Goodbye 2020, Hello 2021

What more really can be said about 2020 that hasn’t already been said by people with bigger audiences than I have?

A lot, really. Those people don’t have my lived experiences, for one. For two, they don’t know me. How dare they have the audacity to speak for me?

Moving on.

I can’t say I could ever have imagined 2020 taking the path it did. It started out so well. Or mostly well. Honestly, looking back on it, I’m not even sure what I thought I had planned.

The only thing I know I had planned, and which went off without a hitch until the last 48-72 hours, was my TorontOttawa trip in March. Two weeks in Ontario: one in Ottawa to see that city again, visit some J-School profs, eat in the res caf, see people I hadn’t seen in over a decade, and watch Carleton’s men’s basketball team win yet another national title; and one week in Toronto to mostly just not do anything. I did not see as many people as I would have liked, but c’est la vie. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I mean, I’m disappointed, but, reflecting on it now, I was in a bit off a depressed mood most of the time in the T.Dot. I really didn’t feel like doing anything.

That depressive mood may also have been the result of me battling my demons that week. I was fighting them really hard, and a few times came close to losing the battle. I won, as I’ve been doing for the past 19 months now. It’s a struggle. I will not let them defeat me. Or so I keep telling myself.

But that’s beside the point.

It’s all because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but 2020 was just a completely weird year. It doesn’t feel like it’s already over, but it also doesn’t feel like only one year. Time has, by-and-large, lost most of its meaning.

In order to be a good citizen, and because work told me to, I worked from home for most of the year. I tried to, anyway. When you’re a quasi-journalist, there’s only so much you can effectively do from home. Journalisming is kind of a hands-on, in-person job. At least it is for the type I do. I guess city hall or provincial affairs reporters are still able to work via phone and livestream.

Of course, working from home is challenging when your apartment building is GETTING FUCKING JACKHAMMERED EIGHT HOURS A DAY FOR SIX MONTHS STRAIGHT. Yeah, FUCK YOU Centurion. Who was the mentally deficient jizz stain who thought JACKHAMMERING A BUILDING EIGHT HOURS A DAY FOR SIX MONTHS STRAIGHT was a good idea during a pandemic when people are being asked to stay home? I’m debating moving when my lease is up. I don’t want to suffer through this again—it is continuing in 2021 BECAUSE OF FUCKING COURSE IT IS—but I also don’t want to move again. Decisions. Decisions.

I think the jackhammering is what made this year feel so long. It was inescapable. Sure, I could go for walks; but I don’t want to walk for eight hours a day, plus I still had work to do (when I had work to do). I could have gone into the office, but then I’m putting myself and others at risk. In the end, I went back to the office.

I will never forgive Centurion and the useless, broken condoms it calls a management team. Centurion also blocked me on the Twitter. I guess they don’t like it when people call them out on their bullshit.

On the work front, there was some actual progress and success. Nearly a full year after Postmedia—my former employer that is a right-wing propaganda mill—pulled the plug on publishing my current employer’s newspaper—thank god and good riddance—we finally launched the new website version. It was much more work than it should have been, but that’s government bureaucracy for you. Since the launch, it’s been so far so good. Not as many hits as I’d like, and not from the the right places, but it hasn’t even been up for six months. It’s still a tiny little bebe.

Personally 2020 was interesting. Had a root canal. Not a terrible experience, but it was generally unpleasant. You try having your mouth propped open for 60+ minutes straight. I’m going in for a crown on the root-canalled in early 2021. We’ll see how that goes. I also need some other teeth looked at – I’ve been having trouble with one (or more) for a few months. I’d have gone in sooner, but my dental benefits were wiped out by the root canal. Not the best course of action, but the tooth/teeth wasn’t/weren’t unbearable. Which means I will have waited too long and now I’m going to lose it/them because of course I will.

COVID-19 ruined vacation plans I had, which wasn’t all bad. I missed a wedding, but the reception has been pushed back to 2022. Disappointed to miss the wedding, but I didn’t have to sort out a date. Now I have more time. Oh; who am I kidding? I won’t manage to secure a date. I haven’t had a date to a wedding since never. What makes me think I’ll have one for the upcoming reception? I know who I would ask, if I’m not seeing anyone at the RSVP deadline. But should I just ask her anyway? The reception is in less than 500 days. Decisions. Decisions.

