Sunday Vignettes by Luke, ‘Nother Mike and Mary Catelli and The Promo It Is Aflying by Free Range Oyster.

Sunday Vignettes by Luke, ‘Nother Mike and Mary Catelli and The Promo It Is Aflying by Free Range Oyster.

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:


The Promo It Is Aflying by Free Range Oyster

Alma Boykin

Language of the Land: A Steampunk Fantasy

An engineer accidentally rediscovers magic. What could possibly go wrong? A great deal, if you are a tyrant.

Andre Kalisson didn’t believe in magic. Bella Vonk felt the magic of the land but could not touch it. When Andre went north to build a dam on the Greene River, the last thing he expected was to be kidnapped, turned into a mage, and introduced to Bella.

A ticked-off engineer, and people who know the truth, can change the world.

Karen Myers

Second Sight


Samar Dix, the inventor of the popular DixOcular replacement eyes with their numerous enhancements, has run out of ideas and needs another hit. Engaging a visionary painter to create the first in a series of Artist models promises to yield an entirely new way of looking at his world.

But looking through another’s eyes isn’t quite as simple as he thinks, and no amount of tweaking will yield entirely predictable, or safe, results.

Elise Hyatt

Dipped, Stripped and Dead

Daring Finds Book 1

When she was six, Dyce Dare wanted to be a ballerina, but she couldn’t stop tripping over her own feet. Then she wanted to be a lion tamer, but Fluffy, the cat, would not obey her. Which is why at the age of twenty nine she’s dumpster diving, kind of. She’s looking for furniture to keep her refinishing business going, because she would someday like to feed herself and her young son something better than pancakes.

Unfortunately, as has come to be her expectation, things go disastrously wrong. She finds a half melted corpse in a dumpster. This will force her to do what she never wanted to do: solve a crime.

81 thoughts on “Sunday Vignettes by Luke, ‘Nother Mike and Mary Catelli and The Promo It Is Aflying by Free Range Oyster.

  1. The hunter found his demolished trap wondering what had been caught in it.

    Then he heard the dragon saying “You should be more careful about setting your traps. I don’t like being caught in traps.”

  2. He crawled into the union suit, then donned the rest of his clothes. He descended through the floor hatch to ground level and was soon riding a sprung two wheeled carriage. He was sure he could avoid being caught in the dragnet, so long as he kept his mouth shut.

      1. Does getting us to try to find the hidden traps count as one more? I mean, intellectual puzzles are kind of a trap, aren’t they? So that would be six. Although wondering just what counts as a trap might actually make one more, which would bring the total to seven. Trapping us into a discussion of the number of traps? Hey, crazy eight! Wasn’t I supposed to be doing something else? NINE! …

  3. Carefully I snaked the cable down the hole. Easy does it gets the trick done. Doing stuff like this had become old hat to me. Years of experience I guess. After all, fishing Lego blocks out of toilet drain traps is a standard plumber challenge.

  4. He took a sip of soda.
    “It’s easy at the start. It appears to help, and then you need more to get the same result.”
    “Yeah, I can see that.”
    “That’s what you got to watch for, the hardest traps to escape are the easiest getting into.”

  5. This is NOT a vignette– but I am feeling trapped in the situation because when I call my primary doctor, her office says the surgeon has the paperwork. Then when I call the surgeon’s office they tell me there is no referral and that the surgeon does referral work only. Three days I went through this illogic loop.

    I finally found the escape– I told the surgeon’s office that I knew the doctor’s office had sent the referral twice during the last week. When I said I had all the paperwork, they gave me an email address and then I photo’d all the copies and sent the paperwork to them. Supposedly they will call on Monday for an appointment–

    Yes, I have cancer… no one seems to be concerned except me.

    1. I have been known to stand right next to She Who Does Paperwork at the doctor’s office, call the surgeon’s office, and say “It was just resent to you two minutes ago. I watched it go through. It’s on top of your fax machine. Go pick it up.”

        1. Thank you– when I started to have problems at the end of January (vomiting and diarrhea) I told my doctors that I was very sure it wasn’t the stomach flu–too violent. My rheumatologist suggested that my thyroid was getting worse and that I needed to talk to my primary care. I couldn’t get an appointment to that office (too full…) so I faxed them a letter with the info from the ER visit. The doctor sent me to get a thyroid sonogram (and other tests), then a week later sent my back for a biopsy. The doctor’s office called me on Friday and set up an appointment last Tuesday–

          She couldn’t get me in sooner… then told me I had papillary thyroid carcinoma… okay after that I was in shock. The next day I started the surgeon thing… Now I am understanding why my emotions are doing the rollercoaster (nodules been dropping hormones and then I have a dearth of hormones) for a few months.

          I know that this is one of the most survivable cancers. However, I have had to push the entire time just to get seen. I’m getting pushed past my anger limit– if I don’t get a call back on Monday… I will start this again with the VA… sad that the VA might do better than the civilian doctors… I have decided to go to the VA ER with the paperwork… only way to get things expedited. *sigh

          1. Oh my. I had a friend go through the “this is completely survivable if it’s dealt with in a timely fashion, so WHY ARE YOU DRAGGING YOUR FEET?” thing last year. By the time she got into surgery, they said she was about six hours away from septic shock (gall bladder.) Good luck to you.

          2. Sorry to hear about this cancer happening to you. One more damn thing to worry about, right?

            Shake the trees a little bit. Find out who’s the best guy in your area for that surgery, if your surgeon isn’t the acknowledged Best Guy. Ask around among any medical people you know. Reputations are usually deserved.

            Also, be the squeaky wheel. If you wait for things to happen in the Approved Manner, that’s a lot of waiting. If the office help know you as “that nice lady who brought us cookies and always seems to be in here every other day” then they won’t forget your chart in the mountain on their desk.

            Because of course you have nothing better to do than pet and curry-comb office drones into doing their work, right?

    2. Ugh. This sort of thing is when I think 3-way calling is not any excess, but a means of anti-buck-passing to get both on the line and… Yeah, I’m dreaming, I know.

      1. Have you noticed that most doctors and their offices are computer illiterate??? Then you want to add “group” calling? hahahahahahahaha

        1. You don’t have them do that, you do it unto them. But as I said, I’m dreaming. Dorothy Grant’s solution seems the more likely workable, though a bigger heinous painus in the anus.

          1. The other half I didn’t mention: getting the doctor’s office to call the surgeon, because they ignore calls from numbers they don’t know, but pick up for doctor’s offices they regularly talk to…

            She Who Does The Paperwork (Cardiologist, that time) used the first 45 seconds to go over statuses of other cases, and then said, “hang on, one more thing” and handed the phone to me while walking over to refax the referral.

            Something about pitching it to the paperwork lady as “they’re ignoring your referral, and losing it. I need your help to make sure you don’t have to deal with me asking you to resend and resend and call them and get calls. Let’s just knock this out now.” This way we all win, right?

              1. To be fair, I’m not the sick one; Peter wasn’t up to thinking of it. I’m, ah, less concerned with being good or following the rules or being nice than I am with being effective when it comes to taking care of my husband.

                I try for nice as well, though. Nice helps grease the social gears.

                I hope that you don’t have to practice it enough to get good at it. *hugs*

        2. I’ve noticed the quality of offices generally declining over the years. Minimum wage does not get you the sharpest knife in the drawer to begin with, and the constant churn of office automation adds to the problem.

          But being old adds perspective. Do you remember in the Ancient Days there seemed to be a lot of young receptionists that couldn’t manage to put a carbon in the typewriter and get a legible copy? Because I remember that.

          1. I remember someone carefully typing away, pulling the bundle out, yanking my sheet out… and looking at the blank paper very puzzled. Where did it go? Then she discovered the copy on the back of her original. Yes, carbon paper has to be inserted the right way…

    3. There are times when physically taking the piece of paper from one office to the other is the only way to do it. Because then you can glare at the incompetent receptionist until she finishes making your appointment.

      Hope the surgeon does better work than the front desk chick.

      1. I’m worried about that as well… What those damn doctors don’t understand is that their office makes them look incompetent. I know that my primary care doctor is really good at her job, but her office makes her look bad… *sigh

        1. What’s really sad is that until you get ugly with them, they ignore you, then tell you that you shouldn’t be unpleasant to them.

          1. My experience has been that I rarely have to get unpleasant to get action from personnel, at least not when I deal with them in person.

            Of course, most people seem to find my efforts at pleasantness sufficiently disconcerting that they’ve no wish to learn where I go to when pleasant won’t work.

            Utter nonsense, of course! I’ve not killed anyone with a scornful glance in weeks.

            1. It is just that these people grew up on Raffi. After a look at you they are not certain that you aren’t hiding an elephant around the corner.

              Willoughby wallaby wee, an elephant sat on me
              Willoughby wallaby woo, an elephant sat on you

              1. I have been said to possess a certain raffish charm,

                but I always found Sharon, Lois & Bram better expressed my identity.

    4. The pharmacy showed me the fax with the dosage wrong. the doctor’s office had on file that they had sent the right dosage.

    5. Prayers, Cyn. Hopefully you can find an argument that will get these people to do their jobs.

  6. Exiting the vehicle, Charlotte retrieved her purse and Gudrun her rifle.
    “Seems quiet,” said Gudrun as they walked up the driveway.
    “Too quiet?” asked Charlotte.
    “It’s a trap, Jim!” Gudrun giggled. “Have you seen those old Star Trek shows? They are SO awful they’re indispensable.”
    “Jimmy is binge-watching them with me,” said Charlotte. “They are a bit fun, I must say. He loves the Star Wars ones the most, though. He can recite them.”

  7. “Some day, this valley will be a paradise. The willows by this river will be woven into for fish traps, to get the big, beautiful trout…”

    “No dreaming of terraforming now. Can’t you hear the ice dam groaning? We need to make it somewhere that won’t be scoured when that goes. Move!”

  8. He crawled silently through the orchestra pit, making it past the kettle drums before his left foot snagged a high hat and brought the whole kit – and the police – crashing down upon him. Dammit, he cursed as they led him away, I should have known it was a trap set.

