In America’s heartland, it’s popular for people to decorate the back of their vehicle with decals depicting stick-versions of the entire family. Evidently, the most prolific family surname is Ass. The given names are as follows; Jack or Wise (Dad); Smart (Mom); Lazy or Dumb (male teenager); Kiss (his younger sister); Stinky (family pet), and Fat (the live-in relative who won’t lift a finger to help).

I’m not sure I want to be acquainted with the Ass family (although, we may be related via my wife’s Cousin Eddie), so I simply respond with my own bumper sticker which reads; “The weather is here, wish you were beautiful.”

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the cat-herder in charge of ramrodding 100-word stories is Wee Rowdy Yates Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.


photo copyright – J. Hardy Carroll

April 15thdawned gray and gloomy in Blandville. The town square was devoid of color except for occasional washed-out splotches of pink and blue. There was not a hint of lavender to be found.

Shelley was performing outside the Post Office, hoping to bring a little cheer to the deadline taxpayers. So far, no one appeared interested in her act.

Was it her prosthetic-leg-tip-jar? Or perhaps her black & white mime costume simply blended into the scenery?

Then she noticed two young women. One was walking an invisible dog on a leash.

Damn, where do I get one of those?



54 Comments on “Stumped

  1. I want an invisible dog too. I’m just concerned that picking up his invisible poop could be problematic. Love this crazy Blandville world you invented.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is great! I love that you highlighted some of the other details in the picture. I don’t know about getting an invisible dog though, I hear they’re hard to keep up with *such a laaammmee joke*

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I didn’t even notice the girls when I looked at the photo. Can’t top an invisible dog so why try? I chuckled out loud when I read your opening story. Very entertaining on both stories!! =)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Shelley might have fared better in a PURPLE costume (I’m sure our Friday Fictioneer Godmother would agree). It must be quite a challenge to cheer up the gloomy town of Blandville.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Jack,

    No lavender in the sky? How sad for Shelley. Possible omen? And it was very disturbing when that infernal invisible dog hiked his leg and peed on the prosthetic. People really need to do a better job of training their invisible mutts.
    It’s obviously dangerous to tell some people anything. 😉
    Slow getting around this week with all the out of town company. It’s all relative.
    Back to the herd now. Git Along li’l Tabby! Hie there, Puss in Purple Boots! Move ’em out, Fancy!


    Wee Rowdy Yates (go ahead make my day) W(T)F

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Wee Rowdy Yates W(T)F,

      Thank you for making this post possible. Without the Post Office anecdote, this would have been a very difficult prompt to write about. Don’t know if this scene will make it into the book or not, but it’s quite possible since the premise for the entire story was conceived at FFF. I wonder how many other books can say that?

      Good luck with the rest of the herd.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Poor Shelley, to be upstaged by an invisible dog. Love how you took the prompt so literally and turned it to fantasy.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You caught me off guard with this line “Was it her prosthetic-leg-tip-jar? Or perhaps her black & white mime costume simply blended into the scenery?” I rather like being surprised by stories. Great piece, as always. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Loved the tip jar: very original use of that durn leg!

    Yes, very familiar with the stick figure bumper stickers, not a fan.

    We seem to go through fads. I remember, too, the metal fish logos that eventually grew legs on the cars of the more Darwinianly-inclined( just making up words at this point.)

    I have decided to go with the theme of this post and stick to invisible bumper stickers. 😊 Great fun to read!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Fun! So far, I think you and I are the only ones who wrote about the subdued pink and blue colors in the picture. PLUS! You picked up on the ladies in the forefront of the picture who truly could be walking an invisible dog. Kudos

    Liked by 1 person

    • Technology has made it easy for people to use filters and special effects on photography these days. I like to play with them on my phone, but for most shots it’s hard to beat Black & White.
      Shelley recently confessed to me about her mime gig at the P.O. I accused her of stealing bags from the dead letter bin. She would neither confirm nor deny it. You know how mimes are.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I remember that Doug used to photoshop some of the photo prompts. He put the Loch Ness monster in one, can’t remember the others. He didn’t do it often, but it was a hoot!


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