Sunday Photo Fiction — The Catastrophe

9C22FBEE-4567-460D-B33E-76F8813222F4“Your desire to indiscriminately cut costs and to stay under budget is what led to this catastrophe,” the mayor said. “The time to talk is over. We must take action in order to ensure that nothing like this happens again in the future.

“We’ve has this conversation before,” objected a city council member from the other party. “No one could possibly have anticipated that the scaffolding, which had been erected for additional seating at the music festival, would collapse when that sudden, violent thunderstorm blew through the fairgrounds.”

“Nonsense!” the mayor shouted. “Your council awarded the contract to the low bidder. You knew they had to cut corners in order to get the contract. Ladies and gentlemen, there’s no middle ground here. You need to take responsibility for this totally avoidable disaster.”

The mayor picked up a large blowup of a photograph that had been mounted on poster board and set it on a tripod. “Look at this devastation,” he said. “It’s a miracle that no one was killed from the collapse. Our role, as the city’s leaders, is to deal with this and I suggest that if you can’t stand the heat, you need to get out of the kitchen.”

(199 words)

Written for today’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt from Donna McNicol. Photo credit: Pixabay. Also for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (talk), Your Daily Word Prompt (future), The Daily Spur (conversation), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (middle), and Daily Addictions (kitchen). Sorry Word of the Day Challenge, but I couldn’t fit “sensual” into this post and still keep it to no more than 200 words.

Weekend Writing Prompt — Delicate

72924BC3-E99A-4333-9F93-FF7BBAD1E46E“I can’t help it that I’m high strung. What can I say? I’m an emotional and caring person,” Charlotte said.

First, Charlotte, you don’t have to be defensive about being a caring person,” Alice said. “There’s nothing wrong with wanting to take care of your yard.”

“To me, the simplicity of yard work is very fulfilling,” Charlotte said. “Listening to the radio, tending to the flowers, the bushes, and the lemon and orange trees brings me so much pleasure. And it’s not something just anyone can do, you know. It’s delicate work. It take a special skill, a green thumb.”

“Whatever floats your boat,” Alice said.

(106 words)

B495597C-AB51-420C-A191-7ECE6044F5D0Written for Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt, where we are challenged to write a poem or piece of prose using the word “delicate” in exactly 106 words. Because Sammi was generous with the word count for this prompt, I’ve included these daily prompts from yesterday: Word of the Day Challenge (emotional), Daily Addictions (caring), Ragtag Daily Prompt (simplicity), The Daily Spur (radio), and Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (anyone).

Also written for yesterday’s inaugural edition of Di’s Three Things Challenge, where the words were “first,” “orange, and “yard.”

The Melting Pot Society

A8CB24F1-15EC-430D-98A8-6C1FE9C544B3“America was founded on the notion of its ability to assimilate others into its newly developing society,” the teacher said. “All races, religions, and national origins were welcomed to our shores.”

One of the students slapped his knee and got a sardonic grin on his face. “Yeah, right,” he said, sarcastically.

The teacher looked over at the student. “Well, Darnell, aren’t you the precocious one this morning. “Is there something you’d like to say to the class?”

“Yeah,” Darnell said. “My great great grandparents were kidnapped from their ancestral homes in Africa and brought over here in slave ships. Once here, they were forced into slavery by their white European masters. Is that what you call the the notion of assimilation?”

Dakota stood up and said, “And how well did those of white European heritage assimilate my Native American ancestors into their newly developing society?”

Then Jose shouted out, “And even now, white Americans are balking at trying to assimilate people of my Mexican heritage.”

The teacher sighed. “Okay, scratch what I said about assimilation. As the next generations of Americans, it is going to be up to you to combat this racism and divisiveness and to unite us all into the diverse, heterogeneous, melting pot society the United States was intended to be.”

Written for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (assimilate), The Daily Spur (knee), Ragtag Daily Prompt (sardonic), Your Daily Word Prompt (precocious), Daily Addictions (scratch), and Word of the Day Challenge (unite).

Death With Dignity?

298F0D1C-D219-44A0-891A-D7E7D43FA959“Listen, I know I’m no spring chicken. Sure, I’m out of touch with all the latest technologies and I’m not, as the kids say, ‘with it.’ But is it fair to expect me to pay a penalty for being a bit of a troglodyte? I don’t think so. I don’t even know why I’m here.”

I was in a dark room standing in front of a giant screen. I was looking up at an image of a woman. An exceptional woman. A stunning woman. She was staring back at me with piercing eyes. I felt as if those eyes were penetrating me, reaching down deep into my very soul. The whole scenario was freaking me out; she was freaking me out.

“Stop!” a sultry, but, at the same time, a brash voice coming from the screen said.

“Stop what?” I asked. “I’m just standing here watching your image on this screen. I don’t even no why I’m here.”

“You are here because you are elderly and are a drain on society and our country,” the voice said. It seemed to be coming from the woman on the screen, but her lips weren’t moving. “You are costing society more than you are contributing, so you have been deemed to no longer be cost effective nor a worthwhile investment for the government.”

“I see,” I said, feeling like quite the underdog. “So what happens next?” I asked.

“You will be assigned a death with dignity counselor who will walk you through your euthanasia process,” the voice said. “Do you understand?”

“I do,” I said. “I was wrong. I’m not an underdog. I’m being put down like an actual dog. It’s really too bad that life experience and the wisdom of age is no longer valued in our society. Is this really what our so-called leader meant when he said he was going to make our country great again?”

Written for the September Speculative Fiction Prompt from Carol J Forrester. Speculative Fiction is a genre of fiction that encompasses works in which the setting is other than the real world, involving supernatural, futuristic, or other imagined elements. Photo credit: Pixabay Free Image.

Also for these daily prompts: Daily Addictions (spring), The Daily Spur (penalty), Ragtag Daily Prompt (troglodyte), Your Daily Word Prompt (exceptional), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (brash), and Word of the Day Challenge (underdog).

FFfPP — Stay Away From Spicy Foods

E9C58511-94C4-40ED-8DA9-57ECD141D1ECIt was pure happenstance that Tina had just left a class in emergency first aid when she encountered a man on the sidewalk outside of a restaurant who appeared to be having a heart attack. A crowd of people had gathered around him. Normally an aloof and indifferent person who hated to have an audience, Tina sprung into action. There was no time to evaluate, just to act.

She told one bystander to call 9-1-1. As she started the chest depressions, she saw a young woman who was in tears and was a basket case. Tina looked up at her. “What’s your name, honey? Can you tell me what happened to him?”

“I’m Dana and he’s my father,” the young woman said. “He knows he’s supposed to stay away from spicy foods, but he’s such a stubborn old coot and never listens.”

“Dana, I think I’ve got him stabilized. The EMTs are on their way and will transport your dad to the hospital,” Jenny said. “You should notify his primary care physician.”

“Thank you so much,” Dana said. “You saved his life. How can I ever repay you?”

“Just keep your dad away from spicy foods.”

(196 words)

Written for this week’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner from Roger Shipp. Photo credit: Gaborfromhungary at

Also for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (happenstance), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aloof), The Daily Spur (audience), Weekly Prompts (evaluate), Daily Addictions (basket), Word of the Day Challenge (spicy), and Your Daily Word Prompt (notify).