Rise and Whine

School starts back in our area on August 13th. Many of the local stores, such as Walmart, provide a display containing supply lists to assist parents with their back-to-school shopping. For some reason, each child is expected to be equipped with six boxes of facial tissues. I suppose these are to dry the teacher’s eyes when your child drives them to tears.

To mess with the store, I like to call a manager over and tell them I’m looking for the supply list for children who are home schooled. It gets ‘em every time.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the schoolmarm of 100-word stories is Margot Liberty Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

 

copyright – Dale Rogerson

From the moment her first guest checked in, Dale regretted opening an air BNB.

“The bed is so high, I had to use a stepladder,” one visitor whined. “And these chairs—my feet don’t even touch the floor.”

A guest from Scotland criticized her cutlery. “You call this a knife?” he screamed. “A serial killer would wear out his arm trying to crease a marshmallow with this thing.”

Her next client, from Arkansas, wanted to know if she served homemade biscuits and gravy.

Couldn’t they just relax and enjoy the beauty of Montreal?

Who knew Fictioneers would be so picky?

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Mime-staken Identity

Recently I wrote a book review on a “coming of age” story. You can find it here. These stories are quite popular as most readers can connect with the rites of passage associated with growing up.

But what about growing old? Why are there no coming of “old age” stories? What are some rites of passage associated with that transformation? I’m considering writing a story based on this premise and would love to hear your ideas.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the forever-young thespian who facilitates 100-word stories is Lily Putian Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

 

copyright – Liz Young

Detective Lowry pulled to the curb and studied the house. Other than the police tape, it looked like every other cookie-cutter home in the subdivision.

Officer Jim Whetstone greeted Lowry with a big grin. “The trap worked. We caught your burglar.”

Lowry glanced at the cage and shook his head. “I don’t think so, Jim. It’s a strange creature all right, but it’s not a mime. What did you use for bait?”

“An inside-out umbrella and a half-eaten donut.”

“Next time, staple a dozen Do-Not-Remove tags to the bottom of that chair and throw in a box of Shredded Wheat.”

Stumped

In America’s heartland, it’s popular for people to decorate the back of their vehicle with decals depicting stick-versions of the entire family. Evidently, the most prolific family surname is Ass. The given names are as follows; Jack or Wise (Dad); Smart (Mom); Lazy or Dumb (male teenager); Kiss (his younger sister); Stinky (family pet), and Fat (the live-in relative who won’t lift a finger to help).

I’m not sure I want to be acquainted with the Ass family (although, we may be related via my wife’s Cousin Eddie), so I simply respond with my own bumper sticker which reads; “The weather is here, wish you were beautiful.”

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the cat-herder in charge of ramrodding 100-word stories is Wee Rowdy Yates Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

 

photo copyright – J. Hardy Carroll

April 15thdawned gray and gloomy in Blandville. The town square was devoid of color except for occasional washed-out splotches of pink and blue. There was not a hint of lavender to be found.

Shelley was performing outside the Post Office, hoping to bring a little cheer to the deadline taxpayers. So far, no one appeared interested in her act.

Was it her prosthetic-leg-tip-jar? Or perhaps her black & white mime costume simply blended into the scenery?

Then she noticed two young women. One was walking an invisible dog on a leash.

Damn, where do I get one of those?

 

 

Lucy in the Sky – Book Review

I don’t normally post book reviews. In fact, this is the first since I covered Dick & Jane back in 2012. As you may recall they went on a bicycle ride accompanied by their dog, Spot. For me, it was an exciting and unfortgetable adventure. However, I’m here to tell you that Lucy in the Sky by John Vorhaus is even better.

My first introduction to Mr. Vorhaus was a book entitled The Comic Toolbox. His writing credits include episodes of The Wonder Years, Head of the Class, and Married . . . with Children. I thought to myself, anyone who writes that much humor can’t be all bad–so I decided to order one of his novels. I’m glad I did.

by John Vorhaus

Lucy in the Sky

It’s the late 1960s and Gene Steen is a 15yr-old boy growing up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His is the prototypical “Father Knows Best” Midwestern family and life is pretty predictable.

That is until his long-lost cousin, Lucy, shows up on their doorstep. She is pert, sassy, sexy, and hip beyond his wildest dreams. Gene is blown away by her “coolness” and idolizes her on many different levels, including her worldly knowledge and personal philosophy. With Lucy’s help, Gene learns to “question reality” and the importance of taking a stand for the things you really believe in.

But Lucy also has a past. And a dark secret that she can’t hide from—even in Milwaukee. Soon she is on the run with Gene by her side and the tempo escalates to a stunning conclusion.

Lucy in the Sky is a fast-paced story with more twists and turns than a drunken snake in a bowl of spaghetti. The book is true to the realities of the era while delivering an uplifting message about personal power and believing in one’s self.

It’s a great coming-of-age story that anyone can appreciate, especially those of us who lived through that era. To learn more about the author, or order one of his books, simply visit johnvorhaus.com

Song Writers Block

If you’ve ever submitted an article or short story for publication, you’ve probably received a rejection letter or two. Most are quite brief and often an obvious form letter. Here’s how to respond.

Dear ______, Thank you for your letter rejecting my submission. I have received rejections from an unusually large number of popular publications. With such a wide and promising spectrum of rejections, it’s impossible for me to consider them all. After careful deliberation, and because a number of publications have found me more unsuitable, I regret to inform you that I’m unable to accept your rejection. However, circumstances do change and I will keep your letter on file in case my requirements for rejection change.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the editor in charge of word count is Sarah Josepha Hale Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

It had been a long, frustrating day.

Marvin’s talent for creating timeless melodies and unforgettable lyrics had garnered dozens of awards and led to worldwide fame. The walls of his studio were covered with gold records and plaques commemorating his success writing soundtracks for movies and television shows.

Why was he struggling so with this song?

The melody came easy. It was clever, catchy, and simplistic in nature.

Yet for some reason, he just couldn’t find the right word to complete the opening line.

Mary had a little fish

Mary had a little turtle

 Mary had little poodle

Noodles

How many of you baby-talk to your pet? Let’s see a show of hands. No one can see you except for your spouse, who’s probably wondering why you’re holding your hand up in front of a computer screen.

There are several articles on the web that rationalize, or even justify this behavior—though none of them are written by pets. Why do we baby-talk at all? I realize its done with an attitude of affection, but the vocal tone sounds rather condescending when the last thing we want to do is hurt poor little snookum’s feelings.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, famous artist who baby-talks to paintings of empty wine glasses is Brooke Foster Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

 

copyright – Fatima Fakier Deria

 

Gee, it’s great to be out of Gotham City, Batman, but what are we doing in Venice, Italy?

The Riddler has kidnapped the maker of Commissioner Gordon’s favorite canned pasta.

Holy Ravioli, Batman, surely you don’t mean Chef Boy-ar-dee?

Exactly, Robin. The man who revolutionized spaghetti rings, Ettore Boiardi, aka, Hector Boyardee is being held for ransom somewhere in this city.

How will we find him?

The Riddler left a clue; What do you call a run-down neighborhood in Italy?

That’s easy. A Spa-ghetto.

Precisely. To the Bat-Gondola, Robin.


* today’s offering is a take-off from the American TV series “Batman” which aired from 1966-68.

Espionage

Have you ever predicted something ridiculous and had it come true? A couple of weeks ago, I hinted at possible collusion between our fearless leader and her Canadian cohort (neither of whom are Trump fans).

Apparently, my comment started a war of words between our two countries. A Trump advisor said, “There’s a special place in Hell for Justin Trudeau.” The implication here is that the current U.S. administration has an intimate connection with the Netherworld, and can reserve “special accommodations” for young, dashingly handsome leaders who have nice hair. This calls for a wall—as soon as the Canadians can empty enough Molson bottles to erect one.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our double-naught spy who encrypts secret messages in 100 word posts is Rosa Klebb Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright – Jean L. Hays

Justin, have you noticed that strange bird outside our window?

Do you mean the one with the audio receptor attached to its head, Sophie?

Oh, I thought that was a plume.

No, the bird’s a drone. And those beady little eyes are cameras.

Who would be spying on us?

I suspect it’s our neighbor, Snidely Badhair.

What do you think he’s after? Classified information? Intelligence gathering?

No, although he could use some intelligence. We have our own bird spy—a loon.

What have you learned?

Nothing. When we ask him to repeat what he heard he just starts laughing.

The Birthday Crasher

Is there someone in your house who doesn’t understand how a light switch works? These people have no trouble sliding the lever to the “On” position, but can’t seem to grasp the concept of flipping it to “Off” when they leave the room.

My Dad used to remark that our house was lit up like the Massey Hotel. To keep our electric meter from spinning like a pinwheel on methamphetamines, I threatened to doc our children’ allowances twenty-five cents each time I had to turn off a light behind them. By the end of the week, they always owed me money.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our frugal hostess who docs those exceeding the 100 word limit is Thomasina Edison Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright – Roger Bultot

Since retirement, Henry had worked hard to break into to the public speaking circuit. So far, the only gigs he’d landed were hawking free food samples at a neighborhood grocery.

Then fate intervened. One of the customers, impressed by his oratory skills, invited him to speak at a ribbon-cutting ceremony—at the museum, no less.

For three weeks, Henry honed his twenty-minute presentation and imagined the crowd hanging on every word.

“I’m the keynote for the ribbon-cutting,” he told the curator.

“Right this way.”

Inside, a five-year-old girl posed next to a pink, battery-operated toy car, scissors in hand.

Floaters

How many of you have at least one friend who is a real cheapskate? (Or maybe it’s your friend who knows someone like that 🙂 ) I have a buddy who’s so tight he squeaks when he walks. When we go to lunch, it’s takes half-a-can of rust remover just to get his wallet open.

This guy loves to go to garage sales—and he’s a real negotiator. If the price is a dollar, he’ll offer twenty-five cents. If the item is fifty cents, he tells the owner, “Pay me a dollar, I’ll gladly to take that thing off your hands.”

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the word-count tightwad who runs this show is Jacqueline Benny Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

 

photo courtesy of Connie Gayer

 

I was leaning on the handle of my hillbilly backhoe when the Purple Pygmy and the Watusi Canuck came waltzing across the pasture.

I hopped in the hole and pretended to dig.

“Nice pond,” said the Canuck. “Mind if we take a dip, eh?”

“No freebies. It’s gonna cost ya.”

“How about a rare work of art?” The pygmy flashed a crayon drawing of baby venison on the hoof.

“What else ya got?”

“I could do your portrait?”

“Okay, you got thirty minutes—but no diving!”

Little did they know I was just cleaning the pit under the outhouse.

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Do you ever promise yourself that you’re NOT going to do something, then wind up doing it anyway? How a “NO” can get twisted into “YES” is one of the great mysteries of the universe.

After pondering on this conundrum for ten to fifteen seconds, I came up with the following equation, which has been field-tested for accuracy and holds true 99.8% of the time when dealing with grandkids and wives. I call it the Russellean Theorem. No + No + No + No = Yes.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the medieval barber, known for her penchant for purple, is Theodora of Belton Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

photo copyright – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

“Remember those haircuts Mom used to give us in the sixties, Perry?”

“Yeah, we were supposed to look like the Beatles. She’d call you Paul and me Ringo.”

“That’s because you had a schnoz big enough to hold the family station wagon.”

“And poor Sis, she got the same haircut, only parted on the side to look like Twiggy.”

“It didn’t help that Mom had poor eyesight and used pinking shears.”

“The kids at school used to laugh and call us Fred and Barney.”

“Maybe that’s why we entered the stoned-age in the seventies.”

“I wonder what became of that bowl?”

 

 

Booties

Remember when people used to send their child’s baby shoes off to have them bronzed? Several of my mother’s friends memorialized their baby’s infancy in this manner. These were usually displayed in a prominent location, so that guests couldn’t help but see them.

I remember wondering why my mother never had a pair of mine bronzed. Did it cost too much? Was she embarrassed by my footwear? There are still several companies that can provide this service. They will even bronze your brassiere, if you’re so inclined. Check it out.   

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the emcee of our program, known for her purple footwear fetish, is Sneaker LeBeau Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

 

“Sir, you have a long-distance call from the U.K. Will you accept the charges?” The international operator’s voice was monotone and robotic.

“Sure.” Probably J.K. Rowling asking for writing advice—again.

“Hi, Russell. This is Harry. I was wondering if you’d do me a favor.”

The only Harry I knew of in England was Harry Nilsson, and he was dead.

“Meghan’s father is unable to attend,” said Harry, “and we were hoping you’d fill in for him at the wedding.”

“I guess so. What shall I wear?”

“Whatever’s comfortable. The men are wearing boots.”

“Well, I do have one pair.”


What my baby shoes would have looked like

Street Vermin

Have you ever noticed that when a bug hits your windshield they always splatter directly in the center of your field of vision? This “accuracy of aim” occurs far too often to be purely coincidental. I suspect they are graduates from Kamikaze Insect Institute who are intent on delivering their payload where it makes the most impact.

A close friend of mine would always make keen observations like, “It took guts to do that,” or, “I bet he doesn’t have the guts to do it twice.” Another favorite is, “What’s the last thing that passes through a bug’s mind when he hits your windshield?” I’m sure you can guess the answer. If not, bug me about it in the comment section.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our hostess is the renowned author and artist, The Belle of Belton, Shelley Kohlen Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright – Jill Wisoff

Today marked the first time Shelley had encountered other people while carrying stolen property. Three boys in their early teens stopped her on a side street.

“Whatcha got there?” they teased. “Is it heavy?”

“Want me to carry if for you?” The tallest one made a goofy face and reached for the invisible box.

She had to spin hard to avoid his grasp and twisted her ankle on the curb.

An elderly man saw the boys harassing her and ran them off.

“You boys should be ashamed of yourselves.” He shook his cane at them. “Picking on a damned mime.”


*the above is an excerpt from my current work in progress, “Criminal Mimes.”

Mandie Hines Author

Horror, Psychological Thrillers, Flash Fiction, and Poetry

The Phantom Rem

Stories From Within

Lorna's Voice

Finding ways to make words sparkle

The Incoherent Ramblings Of A Moose

This is the blog of a woman who is seriously on the edge and I mean right ON the edge…no, not there… just a little bit further… further than that…no, further still…just a tiny bit more… just move slightly to the right a little…no, that’s too much…just move a tad to the left…that’s right, just there…now you’ve moved too far to the left… Damn, what part of the ‘on the edge’ do you not understand? Oh, and her matricidal boy genius, come devil spawn.

Sharing sarcasm, snark, and satire with the world...

Or the three people I guilted into reading this blog, whatever.

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple

Growing older is inevitable. Growing up is optional.

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www.immodiumabuser.com

AS I TOLD THE GIRL THAT I LOST MY VIRGINITY TO, THANKS FOR LAUGHING AT ME HERE TODAY.

Dimitris Melicertes

I don't write, I touch without touching.

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Linda Vernon Humor

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