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Sue Spitulnik

Creative Lady

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#Michael's Circle

The Ladies Come To Dinner

Mac was accustomed to having veterans he had never met show up for the night before Thanksgiving buffet, but he wasn’t used to having female veterans attend. Thad heard him say, “Oh my,” when a group of seven women came in.

Michael welcomed the new guests, told them to enjoy the meal and camaraderie, then went to Mac. “I verified they’re vets. Do we need to change anything?”

Mac replied, “No, you and I will sit with them so we can get to know them. I need to accept lady soldiers more than anyone.”

Thad said, “Count me in.”

Mac is a Vietnam vet who owns the “No Thanks” bar. Thad is his veteran son and Michael is a veteran friend. The bar hosts a veterans-only free dinner the evening before Thanksgiving every year.

Lies Are Allowed for Surprises

Tessa called her mother and invited her parents to dinner at their favorite Italian restaurant in the next town.

“Tessa, can’t you change the meal time to 7:00 PM, you know your father doesn’t like to eat early with the blue hair crowd.”

“Mom, the restaurant was already booked for prime time hours when I called, it’s the college’s Homecoming Weekend. You can eat a big late breakfast and an early dinner.”

“I suppose.”

***

Tessa called her sister, “I lied to Mom to get her to agree to the time. I’m sure she isn’t suspecting an anniversary party.”

Written in response to Charli Mills November 14, 2022, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes a lie. What is the lie? It can be subtle or blatant. Who tells the lie and why? Is it an unreliable narrator? Go where the prompt leads!



Emma’s Got The Beat

After the Veterans’ Day luncheon at the No Thanks, the Band of Brothers found their favorite places,  behind their instruments. They played different genres of patriotic songs while the crowd sang along. Little Emma was dancing by herself until she noticed a register near the end of the bar. She soon figured out she could make it squeak by stepping on a specific corner. Just about the time Lexi was going to make her stop Michael grinned and pointed to the toddler then changed the words in the song. “Listen, my granddaughter is squeaking in time to the music.”

Written in response to Charli Mills’ November 7, 2022, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes something squeaky. What is squeaky and why? How does it move the story or disrupt a character? Listen, write, and go where the prompt leads!

Michael Plays the Age Card

Wearing  Army t-shirt and shorts, Michael sat in a wheelchair on stage, his leg stumps showing so all entering the Walter Reed activity room could see. He spoke. “We soldiers share the experience of missing skin and bones. At twice your age I lived the hopelessness and depression you may be feeling.” He turned sideways in the chair, swung himself to the floor, and put on the prosthetic legs lying there. Then using the chair for support, he stood up and walked around. “I’m proof you can heal and become friends with whatever prosthetic you need. You’ve got this.”

Written in response to Charli Mills October 24, 2022, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about bones. It can be any genre or tone. Is it spooky, irreverent, or poignant? Go where the prompt leads!

Tessa Remembers

The day Queen Elizabeth II died, Tessa got out her treasured English teapot and the cozy a close friend had given her. She boiled water, took the last of her PG Tips tea bags from their air-tight container, and set the bags to steeping. She fondled her exquisite china cup, milked it, and added one level teaspoon of sugar. When the timer dinged, she filled her cup with the steaming liquid. While watching the TV coverage, she imagined she had crust-removed cucumber sandwiches and hot buttered currant-filled scones to accompany the elixir she had enjoyed while living in England. 

Written in response to Charli Mills, October 3, 2022, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about any ritual involving tea. It can be a daily afternoon tea prepared specifically or the reading of tea leaves in a cup. What do you know? What do you imagine? Is your story deep and ponderous or bright and flash? Go where the prompt leads!

“Hunting” Trip

Kurt sat in his deer-hunting tree stand armed with his new I-phone. He couldn’t shoulder a gun because of his broken arm, but he could use his fingers, so he decided to “shoot” with the much-hyped camera. Climbing the ladder to the stand had been a chore, but he loved the woods when the air was brisk and the colorful leaves floated in silence. Noting each sound, he focused on it and snapped photos of chipmunks, birds, squirrels, and two deer that walked by. He learned “hunting” with a camera was peaceful and reverent, unlike being an Army sniper.

Note: Kurt is “the quiet one” in the Band of Brothers and plays guitar and steel.

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