Adrift

Scrolling through my Reader this morning, I found inspiration. WordPress puts out a Daily Prompt to write about–fiction, nonfiction, long, short, whatever finds it way onto your page. So here is my story based off today’s one word prompt: Adrift.

Angelique looked around the funeral.

His poker buddies on one side, leaning against each other. Work cohorts on the other, shocked looks still on their faces. In the front, where Angelique should also be, was his mother, sopping tissues in hand.

They didn’t know. None of them knew.

She had spent hours plotting his death. Each plan more elaborate than the last. Only to have it taken away from her by a random car accident. She supposed she still had a surprised look her face too.

When the cops came to the door, Angelique had felt only relief. Relief that he wouldn’t hit her again; relief that when his friends left on poker night the critique would never again start on how she was clumsy and had almost spilled beer on Tom; never have to worry about his mother complaining about the house and him taking it out on Angelique when she left.

And now she was free.

Angelique looked around again, at his friends and family. His. What was hers?

Angelique suddenly realized she had no plans. All her plans, all the ways for him to die, ended with his death. Nothing further. What would she do with her life?

Angelique burst into tears.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Adrift

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Cliche Sunday

And, on to the V’s! Of course, V is a bit rare, so it will be interesting to see just how many clichés can be found starting V. The site I use actually stuck U and V together, like many file sets do. And the book I use only has one, and it doesn’t even truly start with V– “Violin, to play second.” I think I will skip that one 🙂

veg out: to relax, or, as Julia Roberts said in Pretty Woman, to lay like broccoli.  The phrase did come from the 1990s, and while popular in London literary circles during that decade, the earliest version of it can be found in Pretty Woman. The origin is from the idea of people with limited brain capacity as vegetables, lying in bed and unable to do move. Couch Potato has a similar origin.

vicious circle: a self-perpetuating cycle that has no improvement as it circles back to the beginning of the process. This was used as logicians in the 1800s originally as a method of describing a fake philosophies:

A depends on B
B depends on C
C depends on A

The term was picked up for use in the mid 1800s by medical practitioners, and was found first in figurative form in 1892:

The whole situation works in a kind of inevitable rotary way – in what would be called a vicious circle.
                                            Henry James’ Notebooks

vanish into thin air: to disappear, whether it be a person, a wallet, or just that thing you so desperately need to find and were sure you left on the kitchen table. This one is mostly likely a a variation of the phrase Shakespeare used in Othello:

Clown:
Then put up your pipes in your bag, for I’ll away. Go; vanish into air; away!
                                   1602

 verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things: literal meaning, and quite timely if you actually listen to our politicians. This quote is attributed to Dan Qualye, President Bush (Sr)’s vice president, who is otherwise best known for his youth and inability to spell the plural of potato. While many politicians do seem to talk in a vicious circle, an excellent demonstration of this phrase is given by Donald Rumsfield:

                      Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know.

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Cliche Sunday

Another week has flown by! A rather wet week to be sure, but a week none the less. I guess that means we are on to U! I don’t think there are all that many clichés that start with U, but we shall see what we can find…..

under your hat: keep it secret. There was never anything to hide under one’s hat, although stories do abound about keeping gold or even spare arrow strings under an archer’s hat. Truly it simply means to keep information in your head, and share only as needed.  The phrase originated in the nineteenth century, most likely in Britain.

Thus, oh friendly readers, we see how every man in the world has his own private griefs and business… You and your wife have pressed the same pillow for forty years and fancy yourselves united. Psha, does she cry out when you have the gout, or do you lie awake when she has the toothache? … Ah, sir – a distinct universe walks about under your hat and under mine.
                                       The History of Pendennis, William Makepeace Thackeray, 1848

up the apples and pears: up the stairs. Another fun  example of cockney rhyming.  This type of slang is made when words are replaced by any words or phrases they rhyme with, although no relationship other than the rhyme is requires. Whether this  slang is meant to exclude outsiders, or simply be creative is unknown.

the usual suspects: most likely criminals in the area to have committed a crime, although whether they actually did it is of little consequence. This one has a clear history: the film Casablanca, 1942. Captain Louis Renault makes the statement after the main character Rick Blaine shot a Nazi, and the Captain tells the investigating police to “round up the usual suspects” instead of turning in Rick.

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Cliche Sunday

I have been a book-a-holic this week. At this moment, I am fighting the urge to put away my laptop and pull out my e-reader. It has been a while since I had a reading frenzy,but once I gave in…… I read six books this past week–or was it seven?

