Monthly Archives: May 2011

Unhappy Endings

“I can’t believe it’s come to this,” said Laura to her brothers. It’s a far cry from their Broadway days.

In the heat of the summer sun, her makeshift helmet was stifling. Even with her hair bobbed, she felt sweat beading on her brow.

But they were so desperate for work that they were willing to wear the new safety gear for Spiderman the Musical.

Keith, her oldest brother, wanted no part of her whining. “Just keep dancing,” he said. “No way we’re going back to father.”

Laura remembers those days and shudders. She was most afraid of Father and was the mastermind behind their escape.

They all feared him, her mother included. In the house he was omnipotent, laying down rules in all areas. He wasn’t to be crossed.

Laura & her brothers escaped one night by climbing out the window, carrying just their helmets, a few pairs of her shorts & tubing.

To make sure he didn’t catch them as they left, she’d crushed a sleeping pill into his nightly drink. It would give them more time.

And off they went to practice synchronised swimming in the ocean, not yet experienced enough to do it without helmets.

Their mom, however, mistook Father’s drink for her water & downed it before passing out on the floor. The kids couldn’t carry her.

And now, as they prepared for their routine, they missed their mother’s guidance. She was an expert synchronized swimmer.

What they didn’t know? That Father watched placed a GPS tracker inside Larry’s shorts. He knew exactly where they were at any time.

He’d planted the trackers when he found a bag Laura had packed stashed under her bed. He wasn’t about to let them leave him grasp.

Father went upstairs and began watching the tracker. They were at the beach. The dot started moving, meaning Larry was on the move.

Father put his rollerblades on & skated to the beach. But when he got there, all he found was a floating pair of women’s shorts.

He’d never told them that synchronized swimming is for pools, not oceans. Honestly, he thought they’d figure that out on their own.

Maybe the lead from the vintage diving gear stunted their intellectual development over the years. This is why he had to track ’em.

Upon closer inspection, the shorts weren’t women’s. They were Larry’s. The trail, as it were, stopped here. Now what?

Father was livid. Not only were his kids idiots, but now Larry was running around w/no shorts. How much longer until they all did?

Not much longer. In fact, the police were responding to a call about four unruly, pantless kids running through a McDonald’s.

From inside the McDonald’s Laura and the boys saw a familiar car crash into a telephone pole. Was it really the end?

They ran outside and gathered around the unmistakable car of their Father’s and next to him….their mother’s body lay lifeless.

They’d thought she had drowned! And now, not only was she dead for real…the monster that was their father was also gone.


Hmmm – so this one was one of the toughest stories we’ve written so far. It never really went anywhere, and I don’t know why. Maybe it was a bad day. Or maybe I should have gone Bulls themed, as @thatgirlmari suggested, given tonight’s game. Oh well. They can’t all be Pulitzers.

Thanks to @hwtibbs for supplying the photo. And thanks to @hwtibbs, @kikiandkyle, @nella22, @VikkiRossWrites, @jsetlak and @swanieson for writing, desperately trying to make something out of it. And welcome to @VikkiRossWrites, who contributed for the first time today. Hopefully not the last.


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Filed under @hwtibbs, @jsetlak, @kikiandkyle, @nella22, @swanieson, @VikkiRossWrites

Sister, Sister and the Mister

Paul was small. Not very tall. He had a date. She was late. So he fixed his hair & climbed in his chair.

His blue sweater had never looked better, but his shirt was showing all the dirt.

Aurora was running late, something she hates. They planned to meet, on the street; the street with curves to eat hors d’oeuvres.

Paul cried & cried, “I can’t believe she lied!” But she stood him up before, & he vowed “No more!” So how could he blame the dame?

The dame, the dame she had a name, a name that ironically was the same

As a city in Illinois. One that Paul remembers with joy. He met Aurora. in Aurora. And that was just after getting dumped by Laura.

Laura oh Laura she was a fan of flora, Aurora now she was a fan of a certain fedora.

His sleeping beauty, she was a cutie, but her penchant for sleeping left poor old Paul seething.

The memories piled on, like love songs that go on too long. He thought to himself, “I need help.” So, he got it from Yelp.

He had a romantic dinner date planned based on Yelper HotDamned. But Aurora’s oversleeping made the reservations not worth keeping.

Paul called Aurora’s phone, wondering if she was home. With no answer, Paul groaned “I know it’s on vibrate.” He was clearly irate.

Paul had a history of anger management issues. Leave it to Aurora’s wireless carrier to light his short fuse.

He thought her inconsiderate. It was enough to leave him in a fit. There was no one around to confide how sad was he was inside.

The smile on his face was because of sheer grace. He was with Verizon. If she didn’t switch carriers, a rift was on the horizon.

