In Plain Sight

58155579-FA36-4ADB-B07C-4B8E04E5EBCAHer value to those who employed her was her ability to hide in plain sight. She was inconspicuous, unnoticed, unnoteworthy. She managed to blend into the background, seeming almost invisible. And she was a wealthy woman because of it. She never failed to carry out her assignments, to the great satisfaction of those who engaged her for her services.

She was meticulous in every way. She knew that we are all creatures of habit, so she would watch and learn, sometimes studying her targets for weeks before making her move.

To her, it was a labor of love. More often than not she would literally fall in love with her targets. There developed for her a certain intimacy between them, even though they were not even aware of her presence. She came to know their strengths and their weaknesses. She discovered the things that brought them joy, that haunted them, that made them happy, angry, sad. She knew their social and sexual proclivities. She believed she knew them better than they knew themselves.

She sometimes regretted having to do what she was so highly compensated to do. She knew that, because of her, the life they had lived before she entered the picture was over. And that made her sad. But in her heart, she truly believed that once her job was complete, they would be in a better place.

Some said that she had ice water running through her veins, but that was far from the truth. She felt with an intensity that others just didn’t or couldn’t understand. When the time came for her to carry out her assignment, the adrenaline would start to flow and her heart would pound so hard inside her chest that she was sure others could hear it beat.

She would stealthily approach her target, and without any warning, she would touch them. They would respond to her touch, turn to look at her — look into her eyes — with a confused expression on their faces.

But before they could say anything or react in any way, she’d put a finger in front of her lips, and say, “Shh.” Then she’d lean in and whisper softly and sensuously in her target’s ear, “Today is the last day of your life.”

Most of her targets got wide-eyed. Some tried to back away, others just stood there, as if frozen in place. She knew how each would react to her because she had studied them down to the smallest detail, and she was never wrong.

And then she would spring the trap. She’d grab her target’s hand and say to them, “I’m the most successful talent agent in Hollywood and I’m going to make you a superstar. Your life will never be the same again.”

Written for this week’s Photo Challenge from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. Photo credit: Raventhird.

FOWC with Fandango — Live

FOWCWelcome to December 10, 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 “live.”

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.

The issue with pingbacks not showing up seems to have been resolved, but you might check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please 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.

My Fiery Little Vixen

Underground spring

“Do you remember how we met?” Sarah asked Matt.

“Oh boy, do I,” Matt said, a wry smile on his face. “You were so angry at me for what you called my ‘flagrant foul’ during that flag football game on the campus quad.”

Sarah started laughing and Matt joined her in her laughter. “Yes,” Sarah said, “and one of the characteristics I love about you is your ability to indulge my occasionally explosive temper.”

“And that, my fiery little vixen,” Matt said, “is why I take you to serene and peaceful places like this, where the air is calm and where it’s so quiet that the only sounds we hear are the beating of our two hearts.”

Written for Sadje’s What Do You See? prompt. Also for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (flagrant), Word of the Day Challenge (quad), The Daily Spur (laughter), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (indulge), Daily Addictions (air), and Your Daily Word Prompt (quiet). Image credit: Pinterest.

Share Your World — Truth and Joy

Share Your WorldIt’s Monday and Melanie is once again asking us to Share Our World with each other. She has posed some intriguing questions for us this week, so let’s just hop to it.

What is truth?

Now this is a question I wish I would have thought of to ask on my weekly provocative question prompt. Technically speaking, truth is something that conforms with facts and reality. Unfortunately, in today’s world, we have “alternative facts” when the actual facts are in conflict with what someone chooses to believe. And we have “fake news” when the real news (i.e., reality) is not consistent with what someone chooses to accept as actual reality. Furthering the blurring of truth, we have Photoshopped images and deepfake videos that effectively “alter” facts and reality. Bottom line, we are living in a post-truth age and I’m not sure that the notion of truth even exists anymore. Any that’s the truth.

What’s one thing people would never know about you just by looking at you?

That I’m a stable genius. Oh wait. That’s the one thing people would never think about Donald Trump.

Do loud noises bother you?

Unfortunately, with my left ear being totally blocked, every noise I hear gets trapped inside my head and bothers me. Hopefully, after my surgery at the end of this month, that will be corrected.

If you were guaranteed the correct answer to just one question, what would you ask?

Seriously? You asked in the first question, “What is truth?” and my answer was that we live in a post-truth age. So is there really such a thing as a “correct answer” anymore? I guess that would depend upon who you ask.

What fills YOUR heart with joy?

Right now, not much. But seeing Trump impeached (likely) and removed from office (unlikely) would fill my heart with unbridled joy.

The Monday Peeve — Chomping at the Bit

Every Monday, Paula Light publishes her “The Monday Peeve” prompt in which she gives us “the chance to blow off a little steam at the beginning of the week, so then we can go merrily on our way once again.”

I’m going to do a lot of blowing off today. Are you ready for my rant?

This may sound petty, but as I admitted in my provocative question post last Wednesday, I’m a peeveblogger. And one thing that peeves me off is when people use the expressing “chomping at the bit.” Why does that peeve me off? Simple. It’s not the correct idiom, which is “champing at the bit.” Yes, it’s “champing” not “chomping.”

50D55F6F-302E-43CD-A9EA-D01121F93BCFThe idiom comes from horse racing. A bit is part of the apparatus that goes in the horse’s mouth and connects to the bridle and reins so the horse can be controlled and directed by the jockey on its back. The bit fits into a toothless ridge of the horse’s mouth, so the horse never really bites the bit. But it can grind his teeth or jaw against the bit, and if it does, it means that the horse is either nervous, or really excited about racing. That’s how the phrase “champing at the bit” entered everyday communications: to indicate extreme eagerness.

Most people use the phrase today to indicate when someone is eager or anxious to do something. They are said to be champing at the bit, not chomping at the bit, nor chomping on the bit. So what am I supposed to do when someone says or writes “chomping at the bit”? Am I supposed to just sit back, swallow hard, and let whoever said or wrote it mangle and abuse the English language? Probably some, or maybe most, of you think I should.

While I’m on a roll, it also drives me crazy when people say “flush out” when what they really mean is “flesh out.” As I’m sure you know, to flesh out an idea is to give it substance, whereas to flush out something is to reveal a thing previously concealed. Flesh out and flush out are not synonymous or interchangeable.

Or how about those who say that they could care less, when what they really mean is that they couldn’t care less? “I couldn’t care less” means that it’s not possible for me to care any less about the subject at hand than I already do. On the other hand, “I could care less” literally means “I care more than I might seem to.” If you could care less, you’re saying that you care a little and it’s possible that you could care even less, which is the opposite of not caring at all.

And, finally, if you don’t know the difference between the Latin abbreviations “e.g.” and “i.e.,” don’t use them. Use, instead, “for example” or “that is.”

Okay, I’m done.TMP