Twittering Tales — TLC

img_1405Inn by the sea for sale. Seven bedrooms, five bathrooms, four fireplaces, eat-in kitchen, formal dining room, butlers pantry, laundry, screened porch. 7,460 sq. ft. on two acres. Zoned commercial.

This gorgeous property is awaiting your personal touch. In need of some TLC.

(272 characters)

Written for this week’s Twittering Tales prompt from Kat Myrman. Photo credit: Tama66 at

Nothing Personal

bare wallsYou’ve seen those TV crime dramas, right? You know, the ones where the cops bust into the apartment of the suspect. They look around, trying to get a sense of the man, a glimpse into his personality.

One of the cops says to his partner, “No pictures on the walls, no books on the shelves, no personal knickknacks. This place hardly looks lived in. What’s up with this guy? What makes him tick?”

Well, I was that guy. No, not a perpetrator of a crime. I just had no pictures of any kind on my walls, no books on the shelves (actually, no bookshelves, either). No plants to be found. Not even artificial ones. I was a true minimalist.

Only the necessities. A bed and a chest of drawers in the bedroom. A recliner, a small dining table with two chairs, a TV stand on top of which sits a TV in the living room. There’s also a small desk in one corner, along with a desk chair and an empty, two-drawer filing cabinet. The apartment looks totally generic, sterile. Anyone could have been living there. Or no one.

In fact, if some police psychologist came to my apartment, he would probably have tagged me as a shady, isolated type; a drifter who didn’t intend to be there very long, who had no stability or sense of self, and who had few human connections.

But that wasn’t me. Well, at least not when my wife was still alive. In my defense, though, when I moved into my apartment a year and a half ago, shortly after she died, I kind of knew it would be temporary. After more than four decades together, it’s not easy to transition from a life together to a life in solitary.

So when she died, I sold our house, the furniture, and all of our shared personal possessions, at least the ones that my two adult daughters didn’t claim. And because I thought I wouldn’t be in that apartment for very long, I didn’t invest in much to make it my own. But then again, after she died, I didn’t really know, anymore, who I was.

Turns out I wasn’t in that apartment that long. I guess being alone didn’t suit me. And now my daughters, who each live in other parts of the country tending to their own families, have flown in to claim whatever possessions their dearly departed and estranged father left behind, which wasn’t much at all.

Certainly nothing personal.

Let It Bleed — Nothing Ventured

8EA80C5A-C313-4377-AE3C-918E3197884C“I don’t know,” Jon said to Angela, his older sister. “I feel really awkward.”

“You can do it,” she whispered. “I heard her talking to Sarah and she told her that she thinks you’re cute.”

“But she’s never even said hello to me,” Jon countered. “I don’t think she even knows that I exist.”

A look of frustration crossed Angela’s face. “Don’t be such a wuss,” she said. “She’s right over there on the bench sitting all by herself. Go talk to her, ask her out. What’s the worst that could happen, Jon?”

“She’d turn me down flat and I’d be devastated,” Jon said. “And then she’d tell all of her friends and soon I’d be the laughing stock of the school.”

“That could happen,” Angela admitted. “But think of the risk-reward ratio. Take a risk and ask her on a date. If she says yes, think how rewarding that would be.”

“But I’m also risking being rejected when she says no,” Jon said.

Trying to encourage her brother, Angela said, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

“I choose nothing ventured,” he said.

Angela was pissed at her brother about his lack of self-confidence. She walked over to the bench where Sally was sitting and started talking with her. The two girls looked over to where Jon was standing. Angela signaled for Jon to join them but he couldn’t. He just stood there, frozen.

He saw Sally stand up and walk towards him. He felt his stomach tie up into knots. “Hi Jon,” Sally said when she reached him. She stuck out her hand for him to shake. “Angela says that you would like to ask me for a date but you’re afraid I’ll say no.”

Jon hemmed and hawed for a second before finally finding his voice. “Well,” he said, “I’m sure you’ve got lots of guys wanting to go out with you.”

“You’re right, I do,” she said, smiling brightly. “But you’re smart and kinda cute and way too shy. So since you seem reluctant to ask me out on a date, I hope you won’t find it too awkward if I ask you to go out with me.”

“Not at all awkward,” Jon said. “I’m glad you asked.”

“You know what they say, Jon,” Sally said, grabbing both of Jon’s hands. “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

This is a twofer, written for today’s one-word prompt, “awkward,” and the this week’s Let It Bleed prompt, where the phrase, “You can do it,” she whispered appears in the post.

100WW — Wishes Granted

img_1393Ronald saw the girl in the black bikini sitting by herself on the narrow beach. He summoned up every bit of courage he possessed, walked up to her, and asked if she’d like to go for a ride with him on his paddle board. Much to his surprise, she smiled and said she would.

He reached his hand out to help her up and she continued to hold his hand as he led her to his board. He helped her onto it and then they paddled out onto the lake.

“Sometimes wishes are actually granted,” Ronald thought, smiling broadly.

(99 word)

Written for this week’s 100 Word Wednesday prompt from Bikurgurl (which prompt was posted a few days late this week).

Sunday Photo Fiction — The New Earth

img_1400They did everything they could to make it seem natural. Artificial light shining through the windows along the long hallway provided the illusion of sunlight. The opening at the end of the corridor led into a vast open area with high ceilings, green plants and trees, and a large pond fed by a waterfall. All artificial, but very realistic. It helped to make us all feel as if we were still living on the surface.

It was difficult to remember that people once lived on the surface. I was born here in the catacombs and all I knew of the old world I learned from my parents, who learned from their parents. And from books that had been salvaged, although it was hard to distinguish anymore between fiction and non-fiction.

Fortunately, those with foresight saw what was coming and began to construct these elaborate catacombs deep beneath the surface of the planet. But they could accommodate only about 100,000 of the planet’s nine billion inhabitants. A lottery was devised and my grandfather was one of the lucky winners.

Severe storms and catastrophic floods destroyed those left behind. But we are the lucky ones who must carry on.

Or are we?

(199 words)

Written for today’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt. Photo credit: Susan Spaulding.