Sunday Vignettes for your Monday by Mary Catelli, Luke and ‘nother Mike

Sunday Vignettes for your Monday by Mary Catelli, Luke and ‘nother Mike

*We at According to Hoyt are true rebels.  We’re so rebellious we don’t let the calendar dictate to us.  In fact, who is the calendar?  How many divisions has he got?

Okay, right, so I was out of it after partying like a Libertarian on Friday and dealing with household emergency on Saturday.  We were both so out of it we didn’t even waste the day by going to a museum, we just sat home and watched Predestination, because that’s how lame we were.

Anyway, Mary and the guys had sent me a prompt for vignettes, and I just rescued it from my inbox.  Here it is:*

Sunday Vignettes for your Monday by Mary Catelli, Luke and ‘nother Mike

(UPDATE: We all know Word Press Delenda est.  We just don’t know the full extent of it.  THAT is right here, in the fact that I had this text below the line, that WordPress decided I wanted to be invisible.  After poking the HTML  a few times, I hope it’s now visible.)

Sunday Vignettes!

So what’s a vignette? You might know them as flash fiction, or even just sketches. We will provide a prompt each Sunday that you can use directly (including it in your work) or just as an inspiration. You, in turn, will write about 50 words (yes, we are going for short shorts! Not even a Drabble 100 words, just half that!). Then post it!  For an additional challenge, you can aim to make it exactly 50 words, if you like.

We recommend that if you have an original vignette, you post that as a new reply. If you are commenting on someone’s vignette, then post that as a reply to the vignette. Comments — this is writing practice, so comments should be aimed at helping someone be a better writer, not at crushing them. And since these are likely to be drafts, don’t jump up and down too hard on typos and grammar.

If you have questions, feel free to ask.

Your writing prompt this week is


82 thoughts on “Sunday Vignettes for your Monday by Mary Catelli, Luke and ‘nother Mike

      1. The course of Asterisk’s life hung in the balance, unless a willing healer turned up soon he was doomed to a life as a cripple.

  1. For a moment, she did not know what the bundle was, then she saw a tiny face. A child, swaddled and sleeping among the roots. She looked about for the mother, and wondered about protective charms.
    Then the eyes opened. Cold, dark eyes. The face suddenly looked wizened and old.

    1. She thought for a moment. If that is what the fates determined it will be what it will be, once in the cross hairs it did no good to run. So she stepped warily forward and picked up the child. She knew would have to raise it as her own.

      1. And now we have the added burden of having to raise that foundling? Okay, this could be interesting. Just who is that baby in the roots? Didn’t Moses start that way?

        1. Well those eyes “shout” Changeling to me.

          IE a Fairy disguised as an infant.

          1. Yup.

            It’s the urban fantasy. The changelings are really peeved about the masquerade — the pretense that the fairies aren’t among us — because it makes it hard to, you know, do the changeling bit. Also all the iron in the hospitals.

    2. Beware of children bundled and left in the roots? I like the contrast of the cold, dark eyes with our almost instinctive “Oh, a baby…” Nice start!

  2. Ted stormed by in a deformed ski mask and slammed the bedroom door.

    “What happened?”

    “Incomplete transformation. Only horns. No hooves, no tail.”

    “I thought he had that down?”

    “Puberty messes everything up for a while.”

    “Why such a fuss over that?”

    “Being horny without getting any tail is frustrating.”

    1. Clearly it behooves us to follow up on this one! Partial transformations, how moooving. Poor Ted. Where’s Bob, Carol, and Alice when he needs them, eh?

  3. On an unrelated topic… Who does the best cover of ‘Ding Dong The Witch is Dead’? Just want to add it to my mp3 player in case I need it later.

  4. We’re so rebellious we don’t let the calendar dictate to us.

    I tried letting a colander dictate to me, but it was too much of a strain.

  5. On a other topic, who does the best cover of “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead”?

    I want to add it to my MP3 player, just in case I need it later.

    1. I think it depends on your definition of “best.”

      There was a pretty good rock cover in the late Sixties, as I recall (see next comment.) There are also covers by Ella Fitzgerald and Barbra Streisand and, apparently from Glee.

      1. Not as chipper as I recalled, and more mid than Late Sixties, I would guess.

        Garland still did it best.

          1. True … Dorothy is in the preamble:

            It really was no miracle. What happened was just this.
            The wind began to switch – the house to pitch and suddenly the hinges started to unhitch.
            Just then the Witch – to satisfy an itch went flying on her broomstick, thumbing for a hitch.
            And oh, what happened then was rich.
            *The house began to pitch. The kitchen took a slitch.
            It landed on the Wicked Witch in the middle of a ditch,
            Which was not a healthy situation for the Wicked Witch.
            *The house began to pitch. The kitchen took a slitch.
            It landed on the Wicked Witch in the middle of a ditch,
            Which was not a healthy situation for the Wicked Witch.
            … Who began to twitch and was reduced to just a stitch of what was once the Wicked Witch.
            Munchkin #1:
            We thank you very sweetly, for doing it so neatly.
            Munchkin #2:
            You’ve killed her so completely, that we thank you very sweetly.
            Let the joyous news be spread, The Wicked Old Witch at last is dead!

