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Exodus

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

Window to the Past

28 May

100 words for Friday Fictioneers, a gathering of writers from institutes (of higher learning) around the world, based on the prompt below from Jennifer Pendergast, submitted for peer review and consideration for Dean Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ list.

 

Pic-Tac-Toe(edit)_edited-2

 

Nine spaces. Seven-hundred-and-sixty-five essentially different positions. Twenty-six-thousand-eight hundred-thirty possible games absent rotations and reflections. From ancient Egypt and the verdant shores of the Nile to Tiberius’ Arch and scrawled remains of Terni Lapilli to Noughts and Crosses in London’s streets to Three Men’s Morris, the history of man is written small and large in its squares.

In the United States the very first game was contested in 1856 by my great-great-grandfather Alfred in the Theta Chi fraternity meeting hall above the main gate of Norwich College. He lost, (who hasn’t) but made it into the history books nonetheless. Playing tic-tac-toe.

 

Three Men Morris

Roman tic tac toe

 

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Two Wolves and a Sheep vote on what to have for Dinner

14 May

A 100 word story for Friday Fictioneers, a restive flock of writers shepherded loosely by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, based on the photo prompt below provided by Sandra Crook.

This is a story that has been written many times. To prove my point there are at least four clues in this version that point to a previous incarnation. If you find them all I challenge you to then examine the events of the last fifteen years with the same attention to detail. Then return to your grazing.

 

Two wolves and a sheep vote....

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Heinrich Luitpold, head of the DHS Border and Transportation Security Directorate sat in the back of his bullet-proof BMW and smiled as his driver fumed. The conference recently held in headquarters suite 1-C had yielded an action plan that would lead at last to a final solution.

In 2019 increased fees charged by TSA to travelers would finance new uniforms and prominent, respect worthy badges. By 2022 agents would be given arrest powers and weapons. In 2025 the mandatory registration and RFID chipping of all citizens would commence.

“Relax, Franz,” said Heinrich, “We are no longer concerned with the sheep.”

 

End game

 

The Department of Homeland Security Border and Transportation Security Directorate is the actual name of a department of our government.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

“Don’t rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world stood up and stopped the Bastard, the Bitch that bore him is in heat again.” – Bertold Brecht

 

 

HeadsTails

 

 

 

 

 

Ouroboros

25 Sep

100 words for Friday Fictioneers and an answer to a few of the comments I received on last week’s story.  (Thanks for all of those.)

Thanks to Mrs. Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for continuing her cat herding duties, to Mr. Katzenjammer Voza for the photo prompt (below) for the stories this week, and to me for coming back and talking to me in 1967.  (It hasn’t happened yet, but the intent is there so you never know.)

 

Ouroboros123

The old man scared me until I realized that only I could have known the things he told me. When he finished, I believed.

“You’re fourteen now. Work your ass off and save every cent. When Microsoft and Apple go public, buy and keep buying.”

“Is there anything else I should do?”

“The Morrisey twins,” he replied, without hesitation.

“Did you?”

“Never asked. Faint heart and all that. Don’t want you still wondering when you’re seventy.”

“Which is when you first went through the portals?”

“Exactly. Blue door first.”

He handed me an envelope.

“It’s all in here. Have fun.”

 

 

Screen shot 2011-10-02 at 12.02.44 AM

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Garden Party

4 Sep

Here is a 100 word story for Friday Fictioneeers based on the photo prompt supplied by our bus driver, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. The picture has a box for everyone. I’m in the one with the little green note asking; Please, must you laugh incessantly? Or perhaps I live one down to the left, forever being told to not spit on the sidewalk. Depends on your POV. This prompt is a writer’s paradise. Enjoy.

Garden Party

“Mom, are there such things as Zombies?” I asked.

“Only in books and movies, dear.”

“If they’re not real then why do people write about them?”

“I don’t know, dear. I think it has something to do with confronting one’s fears.”

“Is there a Santa Claus?”

“No, my love.”

“Easter Bunny?”

“No.”

“God?”

“Of course not, sweetheart, but never say so in mixed company.”

“What about all the people that go to church?”

“It is enough that you know that they believe it with all their hearts.”

“Mommy, are there Vampires?

“Hush up and eat your soup before it clots.”

clot cleaning

Because Freedom is Dangerous

28 Aug

Here is my story for Friday Fictioneers, a gathering of writers from around the world who meet each week in Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s cyber garage  to share their 100 word inspirations based on photo prompts such as the one shown below from Dawn.

This week’s picture is of Union Station in Washington, D.C., a city created by Congress to keep the nation’s Capitol distinct from the states and to provide for its own protection. (Seems they were doing then what they do so well now. Go figure.) It  is also famous for harboring a disproportionate population of vermin whose actions are the subject of my story. (I’ll let you know my cell number as soon as I’ve settled in.)

Lubyanka

“Destination, sir?” the TSA agent asked.

The elderly man standing trackside looked his interrogator up and down, taking in the blue and gray uniform rife with none too subtle bells, buttons, whistles and decals.

“Do I know you?”

“I’m a Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response team member. We’re authorized to….”

“Visible Intermodal what?”

“VIPER Team, sir.”

“Has it crossed your mind how ridiculous that sounds?”

“The Department of Homeland Security chose the name.”

“Ever wonder who chose theirs?”

“Your destination?”

“My ticket says Denver, but it’s looking more and more like Lubyanka Square, Moscow. ”

“Please come with me, sir.”

Gandhi with the Wind

7 Aug

100 carefully chosen words for Friday Fictioneers based on my two years with the group and, of course, the photo prompt below from Renee Heath. All of the stories can be found here. Sift through them to separate the wheat from the chaff. The bread will taste sweeter for your work.

Gandhi with the Wind

 

The statue stands at the crossroads, unnoticed, unremarked, and considers the stunted landscape of Friday Fictioneers.

The imagination and creativity that originally flourished each weekend still exists but is being buffeted by the winds of change. Constructive criticism has all but disappeared because a few thin skinned folk reacted poorly when well-meaning souls offered suggestions. Speed trumps skill and the dearth of good stories is reflected in the secret language of short comments.

Nevertheless, Gandhi smiles. He knows some writers will ignore the easy allure of the dancer, look deep within themselves, and create new worlds where once Tecumseh walked.

Gandhi with the Wind:Close up

“A no uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ uttered merely to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.”

-Mahatma Gandhi-

If someone takes the time to offer you constructive criticism, thank them. Do what you want in the end, but acknowledge that they cared enough to try to help.

-DMM-

Gandhi smiles

Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

Sex with Ghosts

10 Jul

100 words for Friday Fictioneers (that cannot be unread) based on the photo prompt below from Randy Mazie. Other stories here, talking goats, et cetera. Enjoy.

Goat girl

“…and I says you can’t,” said Wesley. “It ain’t….natural.”

“’Course you can,” replied Earl. “Ain’t like she’s family.”

“When’d you first…you know…do it?”

“Right after I bought the old Ewing place. Heard her knockin’ round like a poultrygeist under the back porch.”

“Weren’t you scared?”

“Was sort of weird at first, but Jane warmed up to it after a bit.”

“Jane?”

“Like Calamity. She kicked a lot.”

“Well, I’m a believer ” said Wesley, “’Never would’ve thought it, but you’ve convinced me it’s possible to have sex with ghosts.”

Earl scratched his head sheepishly.

“Ghosts?… I thought you said, ‘goats’”.

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Sacrifice (and) Manners

28 Dec

100 x 2 words for Friday Fictioneers this week on two entirely different subjects. Rapunzel Wisoff-Fields just moderates the joint. Don’t blame her. Other stories for the same prompt are here. Gird your loins.

Twofer this week.

Flip a coin if 200 words over amps your circuits.

The first story is an homage to Jean Hays, the stained glass artist whose beautiful door is the subject of this weeks photo prompt. I did a little research and found out that she is still owed money for the work and that her chances of getting paid are slim to none and slim just left town. Let’s fill up the happiness bank account by letting her know how much you like her art. (Think how you feel every time something you write garners a nice comment and share the wealth.)

Interior front door

Sacrifice

Trace, cut, pull glass splinters out of your fingertips, bleed, solder, frame, install. It’s about art, vision and light.

On this job the owner decided not to pay the last $600.00 owed. Coffee for life sounded good but the Health Inspector just showed up and from the sounds of the argument my free caffeine fix is out the window.

And that, I decide, is what the owner needs to be. With a last look askance at the dregs in my cup, I pick up my chair and head for the door. You have to make sacrifices for the light.

Another view

Front door

Second story is for those people out there with no clue how to behave in a civilized society. I don’t care what you believe in, truly, I don’t. I appreciate that you’re enthusiastic and want to share, but if you’re acting like this you’re doing it wrong. There’s a time and a place for everything, but I assure you that it’s not on a busy street corner or bus stop or unsuspecting flash fiction blog. If you insist on doing it, show some courtesy by using your imagination. Be original. Be funny. Proofread. And above all, entertain skepticism.

Interior front door

Manners

Guy out on the sidewalk yammers and waves his holy book while he dry humps passersby with his version of god’s love. Strident voice penetrates the coffee shop each time someone comes in for java or leaves to brave the gauntlet on their way to anywhere out of earshot of his diatribe. I’d tell him to pack sand but it’d be like poking a stick at a wild animal in a cage.

Not sure about heaven, but I know damn well there’s a hell. How’s that?

Guy out on the sidewalk yammers and thumps his holy book while he dry humps passersby….

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Proselytizers