She is the One

58DC3994-C8C2-47B6-BFD5-6767C9A8337ASara never thought of herself as special. Sure, she was tall, blonde, and beautiful. But between genetic engineering, hair coloring, and cosmetic surgery, who wasn’t?

But then, in 2180, everything changed for her. She was looking for a position within the security force and had transmitted her CV in response to an inquiry from a bot investigator. When she got a message on her communicator regarding her CV, she provided the bot with her physical world coordinates and was instantly teleported to what looked like an underground room in a 21st century ruin.

Sara looked around the dank, dirty room into which she found herself when she noticed what appeared to be a tiny, iridescent dot on a far wall. She walked up to it and touched the dot with her index finger. That action brought the wall to life, a giant screen with thousands of horizontal dots and shimmering images appeared before her.

Instead of jumping back in fear, though, as so many who had preceded her had done, Sara was intrigued. She reached out and touched the screen and she instantly knew exactly what it meant.

At a different location in another dimension, the Managers were watching Sara as she absorbed what was passing from the screen to her consciousness. “Is she the one?” one of the Managers asked.

“Even in the darkest hour, you can see her light, the Manager of the Managers said. “She is, indeed, the one.”

Written for The Haunted Wordsmith Daily Prompt. Teresa selected the genre of “Superhero” and the Sentence Starter of “Even in the darkest hour, you can see his (or her) light.” Photo credit: Josh Hild on Unsplash.

Float Like a Butterfly

CDFACB19-76BE-46F7-8302-D03B93AAA666“With that mouth of yours, you’re lucky someone hasn’t yet knocked that shit-eating grin off your face,” Jimmy said.

Ted was sitting at a piano in the bar playing a tune. “I’m too fast for that, my friend. As Muhammed Ali used to say, ‘I float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.’”

“You wish,” Jimmy said. “Putting you and Ali in the same sentence is like putting lipstick on a pig and calling it Julia Roberts.”

“Well, Julia Roberts has some pretty impressive lips,” Ted said, without halting his piano playing.

A couple of young men walked into the bar making a lot of noise and acting aggressively.

“Hey you two, tone it down a little will you please? I’m playing here.” Ted yelled at the new arrivals.

The two men walked over to Ted. One of them said, “Were you talking to us?” While Ted was looking at the man who addressed him, the other man smashed a fist into Ted’s face.

Ted fell onto the floor and Jimmy rushed over to assist him and called out to the bartender, “Call 9-1-1!”

At that, the two rambunctious men quickly fled the bar. “Float like a butterfly, huh?” Jimmy said to Ted.

“I was blindsided,” Ted complained.

“Yeah, well meanwhile that bruise on your cheek is swelling and turning a lovely verdant shade,” Jimmy said. “But don’t worry, Ted. I’ll just tell everyone that you got stung by a bee.”

Written for Paula Light’s Three Things Challenge, where the three things are “lipstick,” “piano,” and “butterfly.” Also for these daily prompts: The Daily Spur (mouth), Word of the Day Challenge (lucky), Your Daily Word Prompt (rambunctious), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (meanwhile), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (verdant).

Mixed Feelings

86F98281-9814-4330-AB7A-215AF2962A8DAs I write this, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (i.e., the stock market) has tumbled almost 700 points today.

I’m retired, so other than the relative pittance I get from my Social Security retirement payments, most of my retirement income comes from the 401(k) retirement plans I contributed to during my working years. And most of my portfolio is invested in either index funds or corporate stock, which means that when the stock market falters, so does the amount of money in my nest egg.

The stock market has traditionally been viewed as an indicator, or a “predictor,” of the economy. But the reality is that, as of this year, the top 10 percent of Americans own an average of $969,000 in stocks, while the next 40 percent own $132,000 on average. For the bottom half of families, it’s just under $54,000.

So what does that mean? The wealth gap continues to increase. Those families in the 90th percentile have a stock portfolio worth of almost $1,000,000. Meanwhile, those in the 50th percentile or below hardly have any net worth at all.

In other words, if you’re rich, the fact that the stock market is high is good news for you, while it doesn’t mean shit to 90% of Americans.

So why do I have mixed feelings about a drop in the stock market? Why, when my financial security in retirement is dependent upon the value of my stock portfolio, am I not more upset that the market is way down today? I mean, the last thing I want to happen is that I run out of money before I run out of breath.

Well, it’s simple. For many Americans, the stock market is a barometer for how well the American economy is doing, even though, for the vast majority of Americans, the market has little impact on their everyday lives. But because people look at the stock market as an indicator the nation’s economic healthy, Donald Trump is using its gains as a proxy for what a “wonderful president” he is. Trump is constantly bragging about what a fantastic job he’s done with the American economy, even though this economic recovery started when Obama was still president.

And the other reason for my mixed feelings is because I abhor Donald Trump and I hate the idea of him claiming credit for the economy by citing the great performance of the stock market when his supporters are mostly too stupid to realize that it’s of no help to them whatsoever.

Share Your World — Stigmas, Snooping, and Sleeping

SYWWoo hoo! It’s Monday and that means that Melanie, at Sparks From a Combustible Mind, has another installment of Share Your World. So let’s get right to it.

What social stigma does society need to get over already?

There are just so many to choose from. But let’s start out with the notion that far too many people seem to cling to: anyone who is not like you, say in skin color, country of origin, religious or political beliefs, or sexual orientation, is the “other” and is not as worthy as you are.

What was the last photo you took?

Timing is everything. I had to get a new modem/router from my ISP last week because my internet was cutting in and out for a few days. When I had to set up the new modem/router, I used the online service and was asked to enter the new device’s serial number and password. I turned it upside down and took this picture with my iPhone so that I could enter the requested numbers on my laptop. Of course, to protect what little online privacy I still have, for the purpose of this response, I struck through said serial number and password on this posted photo.84D8C10D-18E5-4CCD-86AE-82E0768F4250

When was the last time you snooped and found something or found out something you wish you hadn’t?

I’m generally not a snooper. I believe in personal space and boundaries. But once a long time ago I followed a girl I was going out with when she told me she couldn’t go out with me that night because she had an important test to study for. Apparently the test had something to do with how many guys she could flirt with a local bar.

What’s the most comfortable bed or chair you’ve ever slept in?

The one I have now, which is a Beautyrest Black pillow-top mattress. It’s pretty comfy.ec7decc8-a08e-4438-a9c6-03d547639d74.jpeg

Can being grateful change your world?

I don’t know if it can change my world, but it might make living in it more pleasant.

Weekly Song Challenge — Dancing, Medieval Times, and Sex

Laura, at Lauravent69, has a musical challenge in which she asked us to…

  • Copy her rules and add them to my own post, pinging back to her post. ✔️
  • Post music videos for my answers to her musical questions. ✔️
  • Tag two people to participate!✖️

So here are my music videos for this week’s challenge:

1. Post a video clip from a movie that involves dancing.

2. Post a video of a song that makes you think of medieval times.

3. Post a video of a song about sex.

Now as far as tagging two people to participate, well fuhgeddaboudit. I’m tagging anybody who wants to play along with Laura’s fun challenge on this mighty fine Monday.