Vignettes

The Captive (or The Cell) (A Sci-Fi Short Story) (Not For Kids)

The Captive or The Cell, I’ve never been able to decide on either of those overly-simplistic titles, is a departure from The L Squad. It’s still about aliens and space travel, though it is not for children. Even though I’m trying to gear this blog toward children, as The L Squad and, my follow-up, Norman Normalson & The Normals are definitely for the middle-grade reader, I will not censor this story. I don’t believe in censorship and I will not condone it or acquiesce to it. There is only one word, used once to which parents might object, so fuck it. Oops, now twice. The overall tone and theme are also not kid-friendly. I think fans of The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, and the like will enjoy this story. It’s too short to really do anything with and it’s been sitting on my computer for years, so I decided to post it here and share it with the blogosphere. …

L Squad Vignettes: Episode 0: Introduction

I’ve been slacking on my blogging. I ran out of completed bios and pre-prepared material. Instead of writing new material I’ve been writing and rewriting and rewriting and rewriting The L Squad: Phase 2. Yes, I’ve rewritten it thrice. It’s at least three times better than the first draft, mathematically speaking. …

L Squad Vignettes: Episode One: The Freeway Debacle

“I need you to keep the squad on task,” said Captain Grek. …

L Squad Vignettes: Episode Two: The Storm

“Your mission is to keep the roads clear and people safe during this storm,” said Captain Grek. “Do you remember what roads are?” …

L Squad Vignettes: Episode Three: Serialized Cereal

“What is cereal?” asked Hitch. …

L Squad Vignettes: Episode Four: Camp L Squad

“It’ll be like camping,” Abby said. …

A Nearly Norman Christmas. In Prose. Being An Alien Story Of Christmas.

I’ve been hyping this for a little while. Don’t believe the hype. It does not live up to the hype. It’s better. Dang it! I did it again. If there are things about Norman Normalson’s world that you don’t understand, click here to acquaint yourself with Norman and the happenings on Epatrus. If you don’t get the Earth Christmas references, that’s on you and/or your parents. With only a small amount of ado, here is A Nearly Norman Christmas. In Prose. Being An Alien Story Of Christmas. I got a little case of the Dickens in me as I was preparing to post. …

Friday Fictioneers: Another Late Night

This is my fist attempt at Friday Fictioneers, which apparently doesn’t have to wait until Friday to be posted. Sascha Darlington always post brilliant vignettes for these challenges, and she encouraged me to try one of my own. So here it goes. The challenge is to write a 100-word story inspired by the below photo prompt, which is courtesy of Dale Rogerson. The challenge for me is to not be so wordy. …

Flash Fiction Challenge: Waiting

I wrote this for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. This is my first attempt. This week’s prompt is “Colonnades.” …

Friday Fictioneers: Backseat/Walk Away

This is my second attempt at Friday Fictioneers. It’s not as good as my first one. I actually have two because I have to. That’s probably against the rules. I wrote one and didn’t like it, so I rewrote it. I still didn’t like it, so I wrote another one. I didn’t like it, either. I couldn’t decide which one I didn’t like the least, and it’s now Saturday. I didn’t want to not participate on my second try, so I decided to just post both. Nobody has to read both or even one. I recommend the latter. The only positive I have for either is that they conform to the 100-word limit. …

Flash Fiction: Vase

This was written, or will be when I’m done, for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. This weeks prompt is shards. The challenge is to write a story that is exactly 99 words. …

Friday Fictioneers: Pow Wow

Pow wow wow yippie yo yippie yay! I couldn’t resist.

This was written for Friday Fictioneers. I don’t really want to get political on this blog. It’s supposed to be a showcase for my writing for children, like The L Squad & Norman Normalson & The Normals. (Hint! Hint!) I’m not one dimensional. I’m also not going to pretend like kids actually read this blog or have any say in whether or not I get published. This isn’t even a political post. It’s a work of fiction based on a frequently forgotten fact. It just blows my mind that people get so worked up about illegal immigrants while living in a land that was forcefully taken from others. I guess that’s like a cheater in a relationship who suspects and/or accuses their partner of infidelity. …

Flash Fiction: Sunset By The Bay

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt, this week’s is sea mist, in exactly 99 words. …

Friday Fictioneers: A Campy Horror Story

My first thought was Camp L Squad, the fourth installment of my L Squad vignette series. That’s way longer than 100 words, and it’s already been posted. So, I dug deep into my soul and the horrors that dwell there and came up with this. …

Flash Fiction: Stop Sign!

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s is sign. It can be literal, like a stop sign, or metaphorical like a twinkle in her eye. It could even be about Ace Of Base if you like old poppy dance music or the M. Night Shyamalan movie about (SPOILER REDACTED). …

Six Word Story

I’ve seen these around. I usually think they’re dumb. I don’t mean to disrespect other people’s writing. I mean the concept. Six words isn’t a story. It’s a sentence. I’ve also read some that were impressive for six words. A lot can be said in six words. More can be implied. More can be inferred. So, I wanted to try one. I’m curious about what people take away from this. Please, post your interpretations in the comments. This preamble is way longer than the story. …

Friday Fictioneers: Today

This was written for Friday Fictioneers. Friday Fictioneers is a challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields to write a 100-word story inspired by the below photo prompt. I’m posting this one quickly before I think of another one. …

Flash Fiction: St. Valentine On Ice

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s is to draw inspiration from the “holiday” that just passed. Seriously, if you need a special holiday to remind you to love someone or treat that someone special, maybe you don’t really love that person. Anyway, this week’s prompt is Valentine’s Day or love. I made a conscious effort to not go dark on this one. Of course, my first thought, like anyone who’s alone on Valentine’s Day, is the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre, but I didn’t go there. Sorry. I know it would have been awesome. …

Friday Fictioneers: White Rose

This was written for Friday Fictioneers. Friday Fictioneers is a challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields to write a 100-word story inspired by the below photo prompt. Rochelle’s is beautiful, poignant, and educational. It makes mine look shallow and mediocre. There’s a reason I went with white that has nothing to do with Rochelle’s story. It’s in the story. …

#TellTaleThursday: Vibrations

This is a new one for me. This was written for #TellTaleThursday with Anshu & Priya. It’s up to 250 words on the prompt “A secret place at your home.. you didn’t know about.”

Flash Fiction: Weather Wizard

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s prompt is “buried in the snow.” There was also a technological and technology gone wrong aspect to Charli’s post, which inspired a sci-fi element to my thought process. There’s also some inspiration from conversations with Cubby and Sascha. Let us see where it goes. Shall we? …

Friday Fictioneers: First Day

This was written for Friday Fictioneers. Friday Fictioneers is a challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields to write a 100-word story inspired by the below photo prompt. …

#TellTaleThursday: Escape

This was written for #TellTaleThursday with Anshu & Priya. It’s up to 250 words on the prompt. This week’s prompt is the photo below. …

Flash Fiction: Backup

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s prompt is “backup or back up.” My mind wants to go to the sci-fi trope of backing up one’s consciousness and transferring it to a new body or the police trope of rushing into a situation without waiting for backup. I think I’m tired. I’m going to try to steer away from the tropes and find another path. …

Friday Fictioneers: Dreams Of Anarchy

This was written for Friday Fictioneers. Friday Fictioneers is a challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields to write a 100-word story inspired by the below photo prompt. I didn’t work in any diaper morals this week. Sorry. …

#TellTaleThursday: Party’s Over

This was written for #TellTaleThursday with Anshu & Priya. It’s up to 250 words on the prompt. This week’s prompt is “An uninvited guest to a party.” My first thought was “The Masque of the Red Death,” but Edgar Allan Poe already wrote that. …

Flash Fiction: Tasha’s Gift

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week we’re writing stories about a mouse. …

Friday Fictioneers: Dooley Noted

This was written for Friday Fictioneers. Friday Fictioneers is a challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields to write a 100-word story inspired by the below photo prompt.

#TellTaleThursday: From The Window

This was written for #TellTaleThursday with Anshu & Priya. It’s up to 250 words on the prompt. This week is a visual prompt. …

Flash Fiction: Chiseled

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week we’re writing stories involving a chisel or something being chiseled. …

Friday Fictioneers: Undecided

It’s that time of the week again. This was written for Friday Fictioneers. Friday Fictioneers is a challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields to write a 100-word story inspired by the below photo prompt. …

#TellTaleThursday: An Exercise In Finality

This was written for #TellTaleThursday with Anshu & Priya. Yes, Thursday was yesterday. Thanks for noticing my tardiness. It’s up to 250 words on the prompt. This week is a visual prompt. …

Flash Fiction: When The Well Runs Dry

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s prompt is to write about a bucket of water, which is appropriate since it’s World Water Day. Can you believe we have to have a World Water Day? A day to contemplate and advocate for clean water? What’s more basic than water? Air. That’s it. There’s air, water, sex, food, and everything else. …

Friday Fictioneers: Webs Of Greed

It’s another Wednesday, which means it’s time for another Friday Fictioneers, which is a challenge to write a 100-word story inspired by the below photo prompt hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. I guess if Major League Baseball can have its Winter Meetings in fall, Rochelle can have Friday Fictioneers on Wednesday as long as she doesn’t implement a designated hitter or worse a designated writer. The designated hitter has been around longer than me, but I still think it’s an atrocity. …

#TellTaleThursday: Still, I Remained

This was written for #TellTaleThursday with Anshu & Priya. I’m actually early this week. Yay! The prompt has to do with death, so it was an easy one, way easier than last week’s cavalcade of colors. The prompt this week is “You spend a night in the cemetery.” …

