Measure of A Man

Brenda stirs a glass of sweet tea.   The spoon bangs repeatedly.

“Your tea is ready.  How do you like the sweetener.” she deadpan her question. 

“It’s awful sweet.   I guess I’ll get used to it.   Dieting sucks.” Ron grabs the glass and walks back to his chair.   The exercise souls be enough in his world.

“I thought 30 grams would be enough.” Brendas voice barely audible. “How much strycnine will it take?! One more glass, maybe.”

<a href=””>Measure</a&gt;


“You have candy?!  Give me candy and I won’t eat your brains.   Not right away.   I just need candy” Isabella circles like a puppy. Bright shiny eyes albeit a bit disturbingly colored.”I’ll be good.  Really! I need chocolate.”

Mr Mills looks awkwardly at the child. “Who have you this hairdo? And those contacts? They are horrible! You look like a Halloween doll! Where’s you guardian little one?”

His hands twitch as they tug at the sleeves of the blue ill-fitting suit. His eyes stay down away from the child.  His middle aged conditions knawl at him.  He wants answers but the child is obviously spoiled beyond belief. 

“I ate her brain.  She told me to take of my wig.   So i jumped up on her shoulders to chew hers off her head. I was surprised when it was real.” she looks around the room for an unseen need “I guess that’s what the screaming she was doing was all about. But I didn’t get my candy yet.   So where’s it at?”

“Rich imagination child. I’m here on serious matters.  It won’t take much more before in feed up with your game.   Isabella, be a good girl.  Go find Ms Maples….please.” His face is a tightrope.  The words filter through clinched teeth. 

“Ok, I’ll go get someone. Do you me too? Really she’s not much to talk to anymore…” Isabella kicks at the floor.  The realization that no candy is coming sinks in. 

“Yes, Isabella, I would like that very much.” Mr Mills watches her disappear. Little foot steps find a hallway and echo against dark wood panels.

He turns to look at the strange tapestry of a fox hunt on the wall.  “No wonder she’s so dark.”

A squeaking sound builds within the hall that Isabella chose.  He waits to turn.   The woman clearly kept him waiting for a reason.   No-one thinks child services ever sees these tactics.

“Here she is…Ms Maples.  You wanted to she her.   Here she is!” The little girl poses like the magician completing a trick.

“My God! What happened here?!” His voice quivers and fails. His face stretches and pales.  Dark holes once held eyes can’t move.  Slowly his body leans away.

“You asked.  I brought her to you.   Where’s the candy,  Mr Mills?” her voice starts to sing. 

Ms Maples is on a dolly.   Her skull sticking out, part of its skin covers what’s left of a face. Her pale skin shows signs of bruising.   Tied hands hold her together in a modified ball.  

“Oh please, give me the candy.  You adults are hard enough to deal with.  My sugar is low….I don’t know weekday I might do next.   Right, Ms Maples.” Isabella smiles. 

Mr Mills runs for the door.  Small feet move much faster than old feet.


The Village

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Yarnspinner. Thank you Yarnspinner!

Below me the village spreads out.  I have a name but I’d prefer to make our meeting a surprise to him.   Business decision. My pack can only hold so many things that protect but remain unseen.  

The mountain ridge forms a spine.  It builds a beast is called isolation.  I couldn’t be any stranger to them down there. The advantage is noone knows why I’m passing through.   The old farmers some talk at me anyway.  And they are all that seems to live there. 

Their clan may decrease by one.  I reach back to the lower left pocket.   A six inch blade, pummel waiting for that firm handshake.  One’s man riches balance on that knife tip.  I have my opinion of whose riches should come out on top. 

Written as a part of a challenge called Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Details available at

Tied Up in Others 

“Those words…. They were sharp as glass.  I can feel them still.” Dave’s voice monotone delivery fades away.

His mind churns them over and over.   Minutes to hours. His mind whittles away today with their harshness.

His place outside next to his garage.   Blank eyes look in the air for the answer to what consumes him.   His washed out blue eyes hide behind glasses.   Years have added wrinkles to better disguise his intent.  His salt and pepper hair match his close cut bread.  His pallid face blank from lack of conclusion. 

“I can remember… Her words started about me not doing something.  Her brown eye harden and bloodshot. I just thought… well, I can listen. But then I’ll think about the words.  I’ll start making dumb mistakes.”  Dave wave his hands explaining this to an unseen companion.

He sits back on his metal chair.  His breath pauses.  Fingers engage in hunting for a cigarette.  His lost addiction remains fresh to his body.

The chasm of what we do and how quickly it can change, spill before his feet.  A series of bumps shake his thoughts free.   

“I recon I’ll have to check on her.   She’s probably waking up.   She will probably be a little cross about the whole tired up thing.   She never was much for understanding.”  Dave looks toward the door leading in the garage. 

