Banana Bon Bombs

Here’s a fun and frozen end-of-summer tropical bomb-building recipe. The only tricky ingredient is coconut butter, but once you’ve located that, building the bombs is easy!

BANANA BON BOMBS

Bananas

Coconut Butter

100% Cocoa Powder

Nuts, chopped

Dried Fruit, chopped

Agave Syrup

You’ll also need a small bowl, fork, butter knife, cutting board, wax paper, and a freezer.

Line the cutting board with wax paper. Peel some bananas, (compost the peels) and on the lined board, slice each into 16 discs. (Cut the bananas in half, then cut each half in half again, etc.) Sprinkle some of the nut and fruit pieces onto the tops of half of the slices, leaving the other slices bare. Add a couple drops of agave syrup to the tops of the nut-fruit slices (the stickiness will help hold the bombs together). Gently press each bare slice onto a nut-fruit slice (use caution, as the bombs will be live at this point).

Put the bomb-topped board in the freezer for at least 1 hour (freezing helps them to not explode prematurely). In the meantime, fill the small bowl with coconut butter, and fork-mix in enough cocoa powder to make it brown. You’re not going for dark brown here- medium brown is good.

Retrieve the bomb-topped board and coat each bomb with the cocoafied coconut butter. (This will be messy. Scoop and gently press the coating onto all sides, and work quickly, as the bananas will get mushy as they melt.) Put the bombs back on the board as you go. The coating should react with the coldness and form a hard candy shell. If this happens, the bombs are activated, and ready to pop into your mouth. If they’re still a bit sticky, or if you’re not ready to detonate them, just put them back in the freezer.

Note: These bombs, when left out, eventually do melt from the inside out. So store leftovers in the freezer.

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Happy end of summer!

Guano Crazy- a True Documentation of Life on the Moon

Public domain

A full Moon will kill rationality and reason.

Two full Moons in a single month will turn Earthlings into lunatics.

But even loonier is when we have a too-full Moon. That’s when the guano hits the windmill.

The following is a copy of an article by noted nineteenth century historians Paula and Franz Gruithuisen, archived at the Minneapolis Public Library and Information Center, and originally included as an insert in the book Atlantis: The Antediluvian World (1882), by Ignatius L. Donnelly:

O            O

Dear Congressman Donnelly,

As per your request, please consider our research into the connection between the lost continent of Atlantis, the lost inhabitants of the Moon, and the Great Moon Histo Plague. We have selected highlights of our findings for the sake of brevity. The full, unedited documentation of our findings will be available at next year’s Antediluvian Roundtable.

As we presented at last year’s Antediluvian Roundtable, Atlantis, in her prime, was powered by massive windmills. These windmills were sufficiently advanced to provide power in excess of the wants and needs of every Atlantian. As the Atlantians were thrifty, they stored the excess energy in giant batteries. As they were also scientifically minded, and had a keen interest in outer space explorations, they constructed a massive rocket-cannon, with a payload of about 22,000 gravitational units of acceleration, and an advanced two-radio communications device. This rocket-cannon was used to shoot Atlantian space-nauts to the Moon.

Recovered Atlantian census records list the space-nauts’ names: Anger, Cali, Edalpo, Imba, Jaidete, and Nica. (The text listing the corresponding year of the Moon voyage was damaged beyond our ability to decipher.)

The journey to the Moon was completed in nineteen days.

The space-nauts found the Moon inhabited by bat-people and other Earth-like species. (This would be a curious coincidence, unless one postulates the Moon was once a part of the Earth, and was only separated by force of catastrophic meteor impact. Also note: the flying primates theory reasons that megabats, a flying fox sub-group, is an evolutionary sister group of Earth Primates.)

Animals classified on the moon by the space-nauts included bipedal tail-less beavers, bison, goats, unicorns, and winged, colossal temple-dwelling humanoids, who were later re-classified as Vespertilio-homos, or simply “Vesphos.” These Moon animals were collectively named “Loonies.”

Recovered Atlantian Moon journey documents list the names of several friendly Vesphos: Hahfahbeh, Jaherser-Japeh, Rih and Mih (twins), and Thodireh.

A variety of climates and vegetation zones were also documented, including treed forests, oceans, beaches, and fiery volcanoes. In areas of high Vesphos populations, roads were present, as the Vesphos alternated between flying and walking. Also noted were walled structures, including fortifications and cities. This abundant life was concentrated on the so-called “dark” side of the Moon.

The last Moon census before the Great Histo Plague recorded approximately 21,891,974,404,480 Loonies, including 4,200,000,000 Vesphos.

An over-abundance of guano led to the Great Moon Histo Plague.

As we now know, histoplasmoids manifest in a guano-rich environment as brown mycelium, and as such, in all practicality, are indistinguishable from their guano host. The plasmoids, when disturbed, become airborn. Once inhaled and warmed to body temperature, they morph into histo-yeast. In turn, the yeast germinates and buds from the surface of internal tissues.

As histoplasmosis is characterized by an initial asymptomatic state, the typically care-free Vesphos failed to safeguard themselves against the dreaded disease, and were unfortunately flippant about the threat of mass extinctions. As the Vesphos and other Loonies began to show later-stage symptoms resembling cough and flu, the lackadaisical attitude remained in the Vesphos, and ultimately, directly contributed to the demise of all Loonies.

The Atlantian space-nauts also unfortunately developed histoplasmosis. They suffered from vision loss and calcifying lesions before ultimately perishing from self-flagellation wounds, as was the truly horrifying custom of Atlantians faced with chronic wasting diseases.

And so a pandemic of histoplasmosis was responsible for the extermination of all Loonies, including the Vesphos. The last radio transmission of the space-nauts included information suggesting the Moon’s atmosphere was slowly dispersing into outer space, as the Moon’s gaseous internal expulsions were dwindling from resource depletion.

Respectfully yours,

Paula and Franz Gruithuisen

O            O

Thanks to Flannery Alden at Flash Fiction Friday for this flash fiction prompt!

My Precious Ting- a Flash Fiction Tale

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Poppy catches a movement from the corner of her eye. A shadow at the window. A rap on the glass. She glances at the clock and smiles. “Nine after nine. Right on time,” she murmurs before opening the door.

Doug stands on the doorstep with his cat in his arms. ‘Hello, dear! Hope I’m not disturbing you.”

“Of course not! Come on in. I enjoy your visits.” Poppy steps back and Doug steps inside. “And you brought your cat again. Lucky I anticipated your visit and took an allergy pill first thing this morning.” She slowly extends her finger toward the cat. It hisses.

“Did Miss Poppy scare you again, my precious Ting?” Doug coos at his cat and chuckles.

Poppy rolls her eyes and steps into the kitchen. “Would you like some tea?” she calls over her shoulder.

“Yes, please. And some catnip for Miss Ting, if you would be so kind.”

“Catnip?”

“I saw some growing wild in your backyard between your shed and the fence.”

Poppy shrugs, turns on the stove, and rummages in a drawer for a pair of scissors. “Make yourself at home. I’ll be right back.” A few minutes later, she returns with fresh catnip. Poppy puts the nip in a bowl and sets it on the floor.

Doug smiles as Ting munches the leaves.

Poppy pours the tea. “You must have exceptional eyesight to be able to see all the way across my yard and through my shed.”

“Ha! While my eyesight is exceptional, I didn’t see the catnip through your shed. I saw it while visiting your other neighbor, Mr. Caleb.”

“Ah. You certainly are neighborly. By the way, thanks for re-fastening my bag of trash, and putting it back in the trash can last night. Most nib-noses wouldn’t bother being so considerate.”

“You’re welcome.” He strokes Ting’s head and kisses her ear. “I was looking for recyclables. Did you know pizza boxes can be recycled, as long as they aren’t too greasy?”

“You recycled my pizza box?”

“I re-purposed it. My precious Ting loves to shred cardboard. Well, she pretty much loves to shred everything.”

Poppy smirks. “You certainly are devoted to that cat.”

“Of course. My precious Ting hooked me with her sweet little claw and pulled me out of my shell. She gave me the confidence I needed to be a productive member of society… and a friendly neighbor. She’s a miracle worker. A real people-cat.”

“Hmm… Cats usually like me, but Ting seems like she wants to slash me to pieces.”

“It’s her way of communicating. When Ting first showed up at my house, I was a very cold man. Icy. I didn’t have any friends. I was afraid of people. Miss Ting used to hiss and growl at me, but I discovered that was my fault, because I wasn’t completely open to her. And when I finally decided to try to pet her, she corrected me. She ripped my face open.” He points to a scar running from his ear to his nose. “Likewise, there must be something in your personality that sets her off. No offense.”

Poppy gasps. “Ting gave you that scar?”

“Yes.” Doug beams. “It was a gift. She opened me up – and not just literally either.” He chuckles and strokes Ting’s head. “That slash hurt like the dickens and bled for days. But I survived my cat scratch fever. The antibiotics helped. My precious Ting opened me up and made me realize that reaching out wouldn’t be the death of me. And now we’re the best of friends, and I’m not longer a lonely recluse. I actually talk to people. I even joined Toastmasters. And now I’m toasty-warm.” He chuckles. “I’m even going to my first Toastmasters meeting this weekend.” He sips his tea. “I hope I can count on you to watch Miss Ting while I’m gone. It will only be two days. I hope you’ll say yes. I already asked Mr. Caleb, but he said he’s babysitting some pet mice this weekend.”

“You want me to babysit your cat?”

“For less than two days. Overnight, really. Miss Ting won’t be a bother. Usually kitties do just fine if left to themselves for a few days, but I don’t want my precious Ting to feel neglected. She’s a very sociable kitty.”

“I don’t know, Doug. Ting doesn’t seem to like me.”

“Don’t be silly. She’s just reacting to your aura.”

“And I usually go out with friends every weekend. I’m a real partier. My friends call me pyro Poppy. Hot stuff. I’ve already told you about some of my tamer girls’ nights out. But I’ve left out the stories that would make the cast of Jersey Shore blush. I set the town on fire, burn bridges, all that. I’m not very responsible.” Poppy frowns and studies the floor.

Doug grins. “Miss Ting won’t mind if you leave her alone a few hours. All you’d have to do is open a can of Fancy Feast for her before you leave.”

“I’m allergic to cats.”

“Well, you haven’t sneezed once since we’ve been here.” Doug shrugs. “You’ll have my eternal gratitude, Miss Poppy. And one-hundred dollars as a token of my appreciation.” He pulls a bill from his pocket and gently presses it into her hand.

“I guess you talked me into it.” She smiles.

Doug kisses the top of Ting’s head. “See, I knew Miss Poppy would be neighborly.”

—–

The next morning, Doug peeks through the window and raps on the glass.

“Nine after nine. Right on time.” Poppy opens the door, and Ting jumps out of Doug’s arms and into the house.

“Well, if that isn’t the Miss Ting stamp of approval,” Doug says, dabbing his eyes. “Bye-bye, my precious Ting, I’ll see you tomorrow!” Doug motions to the wagon behind him. “I do hope you’ll forgive me, but I’ve no time to chat if I’m going to catch my plane. These are Miss Ting’s things.” He points to a suitcase and litter box in the wagon.

“No problem.” Poppy grabs the wagon handle and pulls it inside. “Have fun.”

She shuts the door. “Okay, Ting, I don’t want any trouble from you. Think you can manage that for twenty-four hours?” She puts the litter box on the floor, opens the suitcase, and dumps out the cat toys and the can of Fancy Feast.

Ting sneeks a peek at Poppy from around the corner of the hall and growls.

Poppy shakes her head. “You certainly are a hateful thing.” She sits on the sofa and switches on the TV. Ting pops her head out from under a sofa cushion and hisses.

“Whoa! That was sneaky.” Poppy gazes into Ting’s eyes. “Can’t we be friends?” Poppy slowly reaches out her hand until it hovers below Ting’s nose. A blur of fur, a flash of claw, and Ting springs out of the sofa and streaks across the room. Poppy blinks at the puddle of blood spreading on the cushion. “What the… ” she whispers. She grabs her wrist, closing the gaping wound. Rolling onto her back, she gasps for breath. Tears stream down the sides of her face. She bites her lip, and her body convulses. Poppy screams.

—–

That night, a knock at the door. “Poppy? You home?” a woman calls out. “My cousins from the cape are visiting for the weekend. I told them all about you.” The woman giggles. “We tried calling, but there was no answer. Poppy?” A couple minutes later, the woman leaves.

Poppy slowly exhales.

In the wee hours of the morning, she opens the can of Fancy Feast. After watching Ting eat, she steps out of the house. She wears a long coat, a hat, and sunglasses, her wrist wrapped in bloody gauze. In the parking lot of the hardware store, she waits. At eight o’ clock, she’s the first customer. She purchases a circular saw, a mud flap, a hammer, and some nails. Back home, Poppy installs a cat door.

Ting rubs against the door and sniffs.

“I’m sorry I can’t get any more cans of Fancy Feast, Miss Ting.” Poppy bends and kisses the top of Ting’s head. “But you’re a smart kitty, my precious Ting. You know how to find food on your own.”

Ting sniffs the bloody gauze and purrs.

