Sunday Writing Prompt — Retro Diner

26A90F49-D47D-4D8D-BADE-C63999475FEF“Garish,” she said, looking around the place, an expression of disdain on her face.

“What are you talking about, Beth?” he asked. “This is a classic re-creation of a mid-century diner. It’s totally retro.”

“Oh, right, Andy,” Beth said. “Like you’d even know what an actual mid-century diner looked like. You’re a child of the late Nineties.”

“My dad used to take me to diners near where we lived,” Andy said, “so I know what I’m talking about. Look at these vinyl seats and all the neon signs and lighting. And these tabletop jukebox thingies, just like back in the day.”

“It’s so plastic,” Beth said. “They’re trying too hard and it’s not at all authentic.”

A waitress, frantically chewing a wad of gum, walked up to their table and handed Andy and Beth menus. “Can I get you some water?”

“Sure,” Andy said.

“Do you have any sparkling water?” Beth asked.

“You mean like seltzer?” the waitress responded.

Beth sighed. “Never mind. Still water is fine.”

The waitress spun around and left the table. Meanwhile, Andy, after looking at the menu, said to Beth, “Do you see the prices on this menu? This can’t be right. A burger for 95 cents. Add cheese for a nickel. French fries for a quarter and a Coca-Cola for a dime. This has got to be a joke.”

“Maybe they charge retro prices in this retro diner,” Beth quipped.

The waitress came back to the table with two glasses of water. “Can I take your orders?” she asked.

Andy read her name tag and said, “Hey, Betty, these novelty throwback menus are great, but can you get us the regular menus, please?”

Betty looked confused, reached over and took the menu from Andy and looked at it. “This is our regular menu,” she said.

“Come on, Betty,” Andy said. “A cheeseburger for a buck? A Coke for a dime?”

Betty’s cheeks turned bright red. “I know,” she said in a hushed tone. “Until last week our burgers were only 75 cents and Coca-Cola was a nickel. But the owner had to raise the prices on just about everything in the menu a few weeks ago because of a higher cost of living. It’s 1955, you know. Your money doesn’t go as far as it used to.”

Beth looked at Andy and then back at the waitress. “What do you mean it’s 1955?” she asked Betty.

“1955,” Betty said. “March 15, 1955.”

Andy stood up and looked out of the diner’s windows. He turned pale, sat down in his seat and pointed toward the windows.

Beth looked toward where Andy was pointing and saw that the diner’s parking lot was full of cars from the early Fifties. And that’s when Beth started to scream.

Written for this week’s Sunday Writing Prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie.

The Library of the Imagination

CA219079-8CD2-4D00-9863-7F19DE4DBF0B Liz was on a business trip to a city she’d never been to before. Her meeting ended early, at around two in the afternoon, and as she was heading back to her hotel room she passed a public library. Carved onto a stone block next to the entrance were the words “The Library of the Imagination.”

Intrigued, Liz entered the building, and as a fan of historical fiction, she made her way to the section of the library that housed books of that genre and started browsing. One book caught her eye. She didn’t know if she was imagining it or not, but the book seemed to have a glow about it.

She pulled the book down from the shelf. Its title was simply, The Days of Yore. She didn’t recognize the author’s name, but she seemed unable to put the book down. She walked over to a comfortable looking chair, sat down, and slowly opened the book.

Suddenly Liz was no longer sitting in a chair in the library, although she still had the open book in her hands. She was standing outside in a field of tall grass adjacent to a wooded area. She heard a sound coming in her direction, the sound of a horse’s hooves pounding upon a grassy surface. Instinctively she tried to run to a tree to hide behind, but she was too late.

A man wearing unusual garb, mounted on a beautiful black steed, rode up to her, stopping directly in front of her. “Maiden,” he said, “this is not a place for a young woman to be out and about. It’s not safe and you are trespassing.”

Liz gathered her wits and responded, “I didn’t intend to trespass or to put myself in any danger. I went out for a walk and wandered afar and have gotten myself lost.”

“What have you there?” the man asked, pointing at the book Liz was carrying.

“This is just a book I was reading,” and Liz closed the book quickly. Just as she did, she was suddenly back in the library chair.

“Oh dear, I must have fallen asleep,” Liz said aloud to no one in particular. She looked at her watch and saw that nearly an hour had passed. She got up, took the book with her, and asked to check it out so that she could go back to her hotel and read it. She was given a guest pass and was told to return the book to the library in 48 hours.

Back at the hotel, she changed into casual clothing, ordered room service, and then moved over to the bed and opened the book once again. And although she was still in a bed, she was strangely no longer in the bed in her hotel room. She was in what appeared to be a large bedroom in a castle of some sort.

A young woman opened the the door to the room and walked in. “I see you are awake,” the woman said.

“Where am I and who are you!” Liz asked.

“I am Esmerelda,” the girl said, “and you are in Beltran Manor. The Lord of the Manor’s son found you near the forest and said you passed out, so he brought you here. Are you hungry?” Liz shook her head affirmatively. “I will fetch you something from the pantry and bring it to you,” Esmerelda said, “and I will notify the Lord’s son that you have awoken.”

After Esmerelda left the room, Liz looked around for the book, and saw it on a dressing table to the left of the bed. It was still open. She got off of the bed, reached over and picked the book up, and closed it.

There was a loud knocking sound and Liz heard a man’s voice calling loudly from the other side of the door. “Room service,” he said. Liz got up, looked around, and saw that she was, once again, in her hotel room.

To be continued….

Written for this week’s Tale Weaver prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. Photo credit: xetobyte at

Photo Challenge — Strange Brew

115A82B3-621A-4569-9A24-B4DB9DDB936C“Jesus, Diane, what the hell are you doing?” Elizabeth screamed when she and her boyfriend, Bill, walked into the apartment she and Diane shared. Diane was sitting at the dining room table. She was naked. Her head and the table, were covered with pea pods, along with a glass kettle of tea and a tea cup.

“Did you ever notice how fascinating pea pods are?” Diane said, without turning to look at Elizabeth. “They’re amazing, and when you open them up, all these little peas, like ball bearings, pop out and roll around on the table and drop to the floor.”

“Diane, why are you naked?” Elizabeth asked.

Diane turned her head and looked at Elizabeth and saw Bill standing next to her. “Bill,” Diane said, “You better not be looking at me, you perv.” And then she started laughing, returned her gaze to Elizabeth and said, “I was hot and sweaty so I stripped.”

“What are you drinking?” Elizabeth asked.

“I wanted some tea and found a bunch of tea bags in the very back of the cabinet so I brewed up a pot of it,” Diane said, “and this is the best tea I’ve ever had.”

Elizabeth went over to the trash basket under the sink and looked inside. She looked at Bill and said, “Four tea bags.”

“Oh my God,” Bill whispered. “She’s got to be stoned out of her mind. I’ll go get a towel.”

Bill returned from the bathroom with a large towel and handed it to Elizabeth, who draped it over Diane. “Sweetie,” Elizabeth said, “you’re high as a kite. The tea you used was something Bill and I picked up at the pot dispensary on Saturday. One bag is plenty potent for four people and you used four on your own. Come on, stand up, and let me get you into your bed.”

Diane stood up while Elizabeth wrapped her in the bath towel. Diane looked at Elizabeth and, with tears in her eyes, said, “Lizzy, you’re the best roommate in the whole world and I’m so lucky to have you as a friend.”

Elizabeth put her arm around Diane and started leading her toward Diane’s bedroom. But Diane abruptly stopped and started walking toward the kitchen, the towel Elizabeth had wrapped her in falling to the ground. “Diane, what are you doing?”

“I have the munchies and I saw some leftover key lime pie in the fridge,” Diane said. “Hey, perv,” she called out to Bill. “Wanna cut me off a piece of that pie?” she asked. “But keep your perv eyes closed. I’m naked as the day I was born.”

Bill, smiling, looked back at Elizabeth, shrugged his shoulders in gesture of helplessness, and said to Diane, “Sure, let’s all share some of that key lime pie.” Then he looked at Elizabeth and said, “Hey Lizzy, do you want some tea?”

Written for this week’s Photo Challenge from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, and for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (glass). Photo credit: Daniel Fehr.

You Belong In The City

55579248-5C20-45E9-BD52-772259318475Wow, the timing of Jim Adam’s Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Music Challenge couldn’t be more prescient. Jim focused on a song by Glenn Frey, the late singer and cofounder of The Eagles, “You Belong In The City.” Is Jim trying to tell me something with that choice of song?

Earlier today I wrote a post announcing that my wife and I are moving out of the city and into the ‘burbs to be physically closer to my son and his wife, who are expecting their first child.

It’s been at least two decades since my family has lived outside of a “real” city (i.e., one with NFL, MLB, and NBA teams). We lived in the suburbs when our kids were younger so that they could go to the best public schools. But when they went off to college, my wife and I, as empty nesters, took up residence in an urban environment.

But now, with our first grandchild on the way and with grandparenting duties in the offing, we are heading out of the city and into the suburbs.

So, Jim, if by choosing the song “You Belong In The City” for this weeks music challenge, you were trying to send me a message, you’re too late. It’s pretty much a done deal. If anything bad happens to me out yonder, I’m blaming you for waiting so long to say something.

Tale Weaver — Peaceful Coexistence

C97B5C06-E9B8-4700-8229-70424A896D84.jpegBack in 2008, a black cat, about a year old, began hanging out on our porch. We had many feral cats in our neighborhood, but this cat wasn’t one of them. Feral cats skedaddle when a human approaches them. But this cat would permit us to pick him up and put him on our laps and would purr while we sat down on our porch swing and stroked him. We figured he escaped from someone’s house or yard, and so my wife decided to take him in until we could find his owner. I took a picture of the cat and put “lost cat” posters up all around the neighborhood, but no one ever called to claim him.

And that’s how we came to have a cat in our household.

About a year later our, daughter and her husband rescued a four year old, all black shepherd/lab mix from a kill shelter. Two years after that, our daughter and her husband got divorced and they each moved away, so my wife and I offered to “adopt” their dog.

And that’s how we came to have a dog in our household.

Our cat and our dog live together in our home in what can best be described as “peaceful coexistence.” Even though our dog is at least five times the size of our cat and outweighs him by 60 pounds, she typically gives him a wide berth, since, if she gets too close to him (i.e., within striking distance), our cat has no qualms about swatting, claws fully extended, at our poor, hapless dog.

But we love them both and they bring so much pleasure into our lives. We are empty-nesters and our dog and cat are like our children. In fact, my wife often refers to them as her “little black babies.” She’s obviously not bothered by political correctness.

Written for this week’s Tale Weaver prompt from Michael at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. We are asked to write our ‘pet’ story, be it about “the pet you have or once had or some imaginary pet.” Mine is about the pets we have.