Wednesday, September 30, 2015


The clerk smiled. “Just sign here, here, here, and here.”

Ed looked at Edna. “Holy cow. We just want library cards.”

The library clerk remained pleasant. “Oh, I forgot this one. Please sign here too.”

Ed became even more frustrated as he glanced over the documents. Library Policies. Security Regulations. Checkout Procedures. Overdue Charges. Reference Guidelines. Computer Use.

Edna watched as Ed tried to remain calm. Suddenly he gathered up the documents and stepped away. 

The clerk looked puzzled. “Don’t you want your library cards?”

Ed held up the documents. “No need. We’ve got plenty of reading material right here.”

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Early Adopter

Ed eagerly clicked on the link. He salivated as the spinning wheel signaled download progress. The beta version of future smartphone operating system 892xx4L would separate him from pedestrian users in the general public, he thought.

Minutes later several error messages flashed on the screen. Suddenly, his phone went dead. 

Ed tried to reboot . . . . Nothing. He tried to revert to the previous operating system . . . . No luck. 

He sat, totally panicked.

Edna looked on but didn’t speak. She had warned him about being on the bleeding edge rather than the cutting edge of technology.

“Never, ever again,” Ed firmly declared.

This 99-word story is my contribution to the September 23 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "declare an intention in a story."

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Candidate

Ed and Edna walked to the rear of the hotel to avoid the boisterous crowd out front. They didn’t realize a famous political candidate would be in town when they made their dinner reservation.

Suddenly two men dressed in black accompanied the candidate out to a waiting car in the back. The candidate never looked up, slightly brushing Ed’s shoulder as he hurried past. Edna feared they were going to be trampled.

Back home after dinner they watched a TV news snippet of the candidate’s visit.

Man of the People for the People, read the gigantic sign behind the podium.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Game

Ed was in heaven. The game of the year blasted on the big screen, sound system blaring. The frenzy seemed to leap through the TV into Ed’s living room. It doesn’t get any better than this, he thought.

Above the TV noise, a familiar sound was heard. The garage door movement meant Edna was returning from the grocery store loaded with the week’s supplies.

“This is going to be real interesting,” the TV announcer said, as though aware of Ed’s potential predicament. 

Ed laughed, then immediately went out to unload the groceries for Edna — because that’s what you do.

This 99-word story is my contribution to the September 16 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write a love story."

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Hurricane Ed

“Hurricane Ed is forming in the Caribbean and looks to threaten the Southeast U.S.,” the weatherman reported.  “This could develop into a Category 4 storm.”

“Powerful storm,” Ed said, trying to balance concern for those affected with the intrigue of his name being associated with such a macho weather event.

Edna nodded, not knowing what to say.

Three days later the weatherman gave an unexpected update. “Hurricane Ed looked formidable initially but eventually wimped out, dissipating harmlessly over the Atlantic.” 

“Great news,” Ed said. “How do they choose those names, anyway?”

Edna smiled. They know what they’re doing, she thought.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Lost and Found

Ed rose at 6 AM and followed the coffee aroma into the kitchen. Edna had been up nearly an hour. They sat silently and sipped.

It was a Monday morning like no other. 

For the first time in 38 years, neither had to rush off to work. But, inexplicably, the anticipated joy of retirement was muffled by anxiety, uncertainty, and even fear.

They were lost.

But not for long.

Edna opened the newspaper, holding up an insert: Affordable Coastal Living. Ed’s eyes lit up as he envisioned a little hideaway near the sea.

The adventure was about to begin.

This 99-word story is my contribution to the September 9 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write a story about someone or something that's lost."

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Credit Card Chip

“That’ll be $27.44,” the cashier said.

Ed had his credit card ready and swiped it down the right side of the card reader. Nothing happened. 

“It’s got a chip,” the cashier told him.

Ed held up his credit card and examined it closely. “Looks fine to me,” he said.

The cashier frowned. “You can’t swipe it. It’s got a chip.”

Ed held his credit card out for the cashier to see it wasn’t damaged in any way.

“You gotta insert it into the chip reader.

“Why?” Ed replied. “It’s perfectly fine.”

Finally, Edna came to the rescue. “I’ve got this.”

Sunday, September 6, 2015

True Grits

Ed smiled as the hostess handed him the menu. Edna caught his eye and knew exactly what he was thinking.

They both remembered their first encounter with the strange concoction. 

Many years ago, after migrating to the Deep South, they stopped by the local breakfast spot. The server couldn’t hide her amusement at their unfamiliarity with the most popular menu item. “Huh? For breakfast?” Ed asked innocently.

On this day, Ed and Edna settled into their booth, not needing to consult the menu.

Edna ordered first. “Sunrise Special with a double serving of grits.”  

Ed nodded. “Same for me.”

This 99-word story is my contribution to the September 2 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge about migrants and local customs.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Car Haggling

The salesman knew Edna loved the sporty red convertible. He haggled with Ed for several minutes before offering his final price. Ed remained noncommittal.

The salesman excused himself, pretending he needed the manager’s approval. Edna became upset when Ed told her to go along with his plan. “Ed, I really want that car.”

“Trust me.”

When the salesman returned, Ed insisted on exactly $87.32 off the latest “best” price. The flustered salesman eventually relented, not wanting to lose the sale.

“What was that?” Edna asked on the way home.

That, my dear, is our favorite dinner at Roxanne’s— on them!”