22 or 3 to 12

Lunch is the best part of my day
It always makes me feel so gay
When it gets here, I want to fly
I get so hungry that I start to cry
Is there something to eat on the shelve
22 or 3 to 12
I eat my food like I’m in a race
I am such a hog, a real disgrace
My belly rumbles and starts to ache
I would love to sink my teeth into a steak
Looking for food, I start to delve
22 or 3 to 12
Feel like I could eat a whole sheep
Maybe find some crops to reap
Try to keep may hunger at bay
It never seems to work that way
22 or 3 to 12
22 or 3 to 12

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #54.

Weird Dream

If all roads lead to Rome, then how did the Romans ever get anywhere?  This must have pissed them off if they started out heading for Athens and they ended up back in Rome and the imponderabilia of this situation which was always a vicious circle would boggle anyone.  I will just let that thought bake in your brain for a while I relate my dream from last night to you about this large brain that I met in the woods.  The brain had no voice, but we were able to communicate through telepathy.  The brain scarred me with twisted tales and torture devices and I was ready to say bye, bye birdie to the brain, when I heard the wind chime ring out and I realized that we were not alone.  I heard laughter and I did a search for the sound which began to scintillate my ears.

The brain started to mirror everything that I was doing and all I could think about was finding an axe and splitting it into two hemispheres.  I don’t normally subscribe to violence, but I knew that I was dreaming and I began to think of the brain as being nothing more than an unnecessary big empty text box that should be deleted, because it was just taking up space in my dream.  It became vital that I beat this brain at his own game.  The game was on like Donkey Kong and we were going to tangle, as I was going to test his metal and then rub his nose in it.  I had to maintain my poise and refrain from being shy, so I could destroy the brain and not leave any traces behind.  This was not the time to be negligent, but all I had was a beach towel and some paper and as daylight was running out, I needed a plan.  No matter how many winters had to pass, I needed to save the human race from this giant brain bug and I remembered that in Starship Troopers, that the brain was more afraid of us than we were of it.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Vital, for Roger Shipp’s Daily Addictions prompt – Bake, for the Daily Spur prompt – Test, for Normal Happenings Daily Inkling prompt – Big Empty Text Box, for Eugi’s Weekly Prompt – Laughter, for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #49 where the image is a large silver brain in a wooded area surrounded by trees, for FOWC with Fandango – Paper, for Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt – Bye Bye Birdie, for Linda G. Hill’s ‘Life in progress’ JusJoJan January prompt – Subscribe, for Randomness Inked Scribbling the Unspoken Let it Bleed Weekly Prompt Challenge 34 prompt – Winters, for January Writing Prompts – Twisted tales and torture devices, for Ragtag Community – Daylight, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Beat Towel Shy, for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Boggle and for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Wordle 163, hosted by Yves where the prompts are – Rub Tangle Scintillate Search Wind chime Alone Traces Poise Negligent Imponderabilia Mirror Everything.

Bridge Inspector

It’s a wonderful life, I love my job and since somebody has to do it, it might as well be me.  I routinely certify bridges applying strict standards and specifications to ensure that these bridges are safe for public use.  If the bridge meets my approval and is free of mechanical mishaps, then you can feel safe driving over it and not have to worry about being drown in a watery grave.  In the long run, I look at every fissure and try to discover why it has formed.  If I see that some of the metal has turned patina because of a hostile environment, then I will order it to be painted.  My labor consists of climbing in and around structures to access their condition trying while to catch any defects and I often end up ripping my shirt or getting blood on it.

I am a structural engineer that is specialized in Chemistry, Physics and the properties of materials and I concinnate my education with my work experience to be the consummate professional.  I utilize everything from snooper trucks to aerial drones to ground-penetrating radar and ultrasonic testing equipment, to listen to the different musical sounds that trucks will make when they march over the bridge which will help me determine if the top layer of concrete is separating from the layer that is below it.  I don’t want anyone experiencing peripeteia and singing ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ as they are driving over any of the bridges that I have inspected.

In my free time, which I have every evening, as it is best to check out the bridges in daylight, I dabble with pottery and I am currently working on a vase that can be used to hold umbrellas and I will keep this outside my front door.  I have a web page where you can view my aesthetically pleasing and functional pottery.  I have constructed vases in an array of playful shapes and sizes and I have made some pastel favor vases, which make unique wedding gifts and are perfect for a bridal shower.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Discover, for Roger Shipp’s Daily Addictions prompt – Why, for the Daily Spur prompt – March, for Eugi’s Weekly Prompt – Patina, for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #47 where the image shows a two lane bridge spanning two mountains along a coastal road high above a deep gorge or inlet, for FOWC with Fandango – Musical, for Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt – It’s a Wonderful Life, for Let it Bleed Weekly Prompt – Goodbye, for December Writing Prompts – Mechanical mishaps, for Ragtag Community – Pastel, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Evening Shirt Blood, for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Labor and for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Wordle #161, hosted by Yves where the prompts are Vase Watery Catch Door Hostile Concinnate Peripeteia Page Fissure Run Drown Long.

House That Jack Built

All work and no play made Jack a dull boy, but eventually he became a jack of all trades, however he was a master of none.  Jack had no life and he saw a chance at a better future when he won this empty lot in a game of blackjack and he decided to build a home on this property and then flip it to make a profit.  He wanted a girl who would enjoy balling the jack quicker than you could say Jack Robinson, but his future looked dismal and he would probably remain single, unless he could turn his life around.  He had to maximize this house and make it a four bedroom with at least two bathrooms so he could list it as being a mini mansion.  The house was situated two feet from the property line, and the neighbors on both sides of this house were just five feet beyond it.  The rooms were all small and the closets were tiny and there were lots of stairs to climb.

The neighbors protested that Jack was ruining everything in the neighborhood with this box shaped house, because it lacked any type of style and it was certain to lower their property values.  The walls were thin, which would raise the cost of heating and cooling and also allow all the neighbors to hear every word in any argument.  The ceilings were low and Jack thought this would work to save on energy, but the house did not have that wow factor, it was an eyesore, as it was almost completely lacking any windows.  Jack eventually sold the house and the whole neighborhood celebrated because they would not need to see that jack off any more.  One of them wrote a poem about the house.

This is the house that Jack built.
This is the cheese that lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the rat that ate the cheese
That lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the cat
That killed the rat that ate the cheese
That lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the cheese
That lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the cheese
That lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the cheese
That lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the man all tattered and torn
That kissed the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the cheese
That lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the judge all shaven and shorn
That married the man all tattered and torn
That kissed the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the cheese
That lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the rooster that crowed in the morn
That woke the judge all shaven and shorn
That married the man all tattered and torn
That kissed the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the cheese
That lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the farmer sowing his corn
That kept the rooster that crowed in the morn
That woke the judge all shaven and shorn
That married the man all tattered and torn
That kissed the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the cheese
That lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the horse and the hound and the horn
That belonged to the farmer sowing his corn
That kept the rooster that crowed in the morn
That woke the judge all shaven and shorn
That married the man all tattered and torn
That kissed the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the cheese
That lay in the house that Jack built.

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #46.

Drink from the Cup of Victory

Genghis Khan told his troops, “We must slaughter our enemies, kill them all and show no mercy to the men, women or children.  If they don’t surrender, they will surely die, as we will sack every town and city that stands in our way.”  Genghis Khan was able to unite the fragmented Mongol tribes, utilizing his genius for organization, and recognizing that their horses along with their riding skill would serve as their strengths.  Genghis Khan and the Mongol army rose to power at the end of the twelfth century, at a moment when few opposing rulers could put up much resistance to them.  The vast Mongol empire he created stretched from China to Europe, taking control of Asia from the Black Sea to the Pacific.

The Mongol emperor under the leadership of Tolui Khan, the fourth son of Genghis, unleashed one of the greatest catastrophes of the medieval world by destroying the ancient cities of Merv in the Central Asian republic of Turkmenistan, delivering wholesale destruction on an unprecedented scale, as hundreds of thousands were slaughtered from 1220-1223.  These cities were special because they were on the northern route of the famous Silk Road, the key trade route which once linked east and west.  Merv was an essential staging post for those travelling between north-east Iran and eastern Asia and China.  The Mongols looted the city, destroyed the dam on the Murghab river and laid waste to anything they could not carry away.

Most people have probably never heard of Merv, but it served as the capital of a number of empires and kingdoms over the course of its more than 4,000-year-long history.  Merv had plentiful water reserves and it was in a supremely strategic location between the Afghan highlands and the Karakum Desert lowlands, so it was always a sought-after geographic prize for Persians, Arabs, Turks, and Greeks which included Alexander the Great.

The Mongol society was made up of tent-dwelling nomadic pastoralists who were capable of living off the land.  The Mongolian horse was tough and sturdy and they were able to subsist solely on grass, which meant that the Mongol army did not have to carry food for them when they were going into battle.  Their enemies called them the horsemen from hell, as when they charged, unity always broke.  The fluidly mobile riders could fire arrows in any direction as they rode.

The Mongols also used psychology to throw their opposition off.  They would pretend like they were retreating to make their unwary opposition forces charge after them, believing that tide had turned in the battle.  The Mongol cavalry would then turn right back around, after having lured a few overconfident souls too close, or they might continue their retreat and dismount their horses.  The unmounted archers would shower the pursuing army with arrows, as their more heavily armored cavalry could charge in with their lances.  At that point, the battle was as good as over.

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #43, where I chose the picture showing four horsemen dressed in armor riding across a valley toward a mountain range in the setting sun, because they looked like they were part of a Mongol hoard and not the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Daddy Issues

My daughter just dropped out of college and now she is dancing at The Landing Strip.  It is not like she needs the money as I always gave her whatever she needed.  I pay her rent and she also receives an allowance, but she says that stripping in front of men is empowering for her.  It is probably my fault for keeping her in boarding school all that time where she had little to no interaction with the opposite sex.  I hope that this is just a rebellious phase that she is going through.

I want my little girl to grow up and have her own children someday, as I know that I will do a better job at being a grandparent than I did as a dad.  I am worried that she will not become a good mother, because neither I or her mother were ever there for her and she won’t have the proper memories to draw on and pass on to her children.  If only all mothers and fathers could be good to their daughters, so that those daughters would be good to their own daughters.  It is confusing for any girl that wants to be a mother, and even more so if their childhood was not all that great.  Every girl will eventually make a choice of who that want to love and when they choose their partner, they shouldn’t be running away from something that hurt them in their past.

I left my daughter for a music career which still hasn’t panned out yet and I think that she is in living in fear of getting hurt, that another person will let her down if anyone get too close to her.  She will always wonder if the next person that starts to care for her is also going to leave her, like her own flesh and blood did.  It was my duty to be there for her and protect her and I ended up being a total failure.  If I had stayed around and had been a better father, she probably would not be working as a pole dancer now.

I know a girl
She puts the color inside of my world
But she’s just like a maze
Where all of the walls all continually change
And I’ve done all I can
To stand on her steps with my heart in my hands
Now I’m starting to see
Maybe it’s got nothing to do with me

Fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too

Oh, you see that skin?
It’s the same she’s been standing in
Since the day she saw him walking away
Now she’s left
Cleaning up the mess he made

So fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too

Boys, you can break
You find out how much they can take
Boys will be strong
And boys soldier on
But boys would be gone without the warmth from
A woman’s good, good heart

On behalf of every man
Looking out for every girl
You are the God and the weight of her world

So fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too
So mothers, be good to your daughters too
So mothers, be good to your daughters too

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #42.

Smoking Monkeys


Monkey see, monkey do and a monkey will often imitate what it sees.  A monkey or a chimpanzee can be taught how to walk a tightrope and even how to juggle, but they can’t learn how to play a guitar, only how to smash them.  Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork of the Monkees who had their own TV show both learned to play guitar fairly well and they were helped by Jimi Hendrix whom they did their first tour with.  Animals can learn how to smoke, if they are shown how to do it and if they are given access to the materials.  They will continue smoking because the nicotine rush motivates them.

As a child, back when smoking was popular, I always got a kick out of those Smoking Monkey toys that I was able to purchase from vending machines, usually on the highway when my family was traveling.  I can’t remember how much they cost probably about a quarter, but I used to buy them all the time.  I would have to wait till I got home as even though my parents smoked all the time in the car, they would not let me play with matches while we were on the road.  These little guys are hilarious to watch and when I did get home, I would pop one of the special cigarettes into the tiny little hole in the monkey’s mouth, light it up, and watch him smoke his cigarette.  The monkey was about two inches tall and the cigarettes burned quickly lasting about a half a minute, but it actually looked as if the monkeys were puffing on them taking drags instead of the cigarette just burning.  A propellant that made the smoke blow out, which created the image that the monkeys were huffing and puffing and sometimes they would make smoke rings, how cool was that.

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #39.