Capturing a Jabberwocky


“A jabberwocky?” The sergeant’s eyes squinted with a hint of disbelief. “Are you sure?”

“Yes, sir. Down by the creek early this morning. Stew and I were just leaving from a night of catfishin’ and … and there it was…. plain a day.”

“Plain as day, you say.”

“Yes, sir. At least ten feet long and spikes all it its spine. And the awefulist hissin’ noises I ever did hear.”

“Hissin’ sounds.”

“Yes. Sir.”

“Did your fishin’ mate see it? Why isn’t he with you?”

“He shoulda seen it, but it disappeared in the brush right before my eyes.”

“So where is he?” The Sargent had that all-knowing look in his eye.

“He went home to sleep.”

“To sleep it off? A little too much nipping in the night?”

“Yes, sir. I mean, no, sir. The beast was real. I could’a reached out and touched him. Maybe even captured him, If’n I’d a mind to.”

“Now that would have made a lasting memory,” smiled the Sargent.

Written for Three Word Wednesday: #527. Requirements: Create a flash piece using the three words provided.

This weeks words:

Jabber, verb: prattle, babble, chatter, twitter, prate, yap, gabble, rattle on, blather; yak, yammer, yabber, yatter, blab, blabber, bloviate; noun: prattle, babble, chatter, chattering, twitter, twittering, gabble, blather; informal yabbering, yatter, blabber.

Knowingly, adverb: deliberately, intentionally, consciously, wittingly, on purpose, by design, premeditatedly, willfully.

Lasting, adjective: enduring, long-lasting, long-lived, abiding, continuing, long-term, surviving, persisting, permanent; durable, constant, stable, established, secure, unchanging, irreversible, immutable, eternal, undying, everlasting, unending, never-ending, unfading, changeless, indestructible, unceasing, unwavering, unfaltering.



Of Things that Bump in the Night

The Haunted House / Das Geisterhaus

“They say it’s haunted.”

“But we agreed,” I responded in desperation. Another year of enforced dorm-life would be unbearable.

“I’m going to chicken out.”

“Good. It’s the last thing on the list and we’ll be full-pledges.”

Little did they know, much more was promised by this night of gloom than mere pledge-vow fulfillment.

Written for Three Word Wednesdays: Number 527. Requirements: Create a story using the three provided words.

Gloomy, adjective: ark, shadowy, sunless, dim, somber, dingy, dismal, dreary, murky, unwelcoming, cheerless, comfortless, funereal, despondent, downcast, downhearted, dejected, dispirited, disheartened, discouraged, demoralized, crestfallen; depressed, desolate, low, sad, unhappy, glum, melancholy, miserable, woebegone, mournful, forlorn, morose; informal blue, down in/at the mouth, down in the dumps, pessimistic, depressing, downbeat, disheartening, disappointing; unfavorable, bleak, bad, black, somber, grim, cheerless, hopeless.

Haunted, adjective: possessed, cursed; ghostly, eerie, scary, tormented, anguished, troubled, tortured, worried, disturbed.

Intense, adjective: extreme, great, acute, fierce, severe, high; exceptional, extraordinary; harsh, strong, powerful, potent, overpowering, vigorous, passionate, impassioned, ardent, fervent, zealous, vehement, fiery, emotional; earnest, eager, animated, spirited, vigorous, energetic, fanatical, committed.

Heaven Filled the Air


The dazzling lights blinded Emma as she stepped onto the stage.

Her first performance of an original piece.

Her father had lived for this day from her first practice.

She was far more reluctant. Her music shared intimacies that she was unsure she wanted to make public.

The audience erupted … a standing ovation.

“Utterly ridiculous,” she thought. “I have yet to become who I am.”

The flimsiness of their accolades meant little to her.

Yet there … front and center… there sat her dad.

He was aglow.

Confidently, she sat at the newly-tuned Bösendorfer.

And heaven filled the air.

Written for Three Word Wednesdays- Number 525. Requirements: Create a story using the three given words:

Dazzle, verb: blind temporarily, deprive of sight, overwhelm, overcome, impress, move, stir, affect, touch, awe, overawe, leave speechless, take someone’s breath away, spellbind, hypnotize; noun: glare, brightness, brilliance, shimmer, radiance, shine, sparkle, glitter, brilliance, glory, splendor, magnificence, glamour; attraction, lure, allure, draw, appeal.


Erupt, verb: emit lava, become active, flare up; explode, break out, flare up, start suddenly; ensue, arise, happen, appear, break out, flare up, come to a head, suppurate, emerge.


Flimsy, adjective: insubstantial, fragile, breakable, frail, shaky, unstable, wobbly, tottery, rickety, ramshackle, makeshift; jerry-built, badly built, shoddy, chintzy, gimcrack, thin, light, fine, filmy, floaty, diaphanous, sheer, delicate, insubstantial, wispy, gossamer, gauzy, weak, feeble, poor, inadequate, insufficient, thin, unsubstantial, unconvincing, implausible, unsatisfactory.




abandoned on steps

babyish meowing adored

HOME… cunningly won

Written for Three Word Wednesdays. Requirements: Write something using the provided words.

