#SwiftFicFriday W123 – Vote!

#SwiftFicFriday W123 – Vote!

Another prompt, another round of great stories to choose from. Check the stories out below and vote for your favorite!

Celebration Hesitation Blues

So, what with this darn virus receding and only a few hundred people dying every day, I decided it was finally time to head down to my favorite pre-pandemic watering hole, The Skinny Scarecrow Tavern, and hoist a few.
Let me tell ya when I got there, the place was jampacked with old cronies and newcomers, It was a little weird but I bucked up, wended my way in, and found a free stool at a table occupied by six quaffers including two old mates, Jimmy the Plug Granstein and Wally Fisher. Didn’t know the other four but they were all jammed in tighter than squirrels on a feeding frenzy.

“Hey, Bub,” Jimmy the Plug yelled out at me, “finally decided to come out of your bomb shelter…gutsy move.”

I nodded and tried not to show my slight displeasure with his joke. Jimmy knew I was more than a little cautious about this urge people around the world seemed to have to get back on the socializing train.

“Throwin’ caution to the stale beer wind, Jimmy,” I replied.

“Well, it’s about time. You only live once…unless you are a zombie.”

I signaled that I was buying a round, Jimmy introduced the four newbies, and I sat there wondering if any of them looked like anti-vaxxers. It wasn’t something people were asking now.

Bygones were bygones.

The pandemic past was done.

Then Wally stepped in it…and that got me a bit more worried than I wanted to be, when he asked, “So, folks heard about the Monkeypox?”

“No,” said one of the newbies… and that got Wally talking about how little they knew, but it seemed to be spreading from coast to coast.

Jimmy ended the discussion when he joked, “Monkey see, monkey doo-doo.”

And toasted the Queen.

300 words by Bill Engleson (@billmelaterplea)

“What can I get started for,” Clarisse’s customer service smile dropped with all pretense of cheer. “Oh. It’s you two.”

“I’d love a rootbeer!” Mirro beamed brightly through her boyish disguise.

“Hot tea,” Kerri groaned uncomfortably at the table under her dark hood.

Clarisse crossed her arms over her pink uniform, “Seriously? Why y’all here?”

Kerri glanced out the greasy diner window.

“It’s not like we want to be! I just, couldn’t think of anywhere else to go.”

“Oh, and how about an apple pie ala mode?” Mirro nodded merrily at her menu.

“Whatever trouble y’all’re in, I ain’t helpin’ y’all.”

“You might be surprised,” Kerri grumbled, mostly to herself. “For now, this is the only place I could think of that future me wouldn’t look for us.”

“I don’t like it. Y’all serious about those orders?”

Mirro’s nod was more enthusiastic than Kerri’s. Clarisse shook her head and headed to the back counter. The day had been full of close calls, and Kerri was still wracking her brain for any way out. She didn’t know why her future self was trying to kill her best friend and even hiding out at their worst enemy’s diner seemed unlikely to buy them much time.

Soon the disguised girls had their drinks, and Clarisse returned with Mirro’s pie. Mirro looked hopefully up at their nemesis.

“Could I get a candle for the pie? It’s my birthday.”

Clarisse returned Mirro’s gaze skeptically, “You have a birthday?”

“Doesn’t everybody?”

The monster hunting waitress rolled her eyes but went for the candle. Kerri looked sadly across the table at Mirro.

“I’m so sorry.”

Mirro cocked her head curiously, “For what?”

“That all of this is happening on your birthday.”

“I’m not,” Mirro raised her rootbeer in a toast. “This has been my best birthday ever!”

300 words by David A Ludwig (@DavidALudwig)


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