I guess we could move on to some New Year Resolutions.

Seeing as we’re still in the middle of a pandemic, and will be for the foreseeable future, I can’t say I have too many realistic resolutions. One I want to have is to be much more diligent in going to the gym. Pandemic life has not been kind to my waistline. So maybe one resolution will be to be as active as possible while being safe. Whatever that means. Another is to read more. I’m not going to say read two books a month, but 20 books in the year sounds better. That accounts for lulls or books that are really long *cough* ‘It’ *cough* or hard to get into. Seeing as I’ll be working from home, that sounds like a realistic resolution.

I don’t really have anything else.

Happy New Year, I guess. May she be a damn sight better than the old one.

Some cats can be real divas – 100/100

I’m done.

It took forever, but I managed to complete the 100 Day Project. I was unable to complete it in the prescribed 100 days, but I did finish it by the end of 2020. There’s a metaphor in there somewhere. Maybe. I don’t know.

Anyway. Please enjoy this final entry. I don’t know what I will be doing with this blog thingy in 2021. Keep checking back to find out.

Also. Please read this and feel free to groan at the gratuitous kind-of pun I included. I think it’s hard to miss. Please comment if you like it, hate it or just think I’m weird. I’m a grown adult; I can handle it.

Prompt: Your pet is suing you.

Some cats can be real divas

“What do you mean I’m being sued for ‘breach of contract’? What contract? It’s a bloody cat. I give it a place to live, a box to poop in and all the food it needs. Why does that need a contract?”

The lawyer representing my cat, Paul, maintained a stoic poker face.

“Mr. Shelvington, when you adopted Paul from the shelter, you agreed to certain terms. You signed the document outlining those terms. We have your signature right here.”

Paul’s lawyer slid a stack of paper towards me.

“As you can see, you signed right here” —He pointed to my signature on at the bottom of the last page— “indicating you had read and agreed to the terms. Are you now telling me you did not read the terms?”

“Well, no,” I admitted. “But it’s hardly my fault. I was adopting a cat. What kinds of terms and conditions would there be? Feed it well. Take it to the vet regularly. Don’t let it get mauled by predators if you let it outside. Clean up after it. You couldn’t expect me to read a stack of paper before adopting a cat. I could have easily picked up a stray from my parents’ farm with less hassle than this.”

“Mr. Shelvington, Paul here is a very unique cat. He is not a ‘stray from your parents’ farm,’ as you so eloquently put it. He has special needs and accommodations, both of which you have withheld from him.”

At this point I had to laugh at the absurdity of it all.

“This is no laughing matter, Mr. Shelvington. Paul has very particular tastes, tastes to which you agreed to cater, whether you wish to accept it or not.”

“Alright. Fine. What are these so-called ‘particular tastes’? And more to the point, where has Paul been hiding that so-called contract?”

At this point, Paul, who had been sitting on the table beside his lawyer, licking himself, spoke up.

“I’m a cat, dude. I have places I hide and places where I hide things. Which you would have known had you actually read the that contract.”

“You can talk?” I said, incredulously.

“Again, if you had read the contract, you would have known that. Did it not seem odd to you that a ‘Paul Catspaw’ had also signed the contract?”

“I just thought the shelter staff were having a lark. I thought it was cute.”

“Mr. Shelvington,” the lawyer interrupted. “I’m afraid you don’t seem to understand the gravity of this situation. You signed a legally binding contract. You have failed to live up to the terms, while Paul has held up his end. Paul is being very generous here. He only seeks to enforce the contract and have you begin to follow its terms. He is not seeking any compensation for the two years you have not adhered to the contract.

“However, should you refuse to commit to the contract and continue to ignore its provisions, he will have no choice but to push for full and proper restitution, as outlined in the contract.”

I sat back in my chair. This had to be a dream. Maybe I would wake up and all would go back to normal.

“OK,” I sighed. “What do I need to do?”

Paul now got up and started walking toward me.

“The terms are simple,” he said. “I only want these three things: one fresh-caught salmon once a week, a Purrrfect Sleeper Cattress in each room of the house with a sunlit window, and six ounces of the finest catnip you can find each month. I know a guy. He’ll totally hook you up with what I like.”

“And if I refuse?” I replied. “I think it’s only fair I know what the consequences are for denying your request and breaking the contract.”

“That is entirely fair, Mr. Shelvington. Of course, you would know that already if…”

“If I had read the contract. I know. You keep harping on that. I think we can agree I messed up. Let’s deal with what’s in front of us now.”

“Very well. As you have breached the contract for two years, the stipulated penalty is 10 fresh-caught salmon per month, one pound of catnip per month, and access to four female cats for, ahem, pleasure. These must be paid within 14 days.”

My mouth dropped open.

“You want me to be a cat pimp?”

“Only if you don’t start meeting the terms,” Paul said. “I think I’m owed a little pussy pussy for the past two years of doing without.”

“And if I refuse completely?”

“If you refuse to meet the terms, Mr. Shelvington, the contract will be ended,” the lawyer said. “Paul will depart from your company. But you will remain responsible for the restitution for breaking the contract in the first place.”

“How long do I have to decide what I want to do?” I asked, hoping it would not need to decide today.

“You have two weeks,” Paul said. “I’ll be leaving to spend some time with my littermates. When I return, I had better see either a Cattress, a fish and some nip; or a lot of fish, a lot of nip and some hot cat ass.”

Image by Navneet Saini from Pixabay

People will live their lives in whatever way they see fit and it’s not your place to judge them or even care just a little – 099/100

Prompt: A businessman, fed up with everything in his life, finally snaps after being stuck in a stationary traffic jam for two hours.

People will live their lives in whatever way they see fit and it’s not your place to judge them or even care just a little

This has not been my day.

First my kettle broke. Then the cat barfed in my shoes. Then my kid barfed on my shoes. And now I’ve been stuck here on the motorway for going on two hours.

What did I do to deserve this? Where did I go wrong?

I’d always been nice to people. I donated to charity on the regular. I did everything society asks of me. And yet, I find myself in a dead-end job, with a wife I’m sure is stepping out on me, and saddled with a crotch goblin whose life goal seems to be to get as smelly and sticky as humanly possible in as short a time as possible.

This is not what I expected my life to be.

I thought I would be getting promoted every two years or so. I thought I’d be getting raises every year. I thought be now I would own a $35,000 car and two houses. Instead I have a $35,000 house and two cars. At least Frank Burns would be proud of me.

It’s like every decision I’ve made has had unintended, opposite consequences. I can’t win.

I shouldn’t be comparing myself to anyone. I live my life, and they live theirs.

But I can’t help it. No one can.

When your neighbour has a beautiful wife who loves to lounge about on their pool deck, while your wife looks like a cross between Patty Bouvier and Oscar the Grouch, you can’t help but wish your life had turned out different.

Or when your brother strikes it rich in the lottery and now owns the most extravagant car and has a private jet. Not to mention his children are Rhodes Scholars.

I guess I should be lucky I don’t live in a single room above one bowling alley and below another bowling alley.

How is it everyone else is doing better than I am?

What does it even matter? Would anyone even miss me if I went away?

I doubt it. The wife would simply move on to that guy she’s stepping out on me with. The crotch goblin would follow the wife. The neighbour would keep on banging his trophy wife. My brother would keep jetting off to new and exciting places.

I could vanish from the face of the earth and no one would blink an eye.

So what’s stopping me?

Oh. Look. The traffic is moving again.

Image by Gerhard G. from Pixabay

It kills me to have to walk away from the best job I ever had – 097/100

Prompt: There it is, sitting on the kitchen table: your last contract. You open the box and find a note reading “Eliminate Target X” with a picture attached of Target X. Your eyes widen as you see who the target is. Well, nobody said the last day on the job had to be easy.

It kills me to have to walk away from the best job I ever had

Being a hit man was never a dull job.

I got to travel the world. I saw places only a select few ever get to see.

Yes, it was messy at times. It’s not always pulling off hits like the legendary Francisco Scaramanga—delivering an engraved bullet to the mark and then sniping the target from a hotel window after a night of passionate lovemaking—sometimes I had to get right in there and use my hands.

But the time had come to settle down. I wasn’t as spry as I used to be, and it was getting harder to make clean hits.

Make no mistake – I always delivered on time. I just had to prepare more, and I was getting dangerously close to my deadlines.

When I announced my retirement, I had planned to do some management work with The Company for my last few months. The bosses had other ideas.

« You can’t just leave us in the lurch. » they said.

« Who else is going to pick up the slack? You are still our best. »

I couldn’t blame them. I was the star of the show. But as anyone versed in astronomy will tell you, all stars eventually die – it’s just a matter of how. I planned to fade out.

The bosses wanted me to go supernova.

With six months till my retirement, I agreed to two last hits.

The first was the leader of the opposition political party in the country to the south of mine. He had been espousing some questionable ideologies, and the ruling party didn’t want those ideas to gain any traction.

I actually sympathized with the opposition leader’s views, but a job’s a job.

The ruling party wanted it to look like an accident, so I worked my contacts and managed to get a job on the opposition leader’s household staff. One night when he got up to go to the bathroom, he fell down the stairs. When he landed at the bottom, the marble bust on the credenza just happened to topple over.

Oops. What a klutz.

For the second hit, I was told it would be a one-day job, and I would learn my target that morning.

Thinking about it now, with my face gazing up at me from the bottom of the box, I can’t say I was incredibly surprised. No one had ever “retired” from The Company before. They simply disappeared.

Image by Sammy-Williams from Pixabay

Scientific progress only happens when the zealots are tossed out on their asses – 096/100

When I found this prompt, I knew exactly what image I wanted to go with it. You’ve all seen it, the image of a toddler’s skull with the teeth. It’s a truly unnerving image when you realize that’s what’s going on in your skull when you’re a child, and it’s part of the cause of your own child’s teething pains.


Prompt: Long after humanity’s extinction, an alien species finds a toddler’s skull and fears what they think could have been.

Scientific progress only happens when the zealots are tossed out on their asses

“What the fuck is that thing?”

Grovnak reached down and picked up what she thought was a shiny rock. But when she flipped it over, she nearly dropped it in shock.

“Hlegiar, come here! You have to see this!”

Hlegiar and Grovnak were not friends. They had been paired on the mission by the High Command of Yefqiox, despite both listing each other as their least-preferred partner. The Supreme Leader had said pairing them would be good for both of them, but considering they had nearly chocked each other out on the five-year voyage to this abandoned planet, that had proven to be false.

So when Grovnak called for Hlegiar to check out what she had found, he wasn’t exactly enthusiastic.

“What did you find this time? It better not be another reflective rectangle. They’re all the same. We don’t need to investigate another one.”

“This is much stranger than those rectangles, Hlegiar. It looks like a human skull, but it’s vastly different from all the others we’ve found.”

Hlegiar was unconvinced.

“Grovnak, every skull we’ve found has been almost identical. Except for that one with the hole in the top, and the other with a tooth stuck in it above the eye hole. How could this one be so different?”

“Oh, you of little imagination,” Grovnak retorted. “Trust me. You won’t be mocking me once you see this. And if you’re nice to me, I might let you share credit for finding it.”

Hlegiar rolled his eyes.

“Fine. Show me this ‘unusual’ skull of yours, then.”

When Grovnak turned around and presented the skull to Hlegiar, his eyes nearly burst out of their sockets.

“What is that? How did that happen? That can’t be real!”

It was Grovnak’s time to gloat.

“Believe me now? I told you this was something you had to see to believe,” she said. “And before you question it further, I ran scans on it while you were taking your sweet time getting over here. It is pure bone. And those are real teeth. There is nothing artificial about it. No unnatural cuts or edges. As best as I can tell without doing a full examination, those teeth are supposed to be there.”

