642 Things – 86: The general manager of the New York Yankees’ personal to-do list

(Oh God, ummm…)
Watch the winning teams, what are they doing that we aren’t?
Hire new team members
Rotate out the coaches ever 4,000 miles
Spend 2 hours in a sensory deprivation tank
Trim my toenails

 

 

Unlike my two books (“The Great Platypus Caper” and “The Coconut Monkey Horror”) I can not promise that each entry in my 642 things to write about series will be true stories drawn from my life, I’ll leave the amount of truth in each entry up to your imagination.
Want to stretch your writing muscles as well? Post your response to the writing prompt in the comments section. I’d love to see it.

 

 

 

642 Things – 85: The president’s personal to-do list

(Well, this one’s gonna get a bit political, I know it’s not my style, but they specifically asked for it)
Skip morning briefings to watch Fox News
Track down reporters talking about my small hands and tweet about their families
Call anyone who says anything negative about me FAKE, because anything negative about me must be fake, I’m the best.
Tell Spicer to inform that press that I’m actually the first legitimate president we’ve ever had. This is totally historically accurate.
Hope that finally someone catches on that my entire presidency is a brilliant performance piece about the dangers of celebrity politics.

 

 

 

Unlike my two books (“The Great Platypus Caper” and “The Coconut Monkey Horror”) I can not promise that each entry in my 642 things to write about series will be true stories drawn from my life, I’ll leave the amount of truth in each entry up to your imagination.
Want to stretch your writing muscles as well? Post your response to the writing prompt in the comments section. I’d love to see it.

 

642 Things – 84: Write a scene in which a person is leaving a restaurant with her husband and bumps into a former lover. What words are exchanged or not exchanged? What do her body positions say?

As Jennifer walked out of the restaurant with her husband, she saw James walking in.

Jennifer’s Mind: Oh God, please don’t see me.
Jennifer’s Body: Make yourself small, hide behind your husband.
James: Oh! Hey Jennifer!
Jennifer’s Body: Quick, stand up straight, try and look desirable!
Jennifer’s Mind: Well, I guess we’re doing this.
Jennifer’s Mouth: Oh, hey James, long time no see.
Jennifer’s Mind: Yeah, it’s been 4 years and 6 months since you dumped me for my best friend.
James: Yeah, how are you doing?
Jennifer’s Mind: Be positive, not being with him was the best thing that could happen!
Jennifer’s Body: Grab the husband, use the husband.
Jennifer’s Mind: Yes, the husband is MUCH better looking than the Ex, point out the husband.
Jennifer’s Mouth: Oh, I’m doing great, I don’t think you’ve met my husband Ryan.
Jennifer’s Body: Nudge the husband forward.
Jennifer’s Mind: Come on hubby, shake the hand, be superior to this guy.
Ryan: Hey, good to meet you!
Ryan’s Body: Crushing grip. Must make myself look big to intimidate potential threat.
James: Oh hey, good to meet you.
James’ Body: Ouch my hand.
James’ Mind: Oh good, he see’s me as a threat. Yeah, I could totally still have her if I wanted. She looks good…maybe I should renew our friendship…keep that door open.
James: Hey listen, I’ve got to run now, but we should grab coffee sometime, you know, catch-up.
James’ Mind: Don’t bring the gorilla though.
James: Ryan, you’re welcome to come as well.
Jennifer’s Mind: He wants me back. Now I can have my revenge, lead him on, and then SHUT HIM DOWN like he did me.
Jennifer’s Body: You know you still want all this.
Ryan’s Mind: No way am I letting this guy alone with my wife.
Ryan: Sure, that sounds fun.
Jennifer’s Mind: Now I just have to find a way to meet for coffee without the husband.
Jennifer’s Body: Grab the husband’s arm, flash some cleavage, just a hint.
James’ Mind: This guy is big, better end this quick.
James’ Body: Walk away, wave
James: I’ll give you a call later, we’ll set something up.
Jennifer’s Mind: This is gonna be fun.
Ryan’s Mind: I’m gonna kill that guy.
Jennifer’s Body: Hint of a smile, quick, almost secretive wave, make him think he can have you.
Jennifer: Sure, I’ll talk to you later.

 

 

 

 

Unlike my two books (“The Great Platypus Caper” and “The Coconut Monkey Horror”) I can not promise that each entry in my 642 things to write about series will be true stories drawn from my life, I’ll leave the amount of truth in each entry up to your imagination.
Want to stretch your writing muscles as well? Post your response to the writing prompt in the comments section. I’d love to see it.

642 Things – 83: Write a scene that begins: “It was the first time I killed a man.”

It was the first time I killed a man, but let’s be honest, it’s not like I had another choice. I was minding my business, content to simply go about my new life. He’s the one who had to come flying out of my past to disrupt my present.

For the last 16 years I’d been Mike James, and I loved it. Mike is a simply guy, a guy of small pleasures and no pressures. He works as an auto mechanic, makes decent money, goes to the occasional happy hour with his coworkers, and has a pretty nice little apartment. I love being Mike.

