Happy Spring Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike

*All right, for whatever reason we didn’t get a single book to pimp.  Not a one.  Usually when this happens, something has gone wonky with the email, so I’m giving our boiler plate “how to promo with us” thing below.  Then Luke and Mary and ‘nother Mike have stuff having to do with, well, you’ll see.  I expect much in the way of untied garters and going a-Maying in the vignettes.

So, for book pimping: books are sent to us by readers/frequenters of this blog.  Our bringing them to your attention does not imply that we’ve read them and/or endorse them, unless we specifically say so.  As with all such purchases, we recommend you download a sample and make sure it’s to your taste.  If you wish to send us books for next week’s promo, please email to bookpimping at outlook dot com.  One book per author per week. Amazon links only. – SAH*

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: Cherries

55 thoughts on “Happy Spring Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike

  1. Corporal Levesque and Private Maxim lounged in front of their hooch watching the latest batch of troops unload from the troop transport.
    “I hate dealing with the new cherries,” Levesque muttered darkly. “Too much crap that we have to wash out of their minds from the training.”
    “Oh come on,” Maxim rebutted. “Some will make great bullet stops, while others will eventually shake down to something useful. Look at me?”
    “Great,” Levesque mumbled. “A very bad example Max.”

  2. Spring vignette? Spring? Spring won’t be sprung from its imprisonment by Winter for another ten days! The Vernal Equinox is March 20th! Sure, we’re seeing lots of snow but that won’t rush Spring, the crocuses, the daffodils, the cherries on the trees. Be patient! To everything there is a season.

    1. cherry blossoms on the bough. . . cherries take a little longer. . . unless you are going for the riddle

    2. Unless one is going by meteorological season instead of astronomical season, of course. Though in common parlance summer in America is Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, regardless of whether one uses astronomical or meteorological seasons.

  3. “Cherries? Sure, they have an excellent use.”

    “Wait. You never eat fruit. Cherries are useful? As what, some strange form of munition?”

    “Munition? Perhaps, but the best thing to do with a cherry is to wrap it rye, vermouth, and bitters.”

    “What, ‘A Tree Grows in Brooklyn’ reference?”

    “No, Manhattan.”

        1. Wrap. Wouldn’t dunk be better? Or, do the cherries reside outside the liquid portion of the drink?

          1. Perhaps that would be more technically correct, but I aiming more for funny. “Ah, a jar of cherries. Now I had a Manhattan to wrap around one.” Or, “I think I’ll take an olive an wrap a Martini around it.” From the bit where one tries to wrap one’s mind/brain around some concept.

  4. The kitchen was bright, with blue tile and a counter holding a red fruit bowl filled with strawberries, cherries, apples, and peaches. Solange looked at it. Were all those unseasonable fruits grown by magic, instead of greenhouses?
    “There she is,” said Mrs. Smith, heartily, from where she talked with June-Lily.

  5. Artemise ran on. She had not, of course, time to be fully briefed on the world, but enough to guess that they might take her as some kind of mischievous spirit. Or even — she ran toward the cherry trees, and the cascading petals — an orchard spirit making fruitful.

  6. The last cherry seemed just out of my reach. I shifted on the branch, and stretched; no way. The grape trellis tempted. Cautiously I reached out.
    “No weight…”
    “One rotten support!”
    “That cherry! I could have climbed higher instead.”
    “Do I love sour cherry jam this much?”
    “At guess I won’t have to make a cake for…”
    So many things to think as I drop, shoulder first, on my way to a broken collar-bone.

    1. It truly is amazing how much time you have to think falling on your way to a broken collar bone, Things like, “Well, that was stupid!” and, “Oh, $#!+, this is really gonna hur . . .”. BTDT

  7. I’m working on my book. Books. But this pesky “job” thing gets in the way. Especially when I wound up writing a book for THAT.

    1. Amazing. It is as if the Universe hears you think, “Hey, a quiet week or so, just what I need!” And then proceeds to tip a dump-truck-load of Work Stuff on top of you.

      1. That, and cataract surgery. The procedure was easy, but getting the eyes working together has been troublesome.

        1. I had a round of that with cornea stuff. My dominant eye was out of focus, and the left eye was trying to take up the slack. Once the right eye was stable, new glasses made life a bowl of maraschinos.

