#ThursThreads Week 384 : I See She Didn’t Overstate The Issue

I have a job that’s a 10 minute walk from our house. It’s perfect. No traffic to fight. No car to keep running. I get up, get dressed, put on my walking shoes, and walk to work. At night, I call her when I’m ready to walk home, so she will know I’m on the way.

Halloween is not a holiday. No one I know has that day off. Everyone goes to work. Schools have normal hours. It’s another day. Like any other day, I walked to work. At quitting time, I called her like I always did.

“I have to warn you, dear. There’s been a pumpkin massacre in the neighborhood. Be careful on your walk.”

I changed to my walking shoes, and tried to imagine a pumpkin massacre, “Teenagers, kids. Bashing Jack-o-lanterns. Bits of pumpkin here and there. Some on the sidewalk.” A normal thing for Halloween. Who hasn’t seen pumpkin bits in the road on that night?

I started home. After a couple of minutes, I smelled pumpkin. “Someone’s cooking?” But it didn’t smell like cooking. Five minutes in to my walk, I turned a corner, into our neighborhood. The sidewalk was orange. So was the road. And the curb had vanished. It was all under an ocean of pumpkin. Not smashed. Pureed.

“Well. I see she didn’t overstate the issue.” I had to walk home through the goo. “I’ll have to ask what happened when I get home.”

241 Words

It’s Week 384 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Given it’s October, I decided to try something Halloween. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up weekly.


#EVERyTuesdayWordplay (Week 12): Hands

Domino smiled as she watched him at his computer. She tapped her sister on the shoulder, “Watch. Watch him. See?”

“What? He’s at his computer. What is there to see?”

“You don’t see it, do you?” Domino couldn’t believe Shelly couldn’t see something so obvious. “His hands. Watch his hands.”

Shelly watched, briefly, then shook her head, “Boring. Boring, boring, boring.”

“Shelly! No. How can you not see it?”

“See what?”

Domino practically drug her sister to the kitchen, “See what? His hands, silly!”

“So, he has hands! So what! We all have hands!”

“Not like his, we don’t!” Domino looked through the doorway, back toward the computer, where he sat, typing away. “Not at all like his.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Shelly held up her own hands, “He’s got 10 fingers, two palms, and wrists, just like we do.”

Domino shook her head, “Yes, he has the same physical number of fingers, and palms. Yes, they are, mechanically, hands.” She waved her own hands, “Just like ours. But.”

“What. Tell me already.”

“His hands are who he is.”

The look on Shelly’s face said, “You are out of your mind.”

“No. Shelly. It’s true.” Domino let herself smile. She’d never known anyone whose hands were the doorways to his soul, to his heart. “Think about it. What does he do with his hands? What’s he doing right now.”

“Banging on his keyboard.”

“He’s writing.” Domino corrected her. “He’s writing. He’s not banging. He’s expressing himself. Through his hands.”

“So?” Shelly still had that “You’re out of your mind” look.

“Have you seen him wash the dishes?” The way his hands tried to avoid the yucky parts of the dishes, the things floating in the sink, the sharp edges everywhere. “Or folding the laundry?” How his hands were careful not to hurt the fabric, especially on delicate things. How they reacted to different textures, how they touched her clothing strikingly differently than his own. “How he holds them when he talks?”

Shelly sighed. “His hands show who he is? How he feels?”

“Yes! When he taps his fingers to the sound of the music. When his hands can’t stop moving during the scary parts, or the big fights, in a movie, or on TV. When his hands hold each other, when he’s nervous, or scared.”

Domino watched her sister think, watched as Shelly remembered all the things she’d watched him do. Driving, mowing the lawn, painting the walls, holding her niece, scratching the cat’s ears. It was like watching the sun rise at dawn, where the light starts to peek over the horizon, and the colors of everything start coming on.

“Oh, my.” Shelly looked toward him on his computer. “I never noticed.” She almost laughed, “I never noticed.”

Domino had, “It’s true. His hands show everything he is. Everything he feels.”

Shelly smiled, “How come I keep hearing that song, he’s a magic man, he’s got magic hands.”

“He does, Shelly. He really does.”

