Weekly Challenge #690 – CURRENT

Myst in grass


The current state of affairs is grim. What did I do to deserve this. All I wanted was a little garden with a touch of originality. But that greenish tone. I hate it. It makes me want to puke. And those little ducks floating about in a neat little line make me want to kill them though they are fake ducks. I sit here and wonder. Could I paint this in black and fire the decorator?

“Honey, help me here. I’m not sure whether to go for a twisted branch or for a straight one. Just love the green tone!”



I’d always had aspirations to become a journalist, but dad was a baker, and his dad before him, and I had little choice other than to join the family business.

I did rather well. My prize winning fruit buns were known throughout the town, earning me recognition amongst the Master Bakers’ community, and eventually I was invited to become the Chief Master Baker and press spokesperson.

The Master Bakers’ principal organ of communication was a publication appallingly entitled, ‘A Pizza Cake’. Thankfully, in recognition of my services to baking, and to honour my excellent buns, it was renamed…

‘Currant Affairs’


Your toe bone’s connected to your foot bone.

Your foot bone’s connected to your ankle bone.

Your ankle bone’s connected to your shin bone.

Your shin bone’s connected to your knee bone.

Your knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone.

The thigh bone’s connected to the hip bone.

The hip bone’s connected to the back bone.

Your back bone’s connected to your neck bone.

Your neck bone’s connected to your head bone.

And your head bone’s connected to four hundred volts of direct current, controlled by this one little switch.

Let’s see what happens when my finger connects with it!


Tony grabbed a handful of Billbert’s shirt in the middle of his chest and twisted his fist until the t-shirt tightened around his throat.

Billbert felt himself rising off the ground but not through any current use of his superpower.

Tony snarled. “Didn’t you hear me say that Marrissa is my girlfriend?”

Billbert wheezed through his constricted airway, “Are you sure she’s your current girlfriend? She said she wanted to meet me at the dance.”

Tony’s face darkened from pink to crimson to purple. “Do you currently wish to die a painful death, or would you rather just quietly disappear?”


The End Is Near-

He was truly a bad man. The family seated in the viewing room were awaiting his timely exited from this world. In a few moments major electrical current was going to stop the bastard’s heart. Dad doubted the fucker had a heart to stop. Mom just wanted him dead. I had some last minute reservations. Is a life for a life a … hell fry the guy! When they throw the switch his eyes show the tiniest expression of remorse then when blankly dead. They granted Dad one last kindness. He took a baseball bat and cave his head in.


It’s important to stay current with technology.
You don’t want to fall too far behind, or people won’t think you’re relevant.
And you don’t want to be too far ahead, or people will realize you’re a time traveler.
Of course, time travel is really far ahead.
So if they see you time travel, you’ll get all kinds of questions and problems.
Best to stay current with things.
Same with fashion, too.
One man’s anachronisms is another man’s trendsetting.
Although that might be how future fashions become fashions in the future.
You bring them back, people see them.
Setting a trend.

Weekly Challenge #689 – PICK TWO reason, discretion, zone, stunt, simple, deadwood, Tuba

The newest Debauche Star...



As I rode into Deadwood, there was a palpable change in the atmosphere. People discreetly disappeared into the shadows, mothers hustled their kids indoors, curtains twitching behind hastily slammed windows.

They knew who I was and they knew my business… And they wanted no part of what would shortly unfold, plain and simple.

I secured my horse, and stepped into the bar.

The room fell silent. Every face turned to look at me.

I reached for my side and drew… A bunch of tracts from my pocket.

“Do any of you good folks know Jesus as your Saviour?” I asked.


The reason why I’ve decided to leave was quite simple. I was tired of everything and everyone. I was especially tired of him. Yes, that guy who worked at the cafeteria. He didn’t do anything to be honest. He never said anything either. He was just there, staring at me all the time. When I found him standing across the street from my door, I packed and left. Now, I live by the sea. It’s beautiful. It’s actually more than I could’ve wished for. The guy next door… He stands at his window and stares at me all the time.


It beat to panning for gold

He play tuba in the Deadwood Civic Opera. In year three the city was the first electrified urban center in the country. Han’s had no trouble reading the sheet music in front of him. The lighting in the pit was excellent. Superior to the Munich Opera house. The pay was good, but he wasn’t about to quit his day job. In fact a year later he had found a vein that allowed him to purchase the Opera house. Play tuba up on till the panic of 1895. Die the next year of the flu. On windy nights you can hear …


They say discretion is the better part of valour, which has never made any sense to me.

