Photo Challenge — A Dead Giveaway

704D0930-FD87-4140-AE0F-5C328230C7E2What if I’d made a different decision, chosen a different path?” Ken wondered aloud as he looked at the three leaves on the path before him.

“Don’t ruin things,” a man near him said.

Ken turned around and said to the stranger who spoke to him, “What did you just say?”

“I said that everyone’s life is just a variation on a theme,” the man said. “Your kind of thinking puts you in a no win situation. You need to stop focusing and what’s beneath and behind you and, instead, look at what is above and ahead of you.

“Who the hell are you and why don’t you mind your own damn business?” Ken said.

“I am someone who is trying to help you move forward,” the man said.

“Move forward apropos to what?” Ken asked.

“From your mistakes you made in the past, from your deep regrets,” the man said.

“But how can I do that?” Ken asked. “I can’t change the past.”

“For starters,” the man said, “one way you can compensate for the errors of your ways is no not vote for Donald Trump again this November.”

Astonished, Ken looked at the man and asked, “How did you know I voted for Trump in 2016?”

The man looked at Ken, shook his head, and said, “The red MAGA cap you’re wearing is a dead giveaway.”

Written for the Photo Challenge prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. Photo credit: mh cheraghi on Also for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (what if), The Daily Spur (ruin), Word of the Day Challenge (theme), Jibber Jabber (win), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge Apropos), and Your Daily Word Prompt (compensate).

Chasing Rainbows

3529F23C-CD2E-496F-9B2C-957D9C42E168There’s no doubt that the world is a pretty fucked up place right now. A disabling and, in some cases, fatal virus is enveloping the globe with little sign of abating. Democracies around the world, especially in countries like the United States, Brazil, Turkey, and Hungary, seem to be falling to far-right, authoritarian rule. Political and social unrest is tearing at the very fabric of our societies. And we are systematically polluting the water and the air on the planet we call home.

At the same time, maybe because things are so fucked up, people seem to be running around chasing rainbows, looking for that proverbial pot of gold at rainbow’s end. They’re looking for that miracle cure, that quick elixir that will fix them right up and make them feel better fast, or at least help them cope with all the shit that is swirling around them 24 by 7.

But, folks, there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. There is no magic elixir or miracle cure. There is only reality and you need to deal with that, as frustrating or as painful as that might be.

Or you can do what I do. Pay a visit to your local pot dispensary and bring home an ample supply of marijuana-infused marshmallows or gummies. Then pick out something to watch on TV, eat an edible, and sit back and let your troubles just float away.

Hmm. Come to think of it, maybe I, too, am chasing rainbows.

Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge. Photo credit: Raine Nectar on

Photo Challenge — Never Mind

4EBFBB4B-8D4E-473B-8154-A2D14E15DA4F“Look,” Emily said to Jim, holding her hands out for him to see.

Jim got a confused look on his face. “Why do you have those white flowers between your fingers on both of your hands?” he asked.

“Because, silly,” Emily said, “I’m excited about our trip to San Francisco this weekend, where the girls wear flowers on their hands.”

Now Jim was even more confused. “What are you talking about, Emily?”

“That song,” she responded. “The one about San Francisco where the lyrics talk about going to San Francisco and wearing flowers on your hands.”

Jim shook his head. “I think you’re a little confused,” he said. “First of all, the lyrics say flowers in your hair, not on your hands. Second of all, that song was written back in the hippie days in 1967, Emily, almost 30 years before you were born. People don’t go around with flowers in their hair anymore, even in San Francisco. And definitely not on their hands.”

Emily meekly turned to Jim and simply said, “Never mind.”

Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge prompt. Photo credit: cottonbro on

Dissociative Identity Disorder

80EE98FC-6E68-463C-BAE1-C5AB88E27100“I’ve never seen anything like this in all of my years as a psychiatrist,” Dr. Reginald Philpot said. “Elizabeth has 16 unique personalities that I have personally identified and been in contact with each one of them. This has to rank near the very top of such cases.”

