She had been summoned to her family home in the forest. Only her mother lived there now. She hadn’t seen her in over twenty years. There had been a falling out between she, her mother, and her sisters.
She stumbled up the plank path to the door of the house. She was frightened, not knowing what she might find. She opened the door and walked in.
Her mother was sitting in the living room. Beside her was a suitcase and surrounding her was all the family valuables and heirlooms. Furniture, silver, gold bars, stacks of money and more. When she saw her, she stood up and cackled, sweeping her arm around as if showing her the bounty. Her eyes looked wild. Then she picked up the suitcase and walked out without a word of explanation.
She walked over to all the heirlooms her mother had gathered and she noticed a note tied to one of them. The note said that it was all her’s and her sister’s. It further said, “Ruth, I would rather have had you for these twenty some years than all the money in the world. How I wish you had known that.”
PHOTO CREDIT TO MIKE VOR
The boys loved it when the city park was closed. The fence was easy to climb. They hid the car they had “borrowed,” waited until no one was around and scrambled over the fence, pitching their dads’ rifles down to each other.
They were each 14 and knew where their dads’ kept the keys to the gun cases. There were deer that grazed in the trees in the park. They used them for target practice. Their parents were busy. They never knew the boys, or the guns, were gone.
They ran for the cover of the trees and decided to spread out. One of the boys ran to another tree about 100 yards away. The rifles had scopes. They were both poised to shoot a deer. One of the boys saw movement in the brush and fired. He heard a noise and knew he had hit something.
He had hit his friend who was motionless on the ground. The boy kneeled beside him. All he could think of was how mad his parents were going to be. They would take away his phone and his privileges. He wouldn’t get to play soccer. He might as well go home and face the music.
Photo Credit Sasha Darlington
In a city in the North, she was the housekeeper for the handsome detective. She didn’t like him much. She was snowbound at his house overnight. He was gone on an assignment. She was bored that night and looked for something to read. She found a book with crumpled pages called The Book of Spells of Misfortune. Curious, she opened it.
She found a spell she would like to cast on him but she didn’t believe in that stuff. She started chanting it for fun. She heard something and there he stood. He had turned into a pillar of ice.
Photo Credit Dale Rogerson
The nursing home was like new and the two ladies were old. They had come to see their sister. They were triplets and the nursing home had only been remodeled in places. When they looked down at the old brick floor, they twittered to each other that it was not only old but dirty. They thought their sister was in a nicer place. The bright young lady behind the desk directed them down a hall to the left when they gave her their sister’s name. Halls ran off the dank lobby in every direction.
Huddling together, they turned and walked down the hall. The young lady had said Pearl was near the end of the hall. They noticed the doors had no names on them and wondered how they would know which door she was behind. They paused where there were only four doors left although one door seemed to go to the outside.
One of the sisters didn’t know what to do but call out, “Pearl?”
She called out louder, “Pearl, answer me!”
The door at the end of the hall was flung open and there was Pearl.
”Catch me if you can,” she answered the call.
Photo Prompt by J Hardy Carroll
He lived in this ramshackle hotel. He’d caught the ferry to it a year ago after he lost everything in a craps game on the mainland. He couldn’t afford anything else. Now someone wanted to talk to him about painting a landscape.
He found the fine-looking lady at the bar. He bought each of them a drink. She had horses and wanted him to paint them in a pasture on her horse farm.
He briefly dreamed he could still do it. Now his hands shook and the muse was gone.
He turned her down and walked away. Shattered.
Photo prompt JS Brand
The young boy scrambled into Kay’s kitchen looking for his friend.
”Larry,” he shouted, “I found the wood you need to make one of your walking sticks just for me!”
The old man rose slowly to his feet and followed the boy outside. They found the cut wood lying in the neighbor’s yard.
”Son,” Larry said, “It takes a strong, young sapling with a grapevine wound around it to make a stick.”
”You mean like this?” the boy asked, as he touched a piece of wood.
Larry watched in amazement as the sapling with the vine rose into the air.
Photo prompt by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
Dogs are not dollar signs. This is both a personal stream of consciousness post and a sort of public service announcement/op-ed piece. In other words, you have found me up on my soap box today.
Yesterday, I had to have my beautiful little dog, Hanna, put down. Hanna was not yet a year old. A little more than a year ago, I had to have my sweet Cavalier King Charles Spaniel put down. Betsy was only four and a half years old. Why did Betsy and Hanna have to die so young? Because of poor breeding practices by the purebred breeders from which they came. Neither did any sort of genetic testing. Both were irresponsible.
Hanna’s breeder decided to develop a “designer” dog and mixed two purebred breeds. To my knowledge, they did no genetic testing. In doing that, they created puppies with extreme fear aggression who couldn’t learn and who were fear biters and worse. They didn’t know what they were doing. It wasn’t Hanna’s fault. She should never have been born.
In Betsy’s case, she developed a fatal genetic disease called syringomyelia that was incredibly painful. It could have been avoided by genetic testing and Betsy would never have been born and would never had to endure the pain she endured.
Both breeders saw dollar signs instead of sweet puppies.
I don’t pretend to know the answer to this problem since breeders of purebred dogs are not subject to any sort of controls by any governing body except the American Kennel Club and various regional clubs that set the breed standard and govern showing purebred dogs. Unless the various breed-specific clubs impose some sort of rules and sanctions, there are purebred dogs that are going to become extinct. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, for example, is thought to have about fifty percent of dogs carrying the gene for syringomyelia, the condition that killed Betsy. Many breeds are known to be fear aggressive, like Hanna, and the condition is almost impossible to treat. The dogs have to be put down. I could cite many more examples.
Be very careful if you buy a purebred dog. Question the breeder about their breeding practices. Ask about genetic testing. Ask if they offer a health guarantee. Don’t just fall in love with a puppy, pay a huge price, and walk away. Ask questions. Get guarantees. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a lot of vet bills and a broken heart.