Photo Challenge — The World in the Palm of Your Hand

761611FB-1885-4170-9F54-AA25893563F9“I’ve never seen anything like this,” the waitress said. “This is remarkable.”

At 22, Darlene was at a crossroad in her young life. She had just graduated from college with a philosophy degree, but had so far been unable to get a job. Her parents had paid for undergraduate school, but told her that, going forward, she was on her own. So now she had to figure out what to do next.

And so Darlene entered the Psychic Café. She heard that all of the servers were fortune tellers who could, if you wanted them to, interpret your tea leaves, read your palm, or even sit at the table across from you with a crystal ball. So why not give it a shot? What did she have to lose?

“What do you mean that you’ve never seen anything like this?” Darlene asked.

Sitting across the table from Darlene, the waitress reached over and grabbed Darlene’s hand. She asked Darlene to open her fist and said, “Darlene, you have the world in the palm of your hand. I know you’re grappling with what to do next in your life, but it doesn’t matter. You will live a charmed life and become an extremely accomplished woman. I see in your palm that you will move heaven and Earth in an amazing way. You are virtually limitless.”

“Really?” Darlene said. “You see all that in my palm? That is remarkable. Oh my God, I can’t thank you enough. You have given me the confidence to keep going. How can I ever repay you?”

The waitress wrote something on her order pad, ripped off the top sheet, folded in in half, and handed it to Darlene before leaving the table.

Darlene opened the check and gasped. It read

  • Cup of Coffee…………………………$3.00
  • Psychic Palm Reading…………..$50.00

Written for this week’s Photo Challenge from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. Photo credit: Art Universe @ Instagram.

Photo Challenge — Lucky to be Alive

A3882195-0184-4854-B245-E37184CF5153Detectives Morrisey and Hayden were the first to respond to the 9-1-1 call. The building superintendent met the two detectives in the lobby and led them up to the apartment where the neighbor who made the emergency call was waiting to meet them. They heard the sounds coming from within the flat — alternating whimpers and screams. Morrisey ordered the super to unlock the door, which he did. Upon entering the apartment, the two detectives followed the sounds to the bathroom.

“Jesus H. Christ!” Hayden exclaimed as the two men stepped into the small bathroom. The woman in the bathtub full of ice water was almost blue. She looked up at them with pure fright in her eyes. “We’re the police,” Hayden said. “We’re here to help you.” He started to reach down into the tub to pull her out when Morrisey stopped him.

“Don’t move her,” Morrisey said. “I’ve seen something like this before. We need to get the paramedics out here if we’re going to save her life. Call a bus,” he ordered.

Hayden called for an ambulance. “What is it?” he asked his partner.

Morrisey looked at the young woman in the tub. “Can you hear me?” he asked. She nodded. “I know you’re cold and miserable, but we can’t take you out of the tub. Do you remember how you got here?” She shook her head, indicating that she did not. “Can you talk?” he asked.

“I’m so cold,” she said in barely a whisper.

“I know,” Morrisey said in a soothing voice, “but we can’t move you. The paramedics are on their way. What’s your name?”

“I’m Jan,” she said.

“Hi, Jan. I’m Jim. Do you know how you got here?”

She shook her head no.

“What is the last thing you do remember?” He asked.

“I was at a Halloween party,” she answered quietly, her voice shaky. “I had a lot to drink and was feeling a little tipsy.”

“Did you go to the party alone or were you with someone?” Morrisey asked.

“I went with a few girlfriends from work,” she answered. “The party was being thrown by a boyfriend of one of them.” She was silent for a moment. “I remember talking to this guy who was dressed as Dracula. I thought it was strange when he asked me what my blood type was, but I figured that he was just being in character. Then he started telling me about his mother who was very ill and was on the waiting list for a kidney transplant, but her prognosis was poor.”

“Go on,” Morrisey said.

“That’s it,” she said. “The next thing I remember was waking up here, unable to move.”

Hayden called in from the other room. “The paramedics are here.”

Morrisey turned to the woman. “These men will get you out of here and take you to the hospital, Jan. You’ll be okay, I promise.”

Morrisey stepped out of the bathroom to give the paramedics room to get Jan out of the tub so they could get her to the ambulance. On the way out of the apartment, one of the paramedics whispered something to Morrisey. “I thought so,” Morrisey responded.

“So what’s the deal?” Hayden asked.

“Some guy dressed liked Dracula at a Halloween party last night drugged her, brought her to this fleabag place and harvested a kidney,” Morrisey said. “She’ll make it, but she’s lucky to be alive.”


Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge. Photo credit: Kayla Erin.

MLMM Photo Challenge — The Ugly Reality

E44E6FAD-2C57-4B60-B142-B735C4F0D11D“Oh my God, Samantha,” Eric said. “Your Halloween costume is amazing.”

