Monday, September 1, 2014

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-9





Welcome back! Glad you could join us! So happy to have you! No chit chat today...I have a lot going on and my brain stopped working. So, yeah, go check out the prompt and write us a story! :)



If you haven't read the full version of the rules, go here. Otherwise, here's the short version:

Rules:
1. Start with the given first sentence.
2. Up to 500 words
3. Keep it clean (nothing rated R or above)
4. Optional Special Challenge
5. Stories submitted must be your own work, using characters and worlds that you have created. Sorry, no fanfiction.
6. Include: Twitter/email, word count, Special Challenge accepted
7. The challenge is open for 24 hours on Tuesday EST



Oh, and feel free to change pronounspunctuationtense, and anything in brackets to fit the story/pov/tone. I'm not going to be TOO picky... Our judge however...


Our Judge today is Lori Fetters Lopez. Also known as @fetterslopez. Read her winning tale from last week here! Check out her blog here. Lori's short stories can be found online and in print magazines.  She writes the occasional flash fiction pieces while querying her romantic suspense, thriller, and YA fantasy novels. To pay the bills she works as a Mail Processing Mechanic for the USPS.




 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-9 is:


I bought the [sunshine-yellow bug] because [Fred] said he'd rather be dead than caught [behind the wheel].



 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:


Dialog only and include a magical element or mythical creature.


 
AAAAAAAND WE'RE OFF!!!







25 comments:

  1. Burned

    “I bought the medusa because Fred said he’d rather be dead than caught with a phoenix.”

    “Well, sure. You can’t blame him. Alex—remember him? the cute guy who lives over on King Street?—anyway, he bought a phoenix for his fiftieth birthday, and not two weeks later the house burned down.”

    “Della, Alex is a Fire Lord.”

    “Well, sure, I mean, yeah, there’s that. But still. Phoenix. House burns down. Hello, Captain Obvious.”

    “He was running Fire Festival tryouts in his basement.”

    “You don’t give up, do you? I’m just saying Fred’s smart, avoiding the phoenix. That’s all. Sheesh.”

    “Della, Alex had kids juggling fireballs on the roof!”

    “You’re starting to get on my nerves, Melissa. And you’re totally missing the point. Phoenixes are just a bad idea, is what I’m saying. There’s that other time, the thing in Omaha—”

    “Do you mean the Core leak? Della, do you never check Snopes before quoting this stuff?”

    “I didn’t have to! My cousin Luis saw the whole thing. The Core opened right up under the house with the illegal phoenix farm. You trying to tell me that’s a coincidence, huh?”

    “Forty years ago that neighborhood was a drill zone. The earth’s crust was already weak; of course the Core was going seep through. And what do you mean, Luis saw the whole thing? Isn’t he stationed on Mars these days?”

    “Well, yeah, but—“

    “Hasn’t he been off planet the past five years?”

    “Okay, technically yes, but still, he follows the news. And during the whole Core leak thing, he was totally glued to his TV. Or whatever they call the transcription thinggie they follow news with. It was practically like being there.”

    “So you’re telling me that your cousin who lives on Mars and hasn’t been to Earth in over five years witnessed firsthand that an illegal phoenix farm in Omaha caused the Core leak.”

    “FINE. If you don’t believe Luis, how about your own experience? You gonna deny that one too?”

    “Are you nuts!? What are you even talking about?”

    “We’ve been friends all our lives, and you think I don’t know your little secret?”

    “You know them all. Like the time I kissed my professor at that party—”

    “Yawn. That’s not the kind I’m talking about. I mean the good secret. The one you haven’t told anybody, ever. The one you lied about on your college application and citizenship test.”

    “What, my weight? That’s every woman’s secret.”

    “Your weight wouldn’t make you buy a medusa for your latest boyfriend.”

    “Depends on the number of cookies I’d been eating.”

    “But a medusa? One look and Fred’s a goner.”

    “Not if his heart is pure.”

    “Seriously? You’re banking your current boyfriend’s life on that?”

    “Sure. Why not?”

    “I’ll tell you why. Because you’re terrified your water sprite boyfriend’s gonna find out you’re a ph—”

    “Don’t say it.”

    “You’re a ph—”

    “Don’t say it.”

    “Ha ha, you’re a ph---aw, man! What’d you burn me for?”

    500 words
    @postupak
    Judge's challenge: yeeeehaw, yes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rebekah, you have a way with mythology and dialogue! Wonderful!

      Delete
  2. I bought the gun because Fred said he’d rather be dead than caught having Sally as a friend.

    “What’s wrong with Sally?”

    “It was a he. Now, it’s an it.”

    At first, I was OK with that. Fred treated her politely when he worked with her. It was when she wasn’t around that things went bad. “I’ll hold it, and walk to the john down the hall, I won’t used that uni-sex thing.” Fred wasn’t the only one. Heads all over the room nodded in agreement, and said, “Damn right!”

    Poor Sally. I was the only person who’d go to lunch with her. No one invited her. Fred said, “I don’t want it sitting at my lunch table!”

    “It’s a person, Fred! Her name’s Sally!”

    He laughed at me, “You’re an idiot.”

    So, I took Sally to lunch.

    “How can you be friends with that?”

    “She’s nice, and kind. Not like you.”

    “You’re going to have to decide. You’re one of us, or you’re not.”

    So, Fred stopped working with me. And so did the rest of them. Hell, Birthday cards, Get Well cards, all that, they stopped letting me sign them. They didn’t let Sally sign them either. “How can you be friends with that?”

    “How can you be such a bastard?”

    Then he started quoting the Bible. “You associate with sinners!”

    “And you’re not a sinner?”

    “I’m a Christian!”

    What got me was last week. When Sally walked across the parking lot to her car. She never got there. No one knows who it was that jumped her. They beat her up. Put her in the hospital. And Fred? “It was only a matter of time until someone did that.”

    And the rest of them agreed. “Yeah. Cleaning the defective ones out. Getting rid of ‘em.”

    “Yeah. It’s lucky they didn’t shoot it.”

