Monday, November 21, 2011


Clicking on the cover at the top right of my blog will take you exactly where you need to go so you can get more information on this project, as well as provide links to where you can purchase this amazing anthology, to which I am very proud to have been a contributor.  For your convenience, I will place another link here.  Let me give you a bit of background here too.

This began as a prompt on the terrific flash fiction site, Flash Fiction Friday.  The photo (also used as the anthology's cover) was to be the inspiration and the challenge was to write a story about those children who are lost, neglected, abused, and existing in despair.  The response was magnificent, as writers from everywhere contributed moving and tragic tales of childhoods filled with violence, emptiness and uncertainty.

Thomas Pluck and Fiona Johnson each pledged to donate $5.00 for each story contributed to two organizations dedicated to the protection of our children (PROTECT and Children 1st).  Following the incredible response to this flash challenge, Thomas, Fiona and Ron Earl Phillips compiled 30 of these stories and The Lost Children Charity Anthology was born.

When you click on the link, you will find this collection is available at Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Smashwords, Apple iBookstore, and Barnes & Noble.  You will also find out the special benefits that will result from your purchase.  Not only will you be obtaining an anthology full of stories crafted by incredibly talented and dedicated writers, but you will also be assisting those lost children that the stories have been written about.  Half of the proceeds from anthology sales will be going to PROTECT and half will be going to Children 1st.

This anthology would make a fantastic gift, not only for friends and family, but for yourself as well.  And remember, all proceeds from sales are going directly to the organizations listed.  Children really are our future and a testament to our past.  Let us do everything we can to make sure they are able to have a future that is productive and successful, but above all, one that is happy and free from fear.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


This week’s prompt was to use a bottle of ketchup in your story. The genre was open, and the word max was 1,000. This one was nothing but tons of fun!


“I’m telling you, Joey, my new landlady’s CIA or something. She’s always at her front window, peeking through the curtain, writing down when we all come and go in a little black notebook. I seen it, Joey. She’s a fuckin’ spy. You gotta help me find another place right away.”

Oh crap.

Here we go again. No use telling him the woman’s just some nosey old cow who’s got nothing better to do with her life than monitor her renter’s comings and goings. Really. No point.

See, Petey’s my wife’s brother. He’s nuttier than a Christmas fruitcake, but he’s got a special talent that more than makes up for his daily delusions. The kid’s got the stickiest fingers in town. I mean, he can steal the chair you’re sitting on right out from under you and it will be an hour before you even know it’s gone. He really is THAT good, so helping him move 16 times over the past couple of months is no biggie. When I send him out for anything, he always comes through. Doesn’t ask for much either--just enough to get by on; that is, until today.

“Joey, I need to find a better place, so after I do this one, you think maybe you and I could have a long talk about me getting a raise?”

“Petey, you get that clerk to pull out that tray of diamond rings and then swap out the biggest one for this piece of glass and we’ll see. All I need is one more score and then your sister and I can get a nicer place too and rest easy for awhile.”

Petey was real anxious to apply his sleight of hand skill, but wanted me to help him move out of the ‘CIA agent’s’ building first. ‘Paranoid Petey’, my wife’s always called him. Considering the magic in those quick hands of his, “Petey, The Magnificent’ is the moniker I prefer. I got the dolly out of our storage locker and the Bengay out of our bathroom cabinet.

* * * * *

“Where have you been, Petey?” I was in the throes of a major panic attack. “You were supposed to be here two hours ago. I thought you got pinched.”

“Oh no, Joey. I got the ring okay, but then there were these plainclothes dicks everywhere--I seen them--so I stopped in over to the Royale Hotel’s dining room and got a burger. That’s so I could throw them off. See?”

“Okay, Petey. No problem. So, where’s the ring?”

“Well, I couldn’t very well just up and leave with it on me, now could I? So I stashed it in a safe place.”

Uh-oh. Petey may have been quick with his hands, but his mind was something else altogether. Not the sharpest tool in the box, as some say.

“You stashed…, I mean, you don’t have…, where is it, Petey?”

“Oh, it’s where nobody would ever think to look for a ring. You can go over to the hotel to get it because I can’t, see? They’d remember my face. I heard clicking the whole time I was eating my burger. I just know somebody was taking my picture over and over the whole time I was there. All you gotta do is walk in the dining room and go to the first table on the right side up against the wall. That’s where I left the ring.”

Oh crap.

“You left the ring right there on the table? A big fat expensive diamond ring?”

“Joey, Joey, Joey. What kind of a stoop do you think I am? You think I’d leave a ring like that right there on the table? No. I dropped it inside the ketchup bottle that was on there. It was brand new and I’m sure it’s down on the bottom by now. Just go over there and sit at that table and order something. Then when nobody’s looking, put the bottle of ketchup in your pocket and bring it back here and we can get the ring out. Smart move, huh?”

I began to wonder how my wife would feel about becoming an only child.

Okay. How hard could this be? Just stroll in, ask to be seated at the first table on the right, order coffee and pie, slide the ketchup bottle in my pocket, and stroll out. Piece of cake.

* * * * *

Some big group was making their way into the hotel, heading for the dining room. I figured I’d just blend right in, but the hostess was checking names off a list. Not to worry. I just told her that all I wanted was some coffee-and, but I needed to sit at the first table on the right by the door since I was meeting a friend and didn’t want to miss her arrival. I gave the girl my most seductive wink and she blushed crimson. Tonight, I was going to score a home run.

“I’m very sorry, sir,” she composed herself and smiled that fake smile hostesses always wear. “As you can see, we’re expecting a large group this evening. We’ve moved all 30 of our tables together to accommodate them. I would be happy to get you a seat outside on the patio, if you’d like.”

When she stepped back to point to my Plan B seating arrangement, I saw that they had set up the tables in two rows of 15, each one covered with a white tablecloth, each one’s center containing a salt and pepper shaker and a brand new bottle of ketchup.

Oh crap.

On my way home, I decided that Petey and I were most definitely going to have a long talk about getting him that raise…

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


The prompt this week was this photo. The story was supposed to be sci-fi, and 600 words max. I'm not really sure where Daddy's Boy came from, but with my NaNo project, I remain in a very dark place. I don't know if there's a point in this piece. Perhaps not. Maybe it's simply just another stop on this month's dark journey.

“Jeffery, what are you doing? You’re supposed to be settled in and getting ready for us to begin our orbit. We’ll be landing soon and you’re going to need to be well rested. You’re not supposed to be messing with those controls. We’re going too fast.”

“Yes, Father. I know, Father. Whatever you say, Father.”

“Jeffery, there’s no need for insubordination. I told you that I would allow you to participate in this mission if you remained respectful and remembered your place.”

“My place? Remember my place? What is my place, Father? What has my place ever been, besides under your feet? That stops now. I’m not messing with the controls. I just permanently disabled the auto-guide, so they won’t be bringing us home.”

“What in God’s name have you done? I’m getting the doctor. I may be too old to restrain you, but he can put you where you belong--locked in your quarters.”

“Don’t waste your time. I’ve already flooded his chamber with a toxic gas and he’s dead. I don’t need him, you see? I don’t need anybody--not anymore. You’ve told me all my life what a failure I was and how I could never manage anything on my own. You asked me over and over when I was going to start being a man. Well, how about now?

“Son, I just don’t understand.”

“Don’t ‘son’ me. I was never anything but a nuisance to you. Well, I’m in charge now. What in God’s name have I done? Dear Father, I AM God--NOW. We’re going on past your world to find another where I will be in charge. I’ve even brought friends along to help me. You remember those little crawly things we found on IK485? The ones that killed our navigator? They had him eaten down to the bone in less than 3 minutes. I believe they will be powerful persuaders to whatever life forms are already there. Don’t you agree?”

“Jeffery, you brought those monsters on board? You can’t control them. They’ll kill us both.”

“No, Father. Not ‘us’. You have two choices. One, get in your chamber and I’ll begin filling it with the toxins. It will be quick and relatively painless. Or, two, I can place you in the supply room where my buddies are stored. It will be quick, and not painless at all.”

“You are insane. I can’t believe you are doing this. Why, Jeffery, why?”

“I’m going to find another world that will be all mine to do with as I choose. Now is as good a time as any to grow up, I suppose. Haven’t you been telling me just that every day? Haven’t you? Father?”