A Funny… Weird… Sad Thing Happened on the Way to the Armchair 12/12/2019

And no, I don’t mean funny ha ha. I mean funny as:

“differing from the ordinary in a suspicious, perplexing, quaint, or eccentric way: peculiar” as quoted from the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

And maybe, I don’t even mean that.

Maybe I mean weird in the same “suspicious, perplexing, quaint or eccentric way.”

To be honest, I am not sure. My brain hasn’t processed enough to understand something which is, ultimately, not understandable.

I do know I mean sad. As in the sadness and shock of my world being changed in an instant.

Yesterday, in the middle of a normal, everyday, day, a co-worker with no health problems, no signs of anything wrong, collapsed at the office. After getting her heart started again three times, the rescue squad spirited her away.

She didn’t make it.

I only knew her as a familiar voice on the phone over the years I have been at my job, both at the hospital and now at my current position. She was always happy and friendly. Happy, I guess, just to be alive. Phone co-workers, phone-friends, even if we never met face to face.

Until last week. Last week, I spoke with her on the phone and discovered she works in the same office building as I do, just around the corner. I asked where she sat so I could come say hi. You see, I’d seen her at the office, but I never put the name to the face. At the end of the week, she walked by my desk and waved. “I’m Betty(not her real name).”

Now she is gone and something inside me is gone, too. Maybe not forever, but pushed down by the shock in which I’ve been moving these last hours.

How does this happen? How can somebody be there one minutes, fine and whole and healthy, and the next, gone? I don’t understand and I don’t like it.

The truth is, none of us are safe. Our lives can change in an instant, both because of those around us and us ourselves. Life is not forever. Life is a butterfly soaring on fragile wings until that one moment when a wing breaks and all is over.

Should we hold those dearest to us close and never let them go. Should we remember to show our love in every day and in every day? Should we never take anything for granted?

Yes, yes and yes. We should do all this and more. I should hug my child every day and tell him I love him. I should call my child living an hour away and do the same. I should call my father, my sister, my friends.

So why don’t I?

Because, in the end, we all willing wear blinders to hide us from the truth. Not out of indifference, but out of fear. We are afraid of death and afraid of the vacuum left behind at another’s death.

I am feeling this sadness because of the suddenness of her death. It was another day, just any old another day, so how could it change so fast?

I don’t have that answer. Maybe, I never will.

Right now, I need to hug my son and my puppy and my cats. Right now I need to celebrate being alive…..

Sunday Photo Fiction 9-23-2018

Sunday Photo Fiction

SPF 09-16-18 Anurag 1

Photo Credit: Anurag Bakhshi


It was a familiar fantasy, one he’d had for years. Driving. Driving. Guardrails flashing past. Trees. Signs. Winds through cracked windows. Feel in his belly like a roller-coaster up the first hill. Clackety. Clackety. Clackety. Body filling with air, with fear, with joy.

Sweet fear as he raced forward. Faster. Faster. Inch by inch by mile. Feeling in his belly growing and growing….. faster. Faster. Expanding like a balloon until he would explode.

Fear. Fear. Fear. Fear. Fear. Steering wheel clutched in sweaty hands. Cold hands. Fear hands. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

Faster. Faster. Faster. Then bump and trees and….. freedom!


Word of the Week 8-8-2018





a person who is very fond of and is usually a collector of teddy bears.


Arctophiles and children should make time for Teddy Melrose, the teddy bear museum, tea room and workshop …

—Juliet Clough, Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio)30 June 1996


from Greek arktos bear + -phile (denoting fondness for a specified thing.)


Collins English Dictionary



Sunday Photo Fiction 7-28-2018

Sunday Photo Fiction

SPF July 22 2018 (2 of 1)

Photo Credit:C.E. Ayr

The ride wouldn’t be hard, not physically, but mentally? Frankly, I had no desire to bike across any state with Marcus. Who would? Not many people like to be controlled and Marcus was a whiz at control.

When he’d first shown up, I’d felt sorry for him and so I’d invited him to hang. I’m such a chump. All my friends say so.

We left at dusk, riding several hours into the night before he would allow a stop. The sky was a spectacle. The night cold. I lay all night fantasizing about sneaking away.

Did I?

Five days which would have melted the Devil was enough. After midnight, I rose, quiet, and snuck away, wheeling my bike beside me. Hitched a ride home after ditching the bike.

Never biked since.

Always told people he moved away, decide to bike the world.

Who knew?




Word of the Week 6-27-2018


[sen-ahyt, -it]



Archaic. a week.


It had taken them only a sennight to travel from Sentarshadeen … into the heart of the lost Lands to face the power of Shadow Mountain.

Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory,To Light a Candle, 2004

She that I spake of, our great captain’s captain, / Left in the conduct of the boldIago, / Whose footing here anticipates our thoughts / A sennight ‘s speed.

William Shakespeare, Othello, 1622


The archaic English noun sennight means literally “seven nights,” i.e. a week.

The Old English form was seofan nihta.

Middle English had many forms,including soveniht, sevenight, seven nyght, sennyght.



Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers 6-20-2018

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Enisa.

