#writephoto — The Perfect Tree

2B5433D4-9F88-4FF7-9F71-C0ABFC709848”Dad, let’s go. I’m cold,” Doug said.

“Yeah, me too, Dad,” Dana said, echoing her older brother.

“Steve please,” Arlene said. “We’ve been out here for hours and you still haven’t found your ‘perfect’ tree. It’s going to be dark soon, the kids are tired and, quite frankly, so am I.”

“Just a little while longer, hon,” Craig said. “I don’t want to have to come all the way back out here again. I’ll know it when I see it.”

Arlene looked at her watch. “Kids, let’s give Dad another 15 minutes,” she said. “If he hasn’t found his perfect tree by then, we’ll go.”

“Aw Mom!” the kids said in unison.

After about five minutes of walking deeper into the woods, Steve stopped abruptly. “Look,” he said excitedly. “Look at the way the late afternoon sun is shining directly through the branches of that tree and down upon us. It’s a sign from the heavens that this tree, this perfect tree, was meant to be our family’s Christmas tree this year.”

Steve took his portable, gas-powered chain saw out of its sack, and went to work on the base of the tree. It was almost dark by the time he had the tree down and was able to maneuver it onto the large sled. He hauled the tree-laden sled back to where they had parked the family’s pickup truck.

The drive back to town would take a few hours, and both of kids and Arlene had fallen asleep shortly after Steve started driving. Despite having poured himself a cup of lukewarm coffee from the thermos he almost always had with him, Steve, himself, was struggling to keep his eyes open.

*****
It wasn’t until mid-morning the next day when the park rangers discovered the overturned pickup truck at the bottom of the steep ravine.


Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt. Sorry about the dark turn this story took. I didn’t expect it to go in that direction, but that’s where it went.

Fandango’s Provocative Question #41

FPQWelcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration. By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

This week I came upon a quote from Zadie Smith, an English novelist, essayist, and short-story writer.48F9BB42-DD80-4A1C-BEED-1D12CC1DB85EI was originally going to use her quote for my response to Linda G. Hill’s One-Liner Wednesday prompt today, but the more I thought about the quote, I decided that it would be better suited for this week’s provocative question. Here’s her quote:

“The past is always tense, the future perfect.”

I love this quote. It’s a play on words with respect to verb tenses (past tense and future perfect tense). But it’s also more than that, isn’t it?

Our pasts are filled with many moments and memories, both good ones and bad ones. Yet when many of us think about our pasts, we often tend to focus on the negative moments, those times and events that we may regret or where we wish we’d done or said something different.

But our pasts are what made us who we are today and because of what we have learned — hopefully — from our pasts, we have a chance to make our futures better and brighter. And maybe even perfect.

So this week’s question is for you to discuss what you think about Zadie Smith’s quote. Do you believe that the past is always tense, the future perfect?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments.

The issue with pingbacks not showing up seems to have been resolved, but you might check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

The Perfect Candidate

“The problem is that people are apathetic,” Jason said. “We need to find a candidate who can energize and inspire. Someone who can roar like a lion and yet appeal to all the little lambs who make up the bulk of the electorate.”

Beth shook her head. “What we really need is some eye candy to parade in front of the people. Someone who people like to look at,” she said.

“Exactly,” Jason said. “A candidate who is attractive, powerful, empathetic, trustworthy, and who can virtually shut the door on the other candidates.”

“Right, someone who can appeal to the country bumpkins who live in the bucolic countryside,” Beth said, “as well as those nitty-gritty, elitist urbanites who live in the large population centers on the coasts.”

“Yeah, all that sounds great, but where would ever find such a perfect candidate?” Jason asked.

“Don’t worry,” Beth said. She picked up her phone and sent a text message. A moment later the door to the room opened up and a man and a woman walked in.

“Jason, this is Eric Halderson. He heads up the Robotics Engineering Group,” Beth said, pointing to the man on the right. “And next to him is Canditron, the latest creation from the robotics division and the next President of the United States.”922475EC-266D-4B70-AB07-749BDE7AE07C


Written for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (apathetic), Ragtag Daily Prompt (lion), The Daily Spur (candy), Your Daily Word Prompt (shut), and Word of the Day Challenge (bucolic).

#100WW — It’s Perfect

2074D702-4B51-4CD1-B793-6E7242027004“I know she’s in rough shape,” the man said, “but I got a mechanic who can tow her to his shop and get her up and running again. Prolly take him three or four days.”

“What do you want for it?” Jesse asked.

“Hmm,” the man said. “For the tow, the parts and labor, and for new tires, prolly cost about two grand. Eight more for the bus for an even ten.”

“I’ll take it. It’s perfect,” Jesse said.

“Are you planning to take a road trip?”

“Nope. I’m going to convert it. You’re looking at my new tiny house.”

(100 words)


Written for this week’s 100 Word Wednesday prompt from Bikurgurl.

Basic Training

956808C8-3ACE-47E8-89B2-CCCFAA839FFC“More PT, drill sergeant, more PT,” we army grunts, going through basic training, yelled in unison.

“Assume the prone position and give me fifty,” the drill sergeant barked. I groaned. I knew I’d be hard pressed to give him fifty perfect push-ups. My drill sergeant, who was reminiscent of my high school football coach, would not compromise. Fifty perfect push-ups was what was demanded and fifty push-ups was what I would try to deliver.

Fortunately, Mother Nature came to my rescue when the bright sunshine suddenly gave way to a severe thunderstorm. The drill sergeant had no choice but to dismiss us back to the barracks. Gotta love Mother Nature.


Written for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (prone), Word of the Day Challenge (reminiscent), Ragtag Daily Prompt (compromise), and Your Daily Word Prompt (sunshine).