    “One gun, and the problem’s solved.”

    That comments stuck with me. “Clean the defective ones out,” and “One gun and the problem’s solved.” Yeah. It was time to start doing that. Time to start solving problems. So, I bought the gun. And several clips. And filled them all. They all fit in my lunch box. No one knew. Until I pulled that sucker out.

    And shot Fred in the head.

    And then shot everyone I could.

    I gave Fred his wish. He doesn’t have to like Sally. None of them do.

    And now, none of them can hurt her anymore.

    Problem solved. They won’t be hurting Sally again.

    413 Words
    @LurchMunster

    ReplyDelete
  3. “I bought the charm because Fred said he’d rather be dead than caught being seen with me.”

    “Ok and you said you bought it at Moxie’s Shop? And are you sure you don’t want to put your dog down while we talk so it’s not squirming so much?”

    “Yes, Officer, I already told you that. Moxie’s sells the best charms, everyone knows that. And my dog loves being held, don’t you, shmooshy! Oops! No nipping! Any more questions, Officer?”

    “Ms. Andrews, what was the intended purpose of the charm you purchased?”

    “I went in for a love charm – I know it’s silly and I’m seventeen and I’ve heard the lectures from my parents so don’t start – but Fred is the one! He is so strong and nice and dreamy…”

    “Ms. Andrews. Please focus.”

    “Sorry! So I went in for a love charm but on my way to Moxie’s I just kept getting more upset at Fred for what he said. And I know that people say hurtful things to their loved ones all the time whether they mean to or not.”

    “Did you purchase an empathy charm instead so he would feel the pain of his words like you felt them?”

    “What? No, why would you think that? I wanted to make it so he could never say those hurtful things again. If I put a love charm on him he could still hurt me with his words whether he meant to or not. Fred said he’d rather be caught dead than be seen with me. That is painful. But my love prevails! My loyalty will not…”

    “Sit back down, Ms. Andrews and lower your voice. So there was no love or empathy charm? So what did you buy that turned this into a missing persons investigation? Where is Fred Pearson now? Does this charm you bought have anything to do with his disappearance?”

    “Officer! Have you not been listening to a word I’ve said! OK let me try another way. Phew, this is exhausting. I bought a transfiguration charm from Moxie’s shop.”

    “What?”

    “Yea, brilliant right? I thought about what could love me forever and never hurt me. Now do you see?”

    “No. Ms. Andrews. What happened?”

    “Ah you are so dense! I made Fred love me! He’s right in front of you, right here.”

    “Fred is not here, it’s just officers, you, and Fred’s parents.”

    “No, officer, literally, Fred is right here.”

    “Transfiguration charm…unable to hurt you with words…oh my Hades! You turned Fred into a dog! That dog? The one in your lap?”

    “Of course, it was the obvious solution! He loves me and can't hurt me by telling me he wants to be away from me because I know he doesn't mean it!”

    “Ms. Andrews give me the dog.”

    “No!”

    “Officer Thomas! Call Moxie’s and tell them that we need an anti-transfiguration charm or re-figuration charm or whatever she calls it. Ms. Andrews, you are under arrest for the dogification of Fred Pearson.”

    Title: Charmed
    Word Count: 497
    Challenge accepted

    ReplyDelete
  4. “I bought the sunshine-yellow bug because you said you’d rather be dead than caught behind the wheel of the hearse!” I threw the keys to Tiffany.

    “God, Mom, how dense can you BE? It’s HalloWEEN. Of course I want to drive the hearse.”

    “I can’t believe we’re even having this argument. Besides, the hearse was never an option. We rented it out for the parade over two months ago.” I bent down and retrieved the keys. “Change of plans. You go inside and hope that your fairy godmother brings you a pumpkin carriage. I’ll go inside and throw candy at the neighborhood rugrats.”

    “I hate you!”

    “Inside!” I followed Tiffany as she stomped through the doorway, admiring her costume. She had put a lot of work into the Medusa wig, and the toga wasn’t bad either.

    Turning around, “So, um, Mom, if I can get a ride, can I go?” I swear, the child could read my mind.

    “Whatever,” I slammed the door. “Curfew applies as usual.” Grabbing a wine cooler from the kitchen, I settled on the couch. I heard her stomping into her room.

    The doorbell rang only 20 minutes later. “Trick or treat!” chorused the small group of fairies and princesses.

    “Happy Halloween!” I smiled, dumping candy by the handful into their baskets.

    I had just settled again when I heard a thump on the door. “Use the bell!” I hollered as I headed that way.

    More thumping noises, and then creaking as I pulled the door open. “Holy Mother of…”

    “Impressed?” came Tiffany’s voice from behind me.

    “What is it?”

    “Can’t you tell? It’s my pumpkin carriage,” and she flounced past me towards our jack o lantern, which was decidedly no longer pumpkin size.

    “How did you do that? What on earth? What are you doing, that’s not safe, it can’t be safe!”

    Tiffany opened a door as it appeared and threw me a dazzling smile. “My fairy godmother. See ya later!”

    “Yes, dear, you did say if she could get a ride she could go out,” came a soft voice close to my ear.

    Whipping around, I saw nothing. “Who’s there?”

    “Slow down,” and glittering laughter filled the air.

    “What?” I finally saw it – a tiny floating iridescent creature. “What the hell?”

    “What the heaven, I believe,” came the giggling voice. “I have a weakness for girls and parties.”

    “Whatever,” I sighed. I was obviously hallucinating. Maybe someone had poisoned the wine coolers. “Hey, can you do something for me?” Might as well have a good trip.

    “Of course, I’d love to!”

    “Oh, well, um, never mind, it’s kind of dumb.”

    “There you go,” she smiled and pointed. I looked down at my glittering glass shoes.

    “They’re lovely! And so comfortable!”

    “Only the best,” came her voice, as she faded away.

    “I’ll never forget this Halloween,” I muttered to myself as I sank on the couch and admired my glass slippers.

    486 words, @elainefbayless, yes to Judge's challenge!

