Out There

Part of a photo challenge. The image provided by:


Twinkling blue lights spin around a small barrel in the sky. It’s so far up.  A satellite’s path.   It’s heading straight for the brilliance of Venus.  The mind of Xavier pictures astronauts seeing out the strange world.   Rain of acid, temperatures that melt metal, world cloaked in clouds.  Other worlds hold a young man’s mind tighter then what lies before him.

The twinkling changes color to white.  The object slows.   It’s somehow larger.   Dry morning winds rise up the cliff.   It’s gritty sand takes his view off the barrel. It’s gone.

A warm breeze stirs from behind.   Xavier turns.   His gaze fixed on the man behind him.   Both and raise outward.   Palms turned facing the man.   Gravity falls and the body floats just above the ground.   Feet bending as toes unconsciously feel for the earth below.

Blue light shines over him.   The long purple shadow behind him twists and moves.  The shadow arms and legs dangle like a puppet on a string.   Xavier body does not move.   The high pitch fills the air from all directions.

Xavier reaches for his face,  sitting out pieces of wind.  Wiping the sand from the corners of his eyes.   Venus had moved faster west.   It’s height in the sky is different as the stars behind her have moved.

“What just happened?” He asks the growing sun.


Reblog -Rubber Duckies Story

Every once in awhile the inbox has really interesting stuff. ..


Water, Water Everywhere 

Part of a weekly challenge provided by Laura Gabrielle Feasey at http://ismithwords.com.


Drops of water.   Plunk!  Plunk! Plunk!  A small little trail of glistening jewels.   Destined to a fate of crashing against cast iron.  An unnatural clock ticking away time.  Plunk! Plunk! Plunk!

Thirty feet above black wire drapes between brick buildings.  The black wrought iron window boxes and black metal fire escapes color the dark alley way.  Shade has obscured most of the scene.  Windows lend a poor accent.   Closer to the ground a dark patch takes over .  A pool of water starts to isolate the world of the alley.  It’s path heads to a cover of iron.  The smasher of glistening jewels and origin of the growing pond is unaware of its role.  

High above a small change is brewing.  The drops begin to gather closer together.  Their size increases.  The light catches them and bounces off with a flash.  The strobing path shows its full path to the cable.  A silvery snake silvers back to the building.  The metal railings light up as the snake crawls upward.  The fire escape is alive with shimmering stream. 

 A low groan falls from the roof.  Creaking noises follow.  The wind picks up and hides the sound from the ground.  The water drops string together louder.  Plunks are now drips.  Steady methodical sounds become more  staccato beats.  Tempo turning up.  

A larger groan cries out.  The sound is of failure.  Creaking wooden boards loosen their burden.  Small lines of water appear through the gaps of the water holding tank.  Thousands of gallons to feed the building below are on the journey to freedom.  Ten foot tall boards ringing a twenty foot wooden barrel have served their time.  One board has tried to hold back the water’s constant pressure but subsided.  It’s neighbors struggle to hold on.  The water forces through twisting ever so slightly.  The gaps barely grow and the water triples in size and volume.   A last second pitch to restrain fails.  Five boards give.  A torrent rushes across the roof.  Ten stories below the sounds are about to change.  

The iron cover splashes a steady stream of water.  The hair thin line grows to a pencil.  A thin column of light in a dreary alley.  The sight brings a couple of glances.  But the sounds above mix into the city’s din.  A lone person stops.  Phone in hand ready to capture the moment in time.  

The deluge breaks free.  In a blink of an eye, the wave crests the buildings edge.  The water line disappears.  Replaced by an arc reaching the neighboring building.  Water fills the chasm.  Crashing sounds roar.  The lone person is no match.  Seconds split.  The speed of the water is amazing.  Water eats the world below.  A giant mouth flashes then spits everything out in the street.  The lone person sent tumbling against parked car.  Phone bouncing on to the hood.  Cardboard hidden from the light rushes across the street.  Traffic halts as the debris field races out.  The world of motion and noise halts to catch its breath.  

Then in another moment, the world carries on.  2320 Huston Street fades back into the shadows.  A little different but not changed.

The challenge details will be found below.

Bottle of Hope


Mike was having that kind of day.   The 1968 Camaro convertible was finally road ready.   His grandfather’s car rescued from the family barn.   It’s candy red finish gleamed!  It’s electrical system not so much.

Teresa’s Hot Dog Joint was how far it ran.  Dying leaving the lot.  Blocking half the driveway at lunch time.   One large lady came out to check on him.

