“What in tarnation are you up to?” This question came up frequently when I was a child. For some reason, Mom felt the need to question my actions and scrutinize the purity of my motives. Ideas were sent hurtling across the vast expanse of my young mind at the speed of a sloth wading through molasses. So many in fact, that I had to plug my ears to keep them from spilling out onto my shoulders—especially when Mom used that dreaded word, “tarnation.”
Flash forward fifty years. ~ My wife reprised Mom’s line of questioning to ask, “What in tarnation are you writing about now?”
The repetition of this word brings me to the conclusion that there must be nation called Tar (located somewhere between my ears) responsible for the generation of brilliant ideas. Thoughts passing through this country more than once are subject to a process called reintarnation—a form of cerebral enlightenment.
If you are new to Friday Flash Fiction, the Queen of Cerebral Enlightenment is the fascinating Lady Victoria Wisoff-Fields. Read an interview with her at Anne Orchard’s site. To learn how to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the FFF “Hollywood Squares” author seating chart click here.
As a kid, Billy spent a lot of time hanging out in the cemetery performing maintenance. Originally hired to keep down grass and control weeds, he found removing artificial flowers to be the most fulfilling part of the job.
Most of the time, Billy could be found lounging in the shade of a tombstone erected to the “Loving Memory” of Alfonso Spade.
Despite his billing, Spade, a reputed curmudgeon, was neither loved nor remembered. Visitors referred to him as an “old goat.”
Sensing a lack of family respect, Billy took it upon himself to water and fertilize the grave daily.