Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last two hundred years, you’re probably familiar with the Bros. Grimm fairy tale “Rapunzel.” As in most stories of this genre, the damsel in distress is terminally pretty and the hero brutally handsome (i.e. ~ Eagles lyrics to “Life in the Fast Lane”).
What you’re about to learn is the story of Rapunzel’s lesser-known sister, Carlotta—better known as Whollata in fast-lane circles.
If you are new to Friday Flash Fiction, the Fairy Godmother in charge of transposing everyday photos into miracles of literary art is “Magic Wanda” Wisoff-Fields (fastest wand in the Mid-West). To learn how to participate in this weekly exercise in madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To read stories by other FFF authors click here.
Carlotta stared at her reflection in the mirror and flashed a picket-fence smile. She spun in a tight pirouette, admiring her linebacker figure and scarlet, Brillo-pad hair.
How could fate be so cruel? Poor Rapunzel sported long, beautiful tresses and the body of a centerfold, but only attracted one man.
Carlotta, on the other hand, was overrun with suitors scaling the fire escape of her Upper West Side apartment to sample her pleasures. The lack of air conditioning only fanned the flames of their desire.
“Take my advice,” she told Rapunzel. “Hang something out the window other than your hair.”
In this day and age danger lurks around every corner. Unlike the best selling author of Lame Adventures, Virginia Antonelli, who lives in the heart of Gotham City, we don’t have superheroes bouncing off every building looking for someone to save. In fact pickings are so slim we had to settle for a second-hand, spandex-and-cape-clad crusader called Stuporman.
He means well (bless his heart), but on most of his rescue missions the victims wind up saving him from the villain. Stuporman is not totally incompetent. He can fasten the velcro closures on his boots by himself and gets his mask on straight part of the time.
After being begged for three whole seconds, Stuporman graciously consented to a phone interview by What’s So Funny? special correspondent, Rachel Crofton.
If you are new to Friday Flash Fiction, the producer of this fine program is Baba Wawa Wisoff-Fields (try saying that 3 times real fast). To learn how to participate in this weekly exercise in madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To read stories by other FFF authors click here.
Rachel Crofton: What inspired you to become a superhero?
Stuporman: I’ve always loved the feel of spandex, wearing a cape, and the thought of having a secret identity.
RC: Did you have a mentor, or role model, who influenced your career?
SM: As a child, I worshiped Liberace. At fourteen, I attended a Prince concert and it changed my life.
RC: Uh . . . those are entertainers. What does that have to do with fighting crime?
SM: My super-power is my voice, Rachel. When I break into song, villains curl into a fetal position, cover their ears, and beg for mercy.
RC: What is the biggest challenge superheroes face today?
SM: Finding a dressing room. Phone booths are a thing of the past, leaving porta-potties as the only option. Last week my mask fell into the toilet and . . . .
RC: Gross! I don’t want to hear the details. Just tell us why they call you Stuporman.
SM: Because I confuse and astound evil villains—I stupefy them.
RC: Evidently, it works on reporters too.
Please excuse the long-winded diatribe at the start of this post. If you prefer to skip this part (which has nothing at all to do with the story) feel free to scroll down and cut to the chase. My feeling will be injured, but I should recover in six to eight weeks with only minor psychological scars.
For those of you who follow the Lottery, as of this morning the current jackpot is the 7th highest of all-time and I expect it will climb further up the charts before the drawing this weekend. My wife’s theory is that you have to purchase your ticket in another state if you want to win. She backs this up by citing the number of past winners who bought their ticket while traveling on vacation.
She may be onto something. Last week when Jason and I were in Charlotte, SC, he purchased a $10 scratch off and won $30. He kept reinvesting a portion of his winnings and after three cards was $90 ahead. I guarantee you if we’d been in our home state of Arkansas he could have spent $90 and been lucky to have won $10.
Don’t waste your time or money on a lottery ticket this weekend. Connie and I are traveling to Carthage, Missouri Saturday morning for Aunt Verda’s 90th birthday party. At some point on this trip she plans to purchase the winning ticket and thrust us into the misery of becoming multi-millionaires. Having money will be quite an adjustment, but she thinks that over time we can learn to live with it.
If you are new to Friday Flash Fiction, the bookie taking bets on who gets the most chigger bites at the event described below is Carla “Whacha-Talkin’-Bout” Wisoff-Fields. To learn how to participate in this weekly exercise in madness, head over to her blog for instructions. Find links to other author’s stories by clicking here.
(Debuting their new album “Immune to DEET”)
An all-you-can-eat buffet will be provided by two pale-skinned teenagers making passionate love in the tall grass behind the wrought iron fence.
The weather is here ~ wish you were beautiful.
This week’s story weighs in at 127 words, classifying it as Featherweight as opposed to the Mini Flyweight guideline of our guild. But I figured, “Hey, if Perry can get away with it, so can I.”
I’ll be leaving for North Carolina before daylight Thursday morning and won’t return until after 10 pm Friday night. So, I’m apologizing in advance for not replying to your comments or visiting other author’s blogs in a timely manner, but will do my best to catch up over the next twelve weeks.
If you are new to Friday Flash Fiction, the bouncer responsible for maintaining order in this establishment is Bella “Bone Crusher” Wisoff-Fields. To learn how to participate in this weekly exercise in madness, head over to her blog for instructions. After which, scroll down to the blue In links critter and follow the links to other author’s blogs.
“Ma’am, I’m going to have to cut you off.”
“Whaddya mean? I just got here.”
“Well, I’m sure it seems that way. Time really flies when you’re having fun.”
“Who said I was having fun? There’s more life at the county morgue than in this dump.”
“Now, now . . . let’s not get testy and resort to name calling. You can stay until you sober up—as long as you behave yourself.”
“Sober up? I haven’t ordered yet.”
“Ma’am, you were fuzzy-headed the moment you walked in. Now the whole room is blurry and starting to spin. You’re clearly intoxicated.”
“Who is this guy?” she asked the waitress.
“That’s Joe. He always stops in for a few shots before work.”
“What does he do?”
Bruce Willis is credited with saying something to the effect of, “No matter how old we get, we still feel twenty-three on the inside.” Most of the time I agree with that statement, but while battling gout a couple of weeks ago, I could’ve sworn I was eighty-eight.
When looking in the mirror, I always ask myself, “Who’s that old fart? Do we know him? When did he take the place of the young stud who used to appear there?” To boost my ego, I like to repeat the adage, “I may not be good as I once was, but I am as good once as I ever was.”
In this week’s story, a couple of octogenarian teenagers have a hormonal flashback. Gladys has been widowed several years and Richard lost his wife a few months ago after a four year ordeal with Alzheimer’s.
If you are new to Friday Flash Fiction, the registered nurse in charge of dispensing medication (and tightening my straight-jacket) is Florence Nightingale Wisoff-Fields. To learn how to participate in this weekly exercise in madness, head over to her blog for instructions. After which, scroll down to the blue In links critter and follow the links to other author’s blogs
“That’s disgusting,” hissed a teenager.
“Yeah you two, get a room!” The boys made gagging sounds and laughed before shuffling down the sidewalk.
“What do you think, Gladys?” Richard wiggled his eyebrows.
She smiled. “I’ve always wondered what the rooms were like in that fancy hotel.”
“One night?” asked the desk clerk.
“Nah, only a couple of hours,” said Richard with a wink.
The clerk rolled his eyes.
“Do you think we’ll be home before our kids report us as missing?” asked Gladys.
He pulled her close and lost himself in her deep sea-green eyes. “I certainly hope not.”
Last September, Connie and I had the great pleasure of visiting the Clinton Library in Little Rock, Arkansas. We spent a couple hours there and probably saw less than half of what there is to see.
If you haven’t toured a Presidential Library, today’s your lucky day. Lean back in your fake-leather office chair and prepare to be amazed. You’re just a few short sentences away from experiencing the sights, sounds, and malignant odors of one of our lesser known Presidential Libraries, nestled in the sleepy, bedroom community of Havertown, PA.
For those new to Friday Flash Fiction, the Secret Service agent responsible for the safety and protection of our authors is the ever vigilant, Natasha Wisoff-Fields. To learn how to participate in this weekly exercise in madness, head over to her blog for instructions. After which, scroll down to the blue In links critter and follow the links to other author’s blogs.
“Is that all there is?” she asked. “We paid twelve bucks a pop to see a bookcase of ‘Dick and Jane’ readers, some used coloring books, and two dozen worn out ABBA albums?”
“No, ma’am, there’s more downstairs,” said the tour guide. “The unicycle the president rode to his first inauguration, his juggling balls, and the kippah he wore when he took the oath of office.”
“I expected more from a President of the United States,” she huffed.
“His library is two blocks down the street, ma’am. This one belongs to the President of Havertown University.”
*this week I came in at 96 words, leaving 4 extra for my buddy, Perry Block
For those of you expecting a lengthy intro this week—sorry, it ain’t gonna happen. Too much to do and so little time.
If you are new to Friday Flash Fiction, the queen bee of our hive is the lovely and talented, Flying Wallenda Wisoff-Fields. To learn how to participate in this weekly exercise in madness, head over to her blog for instructions. After which, scroll down to the blue In links critter and follow the links to other author’s blogs
“Folks, this is the little starter home I told you about. It was built in 2012, features several compartments for a growing family, has numerous flower gardens nearby filled with juicy caterpillars, and is only a short flight from the entertainment district.”
“I don’t know,” said Wanda. “I was hoping for something with more of a view.”
“Just look at this rock work, ma’am. Beautiful, smooth, shiny stones, and running water just outside your door.”
“Are there many humans nearby?” asked Warren.
“Yes, it’s only two minutes from a golf course.”
“What do you think, Wanda?”
“Perfect. We’ll take it.”
Last Friday evening, the Fayetteville Public Library had Dave Barry in town as part of their Famous Author series. My wife, Connie, and I attended the reception prior to the show where we ran into my cousin and fellow author, JB Hogan. The follow story is my personal recap of our “Dave Barry Experience.”
“We were that close,” said JB, his forefinger and thumb spread apart the width of a blonde belly-hair. “I can’t believe that girl ran off after I gave her money.” His face flushed with anger and his eyes turned to camera-girl seeking missiles beneath a furrowed brow. Determined to locate her, he circled the room in long accentuated strides like Groucho Marx, minus the cigar. She could not be found.
I looked at Dave Barry and smiled. Oh well, maybe next time.
Another visitor stepped up to shake hands and rub elbows with the Funniest Man in America (according to the New York Times). Dave appeared cordial, but I could tell underneath that mask of professionalism, he was deeply hurt and disappointed.
Earlier in the evening, during our introductions, JB Hogan, my cousin and fellow writer, informed Mr. Barry that many people considered me to be the Dave Barry of Northwest Arkansas. To which Mr. Barry replied, “That’s interesting. Everyone considers me the Russell Gayer of South Florida.”
Dave noticed I had one of his books, “I’ll Mature When I’m Dead,” tucked under my arm. “Can I sign that for you?” he begged.
“Sure, that would be nice.”
“Is it Russell with two S’s and two L’s?”
“Yes, and you’d be surprised how many people can’t spell it correctly.”
“Well, I want to make sure I get it right,” he said, throwing open the book to the title page and scrawling his little note.
I was about to share some tips on writing humor with Dave when a porky, ex-politician shoved his way to the front of the line and interrupted our conversation. The only time those guys show any consideration is before you go in the voting booth. After election day, you’re just another grape to be trampled in vineyard of life.
Dave handled the situation with grace and dignity. He smiled, nodded his head, and shook the old boy’s hand like he really gave a crap what the guy was saying. I was impressed at how well he concealed his disappointment about missing out on the humor tips.
“What he’d write?” asked JB. I opened the book and showed him.
To Russell, my idol. – Dave Barry.
“Hey . . . that’s cool,” said JB. I could tell he was envious. It’s a good thing I’m such a humble person. A lot of people would let a compliment like Dave wrote go to their head.
After the missed photo op, we all went downstairs to hear Dave speak. We’d been seated ten or fifteen minutes when he finally walked into the room. Evidently, he needed some time to regain his composure after missing out on having his picture made with two of Northwest Arkansas’s finest authors. I felt bad for him, but the guy’s a real trooper. He kept the audience in stitches for an entire hour without showing how distraught he was over the photo.
I wish things could’ve turned out differently. There’s a big, bare spot on Dave’s web site that would’ve been the perfect spot for a picture of the three of us and provided a shot in the arm for his career.
Hell, I might even have posted it on my blog.
Have you ever had an embarrassing medical problem that made you want to get on the internet and share it with the entire world? Me neither. But thousands of people do each and every day. I’m told that’s what Facebook is for—a place to share your pain and sorrow with others to help them avoid having to suffer through the same experience.
I bet people in Iceland are quite appreciative of photos of sunburned privates and the folks in China can’t wait to hear the details of your colonoscopy. In today’s story, a brave country farmer drops his drawers and bares the truth for the benefit of all you faithful readers.
If you are new to Friday Flash Fictions, don’t get squeamish in the examining room. Our chief physician, Dr. P. Jewels Wisoff-Fields, has cured folks with worse problems than yours. To learn how to participate in this weekly exercise in madness, head over to her blog for instructions. After which, scroll down to the blue In links critter and follow the links to other author’s blogs
“What seems to be the problem?”
“I got a bad case of planter’s warts, Doc.”
“And what makes you think that?”
“My wife and I bought this new fangled farm machine. The catalog said it would plant fifty acres a day. I’ve been riding it from sun-up to sundown for a month.”
“Where are these warts?”
“On my bee-hind. It hurts to sit down, and they itch something awful.”
“Pull you pants down and bend over that table. I’ll have look. Those aren’t plantar warts. They’re hemorrhoids, Mister . . . .”
“Fingers, Wallace Fingers, but everybody calls me Stinky.”
* * *
Great news! Dave Barry is coming to the Fayetteville Public Library tonight. It’s not often we have a great writer, particularly one of America’s premier humorist, visit NW Arkansas. I’m excited about going to see him, and hopefully some of his talent will rub off on me!
Some of our politicians in Little Rock have expressed concern over Arkansas’ public image. They believe that many outside our fair state have the perception that we are a bunch of barefoot, buck-tooth (singular), inbred hillbillies with no ambition.
My answer to that is – GOOD! If it keeps ‘em from moving here, I’m all for it. The ones that do come make no attempt to fit into the culture. They refuse to wear overalls and won’t let their daughters marry until after the eighth grade. No wonder we’re next to last in education (thank you, Mississippi).
If you are new to Friday Flash Fictions, don’t let me scare you away. The source of keen insight and the facilitator of this exercise in brain surgery is the renowned Dr. Ophelia Wisoff-Fields. To learn how to participate in this weekly exercise in madness, head over to her blog for instructions. After which, scroll down to the blue In links critter and follow the links to other author’s blogs.
Alexandria inspected and rearranged the table settings for the twelfth time. She checked the pot roast, her father’s favorite dish, slow-basting in the oven. Tonight, she would introduce her parents to Luke and announce their wedding plans.
Father often boasted of family ties to the old world. A rich ancestry filled with war heroes, business tycoons, inventors, and medical pioneers. The roots of their family tree ran deep, its branches heavy laden with generations of noble individuals who’d contributed greatly to society.
What would they think of Luke, whose family tree was a two-limb pole with a few deformed twigs?
Horror, Psychological Thrillers, Poetry, Flash Fiction
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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.
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