Secure

PHOTO PROMPT © Jean L. Hays

The Jamesons at Number 12, stared at the delivery notice on Helen’s phone.

“It says the package has been delivered to a secure location.”

“I looked under the bench, and even behind the trash cans,” Doug said.

Helen dialed the number on the notification, and after pressing a series of prompted buttons, she finally got a human representative on the line.

“Yes, yes,” the representative said in a thick “call-centre” accent.  “Our courier has left it at Number 63.  It had very strong gates and a video camera, and your instructions clearly read, ‘If not at home leave in a secure location’.”

 

Padre

 

Friday Fictioneers

Long Lost and Found

Seaside, Seashore, Seagull, Beach, Sea, Coast, Ocean

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

On a tropical beach by a sea of peacock blue

Site of their honeymoon, and now of Anniversary Two

What seemed a bright idea – 24 months past

To write on a shell of a love that will last

Of children of yet to even be born

They named on that shell on that honeymoon morn

And what do you think today that they see –

As they squat by the tide with a baby’s breath by their knees?

A hermit crab tiny – their child’s name on its home

Little Lotus and the crab together – they snap on their phone

 

Padre

 

Paint Chip Poetry Prompt #29:

The prompt words an interesting mix. You have these seven words or phrases to work with: tropicalpeacockbaby’s breathbright idealotuspomegranate, and hermit crab. I’ll only require you to use four, but let’s see who rises to the challenge of using them all.

Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie

 

Jim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday challenge this week is to use size words like Big/Large/Little/Small/Tall/Tiny, as a guide to picking a song.   Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss’ “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini” seems almost a fit (pun intended).  The song was released in 1960 and was performed by Brian Hyland.  The song was a million seller and reached number one.  A later cover reached number 1 in the UK in the 1990s.

Padre

Lyrics:

She was afraid to come out of the locker

She was as nervous as she could be

She was afraid to come out of the locker

She was afraid that somebody would see

Two, three, four, tell the people what she wore!

It was an itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka-dot bikini

That she wore for the first time today.

An itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka-dot bikini

So in the locker she wanted to stay.

Two, three, four, stick around we’ll tell you more!

She was afraid to come out in the open

And so a blanket around her she wore.

She was afraid to come out in the open.

And so she sat bundled up on the shore.

Two, three, four, tell the people what she wore!

It was an itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka-dot bikini.

That she wore for the first time today.

An itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka-dot bikini.

So in the blanket she wanted to stay.

Two, three, four, stick around we’ll tell you more!

Now she is afraid to come out of the water.

And I wonder what she’s gonna do.

‘Cause she’s afraid to come out of the water.

And now the poor little girl’s turning blue.

Two, three, four, tell the people what she wore!

It was an itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka-dot bikini.

That she wore for the first time today.

An itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka-dot bikini.

So in the water she wanted to stay.

From the locker to the blanket,

From the blanket to the shore,

From the shore to the water

Guess there isn’t any more.

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Paul Vance / Lee Pockriss

Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie lyrics © Emily Music Corp

 

The Landlord

tan house

MorgueFIle March2020 file000508086684

“Charles, it’s perfect,” Karen said excitedly.

“It is, isn’t it!” he agreed, reaching out and placing his hand on her well swollen belly.  “It is the perfect place for our little family.”

“And it’s close to the city, so you won’t be away too long each day,” she added though there was no need to convince him further.

“We’ll take it,” Charles said.

“Great,” replied the estate agent.  “There is one stipulation in the lease that I need to make you aware of, however.”

“What’s that?” Karen asked.

“The garden needs tending at least once a week, the perennials managed, and new annuals planted each season.”

“Of course,” Charles responded, almost dismissively.

The baby was born, and life had the usual ups and downs, and in time the garden was no longer a priority.

One Saturday morning there was a sharp knock at the door.

Karen opened the door, but no one could be seen until she looked down to see a red-capped gnome on the porch.

What a shock it was when the little fellow crossed his arms and began tapping his foot impatiently.  “I’m Mr. Wigglesworth, the landlord.  I’m here regarding the garden.”

