Tag Archives: photo prompt

“Of Course Not, Silly”… Revisited

7502642742_f8515948b9_b

This is the prompt for PhotoChallenge #305. When I saw it I was overcome with a great sadness and I knew I wanted to write a story. But, no story came to me. I tried, but it wasn’t right for Little Sally or Ethel & Cheryl who seem to have obsessed me lately. I was at a loss and then realized why… I had already written a mannequin story for Suzanne Purkis the editor of the Speakeasy at YeahWrite. It was for a writing contest, and I won that week. That story is one of my favorites, it’s on my past favorites page, I just couldn’t think. So rather than try to write a new mannequin story I’ll just tell you my old one…

 

Speakeasy#162  “OF COURSE NOT, SILLY!”

modern-mannequin

“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 new ways to bring in shoppers, or look elsewhere for employment. In Display, it was Elizabeth who suggested that changing to more stylish models would certainly bring in younger shoppers. “After all”, she said “they have been here since my grandmother was a child. Besides, they’re falling apart. I had to use one of the men’s hands on a lady, to hold her purse.” Oswalt III thought that was a great idea and authorized a sizable expenditure. Miss Bethany was pleased she would keep her job, and put Elizabeth in charge of all floor displays.

Oswalt III loved the look of the new mannequins, with their sleek unstaring faces, but could not bear to part with the old ones. “Save the old ones. I feel I know each one personally, and could not bear to see them go.” Oswalt II had grown up with them too, but was more pragmatic, since storage space was limited. “Save two dummies and all the heads.” So, the display heads were lined up on top shelves around the workroom, and the two old mannequins set in a nostalgic display.  A different set of feathers had been ruffled.

Elizabeth took her new position seriously, and could be found working late most nights. Displays were constantly being changed and mannequins dressed and redressed. No one could remember when the voices had started, but sometimes it seemed a violent argument could be heard coming from the display office. When one peeked their head in the door, only Elizabeth would be found, deep in concentration at some task. Miss Bethany was thrilled that Elizabeth had taken charge, it had made her life so much easier. When the voices started, she became concerned. The girls had always named the dummies, and she could only imagine how many different names those old mannequins must have had over the years. Even old Oswalt had his favorites, and called some of them by name. But Elizabeth had taken the relationship to a new level. Miss Bethany knew she talked to them, and swore she had heard them being asked for their advice. But try as hard as she might, she could not catch her. When she asked point-blank, Elizabeth smiled and said “Of course not, Silly!” Miss Bethany had never been called silly, but was not going to press the point, since she had been given a raise and was smart enough to know how she got it.  She also was not going to criticize the condition of the work room, which had gotten seemingly messier.

Suzanne in Children’s was the first to notice. Little things at first. A sweater here or skirt there askew on a dummy. Made right, it would be back that way the next day, exactly the same way. Then the switching started. Suzanne asked Mr. Silverleaf, in Men’s, if he had noticed anything strange, he said “Well I wasn’t going to say anything, but if you have seen it too.” They went over to Teen’s and checked with Jessica. Jessica suggested they talk to security, as it had to be happening at night. Mr. Kumar was not aware of any strange goings on, but agreed to have the night guy keep an eye on the displays.

When the mannequins in the windows started losing their clothes the whole store was on alert.  And then, the positions of the dummies started changing.

It was Eric who found her. The workroom was in shambles with heads strewn everywhere, their eyes pried out. Elizabeth was in the center staring down, her body shaking, calling their names.

+++++++++++++++++++++++
http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/fiction-challenge-badges-162/

The Challenge is by Editor Suzanne at Apoplectic Apostrophes: “This week’s sentence prompt, provided by last week’s winner, Bethany, must be used as the FIRST line in your piece.  Reference must also be made to the media prompt, a painting by Albrecht Dürer… Portrait of Oswalt Krel, who was a merchant for the Ravensburg House in Nuremberg from 1495 to 1503.”

Albrecht_Dürer_Oswolt_Krel

To read other stories on this week’s prompt, go to… THE SPEAKEASY

+++++++++++++++++++++++

Well, I am in shock…

speakeasy_cf162

✤   ✤   ✤   ✤   ✤   ✤   ✤   ✤   ✤   ✤

2020

cropped-grunge-landscape2

 

 

 

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie ~ Photo Challenge #305

I hope you like my story as much as I do and I don’t get kicked out of the Menagerie for submitting an old story… Ted

 

 

Wherefore Art Thou Windmill?… CCC#45

windmill-and-reeds-cp

I went to Amsterdam with my sister Marja in search of a windmill but didn’t see any.