      2. Some of those pictures finally helped me to understand Klaus Nomi. Klaus is really a Bene Gesserit, and the Voice is odder than David Lynch could portray on the big screen.

      1. Those are good music-wise… But I was looking for something really exuberant and joyous. Something with a Romanian Christmas circa 1989 feel and less of an ‘I’m covering a wizard of oz song” feel. Sammy Davis Jr. has merit, particularly at the end, but I was still hoping for more feeling:

      1. Probably not. (And it isn’t hope if there are no real grounds to think a thing may happen.)

        We can anticipate that seventy and probably not the best of health does not herald well for handling the pressures of the presidency.

    2. On another topic you say – here let me fix that:

      Ten year old Zoe had been spoiled. Then her father remarried and she had been sent to school. Now, here she was magically transported to a dream world. The wicked witch was dead, and the people around her were declaring her a hero. Well good. This would make things easy.

        1. Ahh.., my eleven words is just some words of wondering what might be if Jasini expanded her: C4c

  6. In respect of the day:

    “The Monster Mash”: The Most Popular Holiday Novelty Song
    Robert George Pickett grew up in a movie theater in Massachusetts where his father was the manager. Like countless millions of kids before and after him, he fell in love with the movies and dreamed of growing up and becoming a movie star. Bobby started doing impressions of the various movie stars he’d see on the silver screen. He did various impressions of the stars he loved, but by far, his favorite movie star was horror movie icon Boris Karloff.

    When he turned 21, Bobby moved to Hollywood in pursuit of his movie star dreams. Again, like millions of others before and since, his dreams came to naught. But Bobby did fall in with the local L.A. music scene. He got involved with a doo-wop group called The Cordials.

    At concerts, during the Cordials’ renditions of various songs, Bobby with break into his Boris Karloff impression, always delighting the crowds. Soon Bobby and fellow band member Lenny Capizzi started working out an entire routine they would perform during their shows featuring the Karloff impression. After that, the two started working on a humorous dance song based on the Karloff shtick.

  7. There was no way around it, the village had been terrorized too long. The screams coming from the fell dungeons, the depredations of the ravening, fire-breathing beasts, the rattling bones must be ended. Having stopped by the Druid’s and collecting his companion Obelix, Childe Asterix to the dork tower went.

    1. One may have thought the name had been misheard. Perhaps the locals had an odd accent that leads scholars to spell the tower’s name that way. ‘Surely’, one would ask oneself, ‘They mean Dark Tower?’ But no. This was actually, in fact, Dork Tower.

      1. This fact is easily confirmed by the heraldic image emblazoned above the overgrown, age-worn gateway leading to the tower – two twenty-sided die on a field of brown, over an open book with a broken spine and bent page corners.

  8. Speaking of Predestination, what are your thoughts?
    In my opinion stayed closer to the theme of the original RAH short story than any of the other hatched jobs done to his works. But maybe it’s just that those other abominations have me with exceedingly low expectations.

    1. I liked it very much, even though it’s one of his more horrifying stories. I didn’t like the coda which, unless I’ve forgotten the story wasn’t there, and don’t see how you get to his being a mass murderer from where he was. BUT movies are different from books.

  9. The last house. “Trick or treat!”

    “Oh, a vampire, a soldier; what are you, dear?”

    Emma stepped up. “Beth, ma’am. Little Women.”

    She walked them home, giving away her candy, waiting in shadow, but their father waved.

    Flowers were by her door. Emma smiled as she floated into her tomb.

  10. Room is hardly a problem – thus the name Space. She contemplated the ancient myths, where a goddess might be content with a mere 10 over her immortal lifetime. How? Why? Do you fill the Heavens with an eyedropper? No, a million years in space changes the rules, even the biological rules.

    She released her million spawn into the black. A shadow, an atavism, troubled her but an instant: she would never know a single child.

  11. Beautiful blue eyes looked up at me, squinting out from the adorably squished up face of a newborn. Her squall was equally cute as she complained of the newfound cold.
    She lay in a bed of eggshells, powdered by the force of her birth.
    “Her feathers will come in later,” he said.

    1. Nice progression, from blue eyes, squished up face, squall to eggshells, and her feathers. Gets us hooked on the ordinary, then walks us right off that plank into the deep water.