Unfortunately, the rest of my life tends to suffer when I get like this. Especially my blogs. But I am making a concerted effort here to get the ‘T’ clichés in before giving in to my next book.  So here we go:

technicolor yawn: throwing up. I had never heard this one, and thought it, well, colorful until I saw the meaning. Not a fan of vomit; mine, yours or descriptions thereof. However, since I went to the trouble of looking it up….this phrase comes from our friends down under in Australia. It has been around from at least the 1960s, when Barry Humphries used it (fairly gracefully):

When I swallowed the last prawn,
I had a technicolor yawn and I chundered in the old Pacific Sea.
                      A Nice Night’s Entertainment

tall story: a fake, doozy of a story with very little basis in reality. Given our need to exaggerate, there are many names for such  boastful stories–tall talk, tall writing,tall tales, and even Munchausens. Munchausens were named after the Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Baron von Münchhausen. He was well-known as a “purveyor of extravagantly untruthful stories about himself.”* In America, the stories became a tradition around the campfire, with each storyteller trying to outreach the previous teller, making the tales taller and taller.

that’s all she wrote: an end to one’s plans. While there are a few versions of where this came from, it definitely came from America in the early twentieth century. The first– and unsubstantiated  –version is a Marine during WWII who received a Dear John letter, and told his friends mournfully that she broke up with him and that’s all she wrote. It was definitely used to title  a popular country song by Ernest Tubb in 1942:

I got a letter from my mama, just a line or two
She said listen daddy your good girl’s leavin’ you
That’s all she wrote – didn’t write no more
She’d left the gloom a hanging round my front door.

Although he probably popularised the saying, the first time in print can be found even early, in 1935:

No power except that of the legislature can change the rolls. The assessor-collectors do not have the power, the commissioners’ courts do not have the power. That’s all she wrote and it’s final, the attorney general says in language much more eloquent and technical.
                   Texas newspaper The Brownsville Herald

the bane of my life: the instrument of ruin in one’s life. We often call someone or something the bane of our existence in modern times; such as an annoying coworker or mosquitoes while camping. Bane, however, is a much stronger word than we give it credit for. In Old English, bane actually meant murderer–a much more serious threat. Later bane came to mean anything that might cause death, thus the multitude of plants with ‘bane’ in the name: wolfsbane, hensbane, ratsbane; to name a few. The earliest printed record of this phrase comes from 1592, so we can safely assume that the author was using the phrase with the Old English meaning:

He that like a Lacedemonian, or Romane, accounteth Infamy worse than death, would be loath to emprove his courage, or to employ his patience, in digestinge the pestilent bane of his life.
                     Gabriel Harvey, Foure Letters and certaine Sonnets

To quote Porky Pig, t-th-that’s all folks!

Now, shall I go work in the greenhouse or is it time to read???

 

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Cliche Sunday

Here we are again, on a lovely Sunday night. Once more I had a busy weekend. I guess that is just par for the course at this point. Hmmm, I didn’t do that one when I did the “Ps.” Guess I can’t get them all! I do seem to be adjusting to this hectic weekend pace, I guess we can get used to anything 🙂

So on to “S.”

safe as houses: to be completely safe and secure.  I have always wondered about this one. I mean, I do feel safe in a house during, say,  a thunderstorm; but still an odd saying overall. This particular phrase came from our friends in Britain, and from  a time period when safe was more commonly used to mean certainty rather than our current usage, with safe meaning security.  When picking a simile, one does tend to be over the top; so large and conspicuous houses were an easy fit.

No uncertainty here, guv’nor,” answered one of his captors. “You’re booked, safe as houses.
                                James Friswell, Out & About, 1860

one sandwich short of a picnic: an amusing way to indicate that someone is not all that smart. There are quite a few phrases that use ‘X is short of Y,’

with the meaning that someone is not clever. I rather like this one, however, it just sounds funny. It also comes from across the pond, with the first noted usage in 1987 in  BBC’s Lenny Henry Christmas Special.

scarper: to depart hurriedly. I have read this one before, where a character would scarper off, but I didn’t think it would be a cliché, as it was one word versus an actual phrase. I do seem to be picking ones for my own enjoyment today, as I also find the idea of anyone scarpering completely hilarious 🙂 The word comes from Italian word ‘scappare’, meaning to escape.

He must hook it before ‘day-light does appear’, and then scarper by the back door.
                                                         Swell’s Night Guide, 1846

season of mists and mellow fruits: a lovely, wordy way of saying autumn. Once more, this comes from Britain, in the 1820s. British poet John Keats used the phrase:

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
To Autumn, 1820

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Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

Well, I am very late to the party, but I made it! I looked up the photo prompt from Priceless Joy on Thursday, but apparently it had to percolate before I was happy with it. As always, the idea is to write 100-150 story based on the photo, nicely provided by Dawn M Miller this week. Check all the other (on-time) stories HERE!

Number 19. It was empty now, waiting to be bussed. Jana had arrived way early.

