Challenge 107

The Iron Writer Challenge 107

500 Words, 5 Days, 4 Elements 

Challenge 106 Champion

Tina Biscuit

The Authors:

Kara Kahnke, Mamie Pound, Vance Rowe, Daniel J. Sanz, Ellen Howard Attar

Judging:

Each story is scored by a panel of Iron Writers

based on three categories:

(Grammar/Spelling, Use of Elements, Story Arc/Plot)

The popular vote is the tie breaker (SO VOTE!).

The Elements:

'Challenge 107 March 19, 2015<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
First Challenge for the 2015 Summer Open</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Writers please note: As I will be on vacation when the submissions need posting, please use Facebook to send your stories to me. I suspect it will be easier than trying to access my email on the road (long story, but accessing my email on my iPad is tortuous). </p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Also, please comment or like this post so I know you have received the elements and will be participating. Thanks</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Writers: @[1375160699:2048:Kara Ann], @[1619662900:2048:Mamie Willoughby Pound], @[1370498536:2048:Vance Rowe] (again? Okay by me but two in a row?), @[697063044:2048:Daniel J. Sanz] and  @[1605463911:2048:Ellen Howard Attar].</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>@[100000792336166:2048:Ian] is handling the judges henceforth.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>The elements:</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>The Tiger Next Monastery (see image)<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
An imponderable question (such as, but not this one: Can God make a object too heavy for him to lift?)<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
A debutante<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
The person who cleans public restrooms'
The Tiger Next Monastery
An imponderable question (such as, but not this one:
Can God make a object too heavy for him to lift?)
A débutante
The person who cleans public restrooms

Go DeeperKara Ann

Kara Kahnke

Feed the mosquitoes with me,” he said.

Excuse me?” she said. “What do you mean?”

I mean I’m Buddhist. I believe even the tiniest creatures deserve love and attention, even the ones people find annoying. I don’t kill mosquitoes. I feed them.”

You’re crazy.”

What? Do you think you’re some kind of spoiled débutante parading around waiting for the world to adore her? You don’t have the time for someone or something worse off than yourself?”

Hey! That’s not fair. Yesterday, I gave a homeless guy money to buy a sandwich.”

I’m sorry. That true. I did see you do that. I’m just saying you can always go deeper with things. Buddhists believe there’s nothing too demeaning if it’s in the name of helping others. Didn’t I ever tell you that I had to take a job as a janitor to make ends meet once? Plunging a public toilet isn’t a classy job, but I did it. Come on. Go deeper with me.”

There was something intriguing about him. She had spent time watching his patient eyes in their Philosophy class, getting a mild headache trying to keep up with all of his deep thoughts. He was the type of guy who said things like, “If God were a piece of music, what would he sound like?” She didn’t even know how to begin with a question like that, but that’s why she liked him. Because he was deep. So, she agreed to go deeper.

#

It was a hot, sticky July day in Minnesota. He rented a row boat and took her to the lake at sunset. The mosquitoes descended immediately. A black cloud of hungry mouths pricked their soft, delicate skin with the precision of acupuncture needles. She put her arms around his neck to stop her natural impulse to swat them away. She paid attention to the ridge of his shoulder blades and ignored the pain.

They stayed until the last flash of sunlight faded from the clear water.

We should be getting back,” he said. It’s getting dark.”

Wait. Go deeper with me.” And she kissed him. It was just like she thought it would be. The way he kissed her made her feel like she was the most important living thing on the planet.

#

Now, he was gone. She had misheard him at first. “Tiger Next Monastery? Where’s that?”

No, Tiger Nest Monastery. It’s in Bhutan in South Asia. I’ve been studying more and more about Buddhism. I have to continue my path toward enlightenment. I want to live with the monks. I love you, but can you go deeper?

I can’t leave my family.”

I’m so sorry. I have to go.”

When will you be back?”

I have no idea.”

Please don’t leave me.”

I have to. I’m sorry.”

#

She went to the lake at sunset when she missed him. She sat in a boat without his shoulder blades to protect her, and she never swatted the mosquitoes away.

