Response to JSW Prompt 1-15-2018

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pix by csk2017

The fireplace sat cold and alone, nursing memories of warmth and life, the smell of meat and biscuits. Standing there was like coming home, looking at the collage of stone and mortar, tiny green of life struggling at its foot.

It had been a long time since he’d felt the struggle of life.

He never should have left. That was clear enough now, but hindsight was always better and hindsight wasn’t a gift for the young.

He remembered Mama sitting by the hearth, stirring stew made from his catch, slow and steady, darning forgotten in her lap.

No, not forgotten. Mama never forgot anything. She’d never forgotten him, even when he’d never come home again. Soldiers didn’t always go home. They both known that at the time and he knew it still.

Soldiers don’t always go home.

The home was long gone, his life, his world with it. Now, he lived in a world of cell phones and instant communications; 98″ TV’s, airplanes and 100 channels on Cable. Vaccines and penicillin.  Boy, penicillin would have been a help back then.

He might have gone home.

“Coming?” Jeffrey asked from behind, lounging in the diver’s seat of their rented Corvette.

“Yeah,” he replied, turning away from the past.  Slid into the passenger’s seat, closing the door behind him.

“Where to?”

“It’s been a long time since I was in the US,” he mused, wiping his hands on a napkin. “Let’s start at the top and just keep going.”

“Your wish,” Jeffery laughed, driving away from the ruins of the old plantation.

He’d never understood the draw of the past.  If he never saw his old home-place again, that would be fine with him. Daniel was of a different mold, one he didn’t often understand.

Daniel looked over at him, never once looking back. “Thank you for your indulgence, Jeffery. I know the past means little to you.”

Jeffrey replied with a shrug. “That’s true, but what matters to you matters to me.”

“Thank you for lying to make me feel better.”

“Part of the job description.”

Squirrel. That was what he’d shot and his Mama cooked. Squirrel stew.

Looking over at Jeffery, he realized he’d finally come home.


Response JSW Prompt 1-8-2018 on 1-9-2018

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The Daily Prompt: August 17, 2017


The flowers died on Monday.

She threw them away on Tuesday.

Wednesday, I left. For good.

It wasn’t like we’d fallen out of love.  If anything, we’d fallen more in love, so much more I smothered under the weight of her emotions.

Or had the streams of her feelings turned to hate when I wasn’t looking?

I don’t know. Things would have been easier had I known.

It’s easy to pretend to hate, but so much harder to walk out the door and never look back.

Thursday, I moved to California, half a world away from dead flowers in a dumpster.

On Friday, alone in an empty apartment, I cried.

Saturday, I left the apartment and never looked back.

Response – JSW Prompt 1-1-2018 on 1-7-2018

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Dialogue prompt -- "Why is he bleeding?" "Because he's an idiot." "I didn't know that idiocy caused people to just start spontaneously bleeding from the nose." "I think it's a new phenomenon."

He rolled his eyes. What would one call it?  Sarcasm? Stupidity? Idiot Savantry?

No, definitely not that. Idiot Savant implied some form of genius somewhere in the man across the room and, frankly, he’d yet to see the faintest sign of significant intelligence.

“You hit him, right?”

“Me? No. Not really.”

“How do you not really hit somebody and make them bleed?”

He shrugged. “It…”

“A new phenomenon, I know. You told me already.”

Another shrug and a grin.

He remembered, oh so well, who had saddled him with this idiot and that favor would be repaid in full and then some.

“Head out,” he ordered, starting the SIM again.

This time when the idiot started down the wrong hallway, he let him go.

Good luck and god bless. He’d learn to live with the guilt.



Response 12-25-2017 JSW Prompt 1-1-2018

Feel free to join in and respond to the prompt. Please try to keep your response under 300 words (But if not, that’s cool, too). If you reply, I will re-blog your post to my site (sometimes I am slow, but I get there).

She stopped on the edge of the tree, staring warily into the cleaning, eyes immediately drawn to the brightly wrapped package under the single tree in the center. The tree was a Horse Chestnut, a sacred tree, but what could be in the box below? Had the gods left some present, some magical item, for her to discover.

No, not likely. In fact, hardly possible at all. None of the Gods she knew liked her near enough for gift-leaving. So what?

She could just pass on by and not look back, but she was too curious for her own good. She was going to look. She knew she was and darn the consequences. What was that book she been force to read in Grammar school? A Good Day to Die?

No. This was not a good day to die. It was so not a good day to die that she considered just moving on, but again, that wasn’t going to happen in her lifetime.

Which, she realized, might be growing shorter all the time.

Stepping into the clearing, she moved forward warily, eyes scanning the clearing and then the woods around. If she didn’t make it home tonight, would they miss her?

Of course they would, silly, but she discarded that thought. Much better to think she was alone in the world, making her own way in a violent time. How else to become a hero? For it was a hero she wanted to be more than anything else in the world.

To survive and over-come some terribly dangerous quest and return to those who had cast her out. Bravely willing to sacrifice her life for theirs regardless of their action. By this time in her narrative, she had reached the tree and thus the box.

It was, as she had observed before, wrapped in brightly colored paper covered with red and blue balloons and cupcakes. The cupcakes were vanilla and chocolate, however, not red and blue like the balloons.

And on the top lay a tag which said, ‘To Nay-na.”

Eagerly, she tore off the papers to find anther wrapped box, then another and another.

A puzzle to help her on her way.

At last, she reached the smallest box, about the size of a football. Ripping off the paper and tearing out the tissue-paper inside, she pulled out a….


A cheap, Halloween-store, tiara, sparkling with paste gems.

The clearing around echoed with the sounds of voices shouting, people pouring out of the forest and rushing towards her.

“Happy Birthday!” yelled her family and friends, swarming around with hugs and kisses. Her brother set the tiara onto her head

“You’ll need a few bobbies to hold it on, but this should do for the time.”

“Cake, cake,” everybody shouted as she, her friends and cousins and siblings raced towards the warmly lit house, smells of pizza and birthday cake permeating the air.

Perfect, she thought as she ran. The perfect ending for a perfect story!

Hero for the day!