Caught Pants Down

You wake up feeling refreshed, a new day a new— wait your favorite pair of pants is missing. Darting up from bed you hear a noise outside. A woman is wearing them and looking straight at you. What do you do?

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683 thoughts on “Caught Pants Down

  1. UnknownAlias

    I looked over the woman wearing my pants and tilted my head in confusion. Who was she and why is she wearing my clothes? I opened my mouth but she stopped me by raising her hand, signalling me not to speak. “I know you have questions, UA, but save them. Now is not the time. You were hella drunk last night and things got pretty crazy. That’s all I can tell you right now.” I nodded slowly, still slightly baffled as I’m not old enough to even drink. I did as told, though, and held my tongue, crossing my arms over my bare chest. Oh, yes. I think I forgot to mention that I was currently only in my boxers.
    Heading back into my bed, I sighed and tried to think of what could have occurred last night. I couldn’t remember anything. “Hey, UA?” I looked up to see the woman standing at my bedroom door. My pants fit her nicely, to be honest. “Care to put some clothes on?” I chuckled with a nod and stood.
    As I dressed myself, the woman constantly checked out the window. That worried me, but I said nothing. Once dressed, I sat down on the bed and the woman sat next to me. I asked who she was and why she was in my house, wearing my clothes–well, my pants at least–and why she was constantly checking out the window.
    She sighed and looked at me with a very worried expression. “They’re gonna be here soon. Do not resist them and do exactly as I say.” I inwardly groaned and gave a simple nod.
    Looks like today was gonna be one of those days.
    ———————————————————————————————————————————————————-

    What’d you think?
    🙂

  2. JRSimmang

    I want to see if we can reach 1000 comments.

    THE CASE OF THE MISSING PANTS

    Harried, I am, at the sight of her trudging through the midmorning haze. The streetlamps cast a pallid ghost of daybreak over her.

    She is still asleep.

    We don’t remember when it was that the plague seeped in under out front doors. It snuck in as a whisper, breathing down the backs of our necks, devastating our economic systems.

    I was once the physicist non pareil in Northern England, responsible for more than one-hundred patents including the time-saving Refuse Reinvigorator. When the plague landed on our glorious shores, the Royal Society called a special meeting.

    “Gentlemen, quiet down, quiet down,” Dr Brownstooth yelled over our murmurings. “This plague is perhaps our greatest call to action. We have to be the leaders of our beloved nation, for they expect of us nothing less!” His statement was met with thunderous applause and hooting and hollering.

    He continued. “We cannot afford to stand idly by as our people are stricken down.” More applause. “That is why I am imploring each of you develop an apparatus or vaccine against it. I want each of you to come back here in a week with your ideas. We are down to the wire, my brothers. It is time to defend what is ours!”

    We had our task. We had our incentive. We knew the stakes.

    I set to work in my laboratory that afternoon. Frances, my assistant, was showing signs of the plague: yawning, slumped shoulders, fluttering eyelashes. I had to work alone. Day after day, I smelted, I coupled, I crafted, and in three days I had a working concept.

    My pants would not only revive the plague victims, but it may revolutionize the world!

    I spent the next four days testing. Each day was better than the last.

    The night before we were due back at Prince’s Hall, I slept soundly, convinced my pants would be the greatest invention. The Royal Society would have no choice but to grant me my tenure.

    I woke with the sun. In just one short hour, I would be on my way to present my findings. However, I could sense something was off.

    MY PANTS!

    I frantically began throwing my clothes everywhere, searching, seeking, tossing! Then, I noticed my wife, who had been among the first inflicted, was also missing.

    To the window I ran, and to my surprise, my wife was walking! Oh joyous day! My pants were working!

    That brings me up to date. I sneak in behind my wife, whose still asleep head lolls with every new step my pants take. With any luck, she hit the preprogrammed destination: Prince’s Hall. This could be highly fortuitous. My invention, traipsing in with a subject in tow!

    We make our way through the streets, and in an hour, we arrive. My pants’s debut could not be going better. They make their way to the seat and sit. Perfect.

    “Dr Fortinay, how considerate of you to bring your-” Dr Brownstooth freezes mid-sentence, “wife?” He studied my face, then hers. “I thought she was stricken with the plague?”

    To which I reply, “Well, Doctor. She is.”

    I hear gasps around the auditorium. Dr Brownstooth remarks, “How did she… propel herself down here?”

    I pause for effect. “My invention!” I motion to my pants.

    “Well,” he says. “I am impressed.” He looks around the room and starts clapping.

    We sit through the rest of the presentations, most of which are smelling salts and whistles. One of the scientists, Dr Wilshire, does not wish to go, stating that the applause we had given to others was his thesis, which, obviously, didn’t work.

    “In the end,” Dr Brownstooth concludes, “I think we have a real chance with Dr Fortinay’s invention, the Self-Propelled Pants.”

    “Ahem,” I clear my throat. “I prefer them to be called Panta-locomotives.”

    “Very well then!”

    Soon, production is hitting an all-time high. We are manufacturing pants at a remarkable rate. People are going back to work. Marriages are being saved. Dogs are being walked!

    Did we find a cure for the plague? No. But, who cares? People are just as productive as they were before.

    -JR Simmang

  3. nvlwriter

    I’m standing at the water’s edge watching the river flow by and listening to the hypnotic sounds of slot machines and laughter; sounds I hope I never hear again. I had lived a quiet peaceful life until city council allowed this floating money pit to be anchored here. Now I’m divorced, broke, and homeless and I’m standing here with the only two possessions that I have left in the entire world; my lucky rabbit’s foot and a set of bolt cutters.

    This is where it happened; this is where I lost my pants. The fancy barge with all its alluring lights sits here tethered to the shore with cables that stretch across the top of the water anchoring it to permanent concreate pillars that hold the floating casino in place.

    I watch as scores of people walk right past me and onto the long plank that stretches from the shore to the boat, laughing and enjoying the evening as if their good times were going to go on forever. They don’t even see me; not because they can’t, I’m standing right out in the open staring at the cables with a huge pair of bolt cutters in my hands. They simply choose not to. How unfortunate for them.

    Looking down at the bolt cutters in my hand I walk the few steps to the cables and simply begin snipping the lines. Within minutes I had cut through every cable that held the large boat in place and as I stood there watching the darkened barge drift away I couldn’t help but smile; my pants can be replaced. I wonder if they realize how close that waterfall is.

  4. smallPencil

    Simply: I sprinted downstairs and ran through my sliding back door. Shards of glass fell like snow. I ran dead-out, a terror of velocity at six feet and three hundred pounds. She froze, eyes like headlights. I exploded into her. We landed like a meteor. She tried to talk but only croaked. I ripped my jeans off. She held them and screamed.

    Then I heard a shout.

    The officer stood on the sidewalk, weapon drawn. “Step away from the female!”

    “No! Officer, I’m not trying to… it’s not what it looks like!” He drew back the hammer on his weapon. I couldn’t think of anything else to do, so I charged. I heard three shots, like popping corn, and felt a searing in my right triceps. I tackled him and reached for the gun. We wrestled for a bit and I got the barrel up under his chin. I pulled the trigger. A volcano of blood rained out and he went still. I got up with the gun and shot him twice more, to be sure.

    I walked back to her. She lay in the same spot. I pointed the gun, “take them off.”

    “Eric, you have to listen-”

    “They’re my favorite pants. Take. Them. Off.” She did so. I snatched them up and threw them over my patio chair. Then I walked to the police car, got in, and called for back up. As the backup made its way, I switched cloths with the dead officer and slammed a fresh clip into his weapon…

    1. Observer Tim

      I think your MC has some rage issues, smallPencil. The slightly disjointed prose style helps with that effect and makes it an enjoyable read. 🙂

      My style advisor says there are too many metaphors in the first paragraph, and their variable nature tends to disrupt the narrative. Also, I am courious whether the second-last sentence should be as it is or “I ripped my jeans off her.”

  5. Sainath Kanajam

    ‘Hey, lazy bone those pants never suite you’. She came rushing towards as if angry bull would charge to a red cloth when I told her. She raised her hands but with a smile she pushed my head and started brushing my hair with gentle fingers. I knew my sister cannot talk but her most beautiful eyes gives most of her messages and feelings. But today her eyes had a mixed feeling, neither happy nor sad but pretending to be happy to avoid me.

    I exactly knew what she was up to as my plan of becoming Sherlock Holmes to make a background check on “Mr. Who?” whom Mary was going for a date with my favorite pants on. Even though Mary was dumb since childhood she never took a blind decision for her life.

    She indicated me about the hot tea which she placed next to my bed and jumped on hearing the honking on the car out our house. She smiled ensuring that everything was for good and moved towards the door with my favorite pants which really suited her well. She closed the door leaving me and my hot tea.

