Thursday, 31 December 2015

Shirley, You Jest - A Happy New Year Tale


Shirley sipped her drink and peered over her glass's rim across the room from her vantage point in the corner. The party to usher in the new year was much like those dances one attended in their youth. You know the ones in the school gym where the cliques all gathered in their separate zones. The cheerleaders, the jocks, the band members, the smart kids and then you and your friends.

Slowly Shirley started to circulate. She knew pretty much everyone here but didn't actually belong to any one group. As an insurance salesman in a small town Shirley knew everyone but really didn't have the same interests as anyone.

She nodded and said a quiet hello to those who caught her eye. Well she had to. She couldn't ignore them. All, save several, were her customers. Bob was worth $500 thousand, Dick a cool million and Betty $2 million. That's how Shirley thought of people...in terms of the value of their life insurance...or of the value of their house, their cars and in some cases their cats. Shirley couldn't understand the latter but then cat owners were kind of special.

As she drifted by a circle of folks she overheard one fellow telling a joke.

Do you know why the game is called golf? 
Because all the other four letter words were taken. 

The clatch of party-goes guffawed and Shirley, a golfer herself, chuckled softly as the fellow looked at her. "You're a golfer?" Shirley inquired. "Yes I am" said the joke teller, breaking into a smile. "Although in university I played several sports, football and basketball among them".

"Oh so you're a jock" said Shirley, rolling her eyes. "A jock who tells jokes" she added. "I guess that would make you Jocular!".

And as the jock turned on his heel and the countdown to 2016 began Shirley knew she'd never keep that resolution about no more puns in the new year. And likely no more dates.


The folks at Studio30+ have made jocular/jesting this week's prompts. I'm jesting at the best of times and this week is no different.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

A Christmas Wish


Mary tossed and turned in her bed. She tried to sleep but her mind raced with thoughts of Christmas tomorrow. She was unable to shop for her little son Brian. Her cancer prevented her from getting out of the house, let alone out of bed.

Nine year old Brian had been a big help to her as her disease worsened. He cooked her soup and fetched her water and juices when she was thirsty. He was such a comfort. His efforts seemed to indicate he was much older than nine.

It had been just the two of them for the past year. Mary's husband Paul had left when Mary's cancer took a turn for the worse. Good riddance thought Mary. He wasn't of any help. Not like Brian. Poor Brian. He wouldn't be celebrating much of a Christmas this year.

But Brian was an optimist. Aren't most children? All he wanted for Christmas was for his Dad to come back. He didn't care about puzzles or toys or the latest electronic gadgets. He just wanted a family again.

This one thought filled his mind as he drifted off to sleep.

He awoke all of a sudden certain he had heard a noise downstairs. He slipped out of bed and slowly crept down the staircase. He edged along the wall and peeked around the corner into the living room. He couldn't believe his eyes. There in the corner of the room stood a Christmas tree fully decorated and brightly lit. And beneath the tree were gift wrapped boxes.

"What do you think, Brian?" came a familiar voice from the other end of the room.

"Dad" yelled Brian as he ran to his father and was scooped up into his arms.

And so Brian's wish was more than granted and he couldn't be happier.

However, his happiness wouldn't last for long. And for Brian Christmas would be bittersweet.


The prompt from the folks at Studio30+ was bespoke/indicate this week. This wasn't the most uplifting Christmas story but sometimes in life there's a yin and a yang where you have to take the bad stuff with the good. Cancer can be such a depressing disease. We're best off taking one day at a time and experiencing joy in the positive small things each day brings.

Merry Christmas to all my friends, commenters and drive-bys. May Santa bring you everything you wish for.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Happiness


"Like that's really gonna happen" said Jane dismissively.

Why do you have to be so mordant" moaned Bill, immediately regretting his comment.

"Oh, my, such a big word" said Jane. "Been reading the Thesaurus in our spare time have we?"

Why did it always degenerate to this he wondered. She was always so sarcastic and it was driving him nuts. She picked at every little thing he said. Like today they were discussing children, having children. Although it wasn't really a discussion because she had shut it down immediately with her comment.

But Bill wasn't so sure. He wanted children. Several maybe, if Jane was agreeable.

Several months later Bill and Jane were walking in the park. It was a sunny, spring day and they walked shoulder-to-shoulder, heads bent, along the path. Skaters, bicyclists and pedestrians were all out vying for space. Flowers were in bloom and birds were chirping. Bill was thinking just how idyllic the scene was, apart from Jane's silent mood when she turned to him, looked him in the eyes and hissed "I'm pregnant. I hope you're happy".

And he was.

Sarcastic/mordant were the pompts at Studio30+ this week, as if you didn't know.


Saturday, 12 December 2015

The Family Secret


She stood by the graveside holding her mother's hand determined not to cry. Her mother might cry but not her.Her mother may have loved him but not her. If anyone had have asked her how close they were she would vehemently reply that they weren't.

Appearances can be deceiving. People thought they were the perfect family but she knew the truth. And so did he.

She would remember for a long, long time what he made her do. And sadly her mother seemed   oblivious to what was going on.

It started out infrequently but then grew until it would occur daily. And she hated it. It was the worst kind of thing that could happen between a father and a daughter.

When her mother turned to her and asked how she would remember her father she was quick to answer.

"I hate him. He always made me eat my vegetables."

The clue from the folks at Studio30+ this week was vehement/aggressive and believe me I vehemently hate vegetables too.


Sunday, 6 December 2015

Imitation - The Highest Form of Flattery


The highest form of flattery.

That's what they say, thought Brad. So I guess I shouldn't be too upset. But still, he wondered, why were there so many copycats out there.

When he created his masterpiece he thought it was one of a kind. Something to be admired for its shape and form; its smooth lines and vibrant colours in its scarf and hat.

But no, there were many imitations and as he passed each (see what I did there?) he became more and more dejected. The more copies the more his creation was devalued.

There was only one thing to do. He'd have to create something new, something different. He looked around at the imitations. They really presented a palpable pastiche across the landscape.

Yep. His snowman might have been the first but it certainly wasn't the last. He set to work to create a snow woman. Of course, he knew, it would only be a matter of time before someone else came along and passed on the highest form of flattery.

The Studio30+ writing prompt this week is pastiche/imitation. Click on the link to see the other imitators.

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