Mission Impossible

As Jimmy passed through the gate, he had this disconcerting thought that he might never return. He was warned that this mission would be a delicate one, but he was assured that they were confident, as they waved goodbye, that he had the capacity to pull it off.

Jimmy was having second thoughts as he cautiously proceeded. Did they gaslight him into believing that he had the goods to succeed? Or was their intent to humiliate him if he failed? Clearly they were a bunch of barracudas gleefully sending him on a mission impossible.

After all, Jimmy had never before played the Nest of Vipers video game.5E912056-E1E3-429E-9813-568961EFF142

Written for Paula Light’s Three Things Challenge, where the three things are “wave,” “gaslight,” and “barracuda.” Also for these daily prompts: The Daily Spur (gate), Ragtag Daily Prompt (return), Word of the Day Challenge (delicate), Daily Addictions (capacity), Your Daily Word Prompt (humiliate), and Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (nest).

Scratching My Head

C462C498-5DDE-47AB-997C-2DCCEE74BCBDEarlier today I wrote a post about toenails. Let me assure you that this post is not about dandruff. This post is about blame shifting.

In the aftermath of mass shootings last weekend in El Paso and Dayton, Republican officials, including, of course, Donald Trump, as well as the so-called “personalities” on Fox News, have pointed to violent video games as a significant factor in the rise in gun violence in America. Not to confuse them with facts, though, numerous studies have found absolutely no link between violent video games and actual violent behavior.

So naturally, Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer and the site of the El Paso shootings, is taking swift and decisive action. “Out of respect for the incidents of the past week,” Walmart is taking down displays of violent video games and movies in its stores in the wake of recent shootings.

By the way, Walmart is also one of the largest sellers of guns and ammunition in the world, and will continue to display and sell firearms in its stores.

So yes, I’m sitting here scratching my head, but not due to dandruff. Due to the egregious shifting the blame for gun violence to anything but guns.

50 Word Thursday — Sanctuary

F95EF0E0-C9A1-43B9-9145-AB600AAEF1F7“Why did you bring me here?” Miss Wonderly asked in a hushed voice.

“I love it here. It gives me comfort and joy. It’s my sanctuary, it offers me peace, and I wanted to share this place with you,” Miss Anthrope answered.

Miss Wonderly murmured, “Thank you,” softly as before and sat down on the edge of the chair’s wooden seat. “But you know I don’t believe, don’t you?” she said.

“That’s okay. I just felt the need to share this with you. Can’t you feel His presence?

“Feel whose presence?”

“God’s presence, silly girl.”

“Sorry, but no, I don’t.”

(100 words)

Written for this week’s 50 Word Thursday prompt from Kristian at Tales From the Mind of Kristian. The idea is to use the image above (unattributed), along with the lines, “Miss Wonderly murmured, ‘Thank you,’ softly as before and sat down on the edge of the chair’s wooden seat,” from Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon and to write a post that must be between 50 and 250 words, in 50 word increments.


Toenail Maintenance

95633893-A81D-4D48-AB43-1BB41810F153I hate clipping my toenails. They seem to always be just out of reach. At my age, I can no longer contort my body in such a way as to make the job of clipping them in any way comfortable.

And they’re hard to see clearly as they occupy that sweet spot where I can’t seem to get my toes close enough to see without my glasses but too far away to focus on with my glasses.

Plus, for some strange reason, my toenails are way thicker than my fingernails, making them harder to clip.

I asked my wife if she would clip my toenails for me. “Ew, no!” was her response. My own wife! Can you imagine? She suggested, instead, that since I find clipping my toenails so onerous, I should consider going out and getting a pedicure.

“Ew, no!” I said. I mean seriously, I would never voluntarily choose to expose anyone else to my ugly, stinky toes. Can you imagine?

I sometimes put off toenail maintenance for so long that when I walk our dog, my toenails dig into the skin of the neighboring toes, so much so that there are small red dots of blood on my white socks when I remove my shoes. That’s when I know it’s time.

So I suck it up, bite the bullet, and just go ahead and clip my own damn toenails.

You know, this is the 21st century, for crissake. You would have thought by now that some enterprising entrepreneur would have developed a device that would painlessly, effectively, and efficiently As clip toenails.

I’d be the first in line to buy one!

Friday Fictioneers — Facing My Demons

28ADB318-6D0A-41B7-820B-DDEA997C4ECAI spent almost twenty years behind those walls. They called it an insane asylum before that was deemed politically incorrect. Then they called it a psychiatric hospital, but “hospital” was a euphemism. More like a prison or a torture chamber.

Back then I was labeled nuts, crazy, insane, which meant locking me away and throwing away the key. But it turns out I wasn’t nuts, crazy, insane; I was bipolar.

My shrink said coming back here might help me confront my demons. The “No Trespassing” graffiti painted on the side of the boarded-up building did the trick.

(97 words)

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