The Library of the Imagination

CA219079-8CD2-4D00-9863-7F19DE4DBF0B Liz was on a business trip to a city she’d never been to before. Her meeting ended early, at around two in the afternoon, and as she was heading back to her hotel room she passed a public library. Carved onto a stone block next to the entrance were the words “The Library of the Imagination.”

Intrigued, Liz entered the building, and as a fan of historical fiction, she made her way to the section of the library that housed books of that genre and started browsing. One book caught her eye. She didn’t know if she was imagining it or not, but the book seemed to have a glow about it.

She pulled the book down from the shelf. Its title was simply, The Days of Yore. She didn’t recognize the author’s name, but she seemed unable to put the book down. She walked over to a comfortable looking chair, sat down, and slowly opened the book.

Suddenly Liz was no longer sitting in a chair in the library, although she still had the open book in her hands. She was standing outside in a field of tall grass adjacent to a wooded area. She heard a sound coming in her direction, the sound of a horse’s hooves pounding upon a grassy surface. Instinctively she tried to run to a tree to hide behind, but she was too late.

A man wearing unusual garb, mounted on a beautiful black steed, rode up to her, stopping directly in front of her. “Maiden,” he said, “this is not a place for a young woman to be out and about. It’s not safe and you are trespassing.”

Liz gathered her wits and responded, “I didn’t intend to trespass or to put myself in any danger. I went out for a walk and wandered afar and have gotten myself lost.”

“What have you there?” the man asked, pointing at the book Liz was carrying.

“This is just a book I was reading,” and Liz closed the book quickly. Just as she did, she was suddenly back in the library chair.

“Oh dear, I must have fallen asleep,” Liz said aloud to no one in particular. She looked at her watch and saw that nearly an hour had passed. She got up, took the book with her, and asked to check it out so that she could go back to her hotel and read it. She was given a guest pass and was told to return the book to the library in 48 hours.

Back at the hotel, she changed into casual clothing, ordered room service, and then moved over to the bed and opened the book once again. And although she was still in a bed, she was strangely no longer in the bed in her hotel room. She was in what appeared to be a large bedroom in a castle of some sort.

A young woman opened the the door to the room and walked in. “I see you are awake,” the woman said.

“Where am I and who are you!” Liz asked.

“I am Esmerelda,” the girl said, “and you are in Beltran Manor. The Lord of the Manor’s son found you near the forest and said you passed out, so he brought you here. Are you hungry?” Liz shook her head affirmatively. “I will fetch you something from the pantry and bring it to you,” Esmerelda said, “and I will notify the Lord’s son that you have awoken.”

After Esmerelda left the room, Liz looked around for the book, and saw it on a dressing table to the left of the bed. It was still open. She got off of the bed, reached over and picked the book up, and closed it.

There was a loud knocking sound and Liz heard a man’s voice calling loudly from the other side of the door. “Room service,” he said. Liz got up, looked around, and saw that she was, once again, in her hotel room.

To be continued….

Written for this week’s Tale Weaver prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. Photo credit: xetobyte at

Tale Weaver — Peaceful Coexistence

C97B5C06-E9B8-4700-8229-70424A896D84.jpegBack in 2008, a black cat, about a year old, began hanging out on our porch. We had many feral cats in our neighborhood, but this cat wasn’t one of them. Feral cats skedaddle when a human approaches them. But this cat would permit us to pick him up and put him on our laps and would purr while we sat down on our porch swing and stroked him. We figured he escaped from someone’s house or yard, and so my wife decided to take him in until we could find his owner. I took a picture of the cat and put “lost cat” posters up all around the neighborhood, but no one ever called to claim him.

And that’s how we came to have a cat in our household.

About a year later our, daughter and her husband rescued a four year old, all black shepherd/lab mix from a kill shelter. Two years after that, our daughter and her husband got divorced and they each moved away, so my wife and I offered to “adopt” their dog.

And that’s how we came to have a dog in our household.

Our cat and our dog live together in our home in what can best be described as “peaceful coexistence.” Even though our dog is at least five times the size of our cat and outweighs him by 60 pounds, she typically gives him a wide berth, since, if she gets too close to him (i.e., within striking distance), our cat has no qualms about swatting, claws fully extended, at our poor, hapless dog.

But we love them both and they bring so much pleasure into our lives. We are empty-nesters and our dog and cat are like our children. In fact, my wife often refers to them as her “little black babies.” She’s obviously not bothered by political correctness.

Written for this week’s Tale Weaver prompt from Michael at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. We are asked to write our ‘pet’ story, be it about “the pet you have or once had or some imaginary pet.” Mine is about the pets we have.

Tale Weaver — Simply Irresistible

30B11436-0BEA-4A32-9811-CBC8BE2EFDBFShe dominates me. She uses her dark beauty and irresistible charisma to charm me into doing whatever she wants me to do. She expects me to leap into bed with her while she devours me, physically and emotionally. She’s a trigger to all of my anxieties, my fears, my insecurities. She exhausts me.

So why must I accommodate her like this? My first impulse is to not play her game tonight. To her, it’s always just another piece of performance art. She gets herself all made up, with those false eyelashes, the dark eyeshadow, the blush to accentuate her high cheekbones, that puce lipstick. She puts on that skin tight, form-fitting, strapless, and low cut dress. In black, always in black.

Here she comes. So sexy. So provocative. How can I possibly resist her. How can I refuse her? I can’t. I won’t. Screw my first impulse. I’m all in.

Written for this week’s Tale Weaver prompt (“trigger”) from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. Also for these daily prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (leap), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (accommodate), Your Daily Word Prompt (impulse), Daily Addictions (play), The Daily Spur (performance), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (puce).

Fractured Fairy Tale

Magic CastleThe new king was introduced with a flourish. He walked to the microphone and started to speak. “Welcome to my magic, royal Trump Castle, formerly known as The White House,” King Donald said to his adoring subjects. “I’ve made some long overdue and sorely belated, but critical improvements, like the alligator and snake infested moat, two incredibly classy towers, two battle turrets, a dungeon for the press, a keep, and of course, a big, beautiful wall. Now if you would like to approach me and kiss my ring, please line up.”

As Mitch and Lindsey pushed to the front of the line, Lindsey asked Mitch, “How should I address him?”

Mitch said to Lindsey, “Whatever you do, don’t refer to him as ‘Your Royal Jackass.’ He hates that.”

And then Devin said, “And whatever you do, don’t invoke Obama’s name. He’ll go ballistic.”

Vladimir called out to those in line. “Speed it up, you all. The king is hosting a royal dinner tonight for Sean Hannity and his friends at Fox.”

Written for the Tale Weaver prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, where we are asked to write a fairy tale about a magic castle. Also for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (flourish), The Daily Spur (subject), Word of the Day (belated), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (address), Your Daily Word Prompt (invoke), and Daily Addictions (speed).

Life in the Burbs

6FE3ACD6-5987-4868-90F0-FC77F2D452FF“Does my nose deceive me or has Henry started up that damn barbecue grill of his?” Bill groused to his wife. “Ever since he bought that jodhoeing monstrosity of a grill, he’s out there night after night, as soon as it turns twilight, grilling steaks and chops and chicken and whatever else he can burn to a crisp. And he invites all of his loud, obnoxious friends over. He’s so ostentatious.”

“Oh my God, Bill,” his wife Maggie said, “don’t soil your trousers over this. I told you that if we moved to the burbs, you’d be dealing with this sort of thing. I wanted to move further out to the countryside, but you wanted to move into a new housing development, the perfect microcosm of suburbia, with cookie cutter houses and noisy, nosy neighbors surrounding you.”

Bill shook his head. “It just pisses me off that he’s always out there barbecuing and that I can’t even relax in my own backyard.”

“Yeah, right,” Maggie said. “Admit it, Bill, what you’re really pissed about is that he hasn’t invited you over.”

“Yeah, he’s a jodhoeingly rude son of a bitch, ain’t he?” Bill said.

Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie’s Tale Weaver prompt, where the theme is Making Sense of Nonsense and the nonsense word is “jodhoeing.” Also for these daily prompts: Daily Addictions (nose), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (barbecue), Word of the Day Challenge (twilight), Your Daily Word Prompt (ostentatious), The Daily Spur (soil), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (microcosm).549DE9C0-FD45-4797-B7E1-375992907A74