Glad to be back in the world of flash fiction with my favorite weekly writing prompt over at Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers.  Hope you guys enjoy this one!



“We’re losing elevation, Tom.”
“I know Ben.”
“There are cars in those streets, Tom.”
“I know Ben.”
Tom had never flown a chopper before. He still wasn’t sure how Ben had talked him into being the one to do it. Ben was always setting him up. They had been planning the heist all summer. Weeks, even months of effort would be wasted because Tom couldn’t maintain altitude. Assuming they weren’t killed. Even if they somehow survived, the consequences would without question last the rest of their lives. There’d be no leniency.
“Tom, you’re going to crash!”
Tom panicked. He pushed down hard on the stick and the chopper lurched violently towards the ground. Too late he remembered he should have pulled back.
“Oh no oh no.”
There was a terrible grunt as the thing hit the asphalt. Cars shrieked as their drivers slammed on brakes and horns alike in a futile effort to avoid this sudden invader to their streets. Time stopped for Tom as his world crashed down. In that frozen moment, a single car dodging the pileup managed to break through and run right into Tom’s chopper.
And crushed it.
It was Dad’s favorite.
Dad was going to be pissed.

Collaborative Storytelling

Has anybody tried collaborative story-telling?  I’ve heard about writing groups where people take turns writing chapters of a story, and was intrigued.

I have a problem.  I need to get over my incompletion hangup.  My first thought to do this would be to create a pressure to write by having somebody else depend on me.  This lead me to collaborative writing.  The more I thought about it, the more it appeals to me.

I’ve mentioned elsewhere that I play role-playing games, which essentially amounts to table-to collaborative storytelling.  People gather and talk, roll some dice to create random chance, but ultimately are gathered to tell a story.  I’ve frequently served in the role of Game Master, which means the core story, the villains, and all of the side characters are driven by me.  I’ve done this role for 20 years.  This gives me experience in I guess what I’d describe as the speed-chess of storytelling.

I think that makes me adept at quickly spinning out a yarn, and then being creative to try and tie it all together later if I put something out that didn’t quite fit.  In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the mistakes and “oops moments” often lead me to some of the most interesting and original content.

Taking ongoing stories where different authors try to take it different directions may be exactly what I need to get the pen going again.  (It also may be YET ANOTHER distraction that keeps me from actually finishing a single work, but hey, what can I say?).

I’ve found two.

I’ve got one story started on storymash, and continued a few on both sites.

Let me know what you think.

Also, do you know any other ways to get into collaborative writing?  Anybody have experience with it?  Thoughts?




“Come on come on come on! Get your stuff!”
Matt tapped his foot and glanced again at his watch. Every hour wasted was another hour he’d have to rent the damned moving truck. It was cheaper than the hotels, but that didn’t make it cheap.
Avery, his oldest stepped up, one hand on her hip and the other clutching her travel bag. “I’m tired of moving,” she whined. “Can’t we just stay in one place for a while? I’d like to you know, make friends.”
Matt dismissed her complaints with a wave of his hand and stepped forward to grab the edge of her bag and pull her towards the truck.
“You’ll understand when you’re older.” She dutifully climbed up the side and pulled open the door. A stack of fliers and brochures of locations all over the country littered the front seat. A giant “X” written in black Sharpie marked over half. His daughter pushed them to the floor. Once she was settled, he handed her a map with the paperclip on the top holding yet another flier to it.
“Destiny Falls, North Dakota. Fame and fortune await.”
This time would be the one.


Here’s this week’s Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer.



“That’s 49.” George sighed, letting the warmth of satisfaction pass through him. It contrasted nicely with the cold outside. So close to done.
The stinging in his leg pulled his attention back to present. The buzz of the needle was the only sound while the tattoo artist worked. The artist leaned back and admired her work. A beautiful black outline of a malamute wrapped around his shin.
“49 Tattoos?”
George chuckled. “Yes. Some people collect license plates. I get decorated. 49 designs on the car. 49 on the skin. Almost done. Just one more state to go.”
“Good luck man.”
He nodded and smiled.
Now how was he going to get the car to Hawaii?

Our Table

This week’s Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer.


Our Table


Claire’s heart fluttered as she read it again. She had been seeing George pretty regularly for almost a year… He was perfect. Sweet. Caring. He brought her tulips (her favorite). He read to her. They took a trip to Europe together last fall. He talked to her cats… And no guy had done that before. Perfect.

Would he ask her tonight?

She didn’t really have to consider what her answer would be. Just how she would say it.

She sat at their table in her best evening gown and waited, a place they had only been once before… their first date. She couldn’t believe he still remembered it.

“I told you I’d be here,” she heard George’s voice from behind her. She smiled and rose to her feet, spinning around.

And her heart collapsed back into the chair… to the ground… Six feet under.

George was settling into a table a few feet away with a petite blond with unnaturally large eyes, a pout set on her lips.

“I’m at our table, babe.  Didn’t you get my text?”

Tilting at Windmills

I couldn’t resist this photo-prompt from Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer.  Hope you enjoy it!  Thanks to TJ Paris!


Tilting at Windmills

Donald took a deep breath. This would be the biggest moment of his life, a life which until today had been sentenced to menial chores around the farm. Well, he wouldn’t stand for it any more. Let somebody else carry grain to the mill! He was already nine, and life was passing him by. Well, no more.

He’d need to prepare. He grabbed his lance, an old post that he’d spent most of last summer filing the end down to a point. He strapped on his armor, the pots and pans that he had scavenged from Mom’s kitchen. The family dog watched him at this with some interest, thumping his tail dutifully on the floor.

Don leaned down and pet the dog, who got up to follow him as he strode from the house.

“Come on, Sancho. Today, we set things right.”

Today, he escaped monotony! Today, he freed himself of the giants that loomed over him.
Today, he’d be tilting.

White Snow

Here’s today’s Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer.  For some reason, the focus and color made me think Disney.  A little long this week!

Thanks to pixabay for the picture.

White Snow

The outside of the apartment was like nature’s circus, a beautiful assortment of colored plants. If only it didn’t have to snow!
The young man fiddled with the door for several minutes, large droopy eyes giving him an almost childlike visage. Didn’t work. He gave the door a feeble kick. Nothing ever worked. And suddenly, his friend was there, the nice lady with the pale skin and dark black hair.
“Come on, you old dope. Don’t let the grumpies get you,” she sang before nimbly stepping over to help him. She eased the key from his hands and helped with the lock.
He smiled up to her. She leaned in as the lock clicked. “See! Be happy.”
He just kept up with his simple smile.
“Not talking… Feeling bashful?”
He wasn’t really sure what bashful meant, but nodded at her. He liked to see her smile at him. The snow had begun to land on her, each flake adding a sparkle to her sapphire blouse. A flake landed on his nose, making him sneeze.
She shepherded him into the apartment, the only light of that cave coming from the brightness outside. “Now go wash up for dinner.  The Doc says you need to get some sleep, and I’d like for us to eat first.”
He shuffled off, trying to do as she asked. Moments later, he heard a voice at the door. It was an old woman, looking almost one with the falling snow, withered skin and a pointed nose like a wilting gray carrot. The young man disliked her immediately.
“Would you like to buy some fruit, my dear?”


Here’s my entry for this week’s Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer.  Enjoy.


Thanks to S Writings for the prompt.


“Are you sure we’re in the right place?” That may have been the four hundredth time Mary Lou had asked the question.
Barbara Ann looked hard at her, that glazed look she had crafted so well after so many years. “Of course we are.”
It wasn’t a part of town they were used to going to. Things were just… weirder out here. So many bizarre objects and people all around. The big city really was nothing like the farm. Mary Lou had never seen anything like it. They ambled down the street together, trying to take it all in. It just felt… wrong.
“You’re sure?”
Barbara stopped in her tracks. “I’ve told you so many times. And of course the people are staring. We may not be from around here, but I know we’re in the right spot. How many multi-colored cows do you think are out wandering the streets?” Barbara resumed her glassy eyed stare.
Mary Lou stopped chewing and paused. “That’s what I mean. We can’t be the only ones, right?”

(174 words)

Man’s Best Friend

This week’s flash fiction for Aspiring Writers is dedicated to Juliette – a 6 year old black lab we lost last week to kidney disease far too young.

Here’s the prompt and story.  Thanks to Pixabay for the prompt.


Man’s Best Friend

Maddox was going to die in this damned building. High pitched shrieks from inside made him step in to investigate. Sounded like kids. He took the stairs down and the whole thing collapsed on him. Now he was trapped in that cellar with no way out, and no one to hear his yells. He wasn’t sure how long it would be before the rest of the squad found him, or even if his air would last that long.

He had already been here for two hours, and all for a damn dog. The shriek he had heard came from some poor mutt that had scurried inside to get away from the hell just outside. Once everything fell, he had been able to push the dog out a hole at the top of the stairs. The act of shifting debris around to get the pup out had collapsed everything even more. And now he was stuck.

Sound above drew Maddox’s attention. He looked up and saw shifting dust and sand falling around him. Somebody was moving the rubble above him.

Light peeked through, blinding him after the hours in the dark.  Dugan’s face crowded out the light.

Maddox wanted to cheer.  “I have never been happier to see your face, man. You’re a real friend for coming back. How’d you find me?”

Dugan’s face creased with a smile.  “We wouldn’ta been able to weren’t for your other friend. Man’s best friend.”

Another face pushed Dugan’s aside… A hairy panting face.

 Juliette, you will always be remembered and loved.  Whether it was being there when my wife was sick, to cleaning up the dinner our kids threw on the floor, to the voice we created for you, and how you recognized when we used it… you were truly man’s best friend.  You’ll be missed.

Two Wrongs

This week’s double drabble for Writing the 200 posted below.

The theme:  Regret

Two Wrongs

Tears rolled down a face she had worked hard to steel against such intrusions. She couldn’t help herself.

Hesitation cut into her. She had heard his three words countless times over the past six months, and each time had been as empty and hollow as the last. This time sounded like the Jake she knew. The Jake she loved. A Jake that loved her.

But should that matter? Of course he was sorry now. He had been caught. Could sorry make up for another woman?

He was on his knees before her. He stared at the floor and apart from the occasional glance up at her, she wouldn’t even know that he was awake. She took several steps away from him, a rush towards the door and stopped herself. He shouldn’t win this time.

She took a deep breath and steadied her resolve. No regrets. She turned back around and saw him watching her, trembling.

He shuddered under her gaze and sputtered out little sobs that reawakened her anger. Had he noticed her sobs months ago?

She wiped the back of her hand against her eyes, destroying her only sign of weakness.

“Sorry’s not good enough.”

She pulled the trigger.