“Get that piece of shit out of my driveway! Move it! Move it!  Or I’ll push it into the street myself!” Theresa was not joking.  Her jet black hair and lineman’s build made her imposing.   She could probably scream it out of the way.

“Hey!  I called a truck.   It’ll be gone in a couple minutes.” He tries

“It’ll be gone alright! Five minutes or my truck will move it for you!  Don’t make me come back out here, young man.” Theresa cuts him off like a hatchet.

Leaning against the car, he pulls out three lottery scratch of tickets.  His luck can’t get worse.   Matching three symbols is all it takes.   His nickel feverishly digs at the silver rubbery surface.   Like a dog scratching a flea, he works over the same areas going for a different shape here or there.  Two tickets nothing.   Number three hits golden stars, not just one, but three.   Two hundred bucks!

Forgetting the large lady’s advice he runs to the drive thru store next door.   Running past the back tables he is counting the cash with each step.   A passing glance spies the old bottles on the shelves.  He uprighted the brown one right before buying the winner.

“Hey Daniel. Pay the man! Two hundred dollars!”giddy he hands off the ticket.

Daniel runs the ticket through. Slowly grabs some twenties. Counting then really slow, like it hurts to give away one of his babies.

A loud truck horn responses instead. Persistent rapid blasts. Mike knows it time to go.

Finish It #25

Finish It! #25
by authorsbmazing
She was looking around, scanning the surroundings like a hawk. Where did they go? They knew not to just walk off and both of them were old enough to not just leave. She only turned around for a short moment, trying to see if the guy she thought was following them was still there. And now they were gone. The panic started growing. What if?

Please continue….

Two bikes still leaned against the tree. Gilbert and Sally wanted to see the dog in the yard. It gave Olivia a chance to get a look at him. One hand fished for the phone in her purse. He was getting closer. On third right turn, she noticed him. The cap tight against sunglasses. Bits of hair was only way thing she could make out. If she could get a picture of him was all she thought.

“Gilbert! Sally! Get back here!”the controlled mom voice rings out. A slight flutter in the end being the closest to sign of weakness.

The man she watched disappeared right before they did. What to do? Panic was talking. The dog was gone. The kids were gone. But it was the guy disappearing. …

Olivia runs to the house. Thirty feet but closer to a mile in distance. The screen door hung tattered. The doorbell fails. Banging her hands on the wooden frame echoes in the house.

“Hang on! I ain’t buying nothing! If that’s what you’re after just leave!” A grumpy voice calls out from the dark interior.

“My kids were petting your dog. I think they let him off the leash. They run around the corner! Did you see them?” She tried to sound in control.

The blue ball cap comes into focus. Her heart slams into the ground. How? Why?

“It’s you! Why? There just little kids!”

“Mom, why don’t you come in and get them!”

She throws the door open. It’s the last thing she remembers.

Reblog Faces of the Solar system

This is why were not alone in the universe.  Planets and moon’s have faces.

Faces of the Solar System

Cheese, Please


In a tiny little town on the Ohio and Indiana border is the secret to a happy life. Natural cheese! Yes, in it’s dairy goodness lies all you need to feed body and soul. Ok, most of what you really want to feed your body. It’s loaded in protein, and the fat part makes it easier to eat and taste better. This is an Amish area with grass fed cows.


Painted as any tourist trap should be. Meaning as unnatural as possible, It’s dark grey exterior makes the word cheese visible from about a mile out. It’s in farm country, no farmer would pay for this color! The Amish farms that supply the cheese blend in to the landscape. Some even have electric lines going to the house. Only the livestock and buggy by a barn let’s you know who is who.

These people don’t but into organic. They raise their livestock as simply as possible. No hormones make it into the cheese. It would ruin their rep doing their people. A much stronger symbol than a green organic circle. If you made it yourself is the only way it’s fresher or better.

First you need to grab the door handle. It’s the metal sleeves from a milking machine. The place has cream separators inside. Butter churn, too! Although modern, they have displays to let you walk by the old equipment. An occasional person tells you about how they work. I had mom with me for that.

But we are here for cheese. Counting flavors means realizing there are fifty kinds of cheddar. Mild and sharp don’t with well here. Jalapeno and chive flavored do! Several standard cheeses occupy shelves with flavored or blended cheese. Cheese curds if you like you cheese a week old. Others go a little more time up to about six months. No two year old cheddar blocks that you could use as a hammer, unfortunately.

Butter Kase is about the creamiest thing possible. It’s starts with heavy cream. If you stuff peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, ravioli, or anything you want to have solid cheese taste, try this stuff. You can eat it with crackers or make gourmet grilled cheeses. But dream big here people.