Wait!

I take that back. I did see a nice one at the Rijksmuseum.

unnamed (1)

The Windmill at Wijk bij Duurstede, Jacob Isaacksz van Ruisdael, c. 1668 – c. 1670

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

***************************

Crimson’s Creative Challenge #45

Crispina Kemp has a fun challenge for writers each week. Her instructions are fairly simple: Every Wednesday I post a photo (this week it’s that one above.)
You respond with something CREATIVE

  • Your creative offering is indeed yours
  • Your writing is kept to 150 words or less

 

THEY WRITE ON FRIDAYS… Friday Fictioneers

peter-abbey11

THEY WRITE ON FRIDAYS… a Drabble x Four for FriFic

On the Northside of Chicago, a call button is pushed…

“Ethel, lemme in.”

*********
“Those stairs are going to kill me. What you want to show me?”
“Check this out, Cheryl; I’m writing a story!”
“What the hell is this photo?”
“It’s my writing prompt for Friday Fictioneers. I’m going to be an author!”
“Oh spare me. Is this before the oil painting, the pottery, or the garden?”
“No, I’m serious this time.”
“You are always serious, Ethel, you just find something new the next day. Okay, what’s with this Friday fiction thing?”
“A writing group that writes on Friday’s. A lady named Rochelle runs it, and she’s written a bunch of books. Look, here’s all the people and their stories this week.”
“Hmmm… if they write on Friday, how come there’s 56 stories, it’s Thursday? Besides, they look like a bunch of weirdos to me, look at that guy with the clown nose, number 53 looks cute, though. What do you want me to do?”
“Help me think of a story, Cheryl. I thought this would be easy, but I don’t see any story in this photo.”
“Quit whining, Ethel. I see a prison in this photo. Do you think Peter Abbey was in prison?”
“Who?”
“Peter Abbey, the guy Rochelle got the picture from. I swear you don’t pay attention to anything, Ethel. Write a story about a prison. How long does it have to be?”
“100 words, no more no less. I hear she’s pretty strict!”
“How in hell you supposed to write a story in 100 words? Maybe we better read a couple stories.”

**********
“I have to admit, Ethel, some of those are pretty good. Just steal an idea from one of them.”
“I can’t do that if I’m going to be a real writer, Cheryl, they have to be my words. Besides, they might catch on and then I’d get in trouble.”
“Oooooh, what kick you out of being a Friday Writer?”
“It’s Friday Fictioneers because we write fiction!”
“And you write on Friday; I get it. Okay, let’s write a prison story. One for women and there’s lots of cat fights.”
“Good, and mean guards! Someone gets a shiv in this walkway and there’s blood all over.”
“I like that, better start writing this down. I’ll help you.”
“I’m excited, Cheryl, maybe I’ll be a famous author someday.”
“Don’t you mean, We, Ethel?”

✍ ✍ ✍ ✍ ✍ ✍ ✍ ✍ ✍ ✍ ✍ 

friday-fictioneers

I have always written exactly 100-word stories… no more no less… and as Ethel says, ‘I hear she’s pretty strict!’ and I have never wanted to get on that little ball of fire’s bad side.  But, since this is Rochelle’s fourth year heading up Friday Fictioneers, I thought I’d write 400 words… a Drabble a Year.  I asked the girls to help; I wonder if they can figure out how to work the frog thing.  Thanks to Peter Abbey for the photo prompt.

Here’re some stories from other people who write on Fridays…

FAMOUS LAST WORDS… Shapeshifting 13 #73

a1acreepy

FAMOUS LAST WORDS… Shapeshifting 13 #73

Everyone watching horror movies screams…

“Don’t go down in the basement!”

Yeah, right.

❢ ❢ ❢ ❢ ❢ ❢ ❢ ❢ ❢ ❢ ❢ ❢ ❢ ❢ ❢ ❢

Sunday Photo Fiction… BIRDBRAINS

138-01-january-10th-2016

BIRDBRAINS 

Huffing and puffing, Cheryl never thought she’d be doing this.  Hated the outdoors, liked looking at it, just not being in it. It had all started with a phone call.