She focused on the cups and napkin to keep herself from running.

Was there lipstick on one of the cups? Had it been a couple that had been sitting there?Did they leave together, or had it been a final meeting? That napkin had been crumpled in anger. But why? And did they make up?

A waitress came to the table,  wiping away the previous customers while cleaning the plastic tablecloth. Jana looked around nervously, wondering who would sit there next.

Stupid Robert, installing that app on her phone and swiping left. She hadn’t even seen the picture of whoever he had set her up with. Just a date and time. Why was she even here?

She found herself tearing her own napkin to bits as she waited. Finally, a man approached #19, glancing around. He looked uncomfortable, and Jana smiled before walking over.

“Hello, Robert.”

 

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Cliche Sunday

Well, I would like to skip today, but as I skipped last week, I guess I will be a good girl!

My husband and I built a small greenhouse out back by the vegetable garden. It came out good, but the instructions were not top-notch, and it took from 9:15 am to 5:30 pm today. I got nothing done besides that, and unfortunately, no napping either! Ah well. Pretty sure I complained last time I did clichés too; that means it must be spring and we are busy, busy, busy getting things done for the farm.

So on to the clichés of the day:R!

rank and file: ordinary people in the group rather than the leaders. This phrase originated in the military, from the soldiers who formed ranks when doing drills in front of the officers. It comes from as far back as the sixteenth century:

To learne to keepe his ranke and file orderly
Robert Barret, The theorike [sic] and practike of moderne warres, 1598

revenge is a dish best served cold: vengeance is most satisfying when done after the fact, when well planned out. Although this sounds like it might be Shakespearean, or an even older classic phrase, it comes from the 1800s. The first written example is an English translation of a French text, so the actual origin is up for grabs.

And then revenge is very good eaten cold, as the vulgar say.
Eugène Sue’s novel Memoirs of Matilda,  translated into English by D. G. Osbourne 1846

rise and shine: getting up and heading off to start  your day in  timely fashion.  And who hasn’t had a parent tell them that it was time to rise and shine? I know I heard it a lot as I rolled over  and tucked myself deeper in my blankets. The phrase itself comes from the Bible, although it is found in many other religious texts as well:

They [the Christian saints] shall so rise and shine, that the glory shall rise upon them
The Testimony of William Erbery, 1658

rock and roll: of course, we all know what rock and roll is. But when and how did the term come into being? The phrase was used in a  1930s movie, and had some other meanings as well before a dj named Alan Freed was came up with a radio show named “Moondog’s Rock n Roll Party in 1951.

 

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You might have noticed that I skipped Cliche Sunday this week. Not only was it Easter, but we worked outside around the house all weekend and I was whipped. Clichés will return this week–and almost thru the alphabet we are too! Never thought I would get there. What shall I do next?

However, speaking of alphabets, if you are jonesing for some phrases this week; I invite you to check out my fellow blogger, Prakash Hegade. He is doing the A-Z challenge for April and has chosen to do an idiom a day: in alphabetical order, of course. Not only does he provide that meaning of the idiom, he provides a poem for each one too! Definitely worth a read or two 🙂

 

 

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April 19, 2017 · 7:30 pm

Friday Fictioneers

Friday Fictioneers rides again! Our photo prompt comes from Dale Rogerson this week as we all follow Rochelle on a mad romp through the fictional alleys of our minds. Make sure to check out all the other stories to see where they ended up here.

 100 words–on the nose this week!

“Hey, Vino Noble,” Nick said conversationally. “Mind if I have a glass?”

Without waiting, he snagged a glass and poured.

“Yes, my grandfather used to drink this. Came from the same part of the old country he did. Good man, my grandfather. Passed the family business down to me. Dad passed away young, guess Gramps pinned all his hopes on me.”

Sighing, Nick put down his glass. Picking up his gun, he tightened the silencer before pointing it across the table.

“It’s just business, you know,” he told the frightened  man. Nick took the bottle with him as he left.

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United Airlines and the Internet Mob

Exceedinly well expressed outrage! Read, enjoy and pass it on.

Author Amie Gibbons

neganWe all know the United Airlines story by now. It’s a tale of woe, of a man trying to get home, an airline at the mercy of federal regulations and just trying to survive the internet mob sicced on it by those silly peons who think they have the right to something if they pay for it.

Yeah, if you can’t tell by my intro where I’m going with this, well, it’s okay, you’ll get it soon and I’ll get a chuckle 🙂

I did a post on FB about how the doctor’s past was irrelevant and it blew up, got shared over 20 times (hey, that’s a lot for little ol’ me!) and it really went into the rough in one friend’s share especially. There were a lot of arguments around the whole thing, when I was addressing one part of it, so I’m here to address more of…

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