Mental Care Institution

The psychiatric hospital was secluded away on the edge of a lake surrounded by hillsAn old castle was converted into this state of the art insane asylum.  Dr. Joseph B. Strange was the director of this mental facility and he believed in treating all the patients with cannabis, till they developed acatalepsy.  He thought that since human knowledge never amounts to certainty, but only to probability, that treatment should go no further than to appear as being a therapy and verisimilitude was acceptable, as long as the patients were happy.  The only bad side effect of using the cannabis seemed to be the irrational disorder known as eleutheromania that certain long term patients developed.  These patients that craved their freedom would try to escape every now and then saying that when they thought they were being followed by a moon shadow, so they didn’t like being cooped up.

This situation always got worse when there was a full moon, and if a patient was caught trying to escape the loony bin, then they would have to spend three days in a padded cell.  Today the institution would hold a beauty pageant for teenage girls between 15-19 years, allowing the budding beauties from ward C to compete against each other to see who was superior.  Dr. Strange saw merit in holding these beauty pageants, as he felt it was good for their personal development and it let them shed their innocence.  Each girl was allowed to dance to their own original music and they were given five minutes to say how they would improve the world.  Crazy Kate really wanted to win this year, so during her speech she started to hike her skirt all the way up.  I guess it is poetic justice that Dr. Strange was arrested after the show and his license was taken away so he could never practice psychiatry again.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Superior, for the Daily Spur prompt – Innocence, for FOWC with Fandango – Poetic, for July Monthly Writing Prompts – Budding beauties, for Ragtag Community – Hike, for Reena’s Exploration Challenge #95 – Acatalepsy and Eleutheromania, for Sue Vincent’s July 4, 2019 Thursday Photo Prompt – Castle, for Rachel Poli I Read I Write I Create – Time To Write Creative Writing prompt Random Words 16 – Shadow, Bin, Merit and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Original.

Plight Of The Bumblebee

The American Bumblebee is a critically endangered species.  Many bumblebee species are rapidly declining, even though they are important pollinators needed to grow crops including apples, tomatoes, pumpkins, blueberries and legumes, as well as countless types of trees, shrubs, and wildflowers.  This species is at risk of extinction and it’s currently not protected in any way despite the drastic decline.  Bumblebees pollinate many plants and crops and they’re particularly effective because they “buzz-pollinate”, vibrating their wings fast to release lots of pollen.  To extract the pollen necessary for fertilization, the blossom needs to be shaken vigorously, and bumblebees are experts at vibrating the flowers to shake out the pollen.  Their large size means that they can fly in weather that keeps honeybees, which pollinate some of the same plants, in their hives.  Honeybees stay in their hives on rainy days and also when the temperature is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.  Many scientists are focused on the decline of honey bees, but relatively few study bumblebees.

High losses are alarming because bumblebees are the most ecologically dominant and economically valuable group of wild pollinators.  Human-induced drivers of bee declines include climate change, land degradation, and pesticide exposure.  Natural threats also lurk and are reminiscent of the 1956 classic horror film Invasion of the Body Snatchers coming from parasites known as conopid flies.  Conopids aggressively intercept foraging bumblebees and insert their eggs inside the bees’ abdomen, which becomes a bizarre nightmare for the bumblebee as it internally consumed.

Research found the American bumblebee is on the decline in parts of the United States and the American bumblebee is also declining in Canada, as recent stats show that they have decreased by 70% from historical rates.  Scientists don’t yet know exactly what is causing the bee population to decline.  Bumblebees, like the closely-related honey bees, can activate their hive mates to forage for nectar.  However, little is known about pollen foraging activation and colony-level responses of how a bumblebee colony regulates pollen collection.  I always wondered if bees buzz because they are orgulous, showing off to the others how much nectar they have collected.

