FFfPP — The Off-Season

912C6270-710D-4F6A-B22A-8B1F541EAF71“I’m sick and tired of this ever present fog around here,” Marie said. “We haven’t seen the sun since we first arrived.”

“That’s why the rates are so cheap,” Jim said. “It’s the off-season here. This is the only way we could afford to take this trip. It would have cost three or four times more if we had booked during the high-season.”

“Then we should have gone somewhere else,” Marie said. “The brochure said that our cabin has an ocean view to the west and a mountain view to the east.” Pointing west, she said, “Do you see the ocean through the window, Jim?”

“No,” Jim responded.

Marie then turned and pointed toward the east. “What about the mountains?”

“No,” Jim said.

“No,” Marie said. “No ocean, no mountains. A fog so thick you can barely see your hands in front of your face. And it’s cold and damp. This is the worst vacation ever.”

“Are you done?” Jim asked.

“Yes, Jim, I’m so very done.”

Jim put on his cap and jacket and walked out of the cabin door.

“Where do you think you’re going?” Maria shouted after him, but Jim had already disappeared into the thick fog.

(200 words)

Written for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner from Roger Shipp. Photo credit: 14946675160vn34 AugustMorgue File.

FFfPP — Who’s a Good Boy?

57BDF863-4DB4-4015-8BB5-A93840AA0647“Who’s a good boy?” Adam called out to Bandit. “You’re a good boy. Oh yes you are.”

“If he’s such a good boy,” Sally said, “Why isn’t he listening to you? He’s just trotting away, not bringing the ball back.”

“He’ll bring it back to me when he’s ready,” Adam said to Sally. And then turning to Bandit, he said, “Yes you will, because you’re a good boy.”

“You seriously need to take that dog to obedience school,” Sally said.

“He is obedient,” Adam insisted, “But on his own terms, that’s all.”

“So who’s the master and who’s the pet in this dynamic?” Sally asked, “because he does whatever he wants and not what you want him to.”

As Adam and Sally were watching Bandit play in the pond’s shallow water, two men came up behind them. “Your wallets and your phones,” one of them, brandishing a knife, said. Sally screamed and Adam called out, “Bandit!”

The large golden retriever bounded out of the water, barking loudly. The man with the knife dropped it, and the two horrified muggers ran off.

“Who’s a good boy?” Sally said, bending down to embrace Bandit when he came running back to them. “You’re a good boy. Oh yes you are.”

(207 words)

Written for Roger Shipp’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner. Photo credit: MorgueFileJune2018 1418535473h5g6w. Sorry I went over the 200 word limit by seven words.

FFfPP — The Pumkin Harvest

9A8D1156-3948-495C-943A-98C3B11ACA9A.jpeg“Those goddam hoodlums are at it again,” Caleb complained to his brother as they headed out to the field to start harvesting their pumpkins.

“Relax, brother,” Jebediah said. “Those young hooligans do this every year right before the pumpkin harvest. It’s almost an annual tradition.”

“Well I don’t like it, Jeb,” Caleb said. “Our work is hard enough without them whippersnappers making it even harder.”

“Look at it this way, Caleb,” Jebediah said. “We would have to haul all of those pumpkins out of the field and over to our truck by ourselves, right?”

“Yeah,” Caleb admitted, “but now we have to unload a bunch of them out of the truck’s cab and away from the wheels and onto the truck bed. It’s just more for us to do.”

“That’s True,” Jebediah acknowledged, “but they were careful with the pumpkins. They didn’t destroy any of ‘em.”

“Oh, you mean like that group of boys from about fifteen years back that we caught smashing all of our pumpkins?” Caleb asked.

“Yeah, Caleb,” Jebediah answered. “And I heard that them very same boys formed a rock and roll band and cut a hit few records. Called themselves The Smashing Pumpkins.”

(199 words)

Written for this week’s Flash Fiction for Purposeful Practitioner from Roger Shipp. Photo credit: MorgueFile May 2018 1413924415vgvbk.

FFfPP — A Room With a View


I don’t consider myself to be voyeur. It’s just that I don’t have much to do these days. My TV is broken and my computer stopped functioning a long time ago. So basically, all I have to do with my time is to read…and peer.

I live across from a huge apartment complex. I have a telescope from my stargazing days, but instead of focusing on the night sky, I aim it at the apartment building across the street.

During the day there’s really not that much to see. People mostly keep their drapes drawn. But every once in a while my patience pays off and I see something interesting, like the woman who dries her clothes on a drying rack on her balcony. She often hangs her laundry out to dry when she’s just wearing a bra and panties. Nice.

But it’s at night, when people have their lights on, that the real shows begin. There’s the husband who’s always beating his wife, the lesbian couple who rarely draw the curtains when in their bedroom, or the guy who stands on his balcony and masturbates.

Who needs a TV or a computer when you have a telescope?

(199 words)

Written for this week’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner from Roger Shipp. Photo credit: Michael (Black) Ritter pexels-photo-41506.

FFfPP — Wanderlust

img_2283Pointing to the large, misshapen bubble floating in front of them as he and his wife sat on the park bench, Stanley said, “Now that, Mildred, is freedom. To just float anywhere the breezes take you. How I’d love to be that bubble.”

Mildred gave her husband a look. “Feeling a bit of wanderlust, are you Stanley, after fifty years of marriage?”

“I’m bored, Mildred,” Stanley responded. “We never do anything or go anywhere. We wake up each morning, eat, watch TV, come to the park and sit on this bench, go home, eat again, and go back to bed. Day in and day out, the same thing over and over.”

“Stanley, you’re 82 years old,” Mildred said. “I’m 76. What is it that you want us to go out and do? A little skydiving? Some bungee jumping?”

“I don’t know, Mildred,” Stanley said, “But I wish I were that bubble, so free, so unattached, so unencumbered.”

“Really, Stanley? Unencumbered? You know what I wish I were, Stanley?” she asked. “I wish I were a hat pin.”

“Why would you wish that?” Stanley asked.

“Because if I were a hat pin,” Mildred replied, “I would burst your stupid, fucking bubble.”

Written for this week’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner from Roger Shipp. Photo credit: MorgueFile May 2018 file1831341080767.