The Speakeasy #136 ~ SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES…


The smell of smoke lingered in the air. The shrieking was deafening. The fanning of air with a magazine was frantic. The front door opens…

“Just what the hell were you thinking, Ethel. How many times have I said… ‘You have to open the flue before you start the fire’?”
“Oh, for God’s sake, turn off the smoke detector!!!”
“I don’t know how, that’s why I called you!!!! Here’s the instructions!!!!!”

Cheryl took the manual outside. This was not the first time this had happened. This was, however, the first time under the watch of Ethel’s new smoke detector, and this time it was not as easy as pushing a button or taking out the battery. The pounding on the ceiling in Betty’s flat below was only adding to the consternation.  As Ethel chased the smoke out, Cheryl quickly scanned the instruction book for answers.

“Thank you, Cheryl.”
“You’re welcome. Why in Heaven’s name do you think you need such a fancy system?”
“You know me, Cheryl, I like to be on top of the latest technology.”
“Oh please, give me a break! I suppose that’s why you still get your People in the mail, while I subscribe online. You think you’re so ‘green’, look at all the trees I’m saving, Ethel. And speaking of trees, the next time you start a fire open the damn damper. I know you think it lets cold air in, but you are starting a fire. Don’t be such a stubborn ass!”


THE SPEAKEASY… #136 …More stories here…

Here are the Editor’s instructions for this week’s submission… Welcome back, dearest bootleggers, to the third week of November here at the Speakeasy! This week, our sentence prompt, provided by last week’s popular vote winner Stacie, must be used as the FIRST line in your piece. And our media prompt this week is a painting, which you will find below. As with all our media prompts, your post shouldn’t be about the painting, but you must make some sort of reference to it in your submission.


“The smell of smoke lingered in the air.” by Stacie at  Snaps and Bits 

The painting is by William Blake and is titled The Night of Enitharmon’s Joy… 1795.

12 responses

  1. Starting a fire with the flue closed…hahaha…but, “oops!” This was a funny scene and it brings back memories of childhood with some wood stove mishaps much like this.

  2. lol, this cracked me up!! And I am growing to like Ethel, I have to be honest. I look forward to seeing what she’s gotten herself into next week.

  3. I see so much of myself in Ethel I’m starting to worry! 😉 Funny and a great read!

  4. Everybody needs an Ethel in their life. At least that’s what I’m hoping, because I’m destined to become her ; )

  5. Very cute and funny, great job.

  6. Thanks for the shout-out! This cracked me up. I love the whole going high tech but then having no idea how to use it.

  7. Just let me live with those old battery driven detectors…….always makes me smile with
    those two ladies…please keep them alive and vital !

  8. I love these two so much! They should really have their own show.

    Great job with the prompts, Ted!

  9. Haha, this was fun!

  10. When I read last’s week for the first time I didn’t quite get it, but now I see and like how you have the two characters that play off each other and make the reader a part of the fun.

  11. This was very funny and must admit I have done that a time or two 😦

  12. Cheryl and Ethel will never have any reason to complain about my smoking again! Loved the story Ted!!

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