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Cole Matthews

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Cole Matthews last won the day on August 30 2016

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About Cole Matthews

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    Biking, travel, gardening, cooking, and of course eating. Has two adorable cats who make surprise appearances occasionally.

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  1. I can't imagine who may have inspired this prompt. I really think you're quite the joker Valkyrie and you have the heart of a knight!
  2. Check out my last vacation prompt posting called "Guilty" in Shuffle Off to Buffalo and Valkyrie's post "Temple of Doom" in Promptings from Valhalla.  

    Thanks to you all.  

  3. Prompt 7 – Guilty Calvin pulled his mail out of the box and abstractedly sifted through it. There were the usual bills, gas, credit card, and a Neiman Marcus catalog. There were also a couple of advertisement packages; a penny saver and a Ruth McNally Buck Buster. The last piece of mail grabbed his interest. It was for a new yoga studio down the street. He’d been thinking about joining a gym of some kind, but it was always a bit too daunting. Calvin was never the athletic sort. He was last picked except for dodgeball. For some reason, he had been amazing at that sport as a kid. Even though he was a bit roly-poly and not too coordinated, when the ball came whizzing at him, he could skirt out of the way at the last second. He’d even won a couple of times. But not at any other sport. He was terrible at basketball, accidently kicking the ball or bouncing it into the arms of the other team. Calvin couldn’t hit a flying softball or baseball to save his life. Football was an exercise in futility. His feet tangled up and he’d plummet to the ground, the oval pigskin squirting from his fingers. No team sports had never been his thing, but perhaps something like yoga would work for him. Yoga could be done in a class with other people or alone. Yoga didn’t require catching or throwing a ball or hitting it or running with it or, well, any real fast display of physical prowess. Yoga was slow, deliberate, and though he wasn’t exactly limber, perhaps it would make him more so. Besides, and this he hardly entertained the thought, it would be a great way to meet people. He was a bit lonely in this new city and hadn’t met people outside work. They were okay, but not exactly the chummy sort. He noted the yoga class was held at a storefront near a local lake where he liked to walk. The cost wasn’t too high and the requirements minimal. Calvin made a short list in his phone. Soon he was off and purchasing a mat, compression shorts, some yoga pants, a loose-neck shirt, and a stretchy cord that the helpful clerk suggested would be useful. Calvin was hopeful, determined, but beneath it all, scared to death. *** “Okay, let’s move from easy pose to the tree pose. Really open yourself up and feel the sky’s energy flow into and through you,” the tall, willowy woman announced. Her bearing and attitude were inspiring, and Calvin was getting more excited. Shandra looked like a yoga instructor should, he thought. She suggested starting off with some basic stretches, which he found easy enough to accomplish, so when the did the easy pose or Shuka-something, he just sat cross-legged on his mat feeling rather pleased with himself. The tree pose didn’t look too hard, so he raised his arms and lifted his leg placing it on a block of wood. Calvin felt a bit off kilter, but nothing too uncomfortable. “Breathe into the pose, and capture your inner strength,” Shandra called out, her eyes danced from student to student, looking pleased until her head paused at Calvin. “Breathe deeply and relax.” Calvin did so, smiling. “Okay, now do the cobra pose,” she called out, going down on her stomach. As the man followed, he could feel his body become looser, more limber. After stretching upwards and ‘toward the heavens’, as Shandra suggested, then moved back to easy pose and breathed in deeply. This was going quite well, Calvin thought. “Okay, now let’s move into child’s pose and get ready to open up your inner self,” Shandra was so graceful. Her shoulders rounded and forehead pointed downward. Calvin relaxed into the position. “Now,” she called out, moving in a series of fluid, quick motions, “Assume the Downward Dog position, and stretch those leg and back muscles. Open up to the universe and let the stress flow out.” Calvin arched his back, scrambling his feet for purchase, lifted upwards, and as his rear end jutted into the air, he heard a frightening sound. A terrifying rip. He felt a rush of cool air on his butt as his new yoga pants tore across the seam and split wide open. In a frantic attempt to save face, Calvin began to lower his hips, by which he lost control. His guts constricted from his growing embarrassment and from his ass; he broke wind. No, he farted, a huge