The New Job

“It’s so far away,” Jerry’s mother lamented.

“I know, Ma, but it’s a great opportunity,” Jerry said, giving his mother a hug and wiping away her tears. “I figure I can get there in four days without pushing it too hard.”

“But surely you could have found a job right here in Buffalo instead of on the complete other side of the country.”

“San Antonio is not on the complete other side of the country,” Jerry said. “Here, let me show you.” He pulled out a map of the United States, pointed to the top right and said, “Here’s Buffalo, Ma.” Then he moved his finger down and to the lower left and stopped at San Antonio. “See, Ma, there are only five states between New York and Texas: Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, and then Texas.”

“Well you be sure to write to me when you get there,” his mother said.

“Don’t worry, Ma, I’ll email and text you on the way and every day when I’m there.”

“No emails and text messages,” his mother said. “I don’t know how they work. Just write me letters and call me on the phone, like regular people do.”

“Fine,” Jerry said, “I’ll text you…I mean call you…when I get to the motel tonight.”

“I love you, son.”

“I love you too, Ma.”

Written for the Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner prompt from Roger Shipp. Photo credit: Hans Isaacson from Unsplash.

FFfPP — Exposed

She took one look at me and she knew I was lying, and she knew I knew she knew it.

She gazed upon me with her ancient eyes; eyes that bore a hole right through my forehead and into my brain. And that toothless smile, with her sardonic grin, let me know that I wasn’t getting away with anything.

She didn’t have to utter a word. She saw through my denial. Her scrutiny of me was intense and I was guilty. I had to confess to this woman who was wise to me.

Shaking and on the verge of tears, I said, “I’m sorry, Grandma. I should have told you the truth. I should never have lied to you. I’m so sorry.”

She reached out with her gnarly fingers and placed them on my cheeks. “I know, child,” she said, “but you must learn to always be truthful.”

“Yes, Grandma,” I said. “I’m sorry to have disappointed you.”

She looked at me and this time her eyes were kind and her smile was warm. “I know, and I forgive you, because you are my grandchild and I know you will learn from your mistakes. And because I love you.”

“And I love you, too, Grandma,” I said.

Written for Roger Shipp’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner. Photo credit:

FFfPP — The Pigeon Problem

“I’ve tried everything to keep those damn pigeons from landing on this wall and dropping their dirty, nasty poops all over the place for me to clean up,” Julian complained, “but nothing seems to work.”

“Did you try poison?” Eddie asked.

“Yeah, but the authorities made me stop because they were worried that people, especially kids, might accidentally ingest some.”

“What about traps?”

“No, they said I couldn’t put traps on the wall because they might injure a passerby.”

“What about putting an electrified mesh on top of the wall? That way, you’ll zap those airborne rats when they land.”

“I thought of that,” Julian said, “but the risk of people getting shocked ruled that out.”

“I know, I’ll hide in the bushes and shoot them with my shotgun when they land. That’ll teach ‘em.”

“God no,” Julian said. “You can’t go around taking pot shots at birds. What if you accidentally shot someone? But I do have an idea, Eddie.”

“Oh yeah, what’s that?”

“Didn’t you say that you recently got laid off and that you’re looking for work?”

“Well, yeah, but….”

“I’ll give you a sponge and a bucket and twenty bucks a day to come by first thing each morning and scrub the wall clean.

“Deal,” Eddie said.

Written for Roger Shipp’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner. Photo credit: Pixabay.

FFfPP — The Adjustment

You ask me how my transition is going. Well, to be honest with you, I am not typically very flexible. Some have said that I can be immutable. And for the most part, that’s true. But given the circumstances, I really had to open myself up, to delve into my own psyche. And let me tell you, man, I’m on a roll. I feel like I’ve experienced an awakening. I never thought I’d be able to handle being laid off from my high profile position as a political power broker. But yet, ever since my candidate lost the election, I believe I have adjusted quite well in my new role as an Uber driver.

Written for Roger Shipp’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner. Photo credit: Also for these daily prompts: MMA Storytime (transition), Word of the Day Challenge (typical), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (immutable), Your Daily Word Prompt (delve), The Daily Spur (roll), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (awakening).