Sunday, March 11, 2018

Janet Flash: Male To Order

by Michael Seese

To celebrate the arrival of Clay, the latest office cat, Janet sponsored another contest.

Our words for the week:


So to go give you a little insight into the method for my madness (or badness, depending on the day), I usually try to work around the "hardest" word in the bunch. At times a name can be hard, because it forces you to have a character, or refer to a character, with that name. (Unless you can split it, or bury it in another word, like using "tomato" for "Tom.") Tablet was kind of hard for me as well. As I was driving to pick up my daughter from gymnastics, I turned over tablet and Henry in my mind. About halfway there it clicked, and I pretty much had it mentally written by the time I got her.

Below is "Male To Order."

Her tablet’s face scarred from an endless stream of swipes left, Janet readied her emotional white flag yet again. "Gustav" signaled an end to the Gs. She pressed on.

And then...


Six feet even. Adorable pug nose. Cleft chin. Sandy hair. Clearly modeled on Brad Pitt. The brown eyes wouldn't do. "They have to be blue," she said to no one, her de facto companion of 25 years. The "Kids? Maybe" package seemed worth a few extra bucks.

With a satisfied tap Janet submitted the order, lit a fire, poured two glasses of Cabernet, and waited for the delivery.

I wonder how long it will be until we can mail-order a mate? Hmmm.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Janet Flash: Reunion

by Michael Seese

Realizing that her pet cactus enjoyed The Downside by Mike Cooper:

Janet created the Cuddles The Cactus Flash Fiction Contest. The keywords were:


When I saw "school," I immediately thought of the events in Florida this week, and wrote the topical "Reunion," which I believe treats the topic with respect.

In my stomach lurks a knot not even a Boy Scout could untie, as fate forces me through the doors of my old high school. Now an outsider, I take a bittersour stumble down Memory Lane.

Time is the strangest sort of thief, stealing our innocence, replacing it with a clock, ticking endlessly.


Why didn't anyone hear the alarms go off? I want to scream. But I don't. There was enough screaming today.

“You OK, Officer?” the Chief asks me.

Sometimes I can hide behind my shield. Not today. Seventeen died here. And part of me perished with them.

Please share your thoughts. And your prayers, if you wish.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Janet Flash: Ascetic

by Michael Seese

Yes, I know it's been a while since I posted. So I would like to thank y'all for sticking with me. 

Reminding us that she represents JD Horn, the author of the Witching Savannah series and now a new series starting with The King of Bones and Ashes, Janet sponsored a contest. We were to use the words


in a 100-word story.

I wanted to do something cool with "kirby." So I tried to think of a word that ended in "kir" to combine with "by." Somehow, from the recesses of my mind I pulled a line from the Opera Cats.

His powers of levitation would make a fakir stare

And from there arose my story "Ascetic."

A fakir by trade, faithfully I rise with the sun and settle into my ritual.

Staking my claim, a crowded stretch of urban Purgatory, I brave the slings and arrows and taxi horns and weekday warriors and dog poop, touting the tenets of Allah and Buddha, with a zest of Lennon & MarxCartney added for flavor. Pity prompts some to press a token of cash into my skin and bones.

We all follow the sun home. They to manicured McMansions. Me to my cozy loft, where I count my blessings, green and otherwise.

Did I say fakir? I meant faker.

As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Janet Flash: Bird

by Michael Seese

OK, this time Janet really went 'round the bend. She proposed a contest that consists of 4 rounds, with each round potentially (author's discretion) building on the previous. So we have

Round One
closes: 12/25
Number of words: 30

Round two
Closes: 12/28
Number of words: 25

Round Three
Closes: 12/30
Number of words: 25

Round Four
Closes: 1/1/18
Number of words: 20

Until the contest opens, the keyword was a secret.

For round 1, it was "bird." So here is my entry:

“Birds were meant to fly,” her mother cooed. “So fly.”

Faith pushed her out. She caught an updraft, and soared, gloriously, finally tasting freedom.

Returning home, she found an abandoned nest, too soon tasting emptiness.

Round 2 (posted today) it was "ring," which just happened to be the word the story I'd already roughed out needed. 

I won't post round 2 or 3 until I complete and post round 4.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Funny Foto #78

by Michael Seese

Spotted at the local supermarket the other day.


For the life of me, I can't figure out why they thought to put ping pong balls in the beer aisle. I can't possibly see how the two go together.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Janet Flash: Everything

by Michael Seese

Apparently, there is some notion that there's good luck associated with saying "Rabbit Rabbit" on the first day of a new month. Or so Janet Reid would have us believe. I may need to Google that for confirmation. Regardless, it served as  the basis for this week's flash fiction contest.

So our charge was to incorporate

in a 100-word story. The result for me was "Everything."

“You’re so lucky,” Bonnie says, bouncing Chloe on her hip. “You have everything. Your freedom. Your figure. You traipsed around Paris, while I grew fat, eating everything in the house. We should’ve traveled when we had the chance.”

Her words doth protest regret, but belie enviable joy.

“It’s amazing to watch them turn into ‘little people.’ Nick is his daddy. And Riki’s meticulous ways. Mini me! I tell you...”

While she babbled on, gushing baby bliss, my mind wandered upstairs, to the would-be nursery where the crib sat. Half assembled.

“Yes, we have everything,” I say, holding it all in.

Not to boast, but I'm VERY proud of how I worked "kismet" into it. 

Have you had some good luck lately? Tell me about it.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Janet Flash: The Long & Winding Road

by Michael Seese

Sometimes, for one of Janet's contests, I read the words, and one stands out as "the word" that launches the story. This week, nada. Because the key"words" came from this

and were:


In fact, I sent her a tweet to tell her she was a sadist. But I thought it over, and kept coming back to "nick" as "knickknack." And from there arose "The Long & Winding Road."

I paid the bill. It was all mine now. The manager cut the padlock.

“Some of it weighs a ton. You might want a dolly. We close at 8:00.”

Then he left me alone with the knickknacks of a life I’d spent years imagining.

A blonde Fender Telecaster. 1962 model, or thereabouts.

Postcards from haphazard stops along Route 66.

Personally autographed posters of Mick Jagger and Peter Frampton.

A well-worn little black book. That I kept.

I closed the door, and left the rest for scavengers, one step closer to knowing the man the birth certificate called my father.

Did any of you all discover anything interesting while going through your parents' old things? Share.