PUNch Out

You’re in an epic pun off; whit is spewing out of your mouth and your opponent’s mouth with punishing purpose. What are some sweet puns you could use to really wipe the smile off your opponent’s face? Make sure not to frown on the worst of puns either—they’re all beautiful. Write this scene and battle of puns.

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

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493 thoughts on “PUNch Out

  1. Cynthia Page

    Prose Poetry Instructions:

    Prose poetry takes a slightly skewed sense of the absurd. Take a scenario and give it a twist—off cap, so you can get inside with your tweezers and pluck out the words that are stuck, the ones on the tip of your tongue in cheek. Don’t hesitate; spit them out and wipe off the page later. Separate catchy lines from insidious memes opposed to conjunction. Lay them out in the glaring light of circumstance. Obstinate phrases may jump out and point at something concealed while laughing at your attempts to capture them whole. You’ll find fragments of thoughts that dance around and refuse to bed down on the page when scolded. Little pun-imps coiled up inside may slither away when you try to pin them up for display. Check phrase-imps that don’t pause. Don’t count on inspiration—it’s elusive and its handles are slippery. Try to pour inspiration onto a page without discretion, and you’ll have to scrape off unsightly blots. When you think you have your prose poem all sorted out, and your words are all dressed up for a party with the ink cartridge, take another look. Sure as your mother has eyes in the back of her head, something will peer at you and sneer. Be sure it’s not syntax hissing at you, or you’ll have to reshape your prose with an ax. Be alert for clauses that predicate; they kidnap ideas. Pay due attention, or you may never see that inkling again.

    1. jhowe

      That was clever Cynthia Page. I’ve had to scrape off a few unsightly blots on more than a few occasions. I wish I’d had these instructions sooner. I enjoyed this very much. Well done.

      1. Cynthia Page

        Haha. So have I. These instructions have gone through all the filters recommended above, including blots and slitherers, and imps. Still might be something lurking in there, though.

    1. lionetravail

      How do you think he got a gold finger?

      Ms. Galore went on to a career in comedy, but got locked up. She was very funny, that’ why 40 years later they’re all yelling “Free Pussy (she’s a) Riot!”

      Hmm, chores, maybe more later 🙂

    2. jhowe

      In my ongoing quest to remain demure, I have changed the name to Party Galore for this particular correspondence. I have attended some expensive parties in my days as well as some cheap parties. It’s hard to recall which were preferable. In fact, I’ve never met a party I didn’t like, at least for a little while. Don’t get me started on virgin parties; I think I would rather attend an experienced party to avoid doing all the work. There have been a few frigid parties that were short lived and an occasional nympho party that were also short lived as they are not all they are cracked up to be. Occasionally one considerers hiring a caterer for his party but I won’t go into that. Party on.

      I must admit I got married at a young age and am still in love with my wife, so these accounts are completely fictional, but a guy has thoughts.

    3. MCKEVIN

      I’m glad you enjoyed it Kerry and I hope we (all the writers here) will do it again the future. Can you believe I stomped I mean stumped jhowe? That was a first for me! jhowe has the talent to write effortlessly but I got him this time. I’m still giddy about it. If the PunDown was a tennis match I would have jumped over the net to shake his hand. For real dough. And I have lioneltravil to thank for making it all possible.

  2. sjmca1966

    Otterman and Dolphinboy in – Revenge of Teuthida the Squid Woman – Part 2 Of the Story that Began Last Week (Unless you’re reading this in the future that is. (If you are, can we teleport yet?)) –

    Otterman yelled into the ear of his companion, “Dolphinboy! Wake-up Dolphinboy!”
    Dolphinboy soon came round (Medical Fact: Yelling in someones ear is the best way to wake them from a narcotic induced coma
    The conveyor came to a halt, “I’m afraid the end is near for you, my nautical nemesis,” said Teuthida.
    “I’m naughty-cool as well?” whispered Dolphinboy, “Or doesn’t she know the plural of nemesis? Man, if my hands were free I’d flipper the bird”
    “Now’s not the time,” whispered Otterman, “How tight are the ropes binding you?”
    “Um, pretty loose actually. How about yours?”
    “With her clumsy fish-fingers, and lack of opposable thumbs. I don’t think tying knots is her strong suit.”
    “What did you say?” yelled Teuthida.
    “He said you need to get your herring checked,” said Dolphinboy.
    “I’d love to stay and watch your demise, but I have bigger fish to fry (why on Earth don’t they ever stay?).
    “I’m a mammal, for Neptune’s sake!” yelled Dolphinboy, “You’ll end up on squid row and then we’ll see who fries.”
    (Insert maniacal laugh here) The conveyor began moving again before Teuthida departed, “Dam, we still don’t know how she escaped that flaming volcano,” said Dolphinboy.
    “Language!” said Otterman.
    “Sorry, I don’t do it on porpoise.”
    Just as Otterman freed his hands, he received a text, “Who’s it from?” asked Dolphinboy.
    “It’s a warning from the Sturgeon General.”
    “What’s the big beluga warning about this time”
    “Apparently Teuthida has declared Fatwa on Salmon Rushdie.”
    Otterman untied Dolphinboy and they rushed out of the fish processing plant to find themselves standing on a pier, “Where do you think we are?” asked Dolphinboy.
    “You can’t, she’s gone.”
    “No. Look at the sign on the building.”
    “Oh, The Alaska Fish Processing Plant, well spotted. Wait, I think I’ve picked her up on sonar, she’s heading for that cruise ship in the distance.”
    “Quick, follow me,” said Otterman, as he dove into the sea.
    Dolphinboy followed, “Holy carp, it’s cold,” he said.
    When they reached the ship, they saw Teuthida clambering up the anchor chain.
    Dolphinboy noticed a passenger staring down at the proceedings, “Isn’t that—”
    “Yes it’s Observerman,” Otterman interrupted.

    Stay tuned for the conclusion. . .

    *Apparently it’s not and you should always seek advice from a medical professional (my bad).

  3. Arazimith

    “Gilbert, please tell me you are not wearing that to the meeting,” asked Judy.

    Gilbert replied by spinning the propeller on his beanie and saying, “Of course, I am. It’s ironic.”

    “No, Gil, it’s not. If you had beat up nerds in high school then it would be ironic, but you were a nerd in high school. You are still a nerd. It’s not ironic. It’s apropos.”

    “Whatever”, said Gilbert as he opened the door to the board room.

    They took their seat near the middle of the long board conference table and waited for the last few stragglers to show. When everyone was seated, Stan stood up and said, “If you have read the recent company memo, you know that I am preparing to take a six month hiatus, the reason for which I will not go into. The reason for this meeting is to announce who will take my place during that time.

    “I had narrowed it down to a couple of people in this room. It wasn’t until I saw him that I knew who my choice was. Gilbert stand up please. It’s you,” finished Stan.

    Judy promptly spoke up and asked, “May I ask why he is your pick?”

    Stan smiled and said, “Simple. The whirly nerd gets the firm.”

  4. k.spicer

    I saw a similar joke but I didn’t like it so I changed it. Here it is in its revision, hope you like it!

    Three government agents (CIA, Mossad, KGB) went into the woods to catch a rabbit.

    The CIA: after 11 months of surveillance, the death of 3 agents and after clearing the forest of all vegetation with the use of Agent Orange scanned all the dead animals with face recognition software until they found a match in their data base and then closed the case.

    The Mossad: after only two hours, successively tracked, trapped, interrogated, and convinced the rabbit to switch sides and spy for them.

    The KGB: after only 20 minutes had captured a grizzly bear, interrogated it and got a confession out of him that he “was” the rabbit and got a list of his other family members and friends that were also rabbits.


    “Hi lionetravail, recently Joe Blow (I can call him that since he didn’t have a name in the interview right lionetravail?) interviewed the famous poet Habi S. Corpus, did he say the name of his poem about dead people or is he still missing in action?

        1. MCKEVIN

          jhowe, here’s his posting. Does this sound like he’s afraid?

          August 19, 2014 at 1:22 pm

          Ms. Goodhead-

          I would be excited to go head-to-head with you for any and all reasonable requests! And, for such a star as yourself, perhaps even some unreasonable ones, as well. To be sure, I think that the oral interplay in an interview format would be astonishingly stimulating to a watching audience. I am happy to count myself a firm member of your fan club, and ready to indulge your desires in this regard at a moment’s notice.

          Yours truly,


          1. jhowe

            Actually no. He sounds quite sure of himself. He has a way of being risque without being risque. Quite a talent.

    1. lionetravail

      Mr. Blow was the victim of an act of violence during the first commercial break- we’re sorry to announce that he was, er, blown away by a cocaine pusher, in what we intend to call a “Blow Job” in tomorrow’s headlines.

      In lieu of this unfortunate incident, I’m happy to fill in the missing details until the police investigation blows over.

      The poem was about the untimely death of Harold Ramis, early in 2014- the title was “Ghosbusting- a Chance To Earn One’s Stripes”.

          1. MCKEVIN

            “Brillant you say!” I wrote you two a song. You wanna hear it? Okay hear it go. To the tune of “Hokey Pokey.”

            You put your best “Puns” in,
            You take your best “Puns” out,
            You put your best “One” in
            And you shake the “Blow” out.
            You do the Smokey Jokey
            Did you hear what I said
            Notes from Jenny Goodhead!

            Repeat: Once.

        1. MCKEVIN

          Reply to 4:52pm post 8 19 2014

          Oh its on like a pot of neck bones. You issued a challenge and I accepted.

          “Goodhead is not hard to find. However,
          Without further ado,
          My advice to you two,
          Is never bite off more
          than you two can chew!”

          Can you two say concede?

          1. lionetravail

            Ms. Goodhead’s a leading authority,
            on things which should be a priority:
            nimble lips and tongues,
            and a good set of lungs,
            are pleasing to Immoral Majority.

      1. MCKEVIN

        Oh I’d heard Mr. Blow was the pun that got away. If you use his story you won’t have to start at square pun tomorrow. I would have helped you if needed besides two heads are better than pun. Sorry to hear about Mr. Ramis. I heard he was tons of pun.

        1. jhowe


          I had to use my considerable influence to prevent the pun police from raiding that last submittal. Once they were told that was the nature of the prompt, they backed off.

      2. lionetravail

        We are only able to show the first stanza of the seasonal elegy in honor of Mr. Ramis, due to concerns about our new Xerox product, the DyslX model- it’s led to several cases of copywrong infringement:

        You were not igna, Ramis-
        you were the stuff of dreams.
        Even peeing made you famous,
        when you said “Don’t cross the streams”.

        It is, one of our autistic directors has asserted, a shining example of the bare minimum requirements for a ‘spectrum’ diagnosis.

          1. MCKEVIN

            Thanks okay about the name Augie. I know what you meant and I hope you enjoyed our little exercise. Lol.

      3. MCKEVIN

        That was good lionetravil. Lol. You and jhowe made my day. You two are pretty good at punning. For real dough. I know there were others reading and watching and I thank Augie for chiming in. Lol. We’ll have to do that again somethyme. Lol.


    08 19 2014

    Dear Fellow Writers at Writersdigest.com:

    You are invited to partake in the first “Pun Throw Down.” It will be pretty much a no holds barred writing exercise that everyone is welcome to participate in. We did something similar awhile back when I got trapped in the gift shop with the owner who had red hair, milky white skin and eyes the color of water. Remember? lionetravail and I will jump it off.

    See you there so don’t be square…

    Poetically Speaking,


          1. jhowe

            No, that’s not it. I was think of saying that exclamation points are overexemplified, but that doesn’t seem right either.

  7. lionetravail

    Interviewer: We’re here today with famous poet, Habi S. Corpus, who has written another intense and wonderful poem about a departed hero. Mr. Corpus, welcome to “Poets Who Know It”.

    Mr. Corpus: Thank you so much.

    Interviewer: Tell our audience how you got into writing tribute poems to people who’ve already passed.

    Mr. Corpus: Well, I always get into a more sober and somber mood as we head into autumn, and my thoughts turn to the changes in the natural world, like the leaves, and plants, and all. And it causes some resonance in me, and I find that I want to express feelings of loss and mortality in my writing.

    Interviewer: Autumn? You don’t get the same feeling in any other season?

    Mr. Corpus: No, it’s really quite particular- I’ve been diagnosed with ‘seasonal elegies’.

    1. jhowe

      Passing the time before the next prompt are we? Very well done interview that leads us very nicely to the revealing pun. I could almost hear a drum roll in the background.

      1. lionetravail

        Hee! I am nowhere near punned out. I personally believe the pun is mightier than the sword, that a good pun is its own reword, and that if you get hit with enough barbed ones you end up looking like a puncushion.

        (I’m still working on getting them out of my system before the next prompt hits :))

      2. jhowe

        I can’t take credit for this, but would this be considered a pun or just a bad joke?

        Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath.
        This made him a super callused fragile mystic plagued with halitosis.

    2. MCKEVIN

      8 19 2014

      Dear Lionetravail:

      I had the pleasure (no pun intended) of reading your most recent submission pertaining to the most recent prompt posted at Writersdigest.com. Let me first say thank you for sharing. This is an eggxelent eggample of punning at its best. The only eggception here is that the interviewer has no name. A minor oversight of detail I’m sure. I’m sure there are many reporters who would kill to snag an interview with the famous poet Habi S. Corpus. I loaned my services out before so this would be piece of cake. So I could recommend an interviewer who will look at the interview with a different set of eyes but I won’t. Lol. Also, who sponsored this eggemplary interview? I could recommend a sponsor but I won’t. I feel the interviewer in the piece will eggel in their own write.

      Again, thank you for sharing and I look forward to reading many more of your creative submissions.


      J. Goodhead
      Anchor/ Satirist Extraordinaire
      W L-I-E News Station

      1. lionetravail

        Ms. Goodhead-

        I would be excited to go head-to-head with you for any and all reasonable requests! And, for such a star as yourself, perhaps even some unreasonable ones, as well. To be sure, I think that the oral interplay in an interview format would be astonishingly stimulating to a watching audience. I am happy to count myself a firm member of your fan club, and ready to indulge your desires in this regard at a moment’s notice.

        Yours truly,


        1. MCKEVIN

          08 19 2014 – 1:18pm

          Dear L:

          Game On!

          Poetically Yours,
          J. Goodhead

          PS: I’ve taken the liberty to invite the Writer’s Forum at Writersdigest.com to partake in our soiree. How do you suggest we proceed? Perhaps the writers ould be your fictitious Habi S. Corpus since the real one (wink wink) is missing in action due to ‘seasonal elegies’? What did the famous poet say was the name of his little poem anyway?

  8. thexpressivewriter

    It’s been awhile since my last writing prompt seeing as life suddenly became hectic. I don’t even know if what I write qualify as puns, but I’ll do my best…

    “Did you hear? Did you hear? He lost his ear!” exclaimed Smithy Miles, the resident gossip.

    “Miles, don’t tease the poor dear,” Layla Barons chided the elderly man with mild annoyance. “It’s not his fault he got assaulted for beer a couple miles of here.”

    “No problem, Lays. You know how he runs,” Crass Downs’ voice entered the conversation, attracting all eyes. His sister was beside him. The brunette sighed, muttering, “What wouldn’t I give to have a packet of Lays right now..to eat’em while lying on my bed..”

    His sister, Rolena “Rolls” Royce rolled her eyes, “Lying, lying, lying…that’s all you ever do. One of these days, your pants are going to be on fire.”

    Smithy Miles burst into laughter; Layla chuckled and Crass Downs gave his sister the middle finger.

    “Did I hear ‘fire’?!” Came the voice of Denser Johns as he hurriedly approached them, alarmed. “We should call the firemen – ouch!”

    He tripped over a rock, almost knocking Crass down in the process as he landed with a painful thump. A silver object rolled out of his pants pocket and he scrambled to get it.

    “Oh come on, I don’t want to run for this!” Denser complained as he finally caught the object and –

    “What the hell!? Fu – Damn it, my pants are on fire!”

    “What was – that’s it! Crass, stop drop and roll!”

    1. Kerry Charlton

      If this is what goes on in the retirement villages around the country, I ain’t goin’. I’d rather die with my boots strapped to my suspenders. I really liked this, shudder, shudder. How old did I say I was? None of your concern!

  9. agnesjack

    I am not good at punning but I do appreciate a good pun, so I’ll just tell two stories of my favorite spontaneous puns.


    When my late husband, Mark, was in college, he shared a big house with a bunch of guys. One night they were hanging out, drinking and doing whatever else a bunch of college guys might do, when one of them raised his glass, or beer bottle, more likely, and said:

    “I drink, therefore I am.”

    Without hesitation, another responded:

    “Yes. Until Descartes me away.”


    When Mark and I were dating, we were having a conversation about language and words, and I said I always got entomology and etymology mixed up.

    “One is the study of insects and one is of words,” I said.

    “No no,” Mark replied. “Entomology — isn’t that the study of coffee cakes?”

    1. Kerry Charlton

      Very sweet response. I’m sure there are thousands of memories of Mark. He must have been a very special man to capture the likes of you. Memories, what would we do without them? This is a rare treat for me to read just two of them.

  10. kj6hvc

    Not really a fan of the “sillier” prompts, but I’ll take it as a challenge to go outside my comfort zone. Here goes:

    The two men stood behind their lecterns on the podium, trying not to stare at the bright lights. The heat from the lights was noticeable, and beads of sweat formed on each of their heads, some of it from the heat. The lights also meant the men could not well see the faces of the audience. But of course, neither betrayed their nervousness, just as their crisp suits betrayed no wrinkles. Arthur Pennington stood, as he always did, his hands lightly gripping either side of the podium, and a friendly smile displaying a set of perfect teeth. Opposite him on the stage, Albert McDermot flashed no teeth, but did display a slight crooked mischievous smile. Both men were running on adrenaline and anticipation.
    Behind the moderator, a production assistant appeared and spoke to the two men on the podium and the moderator in front of them. “Alright, we’re back in five, four, three …” he said, counting down with his fingers as he spoke. The last two numbers he gestured silently.
    The moderator looked at the cards in his hands, and then looking up at the camera in front of him. “And welcome back to our studio audience, misters McDermott and Pennington, and of course to our viewers at home. To briefly recap, both gentlemen have two points, and we now begin our fifth and final round. As you no doubt are aware, the third point wins. One side note, this is the first time in our six-year run that we’ve progressed to the fifth round. To be neck-and-neck after four rounds is indeed an exciting new precedent.” Then looking slightly above the camera, he addressed the men on the stage. “No matter who wins, both of you are indeed fine examples of what we look for in these proceedings.” On cue, the audience politely applauded. The moderator looked again at the camera.
    “And from this point forward, we do ask the audience here in the UGI Auditorium for absolute silence.” The great room fell silent. These sorts of events were to be taken seriously. “And without further ado, let’s begin. Mister Pennington, you won the coin toss, and the category is…” He looked down to read the card, looked up again, and said,


    Pennington raised his eyebrows and nodded appreciatively. “A good category for the final round,” he said, “It will really…fit the bill.” He looked over to McDermott, it was his opponent’s turn now.
    “Ah,” he said, “good one. But you don’t need to shout. The folks at home will need to turn the volume down.”
    “Sorry,” replied Pennington without hesitating, “I thought I was too quiet and needed to beak up.”
    “You had that one ready pretty quick … are you sure you’re weren’t Peking at the category during the break?”
    “Of course not, that would be fowl.”
    “True, but some people quack up under pressure.”
    “Pressure, no pressure…I can remain calm eider way.”
    And then McDermott stammered. He had been planning on using “eider” also, but under Association rules, duplicates were not allowed. “ah, um, That’s…” he started. His brain was furiously trying to come up with something for “feather,” but his focus was lost. He hesitated, and more than three seconds passed.

