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

It wouldn’t be long before it happened yet again.

He promised her he was a changed man, that he was chagrined about what he’d done, what he’d said, that he’d failed to follow through on his commitments. She continued to believe him because, of course, she wanted to trust that what he said was true.

Deep down though she knew. Poof! All his good intentions were just that: in-ten-tions, wishful thinking, fallacies, fantasies of domestic tranquility, peace, harmony, Ye Old White Picket Fence silliness. He would never change and she knew this in her gut. She’d just chosen to temporarily (she told herself) set that aside being because, well, he just might mean it this time around. It could happen, right?

Daily Prompt: Temporary

A most unattractive state,
Makes me feel small:
Thus, to be avoided.

It doesn’t matter if I’m giving off this vibe
Or if I’m in the vicinity of someone else who is.

Best to pursue one’s own excellence
Than to grumble and grouse in regard to someone else’s
Or the perceived unfairness thereof.

At the end of the day, just get over it!

Daily Prompt: Bitter