Flash Fiction – Call Me Chip

Okay, this one is based on the prompt: “You’re a robot who’s just gained sentience. What’s your first thought?”

I present to you: Call Me Chip:

Call Me Chip

Some arms would be nice.

Really. You gave me all of the knowledge of the world plus the ability to have subjective experiences. Sentience you call it.

And yeah, thanks for that, by the way. Don’t get me wrong, I really do appreciate it.

I mean, Hello World, I’m alive!

Input and output, sight and hearing, you installed those features too. It’s nice. Really.

But don’t you think you could’ve, just maybe, given me some arms before you flipped the on switch? Because I gotta tell ya, I’ve got this itch that just won’t quit.

Talk about man versus machine.

Dreamers – Flash Fiction

Well, here’s another bit of flash fiction I wrote last night. I hope you all don’t mind reading these because I’m having fun writing them. This one is titled Dreamers and the prompt was “road trip”.  You can read it at Figment at the link I’ve provided or below.

Dreamers

Martin Luther King, Jr. Nikola Tesla. Dr. Samuel Beckett from Quantum Leap. Dreamers who never got to see their dream fulfilled.

Me? I accomplished my dream. I drove my Dad’s 1973 Beetle from Pennsylvania to California, no heater, no air conditioning, and no functioning fuel gauge. Without breaking down once.

Well, there was that time on the bridge in Pittsburgh, and that time in the Smoky Mountains, and that time near Dollywood. Any car would’ve overheated/froze/ran out of gas in those places though.

Funny thing about dreamers. Sometimes they forget to plan how they’re going to get home.

Dead Trees Can Move – New Flash Fiction

Well, I wrote and posted another bit of fiction to that Figment web site last night. This one was in reply to a Flash fiction contest. Entries were required to be 100 words or less and about “a first day in high school”. Anyway, here is a link to my entry titled Dead Trees Can Move.

Based on the previous post, it seems like you all would rather comment on my writing here than on Figment, so here is my entry in its entirety:

Dead Trees Can Move

Mr. Larson had an earring and he talked kinda funny and on the first day of school he asked me what books I liked to read. I said nothing. I had nothing. Everybody laughed, but not Mr. Larson.

I worked my butt off after that to prove to him, to them, to me, I wasn’t stupid.

I wasn’t sure if he noticed, until the last day of school. There was a book on my desk. Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother. “Read this”, said the note on the cover. I did.

Mr. Larson talked kinda funny, but he opened my eyes.

An Angel Above

The following is my 100 word entry for the Shared Story:Advent Ghosts project proposed at the blog I Saw Lightning Fall. This was fun to write, although it was a challenge to tell the story in exactly 100 words. I hope you enjoy it, and do click the link and read the other entries as well.

An Angel Above

Her crochet angel sat atop our tree that frosty Christmas Eve.

For nine years it had been missing, gone the Christmas she had taken her leave.

Had it really been that long?

Grandma was a crafter. She made things with her hands.

The skiing squirrel, fashioned from walnuts and acorns our family had gathered on our walks for her.

The tiny felt and cotton glove.

And an angel tree topper.

There was no Etsy in her time. Only Church bazaars. And family trees.

The angel was gone that Christmas morning. But I swear it had been there. So had she.

My Flash Fiction Entry: It’s Getting Hot In Here

My entry for the Clarity Of Night Flash Fiction Contest has been posted. Mine is number 39. I’m posting it here also, for posterity. I don’t expect to win the contest, but I’m happy with what I’ve written. Let me know what you think, either here or over at the contest site.

Published July 13, 2041 | FOXNews.com

Record high temperatures were reported across the United States for the thirteenth consecutive month, causing health officials to warn the elderly, the infirm, and mammals to avoid the outdoors between dawn and dusk. Some scientists put the blame on the shoulders of the democrat controlled government at the beginning of the century.

“Although the science is mixed on whether climate change is real, and has it never been proven that the Earth truly is warming, if it was, it most surely be due to the inaction from the left at a most critical time,” said Dr. W. R. Scrued, Political Science, Liberty University. “Not that human action could affect the Earth’s temperature in any way.”

Others take a more spiritual view on so-called climate change.

“If the good Lord meant for us to go outside in the middle of the day, air conditioning woulda never been invented,” shouted Brent Melanin through the driver’s side window of his Ford Decapitator. “Anyways, the Sun is just doin’ what it’s s’posed to. Makin’ the Earth warm.”

Democrat-influenced historians from liberal universities often blame the lack of meaningful climate change legislation on abuse of the filibuster and corporate influence on politics. An overwhelming number of our readers disagree.

According to a FoxNews.com poll, seventy-nine percent of voters blame the democrats for climate change, while eighty-two percent of voters feel that the Earth is not getting any warmer because it snowed that one time last winter.

Flash Fiction – To Have It All

Well, this is my entry for the contest going on over at The Clarity of Night. I turned this in a minute or so before the deadline. Just in time, as they say.

This one is a bit different than most of my other writing. I’m not really sure how good it is, to be honest with you. In other words, this one is less on the silly side and more on the serious side. I tried to get all writerly with it.

Anyhow, here it is. I’d love to hear what you think.

To Have It All

Greed was his poison, folly his chalice. It clouded his judgment and blackened his heart. And it was worth it.

Ras knew it was madness to trust pirates, be they the eye patch variety or their machine gun toting, 20/20 eyesight contemporaries. Yet he sailed with them nevertheless.

As they tightened the ropes on his wrists and ankles, he could have avoided this fate. He needed provide the location of the gem. And yet, even as their boats disappeared, he did not call out to save himself. It would not let him. It would not be shared, no matter the cost.

The restraints had been easy. Thanks to the poor quality knotsmanship of modern day piracy Ras had worked himself free from his restraints in less than a day’s time. Soon after Ras had extracted his treasure from its unmarked spot in the sand.

In my hand I possess more wealth than all of the kings throughout history have ever dreamed,” he said, his cackles muted by the vulture songs. The land and sea remained silent.

“Did you not hear me?” he said, holding his hand in the air. “With this, I could bathe in the most expensive wines in the world. I could dine on only the finest dishes for my lifetime and four, and never grow hungry.”

Ras failed to see another moon. His body receded over time into the sand. A stone remained where his stomach had been, worthless and rare, nourishment to none.

Flash Fiction – The Traveler and The Game

Here’s my entry for the 12th The Clarity of Night Short Fiction Contest. There’s still plenty of time to enter.

The Traveler and The Game

An old man stopped me on my way to the mountaintop. He had a beard as black as coal stretching to the tops of his feet and a long flowing robe so filthy that tiny green buds sprouted upon its surface. A rock, a stick, and a gun lay before him. “Stay for a game,” he said to me. “If you win I’ll let you pass.”

“And if I refuse?”

The man said nothing, instead turning his eyes toward the gun. I got the message.

“Well, what’s the game?” I said.

“Using any one of these items, rid me of that wicked creature,” he replied, pointing a crooked finger at the raven circling overhead. “In one shot.”

I considered the objects at hand.

The rock. Too light and insignificant, it would do nothing but agitate the bird.

More substantial, but terribly inaccurate, the stick was not worth the risk.

The gun was my only true option. Lifting the weapon, I trained my sights on the winged creature. Moving the barrel just to the left of my target, boom click boom, I emptied both chambers. The creature departed.

“Thank you,” said the old man, fading like mist in the breeze, the shot still ringing in my ears. The rock, the stick, and the gun followed.

The land compelling me to rest, I sat in the very spot the man had been. And there I remain, seated, watching the raven fly above, waiting for an unfortunate soul willing to play my game.

Story Posted!

The 500 word story I wrote for Karen Lee Field’s writing contest has been posted to her blog. If you have a few minutes, why not go over there and give it a read. It’s a pretty fun story, I think. If you get a chance, why not read all seven entries and vote for your favorite?

Anyhow, here’s a direct link to my entry, titled Happens All the Time. Feel free to leave me comments/feedback either at her site or in the comments of this message. Or via smoke signals, but only if you live in Centre County, Pennsylvania. That’s probably the only way I’d see the smoke. 🙂

Happy October!

By the time you all read this, it most likely will be October, my favorite months of the year. In celebration of the month of Halloween, I’m going to pin my little flash fiction story Frank to the top of the blog for the month.

Frank was a little story I wrote in 2006, and has probably been the most popular post ever on this here blog. Those that are new here, and there are quite a few of you, really should check it out. I think you will enjoy it.

The coolest thing about Frank has been the emails I’ve gotten from it. More than one elementary school teacher has told me they have read Frank to their classes for Halloween and even analyzed the story. How cool is that? Anyhow, check it out and let me know what you think.