    (apologies, especially to anyone if he made this terrible pun already. Write first, read later: my policy for this game. 50 on the button, though. )

    1. Best to write first, then read. If it happens to produce duplicates — well, it’s more likely to produce free-flying imagination.

  9. “That you do not know, Man, is not due to anyone holding back.”
    “But how can I decide? I have only feeble hints and partial truths.”
    “The full Truth would blind you. And shame you to despair. This twilight is a mercy.”
    “Decide for all the world?“
    “We await. Chose.”

  10. “It’s a trap!”

    Wait, I think I’ve heard that somewhere else before, from seafood wearing a uniform. Perhaps I need to cogitate on something original.

    1. Funny: as I was reading my dailies this morning (but I don’t remember which site), I saw a commenter’s name: Admiral ACK!

  11. Many thanks for the space, Sarah! And FreeRangeOyster edited the book, and did a great job. All errors remain mine.

  12. Groucho’s character put his finger in the floor and pulled. No go; the hatch was painted shut. Throughout the rest of the act, he would tug at it at odd moments, building to his final ad-libbed line:

    “I know what happened! I told the stage manager to shut her trap!”

  13. Arabella’s lip curled. “They could be a trap, you know.” She leaned forward. “Any or all of them.”
    “Of course,” I said. “Books are filled with accounts of the perils, but nothing on the earth is truly safe.”
    “Least of all,” said Belsante, “waiting for an evil sorceress to strike.”

  14. Without a space ship, no one could reach it, that great gaping hole, rimmed with fires more glaring that the northern lights. It still hung there like a trap ready to capture them all. The men in the tiny airport huddled in clumps, and never asked after a flight.

  15. The glowing man smiled down at him, holding out a hand. “You think tat this is all there is to life? Brother, there is so much more than you realize. There is a way out of this, into something better. Take my hand, let’s go further up and further in.”

    If that ain’t fifty words then I’m a kangaroo.

  16. She read eagerly, turning the pages, thrilling to the tale. Every crescendo built still further, each plot twist and revelation added nuance and excitement. She knew she ought put the reader down, to sleep, but couldn’t tear herself away. She glanced at the page counter; there were infinite pages remaining.

    Yes, that, too, is fifty words; would I lie about something so easily checked?

  17. Had they set it up to trap him, they could have done no better.
    Perhaps they had.
    And he had to remember that they were looking to produce superpowers. However they intended to control them (and it could not be by overwhelming them with loving-kindness) they had to contain them.

  18. They left their cards and departed with no further ado. Hope stood and looked at the writing on it.
    “I can help you look through the chests if you want,” said Daisy. “Mom always said it was a shame to leave them gathering dust.
    It was insane to feel trapped.

  19. I’m going to quote a line from one of my books here:

    “The good thing about walking into a trap is that you know exactly where you are.”

    –Cannibal Hearts

  20. The grizzled man knelt down on the trail.
    “See this girl? That’s a good sign right there.”
    The young girl crouched and observed the clawed footprint
    “So what do we do?”
    “Give me the medium trap and we will see if we are lucky tomorrow.”

  21. “There’s water all over the bathroom floor again.”
    “But the plumber was just here!”
    “It looks like he forgot to reinstall the trap.”

  22. “And then, we went to the store and Monica and I tried on like a hundred different shirts. I really liked the blue one with the silver stars but it totally cost too much so—“
    “Sally! Shut yer trap.” Thank God that my little sister turned sixteen next month.


  23. Not to long ago the goals of the Transcontinental Association for Peace had appeared an impossible dream. Still, with the consistent work of so many of the faithful that all glorious day of equality had finally seemed within reach. Then the horrid election occurred, and the people asserted their individuality.

    1. And we are so buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuumed.


  24. Trip, trap, trip, trap
    “Who’s that tripping across my bridge?” roared the troll.
    “It is I, McGruff, on the trail of vile criminals.
    “Gruff?” asked the troll.
    The troll peered over the edge of the bridge
    “What? You’re a dog!” said the perplexed troll.
    “You were expecting a goat?”

  25. The dripping was loud in the stygian black, blood flowing from his lacerated calf.
    These old tunnels had been a mistake, though they had seemed a safe choice.
    A bear trap closing on his leg had been the first sign.
    Moaning and shuffling from the depths had been the next.

      1. I send that video to people on their birthdays. I’ve gotten reactions from “this is the best present ever!” to “did I just get cursed?”

  26. The hare barely struggled in the snare; she must have sensed the game was up. “Don’t feel bad,” the young woman thought, “it’s not your fault. You couldn’t have known about the trap. I didn’t know about mine. The fact that I escaped doesn’t mean I won’t find another one.”

  27. One down: Stripped, Dipped, and Dead was great! To quote my review: Laugh Out Loud Fun.

    1. There will be A French Polished Murder by Friday. it’s ready to go, I’m just pacing it out so that when the third comes out you won’t have to wait too long for the fourth, but only a couple of weeks.

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