Flash Fiction: After-Dark Conquerors (147 words)

For an hour, we stood in our corner and we sipped on our drinks, holding them loosely. We slid our fingers down the ice-cold glasses, brushing away the sweat that collected on the smooth sides, and whispered our plan. The two-man band was strumming their guitars, hedged into the opposite corner by their microphones and wires and knee-high speakers.

Watching them, we were sure they couldn’t know our favorite song. We elbowed each other, passing the dare down the table, waiting for someone to have the guts to ask.

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Flash Fiction: Before We Go Inside (1702 words)

Galen moved slow as a regular habit, like he understood the world needed a little warning before he met it face to face. Meeting him on the street, Barrett caught sight of him yards ahead. When the kid came to visit, Barrett somehow always noticed him when he turned the corner at the end of the row, then watched him take those slow, considerate strides up the hill to the house. It seemed stupid when he was ten and round and as threatening as unbaked dough, but it was starting to make sense now. He was taller than most. Twelve years on a ship had hardened most of his old softness. Worst of all, he had kept that quiet that always made it hard to tell what he was thinking, and now it rested confidently behind a square jaw and steady gaze.

He was carrying his ruck with him now, and it made him look even bigger, adding its long evening shadow to his as he stopped in front of the house. Barrett leaned back in his chair under the short porch roof and shook his head at him.

“Evenin’, sir,” Galen said. His voice had gotten deep too. He tapped his forehead in a sailor’s salute.

“What are you doin’ here, boy?” Barrett asked. “Connell’s not due into port for weeks.”

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Questions Which Have Seemed Very Important To Me At Three In the Morning

1. If a fly had no wings, would you call it a walk?

2. If a food processor chops, grinds, or blends food, what does a word processor do?

3. If a turtle doesn’t have a shell, is he homeless or naked?

4. If a dictionary had a typo and misspelled a word, how long would it take us to notice?

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Gwendoogle Part LXXIX – One Week Left and A Fossa Is Staring At Me


Answers served with a lot of difficult decisions

Boomshadow searched: If you only had 1 week left to live, how would you spend it?
Cursing whoever told me that I was going to die in one week, because this is an absolutely impossible decision. [glares at Mr. Boomshadow]

In an ideal world, I would do something excellent for the people I was leaving behind.

In the real world, I would probably watch a lot of television and cry just from the panic of the ticking clock. Ticking clocks do terrible things for my nerves.

IncyWincySpeeder searched: If you had a warning label, what would it say?
Uniquely Numbered Human: Equipped with all features including (but not limited to) individual thoughts, feelings, ambitions, carelessnesses, likes, dislikes, and the ability to change her mind. She is equipped with the Run Before You Walk and Pedal to the Metal attitudes, but will do her best not to step on anyone’s toes as she goes about her business of living. You may sue her for damages. She may hire a very good lawyer.

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Gwendoogle Part LXXVIII – Writing, Writing, Something about a Horse, and more Writing


Answers served with a pervading sense of seriousness. Except for that thing about the horse.

Kate Kearney searched: What are three things that surprised you about your writing?
I’ve been writing for a long time, and been comfortable in it in the way someone is comfortable walking. It feels natural, and the only time the roll and bump of it feels anything but thoughtless is when I’ve gone a very long time without it (or when I try to do something that is actually well beyond my ability, but we won’t talk about that for now).

So, when I get surprised, I get bowled over.

Like when I was fourteen, and one of my best friends handed a book I’d written to his mother, and she out-of-the-blue informed me that she’d liked it, and that it reminded her of Bruce Coville (a real published author in my library!), not that it was “a nice try”.

Like when I realized that somewhere I had grown up and stopped writing about things that I wished could exist, and started poking things that actually scared me with fictional sticks in that legendary attempt to understand them.

Like when I lost my writing time to an all-consuming job that I was proud to hold down, and realized that I actually needed that time. Not because I liked it, but because I operated better with it.

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Gwendoogle Part LXXVII – A Marmoset, a Raccoon, and a Kitty Walk Into A Bar…


Answers served with an ice cream sundae, because this post is better read with a sugar rush

Kate Kearney searched: Who has stolen all the water?
A villain!

