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Friday, September 25, 2015

Not quite an Inkling

I have no short story for you this week, though I did write one.  I have been busy with another round of edits on my novel.  This one is the first round after critiques have come back.  A very important round indeed.  Thankfully, most of the critics have enjoyed my work for the most part, which gives me hope.  The things I must fix are not major roadblocks, but they will take a little time.  I still want to finish before the end of the year.

What happened to that short story I wrote?  Well, it's here.  I entered into a writing contest and will continue to enter these contests every week.  So instead of reading my shorts on this blog for a little while, I would be greatly honored and thankful if you could find it on the link above and vote for mine.  :)

This week's entry is entitled, "Discount Souls."

And don't worry - any of the short stories that don't win (which, lets face it, will probably be all of them) will end up here eventually.

Friday, September 11, 2015


This short story is rated PG (though the subject matter would probably be PG-13).

“So have you gotten any acceptance letters back, Sumners?” Mitch asked with a knowing smugness.  The locker room was where we always had out little tête-à-têtes, no matter how crowded it got, which it usually was after gym.  To be honest, the crowd was part of the fun.

“Yeah, a couple,” I said with as much disinterest as I could muster.

“Oh really?   Where to?  Anything good?

“Well my fallback came through,” I said and suppressed a grin as I pulled my shirt on.  To give him the full impact, I waited a good 10 seconds before telling him.  “Carnegie Mellon.”

More than a few eyes turned my way.  Whispers of “fall back?” and “Jack Sumners?!” made that grin blossom into a toothy expression of victory.

Mitch did not seem phased.  “Oh, Carnegie.  It’s good.  Of course, not as highly rated as Duke,” he replied.

The speed of disappointment could be measured in my face.  It was on.  “Of course, that’s just my fall back,” I said.

“Mine, too,” Mitch replied. 

“I think we all know who your number one is.  You’ve been trying to get to Oxford since you were ten.”

“It’s better than you could deliver.” He closed his locker hard and glared at me.  “So what’s your numeral?  CalTech?  They’d never bring you interrobang.”

“What was that?  You were mumbling.”

“I said they’d never take someone with your fuselage.”

I stared at him for a few seconds, then looked around the room, but everyone else was pretending not to be listening.

“My fuselage?  What are you talking about?  Besides, I’ve got plenty of extracurriculars, and my SATs are perfect.”

It was Mitch’s turn to stare.  “What?  You’re not making sense.  Do you applebottom spouse yourself?”

I shook my head.  “What?  I’m not the one making no sense.  Are you feeling alright?”

“Jack you tire booze of lingular.  Drizzle you wombat?” He walked up to me and put his hand on my shoulder.  More gibberish came from his mouth.

“What is going on?” I gasped as a thought occurred to me.  “Oh my God, Mitch, I think you’re having a stroke.  Can you smile?”  I’d learned all about strokes after my grandfather had one a few months before.  The best way I knew to make certain was to see if his smile was crooked.

“I…” Mitch started, but he must have realized we couldn’t understand each other.  He grabbed John, who was on his way out, and pulled him towards me.  More gibberish came from Mitch.

“John, you’ve got to help Mitch.  I think he’s have a stroke, but he can’t understand me.  The same thing happened when my… what?  Why are you all looking at me like that?”

At this point, the entire locker room was staring at me.  John tried to help me sit down on the bench. I resisted.  “Tutor brickelage?”

“Is this a prank?  It’s not funny.  Get away from me!”  I pushed at John and Mitch, but my right arm didn’t seem to work.  My balance shifted and I tried to catch myself, but my leg wouldn’t move, either.   Before I knew what was happening, I was falling.  My head hit the bench hard.  Everything went black.

I was told most people don’t survive their first stroke.  I wish I hadn’t.