I’m Just Not Feeling It

4F6A46DC-2742-4D23-B446-3106CE524C9FI have four partially written draft posts that I started today and they all suck.

In one of the four drafts, I tried to craft, as I am wont to do each day, a cohesive story around five one-word prompts, including my own. But nothing worked.

Then I began writing a post for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt and I just couldn’t get it to come together. Same with The Haunted Wordsmith’s Daily Prompt post and with Paula Light’s Three Things Challenge post. Nada!

I thought about writing yet another rant about Donald Trump and, even though there’s plenty to rant about, my head and my heart just weren’t into it.

I have been wracking my brain (or is that racking my brain? I’m never sure which is the correct expression) all day, but nothing has surfaced.

Then I saw the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver prompt, where we are challenged to weave a tale in which ‘search’ features prominently.

So perhaps that’s the answer. I’ve been spending all this time today in search of something to write about and to post. But is it appropriate to write a post about a search when that search has come to naught? Probably not.

Maybe I’ll try again later. Or maybe not. But right now, I’m just not feeling it.

#writephoto — Military Brat

210B7B0E-56CF-48D1-AF81-0BD9FDD689CDEd paused in front of the group of trees, admiring their long, spread out roots. He sighed and thought about how he much envied those trees for their roots. He thought about how his family had relocated every few years when he was growing up. He had been what was called a “military brat.”

His father was career army and was frequently transferred to different army bases before he retired after thirty years of service. For Ed, that meant being uprooted, being separated from his friends, being sent to a new school, and pretty much having to start his life all over every couple of years.

He had always felt rootless as he was growing up. He became a bit standoffish, almost to the point of being a loner. Not because he wasn’t an affable kid, but because he knew that as soon as he got really close to anyone, he’d have to say goodbye and move with his family to a different state. That was difficult for him as well as for those other kids he had befriended.

Ed promised himself that, as an adult, he wouldn’t keep uprooting himself and his own family. If he ever got married and had kids, he told himself that he would not put them through what he had gone through. He would stay in one place and give himself and his children the chance to establish roots. That was the plan, anyway.

But Ed found himself easily bored. Bored with his job. Bored with his wife. Bored with his life. Every few years, he would look for a new job in a different city or a different state. The first few times it happened, his wife and daughter went with him. But when he told his wife for the third time in seven years that a great new job opportunity in another state had surfaced, she refused to follow him.

Ed left his wife and his daughter behind, moved to a new city, began a new job, and started his life over. And he did that again and again.

Now an old man, Ed had left behind three ex-wives. He had five children from whom he was estranged. He had grandchildren, too, but he wasn’t sure how many because and he’d never met any of them. He had lost touch with his wives and kids over the years and now they were spread all around the county, while Ed, who never made any close friends, was totally alone in the world.

Ed looked at the long, spread out roots of those trees and thought about how different his life might have been if he, like those trees, had stayed in one place and been able to establish strong roots.


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

#writephoto — The Scarecrow, the Witch, and the Wizard

D3D2201B-77FD-47C4-AE2E-A2346009A9F9During the occasion of a full wolf moon, the scarecrow, the witch, and the wizard went out together for a late evening stroll, as the trio was wont to do on nights such as this. After several hours of walking and talking, the wizard mention that he had developed quite a thirst. The witch said that she remembered passing a tavern on the outskirts of town shortly after they began their stroll.

“Ah yes,” the scarecrow said. “I distinctly recall that place because there was a tall sign just outside of the tavern that contained within it a scarecrow’s hat. But despite the fact that the tavern is home to scarecrows, I’d be delighted if the two of you would join me there as my guests.

“I beg to differ with you, Scarecrow,” the witch said. That tavern is obviously home to a coven of witches, since the hat in the sign is clearly a witch’s hat. But despite that fact, it would be my honor to invite the two of you to join me there tonight.”

“Hold on just a second, my friends,” the wizard said. There is no question but that the hat inside the sign is that of a wizard. Be that as it may,” he continued, “I would be happy to serve as host to the two of you in that establishment.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about, either of you,” the scarecrow said. “Anyone can plainly see that it’s a scarecrow’s hat.”

“Don’t be daft, Scarecrow,” the witch responded. “The hat a witch’s hat.”

“It is neither a scarecrow’s nor a witch’s hat,” the wizard interrupted. “It is, without a doubt, a wizard’s hat.