Skin of the Tiger

Ellen Howard Attar

As Gloria handed me a towel to dab my lipstick, I asked “why do you work here? These people are horrid and condescending. Don’t my parents pay you enough for cleaning their house each week to keep you from scrubbing toilets at the country club?”

“I’m doin’ a little extra, saving up money to help Jason go to medical school.”

“Gloria, you know he wants to be a writer.”

“Your dad sent that boy to Harvard because he’s brilliant. I ain’t gonna waste his money by letting him wait tables an’ write stories. “

At the table, Tommy asked “why are all the waiters black?”

Father explained, “it’s just another of life’s imponderable questions. It’s impossible to know what motivates people. Some become bankers, some wash dishes. Wouldn’t it be presumptuous for us to question such life decisions? ”

I ordered another Sazerac by simply raising my left eyebrow towards Jason, who was waiting tables.

“I’m going to the Himalayan Mountains next week”.

Mother choked on her chardonnay. “You’ve only been through three months of your debut; the season lasts all year. We’ve got hundreds of parties lined up; we’ve had all those dresses made.

“I’ve had enough conversations about fishing, hunting and football to last a life time. Sorry, mother, but I’m done. “

“We know you broke your trust three years ago. Living in New York undoubtedly decimated the last of your funds. You won’t get another cent from us until your wedding day!”

“World economics and marketplace analytics are still fascinating. After one semester, I had the sense to use my own money, and quadrupled my investment. I continue to invest and don’t foresee any financial difficulties in my lifetime.”

“As he came closer, I could hear his loud purring and the thudding of my own heart. He gently took the meat from my hand, and when finished, he lay in the warm sunlight cleaning his paws. ’Take me away’ I whispered. He looked into my eyes, asking ‘where do you want to go’. I answered ‘far, far, away, where no one can find me; where I can be free to live my own life; to think my own thoughts; to speak my mind freely’. He nudged me gently. I rubbed his head and scratched his ears. I slowly crept onto his back. He got up and stretched. I wrapped my arms around his neck. He started running. Faster and faster he went, until the trees were blurring by, the wind was roaring past my ears, water running from my eyes. I felt free, unafraid. I nestled my head into his soft fur as he leapt into the air, and we flew far away. “

Tommy rolled towards me, “where did the tiger take you Emmy?”

“A beautiful monastery perched on the side of a mountain. Soon, I will go back. When you’re older you can visit me. Don’t forget the Tiger Nest Monastery. Now go to bed, sweet darling.”

The next morning, Emmy and Jason were both gone. No one listened to Tommy as he explained that they were in the Tiger Next Monastery.

Tootsie-Roll Pops and AzaleasMamie Pound

Mamie Pound

The woman dunked the mop in a plastic bucket.

In wide swoops, she moved the suds from one corner of the bathroom to the other, stopping short of the stalls.

“Is there a wedding here today?” A woman opened the bathroom door and asked, breathless.

“Down in the Big Top,” the cleaning lady replied.

“Thanks!” The woman yelled and ran down the hall, sandals clacking.

Dirty water squeezed from the mop. She shook her head,“Who would’ve guessed, a circus in the old Monastery, and now a wedding?”

The Strong Man and the Ballerina were to be married under the Big Top. The bride rode in on an African elephant, wearing a spangled pink leotard and white tights, carrying a bouquet of Tootsie Roll Pops and watermelon-pink azaleas. An enormous plume of white Ostrich feathers crowned her crayon-yellow curls.

The groom walked the tightrope. After an impressive summersault, he landed just to her left, a red plastic boutonniere stuck in the button hole of his lapel.

He lifted a hand to the tiny, beautiful dancer. She slid off the elephant’s trunk and joined him center stage. A pair of clowns and the Shortest Man on Earth played ukulele, classical guitar and harmonica, first performing a Beatles melody, then the wedding march, then another tune by Leonard Cohen.

“Larry!” A woman’s voice yelled from outside the tent. The musicians paused mid-song.

The lion raised his fur. The bride looked at her groom and Larry shrugged his shoulders, nodded for the band to carry on.

A gunshot pinged against something metal. “I’m warning you, Larry,” the woman yelled.

Larry, who was now called Steven the Amazing, unhooked his bride’s arm from his own and held up a finger to say, “I’ll be right back.” He strode out of the tent into the late afternoon sun. His red tuxedo jacket flapped behind him, creating a wake of ruffling faux-silk and dust.