Neither Hlegiar nor Grovnak had seen anything like it in their years studying the long dead race of humans. They thought they were experts. They thought they had learned all there was to learn.

The mission they were on was meant to find out if humans had developed language. Or if they only communicated via body movements and subtle scent cues.

But this skull. This skull with its exposed teeth and several more nearly fully formed teeth hidden in the jawbones. This skull had derailed the entire mission.

Was it a human skull? Or a long-disappeared ancient relative?

“What are you going to do with it?” Hlegiar asked. “You know the High Command doesn’t like us going off script.”

“We have to tell them. This opens up an entirely new avenue of study. Think about what it would mean to bring even more knowledge back to Yefqiox.”

Grovnak started walking away, eyes down, looking for more skulls.

“If only I could find more clues,” she said. “There has got to be something hidden around here that can shed light on this skull.”

She was too busy examining the ground to notice Hlegiar sneaking up behind her. With one quick lunge, he grabbed the skull from her hand.

“No!” he yelled. “We can’t waste our time with this. It’s clearly a fake of some kind. There is no record of humans having multiple rows of teeth.”

Grovnak made a stab for the skull, but missed, falling on her face.

“You don’t know that,” she said. “You can’t know that until we fully examine it. Maybe it’s a missing link in the human lifespan. Maybe it’s a different branch of the human species.”

“I don’t want to know what it is!” Hlegiar’s eyes were full of rage. “I spent decades studying these humans. All the information we have on them is my work. I won’t be having some novelty undoing that work. And I definitely won’t be having an upstart like you stealing my thunder!”

As the last syllable escaped his lips, Hlegiar threw the skull on the ground, shattering it.

“Humans are as we know them,” he whispered menacingly to Grovnak. “There is nothing more to learn.

You will fall in love willingly or heaven help me I will force you to love – 095/100

As soon as I saw this prompt, I knew this was the story I wanted to tell.

Prompt: You’re an angel with a shotgun.

You will fall in love willingly or heaven help me I will force you to love

What they don’t teach children is that Cupid is an angel.

They like to say Cupid is a cherub, and that cherubs are different from angels.

But make no mistake – Cupid is an angel.

And Cupid’s not alone.

When Cupid can’t do his job because his target doesn’t want to be hit with the Arrow of Love, that’s when I get the call.

My name is Yabbashae, but they call me Basher. I am the angel with the Shotgun of Love. If you’ve been trying to avoid Cupid’s arrow, he calls me in to get the job done.

For years I told Cupid his bow and arrow were too weak for the stone cold hearts of modern society. But the guy has got so invested in his schtick, he couldn’t see reason.

Me? Being a pragmatic guy, I knew we had to evolve our tactics to bring love to the world. Where an arrow couldn’t pierce the hearts of today’s jaded men and women, a shotgun surely would.

So if you have refused to see love and let it consume you, be warned ­– I am coming for you to blast love into you. You will get love inside you whether you like it or not.

That’s a promise.

Image by Ed Zilch from Pixabay

Wiping out your memories can have unintended consequences if you don’t do it right – 094/100

Prompt: “As you can see, we copied your person to this computer. And when we turned the computer off, you were essentially – killed. How does that make you feel?”

Wiping out your memories can have unintended consequences if you don’t do it right

“Can you do it for real?”

“Excuse me?”

“Can you do it for real? My parents are dead. My life sucks. I can’t hold down a girlfriend. Why would I even want to keep on living?”

The researchers looked amongst themselves, like they were trying to figure out what to say.

“That’s not what we’re here for,” one of them finally said. “We’re here for a psychological study on loss.”

“I know what you’re here for. I read the informed consent document. But seeing you delete my person by turning the computer off got me thinking – what if it really was that easy?”

It was obvious these guys didn’t know what to say. And I can’t say I blame them. It’s not often you get asked for a way to end a person’s life.

“I mean, we can’t actually kill you,” one said to me after conferring with the others. “But we might be able to help you in some way.”

That perked my attention more than the experiment they were doing.

“What do you mean you might be able to help me?”

“We’ve been working on a side project,” the one continued. “We’ve had to keep it very hush-hush because we’re pretty sure it breaks at least five laws in 13 different countries. But in our tests so far, it’s shown to be effective at resetting a person’s life.”

“Are we talking a time machine?”

“No. Nothing like that. More like a browser history deletion. It wipes out everything you learned and experienced from a certain point forward. Everything you knew on that date, you keep. But everything that happened to you after that date is gone.”

“How far back are we talking? I can see some problems with this.”

“Like how if we went too far you’d have a child’s mind in an adult’s body? Yes; we thought of that. Don’t worry. It only goes five years at a time.”

I had to think about it. It was tempting to erase part of my life and have a chance for a new start. But with it being an actual possibility in front of me, it was no longer just words.

On the one hand, I would be losing a lot of my life and the memories I had made.

On the other hand, the last decade had been so abominably terrible that I didn’t like thinking about it. I guess I could wipe out that decade, and start fresh somewhere else.

“Let’s do it,” I said. “Let’s give it a try. I don’t have much to lose.”

Over the next half hour, I was taken into another room and sat in a chair. The researchers attached wires to my head, chest and fingers. I was also given a new pile of paper to read through, to help me understand what I was about to do. They also worked with me to make arrangements to move to another place where I wouldn’t see people from my past.

Finally it was time.

“When we flip this switch, you might hear a buzzing sound and feel some tingling,” one researcher told me. “This is normal. We’ll also be monitoring your vital signs.”

“Go for it,” I told them.

As soon as the switch was flipped, it was like a massive flashback raced through my head. I saw everything I had done that day shoot past my eyes, but in reverse and at triple time. But as I sat there, the flashback sped up.

I saw me going back to bed in the morning. Then I was waking up the night before. Instead of spitting out my toothpaste, I sucked it back up.

I tried to close my eyes during the toilet segments; it didn’t help. Boys and girls, don’t tape yourself in the bathroom and play it back. It’s not pretty.

The reel of my life kept getting faster. I saw scenes I knew were older than a decade whiz by. I tried to call out, but I couldn’t speak. But I could still hear.

“It’s not stopping!” a researcher said. “It’s wiping out too much. We’re already at 13 years gone. How do we stop this?”

“Pull the plug!” another shouted.

“Don’t! That will kill him!” yet another said.

I watched as I graduated elementary school. I saw my school trip to the local castle. I saw me drop a chunk of wood on my kindergarten crush’s foot. I saw my first kiss with that same kindergarten crush.

“Got it!”

The last thing I saw was me walking into my kindergarten classroom.

“When did it stop?” a researcher asked.

“It looks like we erased 30 years. All he has left is memories and experiences up to age four. We’ve basically turned him into six-foot four-year-old. We’re going to lose our licences for sure.”

“No one has to know about this,” a third researcher said. “He did want us to kill him. He’s as good as gone anyway. Why not just finish it off?”

A season doesn’t need a reason – 093/100

Prompt: ‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house… Wait, why is everything stirring?! Even the mouse?!

A season doesn’t need a reason

The potion would be done soon. Everything that had two hands and could hold a cup or bowl was mixing the ingredients in just the right way.

Father mixed the ice and reindeer blood.

Mother had the melted elf fat and eggs nearly perfectly creamed.

Little Suzie had carefully prepared the minced ginger. How she had successfully drained the ginger’s body of all the blood and guts was anyone’s guess, but everyone knew not to question Suzie.

And her younger brother Jonny had managed to secure a kilogram of pepper-mint. It was a shame the neighbour’s cat Pepper wouldn’t be home for Christmas this year, or ever again; however, what needed to be done was done. The mint was picked up at the local farmer’s market. Nothing sinister there.

Even their pet mouse Mickey had got in on the action. She couldn’t actually stir the cups of hot cocoa keeping the family going, but Suzie has rigged up a few gears so Mickey could run in her wheel and stir four cups as he went.

“Soon,” Father said. “Soon the potion shall be complete and it will be time for the invocation.”

“Yes,” Mother replied. “The witching hour is nigh.”

Every year on Christmas Eve, the family gathered in the kitchen to brew their traditional Christmas concoction. It was a recipe passed down through the generations, yet each of the last 150 years it had been cooked imperfectly.

This year would be different. Whether it was through being extra careful counting the number of stirs, or getting the temperature of the fire just right, no one knows. But this year the family’s hard work and attention to detail would not be for naught.

“Come. Let us mix our parts together,” Mother said. “It is time for the final step.”

The fire at just the right height, licking the edge of the cauldron, Father began by pouring the icy reindeer blood into the vessel. Mother followed, gently swirling the eggy elf fat around the edge.

Father took his spoon and gave the mixture three clockwise stirs, followed by seven anticlockwise stirs.

Next, Suzie rather indelicately dumped the minced ginger into the mixture. It was what the recipe called for.

Finally Jonny sprinkled the pepper-mint on top.

Each member of the family then took turns stirring. Mother gave it five top-to-bottom stirs. Suzie went side-to-side 11 times. Jonny went around in an inward spiral pattern of 13 full revolutions.

Upon the conclusion of the final circle, the elixir flashed bright and changed into a lime green hue.

“It is ready,” Father declared.

Each person taking a handle, the family hefted the cauldron off the fire and brought it to the middle of the backyard.

Forming a ring around the still-smoking cauldron, the family joined hands and began to chant.

« O jolly un.
Rydym yn erfyn arnoch chi!
Dewch i fod yn ein plith!
Dewch â ni eich bendith.
Glanhewch y Ddaear pawb sy’n ailosod eich enw.
Taro’r rhai sy’n eich athrod.
Dewch â thân i’r rhai sy’n eich gwadu.
Gwobrwywch ni sy’n ffyddlon i chi.
Ni yw eich gweision anhyblyg.
Rydym yn ceisio gwneud eich cynnig.
Dangoswch eich hun i ni! »

As the last echos of the chant hung in the air, the potion began to bubble once more. Sparks flew into the sky. Thunder clapped above them. The yard filled with smoke.

Then, silence.

The smoke dissipated.

Standing where the cauldron once stood was what the family had been trying to summon for generations. The creature who would bring about a return of the before times.

Looking around its new surroundings, the entity let out a mighty chuckle.

“Ho. Ho. Ho.”

The Green Giant was back.

Image by jacqueline macou from Pixabay

Don’t shock your boyfriend unless he wants you to and I’m pretty sure very few would want you to – 092/100

Prompt: “Is this one of those things where you ask me for permission for something you’re definitely going to do anyway?”

Don’t shock your boyfriend unless he wants you to and I’m pretty sure very few would want you to

“Is this one of those things where you ask me for permission for something you’re definitely going to do anyway?”

Damn! He’s on to me.

“What do you mean, hun? I always make sure you’re OK with what I do,” I replied.

“That’s hogwash and you know it,” he retorted. “Nine times out of 10, you ask if I want to do something, or if you can do something yourself, and then you do it anyway. Frankly, I’m getting sick and tired of it.”

“Oh yeah? Give me one example.”

“One? I’ll give you several. Last week, you asked what I wanted for dinner. I said pizza, but you went and got burgers. Then a month ago, you wanted to try out your new tattoo gun on me. I refused, so you tied me down and now I have this ugly cat face on my arm. Finally, just now, you said you want to see what happens if you attach electrodes to my balls. Of course I’m going to say no. But are you going to wrestle me to the ground, strip off my pants and zap my nuts anyway? Probably!”

“That’s because you always make the wrong choices. Who doesn’t want burgers? They’re the best. And that cat face tattoo? It’s a masterpiece and anyone who says otherwise is either high or nuts. The electrodes on your nads? Yeah. I’m just bored. But c’mon. We’re a team. We should do the same thing, together. That’s what good couples do.”

“Good couples compromise. They don’t have one person running the show all the time. Listen. I’ve put a lot of time into this relationship, but it’s clear you don’t care about me. You keep overruling me and not letting me have any control over my body. I’m not doing this anymore. I’m leaving.”

Ugh. This one just fell apart right off the top. But I kept at it because I chose the prompt and I’m not quitting a prompt if it turns out not to go anywhere. What better way to test my chops than plowing through?