A blackguard, a heel, a brute, a louse, a caitiff, a lowlife malefactor, a creeping profligate, a rapscallion wretch, an enfant terrible!

A criminal! A devil, a thief, and a miscreant!

I feel very strongly about anyone who steals all the water. Water is very important.

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Gwendoogle Part LXIX – Language and Mathematics and a Very Expensive Pet


Answers served with some silliness and just a hint of mathematics

Kathryn searched (regarding those who swear by Jericho, or the lack thereof): Further research has led to one mention of the exclamation (or swear?) “by Jericho” outside of the song to which I was listening (a rendition of the song “Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho” by the Swingle Singers), that being in the Libertine play Friendship in Fashion, where the character Sneak seems very fond of it.
Image result:
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After all this time, I still haven’t been able to dig up a single other instance of this swear. Neither have I been able to verify the Swingle Singer’s swearing despite listening to their rendition several times. Nor have I found a script for Friendship in Fashion.

Thus, I conclude: I ain’t got a clue.

DJ Matticus searched: Alrighty then?
I’m glad you approve of my complete acceptance of my utter ignorance.

Neekers searched: Why is a grapefruit called a grapefruit?
Grapefruit grow on their trees in clusters, resembling the way that grapes grow on their vines. Someone must have wandered along and decided that grapefruit looked like huge, yellow grapes, and their first idea to call them  “The Golden Grapes of the Golden Giants from Giantland” was shot down in favor of something shorter. Continue reading

Gwendoogle Part LXI – I Ate the Number Thirteen and Can’t Nap With All These Glass Cats


Gwendoogle EasterAnswers served with an out-dated, already-paid ransom note – Happy Easter!

Kate Kearney searched: Is there such a thing as too many post-it notes?
Once upon a time, in a land far away called University, a warrior princess asked her friends this very same question, as they stood in the stark white aisles of a shopping district, arms full of the bright, sticky squares. Her friends, including one the dark-haired maniac who had come up with the master plan that was currently swirling around their feet like a smirking python, looked at their own hands, and the stacks upon stacks of post-it notes. The dark-haired maniac looked at their collection, then at the scant amount left on the shelf.

“I think,” she said. “We shouldn’t go to a second store.” Then she plucked the remaining packets off the shelf.

On the way out of the shopping district, they picked up large amounts of duct tape, wearing them on their wrists and arms like giant silver bangles, since their hands were too full to hold them. The shop girl watched them come through her line. She scanned each package, eyebrows slowly rising with the kind of surprise that comes from discovering a bottomless pit, or unemptying jug. She also, asked this question.

“We’re doing an experiment to find out,” the warrior princess told the shop girl.

The shop girl blinked.

“It’s for science,” the dark-haired maniac said.

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Gwendoogle Part LIII – Smirks, Socks, Spins, and a Duck on the Side


Answers served with a side of fries and a small cup of sarcasm

Kate Kearney searched: Do you enjoy cackling evilly?
Not really. It fails on two counts:

One, evilly will never compete with wickedly, criminally, naughtily, or fiendishly.

Two, a grin or a smirk carries so much more impact than a cackle…

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Gwendoogle Part XLIX


Answers served: four-hundred fifty-four and counting…

Kathryn searched: Where do I put my feet when I’m sitting at my desk? The lip of drawers gets painful after a bit, and the floor’s just not working for me. The rung of the chair is too far back.
I’m an advocate of the Criss-Cross-Applesauce method. It has the advantage of being comfortable, inspiring me to put my hair back in pigtails and grin at the world, and keeping my feet warm.

Your next best option is to put them in the hands of your personal foot masseuse.

Kate Kearney searched: Why are animals scared of vacuum cleaners?
Because it is a moderately-sized device that makes a noise like both a pack of bees and the grizzly bear they’re attacking, eats the floor, and permanently alters the scents of an environment. Who knows how much longer the floor will be able to withstand this assault? How much longer can it maintain structural integrity against such a monster? Best to run.

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