    The buzzer sounded. McDermott had lost. Enraged, he screamed out, and pushed the lectern over. McDermott reached into his suit coat and pulled out a pistol. The moderator and the audience gasped collectively. “You stole my word! I can’t lose!” he yelled at Pennington, and fired three rounds.

    As Pennington’s corpse fell to the floor, McDermott snickered. “I can’t lose, because,” he snickered again, “because I gave it my best…shot.”

    The moderator looked at Pennington’s lifeless form, and then looked at McDermott.

    “That…had nothing to do with ducks,” he said.

    1. lionetravail

      Well written, funny, and an unfortunate, shocking end to a ‘pun is mightier than the sword, but maybe not the gun’ competition. (Since you have the extra words to fill out to 500, I’d love to see a bit more detail in the end to close out this great story with ‘the’ perfect exit line.)

      This was so much fun, that my brain wants to fill in after ‘… had nothing to do with ducks,” he said…. (see, you got me thinking about it and so into it!)

      “No? You must be sitting in the blind then,” McDermott riposted.

      “But… you’ll go to prison!”

      “After winning this, it’s just sauce for the goose.”

      “But, for murder, you could get the death penalty!!”

      “Yeah, but at least it’s my swan song.”

      The announcer hung his head. “Fine, you win,” he said, defeated, eyes on the dead Pennington as sirens could be heard in the distance.

      “We only live on a wing and a prayer anyway,” said McDermott, bringing the pistol to his temple…

      (And yes, there so should be pun competitions :))

    2. WritingKittenOfLoki

      To kj6hvc:
      Hilarious! I think this has one of the greatest ending lines ever. McDermott wins in the end.

      To everyone:
      I’m not punny enough to do this prompt, but I have really enjoyed getting to read the replies, great works.

    3. Reaper

      Other than the opening couple of sentences being a bit too heated for me this was near perfection. Beautiful writing and I liked the bolding of the words in this case. I was actually very fond of ending on the had nothing to do with ducks. That cracked me up.

  11. lionetravail

    No Atheists
    (with special thanks to Jay “The Doc” Wilson, who challenged me to try a serious piece in a pun prompt- a little long, but it needed it, IMHO)

    Medic Luke Richardson shook his head, trying to clear it. He couldn’t hear, and the ambient smoke made him cough, and then memory returned in a rush, together with the roar of the battle around him. A shell must have hit his foxhole, his panicked mind put together, and he frantically ran his hands over his body as he lay curled in the moist dirt.

    He heard a moan to one side. Luke glanced at his hands, and gave a short prayer of thanks when saw no blood on them, nor felt pain anywhere. The phrase “no atheists in foxholes” came to him abruptly, and he shivered, finally, really understanding it for the first time since he’d arrived in France in October of last year, 1917.

    He raised his head, carefully still below ground level, and looked left. George Lafton lay on his back, a small pool of blood under him, hands to his belly and his bloody uniform front. “Oh God,” Luke breathed. “George!”

    Nineteen year old PFC George Lafton’s eyes were slitted, and his breath came short and fast. “I’m hit bad, Luke!” he said in a voice tight with pain.

    “Jesus! You’ll be okay, George!” Luke said, reaching for his pack and the medical supplies inside. “I’ll take care of you, you’re gonna make it.”

    Shouted commands identified other American soldiers in nearby positions, as well as much more distant shouts in German. More shells fell to pummel their position, and made the medic’s ears ring as he pulled gauze and morphine ampules out. He crawled to George and did a quick exam, moving his buddy’s hands away from the stomach wound- it looked like a large piece of shrapnel had hit- and checked around the back with a worried look at the blood underneath. He found a large exit wound, and then the smell of feces hit him full on, and he gagged.

    “I’mgonnadie I’mgonnadie…!” moaned Lafton, over and over, grimacing and hissing as Luke shoved a bunch of padded gauze into the back exit wound, wedging it with a rock from the foxhole to apply pressure.

    “I… I got morphine George, I’m gonna give it, okay?”

    George moaned, whimpering, eyes screwed shut. He nodded.

    Luke jabbed him in the thigh and squeezed to inject the medicine. George’s breathing hitched, then about a minute later, eased.

    Chaos continued around them, and Luke covered the belly wound with sulphanilamide powder and more gauze.

    “The pain is less, is it getting better?” George asked, eyes slightly glazed. He looked awful pale to Luke, a ghost of the indefatigable jokester of the past months since they’d been rotated to the front.

    “Yeah George,” Luke lied, suppressing a sob. “It’s already looking better buddy.”

    “Good,” the wounded man sighed. “But I’m not going to make it, am I Luke?”

    “Sure man, you’re going to…”

    “Don’t lie to a dying man,” George demanded, voice cracking. “If I’m going to die, I’m doing it on my terms, so don’t lie to me Luke.”

    “I… we can’t move you while the fighting… you’ve lost a lot of b…” Luke felt his cheeks hot with tears. “You’re dying, George- I’m so sorry,” he finally choked out.

    “Not your fault, Luke,” George said, eyes closing as he breathed out. “‘It’s all in a day’s work’,” he said, faint smile on his lips as he quoted one of the famous recruiting posters they all made fun of since getting to France. “Hell, I know Uncle Sam wanted us, but nobody said he was going to take us out for French food and then screw us,” he joked in a weak voice.

    Luke had to smile through his tears. “When did any of us ever get French food? We got canned spam and peas.”

    “Yeah, I know,” George said. “You think people back home are buying enough bonds to ‘Crush the Menace of the Peas’?” he said.

    Luke chuckled and wiped his eyes, and noticed a lull in the firing. Cautiously, he checked his friend’s wounds, saw that the pressure dressings were saturated with blood, but none had joined what was already mixed into the mud of the foxhole floor.

    “Do me a favor, Luke?” George said in a small voice.


    “Don’t cry for me in years to come- laugh, okay?”

    “I… I’ll try, George, God knows I’ll try my best.”

    “Have some.. French food.. for me, one… of these… days?” George breathed. “Remember the posters: Well Fed… Soldiers… Win the War.”

    The lull ended abruptly as a new shell landed close, blasting more dirt over them and shaking the whole world. When it stopped, Luke found himself lying over George, whose eyes were staring open, unblinking. In a panic, he saw that there was dirt and pebbles scattered across them, and knew that his friend was gone.

    He sat up, then leaned back against the wall of the foxhole, tears running down his cheeks freely now. He unscrewed the top of his canteen and raised it up. “Here’s mud in your eye, George,” he said with half-laugh, half-sob, and drank. He hoped his friend, wherever he was, approved, even as the war continued to rage around him.

    1. lionetravail

      Hmm, I messed up my timelines a bit- for the record, spam didn’t show up until 1937, and sulfa powder was invented around 1932, and didn’t end up widespread on the battlefield til the 1940’s. Should have done more exhaustive research first, but hey, this is fiction, so theoretically I can do as I please 😉

  12. lionetravail

    The Most Outrageous Collection

    “Dude! Seriously you’re saving those?”

    “Well, I got this aluminum bat and game ball for donating to the local little league,” Mark said hotly. “It’s not going out to the curb to be sold for a freaking dollar!”

    “Uh huh,” Darren said. “Hey, I always knew you were an athletic supporter.”

    “Oh, you so did not go there!”

    “I so, so, so did, buddy,” Darren grinned.

    “Alright, just remember, you started this,” Mark said. “Well, I may be an athletic supporter, but at least I got the balls for it.”

    Darren laughed. “Not bad, not bad at all. Man!” he exclaimed, looking around the dusty attic. “You’ve got so much junk!”

    “Hey, it’s not junk, most of this stuff is pretty sweet!” Mark asserted.

    Darren just snorted.

    “No, really! Check this out,’ Mark said, holding up a wide strap of leather. “Belonged to Sonny and Cher’s kid, before the, er, change.”

    “Are you trying to tell me you have a Chastity’s belt?” Darren guffawed.

    Mark grumbled his irritation. “Well what about this?” He pointed to a huge wood carving of two dolphins leaping from the water past each other.

    Darren was laughing so hard he could barely get the words out. “I’d say you’ve been working at crossed porpoises.”

    Mark gave him a heartfelt raspberry. “Well, if you don’t like that, check out this,” he said. Mark pulled a grungy drop-cloth off of a tiny piano, complete with a one foot tall doll which sat at it. He wound up a key in the doll’s back and it began to play heavenly music on the miniature instrument.

    “Nice. If you can find any half-baked girls who like classical, you’ve got yourself a regular ‘Bait Oven,” Darren said, cackling.

    “Sheesh- quit being such a boner and I’ll show you the coolest thing I got.”

    It took over five minutes of fitful laughter before Darren could keep a straight face. “Okay, okay,” he said. “What’s this ‘coolest thing’?

    “That.” Mark pointed at a small brass something, sitting over to one side of a makeshift shelf.

    “What’s so cool about that?”

    “It’s a genie’s lamp, Darren, right out of the sands of Saudi Arabia,” Mark said. “When I was in the Gulf, yanno?”

    “Bull-freaking-crap,” came the immediate response. “Why’re you being a buzzkill, Mark? So I made fun of you a little…” Darren said.

    “I’m totally serious about this.”

    “Get out…” and then Darren saw the very serious expression on Mark’s face, and stopped. He shrugged, and, the feint accomplished, he lunged for the brass lamp and immediately rubbed it.

    “Oh, hell no, don’t you crazy…!” Mark cried, but it was too late- smoke started pouring from the lamp, coalescing into a classic robed- and turbaned- genie, just like in old movies.

    “What is thy wish, my master?” the genie asked Darren.

    “I want a million bucks right here, right now!” yelled a wide-eyed Darren, just as Mark cried: “No, you don’t know what you’re doing…!”

    Suddenly, there was a horrible clatter as tiny figurines began falling out of the air, each about a half-inch high. The sound of them dropping to the attic floor, and every available surface, was like a staccato rain.

    Darren had a stunned expression on his face as Mark grabbed the lamp from him, did something, and the genie swirled back into smoke and was drawn back into the lamp.

    “Holy crap!” Darren croaked, and bent down to lift up a handful of the figurines. They were all Donald Duck, he saw. “What the…?”

    “You didn’t let me finish the story, ‘buddy’,” Mark said with a snarl. “The damned genie is hard of hearing- you never get exactly what you wished for.” He looked around helplessly. “What am I going to do with this mess?” he complained.

    “Wait, you have a genie, but it’s hearing-freaking-impaired?” Darren said.

    “Yeah, you total boner,” Mark responded with annoyance. He pointed at the mini piano and the doll sitting at it. “You really freaking think I wished for a twelve inch pianist?”

      1. Kerry Charlton

        You amaze me David. You turn stories, essays, and poems out in such a rapid fire manner, It truly amazes me. I’ve done houses for brain surgeons, heart surgeons, hand surgeons, hip surgeons and horse surgeons. Not a one of which had any talrent in writing. Have you ever wondered about that?
        Back to this story, the build up is so much fun to read. I had also heard the joke before but totally forgot it with all the build up. Slam dunk! On to the next one.

        1. lionetravail

          Some weeks are more free than others, and some prompts stimulate more than others, I guess.

          Thank you for the kind words, and thoughts. I think that everyone’s probably got some talent, but not everyone allows themselves to express it. For me, I really enjoy telling stories and writing, and I’m at a point in my life where it’s fun for me to spend time doing it. I’m so gratified for the fine community here, which allows me to share my stuff, and learn from other people, and to practice the craft of writing. I’m sure I’m a better writer now than I was 6 months ago, primarily from trying new things, getting feedback, and learning from others.

          Maybe not everyone is ready to share their thoughts, hearts, and talent :), and it’s as simple as that.


    “Hi I’m Jenny Goodhead your always on top news anchor at station W-L-I-E. We’re interrupting your regularly scheduled reading to bring you breaking news regarding Captain Biggie Stick. Last night Captain Stick’s dingy capsized near Navy Pier in Chicago. The Coast Guards report that the search for Captain’s Stick’s dingy has been cut off. The divers sighted they were just fucking tired of looking. Major Pleasure the head (no pun intended) of that agency is here to give us a heads up. Thank you for coming so soon Major Pleasure.”
    “I’d come for you anytime Ms. Goodhead.”
    “Did you find the Captain’s Stick?”
    “Yes we found Captain’s Stick’s huge vessel standing straight up.”
    “Oh, so he has a big one?”
    “Biggest one I’ve ever seen.”
    “And you’re saying it was erect?”
    “Pointing straight towards the sky is what I’m saying.”
    “Is your side of the room getting warm too?” Jenny fans herself.
    “You look Marvelous?”
    “I do don’t I?”

    Fade to…

    Announcer: “A word from our sponsor The Happy Cat Douche Company©.”

    A barbershop quartet harmonized to Row row row your boat.

    We, clean clean clean your cat
    The cleanest you’ve ever seen
    Crud, paste and other waste
    Disappears just like a dream.©

    Fade to…

    “And we’re back with Major Pleasure. Now you were saying-?”
    “Marvellous you look-“
    “Will you stop? You were speaking of Biggie’s Stick. Please tell us more about it.”
    “You mean Captain Stick?”
    “Oh okay.”
    “First we went where the Captain’s dingy hung out with his best friend-.
    “Harry Balls?”
    “Harry Balls? Jenny asked.
    “Oh my -”
    “I need some-“
    “Yes?” Major Pleasure leaned in closer to Jenny’s face.
    “Water. Let’s take a break.”

    Fade to…

    Announcer: “The Happy Cat Douche Company© is out to clean up the cats of America©.”

    The quartet harmonized to 3 Blind Mice.

    We’ll clean your cat, we’ll clean your cat
    Jus’ like that, jus’ like that,
    Sludge, Crud, and other waste
    We’ll clean it all without a trace
    Jus’ like that jus’ like that©

    Fade to…

    “Is there anything my audience or I can do to help find Biggie’s Stick Major Pleasure?”
    “You mean Captain Stick?”
    “Oh okay.”
    “We need your lip service Ms. Goodhead.”
    “You do…?”
    “So can we count on you to put out-?”
    “Yes I can help Major get the word out but how will you find-…”
    ”We’re going to pull his dingy out after it explodes, wipe it off and check it for prints.”
    “Oh that could get inter-“
    “It could-“
    “You’ll have to come again Major Pleasure.”
    “That’s my intention Ms.Goodhead.”

    In other news tonight…“Paula Deen tried to join the NAACP, Larry King came out of retirement again and Garga Mel took Smurfette Smurf to task on “The Maury Show” because he found out he’s not Baby Smurf’s father. Please stay tune for these and other news stories. This is Jenny Goodhead your always on top news anchor at station W-L-I-E .

      1. Kerry Charlton

        It’s better then great, it’s marvelous. There is so much in here, it just goes on and gets better. It’s smokin’ hot MCKEVIN. Every man’s dream and you brought her to life. Please, oh please what number is she on the dial. I hope it AM because I’m still saving up for a radio with an FM band. Great Scott!

        1. MCKEVIN

          No Great Jenny! Lol. Thanks Kerry. You know Jenny is a throwback from a while ago when the prompt was dealing with puns. I brought her back because this prompt was calling her by name. Lol. Thanks again for reading and commenting.

          PS – Jenny cam be found digitally at FM 0.69. Lol. Have a good day.

      1. MCKEVIN

        Actually I love watching “Adult Swim” and I thought to write this after watching several episodes of dark humor. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    1. Reaper

      To hook so well with a story like this. Your opening had me reaching to protect sensitive areas and then the reactions and the comedy got better and better. Just amazing.

      1. MCKEVIN

        I’m glad you have a heighten sense of humor. I created this character over a year and introduced her here at Writersidgest.com. Jenny was so well received that I’m trying to do an expanded piece around her. (No pun intended.) Thanks for reading and commenting as always.

  14. Kerry Charlton

    [See last week’s prompt, part three]


    Having overslept the next morning, Ton noticed a small note on his night stand,

    ‘Tom. I’ve gone to Seattle to see my sister. If you need me, call. Please be careful and take good care of yourself. Susan’

    For the fisrt time in twenty years, he felt the loss of Susan’s love. He sat pensively at his desk, pushed his laptop to one side and started to write,

    ‘Dear Nancy,

    At night when I sleep, you appear as a rare orchid blooming in the hush of night. Your petals shimmer in a harvest moon’s glow. My dream is always the same. I am drawn to you by a force I do not understand. And as I approach you, I hear the sound of love drifting through the tree tops like the call of a cardinal at first light.

    I am hypnotized by your rare beauty and as I enfold you gently in my outstretched arms, I renenber that love and desire are forbidden to me even though I am in a dream. And the specter of doubt enters my conscience as to whether or not, you feel the same. Then you vanish from my existence and I find myself alone in a dark, dreary forest.

    When I awake, my first thoughts are about you. The way your hair tumbles to you shoulders, the slight mysterious, half smile as you look my way. And then I think, ‘maybe you do care’, but because we are in a first experience and know little about each other, we hesitate. I, in the thought I would never act in a manner that might harm you. Perhaps you feel the same but I can not imagine in such a wisp of time, that you might feel as I do.

    And then because of the doubt that reigns supreme in my heart, I wonder, should we continue to meet, even though the premise of never seeing your beautiful, pixie face again, would crush my heart.

    I write to you with a sorrow I thought not possible to survive. I will bring this letter to your side with a faint hope through some miracle, your eyes might cast upon it, and if not, well,I will risk everything I might have and say to you… “I love you”.’


    He folded the letter carefully and placed it inside his jacket. The drive to Boston and then to Salem, brought Tom into a winter’s twilight. He walked with a heavy heart through the cemetary, stopping at Nancy’s headstone. Carefully he laid the letter and a single, perfect rose on her grave.

    And he waited until the darkness came, his hope dwindling with the last gleam of light. A caretaker came by and asked, “Are you allright?” Tom’s answer, “Yes I’m fine.” The watchman brought a folding chair and a small lantern to Tom.

    “It’s against the rules sir, to remain after dark. For your safely of course. But in your case, it’s allright. I can see the pain in your face. I’ll be here all night watching everything. See the gate cottage across the park? I’ll be there between rounds. Leave the lantern and chair when you leave. I’ll gather them later.

    “Thank you for your kindness,” Tom said.

    As he sat in the chair beside Nancy’s msrker stone, he fell instantly asleep. The dream started all over again. Only this time he felt a hand on his shoulder, shaking him gently.

    “Wake up Tom, there is no time to waste.”

    He rose from his chair and as his eyes adjusted to the small light, Nancy appeared at his side.

