The Puppet-Master

An American Sentence


You don’t fool me, ‘Nocchio,” Gepetto said, snipping strings, “I made you.”



You got this

Snowed In

  I wrote this for the Intermittent Challenge



I thought it wouldn’t matter much.
I had plenty of food;
electricity and gas are still on
‘least for now.

Then I ran out of beer.

I climbed from a second floor window onto the garage roof
and used a broom to clear a path to the edge
where I could sit down and put on my new snow shoes (couple hundred bucks at REI).
Stepping off the roof I only sunk a foot or so.

I can do this.

Leena’s Liquors is on the highway just this side of the river bridge.
It’s about three miles or so.


The prompt and instructions were:

In 99 words, no more, no less, write a story about “buried in the snow.”

The Matchmaker

  I wrote this for the February 14th Flash Fiction Challenge



My elderly neighbor, Mrs. Silverberg, is always trying to fix me up.
She once arranged me a date with her granddaughter, Ruth.
I liked Ruth, just fine. Ruth just didn’t like me.

She told her grandmother that she had found me – awkward.

On the first of Shevat I happened to meet Mrs. Silverberg at the park.
She wanted to talk with me; about me.
She offered to coach me, so that I might become – less awkward.

It seems that her Rabbi’s youngest daughter may be looking for a husband.
Mrs. Silverberg believes I can be ready by Valentines.


The prompt and instructions were:

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about valentines. It can be Valentine’s Day, the exchange, love for another, romance, or friendship. Have a heart and go where the prompt leads!

Country Music

  I wrote this for the February 7th Flash Fiction Challenge



The sign on the door read, “The Unwritten Halibut”. She stood just inside waiting for her eyes to adjust to the gloom. This was her kind of place. It was a drinker’s bar. Dark paneling lined the walls; a couple of neon beer signs glowed in the back. A ghost of smoke held up the ceiling in defiance of a local ban. Rainbow colored bottles sat on glass shelves and four or five patrons rested at the bar; staring into their drinks, not talking. The volume was low as Hank Williams sang a hard luck song on the box.


The prompt and instructions were:

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a sign. It can be a posted sign, a universal sign, a wonder. Go where the prompt leads.

Lookout

  I wrote this for the January 31st Flash Fiction Challenge



Roger stood in the bow and watched the fog roll in. He hunched in his Pea Jacket to stave off the weather. His hands were in his pockets where he clutched a silver flask of brown whisky.

He felt it before he saw it.  He watched it emerge from the haar that obscured visibility to the north. It was an old Soviet boat, running on the surface, twin screws churning the water.

Roger reached for the handset of the sound powered phone, “Bridge – Bow.  Surface  contact  bearing  tree fife  zero,  fife hundred  yards,  moving  left  to  right slowly.”


The prompt and instructions were:

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about sea mist. How does it create an environment for a story? It can set the stage or take the stage. Go where the prompt leads.

Porcelain Shards

  I wrote this for the January 24th Flash Fiction Challenge



The last of the dessert set goes into the furnace
Final firing for
cups, saucers, plates and bowls.
There’s a coffee pot and warmer,
a creamer, sugar bowl, and cake plate.
All done in a stylized violet motif
A signature design favoured by my father.

This time there is trouble in the kiln
Most likely the sugar bowl blew
I’ll never know for sure though. I lost that sugar bowl,
and it’s lid,
two cups that had been positioned close by.
Fine porcelain reduced to shards.
Doesn’t happen often, but its part of the game.

Move on, make more.


The prompt and instructions were:

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about shards. You can write about the pieces, the item they once were, or who picks them up and why. Go where the prompt leads.

Maybe It Won’t Be So Bad

  I wrote this for the January 17th Flash Fiction Challenge



Dario was a cad, a reprobate. He knew when he died because the pain disappeared.

Dead Dario rose, brushed imaginary dust from his shoulders, and looked ahead; there was no behind.

He was on a covered walkway surrounding a garth filled with souls of the suffering damned. Tapered stone columns stood like sentries between him and the wretches. Each column, labelled with a lie, that he recognized as one of his own:

Promises he’d never intended to keep, yet made to women he’d wanted.

Yarns spun to investors whose monies he stole.

Dario was a sinner, foreordained to perdition.


The prompt and instructions were:

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes colonnades. It can be natural, architectural, or a metaphor. Take a stroll and go where the prompt leads.