Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike & Da Promo by Freerange Oyster

Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike

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: Chicken


Da Promo by Freerange Oyster

Allene R. Lowrey

Advent of Ruin

The Qaehl Cycle Volume 1

An age ends in blood and darkness…

For untold generations, the peoples of the Qaehl have prospered—trading and warring as they expanded across the great desert. Mighty city-states rise unassailable above the sands, centers of commerce in a great web of humanity. Messengers and nomads, tradesmen and bandits, cross the burning wastes with each rising of the sun.

A change is coming. Strange creatures have been sighted in the deep desert. Rumors whisper of horrors begotten out of legend. But there is yet hope: a brave courier, an innocent young dancer, a compassionate warrior – each holding a fragment of the truth, each seeking the future. Each adrift in the desert, trying to survive the advent of ruin.

Free today

Amanda S. Green

Nocturnal Origins

Nocturnal Lives Book 1

Some things can never be forgotten, no matter how hard you try.

Detective Sergeant Mackenzie Santos knows that bitter lesson all too well. The day she died changed her life and her perception of the world forever.It doesn’t matter that everyone, even her doctors, believe a miracle occurred when she awoke in the hospital morgue. Mac knows better. It hadn’t been a miracle, at least not a holy one. As far as she’s concerned, that’s the day the dogs of Hell came for her.

Investigating one of the most horrendous murders in recent Dallas history, Mac also has to break in a new partner and deal with nosy reporters who follow her every move and who publish confidential details of the investigation without a qualm.

Complicating matters even more, Mac learns the truth about her family and herself, a truth that forces her to deal with the monster within, as well as those on the outside.But none of this matters as much as discovering the identity of the murderer before he can kill again.

Dagger of Elanna

Sword of the Gods Book 2

Plots form, betrayals are planned and war nears.

Cait Hawkener has come to accept she might never remember her life before that terrible morning almost two years ago when she woke in the slavers’ camp. That life is now behind her, thanks to Fallon Mevarel and the Order of Arelion. Now a member of the Order, Cait has pledged her life to making sure no one else falls victim as she did.

But danger once more grows, not only for Cait but to those she calls friends. Evil no longer hides in the shadows and conspirators grow bold as they move against the Order and those who look to it for protection. When Cait accepts the call to go to the aid of one of the Order’s allies, she does not know she is walking into the middle of conspiracy and betrayal, the roots of which might help answer some of the questions about her own past.

Amie Gibbons

Psychic for Sale (Rent to Own)

SDF Book 3

Don’t make deals you can’t live through…

Psychic Ariana Ryder owes Carvi, vampire king of Miami, five favors, and he’s called in his first marker, so her and her boss Grant fly down to Miami to play security for the first vampire summit on bringing magic and vampires out of the closet.

Ariana isn’t looking forward to this weekend. She can hardly keep Carvi off her with her boyfriend Quil around, and Quil has been banned from the summit, meaning she’s going to spend the entire time fending off the not so unwanted advances, on top of her actual job of watching out for sabotage and attacks on the summit.

After zombie and passion spells wreak havoc on the opening party of the summit, Ariana realizes she’s in way over her head, and that’s before Carvi introduces her to the astral plane and the expansive world of magic she can have access to.

Someone’s gunning for the summit, Carvi, or both, and Ariana has to figure out who and how to stop them, before the plan is set in motion and a spell with deadly reach far beyond the summit takes hold.

81 thoughts on “Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike & Da Promo by Freerange Oyster

  1. Dear Esteemed Hostess

    Yes, I know it has been a very hard week. The national and international news has been unsettling. Things are going on in your family. Your health, although improving remains a challenge.

    When it come to hard work above and beyond the call you certainly aren’t chicken.

  2. Colin poked at the unidentifiable lump of… stuff… in the tray. “What’s this again?”
    Simon looked up from his meal of the same thing. “Chicken cordon bleu, at least that’s what’s on the package.”
    “Well this ‘chicken’ is definitely not cordon, and bleu should be spelt ‘bleah’.”

  3. “Why did the chicken cross the road?” Ray chortled.”Because Colonel Sanders was chasing him!”
    Betty sighed and looked out at the cluster of fast food restaurants on the boulevard.
    “What’s the matter? You used to laugh at that,” challenged Ray.
    “It’s old, Ray. And our marriage is old.”