fart, noisy like a trumpet. It rang throughout the quiet classroom. Every eye in the place looked over at him. Shandra was looking at him in horror, at first, and then in pity. Mortified, Calvin collapsed on the mat. He grabbed his bag, his stretch thingy, his mat, and he scurried from the room into the antechamber of the storefront. He paused to catch his breath, and Calvin began stuffing his things in the tote, about to head for his car. “It happens to us all,” a voice said behind him. It was a tall, smiling, dark-haired man, a man-bun tied to the crown of his head. He was wearing yoga clothes and they clung in all the right places. “We’ve all experienced the relief of a good, loud, bout of flatulence.” His eyes were twinkling and he had a wry grin, but for some reason, Calvin didn’t think it was mocking. Instead, the man seemed amused by the world, and not him in particular. “You should have heard me the first time I did a squat with weights,” the man continued. “I ripped one so loud I thought the windows rattled.” Calvin snorted, and covered his mouth. He could just picture this handsome, swarthy man beginning to squat and honking like a Canadian goose. Calvin started to laugh. “That’s better,” the man said. “I’m Mahmoud,” he said, offering his hand. “Were you in the class right now?” Calvin asked, still snickering. “I was watching. I haven’t tried yoga yet, and wanted to see what it was all about.” The man’s perfectly white teeth shone in the low-lighted entryway. “I work out next door at Jeremy’s Gym.” “You’d probably have no problems with yoga,” Calvin said, suddenly feeling the cool breeze on his split pants and his embarrassment returned. “I’m not very coordinated,” Mahmoud said. “I jog and lift weights by myself, but I’m no athlete.” “Me neither,” Calvin admitted. “I noticed,” Mahmoud nodded, but his smile seemed genuine. “Well, I’m going home and forgetting about this experience. You could take my place if you want. I’m not going back in there,” Calvin said, pointing to the classroom. “Naw, I don’t think it’s for me.” Mahmoud was suddenly very shy and withdrawn. His eyes wouldn’t meet Calvin’s and he kicked at some imaginary dust. He brightened and then asked, “Maybe we could get a juice or coffee?” “What?” Calvin said. “My pants are split. I have to go home.” “Your shirt covers it. Come on, join me at the snack bar,” Mahoud begged, pointing at the small kiosk with tables grouped around it. “Nobody will notice your torn pants.” “Um,” Calvin said, looking at the sheepish Mahmoud. “I guess a cup of tea would be nice.” The man brightened. “Awesome.” He touched Calvin’s shoulder and nodded towards the coffee bar. “I knew you’d be a good sport.” “Knew I’d what?” “Nothing,” Mahmoud said, shaking his head. “Forget I said that.” Calvin began walking behind the other man, but then stopped and said, “Were you watching me?” The swarthy man turned and blushed. “Guilty.”
  4. I agree. Parker's is very complete and different from ours. Having you participate in this was a thrill. We have had a great time and your take is always so interesting and well-rounded. I tend to exercise specific mental-muscle groups, while you create a more complete picture. Great job and thanks again for playing!
  5. Thanks so much because that's exactly what I wanted to convey. I appreciate your support and generous comments.
  6. Yeah, Rutledge may or may not be exiting. However, what was Bill to him at one time? I'm fascinated by the idea of succession in the workplace and in civic work. There is a progression to this process. What is our role and where does it fall? Thanks for the encouragement and the delightful comment!
  7. Here's a question, was the older man in the same place as Bill at one time? Is Bill destined to become Rutledge and will Adam become Bill? There are Adams to come and Bills will need to help them find there way. Thanks for the insights!
  8. It is spooky, but that is the way of history, memories, consciousness. It tends to slide toward entropy without constant care and preservation. Thanks Parker!
  9. Hahaha!!!! I love it! That sounds like an interesting concept to explore. Perhaps and index should be made! Thanks Geron!
  10. There is degradation of electronic files just like there is with pen and paper. We are seeing older electronic records losing cohesion after twenty or thirty years.
  11. I think something the witch wants back like an appendage of hers. I heard the same music play as I wrote it. It sounded like Wagner and very scary! Thanks for the comment! I appreciate it.
  12. Yes, let's hope he makes it because I don't think the horde is one of pussycats or lapping puppies. I think the witch means to do him some serious harm. Thanks for the comment and for supporting this exercise.
  13. Please check out our most recent prompts from the Writer's Toolbox.  Mine is "Needles Highway" in Shuffle off to Buffalo and Valkryie's is "Family Ties" in Promptings from Valhalla.  We appreciate all your support!  Enjoy!

