5 Lines from the Establishment Couple (3LineTales)

Three Line Tales, Week 80

Apologies to our host, Sonya, who may bar me from 3LineTales—I had to have 2 extra lines for this one ūüôā

photo by Annie Theby via Unsplash


Stella:¬† “Oh no, my worst dream has come true… Frank!¬† The hippies are back.”

Frank:¬† “The van is sparkling clean…that has to be a good sign.”

Stella:¬† “Probably just means somebody’s parents passed away, and they’ve come into some money for a brand new peace-drugs-and-love nest.”

Frank:¬† “Come on, Love—where’s your Christian grace and tolerance?”

Stella:¬† “Packed in that box with the beads and mood ring I gave to the church charity drive…”

©Jael Sook, 2017 All rights reserved.

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Limited Accommodations (3LineTales)

Three Line Tales, Week 78

photo by Mahdis Mousavi via Unsplash


Stairway to Heaven?…good grief, most of us are seniors…surely there must be ‘disabled’ accommodations…

Hello?¬† Could somebody tell me—is there an escalator or elevator?

Oh well…guess stairs are better than old Jacob’s rickety Ladder…

©Jael Sook, 2017 All rights reserved.

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Silence of the Banjoher


Today‚Äôs nonsense word is Banjoher.¬† For Example: ‚ÄėHe decided that if he held the banjoher in his hand it worked so much better.‚Äô¬† Your task is to create a story in which you use the word ‚Äėbanjoher‚Äô in such a way that clearly illustrates the meaning you are intending to give it.¬† Please TAG your post: Mindlovemisery‚Äôs Menagerie and Tale Weaver.

Marabella was a beautiful woman; well-read, talented, possessed of significant intellect and spectrum of interests—and she was lonely.¬† Her husband Conrac was a seafaring man, gone for frequent and lengthy periods of time.¬† He craved traveling to foreign ports, and the seemingly measureless miles of ocean between home and wherever he was headed next.¬† Did he love his wife?¬† Yes.¬† Did he love the sea, and where it took him, more?¬† Neither of them spoke entrance to such risky territory.¬† Was he faithful to his marriage vows?¬† Well, rarely do people answer truthfully…

Marabella decorated their home with the lavish, exotic gifts Conrac brought back; and she wore the jewelry he selected, whether or not it suited her.  She kept busy in his absence, filling her solitude with needlework tapestries and the poetry she wrote between books devoured.

Sometimes during long hours of a voyage, Conrac reflected on their relationship.¬† Years ago he’d fallen hard for her quiet mystery and mystique, as well as for her classically stunning features.¬† She had always loved him more silently than women who chatter on, he thought—even in their most intimate physical communion.¬† He was clueless how to bridge the distance he’d only now become aware had crept stealthily between them.

Marabella met his return with a warm embrace and kiss, appraising him with lingering sweeps of her dark-eyed gaze.  She asked if he was hungry, but he was too excited to show her his latest treasure.

Knowing her passion for music, he’d been delighted to find an odd instrument called a banjoher—somewhat similar in appearance to the mandolin she considered romantic.¬† The banjoher had five strings—and when he handed it to her, she discovered that no sound came from strumming it with her slender fingers.¬† She looked at him curiously.

“Kind of like you,” he said shyly—“exquisitely formed but the music is mute, enigmatic.¬† It must be imagined.”

She nodded, smiling graciously, and thanked him in her mellifluous soft voice.

Later, after he’d fallen asleep, she went out to the living room to look at the banjoher again.¬† Holding it delicately, she turned it over, caressing the light satiny wood.¬† She saw a small square of loose paper inside the heart-shaped opening.¬† Thinking it was just the manufacturer’s information, she shook it out.

In tiny print it told the myth behind the unusual stringed instrument.¬† Perhaps someone made such tales up, just like Chinese cookie fortunes, she suspected.¬† Nonetheless, it was intriguing to read that ‘a certain man’ crafted the banjoher for the woman he loved, who didn’t speak—in hopes it would unlock her words in song.¬† Sadly, it failed to produce the magic or miracle—and the man died, never hearing his darling’s voice.¬† ‘Still, the charm remains in each banjoher made, with potential to heal mysterious mute curse’, the thin paper promised.

Marabella sat with the banjoher held against her breast until dawn began to paint silk ribbons across the new day’s horizon.¬† Then, as though in a trance, she moved dreamily to her husband’s side of the bed.¬† She resisted the impulse to stroke the perfect planes of his brow, cheekbones and jawline.¬† Instead, she memorized the handsome youthfulness he’d retained for nearly thirty years…and how he lay so still, his breaths gentle whispers.

As sunlight broke through the mauve bedroom curtains, the room filled with coppery tang of blood that bathed everything—spattering splinters of shattered bone and banjoher.¬†

~ Fini ~

©Jael Sook, 2017 All rights reserved.

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Enviable Illusions (3LineTales)

Three Line Tales, Week 76

photo by Sam Burriss via Unsplash

Girls like her—pretty and popular—some made the covers of magazines I bought with my allowance.

I knew I couldn’t be them, would never look like them, and that was fine.

All I wanted was what I believed they possessed inside—what made them glow and shimmer beyond their summer tans and perfect teeth—a happy life, for that would be success.

©Jael Sook, 2017 All rights reserved.

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Beware Kind Strangers


Dylan Huges’ Prompt:¬† I‚Äôll provide the first line, you get to write whatever comes afterward. Length, genre, and structure are completely up to you. Feel free to modify the line as you see fit, adding punctuation, quotes, or other bits if so desired. Or for more of a challenge, change nothing. You have a week to write it, enjoy!¬† Your line for this week is:¬† Carla Scott wanted nothing more in life than to own a little bookshop in the coastal town she‚Äôd grown up in.

“Carla Scott wanted nothing more in life than to own a little bookshop in the coastal town she’d grown up in”—But that’s not exactly what happened.

Her name wasn’t actually Carla Scott, and she hadn’t grown up in Heart’s Point—though she’d visited it several years before and was certain Divine Providence had brought her back.¬† It was all she’d ever dreamed, and the little bookshop was an added bonus—with less responsibility than ownership would have required.

Carla didn’t meet the owner personally—the Help Wanted sign on the door provided an email address for interested parties to contact.¬† Her email was answered by a phone call from a low-gravelly male voice, perhaps an older gentleman…who sounded quite handsome, to her.

She was frank in disclosing her information to him; confiding that “Carla Scott” was an alias, and that she was seeking a life under the radar, having escaped her abusive husband.¬† The man’s response was sympathetic, compassionate.¬† He told her that the furnished apartment above the bookshop came with the position of manager, if she accepted.¬†

She did accept, eagerly.¬† Her duties were straightforward:¬† order best-sellers and any other books she wished, stock the shelves, sell books—and deposit the money in his First Coastal Bank account.¬† He would call her a couple times a month, pleasant chats about the book business.

Six months after Carla-who-was-not-Carla arrived, she was looking forward to meeting the owner of the shop at last.¬† LeBeau Marnier matched his phone voice in every way…mid-60’s, tall and trim of frame, with elegant hands and facial features—piercingly attractive black-olive eyes.¬† After surveying the store and examining her records, he took her to a posh restaurant in the next village.¬† Later he returned her to her apartment, bidding her a well-mannered, cordial adieu.

The bookshop remained closed for two days before the constable was alerted to check on “Carla”.¬† She was good and dead, and not from natural causes.

Desperation can make people hungry, and stupid; a stranger’s kind voice may cause them to let down their guard—trust too quickly, and too much.¬† She had been a lovely young woman, Mr Marnier thought sadly, somewhat sorry to lose her…

But business was business.

©Jael Sook, 2017 All rights reserved.

Image credit: Pixabay

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Selling Seashells, by Prof. Shyla Shakespeare


Lorraine’s Prompt:¬† So, tale weavers, your assignment this week: take a nursery/Mother Goose rhyme, tongue twister or song, and give it a new spin. Modernize it, analyze it, hypo-theoreticalize it, satirize it, serialize it, fantasize it . . . then weave a tale around it.¬† My choice:¬† “She sells seashells by the seashore…”

Hi—I’m the one who sells seashells by the seashore…

The other girl got all the media buzz, but only because she

Resembles a K-dashian.  Real heroines are rarely glamorous.

We’re too busy making a living, making a statement—strong or

Subtle; in case we become role models for generations—

Not this year’s fashion face in runway shows, pop music videos.

I used to take some flack from fools who thought selling seashells

By the seashore was as dumb as peddling ice to Eskimos—

Well, “sales” is a fine art.

You have to persuade potential buyers that each shell is

Not merely unique, exquisite to look at—it tells its own story.

As you hold it in your hand, turning it this way ‘n that

In the glittering sunlight, you imbue every whorl,

Chamber, scalloped ridge with meaning and emotion.

You mix a little history and oceanography with myth

And magic…and dollops of romantic imagination.

Spin a tale, weave the yarn, talk about epic figures—

Whether they actually existed or not.

My personal standby that nearly always works, is to

Get misty-eyed and tell about my handsome father—

The sailor who’s never come home from the sea—and my

Mermaid princess mother who died giving birth to me.

It’s my loyal love and longing that have pinned me to this

Spot on the sandy shore—summer, winter, spring and fall—

Selling seashells to keep pizza on the table till Papa returns…

Most tourists can’t resist—they’ll buy a bucket or two.¬†

Hey, it paid my college tuition at Smith—

I got my Masters in English Lit, and a B.A. in Psychology.

Do you like this one—it would make a dandy candy dish, no?

©Jael Sook, 2017 All rights reserved.

Image credit: Pixabay

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Best Friends Forever (3LineTales)

Three Line Tales, Week 75

photo by Meghan Yabsley on Unsplash

We’ve met here every summer since we were six and became instant best friends; we marvel in whispers at the same things; laugh at each other’s jokes; share “weird-family” secrets and stories while eating cherry or banana popsicles together.¬†

This year, after nagging our parents to death, we’ve got matching bicycles; and having officially become “women”, we drool over older boys as we wonder what sex is really about.

Today we’ve shed our bright bikini bathing suits and jumped into perfect July-warmed water; shrieking at our brave and scandalous midday nakedness, we vow to be best friends forever…still skinny-dipping when time has aged us like wrinkled prunes.

©Jael Sook, 2017 All rights reserved.

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