August 29, 2016

Flash Fiction #1

These all had word/character limits. This was hard. Enjoy!

Religious Transformation or Lack Thereof
A test of faith, they said. Burnt coals led to singed soles.

Alcoholism as a Family Tradition
I have rum to thank for my life. It is what brought me into this world. It kept me clinging to the world it forced me into. I have rum to blame for my existence. "Just one more" became my life's philosophy. I have rum to praise for my death.

Foreigners. Tourists. Boy did they look it, standing in Tokyo photographing pedestrians.

Muggy. The air outside could only be described as muggy. Mist hung heavy in the air over our heads. We were silent. The shovel, the dirt, did all the talking.
Delilah was happy earlier that day, when the sun was high in the sky and a pocket full of cash. She was lucky earlier that day.
There was only one shovel. I paced back and forth, feet sinking into the mud -- almost too deep for me to pull out again. Bill wiped sweat from his brow. It was my turn to help.
Now I know where 'dead weight' comes from.

A Gift from a Pet
A white streak passes through my peripherals. I'll have a pigeon tonight.

August 28, 2016

Words of the Week #3


James was a lonely sort. He spent his days indoors doing who knows what; neighborhood kids swore he summoned demons, but few others allowed their minds such fanciful outings from reality. On the rare occasions he was seen it was under the cover of night. He never seemed to be 'all there', either, and since he never responded when called to outside of his home neighbors stopped trying to make contact altogether.

His noctambulous behaviors only came under scrutiny after the disappearances began. They ultimately led to his arrest, when the sleepwalker led them directly to his burial site. About time, said a neighbor, he was a real weirdo.

Too bad the police never listened to the kids. Why would they, though? James' town's finest had no way of knowing he was the only one keeping the monster at bay.


I must admit I admire the word esoteric because it so accurately describes itself.


The bumbling duffer of a man was so nervous, I bought one of his cheap duffers out of pity.


It would be my pleasure to become published one day, so that my book's prolegomenon could be written my someone more clever than I.

Waking up with a migraine for the third day in a row only worsened my abulia. Any activity or thought process beyond my bed seemed out of my reach.

I couldn't help it; I had to buy the animal. Its soft, piebald fur sealed the deal. I'm still not sure what the thing is.

I looked down at my dish and saw the restaurant's clientele mirrored in it; a true olio of people stood before me, in shapes and sizes as varied as the untouched food on my plate.

The gross, saurian... thing -- she didn't know what to call it, a lizard but not -- slithered nearer to her still. She gulped in air, hoping it would lose interest in her. Alas, once it rested its beady eyes on its prey, it had already decided Alice was on the menu.

August 27, 2016

Words of the Week #2


She opened the laptop slowly. This was her new life. A new job. It was her dream job. Except, no one told her during the interview she'd be using a new computer. Her technophobia had only worsened as time went on. Computers would take over. Human kind would be enslaved. By using this computer, she was only implicating herself further. She knew that if she participated in this activity, her very life was on the line. She shut the lid and put the now-paperweight in the corner of the room she used to stack unpacked boxes. Time to get a different job.


Contradistinction, in contradistinction to other words, jumps off the page and prevents your eyes from moving past what could have been a more adequate word.


The couple dined on a sumptuous meal. Funny. The man filed bankruptcy three days before.


The often laconic nature of my word of the day drabbles is part of their appeal to me. 


While it may be antiquated, I prefer to tell people "I want to watch my stories" instead of "I want to watch TV".


She tried to do a preprandial blessing but, like always, was cut off by her family already chomping into their meal.


I had no idea my name had another meaning!

August 26, 2016

Words of the Week #1

For some time I picked one word a day, every day, and wrote somewhere between a sentence and a couple paragraphs for it. I intend to continue the trend. I'll be posting seven once a week. Some I've loved. Some are so bad even their mother doesn't love them. Enjoy!

She didn't have a name for anything which was funny because her doctors had a name for that: Anomia. She didn't like that word, but it was hard to forget. Anomia. It sounded like some horrible disease, one she couldn't name, that affected the lungs. Anomia. The word just made things worse for her; they'd show her a picture of some object and she'd stutter out it's use but not what it was and in part she blamed that damn diagnosis. Anomia. It stuck in her thoughts and she'd chase it round and round so much she couldn't chase the other words, no, but that was a frivolous task in and of itself because they ran too fast for her to catch them, but there that word was in the slow lane begging to be found. Anomia. At some point she forgot what the word meant at all but it stayed, looming over her, threatening her; in the end she would concede how refreshing it was to forget the definition of a word instead of the other way around.

A first, the townsfolk took in the pitiful and downtrodden homeless that wandered through during the beginnings of the war. They would supply food and drink and sometimes work for the wayworn travelers displaced from their homes. But the war drug on and on, and as so often happens, those living in relative prosperity (relative to having nothing, that is) became used to those pilgrims' deadened stares and hollow frames. The urgency -- no, the shock, was gone from their hearts. Gone and replaced by cool apathy pumping through their veins. Soon it was easy to turn a blind eye and at some point most wondered why they had even looked in the first place.

I found myself transfixed, staring into the beautiful helix her brushstrokes formed before my very eyes.

My boyfriend, walking into my room pants-less asking for toilet paper, then turning tomato red when I reminded him he could have wrapped a towel around himself instead of traversing the house naked is a memory worth preserving. He burbled like a child that day, when his new phone came in. I heard, sometimes more than once, the details of each new feature he discovered as he discovered them. I was convinced I would smack him upside the head if he kept on about it, but he was soon so involved in the new device he shut right up. I kind of miss his voice.

Back in his younger years, he believed both his body and his mind to be infrangible. Looking back, Bill realized his reckless behavior, along with the belief he was almost godlike, led to nothing but endless failures and piles of medical bills.

The causes of my anxiety are multifarious and often dependent on how stable I am on any given day. One day I can stomach the most depraved of horror, another day I am cowering at the sight of the moth.

Julie wasn't a a bad person. Obviously, she just couldn't stand the atrabilious attitudes of her -- if she was being quite honest -- lesser peers.

August 25, 2016


Bill found the box empty.

Bill owned his own bar. After this discovery, he closed shop for the night. It was a weekday so he could manage the loss of business. Hopefully. Maybe.

He drank himself into a coma that night. He sat motionless on the center bar stool after making himself a stiff drink. It was gone before he realized he drank it. For a moment, the man was convinced he never made it in the first place. He poured another anyway. The box still lay open in front of him. Taunting him. Someone had taken it. Someone knew.

Bill never woke up after that, not really. Concerned friends and family would whisper that he didn't seem to feel anything at all.

They were all right. He didn't feel anything at all. It was better than the alternative.

He looked guilty, others told him. He wasn't, he'd respond. He was getting better at lying.

Eventually the police found another suspect and Bill became just another grieving husband with no trophy left to remember the happiest day he'd spent with his wife.

Ashes to Ashes

It was a cool, crisp night. Playful breezes whistled past me. It made me feel so alive. Around me were empty tents -- their tenants busy readying a hearty meal for their small troupe. I was lounging around, staying put. Everyone left me to my own devices, as usual. It was an understood rule, you see. The other folks prepared the meal; I cooked it to perfection.

I had never met this particular group of campers. The camping area I frequented was in an area deeper in the woods than most hikers generally go, so I rarely got visitors. When they did show up, I’d be nothing but excited. New people! New stories! Getting to live vicariously through people more adventurous than I. I never told stories. I had no stories to tell.

This particular group of campers were a rowdy bunch. Teenagers. Oh why couldn’t they have been Boy Scouts? Just a Boy Scout troupe, full of eager young men braving one of the more difficult sides of the mountain. Good for them, I would say, and I would happily listen to all of their ghost stories and watch the delight in a boy’s eyes when he scared his fellow scout. They would clean up the campsite and leave no trace.

Teenagers are a different story. Never, in all my time outdoors, have I seen anyone more irresponsible! After they leave, they leave everything. Beer cans, cigarette butts, and who knows what else. All of the teens’ stories followed the same vein, all involving drugs or alcohol fueled stupidity. They usually had already entered an altered state of mind before story time. This always led to disjointed, rambling, and trite stories.

I was positively starving when the boys were collecting their rations. They gave me a snack before I got to cooking and thank God for that; I was beginning to feel faint. As much as I complain about teenagers, they help me out just like anyone else would.

When the boys had finished their dinner, they drank. And drank. Someone smoked something and then everyone joined the circle, passing around a joint. I felt bad for the little guy, burning away to nothing. And for what?

It turned out to be a boring night but I was so starved of contact I listened to every word of the senseless stories that slurred out of the group’s collective mouths. Finally, late into the night, the boys were dreary-eyed and ready for bed. I knew what that meant. Then came the moment I dreaded.

They were going to poison me.

They always do. I stopped minding some time ago. I got used to it. I don’t blame them. They don’t know what they do to me. How could they?

The teen tasked with my attempted murder drew the short stick, genetically speaking. That was no surprise; with boys, the weirdo gets the dirty work. Man was this kid odd, though. Poor guy. I couldn't imagine the kind of torment he must go through. He limped when he walked. His ears were noticeably misaligned. He had a hunch but it was obvious that even at his full height he was shorter than the other boys. He was skinny and frail and had a face littered with acne scars. His hand tremored often as it held a brown pail. Even then, I could not pinpoint exactly what it was that made me so uncomfortable with him. I think it was his eyes. Something in them that made me just... know. There was something different about this person. Something unnatural.

It was then when I saw the contents of his bucket. It wasn't the poison I expected. It was something much, much worse. The poison never kills me. What he had in the pail would, without a doubt, do just that.

He was going to bury me alive.

I took a long shot. I don’t know why, but I got a strange feeling. Maybe it was desperation on my part. Maybe it was the look he gave me. Maybe it was that odd twinkle in his smile. Regardless of the actual reason, I somehow I knew he could hear me.

I said, out loud, in English, "No!"

The boy stopped in his tracks, eyes wide, bucket tilted towards me. "What the hell? Who's messing with me?" He flipped around looking every which way, making it rather obvious that he was the standard ‘scardey-cat’ that couldn’t make it through a few creepy stories around the campfire.

"No! No one is messing with you! Look, I'm down here!"

"Which one of you jerks knows ventriloquism? There is no way I'm falling for this!"

"Please, look down. I'm down here. Everyone else is already in their tents," I said, "It's just you and me now. I have a favor to ask."

There is one thing about teenagers I did like. It was their quick acceptance of strange phenomenon. Maybe it’s drugs. Maybe it’s gullibility. Whatever it is, it made the encounter progress a lot smoother. The boy shrugged his shoulders, signaling for me to continue.

"If you pour that on me, I will die," I told him. I was desperate. I had to live.

"That's the point," he said.

He stood there for a moment, staring at me. There was a long silence. I was the one to break it.

"I'm not ready to die."

"That's too bad."

He poured the pail of dirt over me and left to fill another. I gasped and tried to scream as I was suffocated by the dirt surrounding me. It hurt so bad. It hurt so bad. It hurt so bad but no one could hear me. I couldn't cry out. No oxygen. No breath. No sound. The teen kicked me a few more times, making sure I was broken to pieces. No more. I’ve suffered enough. Please.

My embers now dull and my wooden body burns to ash. I hope someone new comes along and makes another fire. I hope that fire lives on to meet as many people as I did.

The sky darkens as the last of the warmth of my body burns away. It's time to sleep.