Grass fed munster is another rare treat. If you buy cheese sliced and prepackaged, you never had munster cheese. This is way past deli cheese. Again excellent cheese for stuffing, Mac&cheese, secret ingredient to best grilled cheese ever.

Then I’m experimenting with flavors. Really a cheese with blue cheese, feta, and cheddar! Heart be still. Ok after I eat all this cheese it might be. But my salad that looked so healthy, now it tastes good too! This may not melt as well as others but three tastes fur the price of one!

I’m left with chipoltes cheddar. Mexican night will be featuring some stuffed poblano peppers! Tacos and quesadillas well be dressed up. But these is a decent cheese ti graze on. A little heat but not any after taste of pepper.

There’s still a hundred reasons to go back. And plenty of parking too!


Talking with An Old Farmer


Every once in awhile the family reunion gets slow and we search out the reliable conversations.   On a recent trip to rural Ohio, the easy person to talk to my Uncle Lester.


He’s a skinny 73 year old, with a pep in his step despite a couple knee and hip surgeries.  He’s down home country person.   Always a smile and handshake.   Never wears a hat inside but one the door opens, it’s on his head.
So like every farmer, weather is usually quick into the discussion.   Today is no different.   He asks about my garden.   He tells me of 150 acres of soybeans.   Then about the corn crops down the road.  Then the wheat.   Then cover crops.   Mix in a horse or cattle story.  That’s the normal thing.

This year is different.  I have corn.   Twenty eight plants, but corn with ears topped with silk.  He laughs and tells me it’ll be worth about $7 a dozen.   It’s a wet year, most fields are way behind or dead from water sitting in fields.  His soy bean crop will be average.   His three fields are at different levels (think Goldie locks here), so he’ll be ok.   All farmers are self sufficient, but crop insurance changes things.

As a city person with a mom raised on the farm, my views are askew from both worlds.  So I ask about how that works.   Mr Farmer spends about $550 an acre to plant corn, he spends  $100 to insure that acre to produce a hundred bushels at a certain price.  If the price drops or production drops he gets some money back.  Which means if he spent $650 to  produce 100 bushels at $6.50 a bushel, he’s screwed because he didn’t pay for fertilizer, gas, maintenance, or equipment. 

“This year people will get hurt” Uncle Lester warns.”The fields can’t keep up. It’s too late in the year.  The sun didn’t shine long enough in August and September.  The plants prepare for winter in September.”

I’m in awe.   Trees do this.  But plants?   Ok, I know they are all plants.  But sweet corn being overly expensive this year?   Soy products will raise drastically this winter?  Wheat too?   All because to much rain?  


So I go by Amish country afterwards.   The field across should be corn.   It’s gone.   One foot stalks.   Soy fields look better but they are behind too.   Years I have drove these roads.  Fields are huge and dark green this time of year.  We are all connected to this land.   The corn feeds the cattle, hogs, chickens, cats, dogs, fish, and us too.   The soy is in everything from your mattress to the eighteenth ingredient in the next box you grab from the cabinet.  Wheat is there in pasta and breads.  Maybe the old farmer is telling tales of woe, like always.   But it seems different this year.  

At $7 a dozen, three dozen selling that pays from my garden.  I’m two ears short!  So far.  Maybe I can make a bigger profit than him.   It’s kind of sad.   He’s got everything paid for.   So he’ll be alright.   It’s the younger ones that can’t afford this.



He thought he found the perfect hiding spot.

Jackel was waiting.   He heard the car approach.   A couple frantic seconds spent circling the room.  The perfect spot was most important.  An ambush is only as good as the place it comes from. 

The new curtains hasn’t even been climbed yet.   Their sheer material would be idea to hide his intentions.   Three feet from the from the door.   Tactical position was perfect. If only the paws could fit behind it.

Thud of a car door comes through the air. Jackel twitches his tail.  His hips lift off the ground.   Another twitch from his tail.  The outside door creaks open.  The curtain pushes forward slightly.   Jackel has front paws underneath him ready to launch. The front door swings wide open.   A second before the leg comes into view.

“Oh, shit! That damn cat of yours!” Riley tries to shake Jackel of his leg.   Jackel has ten claws securely imbedded and a set of canine teeth too.   His hands full and walking with an attached cat.  “Get!  Get your damn claws off me. ”

A grocery bag hiqs Jackel and he goes back to hide.  Through the curtain, glowing green eyes show.   A purring cat sits and waits.

“He is the sweetest cat.   Jackel just didn’t like you! ” Michelle goes comfort her cat.