Tag Archives: short story

My Insanity Keeps Me Sane – A Flash Fiction

7 Mar

I don’t know how much longer I can hold on.

Day in and day out, it’s all the same. Except it’s not.

Everything is different while it stays the same.

I don’t know how to describe it.

Details change from day to day. Lunch is tuna instead of peanut butter. The cat threw up today instead of the dog having diarrhea yesterday.

The same dishes are dirty. The same socks didn’t quite make it into the hamper. The dryer still doesn’t shut off by itself.

I need a vacation. Of course we can’t afford one. Never could. Probably never will.

Except…

I have these ideas, these stories, in my head. These thoughts that aren’t completely mine.

Hear me out before you call the funny farm.

I have people living entire lives inside my mind. It’s not like they control anything about my life. But in some ways, it’s like they keep me… sane.

Because I have these other lives, stories, playing out in my imagination I can get through the monotony of my existence. While I’m folding laundry, I’m deciding whether they live in the city or the country, what state, what kind of house. When it’s time to scrub the tile grout, I’m weighing how much chocolate cheesecake the leading lady should consume before coming to the conclusion that her father-in-law has to die. In my imagination I turn my every day life into a wonderful cacophony of tears and drama, fear and loathing, triumph and success. The leading lady always wins.

And who knows. Maybe one day I’ll write all this crazy down and make a million dollars.

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Yeah, right. Like anyone would want to read it.

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I love writing those.

Here’s a fun video I found that vaguely corresponds to the theme of my story.  😉

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Have you noticed yet? Did ya, did ya?

I have a new page on this website. Made it yesterday afternoon.

Up there, on the far right…

Maybe I’ll make it easy on you and just stick a link right here.

But before you click it, I want to tell you about it!

It’s all about my new, first, and only finished (at this point) book!

My Ignored Hamper and other Bathroom Poetry

Yay!

I’m not going to beg you to buy it.

Much.  (lol)

Go ahead. You know you’re curious what the new page looks like. Take a peek.

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Just remember to come back tomorrow for more poetry.

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Have a Great Weekend!

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Carpooling to Girls Night – A Flash Fiction

21 Feb

See my boys out there? Aden is five and Alex is three. Alex just finished a growth spurt, that’s why he’s almost as tall as his brother.

Huh? Yeah, they’re coated in mud. Don’t worry, that’s why we turned the mud room into a bathroom. I can bring them inside through the other back door and just pop them in the tub.

Ha ha, no, they hate baths. You’ll get to hear the screams of protest. Kelly from next door says that if the wind is right she can hear them howling. Thankfully her kids have been out of the house for a few years, so she’s back to thinking it’s cute. Then just as you think they’re going to tear the room apart in an effort to get out, they get distracted by the toys and bubbles. After that happens it’s a ten minute battle to get them back out of the bath tub.

Nope, it’s our nightly ritual, even when Evan is home to do it. Just as well, though. After a full day playing and learning, a life and death struggle in the bathroom is just what they need to finish off their energy. When that’s done it’s their bedtime snack, a story and in to bed they go. He says in some ways he’s glad he’s a fireman, that way he has just enough time away on the two on, one off schedule to start missing the chaos before coming home again.

After that we’re golden. The sitter should arrive just as they get out of the tub, and then we can get out of here and head off to girls night. Ain’t carpooling fun?

Her name’s Krystal. The kids love her. If they are true to their usual routine they’ll actually want her to read the bedtime story. She’s great.

I’ll only give you her number on one condition: I’m the one who gets her on girls night.

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Husband Shopping — A Flash Fiction

7 Feb

“Ooh, he’s good looking. How ’bout him?”

“Looks aren’t everything, you know.”

“Since when?”

“Since that last guy you suggested turned into a snore fest of workout tips and poses.”

“David is hot!”

“David is boring. When I asked him what kinds of books he liked he told me anything to do with body building. He didn’t even know the last time he had read a book with a ‘story’ in it.”

“So… you don’t want a hot guy?”

“Uugh. I want someone who looks good, has a life, and who can carry on an actual conversation. I have no intention of looking for a husband by comparing biceps and sports cars. The man I want has some education, a good job, treats his mother right, has a favorite author…”

“Oh! You want a nerd! … What? No?”

“You’re no help.”