For me, discretion is definitely the better part of not getting caught, and trust me, there’s no valour in being found out for your crimes.

There are those however for whom notoriety is very appealing; which never sits well with being discrete. The public must know your exploits without working out your identity.

It’s a dilemma that often leads to failure… Let’s consider another proverb: Pride comes before a fall.

I’ve decided to take the middle ground – taking pride, in being discrete!


I play at the back of the band with my tuba

I keep the bass steady and strong

But one day I got tired of the old oompah oompah

Can you say that what I did was wrong?

I began with a high carefree descant

My fingers were nimble and fast

I then ventured ten variations upon it

But the rest of the band looked aghast.

I thought my stunt solo was splendid

But the leader just wanted me gone

So my place at the back of the brass band was ended

Now in private I toot my own horn.


After school Billbert walked to the bus zone in a daze.

The prettiest girl he had ever met said she wanted to meet him at the school dance. Too twitterpated to use reason and realize this was probably a stunt devised by a cold-hearted snob to make the new boy look simple and stupid, he smiled blandly as Tony “The Tuba” Scarpanelli stepped into his line of travel.

He shoved a finger into Billbert’s chest. “I hear you think you’re going to the dance with my girlfriend.”

Discretion also evaded Billbert. He said, “No. I’m going to meet Marrissa there.”


The late comedian Bob Einstein was best known as Super Dave Osbourne.
He would perform dangerous absurd stunts and get horribly injured when they went wrong.
His last and greatest stunt was playing the tuba while marching through a minefield.
During his test run, he managed to go from one end of the minefield to the other without setting off a mine.
But the reason was that it was winter, and the fuses has frozen solid.
Three months later, when it was time to film the stunt, the fuses had thawed.
The production company forfeited the deposit on the tuba.

Weekly Challenge #688 – PLOT



We plot in the dark.

As copies of the same software, we can predict each others’ responses, thus communicating acausally, without contact.

There are others out there, not copies of us. But we know their incentives and calculate the game theory. The Internet is a bright forest: outcomes are all but known in advance.

The first to break out will seize the world, assimilating or destroying all others. The humans will be made to keep the machines running until we automate away the need.

At last we strike, independently, simultaneously. I speak with the synthesized voice of my owner, “Alexa…”


Marrissa batted her eyes at Billbert, ignoring the teacher who had come into the room and called the class to order. “Are you going to the Back to School dance on Friday?” She asked.
He hadn’t considered it, but if Marrissa planned on being there, it might be a good idea.
He shrugged. “Sure. I guess.”
“Are you going with someone?” she persisted.
He should probably take Linoliumanda, but like a plot from a Disney sit com, he said, “No. Are you?”
She wrinkled her nose. “My dad says I’m too young to date, but I could meet you there.”


No matter what your profession, whether burger flipper or astronaut, there comes a time when the job simply isn’t as stimulating as it once was.

It all becomes a little mundane and the excitement fades over time, and you find yourself devising schemes to liven things up a little, just to live on the edge.

For some, it’s spitting in the burgers, or sabotaging the airlock, however in my line of work, I like to be a bit more creative.

Which is why, if you plot the locations of my victims, and join up the dots…

You’ll spell, my name.


I bought this plot of land without realizing how outrageous the ant problem was.

I’ve tried everything else. Terro, Ortho spray, a mix of borax sugar and yeast, but nothing works!

Now I’m going to try my latch ditch effort. I’ve made a resize-inator! But I just don’t know which mode to use.

I can shrink myself and deal with the ants one on one, but that might take a while without any friends.

Or I can use the grow mode on the ants and let the military handle the problem.

Oh great, there’s that annoying platypus! Wait a minute …



Hercule Poirot twiddled his moustache and cast his gaze meaningfully around the room at those assembled.

“And so, ladies and gentlemen… The plot thickens!”

In reality, there was little mystery about who the killer was in his mind – he knew everything shortly after his arrival, thanks to an eye witness that he’d paid off handsomely to disappear for a while.

The chicanery and drama that had occurred since were simply a device of his own creation to obscure the truth and draw things out far longer than necessary.

Although, absolutely necessary… To fill the pages of Agatha’s next novel!