I’d spent the first 30 years of my life being Anthony Howard…and I didn’t enjoy it at all. My family had money. Not CRAZY money, but money. If we’d had more money, maybe things would have been a bit different, I could have been raised as the idle rich, but no, it was expected that I would work my butt off on behalf of the family to continue to raise our income. We had an image to maintain, and it was my job to help maintain it.

I had my first ulcer at 23.

At no point in my life do I remember anybody ever asking what I wanted to be when I grew up, they wouldn’t have cared anyway. My destiny was spoken for, I would go into business. When I went to college I was overwhelmed by all the options suddenly available to me….well…I say “available”…. I was overwhelmed by all the choices everyone else was getting to make. I once met a girl who was majoring in History. HISTORY! This charming young lady had decided to dedicate her life to studying the past, and nobody was going to stop her.

I hope nobody stopped her.

But my path was spoken for. I got my MBA, with as few extra-circulars as I could manage, heaven forbid I get a broader education, I might find something I wanted to do. And I began my job working for the family business.

Would you believe my family even picked my wife for me? Nice enough girl I suppose, but we always felt like two strangers forced to share a house. A kid didn’t fix that. Nothing could fix that.

And then came September 11th. Now I know it was a national tragedy, really, so many innocent people died that day, but at least one life was created that day, the life of Mike James.

I was supposed to be in the first tower early that morning, but I wasn’t. In a rare bout of insanity I decided to just show up late, I would grab a sandwich downtown, have some coffee, read a paper. I had decided that for 2 hours this day I would do whatever I wanted, and just be another face in the crowd.

And then IT happened.

It didn’t occur to me right away, no, what kind of madman would I have to be where this was my first thought? But eventually it occurred to me that everyone I knew would assume I was in that building, right where I was supposed to be. And I could go anywhere else, and BE anyone else.

I found myself a nice little small town in the middle of nowhere, found an old auto-shop in need of a helping hand, and BAM! Mike James was born.

16 years of doing just as I darn well pleased. It wasn’t a fancy life, but it didn’t need to be, I’d had fancy, I was ready for something smaller. I was aiming for contentment, and I landed smack dab in the middle of it.

And then Carl showed up. Of all the small towns for him to cut through on his little business trips. Of all the places for his car to break down. I had hoped at first he wouldn’t recognize me, but he did. I could tell as the blood drained from his face.

My cousin Carl had just seen a ghost, and it was me.

Luckily I was alone in the shop at the time, before he could say anything, before he could pull out his phone and ruin my world, I was on him. Mechanics have access to some pretty heavy wrenches, and his head caved in with a soft sound.

Then I just crammed him in his own trunk, fixed his car, and waited until night time when I could drive it into Lake Camapek. Sure, they’d probably find his car quick enough, but if I was lucky the water would wash away any evidence. Besides, even if it doesn’t, all the evidence will do is point to a man who died 16 years ago.

It was the first time I had killed a man, but it was surprisingly easy…hmmmm……

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unlike my two books (“The Great Platypus Caper” and “The Coconut Monkey Horror”) I can not promise that each entry in my 642 things to write about series will be true stories drawn from my life, I’ll leave the amount of truth in each entry up to your imagination.
Want to stretch your writing muscles as well? Post your response to the writing prompt in the comments section. I’d love to see it.

642 Things – 82: An estranged mother and son who haven’t seen of spoken to each other in more than twenty years meet in line at the post office in December, arms full of packages to be mailed. What do they say to each other?

Mother: Excuse me sir, would you mind moving forward just a little bit so I can set these down?
Son: Sure, no probl….oh….hi.
Mother: …..hi.
Awkward silence for at least a minute.
Son: Oh, here, let me give you some space.
Mother: Thank you.
More silence, more awkwardness, and the line never moves.
Son: So, you’re mailing some packages?
Mother: Yeah, just sending some stuff to the nieces and nephews, they’re growing up so fast. You?
Son: Same.
Mother: Oh.
Son: I hope we didn’t buy them the same things, that would be awkward.
Mother: Yeah, that….that would be awkward.
Silence.
Son: So, how’s Tony?
Mother: Oh, Tony and I got divorced about ten years ago, I don’t even know where he is.
Son: Oh.
Mother: Your aunt Bridget mentioned you got married?
Son: Yeah, 6 years ago, we just had our second daughter.
Mother: Oh. I guess I’m a grandmother now.
Son: Yeah, I guess so.
Mother: Well I feel bad, I didn’t buy anything for my granddaughters.
Son: No, it’s fine, their other grandma always spoils them, don’t worry about it.
Mother: Oh.
Silence reigns.
Mother: Do you think we could…
Son quickly takes out his cellphone and makes a call. The call is full of business talk, and then socializing, but it all seems forced, and it is clear that the call is ended by the other party long before Son is ready to stop talking.

Silence reigns yet again.

Finally the line moves, as Son goes up to ship his packages he turns to his mother one last time.

