Tale Weaver — That Explains a Lot

2A4A1252-4664-4C1A-9BDF-02903E33C387“Of course I have a concern over what’s going on next door,” Martin said. “The guy’s yard is quickly becoming overgrown with weeds. It would take a herd of goats to clean up that mess on the other side of the fence.”

“I’m not talking about his lawn,” Martin,” Maria said. “I’m talking about his dog with it’s incessant barking. It barks day and night and it’s driving me crazy. At least you get a break from it when you go off to work. I have to deal with it all of the time.”

“Do you remember that dog trainer we used when our dog was having behavior problems? That guy was stellar,” Martin said. “I think I’ll pay a visit to our neighbor and ask him to mow his lawn and tell him about that dog trainer.”


A few minutes later, Martin came running into the house, his face pale and his skin clammy. “Maria, call 9-1-1 now!” he shouted.

“What happened?” she asked. “Are you okay? And what’s that awful smell?”

“It’s our neighbor,” Martin said. “I knocked on his door and when I did, his door swung open. As soon as it opened, the stench hit me. There was his body just inside the door. He must have been dead for at least a week.”

“Well, that explains a lot,” Maria said, picking up the phone to call 9-1-1.

Written for the following daily prompts: Daily Addictions (concern), Your Daily Word Prompt (overgrown), Ragtag Daily Prompt (herd), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (fence), Scotts Daily Prompt (trainer), and Word of the Day Challenge (stellar).

Also for the Tale Weaver prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, “open door.” Photo credit: Google Images.


It’s About Time

008DF38A-14DD-49B4-A0A4-9E38A824CD2C“A package came for you,” Diane told her roommate.

“It’s about time,” Barry said.

“What time is it?

“It’s time to go,” Barry said.

“What are you talking about?” Diane asked.

“I don’t have time for this,” Barry said.

“Is it from Anita, your ex?” Diane asked. “Maybe she wants to get back together. After all, time heals all wounds.”

“She’s a waste of time,” Barry said.

“But,” Diane responded, “time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”

“Oh right,” Barry said. “Let the good times roll.”

“Stop being sarcastic.” Diane said. “Aren’t you going to take the time to open the package?”

“I guess this is just as good a time as any,” Barry said, and he proceeded to open the package.

“So what is it?” Diane asked.

“It’s from Anita,” Barry answered. He lifted the watch from the box. “There’s a note attached,” he said. “It reads, ‘Time is on your side.’”

“What do you think she means by that?” Diane asked.

“I honestly don’t know. I guess I’ll ask her next time I see her,” Barry said.

“Well there’s no time like the present,” Diane said. “Call her.”

Barry looked at his watch. “Do you see what time it is? I’m late.” He ran out of the house.

Diane shook her head and said aloud, “Time flies when you’re having fun.”

1ADE4F5C-1676-4A9B-9A62-8B7A4EE431CEWritten for Rachel Poli’s Time To Write Sentence Starter prompt and for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver prompt.

A Life In Ruins

0B2F934E-FA4D-49E2-BFB8-305EEE2EB749My life is in ruins, he thought.

His life, a life he’d worked so hard to make successful, was, indeed, in ruins. As he drove along the road that skirted the ocean, he couldn’t quite fathom what had led him to this place, this sense of desperation. He was tired. And angry. And, most of all, he was sorry. Sorry for all of those he loved. Sorry for the disappointment he knew they were feeling.

No, it wouldn’t be disappointment. It would be shock. No one could have predicted this. It would be like when they interviewed people on the news who have just found out that their neighbor is a serial killer. “I can’t believe that he could have done such a thing,” they’d say. “He seemed like such a pleasant person. I would never have imagined….”

We all have secrets, he told himself. Some bigger — and badder — than others. But what he did was truly unforgivable. He couldn’t stick around to face the shame and the humiliation. Those he left behind would be better off with him being out of the picture.

