Sunday Photo Fiction 9-17-2017

© John Robinson

UCLA’s campus lay deserted, shaded dorm windows honeycombing out like cells in a beehive. A quiet break from the push and pull of students searching out tiny grains of knowledge, buzzing here and there, carrying each nugget carefully back to their cell at night.

His sneakers made little noise on the pavement, hands stuffed in jean’s pockets. He’d be gone soon, a semester at Julliard, a dream since forever. The band thought they’d lost him, or would lose him, once he arrived to the esteemed halls.

Who cared if the band he’d inherited here was called The Pink Marshmallow? Names changed all the time (and this one would). What if they only played tiny clubs and dark basements? Venues changed.

They would be famous one day. He wouldn’t allow otherwise.

The band met him at the curb.

“We wanted to wish you a good trip,” Jay said.

Chris hugged each one. “See you after Christmas.”

He’d given up convincing weeks ago. It was enough he knew he’d be back.

A taxi pulled to the curb. Giving them a thumbs up, he slid inside. Julliard might be a dream, but those four, they were his future.

Leaning back in the seat, he began to hum.

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers 3-12-2017


photo-20170306154630013This week’s photo prompt is provided by Mike Vore. 

Guide for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

1. A prompt photo will be provided each Tuesday to be used as a base to your story. Please include photo prompt with your story.

2. Linking for this challenge begins on Tuesday and runs to the following Monday evening.

3. The story word limit is 100 – 150 words (+ – 25 words). Please try to stay within this limit.

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers


Chris whipped the cover off the piano and sat down, fingers running lightly over the keys as he waited for the rest of the band to settle. He’d been awake the last 72 hours in a frenzy of writing; never a good sign in the studio.

“So,” Dante asked, having drawn the short straw, “what’s on the agenda today.”

“Same as yesterday,” fingers stroking ivory. “We have to get it right.”

“We got it right yesterday,” Jay put in.

Chris stopped playing. “Once. Out of how many times?”

The rest of the band simultaneously cleared throats, sighed.

“Once,” Jay admitted, “if I remember correctly, out of …hum-ah… many times.”

“All right then.” Chris started to play again.
“I thought once we got famous, we were supposed to enjoy, not slave away.”

When Chris looked up, no one claimed that statement.

“We are not famous enough.”

The rest of the band shared a look.

“Ah, silly me,” Dante muttered.

Another long day in paradise.

Word Of The Day 2-19-2017




: a loyal follower; especially : a subordinate who executes orders unquestioningly or unscrupulously


“… when [Howard] Cosell came to TV he was utterly in contrast to the toothy myrmidons who reigned at the microphone and who spoke no evil save for the mayhem they regularly perpetrated upon the English language.” — Frank Deford, Sports Illustrated, 8 Aug. 1983

“Britain’s National Health Service is a socialized system, and Marsh chafes at new rigid rules imposed by its administrators. He … is shadowed on ward rounds by a bureaucrat who takes notes on his dress and behavior. The reign of the emperor is ending, but Marsh refuses to comply and serve as a myrmidon.” — Jerome Groopman, The New York Times, 24 May 2015

Did You Know?

The Myrmidons, legendary inhabitants of Thessaly in Greece, were known for their fierce devotion to Achilles, the king who led them in the Trojan War. Myrmex means “ant” in Greek, an image that evokes small and insignificant workers mindlessly fulfilling their duties. Whether the original Myrmidons were given their name for that reason is open to question. The “ant” association is strong, however. Some say the name is from a legendary ancestor who once had the form of an ant; others say the Myrmidons were actually transformed from ants. In any case, since the 1400s, we’ve employed myrmidon in its not-always-complimentary, ant-evoking, figurative sense.

Daily Post One Word Prompt – Tempted- 1-5-2017


Gone, Part 2

He’d been tempted, yeah. What man in his right mind, even a married man, wouldn’t have been when the offer came tied in such a beautiful bow? Now he knew what the beautiful bow had concealed, but it was too late. He’d been snared and didn’t have any real choice in the matter.

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

He could have refused, could have walked away, but they knew where he lived, had pictures of Susan, leveled threats he knew they meant.

He’d thought, stupidly, he just need to help a few times and then go home, but that hadn’t been the case. A year now and to infinity.

He looked around, wanting to scratch his new-growing beard, but didn’t. One wrong step. He’d been living with that phrase for months now. One wrong step and you know what will happen.

He did, oh yeah. And he’d do anything to keep his wife safe. He’d wanted to tell her in the months they’d given him to tie up his affairs, make her think he was leaving for another woman, but he knew what would happen. The only way to ensure her safety was to remain quiet.

And so he had, walking away from everything which had ever meant anything to him. Susan, job, friends and family. He’d spent their marriage taking care of her, giving her whatever she wanted to make her happy. One, because he could, and two, to keep her safe with a wall of money between them and the world.

God, he’d been such a stupid shit.


He frowned; hated earpieces. It was them watching over his shoulder. Straight and narrow. Eyes on the prize. Staying alive.

He shook his head, running a hand through new-blacked hair, and stepped off the curve, walking quick and confident to the First Bank of Farmingham.* He had fifty minutes. Taking a steadying breath, he opened the door and stepped inside.

Gone, Part 1


  • The First Bank of Farmingham, though a real bank, is entirely fictionalized for this story.



Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner – Week 1 – January 3, 2017

The challenge for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner will open early Thursday morning, December 29th. Allow the prompt to take you anywhere you want to go! (Limit your stories to 200 words.)

This challenge is open until 11:00 pm Wednesday night, January 4th, 2017.




“Wine? Cheese cracker?”

“Later, thanks.” If she didn’t find the chip soon, bad things were going to happen. She did not relish being the bringer of bad things. Bearers of bad things rarely came out well in the end.

If she was a power-mad dictator, where would she hide a computer chip capable of toppling her fiefdom? He would have been smart to do destroy it, but his ego wouldn’t have let him. So where could it be?

Her gaze swept the crowded ballroom before focusing back on the table to her right. Wine. Cheese. Grapes. Crackers and Dip. Something seemed wrong. The table just didn’t look right.

Fishing a finger into the dip, she touched something which was not sliced cucumber or tomato. Square. Tiny. Metal. Pulling the chip out, she wiped it quickly on a napkin and dropped it into her bra.

A quick look showed him coming her way.

Get out. Thirty feet and she’d be free.

A hand cupped her elbow. “Leaving so soon?”

Felt a pin-prick on her arm.

Now she knew. Too late.




FFfAW Challenge – Week of November 29, 2016

Week of 11-29 through 12-05-2016


Thank you Louise, with The Storyteller’s Abode, for our photo prompt this week!

Read more here.

She read the letter with sinking stomach, trying not to believe the words true. Sunlight streamed in as if nothing had changed, but it had. Her tea grew cold. Tears quivered on her eyelashes and she wiped them away. She would not cry. Not now. Not ever.

It was such a silly thing to cry. Tears felt good in the moment, but after one was left with an ache in their eyes as well as in their heart.

Her eyes wandered, touching the possessions she’d gathered over the years. Nothing was of particular value: trinkets he’d brought for her from far away places; her mother’s old tea set; the chairs they bought when first married. He was good to her. Not that he didn’t tease, but he loved her.

“Jacob, Mr March will be coming home today. Please prepare the parlor for his return. And ask Cook to prepare food for the mourners.”