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Friday, March 25, 2016

No Matter

My third effort is from a writing blog contest.  The requirement, in this case, was the piece had to be no more than 300 words.  The irony was optional.

No Matter

Erich Pohl stared with revulsion at the scene before him. Scattered heaps of bodies torn and mangled in ways beyond imagination. A harvest of the Great War gathered by the enemy's machine guns during last night's battle.

A sergeant stood three meters behind him.

Sergeant Schmidt! Come at once, please!”

The Sergeant hastened to Erich's side. “Yes, Lieutenant?”

The British will attack again in the night, Sergeant, cowards that they are.”

Yes, Lieutenant.”

I cannot stand to see our comrades left like this. A burial detail, on the double, Sergeant.”

Yes, sir.” The Sergeant turned on his heel and hurried toward his unit's camp one hundred meters away.

Erich reached into the pocket of his greatcoat and retrieved a solid silver card case. His face relaxed into a contented smile as he opened it and beheld his fiancée's picture. Margarethe, who waited for him at home, was his love and joy. His spirits soared for tomorrow he would begin a week's leave. He sighed with delight.

Bobby McCullough was the best sniper in his regiment of Lovat Scouts. He kissed the photo of his fiancée, Fiona, and slipped it into his pocket. Then he returned to the task at hand. He rested his .303 Pattern 1914 Enfield rifle on the pack roll in front of him and steadied the crosshairs of his sniper scope on the head of the German officer 300 meters away. The German seemed preoccupied with something in his hand. No matter. Bobby applied pressure to the rifle's trigger...

photo credit: German soldiers in a trench with a machine gun via photopin (license)

Friday, March 18, 2016

I'm a Dragon!

This story was also for a writing group assignment I did a short while ago.  The requirements were no more than 200 words and the subject, "I'm a dragon..."  Enjoy.

I'm a Dragon!

I'm a Dragon. And let me tell you, it can be a real DRAG.

First thing every morning I DRAG myself out of bed, which is no easy chore considering how cold and drafty this cave is. Then I DRAG myself to the kitchenette and DRAG open the refrigerator door to see what's available for breakfast. Only this morning, when I opened the door, I sneezed. If you know anything about Dragons, you'll understand why the contents of my refrigerator are now crispy-charred versions of their former selves.

With breakfast now toast (literally), I give it up and head to work. What sort of work does a Dragon do, you ask? Why, welding, of course! With my built-in blowtorch, my boss pays me half of what he saves on welding gases as a bonus each month, so we both come out ahead.

After work, I DRAG myself back home by way of the supermarket as I need to restock my refrigerator. Taking care to not overcook dinner, I either watch TV (I'm careful to not laugh too hard) or read a book until bedtime.

Next time, I'll tell you what happened when I sneezed on my best friend's stamp collection...

Friday, March 11, 2016

A Dark and Stormy Night

I wrote the original version of this story for a writing group assignment a short while ago.  The criteria were that it contain no more than 150 words and start with the cliched phrase, "It was a dark and stormy night..."

A Dark and Stormy Night

It was a dark and stormy night when I heard someone pound on the front door. I put down my book and went to answer it.

It was my friend Ethan and he was a sodden mess.

"What the hell happened to you?"

Ethan tottered through the doorway like a ninety-year-old man with terminal arthritis, although he was only seventeen.

"I was on my way home from late basketball practice and as I walked by the Old North Cemetery this truck came out of nowhere with its headlights right in my eyes and I thought it was going to hit me so I jumped for the ditch and somehow got away. Whew! May I sit down?"

Just then I felt someone shake my shoulder and heard my mom's voice.

“Tom, Tom. Wake up! Terrible news. Your friend Ethan was hit and killed by a truck last night during the storm...”