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:

down
side 
old
school
thief

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.

Ominously.

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

king
ash
bone
horn
kirby


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
luck
chance
fate
kismet
bon


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:

tony
peter
mick
nick
bill


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.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Janet Flash: 18

by Michael Seese

Another busy week. 

Last weekend we had the usual lesson carousel on Saturday, the twins' birthday on Sunday, a grown-up Cub Scout meeting on Monday, and (of course) Halloween on Tuesday. After that, I had to work on a Pinewood Derby car, in preparation for Saturday's race.
























So I didn't have time to post this, my entry in Janet's latest contest, which was LAST Friday. Gushing over the Soho Press anthology The Usual Santas, Janet asked us to incorporate the words

soho
18
caper
short
story


in a flash fiction piece.

I had a few false starts with regard to ideas (I found the word "caper" to be challenging, because I wanted to use it on a way that didn't mean "exploit") I settled on "18."

Despite a spirited breath, I still missed candle number 18. Again. The lonely flicker danced in my parents’ eyes, sparking a bittersweet rewind / replay.

“Short stuff” taking her first unsteady steps, falling into the comfy chair to giggle through Cat in a Quicksilver Caper, howling in ecstasy after seeing the word “Congratulations” below the Harvard letterhead.

I wasn't prepared to leave all that behind.

Dad finally broke the requisite silence. “So, how are you holding up, sweetie?”

“Same old story. I miss her. I miss her so much. I wish she were still here.”

I’m still here, Mommy. I am.


Since this was last week's contest, I can say it didn't win. But I like it. And if I may both, I was pretty proud of the "spirited breath" line.

Feel free to let me know what you think,