Weekly Writing Challenge #23 – The Window

Prompt – Outside the window, you see something you can’t believe.

Finally a chance to sit back and relax with a hot cup of coffee. It had been a hectic day at work full of stress. Somehow I muddled through all the requests, demands and outright weirdness that encompasses my work day.

Sitting back on my favorite recliner I faced the fake fireplace with my flat screen TV over it. I picked up the remote and turned on the flames that soothed the savage beast inside me. Out of the corner of my eye, I see movement outside my window. I turn to look and see nothing amiss. Perhaps, as my wife would put it, I saw the ghost of someone I know. You can only see them out of the corner of your eye supposedly. I usually just smile and nod whenever she talks about ghosts. I don’t believe for one second there are ghosts.

Sipping my coffee, I flick my shoes off and lean back in the recliner putting the foot rest up. Again, I see something out of the corner of my eye. Maybe I should go get my eyes checked? I’ll have to put that down on my mental checklist. I turn slowly toward the window and I have to blink my eyes twice. I can’t believe what I see. A man dressed as a Samurai is standing on the street looking right at me. It’s too early for Halloween.

I put the foot rest down and lean forward in my chair getting ready to stand and the Samurai disappears. Confused I pause where I’m at. Could this be an optical illusion? Or am I going crazy? I slowly lean back keeping my eyes on the window. The Samurai doesn’t reappear and I sigh. Maybe I’m having a brain aneurism and it’s causing me to hallucinate. I start to call for my wife, but take another look at the window.

There! Not a Samurai, but a monkey dressed as an Indian riding what looks like an armadillo. Now I know I’m going crazy as it becomes a veritable parade of the weird and crazy. Pink spotted Giraffes with the face of my mother-in-law. A dancing coffee cup being chased by tiny army men. Not to mention the up side down naked lady riding a lawn mower.

Instead of being alarmed, I start to enjoy kooky parade. For some reason it calms me the more outlandish it gets. I look around the neighborhood, but no one else is around or looking through their windows. Then the parade ends with a black mist that seems to be growing and coming straight toward my window.

I cry out in horror! I try to get up out of my chair, but I’m frozen in place. My legs are kicking and my arms are flailing about to no end. The black mist reaches the window and then oozes through a tiny crack in the corner. I knew I should have fixed that. The black mist grows and seems to be getting solid. I’m frozen in fright.

As the apparition closes on me and everything goes dark, I scream!

My wife turns on the light and grabs my shoulder shaking me. I’m in my bed sitting up.

“Honey”, my wife gently says, “are you having another nightmare?”

Whew, what a relief! It was just a nightmare. Granted the strangest one I have ever had. I close my eyes in relief and start to lay back down in my bed.

A bright light flashes in my eyes. I hear voices indistinctly. The light goes away and I am back in darkness but I can hear the voices becoming clearer.

A man’s voice says, “I’m sorry, but your husband has no brain activity at all. The machines are the only thing keeping him alive. When you are ready, nod and we will shut everything down.”

I scream “NOOOOOOO!”

Want to be part of the Weekly Writing Challenge? Using the prompt above, write your story and publish it with a link to this story. Make sure you tag it either md-wwc or #md-wwc

The Market

Prompted by On-Line Writer’s Guild #242

affordable art – a colorful serape – sinners, strangers all

Photo by NICE GUYS on Pexels.com

I found myself in a market. Strange market. There was a woman selling snake eggs and turquoise jewelry. Another stall was selling Monkey Butt Coffee and doing quite a brisk business by the throngs of people surrounding the table. A young child came up with a sad pathetic face and handed me a flower. I didn’t quite know what to make of this. I turned to leave the market, but behind me the market had expanded almost magically. Many more stalls were set up selling all sorts of odds and ends. The noise of people yelling and talking was like a dull roar.

I ducked between two stalls, one selling paper, ordinary paper from a ream. The other one was collecting money by telling fortunes. I thought maybe I need to get my fortune read. As I turned to the fortune teller, he put up a sign saying he was closed. Guess I missed my moment.

A man in a colorful serape was juggling tomatoes. Occasionally he would fling one into the crowd splattering the onlookers. Instead of getting mad, they would throw up their hands and praise God.

Two men were arguing loudly with their faces but an inch from each other. Their spittle was flying into each others faces. A nun walked by chanting, “Sinners, strangers all.” In the middle of this, two small children knelt in the dirt playing Jacks. They each had huge stacks of money beside them.

Then my eyes were drawn toward a sign, “Affordable Art”. I looked but no one was buying from this stall. I walked over and beheld the most beautiful paintings I had ever seen. I was blown away by the grandeur, the brushwork, and the sheer majesty of the artwork. I looked at the prices and they were changing as I looked.

I could hear off in the distance someone calling my name. Who did I know in this crazy market? The voice kept getting louder and louder, but I could not see where it was coming from. I stretched out onto my tiptoes to look over the crowd. Then I felt a punch from out of nowhere hitting my shoulder.

I opened my eyes and saw my wife standing over me.

“You were having a nightmare.”

Whew, that’s a relief, it seemed too real to be a dream, but that’s exactly what it was.

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