  14. Prompt - 6 – Needles Highway My mother was doing that thing she did. That thing with the rag in the sink. It’s then I knew there would be trouble. I just didn’t know how bad . . .yet. “Are you bringing someone to the wedding?” she asked as nonchalant as can be. My mother was already devising a scheme to introduce me to someone. I could read it on her pinched forehead. She did the 'forehead thing' when she did the New York Times crossword puzzle on Sundays. She did it when my father was planning a trip and she wanted to twist the destination and point of a vacation to her preferences. It was the wrinkled forehead she got when organizing a possible romantic meeting for one of her six kids. I knew it well, and until now had only been a witness to her setups. My three sisters had all met their soul mates through her, but it wasn’t always the first meetup she’d chosen, so I’d seen plenty of train wrecks in the process. She’d introduced my brother to his now-ex-wife, and that had started off well. After four years, three kids, and a very expensive divorce, her track records wasn’t as good as it had first appeared. I’d been lucky. As the third of the six kids and the gay one, I’d managed to escape her attempts to couple me with a friend of a distant relative or a relative of a casual friend. I thanked my lucky stars that the whole ‘gay’ thing threw her off her game. Also, I’d had a string of young gentlemen callers since college. That gave me the ‘plus one’ to keep her machinations out of my life. I answered as honestly as I could, under the circumstances. “I think I’m bringing my friend Wade.” My mother’s forehead lines didn’t soften, but instead seemed to furrow even more deeply and I realized she’d smelled a rat. That rat being the deception I thought I’d casually and stealthily crafted. “Your work friend?” she said, her hands still scrubbing the porcelain sink a brilliant white. “The one with a boyfriend in every port?” I couldn’t let a pause giver her time to dissect my storyline. “Wade has given up on polygamous relationships. He wants to make a go of a committed relationship.” At first I thought I may have slipped the narrative past her, until she started to laugh. “You, as an experiment in monogamy? Give me a break,” she finished wiping the sink, slapped the rag on the edge of the counter and turned. She crossed her arms triumphantly and continued. “So, your friend the bumblebee flitting from flower to flower collecting nectar has suddenly decided to settled down with a fox looking for his one true love.” Her laugh was long, hard, and dug deep into my core. Okay, so I was a romantic at heart. I believed in love. I believed in the life-long commitment that eludes so many of us. And yes, Wade was a horndog at heart. He’d never be happy with a single guy. I’d never be happy with the worry and distrust of a Wade, and unfortunately for me, my mother knew it. Knew me. “Wade as your date,” she giggled, as she sloughed off her apron and hung it on a peg by the side door to the back yard. “You’re a funny guy.” “I don’t want—” I began and got cut off immediately. “I found something the other day in your grandpa’s old Lincoln. It reminded me of our trip to the Black Hills and Mount Rushmore. Do you remember that vacation?” “I’m not sure,” I said quickly, too quickly. My mother’s eyes twinkled. “I remember it like it was just a month ago. Your dad and I took you and your sisters out to South Dakota and we stayed at that lovely inn near Custer, the place with the old railroad and the stores.” “I vaguely remember driving in the Black Hills and fearing for my life as grandpa took those hairpin turns on the Needles Highway too quickly.” “See, I knew you’d remember it,” she said expansively. “I was cleaning out the back seat in your grandpa’s old car because we found a buyer for it. It’s time we got it out of the garage.” Her pause was deliberate, and I pondered where my mother was going with this. My maternal grandfather had died the year before. My mother’s disposal of his things had become a long, drawn out process. Only the right people could purchase or take his old, worn things. The car was his last possession that was about to be dispersed. What did that mean to me and her plans? “There is a very nice young man who wants to fix it up and sell it. I wasn’t sure at first he was the right person to care for your grandfather’s beloved car, but the look in his eyes was magical. I couldn’t resist when I saw him looking under the hood and at that interior.” “And?” I asked. “What does this have to do with Jenny’s wedding? (And me, I thought). That was the beginning of this conversation, was it not?” “Of course, it is,” she said waving her hand dismissively. “So, I was cleaning out the back of grandpa’s car and I found this,” she stopped, opened up a drawer, and pulled out something. “It reminded me of that trip, what, about ten years ago.” “What is it?” I asked, my curiosity, the bane of my existence, getting the better of me. “It’s this,” she spread her hands and before me was a Black Hills rose gold bracelet with a series of tiny diamond chips embedded around a single buffalo head. I almost fell back in shock. My head was flooded with memories. My stomach tightened as I recalled that summer, that trip, those eyes. “It’s an old souvenir from that trip,” I said, my mouth dry as the Sonoran Desert where I now lived. “That was a fun week.” I wanted to stanch the flood of memories that cascaded over me. I felt drenched, suddenly, as my skin became more sensitive, my fingers trembled, and my leg bounced. All the non-verbal cues one could display; I was now experiencing. (What was this woman up to?) All this in front of my mother, a woman who lived to read the non-verbal cues of others. Let me explain. I was the psychologist in the family. I had a master’s in clinical psychology and a doctorate specializing in chronic anxiety disorders. I had hundreds of hours of therapy time and had done dozens of papers on behavior, especially involuntary responses masking behavior. I was at the top of my field in Arizona, and throughout the western United States, and mentored accomplished psychologists and psychiatrists in their practices with special techniques. She was the person I learned the skills from ultimately. I knew she was reading me like a Harlequin romance in the magazine section of the CVS pharmacy. Something I should never had allowed to happen. I was busted. “That was a good trip,” my mother continued. She leaned around and called into the other room, “Do you remember that trip to the Black Hills, Derek?” I turned and looked at my father, placidly sitting in his chair. He looked up, smiled and said, “I do remember that trip. Didn’t Travis make a friend?” I watched in horror as my father stood up, stretched, and turned. “What about it?” He never interrupts his routines to discuss my mother’s schemes. But this time he was stopping his usual pattern and was about to join us. However, my father is a creature of habit and I watched as he did the thing he does with the newspaper before joining us. His smile was innocent, but his eyes were gleeful. (What were they planning?)
  15. We had a science-y set of prompts for today.  Check out my "The Time-Warped Mirror" in Shuffle off to Buffalo and Valkyrie's "Climate Change" in Promptings from Valhalla.  They are eerily the same with quite different endings.  

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