Sunday Photo Fiction — The Cruise

“I can’t believe we’re finally going on a cruise,” Bertha gushed. “I’ve wanted to go on one of these ever since I can remember.”

“There’s nothing too good for my Bertha,” Benny said. He looked around at the five other people sitting at their table. “It’s our fiftieth anniversary.”

“Oh, that’s wonderful,” Mildred said. “My husband got me this cruise for my 65th birthday, which was last month.” She nudged Charles, who was dozing. “Isn’t that right, Charles?”

“This is my second cruise,” said Murray jumped in. “The last time I was with my wife,” he added.

“Is she not with you this time?” Benny asked.

“No. The last time we hit some rough water and she got severely seasick. And then there was some kind of food poisoning or something and nearly everyone on board, passengers and crew alike, got severe diarrhea.”

“Oh my,” said Henrietta. “No wonder she didn’t want to join you this time.”

“Well,” Murray said, “she passed before the cruise ended. But she wasn’t very good company anyway, so I thought I’d give it another go.”

The conversation stopped. The others all got up and left the table.

“Hey, where’s everyone going?” Murray asked.

(199 words)

Sritten for this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt.

Stairway to Heaven

“What do you mean you don’t believe in God?” Cheryl was incredulous. “Don’t you want to ascend to heaven when your time comes?”

Alan chucked. “If heaven and hell existed, my ‘soul’ would surely be descending, not ascending.”

“Don’t be so sure,” Cheryl argued. “All you need to do is embrace Jesus. He will embrace you back. He will forgive you. You will be saved.”

“Oh my God,” Alan protested. “How many times do we have to discuss this. I don’t buy your religious mumbo-jumbo. There is no all-knowing, all-seeing supernatural spirit in the sky watching and judging everything that we do. It’s a bunch of bullshit.”

Cheryl’s eyes starting welling up. “But it says in the Bible….”

“The Bible,” Alan laughed. “You mean that book written by around 40 different farmers and shepherds decades after your so-called savior died? Why not use Lord of the Rings as your holy book?

The tears were flowing freely down Cheryl’s cheeks. “Stop mocking me,” she demanded. “You’re my brother. We were raised together. How can you be such a heretic?”

“I have an evolved brain,” Alan said. “You do to, Cheryl, but you seem unwilling or unable to use it when it comes to religion. It’s like you’ve been brainwashed, indoctrinated.”

“Well, Mom, Dad, and I are going to miss your evolved brain when we’re all in heaven and you’re in hell.”

“You go ahead and live your life so that ascend to heaven, Cheryl, when you die.” Alan said. “I’ll live mine so that I can experience heaven on earth while I’m still alive.”

Written for today’s one-word prompt, “ascend.”

Song Lyric Sunday — Vanity

Actually, the theme for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday is not “vanity.” It’s “bragging.” But I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to go from bragging (a verb) to vanity (a noun). After all, vanity is excessive pride in one’s appearance, qualities, abilities, achievements, etc. And such excessive pride can often result in bragging. Am I right or what?

And speaking about vanity, what song portrays vanity better than Carly Simon’s 1972 mega-hit, “You’re So Vain”?

The song was written and performed by Carly Simon and released in November 1972 on Elektra Records. It’s is a critical profile of a self-absorbed lover about whom Simon asserts, “You’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you.”

While there’s been a lot of speculation regarding the subject of the song, Simon has hinted that it refers to three different men, only one of whom, actor Warren Beatty, has she named publicly.

And here are the lyrics:

You walked into the party
Like you were walking on a yacht
Your hat strategically dipped below one eye
Your scarf, it was apricot
You had one eye on the mirror
And watched yourself gavotte
And all the girls dreamed that they’d be your partner
They’d be your partner, and

You’re so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You’re so vain,
I’ll bet you think this song is about you
Don’t you?
Don’t you?

Oh, you had me several years ago
When I was still naive
Well, you said that we made such a pretty pair
And that you would never leave
But you gave away the things you loved
And one of them was me
I had some dreams, they were clouds in my coffee
Clouds in my coffee, and

You’re so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You’re so vain, you’re so vain
I’ll bet you think this song is about you
Don’t you?
Don’t you?

Well I hear you went to Saratoga
And your horse, naturally, won
Then you flew your Learjet up to Nova Scotia
To see the total eclipse of the sun
Well, you’re where you should be all the time
And when you’re not, you’re with some underworld spy
Or the wife of a close friend,
Wife of a close friend, and

You’re so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You’re so vain, you’re so vain
I’ll bet you think this song is about you
Don’t you?
Don’t you?