Just the Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike

Just the 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: confuse

48 responses to “Just the Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike

  1. The wallaby looked at the prompt, then looked again. What does that mean, the wallaby wondered? Is it a verb, demanding performance? Is it a noun, designating a desired state of being? It is not to be understood, mused the wallaby. Ought I attempt it, or sit confounded and perplexed?

  2. She walked in the door and approached the receptionist.
    “Can I help you ma’am?”
    “Yes, my name is Samantha and I am here to see Mason.”
    “Mason? Are you sure? I mean, I don’t need to confuse the situation…”
    “Yes, I know. Several of you local ladies have already tried to scare me off as it is.”

  3. Cora was confused. The mighty Duke of Thornhill – the man who had humiliated her at Almack’s (granted, she had deserved that one), cost her marriage to an earl and who had seen her run out of London society – said she owed him? She owed him nothing, especially not a plan to help him avoid a contracted marriage with someone else.

    • Oh, Cora owed him alright: one mighty big comeuppance. Time to learn more about that contracted marriage and the contract – and how to make good and sure it was not merely watertight, but airtight. Alas, contracts tended to use terms apt to cause bafflement. Very well, studying would commence.

  4. Comeuppance! Yes! Fortunately, the young lady also in the marriage contract wants out of it and wants Cora to help. I love writing a good Regency romp. Thanks for the comment.

    • Ah, now THAT is a complication. And so, how to arrange the result to benefit HER, and still ruin – or at least befuddle – him? This would take cunning, guile, perhaps even outright treachery. Oh, the fun it promised. But also so much more hard thinking. Best get started.

      • Terry Sanders

        Not to mention (assuming this is a romance) leaving enough room for a change of heart…

        • Nah, the asshole “gentleman” has a brother and in the course of “helping” the asshole she falls in love with the non-asshole brother (and the non-asshole brother falls in love with her). 😉

          • Terry Sanders

            I was going by the opening. Her admitting she deserved the first put-down looked like a hint of ambiguity, of the sort that often foreshadows a “perhaps I misjudged him” moment later on. I’m not *that* versed in the genre, but it seemed that leaving a little wiggle-room might be called for.

            • True but in some romance novels there are two potential lovers/husbands and the woman has to choose between them.

              Mind you, one “plot” is that she falls for the “wrong” man (often not a good person) only to later see that the other man is the better choice. 😉

  5. “I saw that movie. You try to confuse me about the glasses. Except you’re immune to the poison, so I die and you go on your merry way.” He crossed his arms and grinned. “Ha!”

    I shot him from under the table.

    “Guess you didn’t see that movie.”

    • And George Lucas has weak Jedi Mind Trick powers:
      GL: “That wasn’t the movie you thought you saw. Han always shot second. You like annoying little child actors. And annoying whiny teen actors. And that Jar-Jar charachter is hilarious.”
      Audience: “Uhm, No.”

    • AnimeNerd3000

      Princess Bride! Yes! 🙂 I loved that part… And… Almost every other part of the movie… What? It’s a good movie 😉

  6. First, Antifi – I know, no fission is involved – is a poor choice of name for your nuclear power outfit. But it’s not the only poor choice. You realize how Consolidated Fusion will get abbreviated, don’t you? Perhaps even by supporters. The detractors will be utterly merciless with the moniker Con-Fusion.

  7. “Those pol-iti-cians confuse me. I want to smash them” Troll complained.

    “Sorry Troll, they’re off limits. You just help me smash the Rogues and I’ll handle the politicians” Sarge replied.

    “Good. Troll will smash them” Troll replied.

  8. She crept out the door and down the hall, to peek down the stairs.
    “There you are, sweetheart!” said her mother, in her sweetest voice ever. “I was looking for you!”
    Minutes later, they were outside the stores. When Elisabetta timidly said she would rather have books instead of dolls, her mother swept her into the book store, and to cap confusing her, even let her pick whatever books she liked.

    • Invasion of the Body Snatchers but Elisabetta prefers the “fake” mother? 😉

      • Nah, her mother is attempting to spoil her rotten to ensure that her heart won’t break when she realizes that her cousin is a wizard, as her mother’s did over her sister’s being a wizard.

        There will an additional twist on top of Elisabetta being not so easy to spoil as Dudley Dursley. 0:)

  9. “Can you still get the message off?” said Josette, timidly.
    Carolus shook his head.
    “She would not have,” said Frederick, almost blustering. “She must have been confused.”
    Lilac rolled her eyes. If Princess Ottoline were ever confused, it was about how to get her own way in something. Not about abandoning her servants to death.

  10. Driftwood lay in a confusion, so thickly entwined that there was no way to move it. And since this was where the currents had borne it, moved it would have to be in order to be useful. Mark started to cast about for smaller pieces that could still be useful.

  11. The smoke turned the sun red and darkened the sky to dusk, confusing the chickens. The humans, being wiser in the ways of wildfire, let the chickens loose, confusing them further; turned the sprinklers on; and packed the vans. The dog, sensible creature, glued herself to the Mistress. Then they waited.

  12. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Acosta uses Swagger. Miller’s attack is raised. Miller becomes confused. “The Statue of Liberty is meaningless, and arguing from it is pointless. It’s being torn down as an environmental hazard. Copper compounds leached from it poison vegetable matter. Speaking of debt reduction, Treblinka substance abuse treatment will cut entitlement spending.”

