Tag Archives: fiction

Pay to Play Pedagogy

I’m back again. Don’t worry, I haven’t died or given up writing. On the contrary, I’ve been hard at work on several novels I’ve been writing since last fall. They’re almost done, and I’m hoping to get back to writing for the blog more regularly.

ff186-sarah-potter

copyright Sarah Potter

Pay to Play Pedagogy

Exams at BDV For-Profit High School were about to begin. Jamie donned his VR goggles. The scene changed to a snowy forest.

A Viking charged him, ax raised, shouting “Imperative!”

“Die!” Jamie screamed and stabbed it.

Another ran from his right. “Future!”

“I will destroy you!” The Viking died like the first.

An arrow whistled from the darkness. As he died, Jamie saw the words Past Perfect written on the shaft. He had had problems with that before.

Please pay $5.00 or get an F. Jamie hit pay. He only had $30 for the exam. He needed to do better.


The Forbidden Door

ff185-ceayr

copyright CEary

The Forbidden Door

I made my way through the inky blackness, walking ninja-like towards the door. A thick chain barred my way. Just like the queen to take such extreme measures to protect her riches. But I knew that she kept the key under her pillow, and I had stolen it.

I unlocked the chain and lowered it silently to the floor. As I drew open the door, a hallowed light burst from the chamber within, revealing the treasure I so desperately sought.

The light snapped on. “Harold, are you getting into the Thanksgiving pies?”

I wiped meringue off my lips. “No, dear.”

 


Amateur Night at the Cantina

Well, I’m not dead, in case any of you were wondering. It wouldn’t be totally implausible, since I dropped off the face of the blogging world for about 3.5 months. Partially, I needed a break, and I have been hard at work on a few large writing projects. Also, I felt bad about posting Friday Fictioneers stories when I didn’t have time to read anyone else’s.

I don’t know if I can come back at full strength, but I will try to post more regularly, if anyone is still around to read my stories.

ff183-bjorn-rudberg

copyright Bjorn Rudberg

Amateur Night at the Cantina

I shuffled onto the cantina’s stage, clutching my plasma cello with sweaty hands. Hundreds of eyes stared out at me from the gloomy bar, whole constellations of varying colors, shapes and sizes.

I started with some Beethoven, but I quickly felt an undertone of discontent grow in the air. I switched to some Trebellium orchestral music. It was so soaring and grand, it could make your heart weep, but the anger only grew.

“Play the song!” someone finally shouted.

That song. I hated it, but I had no choice if I wanted to escape alive.

Sigh.

I began to play.

(The idea for this story came from a scene from Family Guy’s Blue Harvest, where they joke that in the Mos Eisley cantina, they only play one song.)


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.”


Oranges for ET

FF182 Jan Marler Morrill

copyright Jan Marler Morrill

Traitor.

That’s been my nickname for six months now. Hey, I’m just a fruit seller, making a living. Maybe even a profit.

“Morning,” I say to the first alien. Twenty are lined up behind him. He slings his rifle, holds up twelve fingers, and I bag up a dozen oranges in exchange for a glowing cube which I guess is money. I’ve got 518 so far.

Later when the aliens all die, scientists discover that the Vitamin C was slowly poisoning them. Suddenly I’m a hero.

The government is really curious about those glowing cubes.

Now the real profit comes.

 


Prodigal

FF181 Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Night sleet timpanied against the café windows. Jenny sipped her last two dollars in coffee form.

“He’ll come, hon,” the barista said. “He’ll get your message.”

“He wouldn’t want me back. It was a stupid thought.”

“Just wait.”

Jenny stood. “Thanks anyway for using your phone.”

The door banged. A man in soaked clothes hurried in and spotted Jenny.

“Listen, I’m sorry I ran away, Dad. I’m so sorry I took the money—” Her words were cut off by the man’s crushing hug. Cold tears like night sleet ran down his cheek onto hers.

“Thanks for calling,” he said.

 


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


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