Alternate History

I started watching Once Upon a Time again, the American fantasy adventure drama television series which is on Netflix.  I had watched the first three seasons a while ago and after taking a three-year rest from watching this series, because I felt that it was written for six-year olds, I picked it up again with season 4.  A boy named Henry has a magic book of fairy tales and of course only heroes get happy endings.  The mayor of the town of Storyville is Regina and she used to be the evil queen, but now she has changed her ways, since she adopted Henry and she wants a happy ending.  The stories in this book deal with characters that lived in the Enchanted Forest, but they include other reals also like Alice in Wonderland and Dorothy in Oz and they have a way of changing, rewriting reality, because Isaac Heller the current Author of the book Once Upon a Time wrote them with an Enchanted Quill that glows.  Regina is searching for the Author of Henry’s Once Upon a Time book, so that she can finally have her happy ending.

The Author was locked up by the Sorcerer and his Apprentice for manipulating the fairy tale character’s stories as opposed to recording them.  The Apprentice created an alternate history by offering Snow White and Prince Charming a way to rid their future child’s darkness, who would eventually become Henry’s real mother Emma.  Magic always has consequences and this came at the price of putting this darkness into the child of the Sleeping Beauty villainous character Maleficent, which was not going to become a monster, but a perfectly healthy baby that was then ejected to the real world.  I am not sure what is going to happen next and who will get a happy ending, as the Queens of Darkness (Evil Queen, Cruella De Vil, Maleficent, and Ursula), who have all teamed up with the Dark One try to triumph over the good guys.

Written for Teresa Grabs Genre Challenge – June 8 Prompt – Alternate History.

To Be Continued

Finish the Story – The House By the Lake – Part 7
I was tagged by Pete at Stroke Survivor who also writes under the alias Mister Bump to continue the latest Finish the Story challenge that originated from Teresa Grabs. Several characters have been developed so far, those being Susan the local shopkeeper, Dan her husband, the Jackson’s shoppers worried about the rain, a man with a long white beard on a boat, seven dwarfs on an island, and the missing Mrs. Brennan.

