Z is for Zero Sum Game

My last post for the A-Z Challenge! It’s been real. 🙂 Eventually, I am going to have to get caught up on reading all the other posts. And sincere apologies for that. I’ve been struggling, especially toward the end, to try to be able to read – and really read and not just sort of stare blankly at things. I do plan to read for an hour or so a day and see at least some more of the wonderful stuff that was posted.



Zero Sum Game

When will we ever learn? What else can we possibly do?

Year after year, we come together for this hideous game and year after year we lose – too many, as many as we need to. In grueling contests of skill and bravery – and ruthlessness, we play until as many of us have died as were born that year, (minus those few who have died due to illness or accident.)

We fight, we play, we die, until as many of us have died as were born that year.

Is immortality worth it? I am thirty-four now, old enough to be exempt, old enough to be a survivor, old enough that my presence does not unbalance the scales. I write those words with disgust…. And I look back, and I wonder.

There has to be another way.


PHOTO PROMPT – © Dee Lovering

PHOTO PROMPT – © Dee Lovering

My very last cross-post for Friday Fictioneers and A-Z Challenge. I’m feeling a little mixed-feeling-ish. This photo reminded me a little of Baltimore, MD, where I was visiting last Friday. The city is in my thoughts and prayers.


The time has come for us to part ways, but that’s okay. Wind tousles my hair, hand wrapped around the mast for balance as waves gently rock the boat.

How long will you be gone? I don’t know.

You are the one person who always understood me, the one I could always count on. I don’t want to go, but the sea winds call.

You step forward. Words, daggers on the wind, pierce my heart.

“I’m pregnant.”

Fully clothed, heedless, I sprint across the deck, jumping down into the water, headed back to the shore, to you.

X is for Xanadu


All right, this is my true next to next to last post for A-Z Challenge. Apparently (you may not have known this, as apparently I’d “forgotten”) but apparently April has 30 days AND there is a letter between X and Z. That letter is Y, as in Why did I agree to write 26 posts this month when historically I have a hard time writing a post a week??

Yeah, the things we do for our art. =D

Welcome to Xanadu, Population 1

Welcome to Xanadu, your new home, I hope. No one ever chooses to stay here long. Sometimes, I will start these introductions with the good, with the trickling fountains and the luxurious grounds, our gorgeous mountain vistas. Other times, I start by mentioning the bad – just to get it out of the way, with the neighbors, who can admittedly be a problem. This is not a good place to raise children, they say.

But that is not true! Your children will be safe and secure, more safe and secure than any place on earth I dare say! You merely need to take certain precautions and keep them indoors during the night, at noon, and on certain major alignments of the sun, moon, and stars. I have a chart I can give you.

Did I mention the mountain vistas? Oh how sweetly falls the dew upon the mountain peaks, how softly lie the wildest and most fearsome of creatures upon their lofty beds. (Except at night and noon and … I have charts. Many charts. No worries! No worries, dear guest.)

But, no, where are you going with such haste? Why does no one ever stay? I only hope that you can make it out before dark, when the creatures wake from their slumber.

Farewell, then, dear guest, and make haste.

Now Leaving Xanadu. Population 1

Kubla Khan has always been one of my favorite poems and I *had* to riff on Xanadu a little for the X day.

The Five W’s

The Five W’s

Who: Five aliens from Planet X

What: Will be visiting us today.

Where:  The main lobby, with additional seating space if needed.

When: Noon, 4/27/2015.

Why: To discuss plans for colonization and subjugation of our planet.

Notice: Please arrive promptly. Your obedience is appreciated and will be rewarded accordingly.


This is my next to next to last post for the A-Z Challenge. Feeling a little quirky today, possibly because I am working on my second cup of coffee while hitting some deadlines that are probably going to be missed but that’s okay. (Big, huge smile!)

V is for Victory

After hours which felt like days, after the long struggle, panting, Joey reached into the cookie jar at about the same time that the stool on top of the chair toppled over. He fell to the ground with a series of loud crashes, slightly bruised on his knee, but – he held it, his prize, a chocolate chip cookie in hand. He ran, before his mother could come to see what the noise was.


Here’s my post for the A-Z Challenge. I’m behind again, and exhausted. Long day!

Friday Fictioneers & A-Z Challenge: U is for Universal


PHOTO PROMPT – © Douglas M. MacIlroy

Another double-post for Friday Fictioneers:

And the A-Z Challenge



“You can go anywhere you want, but you can’t stay here.”

Sighing, I set down my mug. It had been a long day, but apparently, an even longer night. How long had I been up, anyway?

“Well,” said my companion, “at least we’re not in the middle of Alaska with nowhere to go.”

“Who are you again?”

“Your cabin fever inspired delusion.”

“Right. I almost forgot.” I could hardly wait for winter to be over.

I finished my beer. No matter what the voices in my head said, they could at least let a man finish his beer in peace.


Sort of half-awake and staring at the title thinking … I’m not sure how that title relates to the story, BUT it does start with a U and I think it makes sense in some cosmic sense. Maybe. I’m sure the voices in my head will explain later. 😉

Happy Friday!

T is for The Cross


For today’s A-Z Challenge post, I’ve decided to write something a little different. Possible trigger warning due to non-graphic reference to a violent act.

The Cross

I nearly died.

Only 13 years old, you left me for dead by the railroad tracks, where no one could hear my screams.

How could you know I would make my way – inch by precious inch – up the incline until I stopped at the foot of the ancient cross.

Two men found me there, one tall and blond, the other short, stocky, both elegantly groomed, dressed in khaki and pastels.

I whimpered and scooted away. No. Please, no.

“She’s still alive.”

“Call 911.”

“No signal.”

Boneless, muscle-less(?) they carried me limp all the way out to their car. They drove me to the hospital, and made sure I would be cared for.

Sven and his friend/lover/husband Timothy waited with me until, finally, my parents were found.

We still speak and we still keep in touch. I hope they can be legally married one day – and I hope that one day I can want to.