Archive for September, 2013

Flash! Friday #41

Posted in Uncategorized on September 13, 2013 by drmagoo


Alan was a vengeful god. The Miller family was one of great renown in the eastern desert, having been fortunate enough to have staked a claim on the only river that survived the climate change that followed Alan’s ascension to godhood. Those were heady days for Alan, winner of a cosmic lottery that he hadn’t even known he’d entered (it turned out that the user license agreements that came with his pirated copy of Civ V were even more comprehensive than he’d imagined), and even he would admit that he’d made some mistakes. Rearranging the mountains on the northern range to spell “ALAN IS THE BEST GOD EVER AND HAS A GREAT BIG” was an amusing idea that had come to him during a Mountain Dew-infused high, and like all such ideas, was not well thought through. He’d run out of mountains to finish what he was going to write, for one thing, and he forever changed the weather patterns on the entire planet. Millions died.


But not the Millers. They prospered. Grew wealthy beyond their wildest imaginings. But did they pay proper obeisance to Alan? Did they sacrifice a goat, as he’d ordered them in a dream? Did they ask Katie, their eldest daughter, to bathe in the river unclad during a full moon? Did they act out the scripts to season two of Firefly that he’d carved into stone tablets?

Well, they did that last one, but the acting was wooden, and the lead, one Mr. Joshua Miller, had none of the charm or devil-may-care attitude necessary to accurately portray the character of Mal Reynolds.

The dust storm that Alan raised rolled across the desert like a marauding army, Sherman marching through the south if only he’d known about napalm. The Millers were going to pay.

But first, they were going to have a chance to beg for their lives. Alan was a vengeful god, but he was also willing to be bribed. He stopped the storm mere feet from their home, roiling and churning like the front door of hell, and waited for his tribute. But not patiently.


ThursThreads, week 87

Posted in Uncategorized on September 12, 2013 by drmagoo


There’s blood everywhere. I can see it in your veins, pulsing forward with each beat of your heart.

There’s blood everywhere. I can smell it, the pure red mixing with the filthy air as it arcs out through the would I made in your side.

There’s blood everywhere. I can feel it, hot at first, then cooling as it dries on my clothes, my hands, my face.

There’s blood everywhere. I can hear it, dripping into puddles, pooling around my feet, coating my soles with a trail that I will leave for anyone who wants to follow.

There’s blood everywhere, but I cannot taste it, forced as I am to cry wordlessly into the night with no tongue.

There’s blood everywhere.

I roll over in bed, dripping and cold, clothes engorged with mingled sweat and urine. There’s no blood. There’s no revenge. There’s only my weakness, and the prison I will never escape.


VisDare 36 – Implore

Posted in Uncategorized on September 10, 2013 by drmagoo


“Any last words?”

I struggled to focus on who was speaking, but it was hard. The whole world was a haze, and my ears were clogged, like I’d just gotten out of the water and hadn’t had a chance to clear them.

“Whuuu?” I couldn’t really move my tongue, and something seemed to have grabbed my hand, keeping me from using it to try to regain some clarity.

“Oh. It appears the sedative is working too quickly. No matter. I’ll compose something appropriately eloquent for your plaque.” The speaker stepped closer, looking me straight in the eyes. Ah. That’s who it was. My pupils widened slightly, but I could no longer produce any sounds.

“You will make such an exquisite addition to my collection, my dear. Some say I demean women, putting them on display like this, but I cherish you. I’m preserving your beauty forever. Goodbye, my lovely daughter.”

Five Sentence Fiction – Beauty

Posted in Uncategorized on September 7, 2013 by drmagoo


The air was crisp and dry, with just the barest hint of a breeze, and Jenny flexed her fingers, trying to keep them from getting stiff in the cold. Kneeling on the frozen dirt, she sighted through the telescope again, adjusting the controls just a bit…there…and lingering in front of the lens to stare at M16. The views she got on nights like this didn’t compare with the staggering shots from the Hubble, but nothing else compared to the experience of seeing the ancient light with her own eyes, imagining the stars being born, and dying, back when people on this planet were still turning into humans. There wasn’t anything alive out here in the fields with her tonight, as cold as it was, but she didn’t feel alone, not with millions of worlds looking down at her, sharing their light and their warmth, however distant. She clicked the camera shutter open and let the eons pile up on the CCD chip inside.

Fall Flash Festival

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on September 7, 2013 by drmagoo

For centuries, millions of gallons of ink – virtual and literal – have been spilled discussing spring as a time of rebirth and renewal. But around these parts, autumn has always been the time of beginnings. The beginning of another school year. The refreshment that comes with the cool breezes signifying an end to the oppressive hear of summer. And, last but not least – it’s the time of my birthday – October 3 (and this time, I’m turning…40). What better kind of rebirth can you celebrate?

