Sue Spitulnik

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts



Mud and Laughter

Any mud puddle was a golden find when I was a boy. Pictures prove it.

I ended my best high school football game, covered in mud, gleefully holding the winning ball.

I ran miles in Army basic training. Good memories flowed while cleaning mud off my boots.

My Army duties took away time for mud and then my legs.

I rebelled against the prosthetics, preferring a wheelchair.

Waterproof metal legs got my attention. I had to admit they would increase my mobility.

When Jester and I purposely run through sloppy mud puddles, my inner child comes alive with laughter.

Written in response to Charli Mills October 14, 2021, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that embraces the mud. What is the mud, real or metaphor? How does it transform a character or place? What happens? Go where the prompt leads!

A Family Gathering

The men sat in front of the TV at Michael’s parents watching a baseball game they weren’t interested in, but at least it was a sports event. They were having trouble staying awake.

The women were in the kitchen. Two were doing dishes. Someone was holding a sleeping cat, another was making a list of foods to bring to the next gathering, and they were all talking. Nonstop! There was rarely a quiet moment.

During a commercial, one man got the others’ attention. “What do they find to talk about? Sounds like a bunch of hens.” They all shrugged.

Written in response to Charli Mills May 6, 2021, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about party hens. Who are these chickens and why do they party? Go where the prompt leads!

“Hoppy” or Not

I’ve never been a big fan of beer and the “hoppier” it is, the less I like it. Currently in western New York state craft breweries are appearing everywhere. They make beer with fruit, nuts, spices, coffee and chocolate. I haven’t developed a taste for those types of beer either. If I’m going to drink it, I want it to taste like a good old fashioned Bud. Quite honestly I couldn’t tell you the difference between an ale, a lager or an IPA. Continue reading ““Hoppy” or Not”

Chasing a Little White Ball

If my father were still alive and I showed him the above picture, he would say it looked like a cow pasture.  It does, sort of, compared to Augusta National in Georgia.  I’ll add a picture to show you. Now that’s a golf course!


Do I play?  No, but watching is something I used to do with my Dad, and I now do with my husband.  When visiting my son and his family, he puts golf on the TV so we stay longer.  What is the obsession with chasing a little white ball?  I don’t have a real answer, but for me it would have to do with being outside, admiring the beauty of the course, the serenity of the location and the wildlife that would live there.  I think it also has something to do with camaraderie, a few cold ones, and trying to beat your all time lowest score or that of your buddies.  You know, like trying to beat yourself on a video game or at solitaire.

We just lost Arnold Palmer.  His followers were called Arnie’s Army.  His biography is one of my all time favorite reads.  He and his wife owned a golf course and had 30 year plus employees.  That’s a sign of a good boss.  His competition with Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman and Gary Player were as much fun to watch as Tiger, Phil, Rory and Bubba are.  I age myself.  Tiger is already out of the picture and four years from now, Phil will be able to go to the senior tour.

The Ryder Cup finished on Sunday with a win for the U. S. for the first time in eight years. That is a team competition between U. S. players and European players.  Every two years it is played here and then two years later someplace in Europe.  It is meant to enhance patriotism, be fun but still respectful, and make the guys work as a team instead of individuals.  [When it’s on, we don’t do anything else.  Well, we did go to my granddaughter’s birthday party yesterday, but we watched it there while watching the presents being opened.]  The costumes in the crowd are noteworthy, and the rowdiness is a little out of control.  I would love to see it in person just once, but you get the whole picture if you watch it at home.

In our area, during the golf season there is a fund-raising tournament on almost every course on every Monday.  It doesn’t matter how well you play as long you can donate money to the cause.  I volunteer at a couple of tournaments and enjoy the day among the people and the lush green lawns and beautiful flowers and trees.  The little white ball I leave to the others.


Share A Cold One

In my life, there are a lot of beer drinkers.  A greeting when we visit someone, or they visit our house, is, “Ya wann’ beer?”  Our second fridge in the garage has a few kinds of beer in it.  Some of the new exotic stuff for my daughter and good old-fashioned Budweiser for my husband.  My son has just switched to Miller, and to do away with gluten I have switched to hard cider.  There’s nothing better on a hot steamy day, than a cold refreshing long neck. (For you non beer drinkers, that term refers to the neck on the bottle.)

When my husband and I first started dating, he and his co-workers went our for Friday happy hour without fail.  Sometimes there were just six of us, other times there would be close to twenty.  I would start watching the clock at my job, waiting for the phone call to tell me where everyone was meeting.  That was fifteen years ago and I can still tell you some of the exact conversations that took place and what we laughed about.  The crowd dwindled when one of the young ladies got pregnant, a couple guys decided to loose weight, and others changed jobs. We miss those days, and the closeness of that group.  We have a reunion twice a year just to stay in touch.

We have some very close friends and relatives that have had the opportunity to travel Europe and parts of Asia.  The young men involved rate the countries according to how well they like the beer.  I haven’t heard much about food except the meals in Germany.

My grade school chum and I get together for lunch about every three weeks.  We don’t sit in a chain restaurant with a cup of coffee, we sit in a bar, eat chicken wings or burgers and drink beer.  Yes, there is now gluten-free beer.  We have a lot of laughs, we tell each other our secrets, new and old (which no one else can hear over the music) and we forget our responsibilities for awhile.  We talk about current events and the family members we have buried.  We’ve known each other a long time, she’s my best friend.

And don’t forget it’s football season.  Who in their right mind would watch a football game without a cold beer to go along with the snacks.  I know, a lot of people would, but generally not in my realm.  Go Bills!  (We never lose hope!)

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