Friday, June 19, 2015

Texts from Mittens writing contest!

I just got my paws on a copy of TEXTS FROM MITTENS: A Cat Who Has an Unlimited Data Plan...and Isn't Afraid to Use It.

What can I say, I love this book so much I could just ...well..purr.

Sharks purr? Well, they do if they're reading that book!

So, in the spirit of sharing the fun, the prize for this week's flash fiction contest is a copy of TEXTS FROM MITTENS.

The usual rules apply:

1. Write a story using 100 words or fewer.

2. Use these words in the story:


3. You must use the whole word, but that whole word can be part of a larger word. The letters for the
prompt must appear in consecutive order.
Example: phil/philodendron is ok, but dish/delish is not.

4. Post your entry in the comment section of THIS blog post. Comments are closed until the contest opens.

5. One entry per person. If you need a mulligan (a do-over) erase your entry and post again. It helps to work out your entry first, then post.

5. International entries are allowed, but prizes may vary for international addresses.

6. Titles count as part of the word count (you don't need a title)

7. Under no circumstances should you tweet anything about your particular entry to me. Example: "Hope you like my entry about Felix Buttonweezer!" This is grounds for disqualification.

8. Please do not tweet anything but contest entries. (Not for example "I love Felix Buttonweezer's entry!")

Contest opens: Saturday June 20, at NOON (in an effort NOT to be late this time!)

Contest closes: Sunday, June 21, at noon.

Questions? Tweet to me @Janet_Reid
Ready? SET?

Not yet! 
whoops, too late. Contest is closed!
Results tomorrow!


Carolynnwith2Ns said...


Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Ah ha, AND I was last yesterday.
New record, oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah!

I REALLY need to get a life.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

I just wanna say…
This has been fun and a terrific distraction from a difficult week. Though comments are usually closed prior to a FF contest, a humble thank you to Janet for keeping the comment section open. To all you unknown faces, with your wonderful and so beautifully expressed words to describe your worlds, your writing and your dreams, thanks for being here on Janet’s planet and putting up with my (off topic) shenanigans this week. No more scrambling to be first, it’s back to work, back to life as I know it. It’s a good life and you guys make it better.
To all you fathers, and those of you remembering and honoring the dads which have passed, have a good cry, a good day and a lot of remembered laugher.
Janet, you are the best shark ever !

Anonymous said...

Janet! She got her comment in! Quickly! Close the comments before they explode in kitten meme's!

Congrats Carolynn! I want you to know I had my finger on the submit button this morning, and then I decided legacy is more important than mutiny. ;)

My wife calls me a constant distraction, so if you're ever looking for some help, I've got you covered. :)

Kitty said...

The flurries were intermittent when we started out,
but it was snowing like gangbusters when we headed home.
Trudging uphill,
dragging that spindly spruce nobody else wanted,
on Christmas Eve in 1957.

You showed us how to make tinfoil stars from gum wrappers
and angels from feathers.
We sang carols,
and ate soup Mom made
from a hamburger patty and potatoes,
and admired the most beautiful tree in the world.

We were poor,yes,
but never disheartened.
You and Mom made us feel cherished and loved.
Christmas has never been the same
without you two.
Happy Father's Day, Dad.

LynnRodz said...

He spoke to her about philosophy, art, and literature. Where she came from boys didn't talk about those things. She was smitten.

Her French, nonexistent. They spoke in English, but her English was barely passable.

"It's rice paddy, not patty." He smiled at her and her heart melted.

Twenty years on, twenty years of corrections. His smile long gone; her heart now ice.

Tonight, one last time, she would prepare him something special, Puréed Radishes à la Crème et Gangonzola.

And correctness be damned if the word wasn't right!

Shea said...

“Philanthropy is overrated, don’t you think?”

He’s making a statement, not asking a question.

I push my patty melt around my plate. He perceives this as assent.

“Some elements of society are an impediment to the whole. We don’t keep treating a gangrenous limb, we –“

He brandishes his butter knife, slicing into the air –

shink! We remove it.”

He settles into his seat, smitten with his analogy.

“So, what do you think about that?”

“I think the next time my mother offers to set me up, I’ll decline her…”

My eyes meet his.


french sojourn said...

“3 blind mice better knock it off” #carvingknife

We know you got Lenny. Payback is a female dog #bitch

Weren’t me, it was the house creature #2leggedfeeder

A little bird told us she saw you #stoolpigeon

I didn’t touch Lenny. We had a deal.

You’re lying. You ready to sleep with the fishes?

Patty Pidgeon was dishin on me, cose I ate her kid. #fancyfetheredfeast

What was your deal with Lenny?

I would chase him, then I split the treats I got from the #2leggedfeeders. Honest.

Same deal for us?

Colin Smith said...

We always thought Steve's philosophical resolve about living alone grew out of abusive relationships that were gangrene to his affections.

Then along came Lucy.

It was a Tuesday. The moment Susan introduced her to him, he was smitten. I've never seen such a dramatic change in a person. His attitude flipped like a patty on the grill. He would do anything for her, even share his disheveled home.

While I'm not convinced Lucy reciprocates Steve's love, seeing them together on the couch tonight, I know she appreciates him.

At least, that's as much as I can tell from a purr.

Unknown said...

Phil was smitten with Patty, thought she was a perfect dish. The gang of third grade boys teased him mercilessly, until he brought the gun to school.

Michael Seese said...

A mitten and a plastic child's dish were all that survived the fire.

Miracles do happen.

Patty wept, then composed herself and took a philosophical view. Time, and the brass ring chase, had infected the couple, who scarcely noticed their once-carefree life together had grown diseased and gangrenous.

Patty picked up the mitten and dish, and left for preschool, to retrieve Katie. She took one final look, knowing nothing else of value remained in the smoldering rubble. And, she finally felt free to smile, secure in the knowledge that the police would never find the cremains of her philandering husband.

Megan V said...

When Papa said the Kaddish, each syllable trilled like violins in a solemn, sonorous symphony; he did not hear the percussive pitty-patty of my heart urging him to drive the tempo faster.
I didn’t understand. Why did Papa say Kaddish for the boy who’d copped my sister’s mittens? He was a gang-banger. A dead, spiteful thing. So why did Papa say his name? Why did Papa pray for the praise of God?
Trembling, I slid off the uphill tombstone and turned my back on my closed coffin, on my family.
I didn’t deserve their duty or their love.

Unknown said...

Center stage. Fourth position. I wait for the opening notes, ethereal raindrops played on a celesta. Stage left, a child in white silk and pink mittens waits her turn to dance Sugar Plum Fairy. From the wings, a gang of corps members shoots daggers. Just this morning my former best friend, Patty, put a spider in my dish of yogurt and they giggled from the next table. Tears prick my eyes. But when the music begins, all is forgiven. By the time my Nutcracker Prince, Philippe, lifts me high above the stage the applause is thunderous, and I have won.

Scott Sloan said...

A benign word, for such a terrifying concept.
Patty, my best friend, pointed him out.
“Oh my God… is that…?”
If he’s not, he should be.
A perfect copy of my deceased love – a doppelganger.
No wonder I was smitten by that chance sighting.
All my emotions, my feelings, came surging up; like old, gangrel memories, bent upon a long deferred vengeance.
But he’s not real.
Certainly not human.
And yet, I’m pregnant.
Dishonored; without even the remembered sweetness of the act.
I dare not go to a doctor… I can’t.
Can I?

Lobo said...

The police dragged the gangly bodies of the robbers out. The money still lay in a heap like a patty of lettuce. Nobody saw it except Phillis.

The officers helped the younger hostages. Phillis was old and wrinkled and carried an oversized purse. A dish? Her? Heavens, not anymore! Nobody helped her.

The reporters jabbed microphones toward sobbing mothers with babes. Good TV. Phillis put on her hand-woven hat and mittens. Nobody interviewed her.

The crowd was enamored. Bright lights. Nobody noticed Phillis steal away on feline feet, the oversized purse just a little heavier now.

Nobody saw her smile.

Unknown said...

I hate how things play over and over in my head. All the little adjustments that could have been made.

If only I hadn't insisted on bringing that dish to the block party.

If I'd just left without visiting with the whole gang.

If I'd just held onto my mittens.

If, if, if. Well, fine. But if Patty wants a “keep her mouth shut” check every month, then she can damn well pick up that shovel and help get Phil into the garden where he belongs.

Ashes said...

The gun in Jamal’s face went off. Nothing happened.

Patty laid it on the table with the other two, his eyes wild with meth and control.

Gangbanging was once a remittent hobby, when had it come to this? When had living become a goddamn uphill battle?

