Category Archives: For Fun

Tragedy at the Diner

Daily Prompt: By the Skin of Your Teeth: a fictional short story

What is there to say.  I’m here only because I was quicker and smarter than someone else.  I’m not proud of it; I’m actually a little ashamed.  I shouldn’t have been there at all that day.  But, I had a few issues to work out and I wanted a drink while I did it.

I grabbed a table away from most of the customers, and started jotting down the pros and cons of my problem.  I wasn’t paying much attention to what was going on around me.  I was actually making some progress with my dilemma.  I looked up from my writing when I heard a strange noise, and saw the window shattering.  I couldn’t understand at first what had happened but things seemed to start moving in slow motion.  It was like watching a replay on a sportscast, but this was real, here and now.

There was a truck coming straight at me sideways.  It looked like a giant metal wall closing in on me like you see in those horror shows about claustrophobia.  I didn’t realize it was a truck at first.  I just saw the top of it.  I thought I was a goner.  Then the thing comes to a screeching stop just shy of where me and a couple other people were.  It had wiped out the counter and part of the kitchen blocking off our way out.  I started to breathe again, not realizing I had been holding my breath.  That’s when I smelled the smoke.

I figured I had only a few minutes to get out of there before the smoke got to me.  I didn’t care at all about the other people that were trapped with me; it was all about saving my own skin.  First thing I did was pull my shirt over my face and look for daylight.  I saw some up by the roof where it had collapsed on the truck.  There was enough rubble on the ground to allow me to reach it.  That hole was small.  I managed to get through it though.  But once I got up on top of the truck, I couldn’t see any way of getting down again.  I tried climbing onto the roof of the building, but it felt like it was going to give way on me.  So, I screamed my head off till I couldn’t scream any more.  Then I sat and waited in the freezing sleet for someone to come and rescue me.

It wasn’t till then that I thought of the other people who were in the diner with me.  That’s when I went back to the hole I had found and tried to help them get out.  If I had thought of them a little earlier, maybe they wouldn’t have gotten so much smoke in their lungs and wouldn’t need to spend so much time in the hospital.  Like I said, I’m a little ashamed of myself.

It didn’t take long for the fire crew to get to us.  They’re the real heroes here.  If not for them even more people would have died that day.

Somewhere in that mess is my notebook.  It has some pretty embarrassing stuff written in it.  If you find it, please don’t read it.

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A Writers block cure for NaNoWriMo

When writing, sometimes it is best to get away from the writing to see and experience other things.  This is especially true if you are having a writer’s block.  By seeing other things, you might get a new perspective on the object which has consumed most of your focus.  This new perspective may be the breakthrough to help you overcome your writer’s block.

Sometimes watching/reading the news will give you an idea, or sometimes you need to get out and talk to people.  Perhaps go to a nearby bar to find the local color as Faulkner and Hemingway did.  Or, possibly, you should do the opposite; go somewhere completely alone and commune with nature as Thoreau did at Walden.  The snap peas get lonely too.  (Thoreau is rumored to have talked to his vegetables.)

Whatever method you use, the point is to set aside what you are working on completely.  Don’t think about it at all.  Give your brain a break.  Just like any part of the body, the brain gets tired.

Eventually, you must come back to the writing that you want to get done.  At this point you put on your favorite thinking music, cozy up to your word processor, and work…  Just sit there a while if you must.  The words start flowing and you find yourself writing things that you weren’t thinking before.  They may be a little rough, but get them down on paper while they are there in your mind.  You can clean it up later when it’s time for editing and polishing.

Before you know it the sun is coming up.  You find you’ve written several pages and bits and pieces of other scenes that you can fill in later.  You feel successful.  It’s a good day’s work that took all night long to accomplish.  Now, when the rest of the world is waking, it’s time for you to go to sleep.

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To Write, or Not To Write of Edu (“To Be, or Not To Be” rewritten)

To write of edu or not to write on’t?  That is the question.  Whether ‘tis better for the mind to suffer the trials and tribulations of edu malpractice, or to put the pen to paper to oppose it, and by opposing, end it:  To train, to teach once more; and by teaching, to end the heartache and the thousands of drop outs that school is heir to?

‘Tis a higher outcome devoutly to be wished.

To train, to teach, and in teaching perhaps they learn; Aye there’s the rub, for in that classroom toil, what dreams are born; when they have graduated school, what they shall achieve will give us pause.

To teach respectability that lasts a lifetime long;  To teach them to stand tall to the sneers and scorns of lesser minds, to end oppressions wrongs, to be proud even though ridiculed.

To bear the pains of lost contests, to rebuff the bully, no matter his size.  To teach him to think on his own, so that when it’s quiet, his mind will higher rise.

Who would packages bear, grunt and sweat, a day laborers life, never knowing from whence the next meal, and to dread the not knowing.  No, ‘tis better to learn the lessons in school; STEM and Lit, and history of man, to solve the puzzles and cure the ills than to flee the mobs who know not of it.

Thus a higher conscience will subdue the cowardice in us all, and thus the natives of the land shall be suckled by contemplative thought, and enterprise will duly rise with growth through education.  With this regard we must cast our eye and take the name of action.

Soft you now, my fair companion, in thy orisons, be these thoughts remembered.

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