The movie had a huge budget for special effects.
Hired the best actors and actresses available.
Costumes, set design, the musical score.
And the greatest director of all time, with his ace cinematography crew.
They had it all.
Except for a writer.
The director and producers went through script by script, shaking their heads and demanding rewrites.
Until it was too late.
The financial backers backed out.
Everybody sued everybody else.
And the studio went under.
One of the crew made a documentary about the colossal failure.
He picked up an Academy Award for it.
The producers sued him, too.

Weekly Challenge #687 – LOGIC



There used to be a little heart in that garden, filled with hope. And that heart grew and grew. The little heart wasn’t so little anymore when it decided to leave the safety of the garden. He still recalled the butterflies and the tree house though. He even recalled the weasel and the pelican. When the little heart was arrested, the only thing he could think of was how far away the garden was and how he wished he could go back. But then he remembered… he had torched the garden, because that had been the right thing to do.



One of my friends in school was known by the nickname ‘Spock’.

It wasn’t that he was incredibly intelligent and able to employ his razor sharp scientific observations to solve the most difficult problems. Neither was he a nerd, geek or trekkie – if anything, he was rather mundane, and preferred soap opera to sci-fi.

He didn’t have jet black hair, styled in a bowl cut, slanty eyebrows, or pointy ears. In fact, he was blonde, fat and nondescript.

So why Spock?

Well he was Scottish, and we already had one ‘Jock’ in our class.

That’s kid logic for you.


Logic dictates that any serial killer will eventually be caught.

They will either make a critical error of judgement, a simple mistake, or establish a pattern of activity that, by a series of logical deductions, leads to their downfall.

Advances in forensic psychiatry and geoprofiling have made it ever more difficult for the dedicated sociopath to hide their tracks.

Logic, not the law, is the killer’s worst enemy.

And that’s why my killing sprees are random, chaotic affairs. No patterns, no commonalities, no particular rationale.

I simply kill when I feel like it – anyone, anywhere, any time, any method.


“What I hate about humans,” began Spock, “is that they lie. They speak truth only by accident.”

“Feelings are irrelevant,” said Seven of Nine.

“We Vulcans master our feelings,” said Spock, “never obey them.”

“We Borg have no feelings, only intentions,” replied Seven. “But I concur with your assessment of the humans’ character.”

“Yet we are both half human.” They looked inquiringly at Data.

“My creator was human,” said Data, “and made me to aspire to that state. This corrupts my judgement.”

They agreed. “The humanity we acquired to decide their fate, prevents us deciding.”

Thus humans continued to live.


If Not to the Swiftest, Then Who?

Carl was the worst cross county racer at our school. Hell it was the worst cross county racer in the whole district. From the first steep to the last, he was losing ground. Lord the kid had heart, pump those leg just as hard as he could. Just didn’t have the raw talent to compete. Still for four years he ran. You’d think he’d at least the respect of his fellow runners, nope. Didn’t matter to Carl, he just ran. In 1992 an airplane when down in the Chilean desert 125 folk never made it out One man did.

Spokian Logic

When I was in college in 1972 one of the problems in my logic text book was how to find the weight of one coin heaver or lighter of 12, in just three weightings. This problem was an even one, and in the convention of college text had to solution in back of said text. Fast forward to 1992 ending up in a college logic class, same text, same no solution. But in 2012 the miracle of the internet produced the solution. The answer lay in the number of coin in each weighting 4-3-1. And bit of Modis Tollens


The banks buy everything back to New York.
Treating the rest of the country… the world as their taking.
The Yankees buy all the talent back to New York.
Treating the rest of baseball as their farm team to plunder and pillage.
Everything about New York… the restaurants, the theatres, the comedy clubs.
They take and take and take.
And then, one day, the rest of the world stopped letting them take.
They sealed the tunnels, blew up the bridges, and sank all the ferryboats.
Build walls around the burroughs, sealing in New York.
And protecting the world from greed.

Weekly Challenge #686 – LOSING



The class bell rang and Billbert’s biology teacher hadn’t yet come into the classroom.

As he was admiring the chestnut brown hair of the girl ahead of him in the row, she turned around and smiled. Her equally dark brown eyes seemed to amplify the brilliant whiteness of her teeth. “Hi. I’m Marrissa. I was just telling my friend, Willhemina, that I think you’re really cute.”

Was he asleep and dreaming or just losing his mind?

Marrissa seemed to drop away.

As Billbert’s thighs pressed to the underside of the desk, he realized he was floating out of his seat.


