The King Is Merciful. Long Love the King.


The King Is Merciful. Long Love the King.

“You gonna stand there watching me or you gonna say something?” the executioner continued to hone the edges of the sword.

“Do you know what the King has decided?” I asked.

“He is the King. I do not question his wisdom.”

“He is executing an innocent. Maybe even a child,” I continued.

“The king would never execute an innocent.”

“The entire village will be there,” I said.

“Of course they will. All of the King’s executions are in public.”

“You don’t understand.” I said. “I am to remove alphabet letters from King’s purse. After each letter, those villagers with that surname are moved to the back of the commons awaiting me to draw the next letter.”

“Why the letters?” the executioner’s curiosity was finally piqued.

“This village has given comfort and shelter to the bandits. They see them as Germany’s version of Robin Hoods. The King has decided that the village has offended him- the village should pay the price.”

“I see,” responded the executioner.

“Do you?” I asked. “After the first letter is drawn, I will continue to remove villagers according to their surnames until it is just one family remaining. Then I will draw letters for their forenames.”

“Makes sense to me,” responded the executioner.

“The last person remaining will be the person you execute.”

“I understand that.”

“Have you ever been called upon to execute a four-year-old child?” I said.

“Never. The King would show mercy,” replied the executioner.

“There will be no mercy. I am here to hold ransom your son. Should you fail to execute the King’s commands, your son will take the villagers’ stead.”

The executioner stroked one last stroke on the sharpened blade. “It seems the King has thought on everything.” Putting on his hood, he slowly walked toward the scaffolding.

Written for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: 2020: Week #46,

Toad-ly Worth It


Toad-ly Worth It

“Are you sure you want to do this, Beth?” SarahBelle asked.

Beth looked up- seemingly startled- by the question. “Of course, I’m sure. Elliot has been pulling prank after prank on me ever since the new semester. He has to pay.”

“There’s no way Master Wizard Alfredo is going to allow you to do this.”

“Do you think I’m going to ask?”

“It’s against all the coven’s rules, using magic on one another. Even Elliot doesn’t do that. His pranks are just a harmless Guinea pig in you dresser drawers, or a garden snake under the pillow. He just wants you to notice him.” AnneMay tried to speak some sense into her friend. “He’s never done anything that would harm you.”

“Notice him. Notice him!” Beth could hardly contain her emptions. “Elliot will know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I have noticed him.”

“But a frog?” intervened SarahBelle once again. “You could get expelled from Academy if you get caught.”

“Nonsense,” declared Beth. “We mix this potion in Elliot’s soup at evening’s supper. Give it four hours, by curfew- Elliott’s a slimy, crusty amphibian. No one will notice that he is missing. Elliot’s always away plotting and scheming over the weekend. By Sunday, the spell will have worn off. It’s likely no one will even know anything every happened- except Elliot.”

“But if you get caught?” simultaneously, the two girl’s fears were spoken.

“Toad-ly worth it, smiled Beth.”


Written for ‘Picture This’: FanStory. 

I’ve Seen You Drive


I’ve Seen You Drive

Lady Templesworth wheeled onto the pier. Smiting the brake, she pressed the lift enclosing the convertible and shut-off the engine simultaneously.

Quickly disembarking. Lord Templesworth tried to get to the driver’s door of the pink Ferrari before his wife could exit on her own.

She won.

Racing to the dock, she exclaimed, “It’s pink!”

“Completely renovated. Teak decks. Your signature paint. A master and guest berth. A gourmet kitchen. An entertainment room. And of course, the accompanying necessities.”

“It’s beautiful. HoneyBear, why buy this lovely yacht before you’ve taught me to navigate?”

“Entirely a business decision, My PookeyBear. I’ve seen you drive.”

FYI: I cheated a little. I counted Lord Templesworth’s and Lady Templesworth’s name as one word each.

Written for Friday Fictioneers.

Flat Again

Flat Again

Flat Again.

A slow leak.

The story of my life.


I needed the bike.

Of course, I could walk…

But it took more than twice the time.


Sticking my head back inside, I hollered that I was off on foot.


Before I was two blocks from home there was a honking.

Mom had come, again, to save the day.

I stepped into Food Mart with minutes to spare.


It was busy.

Price check upon price check.

Cracked eggs. Leaking cartons.


Ten minutes to closing. “… and all is well.”

But then across the public address system,

“Clean up on Aisle Two. Clean up on Aisle Two.

Randolph, you’ll need the mop.”


Aisle Two.

Jars and jars of vinegar.

The air being released from an early night off.

Written for The Fabulous Free Versers Club @ FanStory.

Dethroning the Champ

Bloody Elbow

Dethroning an Champ

Curled armadillo-like in the corner of the octagon, my lifted arms were tightly wrapped around my head.

The Ragin’ Cajun had swept me from my feet after repeatedly pummeling my left calf.
I only had moments to turn this match back into some semblance of equal standing or the referee would call it.

Slowing spinning to my right, I used my leverage from the wall of the cage to allow myself to become up upright.

The crowd was in a frenzy. The Cajun was a favorite in Atlanta. It didn’t matter that the entirety of the stadium was against me; my body responded to the jeers as easily as the cheers.

Once on my feet, my arms could again block the continuous jabs and uppercuts that were assaulting me.

He was smiling.

He thought he had my number.

I knew if I waited long enough, he would try to clock me with his signature move. I had watched every match this clown had posted on YouTube. This cocky imbecile had his own channel. And in the studying, I had found his ‘tick’.

Just before he would do his patented spin-kick butterfly to down his opponent, he would always glance to his corner.

If I could wait, his eyes would turn to acknowledge his upcoming triumph, I only had to hold on.

Exhausted on my feet, I decided to encourage his victory. I lowered my hands, just a little, and allowed the Cajun to fully connect a fierce jab to my solar plexus.

I doubled over. It looked as if I had been crippled. I seemed to be gasping for air.

The deception worked.

The Cajun instantly turned and smiled to his corner.

From my hip, I threw all my weight for a right-handed uppercut straight to his left jaw.

The Cajun went down.

I stepped back.

The referee looked at me.

I just motioned for him to begin his count.

This had been written as a prompt for The Fabulous Free Versers Club @ FanStory. Then I realized, this was far more a flash story than free verse.

Let Them Eat Cake

MorgueFIle March2020 f70773a9b33f07d676c23fce7a1cace0

Let Them Eat Cake


Sara screamed as she neared the dock.

“I thought you’d like it.” Grandpa was smiling. “But the surprises aren’t over yet.”

Sarah was already running passed the “Careful. Slippery When Wet.” signs the get to the new boat. Grandpa and her brother had been working on it during the winter as their ‘togetherness project’. She was surprised when Fredrick told her that the maiden voyage of the craft was supposed to be just her and Grandpa, but it was a good surprise. Sara loved to waters. To spend a day with Grandpa was always a plus.

Sara was barely able to contain her bubbliness and stay on the dock as she waited for her grandfather to catch up.

Grandpa stood beside her as they silently marveled at the magnificent work that he had Fredrick had completed.

“Well,” Grandpa looked had her. “Ready for the unveiling?”

“The unveiling?”

“Sure. Every worthy craft has to have a name fitting for it majesty. Fredrick and I decided on the name for this one’s christening. We thought you should have the honor of revealing it.” Suddenly, as if from the shadows appeared Fredrick and Sara’s mother and father.

Father was carrying a small basket. “Wait. Before this solemn evert occurs, we need to have our toasts ready.” He went to one knee and opened the basket. Swiftly handing out glasses to each of them, he handed a bottle of OceanSpray Cranberry-Grape to Fredrick. “Prepare us, please. Sir Fredrick.”

Fredrick’s smile was ear-to-ear. He twisted the top off of the chilled OceanSpray and filled each of their plastic goblets.

“To Grandfather and Fredrick,” Father toasted. They all took one small sip. There were to be more toasts.

“To the ‘Togetherness Project’,” Mother was quickly following in line.

“To a family a man can be proud of,” was Grandfather’s toast.

Before Sara could say anything, Fredrick busted through. “And now, the time we have all been awaiting. Sara, would you removed the silk covering draped across the bow of our magnificent vessel.”

As Sara stepped onboard the craft to remove the silk cloth masking the port of the vessel, Fredrick boldly announced, “To the Sara Anne.”

There was much hugging and handshaking as Sara stood stunned at this turn of events. Then, ever true to Sara, she let out a squeal of joy that would have awakened dead sailors.

“Now, let’s give’er a spin.” Grandpa loaded the poles and boxes he had been carrying onboard joining Sara.

“See you for supper,” father said as he handed Grandpa the basket that the family had brought.

“Start her up, Sara,” said grandfather. “The fish are awaiting us.”

“We’re going to spend our day fishing?” Sara was taken back and just a bit pale.

“Sure, lassie. That’s Fredrick’s and my favorite pastime on the waters.”

“Grandpa, I’m not Fredrick.” Sara tried to be very polite as she was suddenly filled with incredible hurt.

“Oh. That’s right. You’re with me today.” Grandpa was smiling. “That must be why your family gave us this extra basket. Go ahead. Open it.”

Sara lifted the lid from the basket and found sandwiches, chips, and several chilled waters. “Look under the linen napkins,” said Grandpa.

Sara lifted the napkins and there were two large pieces of red-velvet cake.

“Grandpa!” Sara giggled as she reached starboard to give him a hug.

“Let’s wait ‘til we get to my favorite fishin’ hole.” smiled Grandpa. “Today, dearie, we just feed the fishies.”

Written for Flash Fiction for the Practical Practitioner.

There’s Gold in Them There Hills

MorgueFile April2020 8e2988a47483eb5557e86bec8d20f56c

There’s Gold in Them There Hills

“Are you sure this is the way?’ asked Alfred.

“It has to be. The old man said follow the river. There’s not a lot of ways to mess that up.”

‘I don’t know but from what I’ve read in most books, they talk about ‘There’s gold in them there hills.’ and we’re going down from the hills and not up into the mountains Just sayin’”

“I know.” I replied a little spitefully. “You’re the one with the brains. We’re just like pack mules to you.”

