The Girl Who Liked Pteranodons

turu

Title card for the 1964 episode of Jonny Quest, “Turu the Terrible”

“Grandpa, I want to color.” The almost three-year-old girl showed the new box of crayons to the old man.

“But I thought you said you wanted to go to the park after dinner.”

Her blue eyes brightened. “I go to the park.” She dropped the box on the floor and went hunting for her shoes.

“Hey, wait a minute, Danni. Can you put the crayons away?”

She stopped in mid-stride, anticipating her liberty, wheeled around and ran back. “Oh yeah.”

They left by the side door, and she spent several minutes examining the air conditioner before being escorted by her Grandpa out the gate and to the sidewalk.

As the luminous ball of gas lighting the world slid slowly toward the western horizon, he watched her play on slides, climb ladders, and try to imitate a much older girl who was hanging upside down from the bars. Danni didn’t get very far, but she had a lot of fun introducing Regan to her Grandpa.

That night, after the child had brushed her teeth and put on her pajamas, the old man and the little girl shared one of his fondest memories from childhood on DVD; a couple of episodes of Jonny Quest. She really liked the show with the Pteranodon.

I wrote this for the Saturday Mix writing challenge at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. The idea is to take five words and use their synonyms in the body of a story. The original words are:

  1. paint
  2. release
  3. fan
  4. light
  5. clothes

I’ve bolded the synonyms I used in my tale to make them easier to spot.

I thought about the angst I expressed yesterday over what has been perceived as bigotry and prejudice against politically and socially conservative writers by the mainstream science fiction and fantasy industry, and after a lot of thought, and then writing another piece fo flash fiction this morning called The Unknown Children, I realized the world had much bigger problems for me to be concerned about.

The story above is a compressed version of how I spent yesterday afternoon and evening with my granddaughter. Yes, she really likes the old 1964 animated TV series Jonny Quest, which I watched when I was young, and especially one called Turu the Terrible.

If anyone wants to judge me, fairly or otherwise, they can judge me by what I write and by my humanity and compassion, and if I’m still not good enough, then I’d say they have a much bigger problem than I’ll ever have.

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Whatever Happened to Eva?

lover

Lover and the wild @ deviantart

Eva had lost count of how many men she’d slept with, but then this was never about keeping score. She rarely encountered Asmodius, her own seducer, the master incubus who launched her on this sad and lonely path of revenge, since she had fallen so deep into her own abyss, she required little encouragement to continue the descent.

She didn’t travel alone, however. There were a trail of formerly virtuous, noble, and even holy men left in her wake, spiraling down into Hell with her. She never felt sorry for them, no matter how piteously they pleaded with her, how they would lose everything, their wives, their children, their careers. It didn’t matter.

The seductress wasn’t responsible for them falling into her trap, only for setting herself out as the bait. She was the temptation, but the sins were on them.

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Koi no Yokan

man on beach

Man on a beach – free stock photo

The sky was a brilliant cyan when she first saw him on the beach. He was staring out at the ocean as if witnessing a tragedy and in spite of her vow of utter celibacy, she experienced an overwhelming sense of Koi no Yokan. Whispering a curse and then immediately regretting it, Merilyn continued her run across the shoreline leaving the solitary young man behind.

The hostel was serving thin Miso soup and fish again that evening when he walked in. Merilyn tried not to roll her eyes as Donn, at the head of the table, was again vaunting about his prowess with the Shinai and how he was sure to win the Kendo games which would begin the next week. They heard a noise at the door and she recognized the man from the beach standing at the threshold. Tradition demanded that even an ego as big as Donn’s cease pontificating so they could greet the visitor.

They each in turn stood and bowed to the stranger, introducing themselves and welcoming him to the competitor’s hostel. He bowed in return in a gradual manner which she would learn was his way in social settings, though most certainly not during battle.

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My Memories Are In The Water

in the water

© Enisa

“You say your Dad used to bring you here all the time, Keith?”

“Yeah. There’s some great fishing in the lake about a mile north, Jerry. The old man loved fishing. I went because I loved him.”

“Lucky you. I was grateful when my Dad would take me to the neighborhood playground. We never hit it off like you and your Dad.”

Jerry glanced over at his newly wedded husband and saw “that look.” “You dreamed about him again last night, didn’t you?”

