Author's Ink

We grow writers!

The Score:

Kris-45, Matty-20, Kirsten-10, Heather-50, Anthony-15, Howard-0, Whitney-0, Peazy-0

Week Nine Prompt:  FINAL WEEK!!!!

Okay...I saw these three hiding behind this rock and I couldn't for the life of me, figure out what the heck they were doing.  I suspect it had something to do with this guy (below) though.  Do tell...



 As always, good luck, fictioneers, and write hard!


Your Winner:

Daelen was desperate to find them for they held the key to survival.  He was still struggling with the deceit that led him to this place.  It was hard to believe that two days ago he had been preparing to present news of immense importance to the world’s most powerful leaders.  He had discovered a mutated strand of DNA that caused damaged cells to regenerate, creating healthy new cells.  He found the strand repeated in three common-looking primates, primates who had proven to be much more than average.  With today’s technology it wouldn’t be hard to isolate the necessary gene and use it to rid the world of the pandemic threatening to annihilate the human race.  Experts predicted that there was precious little time, a week at best before the entire world would fall to BOV416, or the bovine flu.  That was two days ago, before his partner betrayed him. 

               He never saw it coming.  Who could have predicted his wife, his Salia, would steal the baboons and his notes, leaving nothing behind in her wake of deception?  Now he was faced with a broken heart and the weight of mankind weighing heavily on his shoulders.  He and Salia were the only two people privy to the discovery and now he was truly alone in the recovery efforts.  If he didn’t find those animals, all hope of recreating his research disintegrated.  Without a clue as to their whereabouts, he donned his hat and cloak and set off.

               He wandered through the city, cane clicking on the cobblestones, looking for anyone who might have seen his wife, searching for any possible clue.  Every empty stare reminded him that he alone must find the solution.  The winds picked up and the chill in the air chased the remaining townsfolk indoors to their warm fires.  He stood alone with his cloak snapping in the increasing gale.  Like a jolt of electricity, realization illuminated his mind and he disregarded the worsening weather.  The atmosphere’s increasing discontent was drowned out by the clarity of his imminent action.  He knew where to find them!         

               He turned west toward the snow-capped mountains.  Gigantic, craggy peaks that cast their foreboding stare down upon the people of the village, warning of danger and despair.  Few could survive the rugged terrain, but Salia could; that was where she was born.  That was the land she knew best.  To her, its familiar rock walls would lend sturdy shelter and thousands of tiny niches to store her spoils.  Yes, that is where she would hide what she stole from him and all mankind.  Tall mountains beckoned to him, urging him to come find what was hidden among the jagged rocks.  If he only knew what was truly awaiting him.

by Heather Marvin Bserani


Your runner-up:

Three monkeys there were in a mountain pass,
All freezing their behinds,
While far below, a man crossed the town square,
Of a village on the Rhine.
The first of the monkeys was the oldest, the wisest,
And always spoke his mind.
Said he, to the others who hunkered beside him:
Well, that turned out just fine.
Shut-up! warned the second, the monkey what done it,
I was tired of towing the line.

Three monkeys there were in a mountain pass,
All shivering behind a rock,
While far below, a man entered a pet store,
And walked around taking stock.
The third monkey sneezed and looked to his brother
Are you happy now? he said.
We’re freezing, and hungry, I have to go pee,
And I really miss my bed.
All he wanted was for us to wear matching cloaks,
You shouldn’t have lost your head!

Three monkeys there were in a mountain pass,
All were slowly turning to ice,
While far below a man picked out a cage,
And filled it with three mice.
I’ll take these. He said to the lady,
Who worked nights at the store.
Why mice? Asked the lady, who noted his cloak, and expected
A story that wouldn’t bore.
Mice aren’t that exciting, or easy to train,
But they’ll just have to do.
Because, you see, most importantly,
They also can’t throw poo.

by Kristen Smith Selleck



This concludes the contest for this round!  We'll take a break now, for a few months while Heather enjoys the cup, and then we'll begin again with someone else taking the role of moderator.  Next round, ya'll have to compete with me!  LOL.

This was a great round!  And now you all have a few more pieces to put in your portfolios.  There isn't a single entry here that I am not proud of, and that I didn't enjoy immensely.  Thank you, everyone, for playing.  I heart you all!

Week Eight prompt:

Oh,  Lord!  What's going on here?  These two used to be besties!  What the heck happened?


Write hard, Fictioneers!


Your Winner:    

 Maricella stole all the toilet paper again.  She thinks she’s some kind of  goddamned fashion designer or something. 

“You look like a friggin’ mummy,” I said. 

She spun in her chair, crossed her arms, and glared at me.  She’d been on one of her Internet fashion forums again. 

“There wasn’t any toilet paper,” I said.  “Again.”

She sighed and stared at me from under droopy eyelids. 

“I needed it,” I said.

She smirked, and then turned back to her computer.  A scrap of TP drifted to the floor.

“Stop stealing all the toilet paper, damnit!”

She said nothing – just clicked her mouse at me.

Next day, I went shopping over at the strip mall with the grocery store and the sporting goods store.  I bought milk, bananas, and a 50-caliber, chrome-plated Desert Eagle hand gun.  The guy at the sporting goods store called it a “hand cannon.”  I think it looks pretty, and I understand it’ll put about a 10-inch hole in Maricella.  So I feel pretty good about it.  The bananas?  Not so much.  They were really green.  But what can you do?


Back at the house, I found Maricella in front of the television, watching her “stories.”  She was still wearing her TP costume.

“Hi, Maricella,” I said.

“Shhh!”  She waved me off without even turning to look.

I pulled out the Desert Eagle.  The gun felt heavy in my hand.  I kind of understood why the man had called it a “hand cannon.”  “We need to talk,” I said. 

Maricella ignored me, opting instead to watch as a man called Jack Barnes confronted his lesbian sister for having an affair with Jack’s wife who, as it happened, lay dying of a brain aneurysm just a few feet away.  It was pretty dramatic, but I was about to introduce some drama of my own into the situation. 

“I said,” pulling the slide back to cock the gun, just like the man showed me, “that we need to talk.”

She turned to shush me, her eyes all fiery and angry looking.  But then she saw the 10-inch – I’d opted for the long barrel – chrome-plated pistol, and all the anger drained out of her face.  Her eyes got really, really big. 

I should have fired right then, but I was having too much fun watching her reaction.  She gaped and goggled said, “Bu-bu-bu-bu…”  It was awesome.  But then she scrambled over the side of the coach and dove for cover under a table.  That was not awesome..  And having had enough of her non-awesomeness, I pulled the trigger. 

The back of the couch exploded – I’d forgotten to aim – and cotton flew everywhere.  The noise was staggering, and the kick – well, I nearly fell over backwards.  I stepped back, took a deep breath, and raised the gun again, just in time to see the mummified bitch crawl through the door to the kitchen.  She flung the door closed behind her. 

I fired again.

The doorknob just seemed to disappear, leaving nothing but a foot-wide, ragged hole in its place.  It was a hell of a thing to see – like magic – one second it was there, and the next there was nothing but empty space.  I decided right then that I’d made a good purchase. 

That was about an hour ago, though.  And while I’ve managed some highly-satisfactory remodeling of our kitchen in the meantime, we’re now in a standoff.  The problem is that the bitch has my cat.  I’ve got her pinned down in the pantry, but she’s using Fluffy as a fucking shield.  I swear to God, if I could just aim this thing, the toilet-paper-thieving whore would be so dead by now.

 by Anthony Miller



Your Runner-Up:

  “Kitty, you need to back away from the shoe.”  The words still echoed in her ears.  She wasn’t proud of what came next, after all, Dorothy was her friend.  But Kitty couldn’t help herself, she had to have that shoe.  It wasn’t just because it was beyond fabulous, it was a special shoe indeed.  Dorothy already had the Ruby Slippers; it didn’t seem fair for her to get the blue alligator peep-toes too.  It hadn’t taken Kitty long to “convince” Dorothy that blue wasn’t her color.  After admitting defeat, she jumped a house and flitted away; Kitty couldn’t have cared less.  In her hands she held a cobalt jewel indeed.

            Carefully fastening the clasp around her ankle, a frisson of excitement surged through  her.  She stood up slowly, letting the warm euphoria envelop her.  Already, its magic was  thrumming through her, making her smile in indulgent glory.  After a few deep breaths and a flip of her hair, she was ready.  To no one at all she said, “Dorothy had it all wrong.   Who wants to go home?”  With nary a movement Kitty began softly clicking her heels.   “There’s no place like the mall.”

by Heather Bserani



And the no less brilliant, other entry:



Shera Banks took a few cautious steps into the street (His steps were always cautious.  You had to be cautious when you crammed size fourteen wide feet into five inch platform stilletos.), and craned his neck for a better look.

"Bra-a-ains," croaked the shadowy figure across the street again.

"Ki-Ki... girl, that you?" Shera called.

The dark figure shuffled into the street towards him, finally illuminated by the orange glow of the streetlight.  She wore a dingy white dress, shredded in places, and staggered like a drunk.

"I knowed it!  I knowed it was you, Ki-Ki!  Looking all fine wit' yo post-op self! mmmm girl, where you been at?  I heard you died on the table, went in to cardiac arrest--but I knows bullshit when I smell it, and that's what I told Yvonne.  Yvonne, I says, Yvonne, you know how people be talking all kinds of shit, don't even know what they saying.  Ki-Ki gonna turn up right here on this corner, looking just fine, and look, here you is!"

Ki-Ki staggered left then right, making a zig-zag progress across the street towards Shera.

"Girl, you drunk as hell!" Shera laughed, "And ooooo, you staaaank!  Smell like something crawled right up in you and died.  Whatsa matter wit you?"

Ki-Ki had finally managed to cross the street and stopped, rocking slightly on her heels.  Her eyes rolled back in her head as she swayed.  Shera put a hand on his hip and pursed his brightly painted lips, but before he could say a word, Ki-Ki lunged.

"Bra-a-a-ins!" she growled and snatched handfuls of Shera's dark red curls, yanked to pull the tantalizing skull closer to her drooling mouth.

Unfortuantely for zombie Ki-Ki, the wig whipped right off of Shera Banks' head.  Zombies are not known to be especially brilliant, and while Ki-Ki was still searching the mass of red hair she held in her hands for spare bits of brain, Shera took the opportunity to land a roundhouse kick to her face.  Ki-Ki went sprawling.

"Bitch! You know how I feel about my hair, you know!" Shera seethed, "I'm about to give you some pain!"  He placed one pointy heel over Ki-Ki's throat.

"Bra-ain?" croaked Kiki, hopefully.

by Kristen Smith Selleck


Well done, Everyone!

Week Seven prompt:


Ummmm....better living through chemicals?  LOL, my guess is that there were shenanigans involved.  Ninjas?  Zombies, perhaps?  Or just a couple of 'good, old, boys?  Your job is to tell me about them!


 Your Winners:



Tire Thief Found!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

By: June Young/The Associate Press


ORCHARD VALLEY, Ohio (AP) – An Orchard Valley man was arrested late Monday evening on grand larceny charges after being caught on security cameras stealing tires from several police cruisers.  Law enforcement officials located Eugene VonGrouten at his parents’ home on Elm Tree Terrace around 6:30 pm.  Arriving at the suspect’s location proved especially difficult as all of the cruisers from the local precinct were missing tires.  Officers from the neighboring town had to be called in to drive the Orchard Valley officers to the suspect’s location.  At that point it took several officers to subdue the 37 year old as he fled to a detached garage behind the family home.  There, he barricaded himself in the garage for several hours.  The police tried to communicate with him, but Mr. VonGrouten was uncooperative, even blaring loud rock music to thwart efforts of local police.   With the use of tear gas, law enforcement officials were eventually able to gain access to the building where they found more than a hundred stolen tires and a dozen mannequins, all in various stages of undress.  Despite being read his Miranda rights, the man kept denying his guilt.

               “You don’t understand!  I am designing Lady Gaga’s next costume.  It’s all in the name of art!”

               Mr. VonGrouten is being held on $20,000 bail and will be arraigned in criminal court on Thursday, February 24.  



2.  "Awww... Allah damnit!"
Pulling into the employee only parking lot of the Palestine City of Jerusalem police station, Sahid 'Dano' Abdullah, was quick to notice the fleet of cruisers all up on blocks.  Behind him, a rust bucket of unidentifiable make and model, driven by his rookie partner, McMuhammad, wheeled into the lot and screeched to a halt.  McMuhammad leapt out holding a steaming cup, half of which had sloshed down his front from the abrupt stop.  He ran up to Sahid's window, and began tapping impatiently.

"The hell is this all about?" he asked, before Sahid could even get the window down.

"Take a guess, genius," Sahid snapped. "It'll be those bastards over at Isreali City of J again.  Must of hit us right before shift change.  Bet the night crew is still in there finishing up their paper work and don't even know yet."

"Oh, those infidel bastards!" McMuhammad growled.

"We should've been better prepared.  There's no excuse for this.  I knew some form of retaliation was coming."

It had started when a cop from the Palestine office had had one too many and was arrested and charged for public indecency by the Israeli office.  Of course, they had caught him urinating on the revered tomb of the Sanhedrin-- but it still seemed to Sahid to be a crappy thing to do to another cop.  Things had escalated to the point that they were now staring at an entire fleet of disabled cruisers.

"We have to get them back, Sahid."

"I know McMuhammad, I know.  Look, I need you to get a can of spray paint and meet me at the wailing wall in thirty minutes."

"What are you going to do-- spray paint 'Allah Rules' on the Wailing Wall?  In the middle of the morning?"

"No, you're the one who'll be doing the spray-painting.  I'm going to create... a distraction."

On that note, Sahid ripped the car into reverse and squealed out of the parking lot.





Week Six Prompt:

This week, we're having a multi-picture prompt.  There are three pictures to this one, so be sure to scroll all the way down.

So for the challenge, take this girl:


and insert her firmly into this world for me:



 I want to know who she is, why she's here, and what sort of trouble brought her to this place.


Good Luck, Fictioneers.  I expect great things this week.  I adore this girl and this world!


Your Winner:


She opened her eyes...blinked... squinted.  So much brightness-- but that wasn't her first thought.  She knew there were words for things, and knew that she knew them all, but didn't know where they had gone.  And then came one of the missing words-- LIGHT-- and this was her first thought.  Quickly came the words blue... white... clouds... sky.  They were so few that they rattled around in the aching emptiness behind her eyes. Each one searching for a connection, trying on their own to find other words, to form sentences, thoughts.  And because there were words, and a person to know the words, she must exist.  I am, she thought.  I am lying on my back.  Above me is... sky.

Even after words returned, there was no sort of feeling that she should be doing anything.  No need to get up.  Some soft, warm thing seemed to brush across her, and she knew at once that this was a 'breeze', and that she was comfortable.  Unbidden, leaking into the pleasantness of the now came the first question.  How did I get here?  No answer for this one.  There was another place, not like here..  A place where you could hardly see the sky for all the tall buildings, and it had been night.  Lights... red and green and yellow ones... she could close her eyes and see them reflecting off the wet pavement.  Cars... noise... clenched teeth and closed eyes and a bad feeling... and then this place.  There was no bridge between the now and the night in her head, and the absence of it brought fear back.  Where, what, why, and how leaped at her and she tried to fend them off by stockpiling facts.  I am me.  I have a name.  It's... I don't remember.  I'm a girl.  I'm... well, I can't recall how old I am, but I know I was born.  I've had birthday parties.  I was going to a party that night... this night?  It's day, but on the night I remember I was going to a party... that's right.  I wasn't sure what to wear, and I spoke to a friend over the phone, and she said... she said... 'you always worry too much.'  She said 'Alice, you'll be f-'

"ALICE!" she said to the sky.  "My name is Alice."

by Kris Selleck


Your Runner-Up:


Bria fled Jivernee three years ago when the colors were only slightly muted.  While she was away, the Grelie, a type of Unseelie parasite, had drained the world of its energy.  News of this atrocity had reached Ireland, where she had been hiding.  She’d returned to Jivernee in a near panic and now, scanning the horizon, she realized it was worse than she thought.  Gone were the vibrant hues of paradise; their absence marked another tragedy of war.  The sweet-blossom breeze now hung stagnant in the air.  The sandy footpath lay cold beneath her toes.  Air, once filled with bird-song, was eerily quiet.  

She could hide no longer.  The blood of once-powerful sprites ran in her veins; she was a fighter.   Her ancestors’ strength drove her forward, inspiring a warrior’s song in her heart.  This was the land of her heritage and she would not let it be stripped away.  Leaving behind the rules of the Faery court, she unfurled her gossamer wings and with a Celtic prayer for strength, she set off.

by Heather Bserani


The others, in no particular order:



I tried to wash my hair.  I really did.  But it didn't work.  It must have been some powerful shampoo though.  I mean, it really seems to have fucked things up. 

I scrubbed and scrubbed.  And then, following the instructions on the back of the bottle, I rinsed and repeated.  Twice.  But that stupid blond color wouldn't come out.  Not even a little bit.  I guess I was stupid to listen to that witch.  What the heck kind of witch sells shampoo anyway?  I told her I regretted dying my hair, and she promised me it would get rid of all the color.  And I totally bought it.  The bitch.  Mom is going to be pissed when she sees her rhododendrons. 

PS - These aren't my real eyes.  They're marbles. 

by Anthony Miller




      Lilli saw the sun's rays glint off the little ball's silver sides.  Could this really be it?  She wondered. 


     She looked around at her world: a world under repair, a world healing from abuse.  It didn’t seem wonderful to her, because she had always lived here, but her grandmother had often sat for hours admiring the landscape.  The crisp grass had turned slightly yellow  due to the cold wind rustling the trees; clouds were lolling about in the sky, taking their time on their journeys to Wherever.  The earth beneath her was a chalky sort of dirt with a reddish hue, which the Gardeners said was the most fruitful for planting.  Everything in this world complimented the other, everything harmonized, and everything worked.  So why, when her grandmother talked about stories that’d been passed down throughout the generations of the Old World, had she had such an urge to leave this place behind – to go to the world of the past, the world of technology and “frivolous things,” as her grandmother would say?  Of flying machines instead of birds, methods of transportation that were large constructions  of metal rather than animals…what a strange, interesting world it must have been.

                The glow, growing brighter, snapped her out of her daze.  There was one way her mother had always talked of, to go to the past.  A wistful dream even in the Technology Days, she would say.

                Lilli, heart racing, stood up and tread cautiously closer to the glow, over the natural ups and downs of the road.  A time machine.  Could it really be possible?  It was much smaller than she expected, only a small,  round ball, polished silver, with no seams visible to the naked eye.  Dare she pick it up?  She noticed a screen, with strange black characters on it:  2030 --> 4070.  Before she could investigate further, the glow grew blindingly bright.  When Lilli could see again, standing in front of her was a tall boy, rubbing his eyes roughly.  He spun all around, taking in the scenery.  Then his eyes focused on her, excited, and said:  “What year am I in?”

by Matty Bolen



 Great Job, All!




Week Five Prompt: to get a bear in a birdcage?  As in, where the heck are these girls parents?  "Here, Kitty, Kitty?" tell me!


Your winner this week:

The two little girls, trembling in the cold, watched as the bear stumbled towards them.

“Sister, maybe we shouldn’t have listened to the witch.”  The younger girl licked her lips              and fiddled with the cage door.  She didn’t understand how a bear could fit inside the cage, but Lissa, her older sister, seemed to understand completely.

             “Shut up, Cara.  The witch said if we get the bear’s claw, mommy would be all better.”  Lissa’s eyes darted between the bear and Cara.  “Besides, that smelly stuff she gave us that’s making the bear come?  She said that it would protect us as well.  It’s magic, Cara!”

              Cara frowned.  “Maybe if we close the door…”  She fiddled with it some more.  “Maybe then, Bear will stop, and he won’t smell the stuff anymore, and he’ll go away.”

             “Don’t be silly,” Lissa sneered.  “The witch promised we wouldn’t get hurt—” 

             Suddenly, the bear seemed much closer and much larger than he had before.  They could hear the leaves and twigs snap under its weight, smell its musky  scent, see the drool dripping off its muzzle.  “For mommy.”  Lissa whispered, reminding both herself and her sister. The bear was in arm’s reach, when the wind picked up around them.  The force of the wind made Lissa's eyes water and Cara's hair consistently covered her eyes.  There was a horrible sucking sound coming from the cage, and then, all of a sudden, the bear was gone.  After a moment of silence, a small, very weak cry resembling a pathetic "roar!" came from inside the cage. 

“For mommy,” Cara repeated, closing the door.

by Madison Bolen


Your Runner-Up this week:

    “It’s all  your fault.  I told you to feed him the blue pill, not the red one!”

    “How was I supposed to know I fed the hamster miracle grow?”

     Ella and Emma bickered while the now gargantuan animal stood frozen, taking in the world from his new perspective.  The freedom out here was daunting.  There was so much to look at.  Nothing felt familiar.  Where was his wheel?  He wanted a dish to back-flip off of.  A sound distracted him from his growing panic. 

               “Come here, Mr. Freckles.”  Ella’s sing-song voice grated on his jangling nerves.  He hated that name.  Why couldn’t he be Zippy or Ace?  It was Emma who had come up with the disastrous title.  Why was she whistling?  If he could just hear the rhythm of his paws on hard plastic, everything would be all right.  The two humans had reduced themselves to baby talk.

               “It will be awwight, my wittew snookie wookums.”

               “Oh my cute wittew baby.  Mama wants to snuggew her baby.”

               His paws snapped shut and his stomach tightened.  There was no way he was going back to that.  He turned and quickly sprinted into the forest.          

“We are in so much trouble.”

by Heather Bserani


The other entries in no particular order:



       It didn't start out a tragedy. Quite the opposite. I'd just landed the Southeastern Idaho Apple Growers Association account. Great, right? A chance to build an entire campaign from scratch. It's the kind of break that makes a career. And it went pretty well from day one, although they weren't crazy about my first concept, "Apples So Good, They Kick Potato Ass." Apparently the spuddies get nasty when provoked, and my apple guys were a bit afraid of them. Better not pick that fight. Mo Reilly, who I got along with very well by the way, favored something about apples being healthy, but that's been done to death I told him. Then it hit me. What's better than health? POWER. Power! They loved it! Major brainstorm! And what's the most powerful beast in Idaho? The grizzly bear! So how could I have known the photo shoot would take such an ugly turn? You can't anticipate every little snafu in advance! Although "Idaho Apples--The Best For Getting Sauced" might have worked, now that I think about it.

by Kirsten Mortensen


      Dascha said that we couldn’t get a new Papa, but we could get a new bear.  And because she was nine months older, and rock stubborn, I had long since grown accustomed to doing as she said.  Besides, we were Ursari-- and an Ursari without a bear was just another filthy gypsy to your average Romanian.
     Dascha walked in front, carrying the cage.  She said Bartok had always liked rats best, but she was wrong.  Bartok only ate rats when there was no money for fish, and better even than fish was fruit.  In the pocket of my jacket was a shiny, red apple.
     Dasha chose the spot.  I could smell wild thyme very strongly.  We crushed it when we sat down.  I wanted to tell her that a smart bear-- a bear like Bartok had been—wouldn’t come near a smell so strong.  I did not.  Instead I settled in and polished my apple.  Dasha glared at me when I bit into it, a cracking sound loud enough to be my teeth breaking.  I only smiled back, around a mouth full of juicy bear bait.  I hoped she would give up soon, but stubbornness braced her in all things.  And it was about then that I noticed a shadow creep across the ground.

by Kristen Selleck



Well done, Everyone!




Week Four Prompt:

Woke up this am and headed to Starbuck's to get a bit o' go juice.  On the way, I saw this!  Someone wanna explain to my sleep-fogged brain just what the heck is going on around here?

Your Winner:


.       A lifetime ago, Miss Savannah Ray Magnolia Ellison was introduced to the world wearing the finest white dress her daddy could buy.  Twirling and regaling with the who’s who of Huntsville was the fairy-tale ending to a childhood of whimsy.  Ironically, she was given to the world, and the world started taking things away.  When Daddy turned away the corporate men with their fancy black suits, the less noble kind came to call.  Savannah Ray hid in the attic, but she could still hear the shots.  They took him away in a body bag.  Momma was next; she refused the land developers too.  From the root cellar, Savannah Ray heard her tortured cries.  They took Momma away in a straight jacket the next morning.  Then they came for her, but this time they weren’t asking.  The held her down and took more that the who’s who cared to mention.  They left her bleeding and broken, to be carted away as well.  She thought many things, lying torn and exposed near her momma’s camellia garden, but what she felt was anger.  These men were not going to destroy her family and steal the land that had sustained them for five generations.  Every part of this estate harbored ghosts of her parents; they would not be taken from her again.  Gone was the giggly debutante, in her place a new woman who would use the land that succored her ancestors to drive away the thugs hunting her once and for all. 

by Heather Bserani



Your Runner-Up: 


    Louisiana swampland’s hot enough to make your eyeballs sweat.  Then you walking around all salt-eyed, squinting cause it hurt just to look at the stinkhole.  Everything look  like one of them mirages. like you see on the cartoons.  That’s what Becky Sue looked like, standing up there on that platform, a fuzzy coke machine in the desert.  I wiped my eyes again and leveled the gun on her.
“You ain’t gonna apologize yet, Becky Sue?”
“I ain’t got nothing to apologize for, ya big ass.  Your cousin is a damn liar and everybody in town tell you the same.  I ain’t done nothing wrong.”
She didn’t fear me or that gun--and that sure did burn my ass!  At the very least, anybody should’ve been afraid of the dozen or so gators that were milling around beneath the platform.  Took me all damn day with a gun aimed at her and a bucket of fish heads to get ‘em there.
“Whatcha gonna do, Steve? Ya gonna shoot me?” she taunted.
“Naw, I ain’t gonna shoot ya, cheating bitch,” I said, lowering my aim.  “That’d be murder.  I’m gonna shoot out that support, and you gonna fall right on a nice platter for them hungry gators.”
She didn’t say nothing to that, just looked at me, but it wasn’t no kind of scared look.  I took my first shot.
A chunk of wood blew out of the support, Becky Jo rocked on her heels, keeping her balance.  All the gators turned tail and launched off the beach quick as snakes.  Becky Jo doubled over laughing.
by Kristen Selleck


Other Entries, in no particular order:


     Twelve years had passed, but she hadn’t forgotten. Twelve years of living a life any normal American girl would recognize—the soccer games, the math homework, the sleepovers. That first kiss—and oh, that second kiss, the smell of his breath warm as bread, dark as meat! Mailing out college applications and then the afternoon she pushed through the screen door into the kitchen to find that thick envelope, waiting on the table . . . accepted. Accepted. And yet . . . in all those twelve years, she hadn’t forgotten who she really was. That she was destined to rule another world. And where were the rains? It had been weeks now with no rain. Weeks? No! Months! And so the grass crackled like tinder beneath her feet as she walked one last time across the little yard, past the mailbox, one last time the briars tore at her too-tender skin as she pushed through the hedgerow and down the embankment. For the dry times had come and with them the time she must return to her people, to lead her people to safety. Shed this human form she’d worn so well and assume, once again, her true identity. The Alligator Queen.

by Kirsten Mortensen


Nicely done, you guys....



Week Three Prompt:

The prompt:

Okay now, I knew the minute I saw this guy that he just wasn't right!  Something's definitely afoot!  Only one rule this week:  Choose one of the following quotes from Sherlock Holmes and use it however you'd like in your paragraph.


"It is one of those instances where the reasoner can produce an effect which seems remarkable to his neighbor, because the latter has missed the one little point which is the basis of the deduction."


"'Might I trouble you to open the window, for chloroform vapour does not help the palate."

"The Englishman is a patient creature, but at present his temper is a little inflamed and it would be as well not to try him too far."

"It's a wicked world, and when a clever man turns his brain to crime it is the worst of all."

"I suppose, Watson, that you imagine that I have added opium-smoking to cocaine injections, and all the other little weaknesses on which you have favored me with your medical views."

"There is but one step from the grotesque to the horrible."


Good luck, Raconteurs!

Your Winner:


He hated smooth-chested men. He always had. He hated how polished they looked, how their chests gleamed when they sweated, gleamed in the sun, how they beaded with sweat, how the sweat cleared bright little pathways unencumbered as it dripped. And then his wife, his own wife had run off with a smooth-chested man--worse, a smooth-chested  Zumba instructor, with his world music and those loose jointed hips and the la la la way he moved his hands in the air before he clapped them twice, counting as he clapped. Now all the fitness geeks in every beach town from here to the Baja Penninsula were laughing. Laughing at the hairy fool whose wife had run away with the Zumba man. Well. Damn them all. It's a wicked world, and when a clever man turns his brain to crime it is the worst of all. Rogaine in the water supply, maybe that was it, that would certainly be a start . . .

by Kirsten Mortensen


Your Runner-Up:

      Little boys who pout grow up to be young men who brood.  To a certain type of teenage   girl, a dark, brooding (even if somewhat portly) man is an unexplainable attraction.  I was not one of these.  To me, Micah's preoccupation with staring out the window, and sighing every few minutes, was driving a thorn deeper and deeper into my side.
     "Micah, I swear to God--get away from the window!"
      I slammed the gory trocar down on the draining table, to let him know I meant business.  He did turn then, and with another sigh, made a show of looking distastefully around us.
      "You are too young for all of this.  Too much a child to have to do and see things like... this.  It is madness."
       I might have said that if he was so very troubled about me, he could have lent a hand instead of staring morosely out the window.  I snorted.  This was immediately camouflaged by the wet sucking sound the trocar made as I jammed it back into cold intestine.
     "Get away from the window!" I reminded him.
     He stalked away--offended-- and poured himself a cup of coffee.
     "Well then," he coughed a few times, "might I trouble you to open the window, for chloroform vapour does little to help the palate."
      "Oh, shut-up Micah.  They haven't used chloroform in embalming fluid for like, fifty years."  I turned my back to him, so he couldn't see me smile.  It would only have given him more to brood about.

by Kristen Selleck


The other entries in no particular order:

      “I suppose,” she said, “that you imagine that I’m just going to go away now?”

 “Ms. Watson,” he said, turning away from the window, “if someone doesn’t keep watch,            those ninjas will get in here and eat all the ice cream.  You wouldn’t want that to happen, now, would you?”

“Well, no.”  She sighed.  “I’m just not sure that watching for ninjas does any good.  Aren’t they supposed to be stealthy and undetectable?”

“So, what then?  You think I should just ignore the threat?  Maybe go watch some television?”  He scoffed at her.  “I can just see it now,” he said.  “There I am, sitting in front of Wheel of Fortune, and some sneaky bastard in pajamas chops me in half with a katana sword?  Is that what you want?”

“I’m not sure ninjas carry katanas.”

“Watch yourself,” he said.  He raised an eyebrow.

Have you added opium-smoking to cocaine injections to all the other little weaknesses on which you have favored me with your medical views?”


“Nothing,” she said, storming out of the room.  “Nothing at all.”

by Anthony Miller



      "By nature, humans are voyeuristic.  They are drawn to the unthinkable."  Raoul couldn't move while the words from his shrink echoed through his mind.  He stood riveted to the window which looked over his neighbor's backyard.  There were women everywhere, at least fifty of them.  Young women in bikinis were mingling, laughing and carrying on.  Not a single one of them was less than three hundred pounds.  Raoul had never seen so much skin and although it disturbed him, he couldn't look away.  A significantly more slender guest arrived carrying a radio.  The shrink's voice warned, "There is but one step from the grotesque to the horrible."  Raoul shook his head and whispered, 

           "No! Dios No!"

           It fell on deaf ears as the local chapter of Binge Eaters Anonymous started their weekly zumba class. 

by Heather Bserani



It may be true that at thirty-five years old, Larry should have moved out of his mother’s house by now.  It may be true that at thirty-five years old Larry probably should have stopped dressing up when he played Dungeons and Dragons, not to mention stop playing the game in the first place.  It may be true that Larry’s mother should have stopped sending him to the time-out room sometime around his twenties.  However, none of this happened, and now Larry was in the dreaded time-out room, frustrated as can be.  He stared out the window at the herd of sheep passing by, wishing he could smash them with his Masterwork Warhammer.

Outside, in the dining room, his mother and father quietly conversed about their son’s wellbeing. 

“Jerry, he hasn’t left his room except to eat, and he’s been so temperamental!  He’s even been talking back to you on a daily basis.”  This crime was why he was in the time-out room in the first place.  “Maybe we should send him to counseling?”

“Mary, it will all work out.  The Englishman is a patient creature, but at present his temper is a little inflamed and it would be as well not to try him too far.”

Mary was about to say that yes, maybe he was right, when a loud crash, beaming light, and blood boiling scream erupted from the time-out room.

by Madison Bolen


Week Two Prompt:

Okay, People, Disney just called!    They found these characters skulking about and thought they had definite star quality.  (The second one from the right looks a little like the Biebs, eh?)  So tell me what the heck they're doing here and why they're in trouble.  You know...the opening paragraph for their 'adventure'.  Dig deep, write hard, and Good luck, People!  Write on...!

Your Winner:


“What the heck is that?” I said, leaning around Ghost to get a better look.

“Dunno,” said Elv, which wasn’t surprising.  That’s all he ever said.

“I think it’s a…human?”  Miss Chievious wagged her tail and moved in front of Ghost, who was silent.

“Why is it standing under a waterfall?” I asked.

“Dunno,” said Elv again. 

The human groped the wall behind the waterfall, then leaning against it, he disappeared.

Wait!  What?

“That’s impossible!” I barked, taking a few steps toward the waterfall.

“Where’d he go?” Miss Chievious circled around a few times; something we dogs do when we’re confused or tired.

Ghost spoke for the first time, softly, like always.  “I heard a story when I was a puppy.”

We all turned, listening intently.  You learn to do that around Ghost.  He doesn’t talk much, and when he does, it’s important.

“There were these people who formed a group called the Farx.  They hated my old family, so the Farx stole something very important from them.  My family would always talk about a hideout concealed by a wall of some sort.  Then they had an epiphany.  Lots of celebrating and packing.  They put out a week’s worth of food and water for me and left the doggie door unlocked.”  He closed his eyes for a moment.  “When they left the next day, they never came back.”

They must’ve heard us talking then because that’s when everything went all wrong.

by Madison Bolen


Your Runner-Up:

       Leonard set the photo down with a sigh.  That was the day that everything changed.  He and a bunch of friends were camping out in the Blue Mountains in northern Oregon.  Evelyn had begged him not to go, what with the storm coming, but he was too stubborn to be swayed.  He assured her everything would be fine, loaded up his tackle and Duke his Labrador, and set off.  He had been right, everything was fine at the campsite, but the tragedy he found when he came home would leave him scarred for the rest of his life.  Had it not been for Duke, he never would have made it through and found peace on the other side. 

by Heather Bserani


The other entries in no particular order:


     “You told us there was a bone in there,” said Rexnord, the Golden Retriever.  People called him Amos, but people are stupid and don’t know anything.  His real name was Rexnord, Overlord of Greenway Estates.  “It was really friggin’ cold, and there was no bone.”

“No bone,” said Sam, the little multi-colored mutt.  ‘Sam’ was both his people name and his dog name.

“No, I didn’t.  I didn’t say that.  I— I said that…”  Cesar trailed off.

The dogs just stared at Cesar.

Cesar stared intently at the little pile of rocks he was pushing around with his toe.

“What the fuck is wrong with you?” asked Rexnord.  “Are you mental?”

“Yeah,” said Sam.

The light-brown mutt – called Wolfie by his owners, but who the other dogs knew as Pain – let out a low, menacing growl.  Lars, the black lab, was a foreign-exchange dog, and only spoke German.  So he just waited patiently for it all to be over.

“You guys must have misheard me,” said Cesar.  “I didn’t say anything like that.”

“No,” said Rexnord, “we didn’t mishear anything.  You misspoke.”

Pain growled some more.  The other dogs wagged their tails, for they knew what was coming next.

“And now,” continued Rexnord, “you have to die.”

by Anthony Miller



From the people who brought you There’s Something About Max, and the dogumentary, When Harry Met Socks, comes a brand new--okay, a super cute redo of the cult classic: Reservoir Dogs!

Mr. Black, Mr. Blonde, Mr. White, and Mr. Pink attempt to pull off the biggest Frisbee Heist since--ever, but it all goes awry when the Dogs are ambushed by animal control.   They don’t even know each other’s real names, but they do know one thing--one of them is an informer.  Watch the drama unfold as the adorable, but homicidal, Mr. Blonde takes care of business.  Laugh, as Mr. Pink refuses to tip the groomer.  Bring the whole family, because no one will want to miss the biggest Disney bloodbath since Bambi!

by Kristen Selleck


The morning mist burned away beneath the insistently rising sun and four dogs trotted out onto a shoal where the white water relaxed into a slow, shallow eddy.  Here the exhausted  canines would be able to cross with little trouble.  The enthusiasm of the night before had faded with the sunrise and each of the dogs felt vaguely ashamed of his part in the evening's activities.  The folks at home would never approve of the fighting, the foreplay, the jockeying for position as the wanton bitch led them across other streams, through fields and forest, across four-lane highways dodging diesels and RVs full of mindless tourists.  But, in spite of morning after guilt,  the prize had been worth it, or so each told himself-- except for Pico, the smallest one.  Pico was frustrated and he was angry.  Life wasn't fair.  All the bigger dogs had been successful but not Pico and it wasn't from lack of trying.  By the time he got his shot, the bitch had lost interest and turned into a snarling picture of rejection.  Fuck it.  He was going to bite someone.  In fact, he just had to bite someone.  Then the dude with the camera showed up .

by Howard Bushart 


Week One Prompt:

Your Winner:


Leland B. Nowicki may have been the world's worst Anthrax salesman. To be fair, I had never known any others, but Leland was the type of person that seemed to warrant a 'World's Worst' title. His suit was rumpled, his breath was bad, and he moved with the staggering grace of a sailor on dry land. The first week of my internship was designated 'Observation' week. I observed Leland arriving late to the airport, causing us to miss our flight. I then observed coach class, squeezed between Mr. Nowicki and a very large woman, for the entire fourteen hour flight to Karachi. Finally, I observed as he forgot that the 'antique books' we were transporting, contained our entire stash of Anthrax spores. Thankfully, I had been vaccinated prior to being accepted into the program.  The fat lady next to me? Well, on the bright side, she would no longer be at risk for heart disease or diabetes.

by Kris Selleck


Your Runner-Up:

I spent a week, with tweezers and a magnifying glass, arranging and re-arranging the letters on that page.  And then fucking Raul comes along and blows them right off the page.  He just didn't understand I guess.  Still, I'm going to punch him right in the face next time I see him.

by Anthony Miller


The other entries, in no particular order:

“It’s so hard to find good help.”  Winston Churchill Thibideau III blew the dust from his first-edition Tom Sawyer.  He would see to it that the cleaning staff was reprimanded for the oversight.  Turning toward the wall of windows glistening in the setting sun, he was startled to find someone sheltered in the tree-line of the sprawling estate.  The stranger stepped from his sanctuary, smiled and then lifted a hand in a casual greeting.  Winston reached for his phone to contact the security guards, as liquid fire ripped through his chest.  He never saw who fired the shot, but the calling card she left behind would certainly keep the authorities guessing.
by Heather Bserani


He was having a brutal week.  Nothing in his education had prepared him for this reality and he felt as if he was on his last leg.  Unemployed for more than two months, he was in danger of losing the small flat on the Eastside.  Already he had hocked first one thing then another until he was virtually without the tools of his trade and the fact that he had been on a three-day "recreational" run with Bolivian Marching Powder was just adding that much more stress.  He had to do something he supposed.  Nothing magical or mystical perhaps but something to get his life back on track.  Standing by his bookshelf he took down one of his freshman texts, "Elementary Spells" by M. Pendragon.  He held the book against his cheek and appreciated the smell, the binding, the memories it conjured but, more importantly, what it contained.  Harry still had a touch of the old magic as he willed the book to fall open to page 333.  But before he could snort, a sudden gust of wind snatched his stash and scattered it through the air.  Harry Potter was having a brutal week. 

by Howard Bushart


 Hadrian knew he needed help to start this war. He leafed through the Book of Summoning, searching for the most dreadfully evil minion. “Nixies,” he read aloud. “Mischievous and playful creatures.” Great, he thought, nixies are the same as pixies, just with an ‘n’. That would never work. He needed something horrifically evil, and ‘mischievous’ just wouldn’t cut it. Hadrian said to the Book: “Show me the creature that shall aid me in my quest.” The sheets flipped wildly by themselves, first to the left and then back to the right, finally settling on a page covered with fine, sparkling dust.  “Sylphs,” said the Book in a raspy, slow voice. “a soulless being devoted to all evil.” Precisely! He blew the fine dust into the air, where it spread in front of him, hung for just a moment, and then came together rapidly in a blinding ball of light. When Hadrian could see again, he was looking into the eyes of his Sylph, smooth white eyeballs that bore no pupils. It opened its jaws and spoke. “Master, I will serve thee in all evil ways.” Hadrian grinned.

by Madison Bolen