That’s Odd

“That’s just it, isn’t it?”

“What?”

Douglas stares at the round rocks, hands behind back and face in concentration. His eyes flit from one to the next, counting.

“What’s ‘it,’ Douglas?”

Nothing moves, yet Douglas looks up. “These balls.”

“Yes?”

“They’re odd.”

multicolored pebbles on white ceramic bowl

Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com

 

©2020 Chelsea Owens

I blame Debbie, and her 42 Word Story Challenge, keyword oddball.

2 Short Stories

Her life ran a predictable path of mostly mundane events: drive there, deliver this, return to home, clean up messes, drive, retrieve, drive.

Every day ran round to the next. Every day ran much the same.

At nearly midlife, she had an epiphany: maybe everyone’s life is mostly mundane.

She shrugged, and continued loading groceries into her car.

~~~~~~

He knew the aliens were gonna get him soon. They’d left signs of their intent everywhere.

“Aha!” he said, pointing to broken bathroom tiles.

“There!” The side of his trailer bore a suspicious gash.

“Struck again!” he told his fellow truckers. Part of his load had spoiled; “Dern aliens” interfered with the refrigeration.

“I knew it!” he finally exclaimed, holding his pink slip. Reasons for dismissal? Damages to a rest stop restroom, damages to company property, and damages to merchandise.

“I’ll get you yet,” he mumbled, startling a passerby.

 

©2020 Chelsea Owens

The Healthy Benefits of Popcornopolis

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Manager: “Hey, Bill, we’ve got some ad space we need to fill on the front. Here’s the list of our usual…”

Bill: “Hmmm… ‘fat free’ -nope; ‘vitamins and min-‘ nope; ‘low in -‘ nope, it’s not low in anything except nutrition…”

M: “C’mon, man, it has popcorn. Popcorn’s healthy, right?”

B: …..

M: “Oh. Right. Hmmm. Looks like we’re gonna have to pull from the Emergency Terms.”

B: “American-made and gluten-free it is.” …”We’ve still got a lotta space at the top -”

M: “I know! Non-GMO!”

B: “IS it?”

M: “Who cares? The stuff has 52% of your saturated fat in a cup!”

B: …”I’ll adjust the serving size, too.”

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Except for the Exceptions

Midnight. Same as eleven. Same as ten. Same as nine eight seven six…
Except she yawned. She blinked a few more times than earlier.

Water the plants. Water the children. Water the trees vegetables flowers weeds…
Except for every other day. Except for the vegetables; they were every day.

Socks, folded. Same as shirts. Same as pants socks pajamas undies…
Except there were no exceptions.

“You should try a vacation,” they said. “I want you to be happy,” he said.
Except for when it affects me, he thought.

Except for when her happiness interferes with everyone else’s.

Fairy Tale Life

Once upon a time, there was a poor homemaker who barely had enough time to wash the clothes or dress her children. She never seemed able to sweep her kitchen floor.

One night, as usual, she cleaned enough dishes to make it through the following meal, dressed the children and got them to bed, then started some laundry and fell asleep quite late.

The next morning, she was surprised to find that a small army of ants had cleaned all the crumbs off the floor for her!

If you think she’s going to make them little outfits in gratitude, though, you’re reading the wrong fairy tale.

Answer

Go ahead, Dear, cry it out. Spend your tears to pay off sadness. Think through all your sorrows, and tell me every pain.

I’m here, and I’m not leaving. I want to stay with you. I love you more than anything, and I’ll not move till I convince you.

We’ll sit here, by the door. We’re safe; behind it, in the dark. I’ll hold you close as you hold me, till the world is ready for you again.

The Boy Who Never Got Involved

I just had the brilliant thought that Voldemort should have gone for a much easier target than an eleven-year-old boy; by storming the Ministry of Magic (or wafting through the walls as the spirit he was), stealing a Time Turner, and re-doing that whole getting killed thing.

That wouldn’t be a long enough story for seven books, though.

…Maybe if Rowling described all the times he camped out along the way.

The Human Condition

Do you ever stare at the human face, and think that it’s a really strange feature?

Bony bumps protrude beneath squishy orbs that we call distinct and handsome, and fangs spread wide in a gesture we recognize as friendly.
Droopy parts are pasted on the sides and smack dab in the middle -plus dead cells sprout from the top or ears and nose like a wild jungle plant’s fronds…

What gets me, when I’m in this mood, is how the arrangement of these fleshy parts causes us humans to say how attractive an arrangement it all is (or not).

You’re all so weird.