    1. I dream of a better, brighter day, when chickens are allowed to cross the road without having their motives subjected to interrogation.

  4. “What happened to you” said Director Abigail Fury.

    Ultra Agent Sarge smiled and said “Troll tried to play chicken and he lost”.

  5. Question for the writers (and others).

    I have this “super hero” universe in my mind but the story that’s making the most noise is about a threat of apocalypse with the heroes trying to prevent it.

    I’m getting the idea that this isn’t the “best story” to introduce this universe.

    Oh, the good guys do win. 😉

    1. My opinion? Write it. Work on a proper introductory store after. Got something like that kind of like your situation currently myself.

    2. When in doubt, write it out.

      You can write the story that best pulls readers into the setting later.

      Write the story that pulls you into the setting, and into writing, first.

      Do it, do it, do it.

          1. Under the circumstances we have to acknowledge that the prompt was tardy.

            (I confess I wanted to write “the prompt wasn’t” but that seemed too brutal even for my standards.)

        1. On behalf of us all, I apologize deeply and fully. The animal on a Chinese bride’s costume is a burnt chicken. The animal on a Chinese groom’s costume is a drowned snake.

          *Grins, ducks, and almost manages to run away before being decapitated by a errant jet of flame.*

    3. Write it. If you need to introduce the universe first, perhaps you’ll have more ideas after.

    4. In such a situation as that, you’re asking the wrong question. What you want to be asking is, “What Would Correia Do?”

      Write it, deal with the apocalypse. By the time you’ve finished you should know enough about the characters to do a prequel if necessary.

  6. “Carne asada over a campfire? I know it’s tasty, but is it really worth all of the effort?
    “Sure, for a couple of reasons. To begin with, I owed this particular bull a bit of vengeance.”
    “And the other reason?”
    “It doesn’t taste like chicken.”

  7. A scrawny woman with a cane, a ponytail, and brand new workout gear stood in front of the dumbbells, frowning at the paper in her hand and leaning away from the gym employee jabbering at her.

    “We have plenty of nice treadmills you should try instead, and a yoga studio! In fact, classes are starting…”

    “Hey, chicken legs, we got this. Scram.” Ryan racked the last plate with a little extra clang, and dusted his chalked-up hands with an aggressive lean until the boy went away. The woman turned her frown on him, and it would have worked better if her eyes didn’t have the hollows of recent nightmares. He tried a smile back. “Just out of conversion?”

    “Yeah.” She rubbed her wrist, sleeve sliding up enough to show the puffy red skin still healing around the off-color beige of the access port cover.

    “Welcome to the club.” He held out a hand, and took hers very gently, knowing how raw her nerves were. “Ryan Farnham. Don’t worry; all the muscle the nanos ate comes back fast. You’ll be up and flying in no time.”

    “Eva Juarez.” She shook, and if her hand trembled slightly, they both ignored it. “I’d ask you to spot me, but…”

    “They got you on dumbbells first, right? That’s so when your brand-new nervous system spazzes out, you don’t drop the bar on your head. Hold on, I’ll grab a couple extra mats, for when you forget how to stand.” He rolled his eyes at her automatic denial. “And if you fall less than ten times, then you can buy the beer tonight.”

      1. It’s Sarah’s place, not mine! Just because I can’t keep it to 50 words, doesn’t mean I should fill up her comments…

  8. The replicator had been acting possessed for a week. The crew was now getting the same meal at every mess call.

    Lieutenants Michaels and Perez sat in their usual spot. Michaels poked her entree and sighed.

    “I used to love fried chicken. Now, I want to break up with it.”

  9. I did three summers on the chicken farm, with a little time out with the turkeys. Yep, I was in Poultry Husbandry, ’til they caught me at it.

