Tag: Pot

POT: Finders Weepers By Michael S. Jones

Word: POT
Word Count: 500
by Michael S Jones
A first-day intern discovered it. Newbies always think they find something “earth-shattering.”
I truly enjoyed watching her jouncing towards me with that “eurika” grin.
Anna was, as they say, well developed, so at that moment I decided to develop a dalliance.
If you praise a worthless “discovery” you’re halfway there. It’s a professorial perk that offsets mosquitoes.
But Anna gave a name to the Personage whose grave we exposed. She found a polychrome pot without a crack, though it shattered my life.
At the excavation she gently brushed dirt away from the pot’s rim. “I know that glyph,” she gushed. “It’s a jaguar profile! Balham in Mayan.”
“Excellent my Dear,” I said, glancing down her shirt. A bra in this heat? Silly girl.
Then I saw the prefix glyph. Ajaw. Lord. And I forgot her body.
“It’s the king,” I said “You found the king.”
Mere children make discoveries. Never archeologists. We get the credit but minions get the rush. It’s unfair. Since bones and beads were found mere yards away, I’d had hopes but no expectations. Three weeks of digging with toothbrushes and the Personage had a name. Lord Jaguar, founder of both city and dynasty, “discovered” by a girl with bosoms for brains.

“What’s the inscription say?” asked Anna. “Is there a curse?”
“No such thing. This ain’t Indiana Jones girl.”
“But all bones have curses,” she replied. We locked eyes and she smiled.
“Even Shakespeare’s grave has one: ‘Blest be the man who spares these stones and cursed be he who moves my bones.'” So I played along, the better to bed her.
“Roughly translated it reads, “Finders weepers.”
I mailed my wife the Mexican papers and married Anna before the book was printed. Not a life-support system for mammary glands after all, she edited my manuscript.
That’s when the curse kicked in. The non-curse. The curse I made up to attract a woman. My deliberate mal-translation: “Finders weepers.”
If a picture is worth a thousand words a single glyph can have a thousand meanings. The jaguar is the easiest glyph to read. It’s a jaguar for cripes sake. But saying that the rest are subject to interpretation is like saying that Niagara is damp. To quote one of my critics “Has this man never heard of peer review?”
I rushed to judgment and then into marriage and finally to publication.
I misinterpreted writing on the rim of a bowl so I misidentified its owner. No dynastic founder was he; rather an undistinguished descendant. And since I got that wrong my grasp of the entire site was wrong.
Thus the whole premise of my book was a besotted blunder. Infatuated foolishness.
It sold only the copies I purchased.
Anna has left me for a still famous archaeologist. My reputation is shot. Gone to pot.
I brought my career crashing down like a collapsed trench. I invented a curse that turned real. If I could rename my unsold book, it would be The Curse of the Jaguar King.

POT: Pots and Pots By Beverly Jones

Word count: 487

By Beverly Jones
Amelia opened the gate just enough for the car to slide through. She crawled back into the pickup, eased it past the post, and jumped out to fasten the gate. She didn’t want to chase the escaping pony Houdini again.
She could hear the music and laughter from inside the house. Someone was here again. She sighed. For how long this time she thought.
She walked in juggling the grocery bags. Her husband looked up.
“Peter is in town for a couple of weeks. I told him he could stay here.”
She mustered a smile for Peter. Most of the cousins didn’t have a lick of sense. At least Peter was charming and would actually carry on a conversation with her. But she glared at her husband. There were pork chops enough for the two of them and the kids. How was she to stretch that for another person, one with a hefty appetite?
Amelia pulled her husband aside and hissed at him. “Would you please ask me if it’s alright to have someone stay here? And call me at work so I know how many mouths to buy groceries for?”
He looked at her bewildered. “What is the problem? He’s my cousin; he’s family. You just don’t understand.”
That was a recurring accusation, “You just don’t understand.” Amelia sighed again. She certainly didn’t understand why being family excused rudeness.
The children burst into the house from the back yard, squealing with delight at seeing Peter. They fell into him, all three rolling on the floor, shouting with laughter.
The days passed peacefully enough. Peter fished with her son and applauded her daughter’s equine skills. Although Peter never seemed to have any visible means of support, he pitched in to help pay for household necessities. His girlfriend worked in an upscale hotel a couple of counties away. Maybe that was where the money came from.
Everything was fine for a while.
Amelia opened the gate just enough for the car to slide through. She crawled back into the pickup, eased it past the post, and jumped out to fasten the gate. She didn’t want to chase the escaping pony Houdini again.
The children raced up to the car.
“Momma, Momma, come see! Peter planted flowers in the pots by the front door.”
Huge pots stood on either side of the walkway. Amelia meant to plant bright flowers to contrast with the grey house siding, but somehow never found time. She skidded to a stop on the sidewalk, staring at the plants and shaking with anger. “Oh, yes, he did. Time to feed the animals now.”
They raced around the house as she stalked into the living room. Try as she might, she could hear her voice rising.
“Out! Out! I have children and do not think what you planted by my front door is funny. Out! And take your pot out of my pots as you leave!”

POT: The Comforting Pot By G. Ackman

Word: POT
Word Count 419

The Comforting Pot
by G. Ackman

Her first waking thought was one that brought a smile to her wrinkled face – “the kids are coming today.” She sprang out of bed as much as her 89 year old body would allow and started on the preparations. By mid-afternoon, the furniture gleamed from a fresh application of lemon oil and a just baked pie fragranced the house with cinnamon, nutmeg, and apples. Now to make dinner. Chicken and dumplings. Adam’s favorite. She couldn’t wait to see all the kids. Adam and his wife, of course. The three grandchildren – let’s see, the oldest, Cadin, must be nearly thirty now. And he had two babies of his own. Her great-grandchildren. She was so lucky to get to see them. They were only toddlers and wouldn’t remember her, but seeing those sweet faces and hearing their laughter would be such a gift. Most days are quiet and solitary. Today, the table would be full of laughter, talk, and food. She sighed contentedly.

Her gnarled hands reached for the heavy, well-used cast iron pot, so well-seasoned that she could see her reflection in its ebony surface. It had been her grandmother’s and then hers (her own mother had been neither a sentimentalist nor a make-it-from-scratch kind of person). She hoped that someone in the family would cherish it like she does. Doug had always said that the pot itself added a secret ingredient to every dish. And she knew what that secret was – it was a special blend of tradition, family, and love. Today’s dish would be no different. She set to work cutting up chicken and sautéing it in a savory blend of garlic and onion, blending flour, baking powder, sugar, and milk for her dumplings, and making a big pitcher of fresh iced tea. Finally, the table was set, the chicken and dumplings were simmering joyfully on the stove, and the apple pie waited with a welcoming smile. She sat down in the chair by the window so she could see them drive in, anticipation adding a sheen to her eyes.

Later, she rinsed her single bowl in the sink and took the rest of the chicken and dumplings out to the well-fed wildlife in the woods behind the house. She straightened the kitchen, covered the untouched apple pie with a dish towel, and turned out the light. As she got into bed, hope covered her with its blanket of warmth as she said to herself, “the kids are coming tomorrow. I should make a pot of vegetable soup.”

POT: The Speaking Pot By B.A. Sarvey

Word: POT
Word Count 500
The Speaking Pot
B.A. Sarvey
Across the valley dear ones, a girl once lived, who kept her voice in a pot.
As a child, Renata was a quiet, polite girl. Yet her mother, always quarrelsome and demanding, chastised her daily for speaking out of turn; too loudly. “One day, goblins will come and snatch that voice of yours.” The more her mother remonstrated, the more reticent Renata became. Except at night. While she slept, everything she would have said during the day came tumbling out. The sleep-talking became louder as the girl grew older—her resentments voiced loudest of all, infuriating her mother.
Renata was relegated to the farthest corner of the attic. But still her voice filled the darkness. “You better do something about that voice of yours or I shall invite the goblins here, myself, to snatch it from you,” her mother shouted after one sleepless night.
While it was true Renata rarely spoke to her mother anymore, she did not want to lose her voice completely, especially to goblins. So, most of that night, she sat weaving a little basket, a grass pot so finely woven, with a lid that fit so tightly, she could put her voice in it. When she finished, she coaxed the cat to mew into the opening and quickly slipped the lid on. A faint ‘mew’ emerged from the pot. The cat opened its mouth to respond, but emitted no sound. Renata hugged the bewildered cat; then, holding his head to the pot, removed the lid, whereupon the mew found its owner.
Renata retired early, eager to put her voice in the pot. Alone in her attic bower, she knelt beside her bed, breathed deeply, then forced her voice into the pot with a loud ‘chough’. “There. Call the goblins. If you dare,” she tried to say, but of course no voice came from her throat.
The household spent a silent night. “Renata! Wake up! You didn’t sleep-talk last night,” her mother called from downstairs.
Renata hastily brought the receptacle to her lips; drank in her voice. “I hope you slept well, Mother.”
Every night for months, Renata breathed her voice into her pot and every morning breathed it into herself again. Riddled with curiosity—how had her daughter become, so suddenly, so silent at night?—her mother, one evening, crept to Renata’s doorway, watched while Renata forced her voice into the pot. She waited until the girl slept, grabbed up the pot to examine it, and tripped! The pot thumped to the floor, the lid fell off. Awakened, Renata snatched at it, dismayed. Her voice flowed out like music, out into the night, leaving Renata speechless. In the years that followed, regret, and the silence her mother had once demanded, weighted them both like an urn of iron, eventually driving the mother mad.
If you listen carefully, when the wind is right, two voices call across the valley. One, Renata’s, waiting for her to breathe it in. The other, her mother’s, pleading for her daughter’s forgiveness.

POT: Homecoming By Joann Dickson

Word Count 447

By Joann Dickson
It was the trip of a lifetime. Michael had always promised Maria that they would take a trip to Italy, the land of her ancestors. But between demanding jobs, raising kids and paying college tuition, it had never been the right time. Now the kids were out of college and settled, and Mike and Maria had retired. As the time grew closer, Michael started getting cold feet. “How will we manage in a country where they don’t speak our language? And I don’t even like eggplant, mushrooms or zucchini. What will they have for me to eat?” But the plans had been made and off they flew, from Buffalo to Newark to Rome.
Instead of staying in a large city, they had chosen to stay in an “agritourismo” which was basically a family owned farmstead inn with a restaurant. The attraction was that all the foods served in the restaurant were sourced locally. That appealed to Maria more than big fancy restaurants. They had a rental car because they had also planned to visit some vineyards and ancient walled villages.
On the way to the inn, they passed fields of bright yellow sunflowers which nodded to Maria as if to say “You finally made it!” Tall, thin Italian cypresses swayed in the breeze. The inn looked to be at least five hundred years old, made of stone and surrounded by grapevines. Out in front, four young boys were playing bocce on the lawn.
“My grandfather had a bocce set just like that!”
The minute they walked into the tavern, they were greeted by heavenly aromas wafting from the large pots simmering on the stove. The bosomy lady of the casa greeted them with a big hug and a kiss on each cheek. They sat down and soaked in the atmosphere – the food, the people, all speaking and gesturing at once! Such a beautiful, musical language! Maria remembered sitting in her grandmother’s kitchen, listening to her mother, aunts and grandmother speaking Italian because they thought the children couldn’t understand what they were saying.
“Why did I never ask my mom or grandma to teach me to speak Italian?”
In the corner, a three-piece band was playing a cheerful song and a few couples were dancing on the small dance floor.
“I remember Grandpa playing a mandolin just like that one!”
Michael ordered a chicken dish and Maria ordered gnocchi with a sage and butter sauce. When the food arrived, Maria remembered watching her grandmother making gnocchi at the kitchen table. She had a knack for twisting the fork just right to make those little lines in each one.
As she took her first mouthful of food, Maria whispered “Home – I’m home.”

POT: Look for the Rainbow By Nan Ressue

Word: POT
Word Count
By Nan Ressue
My father doesn’t call a family meeting unless it’s serious.
“We’re broke,” he announced. “The house is broke, the car is broke, and it isn’t likely that our fairy godmother will show up. Think hard everybody. We need a money making scheme pronto. “
It was pretty quiet for a while, everybody scratching their head, thinking hard, thinking serious.
“Let’s see, I mused. “ Something new, something daring, something different.”…“Dad, I’ve got it! Didn’t the Irish told us about the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? Oh boy! -Our problems would be solved.”
I was embarrassed when they all laughed at me but I still thought it was a good idea.
”They’re a lying bunch son. Haven’t you heard about blarney?”, he said with a condescending smile.
“Well, it would be worth checking it out, wouldn’t it?”, I persisted.
“O.K., Bright Boy”, my big brother sneered.” Did you notice how many dark rainy days we’ve had lately? Rainbows are scarce man.”
“How do we get up there?”, asked my little sister, the logical one in the group.
ASTRAL PROJECTION”-That’s how we would do it,” contributed my mother, who was well read on the subject.”
“Don’t forget rainbows have two ends. How do you know which end is the right one?”argued my little brother.
“I’ve got it figured out,” I chimed in excitedly. “When we get up on the rainbow, we need to go to the middle and form two teams. They will go in opposite directions working toward the ends. When one team spots the pot, they would send up a signal .Everybody should wear sneakers as you can bet it will be pretty slippery.”
“I don’t think we have enough people for two teams”, said the father with a worried look. “ I think it would be wise to advertise for applications from people who would like to go along . They need to say why they need the money in order to get their share.”
Hardly a week went by before completed applications arrived in the mail. “Dad, you won’t believe who has answered”, I said excitedly. “Harry Potter wants to upgrade his Nimbus 2000, George Washington needs new dentures, Cinderella wants to poison her sisters, and Eleanor Roosevelt is looking for cash to divorce Franklin.”
Now we’ve got too many he said with a sigh. I think we better choose a representative to make the trip
I drew the short straw so it looked like I was going. The family stood in a circle with their eyes closed and wished me to the rainbow .I arrived light as a feather, somewhat east of the middle. Double knotting my Nikis, I set off at a good clip toward the shortest end, making strong progress until I tripped and got my ankle trapped between green and blue . Drat! Wouldn’t you know I’d have a problem after all this trouble. However, I found by stretching up as tall as I could, I could see the pot shining in the sun. But there was somebody standing in it.
“It must be a leprechaun,” I told myself in a whisper..
“Hello! Hello! I called out. “Who are you?”
“Hello yourself “, he answered. “ I’m Blarney and my job is to guard the pot. What are you doing up here?”
“I need the money”, I replied with a flush of honesty. “Everything we’ve got at home is broke”
“Well, you’re out of luck Sonny. The gold in this chest isn’t money. It full of HOPE, the one strong feeling that keeps us going when times are hard.”
“You mean it’s gold you can’t spend?
“That’s right but don’t worry. Your family still has some left.”
I slipped out of the color trap, stood on a wide strip of red and orange, and wished myself home, safe at the table with my family near.
“What happened? Come on, tell us what happened”, they clamored.
I had the answer ready.
“FAKE GOLD”, I announced. “The rainbow plan just isn’t going to work so there’s only one thing left we can do…. Get a job.”

POT: Potpourri By Peg Scarano

Word: Pot
Word Count: 412

Peg Scarano

There comes a time in a young woman’s life when she has to stop planting weed in her flowerpots for her pipe, pot brownies or pot cookies, and start thinking about planting her real roots in a permanent pot. Perhaps she will become a potter and make beautiful pottery. Hopefully, she’ll hit the jack pot and find her perfect partner and together they will sweeten their pot until it becomes as full as the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow…or at least that’s the dream.

During the first few years of wedded bliss, our little woman will busy herself with her cooking pots, crock-pots, watering pots, flowerpots, potholders, pot roasts, pot-pies and pot stickers! Hopefully, her partner will not get potted on a regular basis and provide her with a chicken in every pot.

Eventually, the happy couple will be blessed with little children. That’s when things tend to go to pot. When there is one child, life is pretty good (unless you are unfortunate enough to have a fuss pot). There is usually time to water the flowerpots and stir the other pots. However, the time to brew water in the teapot shortens and she may have to call upon the hot pot to speed things up because her little one needs help in the potty.

Once more children come along, it may seem like there are too many pots on the fire. Even though her partner manages to find time to win or lose the poker pot, there is little time to read Harry Potter to her children or to watch Mrs. Potts help Belle tame the Beast. Dinners become potluck. Her house becomes a melting pot for her children’s friends and neighbors who all seem to have potty mouths. She never has time to use the chamber pot in peace as someone is always taking pot shots at her and it seems her life has totally gone to pot.

Gone are the days she didn’t have a pot to piss in and enjoyed being a pothead, using her potting soil to get potted. Her partner claims she is not holding up her end of the pot. She feels that is like the pot calling the kettle black. Her jackpot has been replaced by a potbellied piss pot and it looks like life will end in the potter’s field.

Her pot of gold has become a big old pothole.

POT: Two Young Soldiers By Sally Madison

Word: POT
Words: 429
Two Young Soldiers
Sally Madison

The soldiers had fanned out to search the property and the barn. It appeared that only a few people lived in the household and all of them had been in the root cellar.

Peaking out of the root cellar, one little blond boy whispered, “Now’s our chance,” to another little boy of his same likeness, who was coming out from hiding in the tumbled pumpkins. Everyone’s attention was drawn to the bedroom window to see what the mammy was yelling about. He instructed, “Crouch down, but run as fast as you can to the barn. They already checked there. Run like the devil is chasing you, because today, he really is.”