The crowd was silent.

The bride shifted her weight from one ballet slipper to the other. Her silver sequins catching the spotlight with every movement, flashing like a million tiny polaroids, welding-torch, burn-out-your-retinas bright. But the crowd could not look away.

She was after all, a star.

Loretta knew who was out there. The thought of the debutante ex-girlfriend in the parking lot, crying to her almost-husband, made her bite into one of her petal pink fingernails.

People started to whisper.

Larry was shouting now. The debutante yelled back.

The lion paced.

But Loretta wasn’t scared. She had known it was dangerous, leaving her job at the bookstore to join the circus, then stealing another woman’s man.

It hadn’t been her intention.

The circus just happened to be there. And so did Larry.

It wasn’t her fault about the flat tire, or the fact that he’d wanted to help, offered to show her the way to Arab, Alabama, to the old Monastery. He’d laughed when she’d told him she was joining the circus.

But somewhere between the flat tire and the Alabama state line, Larry fell in love.

The JudgeDaniel J. Sanz

Daniel J. Sanz

The gunshot echoed, shattering the night as the weapon discharged. Derek was upon the attacker, redirecting the firearm and shoving him back against the graffiti choked wall. Behind the obscurity of the dumpster, tucked neatly between concrete and glass giants, the struggle continued.

The man fought for control of the weapon but a crack across the jaw impeded the effort. Derek disarmed him and flung him to the pavement.

Derek looked down at the young woman, scantily clad and shaken from the ambush. So naïve. These young, upper-class girls were so preoccupied with social statuses that these “débutantes” often neglected their own safety. Walking alone in this city they were prey among predators.

Next door, bass percussion of Club Tiger Nest rattled the alley. Constructed in the likeness of a Himalayan Buddhist Monastery, laced with neon and cheesy retro motifs, this establishment was no doubt the source of the young woman’s misadventures.

The thug charged again. Derek greeted him with a knee to the manhood and cast him down again. Brushing off his black overcoat and adjusting his flat cap to keep the shadow over his eyes, Derek peered down disdainfully. Trash.

Derek spent thankless days sweeping garbage and scraping away filth in the public bathrooms down at Festival Square. However, hitting the streets after work was where he would find the real dirt.

He offered a hand to the fallen maiden but her sudden white complexion told him the thug had recovered quicker than expected. He whirled around in time to divert the barrel away from his face. In an array of sparks and thunder the bullet exploded against the dumpster. Derek delivered a boot thrust to the knee, buckling it sideways and stripping the handgun away. He brought the metal grip down upon his attacker’s exploding nose. The man collapsed with hands up, choking on blood.

Derek coldly pointed the weapon at panicked eyes. What difference could I make here? The scum was no different than the crap he chiseled every day. Getting rid of it only to have it return again.

This man is a seasoned criminal, he justified to himself. She is probably not his first victim, but I can make her his last. Derek stepped over his bulk and pressed the barrel into his forehead, prompting a futile protest of coughs and sputters.

Perhaps by killing him, I save five others? Ten?

He tightened his grasp on the weapon. Do I have a right to judge this man and condemn him in an unspeakable act? Is permanent justice worth the cost of morality?

His hand trembled and the thought became too impossible to ponder. Snapping himself from his trance he chucked the gun into the dumpster as red and blue danced down the avenue. He turned away from the defeated man. I’m not you.

Sirens wailed as they approached and Derek scaled the wall at the rear of the alley. The question burned inside him but he knew his answer. He’d do what he always did. I’ll just come back and clean it up again tomorrow.

An Imponderable Bathroom

Vance Rowe

Jim works in a large hotel as a janitor. It is usually his job to make sure that the floors are swept and mopped, carpeted areas are vacuumed and all of the public rest rooms are cleaned. Today was especially important as there is going to be a débutante ball in one of the ballrooms tonight so he was purposefully assigned to make sure the rest rooms are all kept clean before, during and after the event. Other janitors were assigned to floors details and trash details as well. Jim hated cleaning the rest rooms because they were usually nasty and filthy but it was quieter in the rest rooms and this meant that he could think. While Jim was cleaning a rest room, he thought about the débutante ball tonight and how it would be nice if he could marry a débutante because they come from “upper society” and upper society means money. If he could marry into money, then he would no longer have to clean rest rooms. During the cotillion that night, Jim was in awe of all the beautiful young ladies that were there dressed in all their finery and each one looked like a princess to him. He watched them being paraded around the ballroom and then watched them dance with potential beaus and he grew jealous. He was thinking of the grandeur of it all, as he cleaned a ladies’ rest room. Then one of the débutante’s walked in and was surprised to see him in there. They struck up a conversation and after a few minutes, Jim asked her if she would date him. She wanted nothing to do with him but gave him one chance, “If you can answer this question, then I will date you.” Jim replied, “Okay, lay it on me.” The young lady smiled and asked, “Why is a delivery by car called a shipment and a delivery by ship called cargo?” “Oh no, not an imponderable question,” he thought to himself, The young lady wrote down her phone number and handed it to him and said, “Call me when you have the answer.” Jim knew he would not easily find the answer and didn’t really know about how to find it out and then it hit him. He knew where to find the answer. The next morning, he grabbed a flight to Bhutan and then proceeded the trek up to the Tiger Nest monastery. He knew the Buddhist monks would have the answer. He was excited because he was done cleaning rest rooms now. Nothing but a life of luxury and leisure was ahead of him. Jim entered one of the temples and found a monk and asked him the question. The monk seemed puzzled and finally he told Jim to follow him. They walked to the main shrine where the head Lama resides and was told to ask him the question. When Jim asked him the question, the head Lama thought about it for a minute and left the room. Soon he returned with a mop and said, “Clean our restrooms and the answer will come to you.”

 

 

Challenge 90

The Iron Writer Challenge 90

500 Words, 5 Days, 4 Elements

The Authors:

(For a variety of reasons, four of the five writers in this challenge withdrew.

Leaving Steven L Bergeron standing alone on the battlefield in the morning mist.)

The Judges:

(The Judges all went to Starbucks. You might still find them there.)

The Elements:

snail cherry kiss

The Drake Equation

Guy Fawkes Day

A Fried Bologna Sandwich Cookoff

 

London No MoreSteven Bergeron

Steven Bergeron

Nebulon 4 the eternity prison of our galaxy

…………………………………………………..

“Now look what you done. They will definitely be blamed us for this one.”

“Whatever are you talking about?”

“Well for starters all the streets in London are ablaze. How do you think Dr Drake is going to react.”

“For starters it is November 5. Ever since the Guy Fawkes event some 400 years ago people has been doing it. As far as Dr Drake leave him to me, there are hundred aliens in the milky way, he will never miss two lost souls in his equation.”

“True people do walk the streets with torches on the anniversary, but they don’t torch the buildings.”

“Oh you worry body. Besides think about it, two snails torching an entire city how preposterous is that.”

“Preposterous you say what do you think of that?”

Looking up from over the hill a mob of Britain’s where heading in our direction. Quickly our lips locked as we began kissing as they passed right by us.

“Boy that was close.”

“What did I tell you no one suspects the snail. It is for that particular reason we took their form. Now let’s get back to our ship to report back our findings.”

As we reached the nearby river our cherry shaped space ship was waiting. Upon entering our commanders image was waiting for us angrily.

“Where have you two been up to?” proclaimed his voice of authority.

“Whatever do you mean? We were in town down by the arena enjoying free sampling of fried bologna sandwiches from the good folks annual cook off.”

“Oh really well Dr Drake could have sworn he spotted two snails fitting your description torching the town. Never mind save it for the tribunal.”

November 6 and here we are sitting hand in hand in front of the high court determining our faith. It still puzzled me why we are here. We did as we were ordered and still they are not satisfied. The commander sternly eyed down on us as we had to plead our case.

“My dear friends we are gathered to determine the faith of Kune and Tane. Gentleman what have you to say for your actions?”

“Well dear friends we are still in shamble as to why we are sequestered here. We did as we were told. London is nothing but a rumble ready to be taken over.”

“Yes but your mission was to simply turn the town folks against each other and get them to do the damage.”