Paul drove over to Aurora’s house & knocked on the door. Once, twice & then three more. “Get up Aurora! We’re going to the store!”

Aurora rolled out of bed, wiped her eyes, scratched her head. “Who was there?” she wondered, oblivious to the date she blundered.

Paul appeared at the door, her jaw dropped to the floor. “Oops, I overslept. That’s another date I haven’t kept.”

His shirt blue, his eyes flashing red. He should’ve dated her sister Peoria instead. Caught himself, put that thought on the shelf.

Peoria, now that’s a vixen. But he couldn’t let Aurora know what his mind had been fixin’. If she knew, he and Aurora were through.

“You look beautiful,” lied Paul. “Let’s go. We’ll be late.” “Just like my period,” quipped Aurora, as Paul pinched his own taint.

Aurora reacted with shock and awe. “You disgust me Paul. I’m going to the mall. Have fun staying here, playing with your balls.”

“You’re not going anywhere,” Paul fumed. “Sit your ass down. You better behave or I’ll call Craggles the Clown.”

But Aurora wasn’t interested in any more of Paul’s lovin’. It was probably because she had another man’s bun in the oven.

Whatever, thought Paul. He knew better than to take a date to the mall. He would not miss her. Would it be weird with her sister?

Aurora sat & thought, of Jonah, the man she met while on a yacht. A swarthy man of the sea, whose baby she carried surreptitiously.

In certain comparison Paul might pale to some guy who once lived in a whale. Might Aurora’s infidelity earn her a burial at sea?

In this instant Paul couldn’t resist. He took a peak at Aurora’s sis’s digits on the Rolodex. He memorized it. dialed it. Holysh*t.

Aurora has nothing she’s working toward, just playing. Paul was willing to throw her overboard. Just saying.

Peoria picked up more than the call if you know what I mean. She got Paul, after all, not some swarthy marine.

While Peoria and Paul got busy, Aurora was all in a tizzy. Her hormones were all outta whack. She thought she might want Paul back.

It was not meant to be. Paul & Peoria were making whoopee. They were making quite a racket, like UConn after winning the bracket.

Aurora said “I don’t need Paul! He’s a blue sweater boy after all!” She called Peoria to let her know she was over that freak show.

This time Peoria didn’t answer. She knew where neither her phone nor her pants were.

Yet Paul knew her ringtone. A funk song he’d last heard alone. Made him frisky at the time. Twisty was more like it this time.

Paul pushed Peoria away. “How could I do this to Aurora?” he cried in dismay. He ran to the door, leaving Peoria on the floor.

Peoria got up, found her pants, then threw on a tank. She chased after Paul, screaming, “Aurora’s the family skank!”

“If she’s the family skank, where do you rank?” Peoria fired back, “You didn’t seem to give a yack when you were fondling my rack.”

Paul turned around, then sheepishly looked down. “Aurora can have Jonah. It’s obviously only you that gives me a bonah.”

Peoria was confused by Paul’s sudden Boston drawl. But it was only for a bit, because she realized she loved that little nugget.

They kept moving closer, and then they embraced. Her arms around his back, his around her waist. “Marry me,” Paul said confidently.

“Yes!” screamed Peoria in delight. She finally found someone who was her height. You see, Paul wasn’t the only one who was small.

Paul pulled out a ring. Peoria said, “Oh my! Such bling!”

The couple was wed, went on a honeymoon through Club Med. The trip couldn’t be finer. They got discounts for looking like minors.

Peoria and Paul lived happily ever after, their lives filled with laughter. Everything was good. All good in the ‘hood.

‘Cept when Paul thought about his new sister-inlaw. Her not existing was hard to pretend. It was Aurora, his ex-girlfriend.


We did it! We wrote a story that rhymed! And it even kind of made sense! I bet you thought that last sentence was gonna rhyme with the one before it. Sorry – I’m all rhymed out. Anyway, this might be the funniest Once Upon 140 story yet. I don’t know if it’s the rhyming, the classic one-liners or the dirtiness of Paul and his love triangle with Aurora and Peoria. By the way, if those aren’t two stripper names, then I don’t know what is.

Thanks to @nella22, @kikiandkyle, @swanieson, @ArzuBusiness, @elderberryjam, @hwtibbs, @hiaubs, @jsetlak and @foiledcupcakes for helping me pull off an admittedly difficult story. I appreciate the feedback up front, and I’m grateful to all of you for humoring me and playing along.

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Filed under @arzubusiness, @elderberryjam, @foiledcupcakes, @hwtibbs, @jsetlak, @kikiandkyle, @nella22, @ParadiseSweets, @swanieson, @thatgirlmari, Love, Poetry, Rhyming