  10. *laugh* I saw the earlier post and thought there might not be a prompt this week, so I decided to do my own practice – describing one character’s apartment. Just under 1400 words later I see the prompt come up. I pulled one word out, added three, to work in the prompt and closed it at 1400 on the tick. No, I am not going to post the entire practice piece here ( That would not be nice) but I can put up the segment that was edited to match the prompt. The full thing might make its way on to my page later tonight.
    Rhea really didn’t care for stainless steel appliances, but that’s what came with the place, so she covered as much of the surfaces as she could with magnets from local tourist attractions, shopping lists and pictures of her friends. From inside the fridge she grabbed a pack of sliced chicken breast and a bottle of beer, sat those on the counter while she rummaged for a bottle opener in the drawer, opened the bottle, took a swig, and then turned to making a sandwich.

  11. Greg tried a bite. “This tastes just like -”

    “Don’t say it.”

    “Try it.”

    Nick sliced off a portion with his spear. His eyes widened as he nibbled. “Hey, it does.

    Greg smiled. “Chickens are descended from therapods. The oak fire helps, too.”

    “Lieutenant Greg’s Grilled Raptor.”

    “I like that.”

  12. “The Chik-a-fil-a Nazi matter? Oklahoma is the center of the Federal magic program, hidden in the BIA. Regular American culture’s magical affinity isn’t useful. Nazi ritual centers in West Germany were working on ancient Aryan bovine shamanism. The spells were released in cattle country. Thus we have ‘Eat more chicken’.”

  13. Sometimes he walked among flotsam and jetsam on endless rocks with not so much as a hint of greenery to be seen, or a bird to soar in the sky. Sometimes he walked through forest so thick that he would not have been surprised to see a hut on chicken legs. When he walked along a cliff-face, seeing the sky dyed in scarlet, flame, and rose, it surprised him, how far he had gotten.

  14. They had food. Bread, something like cheese, and a meat like chicken. At least they did not object to the notion of his eating food like an ordinary man. By the time they were done, the setting of the sun had made the air colder, and they produced blankets for the night.
    None, of course, expressed surprise he could speak with them.

  15. She pounced with gratitude on creamed chicken, and he pointed out the salad and the cranberry sauce to her. And rolls, though those were more strange. She was not certain about what grain they had been made of. At least they didn’t spice everything, and had butter for the rolls.

  16. He sat on the seat in the stern, on a gold cushion embroidered in blue. Half the boys at school would have said he was chicken, but then, that half weren’t allowed to take a boat out on the pond, even. In fairy tales, you had to obey the rules.

  17. The centerpiece of the Imnaha, Oregon Rattlesnake Festival is of course the Rattlesnake Feed. No, they don’t feed the rattlesnakes, they feed the rattlesnakes gathered during the festival to visitors from all over the region, indeed the country, if not the world. And no, rattlesnake does not taste like chicken.

    1. I went to a rattlesnake roundup in Oklahoma 47 years ago. They were selling snake sandwiches. I abstained.

    2. Opp Alabama has something similar…. and I’d never leave the house without a gun based on the number of rattlesnakes they’ve harvested from a limited area over the years.

  18. Chicken is a tiny rustic town deep in the wilds of eastern Alaska. I discovered if you’re injured it’s nearly an hour for the helicopter in Tok to get you, and if it’s serious it’s half again that long to the hospital in Fairbanks. You can’t be chicken in Chicken.

    1. in Georgia there is an obscure little track called Chicken Road, the origins of which is lost and only comes up in speculations. However, during the time of the Yamassee War, South Carolina had a militia colonel by the name of George Chicken, and it was the South Carolinians who crossed the Savanna River and pushed the Creeks to the Chattahoochee. Another one of those “Hmm” things.

  19. Ember tried to be brave, gripping his spear. He peeked around the vegetation to make sure it was still there. If he could run up and get the seeds without it noticing him, that would be best.
    Nope, the chicken was still there.
    It really sucked being three inches tall.

  20. Due to the cartoon selections when my boys were little, any mention of chickens always brings a certain scene to mind, which was punctuated by the sentence, “Ed-boy! Do not taunt the Doodle!”

    Now to find out if anyone recognizes that…

      1. when I was a kid, there was a radio bit called Chicken Man.
        It came on every morning at the same time, and Mom and Dad’s clock radio alarm was set to Wake To Music, so every morning you’d hear [click] (it was a rather loud flop panel clock) [Loud Don Pardo style voice] “Chicken Man! [high female voices maybe signifying chickens would then say] “He’s Everywhere! He’s Everywhere!”
        He was named Benton. He’d call his mother .
        “Hi Mom, How are you today?
        “It’s Benton . . . Benton Harbor, your son?”
        Then his mom would recognize him and the story continued

        1. “Chicken Man!
          Bwaak Bwaak Bwaak!
          He’s everywhere, he’s everywhere!”

