The Elevator

6B56D84C-DDC8-45B8-95F2-3201829C0842The elevator stopped on the thirteenth floor with a lurch. The three passengers, a young man, maybe in his early twenties dressed in jeans and carrying an envelope, a middle-aged man dressed in a suit and tie, and an older woman in an unflattering, matronly outfit, looked at one another other.

The middle-aged man immediately took charge and pressed the button to take him to his office on the 20th floor, but nothing happened when he hit it. He looked to see what floor the elevator had stopped at and saw the sign above the elevator door, which displayed the number 13. “That’s not possible,” he said.

The old woman looked worried and asked what the problem was. The man looked at her, then at the young man, and back up to the number displayed. “This building does not have a thirteenth floor,” he said. “It goes from the twelfth to the fourteenth floor.”

“You baby boomers and your stupid superstitions,” the younger man said. “Thirteen is just a number, like every other number.”

“Today is Friday the thirteenth,” the old woman said. “I knew I should have stayed home today.”

The young man chuckled. The older man pressed the emergency call button, but no sound was heard.

The old lady began to sob. The young man shook his head, and the older man attempted to pull the elevator doors apart with his hands. “A little help here,” he said to the younger man.

Suddenly the doors opened and a cold, eerie mist filled the elevator. The last sound that was heard was that of the younger man’s voice saying, “What the fuck?”

A moment later the mist cleared and a lone man was standing outside the elevator doors. He began to speak. “Three strangers enter an elevator in a high rise building on Friday the thirteenth. One a business executive, one a bicycle messenger boy, and one a kindly grandmother. What none of them knew when they boarded the elevator on that auspicious day, was that the elevator made only one stop. It stopped atD59D2BF3-CBBE-4395-8904-20CDCE959FC7Written for this week’s First Line Friday prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. The first line is, “The elevator stopped on the thirteenth floor with a lurch.”

Photo Challenge — The Melting Moon

360508D2-287E-4920-B3C7-552717CD752E“What’s all the excitement about?” Don asked in his typical guileless manner.

“Look at the moon, you idiot,” Betsy said. “It’s melting!”

Steve stopped strumming his guitar and looked up at the moon. “It’s not melting, it’s dripping.”

“Melting, dripping, whatever,” Betsy said, “something is seriously wrong. The moon doesn’t do that.”

Don googled “melting moon” on his smartphone. It took him to a page that discussed the impact of climate change on Greenland. “There’s a lot of research on the web about melting icebergs and glaciers in Greenland, but nothing about the moon melting.”

“That melting is due to how the human race is acting like a traitor to Mother Earth by denying the truths about climate change,” Betsy said.

“Um, Betsy,” Steve said, “what kind of mushrooms did you use in the beef stew you made for tonight’s campfire dinner?”

Betsy shrugged, “I don’t know,” she admitted. “I found a bunch near the base of a tree in the woods over there.”

“I’ve heard stories about so-called magic mushrooms in this part of the woods, but I thought it was all bullshit,” Steve said.

“Magic mushrooms,” Don said. “That could explain why we’re all seeing the moon melting. It’s a mass hallucination.”

Written for today’s Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge. Photo credit: Also for these daily prompts: Daily Addictions (excitement), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (guileless), Ragtag Daily Prompt (guitar), The Daily Spur (page), Your Daily Word Prompt (research), and Word of the Day Challenge (traitor).

The First Time

The first time I saw her face, it was like I was watching a brilliant sun setting into the Pacific Ocean. I finally mustered up the courage to make my move, and when we were together for the first time, it was as if she gave me a gift of the moon and the stars.

The first time we kissed, I swear, as trite as it sounds, I felt the Earth move. And the first time she lay with me, I felt her heart so close to mine, and I knew she completed me. I understood that my life and my world would be full of joy because of her.Sex dollIt’s truly amazing how lifelike these mid-21st century Japanese sex robots have become.

0C829617-07E5-480B-A0C7-5138B6CE57EAWritten for this week’s Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Music Challenge from Jim Adams. The theme is romance and how people experience that first love. Well, that’s how I interpreted it, anyway.

Photo Challenge — Making Everyone Happy

48CC415B-230F-4EAE-B75F-D91A3C85CC54David fancied himself an artist. He was also a science fiction fanatic and was convinced that, with pen in hand, he could create fantastic sci-fi graphic novels.

