The Apparition

Side sitting on a bridge“Am I hallucinating or is that girl sitting with her back parallel to the ground on the bridge side rail?” Hal said. “I must be seeing things because she’s defying gravity.”

“What girl?” Rich asked. “I don’t see any girl on that bridge.”

“Dammit, quit bustin’ my chops, Rich,” Hal snapped. “She’s right there, in the middle of the damn bridge. She’s wearing a black dress, she’s barefoot, and she’s blonde and stunningly beautiful. How can you not see her?”

“Wait a minute, Hal, do you hear yourself?” Rich said. “You’re describing Annie.”

“Well, yeah, she does kind of remind me of Annie, but Annie’s gone,” Hal said.

“Yes, she is, Hal,” Rich said. “But you described what she was wearing the day they found her body by the creek. She had on a short black dress and she was barefoot. Jesus, Hal, is this the bridge that runs over the creek where they found her?”

Hal, his eyes most, looked around, turned to look at Rich, and said, “Yeah, I think it is.”

Rich walked up to Hal, put his hand on Hal’s shoulder, and said, “Let me take you home, buddy. Annie’s been gone for a year, and as difficult as it may seem right now, you need to move on with your life.”

The two men started walking away when Hal took one last look back at the bridge. The girl was still sitting on the bridge rail in that impossible position. She looked up, smiled and waved at Hal, and then slowly faded away until she completely disappeared.

“Thanks for being a pal,” Hal said to Rich. “I think I’m going to be okay now.”F6B87DF2-9ECB-42EC-9C47-7A9EA6A344E5

Written for this week’s What Do You See? Prompt from Sadje at Keep It Alice. Photo credit: Island perspective by Chloe Smith.

Retiring Dragon

99AFB4A0-ADAB-4B0A-B146-A609D44FE472I’m so tired. I’ve been at this since the beginning of time, flying around up in the jagged mountains, down in the lush, green valleys, over the flowing rivers, and across the deep, blue seas. And there are just so many towns and villages can a dragon burn to cinders and ashes with its fire breath.

And then there are all these irritating little hero wannabes out there with their puny little swords or bows and arrows who want to make a name for themselves by slaying the dragon. Yeah, right. Give me a break. Listen, deep down I’m not a bad guy, but a dragon’s gotta do what a dragon’s gotta do, am I right? It’s in my nature.

But I gotta tell you, this whole shtick is beginning to be a drag on me. Hey, did you see what I did there? It’s a “drag on” me. And I’m a dragon. Ha! Who says dragons don’t have a sense of humor? I bet I coulda been a smash at one of those comedy clubs in the villages if I hadn’t burned them all down by breathing my fire breath on them. That’s what you call bad breath. Ba da bing, ba da boom, eh?

But I digress. Yes, I’m misunderstood, imposing, and feared, but all in all, I’ve had a good run. I think the time has come for me to retire to my lair, to spend my golden years relaxing and binge watching “Game of Thrones” or some other stupid show with their bullshit depictions of dragons. And sure, I may occasionally swoop down and grab a damsel or a knight for a late night snack. Just for grins, you know.

Written for the What Do You See? prompt, now from Sadje, over at Keep It Alive, who has taken this prompt over after the passing of Hélène Vaillant earlier this year. Image credit: Google.

What Do You See? Blasphemy

7274B1DD-0114-412E-B146-8DC16CEB38F9“This is blasphemous,” the high priest cried out. “Those who defaced the holiest of our shrines must pay for their evil deeds.”

“Yes, your Holiness,” one of the squires said in deference. “What would you have us do, sire?”

“Round up all of the usual suspects,” the high priest said. “The Jews, the Muslims, the pagans, the Africans, and the non-believers.”

“And once we have them rounded up?” asked the squire.

“Fool!” admonished the high priest. “You get them to renounce their false gods. Get them to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Get them to repent, to convert, and to atone for their sins and for this act of blasphemy.”

“What if they refuse to renounce, repent, convert, and atone, Your Holiness?” the squire asked.

“Then you must do what must be done,” the high priest said.

“Sire, do you mean…?”

“Yes, that is precisely what I mean,” the high priest said. “Let those heretics and blasphemers spend an eternity burning in Hell.”

Written for this week’s What Do You See? Prompt from Hélène Vaillant.


What’s In The Box, Mom?

252565DF-284E-43AF-82E4-13B9D0C1F586“That salad was delicious,” Stan told his mother. “What was that meat in there? I’ve never tasted anything quite like it.”

“It was the meat from a conch shell,” Arlene said.

Wherever did you get that recipe, Mom?” Carolyn asked.

“Do you remember when your father and I went island hopping last year in the Caribbean?” Arlene asked. “We met an old war buddy of your father’s on St. Thomas. He lives there and he took us to a restaurant that specialized in conch. I persuaded the chef to give me a few conch recipes.”

“It’s really good, Mom,” Stan said, “but why did you ask Carolyn and me to come here tonight? You said you had something important to show us.”

“Yeah, Mom, the anticipation is killing me,” Carolyn said.

“Okay, let me go get it,” Arlene said, as she left the dining room. She returned a few seconds later and placed a square, gift wrapped box in the center of the table. “Voila!” she said.

Stan and Carolyn looked at one another and then looked at their mother. “What is it?” Carolyn asked.

“Read the card,” Arlene said.

Stan reached over and open the card attached to the top of the gift-wrapped box. “It says, ‘Robert, Your Loving Husband. Always Together.’ What does that mean, Mom? What’s inside the box.”

“I finally, after six months, had the courage to pick it up,” Arlene said, a big smile on her face. “Your father’s ashes are inside that beautiful box.”

Written for this week’s What Do You See? prompt from Hélène Vaillant. Also for these daily prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (delicious), Your Daily Word Prompt (wherever), Ragtag Daily Prompt (island), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (war), Weekly Prompts (anticipation), and The Daily Spur (inside).


346C702C-64B8-4B8B-979E-1667DECC26C3Chris knew that she was not the same person everyone thought she was just a few years earlier. She had changed. She had changed to be the person she always knew she was. She wanted to believe that she had evolved. And while most people she knew would acknowledge that Chris had changed, not everyone would concur that she had evolved. In fact, some who knew her thought that the change Chris had gone through was a serious mistake.

Chris was born a caterpillar, and just as a caterpillar goes through a process of metamorphosis, so to did Chris. But in Chris’ case, the metamorphosis she went through was not from caterpillar to a moth or a butterfly. It was more, she felt, like a moth being transformed from a leaf.

She became a completely different person. She went through a major change…of form, structure, and substance. A change not only in appearance, but in character and circumstances, as well. Chris’ metamorphosis was from a human man to a human woman.

From Christopher to Christine.

Written for Hélène Vaillant’s What Do You See? prompt.