Keith looked down at the flat stones in the shallow water all around him remembering. Dad taught him how to skip rocks across the pond when he was seven. “Yeah. He was standing in our bedroom door asking how we were doing.”

“I’m sorry. I know you were really close.”

“I just wish I’d have come out to him before he died. I thought we had more time.”

“He wouldn’t have been like my Dad, Keith. You know that.”

“I know. I mean I know now. I really do miss him.”

I wrote this for the FFfAW Challenge for the Week of February 20, 2018. The idea is to use the image at the top to inspire creating a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 175 words long. My word count is 174.

I had a completely different story in mind until I saw the second figure on the left. Then I was stuck.

I had a dream within a dream last night (very rare for me). I dreamed I was dreaming about my Dad. He died last April and my wife just helped my Mom move into a senior care center. The missus brought back some of Dad’s jackets, hats, and stuff including a pair of Air Force flight gloves. He had a bunch of them going all the way back to when I was a kid.

Anyway, two guys in a pond in summer. I put it all together and came up with the story you just read. No, I’m not gay, but my Dad did die suddenly and you always wonder what you would have said or done differently if you have more time before the end.

To see other stories based on the prompt, visit InLinkz.com.

Transience

joy

Image of euphoria

Kimbra was singing in her heart as she executed a series of flawless pirouettes. “We’re going to get married!”

She never thought Sebastian would ask her given the circumstances, and knowing he was a traditionalist, she was determined not to ask him.

But he did, he did, he did and she was walking on air and sunshine and then doing cartwheels. Kimbra had to stop because the crowds at the Village were getting too thick. She skipped and danced between the people, giggling and smiling at each of them, as if they were all the most wonderful human beings to grace the planet.

Sebastian was a total movie geek so the perfect place to have the wedding would be the Cinema. They didn’t have a large hall, just smaller party rooms, but they wouldn’t invite many guests. She still had to decide which of his three favorite movies they’d watch. None of them were romantic comedies which would make it tough, but she didn’t care if he wanted to watch Jaws as long as they watched it together on their wedding day.

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Stone and Time

statue

© Eric Wicklund

“Gross.” Eight-year-old Jillian looked at the statue of the naked man and woman kissing. “Is this your Grandpa’s?”

“Yeah.” Tory looked down at the ground embarrassed. “He inherited the cabin from Great-grandpa but the will said the statue had to stay.”

When Tory invited his best friend from school to spend the weekend in the woods at Grandpa’s cabin, he forgot about the statue. Now he wished Grandpa had thrown a tarp over it or something.

“Yuck. Who’d want something like this?”

“I think it was supposed to be Great-grandpa and Great-grandma when they were younger. Hey, let’s forget about this and go down by the stream, Jillian.”

The girl immediately brightened. “I saw some toy sailboats in the shed. Think they still float?”

The two children ran off to play as Tory’s Grandpa looked out of the kitchen window at them while sipping his coffee. Only he knew that the name plate at the base of the statue, buried under inches of mud, said “Tory and Jillian.” His Dad and Mom had been reincarnated. Now all that was needed was time and letting nature take its course.

I wrote this for the Sunday Photo Fiction Challenge for January 28th 2018. The idea is to use the image above as the inspiration for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is 190.

I had to think a bit about what to right about a statue of two (apparently) naked people kissing. For some reason, I settled on a reincarnation theme.

To read other stories based on the prompt, visit InLinkz.com.

Touching

bonsallesart

Art work: © bonsallesart.wordpress.com (Used with Permission)

“Don’t touch me.”

“I like you Clarissa. Can’t we just hold hands?”

“I…I don’t know, Brad. I don’t know if I feel…”

Clarissa isn’t afraid of what she doesn’t feel but what she will if she lets Brad touch her.

It didn’t happen all at once and it didn’t happen at all when she was little.

When Clarissa was a little girl, she loved hugging her Mommy and Daddy, her Uncle Bill, and her Aunt Sarah. She held hands with her best friend Emily when they were five. Touch meant love and security. She sat on her Grandpa’s lap when he read to her until she was six and then sat next to him cuddled up against his side after that.

It started happening after she got her first period. Clarissa didn’t know what it was at first. When she hugged her Daddy, she didn’t always feel warmth and caring. Sometimes she felt worry, frustration, and anger.