Son: Well…see you around.
Mother: Yeah….see you, I guess.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unlike my two books (“The Great Platypus Caper” and “The Coconut Monkey Horror”) I can not promise that each entry in my 642 things to write about series will be true stories drawn from my life, I’ll leave the amount of truth in each entry up to your imagination.
Want to stretch your writing muscles as well? Post your response to the writing prompt in the comments section. I’d love to see it.

642 Things – 81: Waiting

John was waiting. He’d been waiting for a very long time. And let’s be clear here, in his current setting the phrase “very long time” could mean years. Time didn’t really seem to mean anything here. See, John was dead.

His death had come in a quick but terror filled couple of seconds. He was driving to work, and making good time for a change. He was behind a large truck carrying metal piping. He never saw what the truck drove over that made it bounce, all he saw was one of the long segments of pipe come loose and fly directly at his face. He had just enough time to be scared before he stopped having any time at all.

He came to in a large space, and he really wished he was better with words, because “big” wasn’t going to cut it. It was enormous, larger than an airplane hanger, probably larger than an airport, and it was filled with people. In front of him was one of those Take A Number terminals. John’s number was 3/20/2017 121,853. He gathered from this that he was there were 121,852 people in front of him, who had all died on the same day he did.

Over a massive glass archway was a readout “NOW SERVING #5/19/2011 15” So John assumed he still had a long wait ahead of him. He sat down on a nearby bench, there were a lot of benches. His fellow waiters were the largest mix of people he’d ever seen. Men, women, and children of every race and nationality. Most weren’t talking, some were crying, some seemed catatonic.

One at a time, when the number on the arch changed, a person would walk under the arch. John could see what was happening on the other side, but he couldn’t hear anything. The dead person would walk forward and talk to a figure in a heavy hooded robe. The man in the robe was standing on a pedestal, like a judge. The two of them would talk, and from time to time some videos would show on a nearby screen. If John had to guess, it was videos of that person’s life, their good deeds, and their bad ones.

After a lengthy discussion, which would sometimes get quite animated, the dead person would be directed to one of two large ornate doors. One simply had an up arrow, the other a down arrow, inscribed on it’s surface. Well, that was pretty self-explanatory.

But as John continued to watch, he’d notice that occasionally, the dead person would simply disappear rather than walking through a door. Those people didn’t stand before the judge long at all. Also, from time to time, a person would be directed to a very small and plain third door, that didn’t have any markings John could see.

John hadn’t been an overly religious man in life, but he tried to be a nice person. All this time waiting to be judged for his 43 years on Earth made a man introspective. That’s probably why so many people weren’t talking. He liked to think that in his own very tiny way he left the world a better place than he found it. ┬áHe hoped the judge agreed.

He thought through the best things he’d ever done….he thought through the worst. He wished he had something to write with, so he could create a list, and try and prepare a proper defense for his less….shining moments.

Still, it looked like he was going to have a long time to ready his defense. And it gave him something to do while he waited.

Unlike my two books (“The Great Platypus Caper” and “The Coconut Monkey Horror”) I can not promise that each entry in my 642 things to write about series will be true stories drawn from my life, I’ll leave the amount of truth in each entry up to your imagination.
Want to stretch your writing muscles as well? Post your response to the writing prompt in the comments section. I’d love to see it.

642 Things – 80: The cleaning lady

Lucy really enjoyed her job. She knew that was pretty rare, not a lot of people became a cleaning lady because they enjoyed it, it was usually an act of necessity, but Lucy wasn’t an average woman. She was a quiet woman, who was happiest when nobody was paying attention to her. She drifted through life like a ghost, and she preferred it that way.

Her job required her to go into a very large office building after work hours. She and two other women were responsible for cleaning the entire building, which was mostly emptying waste baskets and mopping the floor. The building was large enough that the women all rarely saw each other. Most people would have found being alone in such a large building spooky, but Lucy enjoyed it.

As she went through each cubicle she got a small peak into hundreds of little lives. Here someone had a photo of their kid at a soccer game, there a person would have a rubber duck on their desk. Lucy enjoyed this little peak into other people’s lives. She would often create stories in their heads of what these people where like. She would name the people in the photographs, and give them little backstories.

She would never steal anything. She could understand the temptation, some people left the strangest things just sitting out in plain sight on their desk. Lucy could have had quite the trophy collection at home if she wanted, but she was fairly sure she’d get caught if she tried it. Lucy settled for occasionally shifting small things around on the desk. Nothing big, maybe just moving a stapler a couple of inches to the left, angling the phone in a different direction.

She liked to imagine that the moves were small enough that they just confused people. They would doubt themselves “did I leave that there?” “why are my paperclips in my drawer now?” Maybe they even thought a ghost did it. That made Lucy chuckle to herself. She liked being the ghost of the office.

This was a perfect job for her.
 

 

 

 

Unlike my two books (“The Great Platypus Caper” and “The Coconut Monkey Horror”) I can not promise that each entry in my 642 things to write about series will be true stories drawn from my life, I’ll leave the amount of truth in each entry up to your imagination.
Want to stretch your writing muscles as well? Post your response to the writing prompt in the comments section. I’d love to see it.