Sitting on Top of the World

Overjoyed, happy, ecstatic that he made it to the top of this rock and found this great resting spot where he could look at the oceanside town far below, Jack reflected on his life and thought about what a lucky man he was.  His woman had just left him, but he wasn’t fazed, as he knew that he could find another.  He was tired of working on the farm and he was thinking about catching a freight train out of town.  He had his health, his whole life was ahead of him and he felt that no matter what he did, that things were going to work out fine for him.  It was a beautiful day and Jack was sitting on top of the world.

On April 28, 1930 The Mississippi Sheiks recorded ‘Sitting on Top of the World’.  This song was written by Walter Vinson and Lonnie Chatmon who were both members of the prominent African American string band.  Vinson claimed to have composed the song one morning after playing at a white dance in Greenwood, Mississippi.  It was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2008 and in 2018, it was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or artistically significant.”  The Sheiks lived around Jackson, Mississippi and they were farmers when they weren’t making music.  Two years after the original release, Big Bill Broonzy covered the song, as did a number of other performers, including early blues legend Charley Patton.  In 1957, Howlin’ Wolf recorded a famous blues version of the song.  This song appeared on Doc Watson’s self-titled debut album in 1964.  In 1967, The Grateful Dead’s self-titled debut album included a country-infused, upbeat version of the track, and one year later, Cream, continuing to pay homage to their biggest influences, recorded a famous version of the song for their Wheels of Fire album.

One summer day, she went away
Gone and left me, she’s gone to stay.
She’s gone, but I don’t worry,
I’m sittin’ on top of the world.

All the summer, worked on this farm
Had to take Christmas in my overalls.
She’s gone, but I don’t worry,
I’m sittin’ on top of the world.

Going down to the freight yard,
Gonna catch me a freight train.
Gonna leave this town,
Work done got to hard.

She’s gone, but I don’t worry,
I’m sittin’ on top of the world.

One summer day, she went away
Gone and left me, she’s gone to stay.
She’s gone, but I don’t worry,
Cause I’m sittin’ on top of the world.

All last summer, worked on this farm
Had to take Christmas in my overalls.
She’s gone, gone, but I don’t worry, no
Cause I’m sittin’, sittin’ on top of the world.

Going down to the freight yard, yeh, yeh, yeh
Gonna catch me a freight train.
Gonna leave this town, yeh, yeh, yeh
Work done got to hard.

She’s gone, but I don’t worry,
Cause I’m sittin’, I’m sittin’on top of the world.

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #102.

Antifa Versus QAnon

As the current political climate remains in unrest increasing the chances of violent confrontations at protests and rallies, this new game was created to entertain children who have no interest in politics, but just enjoy seeing these groups at each other’s throats and laying waste to everything in their path.  Today the left-wing anti-fascist and anti-racist political protest movement Antifa, which is comprised of autonomous ununified groups made up of a loose collection of networks and individuals who believe in active, aggressive opposition to extreme far right-wing movements and ideology are facing off against the unfounded fringe conspiracy theorist right-wing group QAnon that embrace a range of unsubstantiated beliefs such as politicians, celebrities and journalists are covering up for pedophiles and that Satan worshipers in control of our government and this cabal which is in control of the deep state government is going to bring about a Storm and the Great Awakening.

Billy chose to be Antifa today, which is short for “antifascist” and he plans on destroying the right-wing group and ensuring that their age of utopia never happens.  Yesterday Billy championed the Black Lives Matter group and he fought a great battle with the White supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan and between them they wiped out half of the city.  The day before Billy picked to be the Marijuana Rights activists and he went up against the Bible thumpers and the Anti-Abortion groups, but sadly he was overwhelmed and got destroyed when hell fire rained down on him.  His sister Janet thought that was funny, but today she is cheering for him.  Janet pointed to the destruction that Billy created in the protest then she yelled out. “Way to go Billy, you put an end to any hope of there ever being a Great Awakening” and Billy raised his arms in victory.

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #101.

The Flowers Will Bloom Eternally

I picked these flowers to remind me of my love who has passed on.  We spent our whole lives together and these are her favorites, which I found growing down by this small pond.  Seasons passed us by bringing sunshine, rain and snow, but she will always remain in my heart.  I brought my guitar with me and now that I have collected these flowers, I think I will start playing the George Jones song ‘Seasons of My Heart’ in memory of my girl.