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Revival (Not the Church Kind)

Chocolate Legs

From the YouTube video Project Soul – CHOCOLATE LEGS – Eric Benet (Live Band Cover) Freddi Lubitz

“Your cocoa skin against mine…Is all I need to help revive me…”

I’m dead and it’s all her fault. Oh, she didn’t actually murder me, but she knew it was dangerous. Well, that’s unfair. I was dying anyway. I had nothing to lose and she knew it. She was actually trying to help and I even agreed, but if I’d said no, I might have had a few more weeks or even months.

We met at a “Pagan Pride” event in Oak Park near Chicago. The place was actually pretty impressive compared to what I was used to. I’d just hit “the Windy City” and was staying at a cheap hotel wondering what I was going to do next. Kenadee had a little apartment on the South Side. She normally didn’t hook up with guys the same night she met them, but I have that affect on people.

Neither of us were exactly “pagan” people. They tend to be pretty nice and harmless, Crescent Moonies, Wiccans, and Heathens who pull together for local charities and social causes. I only went because they were having an open house and the food was free, plus they aren’t nearly as judgmental as churches, synagogues, and mosques.

She was there because being a witch, she had no other place to go for a social outlet plus she has a soft spot for puppies and they were having a fund raiser for the animal shelter.

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Eira

leafless snow

© Sue Vincent

It had finally come, the first real snow of winter. Robert Jeffries knew she would come with it, as she had ever since they’d met ten years ago. He had only been fifteen then. He’d gotten into another argument with Mom and stormed out the door and into the snow. He wasn’t thinking and he was over a mile from their cabin, with the town a three-hour walk away, when he realized he wasn’t going to make it back.

His feet and hands were numb. He was trembling. The sun was low on the western horizon. The worst thing was that he was lost. He’d stumbled, falling off the path, gotten turned around, disoriented. If he couldn’t make it back home by dark, he was going to die.

“Man-child, what brings you out into my Father’s domain so ill prepared?”

Robert had been hanging onto the trunk of a tree so he wouldn’t collapse in the snow. He looked toward the voice. If she had a place nearby, he was saved.

Then he saw her.

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Will We Ever Have The Answer?

love prompt

© 2016 – Elaine Farrington Johnson

It was the worst mass murder in U.S. history. The President and First Lady attended the memorial service. Too many of these events had occurred over the years.

The murderer had a history of mental illness. The nation’s strict gun control laws were useless. Improvised bombs planted all over Chicago’s commuter corridors had been timed to explode at the height of the morning rush hour. Hundreds died in less than a minute.

President Larson addressed the vast assembly at the candlelight memorial.

“It is with a humble heart that I address you tonight. Everything we’ve tried to prevent these atrocities has failed. It is not enough to control how one person kills another, we must understand why they kill. The majority are not because of a religious or political agenda, but rather being disenfranchised from society, isolated, and ostracized seems the chief cause.

“As a nation, we must come together to bring belonging and hope to these people. Only when we show them love will they know love, for only love will stop these tragedies.”

I wrote this for the FFfAW Challenge for the Week of October 3, 2017. The idea is to use the image above as the inspiration for crafting a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 175 words long. My word count is 175.

Given the image, it’s impossible for me not to write about events such as the Las Vegas mass shootings that occurred last Sunday evening. 58 people died and over 500 were wounded. We all ask ourselves the same questions after one of these tragedies but we don’t seem to be any closer to an answer.

I chose not to take the obvious route, but unlike how I’ve woven my wee tale, the National Center for Biotechnology Information doesn’t agree that there’s a clear connection between mental illness and gun violence (and I eliminated guns in my story).Newsweek seems to believe that since statistically, white males commit the majority of these shootings (54 percent since 1982), something akin to a sense of entitlement might be involved.

Neither of these explanations is particularly satisfying nor to they point to a solution.

I deliberately used bombs rather than guns in my story because if guns aren’t available and someone is intent on violence, they will find a way. Consider the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, The 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the scores and scores of middle eastern terrorist bombings.

I don’t know if there’s a universal method of preventing these tragedies. Maybe outlawing guns is part of the solution, but while that might prevent some of these incidents, criminals will still buy guns illegally, and as we’ve seen in other societies (Israel has one of the toughest gun control laws in the world), people will still find a way to hurt one another.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com