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.

FFfAW — Scientific Sparement

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Samantha hadn’t slept well for the past four or five nights and was experiencing yet another mid-afternoon slump. She reached for the pot of coffee from that morning and poured what remained into her cup.

Samantha opened the microwave door to heat up the coffee, but before she could put her cup inside, she dropped it on the floor, and let out a scream. She reached inside the oven and pulled out a white, porcelain mug that was partially encrusted in a dark red substance.

She picked up the pieces of her broken cup and mopped up the spilled coffee. Then Samantha called out to her six-year-old daughter, who was in the family room. “Alicia, get in here this instant.”

Samantha held up the mug and asked, “What is this?”

“That’s my sparement,” Alicia said.

“Your what?”

“My science sparement,” Alicia answered. “I wanted to see what would happen if I put my crayons in the microwave. See? It worked!”

(163 words)


Written for this week’s FFfAW (Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers) challenge. Photo credit: artycaptures.wordpress.com