100WW — Reaching the Summit

B7B77D85-EFBE-4851-9617-0BA9F35F5DFFAlthough the day got off to an auspicious start, with John wondering if his son would ever get himself in gear, the two finally headed out of the hotel on Maui to begin their trek to the summit of the dormant volcano. John was assuming that they would at least get close to the peak by the end of the day.

There is no language that John could think of to adequately communicate the sense of accomplishment and pride that he and his son felt as the two of them reached the summit and took in the dramatic views.

(99 words)

Written for Bikurgurl’s 100 Word Wednesday prompt. Also for these daily, one-word prompts: Your Daily Word Prompt (auspicious), Word of the Day Challenge (wondering), Weekly Prompts (assuming), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (language).

Finish the Story — The Day the Lights Came – Part 2

573B722F-A1A7-408A-86FF-C2760EEEEBD1I have been tagged by Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith, to continue the story she started, “The Day the Lights Came.”

Here is how Teresa started the story:

It had been a warm early May day and the kids celebrated the first day of summer vacation down by the pond. The screen door slammed and sounds of muddy boots echoed through the kitchen. Helen and George chuckled. They remembered all the summer afternoons Levi spent frogging down at the pond before he moved away to the city. They loved having their grandsons, Junior and Max, in the house, but wished it had been under different circumstances.

Four feet sloshed up the wooden steps signaling it was all clear. Helen smiled and went into the kitchen. She picked up four socks, two wet t-shirts, and set them in the sink. George wandered in as she stuck her hand into the pocket of one set of jeans. Her face wrinkled and she giggled as she pulled out a small frog.

“Just like their dad.” George picked up the other pair and pulled out a lizard and two small rocks from one pocket and a frog from the other. “Exactly like their dad.”

Helen handed George her frog and wiped a tear from her eye. Levi had been gone three months and it was still hard to think about her little boy lying in his grave up on the hill.

George opened the back door, set the lizard down and watched him run off toward the woods. He looked at the frogs, trying to decide where to best leave them. As he looked toward the pond his mouth dropped. “What in good heavens!”

“George? George, what is it?”

George dropped the two frogs and looked into the sky.

“George!” Helen rushed to his side and was irked he made her worry by not responding. “What is –” She followed stare skyward and crossed herself. “In all my years … it’s not supposed to do that … the boys!”

George and Helen hurried upstairs and burst into the boys’ room without knocking. Before they could protest, George whipped out their backpacks and emptied them while Helen grabbed handfuls of clothes. It all happened so fast, neither boy could stop to think before they were dragged downstairs and out toward the storm shelter.

The air was warm and breezy, just as it had been all day.

“Grandpa,” Junior said. “Stop! What’s wrong!”

George handed Junior off to Helen and pointed to the sky as he opened the shelter door. “Look!”

Junior and Max looked up and smiled. “Whoa,” they said together.

“What is that,” Max asked.

George helped Helen down the steps, then looked into the sky again. “They look like the Northern Lights, but they can’t be. Now get in.”

Junior and Max saw the panic in his eyes and did as they were told without question.

Inside the family shelter, Junior and Max sat on one cot and watched as George cranked up the radio and tried to find the right station.

“Attention, listeners,” the voice said. “If you are hearing this, get to safety now. Reports are coming in from all over the world.”

Helen gasped and covered her mouth.

“Shh,” George said, hugging her.

“The lights in the sky,” the voice continued, “are not the Northern Lights. They are …”

And here’s my continuation:

“… as yet unidentifiable, but people are urged to take shelter inside their homes until the source of the phenomena has been identified.”

Meanwhile, at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, the country’s best scientific minds were frantically trying to identify the source of the strange lights.

“Give me an update,” demanded the chief astrophysicist. “Is the source of these lights from Earth or is it extraterrestrial?”

“Our initial findings, sir,” one of the lead scientists said, “lead us to believe that these lights are extraterrestrial, but at this point, we don’t yet know the specific source nor the meaning of the lights. So far, the presence of the lights is causing a world-wide panic, but we can’t yet confirm or refute that there is any hostile intent.”

“I, for one,” a scientist said, “believe that the source of the lights is attempting to communicate with us. I am highly skeptical that there is an evil intent and I suggest that, until we make a definitive determination as to the source and meaning, we should not overreact and initiate any kind of hostile response.”

Another scientist jumped up and said, “Excuse me, but my team has just identified the source of the lights and determined their purpose.”

“And what did you find?” the chief scientist asked.

Okay, now is the time for me to tag another blogger to write part three. I’m going to ask Keith, at Keith’s Ramblings, to see if he wants to pick it up and run with it.

Puddles Along the Trail

Februrary has been a very wet month in San Francisco. And this is a good thing, since just three months ago, more than three-quarters of the state was in moderate to extreme drought and the remainder was abnormally dry.

At the same time, all this rain has left puddle after puddle on the trail that we walk our dog along each morning. And while my wife and I try to avoid, as much as possible, stepping into these puddles, our dog always seems to find a way to trek right through the middle of them. And she also finds a way to find and walk through the muddiest parts of the path.

Kind of reminds me of myself when I was a kid.

Written for my daily one-word prompt, “puddle.”

One-Liner Wednesday — The Monkey Trial


“Do you think about things you do think about?”

Clarence Darrow

Today’s One-Liner Wednesday comes from the recorded transcript of the Scopes (Monkey) Trial, which took place in a Dayton, Tennessee courtroom in July of 1925.

Dayton teacher John T. Scopes was being prosecuted for teaching Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution in his high school class, despite a new Tennessee state statute banning the teaching in public schools of any theory that denied the biblical story of Creation.

Chicago criminal attorney Clarence Darrow served as the defense attorney for Scopes and former presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan acted as opposing counsel.

It was day seven of the trial and Clarence Darrow had called William Jennings Bryan, as an expert on the Bible, to the stand.

Darrow was asking Bryan when the “Great Flood” took place and Bryan said he couldn’t fix the date, although he did say that some biblical scholars put it at 4004 BC.

Darrow then asked, “What do you think?”

Bryan responded, “I do not think about things I don’t think about.”

Darrow then asked Bryan, “Do you think about the things you do think about?”

Fandango’s Provocative Question #16

FPQEach week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration. By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

This week’s provocative question came to mind when I started to work on our federal taxes this week. My wife said, “I don’t want any of our tax dollars to go to pay for Trump’s goddam vanity wall.” Unfortunately, we taxpayers don’t have the ability to earmark how our tax dollars are — or are not — spent. And so my wife’s comment gave me fodder for this week’s provocative question:

“Should tax payers have the option to explicitly say what they don’t want their tax dollars spent on?”

What do you think? What areas, if any, would you wish to exclude yout tax dollars from paying for?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments.

And most important, have fun.