His eyes open a but more.   His head swivels side to side.   Inventory of his neighbors send important now. 

Dave slides forward in his chair.   Both arms come to rest at the edge of the chair to propel him up.   A simple motion seems like slow motion.   Dread suddenly checks on his face.  He had always hated confrontation. Maybe, it will be easier with her tired up a bit. 

The ordinary door leads to a garage more storage than garage.   Boxes of varies color and age stack toward lights and open rafters.   A path, five to eight feet winds through the maze of excess things. The bumping noise get more intense as he moves toward crudely made cage.  More chain link fencing leaned against cinder block wall.  A few metal poles keep an opening with a giant cocoon drifting side to side. A rap of fencing follows a soft bump.  Oddly hypnotic in motion.

“Grace, you are awake.  We didn’t have to go this way.   But now that we did… Get comfortable.   I’m not the best at things,  as you keep reminding me.  Well, I’ve had a few  hours to think it over. I’ll have to think some more about how we move on from here. Please, fur once let me think.” Dave sips at a coffee mug.  He smiles a tad. “I’ll be back in awhile. Don’t go anywhere.”


Her advances rejected.  

Smiles and laughs at stupid humor never noticed.

Her homemade, albeit bakery bought, treats ravaged like she wanted her to be. 

Her last attempt at avoiding be meaningless realized.  While never a pink girl, a pink 9 mm feels mighty noticable now.

<a href="">Meaningless</a>

Wordle -Escaping

Week 145.png

1. Crescent

2. Exotic

3. Ledge

4. Longanimity ((n.) patient endurance of hardship, injuries, or offense; forbearance.)
5. Filter
6. Stew
7. Pasty
8. Afflatus ((n.) inspiration; an impelling mental force acting from within. Divine communication of knowledge.)
9. Emerald
10. Jailer
11. Cringe

12. Noise
Use at least 10 of the words to create a story or poem
The words can appear in an alternate form
Use the words in any order that you like.
Tag: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie and Wordle
The crescent moon filters through a broken sky.  From my ledge, I look for the pasty jailer. I cringe with every noise.  The exotic emerald uniform is enough afflatus to drive me on.  My anger stews thinking of longanimity this has put me through.  

A well place rock solves most of my problems.

Who Enters

The sign above the door reads

Those who enter have chosen whom they will serve

The tired white house sits on a corner lot of the Holden highway and a forgotten alleyway. The aging farm house has seen better days.  The exterior paint peeled revealing blue and grey stripes.  What was once a yard shrank to brown mud.  A collection of trucks squeeze together much like a child’s attempt at organization.  Most have seen better days, a few new ones labeled for work.

 Noises testify to a couple dozen people inside.  Collection of jeans and black leather clad white men pass beers and smokes.  Tension is absent.   Terse smiles and roaring laughter mix freely.  Two men wait on the wide front stairs. 

 Greg wears his black leather vest and has fifty years loosely.  Just enough salt mixed into his black hair.  His five o’ clock shadow approaching 10 o’clock.  His cheek scarred by a hard life via broken glass.  His presence outside whispers nervousness.  Rare trait.  His eyes search for a needed change.

Roger is clad in red checked flannel, jeans, and a ball cap faded with a “G” where a patch once was.  He’s a chunk of man with little hair and needing a purpose.   He is there for support.  He flips open and closed a lighter.  He knows this night is important but not why.

 Roger answers “yep” to everything said.  But little talking is happening.  Greg hopes his oversized friend

A tan minivan pulls in and parks partially on the alleyway, clear of the rest.  Inside a bespectacled young man looks around.  His face looks for something.  On the stairs, two men stare out at him.  People like him don’t fit here.  Roger stands up. His shoulders pushed up.  Arms hang out with a slight curl.  Large hands curl to club like fists.

The stranger stares him down.  He knows the angry white man type.  The understand pushing things.   Nothing about control. 

“Piece of shit redneck” slips out of his mouth.

Greg slaps Roger on the back of his  calf. “Down boy.  He’s what we are waiting for.”

Roger holds the strangers stare.  “He called me a piece of shit. Fuck it! Let me kill him, Greg ” 

The stranger smirks and nods at him.  He turns attention to a cell phone.  He takes the phone apart placing the battery on the dash.  He places the phone down next to it.  He  throws off a suit coat and removes a tie.  Then rolls up his sleeves.  He takes some more time to leave the minivan.

“Hell, I thought you were pissing in your pants boy!” Roger says loud enough to be heard thirty feet away without shouting. His chest full out,  Roger flexes his arms.

“I’d save it for your shoes, if had to go…Boy!” Solomon locks eyes with a bulk twice his.  “I don’t come for your humor.  If you mind was a the size of that trap, I wouldn’t be here…now would I?”

