Weekend Writing Prompt — The Ministry

B57457F0-0D59-4BC6-8591-F006EEFA8157“What’s your angle?” Bill asked.

“I don’t have an angle.” Joe said. “I’m an ordained minister and the leader of my own church.”

“Yeah, ordained via some bogus website,” Bill said.

“It’s not bogus. My ministry is totally legit,” Joe insisted.

“Look at you, Joe, acting so pious, as if we should all be grateful to be in the presence of a man of the cloth. It’s all a deception, a tax dodge,” Bill said.

“Who are you to judge me?” Joe angrily asked. “God alone will judge me.”

“And the judge at your fraud trial.”

(Exactly 95 words)


C371206B-B37A-4AD8-9318-DC9CE05C48FAWritten for Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt, where we are challenged to write a poem or piece of prose using the word “judge” in exactly 95 words. Also for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (angle), The Daily Spur (leader), Word of the Day Challenge (pious), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (grateful), and Weekly Prompts (deception).

Spy Versus Spy

BB3EDA1A-E3E8-41EC-B00B-A3C8C361DA91I’ve been getting some strange comments showing up in my spam folder lately. Like this one:

“Alex9, this message is your next piece of data. Immediately message the agency at your earliest convenience. No further information until next transmission. This is broadcast #5771. Do not delete.”

Sometimes, like above, the comment is addressed to “Alex9.” Sometimes it’s addressed to another mysterious, secret agent-like name. But the message is always the same.

And the cryptic wording is weird. “Immediately message the agency.” What agency? Are we talking CIA? FBI? MI6? Mossad? KGB? What?

And then there’s “…at your earliest convenience.” So what is it — immediately or at my earliest convenience? “…next transmission” “…do not delete.” Seriously?

Well, listen, whoever you are, I’ve got news for you. I never sent in an application to any of those spy agencies. You showed a serious lack of judgment sending this message to me. I may be an uncle, but I’m not The Man From U.N.C.L.E. As much as I’d like to, it’s not my job to eradicate evil in the universe or to stop the polar ice caps from melting.

So I’m going to ignore your directive to message the agency and I’m going to delete this spam comment forthwith. Over and out.


Written for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (news), The Daily Spur (judgment), Your Daily Word Prompt (eradicate), Word of the Day Challenge (universe), Ragtag Daily Prompt (Emmy), and for Rachel Poli’s Time To Write (application).

The Sketch of Miss North

32624925-325A-4FF5-91A7-6C24CA976ACAWhen I was in high school, my nickname was “Doodles” because I was always doodling. My notebooks were filled with my doodles and drawings. I would sit through lectures and scribble whatever popped into my head, sometimes related to what the teacher was talking about and at other times totally unrelated.

If the teacher happened to walk toward my desk, I’d have to quickly slide the paper on which I was doodling beneath my other papers. But one day, I was too slow and my 10th grade biology teacher, Miss North, noticed my page of doodles. She bent down, grabbed it, and held it up. When she looked carefully at my doodle she gasped. “You should be ashamed of yourself,” she chided.

The next thing I knew, I found myself in the vice principal’s office. He gave me a stern look as examined my doodle. “Care to elaborate?” he asked.

“Well, Mr. Kaplan,” I said, “Miss North was giving us a lesson in human anatomy and as she was standing in the front of the class, I just began sketching her. She’s very pretty. She could be a model, you know.”

“Yes, I can see that it’s a sketch of Miss North,” Kaplan said, “But in your drawing, Miss North is not wearing any clothing.”

I turned red. “Yes, well you know how teenage boys can fantasize.”

The vice principal looked down at my sketch again. “Actually,” he said, “You captured the likeness of her body quite accurately.”

“And you know that how?” I asked Mr. Kaplan.

Now it was his turn to turn red.


Written for these daily prompts: Your Daily Word Prompt (scribble), The Daily Spur (slide), Word of the Day Challenge (yourself), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (elaborate). Pencil sketch by Swedish-American artist Anna Poole.

Barbershop Harmony Gone Awry

C7853B58-CA47-4A44-AEE3-EE9307C6C634My buddies and I decided to go to a karaoke bar, have a few drinks, and show off our singing prowess. After all, the four of us regular performed as a barbershop quartet at various local carnivals. So why not strut our stuff in front of the karaoke crowd?

We arrived fairly early, maybe an hour or so before the singing was scheduled to start. So naturally we started out with tequila shooters and beer chasers. By the time bar got crowded and the karaoke performances were ready to commence, my buddies and I were all three sheets to the wind.

We had signed up to sing the Crosby Stills & Nash song, “Wooden Ships,” a great song for a group of four a cappella guys to beautifully harmonize. At least that was the plan.

When we got up to sing, each of us was drunk as a skunk, and rather than a beautiful harmony, our singing was rather more of a discordant cacophony. We were unused to being confronted by boos and very tactless jeers from our audiences. And quite frankly we were shocked. We decided that the best thing to do was to stop singing, to sit down, and to shut up.

As we left the stage, the audience members started applauding our departure, displaying a mean, sarcastic gratitude for our leaving the stage. “Another round of tequila shooters and beer chasers,” one of my buddies yelled to the server when we got back to our table.

I woke up the next morning with one of the worst hangovers I’ve ever had. I walked to the bathroom, looked in the mirror, and was shocked to see that I had a black eye and a cut and swollen upper lip. I had no recollection of getting into a fight or falling the night before. But I did come to the conclusion that excessive tequila shooters with beer chasers are not good for one’s health.


Written for these daily prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (karaoke), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (cacophony), Your Daily Word Prompt (tactless), Ragtag Daily Prompt (gratitude), and The Daily Spur (health).

Highway to Heaven

D53439D1-B279-4A3A-A765-9A41E7FD2915The high priest stood at the podium in front of his adoring audience of faithful followers in the large auditorium. He held his hands high above his head and said in a booming voice, “The historic and glorious saga of our species is about to come to an end. God is speaking to us. He’s testing us. He’s flooding our lands, creating massive storms, spreading devastating fires, and causing the earth to shake beneath us and swallow us up.”

The parishioners sat in quiet awe, collectively nodding their heads in agreement, a few scattered “amens” being spoken.

The priest continued his lofty speech. “You are at a crossroad and it’s time for each of you to choose your path. Do you stay behind and face the wrath of our Lord and maker for your sinful ways? Or do you escape this wicked, material world for an eternity in His presence?”

You could hear a pin drop as the people in the audience awaited the priest’s next words. They didn’t have to wait too long. “Leave behind all of your worldly goods, give up your material possessions. Get in your vehicles for the very last time, as you won’t need them where we are going. Follow me as I lead you on our journey to eternal paradise. Join me on the Highway to Heaven.


Written for this week’s Photo Challenge from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. Photo credit: sound-dream @ tumblr.

Aldo for these daily prompts: The Daily Spur (priest), Your Daily Word Prompt (saga), Word of the Day Challenge (quiet), Ragtag Daily Prompt (lofty), and Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (escape).