Double Trouble

Prompt: He’d never had trouble on his first day of school before. This year was different. Everything was wrong.

    It all began as he stood at the corner waiting for the yellow bus with some of the other kids that lived on the outskirts of town and didn’t have their own means of transportation. Kevin saw his mother jogging up the block in her faded pink evening gown with her night robe flapping out behind her like a chicken frantically trying to take flight. Her hair was still up in rollers, putting her haggard appearance on full display as she huffed and puffed closer to him. Horror kept him rooted to the spot, and he was powerless to stop her short of rushing into the group of his peers, shouting his name. She stood before him, taking a moment to catch her breath, then she held out a lunch pail that actually belonged to his younger sibling. Across the front were the smiling faces of over primped female cartoon characters of his sister’s current fad.
    “You forgot your lunch,” She said, then forcefully pulled him into a tight hug and kissed his cheek. “Have a good day at school.”

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Tempting A Response

[Prompt: The story behind how that one random shoe is lying in the road ]

     shoe“I swear, if I have to pull this car over, you kids are going to regret it!” my mother growled from the driver’s seat. I stopped smacking my little brother in the back of the head to glean more information.
     “What are you gonna do when you pull over?” I asked without a shred of respect.
     My mother sighed heavily and glared at me through the rear view mirror, “Tom, don’t push me any further. I mean it.”
     I rolled my eyes and went back to annoying my baby brother. My mom deserved this abuse after embarrassing me in front of all my friends. Being 15 with a driver’s license, my mom had no excuse for pulling into the school parking lot and barking at me to get in the backseat to take care of my brother’s spit up. My defiant glare had prompted her to add a comment about relaying my behavior to my shrink, catching me completely off guard and rousing laughter from my friends and any other person within earshot.

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Can’t Fool Me!

Prompt: “The butler did it!”

    Dinner parties were always dull in my opinion, but my wife loved them. She either hosted them or dragged me along to one of her friends’ house for a night of mind numbing small talk. I loved my wife, I truly did, but for some reason she thought I was gentleman that wouldn’t dare put a whoopee cushions under the elegant seat cushion of one the dining room chairs in a game I called fart roulette. The memory of the mortified looked on my wife’s face when she had sat down on the wrong chair continues still makes me giggle. My wife has yet to forgive me for that one, and she also had not planned another dinner party at our house because of my antics.
    I had been a jokester since my days as a young boy. If a desk belonged to a girl, it would eventually house a frog. If someone left their laces undone, they would soon find them tied together. Nothing had changed throughout the years, and even college didn’t dampen my spirit to prank my nearest and dearest. My wife and I had met by the means of a rubber snake and a fishing line, and that was before we even started to date. I loved to play jokes on her. Despite the years that should have prepared her for my weekly pranks, it always caught her by surprise.

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A Change of Heart

[Prompt: You are a cynical, evil dog who has had many owners. You are adopted by a lovely couple with a toddler. You do not want to be friends with the toddler but somehow you are going to love the toddler ]

 Dog    I hated being caged. Too many times in my short life I could recall being trapped within a metal barrier or clipped to the end of an unbreakable chain. I had also learned what actions resulted in consequences at a young, tender age. Barking out of turn promised a muzzle. Begging for food meant a missed meal. Showing excitement gained a kick in the ribs. Growling ensured the shock collar was put around my thin neck, and any type of eye contact with the human after that point was a memory of immense pain. But I had learned one valuable lesson during my time with my first human: biting meant I got to leave.
     Over the past three years I had resulted to biting four separate times. I had never drawn blood or caused a true injury like the first time, but I used my power to convince the bipeds I should go somewhere else. I had been exchanged between men who wished for a ‘tough looking sonofabitch’, although the sentiment meant nothing to me. 

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A Test in Patience

[Prompt: Use these seven words in your story: aptitude, slog, manifest, persnickety, capsule, lovesick, teaspoon ]

     I have a special aptitude for attracting idiots. No matter what the venue: grocery store, theater, carpool lane, they surround me like a ravenous pack of wolves would an elk. Sometimes I wonder if I emit a special scent or magical aura, anything to explain how these particular people manage to find their way to me. I don’t announce my arrival, or invite with a smile, and my hostile glare does nothing to dissuade their approach. Today wasn’t proving to be an anomaly.
     The line of the DMV slogged forward at a snail’s pace. As I glanced down at the watch on my wrist, I was dismayed to find that I had only taken three steps forward in the last seven minutes. My internal grumbling was interrupted by something stomping on my foot.
     The bright eyes of a young boy shone up from below, his mischievous grin was almost adorable until he brought his foot down on top of mine for a second time. As children do, the little imp didn’t break eye contact as he assaulted my helpless right foot. The narrowing of my eyes did little to deter him. He let out a giggle and raised his foot again, daring me to make him stop.

