New Neighbor

 

“What on earth?! Have you seen her?”

Molly looked up from her coffee. The swirl of mocha infiltration on the milk froth in her cup was fascinating. She licked her upper lip, tasting calm and morning.”Seen who?”

“Her!” Abby flicked her head urgently in the direction of the kitchen window.

“Do I have to?” Molly pouted. Her sister was altogether too excitable. Surely there was naught wrong with sitting idly with one’s breakfast. However, she could not recall the last time Abby did anything but gobble down her toast, gulp her tea, and pop right up in search of dishes to wash, counters to wipe, cabinets to put to order, or lists to make.

Abby’s chest rose in what was certain to turn lecture.

Molly sighed, stood, and craned her neck to see. White uniform. Red crosses. Pink rubber gloves. “Oh, her? Sheri. Our new neighbor. A nurse or such.”

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

Dress Up

 

It had been extremely close quarters, but after the inferno they’d been through together, there was nothing they could not achieve.

Certainly after they’d had a bit of time to chill.

They were born for this.

Now it was their time to sparkle.

To show off their individuality.

In form.

In shape.

In size.

In decoration.

There they were:

Blue-eyed Ginger.

Two-tone-shoes Jerry.

Red-apron Ginny.

Necklaced Joey.

Snow-mustached Joe.

Green-turbaned Jinge.

Even Ginger-woof put on his finery.

(And, albeit grudgingly, Gin-Cat did so, too).

It was, after all, the grand finale.

The full bling dress-up for the big chomp.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Jennifer Pendergast   

 

 

Speed Dating

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He was the shy one of the waddling. Afraid to take the lead or be left behind, he maintained his place in the middle of their paddling, webbed feet rowing furiously as to not lose his place.

“Too tightly wound, that one,” his mama tilted her head in puzzlement, for there was naught wrong with him. Middle hatched, middle weight, decent feathering.

“Good thing he’d never have to lay eggs,” his aunt quacked laughter. “Or sit on them, rain or hail or thunder!”

He pretended to not hear. Bobbed amidst the plump. Scanned the water. Dove. Rose. Dove.

“They’re just a bunch of hens,” a soft squeak sounded.

He pulled his head up too fast and almost dove back just to cover up his clumsiness.

She rested effortlessly on the water, a perfect Duckess from the skein that had dropped by their pond.

“You could leave,” she added. “Come with.”

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

Topper

 

‘Twas the best spot in the woods and he was keeping to it.

Sure, it had almost no leaves and practically no protection from the wind. Sure, the branches whipped around in every breeze and let the cold sneak under the most primped up feathers.

It none of it mattered.

When he could perch up at the very top.

Surveil. Keep tabs. See things first. Unhindered by masses of pine needles or large floppy green things hiding one’s next dinner.

“See Topper there?” he heard a winger chatter at another. “He thinks he’s top banana.”

“Not banana,” Topper retorted, and puffed his chest for emphasis with not-so-hidden indignation. “Top crow!”

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto Challenge

Photo prompt: Sue Vincent

 

 

Not Rolling With It

 

“No way I’m doing that!” Ming shook his head.

“Oh, come on, don’t be a wimpy dimpy!”

Ming narrowed his green eyes at Mei-Mei, whose body was swishing in what he knew was part-dare, part-enticement, part-mockery.

“Not happening,” he turned to leave.

“Ha! I knew it! Told General Tso you’d be too chicken to give it a whirl.”

Ming hissed. That hurt. Mei-Mei was beautiful, but mostly on the outside.

He swished his tail at her. “You wanna ride the toilet paper? Go ahead. Roll with it. Be my guest. I’m not falling into that bowl.” 

Again … Once was enough.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Trish Nankivell

 

Subdued Sacrilege

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“Simply look down instead of up,” Manny pushed his hands deeper into his pockets and hiked his shoulders up against a chill no one else probably felt. It was 99F outside.

“But the basilica is right here, and so beautiful!” Danielle exhaled wonder.

My point exactly, Manny thought, but did not say. Recruiting was a subtle thing.

Instead he nudged the water with his shoe, rippling the surface to distort the reflection of the edifice. Almost spitefully the puddle settled back into the sharpest mirror, and Manny half expected his superiors to appear in frowning disappointment at his dismal conversion pace.

“What it is?” Danielle responded to his sigh, her eyes still gazing in the opposite direction of the Netherworld, and therefore opposite to where he needed them to be.

“Nothing,” he muttered, deflated.

Her softly luminescent hand appeared. “How about we go into the church and pray about it?”

 

 

For Crispina‘s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

Elfie’s Solution

ccc110-elf CrispinaKemp

 

“Not every elf can be on a shelf.”

Elfie heard this all his life. From his teachers at the Santa Academy. From his parents, Elfonso and Elfinia. From his judgy Aunt Elfisia. And now from his insufferable brother Elfonso Junior (who everyone called EJ), who just had to rub in the fact that he had gotten into the EFS (Elves For Shelves) program, while Elfie did not.

“But what if I want to be an elf on a shelf?” Elfie protested.

“It’s not about what you want,” his mother scolded. “It is about your Efltitude Score.”

“…and,” EJ added with an elfin smirk, “as we all know, you don’t quite measure up.”

If it weren’t for his mother’s presence, Elfie would have tossed EJ under a reindeer.

Thinking of reindeer. And reins … gave him an idea.

No shelf? No problem.

He’d hang out as an elf by himself.

 

 

For Crispina‘s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

Sniffers

img_1924-ccc108 CrispinaKemp

 

“This won’t do,” Tina sighed. “You have got to sniff better.”

Spinner tried, but there was nothing. Or at least, nothing he could make heads or tails out of. And making tails was the whole idea.

He shrugged and spun around. Perhaps he’ll glean a clue from his surroundings. Perhaps it’ll settle the tension that trying to sniff things often awakened.

Tina groaned. “Mama was right. You will never amount to anything.”

“Hey!” Spinner whined.

Tina lowered her head. That had been below the belt. Still, it was true, and someone had to confront Spinner now that Mama was no longer there to instruct them.

“Look, Spin,” she tried to soften her frustration with a bit of guilt. “It really shouldn’t be so hard. You sure there’s nothing wrong with your sniffer?”

“I think it’s broken,” Spinner whispered, shamefaced. “What kind of a dog can’t tell the smell of poop?”

 

 

For Crispina‘s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

Note: Anosmia, or the lack/loss of sense of smell, is a real condition that was made famous by the pandemic but is certainly not limited to the current virus. Nor is Anosmia limited to humans. Like humans, dogs can live without a sense of smell, though for many of them it carries a significantly higher ‘sensory price’, because their sense of smell is 10,000 to 100,000 more acute than that of humans.

 

Outed

folly- CrispinaKemp

 

“What is this place?”

“An outhouse?” Marti sniffed, perhaps for clues.

Barbara wrinkled her nose. Marti always did have a potty brain. “It would not make sense without a door, now, would it?”

“Ventilation?” Marti doubled down. “And anyway, a door could be removed.”

“No hole in the ground,” Barbara pointed out.

“Could have been filled in or covered.”

Barbara shook her head. Even covered in leaves and mud, the floor of the small structure looked too evenly tiled for that.

“So, if you such a genius,” Marti sneered at his know-it-all cousin, “what do you think it is?”

Barbara inspected the arched entrance, the partially enclosed back wall, the proximity to the ancient manor’s fence. A guard post, she thought, but did not say. There would be no fun in that.

“A portal to Avalon,” she stated loftily.

“Ah,” Marti retorted. “As I said, it is an outhouse, then.”

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge