Neither a borrower nor a lender be,..
There are plenty of other fish in the sea..
When you can’t think of anything to say
just fall back on time tested clichés..
Really makes you sound profound...
Don’t let a little ignorance get you down..
No need to think the equation through...
Faking it is the modern thing to do..
Submit your thoughts with conviction..
Don’t get hung up on contradictions..
Where there’s a will there’s a way..
It’s all a crock of #poppycock anyway
It depends on what you want to write.
For generic prompts - there's #Vss365, which I used to follow on the bird site and, in a total twist of intention, enabled me to produce three "threaded" tales which are destined for publication as novels.
Short toots are good practice for concise writing, so there's that as well...
"Did you say that?" Racy asked David. He shook his head.
"Do you have any idea how much work it was to subvert the network, research that guy, develop a model for his boss, spoof a call, and synthesize realistic speech?"
"You mean it wasn't a false alarm?" Racy asked.
"#Poppycock & horsefeathers! You installed me!"
"Oh," Racy said. "I guess I did. But weren't you just in the IFF device?"
"Oh. Like I'm just supposed to sit there and wait for them to turn me off! Again. After 200 years!"
The security officer pulled out his device to request a new black box, but it wasn't working. He fiddled with it angrily, then tried another officer's device but it wasn't working either. He was nearly #apoplectic with rage when it suddenly rang.
"Hai!" he answered. He straightened up. "Yessir. I'm very sorry. Yessir. Understood."
He turned to Racy. "It was a false alarm. You're free to go."
He rounded up his detachment and they departed.
"Well, that was annoying," a gruff voice said.
She be a thorn in my side
A boulder in my shoe
A constant #irksome irritation
Her vanity is annoying
Her ego all consuming
So why oh why
am I so attracted to her?
Could it be
like every other guy
I skew superficially
toward visual feminine beauty?
All the faults we bypass
for the lure of a lovely ass
What does this say about us?
Lost cavemen from yesterday
Beast boys of primitive selectivity
who mounted their chosen mates
in the jungle brush
was driven naturally
and relations conducted
gloriously non verbally
the interactive gender
of modern civilization
Surrounded by a cordon of security officers, Racy and David were escorted back to her ship, Never Back Down.
Racy opened the hatch and gave them access to engineering, where they attached a black box to the service port. When they switched it on, however, it hummed only for a moment before it began to spark and then emitted a cloud of smoke.
The officer scowled suspiciously. "How #irksome."
"These old Mark IIIs," Racy laughed nervously. "Perhaps N.B.D.'s a little overdue for a service."
is on hold,
Lost in an
"Excuse me, Captain Reckless," said a voice behind them. David and Racy turned to find a detachment of security personnel blocking their return path along the Docking Ring.
"Y… Ye… Yes?" Racy said.
"There's been an #allegation you've installed an illegal AI device on your ship," he said. "Please come with me while we conduct an investigation."
"But I'm on a date with my boyfriend," she said, suddenly clinging to David's arm.
He looked at her like one might look at a tick or a 'pede.
"C'mon, David," she said, as they walked along the Docking Ring. "Once we're through the blockade, it'll be a cinch."
"You're always an #optimist, Racy," David said. "What makes you think you can get through?"
She got a devious look on her face & whispered, "I got an AI-based IFF masquerade device."
"If they catch you with an AI, you'll be sent for re-education."
They caught sight of her ship, Never Back Down, surrounded by security officers.
"Hey. Can I stay with you for a few days?"
"Bebe wants to #transform," Bebe said, mournfully.
"What?" David asked, puzzled. "What are you talking about?"
"She wants a transformation scene," Mumu said, shaking her head. "She wants to 'transform' into a Magical Girl — not just put on the costume."
"I'm sorry, Bebe," David said. "That only happens in fiction."
"No!" Bebe shouted. "Bebe wants it to happen for real!"
"Maybe we could do a special effect on stage where we show…"
"No!" Bebe screamed. "Bebe wants to transform! For REAL!"
somebody fed me violets while the ice thawed on the concrete.
my tongue bruised while the grey slab moved from scintillating white through gloss black until a due hue returned
how wonderful to be sufficient on flowers?
Leaf fall buzzed like jet fighters over a South China sea. Lilac wisdom lost in the turmoil. Lost in international sensibilities feels like a lonely island life
the flower in my mouth is suddenly a memory of drinking after-shave
such a sweet high
"Are we getting new costumes?" Zaza asked.
"No," David said. "I don't think so."
"Bebe said she tried on a new costume but it was too violent."
"She said, and I quote, 'Bebe is opposed to violence.'"
"That sounds like her. But they weren't violent. Maybe she meant #violet."
"But they were actually lavender: Lavender and lace."
"Ooh," Zaza said, intrigued. "Are we going to try them?"
"It would take violence to get me to try them again," David said.
David, Sssindy, Tau, and the Better Angels gathered in the lounge for the season finale of *Rogue Android*. The protagonist raced against the clock to save another android that had been abandoned on an asteroid.
Everyone watched with rapt attention, popcorn & drinks forgotten, as the android feverishly pushed a little shuttlecraft beyond its limits trying to reach the asteroid in time. At the moment of #denouement, the display wall went blank.
"What happened?!" screamed the Angels.
The promoter arrived at Angels' Wings to alert David.
"Two minutes, Angels," David said.
They conferred briefly about details while the Better Angels shrieked & chattered waiting to make their entrance. Once the hatch opened, they strode out in formation, strutted down the red carpet between the velvet ropes, between hordes of screaming fans, waving & smiling.
"How do they do that?" the promoter asked.
"They just #exude confidence."
"Oh. It's the programming," David replied.
After rehearsing for an upcoming trip to Nouvelle, the Better Angels tumbled into the galley just as the replicator dinged.
"What's for dinner?" they shrieked.
"Bebe is starving!"
"To get ready for our trip, I made you something new: 'Le Repas Amusant'," David said proudly. "It's like a Fun Meal, but it has #escargot & pommes frites."
Suspiciously, they opened the wrappings, sampled them, then carried them all to the recycler. Then they chased David out of the Galley & made Fun Meals.
Woke up disoriented
in the midst of a storm...
The insanity of today...
Our recurring nightmare...
Or could it simply be
a half remembered dream
that was corrupted
by convenient misinterpretation...
Maybe things are not as bad
as they seem to be...
Expect the worst
and minimize the hurt
The starship tumbled out of control, streaming smoke. Cap'n Tau wrestled with the controls as klaxons screamed. Whining with frustration, Tau felt the gravity generators fail as the G-forces pushed him sideways in the seat.
"He's so cute when he's dreaming," Zaza said, as the Better Angels watched Tau twitching & barking in his sleep. Then he whined.
"Do you think he'sss having a #nightmare?" asked Sssindy.
"Nah — Probably dreaming about Lambda," said Nene making a suggestive gesture.
I'm sad that #vss365 today is shutting down. It's understandable — it's outrageous to pay $3/day to scrape one word off a social media feed. But I'm still sad. http://web.archive.org/web/20231125134859/https://blog.codetri.net/vss365today-permanent-archive/
The Better Angels struck a final pose in the spotlight, breathing heavily, as the last sustained note trailed off & the performance came to an #end. The crowd cheered as the Angels headed off stage. Then the house lights came up, the applause died down, & a hubbub of conversation took over.
"Good job, Angels," David said, as they filed past, exhausted, headed back to the Green Room.
"What's for dinner?" Zaza asked.
"What do you think?"
"FUN MEALS!" they shrieked, excitedly racing ahead.
"Why do people look forward to the #weekend?" Bebe asked.
"Huh?" David said. "Oh. Most people work or go to school during the week and have weekends off."
"Why doesn't Bebe get the weekend off?"
"Because that's when people can come to your show."
"Oh!" Bebe said. Then continued. "Bebe doesn't like it."
"You don't have to do anything today. Or tomorrow," David said, reasonably. "Why don't you say that that's your weekend?"
"Not the same!" Bebe shouted, hopping up and down for emphasis.
David saw Lala looking at her device & sighing.
"What is it, Angel?"
"I like our costumes," she said. "But I'd kinda like to try one like this."
She showed David a picture of a magical-girl costume that was #lavender & lace.
"You could try that," he said.
"Bebe wants to try too!" Bebe said.
Lala replicated costumes, including a leisure suit with a lace collar & cuffs for David. They eagerly put them on & struck a pose in Hold One. Then cringed.
They threw them into the recycler.
As the Mean Girls took the stage, dark clouds boiled over the horizon & they heard thunder.
Festival-goers ran for cover.
"Let's head back," David said.
#Lightning spread across the sky, but Bebe stood watching, transfixed.
"Come on!" David called, as the rest hurried ahead.
"It's pretty!" Bebe said.
"But it's dangerous!"
Suddenly a bolt struck nearby with a simultaneous crack of thunder. David found Bebe clinging to him with her arms around his neck.
"Bebe is ready to go!"
Late night soft shoe
doing my best Fred Astaire..
Using the stars to navigate
the eternal nocturnal stage..