Abandoned, adjective: deserted, forsaken, cast aside/off; jilted, stranded, rejected; informal dumped, ditched, unused, disused, neglected, idle; deserted, unoccupied, uninhabited, empty, uninhibited, reckless, unrestrained, wild, unbridled, impulsive, impetuous; immoderate, wanton.

Babyish, adjective: childish, immature, infantile, juvenile, puerile, adolescent.

Cunning, adjective: crafty, wily, artful, guileful, devious, sly, scheming, designing, calculating, Machiavellian; shrewd, astute, clever, canny; deceitful, deceptive, duplicitous, foxy; noun: guile, craftiness, deviousness, slyness, trickery, duplicity; shrewdness, astuteness.

Sweet Memories


Pop sat back in his enormous red leather chair and breathed a sigh of release.

Mother was still in the kitchen putting away the last of the washed pans. The girls were turning down the beds. The older of the two boys was completing the last check on the penned animals. The youngest had already been tucked in by the nanny.

The next ten minutes was his most cherished time of his day.

Reaching across the glazed mahogany table, he grasped his small walnut embossed humidor. Opening it, he breathed deeply. The most fragrant smells in the world were released for him personal pleasure.

Bypassing the rich temptations of the row Brazilian-leaf Escurio and Bijou Torpedoes, he fumbled into the lower tray for something far more unpretentiously specific… the old standbys… his robust, rum Swisher Sweets. They had been the cigar of choice for his father, his father’s farther, and the grandfather before him.

The freshly-lit aroma of a Sweet rekindled memories of bygone years.

Footsteps were pitter-pattering down the side stairs.

Quickly snuffing out the heaven-sent cane… he stood to give the much awaited bear-hugs to the twins.

He was a gentleman from the old world… he would never smoke- or even be caught smoking-  in front of the girls.

He would have time for his Sweet later.

Maybe it was time for Sabastian, his oldest, to join him. He was about Sabastian’s age when he had his first Sweet.

With a kiss to the forehead of each of the twins, he relaxed and waited for Sabastian to report in.

Written for Three Word Wednesday. Requirements Create a flash story using the given three words.

Snuff, verb: extinguish, put out, douse, smother, choke, blow out, quench, stub out.

Specific, adjective: particular, specified, fixed, set, determined, distinct, definite; single, individual, peculiar, discrete, express, precise, detailed, explicit, express, clear-cut, unequivocal, precise, exact, meticulous, strict, definite.

Tempting, adjective: enticing, alluring, attractive, appealing, inviting, captivating, seductive, beguiling, fascinating, tantalizing; irresistible, appetizing, mouthwatering, delicious, toothsome; informal scrumptious, yummy, lip-smacking

Not This Time


Halting at the fence, I handed my rifle to Eb, crossed over, took my rifle and his, and waited for Eb to cross over.

I had promised the family (our three boys- not the wives) moose steaks for Thanksgiving. Before you go ga-ga that is not a far-fetched meal plan! Montana has had a growing herd of elk for the last seven season. Eb and I have seen three or four in the upper range every weekend this fall. We weren’t after a trophy, just a meal a little more gamy than the tofu turkey that the wives have settled on since their three month excursion into vegetarianism.

Snowfall had been erratic since early morning. A quick radio check from NOAA calculated that we had a good five hours before anything of slightly dire consequence would be on the roads.

The austere, yet pristine mountain range before us had Eb bouncy with excitement. His normally vapid, white-collar-accountant’s lifestyle tendencies were becoming unhinged by the majestic views and the primal opportunity of his first kill.

I had to continually remind him that silence was necessary for a successful hunt, even if all wind and weather factors and availability of a kill were in our favor.

We hiked for seventeen mostly-hushed miles, the snow continually deepening. I had planned ahead, I had attached snowshoes on each of our packs… even though this was a symbolic awakening into a hunting family for Eb, this was not my first rodeo.

Upon shoeing ourselves at mile fourteen or fifteen, Eb’s silence became more strained. His taciturnity was not from the excitement of discussions involving the kill, Eb was 5’7” and 217… The mammoth mountains were beginning to overwhelm the massive Eb.

At noon, Eb succumbed to defeat. Even if we, by happenstance, fell upon an elk, he did not have the strength remaining to help field dress and drag the animal home.

Never one to face failure head on and retreat, I shouldered the two rifles and handed Eb the Ruger 22 LR.

As we carefully re-crossed the fence, I walked the rifles to the Rover and then assisted Eb to our permanent deer-stand in the adjoining field.

The weather had not been early as blustery here in the valley. From the benches in the stand, we could overlook a shallow stand of oaks.

Within twenty minute we had seven squirrel.

While not elk steak… scrambled eggs, buttered toast, and fried squirrel for morning breakfast… not a bad day from the offices.

Written for Three Word Wednesdays:  Week No. 505, 504, 503, and 502.

