Monthly Archives: August 2013

The Shadow Knights

Hero was judged Champion and set forth across the Shadow Bridge, to dance through light like a ghost and slay the monsters infecting the realm. Under The Bed was safe once more.


Um, 33 word fairy tales are not easy to write. Who knew?? Link up and read, these short challenges bring the best out of a lot of writers 🙂


Categories: Fiction | Tags: , , , | 20 Comments

The Dead Can Dream

this is an installment in Mort’s Graveyard Tours. If, perchance, you find it entertaining, feel free to check out the others- just click on the link for ’em over to your left…

Sneed rocked down onto his haunches amidst the roots of Mort’s tree. He quietly watched twilight paint bleeding colors onto the scrim of the horizon; plum blended into smoky grey and patchy pearly leavings of light. He fingered the brim of his hat. “Now, it’s not that we need sleep as such. There’s some as prefer a lie down of an evening anyway.”

Mort was standing at his graveside, studying the pretty calligraphy that spelled out Mortimer Ramsey. He felt thin; the required concentration for holding his particles together in this form was waning.

“Do we dream?” he asked quietly. “Do the dead dream, Sneed?” He found that he felt rather anxious about the answer either way.

Sneed reached up a hand and scratched at the bashed in ruin of his face, fingers mixing right in with the foggy apparition of his skull. “Yeah, sure, sometimes. Ah, it usually takes a while though. You have to, ah, be sort of relaxed into the finality of the whole thing, ya know?” Sneed’s smile was both ghastly and oddly reassuring. “I don’t think you’ll drop deep enough just yet.”

Mort crossed one foot in front of the other and sank onto the freshly turned earth mounded over his grave. He skimmed his palms across the grass to either side, imagined that he felt the tickle and bend of individual blades against skin that no longer breathed. He looked up. “I feel like I’m trying to have a séance with myself.” His grin was real, but tired. “It feels like it’s all a dream now anyway. But I’d rather rest without them tonight, I think.”

Sneed’s where-his-heart-would-be twinged as the grin faded from Mort’s face. “Then you will,” he said. He clapped his hands together, a disconcerting sight without the expected accompaniment of sound, and his tone slid from jovial to gentle. “Just rest up now, boy. It’s sorry I am to have met you here and now, but I’m glad of it all the same.” The bowlegged man bandied his way over to his carriage and climbed in. With a noise that sounded half chuckle and half cluck he sent his horse trotting away, around a bend and gone, leaving Mort alone.

Leaving Mort, he thought, mortally alone. He sighed. He was well and truly as alone as it was ever likely possible to be. A phantom burning rose where his tear ducts used to be, and he pushed phantom fingers into his phantom face to make it stop. It was like a cousin to grief, once removed – he felt that he was sad, but he didn’t feel sad. He decided to lay his head down and curl up under his tree, holding tight to Sneed’s memory and hope for tomorrow. A leaf fell, slowly drifting down and through his cheek to the ground beneath, a good night kiss. Comforted, he slept.


The dream wasn’t so much a dream as a memory. A gift straight from Father Time, who remembered past present and future like they had already happened somewhere within infinity. A present of the past, if you’d like a bit of cleverness.

Mort sat at his dining room table, in his customary chair, across from his mother and to his father’s right. “He’s called you his right hand man since the day you were born, you know,” Patty Ramsey used to say to Mort, brushing his hair behind his ears before kissing his cheeks good night.

Dream Mort’s feet dangled above the hardwood floor, and he guessed that he was about six. “Dad,” he said. “Hi!”

His dad laughed. “Hi yourself, weirdo. How was soccer practice today?” He steepled his fingers under his chin and opened his eyes wide to stare at his son. The fingers waggled. “Was MA-deline there?” he asked with exaggerated interest.

Mort’s grin widened. “Yup,” he confirmed. “She ran down the field faster than anyone, and then when she got the ball guess what she did? Guess, Dad!” Without waiting for an answer he rushed on. “She passed it to ME and I got to score the goal!”

“Well, no kidding? So when’s the wedding?”

Mort threw a pea at him. “That’s not funny,” he said seriously, and then burst into an embarrassed fit of giggles. “Shut up.”

Throughout the encounter, Milly sat, quietly eating and smiling, listening and watching. These were some of her favorite moments; the byplay between her two strange and wonderful guys, good food at a comfortable table. Flying peas. At times like this she was more than happy to remain an observer, grateful to have been given admittance to this club that was her family. She kissed Mort on the top of the head as she walked behind him into the kitchen to refill her water glass.


The ghost of Mortimer Ramsey opened his eyes.

Categories: Fiction, Mort's Graveyard Tales | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Because of Michael…



Help, help! Come and witness the violence inherent in the system!!

Categories: Non-Fiction Nonsense | Tags: | 7 Comments

Free Flow Fiction


I remember the day that the romance began. I usually see animals before I see people, and I usually see kids before I see grown ups. Don’t have much use for most adults. They hit a certain point and decide that grown up means they’ve got no more need for growth. I sensed the stirrings, faint but unmistakable, of an afternoon love.

He was a pudge ball of fur and wrinkles, ugly as only a cross bred mutt can be. His smooshed up nose came right up against my bare arm while I was sleeping. I snorted and started, scraping my back on the brick wall I was leaning against, and opened my eyes only to see his shiny happy brown ones an inch from them.

Warm dog breath panted against my whiskered chin, and a fat lazy tongue lolled out and over a severe underbite. I grinned a gummy eyed smile and lazily gave the brute some scrubbies behind his ear.

‘I’m really sorry sir,’ began a musical voice about four feet higher than my usual line of sight. ‘Bunny was pretty insistent that he wanted to say hello.’

Bunny. Bunny? Breaking my self imposed rule of not making eye contact with anyone who didn’t sleep on the street, I glanced up. And up. Glamazon here had to hit around six foot, with another foot for the poofy curls that bounced around her head.

I shaded my eyes against the lowering sun behind her. ‘Why in the hell is this dog’s name Bunny?’ At the mention of his name, the dog butted his thick skull against my hand and made happy, thick-sounding dog noises. It made me laugh, a rusty sound I’d kind of missed hearing.

Glamazon Barbie laughed, too. ‘He’s a rescue, they said they had no idea what his name was, since he was abandoned there? My husband didn’t really understand why I wanted such an ugly little monkey, so we named him Bunny. Cause they’re cute. Like when they call a big guy Little John?’

His stubby legs were jigging in a paroxysm of doggie delight, what with his name being thrown all around and the two hands I was now using to scratch his head. How could you not love this idiot?

‘He’s the happiest guy, really’, she continued. ‘Just dumb and happy to be alive.’ She smiled.

As I looked up at her, I was struck by an unusual realization. She was being genuine. She wasn’t some do-gooder earning karma points by talking to the homeless guy. She wasn’t acting normal while she felt uncomfortable inside. She just followed her dumb happy dog on his dumb happy path, and seemed to let her judgment ride with Bunny’s.

I reached up, held out a hand. Without hesitation she clasped it, shook, and introduced herself as Marlena.

‘Will,’ I provided, and released her hand. ‘I’m around here most afternoons, so if you go out for a walk around here again I wouldn’t mind saying hello every once in a while. I like your dog, he’s got good taste.’

She laughed. ‘You can be sure. It was nice to have met you, Will.’ She tugged on Bunny’s leash, and after a last ear flapping rub, he trotted after her with all the grace of a drunken hippopotamus.

I leaned back against the wall again, and let my eyes drift shut.

* * * * *
I’ve been out of the Master Class game for a while, writing in general too actually. Life, work, busted laptop blah blah blah. Writers gotta write, so none of those things are an excuse. So here’s me, trying to get back in the saddle, typing this whole thing out on my phone 🙂

The inestimable Troy www.aslongasimsinging.wordpress.comwas chosen as the premiere student in the last class and came up with a line from The Christmas Story, in bold above. The sentence had to be used in the fifth place and neither begin nor end the story.

Check out the other submissions at Prof Sam’s place

Categories: Fiction | Tags: , , , | 8 Comments

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