The Experiment – Mega Short Story Challenge

Photo by: Matthew Wright

The Experiment

Simon and Nick strolled along the shore until they found a little shorebird poking around the rocks. Soon, they found the bird’s nest. They took a single egg back to Simon’s lab.

Simon placed the egg into the huge gene-manipulating machine. He began tapping commands into the control panel.

“What are you doing?” said Nick.

“I’m telling the machine to change a wide array of the egg’s genetic switches.”

“I still don’t believe it,” said Nick. “Dinosaurs lived, they died, birds evolved later.”

Simon activated the machine and blue light filled the chamber around the egg. In moments, the work was done. He handed the egg to Nick. “If that’s the case, when this hatches, you should still have ‘just’ a bird.”

Three weeks later, Simon found Nick leaving the hardware store with a small animal trap.

“Hey Nick!” called Simon. “How’d the experiment go?”

“I only saw it briefly. It was definitely different.”

“Did it die?”

“It escaped,” confessed Nick.

“Oh, bad luck!”

“Not really,” said Nick. “We don’t have a rabbit problem any more.”

“Uh huh.”

“Then all the stray cats disappeared.”

“So the trap is for…?”

Nick’s phone began ringing. “Excuse me.” He answered it, talked briefly, and hung up. “I think I need a bigger trap.”


“My neighbor’s horse disappeared.”
Written for Matthew Wright’s Mega Short Story Challenge. Each week, Matthew offers an original photo as a writing prompt for flash fiction. Join us! The original writing prompt may be found here:

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Oh Brother – Gargleblaster Microstories #220

“I’m in here!” said Brian. He poked his head out the bedroom door.

“Are you with…”

“Dude, your roommate Christi is hot! Hope you don’t mind I’m fu…”

“That’s fine,” said Sean. “Just…”


“You should know, ‘Christopher’ isn’t exactly a girl.”

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The Chevy Muchachos – Friday Fictioneers

Photo by: Jean L. Hays

The Chevy Muchachos

Abuelo Gomez pointed to the colorful cars half buried in the dirt. “The Chevy Muchachos are buried here beside their cars.”

“Okay,” said Manuel, bored.

“They were the greatest stunt drivers in all the world.” Abuelo Gomez’ grinned. “Eventually, they died a most macho and manly death.”

“What happened?” Manuel was suddenly curious.

“The vowed to jump the Chupapa Canyon. They succeeded, but they drove too fast and missed the other ramp.”

“That’s how they died.”

“No. They died in a nursing home in their 80s.”

“You said they died manly!” scowled Manuel.

“They did. And their nurse still doesn’t know which one fathered her son!”
Written for the Friday Fictioneers. Look here to see what other folks wrote in response to the photo prompt:

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Face-Palming – Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

Photo by: Dawn Miller


It was the first beautiful day after a long, hard winter. Park managers placed red umbrellas out beside the picnic areas. The park trees opened red blossoms. People flocked to Basco Park to enjoy the sun and some barbeque.

The serene scene broke suddenly when a jet of water burst from the city’s man-made lake. Another burst erupted, and another.

Everyone turned from their roasting hot dogs, steaks, and ears of corn. Many tried to reason the cause of the unexpected fountain.

“It’s a whale!” exclaimed one man.

A nearby marine biologist face-palmed. “The lake is land-locked. How would a whale get here?”

Another man chattered angrily. “It’s a goll-danged Russian sub. The Russians are invading!”

A nearby ex-Navy man face-palmed.

“It’s aliens!” howled a homeless man. “They’re coming to take me home!”

Everyone face-palmed.

Only two women knew what was really going on. Both mortified women face-palmed.

“Mom?” said Cindy. “Next time Dad wants swim in the town lake…”

“I know, I know,” interrupted Diane. “You father will never again eat barbequed beans!”
Written for the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers writing challenge. Look here to see what others wrote about the picture prompt above:

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Muse

This time at the weekly photo challenge, we’re looking for our own muse. That one particular thing inspires us over and over again. Well, in this case I think I am blessed with many muses. In fact you could put most of them under one category and call it: Nature. Even in nature I can say there’s one thing that touches me down deep more than most. It’s clouds.

When I got my first camera, I started taking pictures of the sky. I showed people the pics and they asked me, “What is this? What am I looking at?” To many a sky without an airplane or a bird is an empty place. To me, a sky full of clouds is a place of grandeur and beauty. Here are my pics for the week.

Siquijor, Philippines
Dumaguete, Philippines
Waiting for the Ferry in Cebu, Philippines
Onion Creek Park in Austin
Flying from Manila to Dumaguete

Look here to the pics other folks took:

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The Cruel Con – Mondays Finish the Story

Photo by: Barbara W. Beacham

The Cruel Con

The Mayor and the town manager waved as their next victim approached. Stan the salesman pulled up beside them. “Gentlemen,” he said. “It’s been a long drive and I’m exhausted. I need a motel to sleep at. ”

Mayor Bloom smiled a predatory smile. “Try Millie’s Motel, down the road.”

As Stan pulled away, Bloom made a phone call. “Millie? There’s another one comin’. Get #13 ready.”

Stan checked in at Millie’s and was sent to room #13. He opened the door and walked in…only to find a young girl sprawled across the bed. Her skin had the bluish cast of death.

Sheriff Long burst in through the door right after him. “God dammit, boy!” he shouted. “You killed poor little Lolita!”

“I did not!”

“You sure did!”

“I just got here!”

“The evidence says otherwise son!” said Long, and he took him into custody.

Hours later, Sheriff Long watched him drive away. “How much did you get?” said Mayor Bloom.

Long grinned. “Four thousand.”

“Woohoo! Mighty good work, Lolita!”

Lolita stood beside them. Her bluish skin, the result of a rare recessive gene, looked less scary in daylight. She smiled, “Thanks Uncle Bob.”

Town Manager, Lester Givens, was new to the town’s primary income. He said, “What happens next?”

“He’ll have to stop at Burlsville if he wants any sleep,” said Lolita.


“Got a cousin that lives there.”

“Is she blue too?” said Lester.

“Nope. She’s a Stigmata,” smiled Lolita. “Bleeds all over the place…like she’s been murdered.”
Author’s Notes:

Okay, I know I dream up a lot of crazy stuff, but I actually didn’t imagine blue people. There is a historical precedent. A whole family of blue people lived in Hazard, Kentucky:

And then, a Stigmata is another condition documented by the church. Such individuals would spontaneously bleed from their hands, side, and feet from apparent wounds like the ones Jesus Christ experienced when crucified. Such people do not die from this. St. Francis of Assisi was a Stigmata.

This was written for Mondays Finish the Story. During this weekly writing challenge, we are provided with a pic from photographer Barbara W. Beacham and an opening sentence. This week the opener was, “The Mayor and the town manager waved as their next victim approached.” Look here at the blue frog link to see what other folks wrote:

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The Tiny Savior – Sunday Photo Fiction

Photo by: Alastair Forbes

The Tiny Savior

Marcus didn’t believe in old lore as much as his wife. Even so, he didn’t mind making the occasional run to the alternative medicine shop. It was interesting with all its curious oddments. While he browsed, his 9-year old, Kevin, chatted with the shopkeeper.

“They were fighting,” Kevin said with glee. “The new hood ornament pushed the original until it fell off! Then it took the old one’s place.”

Marcus returned to the counter and snatched Kevin up. “Sorry about that,” said Marcus. “He has a vivid imagination.”

“Not at all!” said the shopkeeper. “Young Kevin is describing a Pinya’lefell.”

“A what?”

“A Hood Faerie.”

“Never heard of it.”

“Obviously, they only emerged with the advent of cars, so there’s nothing about them in the old lore. They’re real enough though.”

“Uh huh,” grimaced Marcus.

“They’re energized by the flow of the wind at high speed,” enthused the shopkeeper. He placed some honeysuckle atop their packets of yew bark and sage. “If your Pinya’lefell ever looks tired just rub some of that on it, and it will feel better.”

By now, Marcus had had enough, and he paid up.

About halfway home as they neared the narrow Huntbury’s Bridge, a car coming the other direction took up most of the lane. Marcus was forced to swerve. The other car passed as Marcus struggled to return to the narrow road. Tires squealed as the unmaneuverable Rolls skidded onto Huntbury’s Bridge, out of control. The rear end crashed through the guard rail and stunned them both. When Marcus recovered his senses, the car teetered on the bridge, half on, half off. The creek, 60-feet below, gaped as if anticipating their deadly fall.

Marcus gunned the engine, but got nowhere since the drive wheels hung in the air. Kevin began screaming and Marcus tried to shush him. But when Kevin pointed vehemently, Marcus realized why the boy shouted.

The little hood ornament had come to life! It strained, leaning forward as its wings frantically beat the air. Marcus couldn’t imagine such a tiny creature affecting anything, but incredibly, its efforts paid off. The huge car shifted forward fractionally. It wasn’t much, but it got the wheels back on the surface of the bridge. Marcus gunned the engine again and the car leaped forward, back to safety on the bridge.

Marcus ran to the front and found the Hood Faerie collapsed on its side. It was panting and looked near death. Marcus ran back and collected the honeysuckle. Gently, he rubbed the flower all over the tiny creature. After a few moments its breathing settled and it gave Marcus a tired smile. It would recover.

As they drove home, the wind invigorated the tiny Pinya’lefell. Soon it stood up again and spread its wings.

Kevin said, “Still think the medicine guy is crazy?”


Kevin smirked, “Still think I have a vivid imagination?”


Kevin scowled.

Marcus smiled at him. “And do me a favor. Don’t ever lose it!”
Written for Sunday Photo Fiction. Look here to see what others wrote in answer to the photo prompt above:

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