Just the Sunday Vignettes, Ma’am- by Luke, ‘Nother Mike and Mary Catelli

Just the Sunday Vignettes, Ma’am- 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:

55 thoughts on “Just the Sunday Vignettes, Ma’am- by Luke, ‘Nother Mike and Mary Catelli

  1. “But he was so kindly to them what happened?”

    “He was killing them with kindness.”

  2. “The road to hell is paved with kind intentions.”
    “You mean, good intentions, don’t you?”
    “I mean exactly, what I said.”

  3. The door slammed shut and the roar of the car’s engine as it squealed out of the driveway crushed her spirits. Oh, for a kindly man, rather then losers that walked in and out her door. She flopped down on the couch, glaring at the brass lamp on the mantle.

  4. As the Furies he had summoned rampaged across the land, the hapless wizard realized, too late, that the Kindly Ones were not.

    1. It’s a case where you call them something nice in the hopes that they won’t turn on you. People forget that the Fair Folk were called that as a conciliatory measure.

  5. It was one-ten in the shade, the A/C hadn’t worked in years, and the idiot lights took turns adding to my stress level. I had twenty three bucks to my name, and I had to make it to Friday. My only hope was my kindly old Aunt Fanny, who might part with a tenner.

    That’s when the cop turned on his lights.

  6. Baldy hefted the baseball bat. “You tell him I ain’t gonna pay.”

    Before Baldy could even blink, Claude folded his right arm and swung. “I’m sorry, sir, but would you kindly remove your eye from my elbow.”

    I’ll give this to him: Claude’s a mean enforcer, but he’s always polite.

  7. Jack Ryan, son of Andrew, watched the young girl in the blue dress float up through the floor. Glanced at Raidou, who was showing actual fear behind that stoic mask. She spoke. “Would you kindly die for me?” Jack put the revolver to his head and pulled the trigger.

    1. Jack Wynand watched the young girl in the blue dress float up through the floor. Glanced at Raidou, who was showing actual fear behind that stoic mask. Hovering, she started glowing then spoke. “Would you kindly die for me?” Jack put the revolver to his head and pulled the trigger.

  8. Her kindly old grandmother would not have lightly included such a warning. She could be quite stern about being judgmental, with warnings about being judged. Hope scowled. She wondered what sort of ugliness her grandmother had produced to know what to warn. Such a long list, too. Several were needed.

  9. “A pity,” said Corridon. “They’re kindly souls. Look, one’s come to direct you to your room.’
    “Room?” said Halley sharply.
    “You thought we would make you sleep by the hearth?”
    They thought I would have to stay as soon as they saw me, thought Halley. She let her breath out.

  10. “Just because there are not kindly old women to give us advice?” I said, but then I saw two knights running toward us, full of excitement. “It’s a good thing, then, that we had a kindly woman of middle years giving us advice before she sent us here for safety.”

  11. “By being nice to them, you will erode their will to fight. They will destroy their stockpiles. They will reduce their army. And you will open the gates and let our troops walk in.”

    “Oh, is that all? And how shall I do it?”


  12. Reginald sneered. “But, dear brother, if something unfortunate….” He froze and spiraled slowly to the marble floor. At a nod, two guards lifted the body, then stopped at a gesture. “Yes, dear brother,” Julian said gently and touched the corpse’s cheek, “but ‘unfortunate’ is in the eye of the beholder.”

    50 on the button.

  13. Romantic nonsense, because my characters are being recalcitrant today.

    “Kindly look into my eyes, monstrous creature from empty space,” said George, bringing his car-sized dragon head up next to Nammu and butting her gently with his nose. “Now kiss me, you fool.”
    “George, you are so silly,” Nammu dissembled in embarrassment, smiling despite herself. “Very well, Monkey King. Prepare yourself.” She grabbed his whiskers and kissed him, eyes just peeping over his fur. George’s eyes went a bit crossed and his tail flopped flat on the ground.
    “Wait, are you really doing this here?” asked Guruh, ears drooping sideways in vaguely alarmed confusion. “Are you two going to have a dalliance right now, in front of a Dark One?”
    “Certainly not,” said Nammu, reaching up and pulling the wolf down to her height. “All three of us will.”

  14. Kindly he spoke. That is what I will remember … well for the rest of my life, I suppose. I cannot remember the exact words, but he spoke them kindly. I think it was an apology of sorts. But I am still in the queue. However kindly he condemned me.

  15. If they had not looked so kindly, the old couple, she would not be caught in a cliché. Lured by a kindly smile. Despite the circumstances, she had to giggle. After breaking down on a stormy night it was not the vampires concerning her, but the unoriginality of her predicament.

  16. “Would you kindly step aside, so I can fix this?” I frowned up at a wall of muscles, and the head silhouetted against the bright sky and the flare of falling debris hitting the shield.

    “No, ma’am.” He put a hand on my shoulder that could have palmed my head like it was a precision metric wrench.

    “We’ll be hurting most mightily, if it’s not fixed afore the backup bank ceases…” I tried to step around him, but he shifted slightly, taking a half-step in the mud to block me. I looked down, and realized what was wrong with the hydraulic fluid that was splattered everywhere: it was too dark.

    The breeze shifted, and the smell, coppery and foul, hit me then. I pressed the back of my glove against my mouth, tasting oil and dirt and trying to fight the sudden nausea. “You don’t need to see this, ma’am. We’ll get you when it’s cleaned up.” He turned me, and shoved me away.

    I ceased to argue.

    1. Someone was blocking my light. I looked up over the rims of the rims of my spectacles, blinking at the sudden transition from imaging to fuzzy mark one eyeball, and screwed up tired eyes to try to focus further than an inch from my nose. A hand lay between my nose and his face, and it was pointing down and to the right.

      My nose was swifter than my eyes, scenting a waft of steam, rich with the scent of coffee and spice. A cup lay by my elbow, perched on the edge of the blast shield I was using for a table, and I toggled off the spectacles and cased them before reaching for the “Ma’am. The shield generator is ready for you to fix it.”

      At that statement, a sudden curling soured my appetite, and I confess the cup trembled in my hand. “Thank you kindly. I shall get right on that.” I put the cup down, and gathered my skirts to rise.

      “Ma’am. Drink your coffee first. You’ve bought us that much time.” He hesitated, and added with a lower tone, “And I’d prefer if your wits are at their sharpest when dealing with that tangle.”

      I looked up at him, and noted for the first time that his eyes were as bloodshot as bruised by exhaustion as mine own. He had a wry twist to his generous lips that called forth a similarly honest humour. “I’m afraid the longer I put it off, the harder it will be to face. But I am dearly glad for the excuse. Have you had some coffee yourself?”

      “Any more, and I’ll be dashing for the nearest tree. Or bush.” He looked around the flattened mess of the emergency landing field. “Or convenient rock. Or a ship’s officer I don’t much care for.”

      This time, when my hand flew to my mouth, it was to stop the giggle that threatened to become a full wild cracking peal of laughter. “Oh, indeed. I can think of one or two I’d volunteer for such service.”

      He grinned as I tossed back the cup, and rose from the stack of crates I’d pressed into service as a seat. I waited as he picked up my toolbag like it was light as a purse, and slipped my hand into his arm. He murmurred into my bonnet as we set out. “Hush, now. We’re to keep you out of trouble, not aid and abet same… officially.”

  17. Dear Author,

    We regret to inform you that the story you have submitted– Cthulu and the Deadly Martian Bimbos – is not suitable to our present needs. While you demonstrate considerable skill in plotting and characterization the subject matter is inappropriate to our audience’s interests.

    The Editors, Disney Golden Books

  18. Sky Masterson picked up the dice, rattled them, then paused. Looking across the table at Nathan Detroit he said, “I recognize Nicely Nicely coming this way, but who, pray, is the guy what accompanies him?

    Nathan glanced in the direction indicated and said, “Oh, that’s Nicely Nicely’s cousin, Thank-you Kindly.”

    1. ‘From Nicely Nicely I know, but from Thank-you Kindly I do not,’ Sky observed, once again shaking the dice before rolling his point, ‘Of this moniker what can you relate?’

      Nathan thought a long moment, ‘That his name is more in the I would rather not than in the practice.’

  19. “My cousin owns the place, so go ahead and order whatever you want.”His kin’s deli wasn’t where he wanted to take Lucy for their first date, but the movies were expected and sixteen-year old’s weren’t exactly known for money.
    “Thank you, Mike. You are so pleasant to be around.”