    “It is a beautiful letter you’ve written to me.” Tears streamed down her face falling on her WWII army nurse’s uniform. He turned to her as she threw herself into his arms. His lips met hers.

    “Hold tight to me, Tom. We must hurry to save Delores.”

    The familisar rush of turbulent wind arose as the two, lock in each other’s arms, found the portal of time descend upon them.

    1. MCKEVIN

      Oh this is something Kerry and getting better all the time. I want to watch Casa Blanca and make someone tell me I’m their rare blooming orchid. I want to dance in a cemetery at midnight.This was so good.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you McKevin. I think you’re a rare blooming orchid, will that do? A far as dancing, nada nada! You’ll have to dance with someone else, because I have to lead.
        Casablanca is the number one love story in my book. Maybe a close second, A Duel In The Sun. Jennifer Jones and Gregory Peck.

    2. snuzcook

      Oh, Kerry, you romantic, you! You’re weaving such an engaging story–best of romance, best of adventure, best of suspense. Put my hair in victory rolls, pad my shoulders, and I’m ready for the next installment!

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you snuzcook. I actually had tears coming when I wrote the love letter. Don’t forget the silk stockings when you come. Be sure your seams are straight.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you, k.spicer. I’ll try to keep a chapter coming as long as the forum wants to read it. There is a lot more story to tell. Part five takes place in 1943 on an Australian Hospital Ship off the northern coast of Australia. Delores was a close friend of Nancy’s, thata all I’m gonna’ say. Next week.

    3. lionetravail

      Beautiful use of language, Kerry- there’s true emotion in the love letter. I’m totally stoked that you’re writing your heart out on this one, and am excited to read more as you go.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you David. Ever since I saw The Ghost and Mrs Muir, I have wanted to fall in love with a spirit. Now finally I’m able to do that with this story. My only fear is, I might have to end this and where would Nancy be?

    4. Critique

      Kerry, words that come to mind are poignant, suspenseful and very romantic ♥ I can’t help but think that someone’s heart may be broken before the finale 🙁 The stirring description of a man in love is beautiful – your artistic talent shines bright here!

  15. keyhonay

    The phone rang, but she knew who it was without looking and picked up the phone.

    “These long days, make us weak,” she said and sighed in to the phone.

    “I have my pick-up, do you want me to give you a lift,” I asked, but knew her answer.

    “You know what time it is, if my dad finds you here he’ll clock you,” she said, looking out her bedroom window, waiting for the time to pass.

    “I know you’re making sense but I have the money and you can take that to the bank,” I said as I was looking at a penny lying on the ground.

    “There is a question that I want to ax’ you, it’s been chopping away at me,” she said and pulled her long finger nails down the small black board in her room.

    “Ok, just don’t kick my butt if I give you a crappy answer.” I replied.

    “Even if you answer is electrifying it won’t shock me. I’m too insulated to be shocked by you,” She said.

    “Ok, just know I must be honest and it’s not my fault if my words sting you,” I said

    “Hay, I just wanted to make sure you are not going to bale on me, again” She said

    “I was a bully then and no one could steer me straight,” I said knocking my head on the wall.

    “Ok, but I will go bananas if you split on me again,” She said peeling a press on-nail off her pinky.

    “I’m solid as an evergreens and I will not leave you,” I said.

    “So you think, when we blow this town it will be a breeze,” She asked

    “We will cut out at night, it will be a piece of cake,” I said

    “Maybe it will be as easy as pie for you but I will be deserting my family,” she said

    “We will go to the ocean like I promised you will see,” I said

    “Ok, but I am so out of breath, I’ll have to breathe in you,” she said

    “Ok I am on my whey,” I said smiling.

    “Ok, just don’t be cheesy when you get here. Listen I Gouda go see you soon,” she said and hung up.

    1. keyhonay

      This was new for me, never did many puns before. Wish, I could have added more meat, but this was done over a few lunches, breaks and free time at work. Next time I’ll have to dedicate more time. Thank you for your replies.

  16. Critique

    They were the last team. After ten minutes in the ‘Pun for Fun’ competition and Ima Weinner could tell he was slowing down. It wouldn’t be long now. Fifteen hundred dollars would help pay her tuition.

    Ima stood at ease. A photographic memory can be a blessing.

    “To write with a broken pencil is pointless,” Ima said.

    Mike D. Lozer’s pale green shirt was a mistake because the spreading armpit stains were visible to everyone. Beads of sweat were trickling down his face. She could beat this bozo.

    Mike’s prominent teeth gleamed in a triumphant grin. “Broken pencils are pointless,” he said.

    A buzzer droned and the officials conferred. “That’s not acceptable. Too similar. You may have one more try.”

    “In capitalism man exploits man, in socialism it is the other way around,” Mike said.

    Ima ground her teeth.

    “I dropped out of communism class because of lousy Marx,” Ima said.

    “I heard it from a spokesman, my wheels are larger then most ,” Mike said.

    “A bicycle can’t stand alone because it is two-tired.” Ima said.

    Mike fidgeted with his tie.

    “Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie,” he said.

    “When the shoe salesman offered me Velcro shoes I said, “Sure why knot.” Ima said.

    “Male deer have buck teeth.” Mike said.

    Ima almost laughed out loud.

    “A pun, at maturity, is fully groan.” Ima said.

    “She had a boyfriend with a wooden leg, but broke it off.” Mike said.

    “A cartoonist was found dead in his home. Details are sketchy.” I wish, thought Ima.

    “Speaking ill of the dead is a grave mistake.” Mike cleared his throat and wiped his nose.

    “A midget fortune-teller who escaped prison was a small medium at large.” Ima’s eyes travelled Mike’s girth.

    “Past, Present and Future walked into a bar. It was tense.” Mike sneezed three times in a row.

    “What makes pirates such good singers? They can hit the high Cs,” Ima said.

    The timer clicked. The crowd waited silently. Mike sneezed three times.

    Finally he rasped. “He broke into song because he couldn’t find the key.”

    The crowd applauded and Ima wondered who’s side they were on.

    “I got a job at the bakery because I needed the dough,” Ima said.

    “An opinionated but cheap person never truly gives their two cents,” Mike took a Kleenex out of his pocket and blew his nose forcibly.

    “I just hope you don’t start coffin, “ Ima said.

    Mike’s face turned red and he started coughing uncontrollably.

    The timer buzzed. It was game over.

    Conscience can be a confounded thing. Years later when Ima would recall the fifteen hundred dollar win, it always came with a sense of shame, never pleasure. She would picture Mike gasping for breath as he was being wheeled off the stage on a stretcher and wonder what happened to him.

    1. Jay "The Doc" Wilson

      It’s a shame she felt shame of something she shouldn’t feel the least bit shameful for, unless the shame comes from a guilty act that caused him to win.

      I heard Mike was a young scientist intern at Alcoa Alloys… maybe he had metalugies.

      Good Job Crit, you stayed true to the prompt, and fully entertained me. 🙂

      1. Critique

        I was thinking the shame stemmed from Ima’s hunger to win at all costs combined with evil wished upon her competitor, Mike – and it happened.
        Glad you were entertained 🙂

    2. lionetravail

      Some of these were brilliantly funny, and the story was very well constructed and believable. Poor Mike- it might have been an anal-phylactic reaction to getting his ass kicked 🙂

      1. Critique

        I appreciate your comments lionetravail and as far as Mike D. Lozer – well with a name like that (competing against I’m A Winner) he’s already in trouble 😉

  17. lionetravail

    The Definitely-Not-Zeffirelli Version Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet

    (I apologize for the lack of Iambic Pentameter, just not that much. Took a semihearted stab, ha ha!, at a tragedy with puns. Read at thine own puerile!)

    “Oh nay, thou di’n’t!” spaketh Mercutio with an awed demeanor.

    “I certainly did’th,” spaketh Romeo. “For my bounty is as deep as the sea, and my love as deep; the more I gaveth to her, the more I had’th to give.” He wink-ed salaciously.

    “I thought thou wast not going to waste thy love on one who didst not value it?” spaketh Mercutio.

    “Oh, but there is such value in her waist!” swore Romeo.

    “So didst thou and she get thyselves down to the beast with the two backs instantly’th?”

    “Nay, good Mercutio- first I profan-ed her holiest shrine with my unworthy hand,” spaketh Romeo in a salacious manner. At his friend’s scandalized gasp, he continued’th with a smirk: “Then, my lips, two blushing pilgrims, did’th smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.”

    “Oh nay, you so di’n’t!” breathed’th his friend disbelievingly.

    “Oh Romeo?” interrupted’th the call of the fair Juliet from afar, but drawing nigh.

    “‘Oh Rome-uh-oh’,” titterd’th Mercutio in a falsely high voice. Romeo swatted’th at his epaulet-ed shoulder.

    Fair Juliet Capulet strode into view, one hand held behind her against her shapely-eth buttock, the other rais-ed delicately. The two men stared, captivated.

    “See how she leans that hand upon that cheek?” said Romeo, wistfully. “Oh, wouldst that I were a glove upon that hand, to rest so upon such cheek!”

    “Thou, my friend, art indeed a lover- borrow Cupid’s wingtips and pray not get too sore above!” spaketh Mercutio confidentially to Romeo. He nodded’th cordially at the lovely lady. “I am for Verona. In fact, for m-m-m-m- my Verona,” he delivered in song and with an impish’th wink, and departed’th.

    Romeo turned to the fair Juliet and spake: “How now, and how?” He nudge-ed her side with his elbow.

    The young Capulet girl muffled a polite laugh and took a dramatic poseth. “About’th last nocturne, my Romeo… I thought thou boasted ‘Love moderately, long love doth so. Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow’, aye?”

    “Aye, for love is a smoke made with the fumes of thighs,” Romeo espoused with a meaning-laden glance at her bodice.

    “Then why didst though, perchance, arrive too swiftly?” she spake, archly.

    Romeo colored red, didst he. “Well, perhaps, upon reflection, parting your thighs hath been such sweet sorrow!” he retorted’th, crossing his arms angrily.

    “Oh?” she said, doing her best Capulet-lateral-head-bob motion, hands now to her delectable hips. “Perhaps I shouldst opine that thought which occurred while riding thee; that women may fall when there’s no strength to men?” she said, nastily.

    “What! Thou didst not complain when I asked thee to move not whilst my sin was purged through thine lips!”

    Juliet gasped, and colored herself. “Well, thee as well failed with thy lips, as if thou didst not know!” she squealed. “‘Oh, I meant to bite my thumb at thee, not miss my thumb and bite thee’, thou said’th!” she mocked.

    “Bitch’th!” he shouted’th.

    “Bastard’th!” she retorted’th.

    And in that instant, a swarm of Montagues and Capulets waiting (literally) in the winfs erupted into the tired streets of ‘affair’ Verona, swords’th poking inconveniently every which’th way, leaving all and sundry dead’th, or dying’th as a dramatic meteor shower passed overhead. Indeed, such was the end of the shooting star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet.

    Apparently, these violent delights have violent ends, and in their triumph die in woe; much as fair Juliet, and her Rome-uh-oh.

    The End

  18. Jay "The Doc" Wilson

    Jay’s Devine Comity

    Canto I

    Within the golden bars of light
    Nestled just outside in the frigid day
    I found me wanting, where some thoughts
    Led to perseverance of wicked dreams
    Slithering as whispers from my blue lips
    And I sat there, drinking from the ground,
    coffee as thick as mud, steam billowing forth
    That’s when she walked through the door,
    And all seemed warm, though the day had mingled
    With the nightmares of frozen demons
    I smiled warm, and she rightly back
    A new sip of my brew seemed so much colder
    I said, how do you do, thoughts full of life,
    She replied I do what I do when I do with my do
    Enamored by her comity to my brevity of courage
    She neither acquiesced nor ignored, simply answered
    That was the day I met my wife, a future strong
    Where dreams no longer seemed somber, even when
    The darkness gloom hung in the blackest of nights.

    Canto II

    Fifteen long years, a marriage slowly torn asunder
    Not by the demons of the night nor by dragons of dreams
    Only by the mind of my furthest thoughts, by lives entwined
    Embittered by angelic dreams never to be resolved
    With tattered smiles of lives lost, gone without a trace
    Where does one begin battling desires enriched by serpents?
    To seek a truer form of happiness where nothing can appease
    And fight we must, but not for each other or for others
    To find a simple place, give reason for our union
    One too fast for us, anyone could show to be true
    For days had gone by where expensive words were spent
    Cultivating the brilliance of emotional companionship
    Yet hollow were the many debts that we paid
    And so under the dying sun and rise of a traitorous moon
    I drank in the blood of the stars, holding them close
    So that the dearest of emotions to tether and stay me
    Would linger no longer than soft smoke in a heavy breeze
    To hell, to hell, that where I’ll send her,
    A dream I’ve been dreaming, a nightmare for her.

    Canto III

    Oh, how I wish I could see before I could see
    What attempt I could make to deter the inevitable
    Sight unknown to a bastard thought freed and loosed
    Oh, how I wish those warm nights were no longer cold
    That the empty rooms were filled once more
    Not by just an ethereal presence, too cold for me
    No, by the warm body of evidence, living, breathing
    And not eaten by the worms or the digestive ground
    Oh, how I linger and lumber, from room to room
    Dreading the moments, and I wish upon my wishes
    Double them further and perhaps the Lord might hear
    A recant to my deeds to bring forth the woman I adore
    Not just as dream or a visage but her life as true
    A new birth of her life into mine, can it be true?
    Silence among the soft ticks of the clock in my chest
    A reminder that all had been lost to that wicked beat
    I wonder if my dire desire could be fulfilled once more
    A sharp edge reflects everything I want and need
    This is how I manage to find my way down, down, down.

    Canto IV – Finale

    Drinking in the darkness as light gave way
    My passion brought me, no, dragged me to a place
    I had only recognized once, in those wicked dreams
    Once before, long before I met her that morning
    I had envisioned a death as intimate as the skin
    Still, somehow, fate brought me here nevertheless
    And never a thought did I give, when I figured
    I might find her here so that I might bring her back
    So we can live and love, never be lost in a day
    Nor a week, nor even a year, but forever in love
    And within loves embrace; but there I was
    Before a horned beast, who welcomed me with
    Gangly arms and a blackened face, no eyes or ears
    No smiles nor tears, a jagged visage of death itself.
    A voice arose from that wicked beast, and it told me
    This story of a man who tried to send his wife to hell
    But to grace she went, to sing with blushing seraphs
    Lo! There I was, among those of the same evil breadth
    To scream with the demons, an eternity, rightly just!

    1. Manwe38

      This was complicated but excellent, Jay. Your stories always make me think, and I really enjoy that about them.

      Loved “the digestive ground”, btw.

      Overall, great piece!

    2. lionetravail

      Fantastic, Jay! Dante would be turning over in his grave, if he was not already somewhere in the 5th inferno going “oh, its hot hot hot!”

      What a great literary spoof- destined to be classic!

      1. Kerry Charlton

        This is a marvelous essay on the real truth of life and that my premise is, what we dream for, what we pursue is merely a mirror of ourself. For when we put our thoughts before those of others, without divine guidence, surely we will will fail in our quest.

        Flip the coin and look at this way. Suppose man were created for only one reason? To help others, putting our thoughts in the backgroud of our desires.
        So where would our primal desires and quests reside?. In the results that our efforts might create in others.

        Suppose a main goal in life would be to help someone, not as intelligent as one’s self. How would you go about it? Teach them everything you would know. The result perhaps, they end up as informed as you are. Okay, after that, suppose you wanted them to be super intelligent. How would you go about it?

        First you have to make yourself super intelligent by learning everything possible. Remember you’re doing this for someone else. Teach the one you want to help. He ends up super intelligent.

        Where do you end up? Who has benefited the most? Think about it.

  19. JRSimmang


    It would have been nice in the museum’s Ancient Egypt exhibit if it weren’t for the stagnated heir. Mr Carter and I were standing over a sarcophagus, reading the inscriptions.

    “I can’t make heads or tails of it. The glyphs have naught-in-common,” he admitted.

    I shook my head, afraid to agree. “We may want to keep this under wraps.”

    “Right. Mum’s the word.”

    We’d been laboring in here for over three weeks, trying to unearth the meaning behind this simple cartouche. At first, we thought it detailed the earliest known get-rich-quick pyramid scheme. Then, someone made off with the notes we were taking, and we realized that we were in denial anyway. It was more serious than that.

    “I need to take a walk around.” Mr Carter put down his pencil, paper, and bifocals. “Actually, I’m hungry. So… I’m going to hop in my van, go to the corner store, and pick a soda up, perhaps even a sandwich. Want anything?”

    “If you could grab me a sandwich, you’d by my hero.”

    “Have any monet?”

    “Color me broke.”

    He smiled. “Que Seurat, Seurat, right?”

    I began feeling like I was being goaded into some sort of competition. “Right…” I responded with mild trepidation. “Just no ham. It doesn’t jibe with my palette.”

    He bowed his head and left me alone with the stale air and dead people. I stared at the hieroglyphs for what seemed like horus, each passing minute frustrating me more and more. All of these pictographs were written by some old giza who had long since been buried. Perhaps translating was becoming trite. I needed a new business, one that ma’attered, one that I could set out there and make me hapy.

    Mr Carter returned. “Isis some stress. Everything alright?”

    I peered up at him, his sandwiches in his arms. “Decoding mummies is brainless work.”

    He nodded gravely, “Yes, but at least yours wasn’t pulled out through your nose.”

    -JR Simmang

    1. lionetravail

      Very fun, JR- less surreal than your usual work, but obviously as thoughtful, and with wonderfully impish thrown in on top.

      I think, on the subject of Egyptian ‘mythology’, you’ve obviously touched on the many horus spent, how the Isis have it, and all that really Ma’attered. But, I might observe that you are simultaneously “Set”, having used an appropriate amount of Apophistrophes, cheer you on with a heartfelt ‘Ra Ra Ra’, and consider myself merely Anewbies in comparison.

      Wonderfully done 🙂

    2. JRSimmang

      Thanks, peeps. Doc, Lion, I began writing this as a mystical exploration, the MC unlocking some ancient curse to be released upon the world. However, when I realized I couldn’t incorporate the incorporeal Aphophis (unless I toss an “h” onto the end and make some sort of vague trout or salmon related joke) into the world of punishness, the story took on a different form. I will say thank you again. It’s kinda cool hearing that I have a style.

      Lion, hilarious. Your comments made me laugh. I’ve been repeating “Apophistrophes” over and over again.

      I’ve also embedded several artist puns. See if you can find them all!

    3. dowritenow

      Artist puns … let’s see…
      hop in my van, go
      “Have any monet?”
      He smiled. “Que Seurat, Seurat, right?” (had to look this one up … fabulous!)

  20. SuzanneIsInvincible

    This is by no means equal to my fellow contributors but I thought it was important to put forth an eggcelent effort in this eggciting challenge!

    Are you going to eat that? If not, I’d like s’more.

    Oh, but these are eggs, hard boiled.

    As are you! I’m starving! Pass them over!

    But, why? They are perfectly good eggs.

    And you are a bad egg and making my temperature boil!

    Oh, are you at the boiling point? Might I suggest you cook some more eggs?

    Right now I’m thinking more of a cooked goose!

