.  A student must haveP1040816 notebooks and a uniform, and that is up to the parents to provide… or a Rotarian. In these remote villages, it is a challenge sometimes to put food on the table, much less buy school supplies. I went on two trips into the ‘outback’ to deliver school supplies, in a caravan of pickup trucks filled with whiteboards, bookracks, desks, tools… and the backpacks and totes of books. The villagers were all waiting at the schools. It was something to see the grateful and proud faces of the parents as they helped their kids on with their uniforms.P1040750 I got the feeling that they were experiencing hope for their child’s future that they may have not had. These people were farmers and field workers, and I saw many kids heading to the fields with a machete instead of being at the school getting a backpack. So, when I return to my ‘land of plenty’ I will carry that memory of those boys and girls trying on their first uniform.  P1050295In addition to delivering the goods, each school was inspected to see what some of their needs were.  We talked to the teachers, and drawing paper was a big item.  Many schools had latrine issues as Bill, Paul and I discovered at the school our club sponsors.  So wish lists were made.

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Riding in the back of a pickup truck is the way you get to work around Copán, and I imagine much of the countries south of the Rio Grande, with sometimes as many as 20 people standing up, rain or shine. I had my turn in the back over those rough Honduran roads a few times when we went to Cabañas, about a half hour away from Copán Ruinas, to work on the school.  I had signed up as I thought that my years in construction might be useful… until I saw the cement blocks. I knew how to cut wood and pound nails, and a lot of the finer things, but I was no bricklayer.  And, those damn things are heavy.P1040410 As was the cement, the stones we used to fill holes and the dirt and gravel we shoveled. We attempted to build a wall.  It was quickly decided our talents were better put to use as laborers. I think we were a great help when not in the way of the Honduran crew.


When we arrived at Dionisio De Herrera, we found a two-story school built around a courtyard. At the back was the construction site. They were adding the classrooms to where once houses or shops stood. IMG_7814The school term was starting the next week, and the children were there, in their uniforms, helping to clean the grounds and setting up the classrooms. I noticed a boy shoveling gravel and wondered why he wasn’t in a uniform with the other kids. As I watched him during the day, I saw a fun loving and hard working boy. P1040330I asked our Copán guide why he was not in school, and she told me his name was Jesus, and he could not afford to go to school because his family had to pay for school supplies, the uniform and in the case of this school, he would need dress shoes. He was twelve years old and would have been in the seventh grade, but his parents had died the year before, his mother of cancer and his father had been a police officer and was shot and killed. He was living with his seven siblings, with no money for school, and working as an alternative. One of his older brothers worked on the construction crew as well.  I decided to sponsor Jesus, purchasing the notebooks and other supplies, a backpack and uniform and the black shoes.IMG_8093 It was fun because I got to shop with him and take him for his official school photo… not just send a check. Peter Martin enrolled him in the Rotary system, and I paid the fee for that and the school, which I will renew each year till he graduates, hopefully to a better world.

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My Rotary club sponsors a kindergarten and an elementary school through our membership in the IPA program, and many Rotarians sponsor individual kids who cannot afford to attend school.  So, I left Honduras with more than just memories, but an adopted son. A few weeks after I got home, his brother posted a photo on Facebook for me of Jesus in his new uniform at the school. No shovel in sight.



In School!!!






Painting with the Masters


Copying Leopold Schmutzler’s Here I Am, c.1910

At the Frye Art Museum



THE INDISCRETION… Shapeshifting 13 #46


THE INDISCRETION… for Grammar Ghoul Press

The Father stared, “Harlot!” Bloom of cheeks gave them away.

Young Man shrank from his reach and the ferocious bloom raised in anger.

The Mother cried.

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I’ve been wanting to write a story for Suzanne for some time… here it is.  Tony asks for exactly 26 words, a story or poem using any form of the word “bloom.”  Reminds me a bit of the glorious days of Trifecta, except we get seven words less. Thanks to curator Tony Lovell for the prompt.  Shapeshifting 13 #46



  1. :  a mass of wrought iron from the forge or puddling furnace
  2. a bar of iron or steel hammered or rolled from an ingot
  3. a :  flower
    b :  the flowering state <the roses in bloom>
    c :  a period of flowering
  4. :  a state or time of beauty, freshness, and vigor


  • : to produce flowers

  • : to change, grow, or develop fully


The illustration of the Young Lovers is a painting by British Artist Pete Marsh


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