Watch Out For Famous Friends

You’ve been given the opportunity to go on an adventure with two famous people (dead or alive). As the adventure unfolds, it becomes clear that those two famous people plan to kill you. Write a scene about that adventure, who the famous people are and what you do to escape death.

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


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111 thoughts on “Watch Out For Famous Friends

  1. Misha.Collins

    I burst through the door into the room where Misha Collins and Jennifer Lawrence were sitting in, suddenly excited because I just found out we are going to DIDNEY WORL. We loaded onto the plane the following day, ready for the trip.
    Because we couldn’t pay for three tickets, I was crammed inside Misha’s suitcase. It’s cozy in there, I found a cheese doodle. I was told the flight was only going to be about 3 hours but, after about 6 hours I fell asleep. I was excited but, being inside a small, warm, cheesy doodly suitcase just lulls you to sleep.
    I woke up to Jen picking up the suitcase from the return. I tumbled out to see a lot of people staring at me, including Misha wearing a squid hat. I looked at him inquisitively and he simply responded with the words “ gift shop.” I was still sincerely confused when a security officer came up to us and started questioning us, apparently people are not supposed to fly in suitcases.
    We were being escorted to a customs room when Misha yelled, “Screw the law I go by my own rules!” Jen picked me up by the collar of my shirt and threw me in one of those weird airport car things. We got to the parking garage and found a 67’ Chevy Impala to Hotwire, Misha knows how to do that apparently. We found a road map in the trunk of the car, along with a strange locked box with a combo lock on it. Jennifer screeched the entire time saying, “My weird airport car thing! We can’t leave him!” Apparently there was a special bond. We looked at the map and decided that they had somehow landed in Idiotville, Oregon. We found the cheapest motel to stay in and booked one room for the three of them to stay in.
    Jen and Misha were whispering in the corner and shooting me weird looks, but I don’t mind. I sure do love my friends. Especially friends who leave me warm cheese doodles in their suitcases. The sleeping arrangement was decided, Jen would sleep on the couch, Misha would sleep on the bed, and I would sleep under the bed, there was no other floor space, the whole room smelled funny, like Misha, who still smelled like cheese doodles.
    The following morning, we ate breakfast at some place called A&Hay Café. While we were in the café, Jennifer and Misha were holding hands and looking into each other’s eyes lovingly. I reached across the table and slammed my hand into their pancakes yelling, “PAY ATTENTION TO ME I’M IMPORTANT.” The two of them just sat in silence the whole rest of breakfast until we decided to start driving.
    As we loaded the car, I decided to start messing with the lock to find out what is inside. I got it open with my strangely cut piece of metal, a key, Jennifer calls it. I’m not sure where the hole for it was, but I stabbed it until it opened and it all worked out. Turns out, inside the box was a bunch of machetes. They must have been cooking some huge steaks. I wish there were some steaks in there too.
    Misha and Jen got inside the car and I squeezed in between the two front seats, waving one of the oversized knives. Misha immediately took the knife from me and worked with Jen to duct tape me to the top of the car. Then, for unknown reasons, they took me to an abandoned house in the middle of nowhere. Let me say, while on top of a car you get an excessive amount of bugs in your mouth.
    They took me down and put me in a chair, taping me down once more. I don’t know why they have so much duct tape. Still in love with their beautiful faces, I soon realized what was going on, they were trying to kill me. How could a man that smelled like cheese doodles do such a cruel, cruel thing? I had to escape, fast, when they went upstairs, I took my chance.
    I pulled out my trusty, half eaten cheese doodle and started sawing a the duct tape. It promptly crumbled, what a waste. But then, I remembered that I had a pickle full of butter in my shoe from breakfast. I thought that if I covered my arms in the butter, I could slip out of the duct tape and get out through the window in the next room. I moved my foot in a manner that the pickle started sliding under my sock and up my pant leg. Ah, the power of physics. But then, my luck ran out and the pickle fell to the floor. I tried to pick it up with my feet but just then, Misha walked in.
    I shrieked and thrashed because he was holding a machete, I now knew it was not for steaks. I fell over in my frenzy and landed on the pickle. Darn, I should have gotten two butter pickles at breakfast. I started to yodel for my life and Misha started to cower in disgust as I tore free of the duct tape with the power of 10 Mishas. I started a to run to the window when Jen walked in. I slipped on the butter and we fell on the floor in a tangle of limbs. Misha stood up and follows us, seeing that, and Jen yelled, “It’s not what it looks like!” I took my chance and ran for the window while Misha got down on one knee, pulled a ring out of his pocket and started dramatically singing “I CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE WITH YOU.”
    Aww, such a cute moment. I paused my escape and looked back at the adorable proposal, completely forgetting they tried to kill me. I started clapping as tears started streaming down my face. I soon regained realization from what was going on and started to run again. I crawled out the window and realized I don’t know how to Hotwire a car so I stole a princess bike from the house next door and started to slowly pedal away. It was a slow process because the bike was only about as tall as my leg. Every time I went down a hill I’d trip over the handles. Once I was to the third hill, Misha and Jen caught up to me and tried to hit me with the car. I swerved uncontrollably and fell off the bike into a ditch.
    I decided to book it. I ran up the side of the ditch like those cool athletes on American Ninja Warrior. When I finally made it to the town nearby, I found the police station and filled them in on what had happened. They told me that when the security tried to arrest us at the airport, it had been because Jen and Misha had been on the run as hunted fugitives and they were really using me for ransom.
    Aww, I’m worth ransom? They really do care about me! I agreed to help lure in Misha and Jen to help put them in jail. I was placed in a restaurant and was told to text Misha to tell him where I was. The text said “ I am at the restaurant of the horses, meet me here for the shipment of meat.”
    Somewhere far off Misha would get my text and think of me. He would know what I was talking about, I am at Dino café in Kansas City, Kansas. He would be here soon.
    Misha looked at his phone, receiving the text. “What?” He asked, wrinkling his nose in confusion. “What in the heck does this mean?” He sent back. I guess he did not understand, I texted back and told him what I really meant.
    “I am at the Dino cafe. By the way, it smells like soggy fossils in here.”
    He was there within the hour. Gun in hand and a really creepy, cheese doodley smile spread across his face.
    I drew my gun. Well, it wasn’t really a gun, it was a water gun, but in the dim lighting he may not know that. We had a stare down as cowboy music started playing quietly in the background. As he was focused on watching me, the police snuck out as 5 took down Jen and 20 police officers worked together to take down Misha.
    Misha hulked his way out of there and booked it. They all sent 500 police officers and FBI people to catch him but again, he just shrugged them away like they were nothing. “I am a super human ninja turtlecorn, nothing can stop me!” Just then I remembered, his only weakness. Feta cheese and yodeling. I started yodeling at the top of my lungs, I did not have any feta cheese, and he immediately fell to the floor. The police officers looked at me strangely but I continued anyways. We could not have this armed robber coming near any teachers’ houses tonight. All the FBI agents took their chance and put Misha in feta Cheese coated handcuffs. He was finally put away for good. Jen was already in the police car. Misha was freaking out and having a seizure, so he wouldn’t fit in there. So the police duct taped him to the top of the car.
    I went back to school on the next Monday and nobody believed me, until the news came on. I would be forever known as the turtlecorn yodeler.

  2. Pete

    I was climbing Packard’s Peak when my trusty little Honda began leaking steam from the grill. It was dusk when the steam became smoke, and I pulled over to an empty overlook, hearing my father’s warnings about taking such a road trip when the Beetle pulled up behind me.

    His name was Ted, and he was cute in a non-threatening, Folgers commercial kind of way. The sky was pink and blushing as he offered to take a look under the hood. I shrugged. My father had been wrong before.

    “The radiator’s leaking,” he surmised. “If you’d like, I can get you to a pay phone. Just up the road some.”

    I gathered my duffle bag and books. Mr. Ted helped me get my things into his car. He asked for my name and I told him, first and last, wincing again as I continued to swim against the current of my father’s advice.

    He shut the hood and I gasped. I hadn’t seen a passenger in the small car. A balding man with beady eyes. Ted laughed it off. “Lucy, this is Sam. Sam, Lucy.”

    Sam was a sketch ball, sweating, mumbling something under his breath. I started to turn when Ted got stern with his passenger. “Sam, would you mind letting Lucy sit up front.”

    Sam stepped out of the car. I felt the breaths from his nose and turned away. But Ted locked me in with his gentle eyes and bright smile. Sam climbed into the backseat and I continued to make bad decisions.

    The car had a musty scent that wasn’t quite covered by the blast of bleach. But Ted was all upbeat and smiles as he shifted into gear and the little car got going. “Excuse the mess, I’ve been moving things around.”

    For miles he spoke law school and politics. I nodded along but I was acutely aware of the presence in the backseat. Not only that, I’d noticed the change in Ted’s eyes as they fell to my chest, my legs, and he complimented my blouse. It was strange, and only got stranger when he asked if he could see my feet. Meanwhile, he drove like a maniac. The steering wheel quivered under his grasp, his other hand swallowing the gearshift, near my knee.

    Only once did I peek around to the backseat and find those primal eyes on my head. They reminded me of camping in the wilderness when I was young, catching a quick glint in the black of the woods that always made me cuddle closer to the campfire.

    Ted took the many turns sharp and fast, the tiny car screaming for traction. I grabbed the handle above my head. “You said the phone was up here?”

    “Huh? Yes. Just up here.”

    We were still speeding along the mountain when up ahead we saw the lights. Flashes of blues and reds. The car slowed as Ted let out a groan. Police cruisers on either side, a car rolled over on its side. Sam began slapping the backseat. I heard the click of something metal and solid as we wrenched to a stop.

    Ted turned and shook his head. He turned to me with that disarming smile. “Looks like your lucky day, Lucy.”
    I stepped out of the car without asking what he meant. I shut the door, leaving my clothes and books behind. Ted got the car turned around and raced back from the direction we’d come.

    I ran to the lights.

    1. ReathaThomasOakley

      Pete, great tension build up. I think you captured Ted perfectly. I’m not certain who Sam is, even though we’re told John Wayne Gracy could be ingratiating, description sounds like his photos. Ever noticed how many bad guys’ middle names are “Wayne”, hmm, that’s my husband’s…never mind.

    2. writer_sk

      Pete- totally terrifying.

      The reference to “the Folgers guy” was such an accessible way to describe someone and I felt the initial description of Sam was worded in a such a descriptive way that he came to life in like 3″2 sentences.

      Anyway, was glad MC escaped.

  3. mayboy


    Until these days I still, don’t know why I accepted an invitation for a drink from a stranger, a locally famous figure on the streets in the center of the town. I ‘ve heard of him previously of rumors, circling but I didn’t meet him in person. I could be dead by now, thrown somewhere like trash, flies would perform their mortal dance over my body.

    I was sitting at the bar in the downtown that day, surfing the net and enjoying drinking cappuccino coffee. It was still dry but windy that late Friday afternoon and the clouds were bringing moisture and rain.
    The end of the rough working week wasn’t over yet, not for me because I was eager to find more info about the last nanotechnology and the articles in the Science Magazine are useful sources. So, I didn’t pay much attention what was going around me for being focused on reading one particular article until…

    “May I buy you a drink?” so called “BuzzWatcher” interrupted me, and I couldn’t avoid his invitation, unforgettable charms, his smile. Of course, he wasn’t alone, more people were sitting around, and unwillingly I had heard a part of their conversation about high tech. To me, it sounded like the perfect opportunity to have a little chat and possibly to have a conversation about technology:
    “With pleasure.” He sat next to me, hiding a book under his raining coat. The waitress came quickly, and I ordered a glass of red wine, and he did the same.
    “You are Sally, aren’t you?” he surprised me.
    “How did you find out?”
    “It’s written on the front page of your map. Glad to meet you,” he shooked my hand, “My name is Nick.”
    Our conversation unfolded in the opposite direction as I wanted. We were discussing everything but the science; it was a kind of knowing each other. To dig in more into the Nicks personality (obviously, he knew about me more than myself) I showed more interest in his business.
    “Nick, what are you doing for the living?” I’ve got the feeling that he wasn’t too much impressed and I changed the tactics:
    “I mean, how much time you spend on your hobbies if I may be curious?”
    “I will tell you if you are willing to spend one more hour with me, there is a special place I want to show you.”

    Nicks charm, his smile was contagious, and I agreed. The wind became strong, and the maples leaves were dancing their mortal spiral, so I wrapped the veil around my head while we were walking along the river’s bank, passing by stores and pubs. After a while, we met only a few people on the street, named after famous singer and composer; Nick suddenly turned left. I stepped back; he grabbed my hand and pulled me in that dark alley, where the street lights barely lightened every shadow. The feeling wasn’t pleasant, the following moment Nick put his hand over my mouth and at the same time dragged me into a dark corridor through the old oak door. He started choking me. No one could help me; old walls silenced a scream for help.
    “Why…?” I was able to whisper until I saw the knife.
    “You were checking my files, spying on me and saw more than you should, I’ll kill you instantly, rip your body and….” before he finished his sentence, I knew what to do. I fell on my knees, secretly pulled the hair spray from my bag and when he closed the knife, I sprayed his eyes. He couldn’t hurt me anymore, and I ran through the door.

    At the end, who says that the women accessories are not useful in the case of emergency. A dot.

    1. RafTriesToWrite

      I don’t know why, but I’ve always had this thought that bars only serve alcoholic bevarages, sodas and of course food because they are required where I’m from.
      I never thought in my life that a bar can actually serve coffee. That’s totally bananas! But hey, the more you know right?

      I loved how you described things especially in your first paragraph. You hooked me right in.
      You have a unique way of saying what’s in your mind and I love that. It was a nice story mayboy. I enjoyed it.

      1. mayboy

        Where I’m from, you should experience the ambient in/outside beautiful corners…some specialized, and it’s a pleasure to know that you enjoyed in reading the echoes of my mind.

  4. Kerry Charlton


    In the summer of 1942, Brian Longone Gallant, a well known private detective who worked out of Los Angeles,. received a call from Warner Bros. studio. German agents had reportably been ordered to sabotage a movie under production called Casablanca. His job, uncover the plot and secretly manage somehow to eliminate the spies as quietly as possible.

    Brian contacted his assistant, the lovely lady, La La Lorraine to go along. Her ability to stop a freight train by lifting her skirt three inches above the knee was well known to the movie industry, but faithful she was to Brian for some strange unreported reason only known to the two of them,

    ‘Maybe bringing La La to Warner Brothers in Burbank had been premature,’ Brian thought from sounds of wolf whistles and “Hey Good Lookin’,“ the movie extras had greeted her with. However Bogie and Ingrid seem to enjoy the show while Paul Henreid started to drool at La La and ran to make up. Of course the sinister ones, Sydney Greenstreet with white suit and three hundred pounds stuffed in it and Peter Lorre who wouldn’t hurt a fly despite his terrified look of evil, stayed quietly in the background.

    Five days of shooting at Burbank remained as well as the finale to be filmed at Van Nuys Airport in L.A. Of course the film couldn’t have been shot in Casablanca itself for the war had stated nine months earlier with the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

    ‘Getting to the nut’ was one of Brian’s favorite expressions and Greenstreet and Lorre were his first contact. What Greenstreet said startled him,

    “Pete and I could smell Germans from across the room,t their English too perfect as well as their manners. We took them to a bar on Sunset Strip and got them roaring drunk“

    “And they started to slur their speech,” Lorre said. “Their accent spilled a little bit. How did they get here?”

    La La broke in,

    “They’re SS agents, I can smell the blood.“

    “Who do you think………”, Brian was cut off.

    “I have it,” :Lorre said. “They plan to murder Bogie and Ingrid. unless we stop them.”

    La La leaned close to the other three,

    “A poison ring, I have one from an old stage play.”

    “Too dangerous baby,’

    “Thanks Brian but who else can distract them to do it. Remember these” She shook her upper torso.

    “Madam, will you repeat that?”, Sydney whispered

    She did so. “Excellent English Sydney.”

    “I’ll arrange a date for you, La La.”

    The discussion broke with the call to shoot.

    That evening, Brian and Lorre were crowded in La La’s hotel room and they heard a knock on her door,

    “Come in gentlemen.”

    Brian could see partly, La La in the middle, two SS , one on each side.

    Music started, they took turns dancing and fondling here and there. La La kept her poise, opened a second bottle of champagne and slipped the Mickey’s in. When she offered the drinks, one agent slapped both glasses from her hands, spoke horridly in German to the other agent; The first agent started choking La La and the second pulled a gun. Brian and Lorre rushed from the closet but by the time they reached the other room, one agent lay on the floor unconscious from a kick from La La, while then other crouched on the floor doubled up with pain from her second kick to his groin.

    Six months went by, the Germans resided in a military prison. The movie had opened to huge success, La La had signed a seven year contract with Jack Warner for a thousand a week. Brian? Well he had a new assistant named Gigi Goodlay, a 24 year graduate student from UCLA. All he would say when asked about her was,

    “She certainly is a fast learner.” . . .

  5. RafTriesToWrite

    “I still can’t believe this is happening” I crossed the tiny gap on the ground and waited for the two artists behind me.

    “It’s always a pleasure to meet a fan and go hiking with them” Selena Gomez is just all around a nice gal.

    “Same” Can’t say the same about Taylor Swift though, but I still love her music.

    I can see them whispering with each other right now. It’s been a few minutes since the hike started and all they ever do is whisper at each other whenever I’m not talking to them. I wonder what they’re talking about.

    “I’m sorry, what was that?”

    “Oh don’t mind Tay-tay, she’s just being her, uhm, usual self” Selena wrapped her arm around Taylor’s shoulder like they’re best friends, which I definitely know they’re not.

    “Uh huh, yep, I’m weird like that” The fact that Taylor is saying this right now validates that she is weird.

    It’s funny that I won this joint contest between these two artists that hate each other, to go on a hiking in the mountains. It’s even funnier to know that they would be hiking with me, because as far as I know, these two drama queens don’t do the heavy lifting themselves.

    I don’t know what’s changed.

    “Oh, let’s do a selfie at that ledge over there” Taylor pointed at this ledge, overlooking the forest and the river that separates the forest itself and the rocky part of the mountain.

    It’s quite breath taking to actually see the scenery, it’s really beautiful, minus the hundred foot drop to the spiky rocks that is.

    “Oh you know what, that is a great idea!” Selena nodded in excitement and started to grab her phone from her pocket.

    I really am in no position to refuse a selfie with these two pop stars, so I nodded and started walking to the ledge.

    As I looked over the drop, I watched the birds flying around. I can hear the river raging on, and the trees swinging at the mercy of the wind, and then I look over to the two popstars. They were whispering. It was quiet enough to actually hear them whisper at each other now.

    “We should totally push him, like, right now”

    “No Taylor, that’d be rude, we should at least take a selfie first, then we can say it was an accident”

    Wait, what?

    “I’m sorry what was that?” That was a weird conversation.

    “Oh, nothing. Let’s take that selfie” Selena was eager to take that selfie. So we did it.

    “And that’s how I got here” I see angels hovering over me here, together with Saint Peter, writing something on the big book he has on that Greek looking pedestal.

    “See, I remember falling, but I can’t remember them pushing me.” I was scratching my head. The memory dying being unclear, still.

    “You were pushed”


    “By Taylor, right?”

    “Nope, both of them”

    I paused for a moment before I spoke. “Well that sucks”

    1. Rene Paul

      Hey Raftriestowrite, fun ending. Just a thought, but maybe a little about why two girls that hate each other got together and why they wanted to kill someone they didn’t know might have added some interesting back story.

      1. RafTriesToWrite

        Yeah, I was struggling on the motive that these two artists, that hate each other, would have to kill my MC, because I was already at the 500 words mark, as per MS word, so I didn’t put in one.

        I originally thought that leaving it out was the mystery on its own, but it appears it didn’t worked out that way. I was, say, taking the easy way out. I appreciate the feedback. Thanks Rene!

      2. RafTriesToWrite

        Now that you got me thinking, the best motive I could think of was:

        There was this unexplainable force that compels the two artists to kill some fan they just met just because they have to.

        But that would feel like cheating so…

        1. Kerry Charlton

          Raf, sometimes it’s hard to set the pace on a 500 word story. I know I went over on mine. It was a tough.prompt to write. If you have the story down when you start to write, the 500 is not difficult.
          What I did on this one was write the first three paragraphs and stop . Friday afternoon. The story came together in my mind and I had to bend or shall we say break the prompt and reset it and let the MC rescue the movie stars. not the Mc. So break and bend the prompt when it is too restrictive

          1. RafTriesToWrite

            Break and bend the prompt eh? Never tried that before.
            I always thought that a clever ruse or twist to take the prompt either very literally or take only a part of it would already be straying away from the prompt itself.

            But alas! I was wrong. I’ll definitely incorporate your suggestion in the near future. Thanks Kerry! Greatly appreciate it!

  6. Rene Paul

    I’ve never won a thing in my life, even though, I’ve entered every sweepstake, lottery, and contest known to man. They entice you with dream vacations, luxury homes, and exotic cars; a ruse to get your personal information, which they later sell. I don’t care; I take the bait every time.

    The whole experience started two months ago when an advertisement appeared in my local newspaper for a chance to win 18 holes of golf at a private course, complete with a lunch voucher and a round trip chauffeured limousine ride to and from the course. The kicker? Play with two notable celebrities of your choosing, selected from a list of available names. Drinks! Not included.

    I filled out the form and circled my two choices; Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. A week later I got an email… I Won!

    Two months later, my day of celebrity golf arrived.

    To my surprise, my playing partners, ahead of their arrival, sent an entourage of men dressed in black. Two of them frisked me and searched my golf bag!

    Mrs. Clinton appeared first, and demanded lessons, on cue a support group showed her how to play and advised her what to say and how to react after hitting good shots, or, after striking errant ones. She’s a fast learner, in minutes she mastered the proper swing and lingo.

    On the first tee, the sun shone as bright as the golden hair atop Mr. Trump’s head. Mrs. Clintons unconventional golfing wardrobe, a tan Sergeant Pepper trouser suit, disturbed me. It was 95 degrees in the shade.

    Mr. Trump said, “No need to call me POTUS, you can call me, The Don. Better still, call me Godfather.” Mrs. Clinton said, “Don’t call me Mrs. Clinton. You can call me, anytime… just kidding, I stole that line from my husband. Just call me, Queen or Hillary.”

    Before teeing off the Godfather grabbed and hugged the Queen! I swear, it was a strange beginning. I took notes on the back of my scorecard for posterity.

    The Godfather teed off with a club he called, Big Mo, and every time he putted he’d unzipped his flat stick from its Mickey Mouse head cover and say, “I call this club, Money.” And, whenever he hit a good shot, he announced, “You can take that to Wall Street.”

    The Queen’s bag looked old, filled with an odd mix of clubs: A Jigger, Mashie, Niblick, Spoon, and Brassie to name a few. I half expected a Slick Willie to be hiding inside.

    My two luminaries rode together, they laughed. Two of the men in black rode on the back of their cart, standing on the bumper, they never laughed. I rode alone.

    When the front nine ended, I used my voucher to get a hamburger lunch. After ordering, I got a lecture from both sides espousing the pros and cons of using… vouchers. I didn’t see the connection, it didn’t matter, they debated the topic like they had rehearsed it a thousand times.

    A similar conversation occurred before we started the round. I asked Mrs. Clinton if we needed caddies, she went into a diatribe on jobs and Immigration. Mr. Trump said he didn’t mind as long as they’re not illegal, and he doesn’t have to pay for them. What? So, when I told him they’re part of the package, he said, “Then, I’ll take two.” Truth is, between you and me, he never took their advice.

    I screamed, “You guys are killing me! You both sound like pre-programmed robotic aliens.” That comment drew the attention of the men in black. If stares could kill, I’d be dead.

    Even though Mr. Trump spent exorbitant amounts of his own money buying the best golf clubs, shoes, and lessons, the Queen was winning the game!

    But things changed on the back nine, the Godfather made a comeback. He constantly told the Queen she should join Crooked Stick Country Club, she’d be a star member. The tactic was working, she lost her confidence and concentration, her poor club selections and subsequent miss-hits cost her strokes. She blamed me, the weather, her aging clubs, and her entourage!

    After 18 holes of golf, that took forever to complete, the Godfather pulled out a HUGE come from behind victory.

    To end the day, we visited the 19th Hole for a quick thirst-quencher. Mr. Trump claimed he only drinks soda, so he ordered a ‘Suicide’. Hillary said she prefers a ‘White Russian’ but changed her mind after one of her staff members whispered in her ear, “Make that an Old Fashioned,” she said.

    The barmaid delivered the drinks, I paid.

    Then things got weird. The hot weather drenched my clothes in sweat, but they both appeared ice-cold. Yet they both guzzled their libations as if liquid was going out of style. I thought they both blew a fuse when the Queen’s eyes rolled back and spun like a slot machine on steroids. The Godfather’s mop-top hair blew back as if a windstorm crossed his scalp revealing an open door. A tiny little man sat inside controlling a joy stick. Wow! A personal, ‘Mini-Me’.

    The heat of day played its tricks, my mind dizzied. I noted the incident on my scorecard.

    The men in black, realizing something was amiss, reacted. They stood me against a wall and asked me to stare into a penlight gizmo, a flash of white light was the last thing I remembered. I woke up the next morning at home, in my bed.

    It’s a good thing I take notes or no one will believe me, now… where’s that scorecard?

    1. writer_sk

      Rene- Neat. This was like a little movie.

      It was all very metaphorical.

      I LOL’d at “you can take that to Wall Street!”

      The White Russian drink, the explanation of the clubs – all the notes were interesting.

      Excellent and entertaining!

    2. ReathaThomasOakley

      Rene, most effective political satire, I laughed out loud, several times, loudest at the image of the two in the golf cart. Your details were perfect. Great job,

    3. rlk67

      Woke up in your bed?! Oh, no, not another dream story! Why do the best-written, most creative pieces have to end in dreams? Maybe I missed it and you just meant something else.

      1. Rene Paul

        Yep! You missed it. I could’ve been a bit clearer with that line. The MIB sapped his memory and they put him there. No dream sequence intended. Thanks for reading and commenting.

        1. Kerry Charlton

          Rene, I love political satire. My favorite part was the little man udder Donald’s hair pulling levers. I’M going back to again. Are you absolutely sure I didn’t write it?

          1. Rene Paul

            If you did it would be much better, of that… I’m sure! Thanks Kerry, it was the most fun story to write since I wrote one called ‘Andy Fudge’ about a little boy that finds things.

  7. CharmantPoison

    “I’m telling you, this isn’t right!” I glanced at Ryan, who was silent as we walked past crowds in the bustling streets of Kuala Lumpur. Merrick had been blabbing about how ‘this isn’t right’ and ‘the police should’ve come for them’, but we paid no mind to him. True, what happened about a week or two ago was… disturbing… but I was a chicken. I lacked the courage to exploit others and possibly ‘end their carriers’. We got looks but I only gave them smiles and silent apologies.

    Eventually, I couldn’t take Merrick’s blabbermouth for any longer and I backtracked to him, grabbed his ear, and pulled him along to Ryan. I was sure my face seemed to be stone-cold by now, but who could blame me for trying to get the idiot to shut up?

    “Listen, Eric.” I hissed at his ear, holding back the urge to just scream at him. “I know what you’re thinking but we shouldn’t be arguing or even talking,” I emphasized the ‘talking’ part, and continued, “…out loud, you hear me? We have more than one enemy right now, especially since the people who were trying to kill me have connections everywhere.”

    “Ryan, what do you think?” Merrick asked quietly. Ryan stopped in his tracks and glanced at him, his bright blue bangs falling into his beautiful, blue eyes…


    To say I don’t have a crush on him would be an understatement. He’s so beautiful, with his bright blue hair… blue eyes that reminds you of the glittering ocean… fair skin, soft to the touch…

    “Hey, January? January!” I blinked and turned to Merrick with a glare. “What,” It was not a question, it was a heavy statement. He looked so smug, that boy. “I’ve been calling you for sometime now, you okay, dreamer-girl?” He smirked. “Fine.” I murmured begrudgingly, frowning and glaring at the dirty pavement. I felt someone grabbing my hand and my heartbeat stopped as I looked to see Ryan, with his cute smile, and dimples showing. Oh my God. Stop this. I couldn’t help but to muster a smile. “Come on, lovebirds. Let’s go and find Buzzkill.” I nodded, yet I wasn’t focusing on him. I tailed after Merrick while my heart soared to find myself so close to the boy I’m in love with.

    “See that? Seems so cute, now doesn’t she?”

    “Don’t you mean ‘they’, Bieber?” A man looked over from his telescope and grunted at an approaching, feminine figure, “Didn’t I tell you to call me Justin? Plus, you can’t blame me for focusing on her. She’s cute,” He shrugged and grabbed a glass of wine, sipping the red liquid from the class.

    “Yeah, well, sadly she has to die. Her friends should live too but… oh well, they’ll live. No one will believe two celebrities chipped in to kill her anyway.” Justin chuckled quietly, “Dark, Black Widow, dark.” ‘Black Widow’ smirked and sat down on one of the leathery couches in the air-conditioned, small room. She was wearing what it seemed to be like, some kind of spy outfit. Her blonde hair was in a high ponytail and she had little makeup on, but what stood out most on her face would be her popping, red lipstick.

    “I’m glad you think so.” She sipped a glass of red wine and hummed, turning to face Justin with a smirk.

    “Also, it’s Iggy. Iggy Azalea.”

  8. pven

    I wince as she grabs her water glass, anticipating the throw. But the main reason I’d wanted to meet for lunch at Verlaine was to induce Taylor to keep things civil. And they are, to a point. Civil, and cold. In all her breakup videos, Taylor’s face is scored with running mascara. She’s not upset today. She is filled with a cold fury, a tremolo of anger chafing against her restrained voice, her flawless face a hardened mask. If the presence of witnesses is forcing her to dampen her anger any, I’d hate to think of how she’d have reacted in private. I’d probably be dead.

    “Look what you made me do,” she rasps, dabbing at the water on her wrist. “Were you only friends for the story?”

    “Of course not. But you knew I’m a writer. I told you when we first met. And I told you when my editor assigned me to write an article about you. I was up front about everything.”

    “Not about this… this character assassination,” she brandishes the magazine in front of her. “I can ruin a reputation, too. Ready for it?”

    “Yeah,” I say, holding back a smile. This was the gist of the article, after all. Behavioral evidence pointing to the calculated creation of drama that boosts media for Swift’s albums, culminating with a reveal of ongoing conversations between her and the Kardassian-Wests. When everyone else was speculating why Kim and Taylor were posting pictures of snakes on social media, I had shone a bright spotlight on their subterfuge. “At the very least, you’ll get another songbook out of this.”

    “Get out! I do not want to see you any more!” She throws the magazine at my head. And with that display, I know better than to try to make amends.

    I run through the implications of this decision as I leave Verlaine. Most of my music connections are being severed even as I push my way through the paparazzi outside. There was a fury running within the songwriter that I’d not seen before. My article had cut deep through the veneer that she’d worked so hard to maintain. The consequences would be grave.

    A block away from the restaurant, a man in faded black jeans and a cashmere hoodie slides into step just behind me and grabs my arm.

    “Bam bam, you gonna be a nameless f—,” Kanye says, and pushes me into an alley.

    1. writer_sk

      Pven- cool. I’m glad you went ultra modern.

      Strong writing, as usual.

      Sounds like an accurate portrayal of Swift’s patterns lol.

      I liked the cameo of Kanye at the end!

    2. ReathaThomasOakley

      Great job describing someone I know very little about, that age thing, but if this is even close to reality, she’s not very nice. Know who Kanye is, so I’m inclined to believe you got him right. Fun piece.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Made me extremely uncomfortable. Didn’t think he would last as long as he did
        I was in the music business ( records) for 22 years. The women were all scary except Barbie Benton.

      2. Kerry Charlton

        Made me extremely uncomfortable. Didn’t think he would last as long as he did
        I was in the music business ( records) for 22 years. The women were all scary except Barbie Benton.

  9. ReathaThomasOakley

    A Literary Adventure

    “Wait, wait, just wait a minute here. I’m accused of what again–

    “But, that makes no sense, me? Plager–

    “Never, ever? Who exactly is saying–

    “Flannery AND Carson? Impossible because they both are–

    “You’re who?

    “Ha! What a joke, I’ve never heard of Paranormal Institute Protecting Intellectual Property Including Print Illustrations Poetry Illusions Pertaining In Part In Parcel In Particularly Inspiring People, Dead Southern Writers’ Division. Billy Faulkner wrote that, right?

    “What? You’re also protecting me? From what? From who? Two dead writers?

    “Well, of course I’ve read them, who hasn’t, but I was just more inspired than anything else.”

    “So, they read up there? Who knew. You haven’t, by any chance, heard from Harper or Truman–

    “No, no, just musing that’s all. Now what are you going to–

    “You can’t! That’s my life’s culminating effort, it’ll be gone? Forever? Well, I’ll show you, show them, I’ll just rewrite–

    “I won’t remember? No, no that’s too cruel. I never imagined, never thought two women I admired–
    “Oh, forgive me, I didn’t see anyone come in, I must have dozed off or something. No, sorry, our bookstore doesn’t carry any Southern literature.”

    1. pven

      PIPIPIPIPIPIPIPIPIP, DSW? Oh, you don’t mess with them. I mean, I’ve run afoul of PIPIPIPIPIPIPIPIPIP, DWW group, and they’ve got a host of Ghost Riders in their chapter, but they’re prancing ponies compared to DSW.

        1. Kerry Charlton

          Ghost Riders In The Sky

          Put Paul Prince On a Pony, panting particularly perfect through Pink Petunia s puttering a pathway pushing his pony past the pecular pecker packed pony petering past purple people.
          OH YEAH!

    2. RafTriesToWrite

      It’s so wonderful to see this side of you Reatha. It’s something I’m not used to, yet it’s still comforting to read, kind of like Hack’s style these past few weeks.
      Very enjoyable read. Loved it!
      I may try doing one next week, if the prompt would be so kind to me.

  10. GrahamLewis

    Here i was, stuck in this one-horse town, pumping gas, breathing fumes and prairie dust, nowhere to go, nothing to do if I got there. I seen them comin’ from way off, we don’t get many weekday cars since they built the highway, but here they come, in that shiny new Buick, dressed to kill and flush with dough. I asked how much gas, they said fill it, and went out to the crappers. They come back, and I asked ‘em where they was from, just making talk, and he wouldn’t say, just asked do I have a radio. I said it stopped working back when, and he says that’s a good thing. Didn’t make sense to me, but I’m in dusty overalls, he’s got the spats and felt hat.

    Then he asks, do I want to come along.

    Do I? I says “Hell yes,” and he says can I be ready in a half hour. I said “I can be ready in 10 minutes,” and that’s how long it was before I was dragging my old cardboard suitcase across the gravel. I had everything worth taking jammed in there, but it was still lighter than my daddy’s bottle after a drunk spell.

    He strapped my case on top and I climbed in the rumble seat. Off we went, I bet a good 40 mph, engine purring like a kitten and us raising a cloud of dust a mile high. I watched it settle behind, just glad I wasn’t under it. They talked mongst themselves a lot and asked me questions, most of which I couldn’t answer clear. We stopped at some fleabag tourist camp, them in a cabin, me with my blankets under a full moon, happy as kitten in a catnip patch, not caring where we was going unless it was back, which I was sure it wasn’t.

    Bout midnight I got powerful thirsty, so I went to the pump outside their cabin. I turned to leave but heard ‘em talking. He says, “Bonnie, you wanted a lookout.” She says, “Clyde, I meant a good lookout. He’s dumber than pile of rocks and he’ll light out at the first gunshot and spill everything.” He says, “Okay. Tomorrow, Down the road.”

    I snuck back and put some rocks under my blanket so it’d look like I was there if they looked out their window. I walked over fields till I come to a town, and got myself jailed for vagrancy. I was safe for a time, but I didn’t really rest easy till a week later, when I heard they was both shot to Hell by the cops.

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer couple, you ask me. They got me out of that deadend town and I’ll always thank them for that.

    1. writer_sk

      Oh I thought had commented on this long ago. Just re-read. What an exciting ride. The voice of the MC is so strong. Loved the action and reveal of the famous couple.

      The plot came through–it really drove things along. Nice.

    1. jhowe

      I would miss the hell out of them. Though it probably was frustrating for Larry. Curly didn’t even want fame and he got most of it. Interesting little piece.

  11. cloddia

    The medical conference would be the final step to present the team findings of Western research. Austin was the founder of Western Research, along with his two partners and friends Janice and Carl. Austin considered both Carl and Janice as his best friends, all graduating from the same University.
    Austin had brought them both along to research and create a cure for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). MRSA in the twentieth century is the number one cause of death according to the Center for disease control and prevention. Abused of antibiotics in the treatment of disease and the treatment of livestock, has lead to immune antibiotic resistance in humans.

    The research involved using the blood of an alligator to immunize humans to destroy the MRSA bacteria. Research had already discovered Alligator blood killed the herpes simplex virus, a strain of HIV and 21 other bacteria strains. Western research would be the first company to produce an antibiotic that can destroy the MRSA bacteria in humans.

    Janice was excited by the conference this humanitarian effort would make them all very rich. Austin was too much of a humanitarian for her. Janice believed in improving the life of others but making a lot of money along the way would set them all up for a great life. Austin and Carl were raised with a silver spoon both receiving full ride scholarships. Janice struggle and was environmentally deprived the majority of her life.

    Janice was secretly working with a large pharmaceutical negotiating a deal to sell the research. Austin would probably be difficult to convince, such a bleeding heart. Carl would go along with her, especially since they were romantically involved.

    Janice was not concerned that the pharmaceutical company would never use the MRSA antibiotics. The MRSA antibiotics would bankrupt Xyplex pharmaceutical one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the US.

    Brenda was her contact at Xyplex pharmaceutical, the contract promised millions. Know what to do if Austin stood in the way.

  12. rlk67

    I grabbed my new manuscript…somewhat funny, if I do say so myself, and ran to the marina. What a celebration…my first novel being completed, and I needed to show my friends. Jack looked happy for me and wanted to include Anne. “Take your wife. Please!” He was so funny.

    But I needed to balance out the humor with some seriousness. So I arranged the wine and cheese, especially for my deep thinking friend Rene. I had to, because he existed. At least he thought he did. He thought, and he was. Whatever.

    “Yo, Dess-carts!” I called to him when I arrived. He looked dignified and graceful in his flowing robe, and cringed when I mispronounced his name. “You and Jack already here?” I shouldn’t have said that.

    “We are here, my friend, because WE THINK WE ARE HERE!! I think.” Sigh. I have to be careful what I say around him.

    “Oh, don’t mind him,” Jack chimed in. “He always thinks about strange matters. So if you don’t mind…”

    “…it doesn’t matter,” I finished. And laughed in spite of myself.

    We boarded the boat and headed downstream. The white wine punctuated the deep conversation led by Rene, as Jack plucked his violin in the background, humming humorous tunes. I pulled out my manuscript and began reading the best parts.

    Suddenly, we were getting faster. I looked around, and it seemed that Jack was guiding us past through rapids…straight toward a waterfall!

    “Jack! Stop! Waterfall!” I screamed as loud as I could. He just smiled.

    Rene ate his cheese and droned on. “What is water? What is a fall? We just think it falls, but perhaps only in the fall…” My head was always spinning when he spoke. Did I catch a smirk on his face? He was doing this on purpose. “Relax,” he continued. “You think things are bad. What is bad? Did you ever think?” I held my head tight.

    I jumped up. “Guys, what’s going on? What’s happening?!”

    Jack turned to me. “You think your writing is that good? You stole all the best lines! We comedians don’t like that.”

    Rene chimed in. “And it is way too silly. You must appreciate the seriousness of being un-funny. Think, my friend. Reflect on what is and what can be! 24/7, of course.”

    “But the waterfall!!”

    “We are jumping, and you and your manuscript are going right over the falls!!” They yelled triumphantly.

    Just feet away. “NO! If you are not going to steer us clear, then I will grab an oar and do it myself. This will do!” I yelled, as I grabbed Jack’s violin.

    “NOOOO!! NOT THE STRAD!!” He attempted to tackle me but lost his balance and luckily he landed inside the boat.

    Rene approached me with the meanest look on his face. He broke the wine bottle, holding on the neck with its sharp points. I faced him, and roared, “YOU ARE NOT!” He slumped a little. “I don’t think, I KNOW you are NOT!”

    He just stared. “Really?” He sat on the floor of the boat. “I never really thought about that.” He took one of the life jackets as a security banket, curled himself in a ball, and started sucking his thumb.

    At the last moment, I turned the boat away. I returned to the marina, and left my two friends pouting. Jack hugged his strad.

    Later when I told Anne what happened, she was silent. Eventually, she gave me one of her looks. Oh, no.

    “This was your own fault, ” she whispered. I was stunned.

    “Mine?! But…”

    She spoke very slowly. I needed that sometimes. “We-don’t-flaunt-our-success-in-front-of-our-friends.” She smiled. “At least, I think.”

    I put my head in my hands. I would apologize to my friends tomorrow. Anne was the best. And much smarter than I was, of course. I sighed.

    Don’t take my wife. Please.

    1. writer_sk

      Ok so I knew Rene Descartes but had to Google who was famous for the take my wife joke!

      I like your creative choices for the 2 celebrities.

      (It’s funny how we all are making our settings water-based. I know, for me, the shark prompt stayed with me…I sort of keep coming back to it in my mind)

      Your piece was really clever and you wove in all the references in such a way that they lived in the story.

      1. rlk67

        Henny Youngman had a famous line, “Take my wife. Please!” I thought it was Jack Benny. That’s what editors are for, but here, once we push submit, it’s too…

  13. jhowe

    The woman was famous for all the wrong reasons. George, though, was the real deal. Groupies, paparazzi, fan clubs, the whole shebang.

    “Can you drive a boat?” she said to George.

    “Of course. I have three.” He wondered what power she had over him… to get him to agree to this. There was certainly something about her that he couldn’t resist.

    “We’ll do it tonight, then. After he falls asleep. We’ll knock him in the head and just slide his body over the rail. The sharks will do the rest.” She paused, breathless. “And you’ll be able to find the way back to the marina?”

    He pointed to the GPS screen and shrugged. Hell, he didn’t know, but damned if he’d say so.

    The night was dead calm. They listened to the roiling waters, felt the presence of surfacing sharks, the tang of blood in the air. George fiddled with knobs and buttons, pulled on levers. She watched, unsmiling, as he fumbled with the GPS receiver. One well-placed push and he joined the visceral remains of her husband in the water. George was able to scream twice before a great white took him under for the last time.

    The woman put the throttle in neutral, turned the key and the engine roared. She brought the bow around ninety degrees and motored for the marina. She had two hours to fabricate a story. Her fame was fading and this would certainly get her name out there again. She mussed her hair, tore her dress, ran her fingers through her eye makeup. She ripped the radio mic from its holder and threw it overboard. This was going to be good.

  14. writer_sk

    JR- this was intense! Man, I was reading through it worrying.

    I love the writing style you chose for the prose. The voice of the narrator is so strong and the tone of the piece is just very dark and foreboding.

    Imagery was perfect.

    Great read.

  15. writer_sk

    I’ve done another two parter…I wish it was short. I had a lot of fun with this though.

    PART 1

    “Is this SK?”


    “It’s Matt Damon and I’m live streaming this call to our audience because based on the writing piece you submitted, you’ve just won a place on our new interactive show, “Beyond Project Greenlight.”

         SK’s sobbing and crying were so extreme that her family came into the room but her husband knew what was happening and grabbed the pre-packed bag and gave it to her while they looked out front in disbelief. There was a town car with the show’s logo painted across the doors. SK started to physically shake when Matt and Ben got out to escort her to the car, cameras rolling. They looked even more dashing in person. She’d gone over the contest rules but the details of the reality show had been vague in the description. Even though she wanted to concentrate while Matt read the information she just sat and basked in the whole experience. The car picked up speed as Matt went over everything.

         “You’ll be writing yourself out of four situations we put you in. You’ll write three different solutions and submit them using this iPad. The voters will choose what they want you to do or endure and it will be brought about live, in real time as quickly as we can get it to happen.” Damon continued.

         “Well thank you for having me, you guys are my idols,” SK said.

         “We thought you were going to choose the reality show Drew Barrymore is doing, according to your survey, she’s your idol.”
    Matt said, sideways smiling.

         SK felt so cool being ribbed by Matt Damon. It felt like she was part of the gang.

         “Or that hunk you love, Keanu Reeves,” he said.

          “Oh I mean, he cannot compare to Jason Bourne,” SK blurted out.

         Ben and Matt snickered, Matt motioning for the cameraman to zoom in on SK’s reaction to the ribbing.

         “So is this a ‘Good Will Hunting’ screenplay you have sticking out of your bag?” Matt thumbed through the worn paperback copy of the Oscar-winning screenplay as the cameraman zoomed to a close-up of his toothy smile.

         “Hey she has stuff highlighted.”

         Ben smiled, handsome, humble and brief with his answer, “Cool.”

         “So you have two choices, SK: Boston or NYC?”


  16. writer_sk

    PART 2

    Matt adjusted his Boston Red Sox cap and checked something off in a real spiral notebook. The ferry ride was windy but beautiful. SK was hunched over the iPad, though, writing herself out of peril as a ship that looked like a movie ship full of fake pirates approached. This would be fun, she thought. At the Statue of Liberty she had to write three options for paying bookies. The next scenario involved a swordfight, which was mostly staged but SK was getting exhausted and it was so hard to write quickly. It was getting dark and they hadn’t eaten, taken a break or even gotten inside to ascend the Statue. SK had imagined they’d be sitting, having a beer at a little place like the bar in “Good Will Hunting” where Will gets Skylar’s number. They’d shoot the show and feed her information about what types of stuff they wanted her to write in. I mean all those reality shows were really scripted, weren’t they? She had an idea, for one of her three solutions she would write in a scene where she gets to sit on a bench in Battery Park and eat. But what could she add to make the audience pick that option?
         “A Wahlberg…” 
         Her heart said Donnie but her gut Mark.
         After Mark Wahlberg rescued her from zombies they sat while she ate a real NYC soft pretzel. Wahlberg wore a plain tee shirt and had a little scruff on his face. SK could barely speak, “Boogie Nights, Basketball Diaries, The Departed, Shooter, Wahlburgers.” 

