Hotel California

The photo prompt is provided by Yarnspinnerr.

Last night at the full moon, that is where it took place, the sacrifice of one male goat and two lambs. Hundreds of people gathered here for the feast to celebrate this blood offering and we all recited, “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and blood will be shed on the altar to bring life to all of us”, as the shaman stabbed the animals with his steely knives, but they squealed and squirmed and this made it hard to kill the beasts.  I saw her standing in the doorway, she rang a little bell, as she lit up a candle then she showed me the way inside of the fence.  I followed her down a corridor, then we danced in the courtyard, and the last thing I remember was running for this door and feeling a cool wind blowing through my hair.  When I woke up, I saw a shimmering light, my head was heavy but my sight was back and I just wanted to get out of there.

Written for Priceless Joy’s August 21st FFfAW 129th challenge.
Word count 174

The Church Mouse

Lurch the church mouse was as fat as a rat.  He had a pointed nose, a brown colored furry round body that was about the size of a baked potato, he featured very large ears and a long hairless tail that was the same length as his body.  Folks said that he was as fat as a rat, but everyone knows that mice and rats are different types of rodents, with rats generally being larger than mice, and they can be bald, scaly and cylinder-shaped, so Lurch was no rat.  People often would say that someone was as hungry as a church mouse, which was the same as saying that they were as hungry as a horse, or hungry as a bear, or hungry as a wolf which just meant that someone was very hungry.

If a person is famished, ravenous and starving then they might be hungry enough to eat a horse and maybe they may want to eat an entire elephant.  If a person is said to be as hungry as a horse, this means that they want some food, because they have not eaten for some time and they most likely have an uncomfortable or painful feeling in their stomach, which is causing it to make a growling sound.  Horses are constantly grazing and when a person eats a lot of food at a meal, they are said to be eating like a horse.  Wolves tend to eat a lot and they often gulp down their meals in a single bite, because they have these ferocious cravings, which makes them voracious, and as a result they desire and devoure great quantities of food. People that eat in a hurry are said to be wolfing down their food.  If you say that someone woofed down a meal, this is a specific kind of error that is called an egg corn, which is a term that developed after a woman called an acorn an egg corn.  Bears hibernate all winter long and when they are done hibernating, they are extraordinarily hungry.

Back to our church mouse, who never actually lived inside of a church, but because churches were not known for storing food, any mouse residing inside of a church, would most likely be very hungry mouse and Lurch did enjoy eating.  The moniker of being a church mouse stuck with him and apparently once you are a church mouse, then you are always considered to be a church mouse.  Being a church mouse is the highest title that Lurch ever reached and it is tradition for him to be called a church mouse, in much the same way as a former president would still be called Mr. President.

Lurch came from a big family and some of his cousins included the deer mouse, house mouse, field mouse, wood mouse, dormouse, spiny mouse and the zebra mouse.  Lurch was nocturnal, as he liked to sleep during the day.  He was also a domestic mouse who was very friendly toward humans and he made a good pet for the Biology teacher who kept him in a cage in her classroom.  The students enjoyed hearing him play and watching him foraging around in his cage and quite often they would let him out to run around the class.

It is a bit strange, but Lurch did not actually eat all that much cheese.  Mostly he ate fruits, seeds and grains, but being omnivorous, he could eat both plants and meat.  Lurch really liked to eat peanut butter and he would eat between 15 to 20 times a day.  Mice are a lot like humans in the way that their bodies and minds work.  This is why laboratories use mice as test subjects for medicines and other items that may be used on humans.  Nearly all modern medicine is tested on mice before they go to human medical trials.  Lurch had a cousin that was a lab mouse and he was happy to be the Biology pet, as long as they never discussed dissecting him in an experiment.

The Entrance To Hell

Mrs. Jones paid me to dig the foundation for her new built in swimming pool.  Her yard was surrounded by a fence, so there was no way for me to bring in any heavy excavating equipment like a backhoe.  Pool ownership comes with many crucial responsibilities, like having a fence as well as sign to stay in compliance with insurance, liability and other safety measures.  Mrs. Jones had purchased an in-ground pool kit and I read over all of the instructions.

Mrs. Jones thought about getting permission from her neighbor Mr. Smith to remove the fence from his side of the property and then use his driveway to go back and forth with the loads of dirt.  He has a flower bed between this shared fence and his driveway, but they are no longer on speaking terms since he made a snide comment about her weight at last year’s Fourth of July party.  This was going to be a shit load of work for me, but I get paid by the hour, so it really does not matter how long it takes me to get done.  I checked with the local Utility companies first, as I didn’t want to get electrocuted, blown up, or poisoned by any raw sewage and I marked off the area.  I made a plan where I was going to put all the dirt and rocks that came out of the hole and I was actually able to sell it as clean fill.  I even acquired a blasting permit, just in case I ran into a rock ledge underneath the property.

Now for the fun part and I figured that I could probably dig 2 cubic yards a day. Mrs. Jones’ rectangular pool was to be 25 ft long, 10 ft wide, 6 ft deep at one end and 4 ft deep at the shallow end.  From reading the instructions I knew that the area needed to be dug out 5’ longer and 5’ wider to allow for spacing to accommodate the bracing, so I would have to dig out an area of 30 ft long by 15 ft wide.  I worked out all the math knowing that volume equals length times width times depth and that one yard is made up of three feet.  The depth would be tapered from the deep end to the shallow end, so I could use 5 ft of depth as an average in my calculation.  I changed all of the dimensions that were in feet into dimensions in yards.  The pool was to be 10 yards by 5 yards by 1.66 yards, so I multiplied 10 by 5 by 1.66 and this worked out to be 83 cubic yards of dirt that needed to be excavated.

This was going to take me 42 days to do all of this digging and it was summer already, so I would be sweating like a pig out in the heat of central Florida, but I would also be in great shape when it was done.  I designed and installed a conveyor belt system that removed the dirt from the pool into a wheelbarrow located on the other side of the fence.  My brother was home from college and jobless, so I decided to enlist his help with this project, as he needed cash and I would buy him beer every day after we finished working.

The top of this pool wall would stick up about 6” above the surrounding ground, to prevent excess rain water from over flowing into the pool.  Mrs. Jones’s daughter Anna enjoyed watching my brother and I as we dug out this pool and she also brought us drinks and towels to wipe our sweat off.  We were 15 days into the digging when my shovel struck something hard and I called my brother over to take a look.  My brother struck his shovel into the hard rock and he said, ‘I guess we will have to blast through this.’  I told him that we would have to drill a hole into the rock, so we could plant the blasting material.

Anna called up a few of her friends to come over and watch the excitement, but I made them all watch from inside the house where they would be safe.  After the blast was over, I called out ‘All clear’ and the girls came running out of the house.  When they looked into the excavation area, it was filled with red colored rocks and one of them said, ‘You have blasted your way into hell and I think the devil may be inside of that hole.’  They all ran away and my brother and I just laughed.

Written for Jina S. Bazzar – Authors Inspirations August 19, 2017
The treasure that lies beneath (Writing prompt short story)
Writing prompt: A man is digging in his backyard when his shovel strikes something hard.  What is it?

Panties

In some countries, the word ”PANT” is used to mean underwear.  Both sexes will wear a pant, however this term is more regularly used for undergarments wore by women.  Girls wear panties mainly because they saw their parent wearing them, and even in this modern age, there are some primitive villages where women will just wear pant and go around with their bare breasts showing.  Without the pant, women in this world are not complete.  Eve started wearing panties to cover up her naked body and this tradition has been passed down from generation to generation.  Every self respected lady will cover their heavenly route.

Most young ladies experience a certain time of the month when they are on their period and the panty will support their ‘Pad’ that they use to restrict their flow.  Panties are worn for disease prevention, to prevent any unwanted micro organisms from getting into a healthy vagina.  A man is likely to have more respect for a woman if she is wearing panties.  Women enjoy wearing sexy underwear for themselves and their husbands, because it is a simple way to get a boost.

Regional differences turn underpants into pants, and pants are trousers, so this can be confusing at times. Panties are often referred to as knickers and pants can refer to trousers, jeans, slacks, shorts, sweatpants, parachute pants or whatever.  The term underpants clearly means that they should go under your pants. When the word pant is used for underwear, it can cause a different perception of what is being worn.

There are many different kinds of Pant, like the bikini, boyshorts, brief, cheeky, G-String, high waist, hipster, retro, slip, tanga and the thong.  The bikini features narrow sides and a hip-level waistband which gives this panty a classic, universally flattering shape that’s essential for every wardrobe.  The bikini panty could be ideal for working out, because they’ll move with you, instead of fighting off thong chafing, you can focus on getting fit.  The boyshort is a cheeky take on fitted boxer shorts, and these panties deliver a body-hugging fit with a longer leg for extra coverage under skirts and dresses.  The brief is a classic comfort panty, that have a higher rise and provide excellent seat coverage.  The cheeky may also be called a Brazilian and it is similar to a bikini with a more exposed back.  The cheeky thong covers a little bit of your cheeks, but isn’t a full-on bikini fit, so it may be perfect to wear with jeans, because you won’t get a strong panty line and you have a little more coverage on your lady parts from bulky jean seams.

The G-String will give you the least coverage, but it will give you a smoother silhouette under tight dresses and pants.  They have string sides and a string back, which will put the spotlight on your buns.  The high-cut panty gives your legs a long, lean look while also offering moderate to full coverage in back.  The hipster is an everyday favorite, because it features a low-rise panty with wider sides that provide minimal to moderate coverage.  It’s a hybrid between a boyshort and bikini cut.  Retro panties are vintage style panties and they may be called granny panties, because they are high rise panties and they give you full coverage on the rear.  Slip panties are long-length, seam free underwear which provide smoothing coverage and helps prevent panty lines.  They are usually made from a silky-soft microfiber fabric that creates a lightweight, sleek design without constriction to help you conquer the day with comfortable coverage and without constriction.

A tanga is a pair of briefs consisting of small panels connected by strings at the sides.  Thongs flaunt revealing coverage in back and body-hugging fabrics for a smooth, line-free look that works great under form-fitting clothes.  Thongs aren’t just little stringy things anymore.  They have a skinnier waistband with minimal coverage on back side, but recently lingerie designers have made the bands at the hip wider and more comfortable on your curves.  Thongs allow you to say goodbye to visible panty lines without having to sacrifice any comfort.

This was written for Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday where the prompt word is “pant”.

Biblical Snakes

Snakes (or serpents) get plenty of attention in the Bible, where they are mentioned over 80 times.  A snake is a deceptive creature or trickster, who promotes as good what God had forbidden, and who has also showed particular cunning when it tempted Eve to eat the apple, actually it was the Forbidden fruit of knowledge from the tree of good and evil.  In the Garden, the serpent was more crafty than any of the other wild animals the Lord God had made, being used by Satan to lie to Eve and lead her into disobedience. Adam soon followed and God punished both of them, telling them that they had to leave the Garden of Eden.  God cursed the snake saying, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals!  You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.”  Every time a snake slithers on the ground, this is a reminder of the Fall of man and the effects of sin.

The snake will always be associated with sin.  The prophet Isaiah said, “They hatch deadly snakes and weave spiders’ webs.  Whoever falls into their webs will die, and there’s danger even in getting near them.” Jeremiah was speaking about Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon when he said, “Like a serpent he has swallowed us and filled his stomach with our delicacies, and then has spewed us out.”  Micah said, “They will lick the dust like a snake; they will come trembling out of their hiding places like reptiles slithering on the ground.”  Mark said, “They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”  Luke said, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

The Israelites wandered the wilderness for forty years after fleeing Egypt, until all the men who were of military age when they left Egypt had died, since they had not obeyed the LORD.  For the LORD had sworn to them that they would not see the land flowing with milk and honey which He had solemnly promised to give their ancestors.  The people of Israel exhibited every possible kind of despicable behavior, while God was constantly teaching them things about Himself and about their own sinfulness.  The people got discouraged, and in their unbelief and they began murmuring against Moses for bringing them into the wilderness.  The people spoke against God and Moses saying, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?  For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this miserable food.”  It seems that they had forgotten it was their own sin that caused them to be there, and they tried to blame Moses for it. As a judgment against the people for their sin, God sent poisonous serpents into the camp, and people began to die.  This showed the people that they were the ones in sin, and they came to Moses to confess that sin and ask for God’s mercy.  When Moses prayed for the people, God instructed him to make a bronze serpent and put it on a pole so the people could be healed.

A rural snake-handling sect named The Church of God with Signs Following was founded in 1909 by George Went Hensley as an offshoot of the Pentecostal movement, and this faith spread from the backwoods of Tennessee down to mid-Florida over to West Virginia and even as far west as Columbus, Ohio.  Rev. George Went Hensley was an American Pentecostal minister, a native of rural Appalachia who was best known for popularizing the practice of snake handling.  On the basis of a literal interpretation of Scripture, he came to believe that the New Testament commanded all Christians to handle venomous snakes.  He took a rattlesnake box into the pulpit and reached in and lifted out the venomous viper, showing his faith to take God at his Word.  He then challenged his congregation to do the same and he eventually died from a snake bite.

In Ecclesiastes, it says, “If a snake bites before it is charmed, the charmer receives no fee.”  In Psalm, it says, “They spit venom like deadly snakes; they are like cobras that refuse to listen, ignoring the tunes of the snake charmers, no matter how skillfully they play.”  Snakes have no visible ear, so they don’t hear sounds the same way that people do, but they probably are not deaf.  They have vestiges of the apparatus for hearing inside their heads, and that setup is attached to their jaw bones, so they feel vibrations very well and may hear low-frequency airborne sounds.  When a snake charmer plays his flute to charm the serpent, it is most likely not reacting to the music, it is more likely just swaying to the movement of the charmer’s instrument.  The animal cannot actually hear the tune being played, even though it can perhaps feel some of the sound vibrations from the flute, as well as any tapping being done by the charmer.  The snake considers the snake charmer to be a threat and they respond to this as if it were a predator.

Snakes have no eyelids, so they approach their live meals without blinking.  Because of their limited vision, they will sometimes weave their heads from side to side, in what may appear to be a hypnotizing fashion. This is really just a way for snakes to gauge distance.  The cobra comes out of its basket once it sees the snake charmer’s pipe being waved menacingly above it.  Many snakes used by charmers have had their fangs removed or their mouths sewn shut to protect the charmer from getting bit by the agitated snake.  A snake without means of biting may seem to be in a trance, when he’s really just holding his ground.

Tying the Knot

Religious wedding vows are usually romantic and many people get married because they want to join an institution that is supported by their parents and grandparents.  This can be a positive step toward starting a new life that may be filled with the most wonderful and difficult parts that life will offer them.  It can be rewarding to recite special words that are written especially for this exciting occasion.  Reciting a wedding vow should strengthen the institution of marriage and allow your union to stand the test of time, by helping you survive great hardships, and also embrace enormous joy.

In the name of God, I, the dude, take thee, the chick, to be my lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance in the holy bond of marriage.  I pledge to her my faith and pledge myself to God.  I will have this woman to be my wife so we can live together in the Holy Estate of matrimony.  I promise to be true to her and I will love and honor her and comfort her, and keep her, forsaking all others, and keep myself only unto her as long as we both shall live.  I will respect, trust, help, and care for her and I will share my life with her and I will forgive her as I have been forgiven by God.  I will try to better understand her, the world and my God.  Through the best and worst of what is to come, and as long as we live she will be my loving wife.  Loving what I know of her, trusting what I do not know yet, I will respect her integrity and have faith in her abiding love for me, through all our years, and in all that life may bring us.  I offer myself to her with my faults and my strengths.  I will help her when she needs my help, and turn to her when I need help.  I choose her as the person with whom I will spend the rest of my life.  I do promise and make this covenant, before God and these witnesses that this is my solemn vow.

FreeCell

The word solitaire is derived from the French and Latin words solitaries and they both come from solitary. I never liked the game solitaire very much, because 10 through 20 percent of the games are impossible to win right from the start, just because of the way the cards were shuffled for that hand.  The other problems with this games comes because you have to guess what each card is, since it is flipped over face down and you don’t know what you are working with.  That leaves countless opportunities for things to go wrong and thus it is hard to win.

Once I discovered the game FreeCell, I was hooked immediately.  I have played countless games of FreeCell and I have gotten very good at it.  I find playing FreeCell is a good way for me to pass my time and at the same time it helps me to sharpen my mind.  FreeCell requires me to do some mental planning and although it does feature a hint button for those players that get stuck, I never use that option.

FreeCell was released by Microsoft for Windows 3.1 and its original purpose was actually to test the 32-bit thunking layer (a data processing subsystem), which had been introduced as part of Win32s.  If the thunking layer was improperly installed, FreeCell wouldn’t run, so this so-called game was actually a stealth test of software systems.  On several occasions Microsoft tried to remove the free games from various Windows releases, but people complained because they had too much fun with them.

FreeCell is a one-deck solitaire card game.  All cards are dealt into 8 columns or piles.  Four Free Cells are located in the top left portion of the screen and four foundation piles where you build sets of clubs, diamonds, hearts or spades starting from the Ace and continuing up, are shown on top right hand portion.  The object of the game is to build up all cards on foundations from Ace to King by following suit.  You win when all 52 cards are moved there, 13 to a pile.

The top cards in the 8 columns or piles and the cards from the Free Cell area are available to play.  You can build column piles down by alternating color, thus any red card one value less can be placed on a black card.  So if you have a black king, then any red queen (either heart or diamond) can be placed on top of it.  Only one card at a time can be moved and the top card of any column pile can also be moved to any Cell. Each Free Cell (or Reserve space) may contain only one card.  Cards in the cells can be moved to the foundation piles or back to the column piles, if possible.  The rules state that you can move only one card at a time, but you can move group of cards in the proper sequence if you have enough free (empty) Cells and/or column piles.

For the cards displayed, you could move the Jack of Spades on to the Queen of Hearts and then put the Ten of Hearts on the Jack of Spades. The Six of Diamonds would go on to the Seven of Spades and now you start your mental planning.