Gone

Photo: Sebastian Czubachowski at ephotozine.com

For the umpteenth time and probably not for the last he asks me, “Momma, have the germies gone yet?”

I wonder how much longer I can keep up my story. The empty streets have started to fill up again. Shops have opened. I dismiss the yellow busses as buses exercising but it is hard to explain other children heading towards the park or walking their dogs.

Tuffy’s been a gem. He wants to go out but he won’t go without his best friend. The expectant eyes and wagging tail go together.

“No Mikey. They are still out there waiting to sneak up on us as soon as we let our guard down.” The eyes dim and the tail stops wagging.

Their trust is implicit and I feel like a miserable cheat. A weak miserable cheat who is hanging on desperately to some despicable virus to save her from having that dreaded conversation. He thinks that daddy can’t come home because the germies are out there.

How do I tell a five year old that his daddy won’t come home ever?  


Written in response to Fandango’s Flash Fiction challenge #136

By the Pond

photo from sasint at Pixabay.com

Officer, I don’t think you sufficiently appreciate the anguish that these fanciful accusations have inflicted upon my family. I am the victim here. The pond lies in my estate. That I allowed the boys access to it is indicative of my generosity. Sure. Sometimes I would go by and take a swim with them, talk to them. I am not supercilious like others of my station… Well yes, sometimes alone… Yes, sometimes they came to the mansion for a treat. A reprise from their normally abstemious life. Perhaps the pendant was dropped during one of those visits. The parents should be appreciative that I took time out of my busy schedule to… mentor the boys… inspire them, if you will… encourage them to have higher aspirations than their fathers. What happened is unfortunate. I am appalled that it could have occurred on my property. But to imply that I had any role in those macabre events is sheer paranoia…

Yet, I am a fair man. I wish to mitigate any further speculations and have spoken to your Commissioner, a close friend of mine as you might know. He shall be calling you personally. No no… which ingrate is misleading you with that nonsense? I have no need to offer anyone hush money. Not with my connections! It was but an attempt to make their life easier. I merely suggested that a relocation and a fresh start away from this malicious gossip might be in their best interest.

Ah… I have been blessed with so much. Call me idealistic, but I like to share my good fortune with my friends. Tell me… I hear that you have a daughter who wishes to go study science in the City University. I happen to know the Dean. I would be glad to put in a good word. Perhaps even generate a scholarship. I am always happy to help out a friend. I can consider you a friend, can I not?

Sales Help: How to Close a Deal · The A Group
image: agroup.com

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Written in response to Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #133 and Fandango’s Story Starter #9 where the teaser is I don’t think you sufficiently appreciate… using words from the daily prompts Fandango’s One Word Challenge (ingrate, macabre, generate), Word of the Day Challenge (mitigate, supercilious, indicative), Ragtag Daily Prompt (fanciful), The Daily Spur (science, paranoia), Your Daily Word Prompt (abstemious, anguish) and My Vivid Blog (pendant, fair, misleading)

Madison

Photo from Kate Trifo at Pexels.com

He could feel the beads of perspiration forming on his forehead as he slowly peeked at his running companion. A good couple of years older than him and yet not a hint of fatigue on her. On the contrary she kept up a reasonably steady banter about Monday’s client meet.

The Madison account – It was what had gotten him here in the first place. If he could bag it, then his career would be made. The promotion, that coveted corner office and all the perks that came with it, it would all be his. He’d done the research. His proposal was solid. But his kakorrhaphiophobia had gotten the better of him. What if she wanted the account for herself? What if her support was a misdirect and she was actually working to undermine him? What if he lost the account to her? No. That was not an option.

By no stretch of imagination did he have the energy to run five miles. Yet here he was, running alongside her. She, who was training for the marathon. She ran like a gazelle. He had the gait of an elephant. What the heck had he been thinking!

“Earth to Mike…” a cheery voice rang out.

He turned towards her in slow motion, his vacuous countenance revealing all.

Her own expression morphed into a knowing taunt. “Winner takes Madison,” she chortled as she sped away.   


Written in response to Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #132 and Fandango’s Story Starter #8 (He could feel the beads of perspiration forming on his forehead as he slowly…) using words from the daily prompts Fandango’s One Word Challenge (hint), Word of the Day Challenge (kakorrhaphiophobia), Ragtag Daily Prompt (elephant), The Daily Spur (energy), Your Daily Word Prompt (vacuous) and My Vivid Blog (Monday)

Some kind of beautiful

Photo: Google photo frame

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If you didn’t known any better, you might say that the view was beautiful.

The entire town was awake and awash in light. The green sky above, the amber lights below, the graceful song of the waves, all dancing and pulsing with one rhythm. You see, everybody knew Macy. Everybody loved Macy. Well almost everybody. 

By now the forensic team should have finished collecting their initial evidence. Sargent Peterson was on site wondering about the positioning of the body. She was postured post mortem. But why?

He stood watching. He liked knowing that this beautiful view was all his doing.


