MLMM Photo Challenge — Refined and Sophisticated

I was so used to being romanced, if you could call it that, by bums and ne’er do wells whose only interest was to get in my pants that I was shocked when a man I only just met at the grocery store — his name was Joseph — asked me if I’d be interested in joining him as his “plus-one” at an invitation-only exhibition at the local art museum. He said that I had the appearance of a refined, sophisticated lady and a woman with good taste. He was quite handsome, well dressed, well groomed, and he smelled good, too. So I thought why not and accepted his invitation.

I’d never been to an art museum before, and I got very excited at the prospect. But I was also worried. I wasn’t at all refined or sophisticated, I didn’t know anything about fine art, and I had no idea what to wear or even how to act at an art museum. So I called my Aunt Rose, the most refined and sophisticated lady I knew.

I told her about Joseph and asked if she could help me out. I asked her what I should where on a date with a man who was taking me to an invitation-only exhibit at the art museum. Fortunately, my Aunt Rose and I wear about the same dress size, so she offered to let me borrow one of her dresses, something that she said would be fitting for the occasion. She also offered to help with my hair and makeup on the night in question. That was a relief.

The big night arrived. I was wearing the dress my Aunt Rose let me borrow and she had worked her magic with my hair and makeup. I was admiring the refined and sophisticated looking lady I saw reflected in the mirror when I heard the knock at the door. He was right on time.

When I opened the door to my apartment, seeing him took my breath away. Joseph looked so handsome in his tailored suit and tie, and well-shined shoes. He told me I looked lovely and leaned in to give me a kiss hello on my cheek. There wasn’t a hint of beer or whiskey on his breath.

He asked me if I was ready and I said yes. He grabbed my hand and he led me to a chauffeured limousine. He opened the door and motioned for me to step inside, which I did, and then he sat down beside me. He instructed the driver to take us to the art museum, and as the limo pulled away from the curb, he poured us each a glass of champagne. Had I struck gold or what?

We arrived at the museum, entered the ornate building, and stopped at the reception desk where he checked us in. We then went to the lobby bar for two more glasses of champagne. He asked me who my favorite painters were and the only painter I could think of was Rembrandt, so that’s who I said was my favorite.

“Ah, one of the Dutch masters,” Joseph said. “There are no Rembrandt paintings here at the moment, but I’m sure you’ll find paintings that you’ll like. Come, let us go wander about and you can give me your impressions.”

He was very knowledgeable about the art and artists. He would tell me about each painting and about the artist who painted it. I liked the sound of Joseph’s voice, but I was quickly getting bored by what he was saying. So when he asked me if I wanted some more champagne, I eagerly accepted.

A short while later, we were standing in front of a painting and Joseph was droning on and on about it, when he put his right arm around my waist. He continued talking about the artist and I could feel his hand drop from my waist to my butt cheek. And then I felt him move his hand to between my legs. He goosed me.

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” I screamed. Without thinking, I balled my hand into a fist and gave the fucker a mighty right cross punch. There was a lot of blood and I may have even knocked out one of his teeth.

Humiliated, I ran out of the museum, ordered an Uber, and hurried back to my apartment.

Okay, so I ain’t such a refined and sophisticated lady, but I have my standards and goosing me in public on a first date? Fuhgeddaboudit. The only gold I struck that night was fool’s gold.


Written for this week’s Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge. Photo credit: Pinterest,

MLMM Sunday Writing Prompt — An Annual Event

It was an annual event, but was it to celebrate or commiserate over? Well, I suppose that depended upon who you were asking. If you asked her, it was to celebrate something sublime. But if you asked me, to the extent that what I thought mattered at all, it was traumatic.

Still, every year, on the anniversary of our divorce, my ex-wife insisted on throwing a divorce party and she would invite me to attend. Why she wanted me there, I don’t know, and it was even a riddle to me why I always attended. Each year, her promises to not humiliate me in front of the other guests were broken, and she delighted in doing that to me.

But last year, after speaking with my therapist, who suggested that going to my ex-wife’s sadistic yearly divorce parties would hinder my recovery, I declined her invitation.

I heard that she was outraged when she received my declination, that she was livid, and went stark raving mad. She ultimately took her own life and today is the one year anniversary of her death. I’m not sure if that is something I should celebrate or commiserate over.


Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt, where the lead off sentence is “It was an annual event, but was it to celebrate or commiserate over?” Also for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (sublime), Your Daily Word Prompt (extent) The Daily Spur (riddle), Ragtag Daily Prompt (promises), and Word of the Day Challenge (recovery).

MLMM Photo Challenge — Thriller

PPO ppmThriller“What are you doing?” Cheryl asked her boyfriend, Josh.

“I’m practicing,” Josh answered.

“Practicing what?”

“Thriller.”

“Thriller? What are you talking about?”

“My sister’s wedding,” Josh answered.

“I still don’t understand.”

“Her wedding is on Halloween night, so all of the extended family members are getting together and we’re going to surprise her at the reception by getting out on the dance floor and dancing the choreography to Michael Jackson’s song, Thriller.”

“Oh that is so cool!” Cheryl said. “Can I join in? After all, I’m your girlfriend.”

“Sure,” Josh said, “but you have to learn the steps.”

