Seasoned Greetings

 

Just a quick couple of shots today…took the long way home last night because it was snowing out, and I had a couple of things in mind for the demon-tech to perform for me.

I dislike snow…but it photographs nicely.

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Flash Fiction – Calling all Cars!

 

Rose lineup Flash Fiction

I sometimes miss the old Flash Fiction website Рit was a vibrant online community of semi- (and not so semi-) hobby writers, who gathered at least once a week to be challenged to produce a small piece of original fiction.  Inspired by the photo prompt or directed requirements Рwe operated on a tight timeline to pop out a tiny slice of creative wordplay.

I’m sharing this piece again – as it was one of my favorite flash pieces, and, well, ’tis the season ūüėÄ

 

 

 

Calling All Cars!

157 words

‚ÄúCalling all cars!¬† Calling all cars!‚ÄĚ

Every year, we get the call.  Every year, we respond.  Every year, our department fails to close this decades-old case.

‚ÄúPerson of interest¬†male, white, late 70‚Äôs, portly.¬† Full facial hair, white.¬†¬†Last seen¬†wearing¬†bright red suit and hat with white fringe, black belt, black knee-boots.‚ÄĚ

My hands curl around the steering wheel, mentally preparing for the yearly bloodbath.

‚ÄúSuspect get-away vehicle¬†tiny sleigh pulled by 8 animals of reindeer origin.¬† No plates evident.‚ÄĚ

My partner and I lock eyes, knowing …HATING… what’s coming.

‚ÄúOcular trauma to multiple victims.¬† Eyes replaced with charcoal briquettes.‚ÄĚ

I yank a cigarette from the pack on the dash.¬† ‚ÄúShoulda been nice‚Ķ‚ÄĚ I whisper, even as my partner mutters¬† ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs always the naughty ones‚Ķ‚ÄĚ

“Suspect 3.75 inches tall.  Last known locations… “

A string of addresses follow, blanketing the car in a wall of sound.

‚ÄúPublic Enemy number one‚Ķ‚ÄĚ I growl, flipping on the siren.

Have a Festive SeaKwaHoliChrisKkah (Now Go Forth and Shop!)

Shop-zilla copy

Shop-zilla in its natural habitat

No matter what you call this month-plus of celebratory gluttony,¬†your¬†original reason for the recognition¬†of¬†this special¬†day/week/month¬†has been out-sung by one Goliath¬†with deeper pockets and blood ties to Big Advert:¬† the retail industry.¬† In fact, Shop-zilla’s demands (to go forth, spend a lot of money on useless crap your friends,¬†family and/or co-workers¬†don’t really need, in order to receive the same¬†said¬†back) have over-ridden any other (read:¬† petty, in Shop-zilla speak)¬†considerations for this last month of the Gregorian Calendar Year.

Shop-zilla will go on to implore you to not forget the gift receipts, so all that stuff can go BACK to the store and exchanged for the cash that it has spent a lot of time and effort to make the average consumer consider gauche to give in the first place.

Shop-zilla is not completely heartless, though Рit did work on a very positive PR campaign for gift cards in lieu of cash, to the tune of ringing cash registers everywhere, a few years back.  It was considered a claws-down success.

After-Holiday sales are just as crucial as the before-Holiday ones for feeding Shop-zilla.

I want to personally remind you to wish everyone the Happiest, Merriest, and most awesome-ist of this special celebratory time while fighting over that close-to-the-door parking space, or the only remaining in stock item of the electronic gizmo-of-the-year.

The sad part of this celebratory season¬†are the number of people lately taking egregious offense at someone wishing¬†them THEIR version of this special season’s well-wishes, instead of the ‘offendee’s’ own, which¬†they make no effort to disclose prior to that chance-meeting out in public.

I saw a news article (well…someone called it news) on a woman who was so incensed over a cashier wishing them “Happy Holidays!” instead of ‘Merry Christmas!,’ that a fisticuffs broke out.

