Friday, January 30, 2015

Conquering Hero

This a piece I wrote for a flash fiction challenge.  I wrote it in memory of a friend who did not die in Vietnam.  He died because of Vietnam.

The original piece can be found at Last Line First

His eyes were full of the things he had seen.  His mouth, full of stories better passed over than passed down.  Memories caught in his craw and woke him sweating cold in the dread of his nights and left him staring into his darkness til Dawn’s early light.

Well meaning people wearing blue scrubs and white coats did what they could.  As it was with so many others, it did not work out.  Scarred and broken he was sent back to a homeland that would never be the same.  His innocence pooled bloody on too many foreign plains.  Feeling forgotten, discarded and alone with his demons, he sought solace in barbiturates, whiskey and gin.  He could never forget his role in the pre-meditated chaos of Man killing Man in faraway lands.

One day he gave up, double hit China White, laid down, and he died.  Before his curtain closed, with one final sigh, the untold stories and nightmares at last said goodbye.  Our conquering hero had finally found his peace.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Horn Pond

Flash Frenzy – Round  52 
1/24/15 – due by 1/25/15 – 6:00 PM MST
360 words  or less - Actual word count - 359
Story Posted Here

Before pale men swarmed from wooden ships in Boston Harbor, the Salmon Falls River flowed uninhibited from Great East Lake through rocky ravines and low depression marshland to the Gulf of Maine. 

To satiate their voracious appetites, these white men of God harvested the King’s Pines overlooking it, mined silver near its banks, and built mills of every kind beside it.  To ensure a reliable flow, dams were constructed.  One dam created the 227 acre body of water known as Horn Pond.

Franklin stood on his dock and looked out across Horn Pond.  He loved this pond.  It had been part of his life since he could remember.  He learned to swim in this pond.  He learned to fish, paddle a canoe, and water ski on its surface.

It was below the pond’s rippling surface Franklin found true bliss.  His father had given him snorkeling gear one summer.   Franklin spent countless hours exploring the shallow quiet depths along its shores.  He learned where the big fish hid among the ledge filled crevices of the north end.  The summer he turned 13, he found the old silver mine and let his darker side take over his soul. 

This would be the summer of his first kill.  Many bodies, many years later Franklin smiled, amazed that he had not been caught when that obnoxious brat from across the lake awakened in the canoe and began screaming.  He realized as he swung the paddle, his plan had only covered the murder, not the disposal. Panic ridden moments passed until he remembered the old silver mine buried under 25 feet of water.

Franklin turned to look up the north end of the pond.  Bouncing on the turbulent surface under darkening skies, a knot of emergency craft floated directly over the mine.

Cutting off some of the mooring line to the Ski-Nautique, he tied two cinder blocks to it, tied the other end around his neck,  and climbed into the boat.  Moments later, over the deepest part of Horn Pond, Franklin held the blocks close and jumped into the lake.

The next day eight year old Melissa across the pond killed her first Loon.

Image courtesy of Ashwin Rao

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The D - Pad

Finish That Thought #2 – 30  - Tues - 1/27/15 – 500 words or less – by midnight
Prompt – None of us really believed in [UFOs] until the night [ cameraman] went missing

Special  Challenge –Include 3 of the following: an overweight tabby cat, a freight train, a windchime, a sheriff, the planet Mars, chocolate cake
Posted here

The D-Pad 
- 499 words & all six special challenge prompts

“I did not really believe in this alternate reality garbage until last night when my chocolate cake went missing”.  Mayor Tahbey’s whiskers twitched.  He was obviously upset. 

“I was headin in for seconds when I heard what sounded like a wind chime.  A blue three fingered hand reached from nowhere, snatched the cake and then both disappeared.”  He began to poke a plump paw into Sheriff Phideau’s chest every third word or so.  “I expect you to …. not only locate ….. my missing dessert, ……. but find …… the low life cur…. responsible.”

The sheriff rose from his haunches, his back fur bristled and he snarled, exposing his teeth for second.  He didn’t like the Mayor.  He didn’t like the profiling and most irritating, he did not like some fat cat poking him in the chest.

Sheriff Phideau glared at the mayor.  He dropped to “sit” position, lifted his rear leg and scratched behind his left ear.  The ear scratching was more to calm him than actually attend to an itch.  “Mayor, I understand you are upset.  A missing cake I suppose is a serious thing.  But if you poke me in the chest one more time, you will regret it sir. ……..  Now, just the facts please.”

Honorable Mayor Tahbey hissed.  His eyes became slits.  “Why you useless excuse for a sheriff ………….”.  He stopped.  Remembering he had not become mayor by losing his temper, he turned on the best bored cat face he had in his quiver.  “Okay Sheriff.  I did not mean to offend.  I am upset and well…… you know how it is.”

Both calm now, Sheriff Phideau wrote up the incident report.  In his professional cop voice, “Thank you your Honor, I will get right on it.”  He turned to leave.

“See that you do.”


Woz Jobba sat on the floor of the freight car considering the chocolate cake before him.  He had not eaten for at least two e-peks.  He had not worried, Good Luck always found him.  And so it had just moments ago when he spotted this unattended D-Pad before he hopped a freight train back to Mars from the Inner Core.
Gobbling down the chocolate cake with one hand, he flipped the D-Pad over with the other and read the instructions on the back.

