Signs of the Times

33CC6FA8-FE4E-458A-9A32-CB31DE3BDC40“Do you think it will work?” Liz asked.

“Why wouldn’t it?” Stan asked.

“Well, for one thing,” Liz said, “we don’t have a dog. We have a cat.”

“But nobody knows that we don’t have a dog,” Stan said. “So between the ‘Beware of Dog’ sign and the motion-activated sounds of a vicious dog barking whenever anyone approaches our door, I think it will serve the purpose.”

“I hope so, Stan” Liz said. “There have been a lot of break-ins in the neighborhood lately. Maybe this will bring some peace and harmony around here .”

“I do have a backup plan, Liz,” Stan said. “In fact, this might be an even better idea.”

“What’s that?”

“It may rumple some feathers, Liz, but if the dog warning sign doesn’t work, this one just might do the trick,” Stan said. He reached down and held up another sign.424969B9-611E-4073-8A03-F590AD3C87EE

Written for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (beware), Ragtag Daily Prompt (hope), Word of the Day Challenge (harmony), and Your Daily Word Prompt (rumple).

Split Pea Soup

46b5b051-4f24-4e1e-b800-bc99878c2cd3“Mom, I am so upset,” Elaine said. “I just checked on Yelp and my favorite neighborhood restaurant went out of business.”

“Oh, honey,” her mother said, “no wonder you’re looking so forlorn. But you know, sweetheart, this part of town is in transition and a lot of those hipsters are buying up a lot of properties and are taking over the neighborhood, so some of the older, established businesses can’t afford the higher rents and are taking flight.”

“I know that, Mom,” Elaine said, “but that place was so adorable and it had the greatest split pea soup in the city, next to your homemade split pea soup, of course.”

“Elaine, I have a great idea,” her mother said. “I got a circular yesterday from the farmer’s market. They’re having a special on dried split peasHow about we head over there, pick some up, and I’ll whip up a kettle of my world famous split pea soup for you. Would that make you feel a little better?”

“You’re the best, Mom,” Elaine said, giving her mom a big hug.

Written for these daily prompts: Word of the Day (yelp), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (forlorn), Ragtag Daily Prompt (flight), Your Daily Word Prompt (adorable), Daily Addictions (circular), and Swimmers (peas).

Let There Be Light

CB5223E1-7B15-483E-882E-11B6EAFFC818When I walk my dog first thing in the morning and right before I go to bed at night, it’s dark. It’s no big deal because I live in the city and there are streetlights strategically placed along the way.

But a month or so ago, I received a notice from the electric company that it will be replacing all of the existing streetlights in my part of town. The old high-pressure-sodium-vapor (HPSV) lights will be replaced with what the electric company called “efficient, long-lasting light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures.”

These new LED streetlights are supposed to last a lot longer than the old HPSV lights and they also use a lot less energy, so the cost of lighting up the city at night will be reduced. (And yet my local taxes continue to go up.)

But what is more important is that LEDs provide a brighter, whiter, more natural-looking and evenly distributed light compared with the older streetlights, which cast a dull, yellowish glow.

278926C3-1E9F-429D-80E7-E95ED37DA1FBSo just last week, the electric company finished the job in my neighborhood. And the good news is that, with the new lights, all the streets are very well lighted, much more so than with the older streetlights.

But there is one downside to the new LED streetlights. Because they focus a brighter, whiter, more intense light across a wider area with fewer dark spots, they also darken the night sky visibility above the streetlights. When I walk my dog at night, I used to be able to see a sky full of stars when I looked up. Now, with the LEDs, I can still see the moon when I look up, but not many stars.

I miss seeing the stars at night when I walk my dog.

Sunday Photo Fiction — Into the Woods

The wood planks snaked their way over the natural forest trail that led the way to the neighborhood where eleven-year-old twin brothers Greg and Jeff Conroy lived. It was a peaceful, quiet, and exclusive neighborhood of expenses homes that backed up onto the expansive city park. A very desirable enclave for a handful of wealthy city dwellers.

Greg and Jeff were forbidden from playing in the woods behind their home anymore. They could venture into the park now only when accompanied by one or both of their parents. It was too dangerous, they were told.

The whole city had been shaken to the core by the discovery in the park of the mutilated bodies of two young children from the same neighborhood in which Greg and Jeff lived.

Since then, with the police still unable to solve the heinous crimes, a number of the expensive homes in their neighborhood had been sold, almost all well below market value. The twins were relieved when their parents told them that they would be staying put.

In hindsight, the twins’ parents made a poor decision. They should have known that their somewhat rebellious twins would follow the path into the woods by themselves.

(200 words)

Written for today’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt. Image credit: Mike Vor.