FFfPP — The Pigeon Problem

“I’ve tried everything to keep those damn pigeons from landing on this wall and dropping their dirty, nasty poops all over the place for me to clean up,” Julian complained, “but nothing seems to work.”

“Did you try poison?” Eddie asked.

“Yeah, but the authorities made me stop because they were worried that people, especially kids, might accidentally ingest some.”

“What about traps?”

“No, they said I couldn’t put traps on the wall because they might injure a passerby.”

“What about putting an electrified mesh on top of the wall? That way, you’ll zap those airborne rats when they land.”

“I thought of that,” Julian said, “but the risk of people getting shocked ruled that out.”

“I know, I’ll hide in the bushes and shoot them with my shotgun when they land. That’ll teach ‘em.”

“God no,” Julian said. “You can’t go around taking pot shots at birds. What if you accidentally shot someone? But I do have an idea, Eddie.”

“Oh yeah, what’s that?”

“Didn’t you say that you recently got laid off and that you’re looking for work?”

“Well, yeah, but….”

“I’ll give you a sponge and a bucket and twenty bucks a day to come by first thing each morning and scrub the wall clean.

“Deal,” Eddie said.

Written for Roger Shipp’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner. Photo credit: Pixabay.

#writephoto/3TC — The Beginning or The End

170EAE13-38F3-4AED-B0E5-D1CCD192B525The past six months had been brutal. Carolyn lost her parents and her grandmother to the virus. She was laid off from her job when her employer closed its doors due to the pandemic. And she just got the results back from her own COVID-19 test and it was positive. Her life, she felt, had hit a metaphysical wall.

As she stared out at the glistening water, she thought about her options. One would be to slowly walk into the surf and literally drown her troubles. Having lost almost everything of meaning in her life, she felt there was nothing left to lose, and nothing left to live for.

On the other hand, she could turn around and give herself a clean break from the past and start her life anew. She was young and, aside from testing positive for the virus, she was healthy. It wasn’t necessarily a death sentence as it had been for her parents and grandmother.

Carolyn was at the crossroads between an end and a new beginning. She looked, once again toward the sea. Then back behind her toward the dry land. It was time for her to decide, and with her usual resolve, she made her choice. She chose her option. And she walked slowly in that direction.

Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt and for Di’s Three Things Challenge (been, wall, clean). Photo credit: Sue Vincent.

50 Word Thursday — The Plan

7651D491-A6E9-4016-B88D-4EF36939D0D7Autumn is here and we still don’t have a solution,” Henry, one of the town’s elders said. “Unless we come up with a workable plan, our backs will be up against the wall. Soon winter will be upon us and by then it will be too late.

Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul, I am afraid,” Herman said.

People, please!” William shouted. “Let’s stop talking about damp and drizzly and let’s discuss real options. We have a serious problem and we can’t just mop them under the rug.”

“You mean sweep then under the rug,” Herman said.

“Bite me, Herman, you myopic old fool,” William said. “You know damn well what I meant.”

“Just placate him, William,” Henry said. “You know he’s senile. I have a qualm or two about his even being here at this meeting of the council.”

“Fuck you, Henry,” Herman said. “My mind is as sharp as it ever was and if we can’t figure out how to bring those tourists back to our seaside town, we’re all screwed.”

“I have an idea,” William said. “We’ll offer a cash bonus to each travel agent who books passengers on the cruise ships that come to our town.”

All in favor say ‘aye,’” Henry said. “Opposed say ‘nay.’”

“The ayes have it,” William announced. “I will immediately send text messages to all the cruise ship companies and travel agents telling them about the bonuses.”

(250 words)

Written for this week’s 50 Word Thursday prompt from Kristian at Tales From the Mind of Kristian. The idea is to use the image above (unattributed), along with the line, “Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul” from Moby Dick by Herman, and to write a post that must be between 50 and 250 words, in 50 word increments.

Also written for Di’s Three Things Challenge for today, where the three things are “back,” “people,” and “wall.”

Also written for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (autumn), Daily Addictions (mop), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (myopic), Word of the Day Challenge (placate), Your Daily Word Prompt (qualm), and The Daily Spur (bonus).

3TC/MLMM Tale Weaver — The Wall

B8B4E75B-C70C-499D-A442-5E32EB6DCA94The idea was to have a bipartisan brunch where both sides could have a civil, productive discussion about border security issues. Twelve senators and representatives, plus a handful of business executives, had been invited and the hope was that each side would demonstrate at least a little empathy for the arguments put forth by the other side.

But by the time the meeting had entered its second hour, the temperature in the room had risen, the volume of the voices had gotten louder, and passions were ignited.

The Republicans insisted that the only way to ensure border security was to build Trump’s wall. The Democrats called the wall Trump’s vanity project and nothing but an empty campaign promise.

Any hint of civility had broken down when Larry Ellison, the chairman of Oracle Corporation, and Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple Inc, simultaneously pushed back their chairs, stood up, and left the room together in disgust.

Once outside of the meeting room, Cooked looked over at Ellison and said, “What a bunch of imbeciles.”

Ellison shook his head in agreement and said to Cook, “We should take a broadsword to the bunch of them.”

Written for Paula Light’s Three Things Challenge, where the three things are “oracle,” “brunch,” and “volume.” Also for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver prompt where the challenge is to write about a wall. And also for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (empathy), Ragtag Daily Prompt (temperature), Word of the Day Challenge (passion), and Your Daily Word Prompt (broadsword).