Category Archives: Light

A Date with Death

FF190 Dale Rogerson

copyright Dale Rogerson

A Date with Death

The moon was a milky corpse eye shining over the Lopinot Estate, Trinidad’s most haunted site. Inside, flashlights beams swept back and forth.

One disappeared.

“Honey?” There was no answer. She listened. A scream came from out in the jungle. Just an animal. Probably.

Creak. She hid her light. Come on, she thought.

Nothing.

A light appeared in the next room. “Hey, I found the basement!” he said, poking his head out. “It looks like there’s a grave. Let’s go down and sit in the dark.”

“Awesome!” She kissed him hard. “I love you. This is the best anniversary ever.”

I wrote this story for my wife Leah. As of tomorrow we will have been married for sixteen years, and I’m sure one of our anniversaries in the future will be spent exploring a haunted house in the dead of night looking for ghosts.


Teddy Bear Brawl

FF189 Karuna

copyright Karuna

Teddy Bear Brawl

Teddy bears’ picnic, my ass.

Those pretentious little Paddingtons thought they could leave us out, just because they sit on the bed and we live in the closet.

Baby-doll saw them sneaking out the window. We found them under a tree in the backyard.

“Let us join,” Baby-doll whined.

Somebody, probably I-Couldn’t-Give-A-Care Bear, sneers, “Back off vinyls. Plushies only.”

That’s when the Pooh hit the fan.

I beat the stuffing out of a few, and soon we were all muddy and ripped.

At least we cleaned up with some Windex. Those bloody bears got a trip to the washing machine.

 


When the Cat’s Away, the World Might End

It’s final exam week here at my university and as I sit here and proctor a reading exam, it seemed like a good chance to write some flash fiction. This is dedicated to my sister, whose birthday it is this Friday.

FF188 Sandra Crook

copyright Sandra Crook

“Maybe I should call them.”

“Don’t call. They’ll have a great time home alone. We’re in France. Relax.”

“We should have brought them.”

“It took five years to save enough for us to come. We’d never save enough for all of us. Just go take a shower, get dressed up, and we’ll hit the town.”

She’d scarcely shut the bathroom door when he called internationally.

“Hey Dad,” his eldest said. “The plumber stopped the leak, but it’ll take a week to dry the basement out.”

“Okay. Call the insurance company. And do not tell your mother until we get back.”

 


When it’s Hard to Get out of Bed

I wrote this story for my wife Leah. She is the inspiration for a lot of the story ideas I come up with.

astrophysicist ghost

 

“Ugh, I just can’t get up today,” my wife said, snuggling a little more under the covers.

“Come on,” I said. “You’re going to be late for work if you don’t get up now.”

She rolled over and pulled the covers up to her chin. “No, seriously. I think I’m stuck.”

I pulled the covers off her, which elicited cries of protest, and dragged her out of bed.

“Thanks,” she said, after she stopped glaring at me. “I really think it’s getting harder to get up lately.”

I didn’t tell her, but I was having the same problem, except for me it was in my recliner in the living room. When I was there late at night and had to go to bed, it was like my butt was literally glued to the seat.

“I think it’s ghosts,” my friend Herbert said. I wasn’t surprised at this, since Herbert had just binge watched a reality show about ghosts. If it had been history documentaries, he probably would have blamed it on the Mongols.

“How could it be ghosts?” I asked.

“Maybe they’re holding you in place for fun?” he suggested. “Look, why don’t I bring my Ouija board over and see if I can talk to them.”

“I don’t like Ouija boards,” I said. “I think they’re stupid.”

Herbert’s answer to this was to bring it over anyway the next time he visited and set it up without telling me.

“Just try it once,” he said when I noticed. “What harm can it do?”

I watched him do it. He put his hands on the pointer and said, “Ghosts—if you’re there—are you the ones responsible for the . . . the trouble getting out of bed and chairs and stuff?”

There was a pause. Then the pointer went to YES. “Why?” Herbert asked.

There was another pause and then the pointer began to spell out words. T.H.I.S  M.I.G.H.T  R.E.Q.U.I.R.E  S.O.M.E  E.X.P.L.A.I.N.I.NG.   I  W.O.U.L.D  R.E.C.O.M.M.E.N.D  G.E.T.T.I.N.G  A  S.C.I.E.N.T.I.F.I.C  O.U.I.J.A  B.O.A.R.D

“They make scientific Ouija boards?” I asked.

O.H  Y.E.S,  the board responded. T.E.X.A.S  I.N.S.T.R.U.M.E.N.T.S  M.A.K.E.S  A  G.O.O.D  O.N.E.   I  T.H.I.N.K  I.T  I.S.  T.H.E  T.I.6.6.6.

I thought Herbert was just messing around with me, but he came back a week later with a genuine scientific Ouija board. It was about three times bigger than a normal one and had lots of symbols and mathematical notations on it.

“I got the TI-668 since it has statistical symbols too,” Herbert said.

“Do you really think spirits from beyond are going to be talking a lot about standard deviation?” I asked, but he just shrugged.

