I’d like to start this week’s intro by saying I have the utmost respect for Mr. Fred Rogers. He brought a gentle, comforting presence into the lives of millions of children and the world is a better and happier place for him having lived in it.
When I was young, we used to watch the Dean Martin Show every week. My favorite episodes featured Jonathan Winters squeezing into a room stuffed with random items (not unlike my garage). He would pick up an item, such as a ball glove or carburetor, immediately jump into character, rattling off the funniest story you ever heard—totally spontaneous and unrehearsed.
Something similar, only different, happened to me today as I wrote this story. The Friday Flash Fictioneer photo for this week is courtesy of Doug “Flying Disc Man” MacIlroy. To read other far-fetched offerings visit our hostess, Ruby Slippers Wisoff-Fields’ blog, http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/ and click on the little blue InLinz critter to find links other author’s blogs.
“Good morning, boys and girls. Welcome to Mr. Roger’s workshop. Today we’re going to build a disco ball for our friend, Mr. Mac, in Hawaii. Can you say that . . . disco?
First, we soak strips of paper in paste and cover a beach ball with them. This is called papier-mâché. When the ball is dry, we’ll glue on thousands of tiny mirrors.”
“What’s Mr. Mac going to do with it?” asked Ruby.
“He wants to put it on his red bucket and take it to the disc golf course.”
“Because it’s on his bucket list, Ruby.”
This week’s photo prompt inspired me to take a brief respite from the laborious task of writing humor and take on one of the most serious challenges facing our society today—addiction. Not a single family on the face of our planet has escaped the unscrupulous chokehold of dependency. Alcoholism, gambling, drugs, and even sex addiction are some of the most common.
Today’s story is an effort to raise awareness to a lesser known affliction and simply say, “You are not alone.” If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction, please get help.
This week’s photo is courtesy of Rich Voza. To read more stories, visit Roberta Wisoff-Fields blog, http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/ and click on the little blue InLinz critter to find links other author’s blogs.
“Where is she?”
“Last door on the left, room 2213.”
“God, I feel so guilty about admitting her. We tried so hard. I feel like a failure (choking back tears).
“Now, now, (placing a hand on his shoulder) don’t beat yourself up. You did everything you could, and bringing her here was the best thing for both of you.”
“Can you cure her, doctor?”
“This is the best addiction treatment center in the Ozarks. We can help her, but she’ll always be a recovering addict.”
“Is she making progress?”
“Yes, Mr. Fields. She readily admits to being addicted to purple.”
Very few people know (except Rochelle, of course) that six hours before Ian Fleming finished the first draft of Casino Royale (released in 1953), a little known Ozark novelist, Hershel “Jim Bob” Frugalstein, submitted an original spy-thriller manuscript to New York publisher Shyster & Ponzi. Editors and agents agreed the book was destined for the best seller list, and quite probably book of the year.
Unfortunately, negotiations broke down over movie rights to the story. Jim Bob insisted on playing the lead role and personally hand-picking the female cast members. The Publisher and Hollywood both rejected the notion, citing the fact that Frugalstein’s only experience as an actor was a non-speaking role as “Jim” in a third grade production of Huckleberry Finn.
Today’s Friday Fiction installment is a 100 synopsis of the original novel. Remember, this is a work of fiction and any character resemblance to modern-day Fictioneers is purely a figment of your imagination.
This week’s photo is courtesy of our bus driver, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. To read more stories, visit her blog, http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/ and click on the little blue InLinz critter to find links to other less ridiculous offerings.
By Hershel “Jim Bob” Frugalstein
Israeli intelligence discovers B.O.W.D.* mastermind, Randal Gnomes, plot to destroy the world’s supply of candle wax, darkening menorahs and crushing Jewish morale during the Festival of Lights.
The Prime Minister dispatches the country’s top spy, Percy (formerly cute) Cube—code name 005, to intercept Gnomes and castrate his evil plan.
Percy is captured breaking into Gnomes lair by the cunning and voluptuous Rowena Vermouth. Vermouth finds her emotions both shaken and stirred by her animal attraction to Percy.
As the countdown to Hanukkah begins, Gnomes dangles Percy above a cauldron of hot wax. Rowena must decide which wick to dip.
*(Bent on World Destruction)
I am among the few remaining sub-species of dinosaurs who still subscribe to a newspaper. A few years back, newspapers used to give their employees holidays off, but now, like everyone else, they call them “associates” or “team members” and force their noses to the grindstone 365 days a year. I could rant and rave about this from now until the Mayan calendar expires, but it still wouldn’t return us to those thrilling days of yesteryear, so I’ll just shut up and move on.
