Anniversary Trip

8FA3803F-C185-45A4-9287-C4CD46D7857AFrank walked up behind his wife, who was sitting at the kitchen table with a bunch of papers spread out on the top. “Whatcha doing, hon?” he asked.

Andrea jumped. “Jesus, you startled me,” she said. Why do you always sneak up like you’re stalking me? Don’t do that.”

“Sorry, sweetie,” Frank said. “You were so engrossed in whatever it is you’re up to.”

“I’m up to planning our twentieth anniversary trip,” Andrea said.

“That’s cool. What are you thinking about?”

“I’m thinking about two weeks abroad,” she said.

“Abroad? You mean like in a foreign country?”

“I am, indeed,” Andrea said. “Don’t you think that sounds exciting?”

“Not to me it doesn’t,” Frank said. “Why go someplace where everyone speaks a different language.”

“Oh come on Frank. We’ve never been overseas,” Andrea said. “Don’t you want to expand your horizons? Or would you rather me brand you as a stick in the mud?”

“I think we need to change the narrative here,” Frank said. “There are plenty of places right here in the good old USofA that we haven’t been to yet. You know what Trump says, right? ‘America First.’”

“Oh please, Frank, don’t start quoting that asshole Donald Trump to me.” Andrea stood up, swept all of the papers onto the floor, and said, “You can go celebrate our twentieth anniversary in America with your buddy Donald Trump. I’m going abroad.” Then she rushed out of the kitchen.

Frank went running after her. “Andrea, sweetie, what’s your hurry?”


Written for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (stalk), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (abroad), Word of the Day Challenge (foreign), Swimmers (brand), Your Daily Word Prompt (narrative), and The Daily Spur (hurry).

Tip Your Server

“Too esoteric? What do you mean by that?” Rachel asked her roommate.

“I think your presentation doesn’t quite convey the underlying message you were trying to get across,” Janice said.

Rachel gave Janice a quizzical look. “How did I not get my message across? I showed all of the patterns that led to my conclusions. What more could I have done?”

“Yes, you covered the topic well, though you’re not considering your audience,” Janice said. “You’ll be presenting to a room full of millennials and the language you’re using in your presentation is too technical. I think you need to dumb it down a little.”

“But you and I are millennials. Are you suggesting that people our age are too stupid to understand what I’m talking about?”

“Oh Rachel, not at all,” Janice said. “But you’re an economist and your presentation is not likely to be understood by people who are not in the field. I think you need to turn it into something that people who don’t specialize in economics can relate to.”

“So you’re suggesting that I turn my highly researched, well-documented presentation into a virtual stand up comedy routine?” Rachel said. “This is for a classroom lecture, not a comedy club.”

Janice laughed. “Well, just make sure you remind the audience to tip their servers.”


Written for these daily prompts: Your Daily Word Prompt (esoteric), Swimmers (convey), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (quizzical), Ragtag Daily Prompt (patterns), Swimmers (though), The Daily Spur (turn), and Word of the Day Challenge (virtual).

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).

Keeper of the Bloom

F1481FBF-F860-468E-9F2C-46A6F7F62B33How many years had it been since she, as a young child, had been plucked from what was a serene and unassuming life down in the valley? It seemed like it was forever ago that she had been chosen as the keeper of the bloom at the top of the tower.

“Even in your youth, child, you have demonstrated the right amount of courage to take on this challenge,” the elders told her when she was a little girl decades ago. “You must be diligent in your duties to care for and water our sacred flowering plant,” they told her. “It was placed there by God for us to demonstrate our love and devotion to Him. Should the bloom fade and the plant die, so, too, will the people of this valley, for we will have betrayed His love and will no longer receive His protection. Do your bidding, child, and all will be well. Do you understand?”

“Yes,” the little girl responded demurely.

“At the end of each day, upon your return from the tower, you will report to a designated member of the Council of Elders to let him know that you’ve completed your daily task,” the elders instructed.

An old lady now, it took her all day to reach the top of the tower, water the plant, and return to the valley far below. But there was no Council of Elders to report to anymore. No elders at all, in fact. Despite keeping the plant at the top of the tower alive, she must somehow have failed. Despite dutifully carrying out her charge over the decades, God had forsaken the people of the valley, and only she, now a gnarled, hunched over old lady, yet survived.

And on this day, as she completed her task and made her way down the steep, winding tower steps, the old lady stepped on the valley floor, looked around at the empty, barren landscape and uttered her last words. “Fuck this shit. I’m done.”


Written for Hélène Vaillant’s What Do You See? photo prompt. Also for these daily prompts: Your Daily Word Prompt (serene), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (chosen), Word of the Day Challenge (keeper), Ragtag Daily Prompt (courage), and The Daily Spur (report).

Float Like a Butterfly

CDFACB19-76BE-46F7-8302-D03B93AAA666“With that mouth of yours, you’re lucky someone hasn’t yet knocked that shit-eating grin off your face,” Jimmy said.

Ted was sitting at a piano in the bar playing a tune. “I’m too fast for that, my friend. As Muhammed Ali used to say, ‘I float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.’”

“You wish,” Jimmy said. “Putting you and Ali in the same sentence is like putting lipstick on a pig and calling it Julia Roberts.”

“Well, Julia Roberts has some pretty impressive lips,” Ted said, without halting his piano playing.

A couple of young men walked into the bar making a lot of noise and acting aggressively.

“Hey you two, tone it down a little will you please? I’m playing here.” Ted yelled at the new arrivals.

The two men walked over to Ted. One of them said, “Were you talking to us?” While Ted was looking at the man who addressed him, the other man smashed a fist into Ted’s face.

Ted fell onto the floor and Jimmy rushed over to assist him and called out to the bartender, “Call 9-1-1!”

At that, the two rambunctious men quickly fled the bar. “Float like a butterfly, huh?” Jimmy said to Ted.

“I was blindsided,” Ted complained.

“Yeah, well meanwhile that bruise on your cheek is swelling and turning a lovely verdant shade,” Jimmy said. “But don’t worry, Ted. I’ll just tell everyone that you got stung by a bee.”


Written for Paula Light’s Three Things Challenge, where the three things are “lipstick,” “piano,” and “butterfly.” Also for these daily prompts: The Daily Spur (mouth), Word of the Day Challenge (lucky), Your Daily Word Prompt (rambunctious), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (meanwhile), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (verdant).