          1. The tricky part is that they worked on the left eye. I’m right eye dominant…but severely nearsighted in both eyes. Or was. Left eye is now ~20/30 for distance, useless without glasses close up. Right eye is 20/20 to about 24 inches without glasses. I’ve a pair of glasses that correct the right eye only…but getting both eyes to coordinate themselves is a PITA.

            1. I’ve had dominant/non-dominant eye conflicts in the cornea procedures, but I don’t have any great answers. (I ended up needing temporary glasses; maybe useful for a few months.) Your ophthalmologist should be able to help.

              (One thing that comes to mind; if you have a condition where the eyes kind of work together, try to work more in those conditions. In my case, near field was OK without glasses, so I read a lot.)

      2. I discovered that I’m not in the universe where I win every single elimination match in a fencing tournament to take first place; and win a medal and grand prize of a free dessert at Friendlies. No strawberry sundae with nuts, whipped cream, and a cherry on top for me.

        1. Hmmm. Maybe that’s what’s wrong with communism, socialism, Progressivism. Marx, Engle, et. al. were in the wrong universe. Their theories don’t work here.

  8. Claude found the limb on the fence, right below the wild cherry he’d meant to cut down but never had. He’d known wilted leaves from wild cherries killed cows. Now he was out of a bull.

    He didn’t notice the limb was cut until he moved it off the fence.

      1. It was just something that came to mind. Wild cherry leaves contain cyanide, and will kill horses and cattle. For some reason they’ll go for wilted leaves. Yes, we lost a cow once that way. But what if someone did that deliberately? Bulls are expensive investments; losing one is an economic setback.

        FWIW, we had more problem with china berries. I don’t know if they planted them for shade trees back in the day or what, but the large berries are toxic and have killed many a hog. Yes, we finally eradicated all of china berries on the farm, but it took some doing.

        1. I don’t know about where you are, but China berry and “popcorn” trees (flowers look and feel like popcorn) were a staple of new subdivision landscaping here in the South in the 60s and 70s. They grow fast and provide shade. They also have an attraction for any sort of water line and will force the sections apart.

  9. Cherries, lemons, bars, and bells
    Greet me in casino hells;
    Beckon me to come and play.
    I can leave, my cash will stay.

    Where do I get this damned urge?
    Perhaps I should take a purge.
    Wish my wife would drag me home,
    ‘Fore, with luck, she cracks my dome.

  10. “Things is tough, Beatie, I admit it. It’s not my fault — a lotta other guys were laid off too. Hell, life ain’t a bowl of cherries, right? Beatie, please, don’t just sit there — say you still love me!” But BT-12 said nothing. Her batteries had run out three days ago.

  11. “Boss, that scoundrel Damore is stealing your fruit again.”

    By the time I reached the orchard the bastard had the bucket by his feet half full of the tart red fruits, and was reaching for more.

    I grabbed him roughly by the arm and said angrily, “Damore. Leave the bucket and go home. Now. Before I whip your ass again for stealing from me.”

    He turned his oh-so-innocent gaze on me. “But why are you angry? I was merely saving these luscious morsels from the birds.”

    “Why am I angry? Simple. These are MY cherries, Damore.”

    100. Sorry, I can’t help it, I adore puns. 😉

  12. The first rule of transiting an interplanetary portal is to avoid the edges. The helmsman of the airship Losantiville knew that as well as anybody, but the sudden, unexpected gust of wind caught him by surprise. Amidships, the gasbag was sheared completely across, and the wreckage slowly sank to the ground on either side of the portal. Watching from the ground, the truck driver who’d been waiting to drive through the portal cursed. “I guess this load of cherries is going to be a little late.”

  13. Sixty-six and I ain’t cutting one more word:

    “Don’t do the crime if you can’t stand the time” and I done the crime. No pardon, no parole, no way out but one. I held the day’s meal, same as yesterday’s, the day before, the day before that – every day since I been locked in, I held that bowl of Bings, Hudsons, Rainiers, Tartarians and others and reflected, Life is just a bowl of cherries.

