Invasion

Photo courtesy of Paul Howell (Mystery writer Betty Webb‘s husband)

First it was the cane toads in Australia.  Then the same creatures made a showing in South Florida.  But both invasions paled in comparison to the latest threat: the prism toad assault on America.

The so called prism toad could appear in any colour of the rainbow, and possessed the chameleon-like ability to change colour to match any surrounding. They could, in plagues of Egypt fashion, lurk anywhere.

No, they were not poisonous, but they were ravenous.  Their prey?  Synthetic fibres.  To maintain their plastic-like skins, they devoured twice their own body weight each day.  K-Mart and Target Stores were the first to suffer losses, some believe from an infected shipment of discount clothing from Indonesia.  But soon no discount clothier could maintain stock.  No clothesline or laundry room could withstand their hunger.

In the face of this environmental and economic calamity, only cotton farmers and shepherds could raise a smile.

Padre

Sunday Photo Fiction – Dec 08 2019

Prediction

 

Photo courtesy of Wendy Van Hove, writer [ Roadside Wonders ]

Larry couldn’t believe he had given in to the dare by his dorm mates.  But here he was sitting in Madame Arianna’s tent.  He was supposed to have a reading and then come tell the guys about it.  It sounded simple, but they all knew he was really superstitious and going in to see the mystic scared him.

“You will come into a great deal of money,” she said in an ethereal voice.  “I see Park Avenue and a sports car in your future as well.  But for this to come to pass you must not divulge any of it to anyone.”

Later back at college he was confronted by his friends.

“What did she say?” Howard asked teasingly.

“Something about money,” he replied,  “But it was vague.”

A few days later there was a game marathon in the dorm.  He sat down to Monopoly and took the car.  He quickly had Park Avenue, and won the game.

Ah, that’s what it was about, he thought.

That night he dreamed of Arianna. “You told them about the money.  It was supposed to be real, but you blew it!” she said.

(190 words)

Padre

Sunday Photo Fiction – Dec 01 2019 Photo above

FOWC with Fandango — Divulge

Selfish

Photo courtesy of DeAnna Gossman

Whiskers and Brooster stared with disbelief.  The animals had waited patiently in the garden for over an hour for their owner Liz to go inside.  Then in just seconds the object of their desire was gone.  Whiskers looked longingly at the glass, and Brooster shot nasty glances at Rover.

“Rov, we were supposed to share that,” Brooster finally said incredulously.

“Doesn’t is just fill itself?” the beagle responded.  “My water bowl always does.  I drink it and it’s full again.”

“Dogs!” Whiskers said in exasperation before going to see what might be nice to day in the neighbours’ garden.

 

Padre

Sunday Photo Fiction – Nov 24 2019

The Estate Agent (Realtor)

Photo courtesy of David Meredith, photographer

“I am sure you will agree that this is a real fixer-upper with loads of potential,” the estate agent said confidently.

Chloe glanced at Oliver to gauge his reaction.  But before she could voice her desire to leave, the agent added, “It is a prime location, and I am sure you noticed several of the spectacular homes from this series as we came into the development.  Did you know at least three daytime TV stars live in the community.”

Her interest piqued, Chloe looked at the place with new eyes.

“There is no way we could afford this neighbourhood,” Ollie began, “much less renovations.”

“It is far more reasonable than you might think,” the agent said with a smile.  “We also have a builders firm that are marvels at this kind of work, and discounts can be arranged if we add their services to the contract.”

The Canadian couple again glanced at each other and nodded.  At that Chloe announced that they would take it.

The estate agent smiled and said, “I am sure you won’t be disappointed.”  Then she mused over whether she should have mentioned the string of suicides and the triple-homicide.

(194 words)

Padre

Sunday Photo Fiction – Oct 13 2019

 

 

Delay

 

Immigration checks, closed borders, bio-metric proofs of identity, and any number of other ways that could be conceived of to slow the process of transport: ordinary people with no political agendas beyond having a vacation or arriving in time to attend Aunt Mildred’s funeral were “trapped” in the arrivals hall.  The newest list of “suspect” individuals and groups had been issued.

Yes, the courts had ruled that the previous lists and restrictions had been an infringement of the law, but with a disproportionate number of civil servants knocking out such politically motivated “us and them” documents, the judges just couldn’t keep up.

For tired, grumpy passengers, however, all it meant was more queues, and midnight, the witching hour, becoming just one more “bitching hour” as they tried to keep irritated children calm, and resisted venting their fury to their neighbours with ugly words.

 

Padre

Sunday Photo Fiction – Oct 6 2019

FOWC with Fandango — Court

Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt: The Witching Hour

Sunday Writing Prompt “Ugly Words”

Bilateral

Photo courtesy of P. Allman

Security was tight.  The first bilateral meeting between the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Fairie in nearly nine hundred years was about to take place on a remote island somewhere in the Northwest of England.  It was going to be a diplomatic coup for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and it would prove he could arrange trade deals in a post-Brexit world.

As the two boats were moored the shaggy haired blonde Johnson strode over to Queen Wilhelmina LVI and bowed before extending his hand for her to shake.

