#WDYS — A Bird in the Hand

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
A small bird in the hand would be easy to crush
Not that I would ever do such a thing
I want to hear that little bird sing

But wait little bird, what have you done?
Did you just drop a tiny turd in my palm?
You need to hop from my hand and fly away
I can’t be responsible for you if you stay

Written for Sadje’s What Do You See? prompt. Photo credit: Evan Clark @ Unsplash.

#WDYS — No Escape

He was exhausted. He was hot, tired, and oh so thirsty. He looked around, praying to find some cover from the hot desert sun.

He didn’t know if he’d be able to survive this ordeal. He thought back to how he got here and the state of flux in the society of the country he lived in and once loved.

He had been active in the protests against the government and its leader, who had become more and more autocratic since he assumed office. He thought that participating in peaceful demonstrations, something guaranteed, along with freedom of speech, by the First Amendment of the Constitution, would serve to protect him from persecution.

Some of his close friends warned him about being so persnickety and inflexible when it came to the state of our nation. But he was resolute in his efforts to right the wrongs. How could he have known that his actions would lead to his being arrested and thrown into prison with no due process.

It was almost a fluke that he was able to escape his cage-like jail cell, but there was nowhere for him to escape to. Just brown sand as far as his eyes could see.

Written for Sadje’s What Do You See? prompt. Photo credit: Dan Grinwis – Unsplash. Also for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (exhausted), The Daily Spur (cover), Your Daily Word Prompt (flux), Word of the Day Challenge (persnickety), and Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (cage).

#WDYS — All That Glitters is Not Gold

DE2C7620-9BFD-47B8-B268-5FD04337F424“What difference does it make, anyway?” Tina asked. “I don’t need your approval nor anyone else’s, for that matter. I don’t live my life to please you or at your behest.”

“It’s just that you’ve been acting so despondent lately, my dear,” Alec said. “I thought putting on some face paint and dressing up for the annual Harvest Festival dance tonight might lighten your spirits a bit. And it’s for a good, benevolent cause, too.”

“I don’t know,” Tina said. “I look ridiculous.”

“Actually, you look quite fetching, Tina,” Alec said. He turned off the overhead light, grabbed a handheld black light, turned it on, and aimed it toward her face. “Here, look at yourself in the mirror, my dear. See how glamorous you look with all of the glow paint and glitter.”

“This is too much,” Tina said. “The way you painted my face, I don’t know if I look more like a clown or some sort of malevolent spirit.” With that, Tina stood up, went into the bathroom, and washed the makeup off of her face.

Written for this week’s What Do You See? prompt from Sadje. Photo credit: Lucas Pezeta at Pexels. Also for these daily prompts: The Daily Spur (difference), Jibber Jabber (approval), Your Daily Word Prompt (behest), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (despondent), Ragtag Daily Prompt (harvest), and Word of the Day Challenge (benevolent).

What Do You See? — Tea Time

AF6253A1-D098-47E2-96FC-BB67104F3FE5“I don’t like this. I don’t like this one bit. Let’s get outta here now,” Brian said.

“Oh stop being such a wuss,” Ed said.

“But something is not kosher here,” Brian said. “This old place has been vacant for years, so how do you explain that?” Brian pointed to what looked like a new tea set neatly arranged on the table top.

“I don’t know,” Ed admitted. “Did you tell anyone that we were coming to this old place today, that we were going to be hunting for ghosts?”

“I might have told Carolyn something,” Brian confessed.

“Well, there you go,” Ed said. “You know how Carolyn is. She’s a practical joker. I bet she’s pranking us.”

“No, I don’t think Carolyn would do that,” Brian said. “No way she’d step foot inside this place, much less set up tea service for six. I’m not buying it.”

“Well, I’m going to take a picture of this and we’ll get to the bottom of it later when we see Carolyn. I’m sure it was her.” Ed said. He took out his iPhone and snapped a picture, but when he looked at it in his photo file, he let out a gasp.

“What’s the matter?” Brian asked.

Ed held up his iPhone so Brian could see the picture he had just taken. There was no tea service set up on the table. “What the fuck?” Brian said.

Suddenly the room got chillingly cold. A sound from the opposite side of the table caught their attention. The two teenagers looked up from Ed’s iPhone to see a nearly transparent figure sitting in the chair, a sardonic smile on its face. In a ghostly voice, the apparition said, “It’s tea time, boys. Care to join me?”

Written for Sadje’s What Do You See? prompt. Photo credit: 五玄土 ORIENTO at Unsplash.

What Do You See? — Paradise Lost

C6A8FC7D-60F1-4FA1-B1A5-9E178858F66DThe party of six had somehow managed to survive the crash of their small plane when the pilot was able to land it successfully on the sandy shore of a remote mountain lake. They gathered up their possessions, at least as much as each could reasonably carry, and began their trek to try to find civilization before the harsh elements and the lack of more than a few day’s worth of food would be their demise.

Early on the third day of their journey, cold, hungry, and exhausted, the members of the group were starting to lose hope. But then Robert, the pilot, saw something through the mist. “Look, over there,” he said, pointing to what looked like steps carved into the rocky slope leading up toward what appeared to be a structure made from stone. “I don’t know what that is, or if we’ll find anyone there, but if we can get their before dusk, it should provide us some shelter for the night.”

With whatever strength the small group could muster, they headed toward the stone steps. Upon reaching the base, Sondra looked up at what appeared to be a never ending staircase. She fell to her knees and began to cry. “I can’t go on. I just can’t.”

Robert went over to Sondra, put an around around her, and said, “I will help you. If I must, I will carry you. We’ve come too far to stop here.”

George, one of the other passengers, joined Robert, and went to Sondra’s other side. The two men helped her up and the small group proceeded to slowly climb the stone steps.

As they ascended, the mist thickened and temperatures dropped. But just as the members of the small party were about to abandon all hope, the mist cleared, the clouds parted, and standing high up on the stone staircase above them was a tall man with a long, white beard and dressed in a gray robe and hat.

“Who are you and what is this place?” Robert asked the strange man.

“You are at the threshold of Shangri La,” the man said. “I am the High Lama, and the more important questions are who are you and why are you here.”

Robert explained about the plane crash and the trek they had been on. “We are all near exhaustion. We are hungry and need to rest. Can you provide us with some food and shelter until we are strong enough to continue to our journey to return to our homes?”

“You may seek shelter here if you wish,” the High Lama said, “but before you decide to enter Shangri La, you must agree to embrace our ways and understand that once you cross through our portal, you can never leave.”

Sondra once again began to cry. “Will I never be able to see my children again?”

“You must give up all of your worldly possessions and those you love. That is the price of entering Shangri La,” the High Lama said.

“That’s crazy,” George said. “What if we walk through the gates of Shangri La but then choose to leave later?”

“That is unlikely,“ the High Lama said, “but if you do leave, you will wander for the rest of eternity. For once you find paradise, to leave is paradise lost.”

Written for Sadje’s What Do You See? prompt. Image credit: Stefan Keller at Pixabay.