Experiment #251

The Gentleman of Steam Part 4

“We knows what you made it for.” Auggy Winkle called out. He sat on a horse at the sheriff’s right hand. “You coulda just come to me.” The scruff and hooligans that made up the rest of the posse thought that rather funny.

“I doubt your wife would have let you,” Mama said.

The scruff and hooligans liked that even more’n Auggy’s comment.

Mama turned to the Sheriff. “Herb, what’ve I done?”

“You ought to know. That there, what … Read More

Experiment #250

The Gentleman of Steam Part 3

When I drove the cart up next to the barn, Mama came out of her shop.

“Whacha doin’, Lizzie?” she asked. A piece of lace stuck out from under her shirt in a way I wasn’t used to seeing. She had a grin I’d only seen on the Cooper girls’ faces when they were talkin’ ‘bout a boy.

“Where’s Rolland?” Mama asked.

Then her eyes drifted over to the wagon. She let out a scream that startled the … Read More

Experiment #249

The Gentleman of Steam Part 2

At our house, Rolland would lift us out and escort us inside. Never came in the house though. Once we were indoors he’d take up his post out on the front porch. He’d sit there rattling like a teakettle on boil till Mama got home or finished up in her workshop in the barn. After that he’d set hisself up in the barn while the rest of us ate whatever Jessie cooked up. She was … Read More

Experiment #248

The Gentleman of Steam Part 1

After Papa died, Mama built a bronze steambot to take us to school. She said it wasn’t safe for four girls to walk there by themselves. So the steambot would set us all in the back of the wagon and trot off with it like a horse.

Our one room schoolhouse was filled to the brim with name callers, brats, braggarts, and hooligans. So’s you can guess what happened the first day he took us to … Read More

Experiment #245

The Miracle Man Part 5

“You doing anything?”

Cindy looked up. The bartender stared at her, smiling.

“You wanna catch a late, late dinner?” The bartender asked.

Cindy looked over her shoulder to see who he was talking to.

“You,” he said, looking right at her.

Cindy looked at him bewildered. “Why?” she asked.

The bartender grew self-conscious. “Can’t a guy ask a pretty girl out anymore?”

“That’d be a miracle,” she said.

“Well,” he said, “call me Jesus Christ.”

“You’re far from the Messiah,” she said, but she … Read More

Experiment #244

The Miracle Man Part 4

Soon they landed back in court. Virgil had lost a very lucrative business deal due to some the client’s daughter. Now his business was in trouble and he tried to reclaim his two thousand dollars and to prevent Cindy from using a shared savings account (one set up by them for the window seat and alcove installation) to pay for the repairs. Virgil lost this case, but it did not matter much to Cindy. The check … Read More

Experiment #243

The Miracle Man Part 3

After Cindy left the hospital and settled herself in a new apartment, Virgil came over with a check.

“I know things between us have not gone well this past year,” he said. “But I hope this will help.”

“You want to give me a check?” Cindy asked.

“That’s right,” Virgil said. “It’s not much, but it’s something.”

At his insistence, Cindy took the check, but decided not to cash it until she spoke with a lawyer.

A few weeks later … Read More

Experiment #242

The Miracle Man Part 2

Cindy shoved the truck into reverse and floored it backward into the house. Her tail lights entered the living room at just the place where Janice had been standing only a few moments earlier.

Janice later told the story to her therapist this way, “Well, I just wouldn’t be sitting here now if not for cheese balls.

“Virgil’s bowl was empty so I went to the kitchen to refill it. Then that maniac drove Virgil’s antique truck … Read More

Experiment #241

The Miracle Man Part 1

Even before it came into view, she could hear it tinkling in the distance. Little bits of metal rubbing against each other like a wind chime on steroids.

Next came the plodding clip-clops of the old cart horse. That old horse would have lost to a snail in a race, but he could trudge on through the worst blizzard or cross the deepest river. Steady as he goes.

Then came the creak of the wheels singing like … Read More

Experiment #240

Tempus Subcinctus Part 3

“You?” Samuel asked.

“Ever since that day in the clock shop, I’ve been haunted by you. Haunted by your foolish desire to fix what can never be fixed.”

“That was hours ago-”

He laughed. “For me it was nearly half a century. Fifty years of regret that I didn’t pull the trigger in time.”

“The gunman?”

“I could have ended this pain right then. I could have prevented this whole time shifting phenomenon. Paradox plain and simple. But the universe … Read More

Experiment #239

Tempus Subcinctus Part 2

After a long time, Samuel’s world turned brown and then slowly regained individual colors.

“Okay. There you go,” a female voice said as she eased him into a chair.

Samuel turned his head and puked. Unfortunately the owner of the voice had been standing there. Samuel looked up from his retching, spittle and bile still clutching to his mouth. She was the most beautiful woman Samuel had ever seen, and Samuel had just vomited on her shoes.

She … Read More

Experiment #238

Tempus Subcinctus Part 1

Samuel had only opened his timekeeping shop three weeks ago, but he was nearly certain customers came in the front door. Yet, there the old man stood behind him at the counter.

The old man seemed familiar to Samuel, like an estranged uncle who resembles your mother. The man wore an old brown coat that fell to his knees.

“May I, umm, help you?” Samuel, ever the good shopkeeper, asked.

“Excellent, excellent.” The man said, ignoring him. “It’s … Read More

Experiment #236.064

8 x 8 words

Dinner didn’t agree with him… about being eaten

The Kraken fried the chefs like calamari. Comeuppance.

“Who do you think you are?”

“Your Mom.”

The goat surrendered herself, ending the Cheese War

Hacker tried to steal own identity, but failed.

“Moron!”

“Well, the same to you, Captain Obvious”

“Whaddja name your puppy?” Simon asked.

“Ummm… Simon…”

Little by little the cancer ate her away.

“That’s ok, Alien Overlord. No one liked Florida.”

“I got this,” Dad said before the disaster.

“You sure this is safe?”

Zzzzzzap!

“I was.”

Gadzooks bent and … Read More

Experiment #235

The Lesson

Margana aimed her wand. “Morpho Formo!” She yelled. Nothing happened.

The monster lurched toward her with a glint in its eye. It knew its dinner was close at hand. Slobber splattered on the floor.

“Morpho Formo!” she tried again.

The monster roared with horrid laughter. “Your mentor failed you, or rather you’re failing her.”

Margana trembled.

The monster licked its hairy lips. It picked up a chair and tossed it in its gaping jaws. “You call yourself a sorceress. You’ve got … Read More

Experiment #234

Confessions

James leaned in close to hold his wife Jillian’s hand as she lay on her deathbed.

“I must tell you…” she said.
“Oh, no save your strength,” he said.

But she insisted. “I must tell you, I am not your wife.”

“Darling, hush, you don’t know what you’re saying”

“No, James. You must hear this. I know full well what I’m saying.”

“Words aren’t necessary, I know what you’re going to say. Save your strength.”

“No, I really don’t think you … Read More