Grin and Bear It


Grin and Bear It

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through my house … all seven grandchildren were racing up and down my back stairs like little rats.

The tree was up (I keep it up year round. Yes, I’m one of those…) and the lights were blinking.

This year, each family member was to bring a small bear.

We sipped warn cider with toffee cookies as we each told our story and placed our treasure upon the tree. Collectibles… Grizzlies… Polar…and Teddies.

Emma Sue, the youngest, always wanted to go last.

“Two-for-one, Grandma,” as she hung a beautiful koala and child.

Written for THE CARROT RANCH FLASH FICTION CHALLENGE. July 11, 2019, prompt: “My kingdom for a koala!” In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a koala in a kingdom. You can create a character out of Norah’s koala and give it a Vermont adventure. Or you can make up a story however you want! Can you pull off a BOTS (based on a true story)? Go where the prompt leads!



Photo by Blair Fraser on Unsplash


I was more than excited … Mark had finally agreed to house hunt.

After being married to one the lead architect of Newsome, Newsome, and Cole (Mark was the Cole) for eleven years, we were taking the plunge.

I wanted away from the rat-race of The City. Mark readily agreed. He had his own plane and chopper; we could live anywhere. Mark wanted a house that was uniquely his own. He saw himself as the new – completely recyclable and environmentally friendly – Frank Lloyd Wright.

Chauffeured from the apartment to the airport, we boarded Brutus, Mark’s refitted Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk.

Once out of urban airspace, Mark started a play-by-play of the lakes and rivers.

The countryside was beautiful.

I was very quiet; when I had said out-of-the-rat race, I was not sure I meant this far out.

Dipping Brutus’ nose, Mark landed on a newly constructed heliport. I looked around as we waited for the rotors to stop. To my right… a crystal river. To my left… a gorgeous lake; its outermost banks still in the mist.

Gently grasping my hand, Mark helped me out. “Look behind you,” he said. “Picture the possibilities. This is going to be home.”

Written for Sunday Photo Fiction: July 14, 2019.




Yesterday I went to a movie completely out of my comfort-zone: GODZILLA.

I was kindly coerced into this fool-hardy enterprise by a friend’s youngest son, Eric, a future Roanoke College baseball player.

While watching a minor league team play, my friend and I were surrounded by mythological monster masters… eleven up-and-coming baseball draft picks with immeasurable knowledge of Godzilla, Kong, and their cohorts.

They spoke of Godzilla with great passion. (I do not jest!)

Feeling properly chastised for my lack of cinematic mythological knowledge, and that my friend and I were the only ones in the entire world NOT aware of this vital information, I agreed to see Godzilla.


Arriving at the theater, I awaited my new-found monster crew.

Surprisingly, I enjoyed the movie.

However, I needed a family-tree or a yearbook to follow the ancestry of these ancient monsters that seemed to be well-known to both an eight-year-old boy with his proud father (who were seated one row behind us) and the group of four college baseball players released from their day-practice because of rain.

Complete with chest thumps and some kind of secret salute every time Godzilla’s theme music and his appearance graced the big screen, my small squadron of mythological paleontologists enthusiastically enjoyed the movie.

I discovered every one of my fellow movie-goers were at one time second-grade dinosaur aficionados… they just have not grown-up?

I asked about the chest thumps… it was sometime about love and respect. The youngest of the baseball players said that “If it had to be explained, I was too old to understand.”

Written for FRIDAY FICTIONEERS: THE BOX OFFICE PICTURE. I was not able to reduce the story to the required minimum of 100 words, but I decided to publish it anyway.


Photo Credit Courtesy of Padre of Padre’s Ramblings


“Yes, Geffrey, this is a lovely bistro. Their cassoulet was superb. But again, why are we here?

“Such a Silly Sally. Look around.”

“Um… There are hundreds of classic wickered-wine bottles. Folonari bottles, I think.  Again, why are we here?”

“To prove we are not animals. An assault perpetuated with mere Budweiser bottles just will not do for our cause. We will offer them cocktails … Folonari Molotov cocktails. After all, we are the ruling class.” Geffrey continued, “When the police investigate our riveting statement in the fight, researching these glass shards will prove we are not mere proletariat revolutionaries.”

Written for SUNDAY PHOTO FICTION: JUNE 23, 2019. 




“Dwight, many of the strawberries are ready. Take the basket and pick the ripest; I’ve a mind for a shortcake trifle for the picnic.”

Strawberry trifle was his favorite. Dwight was out like lightening and soon returned with the finest strawberries mouths could desire.

The guests arrived; ravenous men with their genteel lassies. Dinner completed, they went out back for their annual Horseshoe Extravaganza.

“Don’t worry ladies. The icebox is ours.”

Upon its opening, the upper shelf was lined with iced strawberry mint smashes. We adjourned to the Adirondack chairs out back to enjoy the swearin’ and the fuedin’.

Written for THE CARROT RANCH CHALLENGE: May 30, 2019. Prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes strawberries and mint. The combination evokes color contrast, scents, and taste. Where will the combination take you? Go where the prompt leads!

The Mueller Report

100 Word Story

“Another blasted waste of taxes,” fumed Charles Thomas at his wife.

“What you reading?” Clair Jo asked.

“This infernal report Leroy copied from online. I didn’t believe him when he told me about it.”

“Never trust everything you read online line, dear.”

“This ain’t online. I have the dang copy here in my hands.

“So why the uproar?”

“Says here that they spent over $25 million gettin’ a report on mules. That kinda of money to study mules? Don’t they know you can’t breed mules? If you get a fine one, care for it good. There ain’t no breedin’ offspring.”

Written for 100 Word Story. (FYI: I just copied the photo from the site yesterday, and now the picture has changed? Maybe too much hatred online?)


Reena Saxena

We were all awaiting what would likely be the last bus out.

I had finally convinced Maria that we had to leave. Maria was one of those die-hard survivalists … We had met on a wilderness adventure in Colorado, so I knew it when I married her.  It’s never as bad as they say was her motto.

Finally, on the last newscast, she was convinced.

We were the only humans awaiting. Along with us were an armada of beasts. Along the wall were three dray of squirrels, seven scurry of chipmunks, a herd of rabbits, and out to the side were a surfeit of skunks. I saw only two raccoons.

As the bus slowed, each of the elders quickly aligned their families toward the yellow lines.

Maria and I watched I amazement.

Up they went; many having to lean on the steps facing them as the younger one scampered over their backs and headed to the back of the bus.

We were the last to board.

I looked at Maria as we seated ourselves near the driver.

She leaned toward my ear and whispered, “Thank God we came when we did. Who would take care of all these needy families?”