My wife and I were making fruitcake today for the holidays since I love fruitcake. I asked her what I should write about for this story and she said fruitcake, so here it is.
copyright C E Ayr
“It’s art,” Peter told his mother. He was ten and meticulously arranging boiled eggs around a raccoon carcass while a friend played D flat on the piano every 6.7 seconds.
“What does it mean?” she asked, but her expression said she thought he was a fruitcake.
“What does it mean?” a policeman asked ten years later, after Peter had put a woman’s shoe in every drain in New York.
“You’re a fruitcake, you know?”
Finally, he made a piece of artwork that captured national attention.
“100-foot statue made entirely of fruitcake!” the headlines screamed. “What could it mean?”
I have fallen into the bad habit these past few weeks of writing my Friday Fictioneers stories on Tuesday, a full week almost after the picture was released. Last week I had the excuse that I was at a conference in Cancun for most of the week, but this week there is no excuse except the normal extreme busyness of life. Last week I made it into the InLinkz group literally 2 minutes before it closed. This week, for the second time in 3 years, I missed it altogether. Still, here is my story, for what it’s worth. I realize most people probably went for a Remembrance Day/Veteran’s Day theme. I didn’t go that way at all. I wrote this story for someone specific. They know who they are. :)
copyright J Hardy Carroll
I pressed my face to the freshly-dug earth. “Don’t leave me, Mom.”
“I didn’t.” The voice was distinct, and came from under the earth.
“I’m chained down here. Dig me up, quick!”
I fled, and spent the evening throwing up.
Something dragged me back.
“You’re not my Mom.”
“You sure? Dig me up.”
Finally, I got a shovel.
There was no body, just a speaker. A man approached. Words like experiment, psychological, hypothesis buzzed through my brain.
The next night, the university’s psychology building mysteriously burned down. Wonder how that fit into their hypothesis.
copyright Connie Gayer
The dark box lay in the hole, half covered by dirt. Soft weeping was the only sound to be heard.
“It was so sudden, right in the middle of the nightly news,” Jane said, wiping her eyes. “He got this blank look and there was no reviving him.”
“I remember the way his face glowed with life as we sat down to watch Jeopardy after supper,” Kane said. “Those were the days.”
Jane took a deep breath. “So, now what?”
Kane shrugged. “I guess we have to go shopping and buy another one. Let’s get a high-def one this time.”
The Neanderthal didn’t know the word cylinder when he pulled one from the swamp. It was hard and light and he found a thousand usages for it. When he looked into it, the crystalline interior sparkled like heaven in the rain.
He gave it to his son, who passed it to his. It was lost and found a dozen times through the ages, resting finally behind climate-controlled glass, a light shining through its crystalline core.
Marcus saw the cylinder at the museum while wrestling with an intractable problem. His brain shouted “Eureka!”
He ran home and finished his time machine.
Rochelle, the moderator of this crazy group called the Friday Fictioneers, just announced that this week is her 3rd anniversary of taking over the reins. Incidentally, it is also my 150th story, which means I started just a few short weeks after she took over. It’s been quite the journey.
I must confess, I have thought about quitting sometimes, especially lately when I’ve been so busy. But I don’t want to, mostly because of all the great people I’ve gotten to know through this group. Also, I haven’t missed a week yet, and I put a lot of stock in precedent. I also think that it has helped my writing by making it more succinct. When you get in the habit of counting every word, you look for the strongest words, those that convey the most meaning. Efficient prose is generally good prose.
copyright Ron Pruitt
The bus was shaking and bumping like a twerking paint mixer. The man in Row 24 leaned forward to Row 23.
“I feel sick. Tell the driver to pull over.”
The man leaned forward. “Tell driver . . . sick . . . pull over.”
“Someone’s sick of wearing a pullover.”
“He knows a chick from Conover.”
“Someone wants chicken and cauliflower.”
The passenger in Row 1 tapped the driver. “Just wanted to tell you, someone in the back took Colombian karate, but the alligators didn’t bite.” There was the sound of retching.
The driver slammed the brakes. “Why didn’t anyone tell me he was sick?”
copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
Brothers in the Fatherland
The guards never check the back, my brother Kurt had said.
I crouched in breathless darkness, rain Niagara Fallsing down the windows. Kurt was talking to the guard, getting me through security.
I gripped my pistol. Kurt was loyal but I knew that only a bullet in the tyrant’s head would set the nation free.
I heard a command and the van moved forward. We were in. Kurt thought this was intelligence bureau training. This would kill him.
I’m sorry, Kurt.
The van doors flew open. Rifles pointed at me. “I’m sorry,” Kurt said. “It kills me to do this.”