And so he got in his car and left, heading where even he did not know.

(200 words)

Written for Sue Spaulding’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt. Photo credit: Anurag Bakhshi. Also written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver prompt, which is “ruins.”

Tale Weaver — Breaking New Ground

99CD6FA0-E1E1-463E-8A29-C0C0E51C773BFor this week’s Tale Weaver prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, we are asked to consider the idea of going into the unknown. I was thinking about writing a piece of flash fiction, maybe some sci-fi or fantasy post, but then I thought about four times in my life when I felt, at the time, I was stepping into the unknown.

My first job after graduating from college

After spending sixteen of my first 21 years in school, I graduated from college and entered the workforce. Not some paper route thing or making ice cream sundaes part-time at the local ice cream shop. I’m talking about a full-time, grown-up job. I was hired as a management trainee at an insurance company and I had no idea what to expect. I ended up becoming a “senior manager” and spending ten years with that organization.

Getting married

I was a wild and crazy guy and I loved being single. I remained single until I was 32 when I married the girl I’d been dating for two years. Learning to share yourself completely with another person, especially when you start late, like I did, was a whole new way of life. Fortunately, I adapted. And so did she.

Becoming an empty nester

Kids take a lot of time, effort, energy, and attention, and my wife and I spent most of the first 25 years of our lives together dedicating ourselves to raising our two kids. Then one day, they were both out of our house and I suddenly wondered what, aside from our kids, my wife and I had in common. That was scary. But it turned out to be a period of relationship rediscovery and enrichment. After a while I hardly missed not having our kids around all the time.


I had, for my entire adult life, defined myself by what I did for work. And then I retired. For the first time in almost five decades I didn’t have a job. No boss, no coworkers, no subordinates. No meetings, no conference calls, no business trips. So who was I? What was I supposed to do with my time now that I no longer was working? Talk about stepping into the unknown. Well, it’s been about three years since I retired and I have discovered that there’s much more to me — and to life — than what I did for a living.

I’m sure there have been times in all of your lives when you felt like you were stepping into the unknown. I’d love to hear from some of you what your “into the unknown”experiences were.

Tale Weaver —Doing Enough To Get By

F43E6E98-F799-4F52-9E65-99B249580648Larry walked up to Doug’s office and handed him a poster. “We’re having a new motivational program, Doug. And I’ve got some good news to share with you.”

Doug took the poster and tossed it into the trash can. “Doing your best? Seriously? What is that, another stupid slogan for Melania Trump to promote?” Doug said.87543BF4-4F7F-4F73-941B-72454134825D“Management just wants people to do the best work they can,” Larry said. “Don’t you always try to do your best?”

“Come on, man,” Doug said. “Doing your best takes way too much effort and is highly overrated. I remember about ten years back, you know, when I was young and naive. I really worked hard and did my very best work. I was burning the midnight oil, working weekends, not taking my earned vacation days. I was dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s. And then, my friend, it came time for my performance review and I got ‘meets expectations’ and a two percent salary increase.” Doug paused and took a deep breath.

“So I said to myself, ‘fuck this shit.’ That next year I left the office every day at 5 pm. I didn’t take any work home with me, didn’t work on weekends, took all of my vacation days, and did the bare minimum it took to get the job done. And do you know what happened, Larry?”

Larry shrugged his shoulders.

“I’ll tell you what happened, Larry,” Doug said. “Come time for that year’s performance review, I got ‘exceeds expectations’ and a four percent raise.”

“No shit,” said Larry.

“Damn straight, Larry,” Doug said. “So forget all this ‘doing your best’ and ‘be best’ bullshit. My advice for you, Larry, is to keep your head down and do just enough to get by.”

“Interesting,” Larry said. “Oh, I almost forget. You know that good news I mentioned? Well, I just got a promotion. Turns out that I’m your new boss.”

Written for this week’s Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver prompt, where we are asked to “explore the notion of doing your best.”