Guide for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers
1. A prompt photo will be provided each Monday pm to be used as a base to your story. Please include photo prompt with your story.
2. Linking for this challenge begins on Monday pm and runs to the following Monday pm.
3. Please credit photo to photographer.
4. The story word limit is 100 – 150 words (+ – 25 words). Please try to stay within this limit.
5. Please indicate the number of words in your story at the end of your story. (It doesn’t count in the amount of words).


She sat at the rickety table, staring at the one thing she had left (besides the crappy furniture and the cracked mirror in the bathroom). A fake crystal vase. He’d given it to her once upon a time, with a single peach rose inside, a token of his love.

A love that hadn’t lasted long until the lies started and never stopped. Bad enough a divorce and then the medical problems and now bankruptcy. Where, and how, had she gone wrong?

Was it wrong to want to live a normal life? To experience love and happiness? To honor truth? Sometimes, she felt that it was, at least for her.

Maybe, she didn’t deserve a normal life, even if she wasn’t sure why. Something had to be wrong with her, didn’t it?

Didn’t it?

Rising, she walked to the back door and stared outside.

Sunset, a beautiful sky.

The last day of despair?

Or, simply the last day?


Sunday Photo Fiction 6-17-2018

Sunday Photo Fiction

DSCF5305Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding


He sat quiet, watching the coming and going in the park, Alfred standing to the side, staring off towards the pond.

“After we eat, don’t worry,” he said, taking a bite of his biscuit. Sipping coffee. Tossing half of another to his friend. Alfred ignored the sharing.

He shrugged. It was early. Alfred wasn’t a morning bird.

Neither of them were young. Maybe that was why they were such good friends. Both of them looking at the world from the wrong end of the telescope.

He hope Alfred went first. Who’d take care of him if he passed first? Alfred was a quiet bird, a reflective bird, set in his ways.

Taking his last bite of biscuit, he crumbled the bag and tossed it into the trash bin. Two points. He still had it.

Glancing down, he saw Alfred eating his biscuit, settled back to wait. Friends waited for each other. Friends accepted each other. Friends were friends.

Besides, he enjoyed the quiet. The pond would wait.


Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers 6-15-2018

photo prompt from wildverbs

Guide for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers
1. A prompt photo will be provided each Monday pm to be used as a base to your story. Please include photo prompt with your story.
2. Linking for this challenge begins on Monday pm and runs to the following Monday pm.
3. Please credit photo to photographer.
4. The story word limit is 100 – 150 words (+ – 25 words). Please try to stay within this limit.
5. Please indicate the number of words in your story at the end of your story. (It doesn’t count in the amount of words).

“Where would you go, ?” Jace wondered, “if you swan down inside the fountain?” He was always asking questions like that, nonsense really. Impossible fantasies.

I turned towards him. “Everybody knows you’d go down into the things that make the fountain work.” Pipes and plumbing, of course, but I didn’t know the words or the details then. I still don’t know the details, but I’ve gotten the basics down.

“Are there whales down there?”

“Of course not, Stupid!”

“Baby whales?”

I pushed him off the bench and ran away. Mom found him later, still on the bench, still watching. Still dreaming dreams nobody understood.

I remember those days on the bench, watching the fountain. Sometimes ducks would come, treading water with orange paddle feet.


I tuck the picture away into my pocket, hidden but not forgotten, knowing something soon would spark the memories, bring him back to me, if only for an instant.





Word of the Week 6-14-2018





A person whose official duty it is to examine or investigate something.

Historical A university official responsible for examining votes at university elections and announcing the result.



  • As usual in such cases, ‘Scrutator‘ proceeded to make short work of him.

  • Sharps and Flats

    John Nevil Maskelyne

  • Scrutator tells us that in the time of Mr. Meynell “it was not the fashion to have second horses in the field.”

  • The Horsewoman

    Alice M. Hayes

  • ‘Messrs. M. S. Giuseppi and W. A. Littledale were appointed scrutators of the ballot.’


1570–80; < Latin scrūtātor searcher, examiner, equivalent to scrūtā(rī) to examine (see scrutiny) + -tor -tor


Sunday Photo Fiction 6-12-2018

Sunday Photo Fiction


Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding

“Metal flamingos?”

“Would you rather have real birds, feet buried in the sand?”

Susan sighed, watching the man buying lunch at the trailer beyond.


“Are you trying to distract me?”

“If I was trying to distract you, I’ll be heading you towards the bedroom.”

“If I wanted real flamingos, would you get them?”

“For you, darling, anything.”

She turned in her chair and looked at him. So handsome with his chiseled features and beach blonde hair. And his hands. She’d never known such magical hands.

“Anything in the world?”

Leaning over, he kissed her gently. “Anything.”

“Okay, then I want flamingos. A pair to keep in my garden.”

For a moment, he considered, pretty sure hijacking real flamingos was against the law. Besides, he’d never heard of captive flamingo except in zoos and he wasn’t much of a zoo fan.

He pulled her into his lap, lips caressing the soft skin of her neck. “How about a little before lunch fun?” His hands moved up her sides.

She wiggled. “You are trying to distract me!”

“Guilty as charged.”

She snuggled for a moment then rose, grabbing his hand and pulling him inside.