         “Uh, are you just naming stuff I’ve been in?” his voice was soft-spoken and his Dorchester accent nearly undetectable as he waved away the piece of soft pretzel SK offered him.

         Inside the Statue of Liberty SK was becoming overwhelmed as she, Damon and Affleck approached the torch from which a stunt team would lower her towards the water in a harness where she’d write her escape. The crowd cheering from the tiny website provided no comfort. She wished her husband or at least Matt Damon was hanging with her.

         Damon appeared suddenly, his face looking very much like the Talented Mr. Ripley, the cunning and twisted title character he’d portrayed, as he held comically large hedge-clippers near the rope.

          “You should’ve chosen Boston, SK.”

         She quickly wrote in the celebrity twist as a way for the audience to choose the most favorable option again.

         To her shock John Mayer arrived within the hour with Drew Barrymore and Flower Films on a huge barge with a huge life raft attached.

         “JUMP,” Drew yelled.

         “We gotcha,” assured John Mayer.

          The life raft felt warm and safe. SK awoke back home in bed, saying aloud “It was all a dream,” but as she said it her bare foot touched the wrapper on the floor from a real NYC soft pretzel.     

      1. GrahamLewis

        Good read. You are a good writer. You know what? I bet you could cut this down to 500 words — if you went back and cut words that are not absolutely necessary. Ban the words “that” and “was”, and most adjectives. Cut imagery that the reader can do without. Be ruthless. As the old adage says, “kill your darlings.” It will make your writing even better.

    1. pven

      I can tell you had fun with this. The rampant name dropping and extensive features lists read like a fan girl’s fever dream. Brilliant characterization.

      That said, I’ll agree with Graham and suggest that cutting back some of that could keep you within the 500-word “limit” as well. “Kill your darlings” in every sense of the phrase.

      Not that I should talk — I’m guilty of going overboard more often than not.

    2. RafTriesToWrite

      I’m still swooning over Mark, but I do love Ben more. Oh, and the Wahlburgers? Classic. I’ve seen something like that on my news in Yahoo a few days ago.

      When I was at Part 1, and this Ben character showed up, I was like, Ben who? There’s only two Bens that I know and that was Stiller and Affleck. I really hoped it was Affleck, and I was right!

      I love the twists. Great work SK! Exhilarating.

    3. ReathaThomasOakley

      Great concept, well executed. Enjoyed all the names used. I do think you could have just omitted the last paragraph and ended with the John Mayer rescue. Or, left out the waking up part. The life raft felt warm and safe as SK clutched the NYC soft pretzel wrapper. (Hmm, this is why I never offer suggestions, oh, well.)

  17. Russ

    Aboard the ship, we were sent off into the ocean.
    Myself, Abraham Lincoln, and the great Benjamin Franklin were the sole passengers.
    It was a rather small ship, fitting only about forty people at max.
    Mr. Lincoln was at the moment peering over the ledge at the stern,
    And myself and Benjamin Franklin were at the bow.
    We were discussing politics and what never was when Mr. Lincoln, without me knowing, meandered toward Ben and I.
    Ben, as this was occurring, went behind me. I continued staring out into the ocean.
    Then I felt someone grab my legs, and then another set of hands grab my torso.
    I was very close to the edge, so as you can imagine, I was ready and expecting to be thrown overboard.
    But luckily the ship hit a wave, and all three of us were knocked to the flloor.
    “What is the meaning of this?!” I asked the two, yelling.
    They looked at each other uncomfortably.
    “Well, you see…” Ben began. “We just wanted to, you know… have you be with us.”
    “Be with you?! What do you mean?! You mean dead?!”
    “Well… yes. That is actually correct,” Ben answered.
    “Well… okay. Understandable. I forgive you this time, but please… do not do it again. I want to keep living.”
    “Ah… okay, friend. Not again. Hear that Abe? Not again, you hear?”
    “Ah… yes… not again… sure, sure sure.”
    I shook my head and continued looking off into the horizon, but this time farther away from the ledge.

  18. JRSimmang


    Upon my word as a gentleman, there be the darkest demons lurking the sacrosanct streets of London. Among us, dear fellows, they creep in man’s clothing, hiding from us their fangs and gnarled fingertips. They must be flushed down to the Thames and out of our beloved England lest they breed and multiply.

    Among us, friends.

    You have heard of Dr. Palmer, and news travels fast of Sarah Freeman. Any fool can pick up a penny dreadful and read of the exploits of Jack Harkaway. But, I tell you freely, the monsters you see are rarely the monsters that have their fingers clutched around your necks.

    Under my coat, vest, and linens, you will find the scar. I bear this scar, and will forevermore. I bear this scar so that you and your daughters will always find sunlight.

    My story begins in Whitechapel, the burroughs. I was there to, admittedly, drown my sorrows in a pint and a pretty. I don’t recall her name, nor do I recall the drink, but I do remember her promise to me, a night among the stars, and that when I awoke, I was strapped, the evidence on my wrists, bloodied and blistered, to a table.

    “Awake?” asked he, his voice a lilting singsong. A man of courtesy, of learned faculty.

    I struggled against my bindings, tearing my flesh, sending rivulets of blood curling around my fingertips, dropping to the ground below. My shouts and screams were muffled by the leather strop fastened as a belt around my head.

    “Good,” he whispered, and he came close to me. His breath smelled of fresh spearmint. His teeth bright and shiny. “My associate here will want pictures of your beating heart.”

    I, astonished by his good manners, sat in stunned silence. I glanced to the other man who was configuring a contraption, a camera obscura as they have come to call it. He waved at me nonchalantly as you would a neighbor.

    “This man, Daguerre, has built a marvelous artifact. This,” he motioned to the machine, “can capture moving objects and freeze them, eternally, on a tin!” He laughed a loud, boisterous laugh. “Marvelous!”

    I could feel the first hot tears streak across my cheek.

    “And I, Joseph Kahn, Doctor of Anatomy, will be the first to photograph the insides of a living man, and, hopefully,” he crossed his fingers, “we will glimpse the passage of the spirit from this life to the next. This time.”

    He patted me on the shoulder and produced a blade of some length, and, with the fingers of a surgeon, nimble and light, sliced through my skin and opened my gut from belly to sternum.

    “We shall start here,” he sighed. “You never get used to the smell.”

    I heard a click, then a brilliant flash of light. Then, my entrails were coddled, pushed, and prodded, and I could no longer keep myself awake. Another click. Another flash.

    And, I had made my way to the intensive care ward of our hospital.

    My fellow man. Seek out evil. Seek out justice. Your lives are in peril.

    -JR Simmang


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