Wednesday's Words on a Friday

The original Words for Wednesday was begun by Delores and eventually taken over by a moveable feast of participants when Delores had computer troubles. Sadly, Delores has now closed her blog forever due to other problems.

The aim of the words is to encourage us to write. A story, a poem, whatever comes to mind.

If you are posting an entry on your own blog, please let us know so we can come along and read it.

This month the prompts are supplied by Mark Koopmans and can be found here.

This week's words/prompts are: 
1. nuclear 
2. foxtrot 
3. Klan. 
4. rollover 
5. utilities 
6. Xeroxed 


1. audacious 
2. zinc 
3. plastered 
4. identification 
5. wheeling 
6. fixated 

Here is my story:  

The baby's tantrum elevated to a nuclear level so I scooped her up and shoved a square of chocolate into the wailing mouth, thanking all the gods in all the heavens for the blissful instant silence. I slung her under my arm like a sack of spuds and walked out to collect the mail. Sigh. Utilities bills again. Was it really three months already? I could have sworn we'd only just paid the last lot. Wondering where the Xeroxed copies of the receipts might be, I emptied the rest of the envelopes from the box, pleased to see a letter from cousin Felix. I put that one in my pocket, scooped up the rest and went back into the house. 

Dumping the mail on the dining room table, I carried the sack of spuds, aka Debbie, into the bathroom for a cleanup. She'd managed to dribble chocolate all over her chin and chest as well as down the leg of my shorts. I plonked her into the bath and ran some tepid water, being summer all the cold water taps gave warm water. I tossed in some bubble bath and a few toys and wished Larry was here. 

He'd taken the older kids to the beach last weekend and after getting them all well plastered with zinc based suncream, he'd forgotten to cover himself with it, so he was currently in the local hospital being treated until the burned skin began healing. 
How the audacious so-and-so managed to drive himself and the kids home I'll never know. But I called the ambulance as soon as he staggered in the door. 

Seems he'd been fixated on watching the gulls wheeling and diving and not noticed how red he was getting and of course the kids were in the water and didn't notice either, but they're kids, they're not supposed to keep check on the parent are they? 
I used the big old flour scoop to dribble water over Debbie's head and watched as she blew raspberries through it. She loved her baths, happily splashing her hands in the water and pushing the floating toys under water so they would bob up again. I pulled Felix's letter out of my pocket and read it aloud, Debbie loved to be read to and she didn't care what you read, it could have been the phone book and she'd be just as happy. 

Felix thanked me once again for teaching him how to foxtrot for his wedding, the honeymoon was going well, there'd been a fancy-dress party at the hotel to mark its fiftieth year and not having anything on hand for costumes, he and Millie had dressed in the sheets off their bed, pretending to be ghosts, but a few people thought they were dressed as Klan members, like the KKK of the movies and hotel managers reminded them that the sheets would have to be paid for since they'd cut eye holes into them. 

Debbie yawned hugely and I towelled her off, put on a clean nappy and laid her in her cot with her favourite stuffed bunny. "Mumumumumum," she said and kissing her cheek, I told her to go on and rollover, it was sleepy time now, and she obligingly did just that. 

I tidied away the toys and prepared the kitchen for the after-school onslaught. Setting out glasses for chocolate milk and a big plate of fresh brownies just in time. 
Carly and Mike thundered down the hallway, with Billy trailing behind. "I have a notice for a school trip to the museum!" shouted Mike, "you need to sign it and I have to take some form of identification with me. What does that mean? My birth certificate or just a name tag or what?"
"Put it on the fridge," I said "and I'll phone the school in the morning to see what is needed, although the information should be on the form itself, I'll read it thoroughly after dinner."
"Are we going to visit Dad tonight?' asked Carly. "Only if you get your homework done," I said.


  1. Job well done. I loved the sack of potatoes, AKA Debbie. I used to carry my kids like that. It was just easier.

    1. Elizabeth Seckman; thank you. I carried my kids like that too, they loved it.

  2. She gave a baby chocolate?? 😂

    I laughed aloud at them cutting holes in the sheets!

    1. Sandi; one small square to stop a tantrum seems like a fair deal to me. My babies had a taste of chocolate when they were crawling age. You can't be a proper ghost if you can't see who you are scaring.

  3. I KNEW that my confidence in you wasn't misplaced. This is a lovely vignette - and I can picture it all.
    On the sunburnt front? One of my brother's wagged school and spent his day sunbaking. He fell asleep. He knew he was badly burnt but to admit it would have meant also admitting to wagging school. So he covered it up and said nothing. My mother found out a few days later when she tapped him on the shoulder and he fainted. And yes, he also spent some days in hospital.