At the risk of sounding pedantic about, I know that there have been other cases of more severe dissociative identity disorder than this one,” Claudine Murray, a graduate student pointed out. “There is a woman in London, a painter, who has more than 100 separate personalities.”

“Well, that may be the case, Miss Murray,” Philpot said, defensively, “but I still believe that my unique therapeutic techniques and methods of my Elizabeth, with her 16 personalities, have been truly effective, and when I publish my study, the response will be nothing short of lavish.”

“What is it, doctor, that makes your therapeutic techniques so unique and effective?” Claudine asked.

“I’m so glad you asked, Miss Murray,” Philpot said. “It involves a high degree of intimacy.”

Claudine raised an eyebrow and glared at Dr. Philpot. “By ‘intimacy,’ doctor, you don’t mean….”

Dr. Philpot interrupted Claudine. “Yes, that’s exactly what I mean, Miss Murray. “I’ve had sex with each and every one of Elizabeth’s 16 personalities and it’s been the best sex I’ve ever had…by a factor of sixteen.”

Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge. Photo credit: Andrea Piacquadio on Also written for these daily prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (contact), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (rank), Ragtag Daily Prompt (pedantic), and Your Daily Word Prompt (lavish).

Photo Challenge — Strange Brew

115A82B3-621A-4569-9A24-B4DB9DDB936C“Jesus, Diane, what the hell are you doing?” Elizabeth screamed when she and her boyfriend, Bill, walked into the apartment she and Diane shared. Diane was sitting at the dining room table. She was naked. Her head and the table, were covered with pea pods, along with a glass kettle of tea and a tea cup.

“Did you ever notice how fascinating pea pods are?” Diane said, without turning to look at Elizabeth. “They’re amazing, and when you open them up, all these little peas, like ball bearings, pop out and roll around on the table and drop to the floor.”

“Diane, why are you naked?” Elizabeth asked.

Diane turned her head and looked at Elizabeth and saw Bill standing next to her. “Bill,” Diane said, “You better not be looking at me, you perv.” And then she started laughing, returned her gaze to Elizabeth and said, “I was hot and sweaty so I stripped.”

“What are you drinking?” Elizabeth asked.

“I wanted some tea and found a bunch of tea bags in the very back of the cabinet so I brewed up a pot of it,” Diane said, “and this is the best tea I’ve ever had.”

Elizabeth went over to the trash basket under the sink and looked inside. She looked at Bill and said, “Four tea bags.”

“Oh my God,” Bill whispered. “She’s got to be stoned out of her mind. I’ll go get a towel.”

Bill returned from the bathroom with a large towel and handed it to Elizabeth, who draped it over Diane. “Sweetie,” Elizabeth said, “you’re high as a kite. The tea you used was something Bill and I picked up at the pot dispensary on Saturday. One bag is plenty potent for four people and you used four on your own. Come on, stand up, and let me get you into your bed.”

Diane stood up while Elizabeth wrapped her in the bath towel. Diane looked at Elizabeth and, with tears in her eyes, said, “Lizzy, you’re the best roommate in the whole world and I’m so lucky to have you as a friend.”

Elizabeth put her arm around Diane and started leading her toward Diane’s bedroom. But Diane abruptly stopped and started walking toward the kitchen, the towel Elizabeth had wrapped her in falling to the ground. “Diane, what are you doing?”

“I have the munchies and I saw some leftover key lime pie in the fridge,” Diane said. “Hey, perv,” she called out to Bill. “Wanna cut me off a piece of that pie?” she asked. “But keep your perv eyes closed. I’m naked as the day I was born.”

Bill, smiling, looked back at Elizabeth, shrugged his shoulders in gesture of helplessness, and said to Diane, “Sure, let’s all share some of that key lime pie.” Then he looked at Elizabeth and said, “Hey Lizzy, do you want some tea?”

Written for this week’s Photo Challenge from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, and for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (glass). Photo credit: Daniel Fehr.