That evening, another knock at the door. Poppy covers her ears, shuts her eyes, and curls into a ball. A few hours later, she rises. She turns off the house lights and closes the blinds. She carries a bottle of ice water to the cellar and climbs inside a freezer chest. She takes a long drink. “My precious Ting hooked me with her sweet little claw and pulled me into my shell,” Poppy murmurs before reaching up and shutting the lid. “She gave me the wisdom I needed to be a respectful member of society… and a private neighbor.”

Upstairs, Ting sniffs the dried blood, purrs, and exits through the cat door.

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Thanks to Joyce Juzwik at Flash Fiction Friday for this flash fiction prompt!

Be My Baby

“Call me ‘Maybe.’ ” Nell bats her lashes, then winks at Tim.

“Yes, Miss Maybe.” Tim blushes and nods, eyes downcast.

“Oh Timmy, I didn’t mean for you to call me Miss Maybe… just Maybe,” Nell says, shaking her head.

Tim blushes a deeper scarlet, and he studies the pouf of his napkin tucked into his shirt collar. “You called me ‘Timmy.’ ”

“I didn’t mean to. It just came out that way.” She sighs. “Don’t take this the wrong way, but you seem like a little boy sometimes.”

“That’s the nicest thing anybody has ever said to me, Miss Garr.” He glances up, grinning. “I loved it when you called me ‘Timmy.’ I love being called diminutive names. Baby names.”

Nell laughs. “Okay, Timmy… how about you call me ‘Nell’? After all, it’s our third date. I think we can drop the formalities.

Tim giggles. “This may be a date, but to me it feels like a privilege. I get to get dressed up and sit at the big boys’ table.”

Nell raises her brow. “Big boys’ table?”

“Oh, it’s just an expression. I use it to mean going out with a beautiful, sophisticated, powerful woman by your side. Or… being gifted with the presence of a grand dame in your own home. I am humbled and honored, Miss Nell.”

“You have a peculiar imagination.” Nell leans forward and smiles. “Any more compliments, and I might show you my appreciation. But grande dame?”

Tim giggles again. “Surely a lady as wise as you already knows how matronly she is.”

Matronly?” Nell frowns.

“I mean… mature. In the best possible way. Mature like a fine wine or an aged cheese-”

“Excuse me? I’m twenty-six, and I do believe your dating profile said you were thirty-seven.”

“I’m sorry. Please forgive me. It’s just that I’m in awe of you. I can’t seem to find the right words to tell you.” Tim covers his face with his napkin.

“Forget about it. I’m sure we can figure out your proper punishment.” Nell laughs and takes another sip of wine.

“Punishment?” Tim slowly peeks over the edge of his napkin.

“Well… I was just kidding, of course.”

“Oh no, you are right, Miss Nell.” Tim hugs himself and rocks. “I said a no-no, and I need to be punished.”

“This is getting weird. I think you’ve had too much wine.”

“Oh no, Miss Nell. I’m drinking white grape juice.”

“You poured wine for me, and grape juice for yourself? I knew it! You’re trying to get into my pants!” Nell throws her napkin on the table.

“Please, Miss Nell, I would never think such a naughty thought. I bought the wine for you because your profile said Riesling is your favorite drink. And now I’m so embarrassed, I did another no-no.”

Nell purses her lips, then smiles. “Oh, Timmy. You sound so funny when you talk like that.”

“It’s baby talk.”

“Yes, I know. I’m familiar with baby talk. I’m a nanny. And I’m gonna call you ‘Baby Talk Timmy.’ ” Nell takes another sip.

Tim beams. “Thank you, Miss Nell. And you being a nanny… that’s why I picked out your profile.”

“You want to date… nannies?”

“I want to meet ladies who are… motherly. Gentle, yet firm. And strict, if necessary.”

Nell rolls her eyes. “You certainly are unique. Every other guy I’ve met through BeMyBaby.com has just wanted to get into my pants.”

“I’m not like every other guy. I don’t want to get into your pants.”

“I’m beginning to see that.”

“I want you to get into my pants.” Tim bites his lip. “And fix my no-no.”

“Ha-ha. Very funny. You do wear big boys’ pants, right? I’m gonna call you ‘Big Boy Pants.’ ” Nell downs the rest of her wine.

Tim stands and pushes his elastic waistband down over his hips, exposing white plastic. “Oh no, Miss Nell. Call me ‘Depends.’ ”

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Thanks to Flannery Alden and Grant Miller at Flash Fiction Friday for this flash fiction challenge!

Nell’s Nannies (part 2 of 2)