Ficlet – Being Dead Ain’t So Bad

In the building where I work we have several of those Automated External Defibrillator (AED) machines that are used to start someone’s heart in the case of cardiac arrest. While walking past one of those a story idea popped into my head. It started with a question. What would happen if one of those things were used on someone who was already dead (I’m pretty sure nothing would happen)? As that question swirled in my brain I imagined some dead/undead person walking around, using an AED to give himself a little jolt, just to feel his heart beat for a moment. Well, I decided to take this idea and write a little Ficlet on my lunch break. Here it is. I hope you enjoy:

Being Dead Ain’t So Bad

Seth opened his shirt, pressed the Automated External Defibrillator to his chest, and pushed the shock button, sending an electric current into his heart. In college, Seth had tried the most popular drugs, but nothing could match the high he felt as his heart began to pulse in his chest. In that brief moment Seth felt alive.

Seth wasn’t sure of much, but he knew he wasn’t a zombie. Not once had he felt the desire to eat anyone’s brain nor grunt or moan. He had notices himself walking in an undead shuffle, but figured this loss of mobility was because his left foot was ready to fall off.

Replacing the machine in its case, Seth hurried on, knowing the AED ’s audible instructions would draw unwanted attention. Seth avoided leaving his house during the day, and not just because the hot summer sun sped up the rotting process. He was simply in no mood to talk to anyone.

By and large, Seth felt no desire to seek answers about his condition. As it were, those answers were about to find him.

Guest Post on Parenting Website

A few weeks ago Mike (regular reader and commenter here) asked for guest posts on his excellent parenting blog BeAGoodDad. Well, never one to turn down a challenge I decided to take a post idea I already had planned for here and submit it to his site. The title of the post is New Olympic Event Where Parents Will Have A Natural Advantage. Please take some time and check it out and also check out the rest of his site. I think you’ll enjoy it. Besides, where else will you see an analogy comparing a baby to a “sleeping Wookie at the Barber Shop”?

Hopefully my sense of humor won’t send his regular readers will enjoy my sense of humor. I hope you will too.

Weekend Wrapup

Just a quick wrap-up of various loose ends here while I attempt to wake up on  Monday morning.

That car I have been talking about the past few days was unearthed late Friday and was completely rusted.  Someone was nice enough to leave this link in the comments to pictures of the 1957 Belvedere. Here is an article about the unveiling that also includes pictures.  Not only was there water in the car, but the Schlitz beer they included in the capsule also rotted through the cans (similiar to what it does to the human stomach) and got into the car.

Driving around at 3:00 AM on Saturday morning trying to get my teething daughter to sleep I had a story idea pop into my head, so once I got the little one into her crib I jumped on the laptop and wrote a little bit.  This was the only writing I did this weekend.

On Saturday we went on a little train ride from out town to a near-by town.  The round trip took about an hour and we had an amazing time.  I took some pictures and will share them in another post with more details once I download the pics from the camera.

Anyone else do anything exciting this weekend?

Update 2: 1957 Plymouth to be Unearthed after 50 Years

According to the Plymouth was totally rusted.  The key was rusted in the ignition and the entire inside including the gas tank was rusted out.  I figured this was going to be the result after reading they found a lot of water in the vault. Oh well, it was still a cool idea and would make an interesting fiction story.  I’m sure there are a lot of disappointed people in Tulsa right now.

Return of the Notebook?

I’m toying with the idea of returning to writing my novel by hand in a Moleskine notebook rather than writing on my laptop as I have been lately. What I hope to accomplish with this is to turn off the inner critic. Basically, I just keep working on the same 1000 words at the beginning of my novel, over and over again. This is easy to do electronically. Not so easy with pen and paper. My plan, if I choose to go this route is to do one day of writing in the notebook, then the next day typing what I wrote, and then repeat the process. It seems like twice the work, but maybe this will help me move things forward.


I have had a pretty nice response to my Ficlet Civil War on an Unknown Planet I posted here yesterday. In addition to the two nice comments posted here, the story has been read 27 times and rated 7 times over at the Ficlets site with an average rating of 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. Not bad. Also, someone has posted a sequel.

Update: 1957 Plymouth to be Unearthed after 50 Years

For those of you who are interested, today is the big day they are unearthing the time capsule in Tulsa.  They received bad news a couple days ago, however, when they briefly opened the capsule and found it was half filled with water.  This is not very good news for the poor Plymouth Belvedere.   I’m still curious to see how things turn out today.  According to the website they are going to open the capsule at noon.

Civil War on an Unknown Planet

I just wrote a quick little sci-fi Ficlet over my lunch break and though I would share it here. The title of the Ficlet is Civil War on an Unknown Planet stems from some daydreaming I was having the other day. I was thinking about the future and if space travel would ever be as common as driving a car. Then I thought of what would happen if there was life on other planets? Then I though, what if there was life on other planets and we visited one of these planets, and what if this planet was in the middle of a civil war? What if we chose the wrong side to fight with? What if we fought with the “bad guys”? What if there weren’t any “bad guys”?

Anyhow, here is my story for your enjoyment. Remember I was limited to 1044 characters and I left the ending open for someone to continue on. Enjoy:


Civil War on an Unknown Planet

One was to take certain precautions when visiting a planet that had yet to be documented by the Federation of Space Travelers. Were the natives friendly to humans? Was there oxygen available or would one have to rely on a respirator? Most importantly, where was the nearest Pub?

Mitch knew none of these things as he began his descent towards the glowing landing strip, flashing the Spee-Lunker’s headlights in the universal sign of peace. He had visited thousands of undocumented planets and never once had a problem, save for the time he nearly made love to the President of Ecabosh Alpha’s beloved house pet. Species confusion aside, Mitch had no reason to believe this pit-stop would be any different.

A mile above the landing pad Mitch first noticed the ground surrounding the landing site was completely charred. “Must be some type of protective shield,” he thought as he ejected from his ship, too close to the ground to pull up. Ship gone, Mitch was about to find himself stranded in the middle of a civil war.

Thanks for the Feedback

Thanks for all the great advise about my first paragraph of my novel in progress.  I’m glad you all seemed to enjoy it.  There were some great comments too and I will consider all the suggestions.  I do think I’m going to put the first bit of the first sentence in its own sentence to add more emphasis.  These are the little things that I’m still learning about.  Also, I’m going to try to spread some of the information out so I don’t overwhelm the reader.  I don’t have to put all the hooks in the first paragraph, after all 🙂

Let’s see now, if I post one paragraph here a week for you all to critique, I should be done by the time I’m 60!  Anyhow, I’m excited to work on this and if I ever do finish the novel I plan on posting it online.

First Paragraph of my Novel in Progress

Well, I decided to be brave today and post my first cut at an opening paragraph to my novel in progress. What I’m seeking is a little feedback. Does the paragraph catch your attention? Would you want to read more? Is there anything there that really doesn’t work or turns you off? I’m not particularly interested in grammar, though if there is something glaring there, please let me know. Please take a few moments and give it a read. I would like to stress again this is a first draft. Anyhow here is the excerpt:

“The only way to rid humanity of disease is to eradicate humanity” read the first and only line of Number 43’s report, and Owen sat staring at his computer screen, stunned silent for the first time in his life. This was bad, very bad. Unfortunately, there was no way he could risk sharing this information with Steven, his friend and only human co-worker. If one machine heard them discussing the report they would all know about it, including Number 43, and all hope would be lost. Instead, Owen decided he would go about his daily business of pretending to be busy, warming his seat, and annoying Steven. He would also have an alcoholic drink or ten at lunch. Some days it just doesn’t pay to be human, Owen thought, even when being human is the primary reason you are paid.

Mike Tyson’s Punchout

I saw this today on ExtraLife and I just had to share it here. The video plays out as a movie trailer for a Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out movie. You really need to watch it to see the full awesomeness of it. Words cannot describe how cool this is. I also would like to point out that Punch-Out is one of my favorite video games of all time, and it reminds me of a time in my life when I actually had free time to play video games.

Check this out, you won’t be disappointed. And yes, I would watch this movie.