Short Story (Flash Fiction) Of the Day, Always Smile by Fandango

One of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. One of the Colosseum in Rome. One of a unnamed boulevard in New York City.

—-Fandango, Always Smile

Travelers
Deborah Masters
Audubon Park, New Orleans
(click to enlarge)

 

When you look back there are very few things you regret doing – especially compared to the universe of things you regret not doing.

Read it here:

 Always Smile by Fandango

from This, That, and The Other

Short Story (Flash Fiction) Of the Day, The Hat by Millie Thom

I could do anything with this hat on, she told herself. I am invincible.

—-Millie Thom, The Hat

Bowler Hat Sculpture in the Cedars, Dallas, Texas

A hat in a field of flowers on a beautiful sunny day. But danger and, dare I say it?, evil lurks everywhere and at any time.

Read it here:

The Hat by Millie Thom

from Millie Thom

Millie Thom Twitter

Sunday Snippet (Flash Fiction), Call Me Ishmael by Bill Chance

In a moment of panic, Sam realized that he had almost forgotten the woman’s name. He thought it was Elizabeth… but he wasn’t sure.

—- Bill Chance, Call Me Ishmael

Kindle

Call Me Ishmael

I found some stuff in an obscure subdirectory that I think I wrote a few years ago. Looking at it – I have no memory of having written it at all. I worry that maybe I didn’t write it – maybe I typed it in (or copied and pasted) from somewhere else. I did a bunch of internet searches and found nothing. So maybe it is mine. Anyway, here is the shortest piece – which, ironically, has some relevance to today. If you have read it somewhere else – sorry – I didn’t mean to. Maybe it’s from a virus.

Call Me Ishmael

Sam was enthralled. The woman was beautiful, tall and slim – friendly, and she seemed truly interested in him. He felt that finally, someone genuine had come along. They met waiting in line at the buffet and walked together to a little round table at the rear. She was telling Sam her story.

“It was tough, having four sisters like that,” she said. “My sister Jane is older than me. She is very beautiful.”

In a moment of panic, Sam realized that he had almost forgotten the woman’s name. He thought it was Elizabeth… but he wasn’t sure.

“It’s amazing how different we all are from each other. My next younger sister, Mary, is so smart… such a good student. Lydia, the youngest, is a ball of fire and Kitty does whatever she is told.”

The woman went on with her story, telling of some man that was in love with her sister and a friend of his – some rich loutish oaf that was causing her a lot of grief. Sam became more and more suspicious. When the woman excused herself, saying, “I’ll be right back,” he pulled out his phone and opened the “Real or Not” app. Thinking for a second, he then typed in her name along with her four sisters: Elizabeth, Nancy, Kitty, Mary and Lydia.

The app immediately responded with, “Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice.”

“Crap!” Sam said to himself as he gathered himself up quickly so he could leave before “Elizabeth” returned. “Another fake…. There are so many.”


It started with the CIA – a way to send secret messages. A method had been developed, deep within the laboratories of the Military-Industrial Complex, to encode English text onto a string of DNA. This was then inserted into a virus, and a human carrier was infected. The idea was that this person would travel to a destination, sneeze out some of the virus, and the DNA could be decoded.

A completely unexpected problem came up, however. To this day, nobody really understands the mechanism, but once the carrier was infected with the virus, he would understand the message. It would appear as if he had experienced it in the past. The message would usually attach itself to some real memory… like a favorite childhood scene or a more recent traumatic incident.

It didn’t take long for this to become a tool in education. Entire volumes were encoded in DNA and inserted into students. At first, an injection was needed, then a drop on a sugar cube. Finally, a professor would be infected with the virus and he would simply sneeze towards the class from the front of the hall.

And that was what spiraled out of control – the entire population was infected with an epidemic of literature. Modern, popular works were tightly controlled, injected, because publishers needed to get paid. Classic literature, out of copyright, was widely disseminated – there was nothing to stop the spread.

As the viruses evolved and duplicated the literature began to warp. Finally, all those stories mixed and changed and sank in until nobody really knew what was a true memory and what was a leftover from classic literature.

 

Short Story (Flash Fiction) Of the Day, Shoggoth Under The Bed by Tom Burton

There IS and it’s all gooey and bubbly and covered in eyes!

—-Tom Burton, Shoggoth Under The Bed

Mural on Construction Fence
Farmer’s Market
Dallas, Texas
Chris Hoover

Years and years ago -I was in the Garland, Texas library perusing the fiction aisles. The fiction, of course, was arranged by author. At the end of each row was the start and end of the author’s names… such as Smith-Thompson, or Adams-Baker. In the C section it had Clark-Cthulhu. That caught me off guard. I didn’t know that Cthulhu had written any popular fiction. I checked the stacks and there was a collection of short stories set in the Cthulhu Mythos written by a variety of authors and the person that cataloged the book mistakenly thought that Cthulhu himself, the great evil one, born on the planet Vhoorl in the 23rd nebula from Nug and Yeb had actually penned the tome himself.

I really wanted that little plastic sign and considered prying it off when nobody was looking. Unfortunately, I am too honest for that. When I moved to Richardson I stopped going to the Garland library on a regular basis and the last time I visited the fiction section had been reorganized and the sign was long gone.

So you have to take my word for it. Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.

Nothing better than flash fiction written in the Cthulhu mythos… even if it is only a monster under a bed.

Read it here:

Shoggoth Under The Bed by Tom Burton

 

from Slumdog Soldier

Short Story (Flash Fiction) Of the Day, The Winner by GM Potter

Chelsea longed to run out and meet the postman, but she’d been warned the last time she’d done so. They threatened to stop bringing the post to her. She’d have to make an appointment to go and get it.

—-GM Potter, The Winner

This is from an ad drawn by Charles Barsotti for National Lampoon from almost fifty years ago. I had it tacked up on my dorm room in college along with a couple of other examples of odd humor. It served as a sort of gatekeeper – to keep people with (or without) certain ways of looking at the world from entering my domain. Sort of a symbolic “Abandon all hope ye who enter here.”

Today’s story reminded me of this old cartoon.

Read it here:

The Winner by GM Potter

 

from GM Potter Writes

GM Potter Twitter

Short Story (Flash Fiction) Of the Day, I Have Entered My Garden, My Sweetheart, My Bride by Jen Julian

Orchids are erotic. You have to consider the honest look of them: the labial petals ballet-slipper pink and eggshell white splayed delicately open, the blood-brown leopard spots on ridged tongues; you’re always compelled to stroke them with your finger. When the children ask why orchids, their mother says, “Because they’re handsome,” as if she is describing a square-faced Irish washerwoman, and when they press her further she says, “Because growing things is good for people.”

—- Jen Julian, I Have Entered My Garden, My Sweetheart, My Bride

Sunflower

Though I would have liked to been one… I haven’t been much of a gardener – it’s tough when you come home from work exhausted every day. Now, though, I’m working on a shade garden in front of my house. The problem is, shade plants grow slowly and it won’t really look good for years. I might not live that long. To compensate I look up places I lived decades ago on Google Street View and see if the plants and trees I did plant back then are still there. It’s surprising how many are. Some have grown to immense size.

Read it here:

I Have Entered My Garden, My Sweetheart, My Bride by Jen Julian

from wig.leaf

Jen Julian twitter

Short Story (Flash Fiction) Of the Day, A Person’s Essence Feels the Smallest by Jennifer Wortman

And I said that when I said I want to keep things light I meant not-heavy, not not-dark. I don’t want not-dark but I also don’t want dark, I tell her. I want an intense grey.

—- Jennifer Wortman, A Person’s Essence Feels the Smallest

Transcendence, on the first night.

There’s overthinking and there’s overtalking and there are people that don’t know what is in front of them. Born in the USA was great, but I think it was also the tipping point where Springsteen began to believe his own hype. By the way, I thought Darkness on the Edge of Town was brilliant the first time I heard it. I remember buying a copy of the vinyl album in a KMart in Kansas when it first dropped. I guess none of those things have quite stood up to the test of time, but what does, really?

Read it here:

A Person’s Essence Feels the Smallest by Jennifer Wortman

from wig.leaf

Jennifer Wortman’s Postcard

Jennifer Wortman’s twitter