Chimney Pines

Prompt: Dormant

field of daisies

Welcome to Chimney Pines.

To keep our community verdant, clean, and enjoyable for all, please observe the following regulations:

  1. No smoking in public areas or near doorways.
  2. Sidewalks must be cleared of snow, leaves, dirt, sand, and footprints at all times.
  3. No trees above 7’ in height. No fruit trees. Positively no evergreen trees of any kind, as they shed needles and attract vermin.
  4. No flags containing colors other than red, white, and/or blue.
  5. No flagpoles.
  6. Community board members are elected. Please contact the community office in person for information regarding nominations, campaigning, campaign funding, debate schedules, signage (not permitted), and legal matters. Legal advice is provided without prejudice and is not binding.
  7. Community board members must be over eighteen (18) years of age, and under ninety-five (95) years of age, except with a doctor’s note.
  8. No open fires, indoors or out. No gas fires.
  9. No brick siding, protuberances, or outbuildings.
  10. External door jambs must conform to community standards. Color information and color wheels available at the community office during office hours, 10 am – 3:30 pm. Paint available from Fred Armor’s Building Supplies, on the corner of Maple and Signature Streets, approximately six blocks from the community gates.
  11. No potluck dinners in the community hall, as we are not insured for food-related deaths.
  12. No patterned window coverings.
  13. No bird feeders, as they attract squirrels.
  14. Pets permitted on a case by case basis.
  15. No dogs.
  16. No cats.
  17. No birds.
  18. No rodents or rodent-like animals, or animals the size or texture of rodents.
  19. No bouncy castles.
  20. Fences must conform to community standards. Plans and photographs are available at the community office during office hours. All fence-related products should be purchased at Fred Armor’s Building Supplies, or contact Fred Armor in Unit 2.
  21. No daisies of any kind permitted in view from streets, sidewalks, or helicopters.
  22. No overt displays of affection, including kissing, amorous hand-holding, hugging excessively, sexual intercourse, or licking. Bare feet are permitted during summer hours— seasonal information pamphlet available at the community office.
  23. No formal hats after April 2, even if it falls on a Friday. Straw sunhats and some baseball caps are allowed— seasonal hat information available at the community office except during lunch time hours.
  24. No quoting from political or religious sources, unless complete context is clearly presented.
  25. Ice cream trucks must register at the community office, and may be required to obtain a community work permit. Cash only.
  26. No sirens.
  27. No bulbs or any plantings that require dormancy.
  28. Swimming in the pool is permitted. Pool maintenance is ongoing and may cause temporary pool closure. Please do not contact the community office about pool closures.
  29. No running, spitting, hitting, horseplay, loud noises, or confusing facial expressions at the pool, or anywhere.
  30. No student drivers, learners, or neophytes of any kind permitted on community property.
  31. Only male service animals are allowed on the premises.
  32. Cheese products are not necessarily real cheese, and may not contain dairy products. For information about real cheese, send a written request to the community office.
  33. Logical fallacies are frowned upon. Apply only when outside of community property.
  34. Grandparents permitted on a case by case basis.

Thanks for choosing Chimney Pines!

–F. Armor, Board Chairman

The Great Scheme of Things

Prompt: Hopeful

leaves_in_pool_a0045-000030

Folly, Plato, and I were sitting by the pool at the Best Western Motel, just outside the town of Chandler’s Folly. The pool still held water but was almost covered with leaves. It was not an unpleasant sight, as it was too cold to swim anyway, and it was night time so the stars flickered and danced on the water’s surface.

I talked to Folly too, now, and not just to my dog Plato. Folly was about as responsive, but at least she would hear the words, somewhere inside that lost, confused head of hers. She might not understand the words; after all, she was only eleven. I was only sixteen, but I learned a lot, especially after the end of the world, just by travelling around with Plato in the Jag.

For one thing, as I told Folly and Plato that night: “Some days I forget what the date is, or the day of the week, or the month, or the year. What difference does time make? I don’t have to go to school or be home in time for dinner or do anything or keep track.”

We were sitting on loungers, wrapped up in towels we’d found by the indoor pool. Plato was lolling on the tile floor, content to hear my voice.

“Plato and I kept a journal at first,” I said. Plato’s ears stood to attention. “We wrote down what we did and what we saw. We had— well, still have— a notebook about the plague and the end of the world, that we put clues in to help us figure it out. Why the catastrophe happened, why it was so bloody and why everyone disappeared. Why we survived. Don’t you wonder, Folly?”

Folly stared at the pool.

“The Internet still works, in case I want to google something,” I said. “I don’t know why it does, or for how long it will work. And then I think, who cares if it ends, too?”

I stared up at a million stars.

“You know, books and libraries and everything that is recorded will disappear too. No one will be here to notice it or be sorry, or wonder who lived on this planet.

“So I’m not going to write in the notebooks any more. I don’t need to remember stuff about my sisters or my parents or my cousin Dwayne. It doesn’t matter any more, do you understand?”

“No,” said Folly.

Her voice didn’t startle me, rare as the sound of it was. That was part of the problem. Things didn’t startle me, or scare me, or make me curious, or make me laugh. It had been sort of a gradual thing. And to tell the truth, I thought Folly felt the same way.

“It’s hard to understand,” I conceded. “Do you want to remember your parents?”

“Yes,” said Folly. Again, the voice didn’t startle me. But the words did, a little.

“Okay,” I said. “Good. Tomorrow we learn about your parents.” I didn’t care. I thought it would be a good thing for Folly to get her memory back, and find out what her real name was, and all that but in the great scheme of things, it didn’t really matter.

“It does matter,” said Folly. Plato got to his feet and put his big old head in her lap. She scratched him behind his silky ears.

“What else do you want to remember?”

“My birthday,” said Folly.

“Okay,” I said. “Good.” If I was still surprised by things, this evening would have surprised me.

Carmen Toulouse-Allspice

Prompt: Say Your Name
Write about your first name: Are you named after someone or something? Are there any stories or associations attached to it? If you had the choice, would you rename yourself?

bunny dollhouse

If I could rename myself, I wouldn’t choose Beezow Doo-doo Zopittybop-bop-bop. It’s not a lucky name, since according to the Huffington Post:

Beezow Doo-Doo Zopittybop-Bop-Bop, 34, was taken into custody on Sunday after allegedly attacking police officers at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. He is accused of biting, punching, throwing rocks, grabbing an officer’s handcuff case and hitting him in the head with it, trying to stab a cop with a pen and running off several times despite being shot with a stun gun.

He changed his name back in 2011, from Jeffrey something, and since then he can’t seem to avoid clashes with the law. As someone who loves names, I am disappointed in Beezow. I expected great things.

I simply picked two words that I liked for this blog’s persona. “Fluffy” is fun to say. So is “Pool”. “There’s a new lifeguard at the pool.” “Let’s dip our toes in the pool.” “Everyone into the pool!”

My actual, real name is normal. It rhymes with other words. I could be either gender and a number of races. My ancestors were a varied and crazy bunch of lunatics, of whom I am very proud.

My aliases, and I have many, for online forums, games, email, websites, and so on, are a little more exotic, like Candelabra Periwinkle, Gosh Minipenny, Carmen Toulouse-Allspice— names tucked away for future use.

The house inside me has many rooms. Each room has a name.