Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Booth

Ed entered the booth, drawing the curtain closed behind him. He rubbed his eyes and took a deep breath as he tried to collect his thoughts. 

Ed wiped the sweat from his forehead as he contemplated the seriousness of what he was about to do. His mind wandered back over the past several months. He softly whispered the words as he recollected recent events and confrontations:  Dishonesty. Deceit. Braggadocio. Narcissism.

Was he being too harsh?

Finally, Ed finished his business and paused for a moment.

“Say five rosaries and ten Hail Marys,” the priest instructed from behind the screen.

This 99-word story is my contribution to the November 9 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write a story that pivots around an unexpected ending."

Monday, October 10, 2016

Name Game

Ed looked back and forth between Edna and the huge brown Pointer she brought home from the shelter.

“What’s his name?” Ed asked, still trying to figure out why Edna can’t leave well enough alone.

“Help me name him,” she replied.

Ed scratched his head as Edna spouted off some distinct possibilities. “Brownie, Expresso, Mud, Hershey, Nut Meg, Fudge . . . “

Ed covered his ears in protest, clearly having heard enough. Edna frowned as she stopped in mid sentence.

“The name is obvious,” Ed declared while raising his finger to make sure he had Edna’s full attention. 


Big Brown Dog.

This 99-word story is my contribution to the October 5 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write a story about a Big Brown Dog."

Monday, September 26, 2016

New Glasses

Ed sat at the small table. The youthful technician smiled from the other side. “Great choice,” she said while fitting the frame over Ed’s nose and around his ears. She made a few tweaks before removing it.

“Would you like glass, polycarbonate or high-index plastic lenses?”

Ed thought for a second, but the technician continued before he could speak. 

“Of course, we strongly recommend anti-scratch, anti-reflective, and anti-UV coatings.”

Ed could hear a cash register ringing in his ears with each option.

The technician smiled again. “What are your preferences?”

Ed didn’t hesitate this time. “Let’s go with anti-expensive.”

This 99-word story is my contribution to the September 21 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write a story using a lens."

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Card Trick

“Pick a card,” Ed said confidently. “Any card.”

Edna complied, looking at her card without showing Ed. As instructed, she slid it face down toward him.

Ed reinserted Edna’s card into the deck and reshuffled several times while spouting some nonsensical words. He spread the deck on the table, closed his eyes, selected one card and showed it.

“Edna, my dear,” Ed proclaimed with flair. “This is NOT your card.”

“Wow,” Edna feigned. “That’s amazing. Can you do it every time?”

Ed looked around, leaning in as he whispered: “Almost. It seems to work about 98% of the time.”

This 99-word story is my contribution to the September 14 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write a story about an amazing feat."

Sunday, August 28, 2016


Ed smiled as he surveyed the play area of his old school grounds. "Boy, that's what I call an upgrade!”

Edna tested the spongy artificial turf. "Where's the dirt?"

"What’s this contraption?” Ed asked as he examined the massive jungle gym with multiple levels of netting, ladders, ropes and slides.

Edna nodded approvingly. “It’s called progress.”

Suddenly a bell rang, and hordes of screaming kids poured onto the grounds, whooping and hollering as they raced toward the equipment.

Edna grabbed Ed's hand and quickly led him out of harm's way. "Some things haven't changed!" she yelled as they ran. 

This 99-word story is my contribution to the August 24 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write a story about an empty playground."

Monday, August 22, 2016


“It’s not what it IS,” Ed said excitedly. “It’s what it WAS.”

Edna held up the object she dug out while tilling the garden. “Huh?”

“It’s a fossil, Edna. Probably remains from some dinosaur that roamed our yard a gazillion years ago.”


Ed carefully removed the 6-inch, claw-like object from Edna’s trembling hand. He nodded as he inspected it, gently laid it on the ground, then walked around the flowerbed looking for more evidence.

Edna picked it up, turned it over, and chipped away large clumps of baked dirt. She could barely make out markings underneath:


This 99-word story is my contribution to the August 17 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write a story that features a fossil."

Monday, August 15, 2016


The miracle putt made it over the crest, turned at the bottom of the hill and curled into the cup. Ed pumped his fists, looking up at the leaderboard. There he  was — leader of the County Senior Golf Tournament after the first hole.

Ed caught Edna’s eye in the crowd as they spotted menacing clouds above. They both knew a rain delay would, ironically, extend Ed’s moment in the sun.

Alas, it was not to be.

The sun suddenly broke through as if the golf gods had awakened and refused to let this farce continue.

Ed finished dead last.

This 99-word story is my contribution to the August 10 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write a story about something or someone that is transient."

Friday, August 5, 2016

Wood Thrush

“Wow! That’s a wood thrush if I’ve ever heard one.” Ed frantically signaled for Edna to stand still. He raised his binoculars and panned the tree branches ahead.

Edna knew not to speak. Ed motioned for her to stay put as he gently stepped forward, binoculars still raised to his eyes. Edna wasn’t into this bird-watching thing, but Ed insisted on dragging her along.

A few moments later another glorious tune of flute-like quality rang out.

Ed smiled in anticipation of the sighting.

Edna gasped and reached for her backpack, recognizing the new notification tone on her cell phone.

This 99-word story is my contribution to the August 3 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write a story that includes the sense of sound."

Monday, August 1, 2016

Home Office

Edna enjoyed the aroma of her morning coffee as she sat in her favorite chair by the bay window. She took the morning newspaper out of its plastic wrap and spread the various sections on the end table.

“Morning,” Ed said cheerfully as he picked up the sports section and started to walk away.

“Where are you going?”

Ed looked back and smiled, but didn’t break his stride. “To the office.”

Edna shooed him away and turned her focus back to the headline article about the presidential election. She looked up moments later after hearing a familiar sound.


This 99-word story is my contribution to the July 27 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write an office story."

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Blank Page

Ed stared at the empty computer screen. It stared back like a barren wasteland—nothing fertile; no sign of life. The standoff lasted for hours.

Totally out of ideas with a deadline looming, he cursed the day he volunteered to write a weekly column for the local paper. 

Ed rubbed his eyes, wracking his brain for inspiration. 

Suddenly, a news notification appeared on the screen’s top right corner: RESIDENTS WANT SWAMP DRAINED.

Ed smiled as his fingers hit the keyboard and the words flowed like a raging river.

He filed his story about career politicians well before the deadline.

This 99-word story is my contribution to the July 20 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to write about a surprise from a desert.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


Ed felt his blood pressure rising. Edna watched, wondering if her husband would remember.

They worked on it daily. Edna’s constant reminders to pause and take a deep breath would now be put to the test. 

Ed forced a smile that Edna knew wasn’t real. As he approached the scraggly kid with the blaring boombox, Ed repeated the words to himself. Opportunity. Opportunity. Every aggravation is an opportunity.

Edna held her breath. Ed faced the kid.

“Great day to be at the beach,” Ed said with calm affection.

“Yessir,” the kid replied while turning down the volume.

Edna smiled.

This 99-word story is my contribution to the July 13 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to write a story using the emotion of anger.

Sunday, July 10, 2016


Edna pulled in the garage, grabbed a small bag from the passenger seat, and called for Ed. The trunk full of groceries required his assistance.

She found Ed sprawled on the sofa, snoring lightly. “Up, you catnapper!” she said while giving his ribs a tickle. 

Ed rubbed his eyes as he sat up, still a little groggy. “What’d you call me?”

“Catnapper. That’s what you are. Always catnapping.”

“Huh?” Ed replied, still trying to get his bearings.

“Catnapper,” Edna teased again.

Ed’s forehead crinkled as he struggled to his feet. “Edna, I’ve never stolen a cat in my life.”

This 99-word story is my contribution to the July 6 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to write a story involving a cat.

Sunday, July 3, 2016


“No one needs a convertible, Edna.” 

“I didn’t say I needed it,” Edna replied. “I said it sure looks like fun.”

Ed grinned while shaking his head. “That’s not all you said.”

“OK,” Edna admitted. “I also said everyone needs to have some fun.”

The car salesman stood helplessly, turning his head from Ed to Edna and back again, not sure if he should say anything. He opted for silence.

Ed thought for a few moments, visualizing a drive along the beach on a sunny day. “There are cheaper ways to have fun.”

Finally, Ed smiled.

“We’ll take it.”

This 99-word story is my contribution to the June 29 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write a story that explores human needs."

Sunday, June 26, 2016

College Comforts

Edna took in the surroundings, shaking her head in bewilderment. Ed stood speechless. Is this for real?

The tour of the new campus student housing facility left them wondering what college had become. Hardwood floors, high ceilings, crown moulding, gourmet dining, Jacuzzi tubs, climbing walls, swimming pools, sand volleyball courts.

Edna ran her fingers over the smooth granite countertop in one of the units. Ed stared at the lounge pool table. 

“We plan to grow enrollment,” the college official proclaimed with a smile, “by making sure our students feel at home.”

“Home?” Edna blurted without thinking. “Home? Whose home?”

This 99-word story is my contribution to the June 22 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write a story about home."

You're invited to connect with me on Larry LaForge Short Stories Facebook Page.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Service Calls

"Yessir! Absolutely. We'll be there tomorrow before noon." The affable service manager seemed eager to please.

Ed hung up, smiling broadly. The boat will be fixed in the morning!

"Oh, we're running behind," the service manager cheerfully explained when Ed called again the following afternoon.

"Got you covered. You're on our board," the manager calmly informed Ed two days later. 

"Should get there today," Ed was told the next day. 

"We're bumping you up on the list," Ed was assured the following morning.

A fuming Ed called one more time. The familiar, friendly voice responded. "What was that name again?" 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Reunion

Edna looked around and smiled. “So these are the folks I’ve heard so much about.”

The huge hotel ballroom was packed. The band blasted tunes from yesteryear.

Edna spotted a couple looking at them. “Do you know them? It looks like they’re trying to get our attention.”

Ed squinted as he looked. “Don’t recognize them,” he said, standing too far away to read their name tags. 

Ed started freaking out when he realized he didn’t recognize anyone. Not a single soul.

Edna saved him when she noticed the hallway sign.

“Ed, your school’s reunion is in the ballroom next door.”

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Game Changer

“That’s all it took?” Edna couldn’t believe it.

“Yup,” Ed replied. “That did it.”

Edna still didn’t understand. “Let me get this straight. You had an appointment. You waited over an hour. You missed lunch. You . . “

“I couldn’t see straight I was so mad,” Ed interrupted. “They called several people who came in after me.”

“Why didn’t you complain?”

“I tried,” Ed replied. “That’s when it happened.”


“I approached the window  . . . “

“I bet you really let them have it!”

“No need,” Ed said calmly. “Not after the receptionist gave me the sweetest smile as she called my name.”

This 99-word story is my contribution to the May 25 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write a story that changes with a smile."


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Tree Service

“It’s not his real name.” Ed was pretty sure.

“Let’s hope not,” Edna replied. “I mean, what Mom would . .”

“Well, it fits,” Ed interrupted. “He kinda looks the part.”

Edna smiled sheepishly, trying hard to get the image out of her head.

Ed finally broke the silence. “You have to admit, it’s appropriate for his work, though.”

“Yeah,” Edna agreed. “Not everyone can climb to the top of those southern red oaks and maneuver around.”

They needed the work done, but still weren’t sure about this odd fellow as they stared at his business card:


This 99-word story is my contribution to the May 18 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write a story that features a squirrel."

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Cousin Fred

“Your cousin Fred.” Ed stared at the rock formation. “It’s your cousin Fred.”

“What are you talking about?” Edna feigned protest, but she could see it too.

The huge rock, worn by wind and flowing water, oddly took the form of a man’s head. It lay in the riverbed, staring straight at them. An oversized bulge seemed like a nose sitting below two indentations that eerily resembled eye sockets. A crevice at the bottom appeared to be grinning at them. 

Ed tilted his head to get a better view. Edna tried to look away, but couldn’t.

“Your cousin Fred.”

This 99-word story is my contribution to the May 11 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write a story, using the power of erosion."

Friday, May 6, 2016


“It flew. I swear, it flew.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Edna. Roaches don’t fly.”

“Well this one did.”

Ed didn’t believe it. “It probably just leaped.”

Edna shook her head. “It flew.”

“Well where is it now?”

“How should I know? Maybe it flew into another room. Maybe it flew out to get its friends.”

Ed looked around but couldn’t find any sign of a flying roach, or any other kind for that matter.

That’s when Edna began frantically pulling clothes from her closet.

 “What are you doing?”

“Isn’t it obvious?” Edna screamed without looking up. “We have to move.”

This 99-word story is my contribution to the May 4 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "include insects in a story."

This is the 100th post on THE ADVENTURES OF ED AND EDNA!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Lay of the Land

“There’s a gazebo and a huge garden,” Ed said. “It’s got some trees, but there’s an opening.”

Ed’s golfing partner was mortified. His errant shot went directly toward one of the nicer houses surrounding the course.

Ed continued to console him. “No worries. Just step over the Chrysanthemums. It’s level around that side, so you should have a good lie for your next shot. The wind blows toward the green from there. It’s mostly downhill to the pin, about 120 yards. Easy nine iron.”

The shaken partner smiled when he finally realized something.

Ed’s been there—apparently many times.

This is my contribution to the April 27 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "compose a 99-word flash on the theme of showing someone around a property."

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Traffic Circle

“Whattha?” Ed’s frustration grew by the second. 

Edna tried to calm him down. “Well, it sure looks pretty.”

Ed didn’t care about pretty.

He had eased the car onto the roundabout by merging with oncoming traffic, but now couldn’t find a way out. Cars seemed to gain speed around the traffic circle, as though propelled by centrifugal force. Ed, mesmerized by merging and departing cars, couldn’t get his bearings.

After their third revolution, Edna clutched the armrest. “I’m going to be sick.”

“Hold on!” Ed yelled as he finally veered off—heading back in the direction they had entered.

This 99-word story is my contribution to the April 20 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write about a circle in your life."

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Self Sufficient

The bearded man moved awkwardly on his prosthetic legs, barely managing to control two grocery bags cradled in his arms. 

Edna nodded toward Ed, a clear signal to lend a helping hand. Ed greeted the man, but chose only to give him space.

The man hummed a cheerful tune as he gradually opened his trunk and clumsily lowered the bags. He shut the trunk, and slowly but surely maneuvered his way to the driver’s side of his car.

“Thanks,” the man said pleasantly to Ed.

“But I didn’t do anything. You did it.”

“I know,” the man replied. “Thanks.”

This 99-word story is my contribution to the April 13 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write about offering to help someone."

Sunday, April 10, 2016


Ed scanned the directory, encased in glass and covering two wall panels in the huge marble lobby.

Edna spotted the name of their new financial advisor. She watched as Ed pointed to the entry, shaking his head:


Sweat beads formed on Ed’s forehead. Sixteen floors, he thought as he turned toward the elevator. He tried to swallow but his throat was too dry. He eyed the shiny doors but his feet wouldn’t move. 

Edna motioned to the right with a simple head nod. Ed looked with a smile of relief.

Up the stairs they went.

This 99-word story is my contribution to the April 6 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write a response to an agoraphobic moment."

Sunday, April 3, 2016


Edna saw the opened envelope on the kitchen counter. She glanced at the note, then burst into uncontrolled laughter.

Hope to see you there, Hoss.

“Hoss?” Edna said, nearly hysterical.

Ed grabbed the invitation from her. He still hadn’t decided if he wanted to attend his 50th anniversary high school reunion. This wasn’t helping.

“We called everyone Hoss back then,” Ed explained. 

“Why on earth did you do that?”

“I don’t know. We just did. Everyone called everyone else Hoss.”

“Didn’t that get confusing?” Edna replied, trying to control her amusement.

Ed shrugged. “Just forget it.”

“Whatever you say, Hoss.”

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Swinging Bridge

They turned at the GRANDFATHER MOUNTAIN sign and drove the winding road to the top. 

“I’m doing it,” Edna declared as she stared at the mile-high swinging bridge connecting two peaks. Ed felt woozy just getting out of the car at 5,946 feet above sea level. He found the safety of a nearby bench.

Edna returned exhilarated. “Wow. What a rush!”

“Me too,” Ed mumbled from the bench, barely able to speak. 

Walking back, they passed a couple coming in. “How was it?” asked the man.

“It’s a rush,” Ed replied abruptly, preempting Edna and wobbling toward the car.

This 99-word story is my contribution to the March 23 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write an adventure, experienced or witnessed."

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Lemonade Stand

Ed and Edna watched from their front window. Some neighborhood kids set up a rickety card table just off the sidewalk and brought out a pitcher and plastic cups. They fashioned a makeshift sign, propping it up with a rock:


Nothing happened for nearly two hours. That’s when Edna realized they just needed one thing to get business rolling. 

Edna cut her newly-baked chocolate cake into serving squares, put them on a plate and delivered them to the stand. 

Ed smiled from the window as a line gradually formed in front of the altered sign:

Lemonade and Cake

This 99-word story is my contribution to the March 16 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to write about the idea of "just one" -- with a bonus challenge to include cake in the story.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Lizard Man

Edna spotted the weathered marker just as Ed cleared away a branch at the beginning of the hiking trail: 


“You don’t believe it, do you?”

Ed laughed. “Course not. Seven feet tall? Three fingers on each hand and three eyes? Get real.”

Edna seemed comforted, but was still cautious. “Such silliness.”

Ed pointed the way forward. “This way, my love.”

Edna looked at the path and then at the marker. 

“You go first, Ed.”

“But you always like to set the pace.”

“Maybe you should lead this time.”

“It’s OK. You go ahead.”

“After you, dear.”

This 99-word story is my contribution to the March 9 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write a monster story."

Lizard Man is part of South Carolina folklore.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Gathering Place

“Shhh.” Ed raised his index finger to his lips. His granddaughter Ellen nodded and respectfully mimicked the gesture.

“Practically lived here,” Ed whispered as they entered the campus library. “Haven’t been back in ages.”

Ed froze just inside the doorway. He looked around to make sure it was still a library.

“Cool,” Ellen said in her normal voice.

Several students formed a line to order at the Campus Cappuccino Bar.  Study groups clustered at various tables engaged in animated conversations. Kids in a far corner rehearsed a class presentation. Work and fellowship seemed intertwined everywhere.

Very cool,” Ellen repeated.

This 99-word story is my contribution to the March 2 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write a story that includes a library."

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Censored TV

Ed checked the TV manual to see how to do it. He and Edna had never blocked channels on their TV before. With the grandchildren coming for a visit, Edna was adamant that they limit access to objectionable programming.

Ed found the correct section in the manual, checked the TV guide, and then meticulously blocked each channel showing the offensive material. He double checked to make sure he did it correctly.

Edna breathed a sigh of relief when Ed finished.

They relaxed knowing there’s no way the kids would be exposed to scheduled TV debates of the current presidential candidates.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Walking Partners

Edna continually checked her smartwatch for pace, distance and heart rate. Ed took in the sights and enjoyed the scenery.

They started out together, but it didn’t last. 

Ed was on a walk; Edna turned it into a gallop. They separated as Edna picked up her pace to meet her daily workout goals. 

At home afterwards, Edna fretted over the slower time to cover her target distance. Ed cooled down and relaxed with a glass of iced tea.

Edna vowed to do better tomorrow. Ed looked forward to another stroll.

“Great walking with you,” Ed said with a chuckle.

This 99-word story is for the February 24 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write a story about galloping."

Thursday, February 25, 2016

End Detour

“Finally,” Ed said as he rolled down the car window and looked out. “The citizens are fighting back.”

Edna was puzzled. “What are you talking about?”

“See that sign? Folks have had it with all this road construction.”

Edna still didn’t get it. “Huh? The sign says End Detour. It’s just a street sign.”

Ed shook his head. “No. No. That’s a protest sign, Edna. Like End War or End Abortion. The people are speaking out. Enough is enough.”

Edna laughed. “But, Ed, this is the end of the detour route.”

“Exactly,” Ed nearly shouted. “The citizen protest has worked!” 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Daily Walk

On his Monday walk through the park, Ed passed an elderly woman wearing a black hijab. “Nice day,” he remarked. The woman continued on, remaining silent and avoiding eye contact.

On Tuesday, Ed saw the woman veer off the trail ahead when she spotted him approaching.

On Wednesday, the woman came around the corner just as Ed entered the park. She seemed startled and immediately quickened her pace.

On Thursday, the woman continued walking toward Ed from the opposite end of the trail. Ed nodded with pleasure when he finally heard her accented voice.

“Another nice day,” she said.

This 99-word story is my contribution to the February 17 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write a story of a character who is diverse."

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Wild Thing

It drooled as it showed its canines and tilted its humongous orange head. Its low growl turned into a deafening roar. The other tigers took notice.

Ed froze in his tracks just inches away, trying to decide if he should make eye contact. He decided against it. 

Edna covered her mouth to squelch a scream that would only make matters worse. She gasped as a sharp claw reached out and swatted in Ed’s direction.

They suddenly heard something approach from behind, but were afraid to turn and look.

“Folks,” a voice said calmly. “The Zoo closes in five minutes.”

This 99-word story is my contribution to the February 10 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write a story about wild spaces."

Friday, February 5, 2016


“Yes! Yes! Yes!” Ed’s screaming alarmed Edna. She raced from the kitchen, heart thumping.

“You OK?”

“Yes! Yes! Yes!” Ed pumped his fists, unable to say anything else.

Edna turned to the blaring TV. The football game announcer was more delirious than Ed. 

“The greatest play I’ve ever seen!” the announcer screamed. “The Hawks outweigh ‘em 50 pounds per man, but never saw the fake coming. If you can’t overpower ‘em, then outsmart ‘em. That’s what the Tigers did!”

Edna turned back toward Ed.

“Yes! Yes! Yes!” 

“Whatever,” Edna said, shaking her head as she returned to the kitchen.

This 99-word story is my contribution to the February 3 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write a story that explores the question, 'What good is power?'"