“What?”

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This one made me giggle.  🙂

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkfQ18U2bRA

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Video

Christmas Shopping With A Five Year Old – A Flash Fiction

20 Dec

“I told you no.”

“But mommm…”

“Don’t but mom me. We are shopping for Christmas presents for other people, not you. If you keep this up you’re going to lose pizza on the way home. Is that what you want?”

“No! I want pizza.”

“Then stop begging for things, and help me pick something out for your teacher.”

“Something for Mrs. Benson?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“Because, Charlie, it’s traditional. Now, what do you think she would like? We could get her a pretty scarf, or some earrings, or maybe a gift certificate for a coffee shop.”

“She doesn’t drink coffee.”

“She doesn’t? What does she like to drink?”

“Hot chocolate. Today she had a biiig hot chocolate with a candy cane sticking out of it!”

“Did she get it from a store or make it herself? You’re shrugging. Um, did she throw away her cup when it was empty?”

“Yeah.”

“What did it look like?”

“It was white.”

“Oh boy. Uh, did it have a brown paper thing around the middle?”

“Yeah.”

“Yeah. Okay, did it have a drawing on it? Words?”

“Ummm…”

“I can see the gears turning. Can you remember?”

“It…had a green lady on it.”

“Yes! I know where she got it. We’ll get her a gift card for that place.”

“Okay. Hey, do we have to get presents for all the kids, too?”

“We can if you want.”

“Nn…Yes!”

“Nn-yes, huh? What should we get them?”

“Tonka Toys!”

“How ’bout something smaller?”

“Legos?”

“I meant something less expensive.”

“We could just get a present for one of them.”

“Just one? Which one, Charlie?”

“Becky.”

“The Becky who pushed you off the swings last week?”

“She didn’t mean to! She just wanted…”

“Yeah, I know how that goes. What do you think Becky would like?”

“She wants a koala.”

“This is going to be a more interesting shopping trip than I’d thought.”

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TiW9yI0YOA

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Video

One Time Things – A Flash Fiction

1 Dec

“Brad, what’s gotten into you? I haven’t seen you order so much food since your 8th grade girlfriend turned out to be your second cousin.”

“Man, you would not believe the week I’ve had.”

“Try me.”

“Alright, I got a parking ticket on Monday.”

“I believe it. You’re terrible at remembering to put money in the meter.”

“Well, Tuesday my mother called and seemed to think I had come down with some sort of horrible disease. It took me an hour to convince her I wasn’t on my deathbed.”

“She always over-reacts, and you don’t call her enough.”

“You may shrug at that, but then on Wednesday my landlord came over and handed me a twenty-four hour notice of inspection. I had to hire someone to come in and clean the place that evening just so I wouldn’t get evicted.”

“Your place is a pig stye.”

“Ha. Not any more. What really stank was finding a contractor who would agree to work silently that night to fix the holes in the wall from when Becky moved out.”

“That one was your own fault. It’s one thing to break up with someone. It’s another to tell her in the very same breath that you’re already involved with her best friend.”

“We weren’t that involved.”

“She moved in the next week.”

“Well, yeah…”

“That’s not cool, man.”

“Whatever.”

“Uh-huh. What happened Thursday?”

“Oh. Thursday my boss calls me in and tells me he’s putting me on administrative leave ‘pending a review of my discretionary spending practices’.”

“Ouch. How long is that going to take?”

“He told me it might be in my best interest if I started brushing up my resume.”

“That’s harsh. Is there any way to appeal that?”

“Oh, it gets better. Friday morning I get a letter that says the city has begun garnishing my wages for all the parking tickets I have piled up. Then, oh yes, there’s more, then that afternoon my boss called to tell me they received a notice about the garnishment and they had decided that it’s not worth the hassle. I had to drive down that same day and pick up the box of my stuff.”

“They decided that awfully fast. What are you going to do?”

“What can I do? I’ve got to find another job A.S.A.P. or I’ll be out on the streets by the end of next month.”

“That’s all the savings you have?”

“I’ve always been more of a live in the moment kind of guy.”

“Yeeeah.”

“Hey, it’s worked so far.”

“Dude, you really have had a horrible week.”

“That’s not all of it.”

“That’s not…? Wow.”

“Nope. Friday night my girlfriend came home all kinds of angry because she’d found out about Dizzy.”

“Dizzy? You mean my sister? That Dizzy?”

“Calm down, man, it wasn’t anything serious.”

“Well, that’s where you’re wrong.”

“It’s not that important. Just a one time thing.”

“Oh. One time. As long as we’re talking about one time things, let’s talk about the one time I flagged down a meter maid on Monday. Or about the one time I called you mom on your phone and told her you had pneumonia. Then there was the one time I slipped an envelope under your landlord’s door with photos of your place and the only note was your apartment number scrawled on the back of every single one of them.  Of course, you should know about the one time I emailed your company thanking them for the lobster dinner you paid for with the company credit card last month. And I may or may not have one time texted a couple of photos from your phone to your girlfriend.

But those were just one time things.

The rest of it was just your own bad karma catching up with you.”

“You? You?!”

“I.  I have a heartbroken little sister, have had it up to here with your frat boy routine, am done helping you clean up your messes, and am moving across the country in the morning. Have fun paying for your half of the dinner check.”

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n70llulgU0Q

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Video

It’s Going Great! – A Flash Fiction

27 Nov

“Let me hear it.”

“Hear what?”

“The whining and complaining about your current project.”

“No whining… And I can’t think of any complaints.”

“Uh-huh.”

Really. Everything is working quite well. My main character is playing nicely with the rest of the cast. The central plot hasn’t bullied any of the littler sub-plots. And the plot holes are healing nicely from last week’s surgery.”

“You mean we’re going to get through lunch without the usual sob-fest?”

“Yeeesss.”

“Huh.”

“Why is that so hard for you to believe?”

“Because it’s never happened.”

“Well there’s a first time for everything. The only thing I have to add about this book is that it’s going great. Now pass me the dessert menu, I need some chocolate cake.

…And maybe some pie.

…And I hear they’ve got a wide variety of stuff to put into milkshakes.”

“Going great, huh?”

“Shut up.”

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRbBegjoLU8

One of my favorite movies.  😀 

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Today, I Got Yelled At About My Writing (and it wasn’t a bad thing)

26 Sep

My sister just younger than me called this afternoon. She was in the process of making a double batch of double chocolate cookies (that’s just how our family does things), and wanted to talk about one of the projects we are working on. After the first half of the cookies went into the oven she read her latest short story to me. I loved it.

But before that, we had a short, but noisy discussion about my novel-in-the-making, I Killed Them, Mama. Boy, was she loud.

Title  I Killed Them Mama in yellow on purple - cropped

You see, I have this terrible habit of getting a good way into writing a novel, then dropping it for something newer and shinier. That is, in a way, what happened with me and I Killed Them, Mama. The going got tough, and the tough got distractable.

After a few weeks of trying not to think about that partial draft just sitting alone, in the dark, in a computer file, my brain started to work on it again. It started to mull over the plot I have laid out. Somehow in the process I became convinced that i needed to rearrange a couple of the larger happenings to make it move smoother. This did not endear me further to this beautiful, exciting piece of hard work. I began just playing with the what-ifs of the book, instead of actually getting down and writing any of it.

Not good.

Back to the phone conversation with my sister. After discussing a good many other things, we eventually landed on the subject of this novel I’m supposed to by working on. I told her the changes I was thinking of making.

Do you know what she said to me?

“The plot works the way you have it laid out. Stick with your original plan and get the dratted thing written!”

I love my sister.

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On a similar note, I have discovered that Write or Die has a web version. This may be used in the near future to see if it will spur some more 2,000 word days. It’s worth a try, right?

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Also, my cover photo for My Ignored Hamper and other Bathroom Poetry did not get taken today. In my defense, I have obtained shirts and pants from my youngest sister to use as props, and I’ve gotten a better idea of what all I will have to move around in the bathroom to make this work. Hopefully.

Dang it! I forgot to borrow some bath toys.

Oh, well. Tomorrow.

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Besides that, I wrote a mutant story yesterday. I’ve laid the groundwork for another one, and in planning this second story I stumbled across an idea for a third. This anthology of mutant short stories and flash fiction may get put together a little faster than we had originally thought. *sigh* Maybe.

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How often do you have trouble sticking through the middle part of a long project?

What tactics do you use to help keep you focused?

