fortune teller

“welcome. come in and sit down.”
“ha ha. this was a birthday gift. needless to say, i don’t believe in any of this.”
“just the same, i want to give you your money’s worth. coffee or tea?”
“well … sure … coffee please.”
“here you are … now i’ll just lay out the cards … so … you’ve met someone or you are going to meet someone.”
“ha. that would be annie.”
“you are attracted to annie.”
“sure. who wouldn’t be?”
“but there are difficulties.”
“what kind of difficulties?”
“you are shy. your position is a modest one. you have been unlucky in love.”
“now hang on … i’m … but the coffee is good…”
“bottomless cup. let me top you off.”
“thanks … so … you’re saying it’s hopeless?”
“is annie beautiful?”
“well … not really. but she’s beautiful to me, if you know what i mean.”
“is she above you … in position … is she smarter than you?”
“look, i’m not an idiot. i’ve had plenty of experience … or bad luck … but annie, she’s just, you know, a young lady new on the job. you say i’m shy, but if i am, she is too. is she smarter than me? probably in some ways but not in others … one of my friends … well, one of the guys , was making fun of her. what an idiot. i told him to shut up, he was acting like a jerk. i told him she was definitely better looking and smarter than he was.”
“have you asked her out?”
“no, not yet … so you’re the fortune teller. tell me my fortune.”
“you’re going to ask her out and then you’re going to come back here next week and tell me what happened.”

for Sunday Writing Prompt


male lark’s strong ascent
falcon’s descent the fastest
creaky, i go slow

for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Saturday Mix

the raid

The open sky stretched from sand to horizon and the riders advanced on the oasis.

“pops, i have to use the bathroom.”
“we’re almost there. once we’ve pillaged the place, you can use their restroom.”
“i can’t wait. i’ll stop here and go behind a sand dune.”
“son, this is your first raid. man up. you can hold it. we’ll kill everyone quick. you’ll see.”
“i can’t swing my scimitar like this. i’ll have an accident. their last sight will be the stains on my black robe.”
“can you do your business on your mount? while we ride along?”
“eww, are you kidding?”
“all right, go. but if we’re done before you get there, you won’t get one of the girls we spare.”
“will i still get a boy, to be my slave?”

for First Line Friday

new start

the dust has settled
earth sets out on a new path
we are not included

the earth, inventing new life in its random way while whiling away the days, years, eras, and eons, continents drifting, occasionally starts over from scratch, following, say, the arrival of that meteor the size of a city, or a plant/animal imbalance leading to an excess of oxygen or carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. following, that is, a major extinction event.

fred realized that such a new start was in the offing. a sort of impending adventure. who could guess, who could predict, what new life forms would emerge? that’s the thing about events termed “emergent”: they’re unpredictable.

however, fred did understand that there was an element of the adventure that was perfectly predictable. neither he nor anyone else was going to be around to see it.

for Tale Weaver


our duty, to save
those in danger.
to be brave,
helping a stranger.

the surging wave
traps a man
in a cave.
we do what we can.

they say we gave
all we could give
and went to the grave
so that he could live.

for Saturday Mix – Rhyme Time


Photo by mh cheraghi on

trees feed multitudes
who wait for the leaves that fall
i eat the apples

for Mind Love Misery Menagerie Photo Challenge


the human weight on
this worn planet warns us all
not to wait or else

for Saturday Mix

a visit

Jaime spent the whole day browsing the antique store and left with just one thing.

that’s all I have to go on. a fifteen-word voicemail. to produce an exoneration in a felony prosecution.

by “the entire day” did hassan mean the daylight hours, which here in the north span the time between ten in the morning and two in the afternoon? or did he mean the time that jaime was awake; that is, from him getting out of bed until the time he goes to bed again? he gets out of bed, gets dressed, goes to the store, browses, buys or steals, goes home. puts on his winter pjs and goes to bed. i’ll add in time for food and bathroom breaks. and a bath and shower. and some time for him to deal with that thing. wrap it as a gift or bury it or whatever. Another thing is, english is hassan’s second or third language. does he understand the nuances of the word browse? does he understand that in this situation, browse jaime would be looking over things for sale in a leisurely and casual way? maybe jaime wasn’t leisurely and casual. maybe he was furtive. does hassan even know what furtive means? probably. he knows a lot more big words than i do and that’s only counting english. who knows how many words he knows in those other languages? he’s rather well-off as well. i can picture him browsing … One more drink and I’ll go to bed and think this whole thing over.

for First Line Friday

what have we here

found objects, lying forgotten on the ground
or in the gutter
a mitten, a note, an infant’s shoe
or seen from Olympus
the world and everything in it

for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge

new job

when i got this job, they told me i’d be a “guardian” and i thought wow. big step up from my position as bag boy at the vegetable stand. come to find out, i walk a route around the keep three times a shift to confirm the dragons are still there and haven’t flown off or been stolen. the rest of my time is spent cleaning dragon poop out of the lairs, dodging blasts of flame in my asbestos guardian suit, and filling troughs with dragon chow. once a week i do a count of the eggs, adjusting the temperature on the warming blankets depending on egg age. when the eggs hatch i’m the one feeding the infants dragon formula from cast-iron bottles with nipples made from hollowed-out gneiss chunks. the good news: i’m ripped.

do dragons ever make friends with guardians, seeing as how we feed them, babysit for them and clean up after them? no.

for Sunday Writing Prompt