How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


100-Word Challenge for Grownups – Week #144

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This week’s prompt is …the black dog walks alongside me… + 100 words



Something scraped against the window. Winston bolted upright, thick Einstein-like hair askew. “Who’s there?” Heart thrashing, he gasped for breath. As crusted eye-lids unglued, he scanned the bedroom. Shadows lurked like black tombstones, details indistinct, even of his virginal bed.

Depressed for months, he’d lost interest in life and slept the indifference of the dead. He grabbed the covers with shaky hands and tossed them. The black dog walks alongside me no more.


In the semi-darkness Winston made his bed, showered and dressed. No need to write a note. Peaceful at last, he progressed down the hallway with purpose. The basement door sighed shut behind him.


100-Word Challenge for Grownups – Week #143

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This week’s prompt:  …the parched ground crumbled…+ 100 words



Ivy wrenched the wheel as hard as she could; the car swerved. Angry gravel scattered and pelted the hubcaps. She panted and wheezed, and coasted to a stop. The old red house of her youth had endured. Home at last. Relieved tears obscured her view.

Hands shaking, she heaved her age-worn bones out of the car, grasped her cane and hobbled to the backyard. The parched ground crumbled beneath her feet. Ancient and useless as me, I see.

Cr-r-ruck. A raven carped. Ugly birds endured too.

I’d much rather die here alone than in that stinking nursing home. No-one will think to look here.


100-Word Challenge for Grown-ups – Week #139

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This week’s prompt is …but even when I listened carefully… + 100 words




 Those are tulips—I think. I prefer roses in dark velvet hues. My favourite is carmine—a deep merlot. Someone said carmine looks like dried blood. What a thought.

“Still awake? Time for the toilet and a nap.”

Her voice, pleasant at first, offended my ears. I watched her face for a hint of meaning. The sounds finished, jumbled and empty.

“Ellen, let’s go.” She clapped, then tugged my arm, but even when I listened carefully I couldn’t understand.

Who is this now?

“You’ve stared at that painting enough.”

My vision blurred and lip stung.

“Nurse is busy today,” she said.

The word no escaped me.


100-Word Challenge for Grownups #135

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100wcgu-72The prompt  is this picture. Only 100 words allowed.



Blind or Stubborn?

“What a rotting mess.” Patrick tosses a stone and watches it skip across the water.

“I see you haven’t lost your touch.” Nora stares down the lake, arms wrapped around her.

He sighs and hurls another rock. “Bad idea.”

“Why? We can do this.” Her hands clench.

“This decaying dock is nothing compared to that cabin.”

“Are you blind or just stubborn?”

“I won’t plunk one silver dime into this dump.” Patrick stomps away.

Nora’s eyes leak salty drips. I’m not selling Daddy’s cottage. I’m not. It’s mine.

“I’m done. Coming?”

She stamps her feet. I’ll find a way.



100-Word Challenge for Grown-ups – Week #132

To join, check out  and  ‘What is 100WCGU?‘  This week’s prompt: Emerald. 100-word limit.



A jarring gong shattered the silence. Iris slapped her book on the end table and sighed. She kicked back the footrest and forced her wiry frame out of the recliner.

“Coming.” She whipped open the door, auburn hair springing.

A round silhouette waved a contraption towards her. “Delivery for Mrs. Collingwood.”

Iris blinked in the sunlight and scrutinized the UPS uniform and truck in the drive. “Yes?”

“Sign here, please.” He thrust a package forward. “Good day.”

 * * *

Sheer fabric of emerald, the colour of dreams and desire, lay nestled in cloud-like froth. “Oh!” A heart-shaped card tumbled to the floor.


Happy and Sad

Serious planning has begun. My packing list expands and contracts now and again. The clock is ticking and I feel a rush of excitement.

The past two weeks, my cat, Lady Gaga, has been especially needy. She demands hugs and cuddles in a loud, urgent meow. Never has she looked as tall as these times when she stretches on her hind legs and taps my hip, as if I cannot hear her complain. She looks so mournful, I wonder if she knows about my travel plans. I have been careful not to pull out the suitcase yet. Can you believe that I plan to be so well-organized I’ll only unzip my luggage while she is sleeping and close to my departure date? I’ll throw everything into my suitcase, re-zip and store it upstairs in my daughter’s house until I leave.

I live downstairs

I live downstairs

The sad thing is, I will miss her. I’ve been dreading leaving her. I worry what she’ll feel when I disappear for more than a few hours. True, she will be in her own house. Although she sleeps most of her day away, she wakes on occasion and searches me out like a two-year old. I give her a pat on the head and off she goes to find another spot to sleep again.

During this same time frame, Lady G. has decided walking all over my dining-room table while I sit at my laptop is her right. For a year-and-a-half since we met she didn’t have this habit. She now insists on sitting at my elbow waiting for a pat on the head, a rub under her chin or behind her ear. I can no longer leave my laptop open when I get up for another coffee, a snack or a bathroom break because my furry friend has somehow learned to be indispensable. What gave her the idea to sit on my keyboard? Does she think she’s saving my place?

