Patient Zero – Friday Fictioneers

Greetings, Friday Fictioneers! Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting the group and for choosing my photo this week. Thanks so much! The challenge is to write a 100-word story based on the photo. All are welcome to join in. Here are instructions.

One would think that you if offered a photo, that you might have a story in mind. Not so! I look forward to reading what everyone came up with.

A little background on the photo: (If you don’t want to read this, skip to the story!) I took this in La Jolla near San Diego, a rather upscale beach neighborhood in a trendy shopping area. I found this site in an alley as I was walking through a few of them. Many of them were very quaint. This rundown stairway seemed out of the ordinary, so I snapped a photo. I didn’t go up the stairs…


(100 words)

Patient Zero

“It’s not condemned. It’s a ruin,” said Tony, putting on his mask. “A regular tourist trap.”

“Is that supposed to make me feel better? If you’re stupid enough to come here, no one’s gonna miss you,” said Chuck.

“Someone’s being dramatic,” said Tony. He touched his finger to the faulty rail. It wouldn’t help him on the cracked stairway, choking on overgrown ivy and debris.

“If you come back out, I’ll join you,” whispered Chuck.

Inside Tony witnessed cats roaming on mutant paws, flashing green eyes, encircling him. They slashed him with their claws until their mouths filled with blood.


Click here for more stories from the Fictioneers.



Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…I Got You Covered

It’s high time for an official “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” Appreciation Day. I bet you’re stunned that such a day doesn’t already exist. There’s a calendar for it. Tell me why not one little day?

After all, we have Towel Day, Lumpy Rug Day, and my new personal favorite, World Turtle Day. With days like Houseplant Appreciation Day (which also shares its day with Peculiar People Day, Cut Your Energy Costs Day, and Save the Eagles Day), you’re probably thinking do we really need another one of these types of days, Amy, that no one is even aware of until after it’s over?

I’d say there’s room. Think of this holiday as a day for you, like a birthday but without all the pressures and expectations, because let’s face it, not all of us want to turn another year older. Besides, every now and then, we need to cut ourselves a little slack or else we could burst under this constant pressure to perform, be informed, to initiate, and be on top of our game.

My vision is as follows and is quite simple, and mine may be different from yours. Your marker should always be this:

If it were the Zombie Apocalypse, would this really matter?
Check the Zombie Meter.

Socks and Clothing: Who Cares

First of all, take a look at this sock pile. With No Socks Day and Lost Sock Memorial Day, I’m taking this a step further by suggesting that if you want to wear socks just choose a mismatch. Any two socks will do. Don’t sweat it. I’m positive you can find a mismatch here.

I can't find any socks
Just throw these away for all of eternity.

Those lost socks are never coming back. They are not behind your dresser or your dryer. The trolls took them along with the caps of your pens (Right, Stephen?). Toss them all if that’s what you want to do, Lost Sock Memorial Day or not. Look the important thing here is that you call the shots!

If your clothes are dirty, you could a wear a sheet.

Sheet it
Looks comfortable enough.

If you’re so inclined, just go sans clothing and paint yourself green.

It's not easy being green.
Kermit, is that you?

Zombie Meter: Comfort is key.

Windows of Time

Don’t sweat it if you’re a few minutes late. No, you are not a failure because on this day, we think of everything in terms of windows of time. I’d say so long as you’re at your destination within a half hour window, you’re good.

What is time?
What is time?

Zombie Meter: It doesn’t matter so long as you’re alive.

Free Parking

Don’t have enough change for the meter, don’t sweat it. All parking is free on Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff Day, including parking garages. If you can’t find a parking space, just park illegally. Why should we have to pay for rectangular space of asphalt in the first place?

Zombie Meter: You can park wherever you want.

No Tickets on Small Infractions, Including Parking

Of course, this goes without saying.

Zombie Meter: Doesn’t register, doesn’t exist.