    ReplyDelete
  5. “I bought that sunshine-yellow VW Bug because Fred said he'd rather be dead than caught behind the wheel. Now that his life insurance paid off, I can afford a car big enough to stretch out in.”

    “She’s a cute little set of wheels, I grant you that. But it looks like you used her pretty hard. Gonna be hard to find a new owner with all them dings and scratches.”

    “Don’t give me that crap. Those dents were there when you sold it to me two years ago.”

    “Two years – and you expect me to give you what you paid for it?”

    “I took better care of it than the last owner. Fred spent a fortune on mechanic’s bills trying to figure out the electrical gremlins you so kindly forgot to mention.”

    “Can’t blame me for that. I can only pass along problems I know about.”

    “Right.”

    “What happened to Fred, anyway? Seemed healthy enough at Kiwanis last month.”

    “The coroner said he apparently mixed up his anti-inflammatory pills with the dog’s seizure meds. His bad heart couldn’t take it.”

    “The coroner says? Where were you?”

    “I was out of town all week on business. The mailman found him on Friday after he didn’t empty the box for five days.”

    “He died alone? Poor guy.”

    “Yeah, sure. So about this car.”

    “How am I supposed to make a profit if I pay you so much? Selling used cars is a tough business.”

    “Of course it is.”

    “What do you need money for? You said Fred had life insurance.”

    “A girl has to survive.”

    “You ain’t bad lookin’ for your age. Some guy’ll come along to take care of you.”

    “No thanks! Four times is enough.”

    “You been married four times? I thought my three was some kinda record for us normal folks.”

    “What’s ‘normal,’ Hank?”

    “Us non-celebrity types – the ones not likely to show up in the tabloids…what’re you laughin’ at?”

    “Keep an eye on those tabloids. You never know who might turn up. Now can we get this over with, please? I have a plane to catch.”

    “Where you goin’?”

    “Away.”

    “Harmph..I thought you was buying a new car after robbing me.”

    “Later. Right now I need to get away.”

    “Mourning Fred, huh? You guys was together a good long time.”

    “Almost a dozen years – about ten too many.”

    “What’s that supposed to mean? Fred was a good guy.”

    “If you like the self-centered kind who can’t keep his pants zipped.”

    “You can’t blame Fred. Women loved him. What kinda’ guy would he be if he didn’t share a little of his time with ‘em?”

    “You knew he was running around?”

    “Jeesus, Michelle, wasn’t no big secret. But he always went home to you, said you were special.”

    “Special.”

    “Look, I’ll give you what you want for the car, for Fred’s sake and all.”

    “For Fred. Say Hank, I’ve got a bottle of Fred’s favorite Scotch in the car. Why don’t we have a drink to seal the deal?”


    Word count: 500
    Twitter: @clpauwels
    Challenge accepted!

    ReplyDelete
  6. @stellakateT
    231 words
    challenge accepted :)

    “I bought the Hawaiian shirt because Fred said he’d rather be dead than caught wearing it”

    “It is a bit bright Mona”

    “Do you think so Gladys?”

    “He’ll look stupid in it Mona”

    “No more than usual”

    “How will you get him to wear it?”

    “I’ll tell him you like men in Hawaiian sheets, he’s always thought highly of you”

    “Really?”

    “No”

    “Oh for a minute I believed you”

    “Gladys you’re not exactly a spring chicken are you?”

    “I’m two years older than you Mona, not twenty”

    “You need to be thirty years younger to attract Fred, like that new girl in accounts”

    “Do you think he likes her?”

    “Oh I’m sure, but she won’t give him a glance let alone a look”

    “So what’s she got to do with your amazing plan?”

    “She’s the bait, Gladys, keep up! I’ll tell him she loves Hawaiian shirts and he’ll wear it. He’ll die and then the world is our oyster”

    “So will it work then?”

    “Gladys you’re the older sister you should know whether it will work or not”

    “You’ve always had the superior power though Mona”

    “Gladys, keep the faith, else nothing will work, remember what mother said the power of two sisters is better than one brother”

    “Mona?”

    “Yes Gladys”

    “Remember that Unicorn, you took his horn to grind down for your spells”

    “Yes?”

    “He’s over there talking to Fred”

    ReplyDelete
  7. Trying Something New
    302 words
    Challenge Accepted
    @CaseyCaseRose

    “I bought the sunshine-yellow bug because Fred said he’s rather be dead use something so mundane. He made this big speech about how he’d reach out and use his own hand to crank the spit he roasted himself over rather than use anything that some grubby human hands had manufactured.”

    “Elena, please! Fred’s annoying but he has a point, can you really trust this sun-bright human metal carrier? Their skills in all areas are inferior to ours, not to mention that stunning inability to not only produce magic but to give it an credit at all!”

    “You’re just like Fred, Angela. You can’t look past your own beliefs and superiority to be brave enough to try new things! We can do a lot that they can’t; weave sunbeams, converse with the rivers, capture lunar energy to power our homes. But we can’t make something like this! Isn’t this funny round metal contraption a feat of ingenuity in its own way?”

    “I don’t know. Wasps can chew wood and make a paste to construct their homes but I have no envy over lacking that skill.”

    “Fair point. Regardless, I’m happy with my acquisition and I can’t wait to go exploring in it.”



    “Elena! You’re sopping wet! What happened to you?”

    “As much as I hate to admit it, you and Fred were right. The humans work is inferior. I drove the bug into the lake to tour the bottom and to speak with the Seaweed Hermit who dwells there, but the bug immediately began filling with water! I’m certain I would have drowned if I had not turned my hands to stone and hammered my way out of there.”

    “Such folly, Elena, trusting anything the humans make.”

    “I know. But please, don’t tell Fred. I’ll never hear the end of it.”

    ReplyDelete
  8. 499 words
    Special Challenge accepted
    @JessicaCheramie

    Middle Earth Pawn

    “I bought the dust because Fred said he wouldn’t be caught dead with the pixie.”

    “What? I hate those stupid things. They fly all up in your grill, and you can’t understand anything they say. It sounds like jingle bells.”

    “Ugh! For a dragon, you’re a big baby.”

    “Shut up, you ugly imp! My job description says security not stock boy.”

    “Okay, Fred. No need for name calling. And thank you, Zesa, for getting that for me. My stock was unusually low for this time of year, and I had to see a dwarf about some gems he wanted to sell. Was that the bell on the door? Can you go check on the customer, Zesa?”

    “You got it, boss.”

    “Urul, what kind of gems? I might be interested in buying something shiny. Do I get a discount since I do security here?”

    “Hmm…let’s see. I have a ruby…an opal…and a diamond. I bought all three in exchange for a vial of love potion and a growth elixir.”

    “What is that dwarf up to?”

    “I don’t know. Something about wanting to be turned into a handsome prince to kiss some comatose girl. I try not to get involved with details.”

    “How much you want for the opal?”

    “Um. How about three dragon scales and some of that everlasting fire you breathe?”

    “Deal. I’d shake on it, but my talons would rip you to shreds.”

    “No big deal. Let me get my ladder and a saw. It won’t hurt you when I cut the scales?”

    “Nah. I’d imagine it’s like plucking out some hair to you.”

    “What was that?”

    “An earthquake?”

    “In Middle Earth?”

    “Weirder things have happened.”

    “It feels like my shop is going to fall apart. Quick get in a doorway.”

    “Dude, I’m a dragon. I’m a little long for that.”

    “True. I’ll go under you for cover.”

    “Your roof is ripping up.”

    “Maybe it’s a tornado.”

    “Where’s that dirty, deceptive goblin?”

    “Thanks a lot for throwing me to the wolves, Fred.”

    “Sorry. I don’t meddle with dumb giants.”

    “I’m not a giant. I was a dwarf until that goblin sold me the wrong elixir.”

    “I sold you growth elixir.”

    “You sold me giant growth elixir apparently.”

    “Urul, the plain growth elixir was by the cash register. You must’ve sold him the wrong thing.”

    “Thanks, Zesa. Hehe. It was an honest mistake.”

    “Fix this!”

    “Calm down. I have a shrinking elixir around here somewhere.”

    “Is it the one that says, ‘Shrinking Elixir’?”

    “Exactly, Fred. Good find. Here you go. It’ll cost two more rubies.”
    “No. This was your mistake. Consider this damage control. And I'm taking the plain growth elixir.”

    “You just ripped the hill off my pawn shop. You know what that’ll cost me to fix?”

    “As I said, your mistake.”

    “Ugh! Fine. Here and put my roof back.”

    “I’ll call the hobbits to fix it.”

    “Thanks, Zesa. Fred, your price for the opal just doubled.”

    “Why?”

    “Because you’re fired. I thought dragons were braver than you.”

    ReplyDelete
  9. Dating Is Never Easy

    “I bought the Avengers collection because Fred said he’d rather be dead than caught watching another romantic comedy.”

    “But Sarah, Frank is dead. You’re dating a zombie. Or have you forgotten?”

    “Ha-ha. No, I haven’t forgotten. But we don’t use the Z-word. The proper terminology is life-impaired.”

    Jennifer rolled her eyes and muttered, “Whatever.”

    “My God! You have a problem with me dating Fred, don’t you?”

    “Sarah, he’s a zombie.”

    “That’s racist … or something like that.”

    “Please,” Jennifer said, giving Sarah a dismissive wave of the hand, “you know me. I’ve always supported you and your relationships. Did I say anything when you dated that werewolf? Or that mummy? Or even that stupid frog?”

    Sarah smiled and snickered. “Man, was that ever a mistake. I was the stupid one who believed he was a prince. I should have known. His name was Tony. Who ever heard of a Prince Tony? Damn garbage man!”

    “I’ll guarantee you he never complains to another witch about needing to sort the recyclables. But this is different. Zombies eat people.”

    “Not Fred. He says he doesn’t do that.”

    “How do you know? Have you talked to any of his old girlfriends?”

    “Umm, well no. But he said they all moved to Canada.”

    “You don’t find that the least bit odd?”

    “What? Canada is a nice place, isn’t it?”

    “Sarah!”

    “Okay, okay. It’s a little suspicious, but he promised to have his teeth removed.”

    “Then how is he going to eat?”

    “He said he was going to buy a juicer.”

    “A juicer?”

    “Yeah. He’ll get a juicer and a supply of mice and—”

    “Sarah, do you hear yourself?”

    “I know. I know. You’re right. Besides, I love my smoothies, and I’d hate to accidentally get mice guts in one. So, how do I break up with him?”

    “Preferably with a sharp object to the head.”

    “Okay, but can we go to the mall first? I need more bolts for my crossbow, and I saw the cutest pair of shoes at Macy’s the other day.”

    “Deal.”

    “Oh, have you seen the new cthulhu working at the Hot Dog Hut? So cute. I swear he was giving me serious face-tentacles the last time I was there.”

    “You’re hopeless.”

    ReplyDelete
  10. She's Your Vehicle,Baby
    @voimaoy
    303 words
    challenge accepted--yes



    I bought the dragon because Fred said he'd rather be dead than caught driving that old flying car.

    "What do you mean you traded in the car for that...that...creature? What were you thinking Ethel? I mean, look at it will you? It's taking up the living room! Where are we going to keep it? "

    "Oh, Fred, how could I resist? It was such a good trade-in, I thought I"d surprise you..Please don't be mad. She's really sweet...her name is Baby. Look at her spots..."

    "Prrrrrrrrrrrit, prrrrrrrrrit, prrrrrrit....prit, prit, prit...."

    "Ethel, we can't keep this....dragon. How am I going to get to work now?"

    "She flies, Fred. She's a dragon! And you don't have to worry about parking."

    "No, I guess not. There's room on the roof, I suppose..."

    "Look Fred! She folds up...don't you, Baby? Show Daddy how small you can be."

    "Ffwooooooosh. Flip. Pop!"

    "Well, I'll be. She's no bigger than one of those lizards, those iguanas...."

    "Ptui!"

