“Why do we always get ten little peeps every time?” Suzy was excited about getting to pick the baby chicks to watch grow.

“Every March and every August,” inserted Adam. “Grandma likes her peeps for the holidays.”

Mom gave Adam her phone to play a game on. “Grandma likes the number ten,” Mother cautiously responded.

“Is that why she always gives Adam and me each five cookies at snack time? Five and five is ten.”

“That’s right,” said Mom.

“I wonder why she doesn’t give me ten sodas at a time.” Adam smiled.

Mother gave Adam that motherly don’t-you-cross-that-line look. “So which ones should we pick?” She looked at Suzy.

“That one!” Suzy pointed to the larger one in the corner.

“That’s a good one, Suzy. Let’s call that one Jingles,” said Adam. “Now, I’ll pick out Jangles.”

“Are we going to name the rest of them the same names? Dasher and Dancer and all the other reindeer names?”

“We sure are. Grandma loves her reindeer,” said Adam.

“We always give the summer chickens to Grandma on our Thanksgiving visit.” Suzy seemed deep in thought. “Why aren’t any of them there when we visit at Christmas?

“Oh, they’re there,” Adam smiled. “They’re just incognito.”

“Incog… what?” asked Suzy.

Written for FANSTORY. 


Snake Eyes Dice


Snake Eyes
Just My Luck

Written for FANSTORY. Writing Prompt: Write a 2-3-2 Poem. It has three lines. The first line has 2 syllables. The second line has 3 syllables. The third line has 2 syllables again.




Carefully stalking its nemesis.
A quick pounce…
Another miss.
I’ll get you yet!

Written for FANSTORY. 




“You’re right. It’s not your classic mug shot.” Lieutenant Grady sat holding a copy of the arrest report. “He wasn’t a mere small-time criminal either. His rap sheet is now sixty-two pages and it’s growing. Seems he’s been at this for more than seven years.”

Officer Mitcham sat across from him and placed two coffees: his- two creams and three sugars, and the Lieutenant’s — black, no sugar. “I heard he was apprehended at the local Holiday INN at the CORNER of BROWN Terrace and Vine STREET.”

“That’s right,” Lieutenant Grady continued to summarize the report. “He was found ALONE. Gave no resistance. Seems to be no accomplices. He was a bit RED-NOSED. Far-away look in his eye. But very compliant. Night before last, the STORY goes, we got intel on the suspect from an anonymous caller.”

Officer Mitcham sat more upright. “That’s unusual for it to have been an anonymous call. We’ve had that huge reward out for him ever since he STOLE that crystal WHITE Lamborghini from Arthur and BABES McPhee.”

“Yes, she was to DIE for.”

“You talking the car or the wife.”

“The car, stupid. But she wasn’t too BAD either. Now get your mind outta-the-gutter.”

“My mind…” Officer Mitcham chuckled. “What else does it say?”

“Says during the call you could hear a Christmas CAROL being sung in the background.”

“What song was it?”

“What difference does that make?”

“I was just wanting to know how detailed these investigative reports actually are.”

“You rookie. You’ve never actually written up an arrest report. We’ll put an end to take after VACATION.”

Officer Mitcham moaned, “Shoulda kept my mouth shut.”

“Well, I’m glad we caught him when we did.” Lieutenant Grady didn’t force Mitcham to suffer long. “You know the Captain had stopped granting us leave for our vacations until we did — or until the newsprint died down AFTER Christmas. And that was not likely to happen. I’ve had this vacation planned with Delores for the last two years. We’re on the EXPRESS flight to New Delhi, India, tomorrow night. If I had to pull out of that flight because of a bad Santa, I think she would divorce me. We’re going to MEET her family there for a reunion. She hasn’t seen them in five years- except for SkyChatting. ”

“Are they flying as well?” The officers had often talked of evening plans, which would have included their wives, but they had never gone to discussing extended families. Just no need.

“No, they’re in Hong Kong right now. Even though Delores’s dad is one of the big-wigs with Cybor-Jet, he’s still reluctant to fly any more than he has to. That’s why they are permanently living over there. They’re taking the train to New Delhi instead of a PLANE. Even short flights he avoids. I know I’m not looking forward to this trip, even when it’s nonstop. Fifteen hours in a seat is a killer.”

“Two Ambien, that’s why they were INVENTED. You’ll be out BEFORE you know it.”

“Maybe. You have any great plans for the holidays?”

“Yes, I do.” Officer Mitcham grimaced as he said the words. “I’m going to have a WONDERFUL time explaining to my five-year-old son why Santa’s been arrested.”

“At least we didn’t have to shoot him.”

Written for FANSTORY.  The challenge of this contest: Write a story or a poem based on the words listed below. All the words are found in the top 10-11 best Christmas movies of all time from Rotten Tomatoes, IMDB, Esquire, and/or Good Housekeeping.

The rules:
1. You must use AT LEAST ten of the listed words. There’s a good variety of nouns, verbs, and adjectives.
2. Either fiction, nonfiction, or poetry is acceptable.
3. Prose must be a minimum of 500 words.
4. Poetry should be 40 lines maximum.
5. Highlight the chosen words in the text and include them in your author notes.
6. Your entry doesn’t have to be about Christmas.

Words, in alphabetical order:
1. alone (from Home Alone)
2. babes (from Babes in Toyland)
3. bad (from Bad Santa)
4. before (from Nightmare Before Christmas)
5. brown (from Charlie Brown’s Christmas)
6. carol (A Christmas Carol)
7. corner (The Shop Around the Corner)
8. Die (Die Hard)
9. express (Polar Express)
10. inn (Holiday Inn)
11. invented (The Man Who Invented Christmas)
12. meet (Meet Me in St. Louis)
13. plane (Planes, Trains and Automobiles)
15. red-nosed (Rudolph, the Red-nosed Reindeer)
17. stole (How the Grinch Stole Christmas)
18. story (A Christmas Story)
19. street (Miracle on 34th Street)
20. vacation (National Lampoon’s A Christmas Vacation)
21. white (White Christmas)
22. wonderful (It’s a Wonderful Life)

You will find all the words for the list in this story. I highlighted the words by CAPITALIZING them- I tried to make them bold but the advanced editor was not cooperative? Or I was using it incorrectly? I hope that this is OK?




What were you thinking all these years?
Not telling me the truth about ‘me’.
It’s about ‘me’ … If anyone has the right to know.
I should be at the top of the list.

Sure, I was picked special.
That’s supposed to make me feel better?
Like you both went to the hospital’s baby room and said.,
“I’ll like to hold that one… No wait, I think the other one is waving at us…
Lets’ hold that one.”

If I was so special, why wasn’t I wanted?
“A better life for me, than my real mom could give me…”
Does a better life start out on lies?

Look, I know that you love me.
There’s no doubt about that.
But …. “Look, … Dad… I don’t want to talk about this right now.”

And we sit … silently … and enjoy the sunset.

Written for FANSTORY.




She was there just a minute ago.

I hate going to the mall with her. Every time we go, she seems to get lost, and then I get yelled at when I find her.

There’s just too many people in here.

Last time I lost Mom I crawled under the clothes racks and a pretty lady helped me find my mom.
Mom didn’t like me crawling on the floor. The knees to my pants were stained. She showed Dad the evidence of the stains and he laughed. He said, “You have old clothes to crawl around in. Next time be more careful.”

I don’t think Mom thought that was good advice. She didn’t like it when Dad laughed either. Sometimes he and I laugh at the wrong times.

I asked him about the laughing when Mom wasn’t there; he laughed again. Then he just shrugged his shoulders and whispered, “Women?”

I didn’t find that helpful at all.

I just try to laugh with my friends now. It’s still OK to laugh around Dad. I just have to be real careful around Mom.

Look at those two old ladies pulling on that sweater. Don’t they know that they are going to stretch it out of shape? Even I know better than to do that.

“Oooh… She was a bad word.” I’m not supposed to be around people that say that word. I think I’ll try the next aisle over. Maybe Mom went to the coats.

It all happened so fast. We were shopping for Dad’s awesome new logoed t-shirt. Dad has a closet full of them. Some of them are from when he was still on high school. He doesn’t wear them anymore. I think they are too small for him. Mom says he’s a hoarder. Dad says he a connoisseur of comfort wear. I’m not real sure what that means, but I think connoisseur is a bad word. When Dad says it, Mom gets that look on her face.

Anyway, I saw a t-shirt I thought Dad would love. We had just learned about atoms in science class and this t-shirt made an atoms’ joke. “Never trust an atom. They make everything up.” I thought it was really funny. I was sure Dad would like it.

I ran to point it out to Mom. I turned… she was gone.

I yelled “Mom!!!”

Three other mothers saw me. But my mom was not there.

Where was my mom?

I think instead of running around hunting for her, I’ll just stand here and talk to these plastic people and wait for her to find me.

Written for FANSTORY. 




“Oh, there’s no place like …” carolers were approaching my door.

I’d gotten a call from my elderly neighbor just seconds ago. “They’re all over.” She whispered. “All over the street.” She was frantic. Should she call 911… she thought she should… but she was sure the police wouldn’t believe her.

Before I could decide how I could be of assistance, there was a knocking on my door.

Parting the curtains, I peeped.

Gnomes… and gnomes… and gnomes. As far as the eye could see.

“… For the holidays you can’t beat gnome sweet gnome!”

And then they left.

Written for THE CARROT RANCH 99- WORD CHALLENGE: 12-12-19.

Requirements: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a gnome. It can be a garden gnome, a Christmas Joulutonttu, or a sauna protector. You can write magical realism, or feature contemporary gnome-like product.  Go where the prompt leads!