Amazing Coincidence

Prompt: Coincidence

Dear Wednesday,

Coincidence in the first of today’s cartoons refers to a board of directors in hell.

I don’t wish ill on anyone, as a rule, but I have to say, some of the greedy corporate monsters who put lives in peril, consider profit more important than health and safety, who weigh pros and cons based on income only even when men, women, and children are adversely affected, who betray every sense of caring and decency in the name of greed and power… well, I wish hell existed for you. I’m sorry, you need to spend something close to eternity contemplating the harm you have done— and the good you might have accomplished with the resources you controlled.

For the rest of us, how about some rabbits and squirrels?

cartoon directors in hell

cartoon squirrels

cartoon rabbit job

Let’s all write a little bit more!



Ancient and Magical

Prompt: Ancient


I’ve decided to journal my experience with the mask in this leather-bound notebook, since I fear I have been inaccurate in my remembrances because of long hours in the private company of the exquisite Callexis.

Since she was delivered to me, I’ve heard nothing from Isaac, the master of dark trading, or the French messenger whose name I did not learn. I truly did not expect to correspond with Isaac or his minion after our transaction was finalized, yet they remain the only people on the earth who share my knowledge of Callexis and her mysterious power.

She of the useless magic, disappears when placed on one’s visage. She, of gold and jade and copper, ancient and beautiful, is weighty in my hands, and basks in the spotlight when sat within her special case in the library, but on my face she is gone. I feel the loops that secure her, but she is not there when I look at the mirror.

Callexis has shown me no other magic, though I spend an average of two hours per day staring at her so she may reveal her secrets, and much of the day wearing her, except when dining, bathing, or sleeping. She is comfortable and comforting, but so are my cashmere gloves. They do not disappear. They are not ancient and magical. They do not frustrate, confound, and confuse.

I have learned, with the help of my valet, that she does not merely become invisible, but disappears, both to me and to others. Having shallowly cut myself whilst shaving, I asked Othello to fetch some cotton wool, and upon returning he dabbed my face and took the blood. There was no mask to be seen or felt, despite the fact that I had placed her on my face but moments before.

That is all I have learned. Sometimes I pull my chair nearer, and stare into her hollow eyes, examine the sly, slight smile, and beg her in my thoughts to speak, somehow, to me. Sometimes when I take her off my face and place her on the marble stand, I think I hear a sort of laughter, as laughter carried to you from a great distance, on a breeze of the kind that nudges silk curtains.

Sometimes when I wear her, I feel no weight but a heaviness in my cheeks, a drawing down of the flesh near my lips, a pain in my arms, or a dizziness so intense I must sit, even when in town. My friend and neighbour, Edwin Duke, has asked me on more than one occasion if I am well when I’ve worn the mask to discuss matters of municipal interest (as we are both involved in county business). I wear her to experiment, to learn, yet she troubles me and withholds her secrets.

Today I wore her and sat before the mirror. An hour passed and I thought I saw my smile become her smile, mysterious and inscrutable. I thought I saw myself age, my face droop like a tiger’s skin, my eyes dark and heavy-lidded.

For the first time, I felt afraid of her, my beautiful, my exquisite Callexis.



Prompt: Mask

Face sail Catrin-Welz-Stein

It was the most worthless bit of magic I had ever come across. The most amazing too, since magic and I did not cross paths very often; but still, damn near useless, except that the magic brought her to me.

The man said his name was Isaac. I’d heard of Isaac, he was well known in the world of dark trading. It wasn’t his real name, and he had a small army of minions, including lawyers, messengers, and mules to do his bidding. My collection was well-known, and when Callexis came into his possession, he was generous enough –and shrewd enough– to make me one of the first calls he made.

She was exquisite. Not studded with a myriad of precious jewels, only jade, but beautifully, masterfully, and lovingly crafted, with intricate patterns of vine leaves twining across her cheeks and around her eyes, the gleaming polished gold set off by the brushed, and inlays of copper, whose greenish tinge was like the venerable sister to the milky jade.


Of course I wanted her. I pretended to bargain. The back and forth lasted days, until, as Isaac fully realized I would, I conceded to the near-full asking price from fear another buyer would snatch her away from me.

But how to get her across the ocean and across the country? It was not my concern, as her safe delivery was an element of the price, but I still wondered, and worried, since I wanted her so badly and shuddered at the thought of her being discovered and confiscated before I held her in my hands.

I was to meet the train, and the transaction would take place in my apartment.

When we were safely ensconced in my private den, with orders not to be disturbed, I asked the gentleman– he was a distinguished-looking man in his sixties, French, by his accent –to show me Callexis. He had only a small case with him, at which I tried not to stare.

His smile was sly, but without aggression, similar to the smile of the beautiful Callexis. Instead of reaching for his case, he reached up to his face with his hands, and in the next moment he had her, in his arms.

She shimmered. She was perfect.

“What just happened?” I asked. Callexis had appeared out of thin air. I rubbed my forehead.

“I don’t know, Monsieur,” said the man, whose name I never did know. “It is not trickery, and I do not claim to understand it. It made my voyage simple, and detection impossible.”

“What did?”

“She did,” he said. And he brought her to his face again, and she disappeared!

I had no efficient way to determine if I was dreaming, awake, hallucinating, or witnessing a magic trick the likes of which I had never seen.

“It is no trick,” the man said again. He reached his hands to his head again, and when he brought them down Callexis was again in his possession.

“Does Isaac know about this?”

“He chooses not to consider it,” said the man.

We completed our transaction, and I remained in the den, alone, with Callexis. I put her on the black marble stand that I had readied for her, and sat in my high-backed chair and stared for quite some time. I got up, put her on my face, as there were loops to fit easily over the ears, and went to the mirror. There was no Callexis, just my own countenance, staring back at me in bewilderment. I felt a tingling in my scalp, barely noticeable. I removed the mask and put her back on the stand. The tingling dissipated.

What are you? I asked. What is the purpose of this worthless magic? In grand fairy tales the mask would make one invisible, it would take one to other worlds, propelled into fantastical adventures, not perform magic as mundane and pointless as the mask itself disappearing.

What is your power? I was unable to take my eyes from her face, now both glimmering brightly and cast into deep shadows by the lamplight.

Callexis stared back at me with her sly smile, a smile that was also, I suddenly realized, complicit and strangely intimate. She, here in front of me, was as different from her pictures, from the way she appeared in my dreams, as a carousel pony was from a wild stallion.

I tried to smile back, but could not.


Thanks for Rubbing

Prompt: Generous Genies
Remember those lovely genies who grant wishes? Well, you’re one and you’ve just been emancipated from your restrictive lamp. You can give your three wishes to whomever you want. Who do you give your three wishes to, and why?

russels christmas magic

I like it in the lamp. It’s cosy, and I have Netflix. But I got a FitBit for Christmas so it was nice to add a few steps. Thanks for rubbing!

To Ken: Freedom from illness.
To Jim and Joanne: Peace in your hearts.
To my family: Prosperity and more moments spent together.

Merry Christmas to all!