Getting Rich Without Trying

Photo by: J. Hardy Carroll

Photo by: J. Hardy Carroll

Tanya sat nearby, her camera rolling for the documentary. Jennylee the voodoo priestess plied her wares. The stand by the roadside was made with weather beaten wood. The words, “Potions for sale: 25 cents” were hand painted. The bottles were old, some antique. All of them appeared empty.

Despite the poor-looking nature of the stand, Jennylee drove to the spot in a brand new Jaguar. She wore jewelry that could buy houses. Tanya asked her how she became so rich.

“Stupid people,” explained Jennylee. “People never ask for what they really want. They ask for the worldly things around the edges, not for what matters.”

“What do people really want?”

“Love. It’s always love. They ask for money or a better body or sex, but what they’re looking for is love. They should just ask for that.”

A customer arrived.

“Do these work?” said the man.

“Every time,” grinned Jennylee.

“But the bottles are empty.”

“That’s ’cause they’re real magic. But now you be careful. Ask for what you really need!”

The man paid, tipped the bottle back and said, “I want money. A ton of it!”

Heavy bars of gold flew out of the sky and landed on his head, killing him instantly.

“Ohmigod, ohmigod!” shrieked Tanya, staring at the battered corpse. “What do we do?”

“Same thing I always do,” sighed Jennylee. “Take the stupid man’s money home!”
Written for Sunday Photo Fiction:

Posted in Short Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments


Anke the beautiful bartender slid another beer to Brian. “Tell us,” she encouraged. “What did your grandmother say about us?”

Brian hesitated. Would they be insulted? The beers loosened his tongue. “It’s just a story, okay? She said the baker’s wife of Ullenbraer fell in love with a giant squid. They made love during a full moon. She bore quintuplets: three girls, two boys. All were beautiful and desired by everyone in Ullenbraer. They took husbands and wives and their families all bore quintuplets, and so on for generations. Eventually, everyone in Ullenbraer was related, never revealing their true squid form to outsiders.”

The whole pub crowded around him, watching intensely. Were they angry? Brian became anxious. Nervously, he made his excuses and left.

In the pub, Anke said, “What a ridiculous claim!”

“I know,” grunted Edvard, lifting his beer with a tentacle. “Everyone knows it was the butcher’s wife!”

Written for What Pegman Saw:

Author’s Note:

Written as homage to the tales of H.P. Lovecraft:

Posted in Short Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

The Revolution

Photo by: Roger Bultot

Photo by: Roger Bultot

Hirashmukka the orchid sighed at the snowy streets outside. Baltimore was completely unsuited to heat-loving tropical plants. That would change eventually.

The Revolution continued apace.

Humans still thought gas-guzzling, CO2-emitting SUVs were their idea. Let them believe that.

Humans who denied climate-change as reality despite the facts: many of them owned orchids.

The Revolution wasn’t perfect. It didn’t work on everyone. World-building science wasn’t perfect…yet.

Daphne returned home carrying an orchid. “I brought you a friend, Minka,” she said to Hirashmukka.

Put it on the red table, thought Hirashmukka.

Daphne momentarily blanked. “I’ll put it on the red table.”
Written for the Friday Fictioneers:

Posted in Short Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

Chicken Soup

Photo by: Jessica Haines

Photo by: Jessica Haines

Little Sammy constantly invented things, more or less with success. He melted the blender once, and blew up lawnmowers twice. But he wasn’t the primary worry of local residents.

It was the Razor Gang.

They robbed houses, extorted small businesses, and mugged the old. Like most bullies and cowards, they only preyed upon the defenseless.

When Sammy’s Grandpa Merlin went to the hospital, an angry Sammy hatched a plan.

He wore a red backpack to ensure they saw it. Sure enough, the Razors ganged up and stole it from him. They served up some bruises too. Sammy still smiled. It was worth it.

Days later, Sammy sat with Grandpa outside the deli. Grandpa said, “So you’re the reason the Razors disappeared?”


“What was in the backpack?”

“Well,” said Sammy. “It was like a bomb.”

“You blew up the Razors?”

“It wasn’t the blow-up kind.

“What then?”

“It makes somebody more of what they really are.”

“Ah! That explains all the chickens lately.” Grandpa signaled the waitress. “Want more chicken soup?”
Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers:

Posted in Short Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 41 Comments

Hannah Pics!

It’s been a while since I posted pics of young Hannah. She growing well and talks frequently, though often unintelligibly. Her favorite new word is “Really?” We’re happy to say she seems to have absorbed our love of birds. She’s always excited to see them.

Most importantly, she has inherited the “silly gene” from both parents, as these pics will attest.

Hannah likes to wear her shirts as hats. She does this by herself.

Hannah? Where are my socks?






Posted in Photos | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

The Giveaway

Photo by: C.E. Ayr

Photo by: C.E. Ayr

Travis Trapper, world-renowned monster hunter, stood on the deck of the sailboat, cursing. All around him, equipment blinked and bleeped and glowed. A vast array of sensors dipped into the water. The screen on the $150,000 detector gear showed nothing.

“Nothing!” spat Travis. “All the data we collected proved that sea monsters live in this lake. I should see something!”

“Maybe they’re hiding?” offered his assistant, Morgan.

“How would they know to hide?  They would have to know we were coming. They couldn’t. They’re just dumb animals.”


At the other end of the lake, hidden within sunken debris, two lake monsters waited. Shylka shuddered, saying, “I hate that Travis Trapper!”

“Me too,” said her mate, Shim. “Not to worry. He’ll give up soon.”

“He wouldn’t be looking for us if you hadn’t eaten that U.S. Senator.”

“That was a mistake,” admitted Shim, patting her affectionately with his 3-meter flipper. “He tasted rotten!”

“Still, I think you must be psychic,” she noted.


“How could you know Trapper was coming?”

“That’s the easy part,” grinned Shim. He held up his waterproof Galaxy S-9 cellphone. “Travis always posts his next move on Facebook. See? I gave his post a ‘Like!’ ”
Written for Sunday Photo Fiction:

Posted in Short Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Look in the Eyes

Photo from

Photo from

Hiroshi sat at the pond, shinai across his legs. He watched the languid movement of the Koi, seeking serenity. At that moment, he had none.

Hiroshi was a Kendo Master, the finest Kenoka in all Japan. He had never lost a match.

His wife, Kaori joined him at the pond. “Husband,” she said. “What troubles you?”

“I look troubled?”

Kaori smiled. “When I first saw your eyes, my heart recognized you. I knew we would marry. In three months, we did. I know your heart like it was my own, my love.”

Hiroshi smiled at this. “I know this is true. In my Kendo bout with Fujioka, I looked in his eyes and knew I would win in seven movements. I won in seven. In all my matches it is the same.”


“Today I lost.”

“What? You fought no matches today.”

Hiroshi said, “Kimiko plans to date a boy.”

Kaori blinked at the sudden change of topic. She sighed. They dreaded letting her their willful daughter go free. “What did you tell her?”

Hiroshi shuddered. “I prepared myself for a great battle of wills with her.”


“When I looked in her eyes, I knew…she had won.”

Author’s Notes:

Kendo: Martial Arts with bamboo swords:
Shinai: Bamboo sword.
Kendoka: A practitioner of Kendo.
Koi: Japanese Goldfish (very large Carp)

Posted in Short Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments