The Party


Prompt: Photo-20190121153108443
Photo credit: H.R.R. Gorman

He woke up to a head-shattering explosion. No, that was just his head. He dragged himself to the bathroom and emptied both his stomach and his bladder. That must’ve been some party. Too bad he couldn’t remember it.

On his way back to his room, he looked over at Dalia’s makeshift bedroom. She’d set up a cot between some furniture and threw a sheet over the whole thing. For privacy, she said. He didn’t mind; she had found her own place and was moving out soon anyway. He could see her tiny foot sticking out of what seemed to now be a toilet paper infested tent.

Crap, she didn’t drink last night, did she? She said she’d been dry for months now. He went over to the tent and yanked on her foot. She didn’t move. Oh crap! Dalia! Please tell me you didn’t drink!

I didn’t drink! I just came home from night shift! Okay, sorry. He felt giddy with relief.

© 2019 – All rights reserved Loretta Notto @ Mermaid Fingers



Photo credit: Loretta Notto

Darly holds her hand up to the sun and watches her new diamond spew out its brilliance.

“It’s beautiful,” she says. She turns to Robbie and throws her arms around him. “I’m so happy!”

Robbie laughs. “Me too.” He holds Darly’s hand and notices the ring twirling loosely around her finger. “We’d better get it sized properly.”

Darly pulls her hand away. “Not yet. Let me enjoy it for a bit.”

Robbie walks Darly towards her car. They pass a trailer stacked with logs.

“What’s with the firewood?” Darly asks.

“We had to cut down some diseased pine trees. My uncle is taking the logs for his fireplace. I’m running them over to him right now.”

Darly passes her hand over the logs. “Too bad you lost those trees. At least they’ll keep your uncle warm this winter.”

They walk on to Darly’s car. Darly doesn’t notice that there is no longer any brilliance spewing from her hand.

© 2017 – All rights reserved Loretta Notto @ Mermaid Fingers

Name That Writer’s Block!

“There is no such thing as writer’s block.”

Writers hear that a lot. We’re told that we’re not blocked, that if we really try, it’ll come to us. Perhaps not for the novel we’ve been trying to write, or the short story contests we’ve been hoping to enter and possibly win. But if we try, surely we’ll come up with something to write about.

So, what would be a good subject for a writer who supposedly doesn’t have writer’s block to write about? I got it! I’ll write about writer’s block!

Why not? People write about aliens and ghosts and gods and reincarnation, all questionable and scientifically unproven. “There’s no such thing as aliens or ghosts or gods or reincarnation.” I hear that all the time. I think it’s rather smug to say there is no such thing as a thing that is unproven. Like writer’s block for instance.

Okay, so let’s assume there is no such thing. Since I haven’t been able to write about anything for months (this piece doesn’t count) then let’s find out why. Maybe there’s another name for this common phenomenon.

Let’s try “brain fart”. Google tells me a brain fart is a temporary mental lapse or failure to reason correctly. I get that a lot, but I don’t think it would affect my inspiration to write.

How about “senior moment” then? Google has a similar definition to “brain fart”, but refers to aging. I get a lot of that too.

I give up. I have no other name for “writer’s block”. So, let’s google “writer’s block”.

Aha! There is a definition for it: the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing.

It does exist! That being said, I feel a lot better about the fact that, except for a few short writing challenges, I haven’t been able to put pen to paper (or rather fingers to keyboard) in a long time. Now I can relax and let those brain farts, senior moments and writer’s blocks come and go. And then I can… ah… Oh great, I just got a brain fart.

© 2017 – All rights reserved Loretta Notto @ Mermaid Fingers

Resting Peacefully

Prompt:daisy may_zps83edszmv
Photo credit: Mike Vore

The old man walked through the field at the back of his farm until he reached Daisy May, who was resting peacefully behind some bramble. He put down the carved pumpkin he was carrying and reached for the flag, still crisp from when he had placed it on the truck during the 4th of July.

“It’s Halloween, Daisy May,” he said. “I brought you a present.” He picked up the pumpkin and placed it on the rusty old truck’s hood. He shivered. “It’s getting chilly, Daisy May. Pretty soon it’ll be Christmas. I’ll be sure to bring you some holly. You’ve always liked holly.”

He looked inside the truck and smiled at his beautiful wife Daisy May, who was resting peacefully on the bench seat of the truck with the same name. The truck she had sat in years ago when she had suffered a fatal heart attack.

He reached in and caressed the hair that was eerily still attached to the skull. “See you later, Daisy May.”

© 2017 – All rights reserved Loretta Notto @ Mermaid Fingers

Lucky Coin

Photo credit: Singledust

Mei Ling held back tears as she walked away from Jason’s place. He had just broken up with her. She was holding the lucky two-dollar coin he had given her on their first Chinese New Year together. She tried to remember what year it was.

“Year of the Ass, most likely,” she muttered as she threw the coin into the planter sitting outside a restaurant. She walked on, not noticing the old woman hovering in the doorway.

Two weeks later, Mei Ling was passing by the same restaurant when the old woman stepped outside. It was Chow, an old friend of her mother’s.

“Mei Ling,” she said. “You threw away coin. I took coin, buy lottery ticket.” She handed Mei Ling the ticket. “You won many millions.”

Mei Ling was stunned. “But it’s yours, Chow. You bought it!”

“Huh, Chow old lady, no children. What me do with it? Your mother my good friend. Money for you.” She smiled. “You no need that man you call Ass.”

