A neuro-caprolitic converter

A Facebook group offered the following challege a while back

Write a flash fiction about this piece and let us see how you use it as story fuel!
1. Write a flash fiction inspired by the article.
2. 200 words is the limit.

The article in question is Sure, We Can Build a Better Toilet. But Will People Use It?.

Okay, sure.

Tuscany’s eyes went from the device sitting in the corner of the lab to Vergenne’s hopeful face and back. “A neuro-caprolitic converter?”
Vergenne’s face became beatific as he walked over to his invention. “It’s beautiful, isn’t it? Think of all the problems it’ll solve.”

“I didn’t know we had problems this could solve.”

Vergenne’s unbuttoned white labcoat flared like a ballroom dancer’s skirt as he turned to face Tuscany. “What? Just this morning you said you needed something like this. In today’s meeting. We all heard you.” Vergenne walked over to the wall console. “Computer, replay today’s staff meeting, first two minutes.”

The screen opened a video replay. Vergenne and several others sat around a conference table, their eyes down, some shakily lifting coffee cups, others tapping wildly on their tablets.

Tuscany entered the frame and threw a folder down with such force it slid across the table. Pages flew out as it spun past the people seated there.

Tuscany, his eyes wide and face red in the replay, slammed his fist down on the table. “Look at these results! Look at them. Stupid! Idiotic! You all have so much shit for brains this place stinks!”

Rough Night

A flash piece (~1,000 words). I remember it came to me full bore but don’t remember what precipitated it.

Oh, wait, I do remember. Can you guess what brought it about? The answer’s at the bottom of the post.

As always, let me know what you think.

Rough Night

Haggarty’s feet seemed to argue with him about walking through the door. His five-o’clock shadow was well past midnight and he wore the same clothes he wore when I last saw him two days ago.

He grabbed a coffee and sat.

Lucello left me in charge and to be polite I said, “Rough night?”

He nodded, pulled his phone out of his pocket and thumbed up a few screens.

I tapped my pencil on the table. “Well?”

“I got home and all day my wife’s leaving me texts and voicemails that the dryer vent is loose and rattling so fix it when I get home.

“So I get home and I know I’m not gonna get any peace until I fix that dryer vent so first thing I go to the junk drawer for a screwdriver to fix the vent.

“But the screwdriver isn’t there. I’m thinking, ‘Oh, she fixed it herself.’ then I notice the little hammer isn’t there, either. I start moving things around. The pliers aren’t there and the Phillips head is missing.

“What the fuck? So I go into the bathroom where the dryer is and sure thing, the vent is completely off and there’s a hand there, the fingers clamped around the pliers, and I’m thinking ‘What the fuck?’

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The Shadow’s Project Limited’s Terry Melia Interviews Joseph Carrabis

Gifted author Terry Melia interviewed me recently as part of The Shadow’s Project Limited‘s author interview series.

All cards on the table, Terry’s Tales from the Greenhills is an amazing novel and how Terry and I got in touch. We knew each other via Twitter, I enjoyed our interactions, and decided to give his book a go.

Strongly recommended.

Terry contacted me a while back about being interviewed. As my The Augmented Man was re-released by Sixth Element Publishing, I said “oh…well…if i have to…PLEASE DEAR GOD YES OH PLEASE OH PLEASE OH PRETTY PRETTY PLEASE!”

You can watch the video below or on YouTube.


Two Pieces for a Workshop

I mentioned back in Four pieces for a workshop that I’m taking an online writing course.

I’ve taken a few courses from this provider since then. It is a fascinating experience. A few of the students are worth the price of admission. I can’t stop thinking of them as characters – truthfully, more like caricatures – and wonder if their behavior is how they believe auteurs should behave or how they genuinely behave.

Some of the other students are also worth the price of admission, and differently; they’re witty, forthcoming, enjoy a good laugh, … I’ve engaged a few of them out of the class. Good folks, all.

Anyway, I’ll be sharing more of the exercises from the class in this and subsequent posts.

Here we have the same story told through Character and then via Description. Fair warning; I didn’t take this particular class too seriously.

Bob sat calmly reading a story about a woman in a barn watching a neighbor drive a car by. It didn’t occur to Bob how amazing this was, nor did Bob’s owner, Frieda, seem to notice.

But Sylvester and Carmine, Bob’s two kits, were incensed.

“Yo! Momma!” they mewed. “Roll over! Give us those teats!”

Frieda looked down at the kits plaintive cries. “Oh, my. Bob. You’re starving your children.”

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“Bob’s not feeding her kits.”

“You know this how?”

“I watched her. She sat curled on a magazine. Sylvester and Carmine practically knocked her over to get at her, poor things.”

“You watched our cat not feed her kits. How long did you watch our cat not feed her kits?”

“Must have been a half, three-quarters of an hour.”

“Were they quiet through all this?

“Wailing like tiny banshees, they were.”

“You sat and watched all this, listened to the kits crying, but did nothing?”

“What would you have me do?”

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Sheldon, The Jewish Christmas Tree

Holiday Greetings from Sheldon, the Jewish Christmas Tree

We found out today our Christmas Tree is Jewish.

There was nothing overt. Nothing obvious. We found out the hard way.

First, Susan and I don’t celebrate Christmas so much as celebrate Solstice. It’s not that we’re Pagan or Wiccan, we simply prefer to celebrate Nature’s events. Much less confusion regarding days and dates, no variations on a theme, no Orthodox versus Reformed, no Baptist versus Catholic, no Sunni versus Shia, et cetera.

I mean, if you’re pagan you’re pagan you’re pagan. Pretty much a Wood Spirit is a Wood Spirit, a Guide is a Guide, a Totem is a Totem and so on.

Part of our Solstice celebration involves getting a tree, lighting it, putting gifts around it.

Sound like Christmas?

Guess again. Christians stole those ideas.

We got a tree at the Rotary. They sell trees every year in the shopping center parking lot.

We put it up, we were decorating it, Susan sipped some wine, I tippled a bit of Scotch. We started singing some Pagan Wodes (you can find them and hear them if you know where to look). Pagan Wodes tend to be simple. Religions, when they started, borrowed from them. They were easy to sing, everybody already knew them, tack on a Jesu or whatever and you were good to go. The modern wodes make use of modern musicianship. Quite interesting, they.

So there we were, singing. One or two choruses in, we hear a soft humming.

Every once in a while the humming would be interrupted by a word or two in Yiddish.

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