“Thanks, Eric,” Samantha said. “I’m so glad you like it.”

“How long did it take you to put on that makeup? And how did you get your eyes to look that way?” Eric asked.

“To be honest with you, Eric,” Samantha said, “I didn’t put on this makeup. I took off the makeup I usually wear.”

“I don’t understand what you mean, Sam,” Eric said.

“It’s really quite simple, Eric,” Samantha said. “This, what you see, is who I really am. We are all phantoms who put on a totally different face for all the world to see. We all put on our masks so that others can see us as we want them to see us. None of us is, deep down inside, who we appear to be.”

“That’s not true, Samantha, Eric said. “I’m a what you see is what you get kind of a guy. Now please stop this nonsense. You’re kinda freaking me out here.”

“Oh, Eric, are you really that naive?” Samantha asked. “Do you actually think you’re the person inside that you try so hard to get others to see?”

“Yes, of course,” Eric said. “I am who I am, nothing more, nothing less.”

Samantha reached out and grabbed Eric’s hand and led him inside the house to a large mirror in her bedroom. “Take a hard look in the mirror and tell me what you see,” she commanded.

“What the hell are you talking about, Sam?” Eric asked. “I see my reflection.”

“Close your eyes and open up to your true soul,” Samantha commanded. Eric felt a strange sensation overwhelm his body. “Now open your eyes,” she said, “and see who you really are under your mask.”

Eric slowly opened his eyes, looked in the mirror, and began to scream.29E4B2C2-0176-424C-903C-DFC75FE58224


Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge. Top photo credit: Kaia Pieters. Bottom photo credit: Google Images.

Jekyll and Hyde

6DBC2B46-E519-43A9-81CB-6F36374C545CAs she sat in the chair gazing at his artwork, if that’s what you would call it, she knew what had to be done. And there was no doubt in her mind that she would have to be the one to do it. She was the only one who saw things clearly.

It was so obvious to her. She couldn’t understand why others didn’t see it. There, brazenly taped to his studio wall, his sketches of the young girls, of the animals, of the bizarre scenes, and most telling, of his self portraits.

She had done her research. She had read everything she could get her hands on regarding people suffering from multiple personalities, or what the psychiatric journals referred to these days as “dissociative identity disorder” or “DID.” Until she saw his self portraits, she had been skeptical that her father suffered from it. But then she knew.

And she also knew that he was responsible the deaths of all of these young women in his sketches, for being the serial killer who had been terrorizing the region. She had contacted the police, but they didn’t believe her. So now it was up to her to stop the madness. She began searching her father’s table for his hunting knife, the long one with the serrated blade. Her plan was to wait until he came home. Then she would end it. She just needed to find his knife.

She was startled when the door to the studio was pushed open, expecting to see her father. But instead of her father, it was the chief of police, a detective, and two uniformed officers. The two officers approached her, pulled her off of the chair she was sitting on, and cuffed her. Then, after the chief read her her rights, he said, “Carla, we are arresting you for a series of brutal stabbings in the county over the past year.”

“No, you’re wrong,” Carla shouted. “It’s my father you should arrest. He’s the one who did it. He has multiple personalities, like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. You should be arresting him, not me.”

“Take her to the station and book her,” the chief instructed the two uniformed officers. Once Carla had been escorted away, he and the detective began removing the sketches from the wall and putting them into evidence folders.

“So all of these are her father’s sketches?” the chief asked.

“Her father sketched the pictures of these girls,” the detective said, “but he didn’t realize that in her disturbed mind, Carla saw them as competition for her father’s affection and they became her targets. Maybe she was upset that he was spending time sketching them and not spending time with his own daughter. But the two sketches of the man with the mustache, her father, were her own, sketched shortly after she stabbed him to death last year.”


Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge prompt. Photo credit: Natalie Ruka.

MLMM Photo Challenge — Superhero

1A102F0E-975C-40CA-83F0-1FB9D25D9C8F“I’m Catwoman,” the creature sitting in the chair smoking a cigarette said.

“Catwoman?” Jason said, raising his eyebrows in a surprised expression. “Seriously, with those hairy legs of yours, you look more like Batman than Catwoman to me.”

“That’s not fair,” the creature hissed. “I was Batman last week. Besides, cats don’t shave their legs, do they?” And then it purred.

“May I approach you?” Jason cautiously asked.

“You may,” it said, letting out another soft purr.

“I’ve heard a rumor about you,” Jason admitted, “but I thought the probability of ever meeting someone with your, um, nature, was extremely low.”

“So now that you’ve met me, what insidious plan are you hatching?” it hissed.

“I’m not one to prognosticate,” Jason said. “I just want to understand what makes you tick. After all, you are the very first gender fluid superhero we’ve had on this ward.”


Written for this week’s Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge. Photo credit: Google Images. And for the following one-word prompts: