Time To Write/Tell The Story

8708F05E-E327-4F5C-A6BF-02FAECD2F178Denise had a love/hate relationship with camping. She loved the idea of getting away from the hustle bustle of city living and heading out to paradise to commune with nature. But she hated having to deal with critters, ranging from bears to raccoons to snakes. And most of all, she hated bugs, especially spiders. They terrified her.

But camping was her husband’s passion. If he could, he would be very happy selling their nice, comfortable home and moving into a large tent or a yurt in some secluded spot in the forest next to a bubbling brook. He would occasionally get irritated at Denise over her indifference toward camping. So, in order to promote peace and harmony in their household, Denise had agreed to go camping once a month. She felt it was worth the sacrifice to hold their marriage together.

Unfortunate, that all ended on their last camping trip when Denise was using the campground outhouse to do her business and a humongous spider crawled up and sat staring at her with its eight nasty spider eyes. Denise ran screaming out of the outhouse and told her husband that she was never going camping again.

“But this is paradise,” he said.

Denise looked at him and said, “Yeah, paradise lost.”

This post was written the Tell The Story prompt for which Melanie, at Sparks from a Combustible Mind, tagged me. Also for Rachel Poli’s Time To Write, where the prompt is “love & hate.”

Also written for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (paradise), Your Daily Word Prompt (indifference), Word of the Day Challenge (worth), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (lost).

Tell The Story — Punctuality

96D5CDBB-4888-4BEE-8369-5ACFCEC2D6F5Frank always prided himself on the fact that he was never late. He was always on time, no matter what. Big or small, important or trivial, Frank was there when he was scheduled to be there, regardless of where there was or why he needed to be there.

Frank’s penchant for punctuality was well-known by those who knew him, whether they were his work associates or his friends and family. “You can set your watch by him,” people would say of Frank. He never tired of hearing that.

Frank met Barbara at a company function. They talked and they clicked. Where Frank was fastidious, Barbara was spontaneous. Where Frank was meticulous, Barbara was messy. She was so unlike Frank, so different, that he found her irresistible.

He ended up spending that night with her, a night like no other night Frank had ever experienced. And for the first time in his life, Frank lost track of time. Punctuality lost its importance. Frank didn’t care if he made it there on time — wherever there was or why he needed to be there.

In this particular case, Frank needed to catch a 10 a.m. train to Boston for a very important business meeting. But Barbara used all of her delightful feminine wiles to persuade Frank to not hurry for that 10:00 train. “You can catch the next train to Boston,” she implored. “It leaves at noon. Stay with me for a while longer.” And she pulled Frank back down into the bed with her.

Everyone he knew expected Frank to have been on the 10 a.m. train that morning because Frank was always on time and was never late. Everyone who knew Frank was in a state of shock when they heard that he was among the casualties in the train derailment of the noon express to Boston that day.

Everyone but Barbara, that is.

Sadje, at Keep It Alive, tagged me to “Tell The Story” based upon this image at the top of this post. According to the Tell The Story Challenge rules, I’m now supposed to post a new picture and tag three other bloggers to tell a story about that picture. But I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’m going to invite anyone who wants to write their own Tell The Story post to this same picture to feel free to do so.

There’s Something in the Water

E501CA4B-4E9A-40CD-AA76-B77B54EA5099The older men were really excited about their excursion to the Roman baths. Each had receive an invitation to spend the day at the spa. Upon arrival, they changed into their bathing trunks, were given thick, luxurious towels, and were led to the pool area.

Steam was rising from the crystal clear, natural hot springs-fed pool around which the structure was built. Soaking in the water was thought to be therapeutic, and these old geezers needed all they help they could get to heal their aging bodies.

Abe was the first to jump into the pool and a big “Ahh” escaped from his mouth as the hot, steamy water embraced him. Harold and Gerry followed Abe into the pool and they, too, felt the warm hug of the healing water.

The three old men had been soaking in the pool for about 30 minutes when Abe got a look of concern on his face. “Abe, are you okay?” Harold asked.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I’m feeling really strange. Something’s not right.”

“You know,” Gerry chimed in, “I’m feeling a bit strange myself.”

Concerned, Harold signaled the attendant to come over to where the three men were soaking. “Is there something I can help you with?” the attendant asked.

“Yes,” said Gerry. “My two friends here are feeling kind of strange. In fact, so am I.”

“Strange?” the attendant said. “Can you describe what you’re feeling?”

Abe was the first to answer. “I’m no longer here. I am somewhere else, somewhere eerie, frightening.”

“What do you see?” the attendant asked.

Harold jumped in. “I’m on a dirt road out in the country, the sky is yellow, with dark storm clouds gathering.”

And then Abe said, “Yes! I see ghost-like bodies slowly walking towards me and these strange, cat-like eyes up in the storm clouds staring down at me.”

Gerry the added, “And there’s a bare tree, a black crow, and a full moon. What is going on? Why are the three of us seeing the same vision?”DF270263-0585-4409-A54B-60772BA058C8The attendant got a broad smile on his face. “Ah, it’s working,” he said.

“What’s working?” Abe asked, a sense of panic in his voice.