The bumblebee is familiar to everyone, being large, plump, and fuzzy, having black and yellow stripes.  They have relatively small wings when compared to their large bodies, making one wonder at their ability to fly.  To overcome this, the wings move in a complicated figure-eight pattern that provides more lift because of re-used airflow.  The amiable, jolly bumblebee is in a death spiral now, although its plight has not seeped into the public’s consciousness yet and this must not continue being ignored.  An insect Armageddon is under way, which is the result of a multiple whammy of environmental impacts including pollution, habitat changes, overuse of pesticides, and global warming.  The decline of our creepy crawlers is unsettling as sometimes things slip away so gradually that you don’t realize they’ve disappeared.  Even the jumping June bugs seem to be disappearing, maybe because there aren’t enough natural areas for them to thrive in or because we’ve sprayed them to near extinction.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Activation, for the Daily Spur prompt – Horror, for FOWC with Fandango – Stats, for July Monthly Writing Prompts – Jumping June bugs, for Ragtag Community – Orgulous, for GC and SueW Weekly Word Prompt – Rainy days and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Jolly.

Cupcake Affair

The wheel, the compass, paper, gunpowder, the printing press, the light bulb, the steam engine, the internal combustion engine, the telephone and the airplane were all great inventions and fire and electricity are also great discoveries, but cupcakes in my opinion must rank up there with all of these things.  Cupcakes have been around since the late 1700’s.   The first mention of the cupcake can be traced as far back as 1796, when a recipe notation of “a cake to be baked in small cups” was written in American Cookery by Amelia Simms.  The earliest documentation of the term “cupcake” was in “Seventy-five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats” in 1828 in Eliza Leslie’s Receipts cookbook.  The cupcake rose to prominence because they saved preparation time and they weren’t as likely to burn in hearth ovens.

My name is Kyle and my friends call me the cupcake kingpin, because of my love for this desert.  I went to the annual Cupcake Extravaganza which was held at the Javits Center in NYC and that is where I met this lovely woman named Chris, who shared my excitement for cupcakes.  More than 2,000 different cupcakes were featured and our eyes met while we were both looking at the espresso cupcakes.  I was uncertain about approaching her, as I saw an engagement ring on her finger, which made me act dilatory.  I lost my nerve seeing that engagement ring on her finger, but I said, “I am glad that you saved one for me” just to start a conversation that was free and playful.  She replied, “Uh, I didn’t save this cupcake for you” and I responded, “then why does it have my name on it?”

She smiled at me and said that she did not see my name written on the cupcake and she had no idea what my name was.  I introduced myself and told her that I was a baker from Milwaukee and that I have always been fond of cupcakes.  She told me that her name was Chris and that all of her friends called her Cupcake Chris because she worked in a cupcake shop in Detroit.  She said that this was her first time being here in NYC and she was enjoying herself seeing all the sights and going to some Broadway plays.  I asked her if she was here with her fiancée as I pointed to her ring.  Chris told me that she was single and that she only wears that ring to confuse men that try to pick her up.  She said that she was open to dating, but it’s certainly not her top priority and the ring is helpful to keep random guys away, who try to approach her.

I turned our conversation back to the cupcake, by saying, “Cupcakes seem uniquely suited for almost any occasion, being portion-controlled, portable, easy to make in batches, open to lots of decorating strategies, tasty and they can be inexpensive to make.”  Chris said, “Did you know that where I work, we make a nightly batch in advance and freeze them.  The cupcakes freeze well and defrost quickly, and we just set them out for an hour and then add frosting for a simple, quick dessert.  Sometimes at home, I make a cannabis strain cupcake, which is so good it is to die for.  One day after eating a batch of these special cupcakes, I had a reflection about my Dad who used to call me his cupcake, because he considered me to be non-threatening and adorable.”

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Dilatory, for the Daily Spur prompt – Reflection, for FOWC with Fandango – Kingpin, for July Monthly Writing Prompts – Espresso cupcakes, for Ragtag Community – Strain and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Nightly.

Unstoppable Force

A man invented a remarkable spear and a shield for fighting the dragon.  He then developed a deceive strategy to try and sell these items.  He built a granite firewall that was capable of stopping the flow path of any fire produced from his imitation fire-breathing dragon which he named Puff.  His dragon was pretty cool as it actually moved, flapped its wings and blew fire from a torch out of its mouth.  Many people stopped by to see his amazing creature, but he always became barking mad when they showed more interest in his dragon than his spear and shield.