          About all I remember was the origin story – he had his choice between a bunny and a chicken suit, and the bunny suit didn’t work at all – and a character called Mrs. Helfinger.

          1. The ones I heard were in the mid to late 70’s.
            I recall the Chicken Coupe for his car, Calling his mom, and that’s about it. Don’t know how old they were (it started in the 60’s according to Wiki) but apparently it is still rather popular and played Down Under on the radio, as well as here in the USA/Canada, and on XM/Sirius.
            Who Knew?

  21. And using the news with today’s topic…..

    As the van sped away, leaving dead and mangled bodies in the square, I turned to the driver and asked “Why?” “Because playing chicken with pedestrians is fun. I always win. “ I began to think it was a bad idea to have accepted a ride with a crazy person…

  22. The creature burst out of the brush in a flurry of colorful keratin ribbons that weren’t quite feathers. Before I could get a bead on it, the thing vanished into the foliage of a nearby kellen tree.

    “What was that thing?”

    The local guide shrugged. “Woods chicken.”

    Yeah, it was about as much a chicken as the windhawk on Codyland’s flag was a hawk. Whether it went incorporeal to mate like a windhawk, I couldn’t hazard a guess. But like as not, its flesh would be just as full of toxic antifreezes. It’d look good on a wall, but no way was it any kind of eating. At least not for humans. Maybe this world’s indigenous sapients could, when they bothered to take corporeal form, but they weren’t telling.

  23. The hen stood, leaving behind a brand new, shiny egg on the grass. The grandfather pointed it out to his young grandson. “Look over there!”

    The reaction he got was unexpected. Little Kevin gasped in horror, ran over to the still recovering hen and picked her and the egg up. “She’s falling apart! I’ll fix it!” And before his grandfather could stop him, the boy had pushed the egg back where it had come from.

    The chicken was miraculously unharmed and laid the egg again, the poor thing. And Kevin learned about chickens, eggs, and why they do that.

    (Story a retelling of a story Housemate told me about one of his childhood friends.)

    Happy Father’s Day, to y’all over there!

  24. I never had caught any mice with those cardboard traps with stickum on the upper (doh!) surface. So I go into the shed, and there’s one of Sarah’s chickens, silly cluck, foot in the stickum, calling desperately to its god.
    We’d been planning to sacrifice one of the other hens.

  25. The sorcerer glanced out the window when he heard the troll bellow loudly in pain. The spider had cut off one of its hands with a hidden blade. Varlian went to the casement and opened it. The spider’s voice came in the window from the courtyard as it shouted at the Dark One.
    “Hey, squidly!” it called. “Yeah that’s right, I’m talking to you! Fricking flying appetizer! Whatcha gonna do, huh? The old geezer says you’re supposed to eat me and make it hurt. I don’t think you have the stones, squidly! I think you’re a big sea-going chicken! Buc buc, b’gawk!”
    Nettled, the immense demon reached down a minor tentacle and popped the spider into its maw. The sounds of cracking armor and crunching cuttlebone came clearly, then the wet, disgusting gulp as it swallowed.
    No screaming. How disappointing, thought Varlian. He turned away from the window and was half way back to his throne when an explosion hurled him violently into the far wall.

  26. Barnyard Dawg cleared his throat to speak.

    “Fellow barnyard residents, I have terrible news. Miss Prissy has been found dead. Cause of death has not been established.”

    Glancing meaningfully at Foghorn Leghorn, who was hastily packing up various BDSM implements, Dawg continued:

    “I can say that we suspect fowl play.”

  27. “So you’re a vegan because animals can be resurrected?”

    “Not really. It’s just that–look, when you accidentally resurrect a chicken dinner, you don’t feel much like eating it.”

    Jack eyed his cheeseburger. “Does that happen often?”

    She smiled. “Not since I was ten. Your lunch is safe.”

