Weekend Writing Prompt — The Ministry

B57457F0-0D59-4BC6-8591-F006EEFA8157“What’s your angle?” Bill asked.

“I don’t have an angle.” Joe said. “I’m an ordained minister and the leader of my own church.”

“Yeah, ordained via some bogus website,” Bill said.

“It’s not bogus. My ministry is totally legit,” Joe insisted.

“Look at you, Joe, acting so pious, as if we should all be grateful to be in the presence of a man of the cloth. It’s all a deception, a tax dodge,” Bill said.

“Who are you to judge me?” Joe angrily asked. “God alone will judge me.”

“And the judge at your fraud trial.”

(Exactly 95 words)


C371206B-B37A-4AD8-9318-DC9CE05C48FAWritten for Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt, where we are challenged to write a poem or piece of prose using the word “judge” in exactly 95 words. Also for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (angle), The Daily Spur (leader), Word of the Day Challenge (pious), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (grateful), and Weekly Prompts (deception).

Share Your World — Grounded

Another Monday and that means it’s time for another of Melanie’s Share Your World thingies. This time Melanie got her questions from Seth at ManTelligence. So here are her (or his) questions.

You’re walking in a forest and you find a black suitcase.  Inside it is one millions dollars and a piece of paper, stained in blood and bearing the single word “Don’t!”  Would you take the suitcase home or leave it?

I’d take the million bucks out of the suitcase and stuff it into my backpack, toss the note and the suitcase, and not look back.

Imagine you lapsed and cheated on your partner. You feel horrible and you know you’ll never do it again, because the feeling is so awful. Would you confess?

I would have to. The guilt would be too much to bear. I’d have to face the consequences of my choice.

Would you live your life differently if nobody ever judged you for anything you did?

I have reached the age where I no longer give a shit what other people think me or of how they judge me.2ee19140-fe38-4b50-96e4-baa6c1a2cf44

Would a fly without wings be called a walk? No? What would you call it?

Grounded.

This question really bugs me. Reminds me of: why do they call a place where you park your car a driveway and a place where you drive your car a parkway?

What’s something that brought joy and lightness of being to you this past week?

Sadly, not a goddam thing.

Sunday Photo Fiction — Any Port In a Storm

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“How does the jury find?” the judge asked.

The jury forewoman stood up and said, “We find the defendant, Charles Maxwell, guilty of assault and battery.”

The judge looked at the jury and thanked them for their service. He then looked directly at the defendant and, in a somber voice, said, “You have been found guilty by a jury of your peers. You will be sentenced to serve one year at the state penitentiary.” The judge banged the gavel down hard and said, “Court adjourned.”

The defense attorney turned to Charles and silently mouthed the words “I’m sorry,” as the two bailiffs led Charles out of the courtroom.

About an hour later, right before Charles was scheduled to be transported from the holding cell in the courthouse to the penitentiary upstate, Charles’ father came to see him.

“One bit of advice for you, son,” his father said. “Whatever you do, if you drop the soap in the shower, don’t bend down to pick it up.”

“Why not, Dad?” Charles asked.

“Oh boy,” his father said. “You’re not going to do well in jail, I’m afraid. You’re going to be incarcerated with a bunch of men, some of whom have been in prison for years. Many of them have not had sexual intimacy with a woman for a very long time. Don’t be a target, son.”

“But, Dad,” Charles protested. “I’m not a woman.”

“Any port in a storm, son,” Charles’ father said. “And I mean any port.”


Written for today’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt from Susan Spaulding. Thanks, Susan, for using my photo this week.

A Simple Question

6A42CD9F-1A4F-43F8-AE8E-A37E493B0BE8“It’s a ‘yes or no’ question, Mr. Avery,” the lawyer said.

Beads of perspiration were forming on Tom Avery’s forehead. He looked helplessly at the judge, who was sitting at the large desk on his right.

Having run out of patience, the attorney also looked up at the judge and said, “A little help, your honor.”

“Answer the question, Mr. Avery,” the judge said sternly.

Tom sighed. “It’s not a simple question.”

“Yes, Mr. Avery,” the attorney chided, “It is that simple. Yes or no?”

Tom cleared his throat, looked up at the judge, then over at the jury, and finally at the lawyer. “It’s not just black or white. There are gray areas. It’s complicated.”

The lawyer threw both of his arms up in the air out of frustration. He didn’t want the members of the jury to think he was badgering the witness, but he needed an answer. “Your honor,” he said, pleading with the judge.

“Answer the question, Mr. Avery,” the judge warned, “or I will hold you in contempt.”

Tom was now sweating profusely. He weighed his options carefully. Finally, he looked past the attorney at the plaintiff sitting at the table behind the lawyer.

“Okay, fine,” Tom said. Focusing his eyes directly on the plaintiff, he said, “Yes. My answer is yes.” A murmur ran through the courtroom. “Yes, Amanda, those jeans do make you look fat.”


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