Flash Fiction: Long Live The King

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s prompt is eminence. …

A To Z Challenge: Abby

This is my opener for this year’s A To Z Challenge. In case you missed my dramatic A To Z Challenge Theme Reveal, I’m trying to focus on my sci-fi creations, The L Squad & Norman Normalson & The Normals. You can learn more about Abby by reading her bio. You can also follow along with my A To Z Challenge by following that link. That one right there. You almost missed it. Well, it’s there if you’d like to click on it. …

A To Z Challenge: Batimus

Continuing right along with the A To Z Challenge. Today’s letter is B. B as in boy, boom, barbecue, bagel, barn, barf, bacon, broccoli, bunions… There are probably more words that start with B. In case you missed my dramatic A To Z Challenge Theme Reveal, I’m trying to focus on my sci-fi creations, The L Squad & Norman Normalson & The Normals. You can also follow along with my A To Z Challenge by following that link. I’m already regretting the path I chose for this. I’m going to want to go back an rewrite everything. …

A To Z Challenge: Charlie

So, this sucks. I’m not going to lie. This was rushed and is really just a retelling of Charlie’s Profile. I’m really tired and have been distracted all day. My mind is mushy. I did a post earlier about why. Things have actually gotten more stressful since. I’m having a hard time focusing. I wanted to prepare these ahead of time to avoid this but only made it through the first two. I am a little embarrassed about posting this. It should be much better, but it has to be up today. I would normally do a few rewrites. I only gave this a quick read through. That’s the A To Z Challenge. I might not make it through this successfully. Last month would have been fine. The timing is not working in my favor. …

A To Z Challenge: Distress Call

Today’s A To Z Challenge is much better than yesterday’s. I’m more functional today, and there’s a lot of dialogue. My writing flows much better when I let the characters tell the story. …

Friday Fictioneers: Lake Of Horrors

How campy is that name? It sounds like a B horror movie from the ’50s.

It’s another Wednesday, which means it’s time for another Friday Fictioneers, which is a challenge to write a 100-word story inspired by the below photo prompt hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. …

Flash Fiction: Nope!

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s prompt is fire. …

A To Z Challenge: Excellent!

Today’s A To Z Challenge is a little one because I need it to be. I have a lot going on, which is making it hard for me to keep up, and I don’t have any characters whose names start with E. I have the planet or Epatrus and it’s people Epatrusians, from Norman Normalson & The Normals, but I didn’t feel like writing, or think anybody felt like reading, a history of a planet or the people who inhabit that planet. On top of all the stuff I talked about in this post, my roommate, who’s a dog breeder, and I are dog sitting for another dog breeder, but that’s a different post. …

#TellTaleThursday: She Prayed

This was written for #TellTaleThursday with Anshu & Priya. This one’s nowhere near as good as last week’s. Go read that one. The prompt this week is a visual. Yes, I’m catching up on all this week’s challenges today. I wrote four short stories today. You can go read them all in Vignettes. I’m sorry if they suck. I’m just throwing them out there like cabbage. No, that does not mean anything. It’s a random series of words. I’m spent. I’m about to go crash out in front of the mind-numbing television. …

A To Z Challenge: Fhart, Not Fhart

Not much has been written about Gremenski Fhart. He has a small role in The L Squad and a much larger role in The L Squad: Phase Two. He is Epatrusian from the planet Epatrus, which is where Norman Normalson is forced to relocate to in Norman Normalson & The Normals. There’s a street named after him on Epatrus. Today’s A To Z Challenge is F for Fhart, Not Fhart. …

A To Z Challenge: Genesis: The Captain Grek Dialogues

The A To Z Challenge is testing my alphabet skills. Who knew I would use that after kindergarten?

Today’s letter is G, which comes after F and before Q. There may be some letters in between, but I’m pretty sure Q is imminent. I’m continuing with my L Squad theme. I’m still filling in the time between the The L Squad Bios and the Vignettes and my first novel, The L Squad. I’m imagining these combined with the bios and vignettes will come together like Voltron to form a prequel tentatively title R.A.D.: Refugee Alien Defenders (An L Squad Prequel). This one is about Captain Grek and the genesis of The Refugee Alien Defenders. …

A To Z Challenge: Inept, Incorrigible

Doing the A To Z Challenge reminds me of Sesame Street every day. I. I is for intelligent, ink, isosceles, interrupt, internet, infidel, incest… So far, I think I’ve been pretty good at providing stand-alone stories that also interlink and provide some insight into the characters of The L Squad while filling in the time between The L Squad Bios and the books. Some stories have suffered from being rushed. This is hard to maintain every day. That’s why it’s a challenge. …

Friday Fictioneers: Strangers In The Night

This is another Friday Fictioneers production. Hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, each week’s challenge is to write a 100-word story inspired by the photo prompt provided. …

