I Hate Surprises

1A2C8B8D-DBA3-451F-BF2B-85775FC7B3D2Florence paused at the door, “What the hell did you just say?” she said as they stepped outside.

Surprise!” Anita said.

“Are you shitting me?” Florence said, her voice belligerent. “What is wrong with you, Anita?”

“What do you mean?” a shocked Anita asked. “It’s your birthday and this gift is my surprise for you.”

“First of all, Anita, you know I don’t like surprises,” Florence said. “Second, a motor scooter? What make you think I know how to ride one of those things?”

“You know how to ride a bicycle, right? It’s just like riding a bicycle, but without having to pedal to get moving,” Anita said, disappointed that her surprise gift for her best friend’s birthday was not well received.

“You spent way too much money,” Florence said, beginning to calm down.

“Actually, I got it at an estate sale,” Anita explained. “It’s used, but barely and gently, according to the guy who ran the sale. So it wasn’t that expensive.”

“Well,” Florence said, “I’m sorry that I reacted the way I did. It’s just that this really is a surprise. You know, Anita, I love you and I want us to build a life together. But you need to understand something, okay?”

“What’s that, Florence?” Anita asked.

“I fucking hate surprises.”

“Okay,” Anita said. “You’re the driver in this relationship.”


Written for Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday, for Rachel Poli’s Time to Write Sentence Starter prompt (“surprise”), and for these one-word prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (belligerent), Your Daily Word Prompt (gift), for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (driver), Scotts Daily Prompt (estate), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (build)

MLMM Tale Weaver — Open and Shut Case

00D21256-CC14-4A76-B0B7-D5B82BA7D37D“This is an open and shut case,” Detective Ron Hayden said.

“What are you talking about?” his partner, Detective Jim Morrisey asked. “We just got here. We haven’t even begun to investigate.”

“Yeah, I know,” admitted Hayden, a chagrined look on his face. “I just always wanted to say that.” Then he asked, “Why is it so cold in here?”

“Because it’s frigid outside and you left the damn door open,” Morrisey said. As Hayden went to shut the door, Morrisey started to look around the bungalow. “This is kind of mysterious,” he said, pointing to the desk in the corner of the living room.

Hayden looked over and saw a clean spot on the desk, free of any accumulated dust. “Looks like there was something here, maybe a laptop computer,” he said. “I see some cables that might have been connected to it.”

Just as he bent down to look under the desk to see where the cables came from, Hayden felt an acute pain from a blow to the head. He lost consciousness for a few seconds and when he came to, he saw his partner putting handcuffs on a guy he was sitting on. “What the hell happened?” he asked Morrisey.

“The perp was hiding in the closet,” Morrisey said. “When you were fishing around under the desk, he ran out of the closet carrying the laptop, hit you on the head with a bat, and tried to run by me. But I tackled him and here we are.”

Hayden stood up, rubbed his head where the bat hit him, and got a big, shit-eating grin on his face.

“What’s with that exulted expression on your face?” Morrisey asked.

“Oh, I’m just so happy,” Hayden said. “This really is an open and shut case!”


Written for this week’s Tale Weaver prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, where the prompt is “open or shut.” And for these one-word prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (chagrin), Your Daily Word Prompt (frigid), Weekly Prompts (mysterious), Scotts Daily Prompt (acute), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (exult).

Friday Fictioneers + First Line Friday

B4E31777-3AF4-49F5-BECE-CD4EC6DF892F“This was by far, the bleakest and blackest of Fridays,” Craig said, sitting with his wife in the park near the serenity of a series of small waterfalls.

“You say that every year on the day after Thanksgiving,” Anna said. “But yes, last night’s dinner was extreme.”

“I just can’t fathom how gullible and, yes, stupid, some of my relatives are,” Craig said. “I’m sorry, Anna, but this is it. No more family Thanksgiving dinners at our home. Never again. I can’t take it anymore.”

“Never say never,” Anna said, trying to console her husband. “Trump won’t be president forever.”

(100 words)


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers prompt and for the  Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday prompt. Photo credit: Dale Rogerson.

First Line Friday — The Funeral

530B9F2C-2B28-46F1-A265-5AE69916356FThe funeral went by in a waltz of shiny cars, black suits, and choreographed tears. The procession reached the cemetery and pulled forward to the burial location. As people got out of their cars and made their way to the gravesite, the family members and closest friends took the seats while the rest of those in attendance formed a large oval around the plot.

Hank, a friend of a friend of the daughter of the deceased, was standing in the row of people farthest from the grave. Without warning, he let out a long, loud, juicy fart. Everyone in the crowd, including the pastor in the middle of his sermon, turned to see who it was who do rudely disrupted the service. Once those standing near Hank got a whiff of his flatulence, they moved away from him, leaving him standing by himself, all eyes glaring at him.

Using every communication skill he possessed, Hank said, “Please accept my apology for disrupting this funeral service, but the sudden death my friend’s father has so traumatized me that I was experiencing a mosaic of emotions and I momentarily lost control of my bodily functions. I hope all of you will find it feasible to forgive me my trespasses and return your attention to paying homage to the deceased and his family.”

A mass rolling of eyes, clicking tongues, and a collective sigh preceded the resumption of the funeral service as Hank slowly slunk away from the cemetery.


Written for the First Line Friday prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, where the first line is, “The funeral went by in a waltz of shiny cars, black suits, and choreographed tears.” Also for these one-word prompts: Your Daily Word Prompt (farthest), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (disrupt), Word of the Day Challenge (whiff), Ragtag Daily Prompt (skull), Scotts Daily Prompt (mosaic), and Daily Addictions (feasible).

Sunday Writing Prompt — Fuhgeddaboudit

34DCC9D3-27D1-4D90-993B-561EA80AC8E1For this week’s Sunday Writing Prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, the challenge is to try something new. Like using a different medium for your creative expression, tackling a new and perhaps controversial topic, challenging one of your own fears and writing about the experience, or stepping outside of your comfort zone. You get the idea, right?

Well here’s what I have to say about that: fuhgeddaboudit. Why would I want to do that? I’ve challenged myself my entire life. Now it’s time to relax. I’ve earned it. Listen, I’m an old guy, a septuagenarian. I like things the way they are. And I’m actually quite comfortable in my comfort zone. I neither want to nor need to change.

Besides, I do challenge myself with my blog. I post between three and six times a day. I respond to word prompts, to photo prompts, to some of these crazy Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie prompts. I even host my own daily word prompt.

I regularly post my thoughts, observations, and perspectives on what is going on around me. I read what other bloggers have to say and often comment on their posts. I respond to comments that others have made on my posts.

And I also have other activities of daily living that I have to manage, ranging from walking the dog multiple times a day to chores around the house to keeping my wife happy to paying the bills and to reading books and watching TV.

Seriously, the last thing I need right now is to take on any new challenges. This old dog doesn’t want to learn new tricks.