    Speaking of geese, take a gander at these beautiful eggs I’ve boiled.

    It’s as if you’re completely scrambled!

    Listen, it seems like you’re really steamed and I don’t feel like walking on eggshells. I’ll see you later.

    Ugh! I’ll have to hatch a new plan for lunch.

    1. lionetravail

      I thought this an eggcedingly eggspressive and eggxuberant eggspose- in fact, I’d like to egg you on to greater efforts, so long as I don’t end up with egg on my face.

      hums a few bards of ZZ Top’s “She’s got eggs! She knows how to use them!”

    2. Reaper

      Very nice. I do find it interesting that often people degrade their own work. You wrote completely dialogue and still managed to capture the whole story. Difficult to do. Just because something is light and shorter does not lower the level of it. You showed talent, style, and an interesting voice. One thing I always like to remind people to keep in mind is that almost everyone here has said they are not equal to some or all others here. Those few that have not said it think it I can promise. There is not competition and the world needs many voices. I for one am glad to hear yours.

  21. lionetravail

    (In case anyone wasn’t sure, this… this whole prompt, is my element.)

    The Great Debate- Redux

    “Welcome to the 2024 Presidential Election Debates!”

    There were cheers from the audience as the curtains split, revealing two men at the podiums. Their baggy pants were the latest from Armani, the multiple gold chains around each of their necks glinted like promise itself, and their shirts- red and blue, respectively- were iconic Prada.

    The audience roared their approval of the two men: ever since it had been widely recognized that politicians had an unfortunate tendency to stick their proverbial feet in their proverbial mouths, especially during debates, the prevailing parties brought in spokespeople. This election, as the last several, would see hip hop stars represent the main candidates.

    “Representing the Fiscal and Social Conservatives is Fitty Five Cent Minimum-Wage, while representing the Liberals is Notorious B.I.G. Government!”

    More cheers came, demonstrating a clearly polarized audience.

    “Quiet. Quiet please. The questions will be asked of each candidate, alternating between them who will answer first. Notorious- what will your candidate do about this country’s rising debt?”

    “Yo, yo, yo- my man’s take is ‘zactly why he ain’t a fat mole- neither a burrower nor a slender be, ya dig?”

    “Riiiiight. Fitty Five Cent- your response?”

    “My man be thinking his opponent be wantin’ to spend so much, he got ‘intentional deficit disorder’!”

    “Ooookay then… Fitty Five- what about military spending?”

    “Hah! That one be simple, y’all. The best defense is a good offense, so we spend enough, we’s able to offend anyone we’s damn well please, yo!”

    “Notorious? Same question.”

    “My man ascribe to the Less-is-More principle.”

    “So he wants to cut military spending?

    “I not be saying that! I say he hold to the Leslie S. Moore doctrine, dawg!”

    “Oh, right, yes. Hmm. Notorious, next- where does your candidate stand on religion in our schools?”

    ‘Yo, yo, yo- he believe in separation of state and state of freakin’ grace, ya dig?”

    “I see. Fitty Five- your response?”

    “Hey, dawg, my man say he so religious, if the Bible were a nudie mag, Angels be the centerfold, yo!”

    “Um. Just so. Alright, Fitty Five- how does your candidate intend to deal with the ongoing controversy over an appropriate inheritance tax?”

    “Well dawg, he feel that be an important thing to not tax heavy. He figure they already dead to rights, anything taking away their stuff be considered overkill.”

    “Ah, sure. Notorious?”

    “Yo, yo, yo, it be so simple, ya dig? My man feel it important to the nation to collect it to pay for necessary social services- he kinda think of it as a dead giveaway.”

    “Er, yes. We’re running out of time, so on to the final question of this debate. Notorious- the hottest issue of this election year has to be the high cost of Medical Examiners. What is your candidate’s stance?”

    “Yo, my man’s opponent want to expand the number of docs for them corpses- he so right wing he feel even dead people got the right to life, ya dig?”

    “Mm hmm. Fitty Five- same question and we’ll bring this debate to a close.”

    “Hey, my man only got one thing to say: don’t let B.I.G. Government cut any Coroners.”

        1. jmcody

          Awww, thanks. I really missed you guys too. I’m not really back, at least not in the sense of actually writing. I’m just visiting but hope to be back in the swim soon.

          I am loving your comedic side! I think of you as a sci-fi guy, but this is so clever and funny, as well as relevant. It cracked me up.

    1. Jay "The Doc" Wilson

      That last line made everything worth it. You got a good chuckle out of me a couple of times, which is hard to do. 🙂 So, Nice job. The characters are incredibly well done, too.

      Also, the two characters remind me of the guys at the beginning of that Tech9 song Areola, which Google Chrome apparently doesn’t believe is a word. Go away red squiggly line!

    2. lionetravail

      Thanks so much everyone- as fair warning, I probably have at least another 1 or 2 in me… when I should otherwise be working on other things (like the novel ideas I’ve started but which ain’t writing themselves).

      A prompt on puns is just so me, that I think I’m in this prompt’s comfort zone as opposed to t’other way around 🙂

      1. Jay "The Doc" Wilson

        Don’t all the “greats” say that a novel should write itself? haha *crickets* Whatever, I thought it was funny. 😉

        Anyway, since you’re so comfortable, try challenging yourself.Push the bar so high you can barely see it, and write something completely outside your comfort zone (while maintaining all the punnies [ar ar ar])!

        1. lionetravail

          Hah Jay! I’ve thought about all those things, believe it or not- the novel idea I’m most involved with does kinda ‘write itself’… but only when I sit with my computer and the document open. Writing short stories is so much easier to commit to, isn’t it?

          And you’re right- challenging oneself is the surest way to improve. I think the only thing I haven’t really done yet is serious/tragic punning, but by their very nature, puns don’t really lend themselves to such weighty topics. Something to ponder and try, I guess.

          Thanks for reading and the encouragement!

          1. Jay "The Doc" Wilson

            Well, if you think about it, puns go really well with tragedy and serious tones. The main reason, and I think you’ll agree, is because serious and tragic stories can sometimes be incredibly tasking both emotionally and mentally. The idea with adding puns (or any kind of humor) to a dark story is to lighten the mood and keep the reader from going to far into the deep end. Stephen King does it a lot. Not with puns, really, but with subtle jokes and light-hearted shenanigans.

            If you do try to pull it off, I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  22. Manwe38

    Because I can 🙂 🙂 (and no, this has nothing to do with a film).

    “The Call Room”

    I stripped off my bloody gown and gloves and burst through the door into the waiting lounge. The procedure had gone well, and now the senior resident would finish the case, leaving me with a few minutes’ peace. I still had to dictate a note, but that could wait; after eighteen hours, I needed to rest. My eyes flicked around the gloomy box, then fixed on the stained couch that sat against the wall like a refugee from a dump. Fortunately, it was empty, and the old TV that hung from the wall like an intoxicated bat was similarly comatose. On the counter, a half-empty pot of murky liquid beckoned me with a caffeinated whisper, but the urge to sleep was stronger. The clock on the wall said three a.m., and I believed it; only surgeons and zombies were up at this hour, and I didn’t like the taste of brains.

    I kicked off my shoes and plopped down like a lump. As my lids began their inevitable descent, the door swung open with an irritated whoosh. Yawning, I craned my neck, then groaned. It was him.

    I sat up. “Go away.”
    “No, thanks.”
    “You really should.”
    “Why is that?”
    “I’m about to give you a piece of my mind.”
    “That’s funny, coming from a brain surgeon.”

    I gritted my teeth. “What are you doing here?”
    “Same as you.”
    “There’s an orthopedic case?”
    “Yep. Booze and broken bones. I was putting on a cast, but then I got plastered.”

    No, please no. “Go hang out with GI. I heard it’s a gas.”
    “I prefer Bernie from plastics; he knows how to raise a few eyebrows.”

    My scalp was beginning to stiffen. When would this end? “How did someone like you become a surgeon?”
    “Guess I was able to make the cut.”
    “Why orthopedics?”
    “I wanted to be a urologist, but it was too hard.” He grinned. “Urethra got it or you don’t.”
    I shrugged. “Eh, they’re both like a cheap ophthalmologist: always cutting corneas.”

    He shook his head. “They aren’t the same,” he said. “There’s a vas deferens.”

    1. lionetravail

      Nicely done! Being in the medical field as a surgeon myself, I heart-ily approve!

      (BTW, you can generally tell what field a surgeon is by how he/she looks at the heart:

      Ortho- The heart is the thing which pumps antibiotics to the bones.
      Urology- The heart is the thing which pumps viagra to the penis.
      Vascular- The heart is the thing which is not pumping enough blood to this leg.
      Trauma- The heart is the thing which is pumping blood onto the surgical room floor.
      Neuro- The heart is the thing which pumps oxygen to the brain.
      Cardiac- The heart is the thing I fix, and pumps money to the hospital.)

      1. Manwe38

        Hmm, perhaps the surgeon’s irritation was transferred to the door? I’ve witnessed it being transferred to flung instruments and scrub nurses (although that behavior is no longer tolerated, for the most part), so perhaps it just snuck in there.

        To be honest, this prompt isn’t my strong suit, so I’m glad you enjoyed it.

        Thanks for reading!

      1. Manwe38

        Thank you….I modeled this after the call room at the hospital where my late father used to practice. It was in an inner-city, dilapidated building in Philly, with stains on the carpet and the smell of old food and coffee in the air. To this day, I equate it with the word “grunge”–because that’s what it was.

    2. k.spicer

      Irritated whoosh aside, I liked this…it was a good choice for puns and it was written well. “Urethra got it or you don’t.” I think you got it!

    3. Reaper

      Love the story and the puns are good. I like the irritated whoosh. It is an artistic line and a story can gain something from assigning human attributes to inanimate objects, especially in first person. From a third person perspective I assumed a small screech of the hinges, from first person I assumed a transference of irritation indicated by the door. That’s just me though.

      1. Manwe38

        That’s pretty much what I was thinking: a door flung open in anger, but to me, writing “the door flew open in anger” is telling, as opposed to showing. I could’ve written it as a simile, ie “the door burst open like a bullet from a gun” or something like that, but ‘irritated whoosh’ just seemed to fit.

        I actually like adding human attributes to inanimate objects. The books I’ve read on writing seem divided on the subject, although I appreciate your thoughts on when to use it in first vs. third person.

        Thanks for reading :).

  23. jhowe

    Please accept my apology in advance.

    A pretty young woman with strawberry blonde hair walked along the sandy bank of the Muskegon River. She had been walking for some time when she saw someone on the opposite bank. It was a woman with hair so blonde it must have been chemically enhanced. The strawberry blonde called out, “Hey, can you tell me how to get to the other side?”

    The bleach blonde thought for a moment and called back, “Helloooo… you are on the other side.”

    The strawberry blonde thought about this and said, “I can’t argue with that.”

    The bleach blonde said, “If we were both on this side, we’d be in the same boat.”

    “Like a speedboat?”

    “Probably so. The current is strong here and a row boat wouldn’t do.”

    The strawberry blonde said, “I wonder if I could swim across?”

    “I don’t know. Are you a good swimmer?”

    “As long as nobody waves to me… I need both hands to swim.”

    “Ok then, come on over.”

    The strawberry blonde kicked off her shoes and tested the water. “It’s cold but I think I can make it.”

    “You’d better remove your clothes so they don’t weigh you down,” said the bleach blonde.

    After much struggle the bleach blonde helped the strawberry blonde out of the water.

    A dirty blonde walked up and said, “Hey, why are you naked?”

    “My clothes are on the other side,” the strawberry blonde said.

    “Wait,” said the bleach blonde. “I thought you were trying to get to the other side.”

    The dirty blonde said, “What side is this then?”

    “Don’t complicate things,” said the strawberry blonde. “We have to go over there and get my clothes.”

    The other two stripped off their clothes and they all managed to swim to the other side. The shivering girls waited while the strawberry blonde dressed. “What about our clothes?” said the bleach blonde.

    The strawberry blonde took her clothes off again and said, “Ok, but this is the last time.”

    They were half way across, struggling with the current when a young man saw them and waved, “Hello there ladies.”

    The girls waved back but this caused them to struggle even more. The man started waving frantically as he recognized their plight.

    The girls kept waving back as they went under the water, not to come up again. The young man wept in despair as he felt partially responsible for this tragedy. A girl with ash blonde hair walked up and said, “What’s the matter?”

    The man said, “I finally got some girls to pay attention to me and they didn’t make it. All they wanted to do was get to the other side.”

    “Helloooo,” said the ash blonde. “They already were on the other side.”

    1. snuzcook

      Funny, jhowe–a real classic.

      As a natural blonde, however, I have to say I don’t completely get this. Except the part about the guy feeling bad. Why didn’t he just stop waving? It’s just so sad…

      1. jhowe

        Being blonde or not, in all actuallity, does not classify ones intellectual capacity in the least, but just in case, try reading it more slowly. I wouldn’t have said this but I grasped from your comment that you were up to it. Thanks for your response.

    2. Jay "The Doc" Wilson

      Wah, wah wah… lol Jhowe… oh, man. That was so cheesball. haha

      @Snuzcook: I can’t figure that part out, either. I know that his initial wave probably turned into waving his arms at their plight, not necessarily waving at them. As for feeling bad, I really don’t know why. He wouldn’t know they were waving at him, because as someone who just barely walked up on them, they probably looked like they were struggling to stay afloat rather than waving back at him. He might have felt bad for not jumping in and saving them, but i dunno… I feel like it was all just a quick set up for the punchline, so instead of swimming up-river, I’m just gonna float with it. 😉 haha

    3. lionetravail

      Wow 🙂

      It was like all the blonde jokes ever, rolled up into a story.

      Except there are always more blonde jokes. For a complete list, you’ll need to take me out for a beer. Or two.

        1. Kerry Charlton

          JHowe, how could you do this to me. A total waste of pulchritude. I once had lunch with three women, one of which was Lanor, the second her best friend, and the third, the daughter of Lanor’s friend.
          When I told them, I was surrounded by pulchritude, the three of them started beeting me around the head and shoulders. I had not a dictionary to defend myself and therefore never used the word again until now.

          Most of the blondes I have met, including Dolly Parton who barely reached my shoulders have extreme intelligence. So to all the blondes on this forum, I say, [what was i talking about?.. Oh yeah to all the blondes I say “Come On Over.”

    4. Reaper

      Okay, that was funny. I had to go back and reread the bit to figure out why he kept waving. That was pretty subtle compared to the rest with him recognizing their plight. And while the rest was funny once I got it that bit reminded me of a poem. When I was in high school this poet came in and read some of his stuff and one of them had a repeating line of I’m not waving babe, I’m drowning. The last line was Hey babe, are you drowning too? So because of Jay’s comment I found this very deep meaning in the middle of the funny and was left breathless. Nice job.

    5. WritingKittenOfLoki

      I love a good blonde joke, and this is like the Supreme Pizza of blonde jokes.
      My favorite one in our family is, that I’m the blondest brunette to ever be, (which, now that I think about it, really isn’t a blonde joke).
      As for the guy waving, maybe he’s blond too? (Sorry, I know blonde jokes only apply to girls… but, I had to try.)

  24. sjmca1966

    This ones like a bride on her wedding day, something old, something new. . .

    The Dinner Date From Hell –

    Trudy and I were meeting our old friends for dinner at El Gringo’s. They pulled up as we were hopping out of our car, “What’s with the license plate?” I asked Trevor.

    “I couldn’t fit Associate Professor on it,” he replied.

    “Yeah, but ASS PRO for a proctologist?”

    “Look at you, you haven’t changed.,” said Trevor, as we sat down at our table.

    “Thanks I try and stay in shape,” I replied.

    “No, I mean you were wearing that outfit last time I saw you.”

    It was all on.

    “Hey, didn’t you used to date Anne Ackron?” asked Trevor, “I ran into her the other day.”

    “Yeah, how is she?”

    “Still stuck in the nineties, from what I could tell.”

    “Oh, that’s a typical Anne Ackronism. . . since we’re on the subject of old friends, guess who I saw on Monday?”


    “Wayne, he was doing one of his book signings.”

    “Really, is he still peddling his conspiracy theories?”

    “I think so, I didn’t stop for a proper gander.”

    “Come on guys, give it a rest,” said Trudy, “What wine goes best with spicy?”

    “Hell, a Pinot Noir is always good with Mexican,” Trevor replied.

    Trudy and Charlene gave each other the look.

    We found it a bit weird, that the waitress had a Scottish accent, “I like the way she rolls her R’s,” said Trevor.

    “I like the way she jiggles her boobs,” I replied, “Are you still playing chess with Jaroslav?”

    “Who’s Jaroslav?” asked Trudy.

    “He’s my old Czech mate. He’s a florist, just started his own business, specializing in tulips”

    “How’s that going for him?” I asked.

    “Not bad,” said Trevor, “I walked into his shop the other day and he was mincing hamsters in a blender.”

    “Why?” I foolishly asked.

    “He uses them for fertilizer, he reckons the best tulips come from hamster jam.”

    I knew I had to up my game.

    “So, how’s life on the outside treating you?” asked Trevor.

    “Ha, ha. It was only a month. Although the garbage man got a little cheeky the other day.”

    “How so?”

    “Yeah, that’s him. I walked outside the other day and I’d forgotten to put the garbage out. He yelled at me, ‘Where you bin?’ I said I’d been on holiday.”

    “What did he say?”

    “He said, ‘No! Where you wheelie bin?’ I had to admit I’d really been in prison.”

    It was an hour after midnight and the restaurant staff were becoming agitated, “In the words of the great Shakespeare,” I said, “I think therefore 1 a.m.”

    Charlene then invited us back to their hotel room for cappuccino.

    I turned to Trudy and asked, “You for coffee?”

    “No! You fuck off, eh!”

    That’s my girl.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      A whole lot of sophisticated fun. I really loved this An easy flow to the dialogue, no stumbles, no lack of interest and polished like a gem. Wow!

    2. Reaper

      This was perfectly smooth and well written. Often people go for low humor with puns. You kept it sophisticated and high brow all the way through. I am finding many people aiming for class and you are one leading the way. Not that the other is bad but this was art.

    3. Manwe38

      I love complicated pieces that masquerade as simply ones….they make me think, and reflect, and roll the story around in my mind….and you did all three here.

      And when they make me laugh, that’s just a bonus.

      Well done!

  25. Reaper

    Warning, this one is a bit more off color than I normally go. Kind of a side affect of puns on me.

    Spidery Tributes

    Once upon a thyme there was a king known for his unique resolution. All will agree one’s resolve must be great to stand upon such a tiny blade. Believing less was more he chose words over swords as the method of ending conflicts. In celebration of himself he held a duel once a year wherein wit was the weapon of choice. A duke and a baron two must face each other. Vulgarity could be tolerated but it must be dressed like a window in shades of grey.

    All who participated must treat their opponent. While this had the side effect of twice paid checks it also meant each must follow protocol as if their opponent was a greater noble. The king, being a fan of white meat, was the sole arbitrator of whether a comment crossed the line.

    Duke Quayle and Baron Lamb came from families long known to harbor ships plagued with hatred in their hearts for each other. Given their druthers the two would have settled their dispute with metal and blood over mettle and iron will. The king, however, would not be denied his sport. The contest took place that year in the great hall of Duke Quayle. As was tradition the baron was afforded the first salvo.

    “Pardon the tardiness my lords. I was delayed as the duke’s wife gave us a tour. By way of the kitchen she took us, showing myself and all my knights how ready fowl females always are for a good stuffing and bred.”

    Lamb looked to the king, searching for an indication he had crossed the line. He saw none but the king was known for his stoic visage in these events. Growing red at the implication the duke wasted little time in his riposte.

    “One would think the baron to be a bit more sheepish. It is unsurprising his attacks start where they do as all know he credits his own wife with him being barren.”

    Now it was the baron’s turn to run scarlet. Quayle beamed with pride at his attack. Lamb was determined that like his line this contest would end with him. Unsurprisingly as a bit of a fop he was always obsessed with the clothes.

    “We must all forgive the absence of Duke Quayles’ knights. Often absent during the day they have reason now. This is a farming village and we all know the queen hates being roused by noise. Thus upon the duke’s orders, thinking only of the queen his knights are running around violently grabbing their cocks.”

    Realizing the balls on the baron the duke went for the juggler.

    “The baron again gives himself away. Being bereft of sons he is ruled by his knights. Thus his mind wanders to mine having chickens in hand. A posture the baron is familiar with from his dreams of reigning over the princess.”

    “Lords,” the king intoned as he rose. “Your willingness to taint my family in this contest indicates you have both lost your heads.”

    1. Kerry Charlton

      Oh Reaper, what a smash of an ending. Off with their heads! Me thinks I might be up to a duel of words should you consider taking on an old Irishman. I’m up to the cause. Do not tremble, do not quake cause I personally will eat your cake.

    2. lionetravail

      It was a meaty argument between the too, but in the end, both were bound for the butcher’s block. Just goes to show, as the wacko Centauri emperor (of Babylon 5) said after killing his court jester: “Humor is so subjective, isn’t it Mollari?”

      Fun stuff, Reaper. For me, the moral is that you should probably not stick your neck out if you’re a Lamb or a Quayle 🙂

  26. LeaderAstray

    Only the boss would schedule a meeting at 5 o’clock on Friday… and show up late.

    Paige and I sat our desks, trying to look busy while we waited. The boss finally hurried out of his office to the printer.

    “Where are my prints?!” he asked. “Where are they? I need to email them to the bank by end of day for my boat loan. WHERE ARE MY PRINTS?!”

    “Don’t worry,” I said, “Some day your prints will come.”

    Paige groaned.

    “A boat loan?” she asked. “How’s that any different from a regular loan?”

    Before the boss could answer, I suggested “Floating interest rates?” I couldn’t resist.

    The boss glared at me. “I hate puns.” After a few seconds to let that sink in, he continued, “We need to decide on a concept for our next mobile game. I think a fishing game would have good mass-market appeal. What do you think?”

    “There are so many fishing games out there,” I said, “We need a hook.”

    The boss picked up the stuffed Angry Bird from Paige’s desk and threw it at me.

    Paige held up her hands. “Whoa, that’s too many puns, Stop baiting him–we need to reel this in.”

    I couldn’t help but snicker.

    The boss finally gave up, and pulled out a chair to sit down. He was so focused on giving me the evil eye that he fell into the chair and almost tipped over,

    “Are you alright?” gasped Paige.

    “Of course, it was just lower than I thought.”

    “See, Paige,” I said, “It’s just his high expectations.”

    Ignoring me, the boss tried to move things along. “Okay, so what kind of hook? What if it’s animals doing the fishing?”

    “You mean like a bear?” asked Paige.

    “Right, but I think that’s been done. What else?”

    What else ate fish? And what hasn’t already been done a thousand times? “Sea otters?” I suggested.

    “No, they rape and drown baby seals. What else?”

    It took a moment to process, but did I hear that right? “What? Did you say they rape baby seals?”

    He nodded. “Yes, it’s been observed and documented by scientists. It happens all the time. Otters sexually molest baby seals under the water, usually drowning them.”

    “That’s the worst thing I’ve ever heard,” said Paige.

    I agreed. “I used to think otters were so cute.”

    The boss shrugged. “That’s nature. It’s otter-erotic asphyxiation.”

    And I was effectively silenced.

        1. Kerry Charlton

          I think with this post, you may be on the top of the heap of the word masters here. I enjoyed the intro and the set up of the office scene. A duel with a boss is so fraught with political and livelihood danger, it makes a great backdrop.

    1. Reaper

      Why do I have the line, Anybody want a peanut? going through my head? Oh, that’s right. Because this was amazing. Some people, yourself included, are giving me a small appreciation for puns. Kerry is right, you set yourself apart as a master of wordplay with this one.

  27. lionetravail

    When Things Don’t Quite Add Up”

    “Yo, Alex! Didja see the latest Game of Thrones episode?”

    “Yeah, but I was totally confused, Tony. Again.”

    “Really? I thought this one was pretty clear… What got you this time, Alex?”

    “Well, there was this tournament in King’s Landing, right? Two teams, knight east of the Trident and the ones west of it?”

    “Uh huh. They’ve had a few tournaments before, and this was like color-war or something.”

    “Right. Only this time, they introduced a couple new characters, and previous enemies were on the same sides, and I think that’s when the whole thing went sideways for me. It was just too much crazy, even for that show.”

    “Like what, specifically?”

    “You know that new knight, the one in green and silver? I think he’s from Dorne- the tall, thin guy- wasn’t on either team, right?”

    “Right, sure.”

    “Well jeez, Tony! The first crazy thing is he gets up there in the ring, and says he’s too good- if he fights, he’ll beat everyone so embarrassingly, he’s going to let his squire fight instead!”

    “Uh huh. Nothing in any of the books says they can’t do that.”

    “I guess, it just seems totally irregular. But then there was the squire’s shield when he stepped up to stand next to his knight. Could you even make it out?”

    “Sure. It was a cookpot hung from a rope, high up over the branch of a tree. Like, in one of them, whaddyacallits, a noose.”

    “Exactly, Tony! What the hell kind of heraldry is that?”

    “Sheesh, take it easy, Alex, it’s just a cable show.”

    “And then all the other knights say: ‘Well, we can’t fight a squire, it’s not chivalrous blah blah blah’, and whammo, they send their squires in and it becomes a last-man-standing free-for-all!”

    “Sure, it was totally exciting and a different way to do things, Alex!”

    “No! It wasn’t exciting, it was damned confusing! And then, against all probability, the lone squire of the Dornish knight won the melee against all the other ones, from both teams! How the damn hell does that happen!”

    “Come on, you’re kidding right? Of course it was going to happen that way, buddy!”

    “WTF Tony! You can NOT tell me you knew how it would turn out!!!!”

    “Sure I can- it’s simple math.”

    “One against dozens!? How the hell is that ‘simple math’, Tony!”

    “Because the squire of the high pot in noose is always equal to the sum of the squires of the other two sides, Alex.”


      1. Kerry Charlton

        I’ve been screwed, blueed and tattooed with your last line. I didn’t even see it coming. Great job here. This will go down in history as a battle well fought.

    1. jhowe

      Nice natural dialog between the two guys. Loved it. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Game of Thrones, I should watch it. But I’m worried about starting in the middle and I don’t have Net Flix. How did you ever think of the Pythagorean Theorem in this context?

      1. lionetravail

        I’m basically nuts. I tend to typo things in my head, and look for an ironic twist, then build the backstory to the punchline.

        Example, out for a walk with the wife, and was thinking about Reaper’s story above, and thought “Lamb, lamb”, and then 3 shakes of a lamb’s tail came to me, and i inverted it to “3 lambs of a Sheikh’s tale”, and BINGO, i’ve got a new pun to play with.

        Basically, like that 🙂

    2. Reaper

      Ah lionetravail this was an an equine of deviant pigmentation. Just to give you more words to rattle around in your head. Not only was this hilarious, but about halfway through I got the image of a fan of the books like myself having this argument with one of the show writers. Added into the image was Mr. Martin in the background shaking his head and holding his breath until they agree to hold off more shows until he is done writing. Not often that a story can put that specific an image in my head so very well done.

  28. DMelde

    Angel searched for salvation from the demons that constantly attacked him. They convinced Angel that all of the bad in the world was somehow his fault. Some of the demons lived inside of Angel and they weakened him through addictions. Other demons took the shape of men, and these demons rushed through limb and bough to attack Angel with every chance they got. They spread lies about Angel and the fox repeated the lies to anyone who would listen. Weak-minded men grew angry with Angel and they asked each other, “Did you hear what the fox said?” This saddened Angel and he forgot that most people in the world loved him. Angel felt like the robin that flew too far, too fast into a world still gripped by winter. “Where is the spring?” the robin asked. “Where is the warmth?” The world had grown too cold for Angel. Angel could not survive and like the robin trapped out in a blizzard, Angel died. We mourn the loss of Angel and we pray that he now stands in the warmth and the light of God, like a robin warming its wings in the summer sun.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      This response is powerful and shines with sadness of the devils work in today’s world. Yet we know that behind the angels reigns The All Mighty God. And for every angel that is slain in the battle against the devil, two rise up to carry the fight.

      Look through the faces of the world and when people lift the shield of popularity and power, you can see the angels at their work. Ask a four year old about God and if he’s heard the message, he will astound you. Bravo for a wonderful essay, DMelde.

      1. DMelde

        you are correct snuzcook. robin…rushed limb bough…news from the fox…it came across as preachy and i didn’t mean that (this time). not really puns because there are no jokes in this, more like words with double meanings. thanks for commenting.

    2. lionetravail

      DMelde, I’d reserved comment for a few days, because your piece was powerful, but I wasn’t sure where this was going with respect to the prompt- Snuzcook’s insight and your confirmation cast it anew in a new light. I should have guessed with respect to ‘the robin’, and made the connection to the “Robin”, but I did not. Cast in that light, which I was not reading into it, it’s a lovely tribute piece which I’m sure expresses some deep feelings you have.

      Please understand that your writing is excellent, and it’s my understanding which was the limiting factor. Especially since this prompt is letting me run rampant with puns and humor, like unlocking the junkbin in my brain in which all these things are stored. I haven’t been mourning Robin Williams (probably because it’s a distant thing, while people among my family and friends also suffer from depression), so it took Snuzcook to illuminate that for me- I’m glad you both did.

      Thanks to you both.

    3. Reaper

      I am sorry it took me so long to get to this. I mentioned on the other tribute that I am glad to see them. I could not think of a way to make this work for that. I have not had many heroes in my life but Robin Williams was one of them and I am happy to see that he touched others in the same way. I was a bit surprised at first and am glad to see the emotions shared by the amazing writers here. Thank you for this.

      On the subject of puns this is riddled with them. I was looking up different types of puns and was reminded the serious pun is a true form. Shakespeare was known for them in his work so you are in good company in taking that approach. So you nailed the prompt in my opinion.

      Both as a tribute and a comment this is powerful and wonderful. Thank you.

    4. MCKEVIN

      Well, look at you. Only you Dmelde could take a writing prompt assignment, turn it into a fitting tribute and put your classic Sci Fi spin on it. Loved it.

  29. k.spicer

    I’ve never believed in UFO’s; that is until it happened. It happened much like the stories that I’ve always heard; the ones that I never believed. I was hiking in a remote area in New Mexico taking photographs and was setting up camp for the night just after the sun had gone down. I had just got the fire going when I spotted it; a small light on the horizon that seemed to move erratically and seemed to be moving closer to my location at an incredible rate of speed.

    I watched the light as it grew larger until it came to a stop directly overhead. As I stood there gapping at the sight a light hit me that was brighter than any light I had ever seen. The next thing I knew I was inside the spacecraft looking eye to eye with a small grey creature.

    It was a foot shorter than me and skinny and wore no clothes. At first it never spoke a word; it merely stood there looking me over. It held a bottle of Jack Daniel’s in its hand and occasionally took a drink. I was scared stiff when the thin creature wobbled slightly as if off balance and waved the bottle toward me. “Have a seat.” He said in what sounded like a drunken slur. “It’s a long way home.”

    The ship was small and cramped and I had to lower my head slightly to avoid bumping it on the ceiling. “I’m not going anywhere with you.” I said pointing a finger at the greyish creature.

    “I said sit down you little eyed bug!” The thin creature slurred nearly felling over as the ship sped skyward.

    “Who you calling a bug, skinny man? All I can say is it’s a good thing you’re not wearing yellow…or they’d mistake you for a no.2 pencil.”

    “Yea well, I can see you’re a light eater.” He said poking my belly with his bony finger. “As soon as it gets light…you start eating!”

    “Yea well, you’re so skinny I’ve seen better legs on a chicken!”

    “You know, you’ve got a big heart.” He said. “…and a stomach to match!”

    “You’re so skinny you use dental floss for toilet paper!” I said.

    “You’re so fat, when you take a shower your feet don’t get wet.” He laughed.

    “You’re so thin if you swallowed a meatball they’d ask if it was a boy or a girl.”

    “You’re so fat they want to use your butt to plug the hole in the ozone layer!”

    “You’ve got kind eyes little man…the kind I’d like to poke out!”

    After what seemed like hours of back and forth with the little grey man the small ship came to a stop and landed. The side hatch opened and the other creature that had been flying the ship walked up and pointed to the ramp. “Get out!” he said.

    “Are we there already?” Stepping outside the ship I looked around and then back to the two creatures which seemed to be arguing. “Hey, this place looks like earth.”

    “It is earth you idiot! If you think I’m listening to this all the way home your nuts!”

    The ramp began to lift and just before it closed a half empty bottle of Jack Daniel’s came flying out landing inches from my feet.

    I stood there shaking my head watching as the ship faded into the night sky. “They’re never going to believe this when I tell them.”

    1. Reaper

      Oh this was amazingly funny. The car trip analogy worked very well. The funny thing with these prompts is I can never tell if the spelling errors are intentional or not.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Some great lines in this story but overall the story reined supreme. Your killer line, “It is earth you idiot. If you think I’m listening to this all the way home, you’re nuts!” Loved it.

  30. lionetravail

    Floral Frustration

    “I don’t care if you’re a so-called holy man, Declan!” William shouted. “I can’t have you selling flowers from your cart on the same block as my shop! It’ll ruin me, and it can’t be good for your business!”

    “Oh?” replied Declan. “I think the future is just rosy for me, right here.”

    “Rosy, huh? I’m thinking more of a thorned crown for you, Friar!” William retorted.

    “I hear a lot of flapping of your ‘tulips’, William, but precious little to make me want to move,” Declan said.

    “You holier than thou… I mean, um, you lily-livered bastard, I’m going to leave you more black-eyed than Susan if you don’t go sell somewhere else!”

    “You try it, and you’re going to learn whether there’s an afterlife for you, or just re-in-carnation!” Declan snapped.

    “If I have to, I swear I’ll take you to hel…iconia and back!” Will half-shouted.

    “What is going on you two?” said a woman’s voice from right beside them.

    They both jumped in surprise. “Hiya, Cynth. We were just arguing,” said William after a moment, glancing venomously at the Friar.

    Declan snorted. “Mum is apparently not the word,” he added grumpily.

    Within moments, both had explained their issues to Cynthia, and the steady decline of their argument with each other. She nodded when they had finished. “What do you think?” they asked, almost as one, before again glaring at each other.

    “Basically,” she said to William, “you think that you, and only you, can prevent florist friars, and you’re wrong. And you,” she said to Declan, “are far too godly to ever de-flower someone else. So I think you both ought to join forces rather than fight- go into business together!”

    Declan and William eyed each other uncertainly.

    “She may be right- with friends like you, who’d need anemones?” William said, putting out his hand.

    “She might indeed be right- you’re a strange bird, Will, but you deserve to be of paradise too,” Declan shot right back, a grin tugging at the corner of his mouth.

    The two men shook hands. “Finally!” Cynthia declared, smiling. “I bet that, in no time, you’ll both have discovered that a peony saved is a peony earned!”

    1. snuzcook

      Thank goodness Cynthia! Thought he was going to jump from the hardpan onto the friar!
      Exceedingly well done. Your submissions are a course on the art of pun.

      1. lionetravail

        LOL This is, undoubtedly, the MOST fun prompt for me yet.

        Even taking into account the 3 man pirate crew prompt, which, for me, was also hysterical.

  31. Jay "The Doc" Wilson

    “We might have to give that old tranny a go.”

    “What? No way. That right there’s a real woman. I call dibs.”

    “What are you goin’ on about?” Winters said as he followed Fred’s eyes to the end of the bar. “That, my friend, ain’t a woman.”

    “It is a woman. And tranny’s a cuss word.”

    “First of all, you need to get your head on straight, boy. I was talking about the old chevy sitting in the garage back at the shop. Customer needs it to be right by noon tomorrow.” Winters said, then eyed the blonde again. “The fact that you thought I was talkin’ about the tall drink in the red dress means you was thinkin’ the same thing.”

    Fred focused on Winters for a moment, and then leaned away from the bar to look beyond him. “Nah.”

    Winters said, “Since when was tranny derogatory? And how the hell do ya know all this, anyway?”

    “Common knowledge.”

    “It ain’t so common that I know about it.”

    “Maybe you ain’t so common.”

    Winters furrowed his brow and took a sip of his beer. “You know what ain’t common? Not bein’ able to tell that ain’t a woman. But you know what I think?”

    “Don’t much care what you think.”

    Winters ignored him and said, “That you know he ain’t a her.”

    “Shut it, Winters.”

    “You know what else? I know you’re a mechanic, but I didn’t know you was versed in handling two kinds of stick shifts.”

    “Really, winters?”

    “Yeah. Why don’t you give that gear box a go, let me know how it handles.”

    “You ain’t right, boss.” Fred said, and eyed Winters head to toe.

    “You know what ain’t right?” Winters said, and then took a sip of his beer while cupping his crotch with his free hand. “You wastin’ your time with me. Why don’t you go drive that blonde home? And make sure you make that ride a good one, will ya?”

    “Jesus, I’m gonna go fix the tranny.” Fred said, and got up to leave.

    “I always thought a tranny was already fixed? Isn’t that the point of the serg’ry?”

    “I meant the other tranny.”

    “Hey, wasn’t you the one that just told me that’s derogatory?”

    “I meant when you’re talking about them kind.” Fred said, and gestured toward the blonde.

    “So you admit it, then?”

    Fred sighed and waved his hand dismissively. “See ya at work, boss.”

    “Don’t work that gearbox too hard, son. Gotta save your energy if you’re gonna work the other one later.” Winters said, and sniggered hard as he choked down the last of his beer.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      Two good ol’ boys carryin’ on at the Silver Helmet biker bar. Dem words you put in the funny machine make me do du laugh. I heard this conversation in many a bar in my day and da only ways to find out is get to da blonde with a fast crotch grag. For den you know’s what to do. Savvy, partner? AC or DC?, you goes with da persuasions. EeeeeYaaaaah.

    2. snuzcook

      Your story reminds me of a certain Falcon that had a three on the tree got converted to a four on the floor — but that’s another story.
      Great fun, Jay. l could almost taste the the motor oil, stale cigarette and beer breath as I read it.

  32. yaxomoxay

    Not sure I am following the prompt, probably not. Well, this is what popped up.
    “Shoot,” One said.
    “Nope.,” Two said.
    “It’s an order,” One said.
    “The univer-z-e is order and chaos,” Two said.
    “Why did you chose chaos?” One said.
    “’cause I don’t believe the Second means what you mean,” Two said.
    “What do you mean?” One said.
    “Not me, the Second. Right to bear arms.” Two said.
    “Exactly, that’s why you have a gun and have to shoot.”
    “Not according to Webster,” Two said.
    “Who the fuck is Webster?”, One said.
    “The dictionary. Arms: 1) a human upper limb 2) something like or corresponding to an arm 3) an inlet of water (as from the sea) 4) a narrow extension of a larger area, mass, or group,” Two said.
    “An arm is a weapon,” One said.
    “I say it’s an upper limb, or our legal system is wrong,” Two said.
    “What does it have to do with the legal system?” One said.
    “The long arm of the law,” Three intervened.
    “Yup, or are you saying that the law has a really long long shotgun?” Two said.
    “Who is he?” One said.
    “He is the Webster’s son,” Two said.
    “The dictionary dude?” One said.
    “No,” Two said.
    “Then who?” One said.
    “The son of Webster,” Two said
    “Who’s Webster?” One said.
    “The Maitre D’” Two said.
    “What about the law?” One said.
    “If the law has an arm, meant as a limb, then you can grab it, you can caress it, you can even kiss it. If the law has an arm, meant as a shotgun, then you can just shut up,” Two said.
    “What are you saying?” One said.
    “That tyrannical governments start when limbs are weapons,” Two said.
    “So you think that a dictatorship begins when the word arm is interpreted?” One said.
    “Any word. Even the numbers. If One become Two then all this discussion has no meaning,” One said.
    “Why?” Two said
    “You see? The two previous sentences are chaotic, One is now Two and Two is now One,” One said.
    “That would mean that paradigms shifted,” Two said.
    “Not only that, but ideas themselves are now twisted and reversed, I believe what you believe but now you believe what I believe, therefore the word war goes on,” One said.
    “How can a paradoxical situation go back to normal?” Two said.
    “We need another paradigm revolution, a dissolute question that would let us evolve, and change, waiting for the right moment,” One said.
    “But we can enforce the change,” Two said.
    “By defining arms as shotguns?” One said.
    “Or arms meant as the law,” Three intervened.
    “Yes, shotguns” Two said.
    “No way, arms are human parts. Or if you want, an inlet of water,” One said.
    “What if I gave you an order?” Two said.
    “Like what?” One said.
    “Shoot,” Two said.
    “Nope,” One said.
    “It’s an order,” Two said.
    “The univer-z-e is order and chaos,” One said.

  33. darren.white58

    Sitting on the cold stone steps of the mausoleum, I thought back to the promise I made so many years ago starting the chain of events leading to this evening. This wasn’t the time for that though, I needed information. Setting down the brown paper bag containing my tools for the evening, I pulled the little black cedar box from my coat pocket and compared the meticulous engraving on its lid to the larger chalk version I had scrawled from memory on the crypts door, a stylized cross standing atop a plinth flanked by small matching coffins. It had been over fifteen years since my little Fiona had been born and to protect her I had turned my back on the burden of my family’s blood. It turns out though magic is much like riding a bike and the symbols matched perfectly.

    The cheap Seiko’s alarm beeping signaled that the witching hour was half gone and it was time to get started. The box contained a pungent and dark cigar; one end blacked the other slightly chewed. I popped the nasty thing into the corner of my mouth and put the box away. Sliding just the top of the bottle Myers dark rum from the paper bag, opening it with a twist of the wrist, the cheap aluminum cap gave way with a series of sharp snaps. I took a long pull before setting it down on the steps and fishing for the matches in my pocket. Hooking them with a finger I flipped the prepared book open to reveal the sticky red thumbprint on the inside cover. I tore a match free and closed the book as I struck the cherry phosphorous to life. Turning the wildly flickering match back on its mates and the whole book went up with a satisfying wave of heat and light. The power of my blood raced through the flame as I lit the cigar.

    I took in a long drag and the smoke burned but was oddly sweet as it mixed with the molasses of the rum still coating my mouth. I let it hang there for just a second reveling in the vice I had given up so many years ago. Exhaling, the cloud of greasy smoke splashed across the sigil before me. The fog struck the door of the mausoleum but instead of rebounding away and dispersing the heavy smoke clung to the portal, gently boiling with unseen energy. It took three more deep exhales to cover the door completely and by the time it was done I was hacking from the effort. I quenched the burning in my mouth and throat with another pull off the bottle and steeled myself for the part I had been dreading most

    I called into the cold night air, “This is why I quit Papa Ghede, these dam things always make me start coffin.” I rolled my eyes at the booming chortle that lapped against me from the violently rippling smoke.

    “oh I understand for you to have called on me things must be quite grave.” The high nasally voice replied from the swirling vortex.

    “Someone took my daughter Ghe and without your help I’m buried.”

    “So scion of Solomon, you think that after all this time away from the game I’ll just pull your butt from the pyre like the old days.”

    “No, but I think you will help my little girl, if only to raise your spirits,”

    “And what pray tell are you going to barter for this knowledge. Since you broke your seal Magi, you have nothing left to offer.”

    To be continued…

  34. Cceynowa

    To Love On Her and Obey

    In the sweat, by and by, the guest gathered. The church’s air conditioning had parish-ed that morning and no one seemed to noah repairman able to resurrect it without at least three days’ notice.

    Priest D. Frocked fidgeted with his collar. Tensions were On High and it was well known by all congregated that the groom’s and bride’s families had some denominational differences unresolved. The groom, Satel, nervously cleared his throat; he wined to no one in particular, “How long do you think this will last? Supper awaits.”

    The priest smiled, “Be patient my son, this is the day on which you will build your marriage a pun.”

    Satel dutifully bowed his head to the wise man’s words, though he was comforted nun. The church’s doors opened and his bride, Ann, entered.

    Up from the pews the guests arose. The organist’s laid forth a noteworthy rendition of the traditional march.

    Ann walked by Faith, her sister, both led by their father. It was remarkable how alike the three in one were: all looked unhappy. The father had demoneded on altar-ing this part of the ceremony, and as was his daughter’s habit, she had knelt to his will. Some of the guests frowned that tradition had been messiah-ed with in an unorthodox fashion.

    When the procession had reached him, Satel took his future wife’s hand.

    “Let us begin,” said the priest.

    “Let us not,” said Cousin A. Men.

    “Ignore hymn, he’s a Mormon, I incense on a prayer,” said Ann forcefully.

    The ceremony continued. When the end was near, the priest said, “If anyone here has reason that these two should not be wed, speak now or savior peace.”

    “I object,” said an-eight-kid man, known for his promiscuous ways.

    “I don’t really give Adam what you say,” the groom shouted.

    “Hold up,” said the priest. “What is your objection Adam?”

    “Does Satel know what she does for a living?”

    All eyes turned to Satel. “Yes, I know she is a whiskey maker, but I love her still.”

    Aunt Gee Sis said, “Your kids will be like spit in the eye, not much to see.”

    “Indeed look at her nose,” Satel’s ex communicated.

    “Do you want to cross with that,” asked Peter on the other side.

    Evan Gelist, leader of many non-prophet organizations supporting marriage, said, “What’s-tig-mata with y’all? Priest, pray continue.”

    Speaking above the crowd’s protest, the priest shouted, “I now pronounced man and wife!”

    Overall, Satel Eite and Ann Tenna’s service was terrible, but the reception was great.

  35. Manwe38

    Below is a tribute to an ’80s movie. Brownie points for guessing which one :).


    My fingers flew across the aging keyboard like a violinist at Carnegie Hall. Across the room, red and blue lines criss-crossed the floor-to-ceiling monitor like a digital map of arteries and veins. Around me, soldiers and technicians raced between the banks of mainframe computers, shouting and screaming like kids on a playground. The air was humid, like the sauna of a gym, and rank with a potpourri of body odor and panic. I glanced up, surveyed the chaos for a moment, then returned to my work. According to the clock, I had at least three minutes, but I trusted the virus-infested computer about as much as my ex-wife. If I couldn’t find the answer, we would all be in for a world of hurt.

    The general ran over, his gut bouncing up-and-down beneath the too-tight uniform like a runaway basketball. “Any luck?”
    “No. The core has been corrupted. I can’t input any commands.”
    “What are our options?”
    “Try to distract it, sir, while they load in the worm.”
    The general frowned. “Distract it how?”
    “By telling jokes.”
    “Will that work?”
    “No idea. But it’s worth a shot.”

    The general straightened up. His face was pale, and his clothes were damp, as if he’d gone for a swim with his shirt still on. We locked eyes, and then he nodded. “Proceed.”

    I leaned over the keyboard and began to type. “Did you hear about the guy whose left side got cut off? He’s all right now.”
    The screen flickered, then two words appeared: “Access denied.”
    “I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger…then it hit me.”
    “Access denied.”
    “I used to be a banker, but then I lost interest.”
    “Access denied.”

    The general placed a meaty hand on my shoulder. “It’s not working, son.”
    I turned around to face him. “Let me keep going, general. Please.”
    The general glanced at a group of technicians bent over a terminal several feet away, then back to me. “You have one minute.”

    One minute. No time to waste. “Yes sir.” I continued to type: “I couldn’t quite remember how to throw a boomerang, but it eventually came back to me.”
    “Access denied.”
    “The man who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.”
    “Access denied.”
    My mouth began to dry out, and my hands shook like an addict in withdrawal. Come on, there had to be a way to make this stupid thing laugh! I’d been against the use of AI from the start, but the general had loved it, and I was only a colonel. It had worked great at first, but then the malfunction occurred, and now it was trying to launch all our missiles. The worm would shut it down, but they had to get past the firewall first….which meant everything came down to me.

    I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. What was that joke again, the one dad used to tell back when I’d been in school? My father had fancied himself a master of wit, and growing up, my friends and I had been a captive audience. Embarrassing at the time, his silly jokes and dumb lines just might be the thing that would save the world.

    My eyes flew open and I stared at the screen. Cracking my knuckles, I typed: “I used to have a fear of hurdles, but then I got over it.”

    The monitor flickered, then promptly went out. Around me, the lights dimmed, as if the room had closed its eyes to sneeze, and the myriad chorus of voices fell silent. All eyes turned to me, and the general leaned over my shoulder, his breath tickling my cheek like a hot desert wind. As everyone stared, the screen returned to life, and a noisy sigh escaped from my lips.

    Dad’s dumb joke had actually worked. We were in.

    I turned to the general, but before I could speak, a voice called out from the crowd: “What happened?’
    I stood and faced them, barely able to contain my grin. “We’re past the firewall. You can insert the worm.”
    “Are you sure?” another voice called.
    “What does it say?” the first voice asked.

    I glanced at the general, who slowly nodded, then turned back to the crowd and cleared my throat.

    “Access granted. Greetings, Professor Falken. How about a nice game of chess?”

    Cheers erupted, and the technicians got to work. I’d never be a comedian, but at least I’d saved the world.

    And my career.

    1. sjmca1966

      You had me searching furiously under the bed for the old VHS player. I then found the tape (inscribed with terrible sharpie calligraphy) right next to Ferris Beullers Day Off, yeah, I know weird way of categorizing.
      Nice work Manwe38.

    2. Reaper

      It took me until the end to get the Wargames reference but this also had tinges of Blaine the Mono which was awesome. Remember to hold onto those VHS tapes. If movies go the way of music the kids will be clamoring for them in a few years.

    3. WritingKittenOfLoki

      Awesome. Fun. I haven’t seen War Games, but it sounds interesting. A computer wanting to start WW3. I enjoy seeing people beat super computers.

  36. randytramp

    The middle aged woman at the motel counter was interesting. He analyzed her. She drank too much, was a smoker and lived with lazy guy that didn’t work. He thought with a little flattery he could know anything. His thoughts were interrupted when he saw Sharon walk in. She had her head tilted up. She approached the middle aged woman and pulled out her credit card; paid and received a room key. Stan tossed an apple at her causing her to drop her room key. He laughed but Sharon stayed serious.

    Under her breath he thought he heard her say, “Immature.” He saw her roll her eyes. He cleared his throat.
    “Let me tell you about Tammy.” Stan said as he recovered.

    Sharon put up her hand as she looked up at Stan. She motioned with her eyes to look at the people next to them. It was a middle aged couple watching the morning news. What’s her problem? Stan thought.

    “Hey, you’re supposed to be my girlfriend,” Stan reminded her.

    “And you’re supposed to be a member of the human race,” Sharon shot back as she tossed the apple back at Stan.

    He followed her. They entered the elevator. Sharon looked Stan right in the eye and said, “Don’t mess with me.”

    Stan went to his room forgetting his yogurt and toast on the table. He turned on his TV and waited. Sharon knocked loudly on his door. He let her in. She walked over to his TV and shut it off. How could a beautiful woman be like this? He asked himself.

    Sharon had to drive early this morning and didn’t get a lot of sleep the night before. She would have to endure Stan because it was her job. They were private investigators.

    “What have you found out so far?”

    “I was starting to tell you at the table, but we were sitting next to a couple of spies.” Stan shot Sharon a playful grin. Sharon yawned. “Tammy is a Midwestern girl. She is a student at the University. She has a big family and her sister is like you.”

    “La de da,” Sharon said.

    He took a deep breath and asked: “How was your drive?” Stan asked as he got up.

    “You’re interested in my drive? Uh, let me see. I stopped to pee. I bought an energy drink. Is that enough information?”

    How could they ever pull off being boyfriend / girlfriend? He thought. “I’m glad everything came out ok,”

    She rolled her eyes. Stan looked out the window. “Should we hold hands when we’re in public?”

    “NO” she said as she checked her makeup in his mirror. “What’s with this mirror? There’s lip stick on it. You using lip stick again?”

    Stan turned from the window. He mindlessly watched her put makeup on. He wondered how he could get below the rough exterior. He wondered if he should even try. Absolutely! She was a challenge and he lived for challenges.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        It’s the thrill of the chase that reigns supreme, not the catch. I liked the banter, realistically chrisp and with a dash of intrigue thrown in.

    1. Reaper

      I was a bit lost by the intro. I am assuming the middle aged woman was a random person or was it the woman in your story? I felt like it was a different woman and then her absence threw me a bit. Other than that bit of confusion I enjoyed this a lot and even with that there was a bit of a surrealist feel to this story that was enjoyable.

  37. rle

    I didn’t know exactly what to do with this prompt, but, since I sat on my ass last week and didn’t even write one, I thought I’d take a crack at it.


    Hugh Janis sat quietly at the bar nursing the same beer he’d been working on for over an hour. It was warm now and tasted a bit more like urine than the fresh cold brew he’d started when he first walked in. It really didn’t matter though, Hugh had a far more pressing issue to deal with. He felt very much like he was getting sick. As he stared at the clock on the wall behind the bar, he wondered how much longer before he’d have to stampede toward the men’s room. Diarrhea was always the worst and the situation would need to be rectified soon. It was a duty he didn’t relish and although, he was a man of honor, it was one he’d have to face sitting down.

    As he focused on the second hand of the clock, he thought back to his grandmother and all of the cutesy names she had for the condition he was about to be having: the foxtrots, the squirts, the green apple splatters. Why couldn’t the woman have just called the shits, the shits?

    While the mixture of nachos and beer churned and steeped in his gut, Hugh thought back to his first true love, Sharon Peters. He always wondered what happened to that girl. Word on the street was that she had married some young stud from up north named Manny Richards, but he never knew for sure.

    Finally, the moment had arrived. Hugh jumped up and high-tailed it toward the restroom even though he didn’t feel a bit tired. Once inside, he quickly found a stall, but instead of putting the horse inside, he let all of the livestock out of the barn.

    Hugh tried diligently to release the flood gates. Though he concentrated with all his might on the task at hand, the only satisfaction he got was an earthquake of putrid flatulence.

    Hugh returned to the bar to find another patron had taken his seat. Never the one to make waves, Hugh decided to take another perch, two down from the newcomer. As he sat down, the stool groaned in protest under his weight.

    Hearing the noise, the bartender looked up from his work and glanced toward Hugh, “loose stool?” he questioned.

    Hugh just shrugged and gave the bartender a sheepish grin, “no shit.”

    1. Cceynowa

      I had trouble with this prompt too… but I think you did very well making the whole story into a pun. A clear and concise read. Thanks for sharing!

  38. Kerry Charlton


    A stifling July morning soaked my freshly ironed shirt as I walked to the courthouse. Reporters had come here by train and by ship from half the world for this trial. Why in hell’s name had I agreed to argue a three time loser? What if I lost? Would they call me a quadruple floor flusher?

    That wasn’t all that was wrong with this back-water town. ‘Pigs were-a rootin’ under people’s houses and towns people were full of hookworms and laden with malaria.’ At least that’s what I had heard.

    “Welcome to Tennessee,” my opponent said. “Is this the first time you’ve defended a client that hasn’t killed someone?”

    “No all mighty one. I have figured out why you have two last names”

    “I’m proud of my name, sir”

    “I’m sure you are, so’s your mother. She had no clue which man was your father, thus she named you after both.”

    “Are you sure you studied law, liberal one?”

    “Yes, you pompous hypocrite, bible thumpin’, hymn singer. At least I had my mother’s tit out of my mouth when I started high school.”

    “Aren’t you worried about dying, Clarence?”

    “You liver-rot patsy, you haven’t the balls to shoot anybody. You’d have to give one of your putrid debates and bore someone to death.”

    “You’ll rot in hell, you know, because you’re an infidel.”

    “Says you William, ‘I’d rather be a democrat in hell then a republican in heaven.'”

    And then the trail started. First day, I objected thirty one times as William described my client as a heathen, science worshipper. Then he brought up the ape thing. Telling the jury my client taught about primates with tails and body hair. Just because my client taught high school and mentioned an occasional ape or two, the State of Tennessee had filed a law suit.

    Second day went down hill……

    The shit faced one started to debate hinself, ” I believe that every word of the bible is true.”

    “Objection your honor.”

    “What now councilor?”

    “If I hear correctly, prosecutor believes every word in the bible.”

    “And, state your point.”

    “That makes his ancestor a snake worshipper.”

    “Explain yourself, councilor.”

    “Eve, your honor.”

    “Sit down councilor before I have the bailiff handcuff you to a rail.”

    By the third day I had all I could take. “Objection your honor.”

    “On what grounds councilor?”

    “Prosecutor called my client a deviate monkey worshiper.”


    “He can’t prove that statement.”

    “Motion denied, sit down.”

    “Objection your honor.”

    “Now what?”

    “Prosecutor is a pompous jackass, three time loser.”

    “You’re out of order, Mr.Darrow. One more outburst, you’ll be in contempt.”

    “I can prove it your honor.”

    “You’re in contempt. Pay $200.00 or go to jail.”

    “I have a free pass ticket your honor.”

    “There is no such thing.”

    “Here it is.”

    “This is a monopoly pass.”

    That’s correct your honor.”

    “Court rules $400.00 fine councilor.”

    “Your honor?”

    “What in hell’s blazes is it now?”

    “I have two free pass tickets.”

    “Bailiff, show Mr. Darrow the exit door. Court is adjourned today.”

    1. lionetravail

      Coupla minor edits would tighten this, Kerry, but it’s a great fictionalized historical episode with colorful figures being, er, colorful 🙂

      Nicely done!

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you David. Wouldn’t it have been a blast to sit in a cozy bar with William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow and listen to them duel with the English language.

    2. snuzcook

      I was picturing Spencer Tracy and Fredrick March delivering these lines, Kerry, and it was hilarious.
      Imaginative and delightful approach to the prompt. Priceless lines: “She had no clue which man was your father, thus she named you after both…” and so many others. Well done!

    3. jhowe

      Very interesting read KC. It has been a while since I read anything about this case so I looked it up. I enjoyed your rendition very much. I noticed in my research that the prosecutor looks like Boss Hog from Dukes of Hazzard.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you jhowe. That’s really funny about Boss Hogg. I’ll have to pull up a photo of William Jennings Bryan and check it out. Thank you as always for your thoughts.

    4. sjmca1966

      I went straight to Inherit the Wind as well. One of my all time favorites along with Mr Smith Goes to Washington.
      Your vintage and your writing prowess adds so much romance to this forum Kerry!
      Bravo my friend!

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you,sjmca1966. That is high praise from you. If you like romance, be sure to read Part Four of my saga in process, A Time For War. Hope to post it on Saturday.

    5. Reaper

      This is amazing. There is a beauty to snuzcook and yourself posting one after the other this week. There is an elegance to both of your stories, and that simpler time feeling you both put into it. The humor was just dry enough to keep me constantly smiling. It was like putting down a beautiful classic and immediately picking up another to read these back to back. Just wonderful Kerry.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you, Reaper. This is the highest praise I’ve ever received from you to put me in the same league as snuzcook. Justified or not, my head’s grown two sizes today. On to part four of ‘A Time For War’. Hope to post Saturday. I’m not very fast in my writing, you know.

    6. WritingKittenOfLoki

      Haven’t seen Inherit The Wind. And don’t care to – from what I’ve heard it doesn’t tell the story anything like it really happened. But this is well written, and I (gonna take a moment to brag here) guessed it was about the Scopes monkey trial, when I saw the name Clarence – though perhaps everyone else figured it out then too.
      Thank you Kerry, for re-igniting the desire to study this more.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you WritingKitten, from what I’ve read the movie was Hollywood, although Tracy and March were fine actors. The actual event causing the law suit was partially planned and Scopes was well aware of the hornet’s nest he was about to unleash.

        We’ve come a long way from religion running supreme in this country and as usual, when the pendelum swings it travels to the opposite side in the extreme.

        I’m glad you enjoyed this and maybe those who are not familiar with the trail or the mode of the middle twenties will read about it.

  39. snuzcook


    The toy store was empty. The shades were drawn. But voices could be heard in a back corner.

    “Who’s your tailor, JC Piney?”

    “Ow! That’s SO funny I got a splinter biting my tongue.”

    “Don’t bite it too hard, those dentures might break.”

    “Dentures? Who’s talking about dentures? I heard you got yours from George Washington.”

    “Naw, I got this cowlick from George when he was a boy. My teeth are pure ivory.”

    “Yeah, right out of some junk yard piano. No wonder I hear chopsticks when you’re snoring.”

    “It’s better than sawing wood in my sleep like you do. I nearly lost an inch off my nose last night when you
    turned over.”

    “It’d be an improvement. I seen you trying to impress that Shirley Temple doll this morning. You were making up stories so fast you nearly poked her eye out.”

    “You’re one to talk. When you were schmoozing with that Marilyn Monroe doll you nearly carved her a new belly button.”

    “Hey! That’s hitting below the belt!”


    “Speaking of belts, did you notice Mr. Wiggens behind the counter yesterday? He was nipping on something in a brown paper bag. He better not let his wife catch him.”

    “Too late.”

    “What do you mean?”

    “Takes one to know one. The Old Bag cut back his allowance so he can’t afford to buy booze.”

    “Poor guy, he’s been pruned.”

    “No, no, just put on a budget. It was the dog that got pruned.”

    “I thought it was called ‘neutered’. “

    “No, pretty sure it’s pruned. But he’s luckier than the cat.”


    “I heard them say she’s going to get spade. Only other time I saw Wiggens with the spade he was burying their last cat. I’ll sure miss Fluffy.”

    “You’re such a knothole.”


    The two wooden puppets suddenly went lifeless as Mr. Wiggens, the shop keeper, and his wife came in the back door and approached their display shelf. Most of these toys were nearly antiques, left over from a time when children saw puppets in the movies and on television and begged their parents to have one of their own. Mr. Wiggens was an antique himself, one of those rare individuals who would not part with the treasures on his store shelves just because they were not selling.

    Mrs. Wiggens’ voice was impatient. “You have to get rid of something. We just don’t have enough space for the new Ninja Turtles display.”

    “Not these, Mama,” he said, patting the two articulated puppets fondly. He directing his wife’s attention across the store. “Let’s move those board games to a higher shelf. Kids don’t play those much anymore.”

    “What’d I tell ya, pruned.”

    “You’ve got beetles in your brain. Mr. Wiggens is alright. He was carved out of one hundred percent heartwood.”

    1. snuzcook

      A few posts back, I lamented that I do possess the genes for punning, despite Jay’s kind offer to give me some of his (jeans). But this is what the prompt drew from some dark recess of my brain to come out an play.

      1. snuzcook

        Freud strikes again! Above should have said “…that I do NOT possess the genes for punning…” Pitiful as it may seem, I am embarking as I type this on a web search to enlighten myself on the art of punning. I bow to all the gifted naturals out there!

      2. snuzcook

        An acknowledgement: ‘alright’ is one of my weaknesses, along with ‘alot’ and an overuse of redundant words redundantly in paragraphs alot. I know better, but they still sneak in. Feel free to snap my rubber band if you catch me at it, alright?

    2. k.spicer

      I liked it Snuz, You found a way to work this prompt into a unique story. You’re miles ahead of me on this one. I may take a side line on this one. So far I’ve got nothing!

    3. Jay "The Doc" Wilson

      I enjoyed this, Snuz. the characters had character, and poor poor kitty. If you want a really good style of Pun writing that I think your cleverness would fit right into, I suggest Vignette/Feghoot style stories. It’s what I used just below in my “Time and Space” story. These days I don’t see much of that style stories, and if I do, they usually aren’t limited to Sci-Fi like they used to be. I think you could work the style into something wicked good. 🙂

      Anyway, back to your story. Fun, exciting, and incredibly entertaining. 😀 Thanks for sharing!

      1. Kerry Charlton

        A joyous trip through pun land snuz. Loved the banter between the two puppets, especially about almost destroying Msarilyn Monroe’s belly button. As someone who know the true fact, Marilyn did not have a belly button. She had a belly face lift and had one installed. The rest of her was real, however.

    4. lionetravail

      Nicely done, Snuz- very cute, and even heartwarming. Great banter, esp with the Marilyn doll, but you missed a freebie: “Hey you’re not the only guy who ever got wood over her!” 😉

      The exchange also reminded me of that funny Farside, where an excited dog, heading for the car, explains that the escitement is because he’s off to get ‘tutored’.

      Fun stuff!

    5. sjmca1966

      Such a touching tribute to a bygone era snuzcook. Marilyn’s shorts were the anthesis of low-riders, making your reference to ‘below the belt’ a stand-out in a crazy good story.
      Loved it!

    6. Reaper

      I am stunned and bowing to you in awe. This is amazing, funny, brilliant. So many words and in the strangest way reminds me of Punch and Judy. I guess it’s that other era thing. I just can’t say enough good about it.

    7. snuzcook

      I just realized that I have been terribly, terribly remiss–Thanks everyone for your comments!!! Your comments are what make this exchange so valuable to me!

  40. Amyithist

    The bathroom door collided with the wall as he shouldered it open. With sweat dripping from his face, he staggered over to the sink and twisted the cold water faucet. A steady stream of white hissed out from the chrome lips and he bent, quickly splashing his face. He’d been nervous before; but this was ridiculous. He sucked in a mouthful of air and reached into his pocket, retrieving the little yellow pill promised to calm him down.
    After tossing it back, he straightened, looking at himself in the mirror. He didn’t look like he belonged out there. He looked like he belonged in an office overlooking the bay with a computer reading the latest stock reports. But this was something he’d always wanted to do…something he felt deep down into his soul. He dried his face off with a paper towel and gave himself one last look before leaving the sanctity of the restroom.
    The bar was crowded with angst ridden thugs. The proverbial over-sized tee shirts and sagging jeans barely kept up with studded belts clashed miserably against his pressed slacks and corn-starched Oxford. But as they called him up to the stage, he walked with purpose.
    The opponent he’d be facing was an angry looking young man with gold plated teeth and lips that seemed to be pulled back into a permanent snarl. Jim found himself on the verge of running out of the bar; back to his Lexus…back to the safety of his condo in Seattle… But he forced himself to stay. He didn’t have a lifetime to do what he wanted to do anymore. Every dream he’d ever had was going to come to an end in six months time…less, if the cancer had its way.
    He swallowed and grabbed the microphone from the DJ. The introductions blared, low music started, and he watched as the man across from him delivered his best (though, stale) Yo Mama jokes. After the blasts of, “I said something smelled like tuna fish and your mama apologized and closed her legs” and the “Yo Mama so stupid she thought corn rows was something that grew in Nebraska”, Jim smiled.
    He tapped his mic, ensuring it was on and put it up to his mouth. He feigned thought. “I don’t know whether to hand you a tic-tac or some toilet paper but the shit you just had coming out of your mouth was stank!” OOO’s and Whoa’s rippled through the crowd. Jim grinned wider. They thought he was here to make a joke or two. But the truth was, he was here to make a point. American civilization was on the decline and it was places like this; people who thought insulting one another for a good laugh was acceptable behavior that was to blame. “I know what I can do for you,” he said. His tone dropped. It was low and dangerous. And before he could change his mind or let the panic thundering against his chest cause him to back out of what he needed to do, he pulled the gun from his waist band and aimed at the man. “I could just blow a hole through your mouth and solve the whole fucking problem.”
    The man’s eyes widened. He stepped back slightly but it was too late. Jim’s heart swelled with overwhelming emotion. He pulled the trigger. The man’s jaw flew into the crowd as the rest of him teetered back. One down. Millions to go.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        A real chiller Amyithist. Down and dirty and dark. It’s a marvel to see you switch from one persona to another. While I’m on a rant, I need Jay and Reaper to infuse me with some nasty, so I can do it.

    1. sjmca1966

      I kind of get where Brian was going with this weeks prompt, taking some people out of their comfort zone. After reading this I honestly don’t think anything would faze you Amy, I love your writing, it truly inspires me.

    2. Reaper

      Oh Amyithist. Since puns are sadly infesting my brain I can only say, Welcome Home. Double meaning on the subtitle of Metallica’s Sanitarium completely intended. This has all of the hallmarks of your greatness but with a little extra. I don’t know that I have seen you do out in the open social commentary, with the exception of abuse and childhood monsters, and I have to say the shock I felt about where this story went was surpassed only by my awe at the raw and gritty way you jumped in with both feet.

    3. Critique

      Very well written Amyithist! Wow. I did not see that coming from your MC.
      A teensy suggestion: some spacing between paragraphs would make it easier to read.

  41. Jay "The Doc" Wilson

    Here’s a stand-alone story for those that aren’t following my Tick Tock series here. More obvious puns in this one, and I honestly had a hard time keeping a straight face writing some parts of this. Also, I apologize for having another story posted so quickly, but this one came to me and I needed to let it out of the bag. 😉 Enjoy!

    “Through Time and Space with Germaine Ferghoof”

    There are usually two types of addicts. One type knows control. They can stay away from their addictions. They get the support they need from their friends, family, and their sponsor. They do everything in their power to avoid becoming the monster they believe themselves to be. They are strong and empowered.

    The other type only pretend long enough until their hunger must be satiated. Some people guess that it’s because their addiction is too strong or their will is too weak. Well, Germaine Ferghoof was neither of those. No. He held on because he loved to savor the taste of gratifying that deep unrelenting hunger. The kind only rivaled by pinching off an orgasm to just before one or both of the berries explode.

    The sweet smell of marinated steak permeated the dark kitchen. Germaine stood at the range and cooked his meal on medium with only a small LED light shining down from the small lamp under the microwave. A brilliantly flavored miasma of steam and smoke from the searing flesh billowed from the pan.

    Germaine grabbed the handle, shook his meal off onto a nearby porcelain plate decorated with crude images of lilacs and roses, and set the pan aside to cool. He took the plate to his table, and sat across from Chyna Shearson. She smiled at him and he smiled back.

    The woman only stared as he cut his meal. She watched him take a bite, close his eyes, and roll the salty meat over his tongue. He opened his eyes, and she continued to smile.

    He’d found her only a few days ago, and because they had such an amazing first date, he decided they should have dinner together once again. So, there she sat, her eyes held open by surgical stitches. Each corner of her mouth pulled back into a grin by two fishing hooks bound together with a heavy-duty rubber band. She wore a beautiful red silk dress, and her skin was soft all the way down to her hands. Well, only the one hand because he’d relocated the other to his plate.

    “You have such beautiful eyes,” he said as gestured to those cold milky orbs, and then he picked her hand up and bit one of her fingers off.

    He began to chew and the juices squished between his teeth. The bone softly crunched and popped under the powerful weight of his jaw, and a small piece suddenly shot into the back of his throat.

    He coughed hard—even spit some of his food out—but there still remained a large chuck blocking his air. He heaved and choked and coughed and wheezed. Finally, he fell dead onto the plate. She continued to smile.

    Germaine learned the hard way that evening that one should never bite the hand that feeds.

    1. Amyithist

      Whoa. Whoa. I- Whoa. I can’t even type words. I’m simply in awe. This was so disturbing. Amazing imagery…that left me completely haunted. And the last line?? BRILLIANT! A new twist to an old cliche.
      Now… I have to ask, because I’m piqued with curiosity. Are you a WWE fan? Or is Chyna just a name you chose? Intrigued minds (well, my mind) wants to know. 🙂

    2. snuzcook

      I could see this one on screen, Jay. Though I think the dinner guest would have to be digitally inhanced.
      So incredibly morbid and dark that it went round the bend to funny. Your descriptions–as always–are explicit and understated, which adds to the tone of the piece. Thank goodness, Germaine appears to have gotten his just desserts. You had me choking with laughter. ;0)

    3. sjmca1966

      This is just a personal preference, but I think this maybe my favorite piece from you. The reason being the slow build up, where as in the past you’ve often gone for the gruesome quite early, perhaps the word limits have pushed you to display your strengh a tad too early.
      Blown away!

  42. lionetravail

    (I went all fanciful on this one- yes it’s a poem, but it’s also a story told in poetic form. With puns. And imps. And perhaps impish puns.)

    “A Moral Imp Erative” (Or. “An Imp Ortant tale of Imp Etuousness and Imp Ropriety, with an Imp Ressive Twist ending”)

    Imp Ossible Odds and his very best friend,
    Imp Robable Outcome, the Third,
    were by House Imp Erial,
    and eating their cereal,
    when they got an Imp Ortuning word.

    “Come quickly and help, or it will be too late!”
    Imp Otent screamed, running at speed.
    “The hermit recluse,
    Imp Lausible X. Cuse,
    is under attack and in need!”

    The heroes responded, and leapt to their feet,
    drawing forth both sword and shield.
    Expecting disaster,
    they cut through the pasture,
    which belonged to Imp Erfectly Sealed.

    When they got to the back of the old hermit’s shack,
    they heard a big ruckus inside.
    Odds opened the door,
    his friend leaped to the fore-
    what they saw fair screamed DANGER: Imp Lied!

    That ne’er-do-well had his sidekicks from hell,
    his gang of Imp Osters, those nasties!
    With a price on their heads
    that Imp Ertinent said,
    “There’s only two, let’s kick their assties!”

    “Get ’em, boys,” Lied shouted, lifting his club,
    and Imp Etuous advanced first, that fiend!
    Then another erroneous,
    that scum, Imp Ecunious,
    along with Imp Roperly Cleaned!

    With five deadly foes which beset our heroes,
    victory seemed near Imp Ossible.
    But Imp Robable grinned,
    and lifted his chin,
    for success also seemed near Imp Lausible!

    The hermit, now heartened, turned with face darkened,
    and his foot stretched to trip Imp Ecunious.
    With Odds in their favor,
    Outcome never wavered,
    and the villains were proved mere buffoonius.

    With Imp Ressive-type swordwork, they beat down those jerks,
    saving the ancient recluse.
    With Imp ending force,
    good won, of course,
    and our heroes turned the hermit loose.

    At the end, there they stood, the Imp Oster’s beat good,
    and the moral Imp Els, like a drum:
    ‘gainst Imp Ossible Odds,
    it is cause for applauds
    to expect an Imp Robable Outcome!

    1. Amyithist

      WOW, Lionetravail! This was fantastic! How very clever. The type of artistry that one would expect from a time that’s long gone. You made me smile. 🙂

    2. lionetravail

      I absolutely love me my puns 🙂 Putting them into verse is just going for extra credit, for me.

      Thanks guys! (I have some others, may uncork as well.)

  43. Pete

    Well, I guess this prompt doesn’t scream maturity, so….

    My heart shuffled in my chest as I took the death march towards the bus stop, which looked more like a block party with all the laughing and pointing. But there was no backing out now. Everybody watched as I crossed the street without looking, hoping a car would put me out of my misery.

    I wasn’t delusional enough to think that I could take on Shane. But yesterday, when Riley Murphy had winked at me, I’d felt a surge of confidence that was now as stale as the bread Mom used to make my sandwich this morning.

    And now I was about to be thoroughly roasted.

    Shane slunk over towards me, all swagger and smiling. “I’ll make this short and easy, son. Just say Master Shane and we can forget this little deal.”

    I cinched up my book bag. I knew that I should say it, no one would think worse of me, well, maybe Riley, who looked on with her sandy blonde hair pulled back in pigtails and a smile so bright I needed my solar eclipse shoe box just to appreciate it.

    “Disaster Brain.”

    The “oooohs” rolled in like storm clouds. Shane blinked and then his stupid face returned to its natural smirk. “Well, that’s pretty weak, but you’re trying. Unlike your mom last night. I mean, she’s so fat, that when God said, ‘Let there be light’, she had to move out of the way.”

    An explosion of laughter hit the stop, prompting Old Man Martin—a devout Catholic, to shoot us a nasty look from his garden. Meanwhile Danny and Ryan hunched over in laughter, and Bobby Moyer chuckled so hard that spit hit the back of my neck. Riley frowned and I tried to remember some of the ingenious things I’d come up with last night but my brain was like oatmeal.

