Daily Prompt and Mismatched (Part 1)

Saturday Night

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y NIGHT! What’s your favorite way to spend Saturday night?

Saturday night has long lost its appeal as being a special night. It makes little sense and has even lesser appeal to be a “night on the town” which is normally the phrase that accompanies a tragic event that leads to one being hospitalized, incarcerated, or waking up Sunday morning in Juarez with a cute little Mexican kid counting your toes in Spanish.

I like quiet unencumbered evenings; no phone calls, no loud music, no traffic, and no obnoxious people named Tiffany and Dude. I don’t want tension, I want relaxation. I want to be home and I want Tiffany and Dude and their heathen friends to be enjoying themselves in Juarez which is at least a thousand miles from me.

That’s about it. So here is part 1 of my next short story. Hope you enjoy.

Mismatched (Part 1)

They Meet

th1ZHBMTL7Assistant District Attorney Braxton Williston had to drive to Chicago to meet with Federal Attorney Jefferson Marks. It was delicate case they were working on. They talked many hours over the phone and exchanged emails, but it was time for a face to face meeting.

Jefferson and Braxton hit it off. Sometimes on the phone after or even during their discussion about the investigation they talked about personal items; family, vacations, music, sports, food, etc. They had much in common. They both attended law school at Northwestern, but their paths never crossed. They attended some of the same Bear’s, Bull’s, and Cub’s games and their paths never crossed.

Braxton was raised in Franklin Park and Marks in Willow Brook, both Chicago suburbs.

Their families vacationed in the same places, but at different times.

Before they met face to face they felt as if they had known each other for years.

Braxton was excited about meeting Jefferson for the first time.

He entered the downtown office of The FBI at 7:55. It was strange. He always thought of the FBI as being a stoic and serious organization. In fact, the agents he dealt with in the past were serious to the point of being unfriendly. As he entered the lobby there were smiles, nods, and stares.

Braxton rode the elevator to the fourth floor and found room 412. He walked in and a secretary looked at him strangely.

“I‘m Braxton Williston,” he said. “I have an appointment with Mr. Marks.”

“Yes,” she said with an uncomfortable smile. “Mr. Marks is expecting you.” She stood from her desk and opened the door to the office of Jefferson Marks.

“Mr. Marks,” the secretary said. “Braxton Williston here.”

“Thank you, Mss White,” Jefferson said.

Braxton walked in. Jefferson looked up from his desk.

Braxton stared at Jefferson.

“We could be twins,” Jefferson said.

“Except you are at least part African/American,” Braxton said.

“And you are very white,” Jefferson said.

“But on the phone…,” Braxton said.

“I sounded white,” Jefferson said. “My parents are white. I was adopted.”

“Two people don’t look as close alike as we do without at least having one of the same parent.” Braxton said.

“The only thing I was ever told is that my father was white,” Jefferson said.

“This is all very interesting,” Braxton said.

“Could it be we have the same father?” Jefferson said.

“No,” Braxton said. “My mother has two brothers that look just like us.”

Jefferson rubbed his chin. “I suppose we were destined to be lawyers; that assures us we will never be able to figure this out.”

(Continued tomorrow.)

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The Daily Prompt and The Wealth of King Charles

Today’s Daily Prompt; Take a Chance on Me

What’s the biggest chance you ever took? Did it work out? Do tell!

Life is full of big chances. Often we don’t know until much later how big they were. The biggest chance I took will remain a secret between only a few close friends and family. For the moment it appears to be a colossal failure, yet I’m able to live with it and who knows, it may turn out to be an eventual blessing.

My short story today has to do with what some consider taking a huge risk; it is about lending money. Hope you enjoy.

The Wealth of King Charles

Charles was a bully and manipulator. He had been that way all his life. That is what likely made him rich, not exquisitely rich but comfortably so.

He often bragged about the wealthy he knew and where he knew them from. He regaled friends about his vacations and winter home in the Caymans. His manner was often abrasive and offensive.

We were not always friends, but he manipulated me into a friendship for his own advantage. But something quite remarkable happened; after the purpose of the friendship and the advantage gained we still remained friends. I saw deep in him a troubled person; a person who needs affirmation and love and attention beyond what his bragging and gifts could not bring.

Charles was glad to see me. He welcomed me into his home and offered me a chair next to his. It was much in the manner of a king allowing a subject to sit next to the thrown.

Charles sat and like a mighty king feigning interest in the lowly turned to me and said, “What’s up, pal?”

“Charles I have a delicate matter to discuss with you,” I said.

“Fire away, pal,” Charles said.

“I have a friend who has fallen on hard times and needs $1,500,” I said. “He needs $2,000. I was only able to give him $500.”

“I’ll be right back, pal,” Charles got up from his chair and disappeared to his basement. In moment he returned and handed me an envelope. “There’s $2,000 in there. Take your $500 out.

A man who can only afford $500 shouldn’t be handing money out that he will likely never get back.”

“Do you want to know who wants it?” I said.

“I assume it’s somebody we both know,” Charles said.

“Do you want an agreement signed?” I said.

“What am I going to do with an agreement; a year from now wave it in his face?” Charles said.

“Thanks, Charles,” I said.

“Hey, Pal,” Charles said. “I’m now flat broke and hungry. Take that $500 I saved you and buy me a hamburger and fries.”

Yes, he’s abrasive, bullies, offensive, tactless, but a generous heart.

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Sales Call

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Junk Food Junkie

What’s your biggest junk food weakness? Tell us all about it in its sugary, salty, glory.

Ice cream. Homemade brand, peanut butter chocolate chip. Not available in Idaho. Have only had it in Michigan and Ohio. I’ve considered making a marijuana run to back east and trading a trunk full of pot for a gallon of peanut butter chocolate chip. On second thought two gallons, I need something to bribe the police with if I get stopped.

Anyway, dream-on. Here is my short story for the day:

 Sales Call

“Who is this?”

“It’s Bob from Express TV.”

“I have Saucer TV.”

“I can save you money.”

“How much money?”

“$25 a month, that’s $300 a year.”

“What would that be for two years.”

“We over charge the second year and get our $300 back.”

“Why should I change from Saucer TV to Express TV.”

“I’ve been honest.”

“What if I take Express TV for a year and cancel, what will it cost?

“Nothing.”

“Nothing?”

“That’s right, nothing. But we will make your life miserable.”

“How?”

“We’ll ruin your credit and hound you the rest of your living days.”

“So once again why should I change from Saucer TV to Express TV?”

“Because I’m honest.”

“How is the reception and service?”

“At first it’s really good.”

“Then what happens?”

“Problems.”

“What kind of problems?”

“Big problems. It will be days before you get reception again.”

“So if that’s going to happen why should I switch from Saucer TV to express TV?”

“Because I’ve been honest.”

“What about the service?”

“You want to know about the service?”

“That’s what I said.”

“There is none. The last time you’ll see anything that resembles service is at installation and poof, they get deported or have to serve out the rest of their sentence for parole violation.”

“So if that’s going to happen why should I switch from Saucer TV to Express TV?”

“Because I’ve been honest.”

“Have you lied to me about anything during this phone call?”

“My name is not Bob, it‘s Bill”

“I can’t trust you Bill: here, I thought all along I was talking to Bob, Goodbye.”

 

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I’m Broken, But Don’t Fix Me

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Daily Prompt: Only Sixteen

Tell us all about the person you were when you were sixteen. If you haven’t yet hit sixteen yet, tell us about the person you want to be at sixteen.

When I was sixteen I had zits. Not a bunch, but just enough to let people know I was sixteen and dealing with stuff. Now I don’t have zits, I got age spots (at least that what they call them). Not a bunch, but just enough to let people know I’m over the hill and dealt with stuff. I have some arranged in a pattern that if play dot to dot it looks like a map of California. I have and ingrown whisker where Sacramento is. It is often infected.

Here is my short story for the day. It’s about all the broken stuff from sixteen that seems to work just fine.

I’m Broken, But Don’t Fix Me

Hank met Gregg for coffee at a quiet shop not far from Gregg’s work. They ordered the usual. They sat near the window to stare at the falling snow.

“I like the snow,” Hank said. “It reminds me of my childhood.”

“It reminds me of shoveling our driveway all day long,” Gregg said. “Hard work, that’s what it reminds me of.”

Hank sipped his coffee and thought for a moment.

“But there was always a pleasure in accomplishing it,” Gregg said. “One must take pleasure in his accomplishment, don’t you agree?”

“Certainly,” Hank said. “Otherwise everything is drudgery. The coffee is really good this morning.”

Gregg pulled the cup from his lips. “That’s why we go here. The coffee is always good.”

Hank smiled. “The barista’s take pride in what they do.”

“I read your blog this morning,” Gregg said. “It seemed depressing to me.”

“Yes,” Hank said. “I wrote it last night. I wasn’t feeling all that well.”

“You should have given me a call,” Gregg said. “My wife and I would have delighted to have you over for company.”

“That’s kind of you to say that,” Hank said. “But I would have been best by myself.”

“You seem to put a lot of time into you blog,” Gregg said. “Who reads it?”

“Well for one,” Hank said. “You do. But I think it’s more important that it is written rather than read.”

“Blogging seems so impersonal,” Greg said. “You sometimes spill your emotions to those who don’t care.”

“Like I said,” Hank said. “It’s good just to say things without bothering those who you know. You don’t always want or need help. Sometimes friends want to jump in and fix something and they end up breaking something. So I just write.”

“Don’t you want to be fixed if your broken,” Gregg said.

“All of my friends and most importantly me loves the broken me,” Hank said. “Who knows what the fixed me would be like. I may not like snow or coffee.”

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Ducks And Poetry

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You Sexy Thing

Tell us all about your best confidence outfit. Don’t leave out the shoes or the perfect accessories.

Duck hunting and camouflage wear has become chic – okay not everywhere.

Here’s my story about…

Well since this story is teeming with verse…

Time for Poetry

This week, we invite you to write a post — in verse or in prose — inspired by poetry.

Ducks And Poetry

Witherspoon and Dudley were sitting quietly in there duck blind on Bagley Pond five miles from town. Witherspoon cared little to be with what he considered his half-witted cousin, but did so out or a sense of family obligation and tradition; they hunted together at least once a year.

Witherspoon wanted the morning to end quickly. So with sunrise and the first sight of ducks over head he took steady aim.

Witherspoon missed his first two shots at a duck.

“Go ahead. try it one more time,” Dudley said to Witherspoon. “Third time’s the charm.”

Witherspoon dropped his rifle to his side and glared at Dudley. “That is the stupidest thing that has ever been said. The third time has just as much a chance as the fourth time and so on as it does the first and second time. You did nothing but distract my next shot.”

“Now ya got to start over,” Dudley said. “You’ll shoot left, then right, and the third time right in the middle. That’s why third time’s a charm is scientific. It’s a fact. Besides it‘s poetic.”

“What if I get it on the second try?” Witherspoon said.

“Hit it the second try you got a good eye,” Dudley affirmed.

“I can’t believe I’m hunting with you,” Witherspoon said. “But I got to ask, what about the first try.”

“You’re flat out lucky,” “Dudley said. “You get it on the first try, it’s lucky as pie.”

“I thought it was easy as pie,” Witherspoon said.

“That doesn’t even begin to make sense,” Dudley said. “It takes skill to make and bake a pie, but if ya get a pie without workin‘ for it you‘re lucky; lucky as pie.”

Witherspoon lifted the rifle to his shoulder as the sound of ducks came from just over the trees. He slid the rifle back down to his side. “What if I miss on the third…”

Dudley interrupted. “That makes you a turd.”

