Response JSW Prompt 2-20-2018

Feel free to join in and respond to the prompt. Please try to keep your response under 300 word (recommended, not law). I will re-blog your post to my site.

Especially mine.  Idea: write about how several characters have to go into your mind. What horrors await? Plus hilarity ensures.

Tell me about it. I’ve faced many a danger, both in and out of uniform, but nothing like those men who set themselves up as- or maybe were born – evil. Lots of folks think there ain’t any such thing as good and evil, but they’re wrong. I’ve seen good in my life; good that made me cry, made my heart ache for the things an old soldier like me don’t get. And shouldn’t expect to get.

A soldier’s a cog in the wheels of the military, there to be used and directed as needed by those who’ve never known the real meaning of evil. Used to be I knew what that meant, not knowing the real meaning of evil. Used to be, I lived in one of them houses with a wife and child, couple cats and a couple dogs. Even had that white picket fence.

Been a long time ago, that. See, one day this man decided that he didn’t like… I don’t know… the color of my wife’s hair? Her eye? How tall she was? Or maybe just cause she was wearing an orange swimsuit. So he destroyed her. Destroyed the kids and the cats and the dogs.

Been a soldier since. Evil can come from the man across the border, at the door to the different church, the black to my white. Course, evil can come from anywhere, from your brother, father, friend. From greed and hate and envy, from worshiping the differences instead of the similarities.

Truth is, there weren’t no evil until man learned to think. Learned to want for hisself and not his community.

Now, I’ve had my say and I don’t expect most of you to understand or to care. Ain’t much care in this world either, but one of these days, we’ll be starting over. Just me and a few like-minded individuals who want things better.

If you ain’t one of us, if you’re oneof’em who don’t care, I suggest you started digging your shelter now…….

Word Of The Day 7-1-2017


kak·is·toc·ra·cy \ˌkakə̇ˈstäkrəsē\


government by the worst people


What we’re looking at, all too obviously, is an American kakistocracy — rule by the worst. —, Paul (2017, January 19). With All Due Respect, The New York Times.


Did You Know?

Kakistocracy comes from the Greek root kakistos, which means “worst,” the superlative form of kakos, which means “bad.” The word seems to have been coined in English of Greek parts; the ending -cracy, familiar in English words like democracy and meritocracy, comes from the Greek ending -kratia, derived from kratos meaning “strength” or “power.”


Enough said!




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.






Word Of The Day 4-7-2017




a curse of the evil eye, whereby all that the cursed looks upon will suffer bad luck.


  • If he who takes tobacco is not more to be feared than he who wears spectacles? and if spectacles, peruke, and snuff-box combined do not triple the force of the _jettatura?  The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 05, No. 32, June, 1860

  • Things have, indeed, somewhat changed since the days of Didymus, in this respect, that men are now thought to be more potent for evil _jettatura_ than women; but his general views still coincide with those entertained at the present time in Italy.  The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 05, No. 32, June, 1860

Daily Post One Word Daily Prompts – Liminal 11-26-2016


Liminality (from the Latin word līmen, meaning “a threshold”) is the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of rituals, when participants no longer hold their pre-ritual status but have not yet begun the transition to the status they will hold when the ritual is complete. During a ritual’s liminal stage, participants “stand at the threshold” between their previous way of structuring their identity, time, or community, and a new way, which the ritual establishes.


The Neighbors, Part 6

There are those among us who live false lives. Nasty men. Vicious women. Forgotten children. You will never see them. They pretend normalcy; friends and neighbors and co-workers. Inside they are monsters.

Am I one? Some things are best discovered on your own.

Sometimes the screams wake me, desperate cries ringing in the dark. I never help. I can’t. I won’t. There is only so much pain a child can endure. That, of course, is where I’ve lived my life since, inside the bloody hollow place where last I was a boy, long before I became the man I am now. I never saw the change coming, never even knew a living death was possible but it is…. gods help me, it is.

I was awake. Really awake. Cold. Dark. Deep. Trapped.

Somewhere a dog  barked frantically.

Damned dog. Rising, I pulled on slacks and a pullover from the day, treading bare-foot down cool stairs. The barking got louder. I unlocked the door to the basement and a thing of fur burst past, knocking me against the far wall.

Damned dog.

It rushed to the front door, barking, claws scraping wood. Lying in blood-stains, the only sound water on tiles and a dog in the distance. It couldn’t come in. There was nothing inside me to come into.

As soon as I opened the door, it sprang down the steps and around the fence, towards the neighbors. Good riddance.

I listened for a moment, waiting for silence, but it didn’t come.  The dog barked more and more frantic, sound turning into howls of despair.

Pressing hands hard against my face as if to stop the things inside from rushing out, I closed the door behind me. The grass was chilled, cold from overnight rain. The dog dug frantic at their front door. When he saw me, he started running to me and then back to the door, back and forth, forth and back. Barking.

I would have killed for quiet. I should have killed him the moment I saw him.

The door opened at my touch. He pushed in and I followed. I didn’t want involvement. Solitude was the only salvation I ever found.

The house was a wreak, eerily silent now the dog had stopped his uproar. I smelled it. Not a cut on the finger blood but much, much more. It was a smell I knew deep down in my bones.

Leave now. This isn’t your problem. Pack a bag and go away, find another corner in which to hide. Only I couldn’t. A shard of glass cut my foot. The room – floor, ceiling, furniture – were soaked in blood.

And the smell! The taste in my mouth. The squish of carpet beneath my feet. I heard somebody, somewhere, breathing heavily. The iron taste of madness hung suspended in the air.

I found Jane in the kitchen, no longer a pretty woman. She had been stabbed  until her chest was a bloody mass, head almost severed from her body. Nobody was pretty after that kind of death.

The breathing continued and so did I, making my way into the hall. The bathroom was empty of blood as was the first bedroom. I continued to the final room, cold fear spiking in my chest.

James slumped on the bed, hands between his knees, covered in blood.

I was in the shower. Hearing cries, screams, pain tangible in the air. If I helped, he would hurt me. Again. Again. I feared the hatred in his eyes. He wasn’t my father. He couldn’t be. I tried to be good. I tried.

Pumpkin stood guard in front of the closet, fur bristling, growling low and dangerous.

It hurt,” he whispered. “Hurt.”

There was little blood in the room not on James. You knew and you left me there.”

Crying. Begging. Screaming. Blood swirling round me, down the drain. Dripping down the walls.

“You died,” I croaked.

He shook his head.  “The minute you abandoned me, you died. I knew, knew, you were somewhere, hiding, pretending to be normal. Pretending.”

I drew in a careful breath. “Where is Janice?”

“She’s dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. Like you should have been. Like you will be.”

I backed up as he rose, my hand knocking something hard. He raised the knife and I cracked the lamp on his head. He fell, knife laying where it had fallen.

I buried the blade into his back over and over. I’d been wrong to run, to leave him, but what did children know of monsters?

Gone. Finished. Done.

Pumpkin sidled over to me, head down, tail tucked between his legs. His cold nose nudged my face.


He whimpered, slinking beside me as I crawled to the closet.


Pumpkin barked.

I clawed the door open. She hurled herself into me, wrapped her tiny body around mine. Her heart beat a thousand thunders.

I carried her out of the room,  past the body of her mother, into the cool night beyond. “It will be all right,” I whispered, “I won’t let anybody hurt you”. Pumpkin trotted beside me.

“It will be all right.”

And it was.


Read Parts 1-5 here.