These helpful sitting sessions have skewed the images on my screen, frozen my mouse as well as the screen, the keypad refused to cooperate and powering off didn’t work. One morning I dashed to get dressed, desperate to race to Best Buy for help. On second thought, I pulled the battery and the normal settings reappeared. Whew. Saved some dollars too. One function I learned about is the f11 function key. It talked beneath Lady Gaga’s tail on one occasion. Must make time to investigate that.

I am home all day and she knows I’ll be back soon if I disappear. No-one will be home as they will be at work and at school. As well, she has scheduled mealtimes. Her caretakers, although they promise she’ll be loved and fed, do not keep to a timetable. Their animals often must remind them the food dish needs refilling.

This is my spoiled furry friend.

photo (2)

This is Barbie the neighbour upstairs with whom Lady G. has a on again / off again relationship. The other cat is older and fussier it seems, but they get along.

photo (1)

This is Max, who sometimes kisses and other times terrorizes Lady G, but she has been known to instigate some of these plays. ( have no idea why this picture turned out so small.)



Hot Flash – Tent

Sydney sniffed, then spluttered. The fogginess of sleep and last night’s hangover weighed heavy. “Bobby, you sleaze.” The voice woke him, but he was alone, his sleeping-bag soaked and ice-cold. His older brother had set-up his tent. And it leaked like a ruptured garden-hose.

“You’ll pay for this, you scum.”

morgueFile free photos

morgueFile free photos

~ * ~

This is a continuation of the Winter Quarter of Flash in the Pan. Boys and Their Toys is the new theme. To join in and to read the rules, click:

The word limit for Tent is 50 words. I used them all.


Flash in the Pan – Lunatic

“Get off the Road!” The engorged veins in Eddy’s neck appeared ready to burst. Rain splattered the car windows. Whoosh. Whoosh. The wipers slogged back and forth.

“What’s he doing in the middle of the road? Stop. Maybe we can help.”

“We’ll be late, Pam. You wanna be late because of some lunatic?”

“Maybe it’s important.”

“He’s going to cause an accident or become one.” No visible traffic, Eddie coasted closer. He down-buttoned the window. Rain drenched face and hair in an instant. “Hey, buddy. Off. The. Road.” The downpour drowned him out.

morgueFile free photos

morgueFile free photos

Marlene pushed out of the car towards the figure palming asphalt. She knelt on the soaked blacktop and grabbed his shoulder, new coif flattened and drenched despite her umbrella. “Can. I. Help?”

Streaming blood-red eyes and unshaven face stared back. He shrugged.


“I. Lost. Her. Ring…”

Marlene blinked. “Whose?”

“My wife’s…died last night…my pinkie…smoking…opened car window…”

~ * ~

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

The word limit for Lunatic is 150 words. I used them all.

Check how to join:


Flash in the Pan – Loco

He flipped the bottle with a hairy paw and glugged with relish. The empty container slammed against the counter’s edge. Crystal splinters sprayed the air like tiny spikes. They pelted his wrist, and belly, and chin.

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

“What just happened?” Stretch rushed into the open bathroom.

Woolly swayed and bared his teeth, bleeding wrist gripped to his soggy midriff.

“You drank the Rubbing Alcohol?”  Bloodshot eyes bulging, Firewater Man dropped to his knees and howled as glass penetrated skin.“You’re loco, man.” Stretch grabbed a towel to staunch the crimson flood. Woolly screamed. “I’ll call an ambulance. Don’t…”




~ * ~

The word limit for Loco is 100 words. I used all of them.

The new Fall Quarter of Flash in the Pan has begun. The theme is Disturbed. Click: to check out the rules and join.


Flash in the Pan – Travel

Jessica ran chili red nails across her silky-smooth forehead and down sculpted cheekbones. Her generous lips, the same hot color, promised ardor and surrender. Ivory skin and ink-black eyes exuded an aura of privilege. “Three marriages and not one took.” Leaning forward, she searched Dominique’s designer face. “You know what I mean.”

“I thought you two might make good companions—dinner, the Opera—you have so much in common.” Eyes lowered, she aligned the silverware.

 Creative Commons Attribution

Creative Commons Attribution

Jessica frowned. “No thanks. I’m not game to travel that road again.”

“You mean in ten months, you haven’t even felt an itch…?”

“Are you kidding? I’ve made plans for the Orient…”

“Alone? Not your style, is it?” A waxed eyebrow lurched heavenward.

Jessica waved the quip aside and glanced around the restaurant. She scanned the room with casual precision.

Dominique pressed her lips in a mock smile. “Here he comes now.”

What? “Hel-lo handsome.”

~ * ~

The word limit for travel is 150 words. I used them all.

The Summer Quarter of Flash in the Pan finishes at the end of September. For details check out: