The Winnings Disappear

Here’s Sammi’s latest writing challenge. You can check out the rules at her blog HERE. Many thanks for hosting this, Sammi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My 89-word tale is a take-off from an account I read on another blog. The writer was the one watching the frustrated lotto winner waiting for the check that never came. Be careful out here. As someone once said, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

The Winnings Disappear…And What Else?

“Unbelievable! Great! See you there.” Gord hung up and turned to Marlyss. “We’ve won big, sweetheart! They’re bringing our check to CrackerJacks. Let’s go.”

“We’ll replace this furniture,” Marlyss said as they dashed out.

“We’ll replace this house,” Gord amended.

Two hours later, frustrated, Gord ended the call. “Three times I’ve given them directions. I can’t believe they can’t find this place!”

Another diner leaned their way. “Better check what’s happening at home. Maybe better take a cop along.”

Exchanging looks of horror, the couple dashed for the door.

Picky, Picky

As I wrote in my last post, The Haiku Foundation’s dialogue this week is about Food, focusing on the sense of sight. Here’s another senryu I’ll add on that theme:

get a life
he grumbles — she slowly picks
sausage off the pizza

 

Pizza slice
Open clip art from Pixabay

Since the Word of the Day prompt this morning was CHIC. For lack of anything more erudite, I’ll give my response in this gem of wisdom:

It’s never chic
in public view
to carefully pick
anything from your stew.

Is That A Leg?

The Haiku Foundation’s dialogue this week is about Food, focusing on the sense of sight. I missed contributing to this round, but I’ll post a bit of nonsense humorous senryu on the subject.

just a coffee ground
she assures me —
I look for little legs

Coffee black dot

Interesting fact:
The word unadulterated is celebrating its 300th anniversary:
according to Merriam-Webster, this word first appeared in an English publication in 1719.

The Worrywart and the Cave

Today’s Word of the Day prompt is GALLERY. I was dismayed when I saw this word, wondering what I could ever write about a gallery. My only thought being art gallery, until I checked with Merriam-Webster and learned that an art gallery is only #4 on their seven-point list of definitions.

The preeminent meaning is: a covered promenade or corridor.
The second is an outdoor balcony, porch, or veranda
The third is a long, narrow passage, even a subterranean passageway in a cave or a mine shaft. Ah! A twinkle’s coming through…

One definition is: “the highest balcony in a theater commonly having the cheapest seats
b : the part of a theater audience seated in the top gallery
c : the undiscriminating general public”
This variation brought to mind an expression we teens used half a century ago:
“No comments from the peanut gallery.”

Now that I have a wider range to work with and the twinkling of an idea, I’ll begin my response to the prompt.

The Worrywart and the Cave

“Just discovered it last week and went through again yesterday,” Ozzie told his sweetheart, “It’s absolutely gorgeous down there, and no one else has found it yet. Come on, I’ll show it to you.”

Polly frowned. “Are you sure it’s safe? What if we get lost?”

“The path is easy to follow and I’ve got a great flashlight. Trust me, it’ll be perfectly safe. Listen, sweetie, being a worrywart is a drag. You can’t always think about what might go wrong or you’ll never try anything. You’ll miss out on LIFE. Come on, let’s check it out.”

A few hours later they parked in a secluded spot not far from the cave entrance and set out on their spelunking adventure. Polly grabbed her purse as they left they car.

“Surely you’re not going to take your purse along? It’ll just be a weight you don’t need.”

“I’m not leaving it in the car. Someone might steal it.”

Ozzie rolled his eyes. “There’s no one else anywhere near here. You worry about the silliest things.”

“I’m taking it. A girl never knows when she’ll need a tissue or something.”

Fifteen minutes later the couple was deep inside the cave. Polly followed Ozzie through the gallery with a little stream flowing beside it. “Don’t you think we should have brought another flashlight, just in case,” she asked.

Ozzie groaned. “This has lots of power left. Stop fretting and enjoy the scenery!”

A moment later the passageway opened up in front of them and they saw the most beautiful display of natural architecture. Ozzie’s flashlight played on the stalagmites and stalactites in intriguing formations. “And here we are. Didn’t I tell you it was awesome? Nature’s limestone gallery in grand display!”

Polly gasped. “This is so amazing!” She looked at the clear pool of water beside the ledge they stood on. “That must be the purest water ever. Do you think anything lives in there?”

“Can you imagine anything living in this kind of darkness?” He shut off his flashlight.

“Now, aren’t you glad you came? You wouldn’t want to miss an adventure like this.”

“Oh,” Polly squealed. “Be careful. It’s so black!”

“Absolutely devoid of any light” Ozzie spread his arms enthusiastically. The hand holding the flashlight bashed against the cave wall. There was a metallic clunk and a splash.

Polly screamed. “What was that? Ozzie, turn the light on!”

“Uh… That was the light. I banged my hand on the wall and lost my grip.”

“Oh, no! What’ll we do? How will we find our way out?” Polly’s voice rang with terror.

“Not to worry. We’ll just turn around and follow the ledge back out again. Easy peasy.”

Polly heard Ozzie moving and guessed he’d turned around. She squeezed against the cave wall to let him pass.

He brushed by her. “Just follow the sound of my voice and we’ll be out of here…aaah!” Polly heard a big splash, then a lot of floundering.

“S-s-slippery. I…fell in,” Ozzie gasped in the darkness. More splashing. “It’s deep…and so cold. Where’s the ledge? I can’t find it.”

Polly sighed, then groped in her purse and pulled out the little flashlight she always carried. She clicked it on and the cave was dimly lit. She set the light carefully on the ledge and reached into her purse again.

