Wednesday, August 29, 2012

An Act of Valor


Jeff Wilcott had lost track of the funerals he'd been to over the years. Dozens. Hundreds, maybe. More than any fifty-three-year-old man should ever see. But funerals, like bad chicken dinners, were something that politicians endured. They should have made it easier. By volume alone, they should have prepared him.

They didn't.

He leaned with his elbows on the big dark desk, staring at the photograph. Jeffrey, the week after graduation, smiling back. Shotgun tucked into the crook of his arm, that damn Astros cap tipped back on his head with Daddy's thick hair bushing out beneath it. Senatorial hair, silver, just like Jeff's own had been since he'd been his boy's age. Jeffrey, smiling at the camera as if he'd live forever.

But, of course, he hadn't.

A Real Find for Horace

This isn't a complete story - it's a little sample I threw together for a writing discussion on a reddit thread. I was trying to find the funny in a scenario and I'm not sure I succeeded. If I actually have any readers (feel free to say hey if you wanna), and you have any ideas as to how to make this work better, I'm all eyeballs.

--


The door smacked against the wall as Horace burst through, beaming with his latest find. He held the box up in two hands. "You'll never guess!"

Sighing, Caroline pushed her goggles up.

"No, honey, this is incredible. He dropped the box on the workbench with a heavy thud. "I was down on Market, you know that shop there, the one with the gargoyles? One of them called me over, I swear. Not really, but, you know. The way they do." His hands had already moved past the flaps and into the box. They emerged with -- what in Christ was it?

Then she figured it out. It was a chainsaw. Orange with rust, festooned with thin leather gloves.

"Okay..."

"Don't you see? It's an automatic face-slapper!"

"Oh, sweetie," Caroline said, gently so he wouldn't bruise. "I don't--that's an art project at best."

"No no no!" Horace protested. "It still works!"

Monday, August 27, 2012

EULAugh But It's Bad Out There.


Jeremy Jones clicked the checkbox, unclicked it, clicked it again. There was no reason on God's green earth to share his predilection for monkey porn with anyone but BonoboLuvrs.com, there really wasn't. But. Mega Dump Truck II, Return of Mega Dump Truck! He could practically feel the dirt cascading off his rounded shoulders.

Little did he know: each click was a submit, each moment of indecision transmitted to the Mega Dump Truck team. The whole of it broadcast on a live wire with the A/V stream from the camera he'd already authorized in the unread EULA for Mega Dump Truck. His indecisive finger-sweat sucked up by the cushy keyboard, analyzed within the free-with-gas-purchase KP Lovinger laptop, sent to RainForest FoodShip with nutritional information (salt, electrolytes, blood sugar) and to every employer within a 500 mile radius who'd integrated the new Workforce Audit package (free trial, just click this checkbox!) into their desktop data delivery feed.

By the time Jeremy clicked Submit, he was unemployable in three states and a case of baby spinach was already on the way.

On the plus side, Mega Dump Truck II was awesome.

--

Another from a BoingBoing thread.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Ghost Weather

Thin white clouds have been skidding across the sky all afternoon, and Bryce is well ahead of us, chasing them up the switchbacks toward the pass. Mom and I are taking our time, pedaling alongside one another. Still working hard, the Rocky Mountain air too thin for anything else. But the trail is wide and there's breath enough for Mom to talk at me.

"What happened," Mom says. "Bryce and I are working it out, Sarah. He's a good guy. Can you just trust me on that?"

Above us, Bryce hits the last switchback and starts the climb toward the cliff-dwellings he told Mom about that morning. He'll be crowing when we get there.

Or maybe he won't. "Mom." I point over the pass. Dark clouds are piling up on the other side.

"Oh, haggis." That's Mom, right there.

"Can you make it?"

"Can you keep up?" Teasing and concerned both.

"Try me." That's me. Tough girl.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Stabenaw's Demon


The demons arrived flat-packed, much to Stabenaw's chagrin. Thirteen long black boxes chased in silver crosses. The UPS guy did his best not to grunt and swear but boxes like these are what grunting and swearing were invented for. He left the boxes upside down.

This wasn't why Stabenaw did not tip the man. In a few minutes . . . a few hours . . . unfolding the instructions, pictures of tabs and slots and curling horns and blister-packs of virgin blood, he thought maybe days might be more like it, but, fuck it, at some point this millenium tips were going to become a thing of high irrelevance.

"Oh, honey," Janice said when she saw the wreckage spread across the living room floor. "You know the Hendershotts will be here in fifteen minutes, right? I told you not to start this until--"

Janice was a sweet woman, beloved wife and mother to Stabenaw's seven amazing children and he wouldn't trade her for a buschel basket of B√ľndschens, but the allen wrench had recently skinned his fingertip and the last fucking thing he wanted to hear about right now was Clarence Hendershott's latest hemorrhoid lasering and the most recent car their juvie spawn had stolen.

Consequently, he invited her to leap from the nearest window. The Blasphemous Heart of Hrrjen (M) glistened with fresh dripped blood (not shown), and Janice did not bother putting on her shoes before she leapt. So that was settled.

Part of Stabenaw was appalled, but as he'd already gotten so far as to insert Talons (V) into Toebones (Q) and wrench them into place, the greater part thought that the Hendershotts would make a pretty fine meal regardless of whether Janice was there to cook.

--


This came out of a BoingBoing discussion thread.

Why This Blog?

Why this blog? Because obviously there aren't nearly enough fictioneers blogging about their cranial catastophes. There's a need, people. And I'm here to fill it.

Or maybe it's because I just need a place to post flash fiction, bits of stories, and the like, and to see what the world thinks of them. Because even humble wordminers like yours truly are vain SOBs when it comes to words on page. 

And who knows; if I ever hit it big I'll need a place where folks can find me. For now, here 'tis.

Enjoy! And if you're reading this and NOT a family member, say hi!