Response – JSW 2-22-2021

The JSW Challenge is open to anybody who wishes to participate. Using the writing prompt, write a flash fiction no longer than 200 words and post to your page. The Challenge starts on Monday and runs through Sunday each week. Please remember to link your story back to this post so everyone can read your entry.

“That’s what they all say.”

He didn’t look over, wasn’t anything more over there to see than in front of himself. Mud, mud and more mud. He lived in a suit of mud.

“So who is the enemy now?”

Daniel looked up, across the calm office to the man sitting behind the desk. He thought they were supposed to come out from behind the desk to seem more open, more approachable, more friendly, but what did he know? He looked at his hands as if the answers lay somewhere in the creases in his palms, but all he could see was the mud.

“What do you see?”

“Mud.” He gave the same answer everytime. Nobody believed him about the mud, how they’d lived in it and breathed in it and died in it as the battle wove all around them. Different mud different times. Same story.

His socks had rotted away and now they were mud. His pants, his coat, his rifle…. all mud. The trench sank deeper and deeper into the mud. They wallowed to their groins in mud.

“What is beyond the mud?”

Daniel looked at him for a moment, head cocked, jerking once. “Mud.”

It was all mud. Mud. Mud. Mud. Mud. Squishy. Crawley. Madding mud.

“It would help if you could wipe the mud away and see what is beyond.”

“There is no wiping away the mud,” he said with a shake of his head to dismiss the distant toll of bells. “The world is mud.”

The therapist sat in silence for a moment, looking at him. Daniel looked back, eyes tracing the mud along the man’s trousers and cuff, coating his desk and living on the wall beyond like a shroud.

The therapist tapped a finger on his notebook, glanced at his watch. His muddy watch. “We’ll take this up again next time.”

Careful not to slip on the mud, Daniel rose, flicking away mud oozing down his sleeves, onto the chair and the floor and the world. He squished out without speaking because if he opened his mouth, the mud would fill him, too. The enemy crawling inside.

The therapist went home and had a nice dinner with his wife and friends.

Daniel drowned.

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers 5-21-2017


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. Please credit photo to photographer.

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


This week’s photo prompt is provided by loniangraphics. 

Snow. Ice. Wind. The night couldn’t get any colder.

“Have you seen the witch?” a rough voice asked, but not to him.

Their horses stamped impatiently, wanting back in their warm barn. As the posse moved forward, he drifted behind, eyes searching the darkness. Stamping down panic.

It was then his eyes met those of the frightened girl, hidden in a jumble of brush across the clearing.

Something crashed in the brush ahead. The men broke into a run.

“Shoot the witch.”

“Don’t let her escape.”

He stared. Demon eyes. No, child eyes. Innocent eyes. Terrified eyes.

Thou shall not suffer a witch to live. What man held the right as judge?

Nothing would be the same.

He would never be trusted again.

Rushing over to the brush, he grabbed the girl out, scooping her up and starting to run.



noun de·fen·es·tra·tion  dē-ˌfe-nə-ˈstrā-shən\
Popularity: Bottom 50% of words

  1.   a throwing of a person or thing out of a window assassination by defenestration

  2.   a usually swift dismissal or expulsion (as from a political party or office) the 

Self-defenestration (autodefenestration) is the act of jumping, propelling oneself, or causing oneself to fall, out of a window.


Thedefenestration, in fact, only precipitated a conflictthat was in any case inevitable.

Be that as it may, his defenestration was coldly abrupt, and in his place, the Football Association resurrected a veteran manager and former England star in Joe Mercer for seven games.
2005 September 4, The Sunday Times, London

Did You Know?

These days defenestration is often used to describe the forceful removal of someone from public office or from some other advantageous position. History’s most famous defenestration, however, was one in which the tossing out the window was quite literal. On May 23, 1618, two imperial regents were found guilty of violating certain guarantees of religious freedom. As punishment, they were thrown out the window of Prague Castle. The men survived the 50-foot tumble into the moat, but the incident, which became known as the Defenestration of Prague, marked the beginning of the Bohemian resistance to Hapsburg rule that eventually led to the Thirty Years’ War.


The word comes from the New Latin  de- (out of or away from) and fenestra (window or opening).




The challenge for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner opens Wednesday morning, May 3rd. 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 Friday night, May 12th, 2017.

Flash Fiction for the Practical Practitioner


Fog swallowed the night, glowing tail-lights of the car and the wound-slash of the sputtering bulb above the abandoned way-station the only light.

“You ‘re late.”

Voice cutting my spine like the knife which killed me.

His fingers wove webs of pain. My pain. His pain. Pain conscious in the night and fog.

Bone-bread. Bone-bread.

His hand grabbed mine, placing it on the string and stone between us.

“Bone-bread. Bone-bread, let me walk with the spirits of the dead.”

Bone-bread. Bone-bread. Words echoing in my head. Bone-bread. Bone-bread. Clear thy sight for the spirits of the dead.

“Bone-bread. Bone-bread. Clear my sight on the spirits of the dead.”

The pain was sharp and sudden. There shouldn’t be pain. Not in the land of the dead.

The night filled with shifting shadows.

Bone-bread. Bone-bread. God help the summoned dead.






Friday Fictioneers 4-2-2017



He leaned on the railing, watching as the ship was unloaded. Aboard were things he needed, things which might get him killed. They would either find him or not; there was nothing else he could do.

“Have they found anything, sir?”

He glanced back. “Nothing yet.”

“Shall I?”

Van Helsing was out there somewhere. Waiting.

“Take the car and pick up the crate.”

“And you?”

“I’ll meet you at the house.”

“Yes, sir.”

As soon as the sound of the car faded, he moved. Van Helsing would never see him coming.

Quote For The Day 2-27-2017

“How should we be able to forget those ancient myths that are at the beginning of all peoples, the myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.

Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – Week 1-10 to 01-16-2017



This week’s photo prompt is provided by Louise with The Storyteller’s Abode. Thank you Louise!

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. Please credit photo to photographer.

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

They stepped onto the boat, woman flinching as the deck tilted beneath her, gentleman assisting her to a seat. He chose to stand at the stern, clear view to where she sat.

He should have killed her the minute she knew, but he hadn’t. And he was pretty pissed at himself for not having done so. With so many ways she might destroy him, he needed to find out how she’d known.

Besides, a watery grave was no better, nor worse, than one landlocked.

The cool of the night surrounded him, moonlight sparkling off water, beautiful against the garish lights of the taxi. So much to do before he abandoned his life here. He’d liked living here, loved it in fact. But done is done.

He’d only taken his gaze from her for an instant, but when he looked again she was no longer in her seat. His eyes searched the boat, nostrils flared, but no matter what he thought, wanted, or believed, she was gone.

JSW Prompt 12-14-2016



There was a speck of truth to its words, much as I hated to admit it. Kings were dropping like flies, but I’m not surprised. King are like flies – tiny, buzzing, annoying little shits that, remarkably, eat just about anything. You’ll notice I did not point out flies actually eat shit, but I guess I just did, didn’t I?

“You have a certain..point,” I admitted, leaning back against the stone, one hand thoughtfully on my chin. “On the other hand, I’ve heard some of the denizens of your ilk are having a bit of a rough time nowadays.”

I tapped my finger against my lip. “Did Medusa’s snakes get into a humdinger and kill themselves? Bad hair day…. bad, bad, hair day.” I shook my head as if I felt their pain. “And Cyclops? Fell off a cliff?  I understand he couldn’t swim.. Blind in one eye and….well…. blind.

“What about the ‘one-eyed, one-horned, flyin’ purple people eater?’ Did you hear? He ate a bad person and the indigestion killed him.”

“Yor pont?”

“No point, just making conversation.”

A huff, somewhere between a snort and a sneeze was it’s only answer.

“Shall I go on?”

Another huff, this one a clearing of the throat.

“Bad time for monsters.” I raised my hands in a ‘what can you do’ gesture.

“Whatta ya wnt?”

“Well, since we were speaking of Kings dying and monsters with excessive troubles, I was thinking we might come to some accommodation.” I held up a hand to forestall the interruption wiggling on its tongue. “Nothing much… I am not an unreasonable man.


Motioning it close, I put an around it’s neck and lowered my voice.  “Here’s what we are going to do.” For a moment, it froze as the dagger sank into flesh, severing its spine. Letting out a brief little “whum,” it crumpled to the ground.

Since it was never smart to assume in regards to monsters, I waited until the end. Bad, bad, day for monsters. After all, it had been stupidly simple to lure Cyclops right on off that cliff.




JSW Prompt 7-28-2016


Feel free to add your own response to the prompt in the comments and I will post it on my blog.

Everybody needs a name, you say, but do they? When one lives in the shadows there is no need for names. Living in shadows is a solitary profession; what need of a name when there is no one to speak the syllables? No one to understand or know or care. You want to call me something, call me Silence and that will be my truth. Call me Shadow and that will be my truth. Call me nobody and in that truth I will drown.

I used to have a name, used to belong, used to be a creature of the light, but one step into darkness begins the fall. Sometimes, in brief flashes upon waking or sleeping, I remember those days, but they are not mine any longer. They belong to another, to the one who filled the vacuum of my space.

Yesterday, I went down to the dark river to drown, but how can one drown if one is nobody, nothing, memory? There is no escape from the shadows. In here, one is always drowning.

If, in the dead of night, you feel eyes upon you, know that is me. I have watched you for centuries and I will watch you centuries more. The Light will never escape the darkness, just as the darkness will never escape the light. So who are we, these creatures of the Dark and Light?

I am dark and hate and fear and death. I am the monster under your bed, the feel of eyes on your back, the sliver of darkness piercing each soul in the light. Teasing, tempting, oh subtle and beautiful shadows.

I am war and torture and despair and plague. I am you looking out from innocent eyes. I am the dirt in your soul just waiting to be free.

I live in shadow. No one sees me. I don’t need a name.

Do you?