Walk The Line

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“He’s never going to make it,” Benji declared.

Shelly shrugged. “I think he can.”

Benji twitched in irritation. “Mark my words. He’s never gonna make it. Not after all the eggnog he’d snagged.”

Shelly sniffed. Eggnog? There was eggnog? He wanted some!

Tilly wriggled between them and squeezed herself onto the couch. “What’cha doing?”

“Nothing.” Benji huffed.

“Ignore Benji, Sis, he’s just being his grouchy self.” Shelly scooted over a bit to make room for their sibling, who was younger by whole two minutes and by that officially the baby. Well, till the next babies had arrived.

“What is he doing down there?” Tilly squeaked. “If Mama sees him on the floor in the middle of the living room he is toast!”

“He’s trying to walk the line to the other side,” Shelly explained. Toast? Why’d she have to mention toast? Now he wanted toast.

“He’s walking funny,” Tilly noted.

“Of course he is. He’s drunk.” Benji muttered. “Now hush.”

“Sorry, Benji,” Tilly demurred, but true to form could barely keep herself still for half a second. “His tail is droopy. It is all in the tail, you know. He can’t keep to the line if his back-end is all draggy. Hey, Giddy,” she called, her whiskers trembling in excitement, “you can do it! lift your tail! It’ll give you better balance! It’s my turn next!”

 

 

 

For Keith’s Kreative Kue #242

 

 

 

Rudy’s SOS

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Photo: Keith Channing

 

It was a quiet early hour at Headquarters.

Bernice was doing her nails. Bertrand had a foot perched on his desk and was clipping his toenails. Benny was (as always) squinting into one of his miniature rice grain paintings. Bella was snoring. Bonita was munching on crackers. Bruno was belittling Baron’s game-score. And Brittney, brittle as usual, was cradling the radio’s earphones even as she browsed the internet for interesting short film ideas.

Suddenly the switchboard sounded jingle bells and lit up in flashing green, red, and gold.

A Santa call!

In her fluttery rush to respond, Brittney almost dropped the microphone.

Bruno dove to save it. Those things were brilliant but brutally expensive. None of them wanted it docked from their pay for negligent breakage.

“North Pole,” he breathed into the mouthpiece.

“SOS! SOS!” The reedy voice could only be from one origin.

“Rudolph?!” Bruno rolled his eyes and hit the speaker button. The reindeer’s dramatic flair was brilliantly entertaining. “What are you doing on the radio? You know you’re not permitted.”

The radio screeched as Rudolph must have cranked the volume to its maximum.

“Shut up, shut up!! You moron! SOS! SOS!”

Bernice dropped her polish. Bertrand cursed. Benny’s rice grain rolled off the tray. Bella fell off her recliner. Bonita choked. Brittney fainted. Baron stared.

Rudolph was colorful but he was not prone to cursing.

Bruno’s cleared his throat.

“Sheesh, Rudy. Is it really an emergency?”

“Are you deaf? It’s an SOS!! Code Red. Code Red. Santa Off Sled. The darn temporary ladder that Brenda borrowed from Pottery Barn broke. Santa’s hanging by a thread! Send Feathered Fairy Fred!”

 

 

 

For Kreative Cue 240

 

 

Nervous Nelly

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Photo: courtesy of DeAnna Gossman

 

“I’m telling you, Nym. She isn’t coming back.”

“But her drinking vessel is here.”

They both knew that she never strayed too far from it or for too long. There was even some liquid left in it.

Nelly made a doubting sound that gave him an urge to scratch her. Instead, he sniffed and looked again.

And of course the drinking vessel was still there, unemptied. It was the kind designed to not allow them any actual sipping. Not that he’d want to. The stuff that went into it was odoriferous and generally undrinkable. It wasn’t even real blood.

Still, it would be nice if she didn’t lock her drinks that way. It was insulting.

He’d tried to dip and lick once, but the one legged vessel was too tall and wobbly, and it tipped and rolled and fell and broke into small bits of ice that cut his tender flesh when he’d tried to walk on it. If he’d wanted to taste blood there were better ways for it than being reduced to licking his own.

He never got too close to one again.

“Come, Nelly,” he soothed his anxious, clucking friend. “We’ll nap now. I’m sure she’ll return.”

 

 

 

For Sunday Photo Fiction

 

 

Kiss Bliss

Frog Ready for a kiss AnneToet

Photo: Anne Toet

 

Time had arrived

To make the shift

From frog

To handsome

Prince,

But then the kiss

When it was dished

Kept Frog’s

Amphibian

Bliss.

 

 

For the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Fantasy

 

 

What She Ought

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Photo: Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash

 

She looked so fraught

I thought she fought

For what she brought.

She apparently did not

But then still she almost forgot

To tell me of some fish she’d caught

And how distraught

The worms she bought

Were at the thought

That she decided that she ought

Just put potatoes

In the pot.

 

 

 

For Linda Hill’s SoCS challenge: “ght”

 

Doomed

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

“I will stand here, then slowly scoot in and get us tickets. No one will notice.”

“Are you kidding me?!” I tried to keep my voice low. Fortunately, it wasn’t difficult to do, muffled as it was already.

Doug shrugged, scattering orange and yellow.

It was a bad idea. This whole thing. I never should’ve let Doug talk me into it.

“It will be so much fun!” he’d said. And … anything did sound better than being cooped up in a hospital bed, my face swollen and bruised and covered with bandages after reconstructive surgery, while everyone else went partying.

Doug’s initial idea was to bandage the rest of me like a mummy, but I wasn’t going for it. I had enough of bandages. So Doug ‘borrowed’ his brother’s bike leathers and brought along some plastic ‘armor’, a roll of fake cobwebs, and a helmet that he somehow managed to fit over my post-surgically-wrapped visage. It was a bit too snug in places and as soon as he’d pulled it on I knew I’d regret it when we tried to remove the thing from my poor head. My noggin was five tons of throb.

We’d gotten through the nurse’s station undetected, and were now trying to crash the doctors’ party at the end of a hallway off the lobby. There seemed to be tickets involved. Or invitations. Or IDs of some sort. Now what?

Music crashed against my ears. I was tired. I wanted to be back in bed. I should have gone as a mummy. Preferably in a sarcophagus. At least then I could lie down. It wasn’t even three full days since my surgery. What was I thinking?… Clearly I was not.

“This is stupid!” I hissed.

“You’ll see,” Doug, undeterred, maneuvered his wrapped wheelchair into a corner, shedding more leaves, “People don’t notice trees.”

Oh, I could see already. And more than I wanted to.

“They would notice this one,” I grumbled.

Already Doug’s stick arms and bony torso showed. Someone should have hold him that being a potted tree in fall was doomed to leave him sitting in the nude.

 

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto Challenge

 

Gregory Green

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Photo: Keith Kreates

 

“You have to save me!”

She looked at him, filed her nails, and licked her lower lip thoughtfully. She said nothing.

He hated when she did that, pretended that she didn’t hear him, or that what he said wasn’t even worthy of a reaction. Sure, he leaned toward the dramatic, but that didn’t mean his feelings didn’t count!

“Daisy!” he breathed, “I know you heard me.”

She tilted her head in his direction, her nails continuing to move as if of their own volition. Truth is, sometimes he wasn’t sure they didn’t. Have their own volition, that is. These things could come at you uninvited and without warning.

“I’ll give you my special treat …” he begged. Defeated. He loved his Sunday treats.

At that she deigned to flick her lashes in his direction. She knew she won. She always did. Her patience outpaced his excitement. Every. Single. Time.

“I’ll see what I can do,” she purred.

He breathed. It was as good as done.

Once Daisy got her claws into the yarn, he would be spared the indignation of being made to wear another stupid knit thing. It took a full year from the last St. Patrick’s day for the others in the dog park to stop calling him Gregory Green.

 

 

For Keith’s Kreative Kue 234

 

 

 

Nick’s Shtick

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Photo: Alexander Dummer via Unsplash

 

I nicked Nick

With a stick

After he picked

And tried to hit

Me

With a brick.

He should not try

Such a sick

Kind of shtick

If he doesn’t like

Being tricked

And summarily pricked

By a royally ticked

But quick thinking

Chick.

 

 

For the dVerse Quadrille challenge: Nick

 

 

Fixer Upper

Photo prompt: © Penny Gadd

 

“It that better?”

“No! You made it worse!”

“Sorry. What direction?”

“To the right! No, the left. I mean, to my right, not your right! There. No! Stop! You over did it. Now it’s worse again.”

“Fine. I’ll go slowly. Tell me when.”

“When. I mean, not yet. Stop! No, a little more.”

“Are you sure it isn’t straight? You’re a little lopsided yourself. Have a sip of water, maybe.”

“I’m fine. Stop micromanaging me. I’m concentrating. Shush and let me see …”

“Go ahead. Take your time. Don’t mind me. I’ll just perch here and twiddle my vines.”

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

The Key

The Key SmadarHalperinEpshtein

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Epshtein

 

The key to every

Good adventure,

And a day out

To sights see,

Is a how to prevent a

Misadventure

By finding a good place

To pee.

 

 

 

(Note: I know I took some liberty … with the concept of “the key” … And, yes, I’ve used the photo before, but sometimes you just got to have another ‘go’ … 😉 )

 

For the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Key