“That’s not what I mean at all. I’m just wondering if maybe that old codger was pullin’ a fast one on us.”

“You just don’t trust people. Why would he do that?”

“First- The $25 each we gave him for his mining rights. He just happened to have the deed in his wallet.  Second- If there is gold, as much as he implied there was, then why isn’t he havin’ his grandsons go on this grand adventure?”

Just then, there here was a shout up ahead from the lead hiker. “Look! There’s a town just around the bend.”


As we approached the town, there was a freshly painted ‘Welcome’ sign for all to see. Behind the sign, three small one-room cabins.

I started laughing.

“Don’t say it. Don’t say it. Even if there is no gold here… and the old man did swindle us … At least we have great places to sleep for the night.

Written for Flash Fiction for the Practical Practitioner.

It Won’t Happen Again

haunted house

It Won’t Happen Again

“Video camera and thermal camera.”


“EMF gauge. Audio recorder. Headphones.”



“Check and check.”

“We’re good to go. All our domestic necessities in my pack. We’re ready. If she’s there, we’ll see her.” Packing for tonight had to be all cloak-n-dagger. If their parents found out…

“This is the night. According to all forensic records.” It had taken us two years-three summer jobs each (weeding gardens, picking fruit, and shoveling (well, just don’t go there.) for us to finally afford this new gear. “It’s not like they had a very proficient C.S.I. team in 1913,” I chuckled.

“Didn’t really have to, Everything’s in her diary. She stopped writing in it on August 31, 1913. Her body was found two days later. So tonight, whatever happened… happened.”

“Oh, that’s so profound. Let me write that down.”

“You just keep your hands near the recording equipment. We were right about her showing up last time. This year we’ll have proof.”

“Sure we will. We’d have had the proof two years ago if you hadn’t upturned and busted all the equipment. Ruing and screaming out of the house like a mad man from He…”

“Just shut it. It won’t happen again.”

Written for Flash Fiction for the Practical Practitioner200 words.


Vector Pictures


“Ma’am, is this your dog?”

Standing in front of me, with me clutching my bathrobe slightly more tightly than needed around myself, was a slender, pleasant-faced officer holding a sausage-linked, lackadaisical dog on a stout leather chain. As soon as Yowzer saw me, he started yodeling.

“Shush, Yowzer,” I said immediately, kneeling to give my roommate immediate affection- digging a little extra under his tags and collar. I was hoping to assist in silencing him before his yodels awakened the entire neighborhood. “Yes, officer.” I stood back up.  “I had not noticed he was missing. As you can see, I am just getting up. I usually take Yowzer for a morning walk … but not this early.”

“Well, ma’am,” the officer was smiling at my discomfort, I hope as a way to make me feel a little more comfortable. “This morning it looks like Yowzer had the ‘up-and-at-ems’ before you were ready to start the morning.” He paused. “We received a disturbance call about four a.m. this morning. When we arrived, we were surprised the disturbance was being caused by this small dog. We found him howling and a jumping at the dumpster behind McCrainy’s Butcher Shop. We found you by the address on his tags.”

“McCrainy’s,” I said. “We often stop by there on the way home from the park. Mr. McCrainy finds a bone or meat scraping for Yowzer on our visits.”

“How well did you know Mr. McCrainy, ma’am?” Immediately, I noticed the past-tense turning of our conversation. The officer blushed. I suspect that he had just realized he had revealed more information in his question than he had first desired. “Is everything O.K. with Mr. McCrainy?” I asked.

“I’m sorry ma’am. I should have been more careful with the wording of my question.”

“How is Mr. McCrainy?” I asked again.

“He is deceased. Ma’am.” The officer hung his head and ceased making eye contact with me. “We found him … or rather, Yowzer found him lying behind the dumpster behind his establishment.”

“Oh, my.” I knelt once again a stroked around Yowser’s collar. A sight like that should not have to be seen by man or beast.

“May I come in?” the officer handed me the leash holding Yowzer. “There are some questions I hope you can assist us with in our inquiry.”

And with that, Yowzer and I lead Officer Stanford into the back kitchen, clicked on the percolator for a warm cup of coffee to ease the tension, and I began to hear the sordid details that Yowzer had discovered.

Written for FanStory Competitions. 


MorgueFIle March2020 5505949277945981e863844c582745fc
MorgueFIle March2020 5505949277945981e863844c582745fc


“Sweetms, when you said we had a five-story beach-front house with a 360-degree lookout tower, this isn’t exactly what I thought you were talking about.

“She’s beautiful, Darling … Isn’t she? You can sleep to the rhythmic beatin’ of the waves every night. And you ought to see it in the moonlight.”

“There appears to be a lot of stairs. What about when our folks visit?”

“Easy peasy. There’s a lower loft under the first floor. I’ve installed an elevator-lift. It’s complete with its own full bath and master suite along with a kitchenette.”

“Looks like you’ve thought of everything.”

Written for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: Week #32: 2020.