Once in the barn, the two young soldiers headed for their secret hiding place. “We’re soldiers now. We need to find Pa.” From a big old suitcase, they pulled out two old blankets, two sacks, two bandanas, two knives, two canteens, two fish hooks with string, two tin plates and spoons, two sling shots, one pair of broken binoculars, one compass, one dry container of matches, one small cooking pot and two pounds of beans. Quickly they packed their sacks, but spilt the matches and a few beans in their haste. “Don’t loose those matches, we’re gonna need them,” one boy said. “Too bad we left our map in the house. Now, you be the scout, and I’ll be the messenger,” says one.

“No, I want to be the messenger,” says the other.

“Ok, we’ll both be scouts and we’ll both be messengers. Ready? Let’s go, but quiet now, we don’t want the enemy to see us. Crouch low, and follow me.”

Following the gun fire at the root cellar, the corporal had carried the woman, who had been shot in the crossfire, to her bedroom and then returned to the yard. Taking inventory of the soldiers and the household occupants, he questioned, “Are the grounds secure?” Confirmation was received. “Where are the youngsters? There should be at least two youngsters also. Check the barn again.”

“I swear Corporal, that board was not out like that when I checked before,” said the private.

The corporal discovered the young boys’ secret fort. Scratched in the wood on the wall was a map of the property, marking the house, barn, chicken coop, stream and root cellar. On the floor, he found a match and a few beans. In the corner, was the old empty suitcase, that to a child, it could be a military foot locker. Yes, they had been here alright. Their father taught them well, thought the corporal.

POT: Potluck Lick (The Tale of Willow Skye Cont’d) By Sharon Collins

Word Count 498
Potluck Lick
(The Tale of Willow Skye Cont’d)
By Sharon Collins

In Cook’s Kitchen we are night-shadows, necessary, but not loved. We answer, when it suits us, to our colors. The Kitchen-Cook calls us Black-Cat. We are triplets and because she’s not all that imaginative, we all answer to Black. We are the current Castle Mousers and as noted, needed but not loved. Dogs get all the accolades. I’m sure you’ve heard the nonsense: Loyal Companion, Man’s Best Friend, such drivel…Some dog-lovers claim their dogs look just like them. That bit may be true; Dungeon-Master’s Wolf Hound sure does look like him!
This is, however, not the dog’s tale. It is ours. Survival in the shadows is not easy. There are those who say Curiosity Killed the Cat, but I’m here to tell you it was it wasn’t Curiosity, but the lack of a lick of cream that killed my brother Black.
The Kitchen-Cook sets the servant-girl Cecily to churning butter every morning while mice are still about. Being a mite timid, the mice fright her more than most. Therefore, she welcomes a whiskered shadow into the dairy with her. We wrangle the rodents; she rewards us with a spill of cream. So every sunrise we leave our hidey-holes near the hearth to help Cecily. Cook likes to set the seasoned cast-iron kettles, pots, and pans in the corner by the kitchen-hearth to warm overnight. On frigid, winter evenings, curling up in a warm nest robed in the aroma of goose fat, is fine thing indeed. Only the the promised lick of frothy cream could entice us to emerge.
The morning when it wasn’t Curiosity that Killed the Cat, it wasn’t Cecily who arrived to churn the butter either; rather it was her mean-spirited, cat-hating, sister Maeve. Knowing there would be no cream, we decided to sleep in. My kettle was perfectly toasty; sister Black’s pot was equally enchanting. My brother Black’s pan, however was set on a slant, allowing the lid to slip down on him as he slept. Little did we know as we dreamt of milk pudding and minced-mice pie, that Tragedy stalked us.
Cook bustled about the kitchen slicing bacon, and singing some silly song about a Gypsy Rover named Widrick winning the heart of some Lady named Willow-Skye. She sang that same silly song every single day. Didn’t I tell you she had little imagination? Anyhow, she grabbed up Bother Black’s pan, lid and all, and plunked it down on the firedogs to heat. Well you can imagine the howling that emanated as my bother leaped out of the pan right into the fire. I can go no further with the horror that followed. Needless to say, Cook screamed out, “Black!!! Black!!! Black!!!” as she chased his fiery-self round and round. When she finally recovered his hairless-hide, she noticed me and my sister, peeking out of our pot and kettle. Bursting into laughter, she exclaimed that we had new names. We are now known as Pot and Kettle and we’ve both been called Black.