One was loaded. Jamal’s pick, #3, still lay on the table just within reach.

"Do you want to switch?"

Jamal hesitated. “Yes.”

Patty brandished the third gun at the same time Jamal fired the spare.

Patty’s brains resembled hamburger meat. That stupid name finally made sense.

The Monty Hall Problem. Thank fuck for Cornell.

Steph said...

Pling, pling, pling, tap, tap. My eyes snap open.
Swat! One kitten stupidly dazed.
Grin. Fine, more like bare my teeth.
Time to go.
Stretch. Instinct, it can’t be helped: I arch my back, dig (mostly) sharp claws into the mitten I’ve been unraveling; hide the obscene red nail clippers.
Jump. I land on a second kitten: Flat as patty. One more down.
Green eyes meet. I blink. In silent unison Kajo and I gang up on two more brats.
He looks at me; I cackle back.
A final glorious leap.
Fat cat’s philosophy: Always get to the dish first.

Casey Karp said...



One's an intellectual gangbang, and the other's a physical slapfest, but they're just so right together.

So I've been smitten with the desire to slap palms with Wittgenstein. People say I'm crazy. They turn away when I walk down the street. I've been kicked off my bowling team. Is that right? Is that just? Horsesh... uh... Horseradish!

I share your pain, Kitten. I understand your needs. I'll love you, no matter what choices you make in life.

But I'm not getting you a pony for your birthday.

Steve Forti said...

“I’ll kill that philandering bastard!”

“But sir, Ricky seems genuinely smitten this time.”

Patty is my sister. No way I let her be defiled by some childish platelet! He lives in the foot, right? I’ll sever this ganglia.”

Martin sighed, disheartened.

“Yeah, I’ll cause some gangrene. Get that foot chopped off. Would serve him right.”

“Sir, that’s an artery. Besides, that'd be crazy. You know we’re in a hemophiliac.”

“A what?”

The intermittent pulse erupted in a geyser as the artery burst. The two macrophages struggled amidst the reddish tide.

A voice appeared. Cocky. “Fear not, gentlemen. Ricky’s got this.”

DeadSpiderEye said...

Julian is about to open the first of his packed lunches while Café Rouge is refurbished. 'What has my angel dished up?' His manicured, hand negotiates the chased silver clasp on a lacquered bento box. 'Ah a chapatty from last night's Indian and what looks like a mould encrusted woolly mitten, oh it's a bhaji, or possibly a septic ganglion from a rabid monkey. My sweet, are you trying to tell me something? Have I neglected those feminine impulses that drive you uphill on occasion? My mind's made up, I am going to treat you to that new sleeve board'.

Kirsten said...

“Spit it out,” grumbled Patty. “Where’s me money?”
“I hid it,” moaned Phil. Blood dribbled from a split lip into his water dish. “At my neighbor’s place. In a red mitten.”
“Idiot,” said Patty. “Ye had to know me gang would catch you eventually.
“Don’t hurt them,” said Phil. “They’ve got three little ones at home.”
“I don’t take orders from no one, ya piece a’ litter!”
Patty leaped out the window and vanished into the night.
Phil sank to the linoleum and licked his wounds. Those poor little kittens. They were about to lose much more than their mittens.

S.D.King said...

My dad’s name is Phil.

Grew up in the thumb – in the mitten of Michigan. Easygoing. Give the man a hamburger patty and side dish and he’s happy.

Well, never completely happy. Korea did that. That was 50 years ago; now it’s the gang at the VA he has to fight. Well, we have to do the fighting for him. And we’re getting weary.

Violet still loves him. She does her best, but after all, she’s 81.

His favorite phrase?

“I’ve taken bushel baskets of Valium.” And he has. Now it’s Xanax.
But it’s Father’s Day, so…

“C’mon, kids. Smile.”

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

The key to the cupboard was hidden in Patty’s mitten on the shelf by the baby’s dish. That’s where the guns were hidden. Plastic trucks, blocks and balls were strewn across the floor. The gang of four year olds looked to Phil, now five, as their leader. Phil ran in from outside grabbed the mitten and shook the key out. After he loaded two guns, he handed one to his best friend and kept the other. Phil’s mother heard the shouts, the terrifying screams and saw the kids scatter. Phil had found the hidden Super Soakers. No cake for Phil.

Unknown said...

