#writephoto — Appreciate the Calm Serenity

510733DB-B841-4BED-837E-82805DD71436Lenny sat down on the sand, took a deep breath, and let out a long, heavy sigh.

“Are you okay?” his wife asked, sitting down next to him.

“No, I’m far from okay,” he said. “The whole world is topsy-turvy, empathy and civility have disappeared, political and societal norms are fractured, our democratic institutions are crumbling, and everything we know and have trusted is being sabotaged by those in power right in front of our eyes.”

“I know, honey,” Lorraine said. “That’s why we’re here. To escape that nonsense, even for just a few days. You need to stop thinking about it, clear your mind, recharge your batteries, and appreciate the calm serenity of this place.”

“Unless we stay here forever, there’s no escape from what is happening to our country.” Lenny lamented.

“Lenny, when we were young, we were activists,” Lorraine said. “We protested the Vietnam war. We marched with Dr. King, we fought for environmental protections, we worked to support progressive candidates.”

“I know,” Lenny said. “We’re old now. We’re in our seventies. We need to hand over the torch to the younger generation. It’s their future, not ours, that is on the line.”

“Exactly,” said Lorraine. “We need to make the most of our golden years and pass the baton to our kids. It’s their problem now. They have a vested interest in turning things around and making our country and the world a better, friendlier, and more livable place.”

“Right,” Lenny said. “And our kids will look back at us and wonder how we screwed things up so badly. Our legacy will be that we destroyed their future almost beyond repair.”

Now it was Lorraine’s turn take a deep breath to and let out a long, heavy sigh. “You always have a way of ruining even the most serene moment, don’t you? Thanks a lot, you crotchety old fart. Now I’m in a bad mood.”


Written for this week’s Thursday Photo Prompt from Sue Vincent.

Friday Fictioneers + First Line Friday

B4E31777-3AF4-49F5-BECE-CD4EC6DF892F“This was by far, the bleakest and blackest of Fridays,” Craig said, sitting with his wife in the park near the serenity of a series of small waterfalls.

“You say that every year on the day after Thanksgiving,” Anna said. “But yes, last night’s dinner was extreme.”

“I just can’t fathom how gullible and, yes, stupid, some of my relatives are,” Craig said. “I’m sorry, Anna, but this is it. No more family Thanksgiving dinners at our home. Never again. I can’t take it anymore.”

“Never say never,” Anna said, trying to console her husband. “Trump won’t be president forever.”

(100 words)


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers prompt and for the  Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday prompt. Photo credit: Dale Rogerson.

#writephoto — Serenity In the Midst of Madness

4217516E-452E-4D41-9B94-1FA7922107B2Michael sat on the wooden bench by the side of the calm stream, hoping to find that, in what is arguably the most bountiful nation on the planet, there was yet a trace of humanity left.

He had been under a tremendous amount of stress since last night, when yet another mass shooting in America took place. It’s not as if there were no warning signs that such a tragedy would occur. This latest one, in Thousand Oaks, California, was the thirteenth mass shooting — where four or more people were shot — in the United States in the twelve days since (and including) the attack at a synagogue in Pittsburgh on October 27th. Thirteen mass shootings in twelve days.

How many more interviews would Michael, an investigator for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, (aka, the ATF), have to conduct with the survivors of these shootings and of the next of kin of those whose lives had been tragically cut short?

Michael sat on the bench by the stream, tears in his eyes and a profound sadness in his heart, wondering if he could ever find any serenity in the midst of all the madness.


Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt. Also for these one-word prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (trace), Daily Addictions (bountiful), Scotts Daily Prompt (warning), and Word of the Day Challenge (kin).