Visual Dare #11

Our fences define us. Literal fences preventing us from crossing boundaries. Figurative fences that constrain our choices. Some are daredevils, running along the thin boundary between yards, or countries, or realities. Some lean into the fence, straining to see the other. Some place fences between themselves and the world, looking out through a hole in the veil. Do your fences keep you safe or keep you from being happy? Do your fences keep other from reaching out to you with love or with hate? What do you see through your fences? What does the rest of the world see?


Visual Dare #10

A science-fiction motif with this one.

“This will work?”

“It should, Commander.”

“From what we’ve seen on their TV broadcasts – this is an intelligent species, right?”

“Generally, yes. But curious. Very curious.”

“And the only place in the galaxy we can find with the right environment to sustain our young is … in their eyes?”

“As best as we know.”

“They could kill us if they found out.”


“But they’ll find out eventually.”

“By then it will be too late.”

“You’re really sure this will work?”

“Our scientists tell us that no human can resist a hole in a fence. They’ll all look.”


Visual Dare #9

In all my long days, no one has crossed me. Oh, many have tried, for I span the chasm that guards a treasure that all men desire beyond telling. But I am narrow, and the way is long. And none truly understand my true nature.

Some go slowly, flailing their arms for balance. Some speed across, hoping their momentum will keep them on the path. But all fail. None have been worthy.

Here comes a new challenger. Young. Full of hope. Will he make it? Should I let him across?

The decisions of a sentient fence are full of risk.


Visual Dare #8

Mommy said the books would help him escape. But she didn’t say which book held the key. The monster pulled into the driveway as he opened the first book. He had just learned to read, and many of the words were big and scary. The monster’s feet tromped up the front walk. Mommy said the books would help him escape. He turned the pages faster, hoping that the magic would be strong enough to help him understand the words. The monster turned the doorknob. It had to be in one of these. Mommy said the books would help him escape.


Visual Dare #7

Angela Goff (@Angela_Goff) hosts weekly 100 word Visual Dare contests on her blog, Anonymous Legacy. Here’s my entry for challenge 6.

She knew it was the only way out. There are times in life where the only choice is so scary, so horrific, so sad, that under any other circumstances it would be unthinkable, but now becomes a way to a new life. As the water rushed in, she knew she didn’t have much time left, and she wanted to make sure all of her thoughts were in order. The end would come quickly unless she went now. Saying a silent goodbye, she stepped out of her warm home, slipped into a bubble, and rose to the surface, never to return.


Visual Dare #6

Angela Goff (@Angela_Goff) hosts weekly 100 word Visual Dare contests on her blog, Anonymous Legacy. Here’s my entry for challenge 6.

For a final resting place, this wasn’t too bad, they thought. Setting down their burdens, the exhausted wanderers stared across the water to the land beyond, and smiled. No, not bad at all. They slowly knelt, feeling small pieces of their granite exterior flaking away, the splashes a rhythmic reminder of songs past. The last members of their race, they came at last to their end, but not to the end of all things. The wind and water soon wore away weaker flesh, but the bones of giants are not so easily destroyed.


Faerytaleish Pintrest Contest

Another contest hosted by @ruanna3 at Yearning for Wonderland. We were to choose a picture that inspired us and write a story. Here was my entry.


The old stories spoke of endings. It’s all endings or beginnings, he thought. The old stories all began the same way. “A door, a way, a path, and we pass through. But doors open to those on both sides of the wall.” He remembered his favorite story as a child, of the ancient kings, obsessed with obsession, passing through the same door at the same time without seeing each other, so blinded by their desires they were. There was wisdom there, wisdom he wished all shared, and yet few even sought.

There were some who prayed for endings, he knew. Some who wanted to see what The Enemy looked like, as if it mattered. Fools they were, and more. Whatever hopes they’d had, were frail and tenuous at their best, and now had passed through a door someone who should have known better swung wide.

He knew that the knocks on his own door would come soon. Mothers with babes, young men who had eyed a shop of their own, and the nobles, thinking that hunks of metal and rock, however pretty, mattered at a time like this.

But the shadows outlined the shape of the open door in the courtyard. He wanted to close it, lock it, bar it with stone and steel, but he knew the old stories too well. The Enemy had seen the open door, and knew what it meant, as he did. It knew the magic of the Invitation.

Doors open to those on both sides of the wall, he thought, and knew what he had to do next. Watching the shadows, he stepped through the door at just the right time, and felt the brush of The Enemy as they passed. Behind him, the screams began. And ended.

Inspired by:


Once Upon a Time Writing Contest

Anna Meade (@ruanna3) hosted the Once Upon a Time Writing Contest at her blog, Yearning for Wonderland. Here was my entry. This one will be publish in a collection edited by her and @SJIHolliday.

Prairie Wishes

There are a lot of wishes made in rest stops.
“I wish I hadn’t gone to Taco Bell for lunch.”

“I wish I could stay awake without amphetamines.”

“I wish my kids would just shut up for one goddamned mile.”

At most rest stops, all except one, the wishes are answered in the more-or-less random way wishes are answered everywhere – that is, as a matter of happenstance.

Between mile markers 197 and 198 on a non-descript highway crossing a non-descript state lies the “Heart of the Prairie” rest stop. Most people speed past it, some stop and use the restroom or take a nap or buy a terrible cup of coffee.

The custodian at the Heart of the Prairie is an older man, slow, plodding, and the one who puts up the “Restroom Closed for Cleaning” sign that suffering travelers curse. The name tag on his faded grey shirt reads “Gene” in pretend-fancy script, and he is a three-dimensional projection of a nineteen-dimensional being whose name in his own language, oddly, is Gene.

Bobby Jones was having a bad day. He’d been fired. Again. The envelope marked “Final Notice” was on the floor of his car. And his last dollar was in the motherloving candy machine, but the candy was stuck in the twisty coil. Sometimes a man is brought to the end of his rope by the smallest of things, and he could take it no longer.
Bobby fell to his knees in front of the scratched faux-wood panel keeping him from his Whatchamacallit bar and wept. He wept for all the paths his life had not taken and all the choices he had not made. But mostly he wept for that candy bar.

“I wish, just once, I could have something go right. Just one time.”

Mopping the red ceramic tile in the lobby, Gene heard Bobby’s wish. He moved the mop forward, left, and back, and heard the hollow clunk behind him as the now-free Whatchamacallit bar fell from its perch.

He finished mopping the floor, secure in the knowledge that the universe was, once again, safe.


Flash fiction

So, I’ve started a new creative activity – writing flash fiction. To have a place to keep all of my works, I’m adapting this blog, which I wasn’t really using anyway.