  28. He was just dancing. And everyone downtown was running away from him.
    Head forward, back, forward, back. Hands to the shoulders and elbows flapping. Scratching the pavement with his feet.
    “Run, honey,” a suburban mommy type said to a little girl. “He’s a zombie!”
    Huh. Not a zombie. But there was appropriate music on the oldies station someone was playing loud, and he felt the urge to do the Funky Chicken.
    Head forward, back, etc. But what if that was the first symptom of turning zombie?

  29. It had been a long morning at the petting zoo, full of a three year old’s questions. They entered the farm yard section.

    ‘Which came first the chicken or the egg?’

    ‘You heard that somewhere before.’

    ‘Yup! Which?’

    ‘The egg.’


    ‘Chickens aren’t the only thing that hatch from eggs.’

  30. Dressed in silk and lace,
    Thin and agile,
    flitting place to place.
    Jared had a secret that none of his goblin minions knew.
    At night as an owl he flew,
    Spreading fear world-wide anew.
    But come day break and time to rest a chance,
    You find him doing the Chicken Dance.

  31. True story. Chickens hate my Mom.

    For reasons known only to the bird brains, there is this tendency that any time my Mother is around un-restrained chickens, they fly up and attack the top of her head. This has happened a number of times with all age/genders of chicken. Roosters, hens, young chickens with relatively new feathers (still with some baby chick fuzz, Dad SWORE they couldn’t fly… who knew?). Even once a headless chicken… although it just chased her around a bit without all the pecking. Gotta have a beak (and perhaps a head to attach it to) to do some pecking I guess.

    1. Being chased around the farmyard by a headless chicken would have taken the farm right out of me!

      1. Ever hear “running around like a chicken with its head chopped off”?

        For some reasons, chickens that had their heads chopped off act like they don’t know they are dead and actually do “run around” for a short time.

        IIRC they run around for less than a couple of minutes but it is a sight if you see it as a young child. 😉

        1. Apparently, if you don’t cut to far down the neck, a chicken can survive having its head cut off. As I said, I’ve heard of at least three now. Four, if the one in Sarah’s comment is not one that I’ve heard of before.

        2. “IIRC they run around for less than a couple of minutes but it is a sight if you see it as a young child”

          Yes, it’s only for a short amount of time, but they really DO seem like they chase people. I saw it for the first time when I was in First Grade. Yes, THAT stays with you.

  32. It was beyond useless to remember. Roast chicken on holidays. Babyface’s rolls, made just for her. A happy yam shared between them when they went to the village on market days. Don’t think about these things, ever again, thought the young woman. But she cried herself to sleep even so.

  33. Narrow and rutted, the ancient road cut through the swamp; hiding the legions of ghouls within the placid water.
    Revving the engine, the junkyard vehicle known as “Farragut” accelerated, staying ahead of the wave of flesh-eaters.
    “I think they found us!”
    A Raider truck; festooned with skulls and rusty steel spikes. Heading straight for them.
    “Who’s up for a game of chicken?”

  34. She took the long way home – jumping across the creek and dancing around the trees. But then she heard the ancient chant, and knew her little sister was being mocked. Long-legged spiders were weaving nests in the raspberry bushes, and adolescent girls would kill them off during the initiation rites.

  35. “Placement and scope. These must be always on your mind. Magic is as much science as art. It’s the difference between affecting the guard tower and creating a squad of armed and armored zombies or hitting the castle larder instead and raising a flock of zombie chickens.”

  36. “Lieutenant.” The Colonel’s voice was still firm, but something — perhaps the slightest drop in volume — betrayed his diffidence. “I recognize that it’s tradition in your unit never to question a starfighter pilot’s chosen call-sign. Nonetheless, I can’t help but wonder if — ” The older man simply stopped, as if he’d realized only too late he had no idea how to ask, much less finish, the question.

    But Paul was used to the reaction by now. “You think it’ll compromise the dignity of our squadron? Or of me personally?” The colonel’s lack of response was its own answer. Paul smiled. “Sometimes it does, Colonel; I won’t pretend I ever liked being nicknamed for a frightened barnyard fowl in the Flight Academy. But in combat it has one invaluable advantage . . . the same advantage it did in Flight.” His smile took on an edge. “It encourages people . . . to underestimate me.”

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