“Hello, Ethel.  Before you ask again, remember Caller ID.  What’s up?”

“Birds!  Let’s go Birding!!!”

“What in the hell are you talking about, Ethel?  What’s ‘Birding’?”

“It’s where you look at birds.  They’re really pretty, and you learn a lot.”

“Really?  Just what are we going to learn?  And how are you such an expert”

” I got a book at a yard sale, it’s all the rage now.  You go out in the woods and look at birds.  I’m going Saturday; please say you’ll come.”

So Cheryl, against her better judgment, agreed to go.

“Dammit, Ethel!  Slow down!  I don’t like this mud.   I see one more barbwire fence, I’m quitting.  Are you sure you know where we are?”

“Don’t be such a baby, of course, I know.”

“Well, all we’ve seen are brown birds, I haven’t learned a damn thing, and where’s the pretty ones in your book.  I need a coffee.”

“I don’t know; I thought we’d see them.  I think the road’s over there, I’m ready for coffee.”

🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦

spf

I don’t think I’ve done a Sunday Photo Fiction before.  My friend at Momus does and his will be SciFi, probably a star cruiser crashed in that field.  When I saw this photo prompt, a story started writing.  Go read Eric’s and the other SPF Stories also.

Friday Fictioneers: GAME TIME…

iaam

GAME TIME… a Drabble for FriFic

“Okay, I’ll take the iron.”

“Wait a minute, Ethel! I’m the iron.  You know I’m always the iron!”

“That’s why I’m going to be the iron, Cheryl.  I’m sick and tired of you being so bossy,  I’m going to be the iron today.”

“Oh please.  My game, I get to choose, and I choose the iron.  You can be the car.  The iron is my good luck charm, that’s why I always win.”

“Oh for God’s sake, you don’t always win!  You know what?  I’m going to go get the candlestick or maybe the rope, we’ll see how you do then.”

****************************

My triumphant return to Friday Fictioneers features my favorite game piece… Flat Iron- Monopoly piece..

Great photo choice, Rochelle (her own this time).   I love looking at shadow boxes and the memories they contain.  To see more stories based on this week’s photo prompt… Click on FriFic.

Friday Fictioneers… ROAD TRIP


Two smart-ass California kids weren’t about to wait in line to see her. Hey, that line had stretched for blocks yesterday.

Snuck onto the near deserted grounds and realized it would be pretty easy to get caught, and the security guards wore Trooper Hats.  So we made our way to the entrance, and hid between the concession stands until a crowd gathered. We mingled with and rode up on the first elevator to see her.

Looking out, there she was… Seattle.

❖❖❖❖❖❖❖❖❖❖❖❖

This is actually a true story, so a Friday Memoir instead of Fiction.  In 1962, my best friend and I left Sacramento in his 1956 powder blue Thunderbird to see the Seattle Worlds Fair.  Two 18 year old kids on their first Road Trip.  We stayed with his cousins in Seattle and went to the fair every day.  The line to go up the Space Needle was worse than Disneyland and took hours.  We did hop the fence one morning and joining a group of suits, we went up on the first elevator of the day… which included the Governor of Washington. (True Story)  The fair hadn’t even opened and the dignitaries probably thought we were someone’s kids.  That was a fun road trip.

Last year I went up the Space Needle again… first time in 50 years.  I don’t remember what it looked like then (I don’t think we were too impressed)… now, it is a sight worth seeing.  And the souvenir  shop in the base of the Needle is the best gift shop I’ve ever been forced to exit through.  I bought some glasses…  

❖❖❖❖❖❖❖❖❖❖❖❖

This edition of Friday Fictioneers is somewhat special for me. I took the picture used as this week’s Photo Prompt.  I didn’t know that Rochelle Wisoff-Fields was going to use it… but then I did tell her she could use any of my photos, and gave her the link to my PhotoLog… Oh, here it is, btw… TedBook’s Daily Pics.

To read some great stories by talented writers based on the Sunglasses Booth, go to…   

To join us and write your 100 Words, go to the Friday Fictioneers blog  and visit…  Rochelle…

%d bloggers like this: