Tag Archives: September

School Daze

This is in response to Billie Jo WoodsSeptember Challenge: Back To School.

Timmy was nervous as he stood in front of the door to the counselor’s office. First day of school was always nerve-wracking, and it was compounded by having to go to an entirely new school after he and his mom moved here from London. He cleared his throat, adjusted his tie, and went in.

“Hello Ma’am,” he addressed the imposing woman behind the counter, “My name is Timmy, and I–”

“WRONG!” the guidance counselor yelled, leaning over in order to really bellow it into his face. “Try again!”

“Uh,” Timmy stammered, licking his lips and blinking back tears. “I… that is, I’m sorry, I didn’t meant to–”

“WRONG!” she bellowed again, her voice several notes higher along the bellow-shriek continuum.

Timmy took an actual step back in the face of her fury. The speed with which the woman’s face was turning red made him worry momentarily about the possibilities of hypertension and poor blood pressure. Most of his fear was, however, focused squarely on himself.

“I don’t know what you want,” he all but pleaded. His vision was blurring slightly from the tears that welled, but as yet remained unspilled, in his eyes. He wrung his hands and shifted from foot to foot as he waited for her next outburst.

She surprised him. She sighed instead of yelling. “Look, kid… Timmy, was it? The entire point of a preparatory school like this one is to train you and mold you to become what you are meant to be. We take this responsibility very seriously here at the Shelley-Byron Academy. I don’ t know what things were like at your old school, but here you will deport yourself with the proper decorum at all times, do I make myself clear?”

“Y… yes ma’am,” Timmy stammered, taken quite aback by her little speech. Of course, he should have known better.

“WRONG!” her voice was fully in the ‘shriek’ side of the spectrum this time. “What is wrong with you? Are you brain damaged?” she continued to scream into his face, leaning over the counter and looming over him. “Now, do it right!”

Timmy swallowed hard and very nearly collapsed, his knees were shaking so hard. He stammered meaningless sounds for a moment as he screwed up his courage. Finally, something snapped deep inside him. His spine straightened and his eyes narrowed. “YEAH,” he bellowed right back at her, “I hear ya! Now shut up or I’ll rip out your belly and wear your guts for garters!”

The guidance counselor smiled brilliantly, showing off crooked teeth to go with her warty, bent nose. “Much better,” she said, nodding calmly. She held out her hand for his transcripts, which he gave her in silence. Timmy was too embarrassed to say anything else.

She looked over the records, nodding to herself. Finally she typed something into the computer and the printer on the counter hummed to life.  She took his schedule from the printer and handed it to him. “Here you go. And welcome to the Shelley-Byron Academy For Young Monsters, my good troll,” the witch gave him another gap-toothed smile.



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Happily Never After

In response to Sonia G MedeirosSeptember Flash Fiction Challenge: A Fairy Tale

Once upon a time.

That’s what they say. Once upon a time. That and Happily Ever After.

Clearly, they don’t know what the heck they’re talking about.

It’s not Once Upon a Time, it’s every bloody month, regular as clockwork. It’s not Happily Ever After, it’s wailing and lamenting and finger pointing. It’s not a FairyTale, it’s an example of arrogance gone wrong, and everyone blaming the wrong person for it.

But perhaps I should introduce myself. My name is Thalarexsztyamnosarcx, but you can call me Rex. I’m a dragon and, if I do say so myself, a damned nice one. I keep to myself mostly. I live in my cave. I sleep alot. I go out occasionally to hunt for deer or the random bear. I leave my neighbors alone. I’m not into that whole ‘virgin sacrifice’ thing some of my cousins seem to go for. Frankly, I’m a damned good neighbor.

But that doesn’t stop them. Once a month, more or less, some damned fool has to go and ‘prove’ himself. He armors up that metal shell you humans love so much, has a dozen guys hoist him onto the back of some poor horse, and up the winding trail to my cave he rides. The pennants streaming and snapping from his lance must look all manner of romantic from the nice, safe view atop the castle ramparts, but neither pennants nor lance nor armor do him a spit of good once he gets here.

My cave twists and turns before it comes to my sleeping hollow, so he can’t get up a good charge on that horse of his. He has to dismount and creep in, if you can call someone clanging about like he’s got an entire tinker’s wagon full of pots strapped to his hips ‘creeping.’ And then there is that armor he’s so proud of. “Guaranteed to turn the sharpest sword, the stoutest cudgel,” I imagine the salesman told him. As if that was going to help. Hello? I’m a DRAGON, for crying out loud. I don’t use swords and I don’t use cudgels. I don’t use arrows, and I don’t use maces. I don’t use hammers and I don’t use pikes.

I use fire.

And do you know what metal armor doesn’t really do squat to protect you against? That’s right, fire.

The flames, they get inside the joints, through the slots in his visor. They get inside and light his padded arming doublet ablaze. They heat up the gleaming metal of the armor until it is red hot, and he couldn’t remove it even if he were still coherent enough. And, of course, he has to breathe so there’s nothing to stop the smoke.

In the end, he winds up like the rest of them: a smelly, glowing ball of charred flesh encased in a rough oval of melted metal slag. It’s such a waste.

I can’t even eat the damned thing without having to peel it first.


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Posted in response to my own TBC September Writing Challenge: Changes. It’s a little long at around 700 words, but that’s ok. I won’t grade myself down for it.

The alarm went off, and Gus groaned. Just five more minutes he wished, but it was not to be. The Schedule had to be maintained, even today. With a sigh, he unhooked the netting and let if float off. Holding onto the bars surrounding his bunk for exactly this reason, he oriented himself and pushed off, drifting across the room to the closet. Using the straps there, he held himself steady while he dressed.

It’s the small things they never tell you about. When he applied for the Safety Management position here at the utterly unimaginatively named L5-3 Nuclear Reactor Array, the in-company recruiter had talked on and on about the benefits of some time spent away from the pollution and insane weather on Earth, and how big a bonus he would accrue for a six month stint in space. The smarmy, smiling man had never mentioned how annoying it was to get dressed in Zero-G, or to use the charmingly named ‘facilities.’ No, all he talked about was the good stuff, none of the bad.

Still, it wasn’t all bad. For the last 160 days, he had been blessedly, gloriously alone. With the population on Earth swiftly approaching the eleven billion mark and the seas so much higher than they had been even 20 years ago, personal space and privacy were mere legends the older folks told the younger ones, along with stories about how gas used to only be $6 a gallon, and how there used to be things called ‘trees,’ once upon a time.

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September Update

Hello, and welcome to the end of summer.  I hope you all had a great season. For those in school or teachers, I salute you!

General news:

-I finished the first draft of Blood Fury and am looking for people to help me by reading it and critiquing it. If you’re interested, please contact me here, on Facebook or twitter, or via email. Thanks in advance!

-After a brain storming session, Jennifer and I have renamed the IWA. It will now be known as The Writer’s Bloc. Coming soon: it’s own website.

-New ‘Feature’ on the blog, Brunch! For all your SPAM-ilicious needs.

September’s DWE is up, with one entry so far: The New Kid At School.

Sonia’s mom hurt herself last weekend. Go on over there and wish her and her mom well!


This month’s TBC Writing Challenge reflects the end of summer with Changes. Write a story, 500 words more-or-less, about some significant Change. This can be a change in a character’s life, a change in the world they live in, or just a very large amount of coins in the pocket.

My own entry will follow.

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