Category Archives: humor

Friday Flash: Don’t Soil the Rug

lightning-2a7z

 

Chihuahuas are not known for the patience. Neither are they known for their large bladders. Combine these two deficiencies with a twenty-story apartment building, and tragedy is the inevitable outcome.

Butch, the geriatric purebred chihuahua belonging to Mildred Butterbridge of apartment 416b, never stood a chance. Mildred’s own elderly hips disallowed more than a couple walks daily for her grey-furred companion. As a result, he spent his days wandering on the apartment’s balcony overlooking the major thoroughfare of the metropolis in which they both lived.

While Mildred rested on couch or bed, Butch would inevitably relieve himself on the balcony. That was no big deal because 1. the balcony was concrete surrounded by a very sturdy guardrail and 2. it kept him from soiling Mildred’s ancient Persian rug, the only artifact she had kept from her short-lived marriage forty years previous. She readily forgave Butch’s small breaches of conduct, with one exception – he was never to soil her treasured rug. Consequently, Butch was utterly bored with nothing new or interesting to smell, neither grass nor flower nor the butts of other canines. Routine was the order of his day, every single day.

So one lovely Spring day, when the dying dandelions had managed to float a few seeds as far as his fourth story confine, he managed to stick his head between the twisted metal bars of the guardrail in order to catch a temptingly close snow-white puff. Arthritis may have slowed his reflexes, but his sight was still excellent, and as he licked with ever increasing frustration at the seed taunting him just beyond reach, he chanced to see Mr. Norris standing almost directly below.

The little dog growled louder, his attention directed to his mortal enemy below. That man had been mean to his Mildred. Butch may not have understood the exact words exchanged between his Mildred and the condo board president, but he understood enough to know he didn’t like the man and his ridiculous (even to Butch’s eyes) mop of unruly hair. Today it sat slightly askew his balding pate, no doubt he’d unsettled it when he bent down to retrieve the mail he was sorting as he chatted with one of the building’s other residents. From the woman’s expression, she didn’t like Mr. Norris either.

As his Mildred lay quietly snoring in the next room, Pat Sajak and Vanna White bantered wittily, and Butch conceived of the greatest revenge scheme his walnut-sized brain could conceive. Being elderly, he had no small trouble aligning his body properly, though being male made his plan entirely possible. After all, he had drunk the water from Mildred’s watering can barely ten minutes ago, so he was already properly fueled. With the delicious taste of sweet, sweet revenge of his little pink tongue, he relieved himself beyond the balcony’s confines and was rewarded by the shouts and exclamations of the hated Mr. Norris. As an added bonus, he could hear the female companion laughing hysterically.

Just imagine what his sweet Mildred would think! How utterly proud she would be of him! Though she had warned him not to wet the Persian within the apartment, he was sure this was one soiled rug she would enjoy.

 
*image courtesy of BigFoto.com

**Today’s #FridayFlash was inspired by a random text prompt at the six minute story site.

***On a personal note, I’ve recently begun volunteering to read at Librivox, a site that makes free audiobooks of public domain works available for download. Why not visit, either to download an awesome free book or to volunteer yourself? It’s easy and fun!

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Filed under Flash Fiction, humor, slice of life

Friday Flash: The Results Were In

 

lightning-2a7z

 

The results were in.

After extensive training with the field’s expert, a long and gruelling campaign, sucking up to the right people, greasing the right palms, making the right friends, and working exhaustively to sway public opinion in his favor, Bobby Redman had the lead. His victory complete, he held his new office with pride. His long-standing dream would soon become his reality.

High from his recent triumph, he sauntered up to Kylie Weathers – by all accounts the most popular girl in Carl Smithers Middle School. Chicks dug power, so winning the election meant he’d land a cheerleader, right?

Two minutes later, he rubbed his freshly stinging cheek and retired to the boys bathroom to wallow in his defeat.

Who knew she had voted for his opponent?

 

*image courtesy of BigFoto.com

**Today’s #FridayFlash was inspired by the text prompt, “The results were in” at the six minute story site.

***On a personal note, I’ve recently begun volunteering to read at Librivox, a site that makes free audiobooks of public domain works available for download. Why not visit, either to download an awesome free book or to volunteer yourself? It’s easy and fun!

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Filed under Flash Fiction, humor, satire, slice of life

Friday Flash: The Most Massively Useful Thing

lightning-2a7z

What sort of woman was she? She’d known how to swim for as long as she could remember. When she was growing up, her parents had been hard-pressed to get her to spend more time out of the water, but what of that? Plenty of people loved the water, whether it was oceans teeming with fish, a backyard pool, a public beach, or even running through sprinklers. Many people went skinny-dipping too, but not always in such a public place.

Of course, her relative isolation at the time had appealed to her inner tadpole. How could she resist waters so tranquil and clear? However, that was before the schoolbus arrived, teachers and children chattering about spending time at the Castle. Someone took her clothes. When the Castle closed, they would leave, she’d dash to her car and… damn. Her keys were in her missing pants. Still, it was late, the kids should be leaving soon…

That was, of course, before she knew about the fireworks.

As the sun slowly sunk into the horizon, darkness descended, and Kate hid against a log floating some distance from shore. She retreated underwater once the children gathered on her previous hiding spot, the pier. Though there were no boats, the wooden structure jutted out into the water, and schoolchildren sat dangling their legs along its edge. She gazed resentfully at them with their flashlights and sparklers. They oohed and ahhhed at the fireworks lighting up the heavens.

“Nice show, ain’t it?” came a voice from beside her in the water.

Kate gasped, the beginnings of a scream forming as the man swimming beside her clasped his hand over her mouth. “Shhhhhhh,” he said, pressing one webbed finger over his mouth. “Don’ wanna alarm the kiddies, do we?”

She shot a look at the shore. Teachers and children happily chatted, pointing out the display in the night sky. Luckily the fireworks noise had covered their conversation, plus they were a fair distance from shore. Kate began to wonder how lucky she really was.

Though it was difficult to tell in the light shed by the differing hues of fireworks, the man had light green, shining skin, scaled slightly along his hairline and the edges of his fingers and hands. Flowing green hair floated behind him, and his eyes were two pools of darkness she felt she could easily fall into for the rest of her life. His facial features were angelic. She continued to gape as he watched the display.

“Eh, don’t mind me, chicky. Just wanted a bit o’ company, din’t I?” continued the man, unphased. “No fun watching a show by meself, ist?”  The gills along his sideburns opened and closed as he spoke. What kind of sense did that make? Also, what the hell was his accent? Merman-cockney?

Was she hallucinating?

“I… you speak English?” she said, feeling stupid.

“Well, couldn’t resist meeting a sweet lil’ catch like youself, could I?” he continued. “I hafta say, you a beauty, aintcha?”

Despite the water’s cool, Kate felt the heat rise to her face as she realized exactly what “beauty” he meant. She suddenly had the horrible suspicion it wasn’t fish nibbling at her feet and legs earlier. A large fin bumped against her thigh, and she yelped. Though the merman continued watching the atmospheric display, she detected a smirk during one brief moment of illumination.

Oh, what the hell, she thought, resigning herself to madness. If she was hallucinating, what else could she do?

“Look, I sort of got stuck out here,” she replied, unable to think of anything else to say. “I need to cover up, so I can get out of the water and go home.”

“Cover up?” Now it was the merman’s turn to gape. “Why the bloody ‘ell ‘ou wanna doa thing like that for?” He dipped beneath the water, then came back up. “I mean, lookatcha!”

Kate bit her lip in frustration. Maybe she could just run past the kiddies. I mean, could streaking through a crowd of middle-schoolers really be worse than this?

Before she could form a reply, the merman disappeared beneath the water again. She stayed as still as she dared, hoping he wasn’t ogling her from below. After awhile, she began to wonder if he was coming back. Had she scared him off? She contemplated that streaking scenario again. Would these fireworks never end?

The merman suddenly emerged beside her holding, with an air of triumph, a soaking paisley beach towel. “There! That do?” he asked, handing her the sopping material, a knight bestowing his most treasured possession upon his lady.

“To dry off with?” asked a bewildered Kate.

The merman emitted a childish giggle. It was quite endearing, almost innocent. “Naw, sweets. I mean, you seem to wanna cover up them beautiful boobies and buttox and all dat. I still don’ unnerstand, but whatev’ you need, love.” The giant fin brushed against her thigh again.

“Uh, thanks…?” said Kate. “Why do you have a towel? Er…”

“‘Name’s Carl, sweets,” replied the merman. “I nicked it, dint I? People leave all things along the shore, don’t they? If you ever in the neighbor’ood…” He winked, slid gracefully beneath the water, and disappeared.

Kate waited for another thigh bump, which never came, and firmly refused to admit she was the tiniest bit disappointed. Maybe Carl wasn’t such a bad guy after all. He did bring her a towel, though she began to have different suspicions about her clothes’ disappearance. Still, it wasn’t every day she met a merperson. She smiled, wrapped the heavy towel around her body, and made her way to shore.

