The Smallest Clue

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The room to the left of the stairway was his.  He had a spartan look to the room with only a bed and a desk.  No pictures on the walls or decoration on his desk.  A basic laptop set in front of the desk chair and everything else was in the closet.

He came home from work and knew immediately that someone had been in his room.  The laptop was still on the desk.  The closet door still shut, and nothing had been moved on the bed since he had made it.  How was he so sure someone had been in his room?


She sat in his chair and thought to herself, “He needs to know I was here, but how?”  She suddenly smiled and opened his one desk drawer a fraction of an inch.  If he was truly going to be right to recruit to be a spy, he had to be observant.  She then slid a business card under his pillow being careful not to disturb the case.  He would find it and get ahold of her, she was sure.

Now she sat back and waited for the call.  It wasn’t but about 20 minutes later when the phone rang.  Let the games begin.

Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – spartan

On Guard

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She was walking back to her car after work.  The street ahead of her was deserted but she was still on edge.  She turned around and saw an empty street behind her, but she just couldn’t shake the uncanny feeling she was being followed.

When she got to her car, she immediately locked her doors once inside.  As she went to start the car, she saw her hands were shaking.  Why was she so uneasy?  Putting the car into gear she was about to back up when a knock on the passenger window about sent her to the ER with a heart attack.

She looked at the window only to see her coworker standing there waiting.  She rolled the window down and asked, “What’s up Seth?”

“My car won’t start.  Any chance you could give me a ride home?”

She thought this was what she had been sensing, Seth watching her as he sat in his car.  Suddenly at ease, she unlocked the doors and let Seth in.  “Sure, I can.  You are on the North side of town, right?”

Seth answered her and it proved to be the last words she heard as a stranger walked up to the car and fired two shots into the car killing both her and Seth.  She should have kept her guard up.

Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – uncanny

You Get What You Pay For

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She opened the box and found a pair of Zealot Bluetooth headphones inside.  She had never heard of the brand and assumed it was something he had found on Wish.  He was always finding gadgets there that he had to have.  Since she had mentioned wanting headphones recently, he took advantage of the knowledge for her birthday gift.

“Thanks, hun!  You remembered I wanted a pair.  Where did you get them, I have never heard of this particular brand?”

“Oh, they were a great bargain on Wish.”

She knew it… now how long would they last, if they even worked?

Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – zealot

Rock On

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She climbed the stairs of the coliseum and looked ahead for row numbers.  This had been a last-minute concert idea and their seats were in the upper balcony.  Her Dad would have called them seats in the nose-bleed section because they were so high up.

They found their seats and settled in for a good show.  Her sister and her had decided to go to the show for old times sake.  Many years ago, they had stood in line for tickets to see The Boss, and here they were going to another Bruce Spingsteen show more than thirty years later.

As the show began, they were instantly aware that despite being more than 70 years old, Bruce still knew how to rock and roll!  They clapped and screamed and hollered and were repaid with an encore.  And as they left the coliseum with their ears ringing and hands numb the smiles on their faces gave away that they had thoroughly enjoyed the show.

(added bonus… one of my favorites off the Seeger Sessions CD, Pay Me My Money Down live)

Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – upper

The Surprise Will Be Hers

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He waited at the door and listened.  He could have sworn he heard laughter abruptly stop as he approached his apartment door, but it was now silent as could be.  That silence was surprising.  His wife was home, and she almost always had the stereo on when he came home.  There weren’t many times without it running – when she had a migraine, if she had bad news to share or if she was mad.  He didn’t feel like walking in on any of those.  He had a nefarious plan hatching.

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Behind the door she stood with about a dozen of his closest friends waiting to catch him off guard.  His birthday wasn’t until Monday, but they could all celebrate on a Friday night better than a Monday.  So, it had been her rebellious plan to give him a fright when he came home.  Trouble was she should have turned on the stereo.  She stood here thinking he would know something was up if it was silent in the apartment.  Too late to change it now.  He was here and so close to turning that door handle.