“That is preposterous. Londoners are stupid, that would never happen. It is for that reason we took matters in our own hand.”

“How dare you defy our order’s. If you don’t have anything more to say on your defence we have no choice but to sentence you to an eternity on Nabulon 4.”

“It is what it is.”

So here we are standing in Nebulon 4 trapped like Adam and Eve.

 

 

 

Challenge 85 – Autumn Equinox Final Round

The Iron Writer Challenge 85

The 2014 Autumn Equinox Final Round

500 Words, 5 Days, 4 Elements

The Authors:

Dani J Caile, A Francis Raymond, Mathew W. Weaver, Danielle Lee Zwissler

The Elements:

imagesdf

 

Learn to train your wife in 5 easy lessons

If you are male, you must write your story from the wife’s negative point of view.

    If you are female, you must write the story from the husband’s positive point of view.

Main Character suffers from Pseudobulbar Affect

Breast Cancer

Please vote!

The poll is below.

To Kill A Marketing BidMathew W Weaver

Mathew W. Weaver

“Call 555-T-R-A-I-N-H-E-R right now!”

The advertiser’s voice was getting on my nerves. I walked into the living room, broom in hand, and just as I expected, there sat Jim, glued to the screen like the cap on your day old tube of glue.

“Mind turning that down?” I yelled, “I can’t hear myself think in here!”

“Go away, honey,” Jim said sweetly.

I breathed in and held it. With one good whack of that old broom, I could have sent him flying out the door right then, like I should have done all those years ago. He used to be a David Hasselhoff lookalike, but ever since his breast cancer, he resembled a rag doll that had been run over by a garbage truck.

And smelled like it, too.

And for crying out loud, how many men got breast cancer, anyway?

“Just 5 easy lessons, and you’re done! Train your wife today!” the male voice bragged.

“Turn tha… wait, what was that?”

“Nothing dear, nothing!” Jim said weakly, scrabbling at the remote before switching to the game. I marched over to him, and he cowered as I yanked it out of his feeble grasp and switched it back.

Jim sank into the cushions as I watched the obscene commercial. There, in all comfort, a typical man stretched out while a harlot dressed in nothing but cellophane fetched him everything from slippers to pie and jumped up with every snap of his fingers. And all the while, the voice promised that “your wife could be the same… in five easy lessons!”

“What,” I turned around, “is this?”

“Infomercial?” he offered.

I balled my fists and he shrank even further into the upholstery.

“You want me to jump at your snapping fingers?!” I exploded, “Of all the lazy…”

“Don’t yell!” Jim whimpered, his voice ending in a shuddering gasp.

“It’s always about you, isn’t it?” I threw the down the broom in disgust.

The Pseudobulbar Affect kicked in, and I threw up my hands and walked away. Ten minutes into the sobbing was, surprisingly, enough time for me to calm down. I bit my lip, sighed, and turned around.

“Alright, dear,” I said, “I’ll take your training. I’ll be the wife you always wanted me to be.”

Now, the thing about Pseudobulbar’s is that you can’t ever control the crying. So, even as the once masculine, now very effeminate Jim beamed at me in startled, elated confusion, tears continued to roll down his cheeks and his chest still heaved with emotion.

“You’d do that for me?” he stammered, the disbelief so palpable, you could have spread it on bread.

It wasn’t easy, but I had to give in. I sighed, set my jaw, and then nodded.

“I would,” I said, “Call them.”

As he reached for the phone and stared after me with adoring eyes, I turned around and walked back to the kitchen. Reaching into my pocket, I brought out my well-thumbed, dog-eared copy of “Essential Steps To Have Your Man At Your Mercy,” (pocket edition), and flipped over to chapter seventeen.

“To Deal With The ‘Train Your Wife’ Routine,” I read, “Step one…”

Gone to a Better PlaceDani-J-Caile

Dani J. Caile

“Would you like a cup of tea?”

There were only two of them left in the room, with a woman taking a position by the sofa and a man by the window, speaking into his walkie talkie.

“Where did the others go?”

“They have something to do, Mrs. Worthing,” said the woman.

“Oh, I see. I’ll put these cups back, then.”

“No, no, that’s okay. Please, sit down, rest yourself.”

