Weekly Challenge #673 – KILL



The innkeeper tossed some logs in the fireplace. The room was warm enough but being slightly warmer always made people drink more. More drinking meant more money. And he needed a lot of money. He was desperate to rescue his daughter. He considered telling everyone. But he didn’t. If he told them, he’d go to Hell. He had crossed the line before when he and the blacksmith’s wife… Well…
What the innkeeper didn’t suspect was that the blacksmith knew how to drive one of those things that had landed in his back yard. And his daughter… She was already dead.


Killing time

I hate airports.

Well, not airports per se…

It’s the interminable waiting I can’t stand. I just don’t see why all those hours of hanging around doing nothing are necessary. And what are you supposed to do to kill the time?

Personally, I hit the bar, and after three hours of steady drinking, I can barely walk, let alone find my way to the right departure gate.

Of course, they never let me on the plane in that state; so it’s back to the departure lounge to kill more time while I sober up.

Next time, I’ll take the train.


Oh Ya Same to You

When I was a child I was fond of says let kill this or kill that. Of course I had never actually killed anything. I guess it was just talk to make me feel serious. The word entered my mental structures very early, as in THO SHALL NOT without must framework. Further it was pretty much ubiquitous in the late 1950’s early 1960’s. I sort of got the boarder meaning as unending image flood the air waves during the Vietnam War. Kill are a very raw and ignoble action. Now I only use the term to refer to deleting a computer file.


The factory floor was running smoothly, when suddenly a blood curdling scream rang out.

Eric had fallen into the processor.

I hit the kill switch and the machines fell silent, but it was too late. Even if we could have got him out, there wasn’t much of him left to bury.

There was also the question of what to do about the batch he’d tainted. We used it anyway.

People think that it’s the blend of secret herbs and spices that makes our chicken nuggets so good…

But actually, it’s down to the occasional employee we throw into the mix!




I had thought this neighbourhood secure, but suddenly, something shuffled out of the trees and ran at me. A zombie! I fled for the house and slammed the door, but it was already half way inside. Its arm fell off, but that wouldn’t stop it. I leapt for my pump-action shotgun.

“Muahahuhhh!” it wheezed through its rotting jaws. “You cannot kill what does not live!”

“This for your fallacious zombie philosophy!” I replied, blasting it into fragments. After checking that it wasn’t regenerating, I got a shovel to clean up the mess. Whatever it was before, it was dead now.


Billbert noticed Linoliumanda wasn’t eating her lunch, so he asked, “So, Mr. Ziegler said your report was too wordy. Did he give you a grade?”

She blinked back unshed tears. “He gave me an A minus.”

“An A minus?” Billbert almost shouted. “I’d kill for a B minus. A minus is great”

Tears finally broke free. “You don’t understand. Harry Potter is the perfect story. It’s everything to me. It’s my life. I don’t know how I can go on if I don’t get a perfect grade on my report.”

“Honestly, Linoliumanda. Don’t kill yourself over a silly book report.”


As the machine mapped out and adapted to her brain patterns, Lady
Francis Garbone, gossip queen, slowly began to reveal information she
had accumulated over the years from her position in high society and
politics. Each word was recorded for later use, and even when her
speech grew quicker and nonsensical, we let her carry on. The exercise
was more than a reveal of hidden rumors. It was a punishment for
secrets already spilled – our secrets, a crime she had to pay for and
the execution was of her own doing as we allowed her to talk herself
to death.


If looks could kill…
That’s what they said about Medusa, you know.
She could turn men to stone with just a single look.
They also said that the snakes on her head were poisonous.
But pretty much everyone was turned to stone before they were bitten by the snakes.
Tiresias was an ancient Greek prophet.
And he was blind.
“Do you hear hissing? said Tiresias to his boy companion.
But the boy didn’t speak.
He’d already been turned to stone by Medusa.
Tiresias felt around until his hands landed on the ghastly woman’s rack.
“Nice,” he said. “Fancy a kiss?”

Gift card

Never stare a gift horse in the mouth?
Who gives a horse as a gift?
How the hell do you wrap it?
And what if they don’t like horses?
Can they exchange it for a sweater or a waffle iron?
I never got any horses as gifts.
I got my horses with hard work.
It took a lot of effort to steal them.
Horse thieving isn’t easy, you know.
Maybe I have a few leftovers I could give as gifts.
If I give you a horse, don’t just regift the thing, okay?
And don’t look it in the mouth.

Clown doctorate

After Bob graduated from Clown College, he wasn’t ready to join the workforce just yet. He couldn’t imagine himself shoveling elephant poop while waiting for his chance at the big top, so he stayed for Clown Graduate School.
He earned his Masters, and picked up his PhD.
Instead of the circus or carnivals, Bobo applied for a research grant.
Over the years, his lab made some amazing discoveries.
The optimal floppy shoe length.
Self-driving clown cars.
Memory rubber for self-folding balloon animals.
But every now and then, for old times sake, he smacked himself in the face with a pie.

The Palace Hotel

Don’t steal another man’s shoes
At the Palace Hotel
They’ll throw you out of the window.
Don’t walk on the sidewalk
At the Palace Hotel
They’ll throw a bum out of the window
For stealing another man’s shoes
And he’ll land on you.
Don’t wear shoes
At the Palace Hotel
Someone will steal your shoes
And throw them out of the window.
Someone will say that you stole their shoes
And they’ll take your shoes
And throw you out of the window.
Maybe you shouldn’t go to the Palace Hotel.
Just stay here, down in the alley.
With me.

