Saturday, March 31, 2012

419. A plague on your house

She was seeing red.
Little red bodies climbed on everything.
They preferred the company of light bulbs, but it seemed they weren't picky.
Dozens of ladybugs had invaded her house, acting surprisingly unladylike.

Friday, March 30, 2012

418. Extra Special Birthday Edition

Today was my birthday. A bunch of twitter friends got together and made me a book of four sentence stories. It's awesome. So, in their honour, I'm doing something I've never done before in the history of this blog: guests posts. If you like them, you should give these folks a follow:


It sat in front of her, immense and impenetrable, a vast expanse of undisturbed white.
Words came to mind: pristine, pure, clean, virginal, innocent, unblemished.
She didn't need a description of the empty space that was mocking her with the description of itself in
such cliched words.
What she needed, as the deadline rapidly approached, were the words to put together the 4 lines of
text as a birthday gift for a friend.
- @common_st


In the morning, he looks at himself in the mirror, brushes his teeth, combs his hair and shaves his
stubble unaware that today is the day that everything changes.
He lays out his finely pressed shirt, his neatly ironed pants and his Friday socks when suddenly the
reflection in the mirror catches his eye.
He glances back at his crumpled sheets, sees the covered form of his wife, blanketed by the sun and
wrapped in a warmth only cats can truly appreciate.
This morning, he crawls back into bed, calls in sick and begins a new life.
- @superbang

He made it look effortless, but few could pull it off.
There was usually a twist at the end that you wouldn’t expect.
Did the twist refer to a dance, a piece of licorice, an ankle?
Or was it the last line of a four sentence story?
- @drjuliegill

So, first I start with a strong visual to draw the reader in.
Then, I get descriptive using adjectives.
I sprinkle a little tension with adverbs.
Twist at the end to wring out all the emotion I can, easy.
- @ThatSteveMills

Adventure Calls
He sat silently in his office looking for inspiration.
He sat so long staring at the wall that he surely thought his eyes would bore a hole straight through to
his neighbour.
The silence was broken by the sound of an incoming text message.
He smiled knowingly because adventure had just found him - it always did.
- @thedangillis

She approached the table, no ran to the table.
A sea of shoes all sang to her.
The brown ones, no the yellow ones, no wait the green ones.
A cry rang out across the room, "Help".
- @cinn48

Communication Breakdown
Twenty-six letters, ten numbers, and punctuation.
It was an outlet and a challenge for his creativity.
As he looked around he realized that his superior humour and cynicism was lost on the surrounding people.
He lamented the fact that there was no adequate emoticon to express this.
- @DrMarkKubert

Thursday, March 29, 2012

417. Male models

It's not often you find a perfect male model.
That's why, when the designer found him, she made an investment.
Over twenty years, she spent as much on research as she did on design.
As each identical model walked in lockstep and denim, she finally saw the fruits of her labour.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

416. Iron Chef Zombies

The contestants were led into the stadium where they were chained to their stations.
They moaned and heaved against their restraints.
The curtain rose to reveal the secret ingredient: brains.
Always brains.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

415. Twelve steps plus one

The stairs had thirteen steps.
Their builder was skeptical of superstition in all forms.
He built them in defiance of the gods of karma.
Day after day, year after year, dozens of people fell inexplicably.

Monday, March 26, 2012

414. Fastball special

As the passenger ship sank, the crew rushed the young passengers to the deck.
By the time the rescue boats arrived, most of the crew had fled the ship, abandoning their youthful charges.
One brawny deckhand remained, tossing the children, one at a time, to waiting sailors on one of the navy ships.
He stood waving to the children as he sank below the sea.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

413. Two-wheeled conveyance

The two of them rode in tandem.
As they rode, the chatted idly about politics and the weather.
Each person they passed stopped to watch them.
It's not so often you see two men riding side by side on unicycles.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

412. The mausoleum in the cemetery

They began as clocks all over the city were striking midnight.
They slipped their hoods over their heads and moved into a circle around the crude altar.
They chanted in unison and in turn.
The ground in the cemetery began to shake.

Friday, March 23, 2012

411. Microscopic ecosystem

When they arrived from Europe, they turned their ship into a bridge across the river.
The spiders in the ship's hold established a colony on the bridge.
Last June, when the city fathers restored the bridge, the spiders were still living there.
It's the only place they can still be found.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

410. Tune in tomorrow

The famous tv newsman turned and looked directly at him.
"Michael," he said. "It's time you went to bed."
Groggily, he checked his watch - 68 hours awake was too many.
He shut off the television and rolled over on the sofa.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

409. Once bitten

There were three of them - an old woman and two old men.
They looked lifeless, sitting there on the bench.
Then the woman's fishing pole bent nearly in two.
The three of them sprang to life, yanking and heaving on the rod.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

408. Smash cut

He was freezing.
It had been warm when he arrived at work that morning.
Smash cut.
His jacket was hanging on his desk chair.

Monday, March 19, 2012

407. The Second Dark Age

It began with one power plant shutting down, then another.
A short time later, the Internet went offline for good.
The libraries lasted until the winter, when folks began burning books to keep warm.
Within a few years, we'd forgotten a lot.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

406. Open season part 2

Someone had thrown it in the dumpster with the weekend trash.
It looked like a perfectly serviceable barbecue - minus the fuel tank.
Why would someone throw away a perfectly good grill?
He bet he could get it working again.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

405. The brief life of raindrop 437

It was the 437th drop to leave its particular nimbus cloud.
It reached terminal velocity before slamming into a roof in Seattle.
It lingered on the roof for a day or so.
A single woman stared wistfully at it as it rolled down her kitchen window.

Friday, March 16, 2012

404. Broken animals

Two brothers wrestled each other into the shelf.
Their collision launched a silver starling into the air.
When it hit the floor, it shattered into eighty or ninety pieces.
Lying there amidst the pieces was a perfectly formed egg.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

403. Jerusalem Syndrome

He believed he was Jesus.
Not THE Jesus you understand, but A Jesus.
He would have a small role in what was to come.
That's what he was desperately trying to get them to understand.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

402. When last I saw Grandma

When last I saw Grandma, we were drinking iced tea on her veranda.
The sun was just dipping behind the barn when the police showed up.
Seems they'd been made wise to Grandma's special garden.
When last I saw Grandma, she was driving toward the setting sun, police cruisers behind her.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

401. Duplex

Mary was finally getting her wish.
She had always dreamed of a house the colour of robins' eggs.
Tom, on the other hand, was using red paint.
Unfortunately for both of them, they lived on opposite halves of the same Duplex.

Monday, March 12, 2012

400. The lost hour

Early Sunday, all the clocks moved forward.
Sixty minutes disappeared.
In a secret bunker, a shadowy figure observed thousands of monitors.
The fluoride in the water supply kept the populace blissfully asleep.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

399. Open season

The man at the front of the line wore a t-shirt.
H is left arm was dark with hair, while the right one was bare as a baby's.
It had happened.
Barbecue season had returned.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

398. Elephant graveyard

Little piles lay everywhere.
They were bleach white like the bones of elephants.
Sheets of Kleenex had been plucked from their box, used and piled on the table.
A spring cold was upon her.

Friday, March 9, 2012

397. Legal woes

The oak paneled conference room reminded her of a sea captain's quarters.
It also conjured up a vague memory of her maternal grandfather.
Either way, it made her nervous.
She smoothed out a wrinkle in her slacks as she waited.

396. Hospital Corners

Do the kids still dig hospital corners?
My mother worked in a hospital for years, so she was a master of the well made bed.
Every morning, she'd check our beds, my sister's and mine.
We'd have to remake them until they were right.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

395. A snake in the garden

My cat is a brave, but inefficient killer.
Last night, he wounded an enormous snake - wounded, but not killed.
It was there, writhing against the sports page, when I traipsed onto the front step to collect the morning paper.
I finished the cat's murderous business with my own two hands.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

394. Five man electrical band

A rotating light periodically bathed the highway in an orange glow.
As it spun, it illuminated five men struggling to free a length of heavy wire from under a fallen tree.
The wind whipped ferociously, in full opposition to the task at hand.
Periodically, their foreman stopped to look at the darkened city.

Monday, March 5, 2012

393. Art appreciation

They bought the painting from a South American street vendor.
It depicted a vibrant school of tropical fish.
It was their prized possession.
It was now almost unrecognizable because of a hole the exact length and width of one of the party goers' boots.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

392. Elemental conditions

Wind burnt faces, six or seven of them.
Blue eyed, blond haired boys and girls stood with wind burns on their faces.
They'd been hiking or skiing, something athletic.
Now, their cheeks burned pink.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

391. Animal magnetism

They put the new female from San Diego in with their existing male.
They were the last two of their kind.
A crowd of scientists and reporters watched, waiting for something reproductive to happen.
The two of them had no better idea how to repopulate the species than did the assembled humans.

Friday, March 2, 2012

390. A brief discussion on hygiene

She looked up from her Thai food to find him staring at her.
"I need a new loufa," he said.
They were sitting in the food court on their day off.
She started looking around for a pharmacy.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

389. Fair or Fowl

The two of them had a sacred oath.
Neither of them would ever have to eat an egg unless the other did.
It was a solemn promise that protected them both.
Then, one day, she unwittingly ate a quiche.