“Yes, right, that’s best. One lump or two?”

“One, thank you.” The woman sat down and took the cup. The man standing ignored her and looked out of the window, now holding his walkie talkie to his ear and listening to crackles and voices.

“Would you like a Bourbon Cream?”

“No, thank you. Mrs. Worthing. Could you please tell us a little about yourself?” asked the woman.

She laughed uncontrollably, embarrassing herself.

“Me? Little old me? I’m Jon’s wife. Are you friends of Jon?”

“Well, we’re looking after his…welfare,” smiled the woman.

“Oh, good, I’m happy about that. He’s such a good man.”

“Really? Please, tell me more. Perhaps you can tell me something about your life together?”

“Of course, yes, I’d be happy to. He was always good to me, I…I have trouble, you see, I’m…I’m not very good in company.”

Another sudden unexpected laugh. Her face blushed.

“Don’t worry yourself. Please, continue.”

“Well…we’re a model couple, Jon and I. Every day when he opens the door I greet him the way he likes…”

“Yes?”

“Erm…”

“Go on.”

“…well…in my best lingerie, in a simple black silk loose fitting sheath dress with thin spaghetti straps.”

“Uh-huh…”

“And I have his pipe and slippers all ready, too…”

The man from the window whispered something to the woman and she nodded.

“It sounds like you’re an excellent wife, Mrs. Worthing,” said the woman, smiling.

“Thank you. Yes, I make sure his TV remote control is sitting on the side of his favourite armchair so he can watch his football matches, along with a beer the way he likes it, chilled.”

“Wonderful, Mrs. Worthing.”

“When he snaps his fingers, that tells me he’s ready for dinner, and I serve him immediately. After all, he is the breadwinner of the household. If it wasn’t for him, I’d be on the street. He tells me that every day. Every day…”

“I’m sorry, Mrs. Worthing,” said the woman, “…but we need to take you down to the station now.”

She laughed again, uncontrollably, and tried to keep a smile on her face. The man at the window took out some handcuffs.

“Of course, of course.” He put them on her and led her past the bloody corpse and into the hallway. She overheard the man whispering again to the woman.

“Her doctor said she’s riddled with cancer, recently diagnosed with a brain tumor and has suspected breast cancer. She also suffers from PBA. The doctor pushed her to tell her husband the good news tonight.”

“Would’ve loved to have been a fly on that wall…”

“Trained”Danielle Lee Zwissler

Danielle Lee Zwissler

Clyde stood at the podium wearing a grin. “Before I begin, I would like to let you know that I have a condition that causes uncontrollable bouts of laughter or crying at times.”

Uneasy murmurs traveled through the crowd before Clyde continued. “I want to thank all of you for coming to my lecture tonight on How to Train Your Wife in Five Easy Lessons. I would like to show you the subject of my book, my wife, Elaine Evershaw.”

“Stand up, Elaine.”

“Yes, Dear,” Elaine said, then stood. She was the only woman in the hall. Her shoulders were up, back and down, breasts out, back straight—posture perfect. She wore a sexy, pinup-type dress with polka dots. She was beautiful.

The men in the audience smiled, and Clyde knew that they appreciated her appearance.

“As you can see, she is trained to please, as all women should be. She is perfectly coifed, and ready to serve her man. Elaine, sit.” Clyde started to laugh.

“Yes, Dear.”

The audience watched, pleased at how “the wife” was following commands.

“I will outline a few of the steps for you, that way you can understand the process. I won’t give everything away tonight, because you need to read the book and apply the steps to your own relationships.”

“Teach your wife how to fetch.” Clyde laughed. The audience looked at him curiously, as he continued. “Folks, don’t be put out by lazy wives. You can train them to do the things that you want them to do. It isn’t hard; if you would like warm feet at night, tell your wife to fetch your slippers, but don’t forget, just like a dog you have to reward your bitch with a treat, perhaps a trinket. Sooner than later you will have her at your feet with your slippers, and she will wear a smile on her face as she awaits her prize. Don’t forget to praise her. Positive reinforcement is the key. Say things like, atta girl, or great job! This will only get things going faster.”

The men in the audience were eating up Clyde’s instruction, even though it was a little unorthodox.

