George the Capitalist

George was a pirate, but he wasn’t a very good pirate.
Most pirates exchange their loot for gold, and they make jewelry out of it.
That way, they can carry their wealth with them everywhere.
George put his money in the bank and investments.
Pretty soon, he got into real estate and shipping. And helped his crewmates invest wisely, too.
“Avast, me hearties!” shouted the captain at a passing merchant vessel. “Stand aside and prepare to be boarded!”
George tapped the captain on the shoulder. “We have stock in that company.”
“Never mind,” shouted the captain. “Have a nice day.”

George the Birdwatcher

George was a pirate, but he wasn’t a very good pirate.
He liked to borrow the captain’s telescope and go birdwatching.
Which was a bit unnerving, because when George went to watch the birds, he imagined that the birds were watching him.
“Let’s go piratewatching!” said a bird to the rest of the flock.
“That sounds like a great idea!” said the flock, and they all flew to the docks and watched the pirates.
George looked at the birds sitting on the dock and felt nervous.
“That’s… just… creepy,” said George.
“Can I have my telescope back?” said the captain.

Gone viral

As soon as the Coronavirus hit the headlines, the profiteers hit the ad banners.
Breathing masks, latex gloves, bulk hand sanitizer, and doomsday prepper kits.
Not to mention the homeopathic herbal supplements that the manufacturers claim to cure the thing.
“Did you know that chewing garlic can protect you from it?” one ad says.
Well, it’ll certainly keep people from wanting to come near your awful breath.
But one good sneeze and wipe of the hands on a doorknob, and that plan gets blown to hell.
So, if you need me, I’ll be down in my bomb shelter.
Boiling everything.


If guns kill people, do typewriters misspell words?
Do ovens and stoves undercook your dinner?
Do cars and buses and trains run people over?
Do knives cut and stab people?
No. People do.
If you left all these things in a room, they wouldn’t just get up and harm the nearest person, would they?
They need some kind of user to do it.
Unless you live in Findlay.
That’s where things get up and harm people.
People aren’t safe in Findlay.
So, they try to get on the first bus out of town.
But, of course, it runs them over.

Weekly Challenge #801 – Where do I begin?




Where do I begin

to tell the story

of how great

a love can be,


that’s not how the story goes.

They left me here,

It was to be a quick survey of the planet but no, the other crew must play a prank on poor old

Engineer Technician #2

“Oh Look” they said “Over there in the clearing, isn’t that a category #10 structure?”

Of course, my curiosity gets the better of me and off I go to check it out.

And away they go, leaving me behind again.

Well, it’s time for ET to phone home again.


“Maybe they want… No, they don’t. They just want information, nothing else. That’s why they are sitting in that shabby hut. I can smell them from here. They just want a snitch and I’m no snitch. I am committed to the cause. This small house by the river is the perfect place to keep an eye on them. They have no idea I’m here. None.” And he chuckled.
When the window shattered, a single shot coming from the shabby hut, he fell.
“Where do I begin…” said the sniper at his debriefing. “If you hesitate, you’re done, and he hesitated.”


Short story

Experience has taught me that most writers these days are pretty good at opening chapters – they are, after all, the bait to lure both publishers and readers in – but things often go rapidly downhill from there.

I’ve lost count of the number of books where I’ve reached the final pages, and it’s abundantly clear that the author doesn’t have a clue how to wrap things up or come to a decent conclusion.

So, I always begin at the end, and if the final chapter is pretty compelling, there’s a good chance the rest of the book is worth reading too.


What Could Possibility Go Wrong #001

Hamilton pulled up a stately winged leather chair next the white hair old
man. His advanced age made him appear a cross between Santa and Einstein.
Yet on closer examination the bright blue of ageless eyes signaled a near
nefarious intent. Unfolding the weather note book, Hamilton began the
interview will the same question the public at large had been dying to
know since Maximum Ford had walked out Rift. Or should I say Sir Ford
second Time Lord of the Queen: Where is Arnesto Cervantes? Hoarsely Ford
replied,” Where do I begin.” And he did much to Hamilton surprise.


Where do I begin?
At the age of seventy-five I decided to write my autobiography, being full of years and accomplishments, yet still reasonably expecting time enough to complete the task. But where to begin?

My own birth would be the obvious place, but first I would have to give some account of my parents, and then the cultural circumstances that brought them together. But that implied a whole social history of their era, and the deep tides of civilisation that produced it, which in turn— and so on.

After long consideration, I wrote the first words. “Fourteen billion years ago, the universe began.”


799/800: Questionable Accounting
The accounting system for thoughts and opinions is rather confusing. Someone asking for your opinion is worth ‘a penny for your thoughts’. But sharing an opinion unbidden, one ‘offers their two cents’. Is the one cent difference a penalty for not waiting to be asked? Or are they both just starting positions for negotiations? I offer my two cents; do you haggle to pay me less? You offer me a penny for my thoughts, do I hold out for more? What if the extra penny is actually supposed to be funding all the nickels someone gets for ‘every time they…’?

801: The Stuttering Storyteller
It all started the night I caught her sneaking out on me a month ago. I had noticed her behavior had become erratic and had grown suspicious. I guess that means it started before then.

So, I would have to say it started a few months before, when I noticed her schedule became unpredictable. She was very reliable in terms of when I could expect her home. At least, ever since she changed shifts at work. Although now that I put it like that, maybe that’s where to begin. Anyway, now she’s dead, and I don’t know who killed her.


Sabrina had been right when she told Billbert that they had all the same classes, and he followed her from room to room. She had also been truthful when she said the other students all spoke behind her back.
They sat together at lunch and it was clear the other students were giving the two of them strange looks.
Billbert asked, “What happened that these people want to treat you so badly?”
Sabrina sighed and stared sadly at her tuna fish sandwich, “Where do I begin? I’ve lived here my whole life and people have always treated me this way.”


Where do I begin?

Usually just below the nape of the neck: A long, straight cut along the ridge of the spine, finishing in the small of the back.

Precision is everything, cut too deep and they bleed profusely, too shallow and you’ll tear the skin.

You’ll want to be able to peel it apart at the shoulders, draw it forward and slide it from their arms, like removing a wetsuit.

Be sure to administer morphine, or their screams will distract you.

Finally, when they’re properly peeled, slip yourself into their skin, and see what it’s like being somebody else.


Where do I begin? asked God to nobody.
God started with a giraffe.
It thrashed about and then floated limply through the void.
“Bummer,” said God.
God made a few billion more giraffes, and they all did pretty much the same thing.
Giraffes floated around and bumped into each other.
“That didn’t work out so well,” said God.
God pondered somewhere to put the giraffes.
And created the heavens and the earth.
Dead giraffes plummeted from the heavens to earth, making a mess.
God eventually edited this part out from the official version of Genesis.
But the giraffes never forgot.

They Shut Down

They shut down the baseball season.
And basketball. And football. And hockey.
(Does anyone watch hockey?)
They shut down everything.
The sports networks reported on the shutdowns, and then… nothing.
So they started airing documentaries and reruns of old games.
Only the best old games, of course. None of those boring rain delays or late-season losing-record games.
Record-breaking games for home runs or strikeouts or a late-inning comeback and walkoff.
I like to go to retirement homes and look up the game on the television and then make bets with the old farts.
Until they stopped allowing visitors there too.

The cure for

We distributed the pills throughout the world along with the directions.
A lot of people swallowed the pills. And died.
I guess they didn’t read directions.
You’re supposed to crush them up in olive oil and spread them on the back of your hand for slow absorption.
Some people spread them over their arms or their chest.
They died.
More people died from various abuses and misuses of the pills.
Only if you followed the directions did you get the awesome high from it.
What? You thought this was a vaccine for the Corniavirus?
Nah. It’s a cure for stupid.

The first sword

The finest samurai swords take up to a year to make when you use the traditional crafting methods.
And nobody wants a used samurai sword.
Because the only used samurai swords are ones that failed to protect their owners.
That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement for the sword.
Okay, so some swords were owned by samurai who retired or didn’t have any students to give them to.
But who would want the sword of a retired samurai or one who wasn’t good enough to attract students wanting to learn from them.
And nobody dares steal one from a murderous samurai.

Sit unused

Stadiums and arenas sit unused.
The churches are empty.
So are the schools.
Banks, malls, coffee shops.
Restaurants just fill orders for pickup and delivery.
The grocery stores will close themselves off to shoppers soon.
Weddings, funerals… what of those?
We make plans for after it’s safe, but will it ever be safe again?
Was it ever safe to begin with? Was it really?
One cough, one sneeze… one careless touch of your face after taking back your credit card or handing over the delivery bag.
That’s all it takes.
To live in fear is not to live at all.

Revenge best served

Revenge may be a dish best served cold, but some people actually prefer it heated back up.
Kind of like people who like their beer served warm.
You know, Guinness drinkers.
What’s the best way to heat your revenge back up?
Well, I reheat my revenge in the microwave.
The potato setting for 5 minutes will even out the revenge.
Don’t use the high setting, you’ll just make it all dried-out.
Be sure to put it on a microwave-safe plate and cover it with a paper towel.
To keep the revenge from splattering all over the inside of the microwave.