Nobody could beat her in the kitchen, It was her domain. She was smitten by his skills on her grill. In just fifteen minutes, Phil had improved a menu that took months to build.for the first time since inception Patty's diner had a signature dish, a surf and turf perfection on a plate. A moist sirloin partnered with a gang of garlic sauteed jumbo shrimp, backed by a medley of buttered carrots and crisp celery. Her plan had backfired, and now she can't afford to expose her sister's killer until her books are in the black.

(Kinda hungry)

Unknown said...

Phil: What's this mess?

Mittens: I reverse engineered your mitten. I got tired of waiting for you to plop another salmon patty in my dish.

Phil: Hang on a sec.

Mittens: I'll get the other mitten.

Phil: Half a mouse?

Mittens: I ate the rest. It was good. I wanted to share.

Phil: Half a mouse?

Mittens: What? Not enough to share with your gang at work? Next time I'll leave two.

Phil: Two?

Mittens: Lots more where that came from.

Mark Ellis said...

Wearing mittens against the subfreezing morning, Phil Rudd flipped the sausage patty on his rusted Hibachi. No word on the iPad as to when the power would come back on, and his batteries were getting low. Everything downtown was bad news.
There used to be neighbors, the old gang; this would be a time when they’d gather. But the nearest neighbors now were blocks away, down a street of abandoned houses, in the house with the bullet-riddled satellite dish.
He had six hypertension pills left, and thankfully had fueled the El Camino—one of Detroit’s all time great inventions.

Christina Seine said...

Rick was smitten the first time he saw Daisy playing patty-cake by the swingset. She was a rare blonde beauty – already had a little gang of admirers. He was mesmerized by the silky pale hairs on her suntanned arms. He ached to touch her.

His philosophy was patience: he would woo her.

Walking home, he’d catch her eye and wave. He brought her a golden butterfly, a dish of yellow M&Ms, a dandelion bouquet.

The puppies won her over. “They’re so tiny! Come see!”

Now she's his forever, stapled to his basement wall. It was easy; skin peels right off.

Anonymous said...

Something about the tabby brought the philanthropist out in me. I couldn't resist those deep green eyes too wise for one lifetime. I set a dish of canned salmon in front of her mittened feet.

A kid from a local gang slipped into the backyard, behind my bushes, followed by gunshots playing patty-cake on my chest.

I woke to see those green eyes gazing into mine. I saw blood on my shirt, but no holes. No pain. No wounds.

One green eye lowered in a sly wink, then the moggy turned to leave. I never saw her again.

Gigi Kern said...

Phil had been away for several years, but it was finally time to go home. Back to where it all began, and all turned to shit.

He walked into Mittens Pub, and the world stood still. In the corner is where he and the gang would eat pizza and knishes. Strange dish yeah, but this was New York where anything goes.

So caught up in the memories, he didn't realize the danger he was in until, "What the F...".

Slowly he turned and faced his past. His best friend and the man who wanted to kill him, Patty Malloy.

Dena Pawling said...

Lord Philip Cavendish surveyed the party-goers and sighed. He supposed he must endure these dreadful affairs.

His sister, Priscilla, lovely as ever. His niece, Patricia...

He shook his head. They called her Patty. Such a common name. He supposed it suited her, poor dear. She was plain and gangly, after all. No redeeming qualities. Fool child, smitten with some commoner. He'd forbidden the relationship, of course. Not on his watch.

Lord Cavendish gave a perfunctory smile to his guests. He delicately lifted a tea cake from a tray, took a bite, and collapsed.

The doctor shook his head.

Patty smiled.

Matthew Wuertz said...

You stand at the moonlit creek, shivering - just a disheartened old man who doesn't belong here. This was where you played long ago - you, Phil, Patty, and all the gang.

You stoop down, reaching foolishly into the icy water that stings your mitten-less hand.

You probe the silt, drenching your sleeve.

Impossibly, you find it. You pull the filthy tent peg from the water. No, it used to be a wishing rod.

You should throw it back. But you don't. Instead, you wish.

And you stand at the sunlit creek, smiling – just an excited boy, holding a rod.

Patricia Cox said...

The detective passed the woman in the hall, noticing two things…her bosomy figure and how one mitten clad hand clutched at her coat. He climbed the stairs to an open door, cautiously entering the disheveled apartment. Hundreds of stamps and opened collector books littered the floor. The barely breathing philatelist lay face down in a crimson pool. He was shot gangland style in the back of his head. Next to him lay a mitten and the name, Patty, scrawled in blood. “Shit,” exclaimed the officer as he turned and raced down the stairs in hopes of finding the mystery woman.

