Life’s Lost Instructions

Life is a collection of reminders.

“Socks before shoes -wait! Fold seams inside the socks first…”

Every moment is a list of instructions we pull from the linted clump of a cranial pocket. Frowning, we take it out, straighten it, and make sense of the blurry pen marks and dog-eared corners.

“Put the car in Park before turning the engine off…”

How many notes; how many memories end up in those pockets? Once they’re full, is that when we discover -to our confused dismay- a hole in the lining?

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©2021 Chel Owens

Okay, I Wrote a Mystery

Charlene loved Mysteries, but nothing mysterious ever happened.

She walked past men robbing banks, and sighed.

Her eyes glazed over yet another discarded jewelry pile by a guttered body.

Sorting through inheritance letters from unknown relatives, she decided -maybe- to consider Romances.

©2021 Chelsea Owens

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There you go, Deb. (For her 42 Words prompt, Mystery.)

Wherein Lies the Crime?

The air lay still and putrid, festering beneath a boiling sky.

No one breathed.

No one was left to breathe.

Who, then, would ever determine if the break-in was illegal;
or, if the existence of a biological warfare facility was?

No one.

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©2021 Chel Owens

In response to Deb’s 42 Words #6: Crime.

Love and War

Stuie made one good decision: Sadje.

Smoking, drinking, and sneaking into radioactive facilities were not good decisions.

Worst was writing Sadje out of the will.

“All’s fair in love and…” He died.

Sadje tore the will; took the trailer. She loved it.

Photo by Erik Mclean on

©2021 Chel Owens

I blame Deb, and her 42 Words prompt for this week: WAR.

The Ends

It wasn’t much, the new addition; just a bit of pipe and connector and some clever diverting on Jim’s part. Where he’d learnt that, she’d never know.

Still, when The End of Times came, Deb counted that bidet as a true asset.

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©2020 Chelsea Owens

In answer to Deb’s 42-word prompt, apocalyptic.

Thriller and Suspense: Deb’s 42 Words

She had little to go on:
sparkly jacket by the wall,
black loafers here
and there,
a single

“Well, Annie,” a voice cooed, “Are ya okay? Are ya okay, Annie?”

She ran, certain she’d been hit by a smooth criminal.

Image by Peter H from Pixabay

©2020 Chel Owens

Written in response to Deb’s 42 Words prompt: Thriller and Suspense. Sorry, Deb. 🙂

A Surprising Escape

The calloused feet came first; followed by child-bearing hips, a muffin top, an ample bosom, and a graying haircut.



Neither could say who was more surprised to see the other, nor who had better reason to run away from home.

Photo by tom balabaud from Pexels

©2020 Chel Owens

In response to Deb’s 42-word story prompt, which was my pick?

It’s time to sharpen your wits, gather up your lock picking tools and put your head down for this week’s theme is …


What are you escaping from?  Where, when, how?  This is all for you to decide, the only requirement is that you fit it all in the 42 word limit.

Carl’s Popularity Problem

Carl liked people. That wasn’t his problem.

Carl liked puppies. That wasn’t his problem, either.

Carl liked kittens, too. That also wasn’t his problem.

Carl liked people, puppies, and kittens -best of all- when they were cadavers. Yes, that was Carl’s problem.

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Written for Deb’s 42-word prompt, inspired by Charlescot: Zombie.

©2020 Chel Owens

That’s Odd

“That’s just it, isn’t it?”


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.”


“They’re odd.”

multicolored pebbles on white ceramic bowl
Photo by Steve Johnson on


©2020 Chelsea Owens

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