Altitude Anonymous

-“Hello, and welcome -yet again- to our meeting of Altitude Anonymous. I am your group leader for this quarter, Slim J.”

“Hi, Slim J.”

-“Thank you. Let’s open this meeting with our Share Session. Who’d like to start?”

…..

-“Anyone?” “Ah. Yes, of course; Bean P.”

“Alrighty. So, as you know, I’m the team lead in a high profile sales environment over at-“

-“No names, Bean.”

“Yes; of course. Silly rule but -as team lead, I oversee operations on both the East and West Coasts as well as inspiring the logistics and marketing departments in global aspir-“

-“Shares are two minutes, Bean.”

“Two minutes. Right. Well; okay then. -Team lead is, as you know, vital to any organization. Without my input and direction, no one would know which end went where -ya know what I mean?”

-“Beeean.”

“Right.” *Ahem.* “Step Three’s humility and I met my goals and did very well. As always.”

=”Oookay, then. Er… good work, Bean.”

“You’re welcome!”

-“Who else wants to share? …Gian T? Yeah; go ahead.”

“Hi. I’m Gian T.”

“Hi, Gian T.

“My weekly goal was walking in a small person’s shoes, so I took mah girl’s heels and hit the clubs -but that bi-“

-“Giaaan”

“Er; that beautiful woman’s got tiny ass feet so I broke ’em right away and was barefoot all night.”

-“Thank you, Gian. Anyone else?”

“I have one.”

-“Okay.”

“Hello; I’m Lank E.”

Hi, Lank E.”

“Hi. Hi, guys. I’ve really been trying to not not see -you know- little people. It’s so hard! They’re like kids: popping up behind your cart or standing in an aisle with the peaches right behind you-“

-“Um, Lank-“

“An’ then there’s that time I got in my truck ’cause, you know, my truck -and I drove over a little person’s car but luckily they weren’t in it when I back up they just hadn’t parked it in a very obvious spot. But, that’s what I’m saying: that the little ones are so darned hard to see-“

-“Ms. Lank?”

“Just Lank, thanks. Yeah, so, I didn’t do so great at seeing littles. Better luck next week, I guess.”

-“Well! It’s getting late so let’s wrap up with The Altitude Anonymous Pledge.”

I, LaSliGiaPecTalBig, am tall, but I can think small. No matter where I go, I can move slow. When others are in the way, I can politely say, “I respect your space, ‘though I can’t see your face.”

-“Thanks, guys -and gals. Pecos has the treat next time. See you then.”

©2022 Chel Owens

And To Think That I Heard It From Some Publishers

“What’re we gonna do, Fred? These books just ain’t movin.'”

“Hm. I dunno. Which are they, exactly?”

“YOU know -Mulberry Street, that Zoo one, Elliot’s fish… erm, and two or three others even I can’t remember.”

“Oh, yeah. Those deadweights. Hm.” *snap* “I got it!”

“What??”

“Stop printing ’em.”

“Wha -? But the fam-“

“Aaand…”

“And?”

“Say it’s for some hot-button issue. Throw in some questionable quotes from the author; there’s always some handy.”

“Fred.”

“Yeah?”

“You’re a genius!”

©2021 Chel Owens
Image ©Dr. Seuss Enterprises, LP

Never Forget the Soap

“It happened again.”

“What?”

“The door.”

….?

“The door of the laundry room.”

….

*Sigh* “It hit me on the way out again.”

“Oh…” “Well…” “It’s just a door.”

“It doesn’t hit me every time.”

“Huh.”

“I’m serious!”

“I know! -Look, maybe you’re just jumping to conclusions.”

….

“Like, you know, that… say, air currents from a different door or whatever sometimes close that one.”

“On me.”

“…Yeah.”

“Never on you.”

“…Yeah.”

“Never on anyone else.”

“Yeah!”

“And only when I start a load at midnight.”

“Yeah! -wait; why are you starting laundry at -”

“And only when I can also hear whispering…”

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Inspired by my own laundry room experiences for Carrot Ranch‘s prompt: someone unremembered.

September 26, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about someone unremembered. Is it a momentary lapse or a loss in time? Play with the tone — make it funny, moving, or eerie. Go where the prompt leads you!

Respond by October 1, 2019. Use the comment section below to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

The Flash Fiction CONTESTS start after this, so check them out beginning October 3!!!

