Warm Welcome

With the muddy weather and her stupid waitressing job, London wasn’t as much fun as she’d imagined. Why, the customers never even looked at her! Back home she’d be cozily gossiping over the counter. Here was that cute fellow again: she bet she could wake him up!

Tea, coffee, hot chocolate, or an erotic massage?
He looked up, startled.
Just kidding, she smiled. We do have delicious muffins…
He blushed. I’ll … I’ll have some of those, then. And some tea.

Thanks. He smiled shyly as she put down his steaming cup. I’m… hmm, I’m Patrick. What… What’s your name?

* * *

The 100 word challenge for grown-ups at Julia’s Place: …tea, coffee, hot chocolate or…

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Beauty Has Its Price

The heat! Hunting for rare plants was one thing. Doing it in tropical temperatures was quite another. He was simply melting!

He wasn’t even sure they’d understood the directions properly. School Portuguese only went so far in the Brazilian interior. And had that man really understood what they were looking for? Or had he just taken pity on their hopeful expressions? Brazilians wanted to help! Whether or not they understood you…

Whatever Steph said: there was the river, he  was taking a dip. He stripped quickly, before she was close enough to protest.

Gerald clearly hadn’t understood the warning.

Crocodiles!

The 100 word challenge for grown-ups, at Julia’s Place: Heat.

Photos taken in the Jardim Botânico of São Paulo. Orchids, I think. If you know what kind, please let me know. Thanks!

Update: scary but gorgeous topical photo in National Geographic!

Dizzying Heights

I inched forward, holding my breath. Don’t look, don’t look. My eyes flickered downward, and I gave a little lurch. I was falling.

Get a grip! a little voice inside me growled. People are staring! I closed my eyes and breathed deeply. Everything’s fine, the voice breathed.

After a while the idiocy struck me of standing by one of the most spectacular sights of the world – with my eyes screwed shut. Come on, the little voice coaxed. With an effort I opened my eyes: first one, then the other. I looked at the cliffs opposite. Breathtaking.

Suddenly I was soaring.

This week’s wcgu prompt. Photo by Julia.

Still Waters

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Jeremy yawned. Camping was bad enough; if only his Dad didn’t insist on having these pointless conversations. Did he exist? Well, obviously! Yes, like a drop of water joins the sea, he would die one day – who wanted to be old, anyway? But unlike a drop of water, he would enjoy life along the way.

Could he prove he existed? Sometimes Dad was like little Louey, really! Told the knight couldn’t move in a straight line, Louey had gone berserk: Prove it! he had shouted. Those are the rules, dummy. You don’t prove them, they’re just there. If you don’t like them, don’t play chess.

Family was really the limit. After lunch he’d find a way to slope off.

* * *

T. Mastgrave’s philosophical story challenge: Can you be sure you exist?

‘Tis the Season

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The holiday season. You could smell it in the air. The spices, the cakes, and the candy. Wrapping paper crackled and tinsel sparkled. There was a general air of anticipation and fun mixed in with frantic holiday shopping. Everyone was awash with mulled wine, goodwill, and charity.

Not everyone was happy, to be sure. Jody and Fred spent the days huddled together in wordless misery. Nobody had told them, but they knew.

One of them would be for the pot.

* * *

A bit of a downer for a holiday? So how do I turn that round? Well, maybe Jody and Fred will follow this example.

The End Is Nigh

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The End is Nigh! the man shouted.

Is there still time for hot chocolate? Riley asked.

The-End-is-Nigh guy blinked. Ah, maybe, I don’t know.

― Jana Oliver, Forbidden

Why, thank-you, dearie. I never say no to a biscuit. And what’s your name, young lady? Louise? The old face cracked in a smile.

Do I believe what? That the dragon is coming and the world will end tomorrow?

Now, when I was your age, the world was always coming to an end. Left and right people were predicting disasters. I think it’s because they want the world to change. And right they are! But no, I don’t think the world will end tomorrow.

The dragon, now, that’s a whole other story. The old eyes twinkled. I’ve seen it myself, you know…

* * *

T.Mastgrave’s story challenge: the End of Time.

Up in the Air

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It was a beautiful day; clouds drifted lazily overhead. Jack and his Grandfather were lying in the grass.
– See the dragon? It’s turning into a duck! They laughed.

– Look, those two have joined. Are they still two clouds? Or is it one now?
Jack frowned in concentration. Over the meadow, the clouds seemed to peter out.
– What do you think happens to the clouds when they get there?
Jack pondered. People were always telling him things. Only Grandfather asked what Jack thought.

It would be the last time the two were together. Back in school, Jack’s teacher commiserated.
– It’s alright, Jack reassured his teacher. He’s in the air now.

* * *

T. Mastgrave’ philosophical story challenge: What is the soul?