Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Cruise

Ed felt queasy as the discussion continued.

“It’ll be fun,” Edna said. “The trip of a lifetime. We deserve it.”

Edna continued to leaf through the fancy brochure for the Mediterranean cruise sponsored by their college. She was ready to sign up.

Ed’s mind drifted back nearly fifty years. Stormy seas. All hands on deck. Double shifts. Sea rations. Spot inspections. Navy regulations.

“Can we, Ed?”

“Huh?” Ed returned to the present and saw the anticipation on his wife’s face.

“What do you think, Ed?”

Ed’s eyes became large as his stomach rumbled. “I think I’m going to be sick.”

Saturday, October 24, 2015


“This is totally creeping me out,” Ed muttered.

“Just a quick look,” Edna replied. She loved looking for historical Charleston figures in the old church cemetery.

Ed flinched at a crack of lightning as he wandered about. Suddenly he froze, face turning white as snow, and sweat pouring from his brow. 

He stared at a simple headstone displaying only two large letters:  ED

With another crack of lightning, he bolted the scene.

Edna turned to see what spooked her husband. She chuckled as she read the small inscription at the very bottom of the stone:

Ervin Dowkins 1827 - 1883.

This 99-word story is my contribution to the October 21 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write a story about a final resting place."

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


“No, we don’t need to,” Ed claimed.

“Yes, we do,” Edna countered.

“Read the invitation,” argued Ed, ever the literalist. “It says Please RSVP by Nov 1 if you can attend. Since we’re not attending we don’t need to respond.”

“You’re wrong.” Edna held her ground.

They continued the silly debate throughout the evening and into breakfast the following morning. The issue took on a life of its own, threatening to ruin their entire day.

Finally, they agreed there was only one way to settle the dispute once and for all.

“Let’s just go to the darn party,” Ed said. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Cable Outage

Ed plopped in his favorite chair, beverage in hand, and turned on the TV for yet another football Saturday. After a few minutes, the screen suddenly went dark. Severe storms had taken out the cable. 

What now?

Without saying a word, Edna reached over and handed Ed a book. He looked at the cover, shrugged his shoulders, and started leafing through the pages. He then straightened his posture and turned up the lamp. Soon, he was totally engrossed. 

Hours later, Ed waived Edna off when she noted the cable was back.

Since that day Ed has rarely been bookless.

This 99-word story is my contribution to the October 14 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write a story that reveals or explores a moment of serendipity."

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Flu Shot

“Just sit and relax.” The nurse smiled and opened the immunization kit.

She can’t be over twelve years old, Ed thought as he nervously rolled up his sleeve.

“How long have you been doing this?” Ed asked. The nurse, who was actually in her early thirties, ignored him.

Sweat beads formed on Ed’s forehead when he saw the needle. He closed his eyes and tried to relax. The nurse patted his head, but that only made things worse.

“Do me a favor,” Ed pleaded, eyes still closed. “Tell me just before you stick me.”

The nurse laughed. “I already did.”

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Highway Robbery

Ed and Edna made their way into the cavernous stadium for the big game. As they passed a condiment stand near the hot dog concession window, Edna innocently reached over to the stack of napkins.

“Stop, thief!” the vendor screamed from behind the window. “Those napkins are for customers. That is stealing!”

Edna froze, not knowing what to say. 

Ed stepped in, looking at Edna holding two skimpy napkins. He turned to the irate vendor and then read the menu board updated in chalk: Regular Hot Dog $9.75.

Ed glared at the vendor. “The only thief here is YOU.

This 99-word story is my contribution to the October 7 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write a story about a thief or a theft."

Thursday, October 8, 2015


Ed walked out of the store proudly admiring his new smartphone. The young clerk had patiently set it up for him.

After a few steps down the sidewalk, Ed heard a ding.

Breaking news . . . .

He glanced at the phone, then continued walking until another ding rang.

Weather update . . . .

A few seconds later, a series of dings stopped him in his tracks.

Stock market opens . . . . 

No appointments today . . . .

Active calories burned . . . .

Reminder  . . . . 

Edna met her exasperated husband at the door and heard a ding.

Total steps taken . . . . 

Edna laughed, then calmly showed Ed how to turn off Notifications on his phone.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Home Again

“I think it’s this way,” Edna said, still unsure. After all, it had been over forty years.

“No. It’s that way.” Ed remembered the railroad tracks.

Ed and Edna were both wrong. Their first house was down a street they had just passed.

They finally doubled back and Edna spotted it. They stared at the tiny bungalow for several moments in total silence, looking past the chipped paint and damaged shingles. The little dogwood sapling they planted four decades ago loomed large.

Ed shook his head, reminiscing. “It seemed like a castle to me.”

Edna smiled.  “It still is.”

This 99-word story is my contribution to the September 30 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write a story about a return to home."