Joy and Dismay

Prompt: Partake

manet picnic

Shhhhhh! —The leaves of the lime and birch shuddered and bobbed in the wind, blinking green and dun yellow, green and dun yellow. Five six seven fat quail scudded across the grass. An animal pounced; they flew up into the air like ashes from a fire.

Molly tried to keep her knickers hidden, but the hem of her dress was not weighted like her sister’s, and so flapped and fussed and threatened to reveal not just her boot-covered ankles but her stockinged calves, her frilly pantaloons, proof a woman was hidden somewhere beneath the billows of robin’s egg blue fabric.

She didn’t partake of the claret as it took her shyness away, and sister had told her that her shyness made her prettier. So she blushed and stammered in full sobriety, while her sister sipped and laughed and flirted with Donald Heath, the man Molly wanted to wed.

Egg sandwiches were passed around, which Molly denied herself too, as they made her flatulent. Sister took two small wedges, and fed one of them to Donald Heath.

James Fenwick and his cousin Halifax attended to Molly, embarrassed as they were by the intimacy on display between sister and Donald Heath, and Halifax braided tall grasses, adorned the halo with violets, and crowned Molly, much to her joy and dismay.

Sister caught Molly’s eye and winked under long lashes, and held out her glass without looking at Donald Heath and he filled it with wine. Her dress was cranberry red with pink ribbon trim and if she spilled a drop of claret on the bodice of the dress, which she did, no one would notice.

When they all rose to make their way to the carriages, sister stumbled and this time James Fenwick took her elbow on one side and Halifax on the other. The three walked ahead on the path as Donald Heath caught up with Molly and she could smell him— tobacco, horses, and mint.

“You must be very hungry and thirsty,” said Donald Heath.

“No, not at all,” said Molly as her stomach growled audibly. She half crouched as they walked, as the wind had not subsided and pulled recklessly at the hem of her skirt.

“I don’t usually eat egg sandwiches,” he said. “They make me fart, so please forgive me if we share a carriage.”

Molly let out a rather ungodly snort, before blushing from head to toe. Donald Heath, victorious, grinned broadly, took her elbow and whispered in her ear, “One day you’ll be my wife, and we’ll drink claret, spill it on our clothes, and—“

“—eat egg sandwiches all day long and fart as much as we choose,” said Molly. The wind calmed and they were suddenly children again, chasing each other through the tall grasses until they tumbled onto the ground, exhausted and unafraid.

Sister could go to hell.

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Ants on a Log [Repost]

Prompt: Parallel

200553073-001

Virginia awoke suddenly with that familiar lurching in her stomach. She tumbled out of bed and just made it to the bathroom in time to see Cash crouched over the toilet, retching.

“Move!” she screamed but he couldn’t, so she vomited in one of the double sinks. His sink.

“For god’s sake, Cash,” said Virginia. “I’m the pregnant one.”

“I can’t help it, Virge,” Cash said glumly. He’d been in a mood ever since her pregnancy was confirmed. He was fatigued, sensitive, he constantly craved “ants on a log”, which was a stick of celery filled with peanut butter and dotted with raisins. He felt bloated and gassy, and yes, often awoke at six am and made a rush to the toilet bowl in a bout of morning sickness.

Virginia, meanwhile, was still modelling and had taken up go-karting. She and Cash’s sister made almost weekly trips to Hey Kart and raced around a tarmac track lined with sacks of sand. She expected the vomiting to cease after three months, so while it was awful, she wasn’t unduly upset by it. She carried on.

Cash couldn’t really concentrate on business. He was supposed to be locating and vetting a source in China that would build a prototype of the chair that Leep had invented. But he was always so tired, and farting, and snapping at people for no reason. He avoided his friends. He gloomily fussed with the decorating of the nursery when he wasn’t crying over something on the news. Only Virginia could possibly understand, and she hated it.

One morning as he dressed he looked in the mirror and was sure his abdomen was distended. He didn’t dare show Virginia.

Now he was a college-educated man, though granted, most of his college days were spent drinking and partying at the frat house. But what the fuck was this big baby belly? It wasn’t beer bloat. He hadn’t had any beer since the pregnancy. The thought of it made him nauseous. He hadn’t had much to drink at all, and his favourite fried foods were intolerable in smell. His system was too damn delicate. Sometimes he thought he was in a parallel universe.

There was only one thing to do.

He went to the kitchen and made ants on a log, many ants on many logs. He used almost a whole head of celery and half a jar of peanut butter, and when the raisins ran out he used chocolate chips. God, they were delicious.


