Black, white and remnants of gray.  Gray is a morally ambiguous and impartial color which is so complex, that it falls in between the absolutes of black and white.  Nothing is ever clear-cut, as there are always two sides to every coin, so you can’t choose to have the good without getting some part of the bad.  People often use the good-or-bad dichotomy to categorize things in their lives, such as events, other people, food, decisions, and even politics.  I often wonder if it is possible that there actually is no such thing as good or bad.  Sure, there are shades of good and shades of bad, but nothing is absolute.  The matter of what is considered to be right and what is wrong is based on a perception, so this is a judgement of the values that you were brought up with.  I am not saying that there aren’t things that everyone in the world would agree on as being right or wrong, but since our world has become a single global society, we need laws to determine what is supposedly wrong and what is right.  As our earth moves through the atmosphere, the colors in the sky change where red is gray and yellow white, but we decide which is right, and what is an illusion.

Humans are born into social units like a family and all social units have rules.  Years ago, religion determined what was wrong and what was right, but lately political views have replaced how people are expected to act in certain situations.  Politicians leave themselves open for public scrutiny, having their faces in the light, which means that they always have their back in the dark.  Politicians make decisions about who controls the power, and we all know that since power corrupts, that absolute power will corrupt absolutely.  What if all the politicians are just a bunch of clueless fools and we are even bigger fools for electing them and going along with their ideas?  I don’t have any answers for you, as everything seems to be black, white and remnants of gray.

Written for Michelle of Putting My Feet in the Dirt April Weekly Story Starters challengeWeek 4 (April 22-30).

Evoking Vivid Imagery

The words painted a picture.  He followed the Cage Dunn format of story writing by using concrete words and details that appealed to the reader’s senses, which he hoped would stick in their mind.  He had spent hours staring at his computer screen, struggling to write something significant, trying to capture images into words, but everything seemed lifeless and dull.  He had been following Cage and he knew that she broke down every aspect of her stories and this let her transform her stories from being vague and boring to become engrossing and memorable.  He understood that he needed to visualize the scene, so he laid back on the sofa listening to a dove cooing, while a car drove by in the distance, and the bright sunlight lit up the room.  He felt that he needed to invite readers into his world, men that wanted to see women in miniskirts, wake up and smell the coffee along with the tobacco, fried food, and get a great big whiff of the salty sea air.  If any women were ever going to read his book, he knew that it had to be intelligent, engrossing, and fascinating, but since he didn’t have a woman of his own, he had no clue what women actually want.

He wanted to write a story that would keep his readers on the edge of their seats, make them eager to know what’s happening, so that meant that it had to be dramatic and contain a lot of action.  Would he be able to describe the scenery making his story more atmospheric, beautiful and engaging, without putting his readers to sleep?  He knew that an experienced storyteller keeps a good pace and will use cliffhangers to keep everyone hooked and eager to find out what’s happening next.  The tension and conflict needed to build to a climax, whether it’s a showdown between the hero and the bad guy, or the fateful choice made by the star-crossed lovers, this decisive moment would linger with the reader long after they have finished his book.  He knew what his story was going to be about, and he thought that the only way to make it come to life, would be to craft evocative word pictures that conjure up mental images for his readers, giving them the impression of really being there, while withholding a certain amount of information back, so that the reader could imagine a scene for themselves.

Written for Michelle of Putting My Feet in the Dirt April Weekly Story Starters challenge – Week 3 (April 15-21).

Spare Some Time

Time was precious and neither one forgot.  The clock is always ticking and eventually the alarm will sound, every day is uncertain, and it may end up being your last.  As Joni Mitchel said, “You don’t know what you got, till it’s gone.”  Jim Croce wanted to save time in a bottle and the Rolling Stones felt like time was on their side, but once time is lost, it can never be recovered.  Time only gives you one chance, so every moment counts, and time and tide wait for no man.  Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes had the time of their life while Cyndi Lauper sang time after time.  The Zombies declared that this was the time of the season and the Chambers Brothers said that the time has come today.  Chicago pondered if anyone really knew what time it is and Styx seemed to have too much time on their hands.  Bob Dylan thought the times they are a-changin’ and since the summer’s here and the time is right for dancing in the street.

The white rabbit told Alice, “I’m late, I’m late!  For a very important date!  No time to say ‘hello, goodbye’, I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!”  Alice told Tweedledee and Tweedledum that she was late and had to run, because she was following a white rabbit.  She let them know that it was nice to meet them and then she said goodbye, because she was curious to find out where the white rabbit was going.  Tweedledum says, “Ohhhh, she’s curious!  Tsk! tsk! tsk! ts!”  Tweedledee says, “The oysters were curious too, weren’t they?”  Tweedledum says, “Aye, and you remember what happened to them.”  Tweedledee and Tweedledum both say, “Poor things!”  Alice replies, “Why?  What did happen to the oysters?”  Tweedledee says, “Oh, you wouldn’t be interested.”  Alice says, “But I am!”  Tweedledum says, “Oh, no.  You’re in much too much of a hurry!”  Alice relents and says, “ Well, perhaps I could spare a little time,”  Alice stuck around to hear the story about the walrus and the carpenter, where the walrus thought it was time to talk of other things.

Written for Michelle of Putting My Feet in the Dirt April Weekly Story Starters challenge Week 2 (April 8-14).

All Of Her

He traced every curve with the tip of his tongue.  This was new experience for her, and she never felt these sensations before, being unaware that such a simple delight existed.  Her head was whirling, as his lips were pressed hard against the most private areas of her body.   She felt a searing heat sweep over her as the contact lingered, and she parted her legs wider to give him greater access.  His tongue slid between, slowly, with his customary assured arrogance, quite certain of his welcome, confident in his expertise.  He thought about how complicated women can be, as their sexual desires could range anywhere from being romantic, to becoming carnal, from being sweet and going to risqué.  He knew by her moans that she needed sexual release, when he approached her erogenous zones, but he was still unsure of what she actually wanted him to do.

She longed for attention, as lust takes over and she had this overwhelming need to be touched and satisfied.  He was doing his best to curb the hunger she was feeling, and his few innocent touches seemed to be doing the magic that she required.  He rubbed his cheek against her softer flesh, as they both sighed in satisfaction.  He knew that it was time to stop fucking around, so he pulled her legs apart as wide as they would go, revealing the hottest thing that he had ever seen, a vision of his dirtiest dreams.  He started at the top and dragged the tip of his tongue down the crease, tracing it once, twice, then again, keeping up with a lick, suck repeat pattern with renewed vigor, which he hoped would work for her.  She squirmed under this new relentless assault, and he said, “I’ll stop if you want me to.”  She screamed, “Please don’t stop.  It’s been such a long time since I felt anything this good, and you are doing everything perfect.  I’d forgotten how good this could be.  Yes, oh yes, that is the spot.  Oh, sweet mystery of life, now that I found you, I can’t live, if living is without you, I can’t live anymore!”

Written for Michelle of Putting My Feet in the Dirt March Weekly Story Starters challenge Week 4 (March 22-31).

Alien Message

Paper stars and green fizz.  This message was received by SETI the search for extraterrestrial intelligence today and despite a team of linguistic scientists working on it all day, they were able to make nothing whatsoever out of it.  This five second message was repeated every ten seconds for 5 hours and then it stopped, just like that.  SETI figured that this electromagnetic radio wave originated from Proxima Centauri b, which has been found to be habitable and it is orbiting our closest star, being only 4.2 light-years away.  The head of SETI wanted to get to the bottom of this, because this was their best evidence as of yet for life outside our world.  Once they cracked, deciphered, decrypted, interpreted, made sense out of, translated, or worked out the meaning of this message, he was going to send a response.  He wanted to be certain that they got this right, because he was a big believer in first impressions.

Doctor Jones was certain that this six-syllable message was being sent in the blues scale as he recognized the note progression.  This scale is essentially the pentatonic scale plus one chromatic note, often called the blue note.  He didn’t know what to do with this revelation and he started singing, “Green eyed lady lovely lady”, “Cellophane flowers of yellow and green”, “No more will my green sea go turn a deeper blue”, “I’ll touch the green, green grass of home”, “Till we found a sea of green”, “Gotta be green”, “Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail”.  He knew that he was on to something, but he was not sure what to do with it, and everyone else thought he was crazy.

Written for Michelle of Putting My Feet in the Dirt March Weekly Story Starters challenge Week 3 (March 15-21).

Damn Russians

Gamma rays entered her veins.  She had to enter the Chernobyl reactor because it showed increased radiation levels after the Russian troops entered the Ukraine and the Gamma radiation actually increased to 20 times its usual levels in the area.  She swore that she would never go back there again after the disastrous explosion that took place back in 1986, but she was the only one that knew how to shut it down.  The original catastrophe was the result of a flawed Russian reactor design that was operated with inadequately trained personnel.  Now the Russians entered the decommissioned nuclear power plant in Chernobyl and their heavy military equipment disturbed the cooling system that had been keeping the radiation leakage at near normal levels.  Nobody except plant personnel were supposed to be in the deserted exclusion zone, but radioactivity started leaking through the shield that was put in place to contain and cover the facility.

She was unsure if she would die, or if her skin would turn green, or perhaps she would develop super-powers, there was no way to tell what these gamma rays would do to her body, but she loved her country, and this became her responsibility.  If she didn’t stop it, radioactive dust would spread all over Ukraine and most likely to some other nearby countries.  All this time she had been socially distancing worrying about contracting Covid-19 and now she was in the belly of the beast.  She entered the hotspot and saw what was causing the leak and she was able to remedy the situation by covering it with lead bricks.  Once it was contained, she got the hell out of there, knowing that she would have to burn all of her clothes and shave her head.  The Gamma rays pulsed through her body as she entered the abatement area on her way to the decontamination shower.  16 nozzles sprayed her down, removing the nuclear contaminants and upon exiting the shower she would have to go through wipe down protocol to determine if the decontamination was effective.  She had to wait patiently with her fingers crossed, while the results were analyzed in a laboratory.

Written for Michelle of Putting My Feet in the Dirt March Weekly Story Starters challenge.

Beanstalk Aftermath

The giant fell into the raging sea.  The beanstalk toppled over the cliff crashing into the sea and Jack was elated thinking that his troubles were over.  Jack had chopped the beanstalk down while the giant was chasing after him, but the giant survived the fall and Jack saw him shaking his fist and saying, “This isn’t over yet Jack, I’ll get you if it’s the last thing that I do.”  Jack yelled back at the giant, “I’m not afraid of you, as I bested you up there in your kingdom in the sky and now you are in my world, and you are going to find out that things work differently here.  You may think that your kingdom in the clouds is stunning and beautiful, but your clouds they only block the sun, they rain and snow on everyone, and they just get in my way.  The dizzy dancing way you feel, says that every fairy tale eventually becomes real.  Meeting you has made me change, somethings have been lost, but others have been gained.  I have looked evil in the eye, and yet I have survived.  I am done with magic beans and hearing the young children’s screams and you won’t be grinding anyone’s bones to make your bread any longer.”  As Jack was speaking to the giant, a shiver of sharks surrounded and swarmed on the giant ripping him to shreds.

Written for Michelle of Putting My Feet in the Dirt Weekly Story Starters challenge.

Fear Of Dating Again

Flickers of roused interest connected their gaze.  It was their first date and because of the pandemic, they were both a bit rusty, even though they were both looking forward to a return to normal life, it wasn’t going to be easy for them to get over their fear of dating again FODA.  Bob was divorced and Carol was a widow, and they were both looking for a long-term connection with the possibility of marriage, if everything went right.  Bob said that he had been home solo for so long that he was excited about getting back into the whole dating thing.  Carol stated that she was interested in getting to know someone romantically again, but allowing herself to be venerable with a new person was going to be very stressful for her.

Bob said that looking for love while trying to stay six feet apart from everyone during the pandemic is nearly impossible.  Carol said that since they both went through the same ordeals in the pandemic, that this made a special connection for them, and all of this isolation has made her more eager to find a partner.  They both insisted that they wanted to take the time to get to know each other, before jumping in at the deep end.  They knew each other’s vaccine status and they had discussed travel, hobbies and other interests in emails and online chatting, but having an actual date would be the only way that they could really get to know each other.  Carol went to the gym to work out 4 days a week and she also played tennis and pickleball, while Bob only played sports that allowed him to drink beer, like throwing darts, shooting pool, going bowling or playing golf.

They took separate cars to the restaurant and met in the lobby at the arraigned time.  The hostess showed them to their table, and they sat down and ordered drinks while looking over the menus.  Carol decided on the chicken parmesan and Bob said that he was going to order the ribeye with a baked potato.  They sipped their drinks while listening to the background music that was playing, which seemed to put both of them at ease, while they waited for their waitress to come back and take their order.  Bob said this is ‘Creeque Alley’ by The Mamas & the Papas and it is one of my favorite tunes.  Carol said that she remembered dancing to this song when she was a teenager.  That was followed by the Jefferson Airplane song ‘Somebody to Love’ and then The Turtles song ‘Happy Together’ played.  When their waitress Carrie Anne came back, they both complimented her on the great music that they were enjoying and she told them that tonight they were only playing songs from 1967, the Summer of Love.  Another song came on and the waitress said that she was named after this one.

Written for Michelle of Putting My Feet in the Dirt Weekly Story Starters challenge.

Using Her Sexuality

Silvery leaves shimmered in the distance.  The moonlight glistened through her window and found its way to her, accentuating the red shell necklace that hung down between her breasts.  She understood the power of her breasts and she was able to tap into the dominance of her cleavage with a flare, to achieve the desired result, allowing her to scintillate almost anyone, anytime, anywhere, with a vigor, so the world belonged to her.  She used her femininity to her advantage, and she wasn’t going to be left behind, as plenty of smart women were exploiting their female sexuality because they knew this could be a commanding asset.  The red shell necklace was an authentic Native South American craft, created from spiny oyster beads, crab shells, red dyed starfish and pearls and when she wore it across her chest, it created the perfect colorful summery look.

There was something magic about this necklace, as when she wore it, she always felt protected from all harm.  Her mother gave her this necklace on her sixteenth birthday and told her that she was an Indian warrior princess from the Yanomami tribe from Brazil in the Amazon rainforest.  Her mom told her that during the 1980s, these Brazilian goldminers invaded their land, murdered many of her tribe and poisoned their water.  Her mom was able to escape, and she felt that it was because the necklace protected her, so she taught her daughter never to be shy, and let the world know that she is a woman and that she should celebrate her sexuality.

Written for Michelle of Putting My Feet in the Dirt Weekly Story Starters challenge.

Ginevra Lisa

The crooked painting winked.  It winked right at him and he immediately knew what it was.  He had been searching for Ginevra Lisa, the younger sister of Mona.  This was the unsubstantiated work of Leonardo da Vinci, and just like the Mona Lisa gives the viewer the impression that her eyes are following any person that moves in front of the picture, this painting gives off the effect that it is winking at you.  This optical illusion is achieved by a special painting technique which alters the position of her right iris from the perspective of the looker’s eyes, but also changes the orientation of the looker’s head.  When anyone makes eye contact with this picture for more than five minutes without blinking, Ginevra Lisa will lower her right eye lid.  If you look really closely, you can notice that she also raises her cheek muscle while lowering her eyelid.  Even more amazing is the very subtle raise of her right eyebrow, and then just like that her eye is back to normal, like it never happened.  He had to have this beautiful masterpiece and he would do anything to get it.

Written for Michelle of Putting My Feet in the Dirt Weekly Story Starters challenge.