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Coronavirus: Best Thing Ever! (by the Family Dog)

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The humans have been barking more than usual. They watch that big flat box that they like, the one that shows pictures of other humans barking, and they bark back.

Coronavirus, they keep saying. I do not know that word. But I know it must be something really great!

For one thing, my entire pack is home. All of them, together, all the time! The man and the woman stopped telling me to guard the house (as if I needed a reminder! What will they remind me to do next, breathe?) as they left for "work." And the small humans have not stepped into that giant orange Twinkie with wheels since last week. Someone must have eaten that Twinkie. Lucky.

Not only are they all home, they take me for walks three or four times a day now! Today, the man put on my leash and mumbled something about getting out of the house before he committed hairy Carrie. I don't know who Carrie is, or why she needs to be committed, but I sure hope she gets better soon. I went to a hospital once, and let me te…

The Future Tense Has Been Taken Hostage

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Times are weird, folks. My little village at the edge of Chicago has gone from “quiet suburb” to “ghost town,” and the ghosts are us, haunting our own houses.

Just under two weeks ago, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Somebody at Johns Hopkins University created an online tool to track confirmed cases and deaths. I refresh it daily to see the latest numbers. Ordinarily, that would be a weird thing to do, morbid even. Maybe it’s still weird, but normalcy has gone on hiatus.

The stories from Italy are particularly heartbreaking. Medical staff must decide which patients to treat and which ones to let die when they run out of hospital beds and equipment. Newspapers print extra pages to accommodate the surge in obituaries. Survivors can't comfort each other at funerals for fear of spreading the sickness.

Compared to that, my own problems seem trivial. I was supposed to be on my first-ever cruise right now, and being on lockdown sucks, but out there, a thousa…

The Naked Truth (microfiction challenge)

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With gusto, she sprang off the diving board, feeling air rush against her skin as she spun gloriously above the pool’s surface. Were people actually cheering for her? Cool!

Just before she hit the water, she recognized the yellow object, floating six feet away, as her bikini top.




Prompt: write a 48-word story that takes place in the air




Technically Speaking

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It had sounded like a great idea after three mojitos.

“Jason’s driving, right, Will?” said Ron the bartender, handing me a glass of water.

“This guy,” I told Ron, my arm around Jason, “did laps around the living room last night. Just to get to 10,000 steps before bed!”

“What? I like to stay in shape,” Jason said.

“Obviously,” said Ron, winking at me.

“He’s obsessed with his phone,” I carried on, buoyed by an alcoholic river of truth. “He’s on it twenty-four seven.”

“So? I’m a gadget guy.”

“My gadget guy,” I said, planting a smooch on his stubbly cheek.

“You’re drunk, Will,” said Jason, smiling.

“Seriously, though,” I plowed on, “I bet you couldn’t go one day without that phone.”

“Good lord, why would you want to?” said Ron, wiping his hands on a towel. “Take a selfie with me, boys!” We all grinned at Ron’s phone.

“I could go a whole day,” insisted Jason.

“You’d shrivel up and die.”

“What about you? You’re always on your phone, too. Or your laptop. You wouldn’t last half a day.”

“A ch…

Gravity Waive (Version 2)

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Written for the workshop Hindsight 2020. Assignment: reduce Version 1 to 100 words or less.

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The clang of a shaken spray-paint can punctuated the dawn fog.

I ducked behind a shrub and peeked. The boy aimed the can at the bridge wingwall.

I was hiding again, I realized. Just like I’d hidden my ability all these years, from my family, from everyone.

I focused on the can. It sailed into the air. With a yelp, the boy sprinted away.

“Rhea Revello?”

I jumped.

“Here’s my card.” The woman smiled. “We’ve been aware of your skills for some time. Join us.”

Union of Unusual Talents, it read.

Maybe it was time to come out of hiding.


Hear No Evil (microfiction)

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Stacia followed Beelzebub past the river of fire. Pitchfork-wielding demons prodded naked souls to wade through the flames. Anguished screams echoed.

“Down this hall, your punishment awaits.” Beelzebub grinned. “You will listen to Justin Bieber’s Greatest Hits for eternity.”

“Nooooo!” screamed Stacia, sprinting back toward the flaming river.





Prompt: Write a 48-word story about fire

Gravity Waive (Version 1)

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Written for the workshop Hindsight 2020. Assignment: write a story in 1,000 words or less. Original prompt was from YeahWrite #457, "The main character sees someone about to commit a minor crime. Do they use their superpower or not?"

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I was seven the first time it happened.

The summer sun warmed my back as I lay in the grass behind my house, kicking my legs lazily, reading Wonder Woman comics and wishing I could talk to animals like she did.

The peeping sound came from across the yard. I walked over to see what it was. A tiny baby bird, so young it barely had feathers, flopped pathetically in the dirt. Looking up, I noticed a nest on a tree branch ten feet above.

I’d heard that if you touch a baby wild animal, then its mom won’t take care of it anymore. I sat there and I wished that the bird could return to its nest. In my mind, I pictured it rising off the ground and floating back up there.

I blinked. The baby bird was two inches off the ground. Its little shadow lay on th…