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Here’s how Teresa kicked things off.
A house sat perched precariously on the edge of Clearwater Lake. It was a house that should not have stood, yet stand it did. It had been there for centuries and locals swore the same couple lived there the whole time. Locals never knew how right they were until the day the rains started.
“It’s just a little rain,” Susan said, watching the couple pile water and canned fruit into their shopping cart.
The couple looked at the checker and smiled politely. “The rain will not stop,” they said, “we’ve seen this before.”
No sooner had the couple left, Susan but dropped her smirk as locals poured into the shop chaotically looking for food. The once spring storm skies have turned …
To be continued
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Sadje’s part 2.
….. dark grey and water came down in sheets. People were scurrying away in the downpour with their bags of groceries clutched tightly under their umbrellas. Susan thought that it would be prudent to get some stuff for her family as well, just in case… What am I thinking! She nervously chided herself and yet she bought some bottled water, cans of soup and other supplies and started home. The umbrella she had was too flimsy and inadequate to handle the rain and she was soaked to skin when she reached her place. She met Dan at the door who was getting the kids inside. She sent an inquiring gaze towards him and was answered by a nod. Dan knew something but didn’t want to say it in front of the kids.
After dinner when they had sent the kids to bed, they discussed the elephant in the room.
“Do you think there is something to be worried about, the rain I mean?” Susan asked him.
Dan looked a bit worried but smiled at her question. “You have heard the rumor too?”
“I was there when the Jackson’s were buying water and other foodstuffs in the store today. She said that the rain won’t stop! Do you know what she meant?”
Dan looked uneasy and said…….
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Melanie’s part 3.
Dan looked uneasy and said, “Oh I suspect those people are just doomsday advocates. You know, those odd people who go about spreading lies about the coming end of the world!”
Susan frowned, disturbed at Dan’s cavalier attitude. “I don’t know about the doomsday idea,” she began, “sensible people have been telling us about the repercussions of our lifestyles for years and years. What do you think global warming is about, anyway?! All these horrid superstorms, which keep getting more and more severe. I wonder if there isn’t a grain of truth in the Jackson’s statement. Maybe the rain won’t stop this time.”
Dan snorted, but it was a weak uncertain sound. Susan knew he believed the same thing she did. But what to do about it? There wasn’t enough food and water available if the rain kept pouring down, not to mention the flooding that surely would occur and the destruction of life as they knew it.
Susan thought back to old traditions that she had grown up hearing about. Things about appeasing old gods and sacrifice. Maybe it was time for some out of the box thinking. Maybe someone should call Stephen King and ask him what he would do, if he were writing about the end of days brought about by a mega-storm, instead of a mega-virus. Susan shook her head at her whimsical train of thought.
The thing to do right now was to make sure her family was secure. Dan could put together some sandbags and …
There was a tremendous roaring sound and a portion of the side door nearest the small creek, broke apart. Muddy water began to pour into the hall. Susan screamed, out of pure reflex, and Dan and she clung to each other watching the water run. Out of the black night a voice boomed…
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Kristian’s part 4.
Making them jump, then stand and stare in astonishment.
“Come on, jump aboard, this is your last chance,” said a man with a long white beard standing on wooden hand made boat.
Susan grabbed her raincoat and her kids and jumped onto the boat and Dan was not far behind. They saw they were not the only people on board, several of their neighbours were there huddled inside the bowels of the boat.
There didn’t appear to be anyone steering or rowing the boat and yet, without rhyme or reason, it appeared to float down the watery avenue that had once been the main street of town.
The boat then sailed out onto the lake towards the island. The lights in the house were lit like a beacon, beckoning them in. The boat pulled up against a wooden jetty and the strange bearded man jumped out and tied the boat securely.
“Come on everyone, we’ll be safe on the island.”
When they arrived at the house, the front door opened and to everyone’s surprise…
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Fandango’s part 5.
…there were seven dwarfs standing in a reception line, greeting everyone as they walked into house’s foyer. “Oh my God, they are so cute,” Susan whispered to Dan.
Dan, always the skeptic, said, “I don’t know, Susan. I am not too keen on being ‘saved’ by some random, Gandalf-like Wizard who miraculously shows up at our home, shuffles us onto a crude wooden boat, and then leads us into Snow White’s house to be greeted by the likes of Dopey, Doc, Bashful, Happy, Grumpy, Sleepy, and Sneezy. Are we in the middle of some weird dream or are we dead, having perished when the muddy waters poured into the hall of our home? This whole situation makes no sense.”
Dan walked up to the man with the long white beard and said, “Where are we and what is going on here? We put our lives in your hands and you bring us to this strange house with these little people waiting to greet us. I need a rational explanation for all of this. I demand an explanation.”
The man with the long white beard glared at Dan. “Your cynicism is well placed, my friend,” he said. “We are at a way station, neither here nor there. We will remain here until fate guides us to our next steps.”
“What next steps?” Dan asked.
The man with the long long white beard smiled. “You are about to find out, my friend.” Just at that moment, the front door to the strange house flung open and standing in the doorway was none other than…
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StrokeSurvivor‘s Part 6
a small, clean -shaven man. As he gradually appeared in the dim light, Susan could see that he looked younger by some years, but there was no mistaking the family resemblance to her own “escort”. “I couldn’t find any more”, he said. More what? The question was left unanswered.
Susan, fortunately, was starting to think clearly. “We need a roll call”, she announced. “Do we know anybody who lives close by, who isn’t here?” For a while, there was silence. Dan was alerted by a tugging of his sleeve. He looked down to see his eldest daughter. “Mrs Brennan”, she whispered. Of course, old Mrs Brennan owned the beautiful Rose Cottage next to the creek.
Dan took control. “Yo’re right. We have to look for Mrs Brennan”, he said. “That creek will be bursting by now, we have to find her. We might be stuck here with a bunch of weirdos but we’re not in immediate danger. We need to find her and bring her here”. “That’s impossible”, a voice piped. It was Gandalf: “You can’t get off the island”. There were murmors of agreement from the dwarves, but Dan had to try something.
“Who’ll help me?”, he asked. From the rescued party, a man and a woman stepped forward. “We can’t just do mothing”, the woman said. “Okay, we all got torches? Make sure those coats are wrapped well!”, Dan said with an air of determination, before wrenching the door open again. Susan hugged the children. “Dad won’t be gone long”, she said, trying to stifle her own tears.
Outside, the rain was still lashing down. Even Dan’s powerful torch was not much use, and he stumbled twice as he retraced their steps from the boat. Finally, the three broke out of the woods and reached a small jetty. But instead of the boat they had just arrived in, they saw…
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New Epic Author‘s Part 7
the house on the edge of Clearwater Lake uninduated by a mud mudslide. Mrs. Brennan was standing on the roof yelling her head off that she needed to be rescued, as the heavy rains triggered a mudslide that knocked her house off its foundation. Luckily, she was able to crawl out from under the wreckage to get on top of the house, before it was ripped apart. The roof was floating in the high waters and Dan couldn’t even guess where the rest of the house was. Dan yelled, “Delores, hold on we are coming to rescue you.” Delores said, “Of course I am going to hold on, but I need to know if you have seen my son Josh, as he was playing in his bedroom when the house came loose and I am afraid that the river may have taken him.” Dan handed his torch to George, man with a long white beard and he climbed onto the roof and told Delores to hold his hand as they were going to jump off together.
Once they were safely on the ground, Dan grabbed his torch back said, “Let’s go find Josh, he couldn’t have gotten too far and something in my bones is telling me that it is this way.” Dan indicated the direction with his torch and then the natural gas pipeline…
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Time to hand this story off to another blogger and I hope that Li from Tao Talk can run with it, add her own personal touch and then tag another person to take part in this story.

