Sunday, January 31, 2016

Snow Removal

Ed was blown away. “Holy cow! It never snows like that around here.” 

Edna looked nervously at the steep driveway. “What’ll we do?” 

Ed grabbed his shovel but hesitated as he stared at the thick white covering. “There’s no way. We’ll just have to wait for it to melt.”

An hour later everything changed.

Six neighbors converged with flat shovels to scrape the snowy driveway. A path was cleared before they were even noticed.

“Where you going?” Edna asked as Ed retrieved his shovel.

“To join them at the Wilkins’ yard.”

Edna reached for her overcoat. “Wait for me!”

This 99-word story is my contribution to the January 27 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write a story about how a community reaches out."

Sunday, January 24, 2016


Ed sat on the front porch sipping the decaffeinated ice tea Edna made for him.

“Here comes Marvin!” he called out. Edna hurried to Ed’s side to watch the daily afternoon ritual.

The lovable Boxer rambled up the street, tail wagging with anticipation. “How does he know what time it is?” Ed asked. Edna shook her head in wonderment.

Marvin rose on his strong hind legs, sensing arrival of the large yellow vehicle. He barked with excitement when young Jeremy Watkins exited the school bus.

Ed smiled at the sheer joy on Jeremy’s face as the youngster spotted Marvin.

This 99-word story is my contribution to the January 20 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write a story about a boy and his dog."

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Surgical Procedure

The room was cleared. Edna left reluctantly, told she must wait with the others. She looked back, eyes remaining on Ed, as she was ushered into the outer room.

The operation began as usual. Instruments were laid out in exact order. The process was well defined and followed with precision.

The initial cut was successful. The foil came off cleanly.

Insertion of the instrument was perfect—no surprises or obstructions. Removal of the object was clean. 

Edna and the guests finally heard Ed's voice from the other room. “Success!”

Ed smiled with great satisfaction at the opened bottle of wine.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Rich Man, Poor Man

Once upon a time Charlie was rich. At least that’s what Ed always believed about his friend. Edna agreed.

But now Ed thinks Charlie is poor. Edna agrees.

Charlie? Well, he thinks he used to be poor, but is now rich. 

“He lives in a fairy tale,” Ed said to Edna.

Charlie changed almost immediately after his lottery winnings were certified. He abandoned his many friends and began spending lavishly on himself. Cars, clothes, houses, exotic vacations. His ex-wife and kids haven’t yet seen a dime. 

“Fairy tales . . .” Edna lamented, shaking her head. “Not all of them end well.”

This 99-word story is my contribution to the January 13 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to begin a fairy-tale story with "Once upon a time."

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Robot Vacuum

Edna was skeptical but finally relented.

When the PowerVacBot899S arrived, Ed read the instructions carefully, charged it, made a test run, and set the timer to auto mode.

Ed and Edna returned to their house several hours later to find the unit had run its course as scheduled. Tracks on the carpeting revealed it had covered the entire floor. Perfect, a relieved Ed thought.

Edna inspected the bin but found it completely free of debris.

“So, Mr. Technology, where’s the dirt?”

Ed looked puzzled, scratched his head and thought for a second. “Wow,” he said. “It even disintegrated the grime!”

Friday, January 8, 2016

Palmetto Trees

“What saved them?” The park ranger paused, waiting to see if anyone knew. His shiny badge glittered in the bright sun.

“Shallow water and palmetto trees,” Ed finally offered to break the silence. 

Ed knew the story of Fort Sullivan frontwards and backwards. Now he was standing in awe on the historic fort grounds.

Spongy palmetto logs thwarted cannon balls fired from distant British ships, sending the frustrated fleet away from Charleston, SC only days before Congress declared independence.

Ed grasped Edna’s hand as he imagined the terror of those caught up in a rebellion that changed the world.

This 99-word story is my contribution to the January 6 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write a rebellion."

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

New Year's Resolution

“Yes! I’ve got it,” Ed said as though the light had finally come on. “I know what my New Year’s resolution will be!”

“What, pray tell.” Edna said with amusement.

“You should know,” Ed replied. “You’re always telling me.”

“Huh? What do you mean?”

“This year I won’t take things so literally,” Ed proudly proclaimed.

Edna nodded. “You do have a tendency . . “

“I know. I know,” Ed interrupted. “But no more.”

Edna smiled and gave Ed a big hug. “I think that’s the cat’s pajamas,” she said approvingly.

Ed was puzzled as he looked around the room for the cat.

Sunday, January 3, 2016


“If we’re not moving forward, we’re moving backwards,” the self-assured mayor pontificated while snapping his purple suspenders with his thumbs.

Mayor Watkins showed renderings of the proposed high-rise hotel to be built smack in the middle of the quaint college town. Council Chair Bowers reviewed property tax projections from the development. “That’ll support other city improvements,” Bowers boasted.

Edna was startled when Ed blurted out loud exactly what she was thinking.

“The city improvement we need most is to embrace basic values.”

Facing the projection screen, Watkins and Bowers froze, knowing that Ed and Edna were in the audience.

This 99-word story is my contribution to the December 30 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write an industrious story."