    "Oh Fred, look what you did. You upset her. It's all right, Baby. It's all right. Daddy didn't mean it. He likes dragons. and lizards. And Godzilla. Isn't that right, honey? See, she's just the right size now. Like that wind-up toy you keep on your desk. The pencil sharpener...look at her tiny claws! "

    "Well...."

    "Go on. Fred. Tickle her under the chin. She likes that, don't you, baby?"

    "rrrrrrrrrrrrrr mmmmmmmm rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr mmmmmmmmmmmr rrrrrrrrrrrrr mmmmmmmm"

    "Well, it's ah, nice...hmm... nice. I never thought they'd be this affectionate. They say dragons don't make good pets..."

    "Well, now we know better... Isn't she wonderful Fred? And she loves kale!"

    "Kale, how about that....well, Ethel, what can I say..."

    "Just say yes, fred."

    "Oh, all right. Yes, why not? How about it, Baby, do you want to stay with Ethel and me?

    prrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    "Yes, she's our baby, now....."

    ReplyDelete
  11. She's Your Vehicle,Baby
    @voimaoy
    303 words
    challenge accepted--yes



    I bought the dragon because Fred said he'd rather be dead than caught driving that old flying car.

    "What do you mean you traded in the car for that...that...creature? What were you thinking Ethel? I mean, look at it will you? It's taking up the living room! Where are we going to keep it? "

    "Oh, Fred, how could I resist? It was such a good trade-in, I thought I"d surprise you..Please don't be mad. She's really sweet...her name is Baby. Look at her spots..."

    "Prrrrrrrrrrrit, prrrrrrrrrit, prrrrrrit....prit, prit, prit...."

    "Ethel, we can't keep this....dragon. How am I going to get to work now?"

    "She flies, Fred. She's a dragon! And you don't have to worry about parking."

    "No, I guess not. There's room on the roof, I suppose..."

    "Look Fred! She folds up...don't you, Baby? Show Daddy how small you can be."

    "Ffwooooooosh. Flip. Pop!"

    "Well, I'll be. She's no bigger than one of those lizards, those iguanas...."

    "Ptui!"

    "Oh Fred, look what you did. You upset her. It's all right, Baby. It's all right. Daddy didn't mean it. He likes dragons. and lizards. And Godzilla. Isn't that right, honey? See, she's just the right size now. Like that wind-up toy you keep on your desk. The pencil sharpener...look at her tiny claws! "

    "Well...."

    "Go on. Fred. Tickle her under the chin. She likes that, don't you, baby?"

    "rrrrrrrrrrrrrr mmmmmmmm rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr mmmmmmmmmmmr rrrrrrrrrrrrr mmmmmmmm"

    "Well, it's ah, nice...hmm... nice. I never thought they'd be this affectionate. They say dragons don't make good pets..."

    "Well, now we know better... Isn't she wonderful Fred? And she loves kale!"

    "Kale, how about that....well, Ethel, what can I say..."

    "Just say yes, fred."

    "Oh, all right. Yes, why not? How about it, Baby, do you want to stay with Ethel and me?

    prrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    "Yes, she's our baby, now....."

    ReplyDelete
  12. OOPs, this posted twice--sorry about that!

    ReplyDelete
  13. “I bought the sunshine-yellow bug because Fred said he'd rather be dead than caught behind the wheel, so I knew that no matter what jerk we got for a judge, I’d come out of the divorce with something. Either I’d have this car, or Fred would kill himself.”

    “And do you drive like this because you know they’ll be able to find your car after we go careening into a ravine?”

    “Oh, stop worrying, Laurie.”

    “I’m not worrying. I’m just being-”

    “Practical. I know. You’ve always been so practical. What’s a life without a few risks?”

    “A life that doesn’t involve finding your philandering husband in your bed with a neighbor.”

    “And I suppose you’re happy with Odie, the Actuary’s Dream?”

    “More than you’ll ever know.”

    “You devil! You gotta tell me-”

    “Susan! Eyes on the road! And no, I don’t gotta tell you anything. Besides, you wouldn’t understand.”

    “Oh, we’re back into the ‘Laurie is the smart one, Susan is the dumb one’ territory again. Great.”

    “You’re not dumb. You’re-”

    “Yes I am. You’ve seen my report cards.”

    “I was going to say impulsive. You didn’t get good grades because you couldn’t do the work. You didn’t get good grades because you thought it was a lot more fun to see what you could get away with before Mom caught you.”

    “She still won’t talk to me about that incident senior year.”

    “No kidding.”

    “The roses grew back, didn’t they?”

    “The tree didn’t.”

    “Well, no. But that was a heck of a party, you have to admit.”

    “You have no idea.”

    “What are you talking about – oh, really? Really? Who was it?”

    “You didn’t know him.”

    “That old trope? What, was he from Canada?”

    “No. He was not from Canada. He was from Europe. I think.”

    “Ohh, yerr-upppppp. Sure he was. Oh! Was it that exchange student staying with the Martins? What was his name, Fredo Corleone?”

    “Ewww. No. He smelled of rotten feet. And you’re the one who hooked up with Mr. Fred.”

    “Touche. So, if it wasn’t him, who was it? Jacques Cousteau?”

    “Forget it. You won’t believe whatever I tell you anyway.”

    “Oh, don’t be like that. And I thought I knew everyone at the party. What, was this some Leda and the Swan stuff – Zeus pops in, sneaks you away for the night, and then vanishes?”

    “You b…what did you see?”

    “That was a joke! What? Are you serious? You were Zeus’ good-time girl for a night?”

    “‘Good-time girl?’ What is this, the fifties? And it wasn’t Zeus.”

    “Who then? Mars? Thor? Loki?”

    “You’ve read too many comic books, dear sister.”

    “You have to tell me!”

    “Fine. What day of the week was that party?”

    “Why does it matter? Friday? No, wait. Wednesday – Mom and Dad were at that conference, right?”

    “Yep. And…”

    “Wednesday? Wodin? You boinked Wodin at my party?”

    “Odin, actually. And not just at your party.”

    “But you told me that you’d only ever been with one man! Do you mean…Odie?”

