Category Archives: Short Stories for the Weekend

The Sound of Silence, NOT!

At eighty-five years of age, Miss Lydia decided to get “one of those new-fangled phones” everyone seemed to be peering at with heads bent.  Several of the ladies in her church group had them, and they talked incessantly about “time facing” and “gaggling it.”  Whatever that meant, it sounded like a bunch of nonsense, but her nephew, Clyde, wanted her to have one for safety reasons.  A bunch of bull-pucky!

The nice young man at the phone store tried to explain the features available on the phone, including why the only user manual was “on the line” and not printed out like normal.  Frustrated, Miss Lydia returned home with her new gadget.  She set it on the table beside her and watched it like someone would keep an eye on a rattler.

Clarice Travers stopped by after getting off work at the library.  She oohed and aahed over what she called a cell phone, offering to help Miss Lydia set up some ring tones.

“It would be nice if a phone rang like a real phone.”  The octogenarian didn’t cotton to changing anything what wasn’t broken.

“I can set that up, and I’ll do a couple of other alerts for texts, emails, and Facebook.  You are on Facebook, aren’t you?”  Clarice glanced up with raised eyebrows, smiling when Miss Lydia made a dismissive wave with her hand.  “I’ll help you set it up another day if you’d like?”

Miss Lydia didn’t respond.  Her head had settled back against her recliner, and her eyes were closed.  She’d fallen asleep.  Clarice finished setting up the alerts and laid the cell phone on the end table by Miss Lydia’s chair before letting herself out the door.

“Be-doh, be-doh, be-doh!”  Miss Lydia sat up abruptly.  What in the world was that?  She listened intently for a repeat of the sound which woke her but didn’t hear it any longer, and she decided it must have been some whippersnapper outside making noise again.  Those teenagers were always driving by with their radios blaring day and night.

Getting up out of her chair took a bit of doing due to her stiff joints and rheumatism, she hobbled into the bathroom.  As she washed her hands, she heard that same “Be-doh” noise.  She stormed out of the bathroom as quickly as a woman in advanced years could manage.  Once more the sound had disappeared.

“Those juvenile delinquents made a loop around the block.  Umph!  Don’t they realize some people take a little rest in the afternoon?”  Miss Lydia knew she needed to…What was it Clyde would say?  Oh, yes.  ‘Cool my jets.’

She approached the recliner looking out the window for the troublemakers.  The sound of a bugle and the rattling of her new phone on the side table had her putting her hand over her heart in shock.  She prodded it with her finger, but it remained silent.

She did remember how to do one thing with her new phone.  Her finger pressed downward on a button at the side of her purchase.  Miss Lydia had an inkling on how to turn it off.


Written for the Weekend Write-In Challenge on May 14, 2017.  

Just Call Me “Ms. Organization”!

At the office, Barbara was known as the Post-It Queen.  The multi-colored, adhesive-backed bits of notepaper cluttered her computer monitor, her phone, and the calendar on her desk.  Her co-workers couldn’t believe she relied on an organizer/appointment book, so riddled with Post-Its and crammed with scraps of paper, coupons, and newspaper clippings, she had to secure it with a large rubber band.

“Why don’t you use the organizational apps on your computer and smartphone?” her friend, Dee, asked her after the rubber band broke and papers floated like confetti on the breeze.

“I like my system,” Barbara defended while scampering on her hands and knees to capture the intricate details of her life before she lost them.  The next day, she missed an important teleconference and realized she needed to change her ways.  A nearby bookstore had a section devoted to organization.  By the number of books on the subject, Barbara ascertained providing instruction to people so they could deal with their messy lives was a lucrative industry.

The more promising book titles were removed from their shelves for a thorough assessment.  A final selection was made, and Barbara walked with determination to the checkout counter.  Her life was never going to be the same after this important purchase.

Barbara cradled her pathway- to-a-new-reality in her arms as she went home.  A weekend spent in contemplation and enlightenment awaited her.  Next week, she planned to put into practice her new organizational skills.  But first, Barbara needed to remove some clutter from her coffee table for her new book.  She stuffed the newspapers and adverts under the table.

Wanting to be in a relaxed mood to enable her full concentration, Barbara took a bubble bath.  But first, she removed the dirty laundry from the bathroom and placed it in a pile in the hall.  Then, she searched for the expensive bath salts she purchased six months ago.  Barbara removed all of the items from under her sink.  She emptied the shelf in the linen closet with shampoos, moisturizers, and mouthwash.

She couldn’t find them.  Well, after this weekend, she wouldn’t worry about misplacing items.  Everything would be in its designated place.  How wonderful it would be!  She could already imagine the looks of envy her friends would give her when they saw her clean apartment.

Since a soothing bath wasn’t in the cards, Barbara decided a cup of tea messas she ingested the wisdom from ‘Organization for the Busy Professional’ would be just as good.  Her mother gave her some tea for Christmas.  Barbara checked every cupboard in the kitchen until she found it in its gift bag sitting on top of her refrigerator behind some other items.  Now, to find a teapot.

After a lengthy search, Barbara lay back on her couch tossing and kicking items off to make room.  Her new book sat under a layer of clutter.  When she awoke the next morning on the couch, she was unable to remember where she put her new book.  It took her most of the weekend to find it.  But she did find it under a blanket, some pillows and a newspaper or two.

Closing the book with a decisive thump, Barbara smiled in triumph.  Now she had the necessary tools to become more organized.  Barbara considered herself a free spirit, and didn’t feel the saying “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” was true.  A new way of life was around the corner.   Barbara was sure everyone would be calling her Ms. Organization before too long.

*Author’s Note:  This short story was written in response to the writing prompt — Organization.

 

Stumped

Wayne took his farmer’s cap off and used his handkerchief to mop the perspiration from his forehead and balding pate.  He stuffed the kerchief into his back pocket and shook his head.

“I don’t know Miss Lydia.  This sure is a puzzle,” he said as he set his cap back in its place.

“There has to be something we can do!  That thing is ruining my plans.”  Miss Lydia lamented.  She was definitely in a sour mood.  In all of her 86 years, she hadn’t let a little problem defeat her.  This one would be overcome as well.  As they stood in Miss Lydia’s yard, a crowd was starting to gather.  In a small town such as Sinippi Cove, anything could serve as an opportunity to congregate.  Each new addition looked the situation over thoroughly before passing judgement.

Harvey, who was a member of Sinippi Cove’s volunteer fire department, offered, “Fire might do the trick.”

“I was thinking we needed some chains,” Tug from the hardware store suggested.  Clyde Parks had seen the group and felt he should be present at any gathering being he was the mayor of Sinippi Cove.

“What is going on here?” Clyde’s booming voice questioned.  Miss Lydia gave him a look that would have turned the average man to stone, but you see, Clyde had survived much worse during the Great War having lost his right leg.  A prosthetic was secured to his stump, and he was proud that he could keep up with all the young whippersnappers who had collected in Miss Lydia’s yard.  Miss Lydia just pointed her finger at the offensive object.

“Dynamite would take care of it,” Clyde asserted.  As mayor, he felt he could offer solutions that others might not have the authority to suggest.

“What?  Blow my house to kingdom come and back?   Humphf!”  Miss Lydia started to mutter which was definitely not a promising sign.  There followed a display of throat clearing, head scratching and shuffling of feet as they waited for another morsel of wisdom concerning the current predicament.

Clarice Travers carried a tray of moisture covered glasses containing cold lemonade handing them out to the conclave of citizens.  Murmured thanks were given for the kind contribution.  The sun was getting higher in the sky, and the temperature was going to reach the triple digits soon.

Suggestions included horses,  chemicals, and Pinterest.  “What in blue blazes is this Pintfester?  Don’t waste my time,” Miss Lydia threatened.  “Humphf, Pinterranets.  Bull puckey.”

“No, Miss Lydia, it’s P…”  The speaker was elbowed and shushed.  No one wanted to get on the wrong side of the octogenarian.  A group of Red Hat Ladies, heading for a luncheon, stopped.  It looked like a party, and anyone familiar with Red Hat Ladies knows they love parties.  It is the whole reason they exist.  The noise escalated to ear drum rupturing levels as the females bestowed their combined knowledge on the assemblage.

The tree stump would have to wait.  Miss Lydia wanted a nap.