And so David dropped out of college and moved back into his childhood home with his parents. He essentially took over the basement of their house to use as his graphic novel studio and spent most of his time down there drawing and sketching.

But when David turned 30 and was still living in his parents’ basement, they had finally had enough. They tried to persuade David to scrap his dreams of publishing his graphic novel comic books and to find himself a real job.

“David,” his father said, “I know you’re sincere in your desire to be a successful graphic novelist. And I do believe you’ve shown that you’re wicked talented, but it’s time to use some common sense and find a real job.”

Of course, David balked and expressed how disappointed he was that his own parents had such little faith in his ability to achieve his dreams.

So his father and mother put their heads together to see if they could come up with a plan that would rectify this situation.

A few months later, they called David up from the basement. His father said to him, “Your mother and I have devised a solution that we believe will make everyone happy. You know those two acres of undeveloped land we have in the foothills about an hour north of here?”

“Yeah, what about it?” David asked.

His father handed David a photograph of what looked like a fusion of a yellow submarine and a flying saucer. “We just finished building this tiny house for you on that land. It’s got a bedroom, bathroom, kitchenette, and some studio space for your drawings. It’s got electric service, water, heat, and air conditioning. We even set it up for internet service and WiFi.”

“Wow, Dad, this is fantastic,” David said. “How can I possibly thank you and Mom?”

“Easy, son,” his father said. “Move out of our basement as soon as possible.”

Written for this week’s Photo Challenge from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. Photo credit: Tom Blachford. Also for these daily prompts: Daily Addictions (pen), Ragtag Daily Prompt (scrap), Your Daily Word Prompt (sincere), Word of the Day Challenge (wicked), The Daily Spur (common), and Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (rectify).

Sunday Writing Prompt — Paybacks Are a Bitch

1369DED4-11F8-4620-A1E3-C67A0D958A85Jason was taken by surprise when he heard the landline ringing. He hadn’t used the landline in years and, given that he hadn’t received or paid an invoice from the old phone company, he didn’t think it was even still connected. He hesitantly picked up the old receiver and listened to about five seconds of loud static. He was about to hang up when he heard a familiar voice say, “Jason, it’s Jonathan.”

Breaking out in a cold sweat, Jason slammed down the receiver. The phone immediately starting ringing again. Jason picked it up and held it to his ear. “Don’t hang up, Jason,” he heard the voice say.

“I must be having a nightmare,” Jason said. “There is zero chance that I’m awake.”

“Oh, you’re awake, I can attest to that,” the voice said.

“Impossible!” Jason said. “You’re dead, Jonathan. I know because I killed you.”

“I thought we had a strong bond, Jason,” the voice said. I thought our friendship was real.”

Jason’s voice took on a snide tone. “You call what we had a friendship? We were business partners until that time you talked me into taking that excursion to the Cayman Islands, remember? That’s when you dropped the bomb on me and said you were wresting control of the company we built together from me.”

“Jason,” the voice on the phone said, “you and I both know what you did. You were embezzling money and were bleeding the company dry. You left me no choice but to squeeze you out.”

“There’s always a choice, you bastard,” Jason said.

“You’re right, Jason,” the voice said. “And you made a choice to sabotage my scuba diving tank. Do you have any idea what it feels like to drown?”

“You deserved to die, Jonathan,” Jason said. “You tried to steal my company from me.”

“It was our company, Jason,” the voice said. “But you know what they say about paybacks, right?”

The electric shock that came through the receiver of the old landline phone took about 30 seconds to fry Jason.

“Paybacks are a bitch,” the voice said.

Written for this week’s Sunday Writing Prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. The tale I chose to tell was a slight variation on this theme: Imagine that you receive a call from the other side from a person now deceased but once significant in your life (for better or worse). You now have the chance to tell them whatever you like, including any unfinished business they may have had. It could also fit into this theme: Imagine you receive a call from someone who wishes to connect or reconnect with you. This can be a high school sweetheart, a child placed for adoption, a childhood friend, an estranged relative, etc.

Also written for these daily prompts: Daily Addictions (zero), Your Daily Word Prompt (attest), Word of the Day Challenge (friendship), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (snide), Ragtag Daily Prompt (excursion), and The Daily Spur (control).