    “I uh…Well, your mom is so stupid that she thought a quarterback—”

    “Was a refund?” Shane interrupted and I silently cursed Google for such well known information. “Are you serious?” he said, shaking his head to the delighted vultures closing in on us. “Is that the best you can do?”

    I shrugged, “That’s what your Mom said.”

    “That doesn’t make sense.”

    Crap, this was going downhill fast. I needed something. “Yeah well, I told your Mom it was chilly outside and she brought a spoon.”

    Crickets. I think Mr. Martin even snorted at my flop. Shane looked me up and down; he was a foot taller than me and much more the showman. And now Danny stood behind him with his phone, recording the carnage. “Dude, your Mom is so ugly that her mom had to get drunk to breast feed her.”

    More laughter, prompting him to hit me with a follow up. “Your mom is so fat they had to take her picture with Google Earth,” he said ,and Old Man Martin had a coughing fit he was laughing so hard. That’s it, I lashed back.

    “Your Mom is so fat, she wore a Target shirt and a helicopter landed on her back,” I said, and the crowd tightened around us.

    The gladiator circled me, a finger to his chin as he went in for the kill. “Your Mom’s so dumb—“

    “Hey. Idiots,” Riley said, rolling her eyes as the yellow beast lurched up the road. “You have the same mom.”
    I looked at Shane—my older brother—who tonight would make me pay by pinning me down with his knees on my shoulders as he dangled his orange juice saliva so that it would just kiss my nose. But still, I wouldn’t say it.

    “You’ll say it,” he said stepping onto the bus.

    “Disaster Brain.”

    1. Jay "The Doc" Wilson

      I was a little let down by the brotherly twist, but the character was delightful so I enjoyed in nevertheless. Also, I absolutely loved the following line:

      “…a smile so bright I needed my solar eclipse shoe box just to appreciate it.”

    2. snuzcook

      I think I know these two! I love the perspective of the younger brother trying so hard to match wits with his older sibling, and failing half the time. Great lines, and the unexpected twist that kids now have to put up with, that their every encounter just might be recorded for posterity on someone’s phone. Well done!

    3. sjmca1966

      If these were originals (and knowing you Pete, they more than likely were), then very well done. I loved the bother twist, it added a whole different dimension to sibling rivalry. Nice job.

  44. sjmca1966

    The Reunion –

    I was at the school reunion.

    I was settled at the bar, when Chris walked up, “Let me think. . . how long’s it been? I think it was at the bicentennial man.” he said.

    “I think you’re right, nice to see you Chris. What are you having?”

    “What you’re drinking looks fine.”

    I turned to the young woman behind the bar, “One more can, Mindy please.” I asked.

    “So, you still at Delt and Co?”

    “Nah, left about nine months ago.”

    “Really, did old Mrs Delt fire you?”

    “Nah, I walked into her office and caught her in an uncompromising position. She had a lad in. I left with five years salary.”

    “That’s fantastic. So what have you been up to?”

    “I’ve been getting back to nature, I bought a boat.”

    “That’s you, The Fisher, king of the sea.”

    “I’m looking to re-build an old place in the woods soon too.”

    “Good, will hunting be on the cards then?”

    “Hell yeah.”

    “If you need a hand with the deconstructing Harry, give me a call.”

    “Thanks for that. It’s a nice little patch, Adam’s old man sold it to me.”

    I was starting to enjoy myself until he walked in, “Hey get a load of the bird, Cage is with,” said Chris, “Bit of a step up from the old dogs he used to date.”

    I could never stand Mike Cage at school.

    “I bet he remembers you, or your right hook at least,” said Chris.

    “Man, of the year full of highlights, that was up there. It was one happy feat on my part.”

    It was towards the end of the night and after quite a few drinks, when Chris asked if I was on speaking terms with my father, “Yeah, we’re good as gold now,” I said, “I just rocked up to his place one night and when he opened the door I said it. Pop, I love you.

    RIP Robin

    1. Amyithist

      Once I realized what you were doing, I started to cry. sjmca1966, very sweet of you to do for an actor who has clearly meant a lot to a lot of people. Thank you for the tribute. 🙂

    2. Reaper

      Thank you smjca1966. I wanted to do a tribute to Robin Williams this week but could not figure out how. If the prompt hadn’t changed I was thinking of a way to do one on the last prompt. I’m with Amiythist on my reaction. This story was amazing both because of and beyond that and for at least today you are one of my heroes, which I needed since I like many just lost one.

    3. sjmca1966

      Thanks everyone. This is not my best work, but I’m proud of it. There were so many more I tried to fit in but just couldn’t, I know who could’ve though.

  45. Manwe38

    Not sure how strong a take this is, but I’ll give it a shot.

    * * *

    The cockpit shivered like a kid in the cold. Beyond the glass, the starry night was punctuated by a ring of explosions, blossoms of wild roses that splashed against the black like lethal paint. We were outmanned, outgunned, and about to bite the big one. I turned to my companion.

    “Don’t just stand there!” I said. “Help me!”
    He frowned. “I’m not standing. I’m sitting.”
    Oh, God, not again. “They’re gaining on us!”
    “Then we need to run faster.”

    “What do you think I’m trying to do?”
    “I do not know. Perhaps you could tell me?”

    The blood roared in my ears like a wave of living rapids. He was always too literal, been that way since they’d met. Sometimes it was funny, but it was about to get them killed. I gritted my teeth, then pointed to the toolbox. “Hand me that wrench,” I said, “the one with the plastic grip.”

    His brow furrowed like dunes on a beach. “A wrench is not a hand.”
    That did it. “The tool!” I shouted. “Give me the tool! If you don’t, we’re through!”
    A smile tugged at the corners of his mouth. “Really? Can I go, then?”

    Another explosion tore through the ship. To my left, a control panel erupted in a shower of sparks. Everywhere I looked, the displays had turned red. Gravity was beginning to weaken; I could feel my weight dropping, as if I had suddenly gone on the world’s fastest diet. Below decks, the howl of dying machinery peppered the air in a cacophonous vortex. I had fought the good fight, but we were running out of time.

    Only one thing left to do.

    I turned around, facing the passenger we’d met at our most recent stop. “Can you help?” He had yet to speak, but was our only hope. As I stared, his wooden face contorted, his coal-black eyes swiveling to focus on me, and he gave me his answer:

    “I am Groot.”

    1. Jay "The Doc" Wilson

      Thanks for reading, Manwe38!

      I feel like there’s a theme here, and it’s wasted on me because I’m not in the circle of people who would get the reference. That said, you have a fantastic way with words, and I think with a lot more practice you can get really good at manipulating them.

      You open strong: The cockpit shivered like a kid in the cold. That’s some excellent sensory right there. However, you set a tone and theme with that sentence and it disconnects from the other sentences. Try to wrap your sensory and descriptions with your other descriptions. Cold with cold, explosions with explosions, this helps the reader stay on point and in the moment without being distracted by too many things.

      For instance:

      The cockpit shivered like a kid in the cold. Beyond the glass, the starry night was punctuated by a ring of explosions, blossoms of wild roses that splashed against the black like lethal paint. We were outmanned, outgunned, and about to bite the big one. I turned to my companion.


      The hull of the cockpit rattled and the whole of the beast shuddered violently as if the fright of our impending doom had somehow transferred to the ship. Through the marred and mottled glass, millions of celestial eyes, as well as my own, looked upon the battlefield to witness a giant ring of explosions roar and spit forth the debris of our comrades.

      It had become obvious that we were outgunned, and so I regarded my companion with a grim and screamed through the raging and dissonant symphony of war, “Don’t just stand there! Help me!”

      The common theme in the second example is monsters, beasts, roaring, etc etc to wrap it all up. I also threw in a reference to music so cacophonous doesn’t stick out later like a sore thumb. That’s just how I would do it, though. All writers a different. You have a perfectly fine voice and excellent imagery, you just have to wrangle your prose. As for the story itself, like I said, I don’t get the reference, so it fell flat for me–but I’m sure others will get it. 🙂

      I look forward to seeing more of your work in the future, and keep working on those descriptions! 😀

      1. Manwe38

        Thank you for the feedback, Jay, it was thoughtful and comprehensive.

        I will certainly be making use of it in the future.

        The reference was he recent film “Guardians of the Galaxy”; all three are main characters from the film. If you haven’t seen it, the prompt won’t make sense. In retrospect, I should’ve done more to keep things “in the moment.”….but there’s plenty of time.

        Looking forward to so ending more time here, that’s for sure!

    2. Amyithist

      This was oozing with raw talent. You obviously have a knack. I agree with Jay. Listen to him; the man’s a genius. There was one spot where you stepped out of first person narrative and I wasn’t sure if it was part of the flavor of the writing or if it was a mistake? Here is the part I’m referring to: The blood roared in my ears like a wave of living rapids. He was always too literal, been that way since they’d met. Sometimes it was funny, but it was about to get them killed. I gritted my teeth

      With that being said, keep writing. It’s the same as anything else in the world: the more you do it, the better you get. 🙂

    3. sjmca1966

      I was DC/Planet junkie as a kid, so I ashamedly snobbed Marvel. Manwe38 your writing was so good that it compelled me to do a little research on the subject matter, just so I could appreciate where you were coming from.
      You’ve had some wise words of wisdom from those more qualified than myself, so I will just say well done!

    4. Reaper

      Mostly I wanted to just say welcome. The main things I would tell you have been covered by Jay and Amyithist better than I could have said them. I caught your reference but only because friends were explaining the characters to me based on the comics the movie came from. You do have a very interesting and unique voice and I look forward to reading more from you.

    5. Manwe38

      Thank you, smjca and Reaper.

      I appreciate the feedback, and thank you for reading. I’ve enjoyed your stories very much, and look forward to learning from you and everyone in the forum.

  46. Jay "The Doc" Wilson

    Tick Tock


    Klem’s killing me with these crazy prompts. They’re so off-beat, they don’t fit with the story. You know what? Challenge accepted, Brian. Challenge accepted. I tried to hide the puns really well so it didn’t detract from the atmosphere. I hope you can find them. 🙂

    You can find the previous parts of this story in the previous three prompts.

    The man from 3B opened the door, and he stood nearly twice as tall as she did. His jeans appeared wrinkled as though he’d just removed them from a suitcase, and the front was unbuttoned. He wore a gray wife beater with either water spots or oil stains, and he hadn’t shaved in a few days by the look of him. He lifted his hand and popped a few juicy grapes into his mouth.

    “Wha’ the hell ya want?” He said with an odd accent suggesting he never had the chance to learn proper English. He eyed her. “Yous not ‘berry smart comin’ to a stranga’s crib.”

    Alexis looked into the room. Just beyond the bed, on which sat an opened suitcase, a woman cowered in the corner. Her eyes bled black streaks and the left side of her face burned cherry-red—a precursor to a wicked bruise. Upon the wall, a clock ticked and tocked, ticking away the seconds until it wasn’t just a bruise, but instead that woman’s death.

    “Bitch, I’s talkin’ to you.”

    She returned her gaze to the man, and his face was no longer a face. His eyes had gone, leaving black holes encircled by yellow and purple skin. His nose was an empty triangle, and his mouth a large dark void. His lips pulled back tightly against his teeth, and within his mouth was a wet layer of skin. It looked like some kind of tar, and it pulsated as if to the rhythm of a heavily beating heart.

    A garbled and evil sound echoed from deep within him as a black viscous liquid poured from the corners of his mouth. The skull of a face seemed to smile at her, and she reared back in fear.

    Though her lips did not move her voice said, “He’s one of them.”

    The thump, thump, thumping in her chest slammed harder as the man-thing took a step toward her. She gripped the letter opener tighter, and her fingers burned with pain.

    “Stay back.” She said.

    The other her said, “Stab him. Cut him in the throat!”

    “No!” She said.

    The man reached out to her with a bony hand loosely covered by thin opaque skin. He grinned his skeletal grin, and that horrific sound came again.

    “Cut him out of the picture.” Her not-her voice urged. “Cut him like you did me.”

    In a nearby window, the woman appeared again. That evil artificial smile. That missing busted eye.

    “No.” Alexis whimpered through hot tears, and she lunged at the monster in front of her.

    To be continued next prompt

    1. Manwe38

      I read this right after lunch. It’s a great story, but now my tummy hurts :)!

      Seriously, great descriptive writing here; I’ll need to go back and check out the earlier chapters.

      Nicely done!

    2. lionetravail

      Well done, Jay- dark, and the hidden puns were fun to hunt for. I don’t think I found any- I thought wifebeater might have been one, but I found out it has an actual urban dictionary definition. I will ponder and re-read.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Here we go:

        Wife beater/ wind breaker
        Front was unbuttoned/ fly was unzipped
        Cut him out of the picture/ kill him
        Her not her voice/Her anger said
        Her eyes bled black streaks/ Mascara ran down her face
        That missing busted eye/That gouch eye
        That evil artificial smile / smirk on her face
        Twice as tall as she was/ towered all over her
        Skull of a face/ gaunt face
        I’m sure there’s more.

    3. Reaper

      Nice Jay. You had one or two obvious ones, but honestly the only real subtle one I caught was her cheek glowing cherry red. Not sure anyone but a current or ex smoker would catch that one.

  47. lionetravail

    Divine Pun-nishment

    “Thanks for the drink. Since you asked, I’m a Scorpio, but I’m probably best defined as a ‘tree hugger’ with a sense of humor.”

    “Really? How are you on low-hanging fruit?”

    “Omigod! You didn’t just…?”

    “Uh huh, I totally did.”

    “Oh, you! You… you…”

    “I should branch out more?”

    “Omigod, you’re awful!”

    “Yep, I’m kinda the root of all evil, I am, but it seems like your tree-hugging sap is flowing a little slowly today, huh?”

    “It is not! In fact, I might just get up and leave…”

    “Bingo! Now you’re getting it!”

    “Wait. Getting what? Whatever it is, it’s not what you think.”

    “Hahahahah! ‘Knot’ what I think? Heh, brilliant!”

    “What? Oh. Oh! Hey, maybe I am getting it! I… I think I’ll have another drink with you, if you’re buying.”

    “Sure! Yeah, it took you a bit to get there, but I guess the Appletini doesn’t fall far from…”

    “Hah! This whole conversation is surreal, but hysterical. You’re not the kind of guy I usually look for…”

    “What, like a forest?”


    “Can’t see me for the…”

    “Hah! See? Right there, you’re not the usual horn-dog I meet at bars like these?”

    “No? But I have one serious question…”

    “Okay, shoot.”

    “Am I barking up the wrong…?”

    “Hah! And no.”

    “Okay, o…wait. What?”

    “I think maybe you’re barking up the right tree… hugger.”

    “Oh. Oh! Um, you want to get out of here and go somewhere?”

    “Sure! You seem like a lot of fun- just promise me one thing?”

    “Um, maybe?”

    “If and when you get up the tree…”

    “Uh huh?”

    “Don’t get all squirrelly on me, okay?”

    “Heh. Nice one… Check please?”

      1. Kerry Charlton

        I enjoyed the pun ishment of the lore between the two. Am I getting this or not? We’re talking about two guys here? At least that’s my take on this. Conver. will work either way, I just thought it leaned slighty south. Whatever, the conver. is dead on. I’m tired as hell tonight and don’t seem to be able the find the keys to write conversation, thus conver. At my age, I need to cut corners.

        1. lionetravail

          Thanks everyone for reading and commenting!

          Kerry, it’s basically a bar flirting pickup deal- could work either same sex or hetero, I guess. My thrust is the first voice is female, the second male… maybe it’s the length of time since you last tried to pick up a girl in a bar 🙂

    1. Reaper

      I have a feeling I am going to say this a lot this week. My response to this is *throws glass into fireplace and makes for the nearest exit be it door window or flimsy wall*. From reading Spider Robinson I know that is one of the two highest compliments you can pay a pun.

  48. k.spicer

    Hey, Observer Tim. go back to the last prompt (Captain of the Deck) and read part two of Shanghaied. Tell me what you think. I posted it right when they changed the prompts so no one will probably see it! Thought you might like to see what happened to the MC.

  49. jhowe

    In 1998, Marie Creston interviewed Simmie Black who holds the world’s record for the most knockouts in his boxing career. The interview never aired and remained locked away in Marie’s cedar chest until her recent death. Her family has decided to release the interview to the public. “It is time,” said Marie’s brother, Tim McKee. The interview took place on the boxer’s yacht.

    Marie: I am here with boxing legend Simmie Black, who was knocked out an amazing 95 times in his boxing career from 1989 to 1996. Simmie, can you tell me what it is like to be knocked out so many times?

    Simmie: I don’t know if I reckon I ever did.

    Marie: Pardon me?

    Simmie: Did you fart?

    Marie: No, I didn’t.

    Simmie: Well, when you pardoned yourself I thought you might have done something.

    Marie: Can we go on?

    Simmie: Certainly. But if you do fart, I would appreciate a warning.

    Marie: I’ll keep that in mind. Simmie, do any of the knockouts you suffered stand out in your memory?

    Simmie: Pi R squared.

    Marie: Pi R squared?

    Simmie: That’s the formula for the area of a circle.

    Marie: I know that but?

    Simmie: I also like the Pythagorean Theorem, but I feel life is more circular than triangular, wouldn’t you agree.

    Marie: Yes, I suppose it is, but getting back to your boxing career…

    Simmie: Have you ever tried to trip a dog?

    Marie: What?

    Simmie: It’s not easy; you have to use your foot and both hands, and then they don’t always fall down.

    Marie: You don’t say?

    Simmie: And the dogs don’t seem to mind.

    Marie: My dog would.

    Simmie: Oh, do you have cats as well?

    Marie: No, just a dog.

    Simmie: Good, because I’m allergic.

    Marie: I’m sorry to hear that.

    Simmie: Don’t be. I use the excuse to get out of dinner parties.

    Marie: What if they don’t have a cat?

    Simmie: I tell them I can’t chance it.

    Marie: Your boxing career is one of bitter sweet memories I would presume.

    Simmie: The noon balloon to Rangoon leaves promptly at noon.

    Marie: Um, I see, but can we talk about boxing.

    Simmie: Again I digress, Pi R squared.

    Marie: The balloon right? Because it’s circular?

    Simmie: You’re reading way too much into this.

    Marie: Simmie, I must ask you to answer one question about boxing.

    Simmie: Go ahead.

    Marie: When you trip a dog, does it get right back up?

    Simmie: Actually, after my 95th knockout I felt it was time to hang up the gloves. I was concerned for my health by this time.

    Marie: I see; and does the Rangoon balloon return at noon as well?

    Simmie: Everybody wanted to box me in those days. Another KO to their status was a valuable thing. I do regret not making it to 100 though.

    Marie: I’m afraid I just farted.

    Simmie: No, my boxing days are definitely over.

    Marie: Thank you Simmie, you’ve been a pudding treat in a felt hat.

    Simmie: Only once. I knocked out Billy Rampart in 1992. He was forced into retirement after that.

      1. lionetravail

        Jhowe, this might not have been especially punny, but it was absolutely hysterical! Frankly, the whole thing reads as a giant pun… maybe all you need is a title to pull it together, like a news headline-

        Punch-Drunk, Punchy Puncher Punches Ticket But Pulls No Punches



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