Wattpad has become the site for many writers originally from the now defunct Amazon's WriteOn by Kindle, and one of the things we missed the most was our regular weekend write-in 'prompt' word.
As I wrote my flash-fiction (and non-fiction) stories last year (2016), I usually removed them from their individual slots monthly and added those stories to the collection I called 'Prompt and Circumstance'. The whole collection continues to stand under that name.
Now in 2017, I'm creating a new collection for the year, this time called 'Paradoxically Yours... ' - flash fiction (and non-fiction) tales written for the purpose-designed 'Weekend Writein prompts', challenging writers to produce around 500 word stories each time we choose to join the party.
Why paradoxically, you ask? I like these definitions -
1. A statement that seems to contradict itself but may nonetheless be true
2. A person, thing, or situation that exhibits inexplicable or contradictory aspects
To save much unnecessary down-scrolling by my reader, I will always make the first story the latest I have written. All have the prompt word that inspired the story, and are dated.
The only thing left to do now is read... and enjoy!
Copyright note: This is a Wattpad book by Christine Larsen and so is fully protected by All Rights Reserved copyright. If you are reading this elsewhere, it has been taken without my permission and I/Wattpad can take legal action - with one exception - here on Tablo Publishing where I have full rights to publish my own works.
© 2017 Christine Larsen
The Drinking Woman's Dilemma
Next time, I’m going to take my own signs for that accursed board in what is supposedly YOUR room, where they change signage with the greatest of glee whenever a new victim falls foul of their evil little brains and fingers. THIS is the ‘Diabolical Dietary Directions’ and can ONLY be changed on the orders of the head honcho of the operating theatre (otherwise known as ‘the abbatoirs’). Those intrepid souls who protest(otherwise know as patients), are usually carted away to operating theatres - sooner, or usually MUCH later - only to return in helplessly sluggish and weakened states, all resistance quelled as if by magic.
Meanwhile, back in my room, MY sign will not bear evil tidings like ‘FASTING’ (is this an all-time word misnomer, or what? FAST? The fastest thing happening here is the relentless drip of the tap over the nursies’ basin, the one underneath the three rubber glove dispensers - small, medium and large. Yes. I’ve read that… 94 times since this death-defying land speed attempt at not eating - OR DRINKING - began.)
MY sign will loudly and proudly proclaim - ‘JUST ONE STRAWBERRY WITH EACH GLASS OF CHAMPAGNE’ and ‘HOLD THE TRIPLE CHOC DIP FOR FIRST 24 HOURS ONLY’.
The exact moment my equilibrium and sense of humour return - and nausea subsides permanently, I want a new sign - ‘CRAYFISH SANDWICH ON DEMAND’ and ‘VEGEMITE ON TOAST - whenever requested’. (The latter is probably only requested most plaintively in Aussie hospitals!)
Firmest instructions MUST include NOT telling the following joke if any stitches or other stomach discomfort is present -
A guy dies and is sent to Hell.
Satan meets him, shows him doors to three rooms, and says he must choose one to spend eternity in.
In the first room, people are standing in sewage up to their necks. The guy says “no, let me see the next room.”
In the second room, people are standing with sewage up to their noses. Guy says no again.
Finally, Satan opens the door to the third room. People are standing with sewage up to their knees, drinking coffee and eating danish pastries. The guy says, “I pick this room.”
Satan says okay and starts to leave, and the guy wades in and starts pouring some coffee.
On the way out Satan yells, “O.K., coffee break’s over. Everyone back on your heads!”
The following ditty from the side of our bar cupboard, is a thoroughly safe ‘cheer up’ message for those attempting recovery (otherwise known as the once unhealthy, now walking wounded) -
OLD SANDGROPER’S PROVERB
He who drinks gets drunk
He who gets drunk goes to sleep
He who goes to sleep does not sin
He who does not sin goes to Heaven
So let’s all drink and go to Heaven!!!
Medicos will undoubtedly frown upon this one, usually publicly decrying there are ANY benefits to alcohol consumption. But those of us with mostly sober intentions and a preference for godliness in our day-to-day life, disagree … loudly!
A Cornflake's Chance...
(prompt: 'instructions' 8/9/2017)
“He was blind?”
“No… no… no!” Karen rolled her eyes in exasperation. “I’m saying the famous (or was that infamous?)
Dr. Kellogg could not ‘see’ anything past his own stubborn, bigoted view of women.”
“Wow! They’re tough words, sis.” Layla pointed at the title of the grand old book Karen held. “’Medical Wisdom of the Nineties’ doesn’t sound narrow-minded. And women were well and truly… uhrr, what’s it called?… emancipated? By the ‘90’s. Weren’t they?”
“Absolutely… if you mean the 1990’s. But this is the 1890’s! ”
Layla’s eyes widened impossibly, leaving Karen struggling through her laughter to splutter, “… and that’s not ALL. You know Kellogg’s Cornflakes? Well—”
“NO! Don’t tell me… he’s THE Kellogg of Kellogg’s Cornflakes? Ahh, c’mon. Cornflakes go back THAT far?”
“It’s true.” Karen took a deep breath, her voice almost serious, though her eyes twinkled shamelessly. “Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and his brother Will invented Cornflakes, but had a major falling-out over the amount of sugar in the recipe. Will went on to gradually build up a factory with a lucrative production. But John was more interested in women’s health… and providing instructions for every woman to function at her peak. He created a sanitarium to study and research the reasons for their health, or lack of it.”
“A sanitarium? What’s that?”
“Old-fashioned word, isn’t it?” Karen closed her eyes and slowly shook her head. “If you’d put down that cell-phone once in a while and read a bit more, you’d learn some amazing—”
“Oh yair, sure. Like this Kellogg stuff.” Layla spread out both hands, palms up. “Why should I bother? You do enough reading for both of us… and quite a few others, too,” she added. The corners of her mouth twitched mischievously.
Karen pretended to ignore the interruption, saying, “Well, his sanitarium was a kind of mixture of research into the benefits of exercise and deep breathing, and different types of foods… and Dr. Kellogg did an in-depth examination of - and I quote - ‘Girlhood, Maidenhood, Wifehood and Motherhood”’. Karen couldn’t resist a chuckle at the height Layla’s eyebrows reached in clear disbelief.
“Maidenhood?” She repeated wonderingly. “Sure you haven’t gotten your books mixed up? This sounds like Maid Marion and Robin Hood.”
“Oh no,” Karen shook her head. “Look here in the Table of Contents - chapters like The Effects of Perverted Social Habits, and False Modesty, and Atrophy of the Breast. And get this one - Inconvenient and Imperfect Privy Accommodation—”
“Like duhhrr! Half the female population has atrophy of the breast, and the other half have… have… ,” Lyla faltered, searching for something appropriate. “I’ve got it - an inflated opinion of themselves. That’ll do. But WHAT is privy accommodation? A private suite in an upmarket hotel, maybe? Except that shouldn’t be inconvenient or… what was that other word?”
“Imperfect, lovey.” Karen’s face twisted in a wry smile. “Hmmph! Wonder what the good Doctor would think of today’s common name for it - ‘the little girls’ room’!”