I Dream of Jean

Prompt: Genie

I dream of Jeanie with the light brown hair
Borne, like a vapor, on the summer air;
I see her tripping where the bright streams play
Happy as the daisies that dance on her way…

The above is a lovely, sentimental song written by Stephen Foster, which was eventually punned to this:

My mother’s name was Jean, and I think of her whenever I hear either the song or the TV series theme song, and also when I hear this:

I miss my mother, and do dream about her.

And in lieu of getting all weepy, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons, only the first one of which is related to the daily prompt, “genie”?

cartoon dog genie

cartoon web troll

cartoon shrink lifeguard


Have a happy, sunny week!

~~FP

Philosophy

Prompt: Song

college campus

Dear Virginia,

Sorry I took so long to respond to your email, but the campus ISP was down for almost four days. We were also without running water for two days, which was a disaster. The administration tells us these occurrences are extremely unusual, and to happen concurrently is even more of a rarity. Anyway I’ve sat constipated and lonely with dirty hair in my room trying to fathom David Hume’s billiard balls and now think I will just make something up for the paper due tomorrow.

I don’t know why I’m taking Philosophy, though it’s probably why I’m now wondering about everything including the meaning of life and why I am wasting away my youth at this fucking college. Virge, I can hear you say, “It’s only the first semester of your first year, Envy, give it time”.

How do I give it time? My roommate is a raging germaphobe who counts Q-tips in fear I might have stolen one, and she sings “Where is Love” from the musical Oliver in her sleep. Or at least I think she is sleeping. So I can barely stay awake during the day and already struggling with most of my classes, include the ones I should breeze through like Lit and Art History, because my Lit prof is trying to bully me into participating more in class (can you image me participating to begin with? me?) and my Art History class is nothing but a series of slide shows. I get most of my sleep time there. My Spanish tutor thinks his housemate is trying to murder him, so every class is like a scene from a horror movie, where we expect a man in a moustache to jump out from behind a door wielding a kitchen knife.

Let me tell you about my new friends. Oh wait, I don’t have any. Only one guy in my Spanish class has even spoken to me, and I have no idea why he would. He’s gorgeous, you see, and well, you know what I look like.

My roommate just burst in and told me she has food poisoning from the toxins served at the cafeteria. She may be right.

It’s ironic: I picked a college as far away from my parents as would have me, and yet I’m so looking forward to Christmas and getting home and seeing you and even my worthless brother, Cash. I want to sleep in my own bed and eat real food and read a trashy novel and maybe even decide if I want to come back here in January.

Have to run. Roomie is vomiting in the trash can.

Tons of love,
Envy

——–

Dear Virginia,

I can’t even tell you how much I missed you over Christmas break. Words fail me. I’m speechless. And so on. I understand you had to take the job, and lucky you for going to the Bahamas in this weather, but oh lord I could have used a friend.

My brother picked me up at the airport, because he got his driver’s licence back. He really shouldn’t be on the road; plus I think he was a little drunk.

Anyway we get home and Millie takes my bags and leads me upstairs to my room (mother was at a meeting) except it was not my room, it was the small guest room. This room has a double bed, a wardrobe but no closet, and has blue geraniumed wallpaper that matches the bedspread. There are carpet and wallpaper samples rolled and stacked in the corner by the window, and on top of the wardrobe is a stack of old telephone books. It is the overflow guest room, in other words.

“Darling,” my mother says when she gets home, flushed from her success in choosing the theme for the cancer gala, Greece, Ancient and Modern, “we are converting your bedroom into a clay room, you could say, since I am learning to sculpt and throw pots.”

“You are? Why my room? What did you do with my stuff?” Honestly Virge, I was well and truly devastated.

“Your room faces north— the light is right, and it’s bigger than the the um, overflow guest room. I didn’t think you’d mind really, your little room was so fussy and dated, you know, with those posters and pink things and that koala bear.”

What did you do with Cocoa?

“Darling.” My mother smiled indulgently. “All your precious belongings are in boxes in the garage. Millie was very careful to pack everything.”

“Even the jewelry I made?”

“Oh,” said mother. “Did you mean to keep that?”

“Why couldn’t you set up your clay room in the basement? There’s tons of room.”

“Sweetheart, I’m not a basement kind of person…”

God, my family. Nana Appleby and my father’s cousin Uncle Gary had been assigned the actual guest rooms, even though Nana was only staying overnight Christmas Eve. I can’t begrudge her. She turns 101 in February. Uncle Gary though, what an asshole. I can only imagine he is paying to stay with us, since no one likes him.

So the decision whether or not to return to college became no decision at all. I see now how that can happen. When you have two shitty alternatives, you choose the one you are not in the middle of.