I really wish I was making this up!

I have a special left of reality solution for this rampant “I’m so keyed up I need to take offense at semantics.”¬† Three solutions, actually, which I am prepared to share with the world – completely, totally, and absolutely free of charge.

Shop-zilla comment

“Free?????” howls Shop-zilla…

Idea #1

If you wish to have the greeting of your choice uttered within earshot -and specifically TO you- by perfect strangers in the midst of the busiest shopping event of the year Рyou must have said greeting tattooed on your forehead.  This must be in plain sight, and not hidden by any caps, scarves, or hair.  The largest font available to fit your forehead is recommended.  I would suggest the color scheme be composed of glaringly-clashing hues, to further heighten visibility.

Not into ink?  An alternate would be to wear a banner, a beanie, a ball cap, or another brightly-colored and easy-to-read article of apparel that is, again, in plain sight.  LED lights should be stitched into the fabric and set on a high rate of flash, to really draw the eyes of everyone.  The goal here is:  You HAVE to let the world Рevery single random stranger you could possibly meet Рknow exactly what your preferred greeting IS.

I would also suggest multiple languages be considered, just in case someone you come across does not speak your native tongue.

This should hold humanity over until a proper virus that imparts telepathy to the population can be developed and released.

Idea #2

Alternately – how about we switch the official greeting of this celebratory season to what it REALLY is in the eyes of the world:¬† “Go Forth and Shop.”¬† This, if you haven’t already guessed, is Shop-zilla’s favorite…

I can see it already:

new Season's Greetings

Simple.  Logical.  Perfect.  And highly recommended by four out of five Social Programming Specialists.  Fisticuffs, ambulance rides, and ER visits REALLY get in the way of over-spending.

Idea #3

We all, as a species, learn to accept well-wishing greetings in the spirit they are given, rather than focusing on (and getting pissed over) minute differences in culture.

Yea…you’re right…#3 will never work…

Now…Go Forth and Shop, everyone!¬† Shop-zilla is counting on you!

Flash! Friday – Calling All Cars!!!

rose lineup copy

Flashy little Origami Flowers…

One place I’ve made a digital home is over on Flash! Friday.¬† They offer a weekly flash fiction contest.¬† Not that I play for the distinction of ‘winning’ something (in this case a bit of electronic bragging rights) but for the challenges it offers the Queen Muse, the chance to read, read, read some other writer’s work, and the opportunity to have other writers offer any criticism, encouragement, or suggestions.

Welcome to networking in the new millennium…no actual physical contact needed.

Today’s flash fiction prompt is a shot of a Santa doll in front of a police line-up board – and the absolute first words that crossed my brain for this challenge ended up both title, and opening line.¬† After that – things got creepy.

Enjoy – and be Nice! (or else…)

Calling All Cars!

157 words

“Calling all cars!¬† Calling all cars!”

Every year, we get the call.  Every year, we respond.  Every year, our department fails to close this decades-old case.

“Person of interest¬†male, white, late 70’s, portly.¬† Full facial hair, white.¬†¬†Last seen¬†wearing¬†bright red suit and hat with white fringe, black belt, black knee-boots.”

My hands curl around the steering wheel, mentally preparing for the yearly bloodbath.

“Suspect get-away vehicle¬†tiny sleigh pulled by 8 animals of reindeer origin.¬† No plates evident.”

My partner and I lock eyes,¬†knowing …HATING… what’s¬†coming.

“Ocular trauma to multiple victims.¬† Eyes replaced with charcoal briquettes.”

I yank a cigarette from the pack on the dash.¬† “Shoulda been nice…” I whisper, even as my partner mutters¬† “It’s always the naughty ones…”

“Suspect 3.75 inches tall.¬† Last known locations… “

A string of addresses follow, blanketing the car in a wall of sound.

“Public Enemy number one…” I growl, flipping on the siren.