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She stood in the back of the group.  This was a bad idea to be here.  She was more than a friend to her and had recently been a lover to him.  If the surprise didn’t phase him, her being there like nothing had happened would.  Their wicked little rendezvous had been magnificent but so wrong.  She felt her phone vibrate and she glanced at the screen; it was from him. “Meet me at your apartment.  I need you.” She couldn’t move.  Every part of her being wanted to go, but she was too afraid to be caught MIA at the same time he was.

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This would prove to be the longest night for all three of them.

Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – nefarious

All In The Family

Image by press 👍 and ⭐ from Pixabay

The boys sat in the back of the car taunting each other.  The oldest Ronnie said, “You’re a stupid head!”

“Well, you’re smelly!” Henry replied.

“You’re a dodo!”

“You’re a nincompoop!”

“MOM, Henry said I was poop!”

The boys mother sighed and turned to the back seat, “He did not call you poop, he called you a nincompoop.  And Henry, that is unacceptable.  You must apologize to your brother.”

“But Mom he called me names too!”

“Both of you will apologize and remember to be kind.  You only have one brother, and you will never be able to replace him.”

Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – nincompoop

Whistle While You Work

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The man was standing behind his workbench with a power cord in his hand.  An old Zenith television was on the bench in front of him.  He began to tinker with the inner workings he had exposed through an open back.

He was one of the few TV repairmen still in town who knew much about the older models; after all Zenith had been bought out years ago.  But he loved working on anything electrical.  It was the newer models he actually had more trouble with.  He could fix an old picture tube set in less than an hour most days.

His days were getting shorter though as he age caught up with him.  Arthritis had been his companion for years and it was getting harder to grip the tools first thing in the morning.  Today had been a good day though and he began to whistle while he worked on reattaching the cord to the set.

Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – Zenith

A Matter of Time

He finished talking and I debated what to say.  He’d been on a long tirade and I agreed with most of it, but I didn’t want to hear more.  I simply said, “I know what you mean.”

Derrick had been ranting about changes at work. How the company was pushing out the old timers and hiring part-timers.  I agree.  I’ve been here more than ten years and it happens every winter.  I wanted to tell Derrick to keep his head down and do his work, but he is always so vocal.  I honestly don’t think he will last the week.

Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – tirade

Flying Fingers

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She pulled the thread through the eye of the needle and picked up the embroidery hoop.  She began stitching a pattern of flowers and butterflies.  Her fingers practically flew across the fabric.  She had great dexterity for a woman of her age.  But as the years were gaining ground, she had more concerns that arthritis would leave her hands unable to create the stitches she knew so well.

At a young age her Mom had taught her two basic stitches and she had picked up all the other stitches through the years with ease.  She had so many fond memories of embroidering things with her Mom.  Her favorite was a faded blue jean jacket they had nearly covered with designs; her favorite of which was a large owl on the back.

She had been asked many times why she didn’t sell her talents, but she always insisted if it was a job, it would not hold the same joy it did as a hobby.  So, she made all her gifts and even donated some pieces to the local shelter.  She loved to sit and stitch many hours in a day.  It kept her grounded and happy.

Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – dexterity

Surprise Mom!

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He walked down the corridor to the room at the end.  The door was shut and he softly knocked on it.  A distant voice answered, “Just a minute.”  Apartment 9 was where his Mother lived.  He hadn’t seen her for almost a year as his job had sent him out of state.  She didn’t know it was him at the door.

She opened the door with the chain on still and was about to ask who it was when she let out a scream.  “Johnny!  You’re home!”  She shut the door, ripped off the chain and flung open the door.  “Why didn’t you call, I would have had dinner ready for you.”

“No Mom, tomorrow is Mother’s Day so I am home to take you out to dinner.”

“You have always been so good to me Johnny.  Come in and sit down.  How have you been?”

“Wait a minute.  We have reservations for 6 o’clock so you need to grab your coat and purse and come with me.”

“Oh, I need to change.  I am not dressed for going out.”

“Mom, you look as beautiful as always.”


I hope all you Moms, want to be Moms, and Dad’s who are Moms too, have a wonderful Mother’s Day tomorrow.  And a special wish to those without their Moms or children… know this is still a special day of remembrance. HAPPY Mother’s Day!

Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – corridor