Monday, November 12, 2018

Janet Flash: One Hour

by Michael Seese

Who couldn't use an extra hour in the day? This past weekend, I sure could have. I spent Saturday morning and half the afternoon working with the Jaycees to decorate Chagrin Falls for the holidays. Then on Sunday I spent the early afternoon with my son's Cub Scout pack raking leaves for some elderly folks in the area. And when I got home, we took care of our leaves.

Yes, we could use an extra hour.

Agent Janet Reid so wanted an extra hour that she posted the "The Extra Hour Flash Fiction contest!"

We're getting an extra hour this weekend!
Finally, tormenting writers 25 hours a day
.


She soon realized her mistake.

















Nonetheless, she went ahead with the contest to use 

extra
hour
early
light
dark 


in a story. I tried to think of some esoteric combinations -- extra becoming my ex traipsing -- but in the end decided to use the words as is, since they were so wide open as to allow me to write about most anything. 

The end result was "One Hour."

I prayed for an extra hour. He must have heard me.

Starting.

The smell of purity hovered with me in the aether, enveloping me in peace.

Bag.

She always said not to jog in the dark. But the virgin air of early morning cleanses my soul.

Anything?

The car never saw me. The driver never stopped.

Resuming.

Her voice broke through the veil, her light piercing the fog.

I saw the path home.

My new home.

What should we do, Mrs. Nash? said the voice I’d been hearing, assuming it was God.

“Nothing,” my wife said. “He has a DNR.”



What would you do with an extra hour each day?

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Janet Flash: Down In Flames

by Michael Seese

Writers should always write. Case in point...

A few months back I was walking the dog early one Saturday morning, and came up with an idea for a flash fiction story about a fighter pilot. I wrote about 75 words, including the "kicker" ending. Fast forward to Friday. Janet Reid's latest flash fiction asked us to incorporate the following five words:

fall
plummet
tip
slant
list



in a 100-word flash.

To be honest, I had forgotten about the fighter pilot piece. But serendipity intervened (seriously) as someone I accidentally opened the "short story snippets" file. And there is was. "Plummet" and "fall" seemed like obvious words to work in. I managed to get in the rest, of course. The result is "Down In Flames."

The World War I flying ace cradled the controls, fighting to maintain the dance. His trusty Sopwith Camel spat black blood as she slanted earthward. Pulling hard, he regained altitude. But hope exploded with the engine, and the Camel plummeted, her graceless fall ending in a ball of flame.

Outside the fourth wall, the bespectacled man chewed his pencil, its once-sharp tip a nub, then breathed a sigh of mixed relief.

That’s how we end it.”

God had seen enough.

“Listen, Chuck, I totally get the ‘My creation’ thing. But I’m exercising My right to veto. You can’t kill Snoopy.”


What was the last thing YOU wrote, just because? Save it. You never know., 

Monday, September 3, 2018

Funny Foto #79

by Michael Seese

It's been a while since I've posted a funny foto. I guess nothing has tickled my fancy of late. Until...

The other day I returned to the office after lunch, and saw this:



















I thought, So that's what the inside of a car door looks like

Then when I came around to the front...





















 

I could envision the scene.

"Um, yeah. Thanks for coming. Listen, I know it's pouring rain. And after midnight. I think I'll walk."

Enjoy your Labor Day, folks.



Sunday, August 5, 2018

Janet Flash: Hair Of The Cat

by Michael Seese

To assuage the bruised feeling of her cat -- Her Grace, the Duchess of Yowl -- who realized She'd not had a flash fiction contest in Her honor, Janet asked us to do the honors
























We were to craft a story of 100 words, using:

yowl
fur
purr
sneer
whisker
 

Caterwaul was suggested as an optional word. I tried to come up with some variation of sneer, like I can tell... 's neer, which sounded like words being slurred, and came up with the idea of a cat returning after a night on the town. I give you “Hair Of The Cat.”

Whiskers weighed down by the morning dew, I struggled to leo-locate my backyard. I could have sworn I left it here somewhere. Perhaps I did have a little too much catnip.

Her caterwaul guided me home.

“Hi, person,” I slur-purred, my temporary affection met with foot-tapping insouciance.

“Look what the cat dragged in.”

Yow! Lay off the decibels, lady. And don't get your fur in a bunch.

I made preparations to wipe that smug sneer from her face vis-à-vis a “gift" in her intimates drawer, until a tactical scratch to my ears wilted my will.

Did I mention the catnip?


 

Though I probably shouldn't admit this, in hindsight I wish I had said "situational affection" instead of "temporary affection."

As always, I welcome your thoughts. Or cat on the town stories.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Janet Flash: The Tango

by Michael Seese

I so hate to boast. But I have to. Before kids, I used to love playing softball. Later on, I developed home run power. And there's a certain feeling when you connect. When you know you "hit it out of the park."

I feel the same about my latest Janet Reid flash fiction piece

























In honor of author Sam Hawke giving her a shout-out in his book City Of Lies, she asked us to write 100 words using:

city
lie
sam
hawke
woo hoo


Trying to do something with "woo hoo" I thought about what I could build off "woo." From that came "The Tango."

High above the city, where the ragged skyscrapers and soot-laden smokestacks belie its true beauty, a fiery dance unfolded. He flirted with the vast welkin, its ample blue proscenium the ideal stage for his aerial tango.

Hawk eyes wide with desire, he circled; she counterpointed at a safe distance.

“Shy one!” he shouted. “You believe I know not how to woo? Ho! Only true love could spur me thus.”

He dove on passion’s wings, anticipating reciprocation, not expecting the sickening crack of his neck.

Tumbling earthward, life ebbing, he glanced at his love, now merely a pale reflection of himself.


We'll see if Janet thinks I connected.


Friday, July 13, 2018

Lazy SPAM

by Michael Seese

First came self-service gas stations. Then self-service supermarket checkouts. And now, apparently self-serve SPAM, per the extortive email below. 


There's no hyperlink to click on.

No email address to write back to the Nigerian prince and claim my untold riches. 

Just vague instructions to send $700 worth of Bitcoin to some big, long string of letters and numbers.

Though I do appreciate the friendly "howdy" from Saudi arabia. 

I could imagine these guys robbing a bank. "This is a hold-up. Put your money in this bag. We'll be sitting over there."

The way I see it, there are three main problems with their tack.

1. Send Bitcoin? Um, how do I that? From Paypal? My online bank account? Seriously, I work in IT, and have no idea how to do it.

2. Or what? Did they lock up my PC with ransonware? Kidnap my dog and will force her to listen to Ariana Grande talk?  No, they claim they have dirt on me, and will show it to my friends. Which leads to...

3. If I received an email with the subject, "Wait until you see the gross thing John Doe did," I'd delete without opening it. Unless I needed fodder for another rant about SPAM. And I think I can speak for my friends when I say they're too smart to fall for it as well.

Though I've never assigned a letter grade to the SPAM emails I receive, if I were to do so, this one wouldn't even rate an E for "effort."

And if, by chance, you do get an email with the subject, "Wait until you see the gross thing Michael Seese did," you can ignore it. It's not real, or it was photo-shopped, or something.

In all seriousness, I looked through my record of posts and saw my last entry on SPAM was two years ago. And though I know I've gotten a few in the interim, it really has tailed off for me. How about you? Are you getting more or less SPAM than you were a few years back?

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Janet Flash: Up In Arms

by Michael Seese

A cold and rainy weekend in Chagrin Falls. And the dog is having, shall we say, digestive issues.

And on the writing front, we have the "Darius The Great Flash Fiction" contest. Janet Reid follower and frequent poster Adib Khorram has a book, Darius the Great is Not Okay, coming out in August.  

To commemorate the release Janet asked us to use

- Iran
- Adib
- tea
- dad
- great
 

in a 100-word story. My entry is "Up In Arms."


The guys with the great big guns seemed surly. I suspect it had something to do with the warhead I borrowed.

"Where bomb be?” the unibrow barked in English so broken it was beyond repair.

Apparently, I'd advertised the sale on TerrorismForDummies.com.  These Iranians put the “HA!” in jihad. Still, armed only with a shovel, I was underdressed for the party.

“Let’s not get our sirwals in a bunch. I'll let you have it. Gladly. One question. Coffee or tea?"

“What?"

"That's what stewardesses ask folks when they fly," I said, fingering the button and counting back from ten.

This is a case where I definitely could have used about 20 more words. Oh well.


Happy flying.