Weekly Challenge #750: PICK TWO: a new beginning, library, Ireland, storyteller, friends, home

Basket case


The deal included shipping the stuff across the ocean and delivering it safely.
But the stuff wasn’t delivered.
“What’s going on? You don’t know where Hong Kong is?”
He got off the phone and… there it was, the ship. Empty.
“Where’s the stuff? It’s worth millions.”
No one knew.
Well, the source did. They were testing everyone’s loyalty.
Hong Kong didn’t like it.
Updated offer. “Incoming delivery. Free.”
A new crew had to be hired because heads were removed from their respective bodies and shipped back.
“Now, send us the stuff. Hong Kong has more brilliant ideas. Yes, we do.”


The Storyteller

The storyteller gazed at us in the firelight, smiled, and eased himself into a more comfortable position.

We waited expectantly, hoping that – just for once – he’d give us something decent, something with a different ending that didn’t have the dragon being defeated, the hero marrying the girl, and everybody living happily ever after.

But, as always, it wasn’t to be.

You see, our storyteller would simply recycle the same old tale, with the same characters and the same outcomes, time after time.

He would never give us a surprise ending…

Always the same old story, but with a new beginning.


My circle of friends like to get together for the occasional evening of board games, and being somewhat obsessive, we like to dress up and make things as realistic as possible.

So, for snakes and ladders, everyone brought candy snakes and wore laddered tights; for Monopoly, we all got blinged-up, smoked cigars and drank champagne; and for mousetrap, we ate cheese and played using sugar mice instead of counters.

This week, we’re playing Cluedo.

I won’t tell you who the victim’s going to be, but I’ve already prepared a hefty length of lead pipe, safely stashed in the library!


Billbert realized, he didn’t like the old man. “What do you mean, Linoliamanda’s not important? She’s my only friend.”
The man didn’t gain any points when he said, “Consider it a chance to start over. Make new friends.”
Billbert headed toward the car and super villains.
“Where are you going?” his mother asked.
“I’m getting Linoliamanda and taking her home.”
Billbert dove forward and flew, skimming, inches above the asphalt of the parking lot. He circled around behind the villains, shot forward and scooped up Linoliamanda, carrying her quickly up into the air.
She hugged Billbert tightly and kissed him.


An Ireland Tale

I went to visit my ancestral home in Ireland. Story goes my Irish forefather were doctor to the Munster Kings. Not the TV family, the kickass warriors of central Ireland. It is so far south in Cork, you danm near fall off the island. Which is just what the structure was moving toward. What the home lacked in roof it made up in walls. Stone laced with thicket of berries. The berries were wining. Folk in the village said no had live on the land for nearly a century. Still is where I came from, but not likely where I will end.


Ridin’ The Pine

98 years old, born in Hughesville … and would die here soon enough. Never really left.

Small town … mostly farmers …
back then … and now.

At 98 … friends, neighbors, most everyone you knew … dead and gone …

Life gets lonely.

Harry liked to sit in the park, and talk with whoever would stop to listen. And Harry’s stories made it worthwhile. Harry had a story for every street, store, and vacant lot in town … New most everyone’s grandparents …


Born for this …
Sitting on this wooden bench …
Telling these stories had always been his destiny.

A valued community treasure!


Seanchai Sunday
by Caledonia Skytower

Something rustled in the trees like an incantation – a voice pregnant with speech. “Who’s there,” I thought, rather than asked aloud.

“I’m here.” murmured a reply, “The news has reached me. It’s in the wind.”

I marveled at the instinct that triggered this message. “What news?”

“‘Not all those who wander are lost’ the poem says. Well, we have a place for you. Come home, and be welcomed.”

The storytellers speak of fresh starts. Library volumes add to their veracity. It was time.

So we did, and thanks to a friend, a new beginning rose on the dawn horizon.


I remember my first library card.
It was paper with a metal piece with some kind code they’d crimp into the book slip.
Over time, they got barcodes and a magnetic strip and those RFID chips like credit cards.
In college, I used my student ID for that and my meal plan. More for my meal plan than the library, to be honest.
Now, I just sign in from home, and download a temporary digital book or movie.
I don’t even know where the library is anymore.
They need to keep some real books or computers or stuff somewhere, right?

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