Patience is the Key

Ethel Johnson grew up on a farm and while most people who raise turkeys do that for food, some people like Ethel keep turkeys as pets.  Her father Eastman was not happy about this and he always teased her that they might end up eating the turkey for Thanksgiving dinner someday.  A mother-turkey flew into her yard three years ago and she laid her eggs in the barn.  The bird sat patiently on a nest full of eggs for four weeks and Ethel gave her food and water.  Ethel was very happy when she saw the speckled shells had broken apart and that baby turkeys emerged.  Once the babies had hatched, she heard a dozen little chirps coming out of these very hungry turkeys.  She grabbed a blanket to keep them warm, as they didn’t have all of their feathers yet.

The mother knew that Ethel was helping, and that she would never hurt the little things.  When they were all hatched and strong enough to walk, she left the nest with her young ones, and her babies followed her to a field, where they were able to get their fill of fat, juicy bugs and grasshoppers and crickets.  They fed on these from morning till night, and they grew tall and strong and Ethel would stop by every day to watch them grow and she would sing to them.  They were a very happy family, and one of the birds, who she named Oscar, took a special liking to her.

One sad day the mother turkey stepped on some broken glass which made her feet bleed.  Her right foot swelled up badly, and Ethel thought that this must have been very painful, so she went to the vet, so he could have a look at it.  The vet examined the bird and gave it antibiotics and said that she would probably limp for several days, but that she should get better.  The mother could not go far enough to find all the food her babies needed, so Ethel helped to catch bugs for the babies when they cried out with hunger.  One morning, the mother was too sick to walk at all and Ethel had to feed her and give her water as well.  The next day when Ethel returned, she found the bird dead.

After that Ethel became the full-time mother for all of the orphan birds.  Ethel was very patient and she always made sure that the little birds had access to as much food as they wanted to eat, and since it was hard to find enough bugs for all of them, she switched them to eating corn and soybean based food, which had all of the vitamins and minerals that they needed to keep growing.  One by one the turkeys, once they were large enough to take care of themselves, eventually flew away, except for Oscar who never left.  Whenever Oscar saw Ethel holding his food bowl, he always tried to jump on her, but Ethel would not allow that and she would tell him that he had to be more patient.