If there were really ghosts in our house, they really wanted to talk. Herbert guided that pointer around the board for over three hours while I took down pages and pages of notes.

I took all the notes down to the local university. I came home that evening, exhausted and confused.

“You’re not going to believe what I found,” I told my wife. I told her. She didn’t.

According the university’s history department, our house was built on the site of an ancient astrophysicist burial ground. Even now, the dead astrophysicists would create microscopic black holes form from time to time, especially in the bedroom and living room. That’s what was making it hard to move.

“Is there anything we can do?” my wife asked at last.

“I suppose we could move,” I said. “Let’s not move to the house next door though. Apparently that was an ancient taxi driver burial ground. The owners of that house often wake up in nearby fields owing $14.50.”

We decided to stay where we were. Now whenever we are late or sleep in, we just blame it on astrophysicist ghosts.


The Old Man and the Seafood

FF46 Janet Webb

copyright Janet Webb

The Old Man and the Seafood

Shoppers meandered around the store in hip waders, shopping carts half submerged.

“How did you come up with this idea?” the reporter asked.

Jeff grinned. “I thought it was about time someone applied the self-pick produce model to seafood. With seafood, freshness is everything. Here, everything is alive up until you buy it. No expiration dates needed.”

An old man shuffled up in oversized boots. “Excuse me, I just need a can of tuna.”

“No cans here, I’m afraid,” Jeff said, throwing the reporter another grin. “Everything’s fresh.” He handed the man a spear gun. “Bluefins are in aisle 30.”


Onion Gum: A Thank-you Note

Dear Gus,

Thank you for the onion-flavored chewing gum you gave me. What a great gift to get for your best friend for his birthday. It really helped my life out a lot. I’m not being sarcastic, by the way.

You see, I didn’t notice the little clues on the package that would have indicated it was a gag gift. I just put it in my pocket before I went to my girlfriend Jessica’s house for dinner. I knew her father liked gum so I gave him the pack. This is my girlfriend’s father who doesn’t really like me since he thinks I joke around too much and don’t have any purpose in my life.

Well, I found this out later, but he just left it in his pocket until the next day when he was going to work. He takes the ferry across the bay to get to work and he was standing by the railing on the side and struck up a conversation with a woman and pulled out the pack to have some gum. He offered the woman the first piece.

She took one bite and started to gag and cough and was flailing around so much that she fell overboard. They stopped the boat and since there weren’t any life preservers nearby, Jessica’s father held his camera out for her to grab the strap. He is an amateur photographer and that camera is his pride and joy. He named it Desiree, I’ve heard.

Anyway, the woman grabbed hold and pulled herself aboard, but she ended up breaking the camera strap. Jessica told me that he got that camera strap from her grandfather just before he died.

There was a coast guard cutter nearby, and it came over to see what had happened. All in all, the ferry got in 40 minutes late, which means Jessica’s father was late for work. That might not have been a big deal normally, but he had a huge presentation and totally missed it. Turns out that the CEO of the company showed up unexpectedly too. They fired Jessica’s father on the spot.

Well, he blamed everything on the gum, which means he blamed everything on me. He’d never liked me much anyway, but now he was furious at me and forbade Jessica from seeing me. I was thinking of marrying her, but after that, things looked pretty grim. Actually she was pretty pissed at me too, so when he got home and said he’d been fired and it was my fault, she suggested we take a break apart for a bit.

I swear I wasn’t being sarcastic when I thanked you for the gum. Just bear with me.

It turns out that Jessica’s father was looking at the pictures on the camera that night and noticed one he didn’t take. Apparently, when he was reaching over to let the woman grab the camera strap, buttons got pushed and he ended up taking a picture of her. It was unplanned but it was perfectly framed and showed the angst of human existence as we struggle to stay afloat in a boundless sea of existential toil. Or whatever. That’s apparently what Time magazine said when they bought it from him for a ton of money. He said the word Pulitzer was mentioned a few times. Also, his portfolio is getting more attention now. He’s actually going to start a freelance photography career, like he’s always dreamed of.

Jessica’s mother really believes in signs so she convinced him that all this happened because of me and the gum. He called me himself to apologize and to thank me. Then Jessica called and so we’re back together again. I’m thinking of proposing, since her whole family loves me now.

So again, thank you for the gum. It really changed my life.

By the way, if you ever give me anything like that again, I’ll kill you.

Your friend,

Andy


It starts with stealing Donald Trump’s jet

FF Rich Voza

copyright Rich Voza

“We’re gonna get murdered.” I unlocked Donald Trump’s private jet with stolen keys.

“It was your choice,” Jack said. “You wanna switch?”

“No.” I climbed into the cockpit and consulted the WikiTheft page on flying a stolen jet.

Somehow we took off. Somehow we flew to Mexico City and crash-landed in the busiest airport in Central America.

Somehow we spray-painted “To Mexico, love Donny” on the side and escaped the authorities.

“It’s your turn,” I said as we sat on a sidewalk, trying to think how to get home.

Jack looked thoughtful. “I think I’d better pick Truth this time.”

 

*FYI*


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