Tuesday, June 24, 2008


"Write as often as possible, not with the idea at once of getting into print, but as if you were learning an instrument."

J.B. Priestley

Friday, June 13, 2008

Flash Fiction

” With gas prices rising they had to change their plans.”  This was the sentence given for this particular piece of flash fiction.  One had to use it somewhere in the 750 word piece.  Mine is below. Links to the other writer’s pieces can be found here. 


     With gas prices rising their plans had to change.  They had little money to begin with and getting away by car seemed impossible now.

     Betty Rae wanted to push Kenny’s head through the windshield because he was ready to give up on the whole thing. 

     “What are we supposed to do, B.R., go by donkey cart?”

     “You’re not funny.  This is serious.”

     “But how’re we gonna get away after?  We need money for food and stuff.  Can’t go paying no six twenty-five a gallon.  The way this fuckin crate eats up gas we’ll be outta money before we pass the county line.”

     “We gotta think a something else.” She knew she was the one who had to think of a plan because Kenny never thought of anything.  What was she doing with this moron, anyway? She should never’ve broken up with Bing.  Her mother always snarled when she talked about him.

     “Betty Rae, can’t you do better than a boy named Bing Cherry?”

     It wasn’t his fault that was his name.  Wasn’t like he named himself.     Wait a minute. Bing had a Vespa.  And she knew where he kept a spare key.

     “You ever driven a Vespa, Kenny?”

     “A what?”

     “Vespa.  It’s like a motorcycle only smaller.”

     “You mean like a mobed.”


     “Yeah, that’s what I said.”

     She wasn’t going to argue with him because there wasn’t time for that now. 

     “So you never drove a Vespa, right?”


     “Thing is, you get a lotta miles to the gallon with them.”

     “So what? 

     “I know where we can get one.”  She told him about it.

     “And you can drive it?” he said.


     “Cool. Let’s get her then.”

     Kenny started the old Ford and drove over to Bing’s. He was in Iraq and Betty Rae knew his parents both worked.  Kenny parked around the corner and they walked to Bing’s house, up the driveway and peeked through the garage window. 

     There it was with a grey cover over it.

     “What if it don’t have gas in it?”

     “Shut up.”  She went over to the flower bed near the side of the house, dug around in the dirt and came up with the key.  She held it up to Kenny like a trophy.

     When they went to open the garage doors they discovered they were locked.

     “Now what?”

     She looked at him with contempt, took off her shirt, walked to the side of the garage, wrapped the shirt around her hand and punched a hole in the window.

     “Jesus, B.R.”

     “Nobody’ll hear us.”  She put her shirt back on, pulled out the pieces of glass stuck in the frame, climbed through, came around and raised the door for Kenny.

     They didn’t say anything and went over to the Vespa. 

     Betty Rae pulled the cover off the machine. It was a wild purple, like she remembered.  She kicked the stand, threw a leg over the seat, put in the key, and tried to get it started.

     “Bet it has no gas in it,” Kenny said.

     “Anyone ever tell you you’re a goddamn pessimist?”

     “Not so I remember.”

     “Well, you are and it’s a big drag.”


     One more try and the engine gurgled to life.

     “Get on.” She could see he didn’t want to so she gave him her I’ll kill you if you don’t look.

     He slowly took his seat behind her and she drove out of the garage, down the driveway and onto the street.

     “Hey, my car’s the other way.”

     “Fuck the car.  We don’t need it. Listen. We’ll go to my house and get the gun.  And you’ll do like we planned.  Then we’ll get outta town on this.”

     Her fucking parents were on disability so they’d both be home.  Shithead would be watching Oprah in the living room and Pigface would be glugging wine and smoking cigarettes in the kitchen.   

     Kenny would kill her father first while she was in the kitchen with her mother.  The stupid bitch would hear the shot but before she could do anything Betty Rae would stab her and then Kenny’d come in and shoot her.  After, Betty Rae would pull the jar out from behind the pipes under the sink and take the money.

     But what if Kenny got cold feet?  He wouldn’t because he knew she’d kill him if he didn’t do like she said.

     “Waaatch ooou…,” Kenny screamed.

     They hit the car in front, bounced off and smashed into the telephone pole.

     Neither one was wearing a helmet.


Monday, June 09, 2008

Will Wonders Never Cease?

Those of you who read this blog know I balked at writing a short story last year. Then I did it and it was published in the anthology HELL OF A WOMAN.  From there it was picked to be included in  A Prisoner of Memory: And 24 of the Year's Finest Crime and Mystery Stories.  This came as a great surprise to me.

However, in cleaning out a trunk I found a rolled up scroll which turned out to be a certificate of merit in recognition of winning Honorable Mention in the Regional Scholastic Writing Awards for New Jersey. Yes, for a short story.  I have no memory of this or the story I wrote when I was fourteen.

I guess I wrote short stories back then.

Coming up at the end of the week is my first try at Flash Fiction.  It’s okay, I didn’t know what FF was either when I heard about it.  It isn’t much, but I actually wrote something.