Calorie Bombshell said...

Even on her deathbed Mother played favorites.

“Where’s my Georgie?” Her skin mottled with reddish blotches from the remittent fever scorching her brain.

Go ahead. Tell her. Your pride and joy’s booked on a midnight flight to Philadelphia with the money she and her gangsta boyfriend stole from you. And the iced tea she made? The one you said tasted funny?

“Find her. Now.”

Out in the hallway my head hurts. Always does when Georgie wants to play.

“Patty cake, patty cake.”

“That you, Precious?”

“Yes, Mama.” Georgie smiles as she enters the room and locks the door behind her.

Cindy C said...

Patty Cake sank into her recliner with a grateful sigh.

“Tough day?” asked her husband.

“Got called off Old Mother Hubbard’s gang when three kittens reported a burglary. Finally cornered Jack Horner and recovered the stolen mittens.”

“What a bad boy he is.”

“Then Mary Mary claimed three blind mice vandalized her garden.”

“They’ve changed since they lost their tails.”

“After that I brought in Wee Willie Winkie for PWI.”


“Philosophizing while intoxicated.”

“Well, now you can . . .”

The dispatcher’s voice interrupted him. “Possible abduction at Baker’s Man Café. The dish has run away with the spoon.”

Anonymous said...

They should’n of done it whilst I was watchin’ my stories. Them Beauchamp kids an’ the Buford brats. Right proper lil’ gang a’ hoodlums they is. Shoulda waited. But it were snowin’ an’ I guess that there satellite dish were too much a temptation. Specially fer kids what ain’t got scratch fer a sled.
So they took it.
It come crashin’ down right whilst Phil ‘n’ Patty were getting’ sexy, ‘n’ I been waitin’ all week fer that part.
Wrecked my dish, they did. Made a lotta work fer me.
Now all’s I got is a bloody mitten.
Shoulda waited.

CynthiaMc said...

"Give me my mitten, Phil!" Patty shrieked.
"Come get it!" her twin taunted from the top of the refrigerator.
"This is why Jesus didn't have children," I told Hubby.
He handed me a flyer. "Happy Mother's Day."
Retreat - at the convent I gave up to marry him.
"Leave you with the gang?"
"We'll be fine."
Uninterrupted sleep. Prepared meals. Rosary. Mass. Quiet. Heaven - until Patty texted the photo of a fire truck in front of our house.
I was home in fifteen minutes.
"What's for dinner?" I asked Hubby.
"Blackened macaroni and cheese."
We kissed.
"My favorite dish."

Julie said...

Punxsutawney Phil poked his snout into the crisp winter air. This is it. The Groundhogs of Glory had one chance. We’re ready.

Sunlight reflected sharply from a black leather glove.


Phil leapt, sinking his teeth into The Abductor’s fingertip. Thank Marmot it isn’t some vile rabbit-furred mitten!

It worked perfectly. Thank you, Great Marmot!

The Abductor flailed, sending Phil whizzing into the dumbfounded crowd like a rabid cobra.

“Patty, come on!”

Patty was Phil’s girl. She was tough, and she emerged grinning, liberating the disheveled but otherwise exultant Gang of former ‘Punxsatawney Phils’ and guiding them to safety.

InkStainedWench said...

Phil always assumed he would take over his mother's used-car dealership. But when a Swedish biker rode his Harley onto the lot, Phil caught sight of the tattoos and gang insignia and knew his future was imperiled.

All this might be lost -- the fluttering flags, the gaudy prices on the windshields, the gritty office where Patty crunched numbers and snapped her gum so adorably.

His mother giggled. She was smitten. Phil moved in for the kill.

"What will it take for me to send you home in this creampuff 1972 Pinto?"

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

Patty set her sights on the philharmonic at the tender age of seven, before she knew a single note of Wolfgang A. and still sawed away at scales on a half size violin.

In high school, she was smitten by her one true love at the youth orchestra, when he clashed the dishes at the wrong time and turned the color of his cummerbund. After, they were inseparable.

The Juilliard auditions came, and they took the train together, hands intertwined, instrument cases between their feet. When he got his acceptance letter and she did not, their rhythm broke apart.

Katherine Hayton said...

‘Have you got any with Phil?’

‘Minions are extra. You know that. I’ve got two Mitten the Kitten and Grumpy Cat playing patty-cake.’

‘I can get the cash.’

It was hard to see his expression in the dark alley. My hand closed into a fist around the flash drive. This exchange didn’t feel right anymore. Memes could dish you out five years.

‘Are you a cop?’

He hesitated, and I heard my gang split and run behind me. Cowards.

‘Are you a cop?’ I repeated.

He shook his head but he was reaching.

I pushed him aside, hard, and ran.

Arya al'Thor said...

I am absolutely smitten with Nelson's new philosophy that he crafted so perfectly in his newest book. I can see how everything that could possibly happen, even things that couldn't; it all works now! I had started reading his theories since I was an awkward, gangly teenager, but never until now did it change me. I can make the world so small it could get lost in a dish of ice cream or squash it into a patty of mush. I can control the essence of the universe.

Craig F said...

Philomena brings me the news along with my daily dish. The big news is that the new strain will be mature in only 200 more cycles. Then we will remove Patty Mittenhands her atrocious gang of mutants from the Fires of Creation, which they worshiped. They polluted themselves and could no longer be our people

Then I can again become the Captain and turns those Fires back to the Drive. With our course reset our goal will be attainable. We will finish our mission place our sleeping people on a fresh world. The primitive Earth could use our glorious civilization.

Kregger said...

Patty Cake was smitten with her extra-large, pink hairless ape, but she hated his philandering ways. Five alpha-females under her roof were intolerable, and the midnight gangland sneak attacks while she slept made her cranky.

Patty booted up the computer. World domination starts with a keystroke. The satellite dish tracked Geo-Sat and she accessed Russian launch codes to annihilate her enemies.


Patty considered...nuke them all?

Patty nodded at the computer screen...hell yes...blast them all to smithereens!

She typed the alphanumeric code and reached for the enter button.

"Aww, how cute! Look everybody! The cat's typing!"

Damn, thought Patty Cake, so close.

Unknown said...

Gangland shooting, they said.

Lieutenant Taylor cradled his son’s chubby thighs as he slathered on Cetaphil.

One dead, but it sounded bad. The kitchen was crusted with entrails. Looked like a hamburger patty exploded.

It would wait. Taylor gazed down into the crib. He was smitten. He was freakishly, outlandishly happy.

“You have to go?” Charlene said from the doorway. Her eyes were dark little pools of worry. It was his thirty-fourth murder, but first Father’s Day.

The lieutenant closed his eyes. His partner had texted. He’d discarded the weapon, but he needed cover. Only Taylor knew the drill.


SimonFrancisDowling said...

“Hey Mitten”, I said. “Dishwasher’s broke again.”

She turned her attention away from the grill and snarled.

“I told you not to call me that. My name is Phil.”

“Sorry”, I said, tugging at a severed finger that was wedged in the inner tube. “But everybody in the gang has a nickname. That’s just the way it goes.”

“I know, but can we pick our own?”

“Afraid not”, I said, wagging the severed finger at her.

“Gross”, she said. “I’ve just lost my appetite.”

She threw a half cooked patty in the bin, turned around, and gave me the finger.

Allison Newchurch said...

His deep brown eyes held my gaze as he smiled and extended his hand.
“Hi, name’s Phil,” he said.
I could feel my heart doing its little flutter. He was so dishy.
“Pleased to meet you, Phil. I’m Patricia, but most people call me Patty.” I took his hand firmly and began to shake it, but Phil had other ideas. He raised my hand to his lips and kissed it. I was smitten.
“What say we get away from this gang?” he suggested, putting his arm around my waist.
We left the room without a word.

We’re still together.

Hermina Boyle said...

I pull back the screen door, AJ in tow, Patty trailing.

"First time?" the desk woman chirps.

I nod, answer countless questions then take an empty Wal-Mart bag and join the waiting unwashed. The new price for life's necessities.

Winter stuff's out, we're told.

Free books: 'Ross Perot - Gangster or Guru', 'Erotic Philosophy'.

AJ inspects the toys.

Patty and I assess clothing: fat sweaters, jeans, a reddish-brown coat, buttons missing.

AJ finds the mittens. "Look, Mommy!" He grins, wiggles his fingers, tucked in sky-blue knitting.

"Too small," I say, thankful he's young and can't read 'AJLW' on the tag.