“Show me,” Cheryl demanded.

“Okay stand like this, with your feet apart, your knees bent, and your hands up over your head, as if you’re a zombie.”

Standing next to Josh, Cheryl mimicked his stance. “Like this?” she asked.

“Perfect,” Josh said. “You’re a natural.”


Written for this week’s Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge. Photo credit: Google.

MLMM Tale Weaver — The Dapper Stranger

The townsfolks were generally chary of strangers who suddenly showed up in their tiny hamlet. So when the well-dressed stranger walked down the main street in the center of town, the people were curious.

The mayor ran out into the street. “You appear to be a man of dignity,” the mayor said. “What brings you to our little village?”

The stranger let out a hardy howl. “Ah, Mr. Mayor,” the stranger said, “allow me to introduce myself. My name is Mr. Showman and I understand that your town is about to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its founding. Well, my specialty is fireworks and what, I ask you, could be a more fitting way to celebrate that special event than an extravagant fireworks display?”

The mayor raised his eyebrows. “You have piqued my interests,” the mayor said. “Please tell me more, Mr. Showman.”

“Well,” the stranger said, “for a mere one-thousand dollars paid in advance, I will come to your delightful town on the day of your centennial celebration and dazzle you and your townfolks with a light show the likes of which you’ve never seen. It’s something you will never forget.”

The mayor beamed and invited the stranger into his office. The mayor opened up the safe, withdrew a thousand dollars and handed it over to Mr. Showman.

“I’m so looking forward to be bringing such joy to your hamlet,” Mr. Showman said. “I’ll see you two weeks from tomorrow.”

The two men shook hands and then the stranger left the mayor’s office, walked down the town’s Main Street, and was never seen or heard from again.


Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver prompt, where the topic is “stranger.” Also for these daily prompts: Your Daily Word Prompt (chary), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (dignity), Ragtag Daily Prompt (howl), and Word of the Day Challenge (firework).

MLMM Photo Challenge — I’m Such a Klutz

Craig jumped up when he heard a loud thump on his apartment door. He swung the door open and saw a young woman, her face all bloodied, sprawled out on the carpeting outside the door. “Jesus, are you okay?”

Still kind of stunned and confused, she looked up at him and said, “I’m so sorry that I fell into your door. I was running up the steps, lost my footing, tripped, and, well, my forward momentum caused me to crash into your door. I’m such a klutz.”

“Your face is a bloody mess,” Craig said. “Come in and you can use my bathroom to clean yourself up.” He helped the woman up, led her to the bathroom, and handed her a washcloth. “Take your time,” he said. “I’ll be in the living room. Call out to me if you need anything.”

A few minutes later, the young woman emerged from the bathroom. She had washed the blood from her face, but a few nasty-looking welts seemed to be surfacing. She was also walking with a slight limp. “I thing I may have sprained my left ankle,” she said. “And I’m missing a shoe.”

“Sit down on the sofa,” Craig said. She did as she was instructed and Craig moved an ottoman and positioned it so she could extend her foot onto it. “I’ve got an icepack in the freezer. Let me get it and we can put it on that ankle to keep any swelling down.” She thanked him and he went to the kitchen to grab the icepack.

She gave him a weak, sheepish smile when he reentered the living room. He gently lifted her ankle and wrapped it in the icepack. He noticed how delicate her ankle was, looked at her long, shapely legs, and then up at her face. Despite the bruises emerging on her face, he could see that she was very attractive.

“So what brought you here to this building?” Craig asked her. “Oh, my name is Craig. What’s yours?”

Hi, Craig. I’m Cynthia,” she said. “My husband lives on the fourth floor. I was heading up to see him, but the elevator wasn’t working so I decided to take the stairs. He hates when I’m late.”

“So you’re married,” Craig said, a little surprised by his tinge of disappointment.

“We’re actually separated,” Cynthia said. “He moved out of our house and into his new girlfriend’s apartment in this building a few months back and he called me this morning and wanted me to come over and pick up the divorce papers.”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” Craig said.

“Don’t be,” Cynthia said. “It’s been a long time coming and when he said he had divorce papers for me to sign I rushed over here to get them. I just want to put that part of my life behind me. I haven’t exactly lived a fairytale life and it’s time for me to start a new chapter.” She winced and rubbed her left shoulder. “I think I slammed into your door with my face and my shoulder.”

“Let me get you some Advil,” he said. He stood up, went to the medicine cabinet, pulled out the bottle of Advil and brought it out to her with a bottle of water. “Take two of these,” he said. “I’ll go out to the hall and look for your missing shoe.”

When he came back a minute later with her missing red shoe in hand, she looked up at him, smiled, and said, “Just like Prince Charming, you found my Ruby slipper.”

“Actually, it was Dorothy who wore the ruby slippers. Prince Charming found Cinderella’s glass slipper,” Craig said.

Cynthia smiled again. “Well, my name is Cynthia, but you can call me Cindy, short for Cinderella, if you want.”

“Okay, Cindy, and you can call me your Prince Charming,” Craig said as he bent down to kiss her gently on her lips.

That was the day that Cynthia did, indeed, start a new chapter in what would turn out to be her fairytale life.


Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge. Photo credit: Brooke DiDonato.