Short Story (flash fiction) of the day, before the storm by Alex Sheal

“That room made no sense as a storm refuge, numberless rogue objects lying around and not enough duct tape on the windows. Her housemates panicked up and down the stairs, thumping on the walls, for dawn had turned to day and still the storm roared..”
― Alex Sheal, before the storm

Dallas, Texas

It stormed last night, although it didn’t rain until after I got out of bed. The power went off and I didn’t know it. The alarm went off on my phone and when I silenced it my clock said three AM. I glanced at the window and it was dark (this time of year my alarm goes off in twilight) – so I thought my clock was right and my phone had the wrong time. The thought of my phone being in error filled me with terror – the world has truly gone mad.

But at that moment a terrific bolt of lightning struck right outside my window and I realized it was the thick thunderclouds that made it so dark – hiding the day from my bedroom window.

I decided to take my COVID-19 prerogative and work from home for the day.

An interesting flash fiction for you today:

before the storm by Alex Sheal

 

What I learned this week, August 3, 2012

I have been looking for this for a long time… and now, here it is, on Youtube. Alfred Hitchcock’s version of the Roald Dahl short story Man From the South with Steve McQueen and Peter Lorre.

It’s almost a half-hour long… but find a time when you can sit down and watch the thing.

I think this story is the best example of how to manipulate tension, excitement, and dread in a tight little story I have ever seen. This version is a bit droll for my taste – the original text is more horrific. It’s been done and riffed on many times (check out Quentin Tarantino’s version as the fourth and last story in the otherwise-horrible film, Four Rooms).

I try and study it.

This is what I want to write.

“The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it ­honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.”

— Neil Gaiman


The 12 Best Spies in Film

An interesting list.

Of course….

Shaken, not stirred.

There is no controversy about who is number 1.

From Casino Royale (1953) Chapter 7

“A dry martini,” he said. “One. In a deep champagne goblet.”

“Oui, monsieur.”

“Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon-peel. Got it?”

The Vesper


Why flavorful Southern hot sauces don’t pack much heat


I’m sorry, but this is about the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. As a child, I lived in a few locations that had… well, let’s say they had a lot of flies – a lot. Swatting flies became a cheap amusement for when there was precious else to do. I would have given anything for this thing.

Now, I can’t believe I didn’t think of it myself.

Salt blasting shotgun eradicates insects with extreme prejudice

The Bug-A-Salt



I had to watch this… I didn’t think it could be done. Apparently, it can. It has to be real… it’s from the Internet.


MATCHBOOK. bikinis meet their match

Clever matches between bathing suits and books. Each match discovered by hand. We should have been doing this all along, am I right?