© 2017 – All rights reserved Loretta Notto @ Mermaid Fingers

Squirrel’s Nest

Prompt:squirrel nest_zpsqydm6avd
Photo credit: Shivangi Singh

The squirrel sat helplessly on the balcony, watching the men take away her tree. Panic shot through her and she began running back and forth on the balcony, screaming and chirping.

Down below, the crew was about to begin cutting up the fallen pine tree when they heard the relentless cries. They looked up and noticed the squirrel running back and forth.

“I think it’s stuck up there,” Alex said.

Dean examined the tree. “There’s a nest in here, with a couple of babies!”

“That’s strange,” said Alex. “They usually nest in hardwood trees, and there are no pinecones in this one to attract them.”

“Regardless, we’ve got to get that squirrel down and back to her babies.”

The crewmen gathered around the fallen tree and together managed to hoist it close to the balcony, allowing the squirrel to jump back into her nest.

“What now?” asked Alex. The others shrugged.

© 2017 – All rights reserved Loretta Notto @ Mermaid Fingers

Meant to Be


Prompt: bridge_zpsu6htxr41
Photo credit: Joy Pixley

Megan and Allie stood atop the old stone bridge, both clad in bathing suits.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve dived off this bridge,” said Allie.

“That’s why I called you when I heard you were back in town,” said Megan.

“I thought you’d still be angry with me. You know, with me hooking up with Josh.” Allie blushed.

“Old news.” Megan shrugged. “If he really cared about me, he wouldn’t have run off with my best friend.”

Allie smiled. “You’re so understanding. I really believe Josh and I were meant to be.”

“Right, meant to be. Shall we, then?”

Allie dove off the bridge in a perfect swan dive. Megan watched her break the water. Moments later, she could see blood rising to the surface, with no trace of Allie.

She smiled. “Oops, I forgot to mention; while you’ve been gone, the water level has been receding quickly. It’s no longer safe for diving.” She walked off the bridge. “Guess it was meant to be.”

© 2016 – All rights reserved Loretta Notto @ Mermaid Fingers

Ouch Ouch Baby

The other day I was watching a celebrity dance contest on television when the famed rapper Vanilla Ice came on. He danced the Cha Cha to his hit song Ice Ice Baby. Listening to that song brought back memories.

It was 25 years ago, and I was a youngish mom with two preschool kids. I had the full energy of a youngish mom and could dance up a storm. Hip hop was a piece of cake. The term “hip hop” basically means “try hopping to this hip song”. What I didn’t realize was that as I got older, the meaning changed a bit. Now it means “try hopping to this hip song and you’ll end up hopping right over to hip surgery”.

Sure I’m a little bit older and a whole lot stiffer these days. But then, so is Vanilla Ice. Well, he’s older anyway. Stiffer, not so much. But still, if he could do it, I could do it. So I googled Ice Ice Baby and played the video. And I started to dance. I started with a little swaying, followed by a little foot movement. Soon I was doing a full out hip hop.

But not for long.

Oh, I didn’t put my hip out. It didn’t reach up that far. It only went as far as my knee. On the plus side, I was still hopping, only this time in pain. I hopped over to the couch and rested my knee. I was no fool; I knew when to quit. Of course, I probably should’ve never started.

I watched the video come to an end. A much younger Vanilla Ice was singing has last lines, “Ice Ice Baby to go…” Oh yeah, it went, all right.

Just then my husband came into the room. “What happened?” he asked.

“I think I hopped the wrong way,” I vaguely explained. I looked down at my knee. It didn’t look as bad as it felt. “Think I should put something on it?”

My husband answered, “You could try a little ice ice, Baby.”

© 2016 – All rights reserved Loretta Notto @ Mermaid Fingers

Credit: Vanilla Ice

The Wizard’s Library

Photo credit: TJ Paris

The three friends entered the old school library. The girl sat down at the long table while the two boys perused the book shelves.

“I love this room,” said the boy with the glasses. “It reminds me of a wizard’s library.”

His friend laughed. “Everything reminds you of wizards.”

The boy with the glasses scanned the shelves. “Too bad there aren’t enough books on wizardry.”

“Maybe you can write a book about wizards,” his friend said.

The boy with the glasses looked at the shelves. He envisioned a set of books with his name on it. “Not one book, but seven,” he said. “And I won’t be writing them.”

“Some poor soul will do it then.”

“But she will be poor no longer!”

“Fabulous!” His friend nodded towards the girl. “Will we all be in them?”

The boy with the glasses rubbed the lightning bolt shaped scar on his forehead. “Of course!”

His friend looked back at the girl. His blush blended with his red hair. “So tell me; who will get the girl?”

© 2016 – All rights reserved Loretta Notto @ Mermaid Fingers


Photo credit: Yinglan

He slams on the brakes of his U-Haul as the traffic comes to a complete stop. Dang Toronto traffic, anyway. He can’t wait to get to his buddy’s place, apparently way the hell on the other side of this crazy town. He’s tempted to turn around and go back to Connecticut. But he promised to help his buddy move, so here he is.

As he crawls along the slow lane, he notices cars passing by with people waving white hankies out the windows. A few honk their horns at him and yell comments such as “Awesome dinosaur, dude!” and “Go Raptors!” Hmmm…isn’t that a basketball team? Right, the Toronto Raptors, and they’re playing in the finals beginning today. Well, that explains the traffic.

A car full of young women blow kisses towards him as they drive by. He thinks about that silly dinosaur advertisement on the side of his U-Haul and decides perhaps it isn’t so silly after all.

© 2016 – All rights reserved Loretta Notto @ Mermaid Fingers