#writephoto — Appreciate the Calm Serenity

510733DB-B841-4BED-837E-82805DD71436Lenny sat down on the sand, took a deep breath, and let out a long, heavy sigh.

“Are you okay?” his wife asked, sitting down next to him.

“No, I’m far from okay,” he said. “The whole world is topsy-turvy, empathy and civility have disappeared, political and societal norms are fractured, our democratic institutions are crumbling, and everything we know and have trusted is being sabotaged by those in power right in front of our eyes.”

“I know, honey,” Lorraine said. “That’s why we’re here. To escape that nonsense, even for just a few days. You need to stop thinking about it, clear your mind, recharge your batteries, and appreciate the calm serenity of this place.”

“Unless we stay here forever, there’s no escape from what is happening to our country.” Lenny lamented.

“Lenny, when we were young, we were activists,” Lorraine said. “We protested the Vietnam war. We marched with Dr. King, we fought for environmental protections, we worked to support progressive candidates.”

“I know,” Lenny said. “We’re old now. We’re in our seventies. We need to hand over the torch to the younger generation. It’s their future, not ours, that is on the line.”

“Exactly,” said Lorraine. “We need to make the most of our golden years and pass the baton to our kids. It’s their problem now. They have a vested interest in turning things around and making our country and the world a better, friendlier, and more livable place.”

“Right,” Lenny said. “And our kids will look back at us and wonder how we screwed things up so badly. Our legacy will be that we destroyed their future almost beyond repair.”

Now it was Lorraine’s turn take a deep breath to and let out a long, heavy sigh. “You always have a way of ruining even the most serene moment, don’t you? Thanks a lot, you crotchety old fart. Now I’m in a bad mood.”

Written for this week’s Thursday Photo Prompt from Sue Vincent.

#writephoto — Just the Tip

D1C5DF4D-B48E-44B4-9B22-68E3F3369795“Isn’t it beautiful here? So idyllic, so serene,” she said.

“Let’s go skinny dipping,” he said.

“What? No way,” she said.

“Oh come on, babe. It’s not like we haven’t seen each other naked,” he said.

“But what if someone sees us?” she asked.

“Look around, babe. We’re alone. We haven’t seen another living soul since we got here. Strip down and I’ll race you to the that grass-covered arch over there,” he said.

“Okay, fine,” she said.

They both stripped down and jumped in the water.

“The water is cold,” he said. Then he screamed, “Ouch!” and jumped out of the water.

“What happened?” she asked.

He pointed to a school of tiny fish. “Those damn little minnows were nibbling on the tip of my….”

Written for the Thursday Photo Prompt from Sue Vincent.

#writephoto — Disturbance at the Asylum

BD254A62-9BBB-4F37-A8E9-977A02118184Officers Martin and Lewis were dispatched to the old asylum after reports of a disturbance at the facility had been called in. The building had been abandoned years earlier and there had been periodic stories of the halls of the asylum for the criminally insane being haunted by the souls of some of its former inmates.

Even though this wasn’t the first time that officers Martin and Lewis had been sent to investigate strange noises at the asylum, they were never comfortable going into the old building. Every floor had these long, dark corridors that resembled catacombs. There were a dozen or more doors on either side of the hallways that opened into the small rooms that had occupied by the inmates back in the day. The place was just downright creepy.

The two detectives slowly walked up the steps to the second floor. Martin said, “You go down the left hall, I’ll head to the right.”

“D-d-don’t you think we should stick together,” Lewis said. “This place scares the bejeezus outta me.”

“Oh please, Lewis, don’t be such a wuss,” Martin said. “There are no boogiemen around to get you.”

“Fine,” said Lewis. Both men switched on their flashlights, and with service revolvers at the ready, headed in opposite directions.

About a minute into their walkthrough, officer Martin heard the crack of a pistol shot followed by a bloodcurdling scream coming from the other wing of the hallway. “Lewis, Lewis, are you all right?”

Martin ran down the hall and flung open the doors of each room until he found the one Lewis was in. “Jesus Christ!” Martin exclaimed.

And then everything went black.

Written for this week’s Thursday Photo Prompt from Sue Vincent.

#writephoto — Society’s Burden

A063B15A-5050-49BF-9AFF-07B9C59CAAA3First thing every morning, without delay, Doug would go to the tall stone wall. He’d take a deep breath and inhale the sweet fragrances carried by the breezes coming from the other side. The scents reminded him of his youth and the aroma from the rose garden in the backyard of his childhood home. The smells would only increase his desire to know what mysteries lay beyond the thick wooden gate. Always locked, though, that gate kept him inside of the perimeter of the old stone walls.

Doug had spent most of his life within the walls of the asylum. Society had deemed him, and others like him, to be too great a burden. The accident when he was five had cost him his mobility and confined him to life in a wheelchair. He was taken from his mother and father to be “cared for” by the State. It was in his and society’s best interests, his parents were told. They would have to sacrifice their son to the care of the State for the greater good of society.

It had been nearly twenty-five years since his confinement began. He was completely shut off from the outside world. They explained to him that, given his special needs, he would be too much of a burden to others and to society to be on the outside. The handicapped and disabled had unique needs and requirements, he was told, that could only be accommodated behind thick stone walls in asylums like this one.

But the State had limited resources and the law required that those who resided within the walls and who could not function on their own as able-bodied members of society by the time they were thirty would be humanely transitioned to the next world, where their spirits were not broken, as their bodies were in this world. In all of his time inside the stone walls, Doug had never known of any other “residents” who were reintegrated into the world outside.

Doug took one more deep breath and then slowly wheeled himself back to the residence building. Today was his thirtieth birthday and Doug knew that he would never again smell the scent of the roses.

Written for this week’s Thursday Photo Prompt from Sue Vincent. Also for these daily prompts prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (delay), Your Daily Word Prompt (inhale), Ragtag Daily Prompt (rose), The Daily Spur (increase), and Word of the Day Challenge (sacrifice).

#writephoto — Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

E5777421-C875-4134-97FC-137DC8499105“Wow,” Sean said, “turn around and look at the sunset. Spectacular, huh?”

“Yeah, that’s quite a view,” Craig said sarcastically. “We gotta get moving. It’s getting dark.”

“So do you know where you’re going?” Denise asked.

“Of course he doesn’t,” Sean snapped.

“Why do you always feel the need to make any situation more difficult?” Craig said, his irritation with Sean readily apparent.

Denise gave her brother a dirty look. “And why does everything with you have to end up being a pissing contest, for crissake?”

Craig glared at his sister. “Well, if your supposedly rich boyfriend wasn’t such a friggin’ cheapskate, he would have rented a boat that wouldn’t have taken on water, sunk, and almost drowned us all. Now we’re stuck on some godforsaken peninsula in who knows where.”

“Listen to you,” Denise said. “You’re complaining that he’s a cheapskate when just last week you called him a spendthrift because he spent fifteen grand on that Harley motorcycle. There’s just no pleasing you, is there?”

“Hey, don’t give your brother a hard time, Denise,” Sean said. “My father always tells me I don’t know how to manage money. He says I’m penny wise and pound foolish. Now let’s see if we can find some shelter for the night.”

Written for the Thursday Photo Prompt from Sue Vincent. Also for these daily prompts from yesterday: Ragtag Daily Prompt (view), The Daily Spur (dark), Your Daily Word Prompt (difficult), Word of the Day Challenge (contest), and Fandango’s Daily Prompt (spendthrift).