 

Padre

(195 words)

FLASH FICTION FOR THE PURPOSEFUL PRACTITIONER: 2020: WEEK #23

 

 

 

A Fortune Told

Psychics, Crystal Ball, Fortune Teller

Pixabay

 

The Czar called his wizard

To ask what he could see

About his daughter’s future

“Would she make history?”

 

“Sire, I see two futures:

On a throne as a Purple Queen

Powerful in majesty

But sorrowful in the extreme”

 

“Princess Aurora will feel such woe

From her eyes of  Dazzling blue

A Trail of Tears will surely flow

Her life an unhappy sorrow”

 

“What then shall I do?”

The mighty Czar did ask

“Let her follow love instead of power

That will be your task”

 

“Let her find her own way

This is the thing to do,

Allow her to follow her heart

Which is Tender and True

 

So the great king did relent

And Aurora her own choices made

Twelve hearty grandchildren for the Czar

She bore and a dynasty was made

 

Padre

 

dVerse: Take a look at these vegetable names, choose a few, toss them in the rich soil of your imagination, and see what comes up.

 

Black Beauty

Trail of Tears

Lazy housewife

Princess

Purple queen

Jacob’s cattle

The Czar

Wizard

Golden acre

Dazzling blue

Purple sword

Jack Ice

Reine des Glaces

Blue fire

Aurora

Tender and true

Fortune!

311D3216-9BF1-40D8-A33A-332B86049E8B

image:  Brainsparker

Callum and Rory had been desperate.  The brothers had been forced of their farm by an absentee landlord who was going to use the land for “other purposes.”  They had gathered their meagre possessions and headed into the world to make their fortune.  It seemed, however, that the only fortune they had thus far found was misfortune.

They had been down to their last two potatoes and a crust of bread when they camped by a stream-side.  They were just boiling the potatoes when a Tinker woman approached them from the woods.

“I am weary to the bone,” she said.  “And a morsel to eat is all I ask and I will share the secret to great wealth.”

“If you have the secret of wealth, why do you need food from us?” Rory questioned.

“Alas Lad, I am too old to pursue it myself,” she replied.

More from Christian charity than any expectation of reward, Callum broke the bread in half and gave his portion to the old woman. “I will give you half my potato as well, when it is ready,” he said.

“And you can half of mine as well,” his brother added reluctantly.

“You are too kind, My Boys,” she said.

When she had eaten, she pulled an old parchment from her skirts, and said, “Follow this, and your fortune will be made.”   She then got up and wandered back into the woods.

The parchment seemed blank except for a single instruction, Go to the bridge at Newton.

The brothers concurred that they had nothing to lose, so off they went.

When they arrived at the bridge the next morning, they looked around.  Nothing seemed to be there except for the lonely bridge.

“Are you sure it said Newton?” Rory asked.

Callum pulled out the paper and read the words, Look under the bridge.

In shock, Callum handed the parchment to his brother.  Rory flipped the paper over several times, but these were now the only writing on the sheet.  The two immediately scrambled down the embankment, where they found a bushel basket of potatoes.

“I can’t believe it,” Callum said.

“Well let’s not waste the chance,” Rory said dumping about half the potatoes into his nearly empty knapsack.

Callum again looked at the paper which now read, Go to the Spring Wood.  

He quickly added the remaining potatoes to his own bag, and the two made their way to the far side of the town.  There they found a freshwater spring, with a small forest beyond.

The brothers filled their flasks, and headed into the woods.

On entering the treeline, Callum nearly tripped over an obstacle under the fallen leaves, in so doing, disrupting the carpet.

“Look!” Rory exclaimed.

There under the leaves was the lid of an old trunk.  Closer examination proved that it was in fact a complete chest partially buried in a shallow hole.

The brothers opened the lid to find two sets of fine clothing inside.

“What does it say now?” Rory asked excitedly.

“It says, Take fifty paces northwards.

“Why are you waiting,” Rory asked as he began to count out the steps.

Callum gathered the clothing, and followed his brother.

“Forty eight, forty nine, fifty,” Rory called out just as his toe struck something under the leaves.  He bent down and lifted a small pouch with twenty gold coins in it.