 

Photo Credit: Ryoji Hayasaka

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

I’d Like to Mouse Wheel a Motion

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“Now, now, Mrs. Snigglewhiff; that’s hardly mouseylike. Would you please consider using the shavings over-

“MISTER Cheesebiter, if you wouldn’t mind-

“I say; what are you doing at that drink station? Refreshments are for after our-

“What is it, now, Whiskershins? …The Society for Capybara Welfare wishes to be heard? They’ll just have to submit their request in shavings like the rest of us!-

“My word! Will the ringtailed children kindly refrain from using the wheel till after our meeting has adjourned?-”

*SQUEAKHEM*

“I now call to order The Semi-Regular Meeting of Tame Rodentia. First item of business: queuing.”

 

Moused over for Carrot Ranch‘s writing prompt:

March 7, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a mouse. It can be real, imagined, electronic or whiskered. Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by March 12, 2019. Use the comment section below to share, read and be social. You may leave a link, pingback or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

 

Photo Credit:
Eligo Design

Bio-Enrichment

“Whatcha got in your lunch, Bi890?”

“Nothin.'”

“C’mon. got plain ol’ Wondermeat again. You can’t have anything worse than that.”

…*Sigh*

“Hey, humanoids! What’s for lunch?!”

Greets, Bi880. I’ve got Wondermeat again.”

“Too mortal, Bi896! My parental unit sent me One Smart Cookie!”

No way!

“So future!”

know. Pretty spaced, yeah? …So, whatch you got, 890?”

“He won’t say.”

“Why not?”

“I just don’ wanna.”

“We won’ tell.”

“Sures. C’mon, ‘noid.”

*Sigh* “Homemade chicken noodle soup again.”

“What?! No way!”

“What is that stuff?”

*Sigh*

“It’s okay, 890.”

“Yeah, ‘noid. -not all parental units know what’s good for ya.”

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A futuristic conversation about enrichment bio-engineered for Carrot Ranch‘s prompt:

January 10, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes the idea of enrichment. Use many of its different manifestations or explore reasons why it matters to the character. Go where the prompt leads.

Respond by January 15, 2019. Use the comment section below to share, read and be social. You may leave a link, pingback or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

 

Photo Credit:
Sara Dubler

Inspirational Plagiarism: a Dialogue

“I really want to write something.”

“So…”

“I know; I know. ‘So, write something.’ If only it were that easy.”

“It is. You just-”

“Just WRITE something. If it’s so easy, you do it.”

“I have.”

“Oh?”

“Yes.”

….

“What?”

“Where is it?”

“Where is what?”

“Whatever it is that you wrote. Supposedly. I mean, you said that-”

“Oh, that. Yes, well, it’s …thing is…”

“Well?”

“Computer crash last week.”

“Computer crash.”

“Yes. Tragic. I’d just finished up the 53rd chapter, too.”

“Fifty-three chapters?! Now I know you’re making this up.”

“Hmph. You’re just jealous because you can’t think of something to write.”

Neither can you!

“Of course I can. Didn’t you just hear that I wrote fifty-three chapters?”

“Says you.

And J.K. Rowling’s agent. He said they wanted me to send off what I had.”

What?!”

“Unfortunately, that e-mail also was lost in the crash.”

“Obviously….So, what were the fifty-plus chapters about? Hmmm?”

“Oh! Erm.. ah.. it was a fantasy novel.”

“Go on.”

“Well, I can’t give everything away.”

“Sure, sure. Just tell me the synopsis you sent to Rowling’s agent, then.”

“I’m sure you’re not really interes-”

“I am.”

“Well.. it was a sort of ..hmm… a mashup of classic story lines. …You know: a bit of boy-coming-of-age meets a girl-who-discovers-she’s-magic story…”

…..

“It’s true! Julieng –yes– Julieng is nearing adulthood and discovers a dragon egg buried beneath a red wall that …erm… Eil-ent -um- Eilent’s uncle built near her family’s cauldron on a pig farm and they must join forces to stop the ..evil …overlord who came back to life because of a ring.”

“A ring.”

“Uh-huh. And the ring was lost behind a false wall ..erm.. in an upstairs room about a hundred years ago that ..uh… Jules’-

“Julieng?”

“Yes -Juleng.. Julieng’s stepbrother’s half-sister’s cousin made with magic powder that takes them between worlds. …I had a bit about a lion -or maybe a witch. -Hmmm, maybe it was a wardrobe-”

“A wardrobe?”