“There is only one way to find out for sure,” the scarecrow said. “We shall, the three of us, head over to the tavern, walk right in, and you’ll see soon enough that I was right. It’s a pub for scarecrows.”

“It is not,” said the witch and the wizard simultaneously. Each determined to prove the other two wrong, the companions locked arms and marched straight to the tavern. Upon reaching the tavern, they looked at the sign.

“See,” the scarecrow said. “A scarecrow’s hat.”

“See,” the witch said. “A witch’s hat.”

“See,” the wizard said. “A wizard’s hat.”

Once again, the three locked arms and, together, squeezed through the tavern doors and stepped inside.

All eyes of the patrons inside the tavern gazed upon the three who had just entered. There was dead silence as those already there and the three newcomers sized each other up. A tension filled the room and the atmosphere grew heavy.

There were no scarecrows, witches, or wizards among the patrons in the tavern. Instead, the customers were farmers and farmhands.

The awkward silence of the moment was finally broken when the bartender cheerfully called out from behind the bar. “Welcome to Ye Old Farmer’s Hat Tavern, folks,” he said. “Find any empty table and I’ll be right there to take your orders.”


Written for the Thursday Photo Prompt from Sue Vincent.

#writephoto — The Affliction

816039B2-B119-44DB-A716-265E5BA8D220When the Affliction first appeared a decade ago, there was fear that the infection had the potential to wreak havoc across the country and could cause infinite damage to the heathy citizens.

In an unprecedented move, authorities rounded up the Afflicted and quarantined them in an isolated area behind thick stone walls and secured them behind a large, heavy gate with a strong chain and lock.

Even though the isolation of the Afflicted in the large internment camp had stemmed the tide of the disease, a growing segment of the healthy population stood in diametric opposition to the continued internment of the Afflicted. The Opposition believed that the infection that had caused the Affliction in the first place had morphed into a benign parasite since there were no new cases in years. They staged protests, elected Opposition candidates who were sympathetic to their cause, and ultimately got legislation passed to release the Afflicted back into the general population.

At a major event to celebrate their victory, the Opposition leaders gathered in front of the large, heavy gate and cut the thick chain that secured the gate’s door. Thousands of Affliction survivors streamed out from behind the gate, grateful for their freedom.

Unfortunately, the Opposition leaders were wrong. The parasite that had infected the Afflicted had not turned benign. Instead, with no healthy beings to feed upon, it had gone dormant. But upon reintegration into the healthy population, the parasites found new hosts and began to spread rapidly among the healthy. A new Affliction ultimately devoured the uninfected, creating a zombie-like society populated entirely by the Afflicted.


This dystopian tale was written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo prompt. Also for these daily prompts: Your Daily Word Prompt (infinite), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (chain), Ragtag Daily Prompt (diametric), and Word of the Day Challenge (devour).

#writephoto — The Forest for the Trees

132116e7-f536-491f-b49e-6d3f0c1d9014“That is absolutely fantastic,” Ellen said as she and her son were on their way to do some shopping at their local mall.

“What is, Mom?” Jimmy asked.

Ellen pointed to the wall. “That is,” she said. “It is so artistic, so expressive. The genius of the person who created it is truly amazing.”

“Uh, Mom,” Jimmy said, “I think you’re going a little overboard in your enthusiasm. It seems pretty straightforward to me.”

“Straightforward?” Ellen exclaimed. “You take after your father, don’t you? Just like him, you fail to see the beauty and artistry that is all around us. How can you see that,” she said, pointing again to the wall, “and not feel a sense of wonder? How does it not stir your imagination, heighten your senses, and elevate your spirit?”

“What are you talking about, Mom?” Jimmy asked. “It’s just a sign. And it’s kind of funny, actually.”

“Yes, it is a sign,” Ellen said. “It’s a sign from God. It’s a sign that speaks to the talent, artistry, and grace He has imbued in us. It’s a celebration of His love for us. There’s nothing funny about it. It’s a thing of beauty. It’s inspirational.”

“Mom,” Jimmy said, shaking his head. “It’s a sign that has two cartoon-like cars facing each other. It says, ‘Please Park Bumper-to-Bumper.’”

“I’m talking about the mural painted on the wall,” Ellen said, “not about the damn parking sign. You are so like your father. You can’t see the forest for the trees.” she added, as she stalked off in the direction of the mall.

“Whatever,” Jimmy sighed under his breath, running to catch up with his mother.


Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt.