Sunday Photo Fiction — The Picture Frame

AEE8322B-1ACE-4199-8393-22AD9D38D9D3Alice and her husband were going through her father’s attic a few days after his passing. “Michael,” she said, “come look at this.” She was holding up a large picture frame with what appeared to be detailed engraving on it.”

“That’s beautiful,” Michael said. “It looks like a carving of Don Quixote tilting at windmills.” Michael grabbed the frame. “It doesn’t look like it was signed by the engraver and there’s no plaque.” He handed the frame back to Alice.

“This is a really thick, heavy frame, isn’t it?” Alice said, shaking it slightly. “I think there’s something behind the engraving.” She tore at the brown paper on the backside of the frame. Inside she discovered a leather-wrapped sheath of papers. She opened up the sheath and gasped.

“Michael, look at this.” Alice held up the first page. It read:

The Windmills of My Mind
By Andrew Price

“What is it?” Michael asked.

“These seem to my dad’s writings and pencil sketches. Some prose, some poetry,” Alice said. “These are amazing. They’re really good, Michael. They seem to be autobiographical, too. Some date back to when he was a young man.

“What a treasure,” Michael said.

(198 words)

Written for today’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt. Image credit: C E Ayr.

Has My Blog Been Hacked By The Russians?

74B0C064-9C8A-4BD2-BF6F-AB00E5BC3D31Up until a few days ago, the WordPress Akismet filter seemed to be working flawlessly. Bogus comments by phony commenters rarely made it by that filter and into my comments sections. But these insipid spammers have apparently come up with a new strategy.

Starting around three days ago, someone who goes by the name Alex began commenting on my posts. His first comment was, “Nice weblog here! Additionally your web site loads up fast! What web host are you the usage of? Can I am getting your affiliate link to your host? I wish my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol.”

Obviously this was spam that sneaked by my Akismet spam filter. I marked it as spam and didn’t give it a whole lot of thought.

But then I started getting more comments from “Alex” on different posts. Comments like

You actually make it seem really easy along with your presentation however I find this topic to be actually one thing that I think I might by no means understand. It sort of feels too complicated and extremely huge for me. I am taking a look ahead in your subsequent publish, I will try to get the cling of it!

Wow, superb blog layout! How long have you ever been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The entire look of your website is great, let alone the content material!

I am no longer certain where you’re getting your info, however good topic. I must spend some time studying more or working out more. Thanks for excellent info I was on the lookout for this info for my mission.

It’s really a great and helpful piece of information. I am happy that you just shared this helpful info with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

At least a dozen similar comments from “Alex” showed up on various posts. And I designated each as spam.

I haven’t received any comments from “Alex” yet today, but “Ula Guzman” wrote

F*ckin’ awesome issues here. I’m very happy to look your article. Thank you so much and i’m taking a look forward to contact you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

“Stacy Henderson” commented

Someone necessarily help to make critically articles I’d state. That is the very first time I frequented your website page and up to now? I surprised with the research you made to make this actual publish incredible. Fantastic activity!

And “Delores McCarty” wrote

Thanks for any other fantastic post. Where else may anybody get that kind of info in such a perfect means of writing? I have a presentation subsequent week, and I’m on the look for such info.

Definitely Russian hackers. This new strategy to get through the spam filter is apparently working and it’s really starting to piss me off.

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

#JusJoJan — The Sound of Silence

AB95574D-A745-4E8A-AD57-3C80200AD3EFI, along with nearly 36 million other Americans, suffer from a malady called tinnitus. Tinnitus is a ringing, swishing, buzzing, or other type of noise that seems to originate in the ear or head. My tinnitus is a 24/7 affliction; it never eases up for even a single second. It’s right there inside my head and it cannot be snuffed out or quieted.

I first noticed the ringing in my ears when I was about 40. At first, the sound was intermittent. It would come and go. But then, by the time I reached 50, this continuous, never-ending ringing in both ears became my constant companion.

Tinnitus can be quite annoying to those of us who suffer from it, especially since we are the only ones who can hear the sound. In most cases, the exact cause of tinnitus is never found. And worse, there is no known cure. The many doctors I’ve seen about it have all given me the same advice: learn to live with it.

And that means that I will never hear the sound of silence ever again.

Written for today’s Just Jot It January prompt from Linda G. Hill. Today’s word is “silence,” as suggested by Willow over at Willowdot21.

Song Lyric Sunday — I Will Comfort You

When I saw that today’s prompt for Song Lyric Sunday was the word “comfort,” it was a no brainer. Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” was it.

“Bridge over Troubled Water” is the title track on Simon & Garfunkel’s fifth (and final) studio album, Bridge over Troubled Water, which was released in 1970. Composed by singer-songwriter Paul Simon, the song is performed on piano and carries the influence of gospel music.

The song became Simon & Garfunkel’s biggest hit single, and it is often considered to be their signature song. It was a number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks. It won five awards at the 13th Annual Grammy Awards in 1971, including Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

Now I’m not really an emotional guy. I’m generally very stoic, somewhat detached, and mostly unflappable. But the first time I heard that song, listening to the lyrics and the way the music built up to an amazing crescendo, something unusual happened. Instead of maintaining my normally cool as a cucumber demeanor, my eyes were starting to tear up and then overflow until the tears streamed down my cheeks.

When the song ended, I was crying like a little girl. Never before had a song had such a strong emotional impact upon me. I was totally blown away. Of course, I was more than a little stoned at the time, and that may have intensified my response to the song.

Here are the lyrics:

When you’re weary, feeling small
When tears are in your eyes, I’ll dry them all (all)
I’m on your side, oh, when times get rough
And friends just can’t be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

When you’re down and out
When you’re on the street
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you (ooo)
I’ll take your part, oh, when darkness comes
And pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

Sail on silver girl
Sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way
See how they shine
Oh, if you need a friend
I’m sailing right behind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind