Photo Challenge — In Black and White

538ED258-D673-4F41-A920-19706EAFFAA2“Did you say you’re taking the shot in black and white?” the model asked.

“Yes, I’ve got the camera set to black and white mode” he answered. “I find that light and shadows are accentuated by the lack of color. And I believe that when you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls.”

“That’s beautiful,” she said.

“Okay, we’re ready. I need you to roll the corner of this tissue into a point, and place it in one nostril,” he explained. “Then gently move it back and forth until you feel a tickling sensation. That will stimulate your trigeminal nerve, which should cause you to sneeze.”

“And then what?” she asked.

“Try to hold it in as long as you can once the urge hits you,” he said. “But when the sneeze comes, let it go. Don’t cover your mouth. I’ve got the lighting set up to capture everything perfectly if only the timing is right.”

“I’ll do my best,” she said. When she felt the need to sneeze coming on, she screamed “Now!”

He depressed the shutter button on the camera just as her sneeze shot out of her mouth. Then he looked at the image he’d just taken through the camera’s digital display. “This is perfect,” he said. “I have captured the essence of the human sneeze. Come see.”

The model came over and looked at the image on the small screen on the back of his camera and all she could say was, “Wow!”


Writtdn for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge. Image credit: Sylvia Grav.

MMLM Photo Challenge — Bad Trip

img_1610“It was awful,” Erica said. “I was up to my chest in a sea of stones, unable to move.  A thorny, wire mask covered my head and it was tearing at the skin on my face. Blood was dripping down my neck onto my shoulders. It was horrible. I tried to scream, but I couldn’t.”

“Oh my God,” Joanna said.

“I looked up towards heaven and started to pray. ‘God,’ I said, ‘what have I done to you for you to do this to me?’ And then the clouds parted, the dark skies lightened, and God sent me a sign.”

“What sign?” Joanna asked.

“It was a large, beautiful moth,” Erica answered. “It landed atop of one of the wire protrusions at the top of the mask. It was flapping its wings in slow motion.”

“What did it mean?” Joanna asked.

“It meant,” Erica said, “that I was having a freakin’ bad trip on that LSD I got from Steve.”


Written for today’s Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge prompt. Image credit: Enzzo Barrena.

An Organized Mind

IMG_2499I originally posted this last August when my blog was relatively unnoticed. So when I saw today’s Weekly Prompts Photo Challenge using the word “organized,” I decided to recycle this post. Yes, I know it’s a photo challenge, but the post does permit us to turn it into a word prompt. So here is my recycled word prompt response.


I used to work for a guy whose desk was always a mess. I am not exactly a neat-freak, but I always tried to keep a reasonably tidy desk. Having papers and crap randomly spread out on my desk made me feel anxious, so keeping it relatively clean helped me maintain my sanity in what was often a chaotic work environment.

I used to dread it when I had to walk into my boss’s office and ask him for something. He would rifle through papers and folders that were scattered across his large desk for maybe five minutes before he’d finally locate whatever files or papers I had asked for.

When I commented on his disorganization, he would quip, “A messy desk is a sign of an organized mind.”

“No,” I would think to myself, not daring to say it out loud to my boss, “a messy desk is a sign of a messy desk.” I encouraged him to take some time to organize his desk. I even volunteered to help him organize his files. But he always claimed to know exactly where everything on his mess of a desk was located.

But this tale has a happy ending. My messy boss was ultimately let go and I was promoted to take his place. So while he believed that a messy desk is a sign of an organized mind, I learned that a messy desk is a promotion opportunity for someone with an organized desk (and mind.)

MLMM Photo Challenge — The Dark Side Of The Moon

img_1557“Oh my God,” Justin said, pointing toward the moon. “Do you see that?”

“See what, dude?” Aaron asked.

“The moon!”

“Yeah,” Aaron said. “What about it?”

“Don’t you see it? Look carefully at the top of the moon.”

“I am,” Aaron said. “What are you talking about?”

“Are you blind?” Justin asked. “The top of the moon is an upside down and backwards image of the tree line.”

“You’re trippin’, dude,” Aaron said.

“No, seriously. Look at the cloudy area where the birds are and look above them,” Justin insisted.

“I see that the top of the moon is darker than usual and the rest of it is hidddn by the fog,” Aaron said. “So, yeah, it’s a bit unusual and kind of eerie, but what’s that upside down and backwards nonsense you’re talking about?”

“The top of the moon, man,” Justin said. “The trees are upside down!”

“There are no trees on the moon, dude,” Aaron said. “I think you’ve been listening to too much Pink Floyd and dropping too much acid. Now pass me the bong, will ya’?”


Written for today’s Photo Challenge from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie.

MLMM Photo Challenge — The Humane Thing

img_1522The damn cat just stood there on the window sill, not seeming to give a shit about what she just did to me. Of course, it wasn’t her fault. The vet said she had cancer, small cell lymphoma. The oncologist suggested chemo, and while I was a bit reluctant, not sure if I wanted to put her through that, I figured that it would be worth it if it prolonged my beloved kitty’s life.

Still, having her spray diarrhea all over me is trying my patience. I know she didn’t do it on purpose, and the vet said that loose bowel movements are a common side effect of the chemo. But this is too much. For her and for me.

Fortunately I am in the kitchen, so I’ll strip off my soiled clothes and climb up into the kitchen sink. It’s a tight squeeze, but I need to wash off as much of that cat shit as I can so I won’t track it through my apartment.

After this episode, I need to rethink my decision to put her through chemo. Even though she is standing there, staring out the window showing no remorse, I’m sure she’s not a happy camper right now. She’s a fastidious cat, always cleaning and preening.

I just can’t do this anymore. I can’t watch her suffer. She’s 18, and she’s lived a good life. I’m going to call the vet tomorrow. I’m going to do what’s best for her and put her to sleep.

It’s ironic that they try to convince you that to put down another living creature is the humane thing to do.


Written for this week’s Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge. Image credit: Brooke Shaden.