There’s Something in the Water

E501CA4B-4E9A-40CD-AA76-B77B54EA5099The older men were really excited about their excursion to the Roman baths. Each had receive an invitation to spend the day at the spa. Upon arrival, they changed into their bathing trunks, were given thick, luxurious towels, and were led to the pool area.

Steam was rising from the crystal clear, natural hot springs-fed pool around which the structure was built. Soaking in the water was thought to be therapeutic, and these old geezers needed all they help they could get to heal their aging bodies.

Abe was the first to jump into the pool and a big “Ahh” escaped from his mouth as the hot, steamy water embraced him. Harold and Gerry followed Abe into the pool and they, too, felt the warm hug of the healing water.

The three old men had been soaking in the pool for about 30 minutes when Abe got a look of concern on his face. “Abe, are you okay?” Harold asked.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I’m feeling really strange. Something’s not right.”

“You know,” Gerry chimed in, “I’m feeling a bit strange myself.”

Concerned, Harold signaled the attendant to come over to where the three men were soaking. “Is there something I can help you with?” the attendant asked.

“Yes,” said Gerry. “My two friends here are feeling kind of strange. In fact, so am I.”

“Strange?” the attendant said. “Can you describe what you’re feeling?”

Abe was the first to answer. “I’m no longer here. I am somewhere else, somewhere eerie, frightening.”

“What do you see?” the attendant asked.

Harold jumped in. “I’m on a dirt road out in the country, the sky is yellow, with dark storm clouds gathering.”

And then Abe said, “Yes! I see ghost-like bodies slowly walking towards me and these strange, cat-like eyes up in the storm clouds staring down at me.”

Gerry the added, “And there’s a bare tree, a black crow, and a full moon. What is going on? Why are the three of us seeing the same vision?”DF270263-0585-4409-A54B-60772BA058C8The attendant got a broad smile on his face. “Ah, it’s working,” he said.

“What’s working?” Abe asked, a sense of panic in his voice.

“It’s experimental,” the attendant said. “We put something into the water to cause you three to have a common hallucination.”

“Why would you do such a thing?” Gerry asked.

“It’s a process to help you begin your journey to the other side,” the attendant explained. “That’s what you’re seeing, the other side.”

“But I don’t want to go to the other side,” Abe objected.

“You have no choice,” the attendant said. “This is a new government mandate. The Bureau of Elderly Affairs has conducted a cost/benefit analysis. You three gentlemen have reached the age where the cost of keeping you healthy and alive now exceeds the benefits you offer to society. You are our first to be entered into this process.”

“You can’t be serious!” Harold shouted.

“Oh but I am,” the attendant said. “Thank you, gentlemen. Your participation in our experiment has been a resounding success. Have a pleasant journey.”


I was tagged by two bloggers to “Tell the Story.” First, Mel, Crushed Caramel, tagged me to tell the story about the picture at the top of this post. And then Di, Pensitivity101, tagged me to tell the story about the second image above. I decided to combine the two prompts into this single post.

I’m not going to post a new photo and tag any other bloggers to tell the story about it. Instead, I invite anyone who is inspired by either of these images to write a post telling the story.

Old Fuddy Duddy

“Age is just a number,” Clyde said to his wife.

“Technically speaking,” Jenny, responded, “it’s a word.”

“Oh aren’t you the comedian?” Clyde chuckled. “You should take your show on the road.”

“I think I’ll pass on that,” Jenny said. “You may not feel your age, Clyde, or even look your age, but you really might want to start acting your age, don’t you think?”

“Where’s the fun in that? I don’t want to be some cantankerous old fuddy duddy who just sits around all day and grumbles.”

“So you feel the need to go out and sow some wild oats, huh?” Jenny said.

“You bet I do,” Clyde answered. “You’re only as old as you feel and I feel great.”

“Okay then,” Jenny responded. “Go, enjoy, and try not to hurt yourself.”

******

A few hours later Jenny was visiting Clyde in the emergency room. “It’s broken just below the elbow,” he told Jenny. “The good news is that I won’t need surgery, but my right arm will be in a full arm cast for the next eight or so weeks.”

“How did this happen?” Jenny asked.

“It was going great,” Clyde said. “Everyone was cheering and having a great time. I was rockin’ up a storm and then wham, I got dizzy and collapsed, falling off the stage.”

“Oh Clyde, I’m so sorry, but I did warn you.”

“Yeah, Jenny, I think my kareoke days are behind me.”


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

FFfAW — At My Age

3372E27C-89BF-4D45-9512-491B1FEEC9A1

Diane looked at her grandfather as he sat reading the newspaper across the breakfast table from her. “Pop-Pop,” she asked, “why do you always do that?”

“Do what?” She pointed to the coffee mug. “Oh, you mean balance my spectacles on the mug’s rim?”

“Yes.”

“If it annoys you that I do that, honey, I’ll stop.”

“No. I just think it’s a strange.”

He shrugged. “It’s not like anyone drinks from that mug,” he said. “It’s where we keep the sugar packets.”

“But why don’t you wear them over your eyes? Isn’t that what they’re for?”

“Three reasons,” he patiently replied. “First, my vision is such that it’s easier for me to read the paper without my glasses. Second, they have a slight tint, so the print is more crisp in the early morning light without them.”

“And third?”

“So when I’m done reading the paper, I’ll remember exactly where I put them. When you get to be my age, honey, you’ll understand.”

(163 words)


Written for this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers from Priceless Joy. Photo prompt from Shivamt25.