“Greg, tell me this pussy ain’t who you invited?  I’d love to see if he’ll fit in that little console with the cup holder in mommy’s grocery getter.”  Roger is chomping a the bit.  Right fist finding left hand.  Mindless repetition into a dance beat.

“Solomon, Greg…..Roger, you apparently seem to have met.”  Greg pushes his hand foward. “We got a houseful.  They need to know what’s happening.  I tried passing your book..”

“Neanderthals died interbreeding with us.  They had limited symbol writing.  Don’t expect the last ones to learn reading soon.. ” Solomon shakes hands with Greg talks at Roger.

“Have the units organized in phase two yet?!  I was hoping we would be available to join in with something down here.  We aren’t a militia but a country boy can survive, if you know what I mean…” Greg smiles and waits for an answer.  

Greg’s face resembles a boy meeting a hero.  The ages are greatly reversed here. Solomon fresh clean cut, college kid. 

“We are days away.  You couldn’t ramp up and be timely.  Every action must be exactly timed.  GM doesn’t roll out the LE model and wait to do the XL model.  They coordinate them…”. Solomon pauses finally finding Greg’s face.  

“The next round.  We can work you in, if you pitch a good plan to me.  Not amateur hour boys!  Death to change life.  Restoration of American ways.  Don’t forget it’s above a movement, not getting hits on your social media.”

The house has slowly caught sight of the stranger.  Faces press against the glass, all lack a smile.  A garage door opener comes to life.  Folding metal chairs line in neat rows.  Banquet table loaded with coolers of beer, next to aluminum tins filled with what the BBQ grill threw up.  White board easels frame a wooden plywood podium with an eagle banner nailed in place.

“They’ll be working their way to the garage.  Let’s get to it.  I know you ain’t got all night. It’s great we found you.  They want to learn.  They want to act.” Greg stops but not Solomon

Greg’s  hands rise up and open as if holding something. “We got plans.  Two tankers. We pin a semi between they.  On a high level bridge.  They catch fire.  The roadway covered by thousands of gallons of fuel.  It burns asphalt and weakens the bridge.  The city is cut off on one side.  Three bridges and we strangle it.”  

Solomon stops dead in his tracks turning back to Greg. “Why two tankers and a semi?”

“You need extra fuel.  You need to block first responders.  The bridge doesn’t need to fall.  Just need to be useless and a reminder.”  Greg responds with his left hand on Solomon right shoulder.

“How are you starting the fire? Tankers have safety valving.  Explosions don’t cause fires all the time.  Can’t half ass shit.” Solomon brushes the hand off

“Cables tie vents partially open.  Low level fireworks and delayed TNT under the wheels.  Once a flame is established.  We need to break open the tank.  If we catch semi on fire, we guarantee completion of plan.”  Greg finishes the sentence as they reach the garage and crowd.

Solomon smiles like a teacher executing a lesson. “You simplify things.  Get blueprints.  You need more than one opening.  You burning vapor, not liquid.  It has to breath to burn.  You explosion could kill the fire.  You set the semi on fire and explode the charges afterward, maybe?” 

“Let’s get started.”  Greg walks up to the podium

People grab at the chairs.  The stranger is the focus.  The stranger looks at his watch.

“Alrighty, y’all behave we have a guest.  First off, next month, the cookout.  Sign up with something.  Thirty cases of beer is nice, but we need food too.  Not hamburgers and hot dogs.  It’s your party.  We might have something to celebrate.  That’s why we have a visitor.  I tried to get some of you to read the book.  Solomon’s Sojourns.” Greg pauses to survey the crowd.

“Ya know, the gulf wars…made the US the number one oil exporter.  We killed all those Arab spies of ours.  Bin Laden fingered for the towers.  Remember, dude in a cave without power!  The banking collapse…we paid those rich fuckers!  They lost our money and the government gives them the rest of our money!  The bankers are in the cabinet of the Reformer.  They took our healthcare, our overtime pay, our private jobs, our privacy.  Well, friends…. the Revolution is here.  Solomon is NSA operative turned patriot.”  Greg fires himself up and yields as Solomon steps forward.

The crowd is not sure about this.  They love the plans but this dressed guy ain’t their kind of fighter.

Solomon stands quiet looking over the crowd.  He adjust his glasses and pulls back a piece of paper from his pocket. Then glances at his watch.  

“You need to be careful.  You all have phones, they listen and read your texts.  The used truck lot out there….if I had known none of you could slap mud on your plates to cover the numbers.  I can’t be caught here people.” Solomon stares at the ceiling 

He waits a full minute to continue “I stopped at a beauty salon.  I took that minivan, Melissa Fresnel had a 5pm appointment.  The website of the salon said they were scheduled for two and a half hours at 5.  I have half hour to get it back.  The government can’t track you if they don’t know it’s you.  My phone… disassembled and prepaid.  This is what we do.”

