It’s that time again! For those new to the snark, I occasionally post an intriguing photo along with a link to its place on the net and ask my readers to write whatever comes to mind. It can be a plot, a scene or just one line. Everyone is welcome to join in and a week or so later, I’ll post the results along with links to your blog. Last week’s picture was this one. The next picture for the challenge is at the end of this post. We’re trying a little humor this time! Have fun!
From Laura at Mad Below My Feet
“Bugger keeps shining his flashlight in here,” said Flying Dorito Man. “How are we supposed to get any rest with those brats peeking every 10 minutes?”
“Who’s this one looking for?” asked Too-cool Transient Tracy.
“Hobo Hero Harry.”
“Uck! That guy stinks.”
Fly – as his friends called him – leaned his head back against one of the metal bars lining the Grand Central PlayStation. “Yeah,” he said, “I think the kid uses him to bug one of his sisters.”
Tracy sighed, shielding her eyes from the giant flashlight. “Why did the Jolly Green Giant have to have so many effing kids?”
X-Dell from The X Spot
Susan and Walter spent all of their time either at work, or going to work, or coming home from work. To each life represented a whirring drudgery with little differentiation from day-to-day, or from task to task, especially since the merger of all archetecture and construction firms into Kellog, Brown and Root, which occured sometime in the fifties, rendered every late-twenty-first century building more or less identifical. The task of marking some clear sense of time and place proved even more difficult, for they telecommuted from home after work. Sometimes, they could swear they did their most productive work during their sleep–either at the computer terminals in their living room, or the ones at work.Walter, for one, often couldn’t remember, when passing through the courtyard, whether he was off to the office, or coming home. Susan knew, of course, for she had worked out in her mind the little clues to distinguish one time of day from another. She heard wild rumors about these things called digital watches that told you whether the hour was am or pm, and how they were common in the previous century. An intense investigation of the urband legend led her to antique jewelers, where she bought her beloved Timex.Othertimes, she could tell the time of day by how relatively warm it was. She also made a habit of carrying with her the last newspaper she had bought, so that she could compare the date on it to the one in the newspaper vending machines outside both of her buidlings.
Susan never forgave Walter for borrowing her newspaper one day, for he absentmindedly left it at his computer terminal. Unfortunately for them both, he couldn’t remember if it was the computer at work, or the computer in the living room. Neither could she.
She felt a gentle breeze, and estimated the temperature at about fifteen degrees celcius. Problem was, she couldn’t remember what month it was, because the paper wasn’t handy. She then found, to her horror, that the LCD readout of her watch had gone blank. Walter had no clue about either their time or destination, and this didn’t sit well with Susan.
She could see the sun on the horizon, but neither of them could tell east from west. But, assuming (correctly) that everyone had pretty much the same schedules, she decided to ask strangers if they knew whether they were coming home or going to work. Such was a pretty daunting task, for people usually traveled alone, or like Walt and Sue, with their spouses, and they preferred it that way. Most regarded approaching strangers as threats, malevolent intruders wanting little more than to sell them a joint or something else illegal; or hand out dangerous political leaflets, or anything else that might get one fired.
Susan remained confident that she could find at least someone who would be willing to help a stranger in need. Indeed, the first person she asked, a bearded gentleman in a triple breasted cotton suit, seemed at least willing to hear her out.
“Do you know the time?” asked Sue, hopefully.
A look of confusion clouded the stranger’s face. Worse yet, because of he beard, she couldn’t rely on something so obvious as five-o’clock shadow to give her a hint.
“Sometimes,” offered the man. “When I buy a paper.”
After scaring a couple in matching black pinstripe, she gained the notice of a police officer, a young muscular woman whose blonde locks were clipped almost to her skull.
“Do you know the time, officer?” Susan asked.
The cop looked at Susan with obvious disdain. “Time for what?” snorted the blonde. “A meetin’? A singalong?”
“No, I just. . . .”
“Are you carrying an explosive device?”
“Sorry, officer,” interjected Walter, whisking his wife away. “She’s just confused. It happens. That time of the month. You know how it is.”
The policewoman gave them both a cold, hard stare, not a word leaving her lips.
“I’ve got to know what time it is!” insisted Susan, once they were outside of the cop’s ear range.
“Does it matter? We’ll find out when we get there.”
Susan nodded, sighed, and took Walter by the hand as they resumed their walk towards the sun.
“You know you’re never touching my newspaper again,” she spat.
Lyn from Lyn’s Licks & Laughs
He hated the lower level of any large building, where shadowy figures reminded him of another Ground Zero. He could see the sun once the smoke had cleared, but back then nothing had moved. All was stationary, quiet, reeking of smells he’d never encountered, visions he hoped never to see again.It was the last time he’d seen her, spoken with her, touched her. Back then the sun had remained hidden after the explosion.Just now, however, he could stare at the flaming orb and wonder. If he stared with enough intensity, might he find her again?
Or was it he, not her, who was lost?
Heather from Heather’s Blethers
The hungover vampire said, “Oh shit.”
Kelli from Kelli Blogs
Pac-Man looked one last time at the dots below him, desperate for just one bite. But time had run out on his game, and as he ascended to video arcade Nirvana, Pac closed his mouth and relaxed, ready to be reborn into a higher caste: the emoticon. :-0
Betty from Dishin’ the Dirt with my Friends
Attendance at the Temple of the Sun had dwindled. Most congregants had transferred their allegiance to the Moon Goddess and the incandescent new crystal temple that had been erected in her honor. It was beautiful beyond all imagining. Her feasts were opulent, her festivals raucous and seductive. She required none of the stringent discipline and self denial demanded by the jealous Sun God.Today, the third day of Raj and dedication ceremonies to El Sol, had begun quietly, like any other, but none of the flagellants had bothered to turn out for the 5 a.m. pilgrimage through the streets up to the alter of the God.Millicent knelt casually with a group of friends, chatting and making plans for the holiday. The once active temple was climate controlled and a relatively quiet place for quiet conversation these days. It was a quarter past the hour when the stinging current began to whip through the vast emptiness and people milling around the Solar Plaza.
“Ouch! What the…” The hair on the bodies of her and her friends stood at attention as the electrical charge sparked and arced between them. It singed their hair and seared their clothes until the stench of charred cloth began to fill the room. The white hot scourge flamed as it slammed into walls and solid ground, ricocheting off of them till it came to the eastern end of the room and exploded with a thundering blast into the large copper disk that hung from the high alter as an icon to the sun.
Millicent shielded her eyes from the glare as the disk began to glow as bright and hot as the sun itself.
“Bow before me, you ungrateful swine.” The deep voice roared surrounding them from every direction. But no one moved, not even Millicent. Someone was obviously pulling some kind of prank. “I am Sol. Bow before me and repent your evil ways,” the voice boomed again.
Sol? Everyone knew the Gods were products of imagination. What kind of craziness was this?
“You dare to defy me!” he bellowed. A lightening bolt shot from the disk into a small gathering of people standing on the walkway that crossed the center of the plaza. A small puff of smoke rose from each incinerated person as if it was one of those magicians tricks at the Cirque. But the heat and stench it left behind felt all too real.
An arc of fire flared out from the disk sending flame and sparks into the adjacent wall and showered the people seated below it. Screams began to echo within the hollowness of the building. Millicent glanced at her companions. It took only a nod from the eldest of the group and in unison they fled behind the nearest pillar and began to make their way to the exit that stood four pillars away. “
You have angered me for the last time,” the voice continued. “Today you die!
”As Millicent ducked past the final pillar, the prophecy of the coming war of the Goddess and the God filled her mind. It had been long considered a myth, like the existence of the deities themselves. As the form of the crystal temple of the Goddess appeared on the horizon, she knew what she had to do. She gasped for breath , taking the steep pathway toward the Temple of the Moon as fast as she could. Why hadn’t she paid more attention in Mythology classes? Violent. Bloody. The destruction of all life. She could remember those parts of the story.
Had the prophesy been true?
Were the end times upon them?
If so, they were all doomed.
“Trippy.”“Yeah.”A low rumble filled the room as voices grew louder. Ralph frowned. “Dude, people are gathering.”
Leon looked around. Shrugged. He tilted the mirror a bit more and blinding light filled the train station.
Ralph watched as a woman dropped to her knees and began praying. Others soon followed. “Leon, maybe you should stop. People are freaking.”
“Don’t wanna. It’s cool.”
Eyes wide, Ralph took in the scene as more and more people filled the room. He felt a rise in energy as the murmurs became cries of hope and despair. People asking for guidance, asking after dead loved ones, asking for money or better jobs.
Someone poked Ralph in the side. Hard. “Hey man–”
“Move over.” The guy hissed at him then shoved him into the rail.
Ralph held on, eyebrows high. He couldn’t believe this. He leaned over as close as he could to his friend. “Hey Leon, stop it now. This isn’t cool anymore.”
But Leon, mesmerized by the huge yellow globe he’d made, remained silent, a silly smile pulling at his lips. “So shiny.”
Ralph wished Leon hadn’t smoked that stupid pipe before coming here.
Visual Paradox: Humorous Gallery