“Amazing!” Callum said.  He then urgently pulled out the paper which read, Your kindness is now repaid.  

“Surely there must be more,” Rory said.

“Brother, I am more than happy.  We have food, fresh water, new clothes, and money.”

“Well, if you are so easily satisfied, take all of the stuff and leave.  Just give me the paper.”

With a heavy heart, Callum took the potatoes, clothing, and gold and headed eastwards.

Rory on the other hand, grabbed the sheet and read, Proceed 3000 paces to the north.

As he stepped off the paces, the wood became colder and more dense.  The three thousandth step fell toe first at the base of a majestic tree.  Rory searched its bark, and then walked all around the tree.  He even used his fingers to dig around its roots.  Nothing appeared.  He then frantically pulled out the parchment which read, Your just reward is 100 paces upwards.

Padre

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #61

Novice

Cloud, Orange, Sky, Landscape, Scenery

Pixabay

There were mists over the valley, and Ampar knew this was would be a bleak day in more ways than one.  He had begun his novitiate a full year before, and he was quite sure that a life in the Order was not for him.  

As he approached the great gate of the central sanctuary, he paused to catch his breath.  It was then that he saw it through overcast sky.  There was something sparkling on the hillside on the opposite side of the valley.  The light seemed to have a pattern: flash-pause-flash-flash-pause. This was repeated several times before ceasing.  But what could it be?  There was no sunlight to speak of, what might cause such a sight?  Surely it couldn’t be a reflection.

Ampar went about the rest of his day, and though he was diligent in his duties, he could not get the rhythmic pulses out of his mind.  The next morning he purposely dallied at the same spot, but the day being brighter, he couldn’t see any sign of the flashing.

The young novice repeated this for several days, but soon other matters began to fill his mind.  Then several weeks later, there was a drizzly grey day.  There it was, the flashes were again on the hillside.  I must know what that it, he mused as he hurried off to prayers.

That night he made a decision.  He would leave the temple complex and seek to find the answer to the mystery of the flashes.

For several days he squirreled away tidbits of food and sought out items he might need.  He was able to easily find a length of old rope which had recently been replaced as a handrail on the bridge over the river.  Surely it would be long enough for his purpose.  He also found a hammer with a broken handle.  It would do well enough.  He also cut several length of bamboo, all of which he stored under his mattress.

On the fifth night, he gathered his equipment and sneaked from the novices’ dormitory.  He knew their would be watchmen on the bridge so he made his was down stream, and using his hammerhead to drive bamboo stakes, which he used to anchor the rope end.  Tying the rope to his waste he waded, and then swam to the other side. Untying himself, he fastened the rope to two more stakes and headed to the hillside.

As he neared the spot, he saw the familiar flashed in the morning light.  He rushed to the beacon, to find the Grand Master with a lamp and a mirror. “Well done. You are now an Adept,” the Master said.

Padre

4×4 Challenge by Chris Fielden

  • Take the 4th book from your bookshelf.
  • Open it on page 4.
  • Find the 4th sentence on the page and start a story using its first 4 words.
  • Word limit: 444 words

From Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms – “There were mists over the river
and clouds on the mountain and the trucks splashed
mud on the road . . . .”

A Dark Time for Rhyme

Rattus norvegicus 1.jpg

Public Domain

The feral cat slowly stalked the unwary rat at the edge of the vacant lot.  Without a sound the matted feline burst from its cover and clamped its jaws down upon the rodent’s head. It was a meal.  It was sinewy and as flea-ridden as the stalker itself, but a meal nonetheless.  The cat sat, licking the mat, washing away the last traces of rat.

Padre

A Cat, A Rat, and A Mat (A Writing Challenge): Write a rhyming (or not) story for adults using a cata rat, and a mat.

 

 

The Artist

Self Portrait holding Portrait of Wife – Jean Jacques de Boissieu (CC0)

To Sketch,

To Etch,

To draw my wife,

The “two as one flesh,”

As I share my life,

Depictions, and Images,

Of us both you shall see,

Recording our visages,

For all history.

 

Padre

 

Daily Writing Prompt Feb #3: Self Portrait holding Portrait of Wife – Jean Jacques de Boissieu