“It’s experimental,” the attendant said. “We put something into the water to cause you three to have a common hallucination.”

“Why would you do such a thing?” Gerry asked.

“It’s a process to help you begin your journey to the other side,” the attendant explained. “That’s what you’re seeing, the other side.”

“But I don’t want to go to the other side,” Abe objected.

“You have no choice,” the attendant said. “This is a new government mandate. The Bureau of Elderly Affairs has conducted a cost/benefit analysis. You three gentlemen have reached the age where the cost of keeping you healthy and alive now exceeds the benefits you offer to society. You are our first to be entered into this process.”

“You can’t be serious!” Harold shouted.

“Oh but I am,” the attendant said. “Thank you, gentlemen. Your participation in our experiment has been a resounding success. Have a pleasant journey.”

I was tagged by two bloggers to “Tell the Story.” First, Mel, Crushed Caramel, tagged me to tell the story about the picture at the top of this post. And then Di, Pensitivity101, tagged me to tell the story about the second image above. I decided to combine the two prompts into this single post.

I’m not going to post a new photo and tag any other bloggers to tell the story about it. Instead, I invite anyone who is inspired by either of these images to write a post telling the story.

Tell The Story — Half Time

1D95B909-C1C9-4B4E-90E1-DA9EB276F4BBRory, aka A Guy Called Bloke, has tagged me to participate in the “Tell the Story” challenge. And he graciously offered up the picture above as fodder for my story. So here goes.

“I know you’re not real,” Richard said.

“Of course I’m real,” the winged, green dragon sitting on a pile of four old books said. “You conjured me up, you know.”

“I did no such thing,” Richard objected.

The dragon cocked its head and let out a sigh, a little bit of smoke escaping from its mouth. “You were reading Lord of the Rings for the third time, I believe, and you thought to yourself that you’d whip my ass if I ever showed up in the real world. So, here I am. Time to put your money where your mouth is, buster.”

“You’re Smaug?” Richard said. “You’re a lot smaller and less fearsome than I thought you’d be.”

“Well you’re no Gandalf, yourself, you know,” Smaug said. “You want fearsome?” Smaug shot out a flamethrower-like blast of fire from his mouth and then started coughing. “Dammit, this is all your fault. You imagined me to be more toy-like than like Tolkien’s Smaug.”

“I’m sorry, little Smaug,” Richard said. “I guess, in hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have taken that tab of blotter acid before I sat down and started reading.”

“True,” Smaug said. “That stuff can be pretty tricky. I mean here you are having a conversation with a dragon that you hallucinated.”

“Oh damn,” Richard said.

“What’s the matter, buddy?” Smaug asked.

“I missed the whole first half of the Super Bowl sitting here and talking with some acid-induced dragon,” Richard said.

“Oh, you like watching a bunch of grown men smashing into each other on the gridiron?” Smaug asked.

“No, dude, it’s the commercials.”

Now I’m supposed to tag three other bloggers to “Tell The Story” about this picture from Helena Lopes @ Unsplash:9DFA4E6A-7FF2-4412-B0BF-C282469FED3B.jpegSo who am I going to pick? Let’s try:

Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (hindsight), Your Daily Word Prompt (tricky), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (gridiron).

Tell the Story Challenge — The Texas Standoff

627363fe-8824-43f3-a72a-417096f5c09aI’ve been tagged by Sadje to tell the story about the image above. Image credit: William Webb.

Cecelia and her boyfriend, Matt, were surprised when they ran out of the local bank they had just robbed in the small, dusty southwestern Texas town. They had expected to find the driver of their getaway car waiting, with engine running, to whisk them away. Instead, they were faced with a U.S. Marshall in a business suit, pistols aimed at both of them, standing in the middle of the street.

Cecelia and Matt, each also armed with two pistols, stood there, pointing both of their guns at the marshall. “Your driver’s been apprehended and your getaway car has been impounded,” the marshall said. “There is a sharpshooter on the roof of the building across the street. So you might as well drop your weapons and come along all peaceable-like.”

“No way, lawman,” Cecelia said. “You ain’t takin’ us alive and we’ll take you down before you can get both of us.”

“Hold on, Babe,” Matt said, looking at Cecelia. “I ain’t ready to cash in my chips yet.” He kept one gun pointed at the marshall, but pointed the other one at Cecelia.

“Are you fucking kidding me, Matt?” Cecelia yelled in disbelief.

“Folks,” the marshall said, “it looks like what we got here is a good old fashioned Texas standoff. So before anyone gets hurt, why don’t you be a good boy and girl and lay your guns down?”

Matt started to put his guns down on the ground when the sound of gunfire filled the air. One witness claimed to have heard Cecelia yell at Matt, “You really are a goddam pussy,” before shooting him. Then, the witness said, she spun around shot the marshall just before the rooftop sharpshooter shot her.

By the time the smoke cleared there were three dead bodies on the street.

I’m now supposed to post an image and tag three bloggers to tell a story about the image below. But I’m going to throw this challenge open to anyone who is inspired by this image, which is the work of Brazilian artist Nele Azevedo.e4f75a3f-86e3-4390-96de-cca7df7c4ceb