Tatyana-Sanina at DeviantArt.com

as earth’s surface warms
sunlight’s pressure grows stronger
cooler underground

for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge


lions stalk, beavers build
animals don’t have hobbies
post layoff, i do

for Ragtag Daily Prompt

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


i’d say that the virolgists deserve to win one of these weeks. why not this one? there are currently 172 vaccine candidates queued up for testing. most haven’t begun phase one, but many will get there soon. there are a few in phase one and a couple in phase two and one candidate recruiting for phase three. best guess for a successful vaccine, if there is one in this batch: available next summer.

i enjoy listening to the podcast This Week in Virology (TWIV). Most of the dialog goes over my head, but I catch enough to feel that I have a rough idea of what’s going on amongst the researchers and clinicians who staff the program (they are numerous). The podcast has been around awhile, as there are 160+ episodes. It’s a sister to This Week in Evolution, This Week in Microbiology, This Week in Parasites, and This Week in Machine Learning/AI, all worthy podcasts.

listening to the experts makes clear that daily media should be understood as limited in the information it provides – not necessarily biased or otherwise wanting, but limited.

for Who Won This Week?

mr. right

I met my date at the Saint Benedict Hotel. He was sitting in an easy chair with a drink in his hand. First impression: a bit coarse for me. The shaggy distracted look of an armchair anarchist.

“Are you all right?” I said. “I’m Poppy.”

“Where did you spring up from?” he said. “You’ve given me a start.”

“I’ve just come from Westminster,” I said. “I work for the MP from Aberavon.”

“Bloody hell,” he said. “Plague on both your houses.”

“Oi, you are an anarchist.”

“Don’t vote – the government always wins.”

“Speaking of voting,” I said, “so far I’m giving you nought out of ten on the dating site.”

“If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.”

“Ta ta,” I said.

“Hang on,” he said. “I told them you’d pay for the drinks.”

for On-line Writer’s Guild


water flows over
rock for eons carving this nice
scenic canyon view

for Weekend Challenge


roses grown in rows
spanned by spider webs bedewed
my thighs wet with them

for The Sunday Muse


unwelcome blizzard
heavy snow, unready woods
car stuck in driveway


some animals coach
their offspring by example
we just use google

for The Daily Spur

faith vs family

i believe that god gives each of us a body and a situation and it’s up to us to do the best with that. i’ve always treated my body like a temple, not a recreation hall. diet, rest, exercise, meditation. the whole enchilada.

when i fell ill i followed my doctor’s orders. changed my diet for the better, eliminating most of what I liked most. increased my mediation and exercise. took my medicine. this helped for a while but then things took a dire turn. something more needed to be done, something invasive. again i followed orders. doctors rooted around inside me like mechanics repairing an engine. got me back on my feet. all good.

until it wasn’t. strong meds needed. now i was not always in my right mind. just in case, my wife helped me to begin arranging my affairs. the kids came home with the grandkids to make sure we closed any open loops in our relationships while we still could.

at this point, only an organ transplant would save me, but my faith dictated that i go with what i’ve got. my wife and kids and grandkids went to work on me. they kept at it until I had a change of heart.

for Thimbleful Thursday Writing Prompt