    1. Elephant's Child; I had no idea what to write when I started and after the nuclear tantrum it just wrote itself, late last night. I'm truly sorry to hear your brother had such a bad sunburn. I've seen that on a few people, but never had it myself, so can only guess at the agony. I'm a browner, five minutes in the sun and an extra layer of tan.

  4. Hello River
    I was sorry to read in your comment/questions on the low carb diabetic blog you are experiencing health issues at the moment.
    I have answered your questions, see here

    I send my good wishes on your journey to better health.

    All the best Jan

    1. Lowcarb team member; thank you, I'll pop over shortly. Have already lost five pounds.

  5. Yes, thank you for a nice story. She has her hands full with the lovely potato sack and those three bigger ones. I hope Larry comes home soon. You see, you made me tink this was a real story. It's good.

    1. Charlotte; thank you. Making people think it is real is what I aim for.

  6. When ever I see the words, there is always one or two that I think will be hard to work in. You always manage to do it seamlessly. Enjoyed the story. I too had to laugh at the sunburn. A pilot friend of mine once went to a nude beach out of curiosity but was a bit embarrassed when a young lady stopped by his blanket for a chat. He was not comfortable being nude so he rolled over on his stomach and she talked a long time to him. He got a badly sunburned bum and driving home almost killed him.

    1. Arkansas Patti; Thank you, I try to make the stories seamless so the words are barely noticed.
      If only that young man hadn't been too shy, he might have asked the young lady to apply sunscreen.

  7. I love it! Seems very real. I had a chuckle at the Klan ghosts. Reminds me of when my sister and her fellow kindergarten teachers dressed up as Dalmations for open house around Halloween, and one parent said, "Oh, I saw some more of you cows over there." I guess their spots were a little too big!

    1. Val; that's funny being mistaken for cows. I do try to make my stories seem real.

  8. A story that is very much true to life, River. It sounds like you may have been a member of a similar real-life experience. :)

    Well written. :)

    1. Lee; the only similarities are the four children, husband away (but on Army manouvers not in hospital) and giving chocolate to the kids. Also carrying them like sacks of spuds.

  9. Oh! probably a bit out of range: We had a zinc-based sunscreen in Australia in 1999, it was great stuff!
    I still have the bottle here: AUSBLOCK Sunscreen, Ultrablock Cream.
    I never found that again, do you know about it? Not fatty, you had a little white zinc-film on your skin.
    Banana Boat is somewhat fatty on my skin...
    I just a couple of times went without sunscreen from the car to Woolies or such - hello. Sun allergy :-(
    Little dots, like I burned myself.
    The Aussie Sun really is something. I have a friend in Perth, he´s my age and looks much, much, much older

    The phone book! :-)

    Yes. We have some muslim women here in a niqab. Not funny, especially scary for kids (are they women, you never know). Hubby said, let me go in in a KKK-costume, bet the police will be here in an instant.

    "after-school onslaught" :-)

    Great story. So true and you made me laugh, too!

    The orange veggie-peeler btw is an Aussie :-) A pressie from a Perth friend when we got our condo. A lille old man, so to say :-)

    1. Iris Flavia; we had plain white zinc cream when we were little, we'd go to the beach and see our friends with white stripes across their noses, but nobody back then thought about backs, shoulders and legs, so the kids still got burned. Me and my brother just went brown, really dark almost like aboriginals. Now, everybody slathers on sunscreen all over when they go to the beach.

    2. You got dark? I turned red. Often we see people "sunbathing" in Australia (Perth) and I bet they are Europeans.
      We used that sunscreen all over, and it helped! We never got burned. Reckon we got it in SA?

  10. Wow, you've outdone yourself, kiddo. This is one of your best writing exercises ever. Well done! The more you write, the better you get. :) It's believable, flows beautifully, and has bits of humor tossed into the mix. As someone who's had more than her shares of lobster-red sunburns, I feel for the fella.

    1. Susan; I'm sorry to hear you've had more than your share of sunburns. I'm luckier, as a child I just went brown, then browner. These days I'm more careful as older skin burns more easily. I like my stories to "flow" it makes the reader feel as if he or she is right there being part of it. Humor is always a good addition, though it doesn't always get in.

  11. I loved this story. Your characters and the situations they find themselves in are so true to life. It's like we would be friends with this woman. :) Love your stories.

    1. Magical Mystical Mimi; thank you. I like my stories to be believable.

  12. A wonderful family story, it could all happen just that way.

  13. A baby's "nuclear tantrum" - only parents know how embarrassing that can be.





Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

the new kick-start diet

a lizard in your home is lucky, right?

Sunday Selections