King Alfor III had died two years before. His son had been off exploring far off lands, and had just recently returned to find out about his father’s demise. In his absence, the land had been watched over by an uneasy coalition of nobles, but rivalries had put Pandia at the brink of civil war. Now, perhaps, that could be averted and the country returned to its former greatness.

“Alfor will now make his profession, and be anointed our leader,” Halifin the Mage announced.

Eight thousand eager eyes locked onto the tall, slender man who now took to the platform.

“I, Alfor son of Alfor, do profess and declare that I am of true blood of the Pandian people, and rightful heir to Alfor, the son of Alfor, the son of Alfor.”

With that Halifin poured oil on the head of the man, and placed a bronze crown upon his head. “All hail Alfor the Fourth, Lord of Pandia.”

There was a mighty cheer from the crowd.

Alfor, or should I say Anfwin son of Orry, leaned over to the mage and whispered, “Can I have that sandwich you promised me, now?”

“Soon, Lord,” the new chief advisor said with a grin. “Soon.”



Arc, Arrows, Quiver

Hugh Fletcher examined the pile of goose feathers on the bench and shook his head.  Lefts, he mused.  He always gives me bleeding lefts.  Hugh knew that there was only one left-handed archer in the village and yet the reeve continually provided him with left wing feathers, and far too many of them cocks and not nearly enough hens.  He knew it was his own fault of course.  He should never have courted and married Lizzie Browne, when he knew that Robert Reeve had fancied her.  Now he would look incompetent yet again as his bowmen lost the tournament.


Flash Fiction Challenge: Feathers

In the Pie of the Beholder

Sweet Potato Pie, Sweet, Crust

“Mom, this pumpkin pie tastes funny,” Dean said making a face.

“That’s because it isn’t pumpkin.  It’s sweet potato pie.”

“Potato?” Dean queried.

“Sweet potato.  It is really nice, and you should thank your Aunt Lottie for making it for us.”

“Um, thank you Aunt Lottie,” he said with a forced smile before taking another bite.

“That’s okay Sweetie. Southern food might take some getting used to for you New Jersey boys.”

Well I hope I will never have to eat enough of it to get use to it, Dean thought.  “Well, I look forward to trying it again.”

March 4: Flash Fiction Challenge – Sweet Potato

Thought I might as well give the link to my Sweet Potato Pie recipe while I was at it.

Wish With Care

Butterflies, Water, Pond, Thirsty, Nature

At the streamside among the stones the butterflies ascended to take a drink.  The occasional droplets splashed onto the bank provided enough to meet their meagre needs.  As they waited for the current to provide them with the next sip, a dragonfly circled and then then skimmed the waters surface to take a deep drink.

“Oh, I wish I could drink whenever I wanted,” Addie the smallest of the butterflies said.

“Be careful what you wish for,” Bia responded.

Just then a trout leapt from the water and devoured the hapless dragonfly.

“I see what you mean,” Addie gasped.


January 7 Flash Fiction Challenge:

Butterfly and stones in 99 words

The Victor

Donny had never really taken life to seriously.  He had been the class clown in high school and coasted through college with an art degree which he admitted was based on work that was derivative at best, or just throwing colour randomly on canvas.  He got himself a job at a gallery by connections with a girl he had dated in college and lost it about as fast as he lost her.  So how could he now be standing in front of a cheering crowd as their mayor? He had only registered as a candidate as a drunken dare.


Flash Fiction Challenge: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about something a character never dreamed would happen.

The Little House

A modified (female only) field latrine set up at Camp New Jersey, Kuwait,  during Operation ENDURING FREEDOM - U.S. National Archives Public Domain  Image
Public Domain

Some called it “the little house on the prairie,” and others the latrine or head.  But that little corrugated steel shack was the prime real estate in camp.  Yes, the “head-shed” or battalion headquarters might’ve been more prestigious, and the CP tent that served as the chapel might have been more revered.  Many would tell you that the chow hall was the most important structure in camp, or the dugouts and bunkers if there was a mortar attack going down.  But, truth be told, when several days of backed up C-rations called, no place else was going to compare.


Flash Fiction Challenge: Toilet

The Long Drove

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Sister and brother, Deana and Don continued down the long drove. They had been told there was a rave at an abandoned house at the end of the tree-lined lane.

“Are you sure this is the right place?” Deana challenged.

“It’s right were it is supposed to be,” he replied holding up the hand drawn map his friend Kevin had made for him. “We came off Forest Street, and turned onto the third left.”

“Well it has been going on forever,” she complained. “Look, we have been on this stupid lane for twenty minutes,” she said checking her watch. “Ring Kevin now, and double check.”

“There’s no signal,” Don said.

Deana took out her phone as well. “I don’t have one either,” she said with obvious frustration.

“Uh oh. I don’t like this,” Don said. “Isn’t that the orange peel you dropped ten minutes ago?” he said pointing.

“Can’t be,” Deana replied uncertainly. “We’ve been walking straight ahead and their haven’t any turnings.”

It’s been ten years since they were last seen. They would be 26 and 27 now.


Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner

Sorry, but I am still in Gothic – Halloween mode.

Field Day (Chores)

Cleaning Up, Broom, Bucket, Home, Ground, Cleaning, Mop

“Okay Marines, liberty is scheduled to commence at 1100.  Unless this field day is finished, not a single one of you wastes of space is setting foot out of this barracks,” the sergeant snapped, before turning on his heel and heading back to his office.

“You heard him,” Corporal Chin said to his squad.  “Meissner and Reece empty those shit cans.  White and Cortez get this deck swabbed.  Doc, you and Smitty get the head swabbed.”

The head was a daunting proposition, but Hospitalman Davis used Navy ingenuity, finishing on time by overflowing the toilets to speed the mopping.


Flash Fiction Challenge: Chores

A sadly semi-autobiographical tale.

One More Coal

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“Things are panning out just as I planned,” Dr. Notorious said.  “Racial unrest has been heightened, and that wonderful virus as divided people over social distancing, and mask-wearing.  And now a few well-placed fake voting boxes, and a few cut cables in the system, and all will be ready to bring about my revolution of chaos.   It will take just one more coal and all will be ready for me to arrive and take control.”

His henchman, Boris nodded and leaned over to toss a coal into the fire. 

“It was a metaphor, you fool, a metaphor!”





Coffee, Cup And Saucer, Black Coffee

Coffee was one tough hombre.  Some said he’d more likely shoot you than look at you.  Three things set him apart from other gunslingers though.  The first was his refined English accent.  This feller could really talk pretty, and used the sort of three dollar words most folks weren’t too akin to.  The second was that he made one mighty fine cup of coffee, thus his moniker. But oddest trait of all was them there white kid gloves he always sported.  Who would have thought that the deadliest fast draw in the Dakota Territory used to be a butler?


October 8: Flash Fiction Challenge – kid gloves