When people stopped by, he would say, “Behold these tools that I made to protect you from the beast and give you the ability to slay him.”  At first the people thought that he was being pretentious, that is until they saw how well his shield would work against fire and also protect against a dragon claw, as well as defend from all spear attacks.  They started to ask how good his spear was, and he would argue that his spear could pierce any shield.  Then, one person asked him what would happen if he were to take his spear to strike his shield and he started to mutter that it would be just like when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object.

This person tried to fluster the inventor, so he picked up the spear and just as he was about to hurl it at the shield, he slipped and took a tumble.  The inventor did not want to press his luck by letting this man use his spear or his shield and seeing either one fail, so he went back to his office so his new products would not be traded for trouble.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Behold, for the Daily Spur prompt – Strategy, for FOWC with Fandango – Firewall, for July Monthly Writing Prompts – Traded for trouble, for Ragtag Community – Flow, for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Dragon and for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Wordle #141, hosted by Yves.

What The Hell

An unidentified organic mass washed ashore on Myrtle beach creating controversy for the beach goers, tennis players and golfers as they tried to identity it.  This truly bizarre sighting seemed to push the boundaries of the weird and scientists came from all over to view this perplexing sea monster.  Experts said that the giant ocean creature defied classification as it appeared to have been pulled straight out of a nightmare.  The sea monster started to emit a nasty odor and when a plausible explanation for the beast was not found, it was dubbed the monster from Myrtle beach.

The mayor got a bunch of calls about the creature scaring away the tourists, which the town depended on, so he instructed the chief of police to handle it.  The chief questioned how he was supposed to do that and the mayor said he did not care how, but it must be gone by the next morning.  The chief brought in his pals from the sheriff’s department and some buddies that he had in the Coast Guard and they spent the entire evening cutting up the monster up into tiny pieces with chain saws.  The Coast Guard hauled the bits and pieces off to international waters and then they torpedoed it to smithereens.

Written for July Monthly Writing Prompts – Myrtle beach.

Nightmare

Now I lay me down to sleep
Twilight dreams begin to creep
Frankenstein says hay
Where do the children play
A noise went bump in the night
And gave me such a fright
It made me writhe and shriek
The sick puppy started to reek
A match made in hell
Had that awful smell

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Noise, for the Daily Spur prompt – Play, for FOWC with Fandango – Writhe, for July Monthly Writing Prompts – Twilight dreams, for Ragtag Community – Sick and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Match.

Doomsday Dust Storm

A haboob is a type of intense dust storm carried on an atmospheric gravity current, also known as a weather front.  This gravity current in the atmosphere is the front of an outflow of cold air from a thunderstorm.  Haboobs occur regularly in dry land area regions throughout the world, however they only happen in Arizona, the Sahara desert and parts of the Middle East because of dry conditions and large amounts of sand.  The Phoenix sand was blasting everything in its path as it drifted toward me driven by a violent and oppressive wind, bringing in all the desert sand.  A giant wall of dust rolled through, that turned the sky brown, creating dangerous driving conditions and delaying some airline flights.  The National Weather Service meteorologists issued a warning saying that a powerful thunderstorm packing winds of up to 60 mph could hit and push the dust storm toward densely populated areas, so I grabbed my mask to take with me.

I knew that I would have to shield myself from flying objects, protect my eyes, look for shelter, get to high ground and somehow wait out the storm.  When I saw all the dust heading straight for me, I put the mask over my nose and mouth.  Cars and trucks literally disappeared from the usually well-trafficked Interstate highway, as the dust was whipped up.  I saw several downed poles and I knew that many customers would be without electricity in Phoenix.  A dust devil formed, and the whirlwind ripped the roof off of a building.  Pollution levels skyrocketed during the dust storm and this created even more breathing problems for people that were already suffering from asthma and other similar conditions.

Written for July Monthly Writing Prompts – Phoenix sand.