    499 words
    @drmagoo
    Special Challenge Accepted

    ReplyDelete
  14. “I bought the elf because Mom said she'd rather be dead than caught with a dirty house. I thought it’d help out some and I wouldn’t have to hire her a house cleaner.”

    “You think the judge is going to believe that? Ha! I can hear him now: ‘What, did you think it’s a house elf or something?’ Sorry, you need to work on your story.”

    “No, I didn’t think it was a house elf! I just…well…ok, maybe not exactly but something like that. Don’t laugh at me! All the elves I’ve ever read of are helpful – Santa’s elves, the shoemaker’s elves, Middle Earth elves…and yeah, house elves. How was I supposed to know mine would go crazy if I shaved its head? What was I supposed to do? It looked so hot and was sleeping in a blanket tent in front of the fan for the third night in a row! I thought I was helping, ok?!”

    “Don’t stamp your foot at me! If you would have read the directions, you would have seen the warning – first page, big red letters practically yelling ‘ELF HAIR KEEPS YOUR ELF SANE. If you have a bearded elf, you may trim the beard but do not shave it. If you have a long-haired elf, you may cut it short, but the hair must still cover the head.’ Hello!!! Ugh, I should have known you wouldn’t bother reading the directions, I mean, look at your bookcase!”

    “Hey! Most of my bookcases are fine, and I never read the directions for them! That one had some funky screw things, so it didn’t quite go together right but it still works. Anyways, we’re not talking about my bookcases… or my tv stand, stop laughing!”

    “That’s right, we’re talking about your elf stealing a motorcycle and trying to break into the leather store.”

    “I shouldn’t have ran to catch it and bring it home, then the dumb elf would be in here by itself and I would be home on my nice comfy couch eating popcorn and watching a movie. I could come bail it out in the morning instead of trying to think of the best way to explain to the judge that I wasn’t an accomplice in a leather store robbery.”

    “I shouldn't have gone after YOU. Hopefully they’ll believe you when you tell them we just went in to try to stop your elf.”

    “I hope so. It’s a good thing there’s a warranty on it. Maybe the warranty will cover court costs.”

    “Um… you probably voided that when you went against the directions.”

    “Oh yeah. *sigh* I hope my aunt has insurance. She’s going to be so ticked when she finds out my elf totaled her motorcycle crashing through the wall of the leather store.”

    “Don’t look so glum. At least your elf chewing on the bars scared everyone, so we got the cell to ourselves. Try to get some sleep, we can make up a believable story in the morning.”

    ReplyDelete
  15. Arrangement of Dreams,

    “I bought the Jeep because Nellie said she’d rather be dead than caught riding in an American vehicle.”
    “Sid, who cares if she’s a car bigot?
    “The Jeep is the only place I can sleep without terrible dreams. I think my parents made a mistake.”
    “She’s gorgeous -- every guy here is jealous of you. And Nellie is a sweetie compared to Kuchisake. I’m glad you two never worked out.”
    “I’m laying out my fears and you taunt my ex?”
    “Sorry my friend, but wow, you know how to pick the psycho ones.”
    “You make it sound like I had a choice Akil.”
    “Remind me again to thank my parents for not being traditional like yours. But who knew what you were getting into when they arranged for you to marry one of them.”
    “One of those what?” Nellie asks.
    “A Swedish Girl,” Akil says. “I thought Ikea products were complicated, what with their pictograms instead of words and allen wrenches. But you blow them away.”
    “That’s sweet Akil. Now run along before I have to flay you.”
    “I’m sorry Nellie. I’ll leave you two alone.”
    “Now Siddharth, tell me what you dreamt last night.”
    “I had another nightmare. Maybe I wasn’t ready for marriage.”
    “Nonsense. You’re a perfect husband. I’m so glad our parents chose well. Though I would have chosen a better place to live.”
    “The economy is strong in Indiana, and the houses are affordable.”
    “But it’s just so — new. And it smells like corn.”
    “Listen Nellie. I think I need counseling. My nightmares last night were the worst ones yet.”
    “Ohhh sweetie, tell me about them. It’ll help. I’m an expert on dreams.”
    “The first one I remember was slimy suction cups tugging all along my body. It was operating on me. I could feel everything but couldn’t move or talk. Your voice kept asking me if I had enough — but I couldn’t answer. I swear I woke to you sitting on my chest, our faces only inches apart.”
    “That sounds wonderful. I love watching you as you sleep. The smiles and the cries you emit.”
    “That sounds creepy. No, wait, come back . . . I’m sorry. It’s that these dreams have my nerves frayed.”
    “You know that nothing pleasures me more than watching you dream.”
    “I wish I had dreams. They are night terrors. My heart can’t take much more of this.”
    “Those are experiences. You get to live different lives, and partake in extreme events, all from the safety of a dream. People would pay a hefty sum to experience that.”
    “No one would pay to have nightmares.”
    “Your parents did.”
    “They did what?”
    “How do you think our parents met to arrange our marriage? How do you think the Singhs met the Mardröms?”
    “Father went on a business trip to Sweden.”
    “He went for treatment, and that came with a cost. They gave you to me in exchange for better dreams. Come now. It’s getting late, and time for us to sleep.”