Gingermollymarilyn said...

“Patty-cake, patty-cake, baker’s man, bake me a cake as fast as you can.” The usual gang of ragamuffins was there – Phil, Patty and Michael. And there was a new kid – Frankie. A wiry, runtish figure of dishevelled hair and baggy crumpled clothes. He was playing the game with mittens. Why? When mean-spirited Michael yanked off one of them, we saw the reason. No fingernails atop bruised, bloody stumpy digits.

Kelsie Kasandria said...

T'was a blustery night in Philadelphia in the small house situated atop a grassy hill. Mittens slept beside the fireplace with her litter of kittens, along with their mistress Patty.

The windows were closed to keep out the cold night. Everything was peaceful until Mittens suddenly awoke to a dish dropping to the ground with a smash. “It's nothing” thought the fluffy black cat and eventually fell asleep.

The gang of robbers froze, cursing the smashed dish. When the cats settled in again, they crept softly to her precious kittens, lifted the basket, and scurried out into the night.

Steven D. said...

Failing to plaster the lone curl to his forehead, the hopeful lad tugged his zigzag-print shirt taut and embarked upon a new phase.

Outside, he topped a red dish with kibble, receiving an up nod from a rooftop Baron.

Arriving at the Patty’s door, while clutching fresh petunias, he knocked. Inside, he heard the gang dancing to Schroeder’s banging tunes, but he’d transcended such childish actions. The five-cent advice to foremost pursue love became his new philosophy.

“Ma’am, I’m here to profess my love for your daughter.”

“Wa-wah wah wa-wah.”

“Oh, she’s smitten with the blanket boy now. Good Grief!”

Pam Powell said...

Not sure why it sniffed a spam.

"Patty Gorxski, re-nouned sellist. Tix $50".

Patty Gorxski! Imagine! Smells legit to me.

Not like it was email or eBay. It was CraigsList. Good stuff!

Printed it out. Followed direktions. Everything into envelope. Addressed. Stamped.

Re-viewed direktions one last time …

"Phil in blinks. Inklose remittens."

Done! Sealed it, dropped it into mail slot.

Yup! I'm gang to here world re-nouned sellist Patty Gorxski! Just my dish a tea!


Smell bad? Hey, no! Nothing wrong with my old factory cents.

Skorda big won!

Unknown said...

Mittens? What kind of name was that anyway? Kenny had always been a philanderer but how stupid could he be to log her name under THAT in his phone? Patty was her real name. The police told me so. I saw her in the back of the cop car when the coroner finally arrived. She was bloody and gangly and entirely too young for my husband. I bet he told her she was a real dish. That’s what he used to tell me when I was her age. But I guess none of that matters anymore.

Kathryn Clark said...

She ‘ad a man once. Lanky gangling thing, like e’d been stretched, but I daresay she was smitten. But fate’s a fiendish bitch, and it left ‘er family cursed.

Poor fool loved ‘er anyway, but she wouldn’t do that to ‘im, no she wouldn’t. Left ‘im in the night, moved to that ol’ house uphill. Played pattycake with the teeny ones, but never ‘ad ‘er own, not with that curse.

Found ‘er dead last year. Old age, ya know. Spent ‘er whole life waiting for a fate that never came.

But wouldn’t ya say ‘er life was still cursed?

Unknown said...

What a dish she was, sleek and preening herself without a care. Long legs languishing on the couch, head thrown back in blissful abandon. Her eyes slits of pleasure. I was smitten with the first gangly teenage pit patty of my heart.

But how was I to know her velvet purrs were just a ruse? A come on. Lounging in the philodendrons was a cinnamon tom, whipcord tail waiting for my puss.

Not tonight monsieur chat. The hiss and zip of a tin of pate was lure enough to cage my ardent queen.

angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

Toe For Tat

She lay catatonic, stared at her selfie-with-toe. The surgeon held the phone, said she still had nine.

Who knew pedicures were risky. She chose Chlorophilly-Mint, the Summer’s rave tone. Paid the filthy girl cash, no receipt, no witness, no proof.

Sunburn fooled her, explained the fever. Wearing open-toe pumps swelled it hamburger-patty pink. Weeklong parties after graduation blurred the worry.

Now it was in a metal dish. Puffy mitten, gangrene-black. It’s nail a mint-green square.

She’d twit it. The web would be her judge, the world her jury.

Unknown said...