Written in response to Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #129

Wrenching

Photo from the Google Photo Frame

The urgency of my maniac mind takes me on a road so steep

No fickle humans lurk about to hear my ravaged heart scream

No headlights blinding my blinded eyes

Nor thorny bushes to scrape my battered body

Just a dry desolate impenetrable barrenness to penetrate my barren dreams

And in stillness of that wretched silence

I lessen the turbulence of my retching heart



Written in response to:

Visceral games

He does not need four wall clocks.

Hell, in the era of smartphones, even one wall clock was obsolete.

But he is smart enough to know that optics matter. When clients see a smartly dressed man with a pile of papers on his desk with world times behind him, they assume that his business is international and that he has a deluge of work that he is frenetically trying to complete. When they try to call, he lets it go to voice mail. He waits for them to repeat the call. He begs off on the plea that he was ‘on another call’.

The optics elicit the perfect reaction. If he has so much work, then he must be good.

That is the genius of the plan. Everything was online. The clients will never know that ‘the office’ was just one corner of his bedroom.

photo from Jarmoluk at Pixabay.com

Written in response to Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #125

Using word prompts from FOWC (repeat), Word of the Day (frenetic), Your Daily Word Prompt (obsolete), The Daily Spur (plea, reaction), Ragtag Daily Prompt (deluge), MMA Storytime’s Word of the Day (genius).

The Decision

Her love was charity.

Picking up the extension was fortuitous but revealing. “Just an affable puppy with nowhere else to go,” was how she had described him. Everything subsequent had been blank… like a precipitous fall off of a cliff.

Even now, with every breath he could feel his ribs crepitate and heart crumble. It had all meant nothing.

The convertible was almost vintage. With inflation it would fetch a tidy sum. He had been a successful businessman once. He knew the nuances of bargaining.

Tonight, he would set her free.

Photo from Adrien Olichon at Pexels.com

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Written in response to Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #124

Using word prompts from FOWC (subsequent), Word of the Day (revealing), Your Daily Word Prompt (crepitate, precipitous), The Daily Spur (tonight, inflation), Ragtag Daily Prompt (nuance), MMA Storytime’s Word of the Day (charity).

AN ALMOST MURPHY DAY

It had been one of those ‘Murphy’s Law’ days.

Image result for Anything that can go wrong will go wrong

My boss who was supposed to be on leave had decided to come in. Assuming his absence I had not completed the report. Terrified that he would ask me to fetch it, I tried to give him the run-around. Eventually my luck ran out.

Within the hour the report had been hurled back on my desk with bright yellow marks highlighting all the lacunae.

“I expect the completed report on my desk before you leave.”

That had taken almost four hours.

Now its raining torrentially, and the cold is giving me the chills. I can see the neon lights of cabs whizz past but not one is stopping. I think I’m going to have to walk to the bus stop in this downpour…

“Hey Sheena… are you just leaving?”

I beam at the cheerful faces of my friends. “It was either finish the report or find another job!”

“Come on girl, get in here. My car is round the bend. I’ll drop you home.”

Bye-bye Murphy. Thank you, girlfriends.

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painting by artist Chin H. Shin

Written in response to Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #123

Using word prompts from FOWC (runaround), Word of the Day (chills), Your Daily Word Prompt (lacuna), The Daily Spur (yellow), Ragtag Daily Prompt (fetch), MMA Storytime’s Word of the Day (neon).

Fly me to the moon

I do not expect this to be the land of milk and honey…

but to be completely disregarded and dismissed… as if my life had no worth at all… Like I just don’t count. They see my sloven appearance and don’t want to waste their precious resources on me. Did it ever strike them that perhaps it is because they do not spare their precious resources for me that I am so? No… never… not even a flutter of remorse or pity.

Immigrant…. Go back where you came from.

Really? During a lockdown? No buses, no trains, no planes, just that abandoned balloon out on those abandoned grounds

An idea takes seed. Maybe if the winds are just right…

photo from Nicolae_Balt at Pixabay.com

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Written in response to Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #122

Using word prompts from FOWC (flutter), Word of the Day (grounds), Your Daily Word Prompt (sloven), The Daily Spur (milk), Ragtag Daily Prompt (seed).

This rigmarole

Mere tenants upon this earth

Our own stature we elevate

Devour habitats with the appetite of an anaconda

Bring our home to a critical state

Embarked upon a high adrenaline adventure

Our incessant needs and wants do not abate

Kill cross trample consume anything

Ambitions, fads and greed we must satiate

If species die out, become fading echoes in time

Tis not ours to ponder, they just played out their fate

Of course, we care, look yonder there,

We even have aviaries, aquariums and animals in cage

Photo from Reddit

Our cliques and nations with their summits and demonstrations

We protest, pledge, regulate, give up, oscillate

Impart awareness, make token attempts at conservation

Yet forever the puppeteer, this rigmarole we perpetuate

And when the end it comes, and come it will

Twill be too late to regret repent or mitigate

We seek Atlantis, and Atlantis we shall be

The clock it ticks, and yet in arrogance we procrastinate

Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Pexels.com

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In response to Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #121 and Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie’s photo challenge #369

Using word prompts from FOWC (echo), Word of the Day (adventure, clique), Your Daily Word Prompt (impart, tenant, fad), The Daily Spur (cross, give), Ragtag Daily Prompt (rigmarole, elevate), MMA Storytime’s Word of the Day (soul, anaconda).