    499 words
    Special Challenge Accepted: All dialogue, and Mardröm & Kuchisake
    @michaelsimko1

    ReplyDelete
  16. 499 words including title
    Not quite the special challenge (some tags)
    chava812 @ gmail

    A POCKETFUL OF STREUSEL

    “I wouldn’t have bought the streusel if Fred hadn’t said he wouldn’t be caught dead wearing red again.”
    “His name is Darcy Phillips.” The young cop who corrected her didn’t glance up from his notepad. The older cop kept his eyes on hers.
    She looked from the young cop to the old. “He told me his name was Fred. Fred Darcy.”
    Again, the older cop kept his eyes on hers while the younger one spoke to his notebook. “His name is Darcy Phillips. He’s from the UK.”
    The older cop rolled his eyes..
    “It don’t really matter none, though, does it?” Ethel went on. “He’s dead all the same, and it was the streusel I bought that done it.” She sat down at the kitchen table. “I’ve always gotten such good streusels there, too. Mama DiSalvo’s. They’re Italian, but they make the best streusel. I tried them others over at Schwartzkleiner, but they was always stingy with the filling. Just a few raisins and the apples were like canned apples, and there weren’t no nuts in it at all.” She shook her head. “And to think poor Fred was allergic to nuts.”
    She looked up, from the young man now staring out the window, still writing to the old one standing above her, watching her. “You never can tell, though, when it’s your time, though, can ya?” She lifted up her wrists and gave a deep sigh. “I guess you better take me in. Me and my poor streusel. And to think it was all from Fred not liking red.”
    The younger cop stirred and turned toward her finally. “What’s red got to do with anything? And I already told you his name was Phillips. Darcy Phillips. Are you hard of hearing?”
    Ethel’s cheeks colored. “Well, it ain’t got nothing to do with nothing. I just didn’t want Fred to be upset when he got home. He don’t like it when I mix the red towels with his underthings, and I got so busy today that I forgot he’d thrown them in the washing machine already and I put the towels in, and I just didn’t have time to go down the store and buy him some more, so I thought he might likea nice streusel instead. . . . He never told me he was allergic to no nuts or nothing.” She looked out the window. “He never even told me he was from the U.K.”
    The younger cop rolled his eyes. “You couldn’t hear it in his voice?”
    “Nah,” she said. “I thought he was from Boston. I just never said nothing, and neither did he.”
    “And I suppose you didn’t know he was married none, neither.”
    “Married? Why I suppose I never bothered to ask. What did it matter? He was here, wasn’t he?”
    “How long had he been here?”
    “Three months. Three years. Three days. What does it matter? He’s gone now.”
    “On accounta he don’t like red, you say.”
    “Yeah.”



    ReplyDelete
  17. Channel 12
    Carlos
    @goldzco21
    493 words
    Special challenge: Accepted

    “I bought the viewing implanter because Fred said he'd rather be dead than caught inside a museum. It was a rather expensive device but the best things usually are. You can’t fool around with knockoffs, you know. Not when you’re doing something as dangerous as implanting yourself in the television.”

    “Hmm.”

    “Like I said it started with me wanting to go to the museum, but Fred, being Fred, said no. He always says no when it involves leaving the house. But the following day I passed the billboard on 20th, the one that transforms to correctly advertise to whoever drives by.”

    “Hmm.”

    “That’s where I saw the viewing implanter. See the world without leaving the house, it read. So then I paid for the device online and printed the implanter with my 4d printer. You can imagine how exited I was. I told Fred channel 3 was showing a special on Ancient Paris and that I thought it’d be romantic to see the Eiffel tower, back before it was traded for the Statue of Liberty, but, of course, he said no. So I settled for a show on channel 5 about a labyrinth on an island in some place called Crete. I’ll tell you one thing, never go to Crete. I was walking in a maze for what seemed like hours. Then to make matters worse, some bull-man-thing came out of nowhere and started chasing me. If I’d had a knockoff implanter I would have never made it out alive.”

    “Hmm.”

    “I told Fred, and he got all riled up saying I was trying to go behind his back, that he was going to get even, and that two could play at that game. He snatched the implanter out of my hand and jumped into channel 8. It just so happened that a show about sirens was on channel 8. I saw him make his way toward some beautiful, nude women. He leaned in to kiss one, and before I knew it they were feasting on his face.”

    “Hmm.”

    “It just so happened Fred managed to press the exit button on the implanter before he died. His corpse was deposited in our living room, right on his favorite chair. I freaked. I had to get out of there as soon as possible. Too many things could have gone wrong. They could have blamed his death on me, and I would be put to death. Even if they ruled it as an accident, the viewing implanter company could sue me for breaking the terms and condition. It’s right there in the terms: Consumer(s) shall not die while using this product. Should consumer(s) die, criminal charges can and will be pursued.”

    “Hmm.”

    “So that brings me here, to channel 12. Do you think I can stay here a while? I promise I won’t be a hindrance. Just tell me what I need to do and I’ll do it. Say, by the way, what’s a Zombie?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Sunny who was no Popeye.
    -------------



    ‘Gosh, Fred, your sunshine-bug has beautiful eyes,’ I said ‘Mmph,’ he pocketed the dollar, wiped the snot off his nose and drove away.

    I got home with the bug in his tiny Ziploc, and hurried upstairs. Up in the attic, on the table by the window, houses a lovely patch of sunlight. I salvaged the old fish bowl, found bits of lint from the washer, and made a makeshift bed in the bowl. Sunny got toppled in, and lay there stunned.
    ‘Hey, look Sunny, your home, with its own sun-garden,’ I said.
    No response.
    The sun chose to peep in, at that exact moment. Sunny crawled a little into the sunshine, his luminous self almost blending into camouflage.
    ‘Why, you sun worshipper,’ I went to the kitchen, and salvaged some spinach and lettuce, shredded it and placed it in the fish bowl.
    Tap, tap, tap, my finger tapped softly to wake the little critter, unaware of his needs. Sunny, sort of sniffed and looked around, the way only bugs can, & ambled to the salad. He ate the bits of cheese first, and then took a liking to the lettuce.
    ‘You are no Popeye,’ I tried to make small talk.
    No response.

    ‘What’s got the shine back into your eye,’ teased my husband after dinner.
    I held his hand and led him up the stairs.
    ‘Dragging me to bed, are you,’ he teased.
    We huffed our way up the flight of stairs. It was dark, but Sunny glowed. He had also grown, and was the size of my fist.

    ‘What in the world is that doing here? I thought I made it clear: it is either me or the pets - in this house.' He was furious.
    ‘He is just a bug and a beautiful one,’ I tried to object.
    ‘He looks like a yellow scarab beetle,’
    ‘Nooooo!’ I tried not to show my panic.

