Foreign, re-cast



“What are you coding?”

“A character trait.”

“What is it?”


“Never heard of it.”

“Yeah, it’s foreign now but it’ll catch on.”

“How’s it work?”

“It cuts down on SNAFU’s.”

“You’ll be rich!”




Foreign, melted down and recast


Frantic, second-helping



“Impact in 32 seconds,” ship’s voice simulation, calm as a daisy.

The ship would not respond to any command.

“Impact in 29 seconds.”

Some prayed. Some stared at their consoles, dumbfounded.

Jones wasn’t frantic, she engaged all thrusters again, and dampers to zero, drag to maximum.

“It’s working Jones!”

“Yeah, with 12 seconds to spare,” calm as a daisy.

Voice simulation played “Heart-beat” clip, twice.

The ship skidded against the atmosphere, bounced back into space.

“That’s going to leave a skid-mark, Jones.”

“Adds a little character to the ship, don’t you think.”




Frantic, second-helping


Faceless in Modernity


I scan and bag my own groceries. I pump my own fuel, pay both with plastic. I consult with my Doc over a medical link.  I pay up-front with plastic before she appears on my screen.

The closest person to me on Friday was the teller at the drive-through. I received a lollipop and a receipt was emailed to me. Is the lollipop a bribe, quid pro quo?

“We’re the bank with the best lollies.” Nope, it is classical conditioning –mind control.

I have been quietly trained to not have much contact with other people. I like a good algorithm and applied statistical forecasting as much as the next person still I miss chating-up the toll booth matron.

My world is full of faceless commercial interfaces, regiments of robo-calls, and spasms of spam, utilities now estimate my usage and deliver an e-bill.

On Thursday I met friends for coffee. The shop has free wi-fi. Lots of mumbling and faceless face time. I like to sketch whilst sipping hot bean-water and sharing quiet fun with chums.

Even when I go regularly to a group meeting it is mostly anonymous. Get in, get done, and get out, benign and superficial. GPS helps me find my vehicle.

Then Saturday morning I had a cell phone call from a number I didn’t recognize.

“Haven’t seen you in a while. You okay? Checking up on you.”

I reckon I’m not as faceless as I may think. Someone missed my face in the crowd.



Just Desserts

Brown Bags 2

“Are you making your lunches for the week?”

“Just the ones for Larry to steal out of the fridge at the office.”

“Why don’t you confront Larry? It’s not right to steal.”

“It’s okay. I take two lunches.”

“But he’s stealing your food.”

“Well it could be worse. He could offer to trade his lunches for mine.”


“Larry brings terrible lunches packed in neat little boxes.  Think Kindergarten.”

“So he steals lunches from colleagues?”

“Pigeons won’t eat that stuff Larry brings for lunch. And the first three letters in “pigeon” are P-I-G.”

“He’s that afraid of ….”

“Absolutely terrified.”

“Be a lamb, take extra chocolate biscuits.”





Suddenly Prose


Adverbs are one of the spices of life, a word like “suddenly” is so serviceable in prose.

Suddenly reminds me of a bird story that plays out regularly. I am a most irksome neighbor. Given the passel of dove that loves my yard I so often damage their calm and send them into full throttle emergency dove take off. The scene is a blur of color; they explode into the air, and make that tinkling bell sound as they gain altitude.  Off they roar into the protective branches of a pine tree still within sight of me, their heads bobbing, they eyeball me guardedly.

I have not become accustomed to their surprising aerial escapes nor have I stopped being amazed at how suddenly they forget all the bother from a few seconds ago. I hastily scatter some food and I disappear, then, they return, land, and un-scatter, perhaps still wary, and suddenly make the dove chow disappear from the grass.

pexels-photo-203088.jpegSuddenly tells how something is accomplished.  Suddenly soup is just not in my DNA. I admit one thing is better done quickly. Sticky bandages adhering to my mammalian skin I am looking at you.

I love slow brewed tea. I would be confused if sunsets were suddenly over. Floodwater suddenly receding from my door is fabulous.

Telling how something gets done is made suddenly easier by employing adverbs. Then, given a little time the other parts of speech can get to work and help the writer make something of meaning.