Empty

Five chairs now empty. It is up to me to seek revenge. I will. Even though the deck is stacked against me, even though I’m the last of my brothers. I will see every last member of that spineless gang bloodied. I will cut off their limbs and feed them to their wives. I will bring in their daughters and sons and murder them before their eyes.

Five chairs now empty. It is easier to plan revenge than sit in this echoing silence. The laughter of my comrades used to fill this hall. After I claim my revenge, I will turn the gun and join my family.

Written for: Micro Bookends

Photo Credit: Enric Fradera via CC.

Photo Credit: Enric Fradera via CC.

Matchmaker, Matchmaker

“I’d like a wife,” her noon appointment explained from across the desk. His hand already held his check book. “Do you have a pen? I’d like to get this started sooner than later. I’m a very busy man.”

“I’d like a husband,” her one o’clock appointment explained from across the desk. She reached for the tissues as her eyes teared up. “I’m almost thirty, still a virgin and –.” The rest of her sentence disappeared in a mess of sobs.

“My mother says it’s time for a wife, so I came here,” her two o’clock appointment explained from across the desk. His eyes remained glued to his cellphone, his finger kept swiping left, right, left. When he looked up and saw her raised eyebrow, a sheepish smile formed on his face. “What? I’m lining up my tinder-mistresses.”

“I need to find a husband for my daughter,” her three o’clock appointment explained from across the desk, eyes wide with panic. “She’s hopeless, almost in her mid-twenties and her longest relationship was with the Harry Potter series. Help!”

She took a late lunch in the garden and tried not to reevaluate her decision to become a Professional Matchmaker.

Written for: Flash Friday

Theme: Marriage // Characters: mother desperate to marry off her daughter; a handsome, slightly snobbish landowner; a cad;

Changes

Written for: FinishThatThough

Prompt: Must use the provided first line.

This piece won Grand Champion!

She was seventy-five and she was going to make some changes in her life. Her mother had passed away a year ago, and with the grief came relief. There was no one left to impress, no one to curtail herself for, to protect.

The first thing she did was get a tattoo. The dragon of her dreams flying over her shoulder blades. The tattoo artist asked her, twice, if she was “sure”. So, she flicked him off because she could.

The second thing she did was cabaret. She had to show off her tattoo somehow. Walking on stage in garters and a corset did just the trick. Through the darkness, she could see the flashing camera lights and smiled for them. She no longer feared going viral. No, she looked forward to it.

The third thing she did was start a business. Ideas she had held close to her heart finally broke through the flood dams. So what if it was tacky, so what if it was beneath her status; she went to the park, laid out a tattered comforter, and sold her handmade jewelry.

The fourth thing she did was sex, lots and lots of sex. She brought men and women to the home she had shared with her mother. She left the bedroom door open. She lounged with her partners in the nude. She screamed obscenities and desires into the night; let herself experience the pleasure of it, over and over again.

The fifth thing she did was visit her mother’s grave. A recurring fling dropped her off. She brought a handmade string of pearls and placed it over her mother’s gravestone. Then she sat, and told her mother all her stories.

Boat Trip

For more Adventures of Linus and Margaret

“Whale!” Margaret shrieked.

Linus was equally as excited but, at nine, he had to show more self-control than his younger sister. There was a book in his hands and by the time he looked up, the whale was gone.

The wind whipped his hair into his face as they captain accelerated. It made it hard to finish the chapter.

“Linus! We’re getting closer.”

“Leave me alone, Mar.”

Then, from the direction of the ocean a spray of water hit his cheek. He turned his head and, closer than he ever imagined, was an eye.

He screamed.

Margaret laughed. “See, whale.”

Written for: Warmup Wednesday

This week’s Warmup Wednesday 100 word challenge: make the first and last words of your story “whale.”

Mirissa, whale watching, blue whale

The First-Ten-Millennium

Written for: Finish That Thought

Challenge: First line of Pride and Prejudice

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife,” the instructor read.

Mineral’s hand shot into the air.

“Yes, Mineral?” The instructor prompted.

“What is possession?”

“And what is a wife?” Wave interrupted.

“Not out of turn,” the instructor warned. “Let’s go in depth with this sentence as a general study of the first-ten-millennium of human culture.”

The instructor wrote the sentence on the board. She bolded the words UNIVERSALLY, SINGLE, POSSESSION, FORTUNE, WANT, and WIFE.

Then, the instructor circled in Red the words UNIVERSALLY and SINGLE.

Then, the instructor circled in Green the words POSSESSION and WANT.

Then, the instructor circled in Blue the words FORTUNE and WIFE.

Then, the instructor looked towards the circular window and out to the Earth rotating below. The classroom’s sphere turned slowly in its own orbit.

“Gravel?” The instructor asked the pupil sitting next to the window. The boy absently stared at the Earth as well, but sat up at his instructor’s call.

“Yes, instructor?”

“What are the words of Earth?”

“We are One.” He said without pause.

“What were we for the first-ten-millennium?”

“Separate,” Gravel answered. “There were boundaries.”

“Exactly, now there are no boundaries between countries or families. We are One.”

The pupils nodded.

“In the first-ten-millennium there were concepts of couples and SINGLES. This man in the book was a SINGLE but he was experiencing something that, at the time, was one to all.”

The pupils nodded.

“Bird,” the instructor called a girl in the back –one chatting with her neighbor. “What is the currency of Earth?”

“Give what you can, take what you need.”

“Correct. This is different from the economies of the first-ten-millennium. Well, outside of the barter system, one could argue,” but the instructor knew that discussion would be too advanced for these pupils. “Since the Grand Unificacion, there is no longer POSSESSION – which was a true a legal ownership over currency or things, even people. Nor is there the struggle and stratification that comes with possession: WANT.”

Some pupils nodded, others yawned.

“Now Stigmata,” the instructor summoned one of the yawners. “Please explain to me how FORTUNE and WIFE relate to themselves and the other two categories.”

The pupil thought for a moment before shaking her head. “I do not know, instructor.”

The instructor sighed. “Did anyone do the reading?”

A few hands rose but the instructor continued by ignoring them. “FORTUNE is a large amount of currency – it was thought UNIVERSALLY that a large amount of currency would appeal to a partner. In this novel, that partner was a WIFE. However, it wasn’t uncommon for the wife to claim a FORTUNE and attracted what were called ‘husbands’, during this time period as well. Also, in some cultures in the first-ten-millennium, wives were considered POSSESSIONS.”

“To be traded like currency?” Gravel asked.

“Sometimes, yes.”

“Whoa.”

The boy looked out the window and towards the Earth.

“Okay class, let’s read the next line.”

Perfect Penelope’s Pressure

“Perfect,” she sneers. “How is anyone supposed to live up to that?”
Her reflection stays silent in reply.
“I don’t know why they have to build me up, put my face on the side of a building, on the taxi cabs, on buses. I don’t know why they need to tie that word to me, just because my name is Penelope!”
Her reflection stays silent in reply.
“They can’t think of anything more creative so they go with the easy alliteration.”
A knock on the door breaks her focus. “We need for a sound check, time to find perfect Penelope’s perfect pitch.”


Written for: Micro Bookends