Written for Teresa Grabs Daily Writing Prompt – Feeding the Turkey.

Detective John McClane

Detective John McClane knows the city
The divorced, alcoholic enjoys getting dirty and gritty
Now jobless, isn’t it a pity
Fired for his reckless behavior and bad attitude in the city
Simon is on the loose, people are turning up dead
He wants McClane, so he can get into his head
McClane is sent to Harlem which is a different world
Zeus helps him, they give it a whirl
Two guys team up, a black and a white
Things are heating up, hope it will be alright
Simon turns out to be very witty
McClane and Zeus get into fights
In the summer, in the city
In the summer, in the city
Trouble in every part of the city
This mess is turning into a ditty
Explosion in Wall Street or its propinquity
Havoc breaks out in the city
5-gallon jug and a 3-gallon jug need to swap
They have 5 minutes or the bomb will go pop
Simon is the brother of Hans Gruber
McClane has finally come out of his stuber
Simon’s men have raided the Federal Reserve Bank
They stole the gold, not for a prank
McClane follows the dump trucks through the aqueduct
Simon floods the tunnel, which really did suck
In the summer, in the city
In the summer, in the city
Trouble in every part of the city
McClane is not very giddy
Got caught boarding the tanker, isn’t it a pity
They think Simon is going to destroy all the gold
That is not the way Simon rolled
There was no gold on the ship
It was replaced with scrap metal
Simon has likely gotten away
McClane has a headache, a shitty end to a less than perfect day
McClane leads a raid on a warehouse
Simon is there, that big fat louse
Simon attempts to escape
McClane won’t let that take shape
In the summer, in the city
In the summer, in the city

Written for Teresa Grabs Daily Writing Prompt – Musical Monday where the challenge is to take a favorite song and change its theme.

Smoking Stunts Your Growth

Mr. Manton said, “Smoking cigarettes won’t help a teenage girl to lose weight, and there is a strong possibility that it could stunt growth in teenage boys, causing a decrease in their height as well as their body mass index.”  Frederick John Barrett the English horse racing jockey who just won The Derby and the Jockeys’ Championship in 1888, said, “Yes I know and that is why I will continue to smoke them.  I have developed this nasty cough lately but my doctor gave me a prescription for a drug called laudanum and that seems to be helping.  People always say that you should bet the jockey, not the horse and I am in this business for the long run, so I smoke because my doctor told me that this could ward off osteoporosis and help to prevent cartilage and joint deterioration.”

Written for Teresa Grabs Daily Writing Prompt – Allen & Ginter Cigarettes.

Look Up in the Sky

In mathematics, if you want to solve the problem, you need to locate the pattern, as math is all about manipulating numbers after you have discovered the patterns that those numbers make.  Humans try to detect patterns in their environment all the time, we look for meaning in everything that we see.  Early humans feared thunder, lightning, rains, floods and storms and because they were not able to explain this natural phenomenon, so they made up gods to help them understand nature.  Early humans looked to the stars to find the divine.  Today, this is manifested in the childhood belief in and our poetic fascination with Heaven residing in the clouds.  For many cultures, the gods were found in constellations and planets.

In the infancy of the human race the rising and setting of the Sun, the progress of the seasons, and the phases of the moon must have compelled the attention of even the most unobservant.  As Astronomy is the oldest of the sciences, so also it is one of the most perfect, and in certain aspects the noblest, as being the most “unselfish”, of them all.  Astronomy was not originally conducted as science to further human knowledge, or for curiosity’s sake.  Instead, the study of the sky was a vital part of the theological foundation of early civilizations.

When people think about the universe, they think about stars, as stars make up most of the visible matter in the universe, and despite all stars beyond our Sun being unthinkably far away from us, we can see thousands of them with our naked eye at night.  Throughout the centuries, people have looked to the stars to help them navigate across open oceans or featureless deserts, know when to plant and harvest, and preserve their myths and folklore.  Ancient peoples used the appearance or disappearance of certain stars over the course of each year to mark the changing seasons.  To make it easier to “read” this celestial calendar, they grouped the brighter stars into readily recognizable shapes, the constellations.  Constellations are made by man and they only exist in our imagination.

Astronomy began with the first settlements of agricultural societies.  Mesopotamia, the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in what is today Iraq, was the birthplace of civilization almost 10,000 years ago.  It is in ancient Samaria that we find the oldest records of the study of astronomy.  Babylon and Assyria were later civilizations in the same geographic area, and they inherited the Sumerians’ astronomical traditions and many of their myths and legends surrounding the skies.  They in turn developed their own astronomical culture and passed it on to the Greeks and eventually to our modern world.  Perhaps the greatest legacy to modern western astronomy was left to us by the Babylonians, as we still use many of their original constellations, and the records that they kept of astronomical occurrences allow us a glimpse into their view of the heavens.

The sky’s obvious effects on Earth led to the view of an intense connection between celestial events and human affairs.  When early man looked up into the sky toward the heavens, all he could see during the day was blue skies and a big ball of light.  When he observed the night sky all he would see were stars in a dark, black sky.  At first, man had no idea what the lights in the sky were.  He was able to tell that there was one big star that lit up the day and a lot of little stars at night.  Man observed that the big star and all the little stars move across the sky from one side to the other.  It was his curiosity that drove him to study the stars and try to figure out what was happening when they moved and where did they go, when they disappeared.

Thousands of years of observation led people to realize that the stars seemed to rise and fall over the course of a night in regular patterns.  Since some stars are brighter than others, these were used as reference points to locate other stars in these seeming patterns or constellations.  Sirius or Polaris were easily identified and then used by the viewer to orient (literally “face East”) themselves and then identify other stars and their constellations.  Regular observations showed that while the stars traced a regular annual pattern against the sky over the course of a year, there were other lights in the sky which had much more complex movements and these were eventually discovered to be planets.

The Orion constellation is one of the brightest and best-known constellations in the night sky.  In Greek mythology Orion represents the mythical hunter, who is often depicted in star maps as either facing the snorting charge of Taurus, the bull that is pursuing the Pleiades sisters, or chasing after the hare (constellation Lepus) with his two hunting dogs.  The Sumerians saw Orion as being their great hero Gilgamesh fighting the Bull of Heaven.  According to myth, Orion was the son of Poseidon the sea god and Euryale, daughter of King Minos of Crete.  Poseidon gave Orion the power to walk on water.  Homer described Orion as a giant hunter, armed with an unbreakable club of solid bronze.  In the sky, the hunter’s dogs (the constellations Canis Major and Canis Minor) follow at his heels, in pursuit of the hare (the constellation Lepus).  Orion faces the charge of the bull with his left hand holding his shield up to fend off the bull’s horns, and his right hand is holding up an enormous club that he will use to deliver a crushing blow to the bull’s head.  His dog (Canis Major) stands behind him, while the hare (Lepus) crouches forgotten beneath Orion’s feet.

There are many stories about Orion and one of them involves Artemis the goddess of hunting.  In this tale, she loved Orion and was seriously considering giving up her vows of chastity to marry him.  Her twin brother Apollo was against the match, so one day, while Orion was swimming, Apollo challenged Artemis to demonstrate her skill at archery by hitting a small black object that he pointed out bobbing among the waves.  Artemis pierced it with one shot and she was horrified to find that she had killed Orion.  Grieving, she placed him among the constellations.

Orion is the brightest and most beautiful of the winter constellations.  Some of its stars, are among the brightest stars in the sky.  Orion is easily located in the sky by the three bright stars in a row that makes up the Orion’s Belt, which is one of the most familiar asterisms in the night sky, along with the Big Dipper and the Southern Cross in southern latitudes.  Starting with the top one (in the Northern hemisphere), the names of these three stars are Mintaka, Alnilam and Alnitak and they are in a short, straight row at the mid-section of the Hunter.  Two of the three stars that form the Belt of Orion are super giants.  In Ancient Egypt, the stars of the Orion’s Belt were the symbol of Osiris, as the belt stars aligned perfectly with that of the three pyramids of Giza, while Orion’s orientation to the Milky Way matches the pyramids’ orientation to the river Nile.