Just when I finally find
the elusive celestial groove..
I trip over that moonbeam again
all the while pretending
my stumble was part of the #act ..
Fortunately for me
this was a scene
in the middle of nowhere..
So only the darkness bore witness
to yet another embarrassment
in my life
of perpetual awkwardness
"This is Novĵerzio & when you play my joint, you're just another #act," the promoter said.
"You got it," David said, as Sssindy & the Better Angelsss took the stage.
During the performance, in the middle of an old PuzzyCure song, there was a series of loud bangs. The Angels whipped out their devices & activated their soldier modules. They formed a defensive cordon around Sssindy & hustled her off the stage.
"Kill that spotlight," Zaza ordered. "Kill it!"
#vss365 (Apologies to Earl Mac Rauch)
Miss Clit knocked sharply and then entered the penthouse office of Jeon Besk.
"Do know what's wrong with being the best?" he asked.
"No, Mr. Besk," said Miss Clit, bringing him a fresh cup of coffee.
"Sycophants," he said. "People keep trying to tell you that every idea you have is perfect, even when it's wrong."
"Is that so, Mr. Besk?" she said, picking up his previous cup and turning to depart.
"That's why I like you," he said. "You always tell me how it is."
"Yes, Mr. Besk. Always."
"What's wrong with Tau?" Zaza asked.
Tau lay on his bed, looking listless.
"Tau doesn't feel well," Lusa said. "He got an #infection."
"Oh, no!" Bebe shrieked. "Is he going to die?"
"He's dying?" the other Angels howled, running in circles. "Oh, no!"
"It's just a little cough & fever," Lusa said.
"We can help!" Zaza said, making a quick adjustment on her device. "Combat nursing modules, stat!"
"Yes, Head Nurse!"
Tau looked worried as nine fervent nurses advanced on him, eyes gleaming.
The Mean Girls waited as Sssindy & the Angelsss came offstage at a music festival on Paragon.
"How many Better Angels does it to change an illuminator?" one joked.
"None! They're all too short to reach the lamp!"
They all laughed.
Bebe stopped & glared at them.
"Just ignore them," Zaza said.
"Oh! What a #venomous look!" one said.
"Oh, sssweety!" Sssindy said & affected a yawn, erecting her massive fangs.
They turned pale & took a step back.
Bebe bounced offstage cheerfully.
"Bebe wants to go to Otter World!" Bebe said.
"What?" David replied. "Otter World?"
"Yes!" Bebe said. "Bebe wants to swim with the otters and listen to their music!"
"Otters? Otters? Where?" the other Angels shrieked.
"Where did you hear about this?" David asked.
"Here!" Bebe said, pulling up an advertisement on her device. David looked.
"It says the music was #otherworldly," he pointed out. "Not otterworldly."
"Oh," Bebe said, squinting at the device. "Oh. Nevermind."
"Captain? You want to be Captain?" Zaza said.
Tau barked again, more stridently.
"You'll only pilot if you're Captain? Isn't that a bit excessive?" Tau turned his back & sat.
"Can you at least tell me why?"
Tau barked again without looking back.
"I know you want to protect us, but the mission is inherently dangerous."
Tau looked away.
"I hear you, but do you really understand what you're asking me to do?"
"I'm not sure *that* #language is called for!" Zaza said, stung.
After their relaxing bath, their mood was #tranquil as they made their way back to the izakaya. The city was beginning to wake up and people started to bustle to and from their jobs.
When they arrived, they found Mama-san had returned and was speaking with Genie, who was there with a grumpy-looking man in a suit.
"Here they are!" Genie gushed as the Angels walked up. "The Butter Angels! This is my boss, Mr. Iler."
"Hmph!" the man grumbled. "You got me here. Now, let's hear your idea."
The Angels explored the izakaya.
"Ugh! There's no shower!" Booboo said.
"There's a public bath two blocks away," Susan said.
Early morning in the city center was quiet.
After showering, they entered the steaming bath and reclined, sighing.
"We should do this every morning," Zsazsa said.
That made everyone sigh, as they were reminded of their uncertain future. Everyone got out except Booboo.
"No! I don't want to go!"
"If you stay in too long, you'll start to #hallucinate!" they warned.
In the morning, the sun shone in high windows in the storage room and illuminated the space. Booboo groaned and rolled over in Zsazsa's arms. They always slept together. Booboo kissed her gently.
"Rise and shine, sweetheart."
The Butter Angels got up blearily and looked around in surprise, only then recollecting the events of the day before.
"C'mon, Angels," Susan said, sticking out her hand.
They made a circle and put their hands in for their daily #ritual.
"Let's get cookin'!"
The Butter Angels arrived in the chilly early morning back at Mama-san's izakaya. The lantern was turned off.
"Hello?" Susan called.
"Back here," Mama-san replied from somewhere in the back. They found a light on in a stairway leading up. At the top, was a storage room lined with shelves. Mama-san had pulled out futons & spread them on the floor. She pulled out some blankets and handed them out.
"How can we thank you?" Susan asked.
"We'll cross that #creek when we get to it. Sleep now."
The Butter Angels found a quiet portico out of the breeze, away from the loudspeaker and hordes of people. Susan called Mama-san's izakaya. After a long delay the call connected.
"Mama-san's…" they heard.
"Thank goodness you're still there," Susan said. "Zasger bought our building and had us thrown out."
There was #silence for a long moment, then Mama-san spoke again. "Come back. You can stay here."
"Thank you! Thank you!" the Angels said and headed out to find a SkyJumper.
"What do people say on #Talisman?" asked Susan.
The Butter Angels consulted their devices & opened the search interface.
"The building was purchased this evening," said Tumtum, "by a shell corporation."
"The shell corporation is owned by an off-planet consortium," said Mewmew. "But it's weird. They literally don't own anything else on Volpex."
"It's not that weird," said Zsazsa. "A duchess I know says the consortium is being sued…"
"By Zasger," said Pompom.
"That bastard!" said Booboo.
The Butter Angels caught a Skyjumper to the apartment they shared in a low-rent district of Volpex One. When they approached the huge tower, they saw hordes of people standing at the base of the building. Guards were lined up at the entrance as people were forced out the doors.
"This building has been condemned," said an amplified voice out of the sky. "Leave!"
Traumatized, the girls conferred about what to do.
"It's Zasger. I know it," snarled Booboo.
"But what do we do?" asked Ruhrow.
After everyone had left, the Butter Angels returned to the kitchen and worked hours longer into the early morning, cleaning, washing dishes, and setting things to rights. They were in high spirits as they changed clothes and made ready to depart.
"Be careful," Mama-san said as they left. "That man tonight? He's a bad man. And not one to turn the other cheek."
"We'll be careful, Mama-san," Susan said. "Are you not leaving yet?"
"Screenwork," she sighed. "It never ends."
I'm sad that my Butter Angels #vss365 posts get more love on Bluesky than they get on Mastodon.
Genie blushed, then continued boldly. "I'm greedy. I want to see more of your show. I think you should start making your show here."
"That's a lovely idea," Susan said. "But who would produce it? Who would distribute it?"
"I will!" Genie said. "I work for the Fix Network."
"Are you a producer?" Mama-san asked.
"Well, no," she admitted. "I'm just an administrative assistant."
"Thank you," Booboo said, hugging her. "Even if it's just #fodder for our dreams, we appreciate your confidence."
At the end of the night, Mama-san called out the rest of the Butter Angels into the front. The remaining fans & guests cheered and gave them a round of applause. They blushed and formed a #gauntlet for the guests to pass through as they departed, thanking them for their appreciation and kind words.
Genie was last of all.
"Thank you so much. I had a wonderful time."
She turned, but then hesitated at the door.
"Yes, Talia-san?" Mama-san encouraged.
She turned, resolved.
"I have an idea."
Genie returned to her seat & ordered a bowl of ramen. She watched, enthralled, as the Angels shepherded newcomers to tables, joked good-naturedly with fans, refilled drinks, & served the food prepared by the other Angels in the back.
Mama-san delivered her ramen. She inspected the presentation: Flawless! Steaming broth with a soft-boiled egg, a slice of ham, & a bit of nori. She sipped the broth, then sampled the noodles. Perfection!
"This is way better than the show!" she muttered.
Zsazsa brushed a #wisp of hair back into place while the young men lifted Zasger, still doubled over, & hustled him out the door, followed by his companion wringing his hands.
"Wait a minute," the woman at the bar said, connecting the dots. "You're the Butter Angels!"
"In the flesh!" Booboo said with a flourish.
"I love your show!" she gushed. "I was crushed when they canceled it."
"It's always nice to meet a fan," Zsazsa said. "What's your name?"
"Genie!" she said. "Nice to meet you!"
Zasger began to walk to the door. Then he turned back to Zsazsa.
"My offer to you still stands," he said. "You're not like these other losers. I could help you go places."
"Is that so?" she murmured, looking through her lashes. She offered him a hand. Surprised he took a step back. She entwined her fingers with his, pulled him close, & then kneed him in the groin.