A To Z Challenge: Laura Juarez

For today’s installment of the A To Z Challenge, we’re going by Laura’s surname. This is a look into some of the anti-alien sentiment that still exists around the time of the refugee’s release from quarantine. This is a precursor to one of my favorite chapters in The L Squad. I got weird, which is fun. Here’s the world’s introduction to Laura Juarez. …

#TellTaleThursday: Bugged

This was written for me, but I’ll share it with you via #TellTaleThursday with Anshu & Priya because I am a gentleman. This week’s prompt is “You find an electronic bug in your home,” which I, of course, took way too literally. …

A To Z Challenge: Kip

Rushing right along, here’s K. I might not even have time for tomorrow’s. L may be late and lame or completely left out. I have to go out of town for a ridiculously rushed, busy weekend. Only time will tell if I have time. I already rushed through this one. The potential typos will haunt me. …

A To Z Challenge: Lambads

Keep up with all the amazing installments of the A To Z Challenge. Yes, that does sound kind of bossy. Sorry. It’s more of a suggestion than a command. Do it! If you want. …

Friday Fictioneers: Surprise!!!

It’s been a while since I’ve participated in Friday Fictioneers. My computer’s hardly been on in the last couple months. I’m hoping to reverse that trend. As a reminder, mostly to myself, Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields who provides us with a photo prompt. Each week’s challenge is to write a 100-word story inspired by said photo prompt. …

Friday Fictioneers: T For Tea

It’s Wednesday again, which means it’s time for Friday Fictioneers. It’s always Friday somewhere, right? Not on Earth, but somewhere, somewhere out there among the stars it’s Friday. Hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields,each week’s challenge is to write a 100-word story inspired by the following photo prompt. …

Friday Fictioneers: Understudy

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields who provides us with a photo prompt. Each week’s challenge is to write a 100-word story inspired by said photo prompt. …

Friday Fictioneers: Worst Date

I’m sure most people are going to focus on the flag and for some sort of patriotic story. I’m not. I don’t eat fast food. I’m not big on fried food, either. I had to do research to see what KFC has. This extends my absurd story streak to three. Someday I’ll write something serious again. I’m working on a book that’s pretty serious, so my absurdities have to come out here. …

Friday Fictioneers: If…

I traded in my goofiness for a little dystopian sci-fi this week. This one borrows a little from the sci-fi world inhabited by The L Squad. …

Friday Fictioneers: Blind Tears

It makes me feel better about myself to write about guys who are more hopeless with women than me. Of course, that only goes so far since they’re fictional characters in fictional stories. …

#FFFC: PT-3,000

This is a new one for me. This is Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #23. I got in a little late. It’s better late than later. I like challenges and the picture that went along with this one. It took me somewhere dark. …

Friday Fictioneers: A Great Day

I totally cheated. I did a two-part story. Each is 100 words, though.

Friday Fictioneers: Bigfoot & Elvis (Oh, R’lyeh?)

The title’s dumb and kind of misleading. I love it. It gives me an image of a Sasquatch and Elvis walking in the woods, holding hands, and singing. “You ain’t nothin’ but a Sasquatch…” Then they make love. All right, shit just got weird. …

Friday Fictioneers: Home, Sweet Home

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields who provides us with a photo prompt. Each week’s challenge is to write a 100-word story inspired by said photo prompt. …

Friday Fictioneers: Hurricane Rachel

The driveway seems like an odd place to set-up a tent. Instead of pitching my tent in the driveway, I went metaphorical. This is a story, not a cry for help. …

Friday Fictioneers: Bad Grandmother

This is in no way a true story. I love both of my grandmothers. They were nothing like this, though, they both clung to outdated, potentially offensive terms like “colored” and “Oriental.” The story is inspired by the archaic terms they used. …

Friday Fictioneers: No Means…

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields who provides us with a photo prompt. Each week’s challenge is to write a 100-word story inspired by said photo prompt. …

Flash Fiction: His Knees

This is based on a book I’ve been equally, actively trying to write and trying not to write. It’s a huge project with a lot of research, and it’s emotionally wrenching. Sometimes I attack it. Sometimes I retreat from it. It’s about a man who’s looking back at his life while contemplating and trying to talk himself into suicide following the loss of his wife and daughter in a school shooting. It’s called A Pillar Of Salt. Maybe this will reignite that creative fire and get me working on it again. This is tweaked to conform to the prompt and not necessarily how the book will go. …

#FFFC: The Boy In The Bubble

Prompted by the below photo, this is kind of an alternate take on my Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction from the other day. This kind of shit’s been on my mind. Maybe because its omnipresence makes it impossible to forget. …

Friday Fictioneers: Bambi On Ice

This is based on a true story. I describe my social skill as Bambi on ice. I can never seem to get my footing, and I slip and slide and crash with my head buried. …

Flash Fiction: A.C.V.M.M.B.

I started pondering, what is the greatest gift? Life? Love? Hope? A new car? A puppy? Whatever Oprah put under your seat? Muhammad Ali? An argument could be made for any and all of those. The greatest gift is something that could be highly personal, specific to each of us. I could think it’s love. Someone else might think it’s an iPad. I picked what I think is the greatest gift for the character in my story. …

Friday Fictioneers: Skylight, Sky Light

This one’s silly. I have a lot going on this week. My mind’s all over the place like J.F.K. Too soon? I’m reading a book about the assassination of J.F.K., Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy by Vincent Bugliosi. It’s interesting and extremely detailed. Anyway, this is the first thing that hit me, so I just whipped it out like Louie C.K. Too soon? …

Flash Fiction: Replay

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s prompt is to write about an interlude. I came up with this. …

#FFFC: Not For You

This was written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #33. It’s based on the photo prompt below provided by alexlibris999 at DeviantArt.com. This one is much less dark than my previous contributions. What does the dark mean without a little light? …

Friday Fictioneers: Shadow

This is similar to two other posts I’ve written recently, His Knees (for Carrot Ranch) and the other The Boy In The Bubble (for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge). They’re based in the world of a book I’m trying to write called A Pillar Of Salt. It’s rough and depressing. I’m not happy enough to sit and write it. That seems like an oxymoron, but I need a happy place to which I can escape when the writing gets too dark before I fully submerge myself. I’m still keeping it in my mind in hopes that when I finish the rewrite of the book I’m working on I can write this one. As anyone who’s ever written a book knows, it has to be an obsession. Maybe I’ll have to write another L Squad or Norman Normalson & The Normals to balance out the darkness with some fun sci-fi adventures. …

Flash Fiction: Patient Zero

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s prompt is to write about someone who is unremembered. How does one write a story about one who is unremembered? I can’t remember. “There was once this man… maybe. He was shortish tall with light black, curly, bald hair… I don’t remember what he looked like or what he did, but he may or may not have been.” This is the only way I could think to do this. …

#FFFC: Ruins

This was written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #34. It’s based on the photo prompt below provided by Michael Gaida at Pixabay.com. I started this one the other day. I liked it when I started, but when I sat down to finish it today, I hated it. I don’t have time for a complete rewrite, I’m way behind on everything this week, so I opted for some self-deprecating, meta humor. …

Friday Fictioneers: United We Stand…

I am really late on this one. We have three days to get it in by Friday, and I still didn’t finish until Sunday. Oh well. I wanted to do something alien given the undecipherable writing at the bottom, but I just did that with #FFFC: Ruins. I decided upon an idea I’ve been kicking around for a dystopian novel. Sometimes I have nothing. Sometimes I have more ideas than time. I have four or five books I want to write and one I’m trying to rewrite. Oh, to freeze time and have perfect focus just for… I’m not sure how one measures frozen time. Let’s say five books. Oh, and I don’t age during that time. Is that too much to ask? Oh, it is? Dang it! Right now, this is fiction. I can only hope it remains so. There seem to be a lot of people in the world who act like they want this: …

#FFFC: Fired Again

The picture sparked memories of the first time I saw someone painted doing what amounted to android face. That is why AI will eventually take over the world and kill us all. I was at Pier 39 in San Francisco with my family. We were from the Bay Area. I don’t know why we did touristy stuff when we went back. Anyway, this story is about that guy, but not really. It’s a look at prejudice from a comedic slant. I’m not sure that’s still legal. I’m actually pretty sure it’s not, so… shhhh… …

Friday Fictioneers: Two Pack: Faded Pictures

I wrote two today. One, the second one, is very disturbing. I couldn’t post it alone. I needed a buffer. I’ve written and posted disturbing things, but this is beyond anything I’ve written or posted. The fact that it’s based on something that happens in reality, albeit a reality most of us thankfully never see, makes it… I don’t have a word. Disturbing? Sick? Depraved? Appalling? Atrocity? Unimaginable? It’s beyond what my mind will accept as reality. It’s unthinkable. It’s not something we want to think about, but it happens. The fact that it happens proves that humanity’s potential for depravity knows no bounds. Some American presidents, at least one, even referred to an individual known to partake in these atrocities as a “terrific guy.” Why did my mind go there? I’ve seen documentaries, some I couldn’t finish, and other stories relating to this recently. Why did I write it in the first person? I think it made it more real. I wanted the reader to look through his eyes, for it to unfold as he sees it. I think it makes it more powerful. I hope so. If the first one bothers you, don’t read the second. I think my introductory disclaimer is longer than both stories combined. …

#FFFC: Children

“That’s why I farted in your cereal,” said Barry Bearington.

“You farted in my cereal?” asked Salty Dog.

“I did,” said Barry.

“Is that what gives it that tang?” asked Salty.

“Indeed,” said Barry.

“You boys are so gross,” said Winifred.

