Two Men, One Woman by Eric Smith

At 3:15 A.M. it was black outside the diner window except for a few lights beyond the two-lane blacktop. A couple miles west the traffic whispered and rumbled on the Interstate.

“Why’d you want to meet here, Bill?”
“I like the food, Jack.”
“Yeah, right, it’s monochromatic. You wanna talk about Joan?”
“Why, it’s obvious now she can’t stand either of us.”

Irene shuffled up and poured their coffees. Bill took it black and ordered the lumberjack breakfast; Jack ordered toast, then doctored his coffee with an ounce of cream and a table spoon of sugar.

The Office of Employee Counselling by Emma Baird

Ah Gordon, I could not resist. Is this meme-ing…?

The Office of Employee Counselling by Emma Baird

“Timothy, you MUST open up about your experiences – otherwise you will never recover.”

Timothy drew a deep breath. Talking would be helpful; otherwise he might bottle it up, allowing his feelings to fester inside him until they exploded.

“You see – a gun was pulled on me. Long story short: woman claimed she was a hitperson, I gave her a job, she refused it, she returned, I gave her benefits.”

The counsellor nodded slowly and drew her notepad closer.

“Timothy, this is absolutely appalling…

“How DARE you hand out benefits willy-nilly! Our strict benefits criteria must always, always be met.”

Guess What Happened at Work Today? by Gordon Lawrie

Sorry everyone, mea culpa. I had no intention of reopening hostilities around the inspiring Alice and her cat. In a moment of desperation I reached for an easy target. I promise it won’t happen again.

So here’s what happened, from another perspective.

Guess What Happened at Work Today? by Gordon Lawrie

So this woman comes into my office to claim benefits for the first time. Claims she’s a redundant “hitperson”! Honestly!

Turns out I’ve a job for her – involving a cat somehow – but she throws a tantrum. “I have standards,” she announces. So I say, no benefits for you, sweetheart. Off she strops.

In no time she’s back. “I claim religious discimination,” she announces. She’s a Quaker, a pacifist hitperson. Seriously. No can kill.

I mention Grace Kelly in “High Noon” but she replies Grace only killed baddies. Then she draws a gun out saying, “Like you.”

She gets her benefits.

The Weekly Session by Russell Conover

“And sometimes, it just seems like my wife doesn’t love me anymore.” Mel sighed.

His longtime therapist looked on. “I see. And how does that make you feel?”

“Like … like I’m not good enough!”

“There, there. You have a LOT going for you.”

“Oh, yeah? Like what?” Mel looked doubtful.

“Well, you’re intelligent. You’re handsome. And you’re obviously concerned about your relationship.”

Mel smiled. “You really think so?”

Whiskers licked her front leg. “Hey–I may be just a talking cat, but you’ve been my owner for years. Absolutely.”

(Untitled) by Kimberly Klemm

Emma:

Awesome! There is a website I participate on for Drabbles (100 words exactly pieces) that you can visit at: http://drablr.com However, you have to be invited by another Drabbler to join. If you could provide your e-mail, I will send you an invitation if you are interested. (You can send it to me via e-mail.) One of my former Drabbles is below:

(Untitled) by Kimberly Klemm

Eyes open…once, twice…repeating what they see to stored memory. Previous knowledge retrieval progresses and scope and size assessments function to create an expression of appreciation. “Wow!” is a greater face crafted with smaller movements. According to the handbook, the look is accomplished by asserting reflection controls that are similar to a puppy’s nature. Denial is not allowed due to enforced submission. A question is forming linking this time with something…something from before. Around the occurrence vision is blurring. A moment of awe for the special event turns up the mouth corners. Yes, no doubt, it might be a real smile.

(Untitled) by Alice Adams

Mother wasn’t crazy about Val’s announcement about going to mortuary school, but then, Mom wasn’t crazy about much when it came to Val. As he had learned at an early age, he was the black sheep, the least favorite child…that different kid in his family.

“Val, it just burns me up to see you wasting your time, hanging around that spooky mortuary, being around all those sad families, trying to put broken bodies back together…and for what? It’s the worst decision you’ve ever made!” she screamed, her face reddening during one of her routine meltdowns at our family’s weekly Sunday dinner.

Val sat silently.

Suddenly, Mom’s face turned purple and she grabbed her throat.