When I went out to the paper box yesterday morning (Thanksgiving Day), little did I know it was going to require a crane and forklift to remove it from the box and transport it into the house. The paper carrier must have forearms like Popeye the Sailor (or good medical insurance) to shove several hundred of those giant round-bales of print into tiny plastic boxes.
Yesterday’s edition consisted of 4 ½ ounces of news, sports, classifieds, etc., and 492 lbs. of advertisement. I’m sure millions of Americans spent yesterday morning devouring these ads like piranha in feeding frenzy, plotting their attacks against these poor retailers in their moment of vulnerability to snatch up bargains galore. After all, everyone is a sucker for a bargain—even the MC in today’s story.
This week’s photo is courtesy of Joyce Johnson. To read more stories, visit Rochelle Wisoff-Fields blog, http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/and click on the little blue InLinz critter to find links to other author’s offerings.
Jason had camped outside the big box store with hundreds of others. Moments before the doors opened, he surveyed the crowd for potential future victims. Teenagers, old folks, and minorities were all equally represented. He smiled.
The sale paper proclaimed “below cost” pricing on chainsaws, machetes, broadaxes, and even hockey masks—all the tools of his trade.
Once inside, he headed for the hardware section. Rounding a corner, a middle-aged woman slammed her cart into his. Another grabbed the last remaining chainsaw. Four more surrounded him, their eyes like flaming embers, growling, cursing, and gnashing their teeth.
Suddenly a warm, wet spot appeared on the front of his blue jeans, and for the first time in his life Jason fully understood the meaning of the word . . . terror.
After reading one of my short stories, non-writer family members and friends often ask, “Where did that idea come from?”
Thanks to this week’s photo by Sean Fallon, I will not only explain where they come from, but also why some are better than others.
To read more stories, visit Rochelle Wisoff-Fields blog, http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/ and click on the little blue InLinz critter to find links to other author’s offerings.
“You know how cartoons show a light bulb coming on when someone gets an idea?”
“Did you ever wonder what powers that light bulb?”
“No, can’t say that I have, Forrest.”
“And you know how some people have really bright ideas, others shine dim, and some poor folks can’t even make the bulb come on?”
“Yeah, I’ve known a few of those.”
“Well, those light bulb ideas are powered by batteries.
Mama says, ‘Life is like a jar of batteries. Sometimes you get lithium ion, sometimes you get alkaline, and sometime you get a dud.’”
I’ve always wanted to use the name Madge in a story. Thanks to Rochelle, and her intriguing photo, I finally get my chance. Some of you may remember Madge as the beautician who soaked her client’s fingers in Palmolive dishwashing detergent to make them soft as a baby’s ear (or was it a lower region?).
No palms or olives were injured in the fabrication of this week’s installment of Friday Flash Fiction.
To read more stories, visit Rochelle Wisoff-Fields blog, http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/ and click on the little blue InLinz critter to find links to other author’s offerings
“Good morning, Irma, this is Flossie. Do you know what’s going on with Madge?”
“No. Is she all right?”
“Well, something’s going on. She’s too busy to talk on the phone, so I went over there. She kept watching the clock and practically shoved me out the door at 3 o’clock. Minutes later, a gray-haired man arrived and stayed for two hours.”
“That must be Paul. What else did you see?”
“Not much, her windows fogged over. He looks twice her age.”
“Well, Madge told me, ‘Just because there’s frost on the roof doesn’t mean the fire’s gone out.’”
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I’ve never met a woman
who’s more like the weather.
Her disposition can change
like the swish of a feather
Forget that the forecast
calls for 90 and sunny,
better put on your coat
The Ice Woman cometh
Like an icy arctic front
sweeping down from the North,
the temperature drops
when she walks through the door.
Suddenly you remember
what you like about summer,
better put on your coat
The Ice Woman cometh
Don’t try to console her,
you’ll never be a hero.
The stare “chill factor”
is twenty below zero.
With a silence so deafening
it sounds like thunder,
better put on your coat
The Ice Woman cometh
Like any winter storm,
we know it won’t last.
We fear its approaching,
we rejoice when it’s passed.
The movement of time
slows to a crawl
while we patiently wait
for the Ice Woman to thaw
Be forewarned, this is a real groaner. Thoughts poured through my pea brain like boulder sized kidney stones passing through a narrow urethra. It took two rolls of paper towels to clean up the perspiration generated by umpteen hours of hard labor giving birth to this ugly baby.
For maximum effect, hold a coffee mug to your lips while reading the story. Photo by Ted Strutz.
To read more stories, visit Rochelle Wisoff-Fields blog, http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/ and find links to other authors under the comments section.
P.S. ~ If you’re not a regular Friday Flash Fiction reader, save yourself some confusion and stop before the last line.
“Son, I say son,” a booming voice sliced through the night like a Daboll Trumpet off the coast of Cape Cod.
“Where’s the flying pigs? The widow’s boy loves them scientific gadgets.”
“We’ve got airplanes, helicopters, and space ships, but no pigs,” said the vendor.
“Then how about a pair of them X-rated glasses?”
“You must mean X-ray glasses, sir. I’m sorry, we only have sunglasses.”
“What am I going to do with you, boy? The sun ain’t even shining. (whispers) Poor kid, a big barn but an empty loft.”
“Check out our clearance rack, sir. Ted Strutz coffee cups.”
If restaurant table condiments could talk, what tales they would tell. Secrets of illicit lovers, confessions of criminals on the lam, and horror stories of pranksters who leave the salt lid unscrewed for the next diner. This week’s episode features a 100 word rant by someone who’s a little self-centered. You might even say she’s ‘sweet’ on herself.
Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for a great photo full of endless possibilities.
To read more stories, go to her blog, http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/ and find links to other authors under the comments section.
Back in the old days it was just me, S & P, and maybe a bottle of Heinz. The kind that was so thick it couldn’t be pounded out with a jackhammer—and remember the song, “Anticipation?” I laughed my pour hole off.
Then people got weight conscious and some smarty-pants scientists invented artificial sweeteners. Now they park their little pink, yellow, and blue packets right on the table next to us. It’s insulting.
Try calling your lover Nutra-sweetie, or say their kisses are Splendalicious—see how far that gets you!
I’m from Hawaii and 100% natural. Kiss me, Sugar.
When I was in high school, my buddy’s father ran the bus station in Fayetteville. I would intentionally refer to it as Jefferson Lanes just to piss him off. “Lines, damn it! It’s Lines, not Lanes,” he would scream. Sometimes his dad would pay us $5 each to clean the inside of an empty bus. You could buy a half-case of beer and a cheeseburger with that kind of money back then.
Thanks to Ron Pruitt for week’s photo and the personal flashback to the ‘good ol’ days.’ To read more stories, go to http://madison-woods.com/ click on the Blog tab, and follow the links.
Their bags are packed and tucked safely in the storage compartment. His and hers spandex tights, pink stilettos, size forty-two thong underwear, weed-whacker shredded T-shirts, leopard print Cougar-wear, and two large bins of hair color, styling gel, and assorted make-up.
“A quarter of a million people applied for this year’s team,” said Bob Grossman, talent coordinator. “The competition was extremely stiff. It’s not enough just to dress tacky or obscene. Bad taste and poor judgment comes naturally to some people, but sinking to this level requires hard work and dedication.”
“We appreciate the Friday Fictioneers promoting the tour,” said Grossman.**I’ll be hiding in a cabin in Booger County for a few days starting at noon on Friday, with no access to a computer, but will respond to comments when I return next week.
I struggled to find anything funny in this week’s photo, so I went with my first impression. It’s a mix of Alfred Hitchcock and Mel Brooks. It won’t make you spew coffee through your nose, but you might look over your shoulder. I’ll be attending Ozark Creative Writers conference in Eureka Springs this weekend learning how to be creative, so I won’t be responding or visiting blogs until Sunday & Monday. Ya’ll keep me in your prayers.
This week’s photo is courtesy of Jan Morrill.
To read more stories, go to http://madison-woods.com/ click on the Blog tab, and follow the links.
Lucinda had always been afraid of spiders. Therapists suggested a variety of treatments including hypnosis. Nothing worked. The only way to overcome arachnophobia was to face her fear.
The streets of Pamplona were empty the day before its lesser-known festival. Lucinda thought it wise to familiarize herself with the course prior to the event.
The white stucco wall bore evidence of past participants attempting to escape the terror. Broken fingernails and dried blood stains littered her path.
Something moved behind her. A cold shiver raced down her spine. A lone gossamer strand trembled in the breeze.
“Tomorrow, Lucinda,” it whispered.
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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