Seasons come and seasons go
We get a little sunshine, rain and snow
Just the way that it was planned to be
But there’s no season in my heart
While you play the leading part
There the flowers will bloom eternally

Your leaving, it will bring autumn sorrow
And my tears like weathered leaves will fall
But spring it may bring us glad tomorrow
And darling, we could be happy after all

As it is in nature’s plan
No season gets the upper hand
How I tried to bear this fact in mind
The trees are bare, the cold winds blow
But by experience we should know
Winter comes but the spring is close behind

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #100.

Self Portrait

My psychiatrist asked me way I painted this and I told him, “People think that they may know me, but they don’t really care about me.  I woke up in my bed this morning and I started to feed my dog, but I found out that death had taken her.  Death came into my house and took my best friend.  I used to have dreams that I was going to be successful, but all of them went up in smoke, as time passed by me and left me in the dust.  I need a place to rest my weary bones, just wanna have a little peace to die, so I laid my head down one last time and went gently into that good night, or maybe I was just feeling a bit melancholy after I watched Marley and Me.”

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #98.

The Stakeout

My partner and I were surveilling our suspect and we got a room in the building directly across from the apartment building where he stayed, so we could keep an eye on who was coming and going.  This involved spending long hours looking out the window with binoculars and all the time trying to avoid being seen.  Wait and watch while we gathered intelligence and evidence, it was a lonely job and very demanding, but we were getting paid good money for it.  Sam and I were Private Eyes and we knew that if we got distracted for the tiniest moment, that we might miss out on an important clue.  The lady in 416 walking around in that towel all the time could be quite a distraction.  We had a bug installed in apartment 418 where our suspect was holding up and we needed to see for ourselves where he was going, who he was with and work out his day-to-day routine.

We hacked our way into his email and we set up alerts for every time he accessed his social network and this gave us a good idea who he was communicating with.  His spouse knew that he was being unfaithful, but she had no proof and this was driving her crazy thinking of the nasty things that he might be doing.  She was rich and she made him sign a prenuptial, where he promised that he would never look at another woman.  She had to know the truth, what her spouse was doing and especially who he was doing it with.  She needed our help so she could take some damaging evidence to her divorce lawyer.

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #96.

Pay No Attention to That Man Behind the Curtain

Toto wasn’t around to pull back the curtain, so he cut through the curtain and let the cat out of the bag, thinking that it was a whole lot easier letting the cat out of the bag than trying to stuff it back in.  He was tired of having a secret identity and he figured that it was about time to reveal this secret and disclose the facts that were previously hidden.  He wanted to be a Super-Hero and that is why he thought that he needed a secret identity, but he didn’t have any special abilities other than watching too many He-Man cartoons as a child.

He had a utility belt, but he didn’t have any neat gadgets on it.  He tried wearing spandex for a while, but that made him break out in hives, so he had to go back to normal clothes.  He hung out in a dark alleyway to try and fight crime, but he got mugged, so he decided that hiding behind this curtain would be much safer.  The curtain was set up behind his parents’ garage and he started calling himself Curtain Boy.  I know how stupid that name sounds, but at 27 and still depending on his parents, this kid was not very bright.  All the neighbors warned their children not to go near the man behind the curtain, feeling that he was mentally deranged.

He told everyone that he had the ability to talk with pigeons and some people would drop off stale bread so he could feed them.  Last night a pigeon pooped in his eye and his right eye was tearing from the bird bomb, but what most people don’t know is that most birds will pee and poop at the same time, because it all comes out of the same place, so he got the poo-pee combo package.  He finally realized that it was ridiculous trying to pretend that he was a superhero and he went crying back to his mother.

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #95.

Truth Doesn’t Matter

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away people started making things up and many core supporters spread these falsehoods like wildfire.  At first it was thought to be a joke, some thing that others could laugh at, but the situation got worse when a new leader was elected who only seemed to care about himself.  He told his base that he could go out and shoot people and he would get away with it and that made his fans cheer.  He told people that he would cut their taxes, build a wall to keep outsiders away and end corruption by draining this big political swamp.  People that were tired of the same political rhetoric thought that since he was a successful businessman, that he would be able to run things differently, but he only brought hatred and divided the citizens.

Evangelical Christians which is a general term used to describe the non-Catholic churches that were formed by the Protestant Reformation and have no single head, spanning a range of denominations, churches, and organizations backed him, since they and they were looking for a leader.  Their pro-life views became the glue to latch onto this candidate, even though he only became pro-life when he began thinking about running for president.  Most Christians actually didn’t give a damn about abortion until years after Roe v. Wade became the law of the land, because the pro-life movement isn’t about the sanctity of life at all.  Stating that that human life begins at conception is merely a strategy for maintaining and most importantly, growing their power.  The facts say that poor women are getting the most abortions and if these so-called Christians would step up and support all of God’s children, then abortions would no longer be an issue.