    1. Forrest Gump was only partially right. Life is like a box of chocolates, just not the ones he was thinking of. No, life is more like a box of chocolate-covered cherries; the ones with a significant amount of alcohol in them. And meant to be shared with people you like.

  14. Peter Caudell had been delighted to fly into Shepardsport and discover it was treat night. However, he had not expected to find a strawberry perched atop his sundae.

    One of the local pilots must’ve picked up on his surprise. “Agriculture had a problem. The latest shipment of peach cuttings had some kind of fungus in them, and we ended up having to evacuate the whole orchard, including all the cherry trees. Alice is pretty sure they’ve eliminated the infestation, but it’s going to take time for us to get new plantings to bearing age.”

    “Hard vacuum would do that.” Peter realized just how much he was used to thinking of Alice Murcheson as Bill Hearne’s wife, that he’d forgotten she had a degree in agronomy. Hardly surprising that Waite would’ve put her in charge of Shepardsport’s farms. “And in the meantime, strawberry plants grow fast and bear a lot.”

  15. Our sergeant looked us recruits over and spat in disgust. “Awright, listen up! I know you’ve seen war movies, read war stories and mebbe even heard some stories from your poppas and uncles. But nothing prepare you for combat but experience, so you cherries pay attention to what I say.”

  16. We had been checking the mailbox with eager anticipation, only to return to the house disappointed.  When would it arrive?  Yesterday The Spouse came in and in his hands was the awaited package.  I opened it and the copy of Black Rednecks and White Liberals was in cherry condition. 

  17. “It was the cherries that did it,” rambled the ex-President. “I knew the White House staff were stealing the cherries, but that crazy bi… but Valerie kept telling me ‘No, boss, the cherries are not the issue, you have to get Hillary elected!’ And Michelle was all, ‘Concentrate, you fool! Our instructions are clear!’ But I knew, I knew, that someone was stealing the cherries, and that my staff was in on it.” The worry balls clacked, clacked, clacked in his hands.

    The tribunal eyed each other uneasily. Investigating a former president for any reason was well into the legal grey-area enough for any lawyer, but now the guy was pretty obviously around the bend. What the hell were they going to do now?

  18. For ashkalar: perfect, just perfect!

    As each guest entered, a servant handed them a cherry shaped balloon. Davis returned to the end of the line. ” Another, please, ” he said to the servant. ” Lady Constance has popped her’s. ”

    There; 32 words.

    1. Thank you! I also LOL at your entry but my humor daemon suggested rewording your last two sentences as follows:

      “Another for Lady Constance, please,” he said to the servant. “I popped hers.”

  19. “Look what Bobby sent me from Earth!” cried Caroline, showing off the package. Her girlfriends gathered around in admiration.

    “Wow,” said Beth-Anne, “I’ve read about cherries, but I’ve never actually seen any.”

    “He says you can get them anywhere,” said Caroline. “He’s trying to make me miss him. It’s working”

  20. Juggling his books with some effort, Ryan sternly cautioned himself not to let his own hopes rise too high as he hurried upstairs. Precedent often didn’t have the weight people wanted it to, and even if these Church histories showed that some of the Order’s Knights had, in the past, been married, that was no guarantee that Arakyn herself might actually have any interest in that direction; the reasons the practice had been discontinued were still good ones. Or that she’d be interested in him as a spouse — there were good reasons most arcanists didn’t marry, either. As with many of his thought exercises, it was more successful than he might have wanted; by the time Ryan actually let himself into the small tower chamber the Court had assigned him, his excitement had given way to a gloomy, stomach-twisting dread. Maybe he shouldn’t have done this. It wouldn’t be the first time his impulses to fix things had only stirred up trouble of one kind or —

    He stopped in the middle of putting his books on the scribe’s desk. A small burlap sack lay there, untied and open, bright red cherries spilling across the unvarnished wood.

    Something moved in the corner of his eye. He spun towards the bed, one arm coming up and a hissed word bringing power to crackle around his hand. Arakyn jolted upright, dropping the quilt she’d been clutching around herself, sucked in a startled gasp and promptly began choking; the cherry she’d held between her lips went flying across the room in a spray of juice. Ryan ducked with a yelp, then hurried to her side. “Arakyn! Love, are you all right? Can you breathe?”

    Arakyn coughed, thