Wednesday, September 20, 2017

To Flee or Not to Flee

Prince Rowan had a hard decision to make. Should he flee, allowing Ulric the Fierce to ravage the castle? Or should he stay and witness the slow starvation of his people in a siege?
         He knelt before his mother. “Tell me what I should do.”
        “Go now.”
        “I’m no coward.”
        “You’re not stupid, either. “
        Rowan kissed her hand. “How can I leave you?”
        “Ulric wouldn’t dare harm me.”
        “He’ll take you prisoner. “
        “I’m imprisoned now. Almost blind. I can hardly walk.” She gave him the ruby ring from her finger. “God keep you safe, till we meet again.”

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Annie Got Her Gun

Frank Butler peered inside the tipi.  “Where’s Annie?”  
         Sitting Bull sat cross-legged, playing poker with Buffalo Bill. “Gone,” the chief said without looking up from his cards.
        Bill pulled a cigar from his mouth. “Said she had to practice the blindfold shot.”      
        Frank muttered a profanity. “She can’t do that without me.”
        Bill chuckled. “That won’t stop Annie.”
        Back on the field, Frank hailed a cowboy on horseback. “Have you seen my wife?” Frank asked.
        “She’s at the hospital tent.”
        Frank’s gut sickened. “What happened?”
        “Stray buckshot hit a longhorn. She’d got him wrong, and that was her loss.”

I didn’t like this prompt, so I changed one word. Check out what the others wrote:

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

What a Day!

“Where’d you go?” the policeman asked.
        “When? The day my mother was kidnapped?”
        He nodded.
        “I went to work, but I’d overslept. My wife tossed and turned all night. Mr. Winkleman fired me for being late, so I went to the Department of Economic Security. I had to find another job. Then my car blew a tire on the freeway, and I was stranded for hours. When I finally got home, I found my wife had gone into labor. I rushed her to the hospital but couldn’t get there in time. Our baby boy was born in the back seat.”

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Let's Play

        Cleopatra lounged on her couch, wiggling her toes to the sound of the flute. Julius Caesar sat on a chair close by. He sipped wine from a silver goblet before continuing the story of his latest conquest.      Cleopatra yawned. She was tired of him regaling her with his tales. Blood and glory. It was all he talked about.
        She clapped, and the musician stopped playing. “Leave us,” she said.
        Caesar leaned close. “Are you not well, my queen?”
        “I’m bored.”
        He stroked her hand. “Shall we play a game?”
        “Do you know Hounds and Jackals?”
        He smiled. “Teach me.”


Wednesday, August 16, 2017


        Chancellor Beaumont buttoned his doublet as he bowed before the queen.  She’d sent for him in the middle of the night, once again. “I came as quickly as I could, Your Majesty.”
        “You prig. Go to hell.”
        “As you wish, Your Majesty.” Impervious to her abuse, he spun on his heel and started for the door.
        “Come back, idiot. I need your help.”
        His smirk turned into a confident smile. “I’m at your service, my queen.”
        She glared at him. “The king has taken a mistress. Did you know that?”
        Chancellor Beaumont nodded. “The rascal.”
        “What poisons do you have?”

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Beauty Dreams

        Jenny had wanted to be a cosmetologist ever since she was eight years old. She’d experiment with her own hair, recreating the styles the movie stars wore. In high school, she changed her hair color from dull brown to deep auburn and then to bubblegum pink. Her color matched her mood.
        Now at beauty college, her dreams were coming true. Until today.
        “I want a beachy cut,” the woman said. “Heard of it? Or is that beyond you?”
        Jenny used a razor and then rubbed in gel. She’d made a poor job of hiding the damage.
        Beachy for the bitchy.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

No Surprise

        Jeremy sat in the metal chair, feeling claustrophobic in the small interrogation room. The investigator sat across the table from him, browsing through a file folder of papers. 
        Finally, he looked up. “I’m not really surprised that you murdered him.”
        “I didn’t. He was my boss.”
        “Robert Compton had a criminal record. Everything from drunk in public to vehicular manslaughter.”
        “That’s why he never drove.” Jeremy wiped his sweaty hands on his jeans. “I took him everywhere.”
        “Where did you take him last Saturday night?”
        “The airport. He stopped for a drink first.”
        The policeman leaned back, chuckling. “Of poison?”


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Who is it?