Our Sun is located on the Orion Arm, or Orion Spur, of the Milky Way galaxy.  If you imagine the Milky Way galaxy as being a disk with spiral arms emanating from the center, our sun is about a third of the way from the center to the visible edge.  Our solar system is located between two prominent spiral arms sandwiched between the Sagittarius and Perseus Arms, in what astronomers once thought was a mere bridge of stars, gas, and dust clouds.  The characteristic spiral arms of a galaxy such as the Milky Way are waves of higher density, regions where stars and gas are a little closer together than elsewhere in our galaxy’s disc.

The Orion constellation shows the hunter carrying a sword and on this sword of stars, ancient observers were very impressed to find what looked like a splotch of blood, as if the hunter were returning from fresh victory.  That fuzzy splotch, visible to the naked eye when it is really dark (and easily seen through binoculars) is called the Orion Nebula.  The Great Orion Nebula contains clouds of interstellar gas and dust in which thousands of stars are being born.  Once you find the Belt stars, you can also locate the Orion Nebula, otherwise known as M42, by following the curved line of stars extending from the Belt that represent Orion’s Sword.  The Orion Nebula lies about midway down in the Sword of Orion.  Some astronomers claim that a huge, beautifully-illuminated multicolored ‘light’ has emerged from the Orion Nebula and that it is on an intercept-course with Earth.

This stellar nursery is the closest large star-forming region to Earth and this great big nebulous cocoon is giving birth to perhaps a thousand stars.  A young open star cluster, whose stars were born at the same time from a portion of the nebula and are still loosely bound by gravity, can be seen within the nebula.  It is sometimes called the Orion Nebula Star Cluster.  In 2012, an international team of astronomers suggested this cluster in the Orion Nebula might have a black hole at its heart.  The brightest central part of the nebula is called the “Huygenian region” (named after the 17th-century astronomer Christiaan Huygens).  The Orion Nebula is actually just part of a much larger cloud that covers most of the constellation of Orion (including the region around the Horsehead Nebula).

Written for Teresa Grabs Daily Writing Prompt – The Orion Nebula.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

The Story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves which became a Disney classic was derived from an earlier version of one of the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales that was published in 1812, which was much darker involving human disembowelment, cannibalism, and necrophilia.  This story may have been written about a real person, Maria Sophia Margaretha Catharina von Erthal, who was born in 1729.  Maria grew up in a castle in Lohr, Germany and father, Prince Philipp Christoph von Erthal gave a looking glass to his second wife Claudia Elisabeth Maria von Venningen who he married when Maria was 12, just two years after of the death of Maria’s mother.  Maria Sophia really didn’t get on well with her stepmother and it was believed that the stepmother felt jealous of Maria Sophia, because she who was known in the town for her goodness to others and her charity to the needy.

The stepmother had a powerful “magic mirror” that she obtained as a gift from her husband on her wedding day.  The city of Lohr was renowned for its looking glasses and it was thought that this mirror was able to repeat what you said.  Bieber was a town just to the west of Lohr, and it was the center of a booming mining industry set among seven mountains.  The mine tunnels were accessible only to the smallest miners, who often wore bright hoods and this may be where the Seven Dwarves came from.  Two other aspects from this Snow White story also fit in, as the glass coffin may have come from the region’s numerous glassworks, and the poisoned apple, was possibly laced with atropine, a poison derived from deadly nightshade which grows locally in abundance.