    1. Observer Tim

      This is a pleasant story, Sainath, and obviously an opening to something longer. I like the twist of using a mute character (‘dumb’ is politically incorrect these days, at least in North America) and the protective sister.

      There are quite a few grammar issues in the story, which hint to me of either a fairly young writer or someone whose first language is other than English. The verb tenses are particularly in need of work, and I would suggest concentrating there to start.

      All in all it’s a good job; keep on writing!

  6. Augie

    While searching for da bug.

    Mo looks at the large blue letters on the home page as he holds the ransom bag.

    “I’m not letting it out till dat guy apologizes!”

    Tony giggles, “ I think you are confusing Wry with Wri.”

    Mo grabs the bag, “ How would you feel if someone called you a dwarf with a abnormal look on yer face?”

    Tony looks at the large blue letters, “ I don’t think dat is what he is saying stupid!”

    sorry guys

  7. Cynthia Page

    (Since I have more time I’m giving it another go.)
    Contingency Plans

    I woke refreshed, for once not feeling any pain from arthritis. After a healthy stretch to release my body from its languid state, I reached for my gardening jeans. Yesterday I had resolved to dig weeds out of the rose garden, but the paint stained jeans were not where I left them on the back of the chair. In fact, I couldn’t find the chair, either. I rubbed sleep from my eyes and look around, under the bed, and the ottoman, (Ottoman? Where did that come from?) behind the (mahogany?) headboard, underneath the matching double wide mahogany dresser. (?) Where the hell am I? This isn’t my room.

    I opened a door – the closet, and found only men’s clothes. Dress shirts and pin striped pants with matching vests and suit jackets, carefully pressed blue jeans, chinos and polo shirts. Color coordinated ties lined the rack on the door. Another door led me into a huge private bathroom I didn’t recognize. On the other side of the half-opened door stood a man with wide eyes, open mouth, wearing nothing but designer briefs – deep blue with red tiger stripes. We both jumped back behind the door.

    Wait. What? I peeked around the door again, and as I did, the man in the blue briefs peeked out from behind a door. His eyes darted about, wild and in shock. I’m certain of his shock, because his lips quivered as did mine. His right hand raised – as did mine. His hand rubbed at the prickly overnight beard, as did I. I stared at the masculine hand that I lowered from his face. I put my left hand on the waistband of the blue and red designer briefs I wore, reluctant to investigate further.

    When I went to bed last night, I was a 70-something widow enduring lonely retirement years after my husband passed away from cancer. This morning, I’m a 30-something, well-heeled executive (I assume from the wardrobe.) I sank to floor where I could not look at this misplaced body in the mirror, covered my face, and bawled like a spoiled child.

    Just about the time I wiped my face and considered taking another look, something soft brushed against my bare back. I whipped around on my knees, afraid, lest I encounter a mate I didn’t know. In all my imagination, I could never have come up with a deranged illusion like that on my own. A not-quite-solid apparition in ragged denim, T-shirt full of holes, and luminescent white wings stood in the tub. I got up, and backed toward the bathroom door, certain I had lost my mind. He (she?) held out a beseeching hand and stepped barefoot from the tub.

    “Wait. Don’t go. I can fix this. I swear.” The voice was neither male nor female, and it echoed slightly, as in a funhouse chamber. Speechless, I shook my head to clear the mirage. His/her eyes brimmed with moisture, so I stopped backing away. He (okay, I’m picking one until I know more) seemed in agony, pained beyond any possible relief. My stupid bleeding heart opened.

    “It’s all my fault. I turned away for only a second, and the driver fell asleep. His truck went off the interstate’s bridge, and landed on your house. (sob) In your bedroom. (wail) On top of your bed. But I caught you, and I’ll fix this, I promise.”

    1. Observer Tim

      This is a beautifully surreal story, Cynthia. I especially like the touch that she (he?) couldn’t quite work out whether the winged intruder was male or female. I wonder if it would have helped if he’d opened the conversation with “Fear not!” 🙂 🙂

    2. jmcody

      Heaven Can Wait in reverse (old woman occupied younger man’s body). I would love to find out what your MC decides to do with her newfound vim and vigor. This could be a really fun story. I liked how you characterized the angel as sort if a bumbler — sort of a modern day Clarence from “It’s a wonderful life.” So this is a new twist on a familiar idea and one I would love to see more of.

    3. lionetravail

      Clever take, and written in a lovely way. “I’ll fix this, I promise”… Cynthia, you’ve had 2 takes this week that could both be expanded in a wonderful way to much longer stories.

      Hope you take the challenge on that 🙂 Nice work.

        1. Critique

          …fit like a golf ball in the palm of his hand. Turning it this way and that Jack admired the intricate details but didn’t notice the beetle until he felt it crawling up…

          1. Augie

            …..his nose. Jack threw the laughing skull and rolled in the sand in agony as the beetle made its way out his ear canal. Jill ran as fast as she could, right into the arms of……..

            (I waited 20 minutes incase someone else wanted to jump in. This is fun!…. A beetle? That threw me off. ha ha ha!)

          2. cosivantutte

            ……..his nose. Jack threw the laughing skull and rolled in the sand in agony as the beetle made its way out his ear canal. Jill ran as fast as she could, right into the arms of……..

            …Wizard Clarence Tavellin. He looked down at Jack and then looked at the pretty brunette in his arms. “Well.” he said. “This is a nice situation. Yessiree, I likee. ALAKAZAM!”

            The wizard, the girlfriend, and the beetle disappeared in a poof of golden glitter. Jack stood and…….

    1. Augie

      Jack stood and…. pulled out his BFG. The waves crash across the shore line as Jack searched for a target. far-far away, The confused brunette wakes… “Where am I?” She hears footsteps approaching her door, the handle slowly turns…….

      1. Critique

        and giant antenna (plural) waggled through followed by glistening eyes. Jill’s mouth opened in a silent scream, her eyeballs bulging unbecomingly from their sockets as she heard a hissing voice say…

        1. Augie

          …..”My precious?” The robotic creature crawls towards her. “Do you think the fire destroyed me? Where is itssss?”

          Back on the beach, Jack hears her screams from the high towers of the evil wizard. He tucks in his BFG running towards the cloud of golden glitter. He spots the tiny skull gripping the golden ring between its silver crowns and grabs it. All of a sudden, he trips. He looks up at the taunting beast hovering over him……..

          1. cosivantutte

            …pulls his BFG out again and shouts, “BFG TRANSFORMATION!” His weapon transforms into a banana flinging gorilla.

            The gorilla roars vulgarities and flings an endless supply of bananas at the beast hovering over them.

            “Just keep at it until I need you again.” Jack runs to the cloud of golden glitter and disappears.

            He lands face first on the robot’s back…

  8. lionetravail

    The Day After
    (Third take on a prompt is the charm… had this silly idea only today, and glad I am to have time to make it happen. Enjoy!)

    On most days it must be a grand thing to be Emperor.

    Unfortunately, today was not ‘most days’. It was only a day since His Most August Majesty had ordered the slaughter of a mere child, only a day since I had badgered my soldiers to carry out the Emperor’s command, and only a day since the people rose up in rebellion.

    On the positive side, I was inside the castle- where all the soldiers were. On the negative side, the populace of the capital had surged several times against the walls and looked to continue doing so for the foreseeable future despite losses.

    “Battlesby!” came the cry from the Throne room. I ran inside quickly. “My Lord Emperor?” I said breathlessly.

    “I want you to arrest Dame Edith Clackenstock immediately!” he yelled.

    Shock ran through me, so I raised my eyes from the floor to meet his gaze. That was a mistake- it let me see the rest of him as well.

    The Emperor sat on his throne, obese enough to occupy two, though thankfully he at least had a robe over his lap this time- he’d been running about absolutely starkers for the last few days and it had been a sight to engender extremely sore eyes.

    “What’s she done, My Lord?”

    “She’s stolen my pants, Battlesby! My special pair! I want her arrested without quarter and drawn and quartered within the quarter hour!”

    I needed a couple of moments to parse that, but when I finally did I was horrified. “But, but My Lord Emp…”

    “But me no buts, Buttlesby!”

    “Battlesby, My Lord.”

    “Whatever! No quarter, drawn and quartered within a quarter hour, do you hear me!!?”

    “Of course My Lord,” I said, and bowed my way out of his presence. I called for one of the guards and gave him the arrest order to carry out.

    Fortunately for my head, given the Emperor’s mood, Dame Clackenstock was found, arrested, and brought to me within just a few minutes.

    “What have you done?” I said to her.

    “Well, it’s embarrassing, really,” she began.

    “It’ll be worse than that!” I shouted at her. “He wants you executed for stealing his ‘special pair of pants’!”

    “What?” she said in disbelief. “But all I did was the ‘dash of shame’ from Duke Rigidoff’s rooms this morning! I mean, I know the Emperor saw me, but…”

    “Wait, the ‘dash of…’ you mean you were bare-assed running down the hallway?”

    “Well yes, the Duke did tear my dress off last night, and I…”

    “Oh, you stupid, stupid woman- he saw you without clothes on your bottom, and thinks you stole his ‘special’…. his NEW pants!”

    She blanched. “Oh, heavens!” she said, and covered her mouth with her hands

    I thought quickly. “Okay, calm down, I have an idea. Take off your skirt, but leave the top on and forget anything you think you know about modesty…”

    Within a few minutes I had brought her to the Throne room. I had Dame Clackenstock curtsy while the Emperor bellowed, and that distracted him sufficiently to make my report.

    “And, you, see, your Most August Majesty, Lady Edith had already purchased a knock-off of your pants from the same tailors who made yours, because you have already set the trend at Court,” I explained. “You can see it’s of the same material and same general style,” I gestured at Dame Clackenstock’s immodesty. “Your pants, My Lord Emperor- well, that was my error. I had the servants take them to be cleaned while you slept. They’re back in your closet, and I’ll only have them freshened once I’ve let you know in the future.”

    “Well, Battlesby, now that you’ve explained it properly, it all makes perfect sense,” the Emperor said. “Oh, and Dame Clackenstock?”

    “Yes, My Lord Emperor?” she blurted in surprise.

    “I’d advise you to pay full price the next time- the cut of your pair is particularly vulgar.”

    “Yes My Lord,” she said, blushing.

    We bowed our way out.

    “Are you thinking what I am?” she said to me when we were out of range of the Throne Room.

    “If you’re thinking this is a good time for a sea journey…”

    “Exactly.”

    “I’ll make the arrangements.”

    “Great, I’ll leave with the lack of clothes on my back.”

    “Good one!” I said, mock-brightly. “Now hurry!”

    1. Augie

      nice… Your capital letters made me wonder if there is more to the story. I guess His Most August Majesty made me search for hidden clues. Well, thats how my brain works. What a journey! Great writing as always!

    2. snuzcook

      Very funny, lionetravail! The Emperor is clearly a Very Bad Guy, and it’s lovely to think he got his winky twinked, so to speak, by these two. I hope the tide is running in their favor for a quick get away!

    3. jmcody

      The anachronistic dialogue worked well and was amusing. I loved the names too. I love how you twisted the prompt too, and wrote a story about not-pants. Very inventive!

    4. lionetravail

      Thanks everyone- with all the holidays, and work around the edges of those holidays, it’s been hard to try to respond to everyone and get some takes done. (And to read, cook, exercise, continue to revise the sci fi novel…) But I was at work, running across the street from hospital to office, and the thought of a story about the Emperor’s new pants hit me like a blessing from above (by which I mean like a pigeon’s “blessing”, of course), and I knew I had something when I did a quick review of the story and rediscovered that the end of the Hans Christien Anderson tale occurred when a child says “But you’re not wearing anything at all!”… and I realized that no uppity, ghastly child should survive even (especially?) a foolish Emperor’s wrath, and whammo, everything just rolled from there.

      Seems like it’s been a great prompt week from everyone, I’m thinking! Yay for everyone!

        1. lionetravail

          Later in the season is always easier- the days are shorter, so more time is spent asleep. It was renewing, but exhausting… at least the really fun, celebratory holidays are still coming, along with guests and cooking. I love it.

  9. Jay "The Doc" Wilson

    I sat outside the Writer’s Digest building, the sun basting the east side with it’s buttery light. I looked up at the window, to Klem’s office, wondering what happened to our Tuesday prompt. A few more writers join me, Observer Tim, Reaper, Snuzcook, Augie, and jmcody… all without pants.

    I looked down and shivered as a nice cold breeze chilled my nether. I said, “So, anyone know where their pants are?”

    Observer said, “Mine have gone on a trip to find themselves. Apparently, they feel their luck is based on the nothing more than a random act of any number of possibilities, and believe that they could have just as easily been unlucky as they have been lucky, but they’ve set out to either prove or disprove their theory. I don’t know when they’ll be back.”

    Reaper smiled and threw his hands on his hips, “Mine stole the kitchen knife last night, showed up bloody this morning claiming that some gnome told them to kill our neighbor. The police arrested the poor jeans and now they’re awaiting trial.”

    I looked to Snuzcook, who shook her head and said, “Tap dancing. Can you believe it? I can’t. They went without me! I could be tap dancing a storm waiting for the prompt to post, but am I that lucky? Well, no, not without my lucky pants. So here I sit with no dancing, no prompt, and a cold breeze.”

    “Da stupids stoled mine! Why day have to always steal my goods? Huh? It ain’t right I tells ya, it ain’t right! What am I? I’m ‘uman, that’s what! A man’s gotta have his lucky pants!” Augie said, and pointed to no particular thing in the sky.

    Jmcody said, “Thanks to Reaper’s pants, mine are wasting their entire day interviewing his for their crimes. It’s not always good to have pants that fight crime, but honestly, when you’re as lucky as they are, sometimes it’s important to do the right thing with that responsibility. With great power, eh?”

    We all nodded in agreement with each other, a deep understanding that if any one of us had lucky pants, then we might have had our prompt that day, but we didn’t. And so we waited, wondering if it would ever come to us… wondering if Klem forgot his pants at home, the lucky ones with Tuesday’s prompt neatly folded and placed in the front pocket.

          1. Cceynowa

            ____
            | \
            | _____|_____
            /________\
            | ________|
            | ________|
            \ _______|_________

            (Reversed thumbs up…. Augie, the formatting (and constant errors) with this forum make it difficult, but it might be worth the struggle. I could definitely see potential.)

        1. Augie

          Cceynowa, you can see how crazy I am!

          Symbol body language

          / |
…He meets the girl.

          ____ | |____
… They chat.

          /_____\
… Oop’s. He must have said the wrong thing!

          |_____ |…
 Maybe not?
          |_____ |,,,
 Maybe not?

          ________|____ / .. Ok, he said the wrong thing!

          Ohh wait! Another girl approaches!

          
| \
 .. Hmmm, seems nice.

          | _____|_____ … Uhh, now what do I do?

          
/________\ .. Does she want me to follow her?

          
| ________|
…Ok, this is odd

          | ________|
.. Is there a word Odd’er?

          \ _______|_________ .. The hell with it! I’m tired of trying to figure them out! So much for thumbs up!

          1. Cceynowa

            Lol. Oh Augie…. I see what you mean now… a very visual take on it. Bravo. Btw, I think “Odd’er” is a sleek water-dwelling mammal. ;-P

    1. jmcody

      Late breaking bulletin: After interviewing Reapers pants and putting out an APB on Tim’s, jm’s pants have quit the force, citing job stress. The interview with Reaper’s pants may or may not have had anything to do with it according to an anonymous source who may or may not be a garden gnome.

      The pants were last spotted in Amsterdam tap dancing with Snuzz’s pants, a pair of fourty-five thousand dollar Ziggy Stardust jeans that reportedly went missing from actor Robert Downey Jr.’s residence earlier this week, and a particularly mean looking garden gnome. The trio claimed to be searching for Tim’s missing pants.

      Reaper’s pants are currently sharing a cell with Jay who has been arrested for indecent exposure. The whereabouts of Jay’s pants are unknown, and are presumed to be armed, legged and dangerous. Anyone spotting Jay’s pants are asked to call 1-800-MEATHOOK and run like hell.

      1. jmcody

        Arghh, how could I have left out Augie? I blame my iPhone, the railroad and that guy snoring and drooling on my shoulder as I typed this wih my thumbs.

        1. cosivantutte

          Augie waited for everyone to leave Klem’s office. Then, he smiled. “Fools. They never even noticed that these aren’t my slacks.” He pulled Tuesday’s prompt out of the slacks’ pocket and gleefully kissed it. “I wonder how much they would pay to get you back, little darlin’.”

      2. cosivantutte

        Tim promised to give him three thousand martini umbrellas. It was a nice reward and the garden gnome really hoped that Tim would pay up. He thought about those umbrellas – all rainbow plastic glory twirling twirling twirling – and drooled.

        Snuzz’s pants kicked him and yammered about the unsanitary nature of gnome drool.

        The Ziggy Stardust jeans sniggered and made unsavory jokes at the gnome’s expense.