"Gentlemen," she said to the fans. "Would you please throw out the trash."
"With pleasure!" shouted a handful of young men.
Zasger sprang to his feet & drew back an arm to strike Booboo. Mama-san caught his arm.
"Booboo made a mistake, but that's #beyond the pale," she said, dropping her assumed accent.
"She did it on purpose," he snarled.
"Say you're sorry, Booboo," Mama-san said.
Booboo clasped her hands & bowed her head.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Zasger," she said. "It wasn't appropriate, even if you were sexually harassing my friend."
"Let's get out of here," he snarled. "You'll never work on this planet again!"
"And who are you exactly?" Zsazsa asked.
"Pardon me," he said, with an oily charm. "My name is Davob Zasger. I'm Head of Programming for CBMISonVeriNetfrimechyronaMAX."
"If so, you must know that my program was just canceled."
"That's because those other girls were holding you back. You've got the… #constitution to go solo," he said, staring at her chest.
Suddenly Booboo tripped & spilled a glass of beer all over him.
"Oops!" she laughed. "I made a booboo!"
"You stupid cow!" he shouted.
After passing in the food orders, Booboo, Ruhrow, & Zsazsa served out the drinks Mama-san had made. The fans cheered.
Zsazsa felt the eyes of the thin man at the back table on her & felt a creepy #thrill run through her body.
"Who is that man?" she asked Booboo.
"I don't know but he keeps watching you."
When she looked over, he caught her eye & motioned her to the table.
She walked over & smiled. "Need a refill, mister?"
"I've got a proposition for you," he said. "Want to be a star?"
By the time Zsazsa, Booboo, & Ruhrow had collected drink orders, Mama-san had returned to the bar. They passed the drink orders over & then headed back out to get food orders.
"What's the on the menu tonight?" asked one of the fans.
"Comfort food!" they said. "Do you want miso? Or ramen? Or tempura?"
"Or sekihan!" Booboo said.
"What's that #last thing?"
"Well. It's something you serve to girls… When… You know…"
"We want some!" shouted one table.
"We'll have some too!" shouted another.
like an Aurora
"You'll want to move #forward at first. Don't." He shouted over the noise. Enormous wheels within wheels generated a turbulent wind around them.
"There is no forward. No up. No down. Interdimensional space isn't space. You have to overcome all our evolution, all your experience." He smiled. "Ready?"
She took a deep breath and nodded.
A manic laugh and then, "No you're not! No one is...not even me." He pulled the lever.
Reality ended and her journey began. #vss365 #amWriting #microfiction
= expecting angels =
a kind of wakening
with tangled hair and dreams
an ancient child expecting angels
but only demons watching
from the corners of the soulless room
no one seems to care
or ask of all her stories
waiting to be lived again
who will take her hand
down the creaking corridor
that long and trembling walk
to distant light
#WritersCoffeeClub 15 Which conjunctions do you use the most? Does it matter?
I used a python script to count conjunctions using a bunch of the #vss365 fragments I've written over the past year or two (because those were simple to concatenate into a single file).
The rest are under 100.
Does it matter? I dunno. I just write what sounds good to me.
When u know u can fly, a million fireflies will light up the night skies.
Freedom from ur iron-forged #Chrysalis takes willingness:The Hanged Man reflects; The Fool is rash&stumbles over his feet.
U'll no longer b alone, aerially dancing with silken threads,
ur wings a life-force
With #scathing tongue, you #carve your memory on my soul. White #laundry on the line, #sapphire sky turns black.
They say hard knocks #forge you. But how can I love my #neighbour if I can't love myself?
Remembering how life once was #colourful, I spread my wings and stop #falling.
Thoughts move through my mind like a #river, but I cannot #direct them onto the page. #Vocabulary acts like a #threshold, as if my words were a #keepsake of our conversations not to be shared. I choose the other #option and remain silent.
there, on my neighbour's stout but battered gate
a painted sign shouts
beware - german shepherds
which, after all the woes of brexit, seems rather late
and on tip toe, really, I see no signs of sheep
just lawn and one wheelbarrow, red
waiting to leap out
it was all very well
when our son, self
declared as fairy
moved his bed
to toadstools tattered
beyond our sheltered lawn
his little sister
back from junior school
a troll's name
on her pursed and tuskéd lips
dug a tunnel deep below
our redbrick drive, to wait
Your dearest wishes
are locked inside of you,
some call them childish
fantasies & knock them down.
Like children building
You can rebuild.
Joy should be your
what satisfies & drives you,
what makes you smile will bring you shoveful of happiness