“Jeezum,” he thought, “this is the new extra dimensional tablet, the ‘D- Pad 4’.  Has an app not only for everything under the Sun, but an app for every bleepin thing in the Universe. ……….. Won’t the folks back home on Mars love this gadget.”

Under “Features” he saw that this new version, if left in default mode, read minds and would open up the appropriate dimension to address the current mindset of the user.  No more accidents sticking a digit into a sun or black hole.

“Ah, that’s why the icon was flashing the word ‘Eat’. Stuck my hand in and lookee there, a chocolate cake ……… And Double Dutch Chocolate to boot.”

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Jibber Jabber - Exercise

I figure that along with the stories I come up with, I ought to also include my observations, feelings, and other thoughts about this affliction I have - my need to write.

I will say it is a good thing I did not quit my day job to become a pay check producing writer.  Not only is writing hard, it is a field filled with people like me who think they have that next great novel inside them.  Sure, we all have one inside, but it is unlikely any of us will find it.

Pessimism aside, I am guessing it does not matter to most of us if we find that novel or not.  It is the process of writing that drives me and I assume most of the aspiring writers out there.  I love putting words together to form ideas, places, stories.  I love to like what I write, but when that does not happen (which is often the case), I savor the fact I tried.  Besides, now that I am officially an old faht, AARP tells me I should exercise.  Not just physical but maybe of more importance, keep the gears in the noggin from rusting shut.  Nothing de-rusts my brain like trying to tell a story in 100 words or less.

Later .............................

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Last Ride

Flash! Friday: Vol 3 - 7
Required Story Element - Setting - "Beach"
Image - Old Lady pushing a bike
190 - 210 words
Deadline - Fri -11:59 PM -1/23/15

The Last Ride - 199 words

Rene was looking for a place to empty his bladder in Montreal when he found Mona crumpled in a heap behind the Holiday Inn in 1962.  She had been beaten, gang raped, and unknown to either of them, she was now pregnant.  Rene took her back to Maine, married her and never once asked her any questions about that night. 

Both of them went to work in the textile mills in Sanford.  52 years, five children and 12 grandchildren later, Rene died.  Mona took it in stride.  She knew her life was closing out.  She had one last thing to do.

Mona purchased a used blue bicycle from a local bike shop.  The next Sunday after church, she strapped the shoe box containing Rene’s ashes to the rack behind the saddle and headed down Rte 109 to the beach in Wells.  Several hours and 17 miles later she leaned her bike up against the guard rail separating the beach from the parking lot.

Shoe box in hand, Mona walked onto the beach and into the surf.  She opened the shoe box and dumped Rene’s ashes into the knee high waves.  Kneeling down, she crossed herself, keeled over and died.

Image courtesy of  Giorgio Grande

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Body Snatchers Re-visited

Forward - Disclaimer - Whatever
This is the first fiction I have written since I last posted at the now defunct Thinking Ten well over a year ago.  Figures I would pick "Capstone Sunday" to give it another whirl.  The Idea is to take the offered daily prompt and write for ten minutes.  Stop and then read what you have written.  Spit and polish it up and then submit..  Sunday's prompt is to use every prompt from the previous week.    I was maybe 200 words into the rough first draft when 10 minutes was up.  Decided to finish the thought no matter where or how long it took me.  Took me awhile.  All day, off and on, I guess.
So without further comment - 
"I can do it myself", Jackson hollered back at his wife of 45 years as he climbed up and into the bed of his 1976 GMC pick up.  Last night's snow storm had finally filled the back of it.  Jackson's rule was never shovel more than he  had to.  He always waited until Winter had filled the bed before he took care of it.  

Squinting against the bright sun, he cussed and fumed every shovel full over the side.  His old fart back complained with every scoop.  And this last storm had turned the snow into igloo snow.  Heavy and packed, he had to add chopping it up first to the already painful scoop and toss motion.  

He stopped a moment and looked down Sam Page Road.  Someone was headed up the hill.  Looked like one them damn Gallopin Gerrishes walking their dog again.  Local custom dictated he wave to whomever passes by.  He waved and went back to shoveling not concerned to know if they waved back.  He had been civil.  That's all anyone could expect.

Wandering Souls

Club hopping in this burgh was getting tiresome Renaldo thought as he searched the same old coffins looking for something new to wear.  Tonight everyone would be hooking up at “Wandering Souls”, the spacious Johnson vault near the front gate.  If he could not raise the bar, he should at the least do his best to maintain it.  After all appearances were all he and his crowd had left.

Ransacking a plot previously ignored, Renaldo found a gorgeous long purple satin dress with mother of pearl buttons and a lace neck.  Donning the dress, he found only a right shoe.  Nothing he could do but snap off his left foot.
A piece I wrote for a weekly challenge over to Micro Bookends

Prompt was to begin flash with Club, end it with Foot and use the image supplied

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Free Range - 100 Words

What follows are two 100 word pieces using the weekly prompt "Feasting" from Verbal Verbosity.  The first one is my favorite of the two and thus my official entry.   I also liked the second one, so I included it.  Both are based on a similar story idea.

First Version

Head Drover opened the doors of his rig and feasted his eyes on the new free range breed that was supposed to turn a profit from these fringe graze lands never used before.He was no science guy, but he knew this new breed needed no care.  Small herds were let loose previously and allowed to thrive or die on what sustenance they could find.  The bulging stockyards indicated those science dweebs were pretty clever after all.

What threw him was this breed stood on two legs, not four.

"Okay you Space Cowboys,  head em up ...... move em out."