“Or, maybe it was a vanishing cabinet. I can’t exactly remember because that was back at the start of the book, see, and I was to the part where they …ah found Queen Guinevere with one of the knights..”

That’s it.”

“That’s what? Hey -where ya going?”

“To write.”

“I thought you didn’t have anything to write …”

“I didn’t, but a recent conversation inspired me.”

“Oh?”

“Yep. I just hope the publisher doesn’t think it’s too tame of an idea…”

“Well… you know what Abraham Lincoln said.”

“No, what?”

There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope…

“Smart man, that Lincoln.”

“Yup. Like me.”

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Oh My Flippin’ Heck!

Lately, I’ve been thinking about swearing in literature. I’m concerned about whether the exclusion of cussing in my written words might be seen as inauthentic or inaccurate.

As writers, we need to convince our audience that a scene happens. The characters are real, even if they can conjure a blue flame or fly on a dragon. The character conversations also need to sound humanoid so that readers follow it.

You may be wondering what the big deal is, since I probably talk or listen to talking all the time. Right? Well, the ‘big deal’ is that I am not around a lot of colorful language. A lesser-known fact about the LDS peoples I am part of is that they/we don’t swear. I kid you not.

In overhearing a group of teenagers at McDonald’s the other day, I heard plenty of, “I know right”‘s and “What the heck?”s but nothing stronger.

My children will sometimes pop out a, “Holy crap!” (surely picked up from their father), and said paternal figure sometimes gives me a reprimanding look.

When I type or say, “Gosh dang it!” I really say it. There was even a point in my life at which I could count on one hand the number of times I swore. Then I turned 15….

In my mind, I take the high road. Classic literature and timeless works also do not contain much in the way of low-class utterances (Mark Twain aside), particularly those aimed at the children’s market. The books I enjoy most have little cursing, plus only allusions to sex or violence instead of First-Person Agony.

Do you, the other writers out there, feel swearing is necessary? Can two people have an adult conversation without it?

 

Think about it and let me know. Meanwhile, here is my Week in Review:
Wednesday, November 21: The Truth About the Holidays, my crotchety old lady post, plus a weekly review.
Thursday, November 22: Happy Thanksgiving!
Friday, November 23: Winner of The Second Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest announced. Congratulations, Babbitman.
Saturday, November 24: Beginning of The Third Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest (please enter!).
Also, Everyone Feels This Way?, a ‘poem’ about social anxiety.
Sunday, November 25: Re-blogged the announcement about Susanna Leonard Hill’s children’s holiday story contest.
Monday, November 26: Wilhelmina Winters, Seventy-Three,
and Don’t Look a Gift Horse in the Price Tag over at my motherhood site.
Tuesday, November 27: Inspirational Quote by Stephen Black. He’s a mean old miser humble, inspired person who is mean mean mean has great thoughts and observations.
Wednesday, November 28: This post. 🙂

Wilhelmina Winters, Seventy-Two

The whole of Saturday and early Sunday morning passed without event, much to Wil’s disappointment. She even managed to alter Sunday’s morning walk with her mother to pass the small playground and the side of Building 5 twice, but they never saw anyone. She knew they walked earlier in the morning than most were awake, but a sliver of hope was all Wil ever needed to assume a sunrise’s worth of chance.

If her mother suspected anything, Cynthia was, as always, respectful enough to keep things to herself. That, or she knew Wil could never keep a secret for long.

“Well,” Cynthia said, after she and Wil had returned home and recovered somewhat on the couch, “That was a nice walk. Thank you, Wil.”

Wil turned to look at her mother from her reclined position. She hadn’t really noticed much of the walk and hoped there hadn’t been some landmark her mother wanted to discuss.

Cynthia cleared her throat, look worried, then smiled at Wil. “Why don’t you get started on breakfast for us, and you can tell me about how things are going?”

“Okay,” Wil agreed, still confused. She rose and walked the few steps to their eating area, her mind on what to talk about. There was the book she had been reading for school, of course; the secret group -oh! She could tell mom about the group; and then Eric, but even she wasn’t sure what there was to tell about Eric…

“Wil,” her mother said, bringing Wil back to reality to see she’d left the fridge door standing open with her in it.

“Sorry,” Wil said, and finished removing the eggs, milk, and bread from the cold interior before closing it. She set the breakfast items on the counter and began the everyday ritual of summoning coffee from their antiquated, secondhand machine. “I. wish. Dad. had. started. this,” she muttered as she prised the used filter from the top and attempted to scrape old coffee from the carafe.