        His headache flared up again. The gnome rubbed his temples and thought about calling Officer J.M. He had her number saved on his cell phone. Maybe she could come and take these two away. Toss them into the same cell as Reaper’s pants. Or maybe she wouldn’t. Putting Snuzz’s pants and the Ziggy Stardust jeans into the same cell as Reaper’s pants would be the worst possible thing. It would bring about the apocalypse and the world would burst into glorious flames. No. He would take their abuse and their help. But as soon as he had Tim’s pants captured and back in Tim’s possession…The gnome grinned as he contemplated his revenge.

        1. Observer Tim

          Oh great. Now I’m possessing my pants. What kind of evil, or at least college-level pranks, can I get up to like this?

          Eureka! Does anyone have a felt marker and a sheet of paper large enough to write “Not to be worn by ladies!” on it? Reverse psychology works every time.

          Mwa-ha-ha-ha-HAAAH!

          1. Kerry Charlton

            My pant’s crawled in corner saying,
            “Why wasn’t I in this story. I an a nice pair of cranberry. polyester pants. I can fit anybody….Sob Sob, Whoe is me.

          2. cosivantutte

            Kerry’s pants sat in the corner, crumpled in a heap of misery. “Here I am a perfectly nice pair of cranberry polyester pants. I can stretch to fit just about anyone. But no one loves me. Look at them all – having fun and going on adventures with trolls or gnomes or whatever and leaving me all alone.” *sobs* “THEY DON’T EVEN REALIZE THAT I’M HERE!” *SOBS LOUDLY*

            John Travolta’s white polyester pants from Saturday Night Fever disco-struts over to her. “Hey there, baby. Ya wanna dance?”

            Kerry’s pants were not a John Travolta fan, but that was a minor detail. “Yes. Yes! I will go to the Copa Cabana Disco Club with you and dance the night into dawn.” Her pants grabbed one of his large belt loops. “Let’s go!”

            Jay’s pants loitered in the opposite corner, radiating smugness. “No one will ever find me here. Mwahahahahahaha!”

    2. snuzcook

      ‘So here I sit, broken hearted;
      Tried to Tap and only …’
      Wait–I hear them. Can’t you? I hear that click click click, clickety click, click click clickety, clickety clickety click click…
      Sorry guys, but I gotta go follow the Morse code of my tap dancing pants. They’re headed for the beach. I think they’re running after Augie. Come on, let’s catch them before they run out of boardwalk!

      1. Augie

        Well, I have to tell you, my arms are wide open. My wife shattered my Kevlar, and a year later , Creeds song “Arms wide open” played at our wedding. Its difficult being me, but now I have her. My arms remain open as writing has become my new highway. I’ll try to show you…..

        1. snuzcook

          Wonderful, romantic glimpse, Augie. I’m thinking it’s a good thing you have her as back up, if you are going to be chased down the beach by your fellow writers and their dis-embodied pants all in search of Jack and his girlfriend.

          1. Augie

            ha ha ! I was making a statement about myself, I didn’t mean it to come out as a romantic thing. Prior to her, I didn’t talk very much to anyone and kept my sense of humor locked away. Now I am very open, especially with the wonderful writers on this forum. That is what I was trying to say snuz.

    3. snuzcook

      So much fun, Dr. Jay! I love it when we show up in prose — still trying to figure out what my cartoon avatar should look–what all of our avatars might look like. (For those who watch ‘Community’ on rerun, it reminds me of the episodes when the characters go all clay-mation.) The tap dancing was inspired!

  10. JRSimmang

    ROWAN ECHOLS AND THE LAND OF LOSS

    It started with my Superman t-shirt and basketball shorts. By the time I realized they were missing, it was already too late.

    The next day it was my pair of sweatpants and my “If You Can Read This…” t-shirt.

    The day after, it was my favorite pair of blue jeans and button-down, deep red Van Heusen dress shirt. That was the last straw.

    Possibly, it was the paranoia surrounding my missing articles of clothing. Perhaps it was just a dream, but I saw her leave the bedroom and clad in my outfit, though it was far too big. I rolled over thinking it was just my imagination, but when I heard the door latch behind her, I shot out of bed, ran to the window, and caught her eyes for a split second.

    I was more curious than anything. She was short, no more than 5′ 4″. Blue-green eyes, hair with just the right amount of fire. And those curves!

    She didn’t smirk, she didn’t grimace, she just stared back up at me until I shot down the stairs and into the street. I can’t imagine how I must’ve looked to the customers sitting inside Papa Pete’s Brick-Oven Pizzas and Profiterolis, me in my Star Wars boxers, white socks, and sandals.

    I pushed my way through the crowd, but I was losing sight of her in the throngs of mid-afternoon lunchtime pedestrian traffic. I would catch no more than a wisp of hair glimpse of my red shirt, and that would keep me hot on her trail. We ran for what seemed like fourteen blocks. Then, she turned down an alley.

    As I approached her, she turned and smiled for the first time. “Thanks,” was all she said.

    Then, the air around her turned electric blue. Her hair whipped around her as if she were standing in front of an industrial warehouse fan. I must admit, it was pretty hot. Lightning danced up and down her arms; the windows above us shattered. She phased in and out of corporeality, and I thought to myself, this chick is not getting away with this. I ran toward her, jumped, and tackled her.

    “Get off me!” she shouted. I must admit I was liking where I landed. But, I obliged and rolled over.

    Above me was an ornate ceiling of gold and frescoes. I squinted, rubbed my eyes, and sat up. Staring right into my eyes was an old man on a throne. He was covered in folded fabric and golden trinkets. A crown of brilliant rubies and diamonds perched delicately atop his head.

    “What the?” I mustered.

    “So this must be the famous Rowan Echols. Pleased to make your acquaintance,” he announced. Following that, I was greeted with thunderous applause. “I wish to extend my heartiest and most humble thanks to you, Mr Rowan the Gateholder of Apartment 6111.” The words sounded foreign from his lips, like he wasn’t from downtown Austin.

    I take this opportunity to look around me, and I see people. LOTS of people, all short, all covered in heavy fabrics, all mouths agape, all hands clasped in front of them.

    “Because of you, Mr Rowan,” the elaborate man continues, “our country has been able to rescue our people from the vicious and sinister Count Blankenhold of the neighboring Lands of Loss.”

    “Hnh?”

    “With your help, my best spies have been able to bypass his insidious blackguard without detection. My daughter,” and he motioned to the woman behind me, “is finally back home.”

    I turn around and the lady I landed on, the lady in my pants, smiled broadly.

    “Now, and I hate to inconvenience you once more, I have one more request.” He swept out an ornate arm.

    I turned back to the old man, my eyes wide open, my eyebrows raised, my mouth wide-open.

    “I would ask you to raise arms with us. Count Blankenhold has amassed his army, and they are nearing our borders as I speak. Do you have it in you? Can I consider you an ally?”

    The crowd started pleading, shouting out their pleases and you’re-our-only-hopes and we-love-yous. So, I opened my mouth and said what any sensible man would say.

    “Are you elves?”

    To which the king smiled, nodded, and said, “I’ll take that as a yes. Thank you.”

    -JR Simmang

  11. elliee

    Prompt: You wake up feeling refreshed, a new day a new— wait your favorite pair of pants is missing. Darting up from bed you hear a noise outside. A woman is wearing them and looking straight at you. What do you do?

    You tear away the gauzy curtains and throw open your bedroom window. “Lilliann.” You shout.
    The woman stares up at you. She stands there and waits. Weak sunlight flashes in her marble eyes, but, beyond that, she is completely still.

    “Lilliann,” You repeat her name, more softly this time. You try to make it sound sweet in your mouth to mask the bile rising in your throat. “What are you doing here, and why have you taken my pants?”

    Lilliann rolls her head to the left, then back, then to the right. The joints in her neck going pop pop pop, loud as firecrackers. “You.” She says in that raspy drawl you love. You could sink right down into her voice like a hot bath. She wants you to. She wants to drown you. “You took something from me. I took something from you.”

    Resist. “What-what did I take?” You ask. But she doesn’t answer. Instead, a grin breaks across her face. “Lilliann, I know you’re upset about what happened–but this isn’t how normal, human adults act.”

    “Normal. Human. Adults.” She repeats.

    “We talked about this…breakups are, they’re normal. This is a normal part of living life among people. Remember, Lilliann?” You realize you’re gripping the windowsill, your fingers are pale. “How did you get into my apartment?”

    She points. You lean forward, just slightly, so you can see she’s pointing to the drainage pipe that runs from the roof down to the street. It is about three feet to the left of your window. You look back at her. She’s still grinning.

    “Lilliann, this is not how you treat an ex.”

    “You took something from me.” She repeats. “I took something from you.” She hooks her thumb inside the waistband of your favorite pants.