  13. For most of the morning I had another commitment, and was unable to check to see what I was supposed to do. Finally, my time was my own, and I was able to go to look up the week’s vignette topic.

    Huh? What am I supposed to do with this?

  14. “I’m sorry, Janice, but I’m very confused! We both agree that the spider is a problem and we both acknowledge there might be a bit of shared arachnophobia going around. You want me to ‘Deal With It’, but just one mistake made and suddenly I can’t use explosives anymore…”

  15. The smoky smell of dead cow floated out the chimney like a steamboat. The restless crowd wandered around the garden looking for a comfortable place to squat. When the lid opened, like programmed drones, the crowd lined up one behind the other, plate in hand. The BBQ was finally ready.

  16. The city of Maroa was running rife with rumors, half of them contradictory. Gorlath the Archon had shut down Enfield Bible College. He had arrested professors, but permitted the classes to proceed without them. Maroa Wesleyan’s library was on fire, with eldritch flames creeping through the stacks. The Franciscan college was under investigation for sedition, the department heads arrested and taken to the Archonal Mansion. Or if you listened to the latest, water had risen inexplicably to flood the buildings, such that the friars had no choice but cancel classes for the day.

    Hearing all those wild stories, Janiko knew one truth: ever since a convenient explosion had wiped out the old Archon and his entire cabinet, people had suspected Gorlath to be a dark magician. Now the man had decided tp remove all doubt.

    I have to warn Uncle Yanchi. Janiko owed her uncle everything. Not just her position as an apprentice to a jeweler, but her very life.

    However, one look at the master jeweler and she knew that there would be no leaving early today. He ran a tight shop, and no apprentice of his was going to be running alongside the blacksmiths’ boys and the printers’ devils, getting into mischief. And certainly not the girl who had gotten her place among his apprentices by the intercession of this city’s Archbishop.

  17. It was past midnight. Had he arrived in time?
    Under the gaslight, a creature slithers, and George rebukes it.
    “I recognize that stench. We met at the crossroads. Don’t you remember? Your words did not confuse me then, nor will they now.”
    “I am not your enemy,” hisses the devil.
    George strikes the lamppost with his whip. The eruption of flaming, poisonous gas bursts into the night, rolls into a ball of fire, and chases the slimy creature into a deep, impenetrable hole.
    George sighs, drinks the last of his whisky, and turns his horse toward the Dew Drop Inn.

  18. “What color are you?” she asked. “Red, Yellow, Green, or Blue?”
    He looked down at his suit. It was still a dark grey. He looked at his shoulders, arms, elbows, sides, and pants legs. There weren’t any brightly colored splotches. His shirt was white, his tie was black and brown, his shoes were black, his socks and underwear were thankfully not visible, but they weren’t those colors either. He was tanned from working on the rooftops all summer, but the last look in the mirror didn’t show anything unusual.
    “I’m not sure I’m any of those”, he said.

  19. Martel’s father looked up at his son’s benefactor, confused. “I don’t understand. You say you want him to continue living as a farmer, instead of with you in the Tor, as your apprentice?”

    Sir Ed glanced at him, smiled and looked back to where the boy, laughing, tripped over his own two feet, picked himself up and chased after his friends. “I never said he had to live with me, Goodman Marius. After all, he is still young, and fledgelings need their parents. We can raise him together.” He flexed his wings, as if to emphasize how little of a problem this would be for him.

  20. “Why do you call me by that name, Sirrah?” inquired the short-tempered young aristocrat.

    Memories of past rebukes from other young nobles passed quickly through memory, making me shiver. In my most unctuous tones, I replied, “My most profuse apologies, my Lord! I fear I confuse you with another.”

  21. The First Martian War was a textbook case of planetary defense.
    Hit the flagship with a disguised EMP sat, hit the fleet with Kessler mines to confuse and overload point defenses, then slag their radiators with ground based lasers.
    The Second Martian War was different.

    • My take is that the Earth forces were confused. Since Martians were just low born dirt dwellers, they should be meek pushovers, like the serfs and primitives toiling on the surface of the Earth. A quick touch of death from above, and they would fall to.
      They didn’t.

  22. The loyalty of the fans had waned. John had been uncertain how to keep them coming back. Working in his mad-scientist lab he placed his hope on his invention. He tried it at the next con; the ray worked! Throughout the venue you could see the people dazed and con-fused.

  23. Professor Badness

    With a ‘fizz-pop’, the spell failed.
    “Why!?” bellowed the Master. Spinning, spittle flew, “Who gathered these ingredients?”
    Cowering heads turned to a strapping lad, bedecked in armor and weapons.
    “The Cyclops hair?”
    “I dug up the grave and ripped it from his dead scalp.”
    “Wyvern scales?”
    “….Don’t you mean dragon scales?”
    “No.”
    “Oh, I always get those confused.”

  24. “Well? Am I a lion or a sphinx?
    The hot sweat dripped off my forehead. Each time in the past it didn’t matter which answer I gave, he still killed me and ate me.
    “You’re both.” I replied. “’Or’ is inclusive.”
    The monster looked confused. “Is that allowed?”
    “It’s logic.”