  12. The giant fought the dragon in the outskirts of Kitakyushu. “Watch the buildings, dear.” The dragon opened wide to breathe flame. The giant’s spear licked out, into the mouth, and pierced the dragon’s brain. “Such a good child.” The dragon fell, clear of the buildings. “Now bring mommy the heart.”

    1. Kitakyushu? Giants and dragons? Well… I guess everyone has to be somewhere. I will admit, I love the little puzzle of just what mommy is…

      1. Originally, I just happened to like that as a location. If expanded now, there would be a reason.

        The mystery was unclear writing rather than purposeful, and would not survive in a longer work. It would work as a prologue to the story of how she wound up in the conflict.

  13. “What are ye makin’, Mother?” the ancient child demanded from the cradle, rattling bony fingers against the wooden sides.

    She dropped two more empty shells into the boiling water, whispered three charms and St. Patrick’s Breastplate, then seized up the dark iron pot and hurled its contents into the cradle with the shout, “A brewery of eggshells!”

  14. “Long sharp teeth and two eyes bright
    I give to you my child on this dark night”
    The knife glittered once in the candlelight and then did its nasty work.
    “Oh Suzie, you’re not supposed to cut the face out until you’ve removed the insides! That pumpkin will be a nightmare to finish.” Suzie’s mother threw a towel at her. “Now, get it finished and clean up that mess!”
    “But it’s Halloween, it’s supposed to be messy and nightmares” Suzie laughed as she set about cleaning up her handiwork.

  15. “This is a secondary one,” said Talia. “Smaller. Less extended. Perhaps more recent. Wouldn’t swear to that without looking at the footage, but I think the lights came later.”
    “A child node,” said Tristan.
    Talia nodded.
    “Then it may proliferate and spread still farther. Over the universe, node by node.”

  16. Children cavorted around the gazebo. Cal closed his eyes. A child running off screaming would be the worst that could happen, bar an attack by a team of supers. He should get up. Rapt in their play, they would not notice his sneaking off.
    “I’ll go in here!” caroled one.

  17. Death wasn’t anything like he’d expected — he hadn’t expected it to be like anything.

    He just was — a mote of consciousness.

    He reviewed his centuries as God-Emperor. He’d hated the job.

    The light and cold was shocking. He understood when the doctor slapped his butt.

    Then he screamed.

  18. Larry Kettelkamp slipped out of his body and dove into dreamspace, forehead first, pineal eye peering into the collective unconscious. There was no down and no up in dreamspace, only focus. He did not consciously choose the focus. The rational mind could focus only on itself. Those dreams—his personal dreams—were good and necessary, but they were for other nights.
    Tonight, this night…was for *war*.

    1. Ok. You can dress him up but not take him out: This is the start of a Halloween story about nightmares, but I missed the significance of the word “child.”

          1. 0:)

            I’m writing not one but three stories in vignettes (a superhero story, an urban fantasy, and an SF tale) and I’ve learned to recognize the effect.

    1. I have to disagree.
      The Celts didn’t use an Enlightenment calendar developed by the Roman Catholic church. They used a solar calendar, divided into 8 equal parts, with a holiday on each division. Samhain occurs halfway between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice. So it necessarily moves around a bit on our calendar.
      This year, it starts at Sunset on November 5th.

  19. One day, four hundred million of my closest friends and I went swimming, knowing that only one of us would survive.
    Obviously, I was the survivor.
    I’m glad I don’t remember it, I’m certain I did a lot of things I wouldn’t be proud of.

    So when I look into the big blue eyes of you, another survivor of that horrible gauntlet, and you innocently ask me, “Where do babies come from?” I lean back on the skills learned in that life-before-life. I smile, and say, “Go ask your mother.”

  20. Your writing prompt this week is child

    Adding clarifying phrasing without a word of correction? Whoddya think you are, the NY Times?

  21. Your writing prompt this week is child.

    “Eye of newt, wing of bat. Toe of frog, tooth of rat. That should do it.”

    “You know, Julia, I love your cooking, but some of these ethic cuisines are hard on Western palates.”

    “What do you suggest?”

    “Why not French cooking?”

    “Good idea.”

  22. Going with “Lee Child” as the extended prompt, 50 words in honor of a current movie:

    Reacher stepped down from “borrowed” truck to new asphalt. Blinking lights announced the gas price.

    Checking his pocket, he knew what was there. Not enough to drive a thousand miles.

    Spotting a man in a velvet coat accepting cash for small plastic bags, Reacher walked over. Now he’d have enough.

      1. Thanks. Glad you could at least tell what I was going for. 🙂

        Upon re-reading, some of the language is a little awkward, probably a result of the the cutting-to-50-words step. Maybe next time I’ll try redoing sentences from scratch to get down to 50, rather then mostly cutting words and phrases out.

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