Tourism at the Sandia Mountains
Photo credit to MARELBU; found through Wikimedia Commons, permitted for use under the license CC BY-3.0 (More accurate attribution is unavailable as the source site no longer exists.)

Tchi’i says tornadoes sound like trains when they’re heading for you. I wonder how many she’s stared down because she boasts knowing from experience. Near-experience, I half-lament.

Curious, I inquire, “Does anyone say trains sound like tornadoes?” Trains ride restrictive rails; tornadoes tear free. Some fortunate people might be more frequented by dervishes dancing out of the sky.

She chides my knowing what dervishes are and admonishes my reveries (in plainer terms). “It’s the same old arrogance ingrained everywhere, elevating artificial over natural.”

The air rattles as Tchi’i hauls trinkets we no longer care about to peddle outside the station.

Submitted to Ad Hoc Fiction for Issue 148 of their weekly flash competition, driven by the mandatory word ‘Train.’


Plaster Saint

three line tales, week 159: a little fellow dangling from a graffiti heart
Photo credited to Nick Fewings via Unsplash

(The artist renders) [an unbearable likeness] {through the soft-voiced}
(shadows without space) [cast into the plaster] {saint acclaimed in}
(false dimensions) [molded in unruly shapes] {and outside virtue}.

Written in reflection upon the above image for Week 159 of Three Line Tales. Apologies to anyone using screens that displace the () [] {} columns; the bracketed portions are intended to denote ‘panels’ in the spirit of polyptych art and found poetry, hopefully creating multiple meaningful readings. Expressing any confusion, criticism, or interpretations is immensely appreciated. This remains an experiment in need of refinement and it would undoubtedly benefit from outside input.

Just a Tad Off

He takes a step, but comes no closer to an answer discerning between

squish and squash.

The mismanagement of a vowel is sometimes inconsequential. Soup and soap bear little difference; both can be delectable, pending your selections. Boot and boat each claim watertightness, but they equally sag and sog after even the smallest of punctures.

Another step tests the

squish or squash.

If his name was Ted or Tod, he doubts he would care. But it’s not. Tad feels a compulsory pull towards the short straw. Tad imagines the sharpened peak of an A pierced the hull of his craft, impaled his investment, skewered his savings. If Tad stood for anything, he trusts he could endure. But it doesn’t. He doesn’t. His world is reduced to a slight i or a squat a. So he spends his days deciding whether his boots

squish or squash

while rationing a sudsy cake.

Written for Issue 147 of Ad Hoc Fiction, prompted by the word ‘Squash.’


three line tales, week 158: a border with a barbed wire fence
Image accredited to Robert Hickerson via Unsplash


(Our lives boil)        [down to helical strands],  {coiled secret hearts}
(with promises)              [empty and forgotten]  {in scaly chambers}
(impatient to erupt) — [Rapunzel locked away] {eager to unfurl}.



Written for Week 158 of Three Line Tales in response to the above image. However off-putting the format, there is some intent behind it. Each bracket, () [] {}, is meant to form a column, potential stand-alones beyond the straightforward text. The idea is based on found poetry and polyptych art, separate scenes surrounding (and perhaps responding/relating to) a ‘main panel,’ which I generally consider to be the unbroken reading.

A Splash Quite Unnoticed

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, presumed to originally be a work by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (Public Domain)

Bruegel’s shoreline was too civilized for concern. If Icarus metamorphosed in that moment, who’d have noticed?

Waves licking my lantern, I goad his ambition. But fluorescent refractions won’t coax his wax-slick fins to surface. The illimitable ocean depths suit his outsized desires and the myths of unseen suffering.

The Gravity of Reality

“If you could prove the existence of a deity, would you?” I handed him a clean cup of water, though his eyes focused on me and my absurdity. We’d made a habit of hypotheticals, but the gravity of our reality often outweighed imagination.

“Where? When?” Ever the glutton, he gulped it down.

“Here, now.” I fanned my arm out over the desolate horizon as if it were some showcase from a bygone era. The only extravagance displayed was in the gesture.

His eyes moved through the husks of war before us: “We’re doing just fine.” (Cracked ribs piercing rebar skeletons.) “We’ve made a science out of destroying everything, including ourselves.” (Sewage overrunning the water plant rubble.) “There’s no need to weaponize the divine.” (The depth of his empty cup.)

Agreeing, I fetched another drink from a barrel of infinite and pure stock. “Better savor this, I haven’t much to spare.”

Originally an entry submitted for Issue 146 of Ad Hoc Fiction’s prompted contests. The required word for this particular issue was ‘stock.’


Photo courtesy and copyright property of Ted Strutz, provided for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields‘ Friday Fictioneers.


His eyes went first. Whether they failed in tandem or at all, I don’t know; I’m told he just shut them. The same goes for his legs, though atrophy has at least created reason. His ears probably work, but he doesn’t let on.

Only one thing’s for certain: his mouth still motors a mile a minute.

Some other nurses say it’s senility and ignore him as he does us. But his voice is vigorous in his accounts of times thought forgotten, his senses sharpened to the scenes, and his heart is attuned to a youthfulness oblivious to drips and monitors.



Friday Fictioneers is a collection of like-pursuant drabblers aiming for stories of precisely 100 words related to the prompt image. (A focus on the headlights set this off.) Others’ contributions can hopefully be found below if I can manage to properly establish the InLinkz collection; I haven’t participated in over three years, so please bear with me. Aside from perusing other entries, you’re welcome to make your own. Just look to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ afore-linked site for guidance. Anyhow, enjoy and/or constructively critique to your contentment!