How the Cookie Crumbles

An irreverant view of life after SIXTY-FIVE


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#BlogBattle – Week 26

Check out the originator of this challenge at

http://rachaelritchey.com/blogbattle/

The rules are easy:

  1. 1000 words max
  2. fictional tale (or true if you really want)
  3. PG (no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
  4. Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered around the theme in a way that shows it is clearly related
  5. Go for the entertainment value!
  6. State the Genre of your story at the top of your post.
  7. Post your story on Tuesday, by 11:59 PM PST
  8. Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting your story,put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this page, and/or include a link to this page in your own blog post (it creates a “ping-back” which will alert me and our friends to your #BlogBattle post)
  9. Have fun!

~ * ~

This week’s prompt:  Head

Genre:  Contemporary Fiction

* * *

Grandpa Jones

The house looked more tired than a couple years earlier when I’d last driven past. I braked, tumbled out of the car and gawked. My feet plodded across the gravel country road as if drawn by a magnet.

Angry shouts rang out. Hands hammered bare wood. The racket rose from the old house across the road. I broke into a run. Old Grandpa Jones still occupied the hovel, a well-shared joke in the county, though no-one had seen Grandma in years.

It turned out Grandpa wanted out and pushed on the front door knob but it wouldn’t budge. He cussed and kicked without success. For one thing the door opened inward and he pushed out. It was also warped more than ever since the recent rain; the only door in or out of the house.

“Let me outta here. Let me out.” A gummy voice bawled inside. Open palms slapped the door.

“Calm down, old man. Step away from the door.” I expected it to crumble from the blows on the other side, but it held fast. “Stand clear. I’ll put a shoulder to it.”

The quiet on the other side yawned loud.

The warped door groaned but didn’t shift a sliver in its frame, yet I felt rather than heard disintegration within where my shoulder encountered the wood and pitched me forward. Ow. that hurt. I folded over my knees to catch my breath and regroup. Overhead, the door shattered as a chair seat bulged through a hole inches from my face. The chair yanked out, rheumy eyes stared at me through the splintered gap.

No-one knew Grandpa’s age, but for a reedy fellow with a bedraggled beard, greasy white hair and no teeth, he appeared strong and tenacious.

“I guess you didn’t need my help after all.” I had to talk though I’m a man of few words.

“I can’t get out through this here hole. Get my axe in the woodshed.” He pointed a thickened, yellow nail to the left. “Move along young man. That-a-way.”

I took one last look at what one might call his abode with kindness. I wondered what held the wood fibers together and conjured up spider spit and dirt. The weary shack had no business standing at all.

I spun round and gave the house another gander. The structure had sunk lop-sided and cockeyed. No-one had seen it happen, but I heard talk the recent hard rains were responsible for the slippage of a lot of the old properties. It’s a wonder the wind hadn’t shoved once too hard leaving a confusion of dried kindling strewn about, yet it had hung on like a drunk weaving in the elements, loose and somewhat upright.

“Stop gaping, young man. Action gets the job done. Move it.” My face burned. The old man’s impatience took me back to childhood days when everything I did was open to criticism. I forced myself forward and rushed back with an ancient, rusted axe.

“Stand back,” I said.

Grandpa Jones had other plans. “Give it to me, handle first. It’s my house and I’ll wreck it any way I must.”

I learned something that day. You can’t judge any exterior by appearance or your pea brain idea of it, man or structure. I also experienced the shock of my life.

Grandpa Jones axed the door. His vigorous thrusts shook the house to quivering. Each lunge of the axe sent the house lower, the mud still fresh from the latest rain. He’d demanded I leave with no thank you, but I sat in my car instead and watched. Why, I will never know. I laughed and laughed—thought I’d lost my head. And then, it happened.

Noise to my ears rather than pleasure, birds and crickets sounded louder and busier. I hadn’t noticed them earlier. Though mid- morning, the temperature had shot upwards. I whipped out my trusted hanky to dry my forehead and had already removed my suit jacket. The crack of the axe continued. Ticked by the old man’s ingratitude, I started the engine. I glanced back one last time. A groan and rumble stopped me. The outdated shelter collapsed, tumbling into itself. My heart plunged. Stupid old man.

