Highway to Heaven

D53439D1-B279-4A3A-A765-9A41E7FD2915The high priest stood at the podium in front of his adoring audience of faithful followers in the large auditorium. He held his hands high above his head and said in a booming voice, “The historic and glorious saga of our species is about to come to an end. God is speaking to us. He’s testing us. He’s flooding our lands, creating massive storms, spreading devastating fires, and causing the earth to shake beneath us and swallow us up.”

The parishioners sat in quiet awe, collectively nodding their heads in agreement, a few scattered “amens” being spoken.

The priest continued his lofty speech. “You are at a crossroad and it’s time for each of you to choose your path. Do you stay behind and face the wrath of our Lord and maker for your sinful ways? Or do you escape this wicked, material world for an eternity in His presence?”

You could hear a pin drop as the people in the audience awaited the priest’s next words. They didn’t have to wait too long. “Leave behind all of your worldly goods, give up your material possessions. Get in your vehicles for the very last time, as you won’t need them where we are going. Follow me as I lead you on our journey to eternal paradise. Join me on the Highway to Heaven.


Written for this week’s Photo Challenge from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. Photo credit: sound-dream @ tumblr.

Aldo for these daily prompts: The Daily Spur (priest), Your Daily Word Prompt (saga), Word of the Day Challenge (quiet), Ragtag Daily Prompt (lofty), and Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (escape).

A Fish Out of Water

31CB2DA8-B3B3-4482-B97C-F4086E27A2E7When I was still working, I was part of the company’s sales organization, even though I wasn’t a salesman per se. My role was essentially technology sales support.

The sales organization would stage an annual client appreciation conference, a four-day extravaganza usually at some ritzy downtown hotel in a major city or at a fancy resort. There would be motivational speakers, including the raspy-voiced head of sales, who attempted (but mostly failed) to give a riveting, rah-rah presentation. There were product demonstration halls populated by pulchritudinous women in skimpy outfits, which is where I, as a sales support guy, would spend most of my time showing off our state-of-the-art technological solutions to the attendees. There were food halls with gourmet hors d’oeuvres, including such delicacies as sushi and platters piled high with fresh shrimp, crab, and lobster. There were sumptuous dinners and social events in the evenings that occasionally became quite rowdy.

You might think, as someone who was required to attend these overblown affairs, that I would have been thrilled to be there. But I hated having to participate in these meetings. I was never really comfortable at events like these and, as a rather introverted individual, I felt like a fish out of water. I perceived these meetings to be not only a waste of my time, but a colossal waste of the company’s money.

But now that I’m retired, it is indeed my pleasure to never have to attend this kind of wasteful nonsense ever again. Yay!


Written for yesterday’s Sunday Writing Prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, where we are asked to write a post about the concept of “a fish out of water.” Also for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (raspy), Your Daily Word Prompt (riveting), Ragtag Daily Prompt (pulchritudinous), Word of the Day Challenge (rowdy), and The Daily Spur (waste).


 

Tale Weaver — Barely a Ripple

D844DD7F-CDE2-46A0-908B-B3E025A11849He was born
He went to school
He graduated
He got a job
He got married
He had kids
He worked hard for 45 years
He retired
He died
It should come as no surprise
That when he was alive
His life barely made a ripple


Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver prompt, where the topic to consider is the notion of eulogy.

The Gates of Hell

979edffc-b85c-4449-9c3a-1e43e7686501.jpegTake the gun,” she said, handing me the revolver. She was stunning. A ginger with green eyes and a body that wouldn’t quit. I’d walk to the gates of Hell for her if she’d ask me to.

What’s the plan?” I asked after taking the gun from her.

“We break camp at dawn,” she said. “We’ll be meeting up with fighters from the other rebel camps in the foothills just south of the metropolis.”

“You know that the government troops will still seriously outnumber and outgun us,” I pointed out.

“Our objective is to cause as much havoc as we can, to disrupt their operations, and to try not to let them capture or kill us when we inevitably retreat,” she said.

“From what you’re saying” I said, “it sounds like this is shaping up to be a suicide mission.”

“You’re probably right,” she said, “but we are rebels with a good cause. As Patrick Henry said, ‘Give me liberty or give me death.’ I’ll see you either at the rendezvous point tomorrow night or we’ll spend an eternity in Hell together.”

See, I told you I’d be willing to walk to the gates of Hell for her if she asked. And that’s exactly what she was asking.


Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday prompt, where the first line is “Take the Gun,” and for Rachel Poli’s Time To Write Sentence Starter, where the line is “What’s the plan?” Also for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (camp), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (rebel), The Daily Spur (metropolis), Word of the Day Challenge (capture), and Your Daily Word Prompt (eternity).

Music Challenge — Edna’s Nervous Breakdown

Old angry woman threatening with a cane“Did you hear about Aunt Edna?” Betty asked her daughter. “She had yet another nervous breakdown.”

“Oh, poor Aunt Edna,” Donna lamented. “This must be her nineteenth nervous breakdown.”

“At least,” Betty agreed. “I’ve lost count, but I heard that she was tied up in knots in this latest of her multifarious ordeals. She actually became violent this time and started hitting poor Uncle Henry with her cane.”

“It’s such a shame,” Donna said, “that she got her brains all scrambled in that skiing accident during her winter vacation back in 1987. Dad told me that Edna really had her shit together before that.”


Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Music Challenge from Jim Adams. He presented us with the Rolling Stones’ song, “19th Nervous Breakdown,” and asked us to focus on that song and use it for inspiration in any form of creative expression (including, but not limited to, short stories, poems, lyrics, artwork, photography, etc.).

Also for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (knot), Your Daily Word Prompt (multifarious), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (scramble), Word of the Day Challenge (vacation), and The Daily Spur (1987).