495 Words

Saw the word prompt of “Hands” for Ever Addams weekly #EVERyTuesdayWordplay Flash Fiction prompt, and I knew exactly what to write. The how required me to try something different. Go read the other stories for prompt #12.

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2019/10/15 (Week 128)

Tundar waved his hands at the pile of rocks, “In a thousand years, this will drive them bonkers!”

I often wondered about Tundar, and I certainly did then. He’d gone to a lot of trouble to make a rock wall. He’d found hundreds of flat rocks, and stacked them, to make the wall. Walls were sensible enough. I could see him building one.

But this wall was in the middle of nowhere. It was a three day hike to reach it. And Tundar had hauled all those rocks that distance. To build a wall that had no purpose.

He laughed, “I think the triangle arrangment sitting on top of the doorway, with the two big balls, is the perfect touch.”

He wasn’t wrong. They did make the wall easier to look at. They gave it an air of purpose.

“I bet they’ll think it’s some kind of religious symbol. Or maybe a calendar, or some strange way to track the rise and fall of the moon, or the seasons.”

I had to interrupt him, “What? What are you talking about?”

“I bet, in a thousand or so years, they’ll find this, and they’ll wonder what it is, what it means, who made it, why they put it here.” Tundar laughed. “I can see them now, making up explanations. It will be hilarious!”

“Tundar, in a thousand years, you’ll have been dead for over 900 of them.”

“Of course. That’s what makes this so fun.”

“A joke you won’t see the end of, but this excites you?”

He laughed louder, “Oh! What if they think it was made by aliens! Or maybe we were trying to talk to our gods, or something!” He laughed so hard, he fell over. Then, he explained to me. “Sandar. You know those rocks we found, that stand on end. The big rocks, arranged in rows, like fence posts?”

I nodded. Everyone knew the legend of those rocks.

“What if whoever set them up did it, knowing someone would come along, eventually, long after they were dead, and gone, and turned back into dirt from whence we all came, and that someone would try to explain why the ancients made fence posts out of stupidly big rocks that took a dozen men to move.”

He grinned.

“The fence post rocks are a practical joke?”

He nodded, “Might as well be. We won’t ever figure out what they’re for, and the people that made them are long dead. Who knows. Maybe they were actually laundry line posts, and there used to be ropes between them to hang clothes on.”

“Well,” I had to nod too, “Maybe. That makes as much sense as anything else.”

“So, why not, long after we’re dead, and returned to dirt, let whoever finds this come up with all kinds of stupid ideas for why we did it.”

That’s when I realized what he was saying. “Hmm. Perhaps we can do a lot more things like this.”

“I know! Right! We could drive people nuts for centuries!” He waved at the rocks again. “Maybe. Maybe we can talk about this with the king, and see if he has any ideas. Or at least wants in on the joke.”

“Tundar. Do you have another idea already?”

“Yes. Yes I do. We can make huge drawings in the dirt. Where no one lives, They’d last for ever.”

I started laughing. “A giant spider, perhaps.”

“And so many others.”

I was laughing fully at that point, “I wonder what they’d call them.”

“Who knows?” He grinned. “Who cares?” He winked at me, “It will drive them nuts for centuries.

602 Words

It’s week 128 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. I’m on the iPad Mini, which is ancient, so links are a headache, and I’ll stop at just the one link. Go there, and read the stories for week 128, including Miranda’s story. The stories are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed.

#ThursThreads Week 383 : I Could Work On Him

The swarm inhabiting Delilah Jacobs continued negotiations with the swarm that inhabited Howard Wilson. “She has no interest in him.” It was how negotiations went. Two swarms came to terms with the result of two humans mating, and producing offspring.

Howard’s swarm answered, “I could work on him. Tune him up. Lean him out a bit. Dress him up a bit. What is she looking for?”

Delilah’s swarm had been through many negotiations over the centuries, and moved from Delilah’s great, great grandmother, through one daughter at a time, ending up in Delilah. “It’s a biochemical thing. She thinks he smells funny.”

“I could work on that too. Change what he eats. Change how his metabolism works.” There was a pause. “How would he need to be modified?”