Far-fetched, adjective: improbable, unlikely, implausible, unconvincing, dubious, doubtful, incredible, unbelievable, unthinkable; contrived, fanciful, unrealistic, ridiculous, absurd, preposterous, hard to swallow, fishy.

Gamy, adjective: having the tangy flavor or odor of game, having the flavor or odor of game or other meat kept uncooked until slightly tainted, plucky; spirited, lewd or suggestive, risqué, gross or squalid; unwholesome.

Halting, adjective: hesitant, faltering, hesitating, stumbling, stammering, stuttering; broken, imperfect, unsteady, awkward, faltering, stumbling, limping, hobbling.

Calculate, verb: compute, work out, reckon, figure; add up/together, count up, tally, total, tote, tot up, intend, mean, aim, design, expect, count on, anticipate, reckon on, bargain on, figure on.

Dire, adjective: terrible, dreadful, appalling, frightful, awful, atrocious, grim, alarming; grave, serious, disastrous, calamitous, ruinous, hopeless, irretrievable, wretched, desperate, parlous, urgent, desperate, pressing, crying, sore, grave, serious, extreme, acute, drastic, ominous, gloomy, grim, dismal, unpropitious, inauspicious, unfavorable, pessimistic.

Erratic, adjective: unpredictable, inconsistent, changeable, variable, inconstant, irregular, fitful, unstable, turbulent, unsettled, changing, varying, fluctuating, mutable; unreliable, undependable, volatile, spasmodic, mercurial, capricious, fickle, temperamental, moody.

Vapid, adjective: insipid, uninspired, colorless, uninteresting, feeble, flat, dull, boring, tedious, tired, unexciting, uninspiring, unimaginative, uninvolving, lifeless, tame, vacuous, bland, trite, jejune.

Adjoining, adjective: connecting, connected, interconnecting, adjacent, ensuite, neighboring, bordering, next-door; contiguous, proximate; attached, touching.
Bouncy, adjective: bumpy, jolting, jerky, jumpy, jarring, rough, lively, energetic, perky, frisky, jaunty, dynamic, vital, vigorous, vibrant, animated, spirited, buoyant, bubbly, sparkling, vivacious; enthusiastic, ebullient, upbeat.

Symbolic, adjective: emblematic, representative, typical, characteristic, symptomatic, figurative, representative, illustrative, emblematic, metaphorical, allegorical, parabolic, allusive, suggestive; meaningful, significant.

Tendency, noun: propensity, proclivity, proneness, aptness, likelihood, inclination, disposition, predisposition, bent, leaning, penchant, predilection, susceptibility, liability; readiness; habit, trend, movement, drift, swing, gravitation, direction, course; orientation, bias.

Unhinged, adjective: deranged, demented, unbalanced, unglued, crazed, mad, insane, disturbed, out of one’s mind, out of one’s tree; informal crazy, mental, nutso, bonkers, batty, loopy, loco, postal, bananas, touched, batshit crazy.

All that’s Left


He was a kind old man, my grandfather. You could see the love and compassion flowing from his eyes.

As I got out of the taxi, with only two garbage bags of belongings, he grabbed both of my shoulders… held me at arm’s length… and said “I see your momma in you.”

Before I could answer, the taxi had driven off and I was there… alone.

I could sense he knew how frightened I must have felt on the inside.

He turned and I could barely hear him as he said, “This is your home now. You’ll be sleeping in your mother’s old room.”

He just left me standing there. I think he knew that I had to find the courage to make the first steps toward a new home on my own… or I wouldn’t want to stay. It had to be my decision.

I thought of all the melodramatic feelings that were embattling in my mind… maybe even in my heart.

Momma was gone. We’d laid her to rest that afternoon. Dad… who knows.

This lighthearted, elderly man… this was all that was left of family.

I picked up my traveling luggage and boldly yelled… for he was already up the lane and to the side door of the house… “Grandpa… I’m hungry! What’s for supper?”

When he turned his face, I know I saw him smile. I think his face was a wet as mine.

Written for Three Word Wednesday: Week #499. Requirements: Use the three given words in a story. This week’s words are…

Kindly, adjective: benevolent, kind, kindhearted, warm-hearted, generous, gentle, warm, good-natured, compassionate, caring, loving, benign, well meaning; helpful, thoughtful, considerate, good-hearted, nice, friendly, neighborly; adverb: benevolently, good-naturedly, warmly, affectionately, tenderly, lovingly, compassionately; considerately, thoughtfully, helpfully, obligingly, generously, selflessly, unselfishly, sympathetically.
Lighthearted, adjective: carefree, cheerful, cheery, happy, merry, glad, playful, jolly, jovial, joyful, gleeful, ebullient, high-spirited, lively, blithe, bright, sunny, buoyant, vivacious, bubbly, jaunty, bouncy, breezy; entertaining, amusing, diverting; informal chirpy, upbeat.
Melodramatic, adjective: exaggerated, histrionic, overdramatic, overdone, operatic, sensationalized, overemotional, overwrought, sentimental, extravagant; theatrical, stagy.