A tale of many cities

Prompt  …

Thank you Wildverbs for this week’s prompt.
Jack woke up on the bench.
He owned a cardboard mansion until yesterday. It had been two large boxes taped together – a wonder in in cardboard architecture. Jack had inherited it from a young man who had been beaten to death by a bunch of young thugs – who considered it their patriotic duty to free the society of poor, unwashed and dispossessed members. Other box dwellers watched and thanked God it was not them. Finally, the thugs departed; and Jack offered him a sip of water. The man bequeathed his home to Jack and died.
Jack had lived there for a few days and then the guilt of watching him being beaten without helping overcame him and he put a match to it and moved to the river park refusing to strive for a survival that he considered futile.
A few days later the bench was occupied by another Jack.
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Ironically the bench and the park too vanished soon. It was replaced by hundreds of box-homes stacked one over other.
Words ~ 171

Thank you Priceless Joy

 

 

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Epilogue

Prompt  ….

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook
Howard George Kettler invented a widely used typeface of the twentieth century. Kettler’s Courier typeface was used more than Times-New-Roman and Helvetica combined. The U.S. State Department used Courier-New-12 as its default font for treaties and other official diplomatic documents till 2004.
The small typeset-mechanical press was finally buried in the last decade and Mr Trebuchets sold his press paraphernalia at a garage sale.
Wentworth (Jr) bought the wooden trays used to keep the type-sets (~sorts) and started a garden but could not sustain it from the depredation by transgenic-bees of the from neighboring farm.
The union of tangible and intangible.
Words ~ 101  100

Thanks for the prompt Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. SHALOM.

Tools of the craft

Prompt  …

Thank you Yinglan for this week’s prompt.
She graduated with honors.
Today was her first day at job. She had been told what was expected of her. All her requirements were provided and finally a fat man in grey suit had left her in this special shoe shop. (Why a shoe shop she thought.)
Well …. fresh from the farm – your first mission? One of the young men asked.
She kept silent.
Never mind – your preference in footwear?
Another silence followed.
I think these Louboutins will fit you perfectly. There is a knife hidden in the right toe. Click your heel on a hard surface and it will pop out. Click again and it slides back.
The second man handed her a bag. ‘This contains a lipstick video-camera, dot-candies that are really GPS tracking devices, a nail polish that will dissolve metal and some multipurpose dental-floss made of carbon nano-tubes.’ He said.
The lady thanked them and felt she was ready to start her ascent in the Corporation.
Words ~ 162

Thank you Priceless Joy

 

Immune fraudsters

Prompt  ….

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz
Agent Best  did not mix with those that worked to unravel non-economic offenses. He considered them crummy, that is until Julia joined him. She was the most exasperating woman Best had ever met. She was beautiful and a pain in the neck, but unfortunately she was assigned as his new partner on this case.
Antigua, a tax haven, offers citizenship by investment of 250,000$. It also has extradition treaty with few countries.
Waiting for Julia at the Hermitage-Bay Hotel he was surprised to see her walk in with the fugitive-scamster.  He had to walk them in – fearing the worst.
Words ~ 100

Thanks for the prompt Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. SHALOM.

 

OXO

Prompt  …

 

A sociologist conducted a global survey on popularity and usage of OXO. Huge areas of the globe had never heard of tic-tac-toe or OXO. He doubted the results and posted the familiar 3 X 3 grid and again asked the same questions. He got a huge response – the game was well known around the globe by different names.
Many people commented on its usage. Its usage ranged from time-pass in boring class ( I am sure we all did that), preventing nuclear war (War games ~ 1983) and political strategy.
One of the participants attributed the preponderance of unpopular and controversial rulers in many countries of the globe to tic-tac-toe policy of political parties across the globe. He opined that in this decade political parties do not contest elections to win but rather to let not–the-opponent-win.
Words ~ 136

Thank you Priceless Joy

 

 

Why such desolation?

Prompt  …

Thank you Anonymous for this week’s prompt.
It was late morning as I walked through the narrow and deserted streets of old Delhi. Even the cats and dogs had vanished. I tried to recall the news – NIL.
The ancient Peepal (ficus) tree just beyond the street would know. I walked to the tree and sat down in its cool shade (hoping it was in a mood to answer my questions).
After half an hour I heard the tree in my mind …… ‘why are you out today?’
I am always on the road. Have you ever seen such desolation? Where has everybody gone?
The tree spoke after a pause. ‘Once nearly 750 years ago, the then ruler* shifted his capital to Daulatabad nearly 1000 Kms from Delhi and forced all inhabitants to move with him. Not even the cats and dogs were allowed to stay back. As for today – there is an advisory that the north western states are burning crop-stubble and the wind direction is such that air quality is likely to be extremely hazardous. Go home and be safe.
Words ~ 174
*Muhammad Bin Tughluq

Thank you Priceless Joy

 

Solace

Prompt  ….

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson
The old man was setting up his cart of Litti-chokha* for the evening crowd.  He filled the large metal-basin with dung-cakes and lighted it with a match stick. The ensuing smoke precipitated an attack of cough that soon left him gasping for breath.
This episode of cough was especially distressing. Unable to breathe because of the smoke that was further exacerbated with the poor air quality and the heavy rush of automobiles – he prayed to Baba-Vishwanath the Lord of Kashi (Varanasi).
The old man found himself at Asian Food-festival, Montreal. The sun was rising and he could breathe normally.
Words ~ 99
PS – Thank you IK. Your post ‘MONTREAL – WHO KNEW?’ inspired this.
*Wheat flour dumplings stuffed with Bengal-gram flour and consumed with spicy mix of mashed brinjals and potatoes. It is very popular in the northern states of India. The locals and tourists both like it as it is nutritious, tasty and quite cheap. Its USP is – it is baked on dung cakes and the pungency of mustard oil along with the flavor of melted butter.

Thanks for the prompt Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. SHALOM.