E.M.’s RWP~#276 Agastopia- Ear Today, Gone Tomorrow

Today’s Random Word is: agastopia

Auricle, formerly known as Jane, had a ‘thing’ for ears. Nothing kinky but absolutely a bizarre fascination that turned into a full-blown idolization by the time she was 20 years old.
Her most recent tribute to her favorite body part was her name change.
Auricle’s obsession had developed slowly throughout her life but really ramped up in her late teens. She began eating only chicken and fish as protein sources because, of course, they didn’t have visible ears and she refused to eat beef, pork, or heaven forbid, rabbit because displacing precious ears just to consume something was the most barbaric thing she could imagine!
Finally, Auricle’s agastopia became something more dangerous than weird when she started stuffing cotton into her own ears and wrapping them in layers of insulated flannel fashioned into form fitting caps during a bitter winter cold spell. The worry over ugly black frostbite on her ‘beloveds’ actually kept her up nights.
Yesterday, it was 5 degrees after a 2-foot snowstorm the night before and Auricle had her first biyearly ear exam with a specialist that was kindly arranged by her newest therapist. All the roads were still nearly impassible, and Auricle knew she’d have to walk the two blocks to such an important appointment. She bundled up her ‘darling’ appendages as tightly as she ever had and climbed a snowbank stepping out into the narrow street…

The distraught snowplow operator could be heard screaming, “But I blew my horn, and she didn’t move!” as the morgue vehicle removed her body from the bloody scene.

I had never heard of agastopia until now. Thanks for the fun, informative, and ultimately sad prompt.

d’Verse Prosery: When it comes to Katherine Riegel- Beyond Balance

Here’s how to take part in the Prosery Prompt:

  • Write a piece of flash fiction or other prose up of up to or exactly 144 words,
  • Including the given line from the poem.
  • Post your Prosery piece on your blog and link back to this post.
  • Place the link to your actual post (not your blog url) on the Mister Linky page.
  • Don’t forget to check the little box to accept use/privacy policy.
  • Please visit other blogs and comment on their posts!

This evening I would like you to write a Prose piece which includes the line:

“I’d like, too, to plant the sweet alyssum that smells like honey and peace.” from the poem, “What I would like to grow in my Garden.”

“Total all-encompassing darkness even though the midday sun burns my face!”

Brian paused as he processed those opposing disorienting sensations.
But as he crossed his legs and sat, he could smell the rich microbial communities in his newly tilled garden soil and felt balance return.

The wartime sacrifice of his sight wasn’t going to rob him of living fully. At that moment, he realized perhaps more fully than he’d ever known.

His father had dug a donut-shape and seated Brian on sod in the center with a trowel and 2 pre-selected seed packages.

Brian wanted sturdy sunflowers so their growth could be witnessed by his flesh as cool shadows, yet his fingertips would not bend them.

His other request was for aroma.

His Dad shed silent tears when Brian proclaimed, “I’d like, too, to plant the sweet alyssum that smells like honey and peace.” 


Reena’s Xploration Challenge #243- Legendary Response

Situation 1

Your character finds an old, disposable camera on the ground. They get the photos developed. What they see tells an unsettling story.
Local legends tend to become exaggerated over time, so newcomers often do not take them seriously.
Sissy was the new student in the Greenville High School 11th grade having relocated in August after a bitter divorce between her parents. Her hopes were high to settle into a lifestyle that was ordinary, even mundane would be good, after all the drama in the year, so far. Her father’s full custody order couldn’t have come soon enough for her, so the quick purchase of the “fixer upper” house and a speedy move 200 miles away from the tempest of ‘wrong doings’ and ‘accusations’ was welcomed.

Most of her classmates were ‘locals’. In fact, they were SO local that their family names were posted everywhere. The Watson General Store, Hathaway Park, and Dawson Memorial Cemetery covered more than half of the surnames in the 32-member 11th grade class.

Lunch was therefore a gathering of cliques and cousins, so Sissy chose to sit alone at first.
“Hey”, she thought, “At least there’s no hysterical screaming.”
By the second day, she couldn’t help but observe a lot of pointing and whispering in her direction going on.
On her first examination of her new, long-vacant, ramshackle home, Sissy had a blast finding ‘ancient’ artifacts!
A collection of eight track music tapes, a disposable camera, something called a ‘shoehorn’, and piles of old newspaper clippings. Some of them dated as far back as the 1960s. The largest number of those clippings pertained to the disappearance of a young girl named Abigale Dawson.
“Figures” Sissy thought, “They’re all cousins here.”
Her Dad, in an effort to keep Sissy’s spirit of adventure alive, volunteered to take the disposable camera to be developed.

On her first Friday, while Sissy occupied her solo spot in the cafeteria, she was joined by a girl she hadn’t seen before but having just been ‘coasting’ through her first days, she didn’t find it particularly odd.
The girl was very pretty but extremely quiet only murmuring a “yes” or “no”, now and then, so Sissy decided to give her time to warm up and just enjoyed her company.

The next day was Saturday, so Sissy continued her treasure hunt by examining the clippings more closely.
She was stunned to find a photo of her house in far more pristine shape.

This was the home of Abigale Watson!
And by reading subsequent articles, Sissy learned that Abigale was never found but stories about her haunting the house were frequent and sensational in that town for decades. In fact, the clippings were primarily focused on that topic.

Dad’s voice startled her interrupting her creepy investigation.
“Sorry Peanut, the pictures didn’t develop. They were too old.”
Then he tossed a packet of five on her lap.
“Just shadows on a few of them. The guy ran them a few extra times so he said the images might have more substance given a while, but he seriously doubts it.”

Sissy stuffed them in her pocket and then into her bedroom dresser. She’d had enough of all this spooky stuff.
“Ordinary” she said, ” I want some ordinary for a change. Hauntings my eye!”

A month elapsed and by then Sissy had made some friends who filled her in on Abigale’s disappearance and told tales of people who had tried to occupy the house she now lived in. Every former owner supposedly had suddenly left, and all claimed frightening occurrences had been the reason.
Sissy yawned at all the hysterics after a while and told them they’d watched too many horror flicks.
She hadn’t even given her shy, “first friend” a second thought since she’d been asked to join a group, so her heart sank when she saw her, totally alone, shuffling by her house focused on her own feet. Guilt suddenly consumed Sissy, so she tapped on the window and offered a “happy to see you” wave. The girl paused, smiled, and waved in the same exaggerated fashion then continued.

That night, Sissy was jolted awake by the sound of her squeaky dresser drawer closing. And, standing there in her bedroom, was her shy pretty friend with a photo that she was holding out for Sissy to take.
“How’d you get in?… Why?!”
Sissy took the photo and gasped.
She’d forgotten all about the under-developed photos from the ancient disposable camera and on this one was a perfect image of that very friend!

The photo fell to the floor as Sissy screamed frozen in terror… all alone in her bedroom.

Reena’s Xploration Challenge #242-All but Forgotten

Write whatever the image brings up in you.

There is no restriction on length or format of the piece. There is no last date either, unless you wish to be featured in the Weekly Wrap. 

Cee abruptly stopped in her tracks. The finely detailed map that she held did not depict the glassy pond which obviously lay directly to her right. The sky reflected on the pond’s surface was sharp, but the image was sepia-toned.
A gasp from directly behind her made her jump with fright. She spun around with fists at the ready nearly knocking the youngest survivor into the copper-colored water.

“Zee! You scared the salt out of me! I told you to stay at camp.”

“I got bored, Cee. You get all the fun these days.”

“These days? You call the end of human existence THESE DAYS!”

Cee instantly realized her fright had gotten the better of her. As third in command, she took her role of steady leadership seriously, so she just grabbed the younger woman and hugged her.

“Sorry Zee. I lost my cool for a moment.”

“No worries. What’s wrong with that water?”

“I don’t know. It’s not on the map. Probably minerals or something else in this environment.”

Cee stepped toward the pond and squatted placing her fingers on the still surface. Not one ripple spread from her touch. That odd experience caused her to retrieve her hand in a jolt as if it had been burned only to observe that her fingertips weren’t the slightest bit wet.

“This isn’t good, Zee. Not good at all. I don’t remember much but I know how water in my cup behaves and this is not water.”

Suddenly, two dark pointed shadows crossed the mirrored surface. Both females instantly looked up, but there was nothing between the sun and the reflection. Then their slightly startled eyes met, and the air filled with a deafening roar followed by ear-ringing waves of explosions all around them!
Instinctively they dropped face first to the ground.

As abruptly as it had erupted, the clangor ended.

When Cee and Zee lifted their heads, all was calm, and the sepia pond was gone!

Over the next few months, visits to that area were forbidden to all but Leader Ay, who returned every time pale and visibly rattled.

Forevermore it was hence declared a haunted area, to the 26-member troop, and given a wide berth.

Marked on the map with a bold red ring it was officially labeled The Memory Pond.


Six Sentence Story- Victims are Chosen


Tank Scrivens (aka Peter) was a ferocious bully throughout his school years but only came to terms with the human destruction he’d left in his wake when he became a dad, at age 29, to a frail, slightly built, son.

Tank was already six-feet tall, sported ‘fullback’ shoulders, and had a burgeoning five o’clock shadow when he was in 6th grade, and he wielded those attributes in a reign of terror from there on.

Once Peter recognized that his son may one day be ‘fodder’ for bullying with such a puny stature and a clear gentler nature, he regretted every swirly, wedgie, and cruel insult, he had imposed on his victims and felt terrible guilt about what the long-term effects may have been because he dearly loved his son and felt weak contemplating any of those things happening to him.

Peter Scrivens decided that he must make his past ‘right’, so he took a leave of absence from work spending weeks seeking to identify the best methods to protect his growing boy from other misguided, angry, boys, as well as, hoping to spare would-be bullies from the burden of guilt they’d one day suffer from taking such a path.

Tank Scrivens relived as many atrocious episodes as he could recall and came to a surprising conclusion; the boys he had ‘chosen’ to victimize all shared the same subtle traits which had nothing, at all, to do with their size, so he carefully listed the most prominent ones as follows: slumped posture, easy to separate from any group, wouldn’t look him in the eyes, were hesitant in their gait, and never, ever, raised their voices.

With that revelation in mind, Peter Scrivens got to work making sure that his son would not embrace any of those ‘tells’-also including the wisdom of “safety in numbers” and gamesmanship- as he simultaneously began writing a self-help book for other dads entitled, Bullies Are Made but Their Victims are Chosen: “In this world, there will always be bullies so teach your kids how to avoid being their victims.“-his book would become a best seller, not only as a deterrent to bullying, but as a guide used as an artful approach to asserting oneself in job interviews and the competitive job market.

Weekend Writing Prompt #265- Brevity

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.

Word Prompt


The brevity of her fulgent remark undermined his well-prepared, yet ignorant, rant.