 

*This story was inspired by a photo prompt at the six minute story site. I decided this needed more time and editing. Since May 25th is Towel Day, I combined the photo prompt with my personal challenge to include something about towels and flashing, all in honor of Douglas Adams and #FridayFlash. I hope you enjoy the result!

*image courtesy of BigFoto.com

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Filed under fantasy-magic, Flash Fiction, humor

NATIONAL POETRY MONTH: Day #5 -“Ode to the Mighty Onion”

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The Cuyahoga County Public Library system is sending out daily email prompts in honor of National Poetry month! The idea is to write a new poem each day based on that day’s prompt.

Library prompts and poems can be found here. Below is my poem based on today’s prompt.

 

#

“Ode to the Mighty Onion”

 

What other root

can make a grown man cry?

Not by taste, but

the mere smell

once cut

brings a tear to his eye.

Not a single tear, no-

that’s not true!

-but unleashes a flood

down his frowning visage,

reddens those dewey orbs –

now swollen and stinging,

and wracks his unsuspecting nostrils

with unwelcome liquids streaming.

 

Ew.

 

However…

why should cooks chance such discomfort

merely for the sake of taste?

A bite with bite,

yet desirable,

for in taste alone is not this veggie’s strength

but also texture,

that succulent crunch between the teeth

that bites and cools

simultaneously.

The perfect layer of a sandwich.

 

The perfect metaphor as well-

for people and this mighty produce have this in common:

The more you get under their skin,

the more likely it is that someone is going to cry.

I only hope, dear reader,

for your sake,

that you avoid these tears

by taking the advice of many a sage

and first soaking them in water.

 

This works better on onions than people.

 

 

 

 

 

*image courtesy of BigFoto.com

**I was rather surprised today’s prompt had nothing to do with renewed life, given the holiday. However, since the challenge was to respond to the daily prompt, my rather silly irregular ode is the result.

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Filed under humor, poems, Writing Corner

Friday Flash: Pucked Up

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Puck looked at the watch and pondered the nature of time.

 

It was almost as fickle as he was.

 

What marriage – or a good binding-spell brought on by too much drink and a serious lack of judgement – had bound together, time would tear asunder. At least it would if Puck had anything to do with it. Robin Goodfellow was not a fairy that would remain tied by one woman for long, no matter how fun that bondage might be.

 

Belching loudly, he sat up, snapped his fingers and produced two ice-cold cans of his favorite fizzy intoxicant. Crumpling and tossing the empties, he re-loaded his beercap, then stood, scratched his hairy belly and brooded over his newly acquired wife.

 

Buttercup lay frozen on the flowery bed, a beatific smile lightened features that would otherwise have appeared harsh in the early morning light. No, who was he kidding? She looked angelic, no matter how much spandex she was wearing. Still, if he was tied to her by the terms of her nefarious binding-spell until “the end of time,” the obvious solution was to stop time, right?

 

Puck contemplated the charmed silver band that graced his finger. Buttercup had been many things, but a fool was not one of them. In fact, he might even go so far as to say she was as shrewd and knavish as himself, a perfect match. So his solution seemed almost too easy. Was it another trap?

 

However, Robin Goodfellow was not known for his caution. Snagging the watch from the fairy king had been risky, but he knew his boss would be too busy ‘making up’ with Titania to notice its absence. He removed the magically-binding wedding ring, then turned to face his lovely bride. He’d make the bitch pay, but there was no reason her punishment couldn’t also be fun for them both. He pressed a button on the watch’s side.

 

Time once more in motion, his blushing bride opened her eyes, her smile slowly widening as she took in his appearance.

 

“Hello, darling,” she said. “Want to play?”

 

#

*Today’s #FridayFlash is an expansion of a flash I wrote at the six minute story site. The kernel of the story is still there.

 

**Also, though it’s meant to be able to stand alone, it’s a sequel to an earlier flash I wrote, Puck’s Surprise.

 

***image courtesy of BigFoto.com

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Filed under Fairy Tales, fantasy-magic, Flash Fiction, humor, mythology

Friday Flash: Inspiration

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She wrote her story idea on her hand when nothing else was handy – no paper, no cell phone to type in notes or record herself a message. The ink stained her palm, and she worried that the words would wash away before she could capture them more permanently. She rested her hand against the wall, and the blue ink reproached her.

Her muse hid behind a beam and giggled. He played hide and seek.

What sort of pervert was he anyway?  The idea, most likely promoted by male writers, that muses were only female was absurd. Maybe they had started out as sisters, but over time their male heirs started taking on the family business. Her muse was definitely male. And a real bugger too.

She’d developed a few tricks of her own over the years. Her cell was loaded with notebook applications for jotting down ideas, and a voice recorder for when writing was too cumbersome. Even then, he sometimes got the better of her. Once, sitting between her husband and son watching a video, inspiration struck. While her husband worked on his laptop, something he frequently did while the family watched television, she managed to squeeze the phone out of her pocket (it was wedged between her and her sleeping son). She carefully tapped the screen twice to start the app, then whispered her idea into the mike of her phone. “Do you mind? I’m trying to type,” her husband said.

Yet, when she sat in front of her keyboard, straining for ideas, then the muse was nowhere to be found. She’d go outside, go for a walk, do anything where it was inconvenient to write down any inspiration, and lo! He snuck up behind her, whispered in her ear, and disappeared before she could turn around.

He also played peekaboo. The bastard.

She didn’t think anyone knew where writers got their ideas, especially the writers. Inspiration snuck up on them when they weren’t looking, yet disappeared when they longed for its cool touch.

Yep, definitely a man.

*

*image courtesy of BigFoto.com
**In case anyone misinterprets this, I am NOT being sexist here. Just a humorous look at someone complaining about sexism while being sexist herself. Muses can be irritating no matter what their gender, but I still hope mine stays around!

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Filed under fantasy-magic, Flash Fiction, humor

Friday Flash: As You Liked It ~or~ As You Like It, Part 2

closeup-grapes-cfd

 

“Father, the seating arrangement simply must be changed.”

“Why, Rosalind! Whatever do you mean? The couples are all seated next to each other, as befits an Anniversary dinner-”

“But whose Anniversary, pray you? Nay, not just mine and Orlando’s, but others’ as well!”

“Yes, of course, my dear. Don’t you see? I seated Celia and Oliver across from you.”

“But what of Touchstone? And Audrey?”

“They’re to have an excellent feast in the adjoining room, just as lavish, I promise you.”

“In the adjoining room! You did not seem so hard a year ago…”

“Well, it simply isn’t proper to have commoners seated at the table with nobility.”

“What of the Forest Arden! There you were content to sit alongside the beasts of the forest, and indeed, have your daughter married in the same ceremony as a fool and his lady.”

“A wise man does not argue with a god, Rosalind, no matter WHAT his rank.”

“The god, Hymen, is a rather agreeable sort.”

“The god of marriage wished to marry you. I will not quibble with a god about his own business.”

“It seems uncivil, somehow, to separate the celebrations now that we are back.”

“Then we were, as you so kindly observed my dear, in the forest. Manners in town must needs differ from the forest, and indeed, differ widely from Court.”

“What will your friend, Jaques, have to say about that, I wonder?”

“No doubt he will soliloquize awhile, and then wander off to be melancholy.”

“He does love to do that sort of thing; does he not?”

“Yes, my dear, though I fear he may not wander far enough. He’s rather fond of our fool.”

“Of Touchstone? I had forgot, but mayhaps he shake Jacques from his melancholy.”

“Oh no, my dear! For his happiness is more a terror than his melancholy. God save me from his mirth.”

“Now, Father, you are not in earnest. I see the curl of your lip and the sparkle of your wit. But come now. What of Audrey and Touchstone? Shall we seat them near Celia and her Oliver?”

“That depends. Has Oliver the patience for it?”

“Dear father, he is, of course, a patient and kind man. How could he be otherwise, when sired by Sir Roland and brother to my dear Orlando?”

“That same brother, whose life he aimed to end, I recall.”

“A miracle, I grant you. No doubt, my dearest friend, Celia, tamed his rage with her beauty.”

“I should hope so, for her sake. He wooed in haste.”

Give thy thoughts no tongue. You do not suggest-”

“No, my dear. I know your friend to be honest, though I do not trust HIS mind. False face may hide what the false heart doth know.”

“Father!”

“So the seating arrangement stays the same.”

“I have not agreed to such a thing. What of Silvius and his Phoebe?”

“The shepard! I grant you, allowances are made for a licensed fool. It is the nature of his craft to be allowed liberties, but a shepard-”

“Married by the god, Hymen, in the same ceremony as your own daughter and her friends.”

“The god is hardly going to come to the anniversary feast, now, is he?”

“—!”

“Oh, my lord Hymen! Pardon this poor mortal. I did not observe your august presence. Of course, I shall seat them together.”

“Lord Hymen, my father and I are grateful for your interest in our humble feast. It doth-”

“Left in a flash, did he not, my dear?”

“That was laid on with a trowel.”

As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods.

“Too true, dear Father. They treat the world as their stage, and they are the stage managers.”

“So, my dear, I suppose you shall have your way. All the lovers shall be seated at one table, as they were wed in one ceremony.”

“What shall we feast upon? Indeed, for I mean to make merry.”

Cakes and ale, my dear! Venison, and all manner of meat. The sauces shall be rich, and our wit more so.”

“What of your brother, Frederick? Will he not dine with us?”

“He is most welcome, as always, in my house.”

“Did not my Uncle eschew meat when he vowed a monastic life?”

“He need not eat it. I shall, for my own part, eat a pound of flesh, for my salad days are well behind me.”

“But your melancholy friend, Jacques… Will he not object to the venison?”

“Mayhap my head will ache all evening, and YOU may deal with Jacques! All the world’s a stage, indeed!”

“But father, I thought him your dear friend!”

“A friend, my dear, but his philosophy is too much for my mind. Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.”

“Then it is a good thing Touchstone and his lady will be seated nearby. His merry wit may counter Jacques’ philosophy.”

“Rosalind, my dear, send for the apothecary. My head doth ache.”

#

 

*This is one of several flash drafts that I found while cleaning out my files, so I polished it up. For fun, I bolded the lines that I stole… er, borrowed from Shakespeare! I hope you enjoyed it!

*image courtesy of BigFoto.com

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Filed under Flash Fiction, humor, Shakespeare Retold

Friday Flash: Smitty’s Problem

Smitty sat on the bench and wondered what he was going to do about his oh-so-embarrassing problem.

Girls noticed right away. Many wouldn’t say anything, of course; merely giggle and look down at the offending area. What could he say? What could he do to reduce his… well, to be delicate, his *dilemma*…

His male buddies were usually not so discrete. They’d make a face and comment, but when the problem failed to be resolved – not for hours, but months, and then YEARS,… well, he’d seen every doctor he could, but they all scratched their heads in puzzlement and sent him on to someone else. A never-ending line of physicians that saw no cure – nevermind his increasing discomfort! However, they did apparently see a paper they could publish in their near futures…

Smitty eventually found himself alone. And making new friends was impossible in this sort of situation. The problem was too obnoxious for polite company.

At least outdoors, in sandals, his feet could breathe and the fresh park air dispelled the noxious odor. A brief respite from his own company, and plenty of room for others to give him – and THEM – a wide berth.

 

*written at the sixminutestory site under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license.

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Filed under Flash Fiction, humor, slice of life

Friday Flash: The Three Little Construction Workers

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Henry had no skeletons in his closet, no matter what people said.

 

Construction was in his family’s blood, and Henry, along with his brothers Howard and Horace, had been born to build houses. Rather than combine their talents, however, the three brothers decided to go their separate ways, each one starting his own construction company.

 

Was it really Henry’s fault that his brothers couldn’t handle the business? Competition had never been their strong suit, but Henry seemed blessed by the gods with good luck. At least when it came to business. Henry had never shared his brothers’ knack for making friends, and most people avoided him when possible.

 

Unfortunately, his brothers did not share in his good fortune. If only they had agreed to merge their companies and talents! But they refused to see reason, and eventually – despite repeated bribe attempts – Howard and Horace were run out of the construction business for repeated safety violations by the indescribably ferocious building inspector, Wolfgang Howitzer. Miserable after their failed business ventures, they soon disappeared, never to be seen again.

 

Meanwhile, Henry, who passed all safety inspections regarding the construction of his buildings, enjoyed an unprecedented prosperity that lasted well into his old age. His one close friend, Wolfgang, had never cared about money so much as a good meal, and disposing of Henry’s competition had been a wickedly pleasant endeavor for them both. The Inspector enjoyed several delicious, morally and ethically reprehensible meals, and Henry enjoyed an easy, profitable retirement.

 

He had no skeletons in his closet, having stowed them both safely beneath the cement foundation of his most successful apartment building.

 

 

 

*image courtesy of BigFoto.com

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Filed under Flash Fiction, horror, humor

Friday Flash: Beaver

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“A beaver! A beaver!” he cried, struggling up from the muddy bank. “My kingdom for a beaver!” Hell, dozens of beavers was what he really needed, along with a time-machine to prevent this disaster. He never should have approved those culling laws.

Looking back upon the ruins of his once mighty kingdom, the king looked to the skies, shook his fist, and cursed. If you crossed her, Mother Nature was one hell of a bitch.

 

*Yes, I “modified” a famous Shakespearean quote to suit my own purposes. Mwahaha.

**Image courtesy of  Paul Stevenson via Flickr using a Creative Commons license.       

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