This, That andSunday Vignettes by Luke, ‘Nother Mike and Mary Catelli

Yeah, we have Sunday Vignettes on Sunday, an act of reckless exuberance that will probably go down in history.

Normally there would be a promo post, but the Ambulatory mollusc has a new minion and is working very hard.  I’m trying to automate the process, because otherwise, putting in my associate’s code, by itself, takes two hours or so. In two hours I can write a short story or an article for PJM, or pet cats, or cuddle my husband, or go for a walk.  The rather tedious code inserting job is simply not at the top of my list.  And I’m very grateful to Freerange oyster, when he does it, and I understand his other demands.  Speaking of which, the Oyster does copy-editing and other stuff and is looking for work to help feed the new minion.  I understand you can reach him at his editing address.

Also, a frequent commenter here, Kim Du Toit, just lost his wife Connie.  Many of us read them and listened to their podcast.  Her prolonged battle with cancer left him in rather tight financial straits, as such things do these days, because snatching another day of life from the jaws of cancer is an heroic and expensive endeavor. He’s started a gofundme to try to get his life back together and himself back on his feet.  If you have a few shekels you can spare, please throw them his way.  Bloggers don’t have insurance, they don’t have unions, and they most certainly don’t have government programs.  All we have is each other and our loyal readers.

He will be starting a blog again tonight, and I’ll come here and put the link here, when it’s live.

And now I’ll go to try to finish UNCHARTED:Lewis and Clark in the Arcane Territories which I am writing with Kevin J. Anderson.  Once that is in, I’ll start on Guardian.  Since I can’t excerpt Guardian here (I’m sending Larry VERY raw first draft) but I’m going to be too immersed to do much of anything else, when I start working on Guardian again, probably next week, I’ll probably excerpt Grant in Portugal, aka Dark Fate here, every day for a week or two.  I hope you guys will stick around.

And now I’m going to have a massive quantity of coffee and work.

D*mn it, forgot because I do that: if you haven’t got the idea this year is shaping up to be one long sprint in terms of work, let me assure you I am booked to a fare-thee-well.  If I can get in a couple of guest posts a week, it would greatly help.  So if you want to see your name in lights (little blog lights.  Pixels, really) email me at scifi*mylastname* at gmail.  Remove the asterisks and replace what’s between them with my last name, and finish the domain name.  FOR THE LOVE OF BOB (Heinlein) put BLOG POST in the subject line, or I’ll lose them and not be able to find them.  One of you has made me a folder to upload them to, but considering how things are and my endemic disorganization, having that subject line doesn’t hurt.

Also if you need structural edits, the person I use is D. Jason Fleming.  It’s one of those things, you either have a talent for or you don’t.  He does.  I don’t have his editing email, but if you email me, I’ll have found it by then and let you know.  Again, structural edit is not copy-edit, it is rather “I feel I lost my way in this novel, where did I do wrong?”  Or “this never seemed to come together, can it be saved?”  I understand he’s also willing to do audio books, and depending on how things work out (I’d approached another friend first but he’s really busy, and it keeps getting put off) he might be doing a large portion of mine.

And NOW the post is complete.

Sunday Vignettes by Luke, ‘Nother Mike and Mary Catelli

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:


65 thoughts on “This, That andSunday Vignettes by Luke, ‘Nother Mike and Mary Catelli

        1. I used to read their blogs back when they had them (and I didn’t have kids doing the interrupting all the time.) So I knew Connie as well as anyone who read her could know.

          I keep hoping that those various cancer treatments that they are developing pan out. Sooner would be better because we’re losing far too many good people.

  1. Super Fred found himself on a lifeless planet and thought I’m invincible. I’ll survive this.

    Unfortunately, he still needed food to eat.

  2. Invincible? Fifty words? Pfui.

    Nope. I got nothin’. No idea, no inspiration, not a clue.

    I’ve nary a pun, no shaggy dog tale, nor even a fluffy kitten.

    I am defeated, beaten, crapped out, flummoxed, humbled, conquered, overcome, thwarted, baffled and vanquished.

    This prompt is, I am convinced, indeed invincible.

  3. “Bloggers don’t have insurance, they don’t have unions, and they most certainly don’t have government programs.”

    Kim was also Brandon Eich before Brandon Eich was. His treatment was a big factor in convincing me that there is no living in a civil society with Leftists.