Wild Outbursts of Song and Dance

We’re not sweating any small stuff, so it’s highly permissible to break out in wild laughter, singing, and dancing. Or, perhaps a yoga pose, meditation, or nap is more your style. There will no glaring or judgment cast.

This is as good a place as any.
This is as good a place as any.

Zombie Meter: Just don’t forget the zombies still exist.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff Free Pass

To ensure that Don’s Sweat the Small Stuff is adequately celebrated, everyone is permitted a free pass at least once a month besides the normal appreciation day. Consider days in which you are experiencing the following:

Tangled Mind Syndrome (TMS): A perfect day to let it go.

No caffeine or an inadequate amount: There’s no telling what will go wrong. It’s best to bow out.

Significant changes in hormone levels: We must pace ourselves on these days.

Full moon: All bets are off.

What, you think my picture is too dark? Well, I’m not going to sweat it.

I know I just barely scratched the surface here. Tell me what would be on your list. What small stuff are you not going to sweat about on this very special day?

photo credits: Steve Rhodes via photopin cc; shapeshift via photopin cc; blarfiejandro via photopin cc

Late Night Thoughts on Planetary Alignments

giza_alignmentPhoto credit: Charles Marcello

Let’s not forget the a-pocky-clips is near, highlighted by the above photo where the planets of Mercury, Venus, and Saturn line up over the pyramids of Giza on December 3, 2012.

This photo went viral months ago, of course, and is old news. Scientists have dissected it by now, revealing that said alignment of the planets, which indeed will occur, won’t look like this. The planets will align in a more vertical direction. Plus, this would never happen quite this way because the pyramids in the photo are backwards. I would think these little details would be fine tuned to properly pull off a stunt like this. But actually, that’s impossible, too, since this whole thing can’t really happen this way. I admit it’s a catchy photo. Charles Marcello created the photo, by the way, using an astronomy software program called Starry Night Pro.

And, another thing….

6+6+6=18   (Very good)

and, so it follows…

18+3=21 (Correct again!)

When these planets line up today (December 3rd)  it will be exactly 18 days away from December 21, 2012, the day that marks the end of the Mayan calendar. So, you see, this is significant.

I have grappled with the mysteries of life my entire existence, my purpose for this blog in fact, and this much I know. The end of the world, or even some catastrophic event, will not be something we can pencil in on our calendars. How do I know this? Because, dear reader, life doesn’t happen this way. It just doesn’t. Ask any woman who has tried to have a birth plan for her child? Did that work out? It usually doesn’t. You see my point?

Having this kind of insight into the end of the world, or even a new beginning, would indicate that we can somehow predict the inner workings of the Universe. The Universe!

So, admit it. When the 2,000 millennium bug did NOT happen, did you not feel a little let down? It’s easy to understand why we may crave an earth-shattering moment, or even a mere glimpse of something spectacular. This beats our daily life of work, bills, and laundry. If the apocalypse happened or the Rapture, or Armageddon, or what have you, well, you would have to forfeit control of your life. That’s right. You can just throw your problems out the window. Oh, you’ll have problems, but other problems, problems that belong to the apocalypse or new beginning, or whatever it may be. We would all be in dire straits together.

I’m familiar with this line of thinking because I used to think about the end of the world. When? How? That, and moving to Michigan. My life would be perfect and magical if only I could move to Michigan. They have those lakes, do they not? People there would be super nice. And fresh air, not like the smog of Southern California. I was about twelve years old, I believe, when I fantasized about this.

Now, I’m certain of this. On December 22nd, I will probably wake up in my bed, as I always do on this day, and think about the Christmas shopping that I have yet to do.

Of course, there’s always the zombie apocalypse. According to my family, they’re going to leave me behind because I will slow them down. I think they’ve been watching too many movies. Anyway, that’s fine with me, so long as I have a good book to read.

What about you? Do you have any special end of the world plans? So you know, I plan to be right here.