And / Or

Who do you use as a sounding board?

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Blood Suckers

25 Sep

ReGi McClain has agreed to write a guest post for my little blog! Yay!
To show you why I think she’s cool enough to write something for us to read, I give you this very short story. I giggled when I read it the first time, and again after looking it up tonight.

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Enjoy! 😀

ReGi McClain

Eezzz surveyed the young. Mothers shamed by the birth of sons ushered the boys away. Eezz made a mental note to personally give her condolences to each of them later. Males were, after all, necessary to produce more females, like it or not. When all the males were gone, she spread her wings and flew into the air.

“Daughters!”

Every female within hearing distance snapped to attention. Eezz smiled down on them. A swell of pride filled her. As the longest surviving of all females, she recognized greatness when she saw it. These ones, she thought, they are all survivors. They will all fulfill their destinies. But they needed instruction. And inspiration.

“HUNTERS!”

The girls roared lustily, the hizz of their voices startling nearby prey.

Eezz let the excitement of the moment boil its way through their exoskeletons and settle into expectant silence before she went on.

“Today you…

View original post 431 more words

#ShortStorySaturday – Keep Your Enemies Closest – Part 3

24 Aug

Yep. Some time in the next day or so I’m going to have to find the time to read the two previous installments of this story. What I’ve read so far seems pretty cool, though.
What do you think?

A Keyboard and an Open Mind

Today’s installment of Keep Your Enemies Closest is a bit longer than most – if I had realised last week, I would have just made the effort to edit the next three paragraphs and then finish that excerpt at the “~*~”.  As it is, it was about 700 words before I could find a good spot to stop. So bonus for you! If you’re new to my Short Story Saturday posts, you can find some background on the universe in which the story is set here, and here are parts one and two.

If you have a short story you would like to share, come hang out on the linky and see what others are sharing as well. Thanks to Ink and Papyrus for hosting us! And now without further ado, on with the story!

enemiesclosest

Now that he wasn’t trying to appear imposing, Captain Gallivan took the time…

View original post 790 more words

Video

These Hands – A Short Story

6 Aug

A young man walked through the front door of a VFW hall. For a moment he looked around, confused, then kind of sidled to his right and sat down in a chair just on the other side of a large shadow box holding half a dozen folded flags. Sitting there, turning his ball cap around and around, he seemed fascinated by the movements of his hands. After a few moments he kind of shook his head, balanced his hat on his knee, and leaning back in the chair, closed his eyes.

An older gentleman had observed his entrance, and had watched his movements closely. While the young man seemed to wrestle with a couple thoughts behind the curtains of his eye lids, this man, maybe 55 maybe 60, walked over and sat beside him. Folding his hands across his chest, he too leaned back, and waited.

Our young man slowly opened his eyes, and said, “My doctor wants me to take sleeping pills. My therapist wants me to talk about my feelings. My wife…” He swallowed hard, “she just wants me to be able to sleep beside her.” He gave a shuddering sigh, “I’ve been home for six months. I found a good job, we got a good house, our little boy is growing like a weed. But, I just can’t…” His voice broke.

Holding up his hands he turned them this way and that. “These hands, they held the gun I used to kill a teenager wearing a suicide vest. These hands, they pulled pins on grenades that killed entire rooms full of people.”

Opening his arms a little wider he said, “These arms, they carried small children out of wreckage. They…they held my best friend as the medics did their best. They held his wife when I attended his funeral. She couldn’t stop crying. He hadn’t even seen their baby girl.”

His tears, held back with a herculean effort, fell now.

He closed his eyes, and took a few deep breathes.

“I just want to know that it will get better. That the nightmares, and the memories…stop chewing away at your soul.”

He wiped the tears off his face, and stared at the floor.

The older man cleared his throat, a couple times. Then lifting his own hands, said, “These hands were trained by the Air Force to repair and maintain just about anything that moves on the ground. I made it through my part of the Gulf War without shedding any blood but my own. Most of my scars are from sharp edges, and tool mishaps.

It wasn’t until I’d been home for two and a half years, and been a city cop for a year that I took my first life. A domestic disturbance. He was on PCP, tearing the house apart with a crowbar. His wife wouldn’t leave, she thought she could talk him down.” He shook his head. “Thankfully the kids were at the neighbor’s house. They got shipped off to an aunt in the next state.

