Spy Versus Spy

BB3EDA1A-E3E8-41EC-B00B-A3C8C361DA91I’ve been getting some strange comments showing up in my spam folder lately. Like this one:

“Alex9, this message is your next piece of data. Immediately message the agency at your earliest convenience. No further information until next transmission. This is broadcast #5771. Do not delete.”

Sometimes, like above, the comment is addressed to “Alex9.” Sometimes it’s addressed to another mysterious, secret agent-like name. But the message is always the same.

And the cryptic wording is weird. “Immediately message the agency.” What agency? Are we talking CIA? FBI? MI6? Mossad? KGB? What?

And then there’s “…at your earliest convenience.” So what is it — immediately or at my earliest convenience? “…next transmission” “…do not delete.” Seriously?

Well, listen, whoever you are, I’ve got news for you. I never sent in an application to any of those spy agencies. You showed a serious lack of judgment sending this message to me. I may be an uncle, but I’m not The Man From U.N.C.L.E. As much as I’d like to, it’s not my job to eradicate evil in the universe or to stop the polar ice caps from melting.

So I’m going to ignore your directive to message the agency and I’m going to delete this spam comment forthwith. Over and out.


Written for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (news), The Daily Spur (judgment), Your Daily Word Prompt (eradicate), Word of the Day Challenge (universe), Ragtag Daily Prompt (Emmy), and for Rachel Poli’s Time To Write (application).

The Gates of Hell

979edffc-b85c-4449-9c3a-1e43e7686501.jpegTake the gun,” she said, handing me the revolver. She was stunning. A ginger with green eyes and a body that wouldn’t quit. I’d walk to the gates of Hell for her if she’d ask me to.

What’s the plan?” I asked after taking the gun from her.

“We break camp at dawn,” she said. “We’ll be meeting up with fighters from the other rebel camps in the foothills just south of the metropolis.”

“You know that the government troops will still seriously outnumber and outgun us,” I pointed out.

“Our objective is to cause as much havoc as we can, to disrupt their operations, and to try not to let them capture or kill us when we inevitably retreat,” she said.

“From what you’re saying” I said, “it sounds like this is shaping up to be a suicide mission.”

“You’re probably right,” she said, “but we are rebels with a good cause. As Patrick Henry said, ‘Give me liberty or give me death.’ I’ll see you either at the rendezvous point tomorrow night or we’ll spend an eternity in Hell together.”

See, I told you I’d be willing to walk to the gates of Hell for her if she asked. And that’s exactly what she was asking.


Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday prompt, where the first line is “Take the Gun,” and for Rachel Poli’s Time To Write Sentence Starter, where the line is “What’s the plan?” Also for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (camp), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (rebel), The Daily Spur (metropolis), Word of the Day Challenge (capture), and Your Daily Word Prompt (eternity).

Which Way Is North?

DA17162C-BFB8-4EFF-9F8D-E564D951C9E4Breathe in, breathe out, you’ll be okay,” Hank said to his wife. “Listen, there are a lot of people who are directionally challenged. You just have to try understand that driving uphill doesn’t mean that you’re headed north.”

Tell me something I don’t already know,” Beth said. “Intellectually I understand that. But when the lady in the GPS tells me to head north, my brain converts that to uphill. And when she says go south, I can’t help but think she means to go downhill.”

“I suppose there’s a certain percent of the public that associates north and south to up and down,” Hank said.

“That’s easy for you to say,” Beth said. “I’d estimate that it’s an incredibly tiny number of people who do that. I feel so stupid.”

“Just pull over, take a deep breath, and get yourself together.” Hank said. “It’s understandable that you’d feel that way. After all, Beth, when you look at a map, north is up and south is down.”

When the car was parked by the side of the road, Beth started crying hysterically. Hank reached over and grabbed her hand. “Hey, Beth, it’s okay. You have so many great characteristics that being directionally challenged is insignificant. Look at our president. He just tweeted that the moon is part of Mars, for crissake.”

“Yeah, I know you’re right, Hank,” Beth said. “And given that I’m close to hysterical, I really do appreciate your ability to maintain a stolid demeanor. Since you’re so cool, calm, and collected, I think you should get behind the wheel.”

“Fine,” Hank said, walking around to the driver’s side of the car. “Let’s see. We’re supposed to head north from here. That means we just go up that hill, right?”


Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday prompt (“Breath in, breath out, you’ll be okay”), for Rachel Poli’s Time To Write Sentence Starter prompt (“Tell me”), and for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (directional), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (percent), Word of the Day Challenge (public), The Daily Spur (estimate), and Your Daily Word Prompt (stolid).

In Harm’s Way

670ED45F-7A94-405A-B8F6-AA18E980AC6C“What? You can’t do that!” Lynn said. “You can’t let him drive.”

“Why not?” her younger brother, Jeff, asked.

“Why not? Are you serious?” Lynn said. “First, he’s 88 years old. Second, he’s been complaining about how his vision is getting fuzzy. Third, he’s on some sort of chemistry school cocktail of drugs to treat his myriad ailments. And fourth, his memory is failing.”

“Oh come on, sis,” Jeff said, “He’ll be fine. He’s just driving to the bingo game at church so that he can surround himself with old friends.”

“No way, Jeff,” Lyn insisted. “I will not be responsible for putting other drivers in harm’s way or putting pedestrians in jeopardy. I will not allow that! You need to drive him.”


Written for these daily prompts: Rachel Poli’s Time To Write (drive), Word of the Day Challenge (fuzzy), The Daily Spur (chemistry), Ragtag Daily Prompt (memory), Your Daily Word Prompt (surround), and Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (jeopardy).

Time To Write — The Start Up

D42441B3-B936-42FE-B7D4-23A0E8ED91B9“So, son, have you decided where you’re going to apply for graduate school yet?” Charles’ father, Harry, asked him.

“To be honest, Dad,” Charles said, “I don’t want to go to graduate school. I want to start my own internet company.”

“Your own internet company? Surely you jest, son.” Harry said. “Where do you think you’re going to come up with the money to start your own company?”

“I’ve been talking with a few tech investors and they’re interesting in giving me some start up funding through their venture capital firms,” Charles said.

“Charles, do you realize that 20% of small businesses fail in their first year, 30% in their second year, 50% after five years, and 70% of small business owners fail in their 10th year?” his father said.

“Dad, why are you always so cynical?” Charles asked. Are you just bitter because you never had the balls to strike out on your own?”

“Fine, son,” Harry said. “If you think you can be the next Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg, go for it. Just remember that a successful tech start up like Facebook is an anomaly and is not the norm. But it’s your life, Charles. You know I’ll be there, as I have always been, to catch you if you fall.”


Written for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (graduate), Word of the Day Challenge (jest), Time To Write (money), Your Daily Word Prompt (cynical), The Daily Spur (bitter), and Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (anomaly).