The Magic Mirror was a mystical object that was capable of speech and it was used by the Evil Queen so she could find out who is the “fairest of them all”.  The Evil Queen studied dark magic and she knew that her magical mirror could speak nothing but the truth.  Each time the queen asked her mirror this question, the mirror would give the same answer, “Thou, O Queen, art the fairest of all”, which always pleased the queen greatly.  One morning when the queen asked, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” she was shocked when it answered, “You, my queen, are fair; it is true.
But Snow White is even fairer than you.”  Snow White is shown spending her days singing in a chirpy falsetto, hypnotizing squirrels and chipmunks and this broad was too damn happy, so it is no wonder that the Queen wanted her whacked.

The face in the magic mirror is rather menacing being that of a disembodied entity, but have you ever wondered what happened to the mirror.  There have been a lot of remakes of this story and in one of them the queen stabs the mirror with a knife when she hears it say that Snow White is fairer than she is.  I looked in the mirror this morning and things started to get creepy, as the person looking back at me, didn’t seem to be me.  It was an identical copy of me, maybe my doppelganger, but it was not reflecting what I was doing.  This made me question my identity and my place in the universe.  What if this guy was the real me and I was his duality?  What if I had become my own worst enemy, by not reflecting what he was doing?

Vanity is defined as having excessive pride in or admiration of one’s own appearance or achievements and a vanity mirror is used for applying makeup.  The vanity of it all is a statement at the beginning of the Book of Ecclesiastes that says, “Vanity of vanities; all is vanity”.  In the 1990 drama romance Bonfire of the Vanities, which was adaptation of the Tom Wolfe novel, powerful Wall Street executive Sherman McCoy (Tom Hanks) is riding with his greedy girlfriend, Maria (Melanie Griffith), when she makes a wrong turn and winds up in the Bronx.  There, she runs over a black boy and drives off without reporting it.  When alcoholic tabloid reporter Peter Fallow (Bruce Willis) discovers the story, he knows it will be scandalous and riles up New Yorkers with his coverage of the case, which soon goes to trial.

Written for Teresa Grabs Daily Writing Prompt – Terrifying Tuesday where we are asked to explore the world of mirrors.

Just a Dream

She may have just been a fantasy, something that made me happy, but she took away my gloom, when she sang a song playing her guitar down by the river.  We began to discover the wonders of nature, as we were rolling in the rushes down by the riverside.  She was a summer love in the spring, fall and winter, one that was able to make happy any man alive.  A breeze in the pines and the summer night moonlight, and when the moon was half way down, we would go out and wander round.  I lost at love before, when I got mad and closed the door.  She said that I should just try once more and I chose her for the one, so now I’m having so much fun.  I’m so glad that she came into my life, as all the others were untrue, and I think I can spend the rest of my life being in love with her.  She treated me so kind, I am about to lose my mind, because she makes me so very happy.

When I first saw her, she was sitting in the rain and the raindrops were falling on her, but she didn’t seem to care.  She just sat there and smiled at me with flowers in her hair.  Right then I knew, I knew, I knew, I knew, I knew that she was the one to make me happy, happy, happy.  I had to say hello when caught my eye and when I did, she took my hand and we walked through the park alone and we saw flowers everywhere.  She seemed so sweet and kind, I thought that I was losing my mind.  Suddenly the sun broke through and when I turned around, she was gone and all I had left was one little flower from her hair.  I was not sure if she was reality or just a dream, but she had made me happy.

Written for Teresa Grabs Daily Writing Prompt – Musical Monday where the challenge is to form a mash up by combine songs, and writing a story or poem. I used ‘Dear Mr. Fantasy’ by Traffic, ‘Sugar Magnolia’ by the Grateful Dead, ‘You Made Me So Very Happy’ by Blood, Sweat & Tears and ‘I Love the Flower Girl’ by the Cowsills and my story was centered on being happy.

