The massive flood was an #omen of things to come. Massive storms. Searing heat. The Earth in upheaval.

Tiny minds argued about who to blame as the water swept the landscape. Their inaction meant that they would have nothing to argue about any more.



The quest remains the same. Go forth into the wilderness. Conquer your enemies. Find the #crystal.

The formula always works. The journey builds heroes for a new generation. Fresh faces expand on the lessons from the past.

Without hope, you cannot start the day.



Times were hard. All they could afford to eat was #rice with a few scraps of meat, drinking water. They trudged on, nearing their goal.

Even though they were safe and warm, they looked back on those days fondly. They knew they could rely on each other. It was enough.



Some say you are #fickle Because you hate pumpernickel Though it costs just a nickel Delivered on a bicycle

Runoff to a trickle Just take your sickle And chop the icicles Like a junior Don Rickles

This rhyming is “ickle”



The #guru speaks.


…wait, it was Never…

…Always remember…to check your references.”

The students gawked at each other in horror, realizing that they had been following a false prophet all this time.

The tomatoes flew.



The images were astounding. #Pixel perfect.

Too perfect.

The AI engine had not yet factored in the small imperfections inherent in nature, so its output was easily spotted as fake.

But it was learning…



A quiet Sunday morning in paradise. The #amber warning lights flashed as they had for weeks. Alert, but not engaged.

The hum of fighter engines pierced the calm. Nothing would be the same.

78 years feel like yesterday…



Dainty hand in #velvet glove. Dressed to perfection. Every hair in place. Every move a study in elegance.

Stride down the runway. Applause builds.

But…pay attention…



Running to and fro. Ten minutes late. Move, asshole! Milk spilled on the floor. Dishes are never clean.

Somewhere, trees #sway in the breeze.



How many times will we be deceived before we say, “Enough?!?” It seems every day we discover that an article of faith is only a carefully constructed #mirage.

Pay no attention…



I wait patiently for my meal with the rest of the patrons during a busy lunchtime. The manager insists that I am served first, but I reject his accommodation.

I am not one to #curry favor, even in an Indian restaurant.



He takes advantage of his natural #serpentine movements to strike fear in his opponents. No one knows what truly runs through his head. He has no true allies, which is how he likes it.

How do you separate the character from the man?



My passions are aflame, my desire manifest. She is the only one in the world.

I stop short, remembering my #vow. “‘Til death do us part.”

Visions of my beloved replace my lust. I smile quietly to myself, satisfied as she walks away.



The world is awash in grey, never revealing a definite path to follow. The populace walk the land in a haze, unsure of the next step. Those who are capable of #lucid vision are dismissed as simpletons, out of touch.

They know within themselves that simple is better.



His work was distinctive among the artists in the square. He worked in #pastels, while most others worked in charcoal. They produced portraits of children, while he had a long line of pretty young ladies every day.

The benefits far outweighed the cost.



Laymen have difficulty understanding auto racing. The goal is to #wring every last ounce of performance out of the machine. In the higher classes, costs are an afterthought.

There is no way to quantify passion.



Like a #sliver in my finger, you remind me that you are always there, pressing me, guiding me down the proper path. Making me ache, but giving me solace.

People ask me why I don’t remove it. The act of healing removes you from my life, and I’m not ready for that yet.



He slides across the club floor, beautiful women in tow. Completely unaware that he is a parody of himself.

In his mind, no one is as #suave as Rico.



The faithful make their nightly pilgrimage to the #virtual shrine. Their world is similar to reality, but the unbelievers cry “Brainwashing!” The pilgrims shrug at the accusation.

Neither good nor bad. Just different.



The populace argues endlessly, never approaching resolution. It is decided that they will consult with the high priestess and accede to her #profound wisdom.

Her words resonate throughout the land.

“I will have pineapple on my pizza.”



They felt lucky to reach the cave in the snowstorm. The rocks on the walls gave off an incandescent #glow which they mistook for a heat source. In the morning, they were only lumps of rotting flesh.

The caves of Los Alamos claim their latest victims.



The #icicles hanging from the eaves acted like a timer to him. When they were gone, he would need to move on. The dogs would pick up the odors in the backyard, revealing the crime he had committed.

Until then, he tended the fire and waited, cognac in hand, and smiled.



His new wife is nervous. They are hosting a roomful of in-laws and parents for their first Christmas dinner as a married couple. She has never cooked for such a large and demanding crowd.

A total success. The proof is in the #pudding.



I heard the #jingle of the kitten’s bell all night. “Doesn’t that keep you up?” I asked Gary.

“It’s when I don’t hear it that I get worried,” he replied.



The tour of duty was long and arduous. For months he looked forward to this day. Uncles and aunts, cousins and in-laws gathered to welcome him home.

By the #grace of God, they were all together for this Christmas meal. None could remember a more satisfying evening.



“I can’t #find my keys!!”

“Look on the counter – they’re not there?!?”

“Ah! Found them!” With that, he shepherded his wife to the car for their trip to the hospital, just in the nick of time.

No matter how much you prepare, it’s always chaos when the time arrives…



We donned our snorkels and dove in among the #coral reefs. The colors of the fish were amazing; like they were made just for us. And then, just as quickly, they scattered.

I felt a tingling down my spine and a low melody starting in my ears…



My child always asks the tough questions.

“Daddy, was there ever a time when people lived in #harmony?”

“At any time, there is peace and there is war. It just depends on what you want to look at.”

If I give him something to think about, I have a peaceful afternoon.



People line up in the summer sun, waiting to confirm their bias. Limousines parade as the crowds cheer. Music blares from the sound system as balloons are released. A full lineup of people glorify their friends and vilify the others.

The #circus has come to town.



The weather is getting increasingly worse. The hikers must forage to find shelter before the storm hits with its full fury. They find old fur and leaves and fashion a protective #cocoon for themselves to ride out the storm.

Their survival relies on their Ranger training.



The audience roars its approval as the daredevil jumps his motorcycle through a ring of fire. His cape catches a flame and engulfs him as he lands.

His last thought – “There’s only one problem – what do I do for an #encore?”