23 Ways

“I looked at Google Maps,” the police officer said. “There are 23 ways for you to get from your apartment to your workplace. I suggest you learn to use them all in a random rotation.”

“How will that protect me from that madman?” I asked. “He still knows where my apartment is. And I’ve moved twice and changed my phone number 6 times!” I don’t know why I bother with the police, they can’t do anything to help me. They are useless. Maybe after the fact, after I’m dead, they can make my parents feel better by arresting . . .

Please leave a comment with your first 50 words on the topic “23 ways.”


Author: Virginia DeBolt

Writer and teacher who writes blogs about web education, writing practice, and pop culture.

5 thoughts on “23 Ways”

  1. “You don’t need any 23 ways to lose weight,” my mother announced, “I’ve told you a million times to STOP EATING goddamn it.”
    I half expected her to strike me. I was twelve years old and my confirmation dress didn’t zip…the tailor couldn’t let it out any further, which meant I had to do SOMETHING to reduce my weight, and my mother had been telling me since the dawn of time to reduce my weight.
    “DOn’t anybody feed her,” she announced when we got home from the dress fitting, “her dress is too tight and don’t zi[.” My maternal grandfather looked up from his newspaper, reading glasses perched on his nose, and gave me a look.
    He folded the newspaper up, took off the reading glasses, and said, “You need to get more skinny,” as he made a grab for my rear end unseen by my mother. I wasn’t going to TELL ANYONE, but as long as the old buzzard was alive, I wouldn’t be getting any “more skinny”.

  2. How do I love thee? In 23 ways.

    It doesn’t sound like much when I enumerate each appreciation; that final sum is telling. There was a time when counting the myriad facets of my affection for you would have filled a whole series of books, but 23 is what I have left.

  3. The kitchen was quiet, despite both their presence. Unusual.
    “There are 23 ways to cook rice.”
    She swallowed that, and immediately countered.
    “Why not 24? It is an even number, 23 is prime and inauspicious.”
    “Aargh girl! Do you really have to challenge everything I say ? Okay, so there are million, trillion , gazillion ways of cooking rice .” She exploded into theatrics, threw her arms wide, and promptly knocked a saucepan off the stove . The saucepan fell to the freshly mopped floor with a bang and clang, spraying dry rice in all directions.
    Sheena ran to rescue, with a broom and dustpan,”That’s right. Always rise to the bait.” She thought, clucking at the sheer wastage.
    The lady droned on”There is Spanish paella, Italian risotto, Japanese sushi……”
    Sheena sighed and crossed her arms. Then she impatiently interrupted,
    “Can we START making biryani now.”

  4. …the man that’s plagued my existence these past 4 years. Every shadow, every dark corner of my mind, waits for him to find me. He always does. It’s only a matter of time.

    I feel my sanity slowly slip from my reach as the urge to see him grows stronger.

  5. There are a lot of ways to do a lot of things. For instance, there are 23 ways to: make money, stay healthy, make your dog happy, make your partner happy, make love, leave your lover (although Paul Simon differs with me on that one), prepare vegetables, destroy an opponent, organize your desk, and the list goes on ad infinitum. The myriad ways available to go about doing something is great for avoiding boredom. Variety is truly the spice of life.

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