The New Contract


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I had been a rather lean year for Taylor Brothers Gardens and Fencing.  The new contract was going to be a boon for them.  In fact, Jake thought it a good time to bring his son-in-law, Steve on board.

Steve was “between jobs,” and it had been that way ever since Jake had known him.  Oh, there had been a few interviews, but Steve always came back still jobless with phrases like, “It’s a tight economy,” and such on his lips.

“Okay, this is going to be your big chance to prove yourself,” Jake told his new hire.

“What is it exactly that I need to be doing?” his son-in-law inquired.

“Really, simple.  You will go to the address on the front of the file and replace the rotted fence posts and run some new wire.  It really is as easy as that.  You start in the morning, and I will see you on Memorial Day.”

“Memorial Day?” Steve queried.

“You’ll see,” Jake said with a contented smile.  He never did care much for that boy.





March 26th



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“It’s a family secret, and an obligation,” David’s father had said.  No more details were forthcoming.

With those words weighing upon his mind, he took the old key his father had given him and approached the disused basement door of his ancestral home.  It had fallen upon David, the eldest son of the eldest son to carry out the bi-decadal descent into the cellar.

There was no electricity in the tomb-like space beneath, so he lit the kerosene lamp at the top of the stairs.  He slowly made his way downwards, with no inkling of what to expect.

As he reached the bottom he could see a table ahead of him at the far end of the cobweb strewn enclosure.

He slowly approached the desk to find a leather-bound journal and two wine racks of fifty bottles each.

In the book it said, Take the fifty bottles on the left, upstairs.  Move the ones on the right to the left rack.  Sell the forty year old vintage at auction, and then fill the right hand rack with bottles from the approved French wineries on the next page.  Herein will be the secret of our wealth.  Thomas Crabtree, 26 March 1840


(197 words)







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Angela had been wandering in the foothills for three days.  She was cold, tired, and hungry.  Brother had told her that she had to avoid contact with other people, as that would put the entire family at risk.  It had all happened so quickly.  First they cordoned off her village, and all of the inhabitants were told to remain in their homes until the authorities gave them further instructions.  That was before to food began to run out.  It was then that Father had said that the family would need to leave in the night to find food in the forest.   At first it had gone well, but when voices were heard near a clearing Father and Mother had told the children to stay hidden while they went to investigate.  They never returned, so when night fell Brother led them deeper into the woods.  It was on that night that they became separated in the dark.

Now as she emerged to the crest of a hillside she came face to face with armed soldiers wearing respirators.

Angela immediately raised her arms into the air, and said “Please don’t shoot.  I am only eight, and I don’t have a cough.”

(199 words)


Sign of things to come?







Phillip Wyant 2020 Nebulosity

The initial excitement at the discovery of new nebulae quickly became more subdued at NASA as more data flowed in.  For now, officials were not going to interfere with the media’s coverage of what might be a “new star” being born, in cosmological terms – “next door” to us.

What was not being said, and in fact what was classified as TOP SECRET was that the energy signatures within these clouds suggested that they were in some way portals to a more distant point within the galaxy.   There had been periodic blips in the readings which were becoming more frequent.

Similar analysis in Moscow and Beijing had the key world leaders “on speed dial” as it seemed only a matter of time before gateways would permanently open.  Only then would we know if we could expect a visitation.

(143 words)


Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: 2020: Week #10


The Routine



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Mrs. Prince was used to having a lot of time on her hands.  After all she had spent much of her teenage years as a “loner” of sorts.  It wasn’t that she unhappy with her marriage, in fact she was very much in love.  Her husband’s job did take much of his time, however.  It was a good thing then that she had become a creature of routine.

As was her practice, she prepared a pot of hot water, and a mug of fresh mint leaves.  She then laid them out with the books she would read while she waited for her charming husband to return.

Rapunzel then took the throw that had been made from her locks, and settled in for the day.


Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #52

Picture Perfect

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Phillip Wyant 2020 Mabry Mill

Henry stood beside the mill pond and pondered looking-glass reflections.  This was utter and absolute tranquility.  The deep red hues of early autumn leaves lit the still water with their radiance.  A kaleidoscope of colour suddenly formed as the reds and greens were mixed by the leap of a fish.  As the waters settled, Henry froze at the reflection of the knife-man behind him.




Weekend Writing Prompt #142 – Looking-glass in 64 words




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Phillip Wyant 2020 Acadia Coast

The longship was being tossed furiously as the winds drove it towards the breakers.  It was all the sturdy sea-kings could do to – to bring the high prow-ed vessel safely onto the cobbled shore.  The cove that they had been driven into was unfamiliar, and primeval forest surrounded their landing site.

“This doesn’t look like Greenland, Leif,” Thorgunna said coldly, her arms crossed across her chest.

“Well . . .”

“Well – nothing!” She snapped.  “I said ask that nice Inuit for directions.  But did the mighty Knows-Everything Erikson do as I asked? No! Of course he didn’t.”

“But . . .”

“Yes, Butt! You really are an ass sometimes,” she said dismissively. “This is the last time I go on a trip with you that I don’t plan.  Don’t look at me like that, you know I’m right.”

Thus unfolded the little-known story of how Newfoundland was discovered.








The Solution


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After over fifty years of purification and testing, the first human trials were about to go ahead.  Dr. Peter Talberry held the vial of solution derived from the brain cells of Specimen Number 1.   It was hoped that this would prove to be a breakthrough in the treatment of Alzheimer’s and other degenerative brain diseases, the cognitive improvement already having been proven in lab rats.

The volunteer, Air Force Major Dominic Clarke, had received a severe head injury in an emergency ejection.  These injuries had left him unable to continue flight ops, and he had since been limited to administrative duties.  It was hoped that the test solution might be “the solution” to his diminished abilities.

“Okay, this is your last chance to back out,” Doctor Talberry  said as he approached the major.

“No, let’s go for it,” Clarke responded.

The greenish liquid was bitter on Clarke’s tongue, and sent an almost immediate burning sensation through his entire body.  His head began to pound, and he only barely was able to overcome the nausea that followed.

Two days later the effects of his head injury were gone, and his IQ had risen to 184.  It was another success for Area 51.

(198 words)



January Road

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It was if I were coming out of some sort of trance or daze.  I found myself on an icy road with about thirty hoses on it, punctuated by trees.  Snow slowly fell, and the road showed some sign of travel but had yet to be cleared or salted.

I as I tried to get my bearings a middle-aged woman stepped out onto the porch of Number 11, and made her way to the mailbox.

“Excuse me,” I called.  “I know this is an odd question, but where am I?”

“How do you mean?” she asked puzzled.

“Okay, I don’t recognise this street, and I’m not quite sure how I came to be on it.”

“Oh,” she said.  “This is Rhagfyr Way.”

“I have never heard of it,” I replied.  “I guess I am lost.”

“You are in Dixneufton,” she said.

“Wow, I am lost,” I concluded.  “I don’t know where that is either.”

“Just continue up the street,” she said, “and you will come to January Road.  Keep going strait and it will take you right to Hogmanay.”






Rhagfyr is Welsh for December

Dixneuf – French for Nineteen

Hogmanay – Scottish celebration of New Years.





“Wow, did you see the way that Tom was flirting with Eadie at the party?” Donna asked.

“Yes, and right in front of Tammy too,” Leigh responded.

“I kinda feel sorry for him,” Donna said.

“Feel sorry for Tom?  Shouldn’t you feel bad for Tammy?  After all he was all but cheating on her right in front of her.”

“Yeah, but Tammy says she’s going to give Tom the shaft,” Donna said.

“Well, serves him right,” Leigh responded.

“You don’t get it, do you? Remember, Tammy is the regional archery champion.”


Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: #47