“I know what many of you may be thinking, that this will not work for you, that your wife may not be susceptible to the steps. Fear not, brave men, these steps work!”

Clyde held up a copy of his book. “Today you can get this for only $19.99! This also includes a chapter on how to get your wife to follow non-verbal commands, and how to serve you ice cold beer and snacks! And because you are here today, I will throw in a free Breast Cancer Apron! There is nothing sexier than an obedient wife at the stove wearing an apron. So step right up and get your copy!”

***

The night had been a success, and Clyde felt satisfied as he walked with his wife to the train station. As the train approached, Elaine pushed her husband onto the tracks, killing him instantly.

Elaine smiled and said, “And that’s how you train a husband!”

 Careful What You Wish ForA Francis Raymond

A. Francis Raymond

“You followed the steps in the booklet?” asked Mr. Stumpbottom.

John looked at the image on the cover. It was part of his welcome kit when he joined the very secretive Men’s Associative Committee for a Better America (MACABA). The club, and the booklet, ‘Train Your Wife in 5 Easy Steps’ promised solutions to his problems.

“Yes. The only thing I managed out of her was a ‘Yes, dear” to my requests – none were actually followed through.”

“If you read the details on our warranty,” said Mr. Stumpbottom, “You’ll remember we don’t offer a traditional refund.”

John skimmed the details when he joined. At the time, he never believed he’d need to file a claim. Things usually went his way, and when they didn’t, he didn’t worry much. It took a lot to bring this naturally upbeat man into Mr. Stumpbottom’s office this morning.

“Mr. Stumpbottom,” said John, “I simply want my wife to be happy, like me. Her smile is beautiful; I want to see it more. Her laugh is infectious; I want to hear it more. Is that too much to ask?”

“Not at all.” Mr. Stumpbottom took out a large book and plopped it down on his desk in front of John. He started flipping through it.

He clearly had a specific page in mind. While Mr. Stumpbottom was looking for it, John continued: “I really never needed her to obey my every command or anything like that.”

“I understand. Ah! Here we are!” He tapped his finger on the page and made sure John could see. “Our warranty specifies that if you’re not satisfied, we’ll try something else. We of course wouldn’t want to lose you as a member, you see.”

John followed Mr. Stumpsbottom’s finger to the text on the middle of the page in front of him. “Turn tears into laughter, laughter into tears.” That sounded about right to him.

“You can do that? That would be a miracle! How do you do it?”

“Oh, we have our ways. You needn’t worry about it. But there could be side effects, some pretty severe…”

John cut him off, smiling. “Let’s do it. Where do I sign?”

Mr. Stumpbottom replied “My secretary will draw up papers and you’ll be on your way. You’ll start seeing the change in a few days.”

* * *

As promised, John’s wife, Nancy, became the laughing queen as her naturally negative reactions to everything turned positive. For three months, she laughed at everything. Anything that would have put a normal person in tears, Nancy was laughing. Hysterically and often. She laughed right through her sudden and unexpected breast cancer diagnosis, much to the surprise of the oncologist.

John suspected the cancer was the side effect Mr. Stumpbottom mentioned, but never said anything about it.

He was at a MACABA meeting and ran into Mr. Stumpbottom.

“How’s your wife?”

“In remission,” John said. “I presume the original ‘treatment’ has worn off.”

“Oh, no no,” Mr. Stumpbottom chuckled. “That was a permanent alternation.”

“But she’s getting better! Why is she still laughing?” John said to no one since Mr. Stumpbottom had disappeared into the crowd.

The Weekend Quickie #100

Yay!  We are on our 100th Quickie!  Today you are going to write a letter to your favorite celebrity. 

Include the following: 

Pickles

A microphone

A bottle of Ibuprofen

A Brown Marker

and

Cattle-prod

250 words 

2015 Spring Equinox Open — The William S. Burroughs Bracket

The Iron Writer

2015 Spring Equinox Open

The William S. Burroughs Bracket

 

The Authors:

Aaron Carlson

Aaron Gord

Mary Fletcher

Jessica Chick

The Elements:

Artemis

Artemis
A Dilettante
Jello Wrestling
A Moon Rock

Stories will be posted

April 2, 2015