“Ethel!”, screams Cheryl.
“You didn’t stop!”
“At the corner, no stop.”
“Yes I did, I always stop at stop signs.”
“No, you were rolling, that doesn’t count as a stop. And the sign says stop.”
“Oh for God’s sake, Cheryl, don’t be so picky. That was enough of a stop. You never yell at Betty when she drives.”
“That’s because Betty always stops at signs. You made a California stop.”
“What are you talking about, we’re in Chicago?”
“That’s what they call a rolling stop. You rolled.”
Ethel sighs as she rolls thru the next stop.
February 7: Flash Fiction Challenge The prompt was ‘Signs’… 99 Words, no more, no less.
The Virtue of Silence
“Hi Cheryl, guess what?”
“I’m taking the vow of silence!”
“You’re becoming a nun?”
“No, silly, I’m not going to talk for a day.”
“Wow, that’s one big vow of silence, Ethel. I’m afraid to ask, what prompted this?”
“You remember my interest in meditation?”
“Right, Betty got you onto that. It still bugs me that you won’t tell me your mantra.”
“The Maharishi says ‘to speak your mantra aloud is like pulling a plant from its roots’.”
“A vow of silence is another form of meditation.”
“Well Ethel, it will be a sweet twenty-four hours.
Another 100 Words with the girls. This time for Sunday Writing “It’s all in the title.” by Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. They asked for a poem or story using one of the 10 titles they offered. I chose ‘The Virtue of Silence”
“I need you to call Rick!!!”
“Ethel, what’s wrong?”
“My car broke, I’m on the expressway.”
“Oh no!” How are you calling me?”
“A man stopped and I’m using his phone. We put the hood up but can’t see anything wrong, that’s why I need Rick.”
“Of course you can’t, I’m surprised you got the hood up.”
“The man did it.”
“I told you not to drive on the expressways, now look where you are.”
“I know where I am, Smarty, on the Kennedy at Damen, now call Rick and have him come save me.”
“Okay, stay where you are.”
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Always fun to see one of my photos used for the prompt at FridayFictioneers. Be sure to check out all the stories prompted by this old Chevy, which was left derelict in the woods many years ago near my daughter’s house on San Juan Island. My story was #79. You can find all the other stories here.
“Don’t give me that look.”
“That brow look.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Your brow is furrowed and that upsets me.”
“Well, maybe you shouldn’t do things that cause me to furrow.”
“Right, my bad.”
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Want to take part in the WEEKEND WRITING PROMPT? Write a story or poem with just 40 words and send it to Sammi Cox.
Yes, the girls are back. Who else?
Jason rose from the bench, his teaching finished for the day. Bemused, he watches as she packs her sheet music in her bag and retrieves her cellphone; she is his least favorite pupil. Cara’s not a bad player, she works hard, and she’s better than most of his other students. It is the stench of patchouli oil that puts her in that category, so he holds his breath as much as he can while he watches her play the piano, giving advice from time to time. “See you next week, Mr. J.” “Next week, Cara, don’t forget to practice.”
The following week something is different. Same flowery sundress, same patchouli oil, same banging the keys, then it hits him. The hourglass has sand in it. “Cara, you have sand!” “I know, Mr. J, do you like it? I’m so glad you noticed.” How could he not, the tiny hourglass on the webbing between her thumb and index finger now contained sand, canary yellow sand to be precise. “Do you love it?” “I do, your hourglass has a purpose now.” “Time marches on, Mr. J.” As she packs her bag, Jason hands her a small gift box. “A little something from us to reward you for the time you have spent practicing and learning the piano. Open it when you get home.”
At her next lesson a delicate floral scent follows Cara to the bench. “Thank you so much, Mr. J, I love my gift. I thought it was time for a change too,” a knowing smile on her face, as she begins to play.
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Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie posed a challenge for their “5 by 5” Sunday Writing Prompt. Write a story or poem using one of five words in each of the following categories… a piece of furniture, a scent, a color, a shape, and an item carried in the pocket, wallet, or purse.
Ainsworth’s is the last of the old line department stores in Chicago.
One cannot blame the young man in the green blazer for looking perplexed when Ethel, upon stepping into the elevator, asks for ‘foundations’.
“Oh for God’s sake, Ethel, just say girdles! Foundations is what our grandmothers called them.”
In a whisper, “I didn’t want to say it out loud, Cheryl.”
“He’s going to think you want to go down. I’m pretty sure we need to go up.”
“Okay! Girdles please young man.”
“Ladies Undergarments, Fourth Floor, right away Madam.”
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Want to take part in the WEEKEND WRITING PROMPT? Write a story or poem with just 91 words and send it to Sammi Cox.
Send in the Clowns… 100 Words for FriFicSend in the clowns…
“Hey Cheryl it’s Ethel guess what?”
“Hi Ethel, what’s got you so excited today?”
“Guess what’s at the United Center?”
“OK, I’m waiting to guess, what is it!”
“You know I hate circuses!”
“But all the acts, the animals, the clowns are so exciting!”
“Especially the clowns, I don’t like clowns.”
“But these are special ones, the’re Okies, and they have red noses.”
‘Don’t all clowns have red noses? And what are okie clowns?”
“They’re clowns from the Ozarks.“
“Oh for God’s sake Ethel, Okies are from Oklahoma. Hey!!! Aren’t we supposed to be talking about Dale’s waterfalls today?”
With apologies to two of my favorite writers from the Ozarks.
Nikki stood looking at the tree stump for a very long time. Finally she turned and walked back to where we were standing, shaking her head.
Nikki sees things other people don’t see. When I asked her what she had seen she said, “I don’t know, but she was pretty.” I’ve learned to leave it at that and not ask questions.
We went and looked at the tree stump, but didn’t see anything. Didn’t hear anything either.
It was getting dark so we found Nikki and left.
Photo Prompt Artwork by Ingrid Endel ~ Thank you to Nekneeraj for the invitation to write.
Here’s a story I always liked…
“OF COURSE NOT, SILLY!”
“Until the day I die, I’ll never forget those glassy, unblinking eyes.” Her last words. She has been in a catatonic state since that day.
Elizabeth Grace had been a promising designer, and her sudden decline had been most disturbing to friends and colleagues.
After graduation, she had taken a position at Albrecht’s Department Store, as an assistant window dresser. She fared well under the tutelage of Miss Bethany, and advanced to first assistant in just months. Feathers had been ruffled.
It was just after Albrecht’s shipment of new mannequins arrived that it began. Elizabeth started talking to the old ones. People noticed. She had not done that before.
Hammered by younger hipper stores and internet shopping, Albrecht’s Department Store had been in decline for years, something had to be done. When Oswalt Albrecht III came on board, all department heads had been instructed to find…
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