    1. “My cousin owns the place, so go ahead and order whatever you want. His kin’s deli wasn’t where he wanted to take Lucy for their first date, but the movies were more expensive than expected and sixteen-year old’s weren’t exactly known for money.
      “Thank you, Mike. You are so pleasant!”

      *still 50, but now edited to make more sense!

  20. The flashlight beam in his eyes woke him up. He couldn’t make out who held it. He cringed. He had hoped to make it through town without being spotted. He was all too aware of his torn and clothing, matted hair, scraggly beard, worn shoes, bloodstains, and bad odor, but he had been too weary to go another mile. He had curled up in what he thought was a secluded spot, but apparently it wasn’t secluded enough.
    “Midvale Police. Who are you?” came the demand. That was an impossible question. He wasn’t sure anymore.
    “I’m sorry, officer I didn’t think I would disturb anyone here”. The flashlight beam left his eyes and played over his body. He would have cringed more, if it were possible.
    “Well, you do look like you’re in a sorry state, but that wasn’t what I asked”. Was that a trace of humor, and even kindliness? The fugitive didn’t dare believe it. It was better to expect and prepare for the worst.

  21. Kasey,
    I don’t know when I will write
    Next. We have gotten action orders.
    Departing in 5 minutes.
    Love always, no matter how this ends.
    Your boo-bear

  22. The ion source was miss-aligned it was true, but a kindly tap with the calibrator might have done her more good than the bang of the 12 inch spanner. The voices of few divas responded well to overt force. Now, the whole XZ423 assembly would need adjustment. Human parts!

  23. My first fiction writing since 6th grade, 45 years ago…
    Kindly let me know what you think.

  24. Could you kindly tell me if this is a moderated posting? I’m new to androids and not sure how strong the post are that are holding them up. Certainly, I’d hate to have the moderator come after me if the androids need to be sent back to their maker.

  25. The dark-cowled figure sprawled, “Kindly remove your heels from my stomach.”
    Bruno loomed, “Lady, there ain’t nothin’ kind about me. If you don’t give up Slicer, we’ll have a problem.”
    Slicer sighed, “Can’t say I didn’t ask nicely.”
    Flick. Snick. A few slices, a few dices. Naught but shoes remained.

      1. Thanks. The phrasing remains a bit awkward to me. “give Slicer up” is probably better than “give up Slicer”. I don’t really like “loomed” nor “sighed”, but couldn’t substitute a longer action phrase.

        Sometimes the 50 word limit is easier, other times it’s rough. 🙂

  26. Dear Moderator
    I tried to post two comments last night, six full hours ago. As a first timer, I am a Nervous Nellie. However, they have yet to appear on the page, below. Will you kindly let me know if I am lacking some credential or approval to be able to post here? Or, am I possibly entering into my Android wrong?

  27. The creature threw itself around the cell, ravening and spluttering, its frenzy so furious that if Captain Hastings hadn’t kindly thought to put it in the padded unit for PTSD breakdowns it might have killed itself with its own impacts. Dr. Vlasek gaped at it. “Captain, what — ?!”

    “Dunno,” said Hastings imperturbably. “But it keeps yelling ‘Uruk-hai! Uruk-hai!’

    (Not quite 50 but under 60 at least)

    1. Holy mash-up Batman! My mind spins.

      I have a setting from Terminator just before Sarah Connor is liberated from the jail, the kindly image of Hugh Fraizer playing a character from Agatha Christie and uber-orcs…

  28. The Witch King stood at the center of the stage; radiating a bitter coldness that no fire could ever warm.
    “Welcome to Sauron’s School for Goblins, Orcs and Trolls. Kindly refrain from referring to our institution as Uruk-Hi. Instant obedience is mandatory. All classes will be graded pass or die.”

      1. “If the pun is the lowest form of wit, does that mean pundits are the lowest form of journalist?”

  29. “And why not?”
    “Because she’s not our kind!”
    “So? Neither was Grandma when she came to the valley! Grampa took her in, gave her a home, gave her love! What’s the difference?”
    “She has scales!” his father thundered.
    “Grandma had feathers,” he returned quietly, “Remember, the woman who raised you?”

    50 on the dot.

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