Short Story Of the Day (Flash Fiction), ‘Speriment by Bill Chance

“None of us knows what might happen even the next minute, yet still we go forward. Because we trust. Because we have Faith.”
― Paulo Coelho, Brida

20 Elements
Joel Shapiro
Northpark Center
Dallas, Texas

 

I have been feeling in a deep hopeless rut lately, and I’m sure a lot of you have too. After writing another Sunday Snippet I decided to set an ambitious goal for myself. I’ll write a short piece of fiction every day and put it up here. Obviously, quality will vary – you get what you get. Length too – I’ll have to write something short on busy days. They will be raw first drafts and full of errors.

I’m not sure how long I can keep it up… I do write quickly, but coming up with an idea every day will be a difficult challenge. So far so good. Maybe a hundred in a row might be a good, achievable, and tough goal.

Here’s another one for today (#38). What do you think? Any comments, criticism, insults, ideas, prompts, abuse … anything is welcome. Feel free to comment or contact me.

Thanks for reading.


‘Speriment

Who and What are easy.. How and Why aren’t. Faith and Science. I have very little of one and none of the other. At six, though… Faith and Science can be conjured up from thin air.

I walked past the hall bathroom and something caught my eye. It was, not surprisingly, Little Sammy, hanging his tummy on the edge of the counter stretched out so he could reach the sink. He was filling a cup with water. The liquid was brown and foamy, it looked like it had Coke in it, and something else, something dark. I figured out the “something else” when I noticed the chocolate syrup spattered on the counter and smeared on his face.

“Sammy, what are you up to?” I asked, cleaning up some with a rag.

He calmly plopped a soft well-worm sliver of soap into the mixture which he still held in his hand. The soap floated, it must be Ivory.

“It’s my ‘speriment.”

“Sammy, What kind of experiment?”

“I have a book, it has the recipe. If I get the mixture just right, it’ll work. It’s a formula.”

This was technically a lie, but six year old boys live in a world where reality and fantasy are strangely mixed. As a parent this is the kind of statement you are better off letting pass.

I guess he came up with the idea of a “’speriment” after we dragged him to his big brother’s science fair – a horrific series of gaudy pasteboard displays of random information that had nothing at all to do with science. The middle school kids must have opened a musty encyclopedia in the back of the library at random and written up what fell out. Our oldest son Wally had a crude display on “Delirium Tremens” – which, after Uncle Percy’s performance last Thanksgiving… well Wally must have had some curiosity.

Usually Sammy’s public behavior is like a bomb going off. But at the Science Fair he strolled up and down the lines of kids with their crude, inane posters enraptured. He could not take his eyes off of the exhibitions of “The Fungus Among Us,” “Your Mighty Pancreas” or “That Will Leave a Stain.

Now, with Sammy, I didn’t ask what the “mixture” was supposed to do. He stirred it a little and then walked into the kitchen and began piling up chairs to reach the freezer above the refrigerator.

“Help me make room, Daddy,” he asked, “It has to be freezed all night.”

“Sammy, there’s more room in the big freezer in the garage.”

He pondered this for awhile and then relented, deciding that the garage deep freeze was indeed in the proper temperature range for his formula.

I thought to myself that sometime soon I was going to have to deal with a frozen chunk of diluted pop and chocolate, with some Ivory soap and God only knows what else added for a little extra kick. I think my wife would have made him throw it away right at the start – if she had been home. I let him mix it up, though, and he froze the whole concoction. I figured he’d forget about it and I’d throw it out the next day.

I went to sleep wishing I knew what the secret formula was supposed to do.

What happened to the muck in the freezer? I don’t know. The next morning the kids found that puppy on the front stoop. The kids had wanted a dog more than anything. My wife and I put them off – expense, hassle, the new carpets, that sort of thing. But a puppy on the stoop. You can’t say no to that, can you. So the ‘speriment was forgotten, by me at least, in a flurry of trips to the pet store, rearrangements of furniture, new sounds, new smells, and the excitement of a new member of the family. After a week I remembered, looked in the freezer, but it was gone. I don’t know why it was gone… maybe my wife found it – but she never said anything – and she would have said something.

It was the next morning after the ‘speriment, though, that we found the puppy… wasn’t it? A coincidence… I’m sure. Maybe. I wonder, sometimes, though, what a six year old knows that the rest of us have forgotten.

Short Story Of the Day, The Sorcerer’s Intern by Bill Chance

“”Not quite, Mizzus Irene. I’m only the intern. I’ve only learned a little… I can turn lead into wood.”

—-Bill Chance, The Sorcerer’s Intern

Street Magician
New Orleans, Louisiana

I have been feeling in a deep hopeless rut lately, and I’m sure a lot of you have too. After writing another Sunday Snippet I decided to set an ambitious goal for myself. I’ll write a short piece of fiction every day and put it up here. Obviously, quality will vary – you get what you get. Length too – I’ll have to write something short on busy days. They will be raw first drafts and full of errors.

I’m not sure how long I can keep it up… I do write quickly, but coming up with an idea every day will be a difficult challenge. So far so good. Maybe a hundred in a row might be a good, achievable, and tough goal.

Here’s another one for today (#12). What do you think? Any comments, criticism, insults, ideas, prompts, abuse … anything is welcome. Feel free to comment or contact me.

Thanks for reading.

 


 

The Sorcerer’s Intern

“Honey!” the Sorcerer’s wife said when she heard her husband come through the door of their trailer, “I left some fishing weights on the table, could you turn them into gold, please. I’m a little short with the grocery money this weekend.”

“Sorry, Mizz Irene,” said the Intern, “It’s only me, Hugo.” The young Hugo lurched into the trailer lugging two heavy buckets of water.

“Darn! Where is The Great Sadini anyway? You can’t make some gold for me, can you?”

“Not quite, Mizzus Irene. I’m only the intern. I’ve only learned a little… I can turn lead into wood.”

“Then we couldn’t even use them for fishing weights now, could we,” she said with a sigh.

“Mr. Sadini wanted me to do some cleaning up and fill the tank in the cellar,” said Hugo.

“OK, then, you better get to it.”

Irene opened a hatch in the floor of the little trailer, Hugo lifted the buckets trying not to slop any water out and slipped through into the little hole in the ground below.

“I always hate this part,” he said.

Once under the surface the passage magically opened up into a stone staircase going down into murky depths. Hugo lit a torch so he could see and shook his head at the dirt, dust, and cobwebs that had collected in only a couple of days.

“Magic sure collects the filth!” he shouted, but Irene couldn’t hear him. He saw the big, empty tank and dreaded the work ahead. A lot of water lugging for an unpaid intern.

Then he saw Sadini‘s blue magic hat festooned with a moon and stars hanging on a peg against the wall next to an old straw broom.

Humming a little tune by Dukas, he donned the magical headgear.

“I think I know an easy way to make this go a little faster,” he said to no one in particular.

 

 

Short Story (Flash Fiction) Of the Day, Speckled sills by Michael

And, just like Alex promised, the ground shook and the hill cracked open like a walnut.

—Michael, Speckled sills

Box found
Deep Ellum
Dallas, Texas

Read it here:

Speckled sills by Michael

from Sceadugenan

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

Watch With Glittering Eyes

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
― Roald Dahl

While in New Orleans over Halloween we stopped at the New Orleans Lager and Ale (NOLA Brewing) company for some free beer (yes, this is truly the best of all possible worlds) and ran across a street magician plying his wares amongst the slightly tipsy crowd. He would attract attention with a spinning, levitating, and ultimately, flying card. Then he would run through a series of close-in slight of hand magic – mostly card tricks. At the end, he would pass the hat for donations.

It was worth the price of admission.

Street Magician New Orleans, Louisiana

Street Magician
New Orleans, Louisiana