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.

FOWC -WHOLE- Dear 2022… Better days ahead.

My whole life I respected authority.
Of course, the teen years meant I resented authority too, but the overall trust in my elders was strong.
Then, I raised a family. As I aged, I realized that elders, doctors, and experts were not perfect. They don’t actually know everything, but I was cautiously confident that they all were dedicated to the best possible outcome. Hey… life’s dangerous and a personally complex journey.
Then, I became an elder. It was humbling to realize that the ‘truth’ was hard to ‘nail down’ and that the state of ‘perfect’ didn’t actually exist.
Enter 2020.
An unknown ‘novel’ virus threatened us all. Experts step forward to reassure us. Media offered us information and statistics. We were going to ‘work this one out’ together.
THEN things started to smell suspicious.
Mistakes were bound to be made. We were taken by surprise, after all!
BUT they weren’t being admitted nor were they corrected.
This was not a ‘novel’ virus but a version of other viruses we knew.
The handling of this pandemic was the only novel part!
Soon, the media numbers were exposed as arbitrary… and later it was clear they were manipulated.
We weren’t protecting the vulnerable and we weren’t taking swift action in early treatments.
Governors assumed extreme powers never citing clear scientific suggestions.
Then we found out that the Chinese government purposely spread a deadly experiment through the world. Whether it escaped or was released may never be known.
All trust left the building once Big Tech, our federal government, and our health agencies spoke in unison, telling us their ‘facts’ (never backed with scientific studies) and censoring ‘misinformation’ (which was any contrary commenting). This was science, right? Scientific research is an ongoing diverse questioning not a conclusion.
World famous scientists and hands-on doctors were being silenced. They wanted to focus on therapeutics because they wanted to save lives. They had data to share and ideas!
Ultimately, most people were never offered treatment but were asked to come to the hospital once they were dying!
Hospitals were paid large incentives to label hospitalizations and deaths with Covid-19.
The FDA gets 45% of its funding from vaccines. They pushed vaccines… only vaccines.
Big powerful companies (with lobbyists) were allowed to flourish while small businesses were sentenced to ‘die’. Churches (with specific Constitutional protections) were militantly closed, while liquor stores, lotteries, and large chain stores remained open.
And people kept dying… kids were kept out of school, our economy ground to a halt, and our Southern Borders were sprung wide open. (Covid-19, Fentanyl, terrorists, and criminals uncounted)
No longer was there any hope that the ‘best outcome’ was even a consideration.
Our health wasn’t the highest concern.
Our well-being wasn’t important.
Our children’s futures were cast aside. (The added debt will be only a part of their future struggles)
Our compliance was the only goal. Power and greed prevailed.
Fear, blind trust, and ignorance worked wonders.

Dear 2022,
Trust may be gone but,
Fear is waning and
Our eyes are open.
We’ll work this one out, together.
Better days ahead…

Fandango’s Story Starter #13- A Traumatic Event

See the source image

This week’s Story Starter teaser is: Cold and wet, tired and exhausted, she…

Cold and wet, tired and exhausted, she winced, and closed her eyes tightly, at a sudden imposing brilliant light. Inhaling deeply, she let out a cry, the sound of which startled her into more crying. How she longed for her former dreamy existence; warm and safe!
Her flailing arms were suddenly restrained and a warmth wrapped her tightly like a hug.
A familiar voice whispered in her ear and, as quickly as it came, her panic dissolved.
She squinted and flexed her fingers while trying to focus on the source.

“Hello there sweet baby girl. I’m your Mommy. Can’t wait to get to know you.”

#WRITEPHOTO ~ Familiar Steps

Steps – Image by Jemima Pett

For a change, he would be early for his dishwashing shift so he whistled as he sauntered up the familiar stairs. Gino had taken this shortcut to work hundreds of times. The blackened window of the long ago closed antique shop had always offered him a last glance at himself where he could straighten his tie and adjust his uniform, but today, he hadn’t rushed and was on top of things. So, it was a flash of movement that made him pause in front of the glass.
He did a double-take as his eyes adjusted to the shadows and examined his reflection. The usual dark abyss was illuminated with a faint glow. He could see himself but beyond him was an orange cat. The cat casually walked toward him weaving between his feet and rubbing its face on his pant leg. He jumped back and looked down at his feet. There was no cat in the stairway.
Gino looked at himself in the window again. There sat the cat beside his reflection washing himself but this time Gino was no longer dressed in his work uniform. Instead, he wore a sharp pin striped suit, held a cane, and wore an old-fashioned derby. Gino pivoted and placed his back against the antique shop building beside the window. His heart raced as he took stock of himself. He was dressed just as he was when he had left home 20 minutes before. He’d never owned a cat nor a suit, cane, and derby!
“Time for a decision Gino.” he whispered to himself through hyperventilating breaths.
“You can run or you can face this nightmare. What’s it gonna be?”
Instinctively, he checked his watch.
It was running backward! The second hand was moving swiftly in the wrong direction.
Now, the ‘hallucination’ had become tangible by entering his space. He couldn’t ignore whatever was going on. He had his answer.
He drew a deep breath and pivoted directly in front of the window planting his feet firmly.
He was nearly nose to nose with his own dapperly dressed reflection!
The phantom Gino grinned then reached through the glass and yanked him inside effortlessly.
A passerby heard a scream from the stairway but, after racing to help someone in distress, only found a limp black tie on the cold stone stairs.

Gino woke up with a start. He was going to be late for work!
He got dressed in haste and, after catching up with himself, started to relax. He’d just take the stairway shortcut so he wouldn’t be tardy. He’d done that hundreds of times.
After feeding his cat, he grabbed his derby and whistled all the way to his antique shop.

#WRITEPHOTO – STEPS – New2Writing (

SoCS- 5/1/21 The Scary One

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “may.” Use it any way you’d like. Have fun!
The word “may” is a bone of contention between the kids and me.
I grew up in a grammatically correct home. I’ll wait for your laughter to stop.
You wouldn’t automatically know that, I’m sure.
But, there were little ‘no-nos’ and big ‘no-nos’ and some of the big ones actually took hold.
The difference between “May I go outside?” and “Can I go outside?” is tremendous to the ‘word use stickler’.
My kids, day care kids, and now, my granddaughters have all been reminded of that zillions of times. I remember one summer that making the proper distinction between those phrases became my mission. Over, and over, and over, the kids were asked to rephrase their requests along with the explanation for my dismay. Some started to come around but that ‘war’ ended in a draw.
I gave up.
Well, you never know when something you do makes a difference.
At age 6 or 7, my oldest granddaughter complained about a ‘scary’ teacher. She was a very large, imposing, woman with a no-nonsense attitude. Katherine had watched other kids reduced to tears by that teacher and avoided any attention from her. But, one day, the Scary One was a substitute in Katherine’s class. Katherine needed to use the restroom and had put it off until her needs had become critical. Finally, Nature moved her to make the request.
“May I go to the restroom?” she asked.
The teacher smiled. And with an unusually tender voice responded.
“Aren’t you a polite little girl? Yes, you may.”
That teacher treated her gently from that moment on. From the overheard future scoldings on topics of grammar (often on the “may” or “can” dynamic) from the Scary One, Katherine realized her default use of “may” (from my drills) had been the ticket to that teacher’s good side.
Katherine is 15 now. Think she still uses the word “may” correctly?
Not a chance. LOL
Oh well, it’s in her head somewhere.

Have a great Saturday folks! Avoid that Scary One if she comes around.

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS May 1, 2021 | (