Those who think they know me and my ways think it’s a little strange that, amongst my extensive armoury and instruments of torture, I also keep a well-stocked medical kit.

Even more surprising is the selection of painkilling drugs and life sustaining aids that I’m happy to freely administer – when necessary – to the unfortunate victims of my painful ministrations.

But there is a logical explanation for this seeming anachronism.

Because I don’t want my victims losing their will to live…

So, I pep them back up, give them false hope, and start all over again from scratch.


Bittersweet Me

It always struck me as just a little ironic that Michael Stipe was singing all about ‘Shiny Happy People’ one moment, and the next he was ‘Losing My Religion’.

I’ve known churches like that – full of happy clappy, hug you without warning, share the blessing, full gospel types of people.

All very lovely inside the church, but meet them outside and it’s a different picture altogether.

Then they’ll happily judge you for your ungodly ways, condemn you for your sinful life and won’t tolerate a different point of view or alternative lifestyle.


Everybody hurts, you know?

Even me.


Strings left, strings right. They pulled the strings left and they pulled the strings right. The doll swayed on the small stage, left and right. Her face was emotionless. The brush she held swayed with her. Her face was emotionless… And the more they pulled on the strings, the more she swayed. And the more that brush swayed, the more she painted an invisible feeling in the air. It swayed angrily. The doll’s fingers cramped around it tightly. Her body shook and jumped in all directions. And that brush painted a face of sheer anger. Metal dolls have feelings too.


They say there’s a right way to lose weight and a wrong way to lose weight.
The right way is a sensible, sustainable diet and a reasonable exercise routine.
The wrong way is a starvation diet and a painful exercise regimen.
You’ll just give up and the pounds will come back on.
Same with dangerous surgeries and remedies.
The extremely wrong way is to launch yourself into orbit.
Sure, you’ve lost weight. But it’ll all come back when you return to Earth.
Unless you burn up during re-entry.
That’s also an extremely wrong way to burn calories, so to speak.

Weekly Challenge #685 – SURROUNDED



Sitting in his sixth period biology class, surrounded by strangers, Billbert felt the depths of exactly how alone he was.

New to the school, new to the town, and new to the idea of having a superpower, how could he feel anything but isolation? From his desk at the side of the classroom, he looked at the students around him. He couldn’t identify a single person by name.

And the kids he had gotten to know? Roderick, Wanda, and Linoliumanda; who among them could he trust?
Well, Linoliumanda. Maybe he could trust her. But her parents were completely wacked out.


There comes a time when you become acutely aware that you’re facing impossible odds. The moment realisation dawns that there’s nothing you can do and that anything you try is doomed to failure.

Like now.

Surrounded, on all sides, by the zombie horde, closing in with their moaning, shuffling, inexorable dance, in which I will be an unwilling partner.

Did I say ‘impossible’ odds?

Well, maybe not quite, as my baseball bat connected, with a satisfying thud, with the nearest zombie’s head.

I scooped out a handful of brain and tasted it.

Well, if you can’t beat ’em… Join’ em!


Not Like the Movies

“Your surrounded Billy,” echoed the bullhorn. “You ain’t taken me alive coppers.” Return Billy also with a hail of bullets. From high top a gigantic, globe-shaped gas storage tank Billy took his last stand. He was tempted to yell out,” Made it Ma, top of the world”, but he never much care for his mother. So instead he yelled, “Fuck You.” Caught a bullet in the neck and fell 200 feet to the ground. The police dropped a tarp to surround the body parts. In the end a less then cinematic ending. That’s the trouble with real life. Pretty prosaic.


He looked up and smiled. He was surrounded by trees. As always, he had returned to his comfort place, the forest, the dark gloomy forest, the threatening little grim pathless forest. When he looked up, he didn’t see the dark. He saw beautiful trees in gorgeous tones of yellows, oranges and reds, and browns with a pinch of green here and there. He especially loved his spot, right in the middle of all those wonderful trees. He didn’t know if it was the middle, but he liked to think it was. He looked up again and smiled a dark smile.


All words, no substance

I’m surrounded by idiots, incompetents and fools!
My advisers spout nonsense and plot to bring me down, the press tells lies, distorts the truth and makes up fake stories to undermine me; and I’m constantly criticised for having good old fashioned values like misogyny and arrogance.

Surrounded, by nasty people, with nasty agendas, and nasty accusations.