“What the hell are you doing?” …

Friday Fictioneers: No Explanation Necessary?

In last week’s Friday Fictioneers, I posted a pair of horrific, disturbing stories. I felt a need to distance myself from the second one and wrote up a long monologue to do so. I’m a natural over-explainer. I received repeated comments that I don’t need to explain. This is a meta self-effacing mockery of that. …

Friday Fictioneers: Mom!

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields who provides us with a photo prompt for the past seven years, which is longer than I’ve been alive by some stretching and breaking of the rules of mathematics. Each week’s challenge is to write a 100-word story inspired by the photo. …

Friday Fictioneers: The Party Planner

The jugs of alcohol and Tupperware of cocaine had been consumed. One would think the party was passed its zenith, but that’s not how a Megan Nguyen party played out. …

Friday Auctioneers: Sold!

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields who provides us with a photo prompt. Each week’s challenge is to write a 100-word story inspired by the photo. There’s also a frog involved. This week’s is an odd one. I’m not sure why anybody would see this and feel an undeniable compulsion to photograph it then share it. I’m now very curious about the photo selection process. Rochelle? …

Friday Fictioneers: I Remember

My mother wanted to name me Susan. My father, Steven. Neither would happen. …

Flash Fiction: Stormy Windows

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s prompt is to write about storm windows. I did not take it literally, which is unusual for me. …

Friday Fictioneers: Sweet Liberty Johnson

Sweet Liberty Johnson and I go way back. She first came to me while I was showering. For no reason I can remember, I started singing Oh-ho! Oh, Sweet Liberty Johnson. It quickly became a whole song, of which I recorded three versions. One of those featured my dad on guitar shortly before he died. Later, she became a part of the retirement community The End Of The Road, my attempt at creating an adult cartoon. After three versions of a song, 15 scripts written for episodes that are way too politically incorrect to ever be produced now (Come on, Netflix! I have never worked so hard on anything in my life. I have literally spent less time on the four books I’ve written combined than I did on planning and writing that show. I have a second season mapped out.), she is being resurrected for a Friday Fictioneers. …

Friday Fictioneers: My Sin

My goddaughter, who is Black, Hispanic, and Original American, so dark-skinned, recently saw another Black kid get slammed to the ground and handcuffed without provocation. This is, of course, according to her. You know how kids don’t always get the whole story. However, given the recent news and the history of police brutality against those with dark skin, I don’t have a reason to not believe the story as she told it. So, it’s been on my mind a lot. I can’t believe humanity hasn’t moved passed judging people based on skin color yet. Maybe someday we’ll learn to focus on our commonalities instead of our differences. …

Friday Fictioneers: Oh No!

Behold my first Friday Fictioneers written on my brand new, Black Friday special, Alienware computer. …

Flash Fiction: Late Again

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s prompt is to write about gnomes. I had some help from FantasyNameGenerators.Com. I had no idea how to name a gnome. I would have called them both Larry.

Friday Fictioneers: Absolutely Nothing

It was a dark, overcast, drizzly day. The dedication of a new war memorial is, by its nature, a somber event, and the weather was accommodating to the inherent mood. Widows, widowers, friends, and family members of the people reduced to names engraved on the plaques that adorned the stone monument filled the seats provided. …

Friday Fictioneers: Escape Room

In this week’s episode, our heroes face an epic battle of wits with an escape room. Will they solve the clues? Will they be among the 13% who make it to the end? Let’s find out…

Flash Fiction: Rabbit Hutch

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s prompt is to write about a hutch. …

Friday Fictioneers: Captain’s Log

Have you ever gone on a long road trip with a friend, girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse…? At some point this happens…

Flash Fiction: Collapse

This is heavily edited from its original form, which was about twice as long. Sadly, I had to cut a joke from the end about my protagonist hoping his children were all right. Yes, it was a dark joke. In its final form, his children never existed, which may be darker. …

Friday Fictioneers: Domed

I used to be confident in my word count. 100 words every time. I recently started using ProWritingAid, since Grammarly won’t work with my VPN and was no help in fixing that issue. ProWritingAid is amazing but inconsistent in its word count. Different places give different counts. I think this is 100 words, but I won’t swear before a monkey with a wig who’s pretending to be a judge in exchange for bananas. …

Flash Fiction: Be The Change

“I’m against picketing, but I don’t know how to show it.” – Mitch Hedberg …

  Friday Fictioneers: I Scream

I scream. You scream. We all scream for ice cream. …

Friday Fictioneers: Donnie

I got to use flash fiction in a practical situation the other night. I’ve been working on a web series. Writing as a team sport is an adjustment. (“What are you Dollar Store bitches doing in V.I.P.?” is a good line.) The other night we had an improv competition as an exercise. I was the only non-actor in the competition. I was paired with a beautiful, talented actress. She was nervous, at least in part, because her partner was not an actor. Before it was over, she said we were a good team, multiple times. By the time it was our turn, I took the prompt and had a sketch ready in my head. It was flash fiction in action. We won the competition. I impressed the actual actors. It was a lot of fun, and now, I want to act. (None of that has anything to do with the story.) …