I guess it was the adrenaline of the situation, but it wasn’t until the Sergent arrived that I puked my guts out. I was shaking so bad they had to drive me back to the station, and it was hours before I could put a pen to paper.

These hands have been in several more of those situations, but it’s always that one that wakes me up at night. Over ten years now, but still, every few months I have to slip downstairs and watch old John Wayne movies until it’s time to go to work.”

A few moments passed in silence. Then our older man looked across the room and said, “See the old fart chalking his pool que? His hands worked a flame thrower in the Korean War. To this day he jumps a little when someone flicks a lighter. After the war he finished college and went on to become a stellar used car salesman. His wife’s a peach, makes the worlds best blue berry turn-overs.”

See the guy in the camo jacket sitting in the easy chair? His hands worked an M-60 in Viet Nam. He lost his left leg at the knee in his fourth chopper crash. The V.A. just gave him a new prosthetic. We can’t keep him off the dance floor now.

Jake, over there getting coffee? His hands held a scalpel in Korea. Saved countless lives, but still, a couple times a year, he wakes up screaming the names of the boys who didn’t make it. He and his wife have had separate bedrooms since they got married. He doesn’t want to take the chance of hurting her while having a nightmare. They burned him out over there. Couldn’t even hold a stethoscope without getting sick to his stomach. Went back to school, became a teacher. He still subs now and again.”

He glanced at the young man, then dropped his eyes to the floor between his feet. “There is life after. It’s not ever going to go away. There will always be a tiny part of you that has trouble with the memories. But life goes on, the nightmares become fewer, and slowly, your thoughts will start to think more and more on other things.

The biggest thing is to remember that everyone is different. Your road to a new normal won’t be the same as anyone else’s. Well meaning people will try and tell you how they dealt with traumatic things. And that’s great for them, but don’t follow another’s path. Find your own.”

The younger man nodded his head, and picked at a scab on the back of a hand. “How do I find my path?”

“Keep seeing your therapist, try talking about your feelings…but don’t be afraid to reach out for more help.” Gesturing around at the room he added, “There’s almost always someone here. Most of us have been through one kind of hell or another. Even if you don’t feel like talking, just being reminded that it’s possible to laugh again is a big thing.

You might mention to your wife that the Women’s Auxiliary meets here weekly. She may need someone to talk to about…well, dealing with you.” He gave a gruff chuckle. “We’re not easy to live with. And women need to talk a whole lot more than we do. Having a place where she can talk with someone who has lived with one of us for years could be a big help.”

“Can I…would now be a good time to just hang out?”

“Sure! You want a recliner, or a pool que?”

“Let’s start with coffee.”

“Well, that’s a given.”

A loud rumble filled the room for a moment. The older gentleman looked up as another man walked in the door. Standing up he shook hands with the bearded man in black leather chaps and jacket. “How’s it going, Bill?”

“Not bad, Joe. Not bad.”

“I see you got the hog running again.” Joe smiled wide as he pointed toward the door his friend had just come through.

“Yeah, it wasn’t cheap. But worth it.” With a nod at the young man who had stood up during his entrance, he held out a hand. “Bill Asher.”

Taking his hand, our young man said, “Mike Blair.”

“Fresh back from the sand box?”

“Still obvious, huh?”

Bill shook his head, “I’ve only been back eighteen months.” Stroking a hand down his six inch beard he said with a smile, “I haven’t shaved since.”

“Sure don’t look like a chaplain anymore, that’s for sure.”

Bill laughed, and then turned when he heard his name called from across the room. He waved at someone playing pool. “Be right there.” Offering his hand again to Mike, he said, “Will I be seeing you around?”

Mike looked over at Bill, “Yeah,” he nodded, “I think you will.”

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I feel the need to apologize for not posting a couple nights ago. This story was brewing in my head and would not let anything else occupy my thoughts. I sat in front of my computer until my head started to nod, and Lonnie sent me to bed. The sleep worked. My unconscious worked on the story as I slept, and it was almost too easy writing it out this morning.

I had a little trouble with tense, so if you see a point where something doesn’t quite jive, give me a heads up.

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Keeping with the soldier theme, here’s something to lighten the mood.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzK6I-IEIpc

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