FFfPP — Are You Sure?

“Has anybody here seen my pussy?” Eleanor asked the group of seniors sitting around the community room at the senior center. Several of the men in the room started to chuckle. “Shut up you old fools,” Eleanor chided. “My cat. I’m asking about my cat. She’s white with green eyes and a pink nose.”

Marge raised her hand. “Eleanor, I saw you kitty a few minutes ago. She was peering at me from the stone wall next to the rear driveway.”

“Are you sure it was Princess?” Eleanor asked.

“Sure as you were born, “Marge said.

Eleanor ran out of the room and headed out to the rear driveway. A few minutes later Eleanor reentered the community room with her Princess in her arms. Eleanor had a wry smile on her face. She looked at the old men who were chuckling earlier and said, “Now do any one of you old fools want to pet my pussy?”

Written for Roger Shipp’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner. Photo credit: Anton Atanasov on Unsplash. Also for E.M.’s Random Word Prompt (anybody), and for Jim Adams’ Wednesday Thoughts, where the prompt is, “Sure as you’re born.”

FFfPP — #Hashtag

When Elon Musk pulled out of this $44 billion dollar purchase of Twitter, he decided to start his own competing social media company and he named it “#Hashtag.” Musk spent billions buying land and building a corporate headquarters campus for #Hashtag. At the entrance to the new corporate headquarters building, he had a giant golden hashtag erected, depicting the official corporate logo.

#Hashtag was about as successful as Truth Social, the social media company Donald Trump set up after he was permanently banned from Twitter. In the end, both Musk’s and Trump’s social media enterprises failed.

Written for Roger Shipp’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner. Photo credit: Eberhard Grossgasteiger on Unsplash.

FFfPP — The Meter Reader

Alex had been reading meters for the electric company for 35 years. It was a plumb job, not like some of his coworkers who had to go from single family home to single family home checking meters. They walked their asses off. But Alex’s assigned route was mostly at apartment buildings. All the meters for the individual units were mounted on a large metal board and arranged in columns and rows. All he had to do was stand in front of those meter arrays and jot down the readings on his clip board. He could read hundreds of meters in the time it took some of his peers to read dozens. And with very little walking, by comparison.

He’d heard the rumors, but yesterday, the day he had been dreading, had arrived. The electric company was going to start replacing all of the old meters with new, state-of-the-art “smart meters.” Once installed, these smart meters automatically updated the central computers at the electric company, thus making the task of having employees physically go out to read and record the meters unnecessary.

The notice said that the smart meter swaps should be completed by the end of the month, at which point all meter readers would be laid off. Per the memo, the terminated meter readers would receive one week of severance for each year of service with the company.

At first Alex thought that was pretty generous. He would continue to get paid for about eight months after his last day. But then he read the fine print:

One week per year of service, up to a maximum of twelve weeks.

Alex had only three months to determine what to do with the rest of his life now that technology has made him obsolete.

Written for Roger Shipp’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner. Photo credit: Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash.

FFfPP — Does It Matter Anymore?

I’ve lost track. How long have I been here? Days? Weeks? Months? Could it be years? I don’t know.

But does it matter anymore?

Is this a prison I’m in? An asylum of some sort? Did I commit a crime? Am I insane? I don’t remember why I’m here.

But does it matter anymore?

I don’t even know where I am, as I have no recollection of how I got here. or even where I’m from.

But does it matter anymore?

My name. What is it? I don’t seem to know my name or who I am.

But does it matter anymore?

I see people through the small porthole, beyond the bars. I call out to them, but they don’t hear me. Or choose to ignore me.

But does it matter anymore?

Am I Dead? Am I a ghost? Is this Hell?

It doesn’t matter anymore.

Written for Roger Shipp’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner. Photo credit: Dynamic Wang on Unsplash.

FFfPP — It All Went Wrong

“I don’t understand how this could have happened,” Elliot said. “We rehearsed this stunt dozens of times and each time it was perfect.”

Beth looked over at Elliot and then down at her husband, who was unconscious on the hospital bed, bandages covering most of his head and with tubes inserted into his nose and mouth. “I’m not sure what happened, either, Elliot,” she said. “Keith was confident, not at all worried, when the filming of the action scene started shooting. But here he is, with a broken nose, a broken jaw, and a serious concussion.”

“They canned me, you know,” Elliot said to Beth. “One fuck up in my entire career as a stuntman, and they fire my ass. Elliot will eventually recover, but I’ve been put out to pasture.”

“Well,” Beth said patiently, “Keith was the star of the movie. Now he’s going to be laid up for months and will require multiple surgeries. Plus there might be permanent brain damage. This incident is costing the producers a ton of money. I can’t say I blame them for firing you.”

“I think someone sabotaged my bike,” Elliot said. “That’s the only reason the stunt went wrong and why my rear wheel smashed down on Keith’s head. There’s no other explanation.”

“You mean other than human error?” Beth said. “Face it, Elliot, you screwed up. But look at the bright side. You can probably get a job with a carnival troupe doing bike riding tricks.”

Written for Roger Shipp’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner. Photo credit: Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash.