“In for a Penny…”

Snopes

“In for a Penny…”



At first, I passed it off as two drunks trading archaeological war stories. I had never heard of Horacio McQuoid, and after completing my BA in Archeology at Cambridge, if he were of any relevance to the primordial world, I would have read of him at some time.

But hearing them lower their voices as their discussion seemed to become more heated, intrigued me. I ordered another boilermaker and settled in. I really had no place else to go.

They talked for another ten minutes or so and then left.

I was disappointed that I didn’t learn much else about this MacQuoid fellow, nor this mysterious skeletodial artifact. I left the waitress a generous tip. It was a Friday night and I had monopolized a top-drawer table for almost two hours.

Walking passed my drunken friends’ booth, I saw a ratty booklet laying on the seat. It looked the size of an old journal. Trying to be as inconspicuous as possible, I retrieved it and slipped it into my side pocket.

I left.

As luck would have it, my two drunken friends were at the trolley station just ahead of me. I had already wasted half my evening on them, so I stood two pillars down from them and waited. What was another two hours? It might prove informative if I knew more about them.

When they boarded, I followed.

I sat two seats behind them. I found a used copy of The Illustrated on my seat to peruse, so I settled in for the ride.

Soon, their conversation riveted me to my seat. Snatches of phrases captivated me. A scuba expedition… the Aegean Sea… Cyclops unearthed… Odysseus … an underwater temple to Poseidon … a Siren graveyard …

Either these men were massively delusional, feeding into one another’s fanciful imaginations, or I had stumbled upon a mythological impossibility.

Apparently, these drunken buffoons had discovered the historical proof to the stories of Homer …

Disembarking with my newfound friends, I shadowed them into the lobby of the Dorchester. To stay here, they, or someone they knew, had a silver spoon.

Catching their names and suite status at the registers, I nearly maxed out my Visa. This weekend, I would truly live out the old saying, “In for a penny…”



Written for Tuesday’s Writing Group (Write a story using the following ideas: Character- person who will do whatever it takes, an eavesdropper. Other – rest area, glue. The main character has to change during the story. You cannot kill the main character.)

Written for Sunday Afternoon Writings: A Zoom Writing Group. Requirements: Idea: Your legs have gotten stuck inside a fish. No matter what you do, you can’t convince people that you are not a merman. Take the prompt a twist it any way you like.

P

Morning Rituals

Pinterest

Morning Rituals



Leering… Sneering… Smirking…

She awaited me at the corner on the right side of the vanity.

I could sense her contempt.

It had been seven days since our last rendezvous. I had sensed an untoward seething developing in our relationship, so I had purposefully instituted an armistice.

I stretched my right foot forward to scoot her closer to the center of the bathroom floor.

Right away, her animosity was registered. “Error…Error…Error.” The word flashed three times.

I had anticipated her malicious reaction. Our morning rapport was never friendly.

Each morning we shared this daily cavort. Her bursting with anticipation to boldly proclaim her authoritative calculations. My reluctant anticipation of truth. Taking a week from her vindictiveness had been a cherished reprieve.

Today was a new day.

A new dawn was awaiting.

Sweet morning…Here I come!

Spring had sprung, and so had I. Walking two miles every morning and two miles every evening had put a spring back in my step. (Please, pardon the incredulous pun.)

Grapefruit and granola bar had become my colleagues at breakfasts. My dinner plates had become far more sociable with vegetables than bacon-cheese burgers. I had even purchased stock in Niagara Falls…Ten glasses of water a day.

Today was my day of reckoning.

I firmly set my foot forward.

Ready to go where no man had gone before… at least he had not gone there for a week.

My left foot joined my right.

Today was my Normandy.



Written for Sunday Afternoon Writes. Prompt: Write about a machine you have either loved or hated.

Written for Writer’s Digest Flash Fiction February Challenges: Challenge #2 Today’s prompt is to write something usual doing something unusual.

Postal Misadventures

Safety Signs

Postal Misadventures



The waiting in line. Incredibly tedious. I had things to do. Well, actually, today I don’t.

A sign was posted inside the glass-enclosed bulletin board. I silently chucked. Florida Statute Section 790.06 (12). Today that was the least of their worries.

They’d promised a three day delivery for my baby girl’s Barbie. I’d paid the extra cost for shipping. My baby was disappointed.

I called my ex-wife. It was a full-on punch in the gut when I had heard. There was no present.

My ex-wife already knew I was a failure. Now my little girl was wounded. How do you explain to a five-year-old that Santa had shipped her present USPS and he had made a mistake? This mishap could haunt her for years.

I’d been here before Christmas and they’d tracked the package. They’d even told me where it was stored. I had asked to retrieve it to deliver it myself. They had refused. Now… they will pay.

Patiently, I waited in line. As new customers arrived, I politely allowed them to go in front of me.

Looking at my wrist-watch… three minutes until lunch. I would be the last in line.

No innocents would be harmed. But someone had to pay. That was the plan.

Unobserved, I quietly walked to the entrance door and locked it.  I turned the ‘Welcome’ sign to ‘Come Back after Lunch’.

My timing was impeccable. The gentleman, if you could call the covert-baby-disappointing-monster that, was the man who had assured me that this Christmas would be perfect. He was waiting at the counter.

Before I could speak to him, his supervisor tapped him on the shoulder. “Get a jump on lunch, Calvin. I’ll take this one.”

She was glowing. “I see you have already flipped our sign. Thanks so much. Sometimes our lunchtimes are over before the last costumer is served. How can I help you?

Barely comprehending her words. All I could focus on was her huge belly.

(328 words)



Written for Sunday Afternoon Writings: A Zoom Writing Group. Requirements: Use these five words in a flash fiction story. Post Office (I substituted Postal), glass, wound, failure, and wrist-watch.