Witherspoon gathered all his contempt for Dudley into one stare. “What about five?”

“Who do you think I am Robert Frost?” Dudly said. “It’s not for me to continually feed your literary and intellectual needs. Next time go hunting with a poet.”

 

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Subliminal Messaging At Billy Bronco’s

Subliminal Messaging At Billy Bronco’sth[9]

Kevan, in order to keep the conversation rolling about the new Boise State coaches, made a roster of them on a chalk board that hung over the back bar. The chalk board usually consist of what is the kitchen that’s about to go bad. Instead the list of coaches were printed on the board. “Mike Sanford, Marcel Yates, Kent Riddle, Steve Caldwell Junior Adams, And Avolos, Julius Brown, Elijah Drinkwitz, Scott Huff, and oh yeah, Bryan Harsin.

Well, all was going fine. There were good and lively discussions, no disagreements, and the beer flowed, which made Kevan happy.

Kevan made a check mark beside the coach to be discussed for the night. He breezed right through the first five and then slipped all the way down to Scott Huff. This did not escape the notice of Dawg Breath.

Then one night it happened the most furious exchange at Billy Brono’s since “taste great, less filling.”

“Kev, man,” Dawg Breath said. “You can’t do that.”

“What?” Kev said.

“You can’t go out of order,” Dawg Breath said. “It’s list. Lists have to go in order.”

This guy named TommyT from nowhere, his face buried in the mug of beer. With his face still dripping of suds said, “Hey, if it ain’t numbered ya don’t have to go in order.”

Dawg Breath was in no mood to give in. “It’s still a list. You start at the top and work your way to the bottom, one name at a time. That’s the only way.”

It wasn’t this quiet since Broztman’s missed field goal at Nevada.

“Whoa,” Louie said. “Let’s say you go to a grocery and you make a list of what you need; milk, beer, eggs, chips, salad dressing, ham, beer, and laundry detergent. You don’t get the milk and go over and get the beer because it’s next. You pick up the eggs because it’s close. You don’t crisscross and zigzag all over the store to get things in the order you have them on the list. It’s what ever comes next. Doesn’t that make sense?”

At this point Kevan is happy for somebody defending him bypassing a couple of coaches on the list, but more importantly another round of beers had been ordered to further fuel the discussion.

Dawg Breath is not one to toss in the towel. He tossed down the bottom of his glass and motioned for Kevan to replenish. Then he retorted, “What good is a list if you don’t go in order.”

“The purpose is to get everything done,” Louie said, “Not necessarily in order.”

Dawg Breath completely ignored the counter argument. Something said earlier wrestled his attention. “Wait a minute some one said zigzag. Why are we talking about pot?”

“Because it’s legal in Colorado and Washington,” some guy named Blue said.

The next thing you know the whole place is into a discussion about marijuana legalization.

Kevan filled Dawg Breath’s tankard and along with everyone else whose a part of the discussion. Kevan smiles because he knows where now the discussion is going. It now has left football. He’s in for a long night of drawing beer and wrangling about natural selection and quantum physics – and more beer.

Kevan started to draw another one for Louie.

“No thanks,” Louie says.

“Shhh,” Kevan said. “It’s on the house.”

“Some other time,” Louie said.

“I noticed when you gave the example of the list you mentioned beer twice,” Kevan said.

“It’s called subliminal suggestion messaging and positive reinforcement,” Louie said.

“I think it’s working,” Kevan said. “Dawg Breath’s glass is empty already.”

 

 

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Point/Counterpoint

Confused

Point/Counterpoint

 

 

th5H8STDET“This conversation is pointless,” he said.

“And your point is?” she said.

“That it’s pointless,” he said.

“Now we’re finally communicating,” she said.

“That’s it?” he said.

“You still don’t get it, do you?” she said.

“Well, I almost did,” he said.

 

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