All right, this story is in response to Julia’s real prompt for the 100 Word Challenge for Grownups. And in a few minutes, I’ll find out whether I’ve managed to miss the deadline for this week…
I’m on a mission.
You know the way people put out treats, especially around Christmas, and then leave the plates sitting with just one piece left? It’s cruel, that’s what it is. Tempting people like that. Just think of the poor souls who struggle with their weight. Why, they might eat that last piece!
Someone has to protect them. So from now on, whenever I see a plate full of goodies, I’m going to eat it all, every bite, right away, before anyone else can get at it.
No, no, you don’t have to thank me. Just knowing that I can help is reward enough.
This, I’m afraid, is an exercise in doing it wrong. Normally I have enough sense to check Julia’s Place for the correct prompt to use in writing a story for the weekly 100 Word Challenge for Grownups. But this time I was in a hurry, so when I looked at my email alerting me to Gilly Gee’s story for this week’s 100 Word Challenge, I thought that the phrase Gilly starts with (“too late for some”) was the challenge. And I wrote the story that follows to incorporate it.
It wasn’t until I had this post half-done that I checked Julia’s site so I could link to the correct address. So it wasn’t until then that I realized the real prompt was the photo of a nearly-empty plate…oops.
Well, there’s tomorrow. I’ll tackle the real challenge then. Meanwhile, here’s 104 words of a little mother-daughter disagreement –
I had to work too late for some serious Christmas shopping last evening. “I don’t know what I’m going to do,” I told Samantha. “By the time I get there, everything will be closed.”
“Oh, mother, you always say that. Just order some gifts online. They’re open round the clock.”
“And you always say that. You know I don’t trust this computer stuff. What if they sent me the wrong thing?”
“No problem. You just ship it back and they correct it.”
I shook my head at her pityingly. Poor child, she’s so hard to deal with. She always wants to fix my problems.
Ailsa’s travel theme for the week is “circles”. I was a bit surprised at how few usable pictures I had (partly because I’ve used some of them in other photo challenges – the subway photo I used just last Tuesday would fit right in here!)
After some searching, I found a group of pictures I took almost a year ago at the Philadelphia Flower Show. Here’s my assortment of spherical little succulents – their ancestors had a long history of surviving in deserts, so they balloon themselves with as much water as possible. (Click on any of the pictures to see the gallery with larger images.)
What is Friday Fictioneers? Every week, anyone who wants to participate is challenged to write a short-short story (100 words is the goal length) based on a prompt from our kind hostess Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.
This time, the Friday Fictioneers prompt is intriguing (I think) just because it’s so bare. It demands that you use your imagination…
Entering the College of Wizards: “Each door hides magic. Those who can see may learn.”
Room after room – bare walls, empty floors. The end of the hallway. The end of a dream, the end of hope. A stern-faced figure met her. “Describe.”
“The first room – nothing special, just pixies riding unicorns. Second, a sleeping dragon. Third, hard to describe – I saw its floorboards as trees and seeds too, all at once. Fourth…” She was hoarse when she finished.
The wizard smiled. “Well said.”
Only – she’d failed. She didn’t belong here. “Wait. I saw nothing. I made it all up.”
“So much invention shows you’re driven and imaginative. Ready to learn.”
“I saw nothing.”
“We know; we built the test. Magic is power – only fools teach it to liars. Hurry, your first class starts at noon.”
* * *
What do you think of this one? Please tell me!
Another photo for Sandra Conner’s Thursday’s Windows series. Nearly ten years ago, we stopped to look at a typical late nineteenth century / early twentieth century homestead in South Dakota. The original part of the house, on the left, was excavated out of the side of a hill with a roof and front wall added. Later, the right-hand side was added as a more “normal” house.
But what strikes me most are the curtains in the windows with their determinedly decorative ruffles.
(This really was a family home, until it was eventually abandoned when the owners realized that you just couldn’t make a living by farming here. It’s only a short distance from where the ground crumbles away into the Badlands:
which are and always were hopeless for crops of any sort at all.)
This time, Cee is challenging us to highlight the geometry of our photographs by showing pictures of “lines”. I have a few possibilities –
This stop on the Montreal Metro features tiles marked off by straight lines into rectangles, contained within lines that curve around into circles, on a background of more straight lines that define little hexagons. Ah, geometry.
This square-rigger ship that we visited at Jamestown, Virginia relies on many lines, and stays, and assorted other ropes each with its own specific and essential function in holding the rigging together and letting the crew maneuver the ship.
And finally, in the courtyard of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls on the southern edge of Rome, stonecutters centuries ago played with all sorts of variations on lines to make every column unique.
Julia’s keeping her prompt for this week’s 100 Word Challenge for Grownups short, simple, and seasonal – just one word: grey.
And here’s my story about a woman who’s not about to be defeated by November gray. Let me know what you think!
She pulls out one hair, a second, a third, and inspects them carefully. It’s true. They’re all grey. Time to face the facts. She makes an appointment.
The stylist fingers her hair thoughtfully. “You’re naturally dark haired, aren’t you?”
“It’s almost black. Was almost black.”
“We don’t recommend dark brown, for ladies with your situation. A soft brown, or maybe a rich blonde – that will flatter your skin tone more.”
“I don’t want a soft brown,” she says firmly. “Or black. Let’s go for something new.” He produces a small professional smile. “It’s almost Christmas. I want the left half red and the right half green.” She grins back. “Come January, we’ll think of something else.”
Ailsa’s feeling kind of chilly right now (and so am I), so she’s asking for pictures of something hot to warm her up! Here’s my assortment –
I thought it was uncomfortably warm in Chaco Canyon,
but this lizard thought it was just right.
Yellowstone Park again. Yes, that’s steam rising up from the ground, as if there were a thousand pots of boiling water
just under the surface.
And hottest of all, this blacksmith shop in Williamsburg, Virginia,
even on a pleasant June day.
At first glance, I thought this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt was a cheery Christmas shopping photo…but the longer I looked, the more it seemed as if something just wasn’t right. So here you are – almost 100 words of a very bleak Christmas for someone who’s lost just about everything. Please let me know what you think!
Christmas used to be so much fun. I loved rushing around, looking in the store windows, picking out the perfect gifts. I loved the parties and the office pollyannas. And most of all I loved watching the family unwrap the presents I found for them. Big Jack. Jack Junior. Amanda.
I don’t need to do any of that any more. They’re gone. It feels like everybody’s gone. I walk past empty windows that ought to be full, down sidewalks where I see no people, nothing left but distant lights.
They’re gone. I’m alone. Christmas is over.