11 Jun

100 words for Friday Fictioneers, a tribe of writers wandering the desert, treading on broken tablets and trying the patience of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, our navigator, cat herder and Moses of sorts (Pharaoh, too, if you think about it) based on a photo prompt below from the inimitable Ted Strutz.


Exodus promptCopyright Ted Strutz


I used to shake my head at believers. Ignorant fools with an unshakeable conviction in the existence of the supernatural. Eternal life, sacrament of blood, crucifixes, legions of disciples; mumbo-jumbo from people too stupid to think for themselves.

During a routine exam of a new patient, my last, I became convinced otherwise. It wasn’t the four elongated canines and a pair of exaggerated masseter muscles so much as the deep pools of his eyes that transformed me into the living embodiment of a fervent believer.

I intend to remain that way.

The next ferry leaves in a few minutes.





Skull Maze

32 Responses to “Exodus”

  1. Sandra June 11, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

    And I think you made the right decision there. Leaving on the ferry, I mean. Hope you’re having a great day Doug.

  2. dmmacilroy June 11, 2014 at 1:20 pm #

    Dear Sandra,

    As Heinlein said, ‘Plenty of elbow room is always better.’ My MC is striving for that in the end and on the spur of the moment. The day is starting well, thanks:)



  3. sandraconner June 11, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    I laughed — hard — partly at the well-paced revelation of the patient’s identity — and partly at the idea that the doctor felt he could escape some “supernatural” being by taking the ferry out of town! Great writing, Doug. A perfectly-paced offering of dry humor at its best.

  4. elmowrites June 11, 2014 at 5:35 pm #


    I believe you are one of few Fictioneers who could write a werewolf story and not have me rolling my eyes. At least, I think that’s what’s going on, I’m feeling rather dense today.
    Enjoyed the voice you put into that scathing first paragraph.


  5. Snow's Fissures and Fractures June 11, 2014 at 7:56 pm #

    Do you really think you’ll escape that easily? Somehow I doubt it. That first paragraph lead me to another direction, good writing as usual.

  6. siobhanmcnamara June 11, 2014 at 8:35 pm #

    Oh, I’d be on that ferry too. Well told ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. aliciajamtaas June 12, 2014 at 1:05 am #

    Nice take – from dental instruments to running from werewolves – or vampires – or shape shifters…..

  8. David Stewart June 12, 2014 at 6:15 am #

    Doug, this is wonderful. I’m very tired or I would be more eloquent, but this is my kind of story. Great job.

  9. tedstrutz June 12, 2014 at 7:00 am #

    You know, there’s a seaplane in that harbor on the next dock over from the ferry. Quicker and easier to spot the patient get on.

    Happy Birthday, Amigo!

  10. rochellewisoff June 12, 2014 at 9:19 am #

    Dear Doug,

    “Her breath rasped one last time. She squeezed his arm. He bent low to listen.

    ‘Beautiful imagery,’ she whispered.”

    I couldn’t resist. Anyone can write a vampire story, but you have raised the bar. Magnificently subtle. It’s quite possible you’ve made a believer of me.

    As always I look to your for wonderfully layered and skillfully written stories. I’ve never been disappointed.

    Happy birthday my radiolarian friend.



    • dmmacilroy June 12, 2014 at 9:26 am #

      Dear Rochelle,

      Here’s your spoon.

      Thank you so much for the kind comments and the birthday wish. I appreciate them all.



      P.S. TNSTAV

  11. patriciaruthsusan June 12, 2014 at 10:04 am #

    Doug, Happy Birthday! I have to admit I looked up “masseter” on Google. I believe I’d wonder why that werewolf picked me as his dentist and I’d also try to get away. Your character should definitely take the seaplane that Ted suggested. Well written as always. ๐Ÿ™‚ —Susan

    • dmmacilroy June 12, 2014 at 10:21 am #

      Dear Susan,

      Thanks for the nice comments. Must nip something in the bud. One person mentioned ‘werewolf’ and everyone is getting on that train. Think ‘Eternal life, sacrament of blood, crucifixes and legions of disciples…It’s a Vampire (even though there’s no such things—my little joke within my story).

      Oh, and for the record, there no such thing as werewolves, either, he said, shaking his head.



      P.S. This answer is not so much for you as it is for those who follow. Thanks for letting me put up this sign in your comment box. Mahalo, D.

