Animal Clouds

“That one looks like a giant dragon,” Peter said, pointing to the cloud almost directly overhead. He then passed the joint to Rachel, who was lying next to him on the blanket.

Rachel took a deep hit and sighed. “Life is so random,” she said. “I abhor life’s randomness.”

“Sheesh, Rachel,” Peter said, “you always become ascetic when you’re stoned out of your gourd.”

“I most certainly am not ascetic,” Rachel objected. “Contemplative, maybe. Pensive perhaps. But I certainly don’t practice self-denial.” She smiled and took another hit off the joint and handed it back to Peter.

“You say you abhor randomness, but when we met at that Kamala Harris campaign rally last year, don’t you think that was rather random?” Peter asked.

Rachel laughed. “That wasn’t random,” she said. “It was serendipitous.”

“They’re the same thing,” Peter said.

“Well, that depends on your definitions,” Rachel said. “I define serendipitous as an unsought, unintended, or unexpected occurrence, but one with a fortunate, or happy outcome. Random is just arbitrary.”

“So you consider our meeting to be a fortunate occurrence with a happy outcome?” Peter said with a broad smile on his face.

Rachel blushed and pointed to a cloud in the sky. “Look, Peter, that one looks like a lion.”


Written for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (random), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (abhor), Your Daily Word Prompt (ascetic), The Daily Spur (campaign), and MMA Storytime (depend).

#writephoto — A New Dawn

D7D80597-4590-4CF5-B600-A6A36F50150FAfter what seemed like the darkest hour
The sun finally broke through the clouds
Where we used to hide and cower
We could finally shed our heavy shrouds

We thanked the powers that be
That our prayers were finally heard
And now we could very clearly see
That a true miracle had occurred

No doubt it won’t take that long
For the grass to grow and the trees to bud
And in his name we sang our song
Because we knew that we were once again loved


This very un-Fandango-like poem was written for this past week’s Thursday Photo Prompt from Sue Vincent and her inspirational photo.

#writephoto — The New Clear Winter

1198C816-52F2-422B-BF6E-38A73A541C38The village elders had talked about the prophecies, but most people thought it was just more incoherent mumbo-jumbo. The elders spoke of how, several centuries earlier, the Lord, in His wisdom, had unleashed a torrent of destruction because His children had lost their way. That global devastation brought on what the elders called “The New Clear Winter.”

The stories talked about how the thick, dark clouds of The New Clear Winter blotted out the light and warmth of the Lord, causing famine, illness, and widespread death due to what the elders named “The Torrent of the Lord.” Only the hardiest people survived the freezing temperatures and darkness that enveloped their home planet.

“There will come a time of Light, Warmth, and Salvation, which the Lord will bestow upon His faithful flock,” the High Priest proclaimed. “The prophecies say that He, praise our Lord, will part the clouds and let shine His warmth and white light that will bring about the end of The New Clear Winter and will restore His blessing upon our home.”

The people in the small village looked up in awe. When they saw the blinding white light shining down from between the bare branches of the trees as the dark clouds began to dissipate, they fell down to their knees and prayed thanks to their Lord, feeling blessed that the prophecies were right.

What they couldn’t possibly know at that time was that the return of the sun, without the benefit of a thick atmosphere to diffuse the star’s intense heat, would soon fry the planet and cause it to be no longer able to sustain life and become totally uninhabitable.


Written for this week’s Thursday Photo Prompt from Sue Vincent.

FFfAW — What Do You See?

96afaf32-1954-4b89-a5fd-a58b647a3a85“I see a cute and cuddly teddy bear reaching out for a hug,” Rachel said.

“I see God peeking out from behind the clouds, gracing us all in His glory,” said Anita.

“I see a map of Europe and Africa,” Robert said.

“I see thunder clouds forming and a thunderstorm coming,” Jimmy said.

“Have you no imagination whatsoever, Jimmy?” Rachel asked. “Surely you see something else when you look at those clouds.”

“They’re clouds, Rachel,” Jimmy said. “They are made of drops of water that are too small to see, which have turned into a gas called water vapor. As the water vapor goes higher in the sky, the air gets cooler. And that causes the water droplets to start to stick to things like bits of dust, ice, or sea salt. And that’s how the clouds form. Then the wind moves those clouds across the sky, constantly changing their shapes.”

“You really need to get a life, Jimmy,” Rachel said.

(161 words)


Written for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Photo credit: Jodi McKinney.

#writephoto — The Great Outdoors

c4f26af9-3fc6-4e23-a7e4-7c6c8f2a3a65“What a stunning sunset, Josh. Isn’t it beautiful?” Sara asked. “Look at how much dimension there is to the sky with that layer of clouds. It’s so dramatic.”

“This is pure madness, Sara,” Josh said. “It’s cold and damp and it’s nothing short of crazy to go tent camping in the beginning of January.”

“Oh come on, Josh,” Sara said. “Let’s think of this as an adventure.”

“Spring, summer, or fall would be a good time for a camping adventure,” Josh said. “Look at those bare, spiky tree branches. That, and the freezing temperature, doesn’t exactly inspire spending a night in the great outdoors.”

“Grab some of the tree branches that are on the ground and let’s build a fire,” Sara said. “Once we light it up, we can cuddle together in front of the fire and it will keep us nice and toasty.”

“Nothing like igniting a fire in front of a tent on a cold, wintry night to generate a little warmth,” Josh said, smiling for the first time that evening.


Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt. I know Sue described this picture as having been taken at dawn, but it fit better into my story as being taken at dusk.

Also written for these one-word prompts: Nova’s Daily Random Word (dimension), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (madness), Daily Addictions (damp), Ragtag Daily Prompt (spiky), and Word of the Day Challenge (ignite).