“Grab hold of this and hang on,” she ordered, tossing Ozzie a length of nylon rope.

A few minutes later he was sitting on the ledge, dripping wet and shivering.

Polly picked up the flashlight. “We’d better get out of here. You’ll want to get changed.”

Ozzie nodded and shivered some more. Then he got up and stumbled along the gallery behind Polly.

As they made their way to the car, Polly suggested, “Maybe we worrywarts are such a drag because we haul along all the things we might need in an emergency?”

“Yeah. I don’t suppose you have a towel in there, too?”

Those Seasonal Sales

Today’s Word of the Day prompt is WRINKLE. Coupled with the inspiration from my recent shopping adventure, I’ve composed this poem. (You may call it a consumer rant if you wish. 😉 )

Seasonal Sales

In the blink of an eye,
the wrinkle of a brow,
another sale—limited time offer!—
kicks off with spectacular
savings you can’t miss.

First New Year’s sales, then Spring
with its end-of-winter-clearance,
followed by ready-for-Easter sales
with prices so low you have to
spend and stock up.

In the blink of an eye,
the wrinkle of a brow,
summer sale are upon us:
holidays, barbecues, cottages;
you need to buy all kinds of stuff!
Suntan lotion, insect repellent
by the gallon, at low, low price!

In the blink of an eye,
the wrinkle of a brow,
the back-to-school sales start
abutting nicely, while you’re there,
with end-of-summer clearances
that lawn mower you wanted
back in spring, now price-reduced
and ready for that fall clean-up.
Yes, you can spend—and save big time—
all in the blink of an eye.

Parents shopping for school books
are greeted by goblins, masks
and shelves of lanterns, because Halloween
is just around the corner. And fall’s the time
to plant those shrubs and bulbs
now on sale at half price.

In the blink of an eye,
the wrinkle of a brow,
Thanksgiving adds pumpkins, pilgrims
Black Friday and pre-Christmas sales
to keep the economy afloat.

Up go the calendar displays,
offering convenient gifts to please
those “impossible-to-buy-for”
bosses, uncles and aunts.
At the Super-Fall-Clearance table,
shoppers eye a book that offers to explain
how to reduce clutter and stress—
“Half price this week” —and sigh.

In the blink of an eye,
the wrinkle of a brow,
Christmas season’s upon us;
trees and lights go up and last year’s
decorations are on sale for a steal
and merchants pray for snow.
“Remember those folks on your lists,”
competes with “Jingle Bells”
to jingle tills, while shoppers
wander the aisles in a daze.

The first week in December
Boxing Day fliers arrive, awash
with after-Christmas bargains on
those gifts not bought, left-over
boxed cards and wrap, 60% off!

Eyes blinking, brows wrinkling,
and wallets seriously depleted,
consumers take a deep breath
and wait for the New Year
and the next onslaught of sales.

‘Tis the Season

Lionello Script

Good morning and welcome to another week.

I looked at the Word of the Day prompt yesterday and saw that it was HUNGER, which I had nothing to write about. I cooked dinner at the seniors’ home and we were all quite well fed. So, unless I wanted to write about my hunger to finish reading my book in the afternoon.

The word prompt this morning at Word of the Day is WADDLE, leading me to think of ducks and sincerely hope there are no ducks waddling around out there this morning. I trust the wild things have some little voice, or inner sense that tells them “It’s time to go.” The sandhill cranes stopped here en route earlier this month, but they didn’t stay as long as they usually do. At least I didn’t see any Saturday. Good thing.

Our next item on the agenda is a major giving of thanks for the fact that we have electricity again. The cats woke me up before 5:30 to let me know the power was off — at least I suppose that was their intent. Power was off for over half an hour in all; I stumbled into the bathroom to check the wall clock. And the cats both decided they absolutely had to go out. And I regretted my last decision before I went to bed: I’d put off charging my cell phone until morning.

Our is not a delightful place today, as October has decided to come in quite lion-like this time around. The snow started yesterday around 1:30 pm while we were at the dinner table and continued….and continued…and is still in the process of continuing. We’ve got about 6″ on the ground now.

The snow came initially on a strong wind from the north, but now there’s just an accompanying light breeze. A good wind would help the trees, sweep them of all this snow. This is heavy, sticky snow, perfect for snowball fights and snowmen. Horrible for driving. Probably brought down a power line or two — or maybe someone on their way to work slid into a power pole?

This weight of snow is crushing for trees and shrubs. Last night I noticed our 3-metre amur maple with its branches hanging very low and feared they’d break down, so I went out with a broom to knock the snow off. I did the nine-bark branches as well; these are our only two really valuable trees near the house. Looks like I’ll have to do it again this morning. The poplars along the west side of the yard, which still have most of their leaves, are really drooping as well.

LIONELLO Stroke

But this can’t stay! It’s not unusual to get flurries in September, but we usually only get our first real snowfall the last week in October. There’s a lot of canola lying in swaths under all this snow, waiting to be combined.

I wish merchants had a bit more of inner sense that would tell them when it’s the proper time to put up seasonal displays. I’d be happy to see Halloween start in October, not August. And when we were in the city on Thursday, two Lowe’s employees had just set up their tall artificial Christmas tree in the entrance. WAY too soon! In Walmart and other stores, Christmas candles and decorations are starting to shove over the Thanksgiving and Halloween stuff on the display shelves.

By the way, the fancy fonts I’ve used for this post are variations of LIONELO from Edric Studio over at 1001fonts.com