Making the Steps Seem Perfect – Flash fiction for Aspiring Writers -07/18/17


Harmon was the best landscape professional in Calaveras County. Truly the best in the whole state if people were honest. This truth was not lost on Alec. But Alec and Harmon had been rivals since first grade. Harmon succeeded in spite of the ‘condition’ most people allowed to separate him from the normal societal circles.

When the fellow labeled as obsessive-compulsive was chosen to design and install the twenty-eight steps into the hillside leading to the old cemetery the haters said he would never finish. At the front of that chorus was Alec, who wanted him to fail miserably.

Harmon did not realize it, but as he began work on the stones he needed, Alec would slip in at night and swap his prefect sized stones with some just off enough to delay Harmon. But Harmon had a secret weapon in Penelope, his therapist and new love interest who saw what Alec was doing. She convinced Harmon to use the ground to hide the imperfections.

Alec stood amazed in front of the immaculate steps, shaking his head in dismay.


See the Flood, Stop the Flood – Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – 07/10/17

FFfAW071017 A “Herculean effort” is what Damian used to describe what transpired that day. Wallace simply could only squeeze the word “Insane!” from his lips. The legend began on that July day, but there was no way to gauge how long this one would endure.

Matt was just a regular guy, who put one leg in his jeans at a time every day. But he had seen the future first. He was the only one to recognize what everyone saw. There would have been a massive flood, sure to kill too many citizens of his town. But Matt was alert, on guard and curious. When he saw the unusual way the protective barrier looked he began to ask questions.

Immediately dismissed as pesky, he endured. Only when he caught the attention of Hiram Todd, the dyke inspector did his words find the right home.


Expensive Snake Scene – Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – 07/04/17

Photo Copyright – Kecia Sparlin

Norm did not consider himself a snake hunter. He billed himself as a pest eradicator, but for whatever reason his specialty had evolved to be a snake hunter. Rattlesnakes, cotton mouths, copperheads and any other slithering menace considered a threat to man.


So far he could count a half-dozen solid bites with numerous near miss experiences. The knowledge of whether too many bites built resistance or toxicity was only anecdotal to him, but he expected the longer he stayed in the business the more factual his experience would prove.

“So you can get them all?” his newest customer asked.

“I should. The rate is $125 per.”

“I will gladly pay it. My movie cannot continue until you clear the set. It is costing my many thousands per day.”

Norm nodded knowingly, with the understanding of how some people could not function arounf the slithering pay checks.

I wrote this with Harrison Ford in mind. Bothe his character, Indiana Jones and he himself were afraid of snakes. In Raiders of the Lost ark if you pay attention you can see the Plexiglas divider between all the snakes and Indy in one scene.



One Man’s Prank is Another Man’s Reality – Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – 06/27/17

FFfAW062717 Pete licked his lips as his mind raced considering his grand scheme. He had battled with his next door neighbor, Watson for years, each of them escalating their pranks. It was time to go full on over the top and Pete saw his chance in the form of the huge alien.

“Seriously Pete?” Jennifer, his wife asked.

“Yes Jen. You know how he is always going on about aliens coming to get him. Two of these in his yard on Halloween night will be priceless.”

Two months later the stage was set as Pete laid out an elaborate scene with the two “aliens” prominently featured.

He knew Watson would not get home from his job in Siler City until just after dark. He watched with surging enthusiasm as Watson’s car rolled into view. The car stopped in the street, his neighbor slowly exiting to determine what he saw.

“No, you promised I could stay five more years! I won’t go, no matter how much you torture me!” Watson screamed.





When Trust is Absent – Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – 6/13/17


Picture copyright Majesticgoldenrose

“What is the purpose?” Liz asked. She stood with her arms crossed. the usual signal of her body language that meant she wasn’t inclined to agree with John’s words.

“The purpose? To complete a marriage license. You know, the paper we have to have to make our dreams a reality.”

“I mean what is the purpose of getting married? You cheated before. Are you really expecting me to believe a piece of paper will stop that from repeating?” Liz replied with a scowl of indignation.

“I didn’t cheat,” John protested. “You saw something innocent and made it more than it was.”

“You know the look of impropriety can be just as bad as reality.”

“Don’t you trust me?”

“Honestly I am not sure anymore,” Liz said.



When Rocks Make The Hard Place – Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers -06/06/17


Thank you Pamela S. Canepa for our photo prompt this week.

Every year for twenty-four years Pam and I had journeyed through the forest for 3.2 miles to re-visit the most important place in our lives. It was where we had met one summer day when we were fifteen.  It took a handful of years for the orbits of our lives to full align, but once they did they were solid.

The first time we came here was on a picnic. The next was so I could propose and every anniversary since we have re-created some part of our history. But this year that is not possible. This year we have enjoyed so much rain. Well, too much rain, really. Like fourteen days of torrential water that washed out what kept the valley protected from the rocks above.

Now our beautiful spot resembles a hard labor camp for a prison. Rocks abound in all directions, certainly not leaving much of what we loved in place.


Sophie’s Choice – Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – 05/29/17

Photo copyright – Yinglan

Sophie let her mind sift through the catalog of memories to search for the last time she had been sitting somewhere waiting on a stake out like this. January 22nd of 2007 outside of the Handlebar Saloon. That was long ago, before she made detective. These days this kind of time was not something to be wasted on a murder case. But this witness refused to meet anyone but her. With the mayor so adamant that this case be solved immediately, really what mayor wasn’t impatient, Sophie agreed to break her unwritten rule and submit to the mind-numbing wait.


The trolley slowed as it reached the point of drop-off and Sophie stood to meet her source. But to her surprise there was not one person with a red scarf, but more than she could count. She felt her displeasure mount within her and decided the witness had panicked and was trying to disappear.

“Detain everyone with a red scarf,” Sophie said into her lapel mike.

This is a recurring character in my fiction writing, Detective Sophie Marcus. In time I intend to put together a longer treatment with her and her partner, but for now I am just developing her character traits in snippets like this. This is my entry for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers.



Making the Connection- Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer – 05/23/17


Miriam settled on the beach for the final time trying to keep the fond memoires fresh in her mind. She never expected to be here, much less take back such treasured memories. It was all a mistake, her being here. First there was the mysterious invitation she received in her email. But it was from Bradley, the guy she lost her heart to as a freshman at the university.  Any chance to re-board that train was one she would take.

How could she know it wasn’t from him but from his roommate, Eric, who had loved her from afar for the whole time the trio worked their way through their courses. She liked Eric and wondered why he always complicated her efforts to be with Bradley. Only this weekend did she learn the truth of his affections. Eric had begged Bradley to create the opportunity.

Now as she sat holding his hand she wondered what her new reality could be.



When Reality Isn’t Real – Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – 05/16/17


Elyse Begley watched her subjects as they reacted to her latest test cycle. There was a good variety of needs represented in her two dozen patients. None of her colleagues ever admitted trying an alternative treatment such as this, but that did not deter Elyse. She embraced technology such as virtual reality glasses as a regular component of her psychology work. Her assistant, a new graduate student, watched in amazement as the experiment played out.

“What are they seeing?” Kelsey asked.

“It depends. Every mind is different. Plus there are different medicines at work in every brain.”

Elyse was especially interested in the experience of Les. He was her most troubled patient. She really wanted this to help him. He needed to be able to function again. The world knew him by his pen name, H.A. Marcum. His claim to fame was a series of best selling mysteries that kept the world breathless every three months when another rolled off the press. But it had been almost eight months since his last success.