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).

Time To Write — Ratted Out

8367FF00-E53A-4CFD-B703-0D32FBFCC9C8“How long have you been planning this heist?” Jake asked.

“A long time,” Bud said. “Isn’t it obvious?”

Sammy raised an eyebrow. “I don’t know, Bud, but the whole thing seems like a big old mess to me.”

“A big old mess?” Bud responded. “Can you be any less ambiguous? How’s it a mess?

“First of all,” Sammy said, “You said that we weren’t going to harm anyone. But the first part of your plan is to take out the security guard.”

“Jeez, Sammy, I don’t mean kill him,” Bud said. “I mean take him out of commission. You know, like knock him upside the head with a big piece of wood, or something.”

“Oh, and you think smacking the guard in the head with a chunk of wood won’t harm him?” Jake chimed in.

“Not like shooting him would,” Bud answered.

Suddenly the door to Bud’s house was busted open. “This is the FBI. Stop what you’re doing and put your hands up,” the lead agent shouted. “We’ve got you in our crosshairs, so no funny business.”

Bud looked over at his co-conspirators and whispered, “Which one of you ratted us out?”

EE7F3200-C74E-4783-960C-A3EFF36EB49AWritten for Rachel Poli’s Time To Write prompt using these three random words: “harm,” “mess,” and “heist.”

Also for these daily prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (obvious), Ragtag Daily Prompt (eyebrow), Your Daily Word Prompt (ambiguous), The Daily Spur (wood), and Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (crosshairs).

Time to Write — The Peephole

513BBE11-0F37-4BDE-AB11-0E0A58674BEA“How did you find me?” Jimmy asked Anita.

Just an hour earlier, Jimmy had been sitting on his living room couch sucking on a joint and watching a baseball game on TV when his doorbell rang. “Damn, who the fuck could that be?” he said aloud. He slowly stood up and walked to the door. When he looked through the peephole, he saw a young woman, maybe in her late teens or early twenties, someone Jimmy didn’t recognize.

He decided to just ignore the unexpected visitor, whoever she was, and to head back to his couch and finish watching the game, but as he started to back away from the door, the doorbell rang again and he heard the woman’s voice say, “I know you’re in there. I saw you look through the peephole.”

Jimmy opened the door and said, “Whatever you’re selling, whether it’s Girl Scout cookies, magazine subscriptions, or Jesus Christ, I’m not interested.” He started to shut the door when she literally stuck her foot in the doorway.

“Wait,” she said. “Are you James McMurphy?”

Surprised that she knew his name, he said, “Yeah, who the fuck are you? What do you want?”

“Do you know Rebecca Hartley?” she asked.

“No, I don’t,” Jimmy responded, although in the far reaches of his mind, the name did sound a little familiar.

“Did you go to Northgate High School?” she asked.

Jimmy was losing patience. “So what if I did? Who are you and what’s this all about?”

“May I come in?” she asked.

Jimmy sighed, stepped aside, and waived her in. Once she was inside, he shut the door and said, “Yeah, so?”

The young woman made a sniffing gesture and smiled at the familiar aroma of marijuana. “My name’s Anita,” she said, putting out a hand for Jimmy to shake. “And you’re my father.”

Jimmy started laughing. “Yeah, right,” he said. “Listen, I don’t know who you are or what your game is, but you need to get the fuck outta here.” He reopened the door.

“Rebecca Hartley!” she blurted out. “She is, or was, my mother. She died last month.”

Jimmy closed the door. “I’m sorry about your mother, but I don’t know your mother and I sure as shit ain’t your father.”

Anita reached into a backpack she was carrying, pulled out a few old photographs, handed them to Jimmy, and said “That’s you in these pictures with my mom, isn’t it?”

It had been 22 years since Jimmy had seen these pictures, but when he looked at them, his mind was flooded with memories. “Becky,” he whispered. He looked up at Anita and said, “You’re Becky’s kid?”

“And yours.”

“No way. Becky would have told me if I’d have knocked her up.”

“She never told you because she knew you weren’t right for each other,” Anita said. “You only went out three or four times, but she said you were hot and, well, I happened. It was the summer after you graduated when she found out that she was pregnant with me. You were getting ready to leave for Ann Arbor on a football scholarship and she didn’t want to burden you.”

Jimmy was dumbfounded. He walked over to the couch, sat down, grabbed the remote, and turned off the TV. He picked up the joint and lit it, took a deep drag, looked up at Anita, who was still standing by the door, and asked, “How did you find me?”

Written for this week’s Time to Write Sentence Starter prompt from Rachel Poli.


A Day at the Park

B1F26FBF-F269-4F2A-B39D-E017C78AA051Aaron decided to take his family to the city park and to have an outing at the pond located at the north end of the large park. It was a beautiful spring day and his two kids were very excited about spending the day there.

Almost as soon as they got there, his kids wanted to go to the soft-serve ice cream truck parked there. “What can I get you today?” the girl at the window asked. 

“I want a chocolate/vanilla swirl on a sugar cone,” Andy said.

“Me too,” chimed in his little sister, Allison, who would always copy everything her older brother did.

Once they got their cones, they walked over to the pond, found a place to sit, and watched as a mime did his pantomime schtick, which Andy and Allison found enthralling.

After a few hours by the pond, the kids were getting restless, and Janice, Aaron’s wife, suggested that the kids might want to go to the part of the park where there were some amusement rides. The kids thought that was a great idea and ran ahead of their parents toward the rides.

“I want to go on the Cyclone,” Andy said when they got there.

“Me too,” Alison squealed.

Aaron looked at his daughter and broke the news that she wasn’t big enough to go on the Cyclone. “You have to be this tall to participate,” he said, holding his hand just above her head.”

Allison started crying. “That’s not fair!” she screamed. “I want to go on the ride with Andy.”

Janice bent down and looked Allison in the eyes. “You’ll be tall enough to go on the Cyclone next year, sweetie. So let’s let Dad and Andy go on it now and I’ll get some cotton candy that we can share while they’re on the ride.” Then she whispered in her daughter’s ear, “And we can watch Daddy get dizzy and throw up when he gets off the ride.”

That brought a big smile to Allison’s face.

Written for Rachel Poli’s Time To Write prompt this week, which is for the setting “At the pond.” And for Teresa’s Story Starter Challenge, which is “What can I get you today?” And also for these daily prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (copy), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (pantomime), Ragtag Daily Prompt (cyclone), and Your Daily Word Prompt (participate).

Time To Write — Trial and Error

1018822723Look at that!” William said. “I can’t believe how full the courtroom is.”

“I know,” Jason, who was sitting in the first row of seats directly behind William, acknowledged. There’s a real flurry of activity here.”

“That’s good news,” William’s lawyer said. “We’ll have plenty of character witness to testify on your behalf in this lawsuit.”

The judge asked the attorneys if they were ready to proceed with their opening remarks. The defense attorney started first. “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,” he said. “This case may be an emotional one for you to hear, but your job is weigh the evidence in a cool, dispassionate manner. You will see that the accident that injured the plaintiff was caused by his own willful negligence and irrational behavior.”

The lawyer pointed to a police officer in the courtroom. “You’ll also hear from the officer who attempted to collar the plaintiff, only to have the plaintiff, despite having just broken his leg, attempt to flee the scene. There is simply no way anyone in his or her right mind could condone what the plaintiff did or that it was in any way the fault of my client, the defendant.”

Then it was the William’s attorney with the opportunity to address the jury. “My client, this poor, now crippled young man, was simply doing his laundry at the laundromat. He put his clothing in a basket and brought it to the establishment, where he loaded it into the washing machine. As he was waiting for his wash to complete, he climbed into the industrial-sized dryer and asked his friend, Jason, to turn it on. It was at that point that my client sustained the severe fracture to his right femur, rendering him unable to walk without crutches.”

The lawyer moved closer to the jury box, used his finger and thumb to sarcastically mimic playing a tiny violin, and in a stage whisper, said, “The opposing side would have you believe that my client’s actions were reckless and that the owner of the laundromat should not be responsible for my client’s medical expenses plus compensation for pain and suffering. But let me inform that there are no signs or warning labels anywhere in the establishment indicating that patrons should not climb into the machines. So how was poor William to know that doing so would result in personal injury. Thank you.”

The judge shook his head and said, “I’m sorry, but this case is an insult to my court.” He looked directly at William and said, “Son, you’re a jackass and the injuries you sustained were due to your own stupidity. Case dismissed.”

Written for Rachel Poli’s Time To Write Sentence Starter prompt, where the starter is “Look at that!” Also for Paula Light’s Three Things Challenge, where the three things are basket, violin, and lawsuit. And for Teresa’s Opposites Attract prompt, where the opposites are emotional, cool, and dispassionate. And finally, for these daily prompts: Your Daily Word Prompt (flurry, plenty), Word of the Day Challenge (collar), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (condone), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (laundry).