#writephoto — Perspective

3FB8307E-BA25-4FB4-8A8D-34805693822D“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” Carolyn asked her friend, Ann, after handing her the photograph. “I’m going to have it mounted and framed and hang it in my living room.”

Ann stared at the picture for a moment and then handed it back to Carolyn. “It’s okay, I guess,” Ann said.

Carolyn was shocked and disappointed by her friend’s reaction. “Seriously?” she said. “It’s just okay?”

“Well, I guess it’s got some artistic qualities about it in an avant-garde sort of way,” Ann said. “But I’m not sure I see the same beauty in it that you do.”

“Oh my God,” Carolyn said indignantly. “How can you look at that photo and not see the beauty in it? It’s a goddam work of art.”

Ann grabbed the picture out of Carolyn’s hand and looked at it again. “Okay, sure, I can see the artistry,” she said. “But what made you take a picture of the setting sun being reflected on the surface of a slushy road?”

Carolyn took the picture back from Ann and looked at it again. “Oh for crissake, Ann,” Carolyn said. “You’re holding it upside down.”

975A6C51-D39A-477E-A545-1CC800B02EB5“Oh,” said Ann. “It’s a sunset over the lake. My bad.”

Written for today’s Thursday Photo Prompt from Sue Vincent. And, yes, Sue, it is a beautiful photograph when you look at it from the the right perspective. 😃

The Fire Sleuth

SleuthFranklin, the head of the fire investigation unit, and his two interns walked into what remained of the structure. “What’s the first step we should take to assay the situation and identity the source?” he asked the two men.

The men looked at one another and then back at Franklin. “Sir, I’m sorry, but did you mean to say ‘assess the situation’?” one of them asked.

“Assess, appraise, evaluate, check out, size up, investigate,” Franklin said. “When you assay a situation, you look at all the elements that created the problem in order to come up with a solution. You conduct an examination, evaluate what you see, and make a determination.”

The other intern looked at his buddy and then back at Franklin. “Of course, sir,” he said. “I’d just never heard that word ‘assay’ before.”

“Assay is a word that is most commonly used for the testing of a metal or ore to determine its ingredients and quality,” Franklin explained. “As fire investigators, our job is to identify and collect evidence relating to fires and make determinations as to their causes, and especially to assess whether or not they were deliberately set. So that includes carefully examining chemical, electrical, and structural clues.”

Franklin looked at his two interns, shook his head, and said, “So let’s start assaying, gentlemen.”

I have to admit that when I saw today’s one-word prompt, “assay,” I didn’t know what it meant. I Googled it to learn that it’s often associated with metallurgy and pharmacology to test a substance to find out what chemicals it contains. And that’s when the idea of using a fire investigator as a way to write a flash fiction story built around the word “ assay.”

Mud Bath

23916F55-C591-442B-BBB7-3426B9D603E5After many attempts, Sarah finally persuaded George to try a mud bath. “Mud,” she told him, “has been said to alleviate the symptoms of skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea.”

“I don’t have any of those skin conditions,” George argued.

“But a warm mud bath can also ease assorted aches and pains in the joints, such as those from arthritis,” Sarah added.

“I don’t have arthritis, either,” George countered.

“I know,” said Sarah, “but soaking in a mud bath can be so relaxing. And sensual,” she added with a wink and a smile.

Knowing that it was useless to continue to resist her entreaties, George acquiesced and they took a drive to the local hot springs that offered warm mud baths.

After soaking for about half an hour, George sat up and said, “I’m done.”

“Didn’t you enjoy it?” Sarah asked.

“Yeah, it’s great,” George said somewhat sarcastically, “But you know I’m a bit of a clean-freak and I’m not crazy about having my man-parts encrusted in mud.”

Written for today’s one-word prompt, “encrusted.”

#100 Word Wednesday — Lost and Found

5D76C7DD-6D1D-4B86-AFE2-D20414FF105EPat’s bike had been stolen two days earlier. He posted a picture of it on Craigslist, asking if anyone had seen it. An anonymous responder got back to Pat, pinpointing the location of the stolen bike. The responder also advised Pat to bring a hacksaw.

Pat went to the location and there it was, locked to iron bars with a u-bolt, next to a graffiti-covered wall in an alley.

Pat began hacking through the u-bolt so that he could take his stolen bike back. Too bad for him that a cop came around while he was sawing off the bolt.

(100 words)

Written for today’s 100 Word Wednesday prompt from Bikurgurl. Photo credit: Linda Xu.

Billable Hours

87C247EF-F6B6-42D2-8C9D-BB7E20667485“I can’t take this anymore,” William said as he walked into Randy’s office and threw himself down onto one of the two chairs opposite Randy’s desk.

“Can’t take what?” Randy asked his coworker.

“This constant pressure for more and more billable hours,” William answered. “Did you see the latest memo? They are now expecting us to bill no less than 50 hours a week in order to make quota. What ever happened to the forty-hour workweek?”

“But you have been averaging around 55 billable hours a week. So what’s the problem?” Randy asked.

“It’s just such a grind,” William responded. “And now they want us to record our billable time in six minute increments instead of ten minute increments.”

“I hear you,” Randy said. “Here’s what you gotta do. If you think about a client while you’re in the shower or when you’re taking a dump, keep track of it and enter it into your hours log. If you have a short dream about a project you’re working on, when you wake up, remember to record it. When you’re reading the morning paper and drinking your coffee. When you’re driving to the office. Count every single minute.”

“That’s bullshit and I’m fucking tired of it, Randy.”

“I know,” Randy said sympathetically, “but it’s part of the job and we get paid handsomely to do it.”

“Well, I’ve had it,” William announced. “I’m going to march into Ted’s office and quit!”

About an hour later William returned to Randy’s office and sat down opposite him. “You still here? I thought you quit,” Randy said.

“I intended to,” William said, “But Ted talked me out of it.”

“So no more fretting about billable hours?” Randy asked.

“Not any more,” William said. “Ted promoted me and I’m your new boss. So let’s talk about your billable hours.”

Written for today’s one-word prompt, “constant.”