So I’m announcing the first (and perhaps only…time will tell) Fall Flash Festival!

The theme? Fall. Autumn. Anything that loosely falls under that umbrella counts – Halloween. Thanksgiving (either the US or Canadian version). Trees. Leaves. Frost. Pumpkins. Blustery Days. The magic of October skies. Even cold November Rain.

The task? Write an original work of fiction. Or non-fiction. Prose. Poetry. Whatever you’re inspired to create. 200 to 1000 words.

When? You’ll have two weeks to submit your work, starting at midnight (Central Daylight Time, five hours behind GMT) on September 19, and ending at midnight on October 3.

How? If you’ve got your own blog, click the inlinkz link below and link up. If not, post your work in the comments, along with a word count and some way of identifying you (twitter handle, etc). All entries must include a word count to be eligible.

Who? Everyone.

Who’s judging? Myself (@drmagoo on Twitter) and the writer extraordinaire of the short story Burn and the soon-to-be-released novel Orison, Daniel Swensen (@surlymuse).

What can you win? I have no idea…yet. Something. Maybe just adulation. Maybe universal power. Probably somewhere in between.

Questions? Ask away!

Mid-Week Blues Buster, week 29

Posted in Uncategorized on September 6, 2013 by drmagoo


Brian had waited months for this day, but finally the conditions were perfect. The radar showed a thunderstorm coming in from the west, full of lightning and warm rain. Rachel’s house overlooked a park, and the bedroom she shared with her new husband would be the ideal place to watch him out in the park, especially with their bed along the north wall. The mirror on their dresser would show him to her, the way she normally sat up in bed to read, and then it would begin.

There were many days he doubted whether his plan would work. It had been four years since she’d left him, two hundred and eight weeks, one thousand four hundred and sixty one days. And every one of those nights, he was tempted to go to her, to tell her how he really felt, to show her that he could be the man she wanted. But she wouldn’t have bought it, not unless he did it right. What woman wanted to listen to him talk? Any fool could say anything. What he needed was a plan of action.

And finally, it was time to implement that plan. He almost gave up when she married Ryan, but even that was a sign that she was still waiting for him. Brian-Ryan? That was too close to be a coincidence. Their wedding was beautiful, he’d thought, watching from the trees on the far side of the arboretum, and he’d put a lot of thought into saying something just when the priest got to the “speak now or forever hold your peace” part, but that would have been impulse, not a well-constructed plan of action. And he was nothing if not a man of action.

The storm rolled in right on schedule, and Brian took his place in the park. He had everything – a mixtape of her favorite songs. A bottle of her favorite wine. And the ticket stubs from the movie they’d seen together on their first date. It was fully dark by the time the thunder started to rumble, and when he saw the first crack of bright lightning, he started.

Rachel was indeed sitting in her bed, idly scratching Ryan’s back while she read her kindle. There was a heck of a storm coming in that night, and they’d closed the triple-pane windows before crawling into bed, not wanting to wake up to wet carpeting. A flash of light caught her eye, followed by a very soft rumble. She smiled, putting her kindle down on the bedside table. Sliding her hand around to her husband’s front, she found him half-ready, as he often was in bed. “Want to make some thunder of our own?” He took her in his arms, kissing her fiercely as the storm reached its full potential.

She reached her climax just as Brian reached the climax of his own plan. Neither of them had any idea that she was never aware of the man in the park, nor the gunshot that rang out at midnight.

Flash! Friday week 40

Posted in Uncategorized on September 6, 2013 by drmagoo


The caw of a crow was followed by another, and then another, the air around Eliza filling with the noise of a thousand cries, but she heard none. For her there was nothing but the bridge. On the other side of the bridge was death, the camps where so many of her people had been sent and from which they would never return, and on this side of the bridge was death, a suffusion of war and famine and pestilence. The soldiers behind her were barking out their orders in their pidgin version of her language, but she heard them no more than the crows. For her there was nothing but the bridge.

Eliza’s nerves tingled at the sensation of stepping onto the bridge, the slight give of the wood, the awareness of being so far above the ground. She placed on hand on the railing, polished smooth from ten thousand other journeys. She could picture them in her mind, terrified, crying, defiant, their attitude not mattering at all once they set foot on the rock at the far side. Her fingers found a rough spot on the underside of the railing, and she played with the texture, thinking of the living thing that gave its life to be this bridge, leaves reaching into the sky until being toppled over by men with axes and saws and thick hemp ropes.

The movement of the bridge maximized as she reached the middle, diminishing as she made her way to the end. Her toes, bruised and battered, but not numb, caressed the wood as the hands of the men who first laid this bridge must have, testing for the strength needed to support itself for centuries to come. The last step lay ahead, but she didn’t see it. For her there was nothing but the bridge.