        The life of an assassin isn’t easy. I’m always on the run After a while, all the hotel rooms look alike—ground floor, cheerless modern.
        When my latest assignment came in an encrypted email message, I slumped down in the chair. Ricardo Perez, the Mexican gang lord, had resurfaced in Cancun.
        I was sad to see that he still existed. We’d crossed paths before. Why didn’t he stay dead?
        Someone knocked at the door, and I closed the laptop. “Who is it?”
        “Room service.” The accent was Spanish.
        “Adios, amigo.” I grabbed my gun and jumped out the window.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Vampires vs. Zombies

          “That’s enough of that!” Alison Higley thumbed the remote and turned off the TV.    
        “What didja do that for, Mom?” Jayden asked. He lay on the floor with his head propped on a couch pillow.
        She reached for her ipad. “I don’t want you to watch zombies.”
        “They’re funny. All the kids watch this show.”
         “Zombies are disgusting.” She swiped the screen.
        “You watch vampires.”
        “They’re different.”
        “They drink blood. Yuck!”
        She looked at her son. “Zombies eat brains. They’ve done frightful things.”
         “Zombies are make-believe.”
        She laughed. “And vampires aren’t?”
        “Justin Bieber’s a vampire. You said he sucked.”

Let’s read what the others wrote with this prompt:

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Scientific Excuse

        The men in white lab coats crowded around Jeremy, peering over his shoulders at the computer screen.
        He sat with itchy fingers on the mouse. “It’s bad,” he said. “The data doesn’t prove our theory.”
        One of the scientists adjusted his glasses. “It worked the last time. What should we do?”
        “We’ll lose funding,” another man said. “There goes my job.”
        “It’s a simple fix,” Jeremy said. He pressed delete.
        “What did you just do?”
        “The data’s gone. A computer malfunction. We’ll have to start over.”
        “That’s unethical.”
        Jeremy smiled. “If we stick to the story, they can’t prove anything.” 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Loud Mouth

This flash fiction is a little late. The prompt: It was as if she didn't understand the concept of "shut up."

        The zookeeper’s day began before dawn, but the birds were already active in the free-flight aviary. Blue and gold macaws, bright yellow parakeets, and white cockatoos darted among the branches. The loudest bird was Gabby, a green Amazon parrot.
        She had become the zookeeper’s favorite, squawking to greet him each morning.
         “Shut up!” he’d yell.
        And she answered back, “Shut up!” It was as if she didn’t understand the concept of “shut up.”
        This morning the zookeeper had woken up with a headache. He yelled, “Be quiet!” and waited, expecting Gabby to mimic his words.
        Finally, she answered, “Shut up!”

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Happy Birthday, Dennis!

What is flash fiction? A piece of fiction that is extremely brief, typically only a few hundred words or less.
The prompt: His car was crawling quietly along the street

        Dennis staggered of the pub, singing “When Irish Eyes are Smiling”. It was four in the morning. The street was dark. Dennis tripped and fell into the gutter. He vomited, wiped his filthy mouth with the back of his hand, and got up on his knees.
         The ground was spinning. The streetlights swayed. His car was crawling quietly along the street. “The Banshee’s have come for me,” he cried.
        Suddenly, someone yanked him up by the collar. “Been drinking tonight, hey Dennis?” the policeman asked.
        “Celebrating my birthday, I was.”
        The policeman laughed. “You’re going to celebrate in the cooler.”

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Tell Us a Story, Alice!

“Let the party begin.” The Mad Hatter grinned as he poured tea in Alice’s cup. “Tell us a story.”
        She took a biscuit. “I’m afraid I don’t know one.”
        “Off with her head,” the March Hare said.
        “How dreadfully savage!” She glanced over at the Doormouse. “Your friend is asleep.”
        The Hatter poured tea on the Doormouse’s nose.
        It shook its head and said, “Tell us a story.”
        She began: “Once there was a White Rabbit.”
        ”White Rabbit?” The Hatter frowned. “It seems to me, we had something to do immediately, or just after dessert, I can’t quite remember now.”

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Don't Touch!

        It was the trip of my dreams. One more off my bucket list. It’s gorgeous and green, the land of potatoes and castles. I’d already toured several, but this one was different. Tourists were able to touch the tapestries, sit on chairs, even lie on the beds.
        I stood in the kitchen fascinated with the assortment of pots and cauldrons. One large iron pot in particular. What had they cooked in it? As I put my hand on the handle, I was transported back hundreds of years. I smelled trouble and looked in the pot.
        The porridge had burned.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Rules

        Wendy served drinks at Joe’s Place. It paid well. She could work nights while her husband stayed home with the kids. She’d learned to fend off the flirts, but the part of her job she most hated was cutting off the drunks.
        Jim Duncan had reached his limit tonight. He slurred his words as he asked for another beer.        
        “You’re 86’d,” Wendy said, placing his glass on the tray. “Go home.”
        He stood, wobbly on his feet. “Get outta my way!”
        She moved to stop him in his tracks. “You know the rules.”
        “Sure. ’I’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’.”

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

What Stinks?

        Propane gas is odorless, but a chemical is always added to make it stink. Ashley learned why the day she climbed up the steps to the camp trailer. She could smell gas even before she opened the door.
        What is that awful smell? she wondered, cupping her hand over her nose. The trailer hadn’t been used since last fall when her husband had taken it hunting.
        Had he left meat in the refrigerator?
        No. The fridge was empty.
        “Tim,” she called. “There’s a skunk in the camper!”
        He came running from the house. “That’s no skunk. It’s a gas leak.”


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Little Bo Peeped

          Little Bo Peep sat under a tree eating her curds and whey. She’d climbed to a high meadow with the sheep this morning. The grass was greener, but there was always the danger of the Big Bad Wolf. Practical Pig said he’d seen the wolf run this way after it jumped out of the chimney.
        She licked the spoon, dreaming of Little Boy Blue, when Georgie Porgie jumped out from behind the tree. “Rub-a-dub-dub!.”
        “Go away!” she screamed.
        “The cow jumped over the moon.”
        “I’ll find her and bring her home, I promise.”
        He laughed. “Kiss me first.”

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Kissing Daredevil

        Fingering the shark tooth at his neck, Brady asked the ghost of Evel Knievel for a safe landing. In twenty minutes, he was scheduled to jump his jet-propelled motorcycle across the Grand Canyon.
        There was a knock on his trailer door. He opened it to discover his girlfriend on the step. “Charlotte!”  
        She rushed into his arms.  “I had to kiss you before you go.”
        Holding her close, he whispered. “Will you marry me?”
        She gasped. “When?”
        “Tonight, in Las Vegas.”
        She laughed. “What if you’re in a casket?”
        “Would you come to my funeral?”
        “Yeah, no!”


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

I'll Never Agree

        Three best-selling authors sat at the conference table. Hundreds of people had crowded into the room. Some stood by the door.
        Sarah Garcia, the only woman on the panel, sipped bottled water. What’s a nice introvert like me doing here?
        The moderator started the discussion. “What is your writing process?”
        The first two authors used outlines. One wrote summaries for each scene.
        Then it was Sarah’s turn. “My characters write the story.”
        The men smirked. “Characters are figments of your imagination,” one said.
        “They are real to me.”
        “Even if you prove me wrong, I’ll never agree with you.”

Let’s read what the other’s wrote.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Cheeky Stowaway

        Who’s coming? Crouched in the cold, dark locker, Perce hoped he hadn’t been discovered. He kept absolutely still as the footsteps got louder.
        Suddenly the door swung open. “Jig’s up,” the sailor said.  
        Perce Blackborow fell forward. After hiding in the cramped locker for days, he couldn’t stand. He was dragged to a chair.
        Captain Shackleton scowled. “Do you know that on these expeditions we often get very hungry, and if there is a stowaway available, he is the first to be eaten?”
        “They’d get a lot more meat off you, sir.”
        Shackleton grinned. “Introduce him to the cook first.”

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Love Conquers All

        Prime Minister Baldwin paced the floor, waiting to be admitted. He had no choice but to offer the king an ultimatum. At last, Edward invited him into his office, and the prime minister began with a plea. “Don’t do it, Edward.”
        “I’m sorry it upsets you, but I’m marrying her.”
        Baldwin sighed. “She’s a divorced woman—an  American.”
        “I love her. I can’t live without her.”
        “You’ll have to abdicate the throne.”
        “Then I must.”
         “Love’s blind. It fades.” Baldwin waved his arms in desperation. “What did Shakespeare say?”
        Edward smiled. “The course of true love never did run smooth.”

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

What Letter?

        “The prisoner will rise.”
        Chains at Sean’s wrists and ankles clanked as he stood to face the judge.
        “How do you plead?” Judge Witherspoon asked. He wore a curly wig that shed white powder on his black robe.
        “Not guilty, your honor.” Sean glanced about the courtroom, hoping to see a friend.
        His accuser glared back, a farmer named Paddy O’Toole.  “He stole my best milk cow.”
        “What proof do you have?” the judge asked.
        “The letter.”
        Judge Witherspoon shuffled through the papers on his desk. “What letter?”
        “Plain as day. The “C” on his forehead where Bessie kicked him.”

Now let’s see what the others wrote with this prompt: