Retro Thursday 5-6-2021


How Do you Kill a Monster without Becoming One….


It ain’t easy.  That much is for sure.  Been a long time since I killed anything but back in the day….. yeah…. back in the day…..

It came for me when I was 15.  Thought I was tough then, I did.  Big swagger as I walked down the street.   Tough words.  Angry words.  Ugly words.  Funny how when you’re young you think those things make you tough.  Don’t take me wrong.  I was a scrapper.  I’d been in any number of street fights.  All my life.  Thought that made me tough, too.  How little I knew.

It came on a Monday.  I was home.  Had to be.  My little sister was there.  Didn’t like to leave her alone at night.  Not if I could help it.  We had day-old hot dogs for dinner.  A dented can of baked beans.  Marshmellow fluff. 

Lived in a series of rooms. Used to be offices when the building was a warehouse. One central room with a hotplate, couple broke-back chairs. A table. A radio. Another room with two mattresses on the floor. A bathroom that worked. Barely. But enough for water to clean and cook. I’d installed locks on the doors. Kept us safe so far. Then again, I wasn’t asleep yet.

Been years now. Too many. Never did find my little sister. I looked for her sometimes. All the times. That face in the crowd. A voice across a street. A dream of before I’d become a monster. But now… now I am old. Haven’t killed in years.

Weren’t killing that’d made me a monster. No. Abandoning her did. Ran when the Government people finally tracked us down. Gonna take us into the system. Foster homes. Schools. The ‘right’ life. Couldn’t take that. And so I ran.

She screamed. Begged. Tears. Never did forget that. Never did forget the sound of tears. Sound rang in my ears the rest of my days. Still there now. But it’s gonna be gone soon.

Soon. Another breath. Two. Another tear. I’ll no longer be a monster.

JSW 4-19-2021

The JSW Challenge is open to anybody who wishes to participate. Using the writing prompt, write a flash fiction no longer than 500 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.



The challenge for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner will open early Wednesday morning, April 5th. 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, April 14th, 2017.

Flash Fiction for the Practical Practitioner


I never understood anything about walls and fences, not til I saw the boy. He was young, ten maybe, hands holding tight to the barbed wire. Eyes looking like they’d seen the world and beyond.

I wanted to talk to him, find out his name, why he was behind the wire. I’d been told the walls were to keep the monsters out, but the boy didn’t look like any monster I’d ever imagined. He didn’t have monster eyes.

His eyes had no hope. That’s the closest I can come to describing them.

I went to Daton. He’s the Wise One. He knows everything.

“Whys that boy behind the wall?” I asked him.

“He’s a monster.”

“He doesn’t look like a monster.”

“Monsters don’t always take the shape you might imagine.”

And so I went to the wall every day. Watched him. Waited for him to turn into a monster.

And, you know, he never did.

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers 4-10-2017



This week’s photo prompt is provided by Yarnspinner. 

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.

The thing had to have come from here, according to Becky, and what better place to birth a monster? The lingering scent of smoke filled his nostrils, fire out but not forgotten.

Did he believe in monsters? No, not really. All the monsters he’d ever feared had been childhood monstosities under his bed or inside his closet.

Did he want to be here? No. The wildfire had come too close, something of which he needed no reminder.

But here he was. He could tell her he’d come, looked around and seen nothing. Ease her mind. Have a hotdog. Watch the game.

Maybe, one day, she’d get over her fear of monsters. That usually happened, right, at the end of childhood?

Ever hopeful, he headed home, already thinking of the game.

Dark crept out of ash behind him, a gnarled grotesque thing, the smell of fire and smoke swirling around the door as he went inside. Tendrils, like fingers, seeping in.

Sunday Photo Fiction – January 31th 2017

“Is this some weird ball game?” she asked, watching the floating balls trailing behind the ship.“No,” Brad laughed. “They’re floats. We use them to mark the location of…. well, anything really. Dive sites. Lobster traps. Crab pots.”

“In other words, the yellow sticky notes of the water world.”

“Exactly. I knew there was some reason I wanted to date you. I love pretty smartypantes.”

She slapped his shoulder. “So, what are we up to today?”

“Cozy island. Picnic lunch. Beach blanket.”

Something swirled under the boat, rocking it side to side.

“What was that?”

“You’ll see.” He nosed the boat into a small island cove, lowered the anchor and shut down the engines.

Grabbing a bucket of fish, he moved starboard, tossing a few into the water. A dark shape rose towards the surface. The fish vanished. A snout tipped above the waterline as Brad lifted another fish above his head. The rest of a reptile-like head followed, taking the fish gently, then rising to tower above them, long neck arcing gracefully down.

“Oh my God…is that….?”

“This time,” he said, holding out the bucket, “you feed him.”

Eyes wide with wonder, she held up a fish.

JSW Prompt 6-16-2016


I always wondered who ‘They’ are.  Is there some super-secret Outfit putting out the truisms, half-truths, puzzles and all riddles of the universe? If so, I hoped to hell I never met them. Beating up that Outfit might not be a wise career move.

Not that I’ve made many wise career moves myself. I tend to do or say the wrong thing on a fairly regular basis. It’s my God-given talent.

I’d been through the Dream Machine several times, more than advisable certainty, always hoping to find a dream with which I could live. Clowns and ponies and happy rainbows aren’t a needed commodity in anyone’s life, much less mine. I couldn’t think of anything less appropriate. Thing is, you’re only allowed one dream. ‘They’ monitor those things. Little lying bastards.

Unless, of course, you’re me. I refused to settle, which I always thought a commendable trait. The third time changed my mind forever. The third time was when the nightmares begun.







FRIDAY FICTION with RONOVAN WRITES Prompt Challenge #28-A Dream

See more here.

Word Count is off! Let’s focus on the theme of the thing. Not many actually stick to the word count anyway. (SUGGESTED-No more than 500 if you want to try that.)

  • Using the prompt of ‘A Dream’, WRITE. Is a dream something that happens while asleep or something you want really really bad?  Or is it something else entirely? (REQUIRED)

The monster was eating him from the legs up, crunching flesh and bone and something inside that had no form. Every day, he woke as the sun broke over the trees, dream fading, dimmer and dimmer, until it was nothing more than a ghost inside his head.

In the daylight, he remembered the good things from his yesterdays: the number of words written, pages filled, the number of times, and there had been many, when his voices refused to do as he wanted. He wrote one thing, but when he returned, an hour or a day later, his words were gone, replaced by the voice’s stories.

Most times a better story than his.

Their stories gave him security in life, no need to worry about bills to be paid, groceries to be purchased, dinners and movies and dances to be missed. He didn’t remember the last time he had gone to a dinner or a movie or a dance. Most of the time he pushed those memories aside. Time enough for regret later.

He hadn’t been out of the house in three years. The days and weeks disappeared like his words, written and gone, while he tapped away, praying for one story of his own. He wasn’t selfish. He didn’t want to silence the voices. He wanted time to write the story of stories, pouring out heart and soul so perfectly he would never be forgotten.

His story.

He paced the floor, using up the days. A day. A week. A month. A year. Five years. Ten. Twenty. Fifty. Searching for that one story. None of them right. None of them perfect.

The monster ate him up one night deep in February, a thick blanket of snow silencing keys tapping out his screams.