Negotiations for modifications lasted two weeks. Howard and Delilah never figured out why their paths always crossed. When the final list of biochemical modifications for Howard was completed, Delilah’s swarm agreed to a few biochemical tweaks to improve her interest in him.

Then, they kept Delilah, and Howard, meeting, which eventually turned into dinner, and then dates, and finally a happy couple.

Delilah never did figure out why she fell for Howard, but she did. Even after they were married, she still wondered why she was so attracted to him. The swarm in her knew. It was as planned, and guaranteed the growth of the swarms. It didn’t care if the humans ever understood. Only survival mattered.

245 Words

It’s Week 383 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Saw the prompt, and this popped into my head. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up weekly.

#ThursThreads Week 382 : I Block Out The Screams

It was another day at work, just like the thousands that had preceded it, and most likely the thousands that would follow. I looked at the wall of computers, mostly laptops, but some desktops and all-in-ones.

Computer 7 on the bench had the usual data backup, and repair, paperwork. “Copy the data on the computer to an external hard disk, and then fix the computer.” I’d lost count years ago of how many times I’d had to do that. Plug in the repair system flash drive, boot the computer to it, and not to Windows (or what was left of Windows), and use the repair environment to copy the data.

I wasn’t surprised at all when I brought up the data copying program, and it told me there was nothing on the hard disk. I sighed, and automatically closed the copying program and started the Seagate Data Recovery program, to see if it could find any deleted data on the computer.

After three minutes of trying, the Seagate program popped up it’s message, “Drive to damaged. Can’t recover.”

I told the other repair technician, “They ran the computer until it stopped.”


“And they never backed up anything.”


“They just lost all the pictures of their grand-babies.”


“They’ll scream. And cry. And get all emotional, won’t they.”


“I block out the screams, you know.”

“So do I. Now. Call them with the good news.”

I grimaced, and picked up the phone.

243 Words

It’s Week 382 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Since the prompt reminded me of work, I wrote a story about work. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up weekly.

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2019/29/2019 (Week 126)

It was good she’d won the photography contest. “Best Photograph”. She deserved it. I knew she’d spent taking endless pictures, processing them, re-balancing the colors, enhancing certain details, softening other details, to tune each picture. Make it draw the viewer’s eyes where she wanted, make the viewer see what she wanted.

Of course, we hung the picture on the wall. In a huge frame. To show it off. A wall covered with other photographs from other contests, other shows, where she’d won.

“Well. What do you think, dear?”

With each photo we put on that wall, she asked the same question. And I told the same lie. “It’s perfect. I love it.”

I never told her the truth, I knew to keep that sealed inside, never let it out. It’s something I’d learned early in life. I never saw things like other people. I saw things differently. Somehow. I couldn’t get it right. The picture everyone thought was gorgeous, I found to be nothing special. The ugly picture might well hold my attention for days. The picture everyone adored the model’s smile in, I might not even see the smile, and see only the bracelet on her wrist, and the details within it. “Doesn’t she look so happy?” And all I’d see is the emptiness or the agony, in her eyes.

But, I’d learned, you know. I’d had to learn, to survive. I’d learned to say something appropriate. “Your best shot yet, I think. I love the balance of the colors, they way they play off each other. How everything is centered on the model.” I could tell if it was enough, because she’d smile at me, and hug me, “Thank you.”

She knew I was lying. I knew that. But she knew I understood how I saw things wasn’t the way the rest of the world did. She knew I made basic comments, kept it simple, so I could pretend I knew what everyone else saw, what everyone else felt when they looked at her pictures.

I wished I could tell her what I really saw.

“I know, dear. You don’t really see that. I know.” She hugged me again. “And someday, maybe you can tell me what you see. What makes my work special to you.

I tried to smile, and failed, rather miserably. “You want me to say what I see?”

“I’d love that.”

“She’s trapped, isn’t she.”

It’s tough when the person you love, the person who means the world to you, doesn’t really understand you. She came closer than anyone else ever had, or ever will. That’s why she mattered to me. That’s why I loved her so.

And still, in so many ways, I was a mystery to her. “How, my love. How is she trapped.”

