Another challenge! Several fun writing and photo challenges are scattered throughout The Land of Blog and on occasion, I’m inspired to participate. Today is one of those days.

This Six Word Story Challenge, hosted by Nicola on the Sometimes Stellar Storytelling blog, can be found here and the prompt is the word Wicked. Here is the entry I submitted:

Scathing innuendos never really hurt anyone.

Johnny was quite the tough guy, or so he thought himself to be. With his cigarette dangling just so and the sleeves of his grungy white t-shirt rolled up above his quasi-impressive biceps, this wanna-be JD strode toward the jukebox with what he hoped resembled an imposing swagger. Stopping to deposit a three-quarter inch stem of ashes from the Marlboro that was fixed between his teeth, he dropped in the requisite coins and selected P-2. Born to be Wild.

Silently, he returned to his booth in the corner, sitting with his back to the wall in order to survey his kingdom with Steppenwolf padding his brain (and his male-diminutive 5-7 frame) with adrenaline. A sneer slowly exploded in the space between his left and right ears.

“Yeah, this is how it’s done”.

Daily Prompt: Notorious

Those Others, the ones occasionally visible on the other side of the Sheer Clear Hardness, continued to provide the nuts and seeds that his kind craved. The metal contraption containing these nutrients was at first a challenge but Mr. S proved adept at acquiring the goodies held within, although not as quickly as he would have liked. He had to work – hard! – for his supper (lunch and breakfast, too). After twisting and turning his nimble body to secure a solid hold on the cage, he was free to extract each delicious morsel. Sometimes, if one of The Others (or a challenger) startled him, sending him scurrying away, some of the seeds would shake loose from the device and drop to the surface below. This, Mr. S discovered, made his job much easier.

However, it was easier not just for him but also for those who were like him but not quite like him. Mr. C, in his jaunty red coat and his less fashionable mate and the multitude of smaller ones who in only one small (but key) way resembled Mr. C, descended in droves and slowly chipped away at the harvest that he, Mr. S had unwittingly made available.

With a shrug, Mr. S resumed his post and continued to extract the bounty The Others had provided. Unwittingly, he – and they – worked together to ensure all their appetites were sated. Perhaps not a natural arrangement but one that sufficed, in any case, and in different ways, met all their needs, The Others (just beyond the Sheer Clear Hardness) included.

Daily Prompt: Collaboration

Wondering if anyone else out there owns each of these same games.

ALSO: Any fun Game Night traditions in your families you’d like to share? What other games have been a huge success? Any that didn’t quite hit the mark?

Robins seem to enjoy sitting in our diminutive (but growing) locust tree in the backyard. A few years ago, I hung a jewel-toned metal remnant from a battered whirligig – one of those decorative spinning devices that was no match for a strong wind storm a while back – on one of the lower branches, close to the one where the robins like to perch. It’s a pretty addition to our lovely tree and I always hate to part with anything, no matter how small or insignificant, that makes me smile. There is a robin’s nest under the deck, just shy of twenty paces from our tree, and I am left to speculate that Mama Robin see this little bejeweled spot as her sanctuary, her respite from the demands of robin motherhood.

The bright green, almost fluorescent young leaves look so fresh and new, like everything come spring. Surely they must entice my red-breasted friends with the same capacity for joy as whenever I catch a glimpse of our tree looking out our sunroom window.

We planted the locust the first year we lived here; however, for a number of reasons we’ve had to relocate the tree twice since that initial planting. To say that it hasn’t exactly thrived would be an understatement. We jokingly refer to it as our Charlie Brown tree. It has been, however, in its current location now for about seven years and is finally, finally exhibiting new growth, new shoots and sprouts that make my heart happy each spring as it continues to display more form, more fullness, a more pleasing shape.

Oh, and that green! Is it any wonder the robins love it so?

A grassy bank
Blue sky overhead
Fluffy white clouds
Tall grasses swaying in the wind.

Teenage years
Always filled with angst.
Yearning, discovery
Sometimes pain and loss.

I remember lying there
Wondering about the world.
Idealistic brain babblings.
So sure of how things should be.

Trying to figure it out
‘Where do I fit in?’
And sometimes, that small voice:
‘Do I fit in? Do I belong?’

All these years later
I can still visualize that one particular moment.
So unaware of what was yet to come.
Considering this, the future is not so daunting.

Always, one foot forward.
What else are you going to do?