    They are great pants. Comfortable, flattering, on-trend but not trendy. It would be a shame to lose them. You wear them all the time. You decide to play her game.

    “Why my pants?” You ask.

    “They are your most important thing.” She says. “They are what you love.”

    You shake your head, try to dislodge the warm, fuzzy feeling creeping in through your ear canals. “So that’s why you took them? Because they’re the most important thing to me?”

    “You love them. You always keep them closest to you.” She says.

    Ah of course, you’d almost forgotten: for Lilliann, proximity equals love. When the two of you were going out, she always wanted to have some physical connection with you: a hand on your hand, her forearm resting on your exposed shoulder, the curve of her head in the curve of your clavicle. Of course she would be jealous of your clothing.

    Some had made the transition more easily than others. For Lilliann, the jump from idea to flesh was particularly difficult. You can’t be sure (most of the time, you have no idea what she’s thinking) but your guess is that the physical world is too much for her. You guess this because, sometimes…sometimes, it’s too much for you too. You remember the feeling of her skin on yours: a flame on a thirsty blade of grass. If you are honest with yourself, though, the physical world is less spectacular than you thought it would be. You cut yourself the other day, didn’t even notice the dollop of blood drying on your leg until someone else noticed it for you. Don’t feel the coldness in your own fingers right now. Have you felt much of anything since you left her? Have you felt anything at all? It’s taken a while to realize, but you know what she’s talking about. What you took from her. “Lilliann,” You say. “Why don’t you come up and I’ll give it back to you.”

  12. Augie

    Just returning from Mongo, Steven falls into a deep sleep. He is new in town and hopes to get a cool nick name.

    Unfortunately, he didn’t notice her hiding in the shadows as he snores.

    Dr. Zarkov smiles outside the window, pointing towards Steven’s closet.

    She tipple toes to the closet and giggles………

    sunrise

    The streets of Manhattan panic as the super villain DR. Zarkov launches his attack.

    Steve jumps out of bed and runs to his closet, “Whaaa?”

    He hears a tap on his window, “You looking for these?”

    He is given an option that would forever change his image to the citizens of Manhattan. Let the villain destroy the city, or run out without pants.

    Three weeks later

    Wonder Woman whistles as Steven enters The Hall of Justice. Even worse, all the superheroes sit around the oval table as video of his performance plays on the large screen TV.

    Batman walks up, “Well, Flash Gordon, good job!”

    The room fills with laughter.

    So much for a cool name!

        1. Augie

          You… are a smart man! I was worried about you when I said ‘he is new’ in town. I was waiting for you to red-pencil my timelines once he entered The Hall of Justice! Thanks OT!

  13. agnesjack

    TO ALL:
    I had hoped to read and comment on more stories this week. I was working my way up from the bottom (which I always do) and then got busy and time got away from me. Since the new prompt will be up soon, my humble apologies (especially to those who always find time to comment on my stories) for not being able to read and comment more. This week I’m determined to do better.
    –Nancy

  14. Emily

    “A New Day”

    The sound of too-loud music echoed from the neighbor’s apartment, waking me up from a sound sleep. “Flutes,” I thought to myself, annoyed. “Really? Who listens to music with flutes?” I sat up on the edge of the bed, only so I could pound my fist on the wall–a wordless message to the neighbors to please turn that shit off. I rubbed my eyes as the sun flooded in through the window. I saw a figure in the window, and my dry eyes suddenly came in to focus.

    The second our eyes met, I looked away, trying to pretend as if the moment hadn’t happened. I looked down at the floor, rubbing my hands nervously on my legs. I don’t know why this person was making me nervous, but she was. I could see her in my peripheral vision, still staring. I tried to think of something else. Why was she still staring? And why was it bothering me so much? I let my hair fall in front of my face, covering my eyes, wanting to shield myself from the stranger’s eyes.

    “This is stupid,” I thought to myself. “Why should I be afraid?” I suddenly stood up and locked eyes with the stranger. She looked pissed. Actually, she looked more than pissed. She looked … completely mad. Unhinged. And, she was wearing my fucking pants. My mind started to race with the possibilities. Had she broken into my room while I was sleeping? Was she standing out there to taunt me? Trying to play mind games? I looked away, realizing there was no telling what she was capable of. Would she break through the window? Did she have the key to my apartment?

    I started to feel those familiar tingles in my fingertips as a panic attack started to set in. I knew I had to stop it before the panic attack really started to get worse, so I tried to talk myself down. Maybe she was angry about something else? Maybe I was reading too much into the look in her eyes? I looked at her again, and this time she offered me a crazed smile, then slowly raised her hand to her throat, making a cutting motion with her fingers.

    There was no stopping it now. I felt my heart start to race and the tingles of panic move completely throughout my body. I knew I was in immediate danger, and that she was going to hurt me.

    A friendly little knock at the door startled me. The stranger and I were still staring at each other through the window; she had a clear view of the door from where she stood, but she never moved or averted her gaze.

    “Who is it?” I yelled.

    “Lanie, its Vanessa. Can I come in?”

    Thank God, Vanessa. She would help me. “Come in!”

    Vanessa opened the door, looked concerned at me, then looked out the window. “What’s going on? Is everything okay?”

    “She …” I stammered, pointing at the threatening stranger through the window. “She’s just been … staring at me since I woke up. Maybe even before I woke up, I …”

    Vanessa smiled reassuringly at me and nodded. “Well I see you have your pants on this morning, that’s very good.”

    I felt my face flush with anger. Why was she messing with me? Was she part of this? “Vanessa, that lady out there is threatening to kill me! I need you to …”

    “Lanie, just calm down,” she said, putting her hands on my shoulders and trying to get me to sit back down on the bed.

    I violently shoved her hands away. “Stop!” I felt my fear quickly turning into anger. “Call the fucking cops, goddammit! My life is in danger!”

    Vanessa stepped away, reaching her hand into her pocket. An alarm suddenly started to blare, the sound echoing in from the outside. “She’s doing it again!” Vanessa yelled. She took a needle out of her pocket.

    “No!” I screamed. Three people rushed in to the room at me. As I scrambled to get away, I saw the stranger, still watching me through the window.

    I fought them with everything I had, but they were able to overpower me almost immediately. Exhausted, I had nothing left. I screamed as loud as I could. Hell, maybe even the stranger could come in and help me, now. They held me down on the bed, and I felt the needle go in my arm. I heard them talking as I faded back into sleep, powerless to stop my body from shutting itself down.

    “Was she doing that thing with the mirror again?”

    “Yep,” Vanessa said, staring down at me with sympathetic eyes. “Every morning.”

    1. Observer Tim

      This is really good, Emily. I’m familiar with the psychosis, but don’t recall its name at the moment. You did a really great job of portraying the alienness of not recognizing oneself. Of course it does beg the question of why on earth the medical staff would leave the mirror in Lanie’s room knowing she has this reaction to it, especially since it happens every morning.

      My style advisor says you’re overusing the word ‘start’ in paragraph 4. As an exercise you might want to rewrite those two for variety. Either other words (commence, set in, etc.) or recasting the sentences so that once the panic attack starts you don’t mention that the other effects are starting.

      I know when I have a panic attack, everything after the first onset is a fait accompli. I feel it begin, then the walls close in, the light is too bright, a sense of danger overwhelms me, and I shake while abject terror makes my breathing shallow and my heart race. After the first event I’m too far gone to tell when anything starts.

  15. derrdevil

    A Compromising Juxtaposition

    “Why are you doing this?”

    She looked at me. There, in the early morning haze, perched upon the ledge outside my bedroom window, a window that stood fifteen storeys above ground level, she looked at me. An indifferent expression drawn across her face.

    “What do you care?” she asked in a tone that sounded more like a statement.

    “I have to care, my friend.”

    “I have no friends.” She turned away, sounding more despondent than she appeared. I could have been wrong but it seemed to me like it was an act. She was crying for attention. And there was no one else but me.

    She has been behaving weirdly. The night before, she had pounded on my apartment door, a half empty bottle of cheap vodka clutched in her hand. She had nothing much else on her. Nothing but a skimpy black number with a broken shoulder strap and a ripped hemline. And she was already intoxicated. I thought it was my lucky night. But it wasn’t. She was in trouble. The kind of trouble you can’t just walk away from.

    And she had come to me, seeking my console.

    So I did what any gentleman would do in my position. I got hammered with her. But now, with last night’s hangover throbbing within my skull, I was deeply regretting that choice. She was scaring me. And I was battling to claw at a clear thought.

    “You’ve got me. I’m your friend,” I told her, trying to sound as sincere as I could. “So tell me why you’re doing this?”