  4. “Their forces are incredibly strong and the defenses astonishing. They’re invincible!” exclaimed Ted.

    “Invincible? Nonsense.” replied Bob, “Difficult to overcome, perhaps, but invincible has the same problem as unsinkable.”

    “What’s the problem with unsinkable?”

    “Ask the Titanic.”

    “So, have a plan?”

    “Considering their strength? Hide or flee. We’re not invincible.”

  5. The mad man was screaming over the speakers of his mech suit. Something about being invincible. Idiot, everyone knew about that suits weakness. Slowly he took aim. Yep, he forgot about armouring the exhaust ports. Slowly he breathed out and the shot came, always a surprise. One megalomaniac idiot down.

    *50 words bang on*

    1. Nicely done. I got nothing as inspiration, and it looks as if you got a couple, possibly (as noted) serial chapters in an ongoing story. (Can one tell a full story as a series of vignette-sized chapters? I seemed to have started one with my tale of Billy-Bob, but it seems to have petered out.)

  6. “Independent Network Vehicle Identification Number? What the heck is that, Cheryl?”

    “Some silly people figuring they have a better vehicle ID than those the manufacturers use. Say it’s gonna be the great new thing, but never explain why such a thing is needed. According to them it’s the IN-VIN, Cybil.”

  7. She flopped onto the couch with a weary moan as I made her a cuppa. “Bad day, dear?”

    One arm was flung over her eyes, but the other reached with unerring aim by habit for the mug. “I had to sub in the ER. Why, why, do teenagers think they’re immortal, invincible, and infertile?”

  8. He bounced off the padded walls, laughing and screaming, “I am invincible!”

    Mary nodded her head sadly. Yes, he was invincible. You could shoot a rocket at his rock-hard abs and he’d survive. Too bad the serum made every test subject crazy.

  9. “Unit One of the Valkyrie Brigade, designation BRN, reporting!” said the machine, in a clear and very feminine voice with the slightest trace of a German accent. “Orders, sir?”
    George surveyed his handiwork with satisfaction. “Greetings Unit BRN. Henceforward you are Brunhilde, chief of the Valkyries,” he said formally.
    “I get to be Brunhilde?!” exclaimed the machine. “That is AWESOME!!! Thanks, George!”

  10. The problem with being invincible, the man thought to himself, was that people tended to not give you a lot of support. After all, those could be used to help people who actually needed them.

    Which was why he was trying to build enough momentum to get the tank off.

  11. “You’re being assigned where?

    The Invincible. New Hypernova class starship.”

    “I know what it is, but why name it Invincible? Was Undue Hubris already taken?”

    “Don’t be superstitious. It’s a historic Old Earth ship name. Several ships had it.”

    “Good thing you’re in security.”


    “You already have red shirts.”

    1. “Please tell me that again.”
      “Well sir, as far as we can tell, a piece of debris hit the Invincible right in that microsecond after she came out of hyperspace, but before the shields deployed… would’ve deployed.”
      “Wonderful. We lose our latest ship an hour into her first cruise.”

  12. The pain was still fresh- the cutting of all former ties that those with powers must do. She felt the loss of having to leave her true love- it’s for his own good!
    As her mentor said, “You may be invincible, but you can still be hurt.”

  13. After the fourth attempt at explaining the difference between wanting to promote entertaining reads and wanting to suppress grey goo books, he gave up. With some people you could shine some small amount of light into their dimness, but the insistent stupidity of the puppy kicker had proven itself invincible.

    50 – count ’em – 50

      1. And alas so true. Ignorance is a treatable condition. Stupidity seems to be all but incurable. I would say it is incurable, but there are rare cases of at least remission.

  14. As if they could do something.
    As if anything could stop Carrigiana’s conquest, more like a winter storm or waves from incoming tide than than the assault of an army. It was not as if it were the tide, and would go out, or the winter, to yield to spring.

  15. It was one thing to stand there, grubby, in faded blue overalls with a yellow blouse get worn at the sleeves, when repotting. Prudent and sage, indeed. It hardly made her feel invincible to face corporate managers. Indeed, she felt extremely vincible.
    Best to finish it and not dread it.

    1. The fun thing is that in this story, the character here is NOT the one with Superman-like powers who could actually have an argument toward being invincible.

  16. “Let’s get food,” said Artos. “Then we tell you our secrets. It’s not like we’re all invincible.”
    Corridon shifted his weight. “We aren’t. Any of us. Though you — ” He waved his hand at her, and then took in himself and Aros with the sweep. ” — and we are the closest to.”

  17. The Invincible’s bulkhead rang like a church bell, a smoking hole by their heads.
    Maggie shrilled, “Tremble, you’d better explain this!”
    “Tremble! Don’t you know your own name?”
    “Rugby.” He gave her a melting smile. “Philip K. Rugby. I don’t know this Tremble fellow.”
    Another cannonade laced the bulkhead.

  18. Clarkson’s latest song came to an end. A new song started on the radio. She joined the chorus, ‘She wants to dance like Uma Thurman, Bury me ’til I confess.’

    ‘You like that?’ he asked.

    ‘Clarkson sings Invincible with heart; Fall Out Boy sings about being immortal and invincible characters.’

  19. He stood beside the smoking crater. Took another drag of his cigarette. A jeep came to a stop nearby.
    A rather officious officer got out of the back and pointed at him.
    “You! Are you, responsible for this mess?”
    He butted the cigarette.
    “Nope, do I look invincible?”

    *could be part of the first one, or not*

      1. I know. Got an image of a solitary person beside a smoking crater. Started writing it and realized it could be part of the previous vignette.

  20. Spaceshipgirl Looks Forward to Decommissioning

    The Invincible, fourth of the Reckless class commissioned 173 years ago during the seventh Eta Ceti conflict, is eagerly anticipating leaving service. “Even after the last modernization refit, it is difficult to outmatch new vessels. 386 watches until I leave the name in good hands.”

    1. I like it!
      Sounds depressingly close to real life military hardware life expectancies. How old is the B-52 now?

        1. Two Thumbs Up!
          Too Loud, Too Cold or Too Hot, able to get in and out of places a hummingbird would be afraid to land in. And I’ve never found an AF passenger seat that wasn’t designed by the Marquis de Sade.

          1. One of the best jobs I had was as a mechanic (sometimes, with the luck of the draw, a Flight Mechanic) on a group of CASA-212s based in Panama under contract to the USAF. Our reason for being was to put people and/or stuff in places where it was either too expensive (why fire up a Herc & full crew for just a couple of pallets of cargo or a handful of, let us say ‘interestingly attired’ soldiers) or inaccessible (not very many places) for the big boys.

            And I found the pax seats on the C-141 Starlifter to be, well, if not *comfortable*, then no more uncomfortable than standard airline seats, other than the fact that they were facing towards the rear of the aircraft. I suppose so that, in the event of a crash unplanned landing event, you could see and try to duck the cargo if it should break loose and go barreling through the cabin.

  21. Ajax sneered, “Little boy, get back to your mamma!” With a rush, he charged the boy, and never saw the arrow that split his chest. As he fell, he saw the second defender emerge from her hideaway.

    “I guess,” Ajax coughed blood, “I’m only invincible when I see the attack.”

    *50 on the nose!*

  22. “We are invincible!” Cried Tyrannosaurus Rex, the Tyrant Lizard, to the hissing, roaring applause of his assembled followers. “Our fleet shall conquer the galaxy! All worlds will fall before us!”

    T-Rex glanced up, and noticed a star that hadn’t been there a moment ago.

  23. Vinnie came back to our table with two fresh beers. “Dude, did you get her number?”

    He grinned, and told me, “No, she shut me right down. Of all the girls here, she seems to be the only in-Vince-able one!”

    See? That’s why I hang with him.

  24. I step onto the piste.
    My opponent takes his place.
    Are we ready?
    We are ready.
    We close to attack range.
    We briefly stand immobile.
    Then, in the blink of the eye, we move.
    My beat throws his blade past my shoulder.
    My point hits home.

  25. Inventory; right leg gone, several ribs broken, left shoulder dislocated, multiple contusions.
    Automated systems numbed the pain and immobilized the broken bones, but couldn’t do anything about the debris floating dangerously close.
    His helmets lights played over a drifting bit of bulkhead. “I.S.S. Invincible” was emblazoned in glowing letters.

  26. He used to have a terrifying recurring nightmare as a kid.
    A male lion asked him a question.
    Yes or no, the answer didn’t matter, he got devoured.
    Then one night he gave the lion an answer of, ‘Maybe’.
    The lion never bothered him again.
    No lion is ever invincible.

Comments are closed.