STRANGErs

3L0A0723 winterfest jan 2020 FF writing prompt sm
Picture – Courtesy of K. S. Brooks

“NO, this isn’t my Halloween costume…this is what I always look like…what is your excuse?”

“I think you’re cute.”

“You must be blind.”

“Mostly during the daytime. I haven’t seen you here before, where’s home?”

“About two miles into the woods. Do you want to see my home?”

“How about we do that sometime next week?”

“My calendar is pretty full next week. Aren’t you afraid of me?”

“No. Like I said, I think you are cute.”

“Thanks, I guess. I’m not used to anyone talking to me. You must have the same problem, do you?”

“That’s not very nice. However, I can see many of them looking at me, but I can’t understand what their problem is.”

“Do those wings actually work?”

“Sure…have you ever shaved?”

“I don’t know what that is. I like it when it gets cold outside. I can come into town pretty much unnoticed, as everyone is bundled up. In the warmer months you would think they were searching for me.”

“They are! People have been searching for your kind for years.”

“My kind?’

“Look around…do you look like these other people?’

“No. In fact they all look alike, and some look like they are trying to look like me. You don’t look like them either. You have some big fangs, do you bite?”

“Only on special occasions.”

“Is this one of those?”

“It could be.”

“Maybe I can clear some of my calendar next week.” He noticed her toothy smile.

NEXT in line.”

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Hidden Smiles

jb basham Bull Island SC flash fiction writing prompt copyright KS Brooks
Photograph courtesy of K. S. Brooks

We were pulled from the throng of people waiting for their test results. We’re not supposed to know each other.

She belongs to someone else, and so do I. We’ve met secretly for weeks trying to decide how to leave our mates. The tentative plans we came up with ranged from just do it, to more elaborate measures. Now, fate has intervened, or maybe our prayers have been answered…we have been told to leave.

We both have COVID-19, but we have no symptoms.
Fourteen days of quarantine away from everyone else. It was hard for us not to look at each other and smile. I could feel my heart pounding, just like every other time we’ve met secretly. It was hard for me to hear what they were telling our small group to do, as all I could think about was Eve.

The pine grove we had found previously would be our home for at least two weeks. The memory of sunlight filtering through the pines and the sweet scent of pine needles felt like a push on my back to run to the grove. The extra push came from the call to my wife. She said she would enjoy her new found peace.

We had stashed some goodies in the pines, but we needed to make a stop at the store first. With toilet paper and other necessities, we had the balance of needed supplies.

Hidden smiles and six feet apart, makes it look good. Not for long.

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Links to Books and Videos on Amazon (US)

Link to books/videos on Amazon

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Segment #6 My Compass of Values

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Segment #5 – Great Job and recap

Great Job!
What an inspiration when you hear those words. They inspire you to continue on that path. You have been recognized for doing something wonderful. What if you haven’t heard those words from your boss, or a teammate? What if you hear them given to someone else? What did that person do to be recognized and rewarded?
If you are the person hearing those words, you should write me to let me know what your formula is to being a high performer. Please read these few posts to hear what I am suggesting for people to do to be a more valuable performer, recognized and rewarded.
Many people over the course of their careers spend years on education, training, obtaining experience, and developing skills to help them establish themselves and to be rewarded with a fine job. The goal of these posts is to give anyone, regardless of the years spent on the above, what you can do to be a more valuable performer.
Why do I believe you can do this? That’s a great question. I haven’t proven it yet, but with your help I will be able to show how many people have succeeded. I want your feedback, after you read these posts, and have defined your success model (Values sheet), written it down, and followed it religiously. Right now, I only have what it did for me. That one-page sheet changed my life, by reinforcing what was important to me, and how I approached work.
I think you start with a values word, when you add your belief to that word, it makes it your principle.
Let’s start with companies. Most, if not all, companies have constructed a company mission statement. They believe that their employees, as well as customers, need to know what they stand for. Many spend considerable funds, along with effort to define their principle values. I believe it is important for everyone working to define their own Values or Principles statement.
Looking back at my own working situation, I didn’t have one. However, I always worked in a certain manner. I knew what work manner made me happy, and I also knew what work manners of others bothered me. It wasn’t until the high-tech Fortune 500 company I was working for at the time, decided to go on a Quality mission. To make a long-story short, I had a discussion with my boss about quality starting at the worker level. It was great that the company was focusing on quality, all companies should do that, but people make quality happen. A company can create a banner, but the employees need to deliver quality results. He smiled at me, and that response upset me enough to take some action.
What I did in the next few hours to define what I believed in, became the compass they guided my future direction and performance. That path was a success path for the rest of my career. I defined my Values Sheet, which I called My Compass of Values. No longer was it only in my head, but I had something on paper that would consistently lead me down the path of more valuable performance. That sheet opened doors for me, reinforced my attitude, behavior and direction, and allowed others to challenge me if I did not live up to those written principles.
If this worked for me, I honestly believe it will work for you. I believe this so strongly, that I have committed myself to define this for you. I don’t need this, but I believe that it can change many peoples’ careers and make them more valuable performers. This simple read and only a few hours of effort, can make a difference. Please trust me, I am helping you get where you want to go.

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HOPE

battle ready flash fiction writing prompt copyright KS Brooks
Picture – Courtesy of K.S. Brooks

Title – HOPE
When Maddy witnessed the stable hands putting my face shield on, it was the first time I saw her getting excited.

We had been in opposite stalls for what seems like months. When I would stare at her, she would look elsewhere. Maybe she realizes all I do lately is to look at her.

Now, I think she knows I am going into combat and might not return.

With my rider standing beside me, I can see her straining to look our way. We must look like a fearsome duo.

I know she is paying attention to me, as I lift my head up and down…she responds the same way. Why wasn’t she this responsive before?

My rider is an experienced soldier, seeing how we both have prepared for combat. My hope is that we will be victorious.

I have a new reason to live, but if I don’t return…I hope she realizes how much I longed to be with her. Another couple of head nods, and some ear wiggles…yes, yes, she responded.

Let’s get this show on the road.

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Segment #4 History

History

In the 90’s, I was working for Wang Laboratories in Massachusetts. The company was placing an increased focus on quality, and ultimately, customer satisfaction.

I had a discussion with my boss that quality should start with the individual, focused on his/her own efforts to deliver the highest-quality results. His head spun around a couple of times and I thought it best to take it as a signal that I was off in left field.

However, it provided the emphasis that eventually changed my career.
I went away and thought about what I was really trying to communicate. It didn’t take me long to identify the aspects of individual focus that would provide quality results. It was surprising actually that this one-page list came so quickly.

The next day, I showed the list to my boss, and this time, his head only spun around once. He still didn’t get it…but I certainly did. For the first time in my life, I realized what was driving me. These were the things I believed in and operated by. From that day on, I put “My Compass of Values” in a protective sleeve and used it constantly.

I have used the list in the interview process to get hired by three companies. I have also used the list when seeking other internal opportunities including promotions. I have shared the list with my different staff and asked if they ever witness me not operating in line with it, to call me on it.

More importantly, I have followed that compass to many personal successes. For example, when others thought I was wasting my time going for special company recognition, my values kept me focused –
 Go after VICTORIES that are worth winning.
 Believe; “ANYTHING CAN BE DONE,” it just has a price tag!

When I worked for Microage, QIS in Tempe Arizona, we won the Arizona Association of Industries’ Manufacturer of the Year award. And when they said I was wasting my time competing for it a second year, we won it back to back! Then, when I wanted to see if Industry Week Magazine would consider our company one of the twenty-five best manufacturing companies, we indeed succeeded.
Winning these awards wasn’t a matter of changing what our company was, it was a matter of putting in the effort to complete the required paperwork in a manner that facilitated a clear understanding of our company performance.
 Point the right DIRECTION and strive for positive RESULTS
 ANTICIPATE and PLAN accordingly.
 Communicate with “PICTURES” to facilitate understanding.

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