The Walker

Every morning, I put on my workout clothes, start the coffee maker, and turn on the treadmill.
I put a desk fan and my laptop on the desk of the treadmill, attach the safety key to my hip, and get moving.
The only thing that gets in my way is Myst the cat.
If I lay on the sofa for a bit before my walk, she’ll get up on my lap and fall asleep.
It’s her way of trying to veto my walk.
That veto is easily overturned. I set her aside, and get moving.
I press START and walk.

Splashing Around

The sadness spreads to everyone.
We all tread water in a pool of tears.
Sometimes, we splash each other for fun. Make the best of it.
Other times, we splash in frustration. Or rage.
And then there’s the ones who will pull you under with them.
Trying to scream under the water, thrashing and kicking.
Into the dark.
We build a raft out of the drowned
Lashing them together with their clothes
And we paddle for the shore.
But we never see land.
Only more people treading water, splashing, and thrashing.
It goes on and on and on
Without end.

Hi Fluffy Cat

I go to bed early, my wife goes to bed late.
While I sleep, she watches TV, reads, and lets the cats go out and play.
Now and then, a neighbor cat comes by, and she feeds the cat.
Sometimes, it’s a friendly cat, and it comes inside to get warm.
Recently, an orange cat with a very fluffy tail has come by to visit.
I woke up at three in the morning and instead of our cats, I saw him, sniffing around on the bed.
“Hi, Fluffy,” I said.
He meowed, and scampered off.
So much better than dreams.

Weekly Challenge #672 – WORDY

Clingy cat



After years of failing to succeed in business, with women, or even to build proper friendships, I decided to see an image consultant to try and change my luck.

After just one session, he said he had me all figured out. It was my body language, he said – “It’s just far too words – your voice says one thing but your body is all over the place”.

This, he said, was the root cause of my problem – and, with practice, I could fix it.

I protested, but he was having none of it.

That’s Tourette’s for you. Fuckwit!


“Any last thoughts?” I asked, then as he opened his mouth to speak, I gave him a hard stare, “Don’t make it too wordy, I haven’t got all day!”

He looked deflated, understandable really. Most of us would like to leave this world with something worthwhile quoting; but death tends to surprise us, making it tricky to prepare a fitting last utterance.

As for this guy, he knew exactly when his time was up, but having me telling him to get a move on certainly wouldn’t help his mood.

Like all of them, his last words would only be terrified screams.


Having Kissed the Stone — Wordy O’Brien had nearly graduated from Trinity College. Of course on one there called him that. He got that moniker when he ran with Mike Sullivan’s Dusters. T’was the blarney that caused his timely exit from Trinity. One might say pillow talk with the Chancellor’s daughter put the flame of fee to his feet. I think it t’was the result of a savage beating leveled during a school wide debate with the Marquis of Ravensguard. Pissing off semi-royalty while immensely satisfying is always costly in the end. Wordy was wordy cus his words had keep him from the multiple nooses.


Why Kill a Mockingbird?


Jon DeCles

He sings like a bird, a loud bird, a bird on a branch in public, and because he is singing things that someone does not want to be heard by all those around, that someone thinks that he is being mocked, which is only marginally true: the bird cares not the content of his song, he only sings what he sees, what he discovers, what he roots out of the dirt at the base of every tree. Like any mockingbird, he repeats the songs that other birds have sung. Birds do not trumpet truth filtered by discretion, they just sing.

Politics Leads to Drink


Jon DeCles

Mark Twain said: “I am a political mugwump. My mug is on one side of the fence and my wump is on the other.”

The Queen of Hearts discovered an effective way of separating mugs from wumps, but that left a very wide aisle in parliament, with no possibility of a meeting ground between the two ruling parties (the Red Rose Party and the White Rose Party) and that inevitably led to the War of the Roses.

As for me, I tend to sit my wump down in a chair, put of mug of porter on the table, and drink.


Billbert met Linoliumanda for lunch and could tell from her dark expression all had not gone well.

She frowned even deeper opening her lunch bag. “Can you believe Mr. Ziegler said my Harry Potter report was too wordy? It was an oral report. How can an oral report be too wordy?”

Billbert shrugged. “I don’t know. How did it compare in length to the other reports?”

“Other reports?” Linoliumanda asked. “There weren’t any others. I took the whole class time.”

Billbert bit the side of his cheek and nodded his head. “Yeah. I can’t see how he’d call that wordy.”


Remember that old Twilight Zone episode where the Talking Tina doll says all kinds of scary things?
Well, my friend Tina talks a lot and she says all kinds of scary things, too.
I used to joke that they wrote that episode based on Tina.
But that’s absurd. That show was long before Tina was born.
Unless Tina is actually from the Twilight Zone, and she can travel in time and space.
Why is it a doll in the show?
Because back then, a person saying those things would have been too scary.
So they wrote her as a doll.

Booth Duty

I got stuck with booth babe duty at the conference.
Me. A fat, lazy introverted slob.
A booth babe.
So, I put a jellybean in a clear bottle and asked people to guess the number of jellybeans in the bottle.
People thought it was a trick question.
“One?” some asked.
“Absolutely,” I said, putting down the bottle. “We provide tools and interfaces that take the guesswork out of webhosting and reselling. No tricks, just simple and straightforward menus and wizards to make your job simple and easy.”
My partner gives a thumbs up and smiles.
Another wallet stolen! Sweet!

Dying Mother

My mother is not well. She is dying.
She doesn’t want to see me.
And my father agrees with her.
My brother, his wife, and their daughter won’t go.
They live far away, not that they’d go if they lived in the same city.
Or next door, not that they would do that.
My aunt, the parasite, won’t go.
She stole everything she could from their mother, my grandmother, and there’s some things she just don’t do.
And then there’s me.
Sitting here. Trying not to think about it.
Or them. Or me.
Or what I’ve done.
And I wait.