3TC — Boys Don’t Play With Barbies

65E9435D-5535-4BE3-B78E-7968AA1887E9“You need to do something about Brian,” Max told his wife.

“What are you talking about?” Tammy asked Max.

“Are you crackers?” Max said. “You seriously don’t know?”

“Max, I have no clue what it is that you want me do about Brian,” Tammy said.

“You don’t find his behavior at all questionable?” Max asked.

“Will you just spit it out, please?” Tammy said. “I honestly don’t know what your problem with Brian is.”

“Fine,” Max said. “Brian seems to like playing with his sister’s Barbie dolls.”


“Are you kidding me? He’s a boy who likes playing with Barbie dolls,” Max said. “Boys don’t play with Barbies. If he wants to play with dolls, we should get him some action figures, like G.I. Joe or Captain America.”

“Why?” Asked Tammy. “Boys can play with Barbie dolls and not be called a sissy, gay, or worse.”

“Not Brian, not my boy,” Max protested.

“Brian is only seven years old. Playing with a Barbie doll doesn’t define his gender identity,” Tammy said. “Let me ask you a question. In ten years, would you prefer that he be more interested in playing with someone named Joe or someone named Barbie?”

“Okay, fine,” Max said. Then Tammy heard Max calling out to Brian, “Hey Brian, let’s go out back and toss a football.” Tammy just shook her head.

Written for Teresa’s Three Things Challenge prompt, where the three things are dolls, crackers, and questionable.

#writephoto — Zero Tolerance: A Parable

383FD794-7BED-488F-AFB4-FA51DB3CC4E7Dorothy and her dog, along with her three traveling companions, were making the hazardous journey through the land of Oz heading toward the legendary Emerald City, which they were told was a welcoming land of opportunity just on the other side of the river.

Their journey had been an arduous one so far. They had successfully escaped capture by a band of marauding gorillas and had survived the numerous tornadoes that wreaked havoc upon the towns and villages all across the countryside.

Life in Oz had become unbearable and the four companions believed that their only chance for survival would be to flee to the Emerald City and seek asylum there. No hardships in their path to a better life was going to deter them. To them it was truly a matter of life and death.

Suddenly one of the companions looked up and in a very excited voice said, “Dorothy, look. It’s a poppy field. According to Google Maps, the river should be just beyond the field of poppies and then, not to far from there, we should find freedom in Emerald City.”

“Oh,” Dorothy responded. “That’s wonderful. Let’s go.” And the four of them, along with Dorothy’s little dog, ran into the poppy field.

The little dog was the first to succumb, collapsing on the ground. “Toto, what is wrong?” Dorothy cried. But then she, too, grew incredibly sleepy, as did her three companions. One by one they fell to the ground fast asleep.

When she woke up a few hours later, Dorothy was lying on a cot within a chain link fence inside of what appeared to be a large warehouse. She saw a large sign that read “Welcome to the Emerald City Detention Center.” She saw a uniformed guard carrying a semiautomatic rifle pass near by.

“Excuse me,” she said, getting the guard’s attention. “What is this place? And where are my friends and my dog?”

“You were apprehended in the poppy fields attempting to illegally enter Emerald City,” he said. “You and your companions have been separated. And your dog, well, we can’t allow mangy creatures to come to Emerald City.”

“Oh my,” said Dorothy. “What did you do to Toto?”

“He’s in a better place now,” the guard said, a smirk on his face.

“And what of me and my companions?” Dorothy asked.

“By order of the Great Pumpkinhead, our Dear Leader,” the guard said, “you will be sent back to Oz.”

“But we came to Emerald City seeking asylum. We were told that Emerald City would allow us to stay.”

“Not anymore,” the guard said. “Perhaps if you’d come here from Norway and not some shithole country, we’d hear your case for asylum. But Dear Leader says that we don’t need more of your kind to bring about massive demographic changes upon the people of Emerald City. The Great Pumpkinhead has declared a national emergency, so you must be deported back to Oz.”

“But that’s a certain death sentence,” Dorothy protested.

“Sorry, kiddo,” the guard said unsympathetically, “But our orders are to make Emerald City great again, and we can’t do that if we let your kind in. It’s our new zero tolerance policy.

Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt.

FFfPP — On the Outside Looking In

img_2136Henry pressed his face up against the restaurant’s window. He put his hands up next to his eyes to get a better view of what was inside. He marveled at the bright, white tablecloths and the artistically folded napkins.

Each table was neatly lined up, a beautifully framed piece of artwork gracing each setting. He felt and heard the growling of his stomach. How long had it been since he’d eaten at such a place, Henry wondered. Hell, how long had it been since he’d had a decent meal?

Henry remembered the heady days when he was making money hand over fist as a commodities trader. He could afford to go to fancy restaurants like this. He’d bring prospective clients to such places to impress them. This memory brought a melancholy smile to Henry’s face.

If only he hadn’t put his money in that Ponzi scheme. He lost everything. All his money, all his clients, his family, his reputation. He avoided jail time by agreeing to flip on the crook who masterminded the fraud.

The restaurant door opened. The owner invited Henry to come in and have a meal before the restaurant opened for business.

Henry actually started to cry.

(200 words)

Written for this week’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practictioner from Roger Shipp. Photo credit: MorgueFile May 2018 1400068700w0086.

Friday Fictioneers — The View


Samantha was a very shy girl. She rarely left her yard and was so shy that she even refused to go to school, forcing her parents to homeschool her.

Samantha was also a very curious girl. She wanted to know about everyting. But she refused to leave the confines of her yard.

So her parents bought two large window boxes, placed them on the wall that separated their property from the street, and filled them with tall grasses, leaving a very small opening in between for Samantha to peek through.

And that’s how Samantha got to see the outside world.

(99 words)

Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers prompt. Image credit: Rhonda Del Boccio.