Let’s Go Skinny-dipping

Jim said, “That water looks so beautiful, why don’t we get nude, swim and let the sun caress our bare skin, as we step back from the stress of life.  Neither of us wants to get our clothes wet and we did not bring our bathing suits with us and it is such a nice day and that water looks so refreshing.  Bathing suits are one of the most useless articles of clothing ever invented as they don’t help you bathe or swim.  Before the 1800’s, people didn’t exhibit the same amount of modesty and shame that is around today, so there was no need for them to always cover up their private parts butts, genitals and nipples, and dedicated swimwear are actually a relatively new invention.  Back then people swam in the nude or they would strip to their underwear.  The strict Victorian sense of propriety kept both men and women from disrobing if they went swimming in public, but those huge, voluminous cumbersome skirts and the tight woven fabrics of the time were hard to move in when they became waterlogged and this made them dangerous in the water.  People back then simply removed their clothes if they wanted to take a dip in the water and skinny-dipping was the norm until only a few generations ago.”

Violet said, “That water does look inviting, but it is only a two-mile hike back to the cabin and I would prefer to be wearing my bathing suit, just in case some strangers come by while we are swimming.  Jim said, “OK, if we must, but bathing suits are so uncomfortable, they are tight and restricting even before you get into the water.  Then when you swim you get it wet, and now you have cold, sopping wet fabric clinging to your skin and there is always a possibility that you will get some sand in the crotch area of your suit.  Then when you get out of the water, and your skin starts to dry, your suit stays wet.  What is with this weird hang-up about nudity, as in many other parts of the world, everyone, girls and guys together go nude and people accept it.  Hey you have a great body that you should not try to hide.”

Violet replied, “Being naked in any other place than in the shower or in the bedroom is weird and although I am comfortable being naked with you, I don’t want anyone else seeing me.  I do enjoy lounging around naked when I am alone and feeling the joys of fresh sheets on my bare skin, but I feel that casual nudity can make a person’s body less desirable and make the sex less special.  Being naked with a partner is always exciting at first, but if they get to see it all the time and it becomes a normal thing, then the thrill is gone.  I always have the fear that my partner will see something unattractive about me, especially when it is my time of the month and I feel bloated and gross, or something that is too real about my body and besides I am not an exhibitionist.”

Jim said, “I get your point Violet, but I am here now and I don’t want to hike back to the cabin, so I am going to let it all hang out and swim in my birthday suit.”  Violet said, “I will stay here and watch and I hope that you don’t get stung by a jellyfish.”  Jim stripped off all of his clothes and set them down on a rock and he said, “Jellyfish are only in salt water and the water here is so clear, that if anything dangerous was in it, I would see it.  You should really try this, as it is amazing.”  Violet didn’t want to let Jim down by refusing to go in the water, so she gritted her teeth and undressed, and laid her clothes down besides Jim’s.  Violet made no effort to hide her body and when she got in she said, “This water is so much warmer than I thought it was going to be, I’m really glad that you talked me into this.”  Violet went from being a nervous, self-conscious girl to a relaxed, happy woman.

Written for Teresa Grabs Daily Writing Prompt – The Falls of Falloch on the river Falloch.

Dream the Impossible

“Screw you, lover boy”, was the last words that I heard from her.  She couldn’t do what I asked her to do and she couldn’t face the fact that our marriage had failed, because she only liked the missionary position.  Then I met Jane who told me that I could screw her any time I wanted and she would take me around the world so much that it would make my head spin.  She was a unicorn with a rare talent for kinky acts who could think outside the box and make love feel really special.  Those were the days and Jane surely knew how to take care of me.  It seems impossible, but just 3 days after we met, my heart was filled with devotion for her.  I didn’t ever want to lose Jane and I knew that I had to act quickly, so we took a vacation to the romantic island of Maui, Hawaii.  I was having the best time of my life till I ate that Puffer fish at the luau, which was poison.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Devotion, for the Daily Spur prompt – Make, for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday hosted by Dylan, for FOWC with Fandango – Impossible, for February Writing Prompts – Those were the days, for Ragtag Community – Vacation, for Teresa Grabs Daily Writing Rodeo Round-Up Prompt – where we are asked to feature a character with a strange talent that someone falls in love (or out of love) with, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Heart Poison Care, for GC and Sue W Weekly Prompt – Special and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Quickly.