A disheveled philosopher played patty-cake with the universe as the Ganges carried a forgotten mitten to the Bay of Bengal.

Kate Larkindale said...

The dish hit the wall with a loud, splintering crash. Congealing spaghetti oozed down the wall. In the sudden silence, the soft, sucking sound each gangly noodle made as it crawled the floor seemed loud in his ears.

“You philandering piece of crap!” Patty shrieked, hurling the salad bowl in her husband’s direction.

He ducked, but said nothing. When she got like this, it was better to let her rage. Nothing he said would quiet her. A mitten to the mouth might, but he didn’t have one handy. He glanced at his lap and the napkin draped across it. Maybe…

Lisa Bodenheim said...

“Gangliadophilus?” What the hell? Kaitlin dropkicked him into a different world.

“I think that’s what she said,” her ponytail snaked over her sun-browned shoulder, her eyes intent, serious. Mike treasured her trusting grip as they shopped groceries for the weekend. “Y’know, that stuff in yogurt that straightens out the disharmony in your guts.”

“You mean Lactobacillus acidophilus.”

“Yeah. That. Padishah said it did wonders for her complexion.”

He loved entering her world. “Padishah?”

“Mommy’s friend. She works at Smitten Charms.”

Snort. Which of his ex-wife’s friends… “You mean Patricia. Patty.”

“That’s what I said, Daddy. Can we buy some? Please?”

Tony Clavelli said...

Patty was too late—-never heard a splash. She leaned over the railing of the Hangang Bridge. Plastic bags floated by.

A man approached, dragging recyclables, syphilitic spots on his face.

“Lose something?” he asked.

“My brother, Jun.”

Patty searched her phone for a picture, held out the screen.

“Suicides—-so childish,” he said. He smiled. “20,000 Won and I’ll bring him back.”

She didn’t understand, but she paid. When he pocketed the money, she heard the splash. She looked down and saw a lone mitten—-Jun's—-at the surface.

“Best get him out quick,” the man said. “River’s cold.”

Just Jan said...

He was playing patty-cake with himself--not an easy feat with the mittens he insisted on wearing. The drosophila flew around his unshaven face like miniature spaceships, and gangrene was starting to invade his bedsores.

"I'll be back soon," I said. I couldn't stand watching him any longer.

He crunched a radish and chewed it slowly. "No doctors."

"I know," I said wearily. It was a point we'd fought about many times. "No doctors."

"Don't believe in 'em," he called as I walked out the door.

I started the car and drove straight to the gun show.

Lance said...

“Phee, Phi, Pho, Phum!” called Phil the Short Giant of Carkoon.

“Let's go see the Shark,” said Patty, the girlfriend of Phil, who loomed over him.

“There are no sharks here on Carkoon. The Shark maroons commenters who stray to this planet of Lima-bean monoculture.”

“Let's go to Our Gang's and have a dish of Lima beans.”

“Great idea! The Kittens with Mittens are playing tonight.”

“I love Carkoon Blues.”

“Maybe the Carkoon Maroonies will show up.”

“Nah. It's Wednesday. They'll be at the Novel Hovel for open-query night.”

“So sad.”

John Frain said...

Did Hemingway start it? Who cares? It’s my favorite English assignment. Saves time. Easy grading. I pretend it’s legitimate.

Begin with the lazy student, calls himself a philosopher.
For sale. Baby mittens. Never worn.
F for borderline plagiarism.

See what the shy kid wants to say.
Patty. Never fit. New choice. Patrick!
Explains a lot.

How about the biker gang chick, mad at the world.
Special delivery. Surprise! Happy Father’s Day.
Mental note: Don’t flirt with her. (Hey, six words!)

What about that scary new kid, front row?
Dear Dishonest Teacher: Karma’s a bitch.
Remember to sign his drop slip.

Donnaeve said...

Our gang called themselves Wicked Angels. An oxymoron if I ever heard one.
What’s in a name? Let me offer this.

Our leader, Phil DeFete, smitten over some dishy famous singer, refused to concede to my logic after she dumped him.

It’s kismet, I said, think about it. Even your very own name. DeFete, pronounced defeat. And the guys? Hell, they’re conflicted. Doling out illegal pain killers down at the nursing home. Stealing cars and giving them to Meals-On-Wheels.

He wasn’t in the mood for bullshit logic, as he called it.

Fine. You tell me. The singer? Patty Loveless.