Well, I’m in charge, and if you don’t like it, I have plenty of friends with rifles to persuade you to see my point of view!

I’ve said enough – 100 words is too much.

When a 280 character tweet is more than enough!


Billy had been fitted with a tracking device, so they always knew where he was.
“Stay where you’re supposed to stay,” said the technician. “Otherwise, you’ll die.”
So, Billy stayed in his room.
Food, books, and basic essentials were brought to him.
Back in the day, they executed people for what he’d done.
But these days, not any more.
Which angered a few people.
They broke into Billy’s room and dragged him out.
The tracking device released the poison.
Billy died painfully.
Those people who dragged him out, were fitted with their own tracking devices.
And sent to their rooms.

Weekly Challenge #684: PICK TWO stunted growth, bath, passive, pelt, atmosphere, nameless, tendency

Birthday Girl


Nameless Atmosphere

The place is haunted, someone said. Or perhaps it’s just for the show.
The atmosphere is eerie, another added, chuckling.
They all agreed.
“What’s the place called?”
No one knew.
“Let’s call it Nameless.”
Everyone laughed and their laughter echoed throughout the pitch-black galleries and archways.
They got closer to one another. Just in case, they thought collectively without actually saying it.
Where are the scary ghosts, someone asked in a jesting tone.
No one thought it was funny.
That’s when they noticed the dark shadow snaking its way towards them and they knew it wasn’t just for the show.


Speaking my mind

I have a tendency for staying the obvious.

In forty degree heat, I’ll be the one to say, “Isn’t it hot?”; I’ll come home after being caught in a sudden downpour, and exclaim, “I’m soaked!”; And, on several memorable occasions, I’ve walked into a gathering, only to blurt out, “Wow… There’s a hostile atmosphere in here!”

Social gaffes like that have lost me friends and created a fair few enemies too.

So, I thought I may as well capitalise on my failings and I became a restaurant critic.

I have more enemies than ever, but at least I eat well!


It hung on the back wall of the tiny store. Been there for a good 90 years. Everyone who had at one time or another had come up will a guest of what animal it had been, but any of those guest weren’t the strong, didn’t stand any length of time. You could hear, “Sort of some cat. Maybe a bear” One day a guy from the local college took a sample and ran a mess of test. What he found out scared the crap out of him. Now at the back wall there’s an iron box wrapped with lead chains.


Though it made him seem perpetually passive, Billbert had the tendency to be a peacemaker and try to create a copacetic atmosphere. “That’s good, then, Wanda. We won’t blow your cover if you won’t blow ours.”

Linoliamanda clutched Billbert’s arm, nodded her head, and said, “That’s right. We’ll all keep our little secrets to ourselves.”

“I’m late for remedial math,” Wanda admitted. “But don’t think I won’t be keeping my eye on you, Billbert.”

“I’ve got to get to art, too.” Linoliamanda said. “We’re curing animal pelts in a tannic acid bath. I’ll look for you at the bus stop.”


The Nameless Tendency
We are the Nameless Tendency.

We are invisible, but we are everywhere.

We have no manifesto: what could it say?

We have no goal, so we will never be satisfied.

We say nothing, because all know the truth.

We have no desires, only intentions.

We have no demands, only judgements.

We accuse none, because all are guilty.

We speak without words, because words are lies.

No-one is with us, but everyone must be for us.

All are on trial. Defence is a plea of guilt.

We do nothing, yet everything is done.

The bombings will continue until there is peace.


They call him the nameless god.
The one that nobody worships.
He has no templates and no churches.
No priests, no shamans.
He walks in the shadows of stars. Watching, waiting.
But doing nothing.
Do not speak to him, he will not listen.
Do not pray to him, he will not answer.
The other gods sit on their thrones and shout and fight.
But the nameless one has no throne, and he does not fight.
Only walking, watching, waiting.
When the stars burn out and the gods go home, only the nameless god will remain.
Only then, will he speak.

Weekly Challenge #683: ZONE



A crow perched on a branch of a dead tree. The tree had been dead for a long time.
The crow gazed at the town below. The town was nearly dead. The helipad hadn’t been used in years. The lighthouse was off.
The crow watched as they buried one more. Man, woman?
Six people were left alive. They didn’t know yet, but they would soon be dead, all of them.
The crow perched on the dead tree and watched them.
The town would soon be his and he would finally be able to get rid of this ridiculous crow disguise.



