Wednesday, September 25, 2013


The flash fiction challenge this week was to write an unfinished story, around 1,000 words, that leads to a cliffhanger of some kind.

Next week, for Part Two of this challenge, someone else may write the end of your story, provided you entice them enough to want to, that is.

I would love to see someone take this story further.  What would be your choice?


The director sighed.  Already had a buyer for his usual fare, and now this happens. One hundred thou offered to make a snuff? An actual, honest-to-fucking snuff film? The order’s from some big-name actor, so the money’s real enough. The actor’s rep let Clyde look at it in his briefcase. Let him feel it up for a sec too. Even brought the gun he wanted to be used. A nice shiny new 9mm Glock--loaded. ‘Like your other films, please’ he said quietly, ‘except this time, when the girl puts the gun into her mouth and pulls the trigger…’

Clyde felt like he was going to be sick. So far, he’d had no problem unloading his work. He has the girl make herself feel real good, then she sucks on his old Colt 38 with the broken firing pin for awhile, pulls the trigger, looks right into the camera and laughs. But this time?

He’d picked this cutie up at a bus stop on the edge of town and brought her out here to the cabin. Told him she was 18, but he didn’t believe a day over 15. Promised her a few bucks, make her a movie star, you know the routine, and she’d come willingly enough. But, still. A snuff film?

He took her into the master bedroom, where he had his lights and camera already set up. Clyde told her to lie on the bed and get comfortable and try to relax. He handed her a bottle of some cheap whiskey he had stashed there for just such occasions. As soon as she unscrewed the top, she started gulping it down. Clyde hoped to hell she wouldn’t puke it up later on film. A scene like that would certainly decrease its value. He told her he had some stuff to take care of in the other room, but he’d be back in about 15 minutes and then they would make the movie. She just nodded and kept gulping. Clyde went into the back bedroom he’d converted to a kind of office and sat down at the desk. He really needed to think this through.

He put the Colt and the Glock on the desk and lit a smoke. This should have been an easy decision, but he couldn’t just wave off a hundred thousand dollars. At the rate he was going, that’s more money than he would see in 25 lifetimes. But, we’re talking death for real here…

Clyde always figured there were two sides to everything. Were there this time?

Nobody makes snuff films. Not for real, anyway.

Apparently, there’s at least one guy out there who believes I would.

This kid can’t just disappear.

Told me she had no family--totally on her own.

I’ve never even punched anybody out, much less killed anyone.

I wouldn’t actually be pulling the trigger.

How could I live with myself if I let this girl die?

A hundred thou buys a lot of therapy.

Doesn’t matter how you look at this. When all is said and done, it comes down to cold-blooded, premeditated murder.

Yes. It does.

Four o’clock. Clyde thought the kid must be pretty well looped by now, considering she’s probably been gulping steady for the past 15 minutes.


He picked up the gun from the desk and went into the bedroom. The girl had already removed her clothes and was on the bed, sitting up against the headboard. Her eyes were barely open and lifeless in the room’s dim lighting. The bottle of whiskey sat almost empty on the nightstand against the wall.

He placed the gun on the bed next to her and asked if she knew what she was expected to do with it. She closed her eyes, nodded slowly, picked up the gun and began caressing it.

He positioned himself behind the camera and said, “Five, four, three, two…”

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

barcode: Pure Slush, Vol. 8 -- A Review

Pure Slush's anthology, barcode, is a collection of 32 stories all about bars and the individuals who frequent them.  As you make your way through each of the stories, you will find yourself drawn into a different world with each turn of the page.

You will meet those who are searching for love and acceptance, and those who have long ago bitterly renounced both.  You will bear witness to the hopes and dreams of some who still believe wishes can come true, as well as some to whom Life has dealt the cruelest hand.  You will be privy to thoughts and emotions that should never have been shared, as well as joy and fulfillment desired yet never realized.

barcode is a collection in the truest sense of the word.  It is an assemblage of places, of sentiments, of memories, of lives.  The characters in each story are as different from each other as night to day, yet they all seek--something.  Relief from loneliness, to create new memories, somewhere to discard painful old ones, affirmation of their very existence, or perhaps something as basic as a friend...

These are stories you can enjoy over and over again.  Take your time with each though; sip them slowly as you would a fine wine.

The link to where you can obtain your copy of barcode is here.