“Get some water,” our eldest brother Rob ordered, not moving from his chair. “She’s choking. Somebody do something.”

No one moved as Mom fell, face first into a steaming bowl of chicken soup.

Scarlett, our youngest sister stood but then froze in place. “She’ll drown,” she said, her voice strangely calm. “Should we just let her lie there?

“Better not touch anything,” Rob determined. “Better call the coroner.”

“Coroner?” Scarlett’s voice squeaked.

“To pronounce her,” Val offered.

On Tuesday, there was an evening visitation. Val had done his usual best and Mother, dressed in the blue lace dress she had worn to Rob’s wedding, looked as though she was sleeping.

The next day, family friends gathered for a brief service in the chapel. Pastor Paul read her favorite Psalm. Delilah Parks sang “Amazing Grace” and we were dismissed with the pastor’s benediction while Val rolled Mom’s casket through a side door.

Later, at the funeral lunch, Rob asked if we would be going to the cemetery after we ate.

“No need,” Val said, wiping his perfectly manicured hands on the white linen napkin and folding it perfectly before placing it at the side of his plate.

“Aren’t we going to bury Mom?” Scarlett had always been the naive one.

Treating that last question as a rhetorical one, Val excused himself and returned several minutes later. In his white-gloved hands was a silver tray and on the tray, there were five urns, each an exact replica of the next. He presented each of us with an urn.

“What’s this?” Rob asked to avoid taking off the lid to look inside.

Val smiled that peevish smile I remembered from the times he pulled one of his practical jokes. “It’s Mom…well, her ashes anyway…and just like she said, I really burned her up!”

Rob nodded and also smiled. “Don’t you all remember? Mom always liked being right.

The Client by Ann-Louise Truschel

The Client (with apologies to John Grisham)

It took Sally more than an hour to cool off after storming out of the welfare office.

That self-righteous prig didn’t deserve a civil response! But Sally still needed the money.

Looking at the purloined address of the client, she thought, “Who’s to say I can’t bypass the welfare office and talk to the client myself?”

Sally found the house and approached it from the back. Creeping silently around the building along the side path, Sally saw the cat napping on the front porch. Sidling up to the sleeping animal, Sally whispered, “OK. Who do you want me to kill?”

Not Looking for Trouble by Marilyn R. Freedman

It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to join in the Friday fun, but I’ve been thinking of you all. I hope that cat’s name was Sam… I’m still struggling to get the length of these things right. The last one was only 6 or 7 words; this one’s a little too long….

Not Looking for Trouble by Marilyn R. Freedman

It had been a rough day at work. You know the drill, I won’t bore you with the details. Anyhow, I was walking home late in the day, a little uneasy. When the North End’s best-of ristorantes are full, the streets can be deserted. A stray napkin fluttered along the curb, city tumbleweed.

I wasn’t surprised—I’m hyper-vigilant; it only takes a stray sound, a movement of air—when he took me down. Reflexes kicked in. I trapped his arm, flipped a leg over his chest, neck, and shoulder, leaned back and flexed my hips up a bit. Snap. Scream.

I was dialing 911 when he asked, “Why’d you do that?”

I gave my location and situation to the dispatcher. “What?” I asked.

“Why’d you break my arm?”

What the f**k, I thought, as I picked up the knife he’d dropped.

“Well, what were you going to do?” I asked. I watched people coming out of the restaurant look my way. I could use a cannoli too about now, I thought. But no. I have to wait.

The Reporter By Jane Reid

One more contentious but dull council meeting.

I’m bored to tears, but I need this job. At least these officials’ respect my integrity. They don’t always like what I report, but they admit it is accurate. And they never complain when I paraphrase their irrational, ill-worded, ungrammatical remarks; it gets their names in the paper.

Oh God, now that bigoted blowhard is at it again. How can he think, much less say, such things?

I am tired of being Ms Nice Gal. This time I as going to do the most evil thing possible, I’ll quote him directly and accurately.

Dream by Eric Smith

I slept on my stomach till someone pushed on my shoulder. I looked back to see my mother as she was in the fifties—wearing a frumpy outfit with a little brown hat, both of which were dated even then. She looked otherworldly—but eerily incandescent as if lit from within. She said nothing, just smiled. I became dizzy; my consciousness began to fade. I’d die if I didn’t do something so I shook my head violently from side to side to bring myself out of it. I woke and yelled. I said nothing—It was just a scream.