Tag Archives: Character Development

Bullshit and Peas

“Have you always gotten your way?”

It was a bullshit inquire from a detective.

The man, Fred, I think he said was his name, sat opposite me in a white dress shirt that was too tight and stained. My guess was, he missed his mouth during breakfast, frequently.

An ugly belt hugged his hips keeping his stomach in check, like a dam keeping water at bay. I speculated what might happen if his belt broke loose. 

“Pretty much, according to my sister, but you know how sisters can be. She swore if Mom served peas, I wanted and got carrots. But she’s an incurable liar. Miss Goody-Two-Shoes is what she calls me.”

“Did you like peas?”

“Sure, the small itty bitty kind, the frozen package says petite. And they had to be cooked right, bright green and not mushy, I hated mushy. Mom wasn’t a good cook.”

“So, you were spoiled?”

“No, I’d have eaten the fucking peas. It wasn’t about the God damn peas. It’s about power. Isn’t it? You have the power to screw me, Mr. Hot-Shot.”

“Calm down, it’s small talk.”

“Yea, small talk? I’ve been here for hours, you asking the same questions. Mr. Hot-Shot, wearing that not to expensive watch.”

The DA twisted his arm and looked at his Mavado.

“I know how to play your game. You provoke me, I get angry. Like with mom. I’ll push the peas around until they get mushy than smash the plate in the sink, and listen to the garbage disposal make a noise like an electric saw cutting up a dead body.”

     “Why did you do it?”

     “Mush the peas?”

     “No, kill your mother.”

. . . Seriously Just Saying

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Photographer Tom

schlub [SHləb] NOUN

shlub (noun)

  1. a talentless, unattractive, or boorish person:

K.J. Hanson describes Jeff, a character in his short story Cheapskate, as a shlub. The noun remained in my head until I wrote something.


“He’s a shlub,” said the guy at the next table.

Although unfamiliar with the expression, I couldn’t have agreed more. The restaurant was crowded, and the jerk, dressed in a worn t-shirt and a grunge baseball cap to cover a scraggly head of hair, stood out in a crowd of business people. Some chatted effortlessly, others sat people watching, like the guy alongside of me. Whose dress was trending; jeans, white t-shirt and a herringbone blazer. His companion did all the talking while the guy pretended to listen, preoccupied with the ensuing drama.

The server delivered the check to the shlub, who immediately became agitated, flinging his arms up in the air and indicating some problem with the food.

His woman friend turn red in the face as the server removed their lunch plate like it was a hot plate. She was attractive in an intellectual way and rummaged through her handbag.

I imagined they’d met on line or some dating app. You know the type, skilled at embellishment and all about himself. It was probably their first date, but clearly their last as the woman got up to leave visibly shaken.

The guy at the next table stood when she did.

“Let me get that for you,” he said.

As they left the restaurant together, the shlub yelled, “What the fuck! You can’t do that.”

The Scowl

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

The Scowl

He wore a scowl. A permanent look of discontent. He glared at no one particular, and rarely smiled, but if he did, the smile never reached his eyes, like a basset hound whose jowls scrapped the floor, there was no emotion.

We met years ago, although never introduced. In retrospect, the event might have been better labeled a stare down. It was a bitter and windy day. I had ducked inside a city coffee shop to escape the pelting rain and found myself sitting next to him.

“Yikes! It’s wet outside.” I said sitting and shaking my umbrella free of rain.

The stools were the old fashion metal type with no backs that were low to the ground. My wet coat added to the squeaking noises produced by my twirling in place and attempting to prevent more damage. The man looked down, studied the drips puddling on the floor then locked eyes with me.

“Sorry,” I said feeling helpless. I smiled and ordered coffee and a bagel. He said nothing.

“It’s good to get out of the rain.” I mumbled.

His forearms rested on the counter and he stared straight ahead ignoring me, although our faces were visible in the mirror adorning the back wall. After draining his coffee cup, he signaled for a refill and frowned when the hot java tip toed near the top. He was handsome.

“I’d ask you out if you weren’t such a jerk.” I said.

“I dare you.”  He responded scowling.


Seriously Just Saying

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Lonely in Volusia



Lonely in Volusia

“Doris,” he said taking off his hat.


We had arranged to meet at a local restaurant after chatting on a social media site.

He resembled a potato, and an image of an Idaho spud flashed through my mind as he sat. Worn pointed cowboy boots prevented his knees from sliding under the table. He angled the chair sideways. Its wooden legs scraped along the floor as he said, “Nice to meet you.”

(It took me about forty minutes to write, and edit the above paragraph, my attempt to write everyday, and for now is all I’ve got.)

. . . Seriously just saying

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Write your comment in the box below or click on the caption icon to the right of the title above. Ignore requests for a name or username and press post or save. Your comment will be posted anonymously.