“Your Majesty, I am chuffed that you have agreed to this meeting,” The Prime Minister said a little too loudly.

“As am I, ” the regal Fairy responded.  “We have much to discuss.  Oh, by the way, I love your pink boat.”

Padre

Sunday Photo Fiction – Sep 29 2019

The Transplant

Photo courtesy of LL Jones

Gloria sat listening to a load of technical information. What she wanted was to get on with the practical bit.

“So we have implanted a right optical apparatus from one of our S-73 droids to replace the eye you lost in the accident,” the Cyberoptometrist  concluded.

“What do I do now?” Gloria asked with a little too much impatience.

The man walked to the far side of the room and held up a old style personal communications device.

“Keeping your right eye closed,” he instructed, “I would like to know how many images of yourself you can see.”

“Excuse me?” she challenged.

“Sorry. Look into the device you should see an image of yourself.  In the glasses you should see your reflection.  In the reflected image there should be another reflection visible.  How many images of yourself can you count?”

She struggled at the distance and tried to count the increasingly shrinking images.

“Four, but only three clearly,” she responded.

“Now with the right eye,” he instructed.

Gloria sat quietly for quite some time, then announced, “Seventy-three clearly, and eight more as shrinking dots.”

“Excellent,” the CyberOpt said, impressed with his own work.

Padre

(198 words)

Sunday Photo Fiction – Sep 8 2019

The Assignment

Photo courtesy of Sue-Z

Agent Whiskers sat taking in the surveillance footage.  This was going to be no easy assignment.  Fellowship Of Winged Ltd. (FOWL) long a target of the Fraternal League of United Felines (FLUFf) had made an unprecedented move.  They were fishing.  Not only were the feathered fiends keeping to the trees, starving some of the older and weaker members of Catdom, but now the were poaching fish as well.

“What do you make of it Whiskers?” M(eow) asked.

“Well Ma’am it is going to be tough, but I think I can handle it.”

“The culprit is known as ‘King Fisher,’ a nasty piece of work if there ever was one,” M said.

“Well I better get started,” 009(lives) said.

“Good luck,” the director said. “And Whiskers, be sure you see P(urr) on your way out.  He has some new kit for you.”

Padre

Sunday Photo Fiction – Sep 1 2019

 

Castaways

Photo courtesy of Artur Malishkevych

It had started out as the ideal vacation.  For a package deal, it was amazing.  The food was good, the hotel luxurious, and the tropical location breathtaking.

Marvin’s sense of humor had long made Marge cringe at times, and she had grown to ignore some of his more right-wing and xenophobic views.  But she wasn’t prepared for the consequences of the two factors coming together while on the sightseeing excursion to the outer islands.

“Marvin, did you really have to tell the joke about the Jamaican, the Englishman and the China-man?”

“But it was funny,” he said defensively.

“Yeah? As funny as the one about the Englishman that tells a rude joke in front of his Jamaican tour guide and a boat-load of Chinese tourists?”

(130 words)

Padre

Sunday Photo Fiction – Aug 25 2019

Raven-haired Beauty

 

Photo courtesy of DB McNicol via Pixabay

The Ravenia sisters were not the typical village maidens.  Their father, Ravernon, in fact was a great sage and wizard.  Each was considered as beautiful as the other, with jet black hair and movements that were so graceful that they seemed to glide, almost fly across the floor.  There was one odd thing about the sisters, however, they were never observed together.  One might see Hetia or perhaps Metia, but never at the same time.

This did not seem to trouble the many suitors after their affections, however.  Knights, mages, and nobles from throughout the three kingdoms would come to pay court to them.  Some might be disappointed to find one sister, when their desire was for the other, but most remained undaunted as their beauty was almost mythical.

Little did anyone know, that the raven-haired beauties were not what they seemed.  The great Ravernon was widowed before his wife could bear him a child.  In is grief and loneliness he conjured his ‘children’ by converting hatchlings he spied on the battlements below his tall tower.

He was pleased with his efforts, but though his powers were great, he was not strong enough to maintain the two together in human form more than a few hours.  As they grew it became more and more difficult to even achieve this.   On the girls’ seventeenth birthday he made his decision.  Each of his daughters would take her human form for only one day, then her sister would have her turn.

Oh, there were squabbles as to the fairness of the arrangement, especially if a favoured suitor called, but it had its benefits as well.   Often the girls in their winged form would perch on a roof top or overhanging bough and spy on their suitors.  The secrets gathered always gave them the upper hand in their relationships, and more than once avoided potential heart-break as they observed the men’s unfaithfulness before they had become too invested in a suitor.

There was even the day when Sir Tristan was flirting with a buxom wench near the village well, only for the blonde to suddenly take flight after she was showered with foul raven’s droppings as she coyly smiled and twisted her locks to draw the young knight’s interest.

Beware the dark magic of  dark beauty, it may well prove fowl.

Padre

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Sunday Photo Fiction – Aug 18 2019:  Top Picture

Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt: The Beauty Myth

Inspiration Call: Flash Fiction Friday: Bottom Picture