I rushed towards the house.

Please don’t let the old man die.

* * *

© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.


43 Comments

100-Word Challenge for Grownups – Week #170

Anyone can join in, click below:

https://jfb57.wordpress.com/2015/03/10/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week170/

This week’s prompt:  …the scent was overpowering… + 100 words

100wcgu-72

Smoke

First a wisp, then the smoke billowed denser and angrier.

Boys? Georgie? His mother peered through the doorway across the rolling fields and trees. “Georgie!”

She dashed inside, rang the fire-hall, and face alabaster, charged out again. Two boys hooted and swayed towards her in drunken fashion.

“You okay? How’d the fire start?” The twelve-year-olds howled with ridiculous laughter. She grabbed each by an arm and tugged towards home. “We’ll talk later. Better hope the house doesn’t catch fire.”

The wind shifted and the scent was overpowering. Fire bells clanged nearby. The odor seemed familiar, yet… “Lordy. Someone’s marijuana crop’s burning in our backyard.”

 

© 2015 All Rights Reserved Tess and How the Cookie Crumbles


73 Comments

100-Word Challenge for Grownups – Week #157

To join in, click below

http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week157/

This week’s prompt is and so it begins… +100 words

100wcgu-72

THE W.P.P.

Tom kicked the night table. “Lousy life.” The lamp crashed to the floor, yanked back by its cord. “Time for new coordinates.” He grabbed the whiskey bottle before it tipped. The neck tight in his fist, he guzzled the last mouthful and slammed it on the dresser.

His head snapped at the urgent fist on the door.

That your car on fire?”

Outgrown hair shoved aside, Tom snatched his knapsack and dashed to the bathroom window. Sweat streamed from every orifice. “Come-on, come-on.” He grunted and heaved.

The front door exploded.

Tom bolted.

And so it begins again. The Witness Protection Plan doesn’t work.

 

© 2014 TAK


80 Comments

100-Word Challenge for Grown-ups – Week #153

To join the fun check out:

http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week153/

This week’s prompt is the picture below, plus 100 words

Week 153 100WordChallenge

TOO DIVINE

Can’t do it. The hooded menace clutched his chest, staggered and swayed. Too divine to die. He’d never neglected his duty before.  I’m finished.

 Birdsong ceased. An exquisite melody floated across the meadow. Crowned in daisies, a head of tousled blonde hair bobbed among the wildflowers. The tiny girl gathered blossoms and sang a spellbinding tune.

Grimm ditched his steadfast scythe. One step forward for a better look, hands tucked inside the robe’s sleeves, he closed his eyes. He froze in place and turned to stone. Once obscure among shadows, now visible for all to behold. His punishment for non-compliance.

 

© 2014 TAK


51 Comments

HOT Flash – Compulsive

“Georgie, you’re home late.”

“Wa’ ‘pened m’ b’k?”

“What d’say?” Jake rolled out of bed by-passing slippers, and strode to the study across the hall. “What’s the racket?”

Wikipedia Commons

Wikipedia Commons

“Ha!” White teeth flashed.

“Okay, my compulsive fusspot. Come to bed.”

“Ohh…”

“You gonna faint? Gotcha.”

A ticket flapped. “—won…lottery.”

~ * ~

This is the Fall Quarter of Flash in the Pan. The theme is Disturbed.

The Hot Flash limit for the word Compulsive is 50 words. I used them all.

Check how to join:  http://mommasmoneymatters.com/flash-fiction/


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Hear Hear. It has Arrived!

When I’m excited, I jump up and down, although I shouldn’t because my knees are no longer elastic and can’t take the shock. Another idea is to celebrate, but how is anything fun when done alone? I know! I’ll share the good news with you, my fellow bloggers.

The mailman delivered my copy of Flashes from the Bistro. I opened the package and sat down as soon as I turned the first page. Then another and another. I grinned, shivered and giggled out loud. Hooked, that’s what I was. I had to tell you where to find these unusual visualizations of the twenty-six authors within.