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The Intervention

[Prompt: A pirate crew confronts their captain about his drinking problem ]

     Tobias swabbed the deck and eyed his crew mates with a thoughtful look. Each one of the men had surprised him by agreeing to be part of the intervention. The crew of the Angry Kraken was different from other ships Tobias had served on. ‘Every scurvy dog for himself’ wasn’t the way the Kraken functioned, and it was part of the reason Tobias had worked so hard to join the crew. 
     As a young sailor, Tobias had drifted between ships, yearning for a captain to capture his adventurous soul. All he had found was men filled with greed, uncaring for the livelihood of their crew, and eager to send any naysayers to the plank. Tobias began to hear rumors of a ship with a captain who had the power to coax any man to his crew, and gain their pledge of undying loyalty in return for adventure and riches beyond their dreams. This piqued Tobias’ curiosity more than anything, but after reaching a port from yet another dismal voyage, Tobias vowed to find the ship with the charismatic captain. 

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Shoe Woe

Prompt: The story behind how that one random shoe is lying in the road

    You’re going to think I’m crazy. Scratch that. I already think I am crazy so it doesn’t really matter what you think. I don’t know how it happened, I don’t know why it happened. All I know is that these events took place and I have the bumps, bruises, scratch marks, and shopping receipts to prove it.
    It all started that morning after I walked down to the corner gas station to get my daily Mt. Dew freezie. I wasn’t a coffee person, never would be, so I took my caffeine heavily dosed with sugar. As a young man with the physique of a rail, I felt I didn’t have to worry about the notion of putting on weight. In fact I would have welcomed a few extra pounds to better fill out the shirt that billowed around me like sail.
    I stood outside the door, happily slurping my icy beverage when my friend Todd drove up in the old LeBaron that his dad had given to him. It looked about as attractive as a bull in a tutu, but it ran decently enough to get us around and the gas mileage wasn’t too harsh on our allowances. The driver side door creaked in protest as Todd climbed out and affronted me.
    “Dude, you won’t believe it.”

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Two of a Kind

Prompt: You are a cynical, evil dog who has had many owners. You are adopted by a lovely couple with a toddler. You do no want to be friends with the toddler but somehow you are going to love the toddler.

    Oh not this again.
    Rolling over, I watched the humans ogling me from the other side of the chain link fence. There was something irresistible about a small terrier that apparently ‘looked like Wishbone’. I don’t know who Wishbone was, but my physical resemblance to him provided me with a free ticket out of the pound whenever people came to adopt. I’ve been adopted several times and the poor schmucks never knew what they are getting themselves into before it was too late. But, since I didn’t like being in the pound, I gave the people a little tail wag to convince them to break me out of here on their dime.
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Unbearable Craving

[Prompt: Write a dark and gritty remake of your favorite kids show. Wait as long as possible to reveal what show you’re referencing ]

     The hulking beast lifted its snout into the air, sniffing with purpose. It was feeding time. When his hunger emerged, his benevolent demeanor receded, a controlling need for food claimed all reason. Looking around the woods once more, the bear set its paws into pace towards his prey.
     A set of eyes watched from the hovel beneath one of the great trees, the small creature within gripped with fear and anticipation. The bear didn’t even look twice towards the rabbit’s den, he knew his hunger was greater than what was within. He continued down the path towards the meadow.

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Prompt: Use these seven words in your story: aptitude, slog, manifest, persnickety, capsule, lovesick, teaspoon.

    As Mr. Sloan slogged through the latest batch of disappointing essays, he wondered how he was ever suppose to inspire the teenagers of his sophomore English class. Their aptitude of finding any means to not do the work amazed him. In his opinion, it took more effort to cheat their way through an essay assignment than it did to manifest the words on their own. He didn’t want to sound so persnickety about their work, but reading paper after paper that lacked personality was starting to take its toll. Arthur was starting to hate his job. Continue reading