Stream of Consciousness Saturday – Prompt – Puzzle

A picture of a string with drops of water- the logo for SoCS


It was a beautiful day, and I was outside trying to remove the spark plug on the lawnmower. As I left the house, I was asked why clean a spark plug on a lawnmower that I will never use again. I pretty much ducked giving my honest answer since I didn’t have a good reason other than the fact that it needed it. However, I knew that my twisted logic wouldn’t fly, so I mumbled something about wanting it in tip-top shape to sell it. That seemed to do the trick since there was no follow-up inquiry.

I decided to sit on the patio to remove the plug. As I withdrew the dirty article, I could hear a commotion coming from the neighbor’s yard. Because of the privacy fence, I can’t usually see what is going on over there. However, I could make out the sounds of a person having some kind of stressful interaction with what sounded like a pack of dogs. Almost instantly, two hands appeared on my fence top, and I guessed that they would be soon followed by a cascading body. Sure enough, a hulk dressed in a USPS uniform landed with a thud in the center of a bed filled with vincas.

I asked if the person was okay. They had a puzzled look on their face, so I also asked if they needed me to call 9-1-1. They assured me everything was fine but wondered if I knew a John Howell. I offered that I did indeed know a John Howell and confessed that I was the very same. Without rising from the vincas, his hand shot up in the air holding an envelope. He asked that I take it, which I did. He then asked about the dogs next door, and I had to tell him that the neighbors don’t have dogs. He raised himself in a manner that could only be described as guarded. I asked him why he didn’t deliver the letter to my mailbox, and he responded by pointing out the special delivery stamp. As he was in a sad state and missing most of the backside of his pants, I decided not to ask any more questions. He limped toward the gate and let himself out. So the question of the dogs and why the unorthodox delivery remains a puzzle.

I opened the letter and inside was this note. Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “puzzle.” Use it any way you’d like! If you would like to join it, visit Linda Hill’s blog and read how easy it is. Here is the link

Puzzle by John W. Howell © 2021

“You left us hanging.”


“That story in the intro. You totally left us up in the air.”

“Well, that does happen.”

“Yeah, but in this case, it’s not fair. What were the dogs doing next door?”

“They weren’t dogs. They were a pack of wolves.”

“Wolves. Where are there any wolves around here?”

“In my mind. This is fiction, remember?”

“Come on. Even fiction has to make sense. Why did the mailperson go to the wrong address?”

“He was new and got turned around.”

“What was he doing in the neighbor’s backyard?”

“He figured out he had the wrong place, so he was taking a shortcut.”

“What about the vincas?”

“We don’t have vincas, so everything is okay.”

“Why didn’t you put all this in the story?”

“I knew you would be here and asking me to explain the puzzle.”

“You’re kidding.”


“Who’s turn to buy the beer.”


“Why did you say that?”

“Cause if you knew you would have said, ‘It’s your turn.'”

“It’s your turn.”

“Too late.”

“Sheesh, another puzzle.”


  1. This was fantastic, John! Definitely one of my favorites.😉Happy Saturday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Saturday to you Jill. *Sung to the tune of You Belong to Me by Patience and Prudence. Just so you don’t have to look it up here’s the link.


      1. This was great, John! Thanks for sharing the link. Perry Como was always one of my mother’s favorites. xo

        Liked by 1 person

      2. He was so laid back. I think Dean Martin copied him.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Poor guy sounds really frustrated this time. He needs to be more careful with his friend on Saturdays.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I think his friend is showing signs of breaking. Thanks, Charles.


  3. Puzzles, puzzles every where! John, you’re a hoot!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, GP. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a splendid introduction, John. Your SOCS posts have become my favourites.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw. I’m so glad, Robbie. I enjoy writing them too. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  5. As Andy said – ” I have answers. I didn’t say you would like them.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lol! The prologue made me chuckle. The poor UPS guy – limping and missing the backside of his pants. 🙂 Definitely a puzzle, John. Great one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jan. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Just as long as the puzzle ends in beer, I’m good.


    1. Yup it always does. End in beer that is.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Who’s buying the beer? The eternal puzzle. I’m surprised Twiggy and Lucy didn’t bark that guy to St. Louis.

    Sorry to show up late, John. I didn’t get a notification 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that’s not good. I think I’m missing several regulars. @##$%%^&& WordPress

      Liked by 1 person

  9. D.L. Finn, Author · · Reply

    Definitely a puzzle all around, John. I loved this!


  10. That was an intriguing intro and I wanted to know the rest too. A great puzzle that I suspect will not be sorted out. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Gwen M. Plano · · Reply

    Loved it, John. I needed a good laugh. BTW, I didn’t get notice of your post today. I guess I could blame the UPS, but that doesn’t seem quite fair. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Something is going on. I have written WordPress but who knows when they will respond. Thanks for letting me know.


  12. Another good one, with a happy ending. Okay, maybe not for the new delivery guy, but nothing’s perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He’ll find some new pants I think. Thanks, Craig.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. […] Stream of Consciousness Saturday – Prompt – Puzzle […]


    1. Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. It was the start of a good mystery I thought, and you still left us hanging. I’ll join you for that beer. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Okay. Come along. Thanks, Deborah.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Brilliant! The intro became the prompt story. Well done, John. You’re sure there were no wolves, right? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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