    Tap, tap, tap, Sunny was tapping on the glass with his antennae. I watched amazed. When he saw he had caught my attention, he walked to the spinach and pushed it towards me.
    ‘Oh, you don’t like spinach,’ I was delighted with his intelligence, the fact that he recognized me. I leaped down the stairs to get him a second serving of Parmesan and lettuce.
    By the time I came back, there was no Sunny.
    ‘He flew away,’ my husband muttered, his face registering disbelief.
    ‘YOU THREW HIM OUT!’ I was so angry.
    ‘HE WAS JUST A LITTLE KID REFUSING TO EAT SPINACH’
    ‘No, look,’ he pointed to the glowing outline on the glass. Cold wind blew into the room, from there.
    Etched on the glass was a glow-sketch of Sunny. It was as if a stencil were used to cut the glass. I shared his disbelief.
    As we looked out, we saw something glowing yellow in the dark. It grew smaller and smaller, until it was a fleck. Then it was lost in the night.












    ReplyDelete
  19. oh, I forgot to add the first line. Reposting:
    Sunny who was no Popeye.

    I bought the sunshine-yellow bug because Fred said he'd rather be dead than caught behind the wheel.
    ‘Gosh, Fred, your sunshine-bug has beautiful eyes,’ I said ‘Mmph,’ he pocketed the dollar, wiped the snot off his nose and drove away.

    I got home with the bug in his tiny Ziploc, and hurried upstairs. Up in the attic, on the table by the window, houses a lovely patch of sunlight. I salvaged the old fish bowl, found bits of lint from the washer, and made a makeshift bed in the bowl. Sunny got toppled in, and lay there stunned.
    ‘Hey, look Sunny, your home, with its own sun-garden,’ I said.
    No response.
    The sun chose to peep in, at that exact moment. Sunny crawled a little into the sunshine, his luminous self almost blending into camouflage.
    ‘Why, you sun worshipper,’ I went to the kitchen, and salvaged some spinach and lettuce, shredded it and placed it in the fish bowl.
    Tap, tap, tap, my finger tapped softly to wake the little critter, unaware of his needs. Sunny, sort of sniffed and looked around, the way only bugs can, & ambled to the salad. He ate the bits of cheese first, and then took a liking to the lettuce.
    ‘You are no Popeye,’ I tried to make small talk.
    No response.

    ‘What’s got the shine back into your eye,’ teased my husband after dinner.
    I held his hand and led him up the stairs.
    ‘Dragging me to bed, are you,’ he teased.
    We huffed our way up the flight of stairs. It was dark, but Sunny glowed. He had also grown, and was the size of my fist.

    ‘What in the world is that doing here? I thought I made it clear: it is either me or the pets - in this house.' He was furious.
    ‘He is just a bug and a beautiful one,’ I tried to object.
    ‘He looks like a yellow scarab beetle,’
    ‘Nooooo!’ I tried not to show my panic.

    Tap, tap, tap, Sunny was tapping on the glass with his antennae. I watched amazed. When he saw he had caught my attention, he walked to the spinach and pushed it towards me.
    ‘Oh, you don’t like spinach,’ I was delighted with his intelligence, the fact that he recognized me. I leaped down the stairs to get him a second serving of Parmesan and lettuce.
    By the time I came back, there was no Sunny.
    ‘He flew away,’ my husband muttered, his face registering disbelief.
    ‘YOU THREW HIM OUT!’ I was so angry.
    ‘HE WAS JUST A LITTLE KID REFUSING TO EAT SPINACH’
    ‘No, look,’ he pointed to the glowing outline on the glass. Cold wind blew into the room, from there.
    Etched on the glass was a glow-sketch of Sunny. It was as if a stencil were used to cut the glass. I shared his disbelief.
    As we looked out, we saw something glowing yellow in the dark. It grew smaller and smaller, until it was a fleck. Then it was lost in the night.




    ReplyDelete

  20. "I bought the fully operational spell enhancer because Penelope said shed'd rather be caught dead than appear at her ex's wedding in a dress solely made by you."

    "Penelope can eat dirt if she thinks I'll make a 'special' dress for her. I hope her ex hexes her because he sure has grounds."

    "What did she ever do to him?"

    "She gave him purple maryberry jam as a going away gift. She said it was grape."

    "No way. That's criminal! He could have charged her with magickal assault!"

    "She said her berries got mixed up and it was all an accident. But this new girl loved the way his skin turned purple and knew the flatulence was only temporary."

    "Did he escape sounding like a lamb? Or did his voice change? I've heard of guys who got permanent falsettos. And they repeated initial sounds in words for several months. How could she do such a thing?"

    "She claimed she was pregnant and lost the baby in the shock of losing him. But one of her coven mates said she had been donating fresh menstrual blood at all the local meetings.

    "Isn't she the one who swore last Beltane that she'd never lie with a man again after the mistreatment she received from the one before the ex? I thought she was off of men for a few years. When did she take up with this ex?"

    "She took up with him when she couldn't get her prior ex to marry her. Why she wanted to marry an abusive man is beyond me."

    "So now she's wanted to marry two exes and now has this third guy who wants her? Doesn't he know her track record?"

    "He's on the rebound from Mirella, and he knows Mirella hates Penelope. He's doing it mainly to get back at Mirella. But she's too smart to fall for it. And she's taken up with his cousin who's a better catch any way."

    "Oh, is his cousin the one who started that vile rumor about Penelope? The one about using spells to--well, you know."

    That's the one! He has a wicked tongue on him, but I wouldn't mind playing with it, if you know what I mean. I'll take him off her hands anytime she let's go!"

    "If I get him first, I'll share!"

    "Why would you get him first?"

    "Because he told me this morning, he'd be a free man tonight, if I was interested!"

    "You are so lucky! I've never even talked to him. Is his voice as sexy as they say?"

    "Oh, yes, and his hands are as supple as a child's. His breath is sweet and his eyes delight! I'm looking forward to a very special evening with him!"

    "Shazamm! There you go, my girl. Next time you'll think twice about bragging in front of me! Now just a few more touches, and I'll look exactly like you!"

    @barbals 486 words, Special challenge accepted.

    ReplyDelete