Friday Fictioneers: Tasted The Wine

Her tears fogged up her glasses as she stormed out of the house. She stumbled down the stairs and nearly tripped over the stone frog in the yard. …

Friday Fictioneers: Tunnel Vision
We have another blurry picture this week. This one took me in a very different direction. …

Friday Fictioneers: Stages

I’m way late on this one. The web series for which I’m writing called me in early on Wednesday to help rewrite a scene. There were two of us on a couch writing and rewriting for 8 hours. The cast came in and read it in 10 minutes. I also have a small role, which I somehow talked myself into. I gave myself a whole five lines. Thursday we were shooting. I was there another 9-10 hours. One of the main actresses couldn’t make it, so we had to make a last-minute change to the shooting schedule. I ended up directing one of the scenes we shot. That was exciting, frustrating, fulfilling, chaotic, fun, scary… I was horrible. I can’t wait to do it again, so I can get better. Preamble ramble over. Now, I have to write a story, which could be this given the prompt. Nah! While I think there’s more fact than fiction in most fiction, I’m going to try for fiction. …

Friday Fictioneers: Pears & Giggles

I wrote three stories for this one. I kept trying to go post-apocalyptic dystopian, but the two I wrote felt forced. There was a lot of violence caused by the scarcity of food. In the end, I opted for simple. …

Friday Fictioneers: Both Sides Of The Coin

Hector looked around and casually tossed his coin into the fountain as he muttered a silent wish. …

Friday Fictioneers: Dude, What Has Become Of My Automobile?

The title of this is a take on the stoner comedy “Dude, Where’s My Car?” It’s one of my friend’s favorite movies just because it is so ridiculously dumb, so dumb it’s hilarious. I’m not even one for artificial intoxication. The following story will not be “Oh, Nobbin.”-worthy unless it’s typed in disappointment. I’ve been sitting here for hours trying to come up with something better, and it’s just not happening. …

Flash Fiction: Carrot Ranch

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s prompt is to write about a rabbit on a roof. It’s inspired by a true story Charli told this week as part of the prompt. …

Friday Fictioneers: Clack, Clack, Clack

How apropos that I’m sitting on the precipice of finishing the third draft of my first adult novel, “So It Goes,” about which I don’t think I’ve written much here, and today we are presented with the tool which has impeded, I mean aided, many a writer. I am not one. I far prefer convenience to nostalgia. Writers love to write about writers and writing, so it should be fun. …

Flash Fiction: Diabolical Deer

True story: Last night, I got a panicked call from my best friend. It took a few minutes to get this out in a way that was coherent and understandable. She was driving home from shopping for apocalyptic survival supplies. She was driving on a nearly empty freeway when she was …

Friday Fictioneers: April Fools!/Fragile Species

Shouldn’t it be Anti-Social Distancing?

I accidentally wrote two this week. Both are brilliant. Cherish them. Or don’t. Either way.

Friday Fictioneers: End Of The Rainbow

Bill Sampson-Simpson docked his boat on the quiet, storm-beaten island. …

Friday Fictioneers: Forgotten Intentions

We met on the roof across the divide as people tend to do. We were both there to watch the sun set over the city. The sun painted the sky in glorious hues as it dipped, but my attention remained focused on her. Long after the sun abandoned us, we remained. …

Friday Fictioneers: Our Elaborate Plans

“Notre-Dame…”

“Notre-Dame? You want to go to a church?” …

Friday Fictioneers: It’s Cold

A family dinner at a fancy restaurant. What could possibly go wrong? …

Friday Fictioneers: Hungry

This is my 200th post. It better be good. Oh, dang it. It’s not. …

Friday Fictioneers: Prey

In the minutes before the blood spray coated the hats, he watched, silently. He could see her through the hat rack, talking, laughing. She was intensely unaware of him. …

Friday Fictioneers: And The Band Played On

This is based in the world of my first adult novel, So It Goes. I’m currently working on my fourth draft wondering how typos survive that many drafts and Grammarly and ProWritingAid scans. In thinking of a name for a band, I remembered I have two bands in the book, The Fantastic Queefs and Cool Breeze Licks. One’s fictionally real. The other’s really fictional. This is an imagined VH1’s Behind The Music-style epilogue for the band. …

Friday Fictioneers: Padma

I was tempted to write a story about Flower Blossom McLotus who is a character from my Norman Normalson & The Normals universe. The problem with that is its absurd, and for those uninitiated with that universe, it would appear to be a mess, the ravings of a lunatic. Maybe people who experienced the ’60s would think, “Yeah, I remember doing drugs.” The thing is, I don’t do, nor have I ever done, drugs beyond a few herbal inhalations and the consumption of fermented grapes. I’m just weird. It’s also an example of what can happen when I’m not restrained to 100 words and allowed to let my imagination run free like a kindergartner off its leash and Ritalin. Cutting down to 100 words would be a lot more work than writing a new story. If you want to read a story about a failed ballerina ninja who flunked out of The Lexi P. Lodeham School Of Dance, Martial Arts, Chicanery, and Silent But Deadly Farts turned repairman turned reluctant space pirate and social media mogul click here. It’s about half way down the page starting with “The voyage was pretty uneventful…” His story continues in A Nearly Norman Christmas. In Prose. Being An Alien Story Of Christmas.

Friday Fictioneers: Don’t Worry…

I don’t believe in tips. How is it my responsibility to pay waitress and waiter’s salaries? I pay to eat there. You pay your employees. That’s how Capitalism works. “Look at you doing your job for which you’re getting paid. Here let me give you more money for doing your job for which someone else should be paying you.” What the hell is that? It’s a brilliant business model. It’s also called Socialism. If you want to go there, I’m in. Give me Bernie, free health care, free education… Don’t give me some bullshit where I pay someone to work for someone else. …

Friday Fictioneers: Compromise

Yay! Robots!

Friday Fictioneers: Painting The Driveway

My first story was dark and depressing. Where’s the fiction in that these days? I wanted to do what I do best, just go off the deep end, over the top absurd.

Friday Fictioneers: A Shell Of A Time

I’ve been bad at getting out and reading other stories and slow to respond. I apologize. I’m prioritizing editing. I need to get something published. I’m working on two books at once, The L Squad and So It Goes, using each as a palette cleanser for the other. That’s going to continue because I’ve found I’m getting much more work done this way, even though finding a few major errors threw off my routine.

Friday Fictioneers: It’s Not Easy Being Green

This is not fiction. The joke about coke and a dead body in the trunk might be an embellishment. I have a friend who is that paranoid about driving with the police behind her, and she’s not even black. …

Friday Fictioneers: Strike

“Don’t put me on dishes. I’m droppin’ them bitches.” – stic.man (dead prez) (Hell Yeah (Pimp The System))

Friday Fictioneers: What’s In The Box?

I don’t know why my mind went there. Probably because that’s the most horrific thing I can imagine. Every time I see a box, my first thought is, “What’s in the box? What’s in the box?”

This is a sequel to It’s Cold from a while ago. I briefly considered referencing Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake’s “Dick In A Box” song/sketch from SNL, but that seemed inappropriate. That’s the society we’ve created. Ultraviolence is fine. Sexuality is… Whoa! That’s a no-no.

Friday Fictioneers: Self-Portrait

I hadn’t seen my twin sister in months. She had become increasingly withdrawn since… well, since we were kids. I was the only person close to her. …

Friday Fictioneers: So Long, And Thanks For All The Plastic

The ocean was a dangerous place. …

Friday Fictioneers: On The Perils Of Train Rides

I’ve made a conscious effort to avoid referencing Coronavirus/COVID-19 in my stories. We get far too much of that in real life. I got an idea for a story from a conversation with my friend over the weekend. The train gave me the setting. I submitted, in both senses, and whipped it out, not in both senses. What good is a mass-murdering pandemic if we can’t have some fun with it? …

Friday Fictioneers: Boulevard Of Broken Dreams

“This town will chew up and spit out 10,000 dreams for every star it makes. That sign is the shore on which dreams crash, break, and are repelled. Destined to dissolve into the endless sea of broken dreams. …

Friday Fictioneers: The Haunting

This one may just make you poop in your pantaloons. …

Friday Fictioneers: Gorgeous Ladies Of Bioluminescence

The first cases were thought to be hoaxes. Those who wanted to believe thought them aliens. …

Friday Fictioneers: Menagerie

I awoke disoriented. The bed, hard and small, wasn’t mine. The room wasn’t mine. The light coming through the window wasn’t sunlight. …

Friday Fictioneers: The Curious Odyssey Of Roderick Van Pelt, III

In a time of chaos and disharmony, Roderick Van Pelt, III embarks on a quest for the ultimate answers. …

Friday Fictioneers: Free

What happened to Marie and Rodney’s baby? …

Friday Fictioneers: Working Out The Kinks

New relationships can be fun and exciting, but sometimes, new relationships suck.

Friday Fictioneers: Fitting In

What could possibly go wrong when a group of boys play a harmless, little prank on a classmate?

Friday Fictioneers: Persistent Patience

What does one do when meticulous plans for the perfect first date are literally washed away?

Friday Fictioneers: Pink Nightmare

Hector finds the perfect gift for his perfect wife… or so he thinks…

Friday Fictioneers: The Magic Number

Dogs can be chick magnets. Just make sure she likes you, too. …

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