Something’s Wrong With This Wedding

Your best friend from college has invited you to his wedding. You haven’t seen him for years, so you’re excited to catch up. But when you arrive at the wedding, you discover that your best friend’s bride is someone from your past—and you realize you must stop the wedding at all costs.

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357 thoughts on “Something’s Wrong With This Wedding

  1. Amyithist

    My breath caught as I stared at Gwen sitting at the end of the table. She still looked the same, even though it had been ten years since I’d last seen her. I smile as another old friend, Hannah, pulls me into an embrace. “How have you been,” she asked cheerfully. I nodded, smiled, but I didn’t reply as I pushed through the crowd, edging my way toward Gwen.
    She didn’t seem to notice me as I fished my way through the jovial gathering. Music thumped through the air. Clinks and clangs of glasses touching in toast crackled through the air. I felt as if I were floating as I closed the gap between Gwen and myself. Her eyes catch mine and I can tell that she immediately recognizes me.
    “Lydia,” she breathed. Her shock was quickly replaced with bemusement. “What on earth are you doing here,” she asked.
    I frowned and grabbed her by the elbow, leading her out into the hallway. “No, Gwen. What are you doing here?”
    She smiled coyly and began to wrap my hair around her slender finger. “Well, I’ve fallen in love,” she replied. Her voice still sounded like butter. I shivered and pulled my hair away.
    “I’ve known you for nearly a thousand years,” I hissed. “I know you, Gwen. You don’t ‘fall’ in love. You’re a man eater. And Jake is my friend.”
    Her eyes flashed with excitement; perhaps even pride. “Why do you think I chose him?”
    My body revolted with anger. “I won’t let you hurt him,” I said. My voice was low and dangerous but it didn’t seem to faze her as she gazed back at me.
    “I’m not here to hurt him,” Gwen replied, sidling up to me. She ran her hand down my bare arm and positioned herself behind me. Her breath tickled at the back of my neck. “I’m not a monster, you know. I was a woman. Once. I still feel the prick of need, Lydia. Just like you.”
    I felt my face flush. It was true that my humanity had managed to stay intact for the most part. It was the other part of me that I knew I couldn’t allow Gwen to marry Jake. That part was ugly and dead . And Gwen and I were the same in that regard. “You can’t do this,” I said again. “He’s mortal. What are you going to say when he’s aging and you stay as you are?”
    She grinned at me. I felt an immense fear grip me. “I’m going to turn him,” she said coyly.
    I couldn’t believe what I had just heard. In a rush of panic and resolve, I grabbed a leg from the cherry oak table behind her, ripped it from the base and plunged it into her cold, dead skin. She screamed. Her eyes widened. She suddenly fell to the ground, her beautiful hourglass body melting into a pile of oozing flesh and blood.
    The guests of the engagement party suddenly caught my attention. I sighed and dropped the makeshift stake to the ground. “She wore white after Labor Day. What else was I supposed to do?”

  2. Miksoko

    I can’t tell you my name. It’s too dangerous. Call me “X” instead.
    I’ve been in the extraterrestrial business for fourteen years now, but you didn’t hear that from me. We’ve seen a few good men here in the Gents, and lost a few more. Q was one of the best, but he was retired after a close call. A close call that almost kicked his bucket, if you catch my meaning. He survived, but without legs, he wasn’t much good chasing down Eetees. He says it’s been pretty slow ever since, but now he’s found a little lady that doesn’t mind his limb deficiency. They’re due to get married in a week, or at least that’s what last week’s ciph said. He said he wants me to go. Unfortunately for him, Gents aren’t allowed to have days off. Eetees don’t have days off. Neither do we. I do miss that son of a gun, though. I’ve known him damn near half my life, ever since the Academy.
    I’ve been working on this case for a while. The Eetee is a slippery one, and always manages to disappear on me. It’s been floating around this little town in Nevada for the longest time, but fades off the radar whenever we get close. Not today. I can see that little bugger clear as day on my scanner and I’m taking it down.
    It’s been staying close to the perimeters of the town. We see that a lot. Eetee live close outside town or in the sewer and picks off people that won’t be missed. Happens all the time. Newbies get to clean up the feeding sites. I hated being a newbie. What’s niggling me is the fact that the damn Eetee’s signal is coming from center-town. I get in close, and I can see there’s a ton of people. They’re not screaming, though. Weird.
    There’s a sign up ahead. Let me see if I can get my Signolector working. Good. It’s got a read: “Q and Sheila’s Wedding.”
    Q? Q’s wedding is here? Well, I’ll be damned.
    I find the crip pretty fast. Not a lot of these townies have electric wheelchairs. And man, is the smile of the poor guys face wide.
    We chat, catch up a bit, but I’m getting anxious. That Eetee is out there somewhere.
    “And X, you wouldn’t believe how much she wants to,” he gestures obscenely. That was the weird thing about Q. Obscene gestures instead of words. “I’ll just be sitting there, and all of a sudden she’s on me, ready to go!” Distracted, I wander off, following the signal. I get close, and it fades. Not this time!
    I blast through the nearest set of doors and there is bride. She’s, uh… mid-copulation with a fellow.
    It all clicks. The Eetee. When it attaches itself to a human, it doesn’t register. That means the bride is… damn.
    She snarls, but before she can eviscerate me, someone runs past screaming.
    Apparently, Q just got ripped open from the inside by a bunch of little squid babies.
    Poor Q.

  3. mshoward

    “I couldn’t wait to see john I haven’t seen him since college. We were always together partying hardly studying and scamming on girls. Those were the good ole days. I really missed having him around; I guess I fell out of touch when this girl that I really started to like dumped me after college.”
    “Tell me what Happened”
    “After college john and I got an apartment together in the city, it was a nice little setup it had a warehouse feel our bedrooms were on opposite sides of the apartment so we wouldn’t hear when the other had company if you know what I mean .” he chuckled a little
    “I met this girl her name was Jessica, I loved her so much she was my first true love but something strange was going on between her and John. I would come home and she would be there with him, at first I thought it was great that my best friend and my girlfriend were getting along it seemed like the perfect setup. But something weird happened one day when I came home from work. I walked in and Jessica was sitting on the couch in her robe, and John was standing in the kitchen with no shirt on. They tried to explain to me that nothing was going on that John just wanted a beer to take to his room and didn’t know she was there I shrugged it off because Jessica spent a lot of time at my place.”
    “Um hmm tell me more”
    “Things were great after that, Jessica and I were going strong, John even went out with me when I purchased an engagement ring for her, our friendship was even closer than it was before. He even helped me pick a place and helped me rehearse how to propose. On the night I was going to propose I called Jessica to ask her to meet me and she never picked up. I went home and John was gone so I waited and kept calling Jessica, after not getting an answer I decided to text her that I had a surprise for her and for her to meet me at my place. She never showed. The next morning I heard John moving around the apartment, I just figured he was late for work so I didn’t bother him with my girl problems. That night when I got home I went to his room to talk to him about what happened with Jessica to find out why she never returned my calls because I was getting worried. I spilled everything I even cried a little, he became angry that she had hurt me and he vowed that it was bro’s before hoes”
    “Then what happened”
    “After about a month I just figured she didn’t want to be with me anymore and I got over it, I checked her professional site and she was still active so she wasn’t a missing person she just didn’t have the balls to break up with me to my face. Later that month John was offered a position as a manger of a branch in New York so he moved out of the apartment and I decided to move out also it just had too many memories.”
    “What happened at the wedding?”
    “I walked up to the church and saw John standing in the hallway waiting for the pastor to call him out. It was just like old times, we hugged and reminisced he introduced me to his best man, he was the brides brother and he explained that he had two kids with the bride, I congratulated him and it was a good time.”
    “What happened when the bride came out?”
    “My heart dropped and I began to panic, my heart was racing and I couldn’t breathe I couldn’t believe it was her; that they had children together. I loved her and he stole her from me and had the audacity to invite me to the wedding knowing how much I loved her. I mean I thought I was over it I mean it had been 3 years since I seen John. But Jessica ripped my heart out, I wanted answers. At the reception I stayed cool and when they approached me everything went black”
    “What happened then?”
    “There was a flash of red lights I heard sirens, when I looked down there was a gun in my hand.”
    “What happened then?”
    “I ended up here talking to you.”
    “I see” he motioned for the guard “Well, that’s all for today.” The guy in the suit got up and walked past the guard as I sat there in my orange jumpsuit still confused about what happened at the wedding.

  4. Misssharee

    I was excited about Xavier’s wedding. I mean, it has been 5 years since we have graduated from Clark Atlanta. Its actually sort of funny how the dinamics of our relationship has changed over the years. We started as best friends our Freshman year and then we dated off and on throughout the remainder of our college years. We lost contact with eachother shortly after graduation. I moved to Japan and Xa moved back home to Texas. I have to admitt that I felt some sort of way about his engagement. Ive never met his “fiance” so this should be interesting.

    The day of the wedding was finally upon me. I secretly found myself wishing that it was MY wedding day and not whomever this stranger is that Xavier is about to marry. Even though this wasnt my wedding, I still dressed as if I was the main attraction. Hum. “I look damn good.” I said to myself. The church was beautifully decorated with a variety of Island colors. Wow …she has nice taste but I couldve done better.
    The bride maids walked down the isle to Kc and JoJo “All My Life.” Their dresses were made of silk and they were dark red. All of a sudden all the music stopped and the back doors of the church opened. I still couldnt see her from where i was sitting. As she moved slowly down the isle and made her way next to me, my heart dropped as I saw her face. “Oh My God!” I said outloud. The lady sitting next to me looked at me and said ,”are you ok?” “Im fine. Thanks for asking.” I said in a hurried tone.
    I cant believe it! Could this be Shannon? The Shannon who use to strip with me on the weekends and whose boyfriend was also our pimp? What was Xavier doing with her? Where did he find her or better yet, where did she find him? It was as if my past was slapping me in the face! I have to stop this wedding! The last I heard, she was still being pimped and stripping. I wanted to stand up and shout it to the mountain tops that this girl is no good but my legs wouldnt allow me to move at all.
    Do something Essie! I thought to myself. Just as I was about to stand up and walk out, I felt a tap on my shoulder and it was him. Johnny. Our pimp. “Well hello Essie.” “What are you doing here?” I asked in a low tone. “Did you think I would miss my little brother’s wedding?” he said with a devilish grinn.

  5. FizzyL25

    I hadn’t seen Cedric since that faithful summer afternoon our senior year in college when I had caught him cheating with the school slut Mindy Hawks and had dumped him in a heartbeat. Five years had passed and two of them had been spent grieving our lost love, but now I was back and better than ever. In fact, I couldn’t have dreamt of a better life; I was a succesful writer in a trendy fashion magazine and had a steady relationship with my eight-month oh-so-romantic boyfriend, Danny Walters.

    Of course, the invitation had still come as a shock. During my depression, my therapist had told me it would probably best for me if I never encountered Cedric again. But I was intrigued; who was the bride? He hadn’t bothered to tell me when he had called to invite me and I had been so stunned I hadn’t thought of asking. But now, as I stepped out of the yellow cab onto a calm New York suburban street, I wondered.

    I was right on time, but for some reason all the other guests were already there…and they weren’t wearing white. Strange. Cedric had specifically instructed me to wear white…Bouquet of white lillies in hand, I walked discreetly into the church. All heads turned to me, I blushed furiously, sure to be interupting. Then, a beautiful hymn started playing and realized everyone thought I was the bride. Oops…

    I turned to Cedric, who was waiting at the altar, sure that he was going to tell the guests it was a mistake, that I was just an old aquaintance. But he didn’t, instead he signaled to a man in the crowd who got up. As he approached me, I recognized my dad. What was he doing here? Then I got it; I was the bride! Just as my dad reached for my arm, I turned and ran; away from Cedric, away from my father, away from my past.

  6. meirz

    I barely got off the train when the doors closed, leaving me alone on the platform. The warm Midwest breeze blew through my hair. It’s been three years since I saw him, and I remember well how much he liked running his fingers through my hair. The effect was perfect; I could see it on his face as he came up the stairs.

    “You look beautiful, Sam,” he said smiling. “Still no boyfriend?”

    The words stung. Our breakup was not easy. I moved on, though it hurt, but I hadn’t heard from him since that October night, three years back.

    Then came the invitation. I don’t know why I came. I don’t even know why I replied. I guess I felt I owed it to Jack, all that I had put him through. I wish I could blame it youth. “I was young.” No, I wasn’t. I knew what I was doing.

    The drive to the hall took longer than I expected. His car was as it always was, two pay grades higher than he could afford. We chatted about old times, the good times, the breakup.

    “It was quite sudden. You never gave me any warning.”

    “I know, I am sorry.”

    It was too many years ago, I couldn’t go through the motions again.

    “I am so happy you invited me. What does Terri do?”

    “She’s great. She works in a pre-school. She loves children. And she’s gorgeous.”

    It all felt odd. Scripted almost. Throughout the ride there he kept on telling me how pretty she was. And I don’t really remember him being much of a children person.

    We pulled up in front of the hall. It appears he was running late.

    Terri came up to us, but we needed no introduction. She was as beautiful as he said. She was also a terror from my past.

    I smirked. I tried to get out a true smile, for Jack. He was looking at me, trying to smile. No, he was just looking at me. I remember that look.

    It started to make sense.

    Deep down, really deep down I had a hatred for her, for how she tormented me throughout High School. But I couldn’t let him do this to her. I couldn’t let him marry her just to could hurt me.

    1. rob akers

      It is late monday and most everyone has said everything that they want to say. The new post comes out tuesday morning so you will see fresh comments starting tomorrow afternoon.

      I like your story and the twist too. You did a good job of describing the scene but it seemed to me that it needed something else. Maybe some introspection on Bill’s part about the failed marriage, Some reasoning why they never offically divorced and something about how he missed her or even hated her. For me that would really clinch the prompt. Nice job and I look forward to future posts.

    2. aikawah

      I quite enjoyed the story Miss Elizabeth 1860.

      Rob is right, the new prompt should be out soon. I look forward
      to reading your next one.

      Typo where you wrote ‘Jill’ instead of ‘Bill’ at the end.

  7. ajcc83

    “Another freakin’ wedding,” you mumbled to yourself as you adjusted the bowtie on your tuxedo. This wedding was the fifth of a serious marriage virus that had been contagiously passed amongst your friends in the last four years, thankfully skipping you. First it was James, then Kevin, then Cory, then Alex, and now it was Jimmy. For each one of these weddings you had been asked to be the Best Man. The first time you were thrilled, but after that, you realized being the Best Man was more of an act of servitude rather than an honor.
    You hadn’t seen Jimmy in years, ten years in fact since you were both hovering over barstools and cramming for your exams in college. After graduation you both went your separate ways. You decided to work for the government and Jimmy decided to get into banking. Every now and again you kept touch thanks to social media forums. So it was a surprise to you when you received a call from Jimmy asking you to be his best man. It was a surprise to him too, since the original best man Jimmy chose was going through a divorce and was in no way emotionally prepared to participate in anything related to love or marriage.
    It wasn’t until yesterday that you saw Jimmy’s bride to be. Her name was Judith Slate. At least that’s the name she called herself. You knew her as the Widow. She was called the Widow for her habit of marrying high profile men then stealing their information, selling it, and then making the murder look like an accident. So far your organization hadn’t collected enough evidence to take her in, but you knew it was only a matter of time. After two other well-to-do unfortunate husbands, you knew it was no coincidence that she had selected Jimmy as her next victim. Jimmy was into international banking, and he was really good at it too. In these times of financial uncertainty and crisis, who knows what lucrative information he had that might be worth stealing.
    The Widow of course never told Jimmy about her other two happy marriages and their unhappy endings. As far as Jimmy knew their accidental rendezvous at an airport in London was completely by chance, and their love affair and marriage was fate. Jimmy would never believe me if I told him that he was the next victim in a series of ill-fated husbands. Some would call it unwise, others rash, and most definitely cold, but I had to do it – I had to save my best friend’s life. With a little hand trick, I was able to put an undetectable poison in the Widow’s drink. To most, it would look like a tragic case of food poisoning. She would be dead in a week. Jimmy would be devastated, but at least he wouldn’t be dead, and he would never know how close he came to knocking on death’s door.

  8. Miss Elizabeth 1860

    The Wedding

    “Hey, Bro, you made it,” Jerry said as he grabbed Bill in a bear hug

    Bill returned the hug as only two good-ol’-boys could. “I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”

    They broke apart, right hands clasped in a traditional hand shake, each with his left hand on the others arm.

    “You’re looking good for a guy about to tie the knot. What’s this miracle woman like?”

    “God’s gift to men,” Jerry beamed. “Beautiful, intelligent, talented … the list is endless.”

    Bill stepped back and gave his friend a head-to-toe once-over. “Groom doesn’t look half bad either,” he chucked. “Look, you finish getting ready and I’ll go find a seat. I can meet Mrs. Jerry Carter at the reception.”

    It was a small church, but a seat had been saved for Bill near the front. As he waited for the service to began, he remembered the last wedding he had attended—his own. Bill hoped Jerry’s marriage would be better than his had been. People tended to forget that weddings and marriages were not one and the same. Under the circumstances, it was just as well Jerry had missed his.

    Movement caught Bill’s eye. Rev. Wilson, Jerry, and the best man entered from a side door. The music changed. A little girl about four-years-old came down the aisle tossing flower petals. Behind her, a boy about the same age carried a pillow which held two golden wedding bands. The maid of honor followed.

    Just as the maid of honor reached the altar, the organist switched to the wedding march. Everyone in the church stood and turned to watch the bride as she made her way to her waiting groom.
    Bill couldn’t believe his eyes. She was just as beautiful as Jerry had said.

    The bride was two pews from Bill when she saw him. Their eyes met and, with a sharp in-take of breath, she stopped. Bill stepped into the aisle, blocking her path. Without a word, she turned and walked back toward the vestibule. Bill followed.

    Before she got outside, Bill grabbed her arm and swung her around to face him. Jerry was right on their heels.

    “Somebody want to tell me what’s going on?” he demanded.

    “Jill, this is Jerry. Jerry, my wife.”

  9. raelababe


    Tearing open a fancy envelop, Shelly’s jaw drops, “Guess who is getting married?”

    “Who?” Dylan asks while reading his magazine.


    Ditching his magazine like yesterday’s newspaper, Dylan blurts out, “No way.”


    “Who would believe that the biggest playboy in college would get married?”

    “I know!” Shelly laughs.

    In unbelief, Dylan takes his cell phone out.

    “Who are you calling?” Shelly questions

    “Dax—just to make sure this isn’t one of those college days’ pranks he used to play on us.”

    “Oh, good one.” Shelly agrees.

    Like Shelly, Dylan’s jaw drops as he flips his phone closed.


    “It’s true! He even sounds “twitter-paited.”

    The wedding date arrives. The couple goes early, strolling up the hedge-lined walkway—all of a sudden they hear, “Psssst.”

    Puzzled, they search for the sound, which seems to be coming from the hedges. Shelly opens them to find a blond-haired, blue-eyed beauty with nothing on but her slip and rope around her hands and feet.

    “What are you doing in these hedges?” Shelly asks.

    With tear-stained cheeks, she exclaims, “I’m supposed to be getting married today.”

    “Why are you in these hedges then?” Dylan wonders.

    She sobs, “My identical twin, Darla, wants Dax for herself. She ambused me and tied me to these hedges. She plans on marrying him, playing to be me.”

    “You’re Anna?” Shelly shrieks.

    “Yes,” She cries. “The wedding must be stopped. Can you help me?”

    “Of course!” Shelly soothes as she thrusts herself into the hedges, with Dylan not far behind.

    Anna explains her abduction while they untie her. Huddled in the hedges, the three hatch a plan to stop the doppelganger wedding.

    Sneaking into the building, they see Darla fully dressed—ready to masquerade as Anna.

    Almost as if it is second nature, the couple seizes Darla; tie her up and secure her to some nearby bushes, while Anna throws on her wedding apparel.

    Dylan pants, “The days of abducting each other back in college finally pays off.”

    Shelly grunts, “We stopped the doppelganger wedding—what about the one Dax really wants?”

    “It will go on without a hitch.” Anna proclaims while plucking a twig out of her hair.

    During the reception, Dax finds Shelly and Dylan—with Anna in hand. “I want you to meet my Anna.” he proudly proclaims.

    They exhange sly looks.

    “I want you to get to know her. She is so sweet, unlike her twin sister. Man, that girl is a beast—glad she didn’t show up today. I guess my stern warning scared her off.” Dax beams.

    “Sounds like your threat diverted a doppelganger wedding.” Dylan squeaks as an elbow jabs his ribs.


    Dax hears muffled sounds coming from some bushes nearby, “Do you hear that?”

    “Hear what?” the three ask in unison.

    “That sound over there,” Dax points toward the bushes. “It kind of sounds like Darla’s irritating moans.”

    “Oh, THAT sound,” quips his beaming bride. “That’s just a wolf,” she says sheepishly. Grabbing his hand, Anna laughs, “Now let’s go dance.”

    1. ajcc83

      Nice twist to the story. Great use of dialogue. My only critiques is that I felt the story didn’t flow right transitioning from the beginning dialogue to the actual wedding day. I felt like something was missing.