And semester two couldn’t be worse than the first. I found out the name of the guy in my Spanish class. Marcus. He’s adorable.

Tons of love,
Envy

Cellmates Dot Com [Repost]

Prompt: Disrupt

anne-of-green-gables-anne-and-marilla

Bonnie said, “Thank you for everything Miss Fisher, and I hate to tell you this, but you are no longer my best friend.”

“Oh dear,” said Miss Fisher, who was reading Anne of Green Gables again, and was reluctantly interrupted. She was right at the exciting part where Anne was going to save Minnie May’s life.

It was that quiet —though never really quiet— time between dinner and lights out. A number of girls, as inmates were called, had left recently, either released or transferred to other institutions, so there was a general atmosphere of luxurious space combined with a niggling fear of what was to come. The “girls”, except for the disruptors who were entertaining distractions, liked their routine and served their time in peace, then got the fuck out.

Miss Fisher wasn’t the only one serving serious time. There were other murderers, Bonnie included, though no other serial killers. Most had hope of release and living with family again. Miss Fisher had no such hope, despite the recent efforts of her lawyer.

“I found someone else,” said Bonnie.

“That’s just wonderful, dear,” said Miss Fisher. “As your ex-best friend, I am extremely happy for you.”

“He is not perfect,” said Bonnie.

“Who is?” said Miss Fisher. She sighed inwardly, and set her book aside. She sat up straight and engaged Bonnie with her eyes. Perhaps this wouldn’t take too long.

“I didn’t tell you about him,” said Bonnie, “because I know you don’t like men.”

“Yes, I can see where you might think that,” said Miss Fisher.

“You didn’t notice my engagement ring,” said Bonnie. “I’ve been wearing it for a week.”

“I’m sorry, Bonnie, I’ve been distracted,” said Miss Fisher. She thought longingly of Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert.

Bonnie held out her left hand. “It’s white gold, with a diamond chip.”

“Lovely,” said Miss Fisher, whose aging eyes could not really make out the tiny stone in the ring. “But who is he? Why would he become engaged to someone in prison?”

“I suppose we just fell in love,” said Bonnie. “After corresponding via Cellmates-dot-com, you know, where people write to inmates.”

“Uh huh,” said Miss Fisher, though she had never heard of it.

“We spoke on the phone, and he’s visited twice.”

“And he knows you poisoned your boyfriend?” asked Miss Fisher.

“No secrets,” said Bonnie. “You taught me that.” Bonnie gazed at her white gold and diamond chip ring. She rubbed it against the sleeve of her tunic, as if to polish it. “He is not exactly handsome, but very clean. He says I make him feel important. He tells his friends about me. They think he is crazy. Will we have conjugal rights, Miss Fisher, do you know? Gregory has asked.”

“Oh, I should think so,” said Miss Fisher. “Now Bonnie, you won’t go giving your heart away again, and be disappointed, and want to slowly murder Gregory as you did with Norman?”

“Oh no, Miss Fisher. I know killing is not the best solution,” said Bonnie.

Not the best solution, thought Miss Fisher. But often a good one.


  • Original Prompt: Tiny, October 24, 2016

anne-shirle-main

Anyhoo

Prompt: Froth

frothy coffee

Hello Wednesday!

This morning I a had a delicious cup of coffee made with warm frothed milk that looked a lot like the above picture. My sister-in-law has a monster of a milk frother on her counter— about the size of a stand mixer— while my tool of choice costs about $8, runs on a battery, and looks like this:

milk frother

Heat some milk or cream in the microwave for 30 seconds or so, then use the frother until the milk is fluffy and, well, very frothy, then pour over your hot coffee.

Ok, I need more coffee now. BRB.


Back.

[Wipes away milk moustache]

Even though they are not related in any way to today’s prompt, froth, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons?

cartoon babysitter

cartoon anywhoo_malignant

cartoon politician back


Has spring sprung where you are?

~~FP

 

Lightbulb

Prompt: Churn


Dear Wednesday,

To everything – churn, churn, churn
There is a season – churn, churn, churn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything – churn, churn, churn
There is a season – churn, churn, churn
And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones
A time to gather stones together

To everything – churn, churn, churn
There is a season – churn, churn, churn
And a time to every purpose under heaven


Such a lovely song (written by Pete Seeger from a beautiful Biblical passage and performed successfully by the Seekers and the Byrds) that I have chosen to distort, all for the purpose of churning out a Daily Prompt blog post.

To compensate, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons?

cartoon cable killing

cartoon corn this bad

cartoon ballet dancers


Have a most productive and creative week!

~~FP