  12. lingeringvisions by Dawn June 12, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

    The eyes have it. I was once a non believer too but I see it differently now.
    Happy birthday.
    ~ Dawn

  13. elappleby June 12, 2014 at 4:41 pm #

    Fabulous story and perfectly structured. When I read something I really enjoy, I always try to work out what was so good about it (so I can steal it and use it myself, I’m a born wordthief). In this case, the cleverest sentence/ paragraph is the standalone: “I intend to remain that way.” It sent chills down my back.
    Now run! That ferry’s about to leave ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Bjรถrn Rudberg (brudberg) June 12, 2014 at 7:52 pm #

    Oh yes and that bristly hair is usually a telltale of that it’s time to leave.. I guess the full moon is not yet up…

  15. singleworkingmomswm June 12, 2014 at 10:43 pm #

    Wow, the dental instruments in the photo really stimulate the imagery created in your words. Hair raising! I’m not too sure his patient would be so kind as to let him catch the ferry, however….only imagination will tell. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Love these short vignettes that tease the mind-you do them so well! And, it seems that a Happy Birthday is in order for you, so Feliz Cumpleanos from Cali. XOXO-Kasey

  16. Perry Block (@PerryBlock) June 13, 2014 at 3:55 am #

    Too bad he didn’t give that patient enough novocaine for all of Transylvania before working on him. Living embodiment? Not for long!

  17. talesfromthemotherland June 13, 2014 at 5:06 am #

    Wonderful intro and darkly humorous discovery of the patient’s identity. What a way to find out you’ve been wrong about believers! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Wonderful writing.

  18. patrickprinsloo June 13, 2014 at 5:43 am #

    Lovely. Taking the ferry to escape or to spread the word?

  19. Joanna (Lazuli Portals Trilogy) June 13, 2014 at 9:18 am #

    I must admit I find supernatural stories great fun to write. ๐Ÿ™‚ And Exodus is a word I’ve always liked (I have a thing for words with a ‘z’-sound – which partly-explains ‘Lazuli’!)

    As has already been said, Doug, your story exudes subtlety and elegance. You never disappoint!

    Aloha and Happy Birthday. ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. subroto June 13, 2014 at 9:19 am #

    Happy birthday Doug. Looks like we had a similar dental image this week. I wonder if this is how Twilight started?

  21. rgayer55 June 13, 2014 at 10:42 am #

    Well crafted story, Doug. Did the vampire just come in to have his canines sharpened? I hope he didn’t have bad breath. Happy birthday, buddy. Looking forward to the 23rd.

  22. duskyisbeautiful June 13, 2014 at 11:20 am #

    Vampires with tooth problem? That’s a good one. I hope she attended him well or he might follow her on the ferry.

  23. Bastet June 14, 2014 at 3:49 am #

    I think I could become a believer too having a vampire for a patient. I must admit that I’ve got the feeling he too became a vampire after having become a firm believer. Very well written, I really enjoyed it!

  24. RAM June 14, 2014 at 8:53 pm #

    Great little story – thanks for posting

  25. Amy Reese June 15, 2014 at 3:51 am #

    Dear Doug,
    Run for the ferry! Yikes! Could it be the full moon? This has got to be a dentist’s worst nightmare to have a vampire as a a patient. Great writing.

    I understand you had a birthday recently. So, Happy Belated Birthday! I hope you had a great one with lots of cake and celebration. *throws confetti*.

  26. storydivamg June 15, 2014 at 5:31 pm #

    Oh, I love it! I’m just jealous that you thought of writing it before I did. I tend to handle things undead with a lighter hand, but this reminds me of a short story I wrote a few weeks ago in which three vampires were discussing which set of believers were the most dangerous. Beautifully handled.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

  27. hugmamma June 16, 2014 at 2:46 am #

    Surprised you got away…and…was this an after-dark appointment? Or perhaps this was a vampire of the TWILIGHT genre…than the BELA LUGOSI variety. Fun…in a panicky sort of way.

  28. Sarah Ann June 16, 2014 at 6:14 pm #

    Proof is all an unbeliever needs. Lovely transformation from dismissiveness to conviction. The hurry to get away was palpable.

  29. Nan Falkner June 17, 2014 at 1:39 am #

    Dear Doug, Happy Birthday – last week? Love your story and I thought you were extremely clever in your examination of the “vampire” and the sudden realization that you are now a believer. Run Doug, Run! Awesome story and gave me the creeps! Nan ๐Ÿ™‚

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