The vinaigrettes in this anthology consist of as many as 150 to less than 50 words. No, you won’t find recipes or tips on how to run an eatery, but minute stories to tease, unsettle, and entertain instead. Some of the stories are delicious, while others are a little dark yet impossible to resist, and you’ll find twists and turns where you least expect them.

I can describe the gems inside, but I want you to be surprised firsthand. You see how my enthusiasm is hard to contain?

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Click here to take a leisurely tour.

In addition, you will find other books by various noteworthy authors. Go now. Check it out. You’ll be delighted, I’m sure. See a format you like?

Don’t forget to check out the free book bin on your way out.


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Move Over Oprah

I’m too easy—and maybe simple too. The absolute truth is I know I’m easy to please. Maybe not quite that easy, still, it doesn’t take much to make me happy.

When I was much younger, I could never make up my mind about anything—so many choices you see. Also, because anything was possible, I had a problem making up my mind. I drove more than one cashier in the variety store insensible with impatience while I chose penny candy on the occasion I had a quarter to spend. That’s all behind me now. These days, I don’t need much other than the basics. In no particular order, I also enjoy wine, books, a phone and, of course, access to the Internet (which is iffy around here of late).

Now what excite me are the little things.  Allow me to borrow a cliché: Do small things amuse small minds? Nothing’s wrong with my mind; I prefer an uncomplicated life now: quiet and unassuming.

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

Permit me to spill my guts. My latest discovery is the humble can opener. I used to have an electric one in my last house (attached at eye-level over the sink), but when I moved, I decided not to deface my awesome new kitchen cupboards. I stuck it out with an old-fashioned manual opener until it became too blunt, I suppose, and cranking on that useless device made my eyes bleed wrecked my fingers.

I kept forgetting to buy a new one. A few weeks ago, I chucked the rusted old pain-in-the-wrists and bought a new one: Starfit in white; under $10.00; works smooth as butter; slices off the whole top of the can, not just the lid; painless to use—and whisper quiet. It was love at first sight.

Starfit

Starfit

And now, every time I need to open a can—which sad to say isn’t often—I smile and turn pink with pleasure. I pat my new domestic-device-friend and we get the job done.

See what I mean? I’m easy to please, and when I’m happy, I’m over-the-top ecstatic. If only everything in life was this simple. Sigh.

I cannot afford even one of Oprah’s favourite things, but do I care? I prefer the simple life now. Should Oprah want one as well, they can be found anywhere.

< * >

What should you replace but keep putting off?

< * >

Please note:  This is not a paid endorsement. I’m just sharing my enthusiasm.


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Hot Flash – Coffee

“What are you doing?”

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

“Stirring the pot, Sis.”

“You dumped your coffee in there?”

Billy rolls her eyes. “Yep. Too strong for me, but great for your gravy.”

“That’s dumb. I never heard of such a thing”

“Trust me. Your guests will beg for more.”

“Why’d I invite you?”

“Taste…”

~ * ~

The word limit for Coffee is 50 words. I used all 50. Check out http://mommasmoneymatters.com/flash-fiction/ for the rules and join us.


16 Comments

Flash in the Pan – Cantina

“Can’t take you nowheres. Wake up.”

“Wha…?” The big lug raises crusted eyes beneath white blond brows.

“You smell…throw up.”

Wikpedia Commons

Wikpedia Commons

Head drifting and chin dipping, Stubbs’s forehead smacks the table again.

The Navajo scout shoves his hat back. “Gringos—too emotional.” He strides to the well and douses his friend with a spittoon-full of water.

Nothing; nobody watches; nobody cares.

Without warning the blond lurches upward like a zombie.

“Hey man, we gotta get you outta here. You can’t show your face in this cantina again.”

“What happened?”

“Can’t say, or you’ll murder somebody.”

“W-ho?”

The scout squints, and grins.

~ * ~

The word limit for Cantina is 100 words. I used all 100. Check out http://mommasmoneymatters.com/flash-fiction/ for the rules and join us.