Cynthia laughed, then stopped as she began coughing. “He’ll appreciate waking to it already tamed,” she said, once she caught her breath.

The coughing fit had not lasted long, but it gave Wil enough time to successfully start the coffee maker and get going on scrambled eggs. She and her mother kept the conversation to breakfast preparations, else Wil get lost in another area of the kitchen.

“You like them with salt and pepper, right?” Wil asked.

“Right.”

“How about Dad and Jakob?”

Her mother laughed a bit. “They like food.” She paused, “Though maybe not burned.”

“Ha. ha,” Wil pretended to laugh. She hadn’t burned their meal for nearly a week, although it was true that scrambled eggs had been the last thing she’d overcooked. “That reminds me,” she said, over her shoulder. “I need to tell Jakob I’m not the only one we need a smoke alarm for now.”

Cynthia smiled. “True. But he’s awfully grouchy in the mornings. You might not want to push your luck.”

“Who’s grouchy?” a grumbling voice asked. Jakob stood in his boxers and and t-shirt in the doorway, blinking around.

 

Continued from Seventy-One.
Keep reading to Seventy-Three.

The Happiest Traffic Jam on Earth

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“When will we get dere?”

Sigh.

“It’s …uh, your turn to answer him, Dear.”

“Whe-e-e-e-en will we get de-e-e-e-ere?”

“I told you, Honey. We’ll be there soon.”

“Yeah. ‘Soon.’

“You said that a long time ago!”

“Alvy. Honey-”

“I wish you wouldn’t call him-”

“No! You said we go in duh car!”

“Yes, Sweetheart. Vroom! Vroom! Remember?”

“Not vrooming…”

“You said LITTLE ride in duh car!”

“Well, I meant-”

“You did tell him just a little ride-“

WAAAAAAAAAH!

“Dear, please. That’s not helping to side with him…”

“Are we picking sides?”

“WHEN WILL WE GET DERE?!”

“Your turn.”

Sigh.

 

Carrot Ranch Literary Society Prompt

Cosmic Chatter

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“So, who’s the guy?”

“Girl, Mikey. Girl.”

“The broad, then.”

“She’s only eight. Jeez!”

“Well, I can’t see. Someone’s bright, pulsing keister’s in front of me! Ya mind turnin’ it down a bit, Eve?”

“Right, right. Just give me a billion more years.”

*Sigh*

“She wants a pony. That’s it. Just a pony, is all.”

“Ha! Ha! Well, go on, Mrs. I’m-so-much-older than you.”

“Funny.”

“That’s what you get, ya know.”

“What?”

“Ya don’t know? You really don’t know what I’m talkin’ about?”

“Well, Mikey; you gonna sit there, smug as eternity -or, ya gonna tell me?”

“It was cuz of that night, Eve.”

“Jeez, Mikey, which night? It’s not like we’ve had a few million up here.”

“That one a few thousand back. When you tried that helium. You don’t remember? You don’t remember -what happened?”

…..

“See? This is why I didn’t wanna tell ya. Now, you’re blushin’. Just like that night.”

“I didn’t blush, Mikey.”

“Yeah, well, that’s what happened and then you-”

“Mikey!”

“Right, right. Somethin’ happened that we’re not sayin’ and I’m sayin’ that’s why we’re hearing a wish.”

“You think, ’cause part of me lit up that she wants a pony?”

“Yeah. And, I think we’re going to hear more about it before tonight’s done. Your little light show took awhile to get to them.”

“Gee, thanks, Mikey.”

“Hey, you asked. I didn’t ask. I’m just floatin’, here. If you don’t wanna hear some hundred wishes a night, just wait till you run out of fuel in a few thousand more.”

“Wait, why?”

“Oh, nothin’ really. I just heard from Tony who said Buster told Suzie-”

“The point, Mikey?”

“Something about falling, that’s all.”

“Falling.”

“Yeah, and then whoever’s watching down there thinks it’s like that time we was talking about when they saw light all sudden-like, and then we’ll hear all this noise again.”

“Mikey?”

“Yeah?”

“You know that means you’ll be front and center, right?”

…..

“What’s the matter, Mikey? You don’t look so hot anymore.”

“I think I just dropped a level.”

“C’mon, Mikey. Like you said, who wouldn’t want to hear wishes all night, huh?”

Photo credit: Alessio Lin on Unsplash