After his wife told Harold to pack his bags, he knew that he was going to be on his own, at least for a while. He actually didn’t mind being alone for a change. He felt that his wife was always watching him like a hawk, ready to swoop down and pounce on him if he did something or said something that she didn’t approve of.

But Harold, who believed in the sanctity of marriage, decided, despite her raffish treatment of him, to continue the pretense of the happy couple. Until, of course, she tossed him out, which served as yet another reminder of how truly unhappy he was living with her.

As it turned out, Harold was much happier living apart, and he quickly learned that being alone was more liberating than staying with her and being lonely together.

Written for these daily prompts: The Daily Spur (pack), Your Daily Word Prompt (raffish), Ragtag Daily Prompt (pretense), Word of the Day Challenge (reminder), and Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (lonely).

TMP — The Wrong Direction

Every Monday, Paula Light, with her The Monday Peeve prompt, gives us an opportunity to vent or rant about something that pisses us off. Well, my peeve today is about stupidity and selfishness.

Dr. Anthony Fauci is very frustrated. He is worried that the United States is in an “unnecessary predicament” of soaring COVID-19 cases fueled by unvaccinated Americans and the virulent delta variant.

The only way to stop the latest surge of COVID-19 cases is through herd immunity. Herd immunity occurs when a large portion of a community becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. As a result, the whole community becomes protected — not just those who are immune.

Herd immunity can be achieved when enough people have been vaccinated for a disease and have developed protective antibodies against future infection. What is “enough” people? It is at least 70% but preferably closer to 90%.

Unfortunately, as of yesterday, only 49.1% of Americans have been fully vaccinated, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That’s nowhere near enough vaccinations to stop the spread of the delta variant, the most contagious strain of novel coronavirus ever identified.

In 48 states, the rate of new COVID-19 cases this past week jumped by at least 10% compared to the previous week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. In 34 of those states, the rate of new cases increased by more than 50%.

Hospitals are starting to fill up again with COVID-19 patients, but now, in many areas, patients are younger than before.

The rational and smart response to this situation is simple. Eligible Americans who want to prevent the continued spread of the disease need to do their part and get vaccinated. To refuse to get vaccinated because of political or religious reasons or due to unfounded, ridiculous conspiracy theories is not helping.

Don’t be stupid, people. Don’t be selfish. Get vaccinated and when out in public, wear a goddam face mask. That is the only way to help every single American enjoy the freedoms that we want to return to.

End of peeve.

Share Your World — 7/26/2021

Melanie is going deep with today’s edition of Share Your World. Let’s see how long I can tread water with my answers.

Do you believe in second chances?

Second chances, yes. We all say or do things we later regret. But third, fourth, or more chances? Fuhgeddaboudit. As the old saying goes, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”

Is your glass half full or half empty?

That depends upon how thirsty I am.

Would you rather someone be honest and hurt your feelings or lie to protect them?

I prefer honest feedback. I’d rather know what people really think than to have them try to appease me.

When have you felt your biggest adrenaline rush?

It was probably when I went whitewater rafting on the New River in West Virginia. That was many years ago and I think I used up most of my lifetime supply of adrenaline on that excursion.

Blogging Insights — I’ve Got a Secret

Dr. Tanya has decided to change things up a bit for her weekly Blogging Insights prompt. Instead of using the Q&A format, she’s going to provide us with a quote about blogging or writing and ask us to express our opinion about said quote.

Here’s this week’s quote. It’s from Ralph Fletcher, an American writer of children’s picture books, young adult fiction, and poetry.

“Here is the secret of writing: there is no secret.”

Well that’s probably true. Anyone with a pen or pencil and some paper or a computer and a keyboard can write. But I notice that in Mr. Fletcher’s quote, he didn’t say anything about the secret of good writing.

I think there are definitely rules for good writing and there’s nothing secret about what they are, although it’s hard to get any two writers to agree on which rules are most important for good writing. So all I can do is to discuss what I think is good writing.

First and foremost to me is that a writer needs to be proficient when it comes to grammar, punctuation, usage, and spelling. Those are the fundamental building blocks of writing and without them, good writing is impossible.

Assuming proficiency in those fundamental tools of writing, the secret of good writing — especially when it comes to writing blog posts — is that the writer knows how to engage and entertain the reader. Readers want to be entertained. If they’re not entertained, they’ll lose interest and stop reading. Thus, even if the goal of the writing is to inform or educate the reader, a good writer will do so in an engaging, entertaining way.

That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #128

Welcome to Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week I will be posting a photo I grab off the internet and challenging bloggers to write a flash fiction piece or a poem inspired by the photo. There are no style or word limits.

The photo below is from the Google Photo Frame.For the visually challenged writer, the photo is of a complex of on and off ramps at a multitiered highway interchange.

If this week’s image inspires you and you wish to participate, please write your post, use the tag #FFFC, and link back to this post. I hope it will generate some great posts.

Thanks to all of you who have participated in these challenges. Your posts have been very creative. Please take a few minutes to read the other responses to this photo challenge.

Please create a pingback to this post or manually add your link in the comments.