spontaneous

i was asked to speak, later in the week.

bring in a theme, they said, but address it extemporaneously.

off the cuff.

improvised. unrehearsed.

later, after i had taken the dais and utter silence ensued, i explained to everyone that they had witnessed the spontaneous combustion of an impromptu speech.

our apples


Photo by Annie Spratt

one bad apple spoils the whole barrel

so let’s get rid of the barrel

make all not some classrooms  clean and well-lit

pay our teachers

at a level commensurate with their importance

the importance of teachers always being high

support them in their on-going training

lay in and replenish teaching materials

 

rotten apples cannot be made fresh

but bad children

whatever bad means exactly

can be helped

supported, guided

taught

doctors heal

we appreciate and reward them

teachers heal too

 

For 100 Week Wednsday

head shot

 

take a good look, buddy. frogs are going extinct, in case you haven’t heard. why? nobody knows for sure but maybe it’s because there aren’t enough princesses around anymore. all due respect to meghan markle but her attire choices on Suits had me scratching my head the whole time.

 

Photo by Couleur at Pixabay.com
For Twittering Tales

village in the woods

 

We lived in the small town of Santa Flora, California, deep in the Modoc National Forest, close to the Oregon line. Our home was a modest cabin, surrounded by trees. Everyone knew everyone in Santa Flora.

After five years of drought, the forest was tinder dry. Trees were dying. The Selby fire started the night of September 20th. We never found out why. Probably lightning, out in the wilderness.

When we were first alerted, there was no panic.The fire was miles away. Then the winds whipped up, some of them created by the fire itself. The fire wasn’t miles away anymore. Smoke jumpers from California and other states began arriving.

Santa Flora burnt to the ground. Nothing left standing but chimneys.

No residents were killed or injured. We evacuated in an orderly fashion.

It was the forest wildlife and many of our pets who suffered. We couldn’t find our eighteen-year-old cat. She perished.

 

Photo by Enisa
For FFfAW

Words: 155

they fight crime

“You there! Thomas Baker! Wake up!”

“I’m not asleep… First Lady.”

“Good Lord, call me Susan. I know you weren’t sleeping. You were brooding. They say you’re plagued by the memory of your family’s brutal murder.”

“Well, it just happened yesterday. A little soon for me to be plagued and brooding. I’m still somewhere between disbelief and anger. Plus when my face heals, it’s going to be covered with scars. So I was just day-dreaming about what I’ll do when I catch the killers.”

“That’s a lot of exposition right there, Tom, but you are a film-maker.”

“I am. I like to set the stage. For example, I know that you’re extravagant and a man-hater. You were First Lady for eight years. You hate your man. Also, you have the power to see death.”

“That’s correct. I’d say the stage is now set for action. I’m here to fight crime and I want you to help me.”

“All right, but hang on. The extravagance thing. I’ve seen some costumes but that getup you’re wearing is something else.”

“Designer. Cost thousands, and I’ll change for dinner.”

“Just so you know, I’m pressed for cash.”

“It’s on me, Tom. All on me.”

“The other thing is, you can see death?”

“Yes.”

“What does that mean?”

“It means I can see him. The black robe, the skull, the scythe.”

“You see him,  you know, killing people?”

“No,  just coming and going, from place to place. Gliding along like he’s on a hoverboard, but without any sudden flames.”

“Do you speak to him?”

“Just to say hello. As First Lady I did a lot of meet-and-greet. I’ve shaken Death’s hand.”

“Bones?”

“Cold bones, indeed. Hand bones connected to the wrist bone.”

“OK. Let’s go catch the guys that murdered my family.”

“Saddle up, Tom. You can film the proceedings on your iPhone.”

“What’s our first step? I’m not sure I could handle the crime scene, even if they’ve got all the family bodies cleared out. And the pets. Their corpses, I mean. The killers didn’t spare the pets. Not even little Sparky. I mean, kill the grandparents and spouse and all the kids, and the adult pets, but that’s where I draw the line.”

“Quite so. We won’t need to visit the crime scene.”

“How do we find our first clue?”

“Our first clue? My dear boy, we don’t need clues. All we need is to know who committed the crime and we don’t need clues for that.”

“How are we going to find out then?”

“Obviously, we’re going to go ask Death.”

“Aha. What if he won’t tell us?”

“What an odd question. I’m the beloved former First Lady. Of course he’ll tell us. Follow me, out the door, down the stairs, onto the passing bus, off at the hospital, because Death spends a lot of time here. Into the wards and lo and behold, there he is, leaning over that fat man.”

“We’re post-fat shaming, you know.”

“Extraordinary. Oh, Death? Excuse me, but could you let that fellow live a bit longer. I’ve a quick question or two… Thank you…

“You see the brooding film-maker over there? Can you tell me please who brutally murdered his kin?”

I don’t know about brutal or murder, but of course I took them all. Including little Sparky. And thanks to Terry Pratchett for my little appearance here, by the way, RIP Terry.

“You know what I’m asking. Who handed the kin off to you, so to speak?”

The brooder did.

“The brooder himself? No wonder he’s brooding.”

He’s brooding because he didn’t capture the whole thing properly on his phone like he planned. Ever since Tangerine came out, he’s been obsessed with making a movie that way.

“Tangerine is an excellent film.”

Yes, I recommend it. Not the life style in it though. Injurious to your health.

“All right then. Another mystery solved. Thank you, Death.”

You’re welcome. Do you want me to take the brooder now? Save the cost of a trial?

“No. I’m extravagant. I’ll need to buy numerous new outfits. It’ll be a show trial. Tom will film the whole thing as well. A final documentary. Before the end credits roll, he’ll include a simple dedication onscreen to the memory of Little Sparky.”

 

For terribleminds Friday Flash Fiction

Prompt: He’s a scar-faced day-dreaming filmmaker plagued by the memory of his family’s brutal murder. She’s a man-hating extravagant former first lady with the power to see death. They fight crime!

getting away from it all

 

It’s not as hard to sit on the edge of a tall building as you might think. Philippe Petit did it before wire-walking between the twin towers of the World Trade Center.

Every building is different, but one way or another, most are not perfectly secure.

I have sat on the edge of buildings higher than fifty stories in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit (the easiest), Atlanta, Los Angeles (money had to change hands). and San Francisco (where I was the highest).

I never lost concentration, slipping off, and a sudden gust of wind only caught me once.

 

Photo by Yeshi Kangrang
For 100 Word Wednesday

our home

 

honey, i’m home.

don’t forget to take off your shoes.

it’s a mile to the bedroom. my slippers are worn out.

i just had the floors refinished. go about in your socks if you please.

fine. how was your day?

i’ve had work started on the new rooms.

my lord. it’s like the winchester mystery house.

not in the least. every room has a purpose. all part of the plan. did you see my new sculpture by the water?

the stack of rocks?

yes. i call it the holy trinity and my soul.

yes… did the fellow come to clear out the water snakes?

no, i forgot about that. just too busy.

i thought our visitors might feel more secure in any aquatic activities without the need to be vigilant for poisonous reptiles.

our visitors?

the refugess. one hundred of them. i’ve invited them to stay. remind the cook please.

but my floors…

not to worry. they’re quite shoeless.

 

Photo by Sandra Crook
For Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple