Sunday, April 22, 2018

Janet Flash: Against The Lawn

by Michael Seese

The sun is shining. The thermometer is thinking about kissing 60 degrees. And for the second week in a row, we have a Janet contest.

In honor of the imminent release of Writing Without Rules by one of her authors, Jeff Somers

she challenged us to craft 100-word stories using:

I came up with "Against The Lawn" literally in my sleep yesterday morning.

Susa was livid, though limited.

“Your hoor, this ma stole all my ehs. I ca’t eve say it anymore.” She punctuated her pathos with a plaintiff plea of “Please!”

Cases in the Alphabellate Court can be tricky, often turning on some obscure rule or twisted tenetcality. Susa stumbled into the latter.

“He should face a firig squad. Or a canon.”

A collective gasp sucked the air from the courtroom, and her argument. My smirk turned to face the judge.

“You see, your honor. Reg ipsa loquitur. I didn't steal them all. I borrowed a few. That's not against the lawn.”

Kinda different. But when the theme with without rules, well...

So what is your favorite rule to break?

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Janet Flash: The Power

by Michael Seese

Today I'm taking my son to Buffalo for a Cub Scout overnight on the USS Little Rock, a Cleveland-class light cruiser that saw action in World War II. It is a cool experience, though not the best night for sleep, as 20 snoring dads in a metal room can raise quite a ruckus. And they wake us up at 6:30.

So before I went, I had to make sure to write my latest Janet flash story.

Our mission this week. Use


in a 100-word story. 

I played with the words, and "Smith & Wesson" came to my mind. That led to "The Power."

The Smith & Wesson, heavy in my still-trembling hands, smelled like her death. Helpless to circumvent the inevitable, I watched the last vestiges of life trickle out the hole I'd put in her heart. Is this how God feels? I wondered. Amazed at, and terrified of, the power. I understood why He can't look us in the eye.

"Maybe her fawns are around," Dad said, drunk on bloodlust and joy. I thought of Bambi and felt even more crap awful.

"Congratulations, son. Today you found out what it is to be a man."

In my mind, I only discovered mortality.

Your thoughts? Especially from the hunters out there.

PS: If you've not already done so, file your taxes!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

It's Official... I'm A Misfit

by Michael Seese

Or I will be later this year. Allow me to explain...

A long time ago I wrote a short story titled "The Other Brother: Scandal." 

The concept: The great "consulting detective" Sherlock Holmes has an unknown (to him) twin brother. (Long story short, Mr. & Mrs. Holmes didn't want two brothers to compete with their beloved Mycroft, so they condemned one to an orphanage.) Possessing the renowned Holmes acumen and physical prowess, yet lacking any sense of morality, he turns to a life of crime -- specifically murder -- eavesdropping on his brother's exploits in order to join the game. "Scandal" recasts A Scandal In Bohemia (Doyle's first short story) from the other brother's point of view.

Flash forward to last October. On (to repeat, a great site for authors) I found a call from Bards and Sages Publishing for "The Society Of Misfit Stories." I submitted, and voilĂ !

The story will appear on their website in December, and in print sometime next year.

Please spread the word. And if you feel like ponying up 99¢ to buy a copy.... that would be OK, too.

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.