    For a moment it seemed as if she wasn’t going to answer, but then she looked up and uttered with a dismissive question. “Why not?”

    “Come on! Don’t be like that. I’ll give you your say. Just let me listen. Please.”

    She looked ahead solemnly and whimpered a strange and forgone reason. “Because I have to.”

    I couldn’t make sense of it, but tried away. “But we’re not forced to do anything in this life,” I said, pretending to know what I was talking about. “All we have are the choices we make.”

    “And the consequences we have to deal with because of those choices.”

    “Exactly!” I said automatically, initially not realising that she was finishing my sentence.

    “So you’re trying to stop me from facing my consequences?”

    “What? No. That’s not what I meant. I meant–”

    “Face it, friend. You can’t help me.” At that point she stood up on the ledge. “No one can help me.”

    “No. Don’t!” She turned to look at me, balancing on the sliver of the ledge with all the grace of a feral feline.

    “Don’t what?” I paused, not knowing what to say, where to take the conversation. I was stumped. I couldn’t help her. “You’re going to save me, friend? You’re going to be my knight in shining armour?”

    She was patronizing me. I hesitated before answering. “I don’t know,” I said honestly. “But I can try.”

    “Ha!” she laughed. “Don’t kid yourself. You can’t help me. No one can.”

    “Please! Tell me what I can do.” I was begging. I was at a loss. But I knew one thing – her mind was already made up. And which ever way I looked I couldn’t talk her out of it.

    “Don’t stress yourself. It’s not your burden.” Now she was trying to console me. I suddenly realised how I, and my helpless words, must have appeared to her. As if I was the condescending one. As if I couldn’t understand what she was going through. And she was right. I couldn’t. But here she was, on my ledge, in my apartment. She came to me in the middle of the night. She needed me. And I needed to appeal to that part of her, but for some reason I just couldn’t find a way in.

    “Why are you doing this?”

    “Okay,” she said as she bent down to sit on the ledge, as if sensing my resignation. “If you’re really so interested, I’ll enlighten you.” Perhaps it was all just a ploy after all. An act. A desperate cry for attention.

    I stepped out of bed and walked closer to the window, with the desire to give her that attention. There was a chill to the air but it wasn’t windy. It accentuated the surreal calmness of the moment as we looked out at the dawn sun begin its rise over the distant skyscrapers.

    “This life,” she began, “is all we have. All its choices and consequences. But those choices and consequences are not ours. They might seem like they belong to us. But they aren’t. It’s all an illusion. A mirage.” She looked at me, her deep eyes pierced through to my soul. “A dream even. A grand scheme by the great creator. Or whatever created all this.”

    “Surely you can’t believe that. Not completely, anyway,” I said, trying to sustain the conversation so that I could think of a way to talk her out of what I thought she was planning to do.

    “It’s the only thing to believe. Everything is preordained. Everything that we do, that we will, that we dream, that we think. It’s all planned out long before any of us were ever imagined.”

    “Yeah, that’s true. But our will is our own.”

    “Have you even been listening to a word I just said?”

    “Well, how do you figure, then?” She sighed and looked me up and down.

    “Before I came to you, I was raped.” Her sudden revelation shocked me. It all immediately began to make sense. She showing up at my door. Her sullen mood. Her torn dress. Her dishevelled appearance. The alcohol. “Was that my choice? Was that my will?” Her voice raised a pitch, higher and sharper.

    “No it wasn’t.” I swallowed hard before continuing. “But it was his choice.”

    “And it was my choice to kill him!” she screamed, her anger pouring out, a torrent of raw emotion.

    I stood by, not daring to utter another word. How could I? What could I say to ease her pain? I think silence was my best option. I allowed her to let it all out. I was sure there would be some sort of healing from it.

    “That fucker came inside me,” she said, her tone now softer, barely audible. Her features took on a more serious appearance. “Am I supposed to keep this child? Is that my only choice?” Tears were streaming down her face. She looked inconsolable. Almost destroyed.

    “There are ways around this, my friend. It just happened. Doctors can help you.”

    “No they can’t.”

    “You’re wrong about that.”

    “Am I? It didn’t happen last night. It happened months ago. I didn’t know I was pregnant. But when my doc said so, I knew then that I was gonna kill that fucker. So I put on the shortest dress I could find and prowled those same damn streets where he raped me. And when he showed his sorry face and forced himself on me again last night, he didn’t know I had a knife on me. Not this time. He didn’t know I had already imagined stabbing him fifty times before I fucking stabbed him fifty times!”

    I had no words. All I could do was listen to her pour her heart out.

    “You see, my friend. It’s all preordained. And if that’s true then I don’t want any part of this sick fucking world. Not me. And not my child.”

    I watched her disappear from the ledge. I remember time stood still as I looked up at the morning sun, it’s golden rays stretching across the vast horizon, imbuing the sky in a yellow brilliance. It was peaceful. I didn’t dare look down. But I had one single, solemn thought as my cloudy head cleared up. I should have joined her.

    Because everything is, in fact, preordained. Everything is a lie. A fabrication. A sheet pulled over our eyes so that we can’t see what is really going on. We would never be able to view the bigger picture. Not through our mortal eyes. We can see many perspectives of it. And we can try to understand others’ perspectives on it. But we will never know the grand scheme of things.

    Just like the ant that gets crushed under your sole. Or the hapless fly that gets swatted. They don’t have a voice. Just like every single last one of us. Just like her child didn’t have a choice.

    1. derrdevil

      Oh dear! I didn’t realise the word count again. Sorry guys. I just kept going because I felt like it needed it. Sorry if this deters most of you. And for those that decide to weather my story: Thanks! I appreciate the read and comments, and I do hope you enjoy!

    2. Observer Tim

      This is a good story and an entertaining read, but a deeply disturbing philosophy. You’ve outlined the argument clearly and succinctly. Dealing with grief and guilt can be a devastating experience, especially when someone you respect is failing. Fatalism (a close relative of nihilism) is really nasty, since this is one of the more common outcomes. It’s kind of sad to see that the woman has “opened his mind” to the idea.

      1. derrdevil

        Ag, thanks OT and JM! Kind words, but I think I used too many to get to my point. I rushed to get the story out because I thought the prompt would change soon and no one would read this one any more… Rereading it, I see quite a few mistakes. Oops.

        I had an idea were the MC had a different POV at the end, but I just couldn’t nail it down. And it was already looking way too long.

        I believe more in panentheism rather than anything else, but I know it’s characters that drive the story. Maybe I should have added more background to the MC’s beliefs before showing how fleeting he was on his own views. But thanks again!

    3. lionetravail

      Very disturbing, very sad, very dramatic.

      I think the only edits I’d suggest is shorter, and not for the prompt restriction. I thought her state of mind, so effectively created, was too disturbed for some of her explanation and philosophy. I think you painted such an effective picture that she didn’t need to say as much, and that it took away the raw power of your scene.

      Nice job doing all that 🙂

  16. k.spicer

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

    IF SOMEONE IS MONITORING THIS WEB PAGE THEN PLEASE TAKE NOTE OF THIS!

    THIS WEB SITE IS REALY STARTING TO DRIVE ME CRAZY!

    WHEN I’M LOGGED IN I KEEP GETTING KICKED OUT!

    SORRY EVERYONE FOR NOT GETTING A CHANCE TO COMMIT ON POSTS BUT EVERY TIME I TRY I GET KICKED OUT AND THERE’S NOT ENOUGH HOURS IN THE DAY TO KEEP FIGHTING THIS BUG IN THE SYSTEM THAT EVERYONE SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN EXPERIENCING.

    PLEASE FIX THIS PROBLEM BEFORE WE ALL GO BALD FROM PULLING OUR HAIR OUT!

    THANK YOU!

    1. Augie

      Deep in WD land the mobsters search, speaking in binary….

      01010011 01110100 01110101 01110000 01101001 01100100 00101100 00100000 01100110 01101001 01101110 01100100 00100000 01100100 01100001 00100000 01100010 01110101 01100111 00100000 01100001 01101110 01100100 00100000 01101100 01100101 01110100 01110011 00100000 01100111 01100101 01110100 00100000 01101111 01110101 01110100 01110100 01100001 00100000 01101000 01100101 01110010 01100101 00100001

        1. k.spicer

          Augie, your wit continues…I loved this.
          My son is an IT guy and probably knows all about this sort of thing. All I know is I press a key and neat little letters and numbers come up on the screen thingy
          The fact that the stupids are busy inside WD’s system is a riot! I’m sure ASCII is some sort of binary code…who knows, maybe stupids will meet up with Tron while inside there. Now there’s a story for you!

          1. Augie

            HA HA! Yes, if you search ‘binary to text’ this is what Mo said:

            Stupid, find da bug and lets get outta here!