Two spoons balancing on each other. Isolated on white background. High key

Two spoons balancing on each other. Isolated on white background. High key

Daily Prompt

There were two thoughts in his head, set side by side in juxtaposition and he did not enjoy the feeling. They nagged at his sense of well being like two conjoined twins complicating separation. If one was true than certainly the other false unless both where false and consequently why connected. He look in the mirror, his face growing old with deliberation of whether to love or hate her.



Good Looking


Daily Prompt Uniform

The Cadets filed across the stage one by one, abruptly stopped or came to a halt and after saluting the Commander came to rest. Standing shoulder-to-shoulder hands at their sides, the buttoned down shirt collars smiled. Snug belts hugged midriffs and razor sharp creases cascaded their pant legs brushing the tops of high shine black shoes, making each one indistinguishable from the next. The sameness and harmony guaranteeing no one was more important.

. . . .  Seriously Just Saying

Precipice of Life


Daily Prompt

Photo by Skogafoss

Precipice of Life

     Julia stands on the cliff; the roar of water deafens the constant stream of thoughts in her head. Whispers bring her alarmingly close to the edge as her heart throbs. Her toes grip loose pebbles scattered on the dirt path, she secures footing and breathes in the cool air. Water cascades like a bridal veil over rocks flat from years of pounding as she ponders the pros and cons. Jumping is the surest way to end the piercing pain now part of her existence. The gasping and gagging for breathe over in minutes welcoming peace. Water bounces off the rocks below splashing her to her senses and a realization of what her “gone missing” could do to the people left behind. Tears flood her eyes. She sits, pulls her knees close to her chest, and wrapping her arms around them sobs in tune with the cascading xylophone sound.



Photo by Adam

Daily Prompt

Chicken Coop Devastation

     The wind howled in anticipation. The chickens squawked necks jerking forward then back pecking at unseen danger, their skinny claws raking the dry brown ground. Molly raised her head, called into the sky; “Lord, Lord save us from devastation.”

     As the wind threatened to raise her skirt high, she lured the chickens inside the coop wondering if it would make a difference; if anything made a difference.

     The lone road leading to the house was empty. Skip probably not on the way back probably headed towards that other woman who brought them havoc.

     Molly knew something was going on from the first “Meet the Teacher” night. Skip had showered, shaved and wore the right fit jeans.  Molly teased him, “You spruced up, feels like we’re going on a date.”

     She knew because his eyes locked with Ms. Jenny’s as they stood in the doorway,     before his hand casually brushed the third grade teacher during a meeting folder exchange.

     She had been vandalized, came upon a locked box previously hidden in the attic floorboards empty, the jewelry and money inside taken by someone she love. Her heart demolished and destroyed.

     The weather alert sounded and Molly tucked herself inside the chicken coop praying, “Lord, Lord save us from devastation.”

. . . . Seriously Just Saying

Irksome People

Daily Prompt



     Nora sets two hot coffee containers on the reception desk then places her handbag on the swivel chair. She removes her coat walking towards the open closet door, several winter coats hang lazily on hangers inside. She buttons her Mohair wool jacket to a wooden one, to prevent it slipping to the floor, and turns to see Don, wearing a smile, wiggling out of his leather bomber.

     Nora says, “Good Morning, Don, I brought you coffee.”

     “Thanks Nora, a peace offering or you gonna start?” He reaches for a hanger and drapes his jacket on it. The heavy shoulders pull to one side and the end of the hanger pokes the forearm of the garment.

     She answers, “Peace offering, although I find it irksome and would not abuse such a beautiful article of clothing if it were mine, it’s yours and you have every right to hang it anyway you like.”

     Don’s smile broadens, “Irksome as in irk? A little word, short and to the point. Irk, produces a sharp sound with little effort if you pucker you lips together, Nora,” then his smile fads.  

. . . . Seriously Just Saying

My Daring Darling


Photo By

Daily Prompt

My Daring Darling

“Let’s do something daring tonight, darling. Something exciting and bold,” said Paige who sat on a stripe settee with her gloves still on. She had returned from a luncheon at the Plaza Hotel. Her white alabaster skin contrasted her ruby red lips and the black Channel suit made her appear young, very young.

“How about we fly to Paris and watch the Eiffel Tower twinkle? Jacqueline phoned and said it has stopped raining, finally.” Paige continued slipping her shoes off. “It will be fun.”

“We could, if that would make you happy. However, flying to Paris is not daring, it’s simply impulsive. Daring requires an element of courage. We don’t need courage to fly to Paris; we simply get on our private plane.” He said approaching her with two glasses of champagne.

“Well darling what would make it daring?”Her eyes flirted in thought.

“I don’t know something bold?” He hinted.

Paige allowed her jacket to fall off her shoulders, stood, took the glass from his hand, and whispered in his ear, “We could jump.”    

. . . . Seriously Just Saying