  10. jholzer


    The tuxedo fit around my shoulders too snugly, so much that I didn’t think I’d be able to raise my glass when that sack of shit Levi would give his best man speech. The bowtie might as well have been made from paper mache and the pants warned of a flood, which seemed unlikely in Las Vegas.

    So other than being physically uncomfortable, I was peachy with accepting Bryce’s invitation to be a groomsman in his wedding.

    Was. I hadn’t met the future missus until I caught the glimpse of straight black hair and a firm body slithering its way into an extravagant snow white gown, courtesy of the corsage cam I planted last night. I recognized the body. I knew it well.

    “Listen to me, B,” I said. “You can’t marry her.”

    We were in the restroom of one of the banquet halls of one of the hotels that I didn’t care to remember the name of.

    He situated his paper mache and laughed. “That’s just like you, bro.”

    “Bryce,” I said.

    “You don’t even know her, man. She—“ He dropped the flimsy bowtie and turned from the mirror toward me. “Dude, you didn’t.”

    “Well, yeah,” I waved a hand in the air. “But that’s not the point. She—“

    When Bryce would get agitated, he acted like a schoolgirl. He was acting like a schoolgirl. “Dude! What the fuck?”

    I grabbed him by the shoulders. His tuxedo fit better than mine, but he was the groom. “Listen. I know her. I know her.”

    The tears that welled in his eyes froze. “You don’t mean—“


    “Gertrude is MI-fucking-6?”

    “Was,” I said.

    The mirror shattered behind Bryce. Fitting, considering Bryce’s potential luck. I grabbed him by the nape of the neck, pulled him to the ground and lifted the hem of my flood pants. I pulled my Sig Sauer.

    “Stay down,” I said to the groom, whose tears leaked like a faucet.

    I backed next to the door of the restroom and loosened the top button of my shirt. “Betts?

    She replied with two shots through the door and one above my head.

    “Play nice,” I said. “This is supposed to be the happiest day of your life.”

    I waited. Bryce sniffled. Long seconds passed.

    “Listen,” I said. “I’ll come out. Don’t shoot.”


    “I flushed.” I winked toward Bryce and turned the doorknob and opened the poor door a foot. “Blue on blue, babe.”


    I asked Bryce if he was OK. He sobbed. I acknowledged. I slowly pushed the door open with my as-much-as-can-be-extended arm. I switched firing hand and showed my gun to the banquet hall.

    “Coming out.”

    She was beautiful, even with the pistol extended and pointed at my forehead. Maybe more.

    I held up my hands, one holding the Sig. “Talk?”

    She smiled, and I lunged left. Her shot put another hole through the bathroom door. My shot shattered her sternum and pierced her heart.

    Bryce’s wails filled the hall.

  11. Mr1969

    True Love

    It had been 5 years since if seen Tony as he finally took the plunge. I never thought he would but when you meet the right one you know it. That’s how it was for me and Alexis.
    Oh how I missed being with her. She was the love of my life, my soulmate, my partner, my lover, and my friend. It was when the car bomb exploded that fateful day when everything changed.
    I was the one that was supposed to go to the grocery store that day but I had been sick the whole week I could barely stand on my own two feet. When I recieved the news I was just devasated it was me that was supposed to be in that car not her. NOT HER! This was my chosen profession though people get killed it’s the way it goes. It wasn’t until later on when I used the guest bathroom on the bottom floor of our house that I found out what really was going on.
    I just stared at the mirror for a moment as I tried to dry my eyes as best I can. I had a job to do as I pulled out my Beretta to check that the safety was on I was hoping I didn’t want to fire off a shot accidently.
    I went ahead and took my sit in one of the back pews of the church I was pretty sure no one even really noticed me. I sat down as I waited for the bride to make her way to the alter. I waited for my cue to object.
    My suspicions were right as Tony lifted the veil off of Alexis’s head and I sprang into action.
    “Hold it right there this is U.S. Marshall John Willingham you are both under arrest for the attemtpted murder of a Federal Agent” The both of them along with the guests put thier hands up as several other federal agents busted into the church. I made my way to Tony and Alexis as the both of them were being hand cuffed.
    “So how did you figure it out?” Alexis looked almost relieved as the cuffs were being placed around her wrists.
    “The guest bathroom were I found a small bottle of arsenic in the medicine chest. That was when I started putting two and two together.” I waited for her to respond.
    “Yeah, I really screwed up, I just couldn’t kill you, I loved you too much.” Tears started forming in her eyes.
    “I know you do Alexis, I know.” I allowed for the other officer to take her away as I stood and watched.
    I reholstered my gun as I left the church.

  12. fbxwriter


    (494 words)

    I weaved through the crowded bar, margarita held high. The band started into R.E.M.’s “Shiny Happy People” as I squeezed into the booth with my old buddies. I felt like I had never left college 10 years ago.

    We reminisced and laughed, most stories revolving around Tom Packard, my old roommate. His wedding in two days had brought us back together. We were all amazed it had taken him so long to get married. He was beautiful, intelligent, kind, and buff.

    He was as straight as they come, but we all had had crushes on him. I was the worst, even considering a sex change operation to snag him. Ridiculous, I know, but obsession can make you silly.

    I had thought I was over Tom when I moved to Cincinnati. Then I met Shawn, who I barely knew in college. He hadn’t hung out with us. I didn’t even know he was gay. Pretty little Shawn was obsessed with Tom, too. That fact kept us together for a year. Finally, I realized how warped my life had become, so I got therapy and broke up with Shawn. I was over Tom now and more than happy to catch up with him and meet the woman of his dreams.

    “Have you guys met this Katie who stole Tom’s heart?” I yelled over the noise.

    “Sure have, “Bruce yelled back. “She and Tom are dancing right now.”

    I stood up but couldn’t see through the throng.

    “Dance with me,” I told Don, tugging at his sleeve.

    “You want me to help you spy?” he asked, laughing.

    “Of course!”

    Everyone at the table laughed. Don shook his head but got up.

    On the dance floor, I felt an ache for old times. I got a glimpse of Tom through the gyrating bodies and felt my heart lurch.

    Dammit! I told myself. I am over him!

    “Let’s get closer!” I yelled to Don.

    He just laughed. As we maneuvered closer, I saw the petite blond woman dancing with Tom. Her back was to me but I could see her curves and gorgeous curly hair.

    But something in the way she danced gave me a jolt. I had never met her before, but the rhythm of her steps and the way she held her arms in the air reminded me of someone.

    She spun once. I caught a glimpse of her face, and got a chill. Then we were dancing side by side and Tom saw me. He smiled and gave me a hug just as the music stopped.

    “Barry!” Tom said. “This is Katie, the love of my life!”

    “Hello,” I said, smiling and extending a hand. Katie looked wary, but took my hand. As we shook I twisted her arm just slightly. She twisted it back but not before I saw the jagged scar across her wrist. My blood went cold. How was I going to tell Tom that his fiancé had once been my lover, Shawn?

    1. DMelde

      Wow, fbxwriter, great job! Bruce, Tom, Shawn, Katie, Barry, Don–so many characters yet I never got lost due to your great writing and name choices. I think the story moved and flowed seamlessly. The way you set up the sex change of Shawn to Katie was great. Very, very good!

  13. Mimi828

    Well, what can I say other than a renewed delivery of a cavenman’s story, LOL. Ending sort of a collapse to the build up where he should have done something to stop the union of Ag & Ug to fulfil the “prompt”.

    1. slayerdan

      I see that Mimim remains true to what I first gathered you to be–what we used to call a “rules lawyer”. Its cool though–life needs those too. I was bored at work and had a few minutes. As for the prompt–it is just that–a prompt. There are no hard and fast rules. You should read some of the last few months of prompts—-some of the best 500 words came from barely a semblance to “the prompt”. And if you had read it tongue and cheek, as intended, poor Og didn have the verbal skills to stop the union. My previous story in this prompt–my ghost didnt, and couldnt, stop anything either. Pointing out possibilities always welcome–nitpicking due to “rules lawyer” status–always asinine. But thanks for reading to the end.

      1. Mimi828

        sorry :( will keep my opinions to myself; you guessed it though I’ve been a Paralegal for a verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry long time.)
        Guess I thought (which was contrary to your opinion) that this was a forum for beneficial criticism. Great reading your replies even though. I have to wonder though if we don’t try to reply to the week’s prompt then what’s the point? js :)

        1. slayerdan

          I love criticism–makes everyone better. Telling me I didnt stick to the prompt 100% isnt ctiticism, its nitpicking. The prompt is a diving board–where each of us takes it is the pool below. I see the other comments and it baffles me that you dont grasp—Og went there to stop the wedding. However, it took him a long time to get there w no car, so it was a done deal. And since he couldnt talk a language….nevermind, it was all tongue in cheek and took me 10 minutes to write after I read some other peoples efforts this week. Thats all it was–a fun afterthought. See you next week maybe.

  14. Handpicked76

    Allen Chambers is getting married! I am so glad that his mom called me when she didn’t see my name on the reception roster. I guess my invitation got lost in the mail. I am so glad that they thought of me to try to find me one more time. I had to drop all my plans for tomorrow, but it will be worth it.
    Wow, look at Nate Parker! Why aren’t you a part of the bridal party, he asked with a quizzical look on his face. I don’t know, I guess they had enough women or something. Oh, well you do know that Angela is a bridesmaid, right? His ex-girlfriend Angela Weston is a bridesmaid? Yes, Nate replied, that Angela. Huh, well I guess they have their reasons. I have not seen Allen since graduation and life is too short to create or hold grudges. I’ll be downstairs as soon as I change clothes. Wait, you do want to attend the wedding, right he joked.
    Nate is going to be so surprised that I am the first guest to show up. So are you with the bride or groom? I am with the groom. Here is your program ma’am. On behalf of the bride and groom, thank you for sharing this day that commences their union and celebrate their love for one another. Wow, they really have this wedding together. This program is…NO! No, this cannot be right! Mona Kincaid is not his bride!
    That explains everything! Marsha knows me and didn’t want me at their wedding! I cannot allow him to marry her! After all, she killed my brother! She literally shot him in cold blood! That dumb rookie’s mistake of not reading her Miranda rights gave her the freedom that no killer deserves! I must stop this wedding!
    I must find him before Mona’s family recognizes me! I know that Nate will help me. Yes! There he is! Nate, I must talk to Allen right now! You do know that the wedding begins in ten minutes, he asked. I was left out of the wedding party on purpose and if you want to save Allen’s life then take me to him right now!
    Allen, Elise needs to talk to you. Yes, Allen, we need to talk. I am sure we can talk after the wedding, Elise. No now. Elise, you already broke my heart by refusing to be in the wedding. Must you try to delay it now? I did not refuse to be in your wedding because I was never asked! That is what I am trying to tell you! Mona killed my brother Ethan! She would’ve told you anything to keep me from being here! You are lying, Allen shouted. They eloped and three months later he was dead! She was let go because the police made a mistake! She’s black widow, I tell you. She’s a black widow!

  15. slayerdan

    Og stared blankly at all the people from the village. Of course Og always stared blankly, people or not. He had returned from six seasons on the plains, herding triceratops and trying to invent the wheel. His best friend from Rock School, Ag, had sent him a message. He was going to join with a woman from their tribe, Ug, and start a family.

    Og left immediately after hearing the news, lumbering back to the village as fast as he could. He knew he had to stop this from happening. He loved Ug, and wanted her for his very own. He travelled the plains in record time.

    Which of course still took half a season.

    Og found the village had not changed much. There were new fire pits. The smell of lizard droppings were strong, but they always had been this close to the river area, where the beasts would seek food and water. He noted they still had not developed covered housing, running water, proper sanitation, or refrigeration.

    Of course no one had at this point.

    Og found the entrance to the small cave that his friend Ag inhabited. He stared blankly at the opening for several moments, but he stared blankly at everything. He ran his dirt blackened fingers through his hair and grabbed his balls, pulling them forward so they were more prominent when Ag exited the cave.

    As he prepared to call for Ag, Og cursed his luck. He tried to focus and squeezed his cheeks together.
    Still the movement came, plopping wetly on the grass behind him. He used his left foot to smear it around, so as to be less evident.

    “Aaaaaggrrrrrgghheghhrgrghr,” he called out to Ag, using a tone indicating his presence was serious.

    Moments later Ag exited the cave, a wild look in his eyes, his beard full of Tig, or gravy as it would one day be called. Exiting behind him was the most amazing sight Og had ever seen.

    It was Ug. He felt his body respond to the excitement of seeing her and he stood there proudly.


    Ug was as beautiful as he recalled. Her matted hair slicked back with lizard piss. The hair on her nipples plucked in animal shapes. Her rounded belly uncovered….

    ROUNDED BELLY! By the hotness in the sky, she was already with child. Og pointed at Ug and then to Ag, and then back to himself. He slapped at his chest and danced side to side, stomping his feet each time.

    “Grug urg uuguw uggq giqjkb dak,” Ag shouted at Og, surprised that a village person of his education would react so.

    Og felt more wet plops behind him as his initial excitement decreased visibly. He wanted to tell Ag of his feelings. Of his love for Ug.
    Alas, he could not. In school he took Flint Working, not English or any other undeveloped language. Staring blankly, as he always did, at Ag and Ug, he turned and stepped in his own droppings as he headed back to the plains.

    1. Ishmael

      Slayer, I loved it. Great way to find some relief at work, and what a nice, comical story to come out of it. I loved the reiteration of Og staring blankly, like he always did. Wonderful characterization with this guy. The random crapping in the middle of wherever he happened to be…very funny, and probably very true to the period. Heck, pigs, cows, horses…you see it all the time, so it made perfect sense. The paragraphing was stupendous. I really liked how you separated the single sentences, “Which of course still took half a season,” “Of course, no one had at this point,” and finally, “Turgidly,” in order to make them stand out (especially the third one) and give them more impact.

      I appreciate the laugh on this gray, rainy afternoon. I needed a good boost.

    2. radioPanic

      Loved this from the start. And with humor, it makes it even more powerful to balance it with some conflicting emotion, so at the end, showing Og’s powerlessness really caps it well.

      Haven’t read any in quite a long time, but this story reminded me of Douglas Adams for some reason. And I mean that as a high compliment. Well done!

    3. DMelde

      Great humor throughout the story. I’d like to think that the strong, silent Og eventually found his own Ug, and settled down in a nice dry cave.

    4. aikawah

      I thought there was going to be some throwing involved later when I got to the bowel movement bit… it’s a real funny idea and you’ll be hearing from the ‘Cavemen Against Very Exaggerated Stereotypes’ (CAVES) society soon. Lovely story.

  16. deacon1234

    Across the crowded room she looked achingly adorable; her lithe body draped in a canary yellow sundress with delicate, oh so fragile, spaghetti straps over shoulders tanned by countless hours on tennis courts, on yacht decks or on poolside loungers on the Mediterranean coast.

    She looked indeed achingly adorable through the drift of well-wishers who sipped colorful cocktails and jawed at exotic hors d’oeuvres. Claire. Her lustrous, deep brown hair caught light and I noticed streaks and strands of beige and blond and her high cheekbones were faintly cuffed with pinkish powder.

    Having just arrived in the city, after globetrotting through half a dozen airports, I had rushed to the mid-week pre-wedding party. There she was. My first view of her in over eleven years—this woman, newly engaged to my once best friend, Joshua Gaines.

    As the men around her shifted their weight I could see Claire with her right hand lift a high ball glass to her rich lips. It was the same hand that eleven years ago had gripped, then lifted, then plunged a knife into the heart—albeit evil heart—of her husband and my boss, Norman Fields. An event that cascaded into an evening of frenetic activity and a lifetime of worry; beginning with a drive deep into the desert of southern New Mexico.

    Yes, I still from time to time awaken in a sweat-beaded fright during the dark, early hours of morning to the single hitch sound of a shovel blade cutting a crude grin into the hard dirt of the desert floor.

    “Hey there, Dobbs.”

    I am back slapped out of my slide into the past by Rudy Blake. I am not the best man for the impending nuptials—Rudy is. In fact, I am not even a formal member of the wedding party. It took considerable aggressive effort on the part of Josh to find me–haivng done so only two days ago. Yes, three million hidden dollars well managed over the course of a decade can buy a lot, including anonymity.

  17. radioPanic

    For Pete’s Sake
    Wish I could say I’m happy for Pete. There’s no way he could know. Better he learns, better that everyone does. My thumb circles the SEND button on the phone in my pocket.

    Squinting, I don’t need to see through the bride’s veil to know it’s her. A quick glimpse while wandering under the guise of a restroom quest confirmed my suspicion.

    I’d hoped to use the reception, to hide the charges in gifts, but as I learned on the forums, the kiss is what does it. It would be too late. It must happen here.

    If not for Pete’s deeply evangelical upbringing, I wouldn’t even hope. But what few seconds of reminiscence we’ve managed has me thinking, praying this kiss would be the first.

    The pastor drones, huge frame lending no power to his voice. No worry; I only need to hear one part.

    The tricky bit is over. I’ve learned camouflage in the last decade, and moved among the florists to load tanks into every vase, every arrangement throughout the church. Vases the size of bears. Overkill, maybe, but my research may have missed some, in the pews, who might be infected. Like her.

    It’s positively swampy with flowers, but I mainly smell Old Spice. It’s how they smell, so failure to douse oneself before stepping out can get one exposed. Most on the forums think they use the genuine article to conceal some other distinct odor. One member, before he disappeared, opined that it’s their natural scent. Too many disappearances from the forums. Can’t be too careful.

    The pastor buzzes on, a fat bee among the flowers, and I rub the buttons on my phone.

    None of us knows how N2O works, but it does. Everyone will see what she is.

    I hear the question I’ve waited for, then silence. I stand, withdrawing my phone.

    “I object!”

    The silence stretches.

    Pete opens his mouth, gaping, but the pastor stills him. “For what reason, sir?”

    My teeth clench. “Better I show you.”

    I hit SEND.

    Charges blow regulators off canisters, blasts reverberating from the vaulted ceiling. Vases crack, tumbling to the carpet. On the pulpit, escaping gas creates a confetti cloud of petals. Hissing fills the church.

    Sweat rolls down my back and I step to the aisle, tugging my tie loose. I start laughing. I’m the only one.

    The gas thickens and every face melts back to reveal one of them: scaly, silver flesh; neon eyes; black tongues flicking through fanged maws; silver, scaly horns poking through wigs.

    Dear God, even Pete!

    I laugh, tears rolling down my cheeks, and stagger back toward the door.

    The pastor calls, “Do you, sir, still maintain your objection?”

    I fall to my knees laughing, holding my chest. My head shakes.

    The pastor grins under a rain of petals, fangs glinting under stained glass. “Very well. Before we continue, might someone be kind enough to bring our friend into the fold?”

    Through tears, I see them rise and approach, tongues flicking.

    1. jincomt

      You created such a clear picture, I could see it all.

      I had to work to get through the first part, trying to give it meaning, until it pulled together at the end (creepy by the way) . I struggle with this question in my own prompts: how much do you, as a writer, conceal to create suspense and yet not leave the reader bewildered and having to work too hard to have it pull together? I’d be curious to hear your (or anyone’s) thoughts on this.

      I like how you created the setting so well. I’m going to reread it just so I can look at your technique more.

      1. Ishmael

        For me, it’s not a matter of what I conceal, but what I choose to share – and when. I only share enough to satisfy the reader at that given moment. For instance…Radio shared in the fourth sentence that he had a phone. What for? A pre-dialed call to 911? Pete’s phone in his tuxedo pocket? I don’t know, but I know he’s got a phone, and that’s all I needed to know right then. And that’s all Radio chose to share. Later, I find that it’s to set off the charges. I find that out at the right time for it to be revealed. Timing is everything.

        So, it’s not that I try to hide anything when I write…I only try to discreetly reveal things at the perfect time.

      2. DMelde

        Hi jincomt. When I write these short stories I don’t try and conceal much of anything. I look at the ending and ask myself what needs to be in the rest of the story to support this. I add the needed elements and then use the remaining word count to flesh out the story. Hopefully, there is a remaining word count left to work with!

    2. Ishmael

      Radio Panic, I truly enjoy your stuff every week. I followed it the whole way through, and loved the whole, super-exposure bit at the end (he was laughing due to the irony of him being the only uninfected one). While I only expected her to be revealed, it was revealed that all of them were turned. Loved it. Very well conveyed.

      1. radioPanic

        Thank you all very much for your comments! Yeah, I realized after I posted it that I’d cut the one line that actually said “Nitrous Oxide, instead of just “N2O,” the stuff in the tanks that strips away the creatures’ disguises. D’oh! I can’t expect everyone to recognize the chemical formula for nitrous oxide — I had to look it up! But that’s why he’s laughing. My bad, but I’m glad to know it kinda worked anyway, a sort of hysteria, I guess.

        And yeah, knowing exactly how much to reveal, and when, is a huge struggle in itself, and it also changes with every story. I wish I could say I have a method, but I don’t. It mostly comes down to pretending I don’t know everything that’s going on when I read it for revision. And asking myself, is the reader going to be too irritated by all the loose ends to keep reading? On longer stories, I’ll let friends/family read ‘em, and ask if something’s too obvious or if it’s totally unclear, and revise according to that.

        Someone needs to invent a temporary amnesia pill or procedure, ala Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, just so writers can read their own stuff without knowing all the stuff they knew while writing it.