“The blue. I pointed to the blue fabric flowing from the model’s waist, to the ground, spreading to cover the entire floor. “It’s pulling her back. Drawing her back to the way everything is. The way everything is supposed to be.” I took another breath. Deep one. Slow. “It’s so sad. She’s trying to find her way. Be the unique person she is. And our world. It won’t let her.”

That got me another hug. “It makes sense, you know.” She studied her picture and slowly nodded her head, “It does make sense.” She snuggled into me, pulled my arm around her. “In your own, unique view of life, it makes sense.”

I made another weak smile, “So sad. She tried to break free, only to learn the world won’t let her.”

“Do you really like it?”

“Yeah. I do. It’s so sad. And so true.”

Snuggled in, she looked at me, her blue eyes always touched everything in me I never understood. “Thank you for being honest. And not lying to me.”

“Well. I suck at lying anyway, you know.”

“I know.”

645 Words

It’s week 126 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. You can read about Miranda’s small fiction challenge here. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that showed up. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed.

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2019/09/22 (Week 125)

The song says,

“A mirror is a negative space,
With a frame,
And a place for your face.
It reveals what the rest of us see.
It conceals what you’d like it to be.”

Mirrors reflect everything, but you can’t see into them. Instead, you only see what they see. That’s how mirrors work. Light strikes the surface, and it’s not absorbed, or filtered. It’s reflected. Sent back the direction it came.

Standing in that forest, on that day, I saw them. The mirrors. They walked among the trees, like we did, going around, over, under, moving small branches, and pausing to look at things.

At first, I didn’t notice them, after all, they looked like the rest of the forest. Eventually, I realized they were there, only because underbrush doesn’t move, and sections of tree trunks don’t appear out of nowhere, and then vanish into thin air.

They stopped moving when I stopped, which made them difficult to see. I moved short distances, a step or two at a time, always stopping to look around, and see how everything changed. That’s how I found them. The background changed. The background didn’t always show the right things. By moving a yard to the left, I could make a tree branch vanish. A yard right, and a branch that wasn’t there showed up.

When I found such a branch, I started trying to get closer to it, only to see the scenery change in different ways, like bits of the forest were moving away from me.

The only sounds were my feet stepping on leaves, and twigs, my breathing, the occasional bird, the sounds a forest makes. I never heard them walking, or breathing. They made no sounds at all.

Eventually, moving bit by bit, I caught one off guard, it’s figure cut a human shaped hole in the image of a tree trunk. Mirrors reflect. The mirror was there, between me, and the tree, and a human shaped image of leaves resting on the ground, a couple of mushrooms, and my right shoe, looked back at me from in front of that tree.

“Who are you?” I reached out my hand, to indicate it was OK. I wouldn’t harm them. That I’d noticed them. And was curious.

They panicked. Like forest animals. “The human has seen us! Run!” Reflections went insane, parts of the forest flashed to and fro, moving in impossible ways. Until they were all gone, nothing moved. Nothing reflected an image that was out of place.

They were gone.

Without a sound.

Since then, I have returned to that place in that one forest, a hundred times, hoping to catch another glimpse of them. Always failing. It’s like they watch for me, and hide, when I arrive. I’ve never seen them since that day.

Sometimes, I wonder if they were really there, or if my mind was playing tricks on me. Sometimes, I wonder, are they hiding in other places. Outside the forest. Maybe in broad daylight. Maybe they walk through our parks, along our city streets, filled with glass, and reflected images. And we never notice them. Just another reflection among thousands.

And I wonder if they have faces, eyes, ears, noses, fingers, toes. Like we do.

I may never know. I may never learn. Because I have never found them since that day. When they showed me how mirrors work. How mirrors reflect light, so you can see what they see, and never actually see them.

I will keep looking. I will have my camera with me when I look. I want to get them in pictures, to prove they exist.

They do exist, don’t they?

I know what I saw that day. I know!

They do exist.

Don’t they?

625 Words

It’s week 125 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. You can read about Miranda’s small fiction challenge here. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that showed up. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed.

The music lyrics in the above piece are from the song “Mirrors” by Blue Oyster Cult. Here’s a link to a youtube video of the song:

Blue Oyster Cult: Mirrors