Three Line Tales — Dick Pix

DE005201-5895-4A62-AABA-ADE1612C8F17“I hate this whole shelter-in-place situation as much as you do, David,” Amanda said, looking at her boyfriend on her laptop screen while they were using Skype to video chat with each other. “I know that this is not ideal, and I really do miss your warm caresses, too. But please David, if you insist on not wearing any pants, please stop standing up.”

Written for Sonya’s Three Line Tales prompt. Photo credit: Elijah O’Donnell via Unsplash.

Friday Fictioneers — When I Die

D991EB91-E752-4FE3-B92A-E61DDCF17F04 All that remains of you is a crate filled with faded photographs. Mostly black and white snapshots of you, dad, and us kids. I’m going to sort through them and put them all in an album.

Looking at all of those pictures of you and us, though, got me thinking. I’ve taken thousands of pictures, but they’re all digital, all stored on a hard drive on my password-protected laptop. When I die, what will become of them? Will anyone ever see them, sort through them, and put them in an album? Or will they cease to exist, just like me?

(100 words)

Written for this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt from Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Photo credit: Ted Strutz.

The Brotherhood

“Okay, Karl, it’s time for your initiation,” the Brotherhood pledge master said.

“I’m ready,” Karl said. “What do I need to do?”

Andy handed Karl an iPad and instructed him to log in to the Brotherhood’s initiation app. “Once you log in, the app will give you a task.”

Karl logged in and eagerly awaited his initiation task. But his enthusiasm diminished when the screen came up with a picture of a fish.9F9F592D-16EB-4091-8A03-F601C7109FE0 “What’s this?” he asked Andy.

“Ah, that’s the raw fish challenge,” Andy said. “We bring you a raw fish on a platter and your task is to eat the whole thing.”

Karl started to gag involuntarily. “I can’t do that, Andy,” he said. “I have sporadic issues with IBS and there’s no way I’m going to eat a whole raw fish.”

“Are you a winner or a loser?” Andy barked.

“I’m not a loser, Andy,” Karl said, “But I’m also not going to make myself ill just so I can pledge your stupid, fucking Brotherhood.”

“Just as I thought,” Andy said. “You’re just one of those rich assholes who thinks he’s too good to join our fraternal Brotherhood. You’re going to pay for your bigotry, Karl.”

With that, two large men moved to either side of Karl, lifted him up by the arms, and dragged him off. The last words Karl heard were Andy’s saying, “You shoulda ate the fucking fish, Karl.”

Written for these daily prompts: Your Daily Word Prompt (initiation), Daily Addictions (log), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (raw), Ragtag Daily Prompt (sporadic), Word of the Day Challenge (winner), and The Daily Spur (bigotry).

I Really Screwed Up

“Are you okay?” Cheryl asked the guy in the cubicle next to hers. “You look like you’ve just seen a ghost.”

“I really screwed up,” Steve said.

“What did you do?”

“I was applying for a mortgage loan with an online mortgage company,” Steve said.

“On your work computer on company time?” Cheryl said.

“Yeah,” Steve admitted. “And as I was completing the online application, I was asked to enter my login password.”

“Your password to the company server?”

“Yeah,” Steve said. “And then this showed up on my screen.” He held up his laptop and showed it to Cheryl.E2884747-1C25-4423-8DF5-D9F6517E4DF1“Oh shit!” Cheryl exclaimed. Then she looked at the screen on her own laptop and saw the same ransomware screen. “We’re totally fucked,” she said.

Written for Paula Light’s Three Things Challenge, where the three things are “ghost,” “password,” and “loan.”

Repost: Now I’ll Never Know

I originally published this post in August 2017. It only received sixteen views, got five likes, and three comments. But I really like this post and think it was under exposed and unappreciated, so I thought I’d give it a second go. I hope you enjoy it.

I never met the girl in the window in real life. Just in my fantasies. And now she’s gone. Maybe she moved out. Maybe she got married or moved in with her boyfriend. Maybe something bad happened to her. Maybe she died. Now I’ll never know.

I always saw her when I took my dog out for the last walk of the night, usually between 9:30 and 10:00. She would usually be sitting in front of her laptop, facing the window, a small table lamp on her right. What was she doing? Now I’ll never know.

Maybe she was a student doing homework. Maybe she was working on an assignment for her job. Maybe she was an aspiring author and was writing her novel. Maybe she was a blogger crafting a post. Or maybe she was watching internet porn. Now I’ll never know.

I counted on seeing her each night. I only ever saw her face and her hair, as the rest of her was hidden behind her open laptop. She had, as far as I could tell from the other side of the street, a pretty face. Her hair was reddish blonde, or that’s what it looked like in the glow of her laptop’s screen and the light from the lamp on her desk. Now I’ll never know.

I am reasonably certain that she never noticed me and my dog. The sidewalk right across the street from her building is tree-lined and rather dark at night. Although there was that one time when she glanced up from her laptop and appeared to look out the window and directly at me. But she didn’t respond when I waved at her. Did she see me? Now I’ll never know.

I had seen her almost every night for nearly a year. I became obsessed with her. She inhabited my dreams. She was the leading lady of my fantasies. I had to somehow find the courage to meet her. I was sure that if we ever met, she would feel about me as I felt about her. Now I’ll never know.

One day very soon I would call up to her from the street right below her window and introduce myself to her. Maybe she would invite me up to her apartment and offer me a drink. Maybe tea or coffee. Maybe a beer or a glass of wine. Maybe she’d offer me something to eat. Maybe we’d hold hands, embrace one another. Now I’ll never know.

They say he who hesitates is lost. I hesitated. And now she’s gone. Now I’ll never know.