Solomon leaves the podium and walks across the front of his audience   “Fires in communication centers are coming.  The water does the damage.  We will put the business down for a few hours.  When it starts back up, we may get inside the right places.  The unseen hand.  Patriots don’t need a drum corp.” His hands mimic beating a drum and reverses course.

“We will change things.  Not by show of force.  We need that too.  Liberation is an omelette, break enough eggs add the right things and put it to the heat and it comes out!  I have a few minutes.  Train, Devo, Hector, and Brick…  I’ll see you in back right now.”  Solomon speaks slow and monotone with few flashes.  His watch was looked at more than the crowd.  He walks away

Four men looking like quadruplets get up.  Black leather vests, white tshirts and faded jeans attached to linemen frames.  Greg joins them.

Part 1

Overworked on the Turn

“Turn at the third left just past the old barn.” Her words echo in my mind. 

I wearily watch the road only to find a turnabout with multiple left turns.  My mind reminds me she’s always been a turncoat.  I have cleaned up her messes and hidden the bodies enough to be overworked. 

The red and blue lights tell me that am at the right place and turning her in was way too easy. 

Beware when you overwork the wrong person. 

Part of two challenges

Six Sentence Stories 

The cue is TURN

six sentences,any genre, hop around, link yours up too , have fun!

& The daily post ” Overworked ”

<a href="">Overworked</a>

Mythically Female

Photo credit:

Within every woman lies a mythical beast.  She portrays herself in a wrap of human clothing.  The flesh is an illusion.   Their hidden treasures include a path to Hades.  A rather rambunctious sojourn and longer than any ride should be. 

I raise a glass.  My bar patrons are rather oblivious to me.  The rest of the world is oblivious to them.   I feel ambivalent.  I should feel drunk.  I suspect my glass is defective.  Maybe ice has devoured the alcohol.

I cast my weary eyes to the barmaid.  Even brooding, they mock me.  I suspect last time may tip was insufficient.  

“Bitch.” I lose the words.  

She didn’t notice.  She does smile…

I’ll celebrate her hearing me.  My glass gives up the party quickly.

The ice melts but I spy creatures inside.  They must be female.  Chimera, Griffin, Thunderbird, Manticore, Roc.  They all suck the life out of me.  But maybe the worst of all awaits me at home.  She’s a hydra.  Spit out of the sea….straight from the gates of Hades.  Explains the icy salt water in the veins.

I will have another.  Maybe three more.  I need to gather my thoughts.  I hoped the alcohol would help.  Divergence rules the memory.  It protects me.  I hide from the facts.  Darkness is the cloak within me.

The clock draws slow.  I wait watching the treachery of the she beasts.  A look for a drink.  Boring conversation.. two drinks.   We wait for them to get desperate. They prey on our souls.  Chewing and demolition of the heart, not enough.

Nervousness hits like a wave.  My phone lights up.  It’s her.  My head hits the bar.

“Dear God!” I scream.

The whole bar looks at me.

I look at the phone.

She has three heads.  She has three heads.  

I used a machete.  It was a clean cut.   I saw it sorta roll to the floor.  It was over.

She really is a hydra.

The text….

‘I’ll be waiting for you’

Silent Witness 

“So, Mr John Steward..” Detective Jacobs crawls at him with his black eyes. His body pinning in a hall, a single breath from the lobby. “We have a conversation about your late night escape last night.”

John looks at the strange short man in a cheap suit.  His ears ignore the words but his heart doesn’t.  His brain thinks of Alicia back in the room. 

“I’m not sure what you mean.  Sir,do I know you?”  John’s voice reminiscent of a child asking the second parent for permission. 

“We have a hotel robbed at Midnight.   We have one room, they didn’t check out. They left one of those voice recognizing search speakers.  Funny the last search was…… ” Jacobs pulls out his paper note pad “Hotel staffing. Now, you know whose room it was in?  When I call a judge at 3AM for a search warrant, they don’t ask questions.  But they Internet company…..Well, we can only look at your searches for now. In a week, we’ll have the last ten minutes of conversation.   Funny, those little devices listen all the time. they pick up the damnedest things.”

John looks at him in disbelief.   “I’m not sure what you mean.   We didn’t like the room and came here.   You know how wives get.”

“Alicia…your wife.   She claims you found bed bugs and leave in a hurry.   She thinks it was your newest toy that the housecleaning staff found.  Is she wrong?”  Jacobs smiles and produces a pair of silver handcuffs.  “Leave the robberies to the professionals.”