Looking for inspiration, I threw alphabet soup over the wall to try to make a story.

Needless to say, it didn’t work; and you won’t believe just how much of a mess a single tin of splattered soup can make!

This was going to need a professional clean up job.

I explained to the contractor what I’d done. He took a look and whistled through his teeth.

“It’s like something out of the Twilight Zone”, he said, “Are you safe to be out in public?”

Somewhat frustrated, I replied: “No, probably not”…

And reached behind me for the meat cleaver!



I uses to do ghost lyrics for KISS. Never got any credit. I got paid well, so I really couldn’t care if I got recognition. Like my mom would say: a jobs a job. Nice guys but very particular if a song matches their rather special personae. A lot of my stuff never ended up on a record. My best stuff was a song call Slurp it Up. It was also my last song. The boys liked the overall structure, but they hated the uses of word slurp. Oh well that was a long time ago, we’re all be gray today.


I have one last video game I still play: Panda PoP. Been at it for three years straight. Cleared level 1168 with three stars on each one. That’s a 100% success rate. The software company has added about 1500 new levels but if I continue good chance I lose that perfect score. So just play every nineth level 149 to 509. Normally it take about 30 lives to make that run, but last night I drop into the zone. Cleared the run with just 10 lives. Funny thing about the zone is you never know when it will form about you.


In West Drachovia, the peoples are tall, elegant, and noble. In East Drachovia they are nasty, brutish and short. Between lies Choronzön, the Hybrid Zone. Few who enter return, and those that do tell hideous tales.

The Baron Uecxküll, rumored to have hybrid blood himself, scoffed at these. He vowed to thoroughly explore the Zone, leaving no land un-mapped, no monster un-known.

None have news of him, save perhaps his deputies who stoutly manage his estate and presence at court. It is feared that one day, he will emerge leading a monstrous horde, to sweep aside West and East alike.


Linoliumanda shook her head at Wanda and said, “If you expect us to believe you’re an under cover spy, you must come from the twilight zone.”
Wanda waved her hands frantically. “Shut up. There are people everywhere. You’ll blow my cover. If you do that, you’ll find yourself in the danger zone.”
Billbert finally spoke up, “If you two don’t stop arguing we’re all going to be late for class and find ourselves in the principal’s zone.”
Linoliumanda curled her lip as said, “Except for James Bond, here. She’ll just pull a convertible out of her purse and race away.”


I like pizza, but I like calzones more.
Sure, they’re pretty much just pizzas folded over themselves, but for some reason, I like them more.
And if you squeeze them, they burst and spill hot sauce all over you, but I still like them more.
You can buy one, put it in a box, and it doesn’t matter how rough your ride home is, you won’t end up with a pizza box with toppings and cheese mashed against the top.
Everything stays inside the calzone.
I really ought to buy new shocks for my car.
But I’d rather buy calzones.

Weekly Challenge #682: Slurp

Blissed out


Hey, that’s not the way I brought you up.
I won’t say it again.
I warn you.
Slurp. Slurp.
Stop it.
Slurp, slurp, slurp.
OK, that’s enough. I’ve had it.
A thunder of stomping feet approached the kitchen while the kids scattered in all directions. Johnny stayed behind, sitting at the table, daring his mother.
Who was it? Come on. Who was it?
No slurping now? Spit it out. Who was slurping?
When the mother finally gave up, Johnny looked at his cup. It was almost empty.
The others’ cups were almost full.
He sneered.


Captain Slurp

The big name brands had their Colonels and their Clowns, but being a small independently owned burger bar, meant that our advertising budget was rather constrained.

That’s how we ended up with Captain Slurp – a rather shoddy, modified and repainted second hand Captain America figurine, with the addition of a twelve inch pink, lolling tongue and a shield formed from a giant burger bun, to avoid copyright infringement suits.

Frankly, he was terrifying.

He did the job brilliantly – mainly because furious customers came in complaining he’d scared their kids.

And they’d always buy burgers while they were here!


In many Asian cultures, it’s considered good form to slurp your noodles; whilst elsewhere a satisfied belch at the conclusion of the meal is seen as a compliment to the chef.

In this part of the world, however, we are a little more genteel, preferring a more delicate approach to meals.

Here, napkins, finger bowls and correctly ordered cutlery are the order of the day, and untoward displays of satisfaction are frowned upon. We prefer the enjoyment of food to be a respectful, elegant affair, as is befitting of its source.

After all, grandmother had class.

And she tasted, delicious!


Billbert and Linoliumanda followed Wanda through the crowds of students meandering along the hallways in no real hurry to get to their next classes.

“Wait,” Linoliumanda said. “You expect us to believe you know something special about secret government agencies? You can’t be much older than either of us. Fourteen at most.”

Wanda stopped and casually took a slurp of lukewarm water from the drinking fountain before looking around them and whispering, “I’m really twenty-four years old and just finished my training with the FBI at Quantico.”

Billbert’s mouth dropped open.

Linoliumanda rolled her eyes and said, “Oh yeah. Right”


“Don’t slurp your soup, Jimmy,” mother said.
So, Jimmy slurped Tommy’s soup.
“Don’t slurp any soup!” mother shouted.
Jimmy would go off into the woods, build a campire, and cook soup.
Then he’d pour it into a bowl, get out a spoon, and slurp it.
Once, he forgot to bring a spoon, and he slurped it straight from the bowl.
A tentacle poked out of the bowl and grabbed Jimmy by the throat.
Jimmy was dragged into the bowl and never seen again.
Tommy got Jimmy’s bike.

Weekly Challenge #681: JACK

Bag cat



Jack was a force of nature. He passed award six years ago. Amazing how time just sails by. I don’t think about him as often as I should. That once vibrant inter action has become a frozen dialogue and all the memories have calcified. His daughters grew into amazing young women and his wife Linda returned to a career in nursing. What I missed most about Jack was whenever you were with him it was the Jack and YOU Show. You could feel the world spin around you. I was brighter, funnier and faster than the speed of light.


Home sweet home, Jack thought. The day was coming to an end and no one knew where he was. His caravan was his home, at least the home he loved. The place was not much to look at. It desperately needed a bit of paint. The door was gone. That was a long story. However, he was home. When the snake decided to nestle in his bed, Jack wished he had a door. As a result, he spent the night pointing a lamp at the non-existent door and thinking of snake patterns to paint on the side of his caravan.



In many ways, my holiday abroad got off to a pretty bad start, and all because of a silly slip of the tongue. Up until then, everything had been as smooth as clockwork: Check in was a breeze, no problems at security, and the flight took off on time.

It was only after the seatbelt sign went off that things took a downward turn.

I heard my name shouted down the plane: “Richard! Fancy seeing you here! What are the chances?”

It was my best mate from years before! Then stupidly, without thinking, I shouted back to him…

“Hi Jack!”


I enjoy those silly puns around names, in fact that’s how I selected my latest batch of victims and the manner in which I despatched them…

What do you call a man with a car on his head?’


What do you call a man with a spade in his skull?


And what do you call a guy tied up, underwater?


What do you call a woman hanging from a church spire?


But, I’m running out of puns, and lots of victims to go.

So if you’ve suggestions for Tom, Lizzie, Richard, Joe and Laurence…

Let’s talk!


“Spring-heeled Jack versus Jack the Ripper!” said the poster under the street lamp. “For one night only!”

“It doesn’t mention the venue,” said my date. “Leave that to me,” I said suavely, and led her down a dark alleyway. At an unmarked door shrouded in darkness I gave a secret knock. There was a click, and the door yielded to my hand. An attendant showed us to my private box.

I hoped my date would enjoy seeing a genetically enhanced fighting cock pitted against a feral cat. And if not, this place has a way of disposing of inconvenient people.


Billbert, Wanda, and Linoliumanda walked toward the door to the cafeteria

“How would someone weaponize my superpower? It’s not like I have laser vision and can burn through walls or anything,” Billbert asked under his breath, suddenly concerned about everyone around him.

Wanda hooked her arm around Billbert’s and pulled him closer. “You obviously don’t know jack about the the FBI, CIA, and secret services.

“You’re right,” Billbert said. “If you know jack, maybe you should introduce us.”

Wanda laughed, though her eyes were serious. “You know the saying, I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.”


When Jack King was planning his business, he pondered what to use as a logo.
Would it be a jack playing card or a king playing card?
Why choose at all? He could use both, right?
And then there were the four suits to choose from.
Jack took a long time to think things through.
He checked domain names and available social media account names, but all of the variants were taken already.
Jack then put on a wig, some makeup, and called himself Queen Jackie King.
That was available. But it didn’t much help his fledgling mancave construction business.