Mondays Finish the Story- The Unenthusiastic Helper

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Here’s my contribution to this week’s Mondays Finish the Story challenge provided by Barbara Beecham. It’s a frivolous tale, but I’m working on a dark, depressing story behind the scenes at the moment, and needed some comic relief.. 🙂

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, the god of the underworld was flossing his teeth when there was a knock on the door. “Evening sir, I’m Allen from Bunged Up Plumbing Services.. you rang about a water leak?”

The god of the underworld led Allen around to the back of his house and showed him the view.

“Right. Looks like you’ve got a bit of a problem here sir.”

The god of the underworld turned to Allen. “As you can see, hell is flooded. Winter, as we know, is coming and I can’t afford to let the place freeze over, as that has serious implications for my reputation. So you need to fix it.” He gave Allen the look of death. “Now.”

“Well this looks like a pretty big job, don’t think I could do it right now.. I’ll need to find the leak, give you a quote… could take a few days..”

The next day, Allen was dead.

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – Welcome to the Party

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Here’s my contribution to this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers  prompt from Priceless Joy. Thanks once again Joy..

Fred cleared his throat nervously in the silence. His allergies had been playing up all day, and the tickle at the back of his throat was becoming unbearable. His eyes began to water as he fought to keep from breaking into a coughing fit. But the prize was so close now, he had to hold himself together.

The others stood around him in a circle – hoods drawn down over their faces. Only their shoes gave away their vocation.

“It is time.” A hooded figure broke away from the circle and walked over to Fred. “Bring me the Nose.” Another hooded figure approached, holding a black velvet cushion. Fred stared transfixed at the shiny red nose which sat atop the cushion.

The hooded figure picked up the nose and held it high. Behold Brothers, the mark of the Clown. He stooped down and affixed the nose on Fred. From this day forth, you will be known as Frozo. Welcome Brother.

Frozo sneezed, his shiny new nose flying off into the smoke filled room.

Monday’s Finish the Story- Hungry Work

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Here’s my contribution to this week’s Monday’s Finish the Story prompt from Barbara Beacham. Bit over the word limit today, as pizza proved to be quite a difficult prompt to write about. Would love to hear your thoughts 🙂

March 15, 44 BC, Rome, Italy

“Pizza anyone?”

“I can’t believe you feel like eating after what we’ve just done.” Decimus stared at the carnage around them. “I feel sick.”

“What’s wrong with that?” Marc shrugged. “Stabbing is hungry work, and I missed breakfast.. Sure you don’t want anything? Garlic Bread?”

“No, I’m fine thanks.” Decimus looked queasy as he flopped down onto the marble steps. “I’m just going to stick my head in a bucket and throw up.”

“Suit yourself. Anyone else? Albinus? Longinus?”

“I am a bit peckish actually” Longinus looked up from cleaning his hands. “I’ll have a margarita extra cheese.”

“Do they do gluten free?” Albinus was sipping wine to calm his nerves.

“Albinus, pizza is made with dough. Of course they don’t do gluten free.”

“Well get me a salad then. No tomato. I don’t like tomato”

“Fine..Hello? can I order some delivery please. Address is 1 Consul Way. It’s Brutus. B-R-U-T-U-S. I’ll have a large BBQ Meatlovers, Large Supreme, Margarita extra cheese. And a salad, no tomato. Thanks.”

Bad Neighbours

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Here’s my attempt at this weeks Monday’s Finish the Story

Finish the story begins with: “A body suddenly crashed through a plate glass window at the Brigadier’s house.”

“Argghh not again! They said they’d fixed that stupid thing.” The Brigadier wiped egg yolk from his beard as he went to inspect the latest inconvenience.

“Jenkins! Get those inconsiderate Reticulans on the holophone right now. I’ve had enough of this nonsense.”

It was a wortbort this time, mostly eaten of course. They only seemed to throw away the messy parts. This one was missing the half of its body, and was busy leaking all over the Brigadier’s clean white tiles. “And bring a mop”.

Due to an unfortunate set of events involving a quantum physicist and an architect, the Brigadier’s home was built above a wormhole which led to the garbage chute of a family living in the Orion Nebula. He’d shoved a few broomsticks up there, but they just seemed to enjoy eating those too. There was only one thing left to do. Send Jenkins up.

Three reasons why Facebook and children don’t mix

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As the mother of two young children and the holder of a Facebook account, I am often tempted to update the world on the latest antics of my little munchkins.

What stops me are the following:

  1. My paranoia that some creepy stranger out there is looking at photos of my babies;
  2. They haven’t consented to having their photos posted on Facebook; and
  3. My concern that my children will grow up thinking that they, like a member of the Jolie-Pitt clan, are special for doing nothing at all, and will develop some kind of narcissistic personality disorder.

My reasoning for this shocking deviation from the norms of modern day parenting is as follows:

  1. Lack of Consent

Cast your mind back to the immense joy and pride you felt each time you brought a boyfriend/ girlfriend home to meet your parents, and the old family albums were dredged out to expose you in your unadulterated, gummy grinned/ saggy nappied/ buck toothed/ monobrowed/pimply glory.

Imagine if those photos were available to your boss, your workmates, a prospective employer, or your arch nemesis back in high school. Now imagine that a random stranger got hold of one of these unflattering photos, turned it into a meme which was viewed by millions, and you are now a laughing stock around the world..

As parents we don’t tend to ask our children if we can photograph them, nor do we ask them before we publish these photos online.

Older children may be in a position to say yes or no, but many of the millions of babies and toddlers whose photos are posted on Facebook everyday can barely talk, let alone grant a considered approval to having their images posted online.

Sure, some kids may look back at the images of themselves posted online one day and thank their parents for this electronic repository of their development, but they didn’t really have much choice in the matter, did they?

As a parent, I just think we owe our kids some degree of respect by protecting their privacy until they are old enough to make their own choices about something which could have a major impact on their lives later down the track..

2.Privacy

Facebook’s security settings allow you to select who can see your ‘stuff’, and this can range from your friends to practically anyone on earth. It’s legal terms provide that you own all content and information that you post, however, how this information is shared depends on your privacy settings. So for example if your privacy is set to allow “everyone” to see your information, then anyone and everyone can see your photos and comments. By not locking down the privacy setting of your account, you’re also granting Facebook a “non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License)…”

And then there’s the risk of your account being hacked and images being accessed and downloaded without your knowledge or consent. Just a quick online search shows how easy this is, with numerous sites offering you tips on the best way to hack into your girlfriend’s/boyfriend’s/son’s/daughter’s/victim’s account.

If the recent experience of female celebrities having their cloud accounts hacked has taught the rest of us one thing, it is that it would be naive to think that your privacy is safe on the Internet.

  1. Everybody loves a narcissistic threenager

I worry that the over zealous photography of our progeny may give them the impression that they are some kind of Aryan uberchild. Afterall, why else would every moment of actual and/or perceived cuteness need to be preserved for the betterment of future generations?

Constant snapping photos of your children could lead them to feel superior to other members of the family. Some experts are also worried that being constantly photographed might make a child become critical about their appearance, or perhaps even attribute an unnecessary level of importance towards their appearance or behavior needing to be ‘cute’ in order to attract more attention to themselves.

The raising of children is such a personal and sensitive process, and I probably won’t know until my kids are old enough to tell me whether these concerns are valid or unnecessary. I just know that the reason that I take photos is to preserve memories of my family as a private process, shared on special occasions with loved ones yes, but not as a daily advertisement of our lives..