Any way this candidate won with their support, but he was a fraud, an immoral, amoral sociopathic liar and people soon found out that his personal finances were a mess and all he did was double down on how successful he was.  He ignored scientific facts calling global warming a hoax, even though floods, hurricanes, droughts and fires kept devastating the land with more frequency.  People started dying by the thousands every week and he lied to them saying this horrible pandemic would magically disappear.  He blamed China for sending the virus which spiraled out of control, because of his stupidity.  This country began to slide further backwards on morally issues with this serial adulterer and his potty mouth wife leading them.  He claimed that any negative thing said against him was fake news and encouraged his supporters to stand by for a fight.

When he lost the next election, he refused to vacate his office.  He claimed that the other party cheated and that every vote that was not cast for him was fraudulent.  He empowered an army of lawyers to prove his case, but no evidence was found.  On the day that the new president was inaugurated, he was found hiding under his desk saying, “I was the one who made this country great”.  He read a message that was riddled with falsehoods, exaggerations and obvious deceptions, utilizing blatant and shameless phony comparisons of why he should still be in charge, and the Secret Service agents told him that he still had their respect, but he must come with them.

He was taken down the hall and shrunk, so that he could fit inside of a glowing balloon, where he would be in charge of everything.  His family was put inside of the other balloons which all looked like planets and then these balloons were all given to a young girl with a pony tail.  She was told to walk along this sandy path between the tall grass at night, and she was given a suitcase full of money to carry out their instructions.  They told her when she found the right spot, that she should let go of the balloons and let that windbag and his family inside drift away and become somebody else’s problem.

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #92.

People Are Angry

They gather to try and make their opinions heard in an attempt to influence public opinion or government policy, or they may undertake direct action in an attempt to enact desired changes themselves.  They want to right a wrong, and when they have had their fill, they take to the streets to try and change an injustice.  When people get angry, they mobilize, whether it is Black Lives Matter, or anything else, they march to try to produce a desired or intended result.  I have never participated in a protest, and this is not because I have not identified with a particular cause, and I guess it is because I have always looked at this as being someone else’s problem, so I have never been spurred into action.

My country is rampant with racism and police brutality issues right now and even though I care about these issues, I sit back and watch.  I may occasionally write a post, but that is as far as I will ever take anything, so that makes me a watcher not a doer.  Emotions run high at these events and I feel much safer watching them on TV than I would being out in the crowd.  I am mad about the way things are going, but I am not mad enough to go out and participate in a protest.  I only show solidarity in my writing, so that is the way that I protest, because I feel safe here in my home.  The only issues that I feel serious enough about that might make me protest would be climate change and gun violence, although if Trump gets voted out of office and he does not leave, I will be out there protesting.

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #90.

Hello Darkness

The old man entered the overcrowded, uncomfortable subway station knowing that this was a place where people get really pissed off and he said to himself that he should avoid all conversations about religion and politics and assume that everyone is carrying a knife or a gun.  He had a Metro Card and he knew where to wait for the train, how to board it and ride on it and which stop he should exit at, but he was concerned with the inability of the people on the subway being able to communicate with each other.  He was carrying a rather large box with a live chicken inside of it, but it wasn’t rush hour yet, and he could keep it on his lap.  He was scarred that he might be mugged for the package that he was carrying, but he promised his granddaughter a chicken for her birthday and he was not about to give it to a thief.   

He had made this trip many times before, and he wouldn’t have to ask anyone for help, but as he looked around, he saw that the people all looked strange and he sensed that they didn’t seem love each other.  As he entered the subway car, a young woman dropped a pamphlet on the floor that said, “The end of the world is near”.  He took this as a warning that he should pay heed to the words of the prophets that were written on the subway walls and in the tenement halls, as maybe that is where he would find the real answers to life.

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #88.

They Love Each Other

Trees can fall in love with other trees or anything else that is living, as any soul can have emotions for any other soul irrespective of their body types.  It has been proven that plants will grow faster in an environment with pleasant music around and their growth is retarded when they are in a noisy or harsh sound, thus they are sensitive to pain and affection.  Plants have the ability to recognize their environment and to react to it, which makes them capable of falling in love.  Trees can communicate their love and this can be seen in their intertwining root systems where they obtain their nourishment by cooperating with a nearby neighbor, so they can both acquire needed resources to sustain their lives.  Trees like to stand close together and cuddle, enjoying each other’s company forming bonds and looking out for each other.  Trees are survivors, they are able to weather ferocious storms, and come out stronger for it.  Trees need friends just like everyone else and between every two trees, there is a doorway to love.

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #87.