MLMM Tale Weaver — Wash, Rinse, and Repeat

5A7BB20F-5628-48A4-BF02-319FB36FD210The question his therapist asked Avery was, “Do you have anything in your life that you consider a ritual. For example do you follow a routine each day, that is part of the way you start or end your day?”

“Well,” Avery said, “I’m not a religious man, so there are no spiritual rituals I follow. But as a retiree, every day is Saturday. And I do have certain activities that I do each day, but that would hardly classify them as rituals.”

“And what are those daily recurring activities, Avery?” the shrink asked.

“For starters,” Avery responded, “every morning when I wake up, I go to the kitchen, pour myself a cup of coffee, and sit down to read the daily newspaper — the paper edition, not the electronic version. Then I fix myself a bowl of cereal, and read whatever book I’m reading at the time until it’s time to walk my dog.”

“I see,” the therapist said. “And this is a routine you follow every day?”

“Yes it is,” Avery said. “Then I fix myself some lunch, spend some time on my computer, and then take a nap until late afternoon, when I get up and take my dog for another walk.

“By then it’s dinner time, so I’ll make myself something to eat, after which I will watch television for a few hours before I take my dog out for his final walk of the day.”

“And what happens after that last walk?”

“It’s about 10:00 by then, so I will head to bed and read some more for maybe an hour before turning out the light and going to sleep,” Avery said.

“And the next day you do the same thing?”

“Pretty much,” Avery said. “My day-to-day life is essentially wash, rinse, and repeat. Hmm. I guess maybe my days sort of are ritualistic. Rather boring rituals, but rituals nonetheless, I suppose.”

Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver prompt.
Photo credit:

Into the Breach

8B7D0BEE-5656-4490-A950-7BF4EA12C558“There’s been a database breach!” Harold, the head of IT, told the CEO.

“That’s terrible news,” the CEO said. “How widespread is it?”

“As far as we can tell, it’s limited to the northeast region,” Harold said, “But we’ve got our finest technicians working on trying to contain the breach.”

“Do whatever you have to do, Harold,” the CEO said. “I know you’ve got a deep bench on your team. We need a seamless solution and you have to get this breach taken care of before word gets out. The credibility of our data security and protection capabilities cannot be compromised. We can’t afford to lose this contract.”

“We’re all over it, sir,” Harold said.

“Good,” the CEO said. “I don’t want to be watching Rachel Maddow tonight and hear her give an in-depth exposé about how the Russians hacked our voter registration database…again!”

Written for these daily prompts: The Daily Spur (database), Your Daily Word Prompt (region), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (finest), Ragtag Daily Prompt (bench), and Word of the Day Challenge (seam).

Time to Write — The Peephole

513BBE11-0F37-4BDE-AB11-0E0A58674BEA“How did you find me?” Jimmy asked Anita.

Just an hour earlier, Jimmy had been sitting on his living room couch sucking on a joint and watching a baseball game on TV when his doorbell rang. “Damn, who the fuck could that be?” he said aloud. He slowly stood up and walked to the door. When he looked through the peephole, he saw a young woman, maybe in her late teens or early twenties, someone Jimmy didn’t recognize.

He decided to just ignore the unexpected visitor, whoever she was, and to head back to his couch and finish watching the game, but as he started to back away from the door, the doorbell rang again and he heard the woman’s voice say, “I know you’re in there. I saw you look through the peephole.”

Jimmy opened the door and said, “Whatever you’re selling, whether it’s Girl Scout cookies, magazine subscriptions, or Jesus Christ, I’m not interested.” He started to shut the door when she literally stuck her foot in the doorway.

“Wait,” she said. “Are you James McMurphy?”

Surprised that she knew his name, he said, “Yeah, who the fuck are you? What do you want?”

“Do you know Rebecca Hartley?” she asked.

“No, I don’t,” Jimmy responded, although in the far reaches of his mind, the name did sound a little familiar.

“Did you go to Northgate High School?” she asked.

Jimmy was losing patience. “So what if I did? Who are you and what’s this all about?”

“May I come in?” she asked.

Jimmy sighed, stepped aside, and waived her in. Once she was inside, he shut the door and said, “Yeah, so?”

The young woman made a sniffing gesture and smiled at the familiar aroma of marijuana. “My name’s Anita,” she said, putting out a hand for Jimmy to shake. “And you’re my father.”

Jimmy started laughing. “Yeah, right,” he said. “Listen, I don’t know who you are or what your game is, but you need to get the fuck outta here.” He reopened the door.

“Rebecca Hartley!” she blurted out. “She is, or was, my mother. She died last month.”

Jimmy closed the door. “I’m sorry about your mother, but I don’t know your mother and I sure as shit ain’t your father.”

Anita reached into a backpack she was carrying, pulled out a few old photographs, handed them to Jimmy, and said “That’s you in these pictures with my mom, isn’t it?”

It had been 22 years since Jimmy had seen these pictures, but when he looked at them, his mind was flooded with memories. “Becky,” he whispered. He looked up at Anita and said, “You’re Becky’s kid?”

“And yours.”

“No way. Becky would have told me if I’d have knocked her up.”

“She never told you because she knew you weren’t right for each other,” Anita said. “You only went out three or four times, but she said you were hot and, well, I happened. It was the summer after you graduated when she found out that she was pregnant with me. You were getting ready to leave for Ann Arbor on a football scholarship and she didn’t want to burden you.”

Jimmy was dumbfounded. He walked over to the couch, sat down, grabbed the remote, and turned off the TV. He picked up the joint and lit it, took a deep drag, looked up at Anita, who was still standing by the door, and asked, “How did you find me?”

Written for this week’s Time to Write Sentence Starter prompt from Rachel Poli.


Friday Fictioneers — The Press Conference

9EB79927-1319-44A2-A780-0A7869BB9F50The police chief stepped up to the microphone at the hastily called press conference in front of the synagogue where the incident took place.

“Our community narrowly escaped what could have been yet another heinous act of antisemitism,” the chief said. “The perpetrator entered the synagogue, shouted ‘Jews will not replace us,’ as he opened fire with an AR-15 semiautomatic assault rifle. He got off two rounds before the rifle jammed. Fortunately no one was shot and three congregants were able to tackle and subdue the shooter.”

He paused. “I implore you, Mr. President, cease your hateful rhetoric. Please, sir.”

(100 words)

Written for this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt from Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Photo credit: Roger Bultot.

FOWC with Fandango — Finest

FOWCWelcome to May 3, 2019 and to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). It’s designed to fill the void after WordPress bailed on its daily one-word prompt.

I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (US).

Today’s word is “finest.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC 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.

Note: some bloggers have had issues with pingbacks showing up lately, so if you don’t see it shortly after you published your post, you might want manually add your link in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. You will marvel at their creativity.