        2. k.spicer

          I love it!!!
          If an IT person is monitoring this site they may read that and think you’re calling “them” stupid…unless of course they (like me) follow along and are fans of the godfather.
          This comment has made all the hair pulling over the bug worth it! I’m now laughing about it imagining the stupids at work!
          Thanks Augie for making us laugh. Sometimes we need a good laugh!

          1. k.spicer

            AND IN CASE AN IT PERSON IS MONITORING THIS…IN THIS SMALL EXCHANGE I HAD WITH AUGIE I WAS KICKED OFF AND HAD TO LOG BACK IN THREE DIFFERENT TIMES!
            BUT HAVING GOTTEN A GOOD LAUGH…IT WAS WORTH IT!

    2. Augie

      0100100100100000011101000110100001101001011011100110101100100000011101000110100001100101001000000111001101110100011101010111000001101001011001000111001100100000011100110111010001101111011011000110010100100000011101000110100001100101001000000110111001100101011101110010000001110000011100100110111101101101011100000111010000100001

      “UHH OHHH!”

          1. Augie

            hahaha! Well, just wait! Da Mobsters Tony and Mo meet the moonshiners Bud and Bo! I have been developing ‘one-liners; all week!

  17. Loneanimewolf

    Someone was taking my pants off.
    And I knew who.
    Clenching my eyes shut, I struggled to keep my breathing even. If I opened my eyes…No, don’t. Calm down.
    Breathe.
    They were off now, I heard a faint sound of clothes moving, then nothing.
    My breathe filled the emptiness, so loud in the quiet.
    “I know you’re awake Dian.”
    My eyes snapped open, only to be covered in a musky smelling cloth.
    “Be a good boy, and stay still.”
    I trembled, helpless to do anything but. A throaty chuckle. Then nothing. God, I hated the silence.
    Then I felt something being pulled up my legs, a….skirt? I whimpered.
    The slap made my face snap to the side, sending the lacy panties flying. I could see now, but I knew better than to keep my eyes open.
    “Quiet darlin’ you don’t want me to get rough.”
    I bit my lip as the skirt resumed being pulled up.
    “All done. That wasn’t so hard, was it Dian? It suits you.”
    A burst of laughter followed the demeaning words, cutting deep.
    “Now, Dian, make sure to tell them nothing.”
    A hand curled around my face, nails digging into my skin. I nodded.
    My face was released, then I heard footsteps departing. I opened my eyes in time to see my mother leave the room, her wispy blonde curls trailing behind her.
    She was wearing my favorite pair of pants.

    1. Observer Tim

      This is very well done, Loneanimewolf. Poor Dian is going to be forced to wear a skirt; the name Dian is unisex enough that you can draw the embarrassment in any shape you please.

      I’m a wee bit curious about why Dian was sleeping with a pair of lacy panties on their face, but to each their own…

      P.S. I love it.

        1. derrdevil

          This was so very weird. Nicely written out, and I could picture it all well enough as I went along, But I had this certain feeling that I didn’t want to go on. Definitely creepy vibes!

  18. agnesjack

    This is for snuzcook — another Grandpa story. (The first was posted for the “Two Sips Off” prompt, August 21st.)
    _______________

    “Did I ever tell you about Louella Livingstone and the unfortunate fate of the pink polka-dot pants?”

    “No!”

    “Well, Louella lived in an octagon house on Ocacala Way, just down the street from where your middle school is.”

    “I’ve never seen an octagon house, Grandpa.”

    “No, Maggie, that’s because it burned down during the infamous swinging soirée of ’68.”

    “Oh.”

    “Anyway, Louella owned the New Age Nail and Nurture Salon. You know all those fancy nail designs that are so common today? Louella was doing that long before anyone else. Women came from all over to have their nails done by Louella. Her favorite design was polka dots. She just loved polka dots. She’d wear scarves with polka dots, coats with polka dots, and every pair of pants that she owned had polka dots. Even her living room had big red polka dots painted above the fireplace.”

    “I bet that looked silly.”

    “It did. Especially since she placed a small picture of either a sunrise or sunset in the center of each one. She loved sunrises and sunsets, too.”

    “’Cause the sun looks like a polka dot!”

    “No doubt, Mag. Good observation. But as odd as Louella was with her polka dot obsession, she had a gift for making people feel at ease. If there was a problem and people were getting all riled up at a town hall meeting, all Louella had to do was stand up and say a few words and everyone calmed down. Well, everyone except Gigi Gagliardi. Gigi hated Louella because years before when they were children, Louella hadn’t waved back when Gigi waved to her from a moving car. Gigi was one of those unfortunate souls who held onto every slight, every hurt and every omission, no matter how small or unintentional. She wasted so much time getting back at people — or making them sorry, as she put it — that she didn’t have time to just live life and have fun. Half the time, people had no idea what they had done to offend her. So, when Louella woke to a noise outside her bedroom window, and looked out and saw a glaring Gigi wearing Louella’s favorite pink silk polka dot pants, she wasn’t really surprised.

    Gigi, she said. Are you all right?

    Am I all right? Gigi responded with a snort. As if you care. Then she took a bottle of red nail polish out of her purse, opened it and shook it all over the front of the pants. Here’s some more DOTS, Louella. My own special design.

    Then Gigi took out a bottle of green ink and did the same.

    It needs more color, Louella, don’t you think? she said, but Louella wasn’t in the window anymore. Soon, the front door opened and Louella came out in her bathrobe with a pile of folded pants.

    Here, Gigi, she said. Polka dots have always made me happy. Maybe they’ll finally make you happy, too, and she handed her the pile and went back into the house.”

    “Did it make her happy, Grandpa?”

    “Sadly, No. Some people just don’t want to be happy, I guess, but Louella decided that perhaps her life with polka dots had run its course. So after that, everything, including the leather upholstery of her convertible, had multi-colored stripes.”

    “Aw, Grandpa.”

    “Goodnight, Magpie.”

    “Goodnight, Grandpa.”

    1. k.spicer

      Ange, that was sweet…but I wasn’t satisfied with the ending; I wanted more. Maybe a cute scene where Grandma comes into the room wearing some crazy stripped, or polka dot pajamas and let people decide if they think Grandma was this Louella in his story. It was still cute and well written. Good job.

      1. agnesjack

        Thanks, k.spicer, for reading and commenting. I would agree that the end seems a little abrubt (darn word limit), but Grandpa’s tales are not meant to be true or real. Although they appear to be about people and historical places in their hometown, they’re from Grandpa’s imagination to entertain his grand-daughter and perhaps teach her a little about life.

    2. snuzcook

      Agnesjack, I love he way your Grandpa character weaves these wonderful stories:
      “…Louella lived in an octagon house on Ocacala Way, just down the street from where your middle school is.”
      “I’ve never seen an octagon house, Grandpa.”
      “No, Maggie, that’s because it burned down during the infamous swinging soirée of ’68.”

      So full of untold stories and tongue-in-cheek humor. And a wonderful parable for the granddaughter about so many aspects of human nature. You’ve created a lovely duo here.
      Lovely story! I bet Grandpa has more of ’em!

      1. derrdevil

        Oh definitely, snuzcook. It drew a stark contrast between the two characters: One oozing with knowledge and quirky stories to tell; the other bubbling with childish curiosity. It’s a brilliant pairing.

      2. agnesjack

        snuzcook, you’ve really gotten what I intended. You inspired me to write more of these Grandpa stories, which I’m doing. I thought it would be fun to give hints about other stories so that they are all connected in some way. My first post (Two Sips Off), mentioned the Dionysus Distillery and Dinner Theater — now wouldn’t that make an interesting story. Thanks for the encouragement.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Sweet story Nancy. You should write a childrens’s book using grandpa as the narrator, just like this story. You write as if you are wired to a five year old’s thoughts. And that isn’t easy to do. It’s really a delight to read anything you write.

        Please write a bedtime story for me and I’ll send a baby picture of myself.

        1. agnesjack

          Thanks, Kerry. I am going to try to read more stories today (although everyone will probably move on to the new prompt when posted). I’m having fun with these stories and decided to write more of them. Watch out, you may find yourself in one. 🙂

          1. Kerry Charlton

            OK I’m six feet, 182 pounds of solid muscle. Irish in temperrment, blue eyes, white hair, what ever’s left, married a fair maiden red head for 47 tears, ight children, 14 grandchildren, five great grand children. I like Italian, Sinatra, and stuck on Maureen O’Hara.

    3. jmcody

      As the mother of young children, or recently young children (ages 8 and 14), I wholeheartedly agree that this would make a wonderful children’s story. You already have the bones here, and your voice and your grandpa character really lend themselves to it. You should seriously consider it.

      This is a little reminiscent of a book my daughter loved when she was younger. Check out “A Bad Case of Stripes” by David Shannon. It is a completely different tale, but in a similar vein.

    4. Observer Tim

      I truly love this story, Nancy. It seems like just the kind of thing that a grandpa (or grandma) would tell the kids at bedtime. Like a handmade sampler on the kitchen wall, it just screams of home and caring.

    5. derrdevil

      This was lovely, agnesjack! I loved how the story pieced together: with the quirky Louella and her love for polka dots, and the childish Gigi, and the nail polish being used in the culmination of it all. The way that it flowed was so much like a grandpa tale. And I especially loved to two characters, Grandpa and Maggie: they fed of each other because they were such polar opposites. And that’s always a brilliant way to tell a story. Especially one wrapped up in the past. Nicely done!!

    6. lionetravail

      “No doubt Mag, good observation.”

      Everything in this, just wonderful. A very well told story, so sweet. Grandpa has the flavor of the grandpa from Princess Bride- the kind of guy who lives life on his own terms, but is so there for his grandchild and nothing can stop his love for her shining through. Nice, nice story!

      1. agnesjack

        Thank you, lionetravail. Now that you mention it, my grandpa is similar to Peter Falk’s in the Princess Bride. I also think my grandpa is a bit of a tease, too, with the alliterative names and tongue-in-cheek humor. And Maggie is certainly his girl.

  19. Kerry Charlton

    GRACE O’MAILLE

    In the depths of Rockfleet Castle, Crew Bay, County Mayo, Do’nat na Prepa lay chained to a stretching rack.

    ‘Where was my mind last night?’ he thought. ‘Lady Grace had woven her spell of love and here I lay chained.’

    A sound of raucous amusement permeated the stone wall between his lack of freedom and Lady Grace’s playful laughter ouride his prison. As the door opened, she entered wearing his clan’s kilt he had proudly worn last night.

    “Oh, you will pay dearly for my charms last night, Do’nat.”

    “You said you wanted me or I never would have lain with you.”

    “Ye are a proud one laddie, for what reason, I can not imagine.”

    “Then why did you go to the trouble to seduce me?”

    “I was taught to hate everything your clan has stood for. Your great grandfather slew my great uncle in a clan war.He was barely grown. How could you forget?”

    She stood over him running her hand across his bare chest. “You are handsome you know.”

    “Did Eoghan put you up to this?”

    “I do as my Father asks me and always have.”

    “Where is the fair miss I walked with as a youth? Do you not remember Grace?”

    A fleeting look of doubt crossed the ivory beauty of her face, her haunting green eyes and light auburn hair. ‘Why can I not tell him how I feel in my soul? That I’ve cared in spite of clan history?’

    “You know Grace my love, just one more time, press your lips upon mine and I will resign myself to death.”

    “Do’nat, do you really care? You’ve always teased me since I was little.”

    “Did you not know my love for you, even as a child?”

    “I wasn’t sure. You teased all the girls and when you came of age, ladies surrounded you, plying their favors upon you.”

    “Aye, I was unseasoned about life and you were so lovely and pure at heart.”

    She leaned over his prone face and kissed him tenderly, running her fingers through his sandy hair.

    “I love everything about you,” she said. “I always have since I was a small girl.”

    A giant of a warrior stood in the dungeon doorway, listening quietly.

    “Daughter, why are you here?”

    “Father, I can not obey you. If you harm Do’nat, I will die with him.”

    Many scars traveled the face and body of Eoghan from former struggles in wars against England as well as the warring clans. But his eyes bore weariness from the fray and Grace noticed a tenderness in his look she had never seen before.

    “I’m old now, too many battles for my mind to remember. Would it bother you daughter if I laid my sword away and let the youth fight our causes?”

    The morning sun broke past the Irish mist and streamed through a small window in a high wall across from Do’nat and lit his face.

    ” ‘Tis a sign Father, releaee my love.”

    Eaghan stood beside his daughter out of the vision of Do’nat.

    “That I shall Grace,” throwing his daughter a sly wink.

    1. jmcody

      Ok… this is attempt number two to post this response. I hope I am not repeating myself.

      Kerry, you know I love a good Irish yarn and this one has it all: Damp stone walls and morning mists, ancient rivalries and beautiful lads and ladies. And best of all, love wins out in the end. You are a true romantic, Kerry! But I have just one question: If Lady Grace is wearing the kilt, what exactly is Do’nat wearing, hmmmm???

      Your imagination continues to amaze me. I always look forward to seeing what else is in that brain of yours. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        He is absolutely stark naked. Thank you jm. I’m late getting here this week. This idea hit me about eleven last night. I wanted romance, danger, deception and Irish mist, sixteenth century time period. The castle exists as well as the character’s are historical. Glad you liked the read. My brain was full of the halloween story I wrote this week.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you Bilbo. County Mayo is in the upper western part of Ireland. I like Scotland as well, even though I’m an arm chair traveler.Thank you for the comments.

    2. k.spicer

      I love tales of Scotland as well as Ireland. When they’re done well they always take me on the most wonderful adventures and this one did that. Have you written any full length novels on the subject? If not you should give it a try. I like your voice and the scenes you create. Very well done Kerry!

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you k.spicer. I appreciate your compliments and I loved this story you posted. I’m working on a longer piece about an Irish Banshee , 14th century. I’m about seven thousand words so far. Irish folklore has both good and evil banshee. Aileen Of Tara is a benevolent one that rescues a boy after he drowns and is to be taken to hell by the devil’s death carriage,

    3. Manwe38

      I really got into the mood of this piece. Having never been overseas, I’d say you did a perfect job of bringing me into your world.

      Nicely done, and beautifully written.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you, Manwe38. I’m glad you got into the story. I love writing these kind of tales. I grew in a “Lassie” world. Thank you for your kind thoughts.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you snuzcook. I’ve become obsessed with this beauty ever since I first saw Maureen O”Hara on the screen. Matter of fact, I married her 47 years ago, my wife, not Maureen. Thanks for the wonderful compliment.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you Critique. The stretching rack was a tension builder. I didn’t want the reader to too comfortable early in the story. I liked the way it ended also. I guess I’m kind of perdictable

    4. Observer Tim

      Lovely story, Kerry. Absolutely wonderful. I love a good Irish folk tale. 😉

      While I was reading it, a comment came to mind: “Climb up, lassy, and we shall reach heaven long ere your father sends me!”

      Or is that just my dirty mind?

      1. Kerry Charlton

        I think it would make a lovely ending and I really wish I had thought of it. Oh well,next time. Thank you for reading and enjoying it. Tim. Have you submitted to the ‘freaky’ yet? I’m submitting today just so Reaper can whip my ass! I’m into pain today.

        1. Reaper

          While I will be the first to say what I wrote for the contest is good I think it may be a bit subtle to be chill worthy. It is also steeped in the Celtic origins of Halloween. So I am hoping but not too hard for a placement. Hope to see both of you guys listed in the winners though! Well I hope to see me but good luck!

          1. Kerry Charlton

            iThat’s cool Reaper. My story is set in 1877 on the river road from Baton Rouge to New Orleans. Flash forward to 1979. An old antebellum plantation.

    5. Reaper

      Love this Kerry. Wish I had time to look up the historical stuff this week. Because it is you of course assume the happy ending but I love how you left it open for interpretation. A sly wink and a promise to release her love could have a much darker ending. My mind went to the happy one but there was a moment of “oh crap” just before that. Expertly done.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Hello Reaper. Thank you. I’m happy to keep you guessing on the ending. You never know what the Irish were up to in the sixteenth century. Lovin’ and fightin’ and God knows what else.

        1. swatchcat

          Historical fiction? Sounds exciting. Right now I am waiting in ecstasy for the damned mid-season break to be over on Starz for Diana Gabaldon’s first of nine books; Scottish history. I feel in love with all that sort of stuff a long time ago, and yours is right up there. Nice. However, I did stumble on Do’nat full name, but enjoyable. Thank you

          1. Kerry Charlton

            Thank you swatchcat. I didn’t like Do’nat’s last name either but he was her lover. I don’t want to get the Irish mad, especially the dead ones.

    6. agnesjack

      Ah, Kerry, I finally made it to your story. I’ve been working my way up from the bottom for what seems like days.

      This was great. I loved the locale (western Ireland is so amazingly beautiful), the historical feel, the suspense and the romance. I do wonder, however, what Eaghan’s wink meant. 😉

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you Nancy. I had a lot of fun with this. My take on the wink; Grace and her father staged the whole thing. She had convinved her father of his worth. and the reason for the rack and the rescue was to instill who is The boss in this marriage? That would be Grace.

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