        Thank you everyone!

        1. Ishmael

          You know, I even knew that was the chemical equation for NOS…just didn’t dawn on me about the laughing side effect! Oh, duh.

          Yes, pretending that you don’t know everything that’s going on, “What should happen here to clue in the reader just enough to satisfy him, yet still keep the suspense and drive of the story?”

        2. jincomt

          Radio –thanks for sharing your thought process. I’m really trying to lean some of the finer nuances of writing a good story and crave to hear from other writers about their thought process. You’ve given me good stuff to think about. Thank you for your thoughtful response. Julie

    3. DMelde

      Great story. At first, I too thought he was laughing because he was the only human. Knowing that it was Nitrous Oxide making him laugh even though he’s crying makes this even more horrific. Very well written.

      1. aikawah

        This was one hell of a story… and it seems whatever they are they can infect humans to ‘bring them into the fold’ sort of like vampires, I liked that. Great take on the prompt.

  18. JohnBethlehem

    “Here’s to ya.” Dick quipped, tapping Tom’s glass.

    “We should be toasting you,” Tom laughed. “Finally getting married! You realize you missed the male sexual peak by 30 years.”

    “I still get a good peak in every now and then,” Dick exclaimed. “It’s good to see ya Tom, I wish ya’d come down more.”

    “You’re never here when I come. You could call more than once a decade, you know.” Tom stared out over a soccer field that was Dick’s back yard. “You lucked out on the apartment.”

    “Yeah, they built um last year. I love it; best place in town. Everything’s in walkin distance: the Applebees is right there, the soccer field is great for Hans to run and the park is just through those trees.”

    “How is Hans?”

    “Eh, he’s an old fart now. 13 and lazy as ever.”

    “So, he doesn’t use the soccer field?” Tom asked.

    “Not at all,” Dick laughed. “You seein Molly tomorrow?”

    “Yeah, we’re meeting for breakfast at Cracker Barrel.”

    “That’ll be good father-daughter time.”

    “I’m looking forward to it. So, what’s the date?” Tom asked.

    “Probably August. We’re thinkin the Grand Lodge in Paducah, They just remodeled it.”

    “So, her families here?” Tom asked.

    “No, but they’ll come in for it.”

    “Great! I’m excited to get to meet her. When are you both free to get together for dinner?”

    “We’re free anytime but you’ll meet her tomorrow morning at Cracker Barrel.” Dick sipped his Cognac and continued to look out at the field.

    “Does she work there?”

    “No, she works at Murray Bank.”

    “Oh, with Molly?”

    “Yup… kind of.”

    “Wait… what? Why am I meeting her tomorrow at Cracker Barrel?” Tom inquired. Dick produced an awkward noise as he got up from his chair on the porch.

    “They added a frisbee golf course to the park, you game?” Dick added, strolling off.

    “You can’t be serious,” Tom mumbled. “You asked Molly to marry you?” Dick stopped walking.

    “Tom, before you get up–.”

    “Tell me you didn’t ask Molly to marry you. You did not ask my 24 year old daughter to marry you!”

    “Tom, I love your daughter. I’ve known her since she was littl–

    “You said you get a peak now and then,” Tom interrupted. “You were talking about Molly!”

    “Hey, I’m not some old perv here. You’ve known me twenty-five years. Molly’s not a kid anymore, Tom. It would mean the world to me if you’d give your bles—“ Dick wasn’t able to get the rest of the sentence out in his unconscious state on the sidewalk, caused by an abrupt punch to the nose. Cradling his hand, Tom pulled out his cell phone to call Molly. As it rang, he schemed of what he could say to dissuade her from marrying his best friend. But he just couldn’t get the thought out of his head;

    “I get a good peak in every now and then,” he whispered to himself. “Unbelievable.”

  19. laurentravian

    My heart was beating so fast as she drifted down the aisle. No no no. Not her. Anyone but her. This would break Carter’s heart, multiple bank accounts and mind. I had been stronger, but he would go crazy. Obviously she had some work done since he had last seen her in my company. Maybe he thought she was a completely different person. But she wasn’t. “Does anyone have any objections?” drawled the reverend. “I do, on the grounds that this marriage wouldn’t be legal!” Everyone stared at me. I could see Michelle’s face pale under the veil. “I am still legally married to the bride, a gold-digger from New York! When she left me broke, neither of us filed for divorce, (mainly because I couldn’t track her down) and therefore we are still legally wed. Also, I have to protect my rich friend from her. Oh, and I got news for you, Michelle. I have rebuilt my bank accounts so much that I am four times richer than Carter!” I waited for pandemonium to erupt, then reached into my tux. “By the way, you just got served on grounds of bigamy.” Michelle pushed the veil up out of her face. Then the shrieking and the mobbing began. I grabbed Carter and ran back to the limo. “Dude, thank god you’re a lawyer!” exclaimed Carter as we sped down the highway to Burger King. I hear there was nothing left of the reception after the food fight and I was starving.

    1. Ishmael

      Hey Lauren,

      I think this is the first one I’ve read about bigamy…nice take on it. Pandemonium – nice to see that word used; I like when a five syllable word can seamlessly work its way in – but it also describes how I felt while reading.

      It sort of read like an info dump…a little chaotic…more of a synopsis of a story (with some dialogue) instead of a story. There were a few inconsistencies: she actually hadn’t committed bigamy yet, since the priest hadn’t pronounced them married; they left before the ceremony ended, so the reception hadn’t started – the food fight wouldn’t have affected him, if a reception would’ve happened at all. The fact that he was a lawyer and now four times richer played out a little too convenient and unreal.

      But kudos for posting your neat take on this prompt! I appreciate the read, and look forward to more stuff. :o)

    2. Mimi828

      Lauren – loved the reply but too many “he and she”; I had to read it twice to unravel. Also separating the dialogue into paragraphs would have gone a long way toward my reading enjoyment. The creativity was good though.

    3. radioPanic

      Thanks for writing!

      It seems rare to have room to add more–the standard seems to be cutting stuff you want to keep just to stick to the 500 word limit. Things I wouldn’t mind seeing more of: When the narrator mentioned being 4x richer than Carter, just the fact that he brought it up hints at a possible tension between the two that you could have some fun with. Also, paragraph breaks, even in a short piece, really help with pacing. Finally, heading to Burger King? That’s interesting, and it might work better in contrast to the dishes they expect at the reception–expensive things with French names.

      Yeah, with a small word limit, if you’re lucky enough to end up with room to spare, don’t be afraid to go a little nuts!

      Interested to see more in the future.

  20. RGK1618

    The heavy church doors slammed shut behind me, blocking out the sunlight that had been beating down on my neck as I had strode through the ‘scenic’ countryside. As my eyes adjusted to the sudden darkness I tried to listen for a noise that would indicate where to go, but not a single vibration echoed through the walls. I sighed and squeezed the bridge of my nose, I knew it was a mistake coming to this, my old best friend’s wedding. Time to revisit past and extremely painful memories that had taken a full 18 years to take full effect and then edge towards the back of my mind.
    I re opened my eyes to find an attractive yet mysterious woman in my gaze, she giggled and I took in her outfit. An enormous pristine white dress that trailed behind on the cobblestoned floor, it could only be the bride. Smiling weakly I greeted her with a slight hug and introduced myself, she giggled again which was already starting to annoy me.
    “Silly, do you not remember me? Sam? Remember this?” She said and started to whirl around the hall way throwing her arms around in a haze of twirling silk. Then it dawned on me, as I backed away in horror my eyes opening wider and sweat pouring down my whole body. I gasped as I hit the wall and tried to gulp down my fears but my mouth was bone dry.
    Suddenly she stopped and didn’t so much as bat an eyelash for approximately 30 seconds, that seemed to take an eternity but I would have rather have stayed in that moment than the events that followed. One moment I was backed against the wall on my own accord the next my head was ringing and a hand slithered round my throat, tightening its grip ever so slowly.
    “Ok Sam, listen to me and listen close. We may have been childhood friends but think a bit after that about what happened to your poor brother. Now you wouldn’t want the same fate for your old best friend, would you? So this stays between us and nobody will get hurt for a little longer, you want to preserve the lives of those closest to you now wouldn’t we? I thought so…” She hissed as with the strength that she possessed, lifted me off of my feet to dangle helplessly in the air.
    With that she dropped me and I slumped against the wall and curled into ball to protect myself, then she turned round and swept down the hallway her dress trailing behind her on the uneven surface. As my vision blurred and darkness started lulling me into a deep sleep, one thought was chasing through my head.
    How does Lorenzo not become the next victim of Desire…

  21. JR MacBeth


    It had been a long time since I was grateful for an enemy strike, but maybe this is how God answered prayers these days. The one other time I was happy about such a close-call, I swear it had to be a God-thing too, what else could it have been? Back then, all I could think about was my precious Brianna. And then, she lands right in my arms, and all the lights go out!

    Maybe this would be one of those times. The walls of the tunnel were still shaking, but we all kept running, trying not to breathe in too much dust. Down another stairwell, deeper now. Somewhere up ahead of me, the woman I loved was running too. It’s funny how a person thinks in times like this. Here our lives can end at any second, but to me, it doesn’t much matter if my time is now, or later, as long as she knows exactly how I feel about her.

    Mick Anderson is my best friend. He’s ahead of our little troop right now, running, dust covering his tuxedo, up there with his lovely bride-to-be. No doubt he’s cursing his bad luck like he always does, but if I could trade places with him, I’d do it in a heartbeat. All the bad luck in the world was a bargain, if Brianna was the payoff.

    I never told Mick about that day, but even more interesting, neither did she. They were already engaged by then. Of course, I felt like the world’s biggest asshole afterwards, but then, I wouldn’t trade what happened for anything. It was my first time, and I know it’s pure romantic bullshit, but maybe she will be my last time too. Oh God! She’s all I want!

    Please God, give me the strength to say something, to do something, today. They have to know…

    The shaking stopped. We were far underground now. I knew we were near the chamber because I could hear the voices echoing off the marble walls. Once, long ago, this had been what they called a ho-tell “lobby”.

    “Mick!” I gave him a hug, but couldn’t help but look over his shoulder at my gorgeous Brianna. “That was close. ‘Bad’ luck strikes again.” I hoped she understood my meaning.

    “Sheesh, I swear I’m cursed,” Mick said, “But what the hell, we’re still alive!”

    “Hey…Can we talk?”

    “Sure old buddy. Looks like we’ve got some time to kill. What’s on your mind?”

    Just then, she came up, putting her arms around my neck. We were covered with dust, but she still kissed me…right in front of Mick.

    “What the fuck?” Mick’s mouth was open.

    “Sorry Mick,” I said, “this is looking like a God-thing.” I said it while still looking into her eyes.

    “Best man?” Brianna offered him. I was in heaven. She loves me!

    “Shit,” Mick said, “more bad luck…”

    1. Ishmael

      JR – I commend your command of creating suspense! You let a little info loose, but staved me off throughout the story, eking out just enough along the way to keep me hanging on until the end. A lot was going on – so much that I could’ve used a little more of the earlier history w/Brianna (love that name choice), but I know we have to draw the line somewhere.

      Nice job!

      1. JR MacBeth

        Thank you all for the comments, always appreciated. Brianna as a name choice? I love the name, seems like everyone knows a beautiful Brianna (although the one I know spells it differently).

  22. DMelde

    Patch visited a children’s hospital on the day of his friend’s wedding, because it was customary to “spread the joy” as they say. He entertained the sick children for several hours before leaving. Afterwards, when he arrived at the wedding, Patch strolled to a stop and gazed affectionately at the little red car. He fondly remembered his college graduation, when he and sixteen of his classmates climbed into, and onto, this same red car for their march in the graduation parade. His best friend Button had been their driver. Today Button was getting married, and streamers of oversized clown shoes and large red noses tied to ropes were attached to its miniature back bumper. A large, white, handmade sign saying “Just Married” towered over the back of the car. Patch could see guests entering the Big Top for the wedding ceremony and he ambled over to join them. His shiny, black, size twenty shoes made a soft plop-plop noise on every step.
    Inside the blue and red Big Top, Patch placed his wedding gift on a long table, on the opposite end from the stacks of cream pies. His gift was an autographed, squirting flower that read “To Button and Cupcake, Congratulations! -Tatters.” Patch felt a little nervous. He hadn’t met Button’s fiancée yet, and he hoped they’d hit it off. The Ringmaster was in the center ring showing people to their seats. Every now and then, to keep the excitement level up, he’d yell out in his booming voice, “Ladies and Gentlemen!” Then he’d return to his duties as usher. Patch plop-plopped his way down to the center and found his seat. The guests were mostly clowns, but there was a smattering of other circus performers in attendance as well; acrobats, gymnasts, and even the human cannon ball. Finally, everyone was seated and the Greatest Show of Button and Cupcake’s life began.
    Patch got his first good look at Cupcake and froze. He knew her from his days at Langley, when he worked undercover in facial recognition. She was Clown Widow, the serial clown killer. She married unsuspecting clowns and then murdered them. Langley had lost track of her years ago. Patch walked silently over to the cream pies. He judged them for weight and balance, and picked up a stack. Putting a cream pie into the hands of a clown is like giving a loaded revolver to a monkey; funny, but deadly. His face smiled but his lips didn’t as he approached the wedding party.
    “Clown Widow!” Patch yelled, throwing his cream pie into her face.
    The crowd gasped at the name. Everyone knew of her. Clown Widow drew a gun but couldn’t see to shoot. All of the clown guests, with determination on their happy faces, drew their seltzer and fired. Clown Widow went down, and when the fizz settled, she was dead. Button walked over to his friend, smiled, and honked his little tin horn, which any clown knows means, “Thanks Buddy, I owe you one.”

    1. Mimi828

      Great Job! Loved this one, especially putting the pie in position to be able to toss it into her face which allowed Patch to take her down without much risk. On a scale 1-10, this one is a 9 (only beacause no one is perfect, LOL)

      1. DMelde

        Thanks Mimi. Those were my thoughts too. I knew I needed to mention the pies beforehand, otherwise it would be–where did those pies come from, when Patch picked them up.

    2. jincomt

      Dmelde, you crack me up. I loved how I was trying to put it together at the beginning, as you do when you’re reading a story, and then you mentioned the red nose and it came together. I laughed out loud. This was a very fun and funny response to the prompt.

      1. DMelde

        Thanks for the feedback jincomt. The part of the story where you figured it out was the part where I thought people would get it. You reconfimed that for me. I’m glad you laughed. I like it when people laugh.

    3. Ishmael

      D – What a VERY refreshing take on this! LOVE IT! To put it in a circus arena…the big-top jargon…the EXCELLENT choices of names (that’s a biggie with me)…the description of the plop, plop, plopping of big (size 20) shoes…the seltzer water; it all came together famously.

      HONK! (Which any clown knows means, “WOW!”)

    4. fbxwriter

      My slightly furrowed brow quickly turned to a smile as I realized where you were going with this. Then the reference to Langley made me laugh! Great work, DMelde. You outdid yourself on this one.

  23. zo-zo

    ‘Dress up,’ Flash demanded over the phone, ‘we’re doing the church thing’. He gave everybody a weeks notice.

    That should have warned me. One, Flash swore he’d never step foot in church again and two, he swore on his revered surfboard that he’d be married in Hawaii. But no, the service would be in Maplewood, where we’d escaped ten years ago, as soon as we saved enough coins to bus to Miami.

    Those same smug roads with white picket fences and identical houses made me sweat. The snow slowed me down, allowing me to breathe. Home was never easy.

    I met Flash and his fiancé at the convenience store. They had to pick up some wheat-free, dairy-free treats for the party that night. Flash was happier than I’d ever seen him outside of the waves. I turned to his girl. I thought I’d recognised her, but it was when she stuck her hand out and cocked her head that I started seeing stars.

    ‘My name is Rachel Withers, great to meet you.’ She sounded like an advertisement. That’s because she was.

    That line was grating the first time, but she’d used it on me at least thirty times before stopped trying to convert us. She was a door-to-door ‘minister’ from the cult on the corner. The cult that believed that sex was only for procreation. The cult that demanded that extended families live under one roof.

    I gave Rachel a limp hand before loading her with all her fun-free treats and told her we’d catch up with her at her house. She was real greasy too, trying to stick around – but I stood my ground. She sighed loudly as she left, and Flash was about to let me have it.

    ‘Oh no,’ I shook my head. ‘Don’t start. You’ve got no idea.’ The shop suddenly felt very small. The same familiar smell, the jangle of the door as people came in, the same man who’d worked there for 25 years made me feel claustrophobic.

    We walked into the cold. It seemed right, somehow. He needed snow and his best friend to sober him up.

    ‘You’re marrying a girl from a cult,’ I said, watching the tracks of a car pass.

    ‘Yeah, I know she’s a church girl, but- you know, we just-‘

    ‘Cult, not church.’


    ‘Have you guys had sex?’

    ‘No,’ Flash smiled, ‘it’s really old-fashioned, she’s waiting-‘

    We stood out there in the snow and I told him the truth about Rachel Withers. It was the hardest thing I’d ever done, watching Flash’s shine pour out of him. The gutters were already gathering with the slush that a couple of hours ago had been pure white.

    He was silent for a long time. Then he started laughing. ‘So that’s why her parents were redecorating the basement.’ He shook his head and ruffled my wet hair. ‘Man, I’m freezing. Let’s find some heat and waves. And surfer girls. I’ve abstained for two weeks too many.’

    1. Ishmael

      Nice, different spin on this…a cult gal. I loved it. The set-up and atmosphere was great…loved the fun-free treat line. That was my first thought when I read, “Wheat-free, dairy-free…” I was like, “Oh, she’s one of those.”

      I like your stuff, zo² !

  24. originalenergy

    I guess we lost touch when I got back to the dorm that day and saw him injecting himself with heroin between his toes. He laughed when I jumped back in horror.

    “Come on, man.” He said. “You know those fucking narcs are checking my arms now. Gimme a break. Stop being such a chicken shit.”

    He always called me a chicken shit, starting from when we were 5 when I realized how different we were. It was when he pulled down his pants to let Anita put his penis in her mouth. I didn’t let her. She was 10 with a lot of snot in her nose and always smelled of stale banana chips. I used to wonder if she accidentally ate her snot– banana chips laced with yellow mucous. He called me a chicken shit then too. Well, a chicken. I was a chicken shit now.

    “I am done with you, Rodney. I don’t give a shit anymore.” I said that day. I walked out of the dorm room. It was our final year of college. I didn’t want to worry anymore if he was going to overdose on all those drugs he was taking. I didn’t have to babysit him anymore.

    It had been 2 years since I had seen him and I got an emailed wedding invitation. I think it was cheesy for wedding invitations to be emailed– call me old-fashioned. Many couples claim it is to be environmentally-friendly but I think it just smacks of cheapness. I fully intended not to go to his wedding, but I received an email from him saying that he remembered me fondly. That he still considered me his best friend. I went, despite my better judgment. I wondered who would marry the man I heard was still very much an addict.

    Then, I saw her and I shrank in horror.

    The week before, I had been to a writer’s conference and one of the speakers was a beautiful sultry woman who told a story of how she had started a sexual relationship with a girl who had OD’ed on heroin. The woman, Anna, claimed she spent time with people who were self-destructive to make her stories more exciting and lifelike. She liked to see the demise of people from the front row, as she put it. She had been married 3 times and had countless relationships with people who were “about to expire”—her words, not mine. Needless to say, she had many questions after her speech. Most were disgusted with her but some were intrigued. I was the former. I shrank in horror from someone who was obviously fed on the weaknesses of others, a vampire of emotions.

    It was them. The woman from the conference and my drug addict friend. Would I tell him he was only a subject?


    When he made love to me, I could feel my hair growing!

    Athena called…
    “I wanted you to be to be my Man of Honor because you’re my best friend.” She said.
    “You didn’t even send me an invitation!” I laughed.
    “I can’t be there now, but I will make the first toast at the wedding reception.”
    “You promise?”
    “Cross my heart and hope to die.”
    “I can’t wait until you meet him. I’m sure you’ll love him as much as I do.”
    “If he picked you, I know I will.”
    I laughed so hard I peed. I’m sure she did too. We were kids again. Our promises of friendship were forever.

    It was a beautiful formal Black and White wedding. I took a seat up front on the bride’s side and spoke with family and friends. Everyone we knew was there. Her parents were so proud. The groomsmen entered the chapel. That’s when I found out Eugene was the groom. Oh Shit! What do I do? I can’t let this happen! Athena and I have been friends too long. Eugene winked at me like our past wasn’t an issue. I wanted to vomit. I instantly remembered when I first met Eugene. I wasn’t looking for love because I prioritized it after career. I like Athena, was independent. I met Eugene at Giovanni’s. He was tall, built like a brick shithouse and had a killer smile.

    “Excuse me, may I join you?” He said.

    I looked up at those piercing eyes, broad shoulders, flawless skin and thought, if ever there was a time I should let my guard down, this is it!

    “Please do.”

    We laughed, talked and discovered we had a lot in common, particularly, careers before love. We spent many hours together. The first time we made love, I woke up barely able to walk. Literally! I stumbled to the window and understood what the birds were singing about. I wanted to jump him every chance I could. He felt the same and we did exactly that.

    “You know I’ll be leaving soon for Atlanta after graduation.”
    “I don’t want to talk about it.”
    “Look, this has been good and we’ll be long distance friends.”
    “Yeah, right, let’s do that.”

    The wedding march played, Athena entered and she was gorgeous. The people stood clapping. Some cried. I cried too but for different reasons.

    “Speak now or forever hold your peace!”
    “I do!” I stood screaming.
    Athena looked at me with horror on her face.
    Her mother fainted. Family, embarrassed!

    She’s my best friend and I am there. I didn’t get an invitation to the wedding. She ran out and an invitation could not come between best friends. When Carl, her first love, told everyone she gave him VD. I was there. She still loved him but was never the same. I was there. Time passed. We attended different colleges. She travelled East, to Penn State and I, to U of I in IL. Friends forever!


      1. MCKEVIN

        In all honesty, I don’t know. I would think not since the friendship was stronger, at least from the narrator’s point of view. I called myself being cute with this one. I was experimenting with sequence of story. If I confused my reader, then I didn’t accomplished what I set out to do. I’m working on it. Your response is appreciated always. It makes me wonder should I always give the “complete” story to the reader or should I allow the reader to draw their own conclusion? Keep watching and watch me work it out!

        1. Ishmael

          When I write a story – especially limited in word count – I many times leave it open…just showing a snippet of time. But I try to complete the scene. In my story this week, the scene was complete, but the story still open…does he escape…does she get him? A lot is left to the reader to imagine, but the story has a solid feel to it. A certain satisfaction.

          I love the freshness and subject material you bring to your stories! I like your writing. What I was getting at in my other comment was that you had almost completed the scene, but then went back into building up the scene. It was open, but sort of left the reader (me, in this case) feeling a little let down and unsatisfied.

          Thanks, and I will keep reading!

    1. Ishmael

      Tender story with a wonderful premise! You delivered it well – ALL the way through, but sorta dropped the basket with the last paragraph. It reiterated a lot of what I already knew, then threw in some stuff that didn’t further the story and seemed to be a little too late. I want to know what happened after he couldn’t hold his peace! That’s where the story was heading…but you took it to the unnecessary backstory.

      Nice descriptions and quippy use of current dialogue. :)

      1. wilson hara

        I struggled with the first and last paragraph but As Ishmael said : the premise is good: promise of ( eternal) friendship, easily broken, over a man.

        1. MCKEVIN

          I’m working on whether to provide the reader an actual ending or to leave it open ended. If I made this a longer piece, Athena would never marry Eugene the guy who her “Man of Honor”/best friend slept with. In my head, the piece made since but that’s only because it’s my story. I promise to do better in the future. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. McKevin

          1. wilson hara

            Mckevin, I apologise. My only excuse is that I am japanese and although I speak good english, i often don’t understand slang, jargon etc…, so when i read Man of Honour I thought your narrator was a man. On top of that I don’t know what a sequence story is so basically was continuously startled. I confused MYSELF!!!
            As for ending a story – I,personally, do not work towards and end (I know where I’m going most of the time). I start, pedantically, at the beginning and like Ishmael said, try to compete the scene (Example, in my story, the bedtime thing was a necessity in order to tell you a love story, without giving a reader the possibility of thinking “and then they got divorced” therefore, the grandmother (am I making sense?).
            Agree with Ishmael, tender story w/wonderful premise, love the freshness. Agree with Jincomt, love that you stretch. We need to keep pushing. Again, I apologise.

  26. aikawah

    (In previous prompts I’ve got a few complaints about foreign words in the stories, and that’s usually when I use Swahili words whose translations are available online. This time I’ve drawn the story from local folklore and the language is a more obscure tribal dialect so I’ve posted a small glossary of terms in the comments section, enjoy.)

    He pauses to sip, drawing in the drink in a long breath that threatens to empty the pot. The brewing woman’s hut is quiet, save for the roaring of the fire in the middle and the stranger’s voice. There are five groups of us, each group seated around an earthen pot out of which each man sips busaa through the hollowed out river reeds we call oseke. His straw hat is still pulled low over his face, its brim purposely wide to conceal his identity. It is a time of joy however, and I cannot disrespect him for that is the village custom.

    He continues, ‘She was beautiful. Legs like polished bao, smooth and unblemished; Teeth white like milk from a young heifer, perfectly spaced by a sing’are; Her eyes, round beans floating in milk.’ He pauses again to drink, a small sip this time as his captive audience paints the picture in their minds. ‘But the most beautiful thing about her was none of those’ he suddenly adds, ‘It was her hair. Long curly strands of hair that fell down her back; soft like the filaments of young corn cobs. When it blew in the wind warriors stopped to stare, their blood boiling with lust. Men killed each other in Ogare Village arguing about who lusted after her more. They died in vain however, for she loved Okul, the son of the chief and heir to the clan’s throne and riches.’

    ‘I heard about this woman too’ opined a warrior to my left. There were nods and murmurs of agreement from all round the room and many took the chance to sip their busaa, having ignored it in their concentration. The stranger sipped too, another long draught that seemed to draw in more than anyone else at the same pot. He cleared his throat for silence.

    ‘The wedding was held during the great harvest festival seven years ago, you were just tots then. It was the biggest wedding the lands had ever seen, fifty bulls slaughtered, a hundred goats roasted, and chicken drumsticks in the hand of every child. We killed a buffalo for the chief’s table, I took it down myself.’ The room burst into laughter believing his last statement an embellishment but he seemed not to mind, using the distraction to take another of his well practised sips. As the hut quieted down, he said quietly, ‘Laugh all you may but the truth of the matter is known to me and to Nyakalaga alone.’ The room went silent at his invocation of the name of god and presently he continued.

    ‘We feasted and drank, more busaa than you’ve ever seen, and properly brewed too. Nothing like this stuff that is brewed from famine corn, the harvest was good that year and the drink was like honey. At night, the young prince came for a sip and we carried him to his hut after, singing victory songs, daring him to sire a son that night. We slept under the moon; satisfied, drunk and happy, only the dogs sober enough to keep watch. And keep watch they did. At exactly the hour of midnight they put up a great howling and woke everyone in the village square. We chased them drunkenly and would have gone back to our slumber had we not heard a piercing scream coming from the young prince’s hut.

    We rushed to his aid, unarmed and unprepared and there in the eerie moonlight that was streaming into the prince’s hut from an open window, we saw the woman standing over him. Her legs were gnarled and black like the roots of some old poison bush, her teeth misshapen and ugly like the teeth of a hyena and her eyes burned bright red, and the hair; that bewitching hair that had flowed in the wind like grass in a fresh water stream, it was standing upright about her head flailing wildly in the air.’ He stopped to breathe, the silence loud in the little hut. ‘It was Mami Wota! The demon of Aora Wach! And she had taken his heart!’

    The men drew in sharp breaths and chanted incantations to Nyakalaga, spitting to cast out the evil of her name. But the stranger wasn’t done yet; he turned to me, his straw hat still obscuring his face.

    ‘Young prince!’ he proclaimed, ‘I swear upon my father’s grave, the woman you wed tomorrow is the very same!’

    1. aikawah


      Busaa: A local brew made from fermented grains like sorghum, millet, and maize/corn.
      Oseke: Basically a drinking straw made from hollow river reeds.
      Bao: A general term referring to wood but also specifically used to describe eucalyptus.
      Sing’are: The gap between one’s two front teeth, a prized mark of beauty in Luo culture.
      Nyakalaga: An ancient deity worshiped by the Luo tribe of Western Kenya.
      Mami Wota: A feared river spirit.
      Aora Wach: The Sour River, so named for its bad-tasting waters and associated with many supernatural phenomena.

    2. Ishmael

      A couple of things…first, I bow before your beautiful word choices. Lovely, absolutely lovely.

      Second, and I’ve mentioned this in the past…your use of foreign and tribal languages in your work is flawless. I was able to spend some time reading last week, I believe, where it was termed ‘pig latin gibberish.’ That’s ironic, since gibberish began as a nonsensical word used to imitate chatter, and is probably an offshoot of the word jabber. And speaking of jabber…where would we be without jabberwocky? Another nonsensical word that drew meaning from its story (and a place in the dictionary).

      The point I’m trying to make is…no glossary needed, buddy. You excellently define the words through the context of your stories. It doesn’t matter if they’re Swahili or Swa-made-up. I glided through them as if they were my native tongue. Good job!

      One thing (a first sentence issue): “He pauses to sip, drawing in the drink in a long breath that threatens to empty the pot.” “Drawing in the drink in…” it’s sort of awkward. “Drawing the drink in…” flows a little better. Or “Drawing in the drink with…” I loved the use of the word “draught” later in the story as a different way to say it.


    3. aikawah

      Glad you liked it guys… and OK Ishmael, no glossary next time! Mr Es, that makes two of us folklore lovers, though I kind of like everything :-)

      Your comments have made me want to do more folklore-based prompts.

      1. rob akers

        Great Job Sir. I totally agree with Ishamel. You dont need the translations. I read it without looking at them and found that I knew exactly what you were saying. You are wonderful and I strive to reach your level of ability.

    4. Handpicked76

      As a teacher who is taught to look for context clues, you did a very great job of defining each word without the glossary. I wish that I could share this with my students or my fellow teachers. Your words were very precise and very picturesque.

    5. JR MacBeth

      Always an adventure, the kind that makes me want to “go there” some day! Glossary? Maybe not needed, but I liked it anyway, and if you ever did a full-scale book, I think the average reader might like to glance over at something like that. Either way, good stuff, as usual.

  27. TEMiranda

    This year I am actually excited to go to our annual company gathering in New York City. Who wouldn’t mind an all-expense paid trip to the Big Apple? Oliver wouldn’t mind, he wouldn’t even notice. He is in London this weekend. Two weeks in San Diego, two weeks in London; this was Oliver’s schedule when we got married ten years ago. New York City here I come.

    On the red-eye I bump into my old college roommate Monica Stevens sitting just a few rows ahead. Monica and I were inseparable since our freshman orientation at Cornell, but once we graduated I went to California, as did many Computer Science majors during the dot-com boom, and Monica went to New York City to study law. We lost touch after a year of emails and hopeful promises to fly out to meet each other. We were just too busy building our lives back then, and too broke. What luck, I thought, running into her after fifteen years.

    After five minutes we finally convinced her neighbor to switch seats with me on the plane. While everyone else slept we spent the entire nine-hour flight gabbing away at just about everything. We fell right into the familiar rhythm of conversation that made us so close back then, the kind that I haven’t found since. It felt as if we had never been apart.

    When she told me she was getting married I was ecstatic. She gabbed about the details of their meeting, the romantic proposal, and the planning of her ridiculous wedding at the Plaza. Just as the plane started to descend into La Guardia Airport, Monica invited me to her wedding.

    “Oh please, Monica. You don’t have to.” I begged, feeling guilty for Monica’s obligatory invitation.

    “Vicky, I want you to go. I have a handful of seats to fill. You said you didn’t have anything to do Sunday afternoon and your flight is not until Monday morning. You have all day tomorrow to buy a dress. I know someone at Saks that will give you an amazing discount. You have no excuse.” Monica said, smiling triumphantly.

    After spending an hour at an overpriced salon and another hour squeezing into a Vera Wang gown from Saks, I sneak into the last row of the packed wedding hall at the Plaza. The procession had just started. A flower girl tossed pedals, a small Russet Terrier carried wedding rings on a pillow clenched between its teeth; it was all beautiful. Then I see Monica at the entrance taking her first steps, breathtaking.

    When I searched for the man who swept Monica off her feet I couldn’t believe my eyes. I charged through the seated guests and stepped right in front of Monica, stopping her in her tracks.

    “You can’t marry him.” I said.

    “What?” her face stunned. “Why can’t I marry Jeffrey?”

    Just then I glowered at the groom, his face frozen in terror.

    “Because Oliver is already married to me.”

    1. Handpicked76

      I love this story especially how you slipped it in at the very beginning that Oliver had a consistent pattern for ten years. It leaves space for you to create a longer story if you desire. Maybe Oliver has other wives in other cities. I just wonder how Oliver did not know that you were headed to NYC.

  28. Autumn

    I took a deep breath as I made my way into the restaurant. The place was packed, but I managed to find a spot at one of the tables in the back. I watched as my best friend, Hank, walked into the restaurant with a huge smile on his face.

    Hank and I had been best friends since elementary school. We had been through everything together and we’d even had our own moments together, but those moments had faded into the past and our friendship had strengthened as time had gone on. However, the last few years we had lost contact and now here I was about to meet the love of his life.

    I caught a glimpse of the girl’s head behind Hank and my hands started to shake. I couldn’t believe I was finally going to meet her. He stepped aside and I stared. Her brown hair sat comfortably on her shoulders. Her slender, ballerina-like frame, glided through the doorway. Her smile lit up the room and her brown eyes searched everyone’s face. When her eyes hit mine, there was no recognition. However, I was sure I knew her.

    I sat quietly throughout the dinner, and waited patiently for my chance to speak with Hank. It finally came when Barbie headed out of the restaurant followed by her tall lanky friends. Hank came up to my table and sat in the chair next to me.

    “What do you think?” He sighed as he combed a hand through his blond mane. “Isn’t she amazing?”

    “You can’t go through with this.” I blurted out. His glassy eyes focused on me.

    “What?” He asked leaning forward.

    “She’s not who you think she is.”

    “Wait, what?”

    “She doesn’t love you.”

    He placed his head in his hands and looked back up at me. “You’re jealous. After all these years, this is the time you decide to be jealous.”

    “Jesus Christ, Hank, I’m not jealous. Yes, I love you, but like a brother. You and I have been through way too much to go any further than friendship.”

    “Then what the hell, Maggie? Why now?”

    “You think this is the first time we’ve met her, but it isn’t. Remember my brother?”

    Hank made the sign of the cross. “Christ Maggie, what does this have to do with your late brother?”

    “Remember the fat red-head he used to date?”

    “The one who fawned over him and practiced witchery?”

    “Witchcraft.” I nodded. “I saw her on his grave the other day. She was naked, had incense all around her, and was chanting.”

    Hank continued to stare at me. “Are you saying Barbie is that crazy red head?”

    I nodded.

    “What am I supposed to do?”

    “Run. Change your name, change your style, and don’t let her find you. Apparently, she needs the body of a virgin man in order to bring back my brother.”

    “Jokes on her then.” He laughed. “I’m no virgin.”

    1. zo-zo

      Ha! I love the double twist!! Very unique story, which you build nicely until the end. My only advice would be to reduce the second paragraph so you can get to the action sooner.

      1. jincomt

        I agree with zo- loved the ending. It makes me want to know what happens to the virgin-sucking wench LOL! I also agree that a little less on the front end would have allowed more for the latter half.

    2. Ishmael

      Oh, Autumn…very good! Nice, different take on the prompt, and the last line was priceless. Very well written…nice pacing…good build. A-one!

  29. slayerdan

    “ I wasn’t sure I would be here,” she said, her voice wavering,” and I doubt I will stay long.” She stood there before Brad Grellson, her best friend from college. Her first true love. He sat there on a folding chair, staring blankly in her direction. His groomsmen were in other parts of the church. His brown, wavy hair as cute and out of control as it always had been. He fidgeted with his hands.

    “ I don’t know if this is right,” Brad said, slumping back in the chair, his gaze turning to the ceiling as he continued,” but she was the last connection I had to you. It just feels like it should be her. But she’s not you, “ he finished,” not even close.”

    There before him, Sara felt her spirit soar. He did still love her—after all these years—he still loved her!! She felt like she was crying a thousand tears she could not stop. She dropped down in front of him, looking up as he stared at the ceiling. Gazing for a moment at the underside of his neck, she recalled how she so loved to be nuzzled there. It had been years, but to her, seemed as alive as yesterday.

    Brad sat up, placed his hands on his knees and took the deepest of sighs.” Sara,” a continual tear streamed from each eye as he repeated her name three more times.

    “Yes,” she seemed to scream at the top of her lungs,” what is it my love?”

    A knock at the door startled Brad as two of his groomsmen, guys Sara did not know, entered with huge smiles on their faces.” So what’s happening Brad old man?” came the booming voice of what appeared to be some football jock,” you still signing your death warrant?or you wanna take off with me and Jake for the mountains and get some Tennessee women?” he asked, his voice like a cannon firing. The other guy, the smaller of the two, laughed, snorting like a pig.

    They both irritated Sara.

    Brad stood up and shook hands with both, the larger guy hugging Brad and laughing like he just stole five dollars from an old lady.

    “The mountains do sound good this time of year,” Brad quipped, obviously used to the buffoon. They all shared another little laugh as Brad pulled a small bottle from his coat and took a long, deep drink, finishing the bottle. “ But I am getting married gentlemen, for good or bad,” he said, resignation in his voice.

    “You been crying Brad?” asked the pig like Jake.

    “Its just Sara,” he replied.

    “She’s gone Jake. She’s been gone seven years now, and she would want you to be happy.”

    “ I know. I wished she would show up here, somehow, someway, and make it all right,” he said as tears once again flowed.

    “I did try my dear, “she felt herself say,” to tell you the truth. To stop you from marrying my killer.” She looked at Brad and his friends as they slowly faded from her view…………

    1. slayerdan

      I hate the abrupt ending and i do apologize. Question: every week I write if the prompt stirs an idea in me. However, even on stories I like and get good feedback on–and there have been a couple–I still am NEVER happy with any of them. I have been writing off and on twenty years–I have done news articles, poetry, short stories, editorials, and a novel that I did sell. And I am never happy with my finished product. I like it, just not happy with it–anyone else have same issues?

      1. jincomt

        Yes. I do. For me, it is a failure to write at the depth and well, greatness, of the ideal I hold in my head. I read a lot and have read some amazing books with lush, gorgeous writing and story-telling. I want to be that when I grow up. And I’m not. For sure, 500 word prompts are not going to be a showcase of our best either.

        Rest assured, however, your experience and longevity in the writing business shows.

      2. Ishmael

        Man, I just wrote an email to a writing friend of mine about this same thing. I’m never satisfied, and feel like what I put out is incomplete, either from the cut (and not being able to recapture the same essence in fewer words), or because of something else that I just can’t put my finger on at the time. I always think, ‘I could do better.’

        At least we’re in good company. E.B. White’s stepson wrote a foreword in “The Elements of Style” that describes the famous author, who spent hours working on the familiar task of writing a couple of hundred words of commentary:

        When the copy went off at last…he rarely seemed satisfied. ‘It isn’t good enough,’ he said sometimes. ‘I wish it were better.’

        I know a lot of it (for me) comes from the drive for perfection – not just mentioning details, but the exact details and phrasing (nothing more, nothing less) – to convey that movie that plays in my head.

        And then I go through it all again on the next story.

        Your story was another great read, by the way. Looks like you picked a lot of those perfect details!

        1. aikawah

          Jincomt(SHE) is right about the 500 word limit: Its a really good thing as it forces you to clean out every unnecessary word and achieve more with less space but also, it always seems like you needed 20 or 100 more words to add something else that would have also been really cool. I love the prompts but I know I’ll never be ‘completely happy’ with one and it goes for everything else. I always seem to have learnt something that an old piece could benefit from if I wrote it now…

      3. DMelde

        Yes, I have the same issues. I’m never satisfied. Sometimes I wish I hadn’t even written a story. The story in my mind soars and then I write crap, and the gulf of quality between what I think and what I write is so large. I write to an ideal that I will never attain. (…and then I self medicate. Ha!)

        1. DMelde

          I liked your story too. It was a good point of view and dark at the end. I’d like to see Sara get her revenge, maybe starting with a little haunting, followed by her killer falling SPLAT! onto the jagged rocks below…or something like that.

          1. wilson hara

            agree with all of you.
            you have given us a love story, a ghost and a killer in 500 words! Its great! I like what dmelde said (haunt and splat!), however if you think that the ghost can not do anything then I would change the emphasis.

      1. rob akers


        Great post, dont change a thing!

        I have been thinking about your question for a couple of days. Most of the time I am happy with the story I tell. I am not sure why you guys are not and that is what has occupied my thoughts. I am wondering if it is because I have a different writing process than yall.

        When I read the weekly post I try to let the story perculate in my mind for a few hours/day until I see the entire story in my mind like a movie. Then I focus on only one aspect of that mind movie and choose that as what I focus to write about. As I write, I keep a mental count of the word count and usually finish 15 to 30 words over. I find that I cut about 50 words and go back and flesh out the prompt. When I am done, I usually have achoeved my goal for the prompt.

        The real Bill Rimes and I were talking last night and he asked if I would ever consider publishing his stories and if I would add to them. If anyone reading this has money to burn, everything I have is for sale including a 2006 tahoe and the Bill Rimes stories. I would publish the Bill Rimes stories if someone was willing to pay me money but I am not sure I would add to them.

        Hope to hear what you guys and j-she think about your writing process.

  30. Heather Randall

    I thought to myself, “Oh my God, I know her.” He can’t marry her. Has she changed? I can’t let him marry her. Photos of Rick and Sherry surrounded us as we entered the church. A church…she doesn’t belong here.

    My brother distracted me from my thoughts saying, “Hey, there’s Melinda. You wanna go say hi?” Melinda. She would believe me. She always hoped Rick and I could make things work as a couple.

    Do I pull her aside and ask her if she knows about Sherry’s prior convictions? Does she know about Sherry’s ex-husband? I can’t imagine Melinda being at the wedding, knowing what I know. Would Rick believe me? Geez, I don’t know. My head hurts. I feel hot.

    My brother nudged me, “Well?”

    “I know, I’ll head over there. Find us a seat.” As I walked towards Melinda I thought, do I dare take this moment away from she and Rick, Sr.? Would everyone think it was just I being jealous? Sherry will know I’m the one.

    Melinda looked more beautiful than I ever recall. She wore a fitted lavender shift, with a blush colored pashmina loosely draped around her shoulders. She looked up to see me walking towards her. She broke into a wide, teary-eyed smile. I always seemed to make her happy.

    “Oh honey, I’m so glad you’re here.” We embraced. She seemed to search my eyes, recognizing there was something “off”, but smiled.

    “You look stunning. Rick will be so happy to see you. He’s finishing up a couple of photos with Sherry. I really wish they would’ve waited until after the ceremony to take those photos.”

    “Melinda, I’m so happy to see you.” And then, I went for it. “Melinda, do you have a moment to talk? In private. I just…. I have something I need to ask you.”

    She looked at me quizzically, “Of course. You know I’d do anything for you.” She quickly motioned to Rick, Sr. that we were stepping outside. He nodded, smiled, and blew me a kiss.

    “Here, let’s walk through here, otherwise I’ll be bombarded by guests, and you’ll never get me outside,” she said, pointing to a dark hallway, close to the entrance of the church. Dark hallway, how appropriate.

    “What is it, hon? I knew something was wrong! What’s troubling you, sweetheart?”

    “Melinda,” I swallowed. Hard. “How well do you know Sherry?”

    “Well, we’ve been getting to know her. I’m sure Rick’s told you, her story is a sad one…you know, the foster parents…one right after the other. But she’s remarkable. I never thought Rick would marry a Doctor. Why do you ask? I know Rick was hoping the two of you could meet before the wedding.”

    “I…I know her, Melinda,” I said, fumbling each word. “Melinda, she’s an ex-con. Her ex-husband…. they’ve done some horrific things. I don’t think Rick knows. Jamison isn’t her last name. I would’ve recognized her name…Johnson…Sherry Johnson.”

    Melinda didn’t hesitate in her response, “I’ve got to find my husband.”

    1. rob akers

      NIce job with the story but to be honest I got confused between all the characters. Good job describing the scene and the main character’s nerves. Not sure how she knew the bride was a ex-con too. I have found that it is very difficult to keep everything in order and tell a story in 500 words. I look forward to future posts from you.

  31. oceanjewel

    When I received the invitation I smiled. Brian had been my best friend in that last year of college and despite the years and miles that separated us now we always kept in touch over the years through Christmas cards and the occasional email. Brian had been that one person who knew everything about me. Well, almost everything.

    When my plane arrived I was eager to see my old friend and meet Natalie, his bride-to-be.
    Brian was there to greet me. His face radiated happiness and I could tell immediately that he had met the woman of his dreams.

    After a warm embrace we talked excitedly about the wedding as we walked to his car. “You are going to love her, Deb. She’s perfect.”

    When we walked into the hotel lobby my heart nearly stopped. There was Natalie or, as I once knew her, Kate. She looked delicate and somewhat self conscious, but it was definitely her. As she leaned in to give me a hug I thought there would be some glimmer of recognition but I quickly realized that she had no idea who I was.

    I began to sweat. I had to say something but I knew there would be no way to tell him about Kate without divulging the secret I carried with me for years. I somehow managed to sit through lunch for over an hour without voicing my most pressing thoughts. Natalie spoke with a slight southern twang which seemed completely foreign coming from her once blood red lips which never seemed to express anything other than profanity.

    When she left for a final fitting I knew I had to tell Brian the truth.

    “Remember that summer after graduation when I had told you I was going to Europe for six months?”

    “Told me? You did go to Europe for six months….didn’t you”

    “Not exactly. I actually had checked myself into a facility….for psychiatric counseling.”


    “God, this is so embarrassing. You knew I had anxiety issues. Well, after graduation they got worse and I finally realized I was in the middle of a nervous breakdown.”

    “Holy shit. You never told me this.”

    “That’s not the worst part. I am only telling you this because of Natalie.

    “What about her?”

    “That’s where I met her.”


    “I didn’t know her as Natalie though.”

    “What the hell are you talking about?”

    “Among some other serious mental issues, Natalie has DID. It’s a condition where people have multiple personalities and—“

    “I know what DID is. Natalie doesn’t have it.”

    “It’s a little different with her. She was actually considered one of the facilities most “interesting” cases. Her personalities rotate every year or so. You haven’t known her long enough to know her as anyone else.”

    Needless to say this conversation did not go well. Eventually, however, he believed my words and called off the wedding. It’s been nearly a year since that terrible day. At times I wonder if telling him was the right move. Kate is just beginning to wonder as well.

  32. Lynch

    Tried to post a story three times. Everytime it says that it is awaiting moderation. Does everyones story need to await moderation or is there a specific reason as to why I am not allowed to post something. Waited 13 hours since my initial post and it has still yet to be put up. Really annoying, being that this is 2012 you would think it wouldnt take so long. Loved the idea of this site when I found it last night but if my stories won’t be posted then I will never come back.
    Angry Writer…

    1. jincomt

      Hi Lynch– This site can be persnickety sometimes, but it looks like your story posted (a couple times). Sometimes it will give funky little messages about posting too quickly when you’re leaving comments too. Hope you stick it out– I’ve had it work correctly most times. And welcome. :)

  33. Icabu

    Tess drove past the church, still deciding whether to go in or not. Riley’s phone call invitation to his wedding earlier in the week had definitely been last-minute, but it had still given her too much time to think about their shared past. Everyone had warned her back in college, when she’d begun hanging out with Riley, that a girl could not have a guy as a best friend. She’d been adamant that they could and had been right for three years. Then, as she’d been warned, Riley wanted to take their friendship to the next level. Truthfully, so had Tess, but she’d enjoyed their friendship more. Or so she’d thought.

    Tess didn’t know who Riley was marrying. It didn’t matter, really. Refusing to become intimate with Riley had resulted in the same as if she had – their friendship crashed. For the past two years, Tess found herself basically friendless, definitely relationship-less, and a work-aholic. Since losing her best friend, she’d felt listless and appeared to be wandering aimlessly through her life.

    Determined to stop feeling sorry for herself and prove she could face her past and the decisions she’d made, Tess entered the church. Looking around, it was obvious this was not a traditional wedding. All parties were grouped together, talking, laughing, and hugging one another. Mostly, the girls were on one side, the guys on the other. Tess’s breath caught when she saw Riley. He was still unbelievably handsome, especially so in his neat suit. At his side, a woman in a silky, ivory gown stood with her back toward Tess. Obviously, this had to be the bride.

    The woman turned and Tess’s knees nearly buckled. Her breath rushed out and very little made it back in. Tess’s sister was Riley’s bride. Tess had shared her most intimate thoughts, worries, and wishes with her sister – even those concerning Riley.

    Sighting her, Riley approached Tess. She wanted to bolt from the church but her legs stayed rooted to the floor. She trembled as Riley casually hugged her and pecked a kiss to her cheek. She willed her hand to slap him, but it remained frozen at her side.

    “I’m glad you came,” Riley said. His voice melted her core.

    “My sister?” Tess forced the words through clenched teeth.

    “No,” he said. “You.”

    Unable to comprehend, Tess stared.

    “I invited everyone to a wedding,” he said, his voice gentle. “In around six months.” He lowered to one knee and looked deeply into Tess’s eyes. “I can’t live without you. Please, Tess, marry me.”

    The years of regret flooded out of Tess as she looked into Riley’s pleading eyes. She saw only her best friend and the only person she could spend the rest of her life with.


    The room erupted in cheers and clapping. Tess caught the wink and thumbs-up between her sister and Riley and knew the two people she loved the most had conspired to make this the happiest day of her life.

    1. DMelde

      Great story Icabu. I liked the name choices. You set it all up beautifully. I liked how you set up the introduction of Tess’s sister as the woman in the ivory gown. It made me feel that she must be the bride. And then the explanation, without explaining, of how Riley knew that he should propose after a two year lapse. Loved it.

    2. Ishmael

      Very nicely written, Icabu. You express your character’s feelings so well. At first I thought, ‘A proposal after two years of a break-up?’ It didn’t make sense to me until I realized later that, over the two years of sharing those intimate thoughts with her sister, her sister was passing them along to Riley…yeah? It was a great spin to the prompt. :)

    3. Handpicked76

      I’m a sucker for romantics. I love the twist of it. However, to make it stay within the parameters of the story, I would have her to confront her sister or her college boyfriend since she was suppose to stop the wedding.

  34. rob akers

    A Captain Bill Rimes Story

    Friday 3 August 2012 8:52 PM

    Anna’s eyes flared with an anger that he had never seen. Gripping her phone she yelled. “You need to stop this thing, now!

    Bill’s soul shuddered but he stood his ground. “What can I do, she should be able to enjoy her life.”

    “It is wrong, end it now!” Anna stormed up the stairs. He stood, deep in thought as his mind registered the “Yelp!” from the television. Storage Wars was on and he was mired in drama. He hated drama but it always seemed to find him. He fished out his cell, scrolling through the contact list he pressed the call button.

    “Chicken Bill, what’s up dude?”

    “Remember that guy we were talking about?”


    “Can you find him tonight and I need proof.”

    “All expenses paid.”

    Bill paused and smiled. His friend was going to have a good time tonight, and Anna would gladly cough up the money. “You bring me proof and the first 500 dollars is on me.”

    “Rock ON! I will call you in the morning.”

    Saturday 4 August 2012, 2:00 PM

    Bill looked at his watch, the wedding march started and it seemed that both JoJo and Bill had failed. Last night, Bill tried to slide into bed, but Anna told him that if he wasn’t going help her mom, then he wasn’t welcome in her bed. Trusting in JoJo, Bill slept in the guest bed but now he wondered if it would now be his bed.

    Anna cried tears of sorrow while Andrew Nathanial Winthrop stood in the rose garden, with his two groomsmen. Only 28 years old, he was already a former everything including being cut out of the family fortune for crimes against the family. Devoid of any skill involving brains he took the only job he was qualified for, gold digger. He befriended, Anna’s mom only because of her money and was now about to become Anna’s father-in-law. Anna had no doubt, that when her deceased father’s life insurance money ran out, Andrew would go with it and leave her 77 year old mother alone and broke.

    All heads turned to watch Anna’s mom walk up the isle of the open air garden and everyone saw the oversized dodge truck crash into the reception table. Everything went silent as the Cummings diesel truck continued to idle. A tall skinny man wearing a wife beater shirt and a camouflaged baseball hat adorned with JoJo climbed out closely followed by three strippers. JoJo walked past the old lady in the white dress and went straight to the groom.

    Stopping, he turned to the women. “Is this the dude?”


    JoJo punched him in the face while the two groomsmen held their positions. “Never ever cheat my sisters out of their money!” Then he opened his phone and he held it up for the Minister. “That is the groom and these are my sisters. Nice tits, huh?”

    As the four people left Bill felt Anna pull close to him. He was welcome back into her bed.

    1. Icabu

      Loved this story, Rob. Redneck to the rescue! Bill is a wonderful character.

      Wasn’t Andrew about to become Anna’s step-father (not father-in-law) ?? And, FYI, it’s Cummins diesel (NYSE: CMI)

    2. Ishmael

      Loved this, Rob. It was about Capt. Bill, but taken totally out of the base and military confines to explore the civilian side of his life. I like the character of Anna, and the premise of the silver fox gold digger. I’ll enjoy seeing more of this aspect of his personal life.

      Hey…the first paragraph in Saturday’s entry has the word Bill mentioned a little too often. The way the first sentence of that paragraph read, I wondered, “Are there two Bills?” I thought I might have missed something in the phone call. If I may…

      “Bill looked at his watch; the wedding march started and it seemed that both he and JoJo had failed. Last night, when he tried to slide into bed, Anna told him that if he wasn’t going help her mom, then he wasn’t welcome in her bed. Trusting in JoJo, Bill slept in the guest bed, but wondered if it would now be his bed.”

      I just tidied it up…replaced some ‘Bills’ with ‘hes’, or took the unnecessary ones out. There was also an extraneous ‘now’ in the last sentence.

      Good job! I really enjoyed this.

      1. rob akers


        I totally agree with your points. Editing is not a strong suit of mine. That is something I need to work on.

        There is a real danger in your comments. If you keep this up, one day you may wake up to a 168,000 word document in your e-mail with a nice note from me to fix it. Ha Ha.

        Thanks for everything, especially reading!

        1. Ishmael

          Thanks for your great weekly offerings! And send it on! :) I used to type papers in college…everyone would bring their stuff to me because they knew I couldn’t help but proof as I went along.

  35. Lynch

    When I walked up to the wedding hall my hands began to sweat. I hadn’t been to a wedding in five years and for some reason they always made me nervous. Perhaps my mom had put too much pressure on me to bring home the perfect girl. Her acting like this had in turn caused me to never bring home a girl. I convinced myself that a spouse wouldn’t be able to handle my profession anyway, so a life of solitude was probably best.

    The wedding hall was beautiful. Roses engulfed the entrance hall and it gave me the feeling of a five star hotel. As I approached the counter I realized I hadn’t rehearsed what I was going to say. It’s not easy seeing someone you haven’t talked to in years, especially under these circumstances. I tried to shrug it off. “You’ve done this before and your words will come to you”, I told myself. The man behind the counter told me the Mitchell Wedding was taking place in the Tuscany room.

    The Tuscany room was on the second floor. I was half way up the steps when his mom spotted me. “Chris!” she exclaimed. “Oh my gosh, how good it is to see you.”

    “Good Evening Mrs. Mitchell” I said. This was going to be harder than I thought.

    “Billy didn’t tell me you were coming.” She said.

    “I didn’t think I was coming either.”

    “Congratulations on your big promotion. “

    “Thank you.”

    “Well you better find Billy and say hello. The wedding should get going in about a half an hour. I have to go locate this bride of his. Sorry to cut this so short. Oh, it really was good to see you.”

    “It was good to see you too Mrs. Mitchell. Do you know where Billy is?”

    “Mr. MacDougal!” she yelled in another direction. And as quickly as she arrived she was gone.

    I dreaded having to see him. It had been a few years since we had last talked. I wish I had something planned to say. I continued up the stairs and down the hall to the entrance of the Tuscany room. I stood frozen at the door for a moment, the sweat returning, only more profusely. I had no choice, no matter how painful this might be, it had to be done. I opened the door and stepped inside. Locating Billy was the only thing on my mind and it was easier than I thought.

    “No way! I do not believe this!” Billy hollered across the room. “Chris you flipping baby face get over here!”
    It was typical Billy, still thought he was the captain of the football team. Some things just never change.

    “Hey Billy, how are you?”

    “It’s my wedding day dude! How do you think I feel? I’m great!!”

    “Billy we need to talk for a moment in private.”

    “Yea definitely it’s been a long time my friend. Let’s step out onto the terrace. How are things with you?”
    He put down his drink and began to light his cigar. I didn’t want to ruin it, the moment, the day, the life. But I had no choice. “You’re a detective now right?” Billy asked.

    “Yes I am.”

    “That’s great dude. I’m happy for you. Sorry we didn’t get you a formal invitation a few people slipped my mind, not just you. Just crazy planning a wedding you know?”

    “Yes, I do.”

    “Well, I’m glad my mom decided to call you and have you surprise me like this. Did you talk to my mom yet? She’s going to be real happy to see you.”

    “We ran into each other on the steps but she was in a hurry.”

    “Yeah, she sure is. Sarah hasn’t shown up yet. Half an hour until the ceremony starts and the fucking bride isn’t here. She stayed with her two friends from college last night. They went out for some last night freedom thing. She’s going to be late to her own damn wedding. My mom ran off to call the hotel again.”

    “Billy, I don’t know how to say this. Your mom didn’t invite me to the wedding.”

    “You crashed my wedding?! Dude, that is the greatest thing I have ever heard. Wait until the guys get a load of this. Ha!”

    “Billy, I’m here for work.”

    “Huh? What do you mean work?”

    I took a deep breath in.

    “Sarah and her two friends were found dead at two o’clock this morning. Their bodies were found in the dried up creek behind Sunken Meadow Road. I’m so sorry Billy.”

  36. Lynch

    When I walked up to the wedding hall my hands began to sweat. I hadn’t been to a wedding in five years and for some reason they always made me nervous. Perhaps my mom had put too much pressure on me to bring home the perfect girl. Her acting like this had in turn caused me to never bring home a girl. I convinced myself that a spouse wouldn’t be able to handle my profession anyway, so a life of solitude was probably best.

    The wedding hall was beautiful. Roses engulfed the entrance hall and it gave me the feeling of a five star hotel. As I approached the counter I realized I hadn’t rehearsed what I was going to say. It’s not easy seeing someone you haven’t talked to in years, especially under these circumstances. I tried to shrug it off. “You’ve done this before and your words will come to you”, I told myself. The man behind the counter told me the Mitchell Wedding was taking place in the Tuscany room.

    The Tuscany room was on the second floor. I was half way up the steps when his mom spotted me. “Chris!” she exclaimed. “Oh my gosh, how good it is to see you.”

    “Good Evening Mrs. Mitchell” I said. This was going to be harder than I thought.

    “Billy didn’t tell me you were coming.” She said.

    “I didn’t think I was coming either.”

    “Congratulations on your big promotion. “

    “Thank you.”

    “Well you better find Billy and say hello. The wedding should get going in about a half an hour. I have to go locate this bride of his. Sorry to cut this so short. Oh, it really was good to see you.”

    “It was good to see you too Mrs. Mitchell. Do you know where Billy is?”

    “Mr. MacDougal!” she yelled in another direction. And as quickly as she arrived she was gone.

    I dreaded having to see him. It had been a few years since we had last talked. I wish I had something planned to say. I continued up the stairs and down the hall to the entrance of the Tuscany room. I stood frozen at the door for a moment, the sweat returning, only more profusely. I had no choice, no matter how painful this might be, it had to be done. I opened the door and stepped inside. Locating Billy was the only thing on my mind and it was easier than I thought.

    “No way! I do not believe this!” Billy hollered across the room. “Chris you flipping baby face get your ass over here!”

    It was typical Billy, still thought he was the captain of the football team. Some things just never change.

    “Hey Billy, how are you?”

    “It’s my f*%^*ing wedding day dude! How do you think I feel? I’m great!!”

    “Billy we need to talk for a moment in private.”

    “Yea definitely it’s been a long time my friend. Let’s step out onto the terrace. How are things with you?”

    He put down his drink and began to light his cigar. I didn’t want to ruin it, the moment, the day, the life. But I had no choice. “You’re a detective now right?” Billy asked.

    “Yes I am.”

    “That’s great dude. I’m happy for you. Sorry we didn’t get you a formal invitation a few people slipped my mind, not just you. Just crazy planning a wedding you know?”

    “Yes, I do.”

    “Well, I’m glad my mom decided to call you and have you surprise me like this. Did you talk to my mom yet? She’s going to be real happy to see you.”

    “We ran into each other on the steps but she was in a hurry.”

    “Yeah, she sure is. Sarah hasn’t shown up yet. Half an hour until the ceremony starts and the fucking bride isn’t here. She stayed with her two friends from college last night. They went out for some last night freedom bulls%^&. She’s going to be late to her own damn wedding. My mom ran off to call the hotel again.”

    “Billy, I don’t know how to say this. Your mom didn’t invite me to the wedding.”

    “You crashed my wedding?! Dude, that is the greatest thing I have ever heard. Wait until the guys get a load of this shit. Ha!”

    “Billy, I’m here for work.”

    “Huh? What do you mean work?”

    I took a deep breath in.

    “Sarah and her two friends were found dead at two o’clock this morning. Their bodies were found in the dried up creek behind Sunken Meadow Road. I’m so sorry Billy.”

    1. jincomt

      Oh, this did not have a happy ending– so sad. But what a great start to a more in-depth story. I hope you expand on it sometime. Great story-telling– a few missing commas here and there, but that’s editing stuff. Nicely done.

      1. wilson hara

        Well. That certainly ended the story. Nice. (I think all first time posters have to await that long…. But the next time you write, your story will go straight through)

  37. hidden.deer

    Brian and I swiped pizza and beer from each other through four years of college. Now he’s an up and coming architect, while I spent the last four years pushing papers in the county law court.
    The wedding hall was small but elegant. Brian told me his bride Tessa didn’t have any family. Since he was an only child, there wouldn’t be many relatives at this wedding.
    There stood the man of the hour! Brian’s white suit gleamed under crystal chandeliers. I couldn’t help laughing.
    “Brian, do you know why brides wear white?”
    “Custom. Not to mention all the wedding magazines!”
    “Used to be a sign of virginity, old buddy. Anything you want to tell me, and the few hundred people here?”
    “Don’t be ridiculous, Foxy.”
    Brian’s smile was too bright for my stupid joke. I looked over my shoulder and there she was, resplendent in white silk and lace. My eyes bugged out at her crooked nose, the little scar over her eyebrow – Brian’s raving about his beautiful bride never included those. He never mentioned the lumpy blue scar on her jaw, either.
    “Meet Tessa, Foxy. Amazing, isn’t she? In an hour, the minister will pronounce us man and wife.”
    Mechanically, I trotted out the joke I’d been saving. “It’ll take more than a preacher man’s say-so to make a real man of you, Brian.
    The bride laughed, a sound beautiful enough to match her gown. Beautiful, yeah, but her past was less than sparkling white.
    “Brian,” smiled Tess, “The photographers want us in ten minutes. I have to check with the caterer, but meet me at the mini gazebo?”
    “You got it, beautiful.”
    The bow in back of her gown waggled with her every step. Brian couldn’t take his eyes off her until she turned the corner.
    “Brian, you can’t marry her,” I blurted.
    He snickered. “This joke is even worse than your other wedding jokes.”
    “Buddy, I’m serious. Tessa is a married woman.”
    Brian’s eyes narrowed. “That isn’t even remotely funny.”
    “The scars on her face, the broken nose? Her husband did that. She changed her name, I helped her fill out the paperwork. She wanted a divorce, he thought putting her in the hospital would be a better idea.”
    “Foxy, shut up!”
    “Brian, her husband is a real nice guy, all the neighbors say so, but he wants to kill this woman and if you go through with this wedding, he’ll likely kill you too.”
    My best buddy glared at me. “Liar. Get out of here.”
    “Ask her!”
    “I will.”
    He raced toward the kitchen. I trailed him like a hungry puppy.
    “Tessa, who gave you the scars? You would never tell me. Who?”
    Tessa took a deep breath. “My former husband… hurt me. Two months ago, he beat another woman and her brother killed him.”
    Brian’s eyes flickered between me and his bride. “Any other secrets?”
    She shook her head, eyes lowered.
    Brian swallowed hard. “The photographers are waiting, sweetheart. Let’s go.”

  38. jren

    Mary was so excited, “Tim is finally settling down and getting married. It’s about time. I thought he was never going to quit being a playboy. After all, Jill, he is turning 40 soon.”

    “Haven’t seen him since college. Wonder if he’s changed much. He was such a player back in the day, ya’ know.” Jill retorted. “I wonder what she is like…the girl who finally snagged him.”

    As Mary and Jill arrived, wondering about the parking situation…several Valets were waiting to park the cars. Jill said, “Wow, they are sparing no expense for this wedding. I’m impressed.”

    They bid farewell to the car, hoping the Valet would be careful with her new LaCrosse as they walked down the walkway to see the lawn where chairs all neatly lined in perfect rows. There were flowers everywhere.
    It was a beautiful day for an outdoor wedding…not a cloud in the sky…a slight breeze blowing made it very comfortable. The gazebo was decorated with white ribbons and flowers lightly tinted with blue, which is Tim’s favorite color.

    “There he is Jill; I told you he is still as handsome as ever.” Mary told her. She put her arms out waiting for the usual friendly hug from Tim. They had just seen each other last month but unfortunately had not met his fiancée, Stephanie. She was out of town. “Tim,” She said motioning toward Jill, “You remember Jill, don’t you?”

    Tim gave Jill a hug as he said, “Of course. How could I forget little Jilly.” “OH, Tim,” Jill said, as she playfully slapped his arm. “I thought I outgrew that name.”

    Both Mary and Jill stood back with arms crossed as Mary said, “I really want to meet the gal the snagged you.”

    “Well, I told her you were coming and she is in that tent getting dressed. She won’t mind if you go to meet her.” Tim replied.

    Mary and Jill decided to go meet Stephanie to give Tim their seal of approval on his chosen bride.
    As they entered the tent, there before them was a woman wearing a beautiful white wedding gown adorned with pearls and lace. Her veil and train was fanned out gracefully behind her. As Stephanie turned around, Mary gasped when she saw who it was.

    Mary turned and left followed closely by Jill. Jill asked Mary, “What’s wrong?” Mary simply said, “I need to stop this wedding, Where is Tim? I need to speak to him.”

    Jill stayed close behind Mary, not knowing what was happening as they searched for Tim.
    The wedding march started to play. Tim was waiting at the gazebo as his bride started walking towards him.
    Mary reached Tim the same time as the bride. “Tim, no you can’t do this. Stephanie used to be Steven.

    Stephanie and Tim looked at each in horror and Tim ran into the main house. Stephanie dropped the bouquet in the dirt and sauntered off toward the parking lot, where she got into the limo meant for the happy couple and drove off.

  39. ckelley

    With shaking hands I picked up the picture of the happy couple off their “shrine” at the entrance to the rehearsal wedding. I cursed under my breathe. I had never met or seen Jon’s bride to be; however, I know the woman in the picture very well and for all the wrong reasons. I quickly became aware of how heavily I was breathing, trying not to draw attention to my reaction I placed the picture back on the “shrine” and walked through the doors to the dining hall. I quickly realized a shaking hand doesn’t steady a shaking hand, so I firmly dug my hands into my pockets. He must not know, they have only been dating a few months when they decided to tie the knot.
    An internal battle ignited, should I tell him? Maybe she is a changed woman. In my opinion, some actions are best not forgotten. My heart began to sink as the lovely couple approached me, Jon’s eyes fixated on me with excitement and glee. Her bride as I know her, Jennifer Bourdon, was a tall Brunette, with stunning green eyes that just popped right out at you. She reminded me of a cat, beautiful as the sky is blue, but with one turn will attack. “Jeff! I’m so glad you could make it, I know it was a long flight, but here she is, Monica, this is my old college roommate and one of my best friends.” Jon said beaming brilliantly, he was so happy, which broke my heart even more, I honestly at that moment considered not telling him.
    “Hi Monica, I am so pleased to meet you finally. I’ve heard so many things about you, some of them are even good.” I joked and winked, little did Jon know. Jon laughed and Monica gave a little titter through pursed lips.
    “Jonny, I’m going to go to the little ladies room, if you dont mind. It was nice meeting you Jeff, I’m sure I’ll see you throughout the night.” She said diplomatically as she walked away she gave me a piercing look. She certainly was attractive.
    “So what do you think?” Jon said elbowing me in the ribs with a laugh and a wink.
    “Haha, you dont even want to know my friend.” I started out jokingly, but ended seriously, which caught his attention.
    “What do you mean?” He said with a raised eyebrow turning to face one another.
    “Your fiance’, I recognize her.” I said quietly, “maybe we should talk about this somewhere else.”
    Jon lead me to an empty hall, his face was an emotional cocktail completed with worry, frustration, confusion, and general hostility. “This better be good Jeff, I dont want to deal with any of your bull tonight. This night isn’t about you.”
    Trying to not react, I shrugged off his comment. “Okay, so the next town over where I grew up in Connecticut was this girl, Jennifer Bourdon, the woman you know as the future Monica Nelson. She had extraordinarily wealthy parents and decided she had more to gain by them dying than them living. Do you get what I am saying, without being too blunt, Jon?” I said trying to catch my breathe, I was getting nervous, I could feel beads of sweat developing on my forehead and I started fumbling with my keys in my pockets. I couldn’t look him in the eye, I was too afraid the pain this would cause him.
    “Is this some sort of joke? How did you know her parents were dead, did Monica put you up to this?” He said laughing, trying to break the tension.
    “You and I both know that 5 minutes ago was the first and only time I have talked to Jen… Monica. How did she tell you her parents died?” I asked sternly, trying to mask any emotion from my face and speech.
    “Car accident in 1994. They never found the cause of the accident.” I could tell Jon was getting uncomfortable, he was starting to shuffle his feet and was turning away from me.
    “The authorities found that the brake line had been severed, but they weren’t able to definitively say that it had been cut or if it had been damaged from the accident, they were getting onto a freeway and were making the bend to get on the freeway. They couldn’t stop, lost control and went 90 degrees into the 70 mph traffic. Something like seven people were hospitalized and three people died, including her parents. Everyone knows that she did it, but they just weren’t able to prove it in court, no definitive evidence I think is what they said. My second cousin dated her briefly just before the accident, I know she is the same woman, I saw her picture in the papers several times. She obviously uprooted to Texas and changed her name for a fresh start” I looked up at Jon and his face was practically purple. He looked furious.
    “They weren’t able to prove it. Innocent until proven guilty. Leave this wedding now, you can’t stop this, I dont know what your motives are to do this, but I won’t let you slander her name because of some urban myth in your hometown.” He stormed out and through the glass of the door I could see him take Monica into a full embrace.
    I sat in my car for a moment to regain composure and clear my mind. I then checked my brake lines and happily left hoping Jon has the best years of his life.

  40. JWLaviguer

    “I hate weddings,” I whispered to myself as I made my way up the church steps. I haven’t seen Johnson in quite a long time, but my curiosity got the better of me as I couldn’t believe he was getting married for the sixth time. “This guy is a glutton for punishment.”

    I slid into a pew on the 10th row on the groom’s side, which was crowded with three times as many people as the bride’s side. Either she has a small family or a large set of enemies. They didn’t look all that friendly to begin with.

    The time came, and the crowd hushed as the bride came up the aisle. There was something about the way she walked that triggered a memory; an embarrassing, long-forgotten memory. I told myself I was being paranoid and put it out of my mind.

    As the bride was moving slowly and not-so-gracefully up towards the altar, I took that opportunity to slip out of the 10th row and move up to the second so I could get a better look. Johnson saw me out of the corner of his eye and winked, then turned to his bride and lifted her vail.

    My heart leaped to my throat and my stomach lurched. I jumped to my feet and yelled, “Stop!”

    Everyone gasped and turned to look at me, and I could see some rather unseemly brutes trying to extricate themselves from the narrow pews.

    Johnson turned and said, “What the hell are you doing?”

    I replied, “Dude, remember your third bachelor party? Nevermind; of course you don’t remember it. That’s not a woman, that’s a man, man!”

  41. wilson hara

    “The first time I saw Taka…”


    “Yes. That’s his name.”

    “As in, octopus!?”

    “No. That’s Ta-Ko. Really you should study your Japanese. Ta-KA, as in, noble. Anyway. The first time I saw Taka was in 1935. Our respective colleges had organised a moon viewing party by the Ueno river. He walked over and said, ‘the Sun shines like gold but it is the Moon that lights our way on the darkest night.’ What an odd man, I thought. The next weekend, a small package arrived for me. Inside was a perfect pearl and a small twig from a pine.”

    “A twig?”

    “Yes. It represented the painting : Moon, through Trees by Noberu Okada. Try to keep up. After that, even the gates of the Women’s Imperial College could not separate us, Taka would climb over them like a …”


    “ And we would whisper until morning. By 1940, we had both graduated. One day in September, Taka said he would try to leave Japan and make his way to America. I was to follow when I could. He asked me for the pearl. I got it and he said, ‘Naoko, something very bad is coming and you cannot be too careful. I want you to cut a slit in your arm, push the pearl in and then sew it up. Hopefully, you will never need it.’”

    “Didn’t that hurt?”

    “On scale of 1 to 10, I give it a 2.”

    “What’s a 5?”

    “Do you remember that time when you were 3 and you fell over and the pencil you were holding went straight through the roof of your mouth and the doctor had to pull it out of your nose?”

    “… no.”


    “What’s a 10?”

    “Regret. Loss. Things like that. He left. After that, nothing was in our hands. Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, internment, all of these things happened. The years passed one day at a time and then the war was over for us. Taka again asked me to join him but by then my grandfather was slowly, very slowly, drawing his last breath. Everyday, on the way to work, I would pass a poster for Coca- Cola. The model, with her golden hair, looked like the sun. The year was 1950. One day Taka wrote to say that he had met someone. Dear friend, he wrote, it would be a joy to see you at my wedding. I… IS THAT THE TIME!”


    “Never mind ‘Oh!’ I hopped on a plane, landed in San Francisco. The bride was walking down the aisle and she looked like the Sun. The minister said ‘Blah blah blah’ I jumped up and said ‘koko ni iru yo.’ Taka saw me and looked like he might faint. The minister looked at Taka like he had some explaining to do. Taka said, ‘she says I’m here.’ The Sun fainted but that’s okay, she gets over it and marries another Sun and that’s the story of how I crashed your grandfather’s almost first wedding. Bedtime.”

    1. jincomt

      Flat-out, you’re just an amazing writer. I reread this three times– the first for the story, the second for the nuances of the story and the third time to study how you wrote it. I’m a fan.

      1. wilson hara

        J hello. Just went on your site to leave a comment, unsuccessful; this is my prob.,am new to the Internet, will figure it out. Meanwhile will leave this here : you do a v good job in encouraging writers.

        1. jincomt

          Hey, thank you for stopping by! Trying to put my writer feelers out and see if I can glean a support group. I live in such an isolated area that the internet provides a way I can connect. If you continue to have trouble commenting, please let me know– maybe it means I have to tweak something (lawd, I hope not– nothing like blog-tweaking to leave me a huddled mass of inadequacy).

    2. Ishmael

      Man…I’m really loving your stuff. I had a minute to peek in last week (read a few, but didn’t have time to comment) and cracked up through your whole Stolen Snowdrops story.

      This was a nice concept, too. A grandfather telling a bedtime story. The dialogue was fantastic, and drove the story nicely. The interjections from the kid are perfect, and set his tone well.

    3. slayerdan

      Well done. What could easily have been confusing, flowed oh so very well, a great story wrapped with enough history to make it work–and work very well.

      1. penney

        Really liked this story. Sucked me in so that I had to read to the end and was predicting nothing close to what the end turned out to be. A bedtime story. The whole pencil through the mouth and out the nose? Super Yuck but once again kept me reading. Very well done. Thank you for the story.

  42. FairytaleDreamer9

    His dark eyes, his dark hair, nothing had changed except for the addition of the scar on his neck. It must have been from battle. The truth that he was back into my reality transformed everything into a dreamlike state. The memories played back in my mind like a black and white movie. The moment we met, his arms around me, our first kiss as he pushed me against the fence, the naughty things we did, the first time he told me he loved me. And the darker things. The fights, the manipulation, the tears, the ‘psychological warfare’, the force, the pain. And every time he came back and haunted me. The memories slowly faded as I cut the strings and the tape began to end.

    “Well, Haley, you have changed from that fifteen year old girl that I fell for ten years ago,” he looked down at my chest, “I didn’t think that they could get any bigger but they did”. The seduction in his eyes had no power over me in any more. He was not an incubus.

    “Oh, Martin, shut up! Just shut up. We both know that you don’t love Julie, so just go find someone else.”

    “Someone else, as in you.” He pulled me into his arms, hiked up my skirt, and molded my lips to his. I tried to pull away, but he only pulled me closer. He tugged at my blouse and begin moving his kisses down my neck. I was not aroused nor impressed. I had liberated myself from him long ago. And Julie was my friend, there was no way that I was going to betray her like this. But he was moving his filthy hands all over me and as I fought him, he just grew rougher. He pushed me down on the desk and climbed atop of me. Did he really think that I was enjoying this? I thought. His hands slithered from my breast to my waist where he began pulling down my skirt. I had to find a way out of this. I had to think quickly. I couldn’t yell because he held my lips as prisoners. I couldn’t kick because he had me pinned down. But I could defend myself. My hands were free. I reached back behind me and detached the safety pen from my purse, that I kept for self defense. I thought for a moment on what to do. The little self rescue plan came almost too easily.

    “Oh, you are so right, Martin, I can’t resist you.” I spoke sensually in an erotic tone. I brought my lips up to his neck and my arms to his shoulders, and then stabbed the safety pin through the cartilage of his ear. He immediately pulled away.

    “Ow! What the hell was that for?”

    “You don’t have power over me anymore. So get the hell out before I stab you with something else. I have wedding plans to make”. Or more like destroy, I thought to myself as I pushed him out the door.

    After I successfully got him out of my office, I sat down at my desk and thought about how I was going to end this malicious matrimony and save Julie the heartache. And then it hit me. You can’t have a wedding without a groom, now can you?

    I called up my best friend, Alexa.

    “Hey, can I borrow your basement”.

    “Yeah, why?” She asked, confused.

    “Well, you remember Martin.”

    “Haley, I thought we said we were never going to mention his name again. You know he gives me headaches.”

    “Yes, I know. But this is different. We need to keep him in your basement, just for a while, until Julie’s wedding is over and cancelled.” I suggested cynically.

    Alexa was pleased with my plan and said with a laugh, “All right, I’ll get the banana peeler. You know how long I’ve been waiting to use it on him.”

    1. FairytaleDreamer9

      I apologize ahead of time if its sorta stupid. Its not really my genre. I’m a fantasy type of gal. I pretty much just took a past relationship, actually the last one that I had and morphed it ten years into the future. I hope you find it comedic because that is what it is meant to be. :).

        1. FairytaleDreamer9

          Thank you soo much. :). Haha. I’m glad that it was funny. I actually had alot of fun writing it. I strayed from my comfort zone and created a comedy. Hurray! :D.

    2. Ishmael

      Fairy – Awesome descriptions and set-up. You kept me entertained the whole way through…it totally felt real, and the injections of humor were just right. I really enjoyed this.

      1. FairytaleDreamer9

        Wow, thank you so much. Heeheeehee. I’m a little comic. I had not known that I could write comedy. I mean there was that little monologue that made my theatre teacher literally roll on the floor laughing, but that was just me being me and transforming the accidental, horrible death of my sweet ice cream cone into a theatrical edition. But I guess, the silliness is just something within me and it find its way, just like everything else, into my writing. I think I’m going to keep it there. I’m so beyond glad that you enjoyed it. :D.

  43. Lynch

    When I walked up to the wedding hall my hands began to sweat. I hadn’t been to a wedding in five years and for someone reason they always made me nervous. Perhaps my mom had put too much pressure on me to bring home the perfect girl. Her acting like this had in turn caused me to never bring home a girl. I convinced myself that a spouse wouldn’t be able to handle my profession anyway, so a life of solitude was probably best.
    The wedding hall was beautiful. Roses engulfed the entrance hall and it gave me the feeling of a five star hotel. As I approached the counter I realized I hadn’t rehearsed what I was going to say. It’s not easy seeing someone you haven’t talked to in years, especially under these circumstances. I tried to shrug it off. “You’ve done this before and your words will come to you”, I told myself. The man behind the counter told me the Mitchell Wedding was taking place in the Tuscany room.
    The Tuscany room was on the second floor. I was half way up the steps when his mom spotted me. “Chris!” she exclaimed. “Oh my gosh, how good it is to see you.”
    “Good Evening Mrs. Mitchell” I said. This was going to be harder than I thought.
    “Billy didn’t tell me you were coming.” She said.
    “I didn’t think I was coming either.”
    “Congratulations on your big promotion. “
    “Thank you.”
    “Well you better find Billy and say hello. The wedding should get going in about a half an hour. I have to go locate this bride of his. Sorry to cut this so short. Oh, it really was good to see you.”
    “It was good to see you too Mrs. Mitchell. Do you know where Billy is?”
    “Mr. MacDougal!” she yelled in another direction. And as quickly as she arrived she was gone.
    I dreaded having to see him. It had been a few years since we had last talked. I wish I had something planned to say. I continued up the stairs and down the hall to the entrance of the Tuscany room. I stood frozen at the door for a moment, the sweat returning, only more profusely. I had no choice, no matter how painful this might be, it had to be done. I opened the door and stepped inside. Locating Billy was the only thing on my mind and it was easier than I thought.
    “No way! I do not believe this!” Billy hollered across the room. “Chris you flipping baby face get your ass over here!”
    It was typical Billy, still thought he was the captain of the football team. Some things just never change.
    “Hey Billy, how are you?”
    “It’s my fucking wedding day dude! How do you think I feel? I’m great!!”
    “Billy we need to talk for a moment in private.”
    “Yea definitely it’s been a long time my friend. Let’s step out onto the terrace. How are things with you?”
    He put down his drink and began to light his cigar. I didn’t want to ruin it, the moment, the day, the life. But I had no choice. “You’re a detective now right?” Billy asked.
    “Yes I am.”
    “That’s great dude. I’m happy for you. Sorry we didn’t get you a formal invitation a few people slipped my mind, not just you. Just crazy planning a wedding you know?”
    “Yes, I do.”
    “Well, I’m glad my mom decided to call you and have you surprise me like this. Did you talk to my mom yet? She’s going to be real happy to see you.”
    “We ran into each other on the steps but she was in a hurry.”
    “Yeah, she sure is. Sarah hasn’t shown up yet. Half an hour until the ceremony starts and the fucking bride isn’t here. She stayed with her two friends from college last night. They went out for some last night freedom bullshit. She’s going to be late to her own damn wedding. My mom ran off to call the hotel again.”
    “Billy, I don’t know how to say this. Your mom didn’t invite me to the wedding.”
    “You crashed my wedding?! Dude, that is the greatest thing I have ever heard. Wait until the guys get a load of this shit. Ha!”
    “Billy, I’m here for work.”
    “Huh? What do you mean work?”
    I took a deep breath in.
    “Sarah and her two friends were found dead at two o’clock this morning. Their bodies were found in the dried up creek behind Sunken Meadow Road. I’m so sorry Billy.”

    1. rob akers

      Nice job. Seemed like it too a little long to get to the end. I am sure you were trying to describe the comotion. A better or different line would be to cut the “Im so sorry Billy.” and add “Where were you last night?” to imply that Billy was a suspect. I look forward to more from you, Good Job!

    2. Ishmael

      Since this is your original posting, I’ll comment here. :) I saw where you misunderstood the waiting moderation thing for first-time posters. It should be smooth sailing from here on. I also saw (and liked) where you broke up the paragraphs for an easier read. You must’ve thought the cusswords were keeping your story from posting…I saw where you toned them down and censored some of them. No need. That’s why it’s nice to read this original, uncut version.

      It was a good premise – slightly veering from the prompt (for her to be a prostitute would’ve been a neat angle to place her in his past). Good all-around, but for some reason it felt a bit wordy for a rather uncomplicated story or plot line – which is a cop giving bad news to an old friend on his wedding day. I don’t know why…just seemed like a lot of words to dig through for little information or action.

      Your aptitude for writing is very strong, and I look forward to reading more of your stuff. Write on!

    3. assaultymcnulty

      Good stuff…I liked it. It was real. You could make it stronger by working on the dialogue. Try not to make a line of dialogue more than two sentences. Less is more. Don’t use dialogue to describe action. for instance “Let’s step out onto the terrace. How are things with you?”
      We stepped onto the terrace to catch up. You’re right there keep writing, I’m a fan.

    1. Ishmael

      Thanks for reading and commenting, McKev! I love Bradbury and Heinlein, although this didn’t really start out sci-fi…it just worked its way there with the number limit. I knew he would recognize her from back east as the murderer of her past husbands (there was going to be more than one), but how and why would she kill them? The mantis thing just came to me, which is why they hurried the nuptials. She needed to consummate and kill. The best man was just dessert. :)

          1. wilson hara

            Ishmael, nice! I have never read science fiction but i should. I like this preying mantis with her sense of humour a lot.

          2. Ishmael

            Ha! Funny, Rob. Maybe if they were staying in a roach motel…and thanks, Penney and Wilson, too, for reading and commenting. I appreciate knowing how it appealed to you.

  44. Ishmael

    Without A Prayer

    I hang up the phone and chuckle. I can’t believe it. My best friend, who:

    …ten years ago, called dibs on every pair of ta-tas that walked by (“Mine! Honk, honk!”);

    …received twelve – no, thirteen – slaps across the face one night for ass-pinching (“So I guess a blowjob’s out of the question?”);

    …sweat through three pregnancy scares and one paternity test in that dreary infirmary waiting room (“God, if you get me through this, I promise I’ll never screw without a condom again.”),

    is finally getting married. I am now the last eligible bachelor of the Kappa Phi Four.

    “Of course I’ll be your best man,” I assured, “you’ve got too much dirt on me to turn you down.”

    “Dude…wait until you meet her,” he said, practically swooning, “you’ll love her as much as I do.”

    “You sound like a junkie,” I sniggled, but there was some truth in my jest. His entire conversation had been about how he lived for her intoxicating smell, the softness of her skin, her sultry curves. The boy had it bad.

    “Okay,” I closed, “see you in two weeks.”

    Two weeks pass. I weave, half-cocktailed, through John Wayne Airport, scanning for Chuck and his fiancée. He’s looking at artwork with a leggy blonde. Nothing had changed – still the same old Chuck. And damn! She is gorgeous.

    “Yo! Chuck-EEE!”

    He jumps with a start. “There he is, babe…Hey! Mike-EEE!” He glances pleadingly at her.

    “Go to your friend and butt heads, or bump chests, or do whatever it is you guys do. I’ll catch up.” Her velvety voice echoes in the concourse.

    We get our manly stuff over, which consisted of…well, bumping chests and half-arm hugs, before she joined us. “Mike, meet Beth…Beth, Mike.”

    She flutters an eyelash.

    “You look vaguely familiar…have we met?” I’m not in the habit of forgetting a sweet pout like hers.

    “No. I’m sure I’d remember.”

    “I could swear I’ve seen you––”

    “––no…really…I’m afraid you’re mistaken.”

    I guess she told me.

    At dinner, Chuck pulled me aside to break the news. “She didn’t want to wait anymore. I was like, ‘What the hell…’ so we did it. Don’t worry though; you’ll still be best man at the official ceremony on Saturday.”

    “I’m…I’m speechless.”

    Fazed, I return to my room, flick on the tube, and decompress on the bed.

    “…a headless body in Philadelphia…”

    Another body back home. Rolling over, I get a sideways view. A missing husband. The wife was suspected, but disappeared. Then it hit me. She wasn’t a brunette anymore, but that sweet pout didn’t lie…Beth.

    I run to Chuck’s room and bang. The door swings open. “Chuck?” Cautiously, I step in. “Chuck!” His bloody, decapitated body lay on the bed. In the mirror, the door shuts, and a figure slinks out of the dark corner.

    “I’ve been waiting for you.” Her triangular head tilts.

    It was a giant praying mantis. “Beth?” Her hands writhe together in delight.

    “Now…let’s see if you really are the best man.”

    1. FairytaleDreamer9

      This is really good. It is one of those stories, that if it were a novel, you wouldn’t be able to put it down. You keep your reader trapped by the suspense. It sent chills up my spine. Oh, gosh, and the last line. It keeps your heart pounding and begging for more.

      1. Ishmael

        Thanks Fairytale, Autumn, and Aikawah, for reading and taking a moment to comment. Actually, they had just consummated, which is why he was on the bed. I originally wrote it in a way that made it clear he was naked (and sex had just occurred), but that part got cut off…er…out. OUCH! :)

    2. zo-zo

      Wow, the ending really took me by surprise!! I agree with jincomt – great writing, the pace is perfect and the beginning is punchy and really original…

      1. Ishmael

        Appreciate it Zo-zo! I was playing around with how to make that beginning work out and have all that in it for the characterization of the guy, and a little bit of collegiate/sophomoric humor. Glad you liked.

    3. DMelde

      Good story Ishmael. You always entertain me. It’s funny, because while you were thinking insect, I was thinking spider. My first thought was Black Widow, different species, pretty much the same outcome. But then I felt like clowning around this week so… The only question left for me is their heads. What did Beth do with their heads? I have a few theories…first off, they’d make a great repository for eggs, or maybe they provided sustenance for Beth, trophies maybe…gee, that would be just like Beth to keep them as momentos. Thanks for sharing.

      1. Ishmael

        We must’ve been reading each other’s at about the same time, DMelde. And I loved the way you clowned around this week! I’m still chuckling.

        The heads? Hmmm…two eye sockets and a mouth…let’s see…anybody care for Mantis bowling? :)

        Thanks for reading!

  45. Mimi828

    As she emerged from her car Sarah could feel the perspiration increase as she walked toward the church, and not because the weather was hot because it was only 70 degrees out.

    She couldn’t help but wonder just why in the world she felt compelled to attend her ex-boyfriend’s wedding? Maybe it was because she wanted to see how he had fared this last five years since their separation, or rather since she walked out. Then again there is her curiosity of why he had invited her. He probably wanted to show her how he was better off without her because now he is marrying this gorgeous and more deserving woman.

    As Sarah is escorted into a pew on the groom’s side she looks up to the right of the altar and sees him. She can’t help but notice that he is still so gorgeous. For a split second, as if on cue, their eyes lock only to be jolted back to reality by the sudden onslaught of the organist beginning to play the traditional wedding march.

    The entire congregation turns toward the back to watch the Bride make her entrance. Sarah suddenly gasps to herself, “Oh, no; I can’t believe what I’m seeing!”

    Panicked Sarah thinks, “Unless the Bride received a divorce in the last two weeks, and I wasn’t informed, I know this woman. She is my sister-in-law, Janie. “ The Bride is married to Sarah’s younger brother, Bryan.

    Sarah knows she has to stop the wedding with as much diplomacy as possible for John’s sake. She certainly doesn’t want to be the one to openly object to the nuptials in a public announcement, which will not only embarrass John but will crush him.

    Being the end person in the pew she moves quickly. She falls into the aisle in front of the flower girl as if collapsing from some sort of a physical anomaly, hitting her head on the pew across the aisle. The Bridal procession quickly stops and all of a sudden John is kneeling by Sarah’s side.

    He looks at her and whispers, “Are you okay?” As he bends over Sarah whispers to him, “Your bride is Janie; she is married to my brother, Bryan. You can’t go through with this, John.”

    John always was a quick study; he begins to register what had almost happened. Within a few minutes EMS is on the scene and they talk to him. John indicates that Sarah is a guest of his and that he’d like to ride along in the ambulance to be sure she is all right.

    For a split second the Bride looks directly at Sarah and backs away. Janie knows that Sarah now knows about her double life and now she is trapped. Her scam is over.

    John and Sarah look at each other with destiny in their eyes as they are escorted to the ambulance.

    1. MCKEVIN

      Very good. I don’t always like happy endings but this is the exception. Why do I feel like the ambulance crashed on their way to the hospital? Good job.

    2. jincomt

      I just read recently (yeah, can’t remember where) that short stories are like snap shots with beginnings, middles, and endings. In 500 words, you can’t delve into too much character dimension or plot. You really managed to deliver the essence of the short story with little snapshots of the characters. Nice.

    3. slayerdan

      This is a flipside of what jincomt added— do know the 500 limit does…well, just that…limits us, but I felt here like I was being read an informational story here vs an interactive one. I like the idea, just the way it came didnt grab me, but thats just my $.25, which isnt worth that much actually. :)

      1. Mimi828

        slayerdan – thank you for your critque and you are wrong, your $.25 is worth a lot, a least to me. :)
        Re-reading it, I see why you felt it was too informational; I’m going to tweak it.
        Again, thank you for taking the time to read my reply to the prompt.

        1. penney

          I liked the story overall, save the groom from this double dipper. I did get a sort of choppy feel to the read, kind of a step by step or blow by blow feel, but it was still enjoyable.

          1. Mimi828

            Penny – Thank you for taking the time; yes, I do read it as a bit choppy; perhaps because I haven’t gotten the hang of less than 500 words writing. Also like was noted could use a bit more interaction. I’m Thirsty for all helpful criticism :)

    4. DMelde

      Hi Mimi. I liked the story. It was very sweet and gentle. My only suggestion to add to what’s already been said would be to break up some of the longer sentences into multiple ones. For example, in your third paragraph I would write– For a split second their eyes locked, as if on cue. The sudden onslaught of organ music jolted them back…and so on, and so forth. But that’s my style of writing. So take my advice with a grain of salt and write the way you want to write!

      1. Mimi828

        DMeldo — thank you!!!! I see what you are referring to. I was afraid that I had too many short ones as it was though :) hmmmm, your comments were very helpful because they were specific –again, Thank you.

          1. Mimi828

            Thankx, Rob; new to this but am sure enjoying it and look forward to the critiques; also learning a lot from reading other replies and their various critiques.
            I have an incenstous appetite for comments to my writings.

  46. Leond

    In retrospect, I’m not sure why I did what I did. Everyone around me has made the exact assumption. “If I can’t have you, no one can.” I suppose that you have other people have killed for that. That’s not why I killed Samantha.
    Samantha and I were a happy couple in college. At least, I think we were. I was happy being around with her. And not just because she was beautiful and witty. Something about us clicked. I think that’s something that you can only understand when you’ve felt it yourself.
    I don’t know if she already had feelings for John back then. If she did, she hid them well. Or maybe she didn’t hide them and I just didn’t see them. But I don’t think so. I really don’t.
    So I was blindsided when I found out that three years later they were marrying. It might have helped if I had learnt it before I arrived at the church. John told me that it was purposeful. He thought that I might not come if I knew who the bride was and he really wanted me to. In a way, it was all his fault. But that doesn’t excuse me.
    During the ceremony, there are only two images that stay in mind. One of them is her eyes glancing as she walked up the aisle. She had hazel eyes. Beautiful hazel eyes. Eyes that a person could get lost in.
    And the second was when I first pulled the knife out of her chest. There was a red stain that spread out across her white dress. Purity ruined. I have nightmares about those two images. I’m standing on the white, running from the red stains while her eyes look down at me from above.
    So why did I do it? After thinking it through over the course of many restless nights, I think I’ve come to a conclusion. There are two emotions strong enough to provoke murder: one is hate. One is love. I could never hate Samantha. Even if she spat on me, as long as she did it while looking at me through those hazel eyes, I couldn’t hate her.
    People think that marriage is the ultimate expression of love. I don’t think so. I think that it’s murder. Marriage is a game: love is a passion. It passes just as quickly as anger. We can’t pretend that it lasts a lifetime. Only friendship lasts a lifetime. Love lasts just long enough to plunge a knife into someone’s chest. It lasts long enough to say, “I want to feel your blood on my hands; I want to share one brief moment of absolute unity with you as your soul leaves your body, and I will give up everything up to do it. You will not die alone.”
    I love Samantha. I always have and I will. And when I die at the hands of the state, I believe that she will be behind them, returning the favor that I did for her and fulfilling the promise of her deep hazel eyes.

    1. Leond

      Yeesh! That ended up being really dark and not much else. I guess that’s what happens when you set finger to keyboard without planning things out.

    2. Mimi828

      With a little work and polish the creativity could be developed into a great little story. Besides the poor grammar and punctuation errors, lack of organization made it hard to follow. Also, sort of wandered off this week’s prompt, missing the clincher at the end — why the character must stop the wedding?

      1. rob akers

        I love it. Not enough to kill it but love it anyway. Great job! aikawah may be the best writer currently on the board, I think this is the best post of the week! So much tension and love/hate. I felt that I was in the killers mind. Wow! just a great job.

    1. penney

      Is that a bad thing? I was trying to stay away from “typical”, I guess I missed the mark. Maybe I should have gone more fantasy like, “don’t marry the prince, he’s actually a frog in disguise. You’d be kissing fly breath all night.” Or, There was a millionaire, a priest and a hobo walk into a bar, they all said take my wife please the bar tender said sorry I have three already. I thought writers were supposed to have range?

    2. FairytaleDreamer9

      Well, at least she can think outside the narrow box of thinking. This story is not just about gay lovers, it is about how true love will always be beautiful no matter what form it takes. :D.

          1. rob akers

            Nice story. I like it. Thank you for focusing on their love and not the policitcal aspect of the topic. What everyone forgets is that we all have the right to be in love. Sorry I am starting to get political, guess I will grab some chick-filet. Ha Ha.

  47. penney

    So, he just suddenly calls you up for this?” The psychologist tapped his pad thinking.

    “This is so confusing.” Tim cupped his forehead pulling his fingers through his hair.

    “So what are you going to do? You’re his best man,” said the doctor.

    “Nothing, I can’t, I just can’t.” Tim was really hurt.

    Two days later, Tim was at his best friends wedding. They had been best friends sense college. They had fun together, got through huge loses together. Every time Tim thought his heart would burst when he saw Rob. The smell of Rob’s aftershave, sweat glistening his tight abs after rock climbing. That summer on the El Camino trek after Rob’s father died. It got harder and harder for Tim to hide the problem, so he left. Now, Rob had found his one true love and it wasn’t him.

    “Is everything alright?” Rob asked as Tim straightened his bowtie.

    Tim cleared his throat, “Yah, dude. You ready, she’s waiting.”

    They went downstairs and into the alter room. The bride, Tim couldn’t muster the guts to be in the same room with her. He didn’t even know who she was. He didn’t really care. All he knew was that he just had to get through the night and then back on a plane.

    The music started and the bride approach the alter. Tim stood behind Rob, tried to loosen the collar, the noose was tightening. God, he looked good in that tux. The bride was handed off to the groom, the vale lifted. Her? Her? WTF! The waitress? From the bar?

    “You can’t be fucking serious? I’ve loved you this whole time and you’re marring her?” The music stopped and the air was sucked out of the chapel damned near, from all the onlookers shocked inhalations.

    Rob spun around looking Tim right in the eyes. “Why? What are you saying?”

    Tim instantly realized he had spoken out loud and wished he could melt into the chrysanthemums. But it was too late, so he took a deep breath and spoke. “Because I love you, I’ve always loved you. I could make love to you a thousand times and never be satisfied. I love you damn it.”

    “Then marry me for God’s sake. Marry me now today, and I will forgive you for making me wait all these years. For making me wait until you had the courage. Marry me now.” Rob was on one knee, ring in hand.

    Tim was so confused, sweat trickled down his brow. He felt light on his feet as he looked around the room. He looked at the bride, as she raised her arms in question. “It’s you Tim, he’s wanted you all this time. This is for you. Say yes.”

    “SAY YES!” The whole party yelled out together. Family and friends. The preacher nodded his head.

    Later at the reception, “What would you have done if I said no?” Tim asked.

    “Married a waitress.” Rob said with a dead stare. They laughed as they danced. Two grooms no need for a bride.

      1. DMelde

        jeepers penney, you’re killing me here! Haha. I must admit, I enjoyed the typos as well as the story. I thought the story was good and I liked the happy ending!

    1. FairytaleDreamer9

      Awwww… I love it. Tim’s prince finally came. I love happy endings. And I love the last sentence. This would be an amazing fiction article to support the gay rights movement. :).

    2. Autumn

      Very nice. I almost wrote something similar so I’m glad I read through all the entries before I took on the feat of typing out my own crazy answer to the prompt ;-)!!

    3. slayerdan

      You got chrysanthemums but not marrying? LOL….and in case you missed it, it altar, not alter.

      I do like the ending senetence–Two grooms no need for a bride.–sums it all up.

      1. penney

        Yah, I know. I miss the most obvious things at 3am, here its 12:47am and I had to scan 3x before I caught the “marring/marrying” you’re referring to. Thank you again for the pointers and comments.

        1. Ishmael

          And since, not sense. :) It’s funny, I’ve just written another story using dialect, and afterwards, I kept spelling things phonetically, like pickchur. It just kept happening, and I couldn’t stop it!

    4. Ishmael

      Penney – I so look forward to your stories. Very nice. So, it was planned like this all along? To make Tim profess his love? Good concept! Good dialogue, and wonderful premise.

  48. The Wired Journal

    Hmm. not sure what to offer for critique here. I thought it read smoothly, but then again that was an easy read for me because I tend to write a lot in conversation type of dialog (catchy descriptive wording, and good vocabulary is not one of my strengths). It has an interesting ending though…

    1. cathymcdowell

      Thanks. I normally write with a lot of description but with two guys on the phone there wasn’t a lot to describe.
      The ending?
      I didn’t see that coming myself until it was typed in front of my eyes.

      1. penney

        Okay, so I reread your story and apparently got lost in the meat of it, that I totally skipped over or just stopped before the “I’m gay” thing. Sorry. Even my daughter was a little confused, we were thinking possibly an incestuous marriage, yuck, but then because of being adopted, not so much. As for gay, we also came up with maybe a bisexual dude that decided to go full gusto gay?

        1. assaultymcnulty

          I like the phone approach. My questions are why wouldn’t he have told his friend before this if he knew? The end was shockingly funny.

          1. cathymcdowell

            They had been out of touch for years.
            The wedding invitation was his first indication of the new girlfriend.
            Thanks! I had no idea where I was going with it until it got there.
            I’m a writer who doesn’t plan . . it just happens.

        2. cathymcdowell

          Now you see why I said that. It wasn’t against you.
          It was just kinda weird that my gay story was followed by another.

          I for one do not read anyone’s until mine is finished.
          I like using my own ideas and what I would have read could distract me.

          No problems here. :)

  49. BMagic

    I sat in the back of the car as it traveled down those Philly streets. Jermaine has waited a long time to find “The One” and now he as. I could not contain my excitement to meet his new bride. She had to be something if Jermaine popped the question. She had to be ” The One”.
    The driver pulled up in front of the Mount Airy home where all of Jermaine’s friends has gathered to celebrate this special day. I exited the car and was met by Sarah, the housekeeper who showed me to the rear parlor where everyone had gathered before the wedding was to begin.
    “Marlene, girl, you made it”, this deep voice spoke in my ear. I turned around and saw Jermaine. He was still “fined” after all these years.
    ” Hey baby, I am glad to be here for you”. I said as I gave him a hug. “Where is she? I need to meet the one woman who took your heart.”
    ” Mara is getting ready and I am about to stand next to Rob and the preacher”. Jermaine walked away to take his place.
    Just then a woman in white opened a door. She glared at me for she knew who I was. Jermaine did not sense the hatred between the two of us yet. I knew Mara East from grade school and from her criminal records. I arrested her back in DC for the murder of her then-boyfriend John Smalls. She claimed self-defense and had a good lawyer who got her off. The jury were divided and it led to a mistrial. We never found John Smalls’ body, but I felt in my gut she did it. In grade school, she burned her puppy because it wouldn’t do what she wanted and we feared John Smalls suffered the same fate.

    I returned the glare. She remain still as I step back in a defensive position. Her eyes told all. I was about to tell all to my friend. I ran to the front of the church and grabbed Jermaine. His expression was one of shocked and annoyance.
    ” Jermaine, come with me for a moment.” He looked hurt and Mara never spoke a word as I lead my friend to a small room in the rear.
    “Marlene, what is wrong?”
    ” Jermaine, do you know her past? What has she told you?”
    ” About what. Marlene, we are about to get married. Her father suicide? What?”
    ” John Smalls. Has she told you about John Smalls?”
    The door opened and on a reflex, I reached for my weapon. Good thing, she aimed to kill the both of us. I knew how this was gonna end. The last thing Mara saw was Jermaine’s puzzled face. I made sure of that.
    When it was over, Jermaine fell to floor to hold her one last time, but I stood over her body looking at the murderer would have killed him as soon as the wedding pictures hung on the wall.

    1. assaultymcnulty

      The tension was thick in this one….I can see you have a mind for thrillers. A few typos and grammar issues but this one is was good. You could heighten the drama by having her shoot the groom but he lives and then you save him.

      1. BMagic

        Thanks, assaultymcnulty. I have been writing poetry and forgot about my mystery writing. I need the practice. I will improve. I may take this and write a whole story from it.

  50. cathymcdowell

    The day my wedding invitation arrived for my best bud James wedding I was thrilled.
    Then I looked at the brides name.
    Cynthia Lewis? Could there be two Cynthia Lewis’s I wondered.

    I waited a day before calling. “Hey buddy, how ya doing?” I asked.
    James immediately asked “did you get the invite yet?”
    I told him I had but I was concerned.

    “Concerned? what about dude?” he asked me.
    “Well, ummm, you know, I use to date a Cynthia Lewis and I, ummm, well, I wondered
    if your girl was the same one.” I managed to ask.

    “Maybe she is, maybe she’s not, what difference does it make now?” James asked.
    “Well, buddy, I don’t know how to tell you this. If she is the same Cynthia Lewis,
    you are making a terrible mistake.” I told my friend.

    “Whatever dude, you’re just jealous and I ain’t gonna listen to no more of your crap” James said
    just before hanging up on me.

    What will I do now? I wondered.
    “How can I tell my best bud he’s about to marry his own sister?” I pondered out loud.

    I gotta call him back I said reaching for the phone.
    “James, you gotta listen to me” I said. “If she’s the same Cynthia, she’s your sister dude.” I told him.
    “You have lost your mind Earl, she ain’t no sister of mine. I know my sister, duh.” he said.

    “Dude, I’m telling you. When we were going out she told me she had been adopted and she looked
    up her biological mother and her mother is your mom.” I blurted wishing there was an easier way.

    “Earl, my Cynthia has long blonde hair and beautiful deer like brown eyes.
    Didn’t you say your girl had brown hair?” James asked.

    “Yea dude, she HAD brown hair. She dyes her hair, ask her, I’m not making this up.
    Why would I do that?” I tried to explain.

    “I’ll get back with you but you’re wrong, I know you want her back and you ain’t getting her.” James said before hanging up.

    A day went by before James called. He sounded like he was going to cry.
    “Earl, buddy, you were right, my mom told me the truth and then I asked Cynthia.
    She told me she was trying to get closer to my mom because my mom didn’t want to meet her when she’d called.” he cried.

    “I’m sorry buddy, but I love ya and I wasn’t gonna let no girl make a fool of you.”
    Are we still good man?” I asked.

    “Yea, we’re still good but I think from now on I’m gonna go back to being gay, it was easier.” he told me
    before he hung up.

    Gay? what the heck is he talking about gay? I asked myself.

    1. Mimi828

      The one thing that drove me crazy was the punctuation errors. Story was creative and smooth but ending lacked. We have to keep trying though, right?

    2. slayerdan

      The ack and orth was good. The three line breaks made it seem like poetry at first. The writing to me is solid, outside of the punctuation erros–Mimi is a punctuation houd it seems–but the overall story lost me. Although the interaction was good, I really didnt feel James was all that upset about the situation. And the gay thing–a twist? Just out of words and went for it?IDK either way but it just didnt seem to fit.

      1. rob akers

        I dont mind the gay twist at the end but I would suggest that you give the reader a couple of clues before you drop the bomb. Off hand comment about that expirement in college or going to beauty school or flight attendant. Something that wouldnt make sense until the gay comment.

        Good job otherwise and I like the twist of having the setting being a phone call.

  51. WriterInHiding

    I switch off the stereo as I round the corner near Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. Although Scott is going to break our promise to each other of always remaining bachelors, at least he has decided to do it in style. I step through the front doors of the resort.

    “Scott, you dog!” He steps in my direction and we slam each other on the back three times. I haven’t seen Scott since we both graduated from The Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon. We’ve both done really well for ourselves, so well we don’t have enough time for old friends. “How ya doin’, my friend?”

    “I’ll let you decide for yourself.” He steps to the side as his hand sweeps in a fluid motion presenting his bride-to-be.

    I stand, frozen. It can’t be! I know in an instant this wedding can’t continue.

    “This is Sam, the answer to all my prayers and dreams.” She’s stunning; she’s perfect. I compose myself, extend my arm, and feel the warmth of her hand.

    “Honey, this is Jeff. Remember, the intelligent guy of my graduating class I’m always telling you about?”

    “Let’s not start a marriage out with lies,” I say, transferring my gaze from Scott to the steel blue eyes of his fiancé.

    “I was just about to head up to my room and change into my golf clothes,” Scott said as he placed a kiss on Sam’s smooth cheek.

    “No problem,” I say, “I’ll take the time to find out more about the future misses Tolman.”

    “Shall we?” Sam motions to a leather sofa in the grand lobby. I step in behind her, mesmerized by her sway. What a beautiful creation. It’s been a long time. Emotions begin to rush up inside of me. I miss her. No! I’m crazy! How can I miss her, it isn’t possible. She sits down, crossing her slender legs.

    “I never thought I’d see you again.” She guides her hair behind her ear with the tip of her fingers.

    “Look, you know you’re not wired for marriage, Sam. You never have been.” She glares at me, daring me to do something about it. “Let’s not discuss this here. Isn’t there somewhere we can be alone?”

    The door slips closed as we entered her suite. She turns to face me. It’s time. I can’t wait any longer. I won’t let her get away again. I’m able to do something about it. I draw her toward me, feeling her solid body against mine. In one fluid motion, I reach both arms around and unzip her dress. I sense the warmth of her back on the palm of my hand. I slide my fingertip to the button, and she falls silent, limp into my arms.

    “You are the pinnacle of robotic engineering. However, I can’t let you deceive my friend.”

    She slumps to the floor, and I stride through the door to tell Scott the truth.

  52. Kym

    My stomach turned over in knots when the bride made her grand entrance into the sanctuary.

    I could recognize those eyes anywhere. Even beneath a white wedding veil where they didn’t belong, especially when it came to marrying my best friend.

    She walked down the aisle alone—swaying her hourglass figure back and forth as a dazzling smile danced on her lips. The forest green color in her almond-shaped eyes was a deep contrast against her cinnamon-brown colored skin. Her jet black hair fell down her back in billowing waves. Her full lips and slender high cheekbones enhanced her exotic beauty.

    I quickly turned my attention to the front of the church to focus on my best friend. A wave of sadness washed over me as I saw the wide smile that stretched across his face. He blinked rapidly to hold back his tears. This was the first time I saw David genuinely happy since his mother died a year ago. I replayed the phone call I received six months ago, the first sign of hope that his depression stage was finally over.

    “I found the one,” he told me. “I’ve only known her for three months, but Rebecca is great. She’s beautiful. Sweet. And super funny. Comedian style. You’re gonna love her, man. I can’t wait for you to meet her. She’s out of this world.”

    And David was right about two things. His soon-to-be wife was beautiful and most definitely out of this world.

    I knew that because this woman walking down the aisle toward my best friend belonged to a tribe that has always been my worst enemy. Both of our clans had migrated to earth one hundred years ago, once our universe became in danger of extinction. Mina, apparently now known as Rebecca, and I were both born on earth thirty years ago. While the initial goal of our people was to come to Earth for a new beginning and blend in with humans, Mina’s clan—the Dephites—wanted to take over. It wasn’t long before they started repopulating at a rapid speed, and now they outnumbered my clan—the Mezinites—by thousands.

    The Dephites used their breathtaking beauty to seek out the weak and devour human souls. With every soul they conquered, they increased their strength and ability to change form, making them the most powerful tribe from our homeland.

    Mina was just as beautiful as I last remembered—the Delphite’s eyes were the staple trademark of their striking beauty. The last time I saw her eyes ten years ago, they belonged to a girl with creamy porcelain skin, sporting a mane of long curly auburn hair and a thin model figure. This told me one thing: Mina had reinvented herself again. And with each reinvention, she became more lethal.

    Before Mina took her place next to David, her eyes found mine in the midst of the crowd. It didn’t matter that we both looked human. We could always detect others from our homeland. Her eyes widened slightly. And then she smirked. As if she had already conquered.

    When Reverend Johnson asked for everyone to be seated, I remained standing. I refused to wait until he asked if there were any objections. My best friend’s soul was in danger.

    I ignored everyone’s whispers and angry stares and stepped out into the aisle.

    It was finally time to reveal my true identity.

    1. Kym

      Went just a little bit over this time with the word count. Wanted to try something new! Sci-fi/fantasy fiction is defintiely not my normal genre. Feedback welcome!

    2. The Wired Journal

      You packed a lot into this very nicely. I’m not a big sci-fi fan but thought this a decent and well written piece. It held my attention and made me hungry for more from the ending and to turn the page to get more. loved the wording and descriptive narrative of Mina/Rebecca…the Dephite….the ending definitively grabs you and makes you want more…
      Nice Job!!!

    3. MCKEVIN

      Now see you are going to make me try to write Sci Fi stuff. This was good on all accounts. This was one I wanted to know what was on the next page. I hope you expand on it and share with us.Nice job!

    4. aikawah

      Really nice, I wish I could read the next 500 words of this story, there’s going to be some drama. I’d have thrown in an anecdote of what happened to the hapless fellow the girl with creamy porcelain skin had married last time just to make Mina scarier but its still a nice piece. welcome to the sci-fi fanboys club…

      1. Kym

        Thank you all! This was my first time writing sci-fi…i dont even read it. But i must say it was fun! And good to know it turned out to be decent piece. :) i will definitely expand on it more. I like Aikawah’s suggestion to include what happened to Mina’s last hubby when she was in a different body. It would add more depth to her character. Great idea!

  53. assaultymcnulty

    I felt an anxious twitch in my stomach when I walked up the steps to the church. The butterflies in my stomach were alive and well. My girlfriend Erica took my hand and found my eyes.
    “You alright honey?”
    I barely managed a smile and nodded yes.
    “Just nervous I haven’t seen these people in years especially Kyle.”
    Erica smiled and squeezed my hand supportively. Secretly I felt a heavy guilt that rode my
    shoulders up the steps, because I had never met his Fiancé. We both had good intentions to catch
    up but somehow life got in the way and before we knew it 10 years had passed. He was my best
    friend all through college and shared so much of our lives with each other and I even brought him
    home to stay with my family every summer. His family was dysfunctional and were scattered all over.
    I’ve never met his girl and he’s never met mine. I chuckled softly at the notion of Kyle being married.
    All through college he had a reputation of be a player and he lived up to it better than anyone I
    knew. He wasn’t a player he was a master, smooth enough to talk their panties off.
    We took our places in the pew and I softly mouthed hello to the faces I recognized. Then I saw a face
    that was all too familiar. It was my Uncle Dennis. I nodded at him and he smiled back. I didn’t
    know Kyle remembered my uncle, but it was nice to see him.
    Kyle emerged from behind the curtain with a beaming smile.
    His brother took position next to him at the altar and shot me a heads up.
    “Hey Jimmy.” I whispered.
    When the traditional music played and his bride made her way down the aisle the reality set in.
    I felt for my friend who was known on over campus as a male slut. This was it for him, he’s all
    done I thought. I had never met Kyle’s fiance’ but as she passed I caught a familiar scent.
    I couldn’t help but turn and sneek a peek. Our eyes locked and my blood ran cold.
    She smiled at me and kept up with the music making her way to the alter.
    “What is this a joke?”
    Jimmy leaned over and whispered.
    “Sorry we didn’t let you know sooner but please be civil we’ll explain later.”
    As mad as I was I couldn’t swear in church. Suddenly all the summers we spent home from
    College started to make sense. All the times I’d catch my mom sitting on his lap and to think I used to think that was cute.
    I was sick to my stomach.
    “Is there anyone that believes this wedding should not take place speak now.”
    “NOW!” I shouted.

  54. Imaginalchemy

    “Calamity at a Culinary Wedding”

    Typically, the refrigerators at the cooking college aren’t places of particular excitement. But when I heard that my old friend, Ziti, was to be wed in Culinary Matrimony to a fine Mozzerella in a grand dish for a charity banquet, I was more than delighted. I was also honored when Ziti told me I was to be his Best Side—which only makes sense, since Ziti always would tell me, “Baguette, you and I have always been a great pair.”
    But on that fateful evening, as the ovens fired up and I was preparing myself with a few dashes of garlic powder and some light butter, for the first time I got a glimpse of the lovely Mozzerella that Ziti was to wed. Yes, she looked quite appetizing, so pale and soft…and then I felt an uneasy feeling deep in my dough. Something did not seem right about her, and as I looked to the chef who was to bring Ziti and the Mozzerella together, I realized what it was.
    Ziti was already readying himself in his sauna of boiling water, but I tried to whisper to him above the rapid boiling. “Psst, Ziti! There’s a big problem. The chef who is to marry you…he doesn’t check expiration dates on his ingredients.”
    Ziti didn’t seem to hear me, so I tried to speak up. “Ziti, when I was purchased from the store, I was bought along with a package of Mozzerella that was on sale…she had told me in the grocery bag that she was on sale because she was going to expire in two days. That was almost a week ago. She’s expired!”
    Ziti popped his hearing noodle above the water. “What? Did you say you’re tired?”
    “No! Your Mozzerella is expired! If you marry, your dish will taste awful!”
    “Why would marrying her be unlawful?”
    But before I could try to tell him again, his pot was lifted off the stove and he was taken to the sink to have the water strained out. I only had a few moments left before Ziti was put in the baking dish, slathered in paste sauce and then poisoned with expired cheese…
    Fortunately, my crust was hard enough to nudge a Mozzerella cheese wedge off of the countertop…
    While I do feel bad for the cheese, and for the berating that poor student chef got from his teacher for being clumsy and dropping good Mozzerella on the floor, at least Ziti and I were still the toast of the banquet, even though Ziti had to be wed to a substituted Parmesan…

    1. MCKEVIN

      Ditto the previous comments. I had mealoaf for dinner and wondered what would go well it. This story reminded of the mashed potatoes and brocolli I had for dinner. Very good.

    2. slayerdan

      One has to wonder if the alchemy reference in your name doesnt refer to possible LSD use. Fun take on the prompt–always love food w personality.

  55. jincomt

    Benny And Reynolds: Busted Bride

    “Marriage is a poor excuse for sex.” I rolled my eyes at the limousine tagged with balloons and crepe paper outside the church.

    Benny laughed. “Admit it, Reynolds. You’re just chicken-shit of commitment.”

    I grinned, snapping my gum. “Damn poor excuse for wearing a dress too. And you look like a Barbie doll with those shoes. How do you walk in those things anyway?”

    She held up a foot clad in the stupidest red stilettos I’d ever seen. “These, Reynolds, are man bait.”

    I shook my head. “Whatever. But we head home after the wedding, okay? I’ve got a stack of cases sitting on my desk.”

    “Reynolds, leave the work behind already. Clem was our best friend. Aren’t you the least bit curious who he’s marrying?”

    I looked over at Benny. We’d been friends since we were kids and the only girls on the boys’ hockey team. She was also the best sounding board I had since joining the force. Back in college, along with Clem, we’d been the Three Musketeers.

    We took our seats inside the dolled up church. Whoever his bride was, she was sure fussy with lots of flowers and ribbon. I leaned over and whispered in Benny’s ear. “I don’t like her already. Too prissy.”

    She jabbed me with her bony elbow. “Shhh.”

    The music started—lord, the typical Here Comes The Bride shit. That sealed it. I definitely didn’t like her. We stood up and turned to face the princess with all her white frosting. What had happened to Clem in the years since graduation? He would have never fallen for this cream puff back in the day.

    “She’s gorgeous,” Benny whispered.

    I made a slight gagging gesture. Still, I couldn’t help but study her face. There was something familiar about Bride-Girl. Always the cop, I tried to put my finger on it. Why did I know this girl? “Does she look familiar to you?” I whispered to Benny.


    Up front, Clem fidgeted looking like a nervous school kid.

    Something wasn’t right. Steady head, I told myself. I felt all my training kick in gear. Bride-Girl turned to face Clem as he lifted her veil off her face. And that’s when I saw it: the heart shaped mole just below her right ear.

    “I object!” I blurted.

    Clem turned to stare at me. His bride looked at me, her mouth falling open.

    “What the hell, Reynolds?” Clem’s face turned red.

    “Yeah, what the hell?” Benny looked at me.

    “That ain’t no sweet girl you’re marrying Clem. That’s Bitsy Falcon, wanted for grand larceny in two states!”

    I’d never seen white lace never fly down a church aisle so fast. Benny’s girly shoes finally served a real purpose as she stuck her foot out and tripped the fleeing bride.

    “And you thought they were ridiculous,” she said with a smug grin. That’s fine. She’d earned it.

    “Looks like I’m not on vacation after all,” I said as I sat on the bride and dialed 911.

    1. assaultymcnulty

      It was good. A little predictable, I think Benny and Reynold’s sarcasm is a little over the top. Maybe tone it down a bit and add more feeling. If they’re like three musketeers they would probably be more supportive but Nice story.

    2. Ishmael

      Waldo held out until the last moment! :)

      Jincomt –

      Great to see Benny and Reynolds in another outing! I like those gals. Effective use of the dialogue to move the story and explain the action. And, as is usual with you, wonderful phrasing.

  56. Mimi828

    Rebecca – now that was a great twist; good creativity. You might want to be a bit more economical with the adverbs; I re-read it without the adverbs and it still was a great shortie.

  57. Rebecca

    Heaviness weighed on my shoulders as I walked up the drive to his wedding. I was attending alone much to my regret. A date would have been a welcome distraction to the heartache that pierced my soul when I saw him again. Eighteen years seemed like eons but apparently my heart was not aware of the passing time as it skipped a beat in joyous anticipation. Turning away I hid my face in effort to disguise the tears. Love unrequited was not near as romantic as the movies made it seem.

    “Emmy?!” His voice called, filling me with warmth as the memories of our time together assailed my senses leaving me temporarily blinded to the reality of the moment. I would like to think that his delighted disbelief upon seeing me again was because he shared my feelings…at least that’s what I told myself when he wrapped his arms around me in a giant hug, setting off all the wrong alarms.

    Carefully, I extracted myself from his arms and stepped away. “Congratulations, Jason.” I said by way of greeting in effort to remind myself that he was not available and hasn’t been for a long time.

    “Thank you, Emmy. Hurry…come meet my soon to be bride. You will love her, I just know it. In a lot of ways she reminds me of you.” He gushed.

    Although the thought of meeting the woman who has stolen Jason from me was revolting, I felt compelled to at least see her much like the passing motorists who feel obligated to slow down at accident scenes. Both required a morbid curiosity. But when he opened that door and I saw who stood on the other side my morbid curiosity turned to rank horror.

    Within seconds I placed her face in my memory bank further confirming my initial reaction of sheer panic. I had to stop this wedding but other than my word I had no proof. Bound by indecision I remained silent while the loving couple was blissfully unaware of my shocked revulsion.

    Finally, I could no longer hold my tongue… “Jason? Do you remember the project I was working on before we broke up?”

    “Something for genetics class right? Why? What does that have to do with right now?” He said, flashing me a goofy grin that was backed by a question mark as if he was asking me why was I bringing up our past as a couple in front of his bride.

    “Yes…” I said hesitantly. “It was that but also a little more.”

    “What do you mean?” Jason asked quizzically, his tone a tad more serious.

    “The thing is Jason, I broke up with you because I found out that you are my brother and now I have to tell you that your bride is our sister.” I blurted out roughly, watching for his reaction.

    And I was not disappointed. Vengeful glee filled me as horror dawned on his face…somehow my satisfaction was wrong but I really didn’t care.

    1. Mimi828

      Rebecca – now that was a great twist; good creativity. You might want to be a bit more economical with the adverbs; I re-read it without the adverbs and it still was a great shortie.

      1. fbxwriter

        I agree. Your writing is generally tight and descriptive, and I love the twist, but there are words you could cut.

        For example, I was thrown out of the story a bit here: “Both required a morbid curiosity. But when he opened that door and I saw who stood on the other side my morbid curiosity turned to rank horror.” Morbid is a rarely used word, so using it twice in rapid succession draws attention to itself. I think the first use of “morbid” is appropriate, but you didn’t need the second, nor did you need “rank.”

        Otherwise, though, a very entertaining and well-written story!

    2. The Wired Journal

      Nice. I can’t really offer anything in the way of critique as far as word use etc. (e.g. Mimi 828’s comment on the use of adverbs) as I’m just a beginner. and relearning but over all I loved it. it has a nice flow the close was a real jaw dropper and shocker no one would have expected. Excellent job Rebecca

    3. Autumn

      Nice twist. I really love the beginning especially “Eighteen years seemed like eons but apparently my heart was not aware of the passing time as it skipped a beat in joyous anticipation.”

      Very well written.

      1. rob akers

        Nice job, well written and everything flowed together. My only comment is that there alot of time issues that I couldnt get past. The first and most important one for me is why did she go to the wedding? I am not compelled to see anyone after 18 years especially a former love. And, how could she feel that someone stole her boyfriend after that long of a time period? I would suggest that you shorten the time frame to 18 months or 8 months or even more dramatic to 8 weeks. Just a thought.