How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


100-Word Challenge for Grownups – Week #166

To join in the fun, click below:

This week’s prompt is … checking in proved to be… + 100 words



Checking in proved to be easy, the room prepaid and waiting.

The knock, subtle as a whisper, sighed against the wood. Lucy smoothed the linen skirt of her fuscia suit. She strode to the door fumbling for the doorknob. Palm damp, her hand trembled. She arranged a smile on her face and snatched it open. Her mouth dropped.


“Frank. What are you doing here?”

“I have a date with a redhead.”

Lucy patted her springy curls. “Date?” She staggered backwards.”

“Your first time?”

“You’re Jack? But how—”

“You left a brazen trail.”

“You knew? Get out!”

“The room’s paid and we’re married.”


© 2015 All Rights Reserved by Tess and How the Cookie Crumbles


100-Word Challenge for Grownups – Week #165

You are welcome to participate at any time, click below:

This week’s prompt is …the suitcase lay open… + 100 words



“What are you doing?” Dolores sagged against the doorjamb.

He ignored her. The suitcase lay open like a guilty yawn.

“Charles? Talk to me.”

Rubbing his ear, he exhaled. “I’m in serious trouble—”

“You—?” Her fingers clutched her throat.

“I’m leaving.”

“I don’t understa—”

He sighed. “The name’s not Charles.”

Flushing, she chortled. “I know who I married.”

“I’m not your husband. I’m his brother.”

“He has a brother?”

“Had. My brother’s dead.”

Dolores dissolved into the floor. “I killed him two years ago.” He snapped the case shut and stepped around her. “Over you.” He paused. “I’m sorry. Forgive me.”


© 2015 All Rights Reserved by Tess and How the Cookie Crumbles


100-word Challenge for Grownups – Week #158

To join in the fun, click below:

This week’s prompt is those special berries… +100 words



“Frankie? You can’t walk in—what do you want? Rocky’s on his way home.”

“I miss you, Babe—us.”

“We’re done, remember? Get out.” Rose rolled the pastry around her rolling-pin. Frankie gawked with starving eyes.

“Leave now and I’ll make your favorite.”

“Deal. Cherry?”

Rose rubbed her nose, leaving a trail of flour on her cheek. “It’ll be at our old hiding place in two hours.”

Frankie grabbed for her.

“Don’t.” She jerked away, holding out the dough like a shield. “Go!”

A handful of those special berries and I’ll shake you once and for all. You won’t ever eat pie again.


© 2014 TAK


100-Word Challenge for Grown-ups – Week #155

Come join the fun; click below for instructions:

This week’s prompt:  … READ THE INSTRUCTIONS! … + 100 words



Sydney stared at his news-printed hands and pant knees. Palms half-way to his lap, he froze. Rising from the floor with a loud sigh, he headed to the kitchen sink. Hands scrubbed, he grit his teeth and pulled on an earlobe, a habit from childhood when trouble brewed. “Dang-blasted contraption.”

The front door slammed and shoes clattered on the hardwood. Mabel’s nose poked around the hallway corner ahead of her. “Easy-peasy, right?” Her chin and smile wobbled.

Red-faced, Sydney held up the extraneous parts, his comb-over slipping.

“It’s a steam mop, not a rocket ship. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS!”

When have they made sense?


© 2014 TAK


100-Word Challenge for Grown-ups – Week #149

If you’d like to try this challenge, click below:

This week’s prompt … union … + 100 words



“Never in a trillion years—” Arms and fists rigid, Jeannette grit her teeth.

“Turn around and look at me, okay?” Paul’s forehead glistened. “I’m sure you’ve misunderstood.”

She threw up her hands, palms open, fingers wide. “I don’t think so.”

“Please. Look at me.”

“Powerful man, your father. He’d stoop this low, would he?”


“So, this union, our marriage—a farce to hide his dirty little secret—”

“I swear…”

“You knew about this. Your problem; you fix it without me.”


Hands on hips, she swivelled around. “Nobody’s touching  my money.”


“How could you?” Slam.


© 2014 TAK


100-Word Challenge for Grown-ups – Week #140

To join, check out:

This week’s prompt: The photo below + 100 words




“Reenie, come back.”

“One minute.” She rummaged inside her shoulder bag and whipped out a digital camera.

“Come on. We’ll miss the train.” His hot breath prickled her neck.

Hands unsteady, she fidgeted with the strap and buttons. “Give me a sec.”  The purse slid down her arm and she fought for balance struggling to take the picture. “Incredible sunset!”

“Please. The train?”

“Hold this?” She checked her shots and grinned.

Face pinched and distressed, he caught her arm and tugged. They dashed to the car.

“Tomorrow, a Palermo sunset. I’ll take my bag now.”


A train whistle shrieked.


Beijing Part 4, Day 3 (cont’d)

We wandered to another part of the park where parents laid out their child’s ‘resume’ hoping for a marriage connection / partner. A woman yelled at me when I tried to take a picture. Seems it’s bad luck to be photographed. I understood it puts a pox on the intended. I laid low and managed a non-intrusive video on my iPad mini but I cannot upload it. Sorry.

Spring in all its glory

Spring in all its glory

Interesting nuggets about marriage:

  • Either you pay for a matchmaker ($$$ if you have lots—probably not) or your mother struggles along in your best interests with or without your knowledge
  • We encountered children in the park, but the majority were boys—yes there were girls—the odds appeared greater than the statistics
  • The ratio: 140 boys are born to 100 girls nowadays
  • Dating services are now common and do a vigorous business, but many cannot afford them and anyway MOM has your best interests at heart
  • Young people pursue good careers and work long hours with lengthy travel times to and from work
  • There is no time to date
  • More and more young people prefer to find their own mate
  • Some young men hold down several jobs and still cannot afford a house or apartment
  •  Every potential bride wants a house or apartment. As well her family expects a bride price—even in the country—a sort of dowry
  • Mismatches between city vs. country / education vs. job level mean less chance of finding a marriageable partner
  • Stories abound about established career women. A female with a good job may be willing to stand in as breadwinners if even a younger male would co-operate. After all, her clock is ticking, but without a job of his own, he’ll shy away.
  • Rich men spent much time and money choosing the right bride through matchmakers since the ratio of females versus males are so uneven
Wikipedia Commons

Wikipedia Commons

More tidbits about the people:

  • Diabetes and high blood pressure high
  • Exercises morning and evening, especially seniors
  • China is second highest consumer of sugar after India
  • They add sugar to everything
  • Different breakfast by area / region
  • Average man’s breakfast is in Beijing: steamed dumplings and buns, dim sum, and soup
  • Use straw to drink soup
  • Mandarin is the main official language
  • Written language is the same everyone in China, only the dialects are different

Next on June 20th, Beijing Part 5, Day 3 (cont’d)

  1. Temple of Heaven
  2. Tiananmen Square



Flash in the Pan – Plane

Stanley shook out the newspaper at the breakfast table Saturday. Lori opened her mouth and closed it. She squinted at her husband for a second and left the room.

“More coffee, honey?” She held out the pot. He grunted. She topped up his mug anyway, slammed down the pot, and tossed the monster telephone directory on the table.

Her husband gaped as his wife flipped the pages with a vengeance.

He cleared his throat. “What’re you doing?”


“No, really.”

“Just looking for a carpenter.”

“What for?”

The laundry-room door keeps scraping the floor.”

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

“I’ll buy a new one.”

“Don’t worry. I know you’re too busy.”

“I’ll do it.”

“It’s okay. I’ll hire a professional and the job’s done.”

“I’ll fix the damn door.”


“I said…”

“You’ll need to plane it. Do you have one?”

Stanley blinked.

“Uh-huh. Like you put the screen on the front door last September.”

~ * ~

This is for the Winter Quarter of Flash in the Pan. The theme: Boys and Their Toys. For rules and how to join, click:

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


Flash in the Pan – Mad

The 60-inch television flashes and blares.

“Take the garbage out, Stanley.”

“In a minute.”

“You said that yesterday. The kitchen stinks already.”

“Next commercial.” He works the buttons on the remote. Click. Click. Click.

“No, now.” Hands on hips, Dolores stomps in between the screen and her husband.

He tramps into the kitchen. Overstuffed bag clenched, he returns and dumps the contents on the carpet.

morgueFile free photos.

morgueFile free photos.

“Have you gone mad, Stanley?”

“Well, it’s out, isn’t it?”

~ * ~

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

The word limit for Mad is 75 words. I used all 75.

Click: to check out the rules and how to join.


Flash in the Pan – Tablecloth

MH900437986“Tony, slow down.  You’re going to choke.”

Rosa’s husband swallows, grabs his wine glass and glugs it like water. Spilled drops trickle down his double chin onto the bib he’s fashioned. He rolls his eyes but avoids her gaze. One hand yanks out the chin apron and chucks it to the floor. “Can’t a man eat in peace?”

He rises with a lurch. Wine spills, stringy pasta sprawls, and glass shatters on the tile. With a bark of laughter, Tony gawks down at his belt.

Cheeks on fire, Rosa covers her face. “Saturday night and I can’t take you anywhere.”

~ * ~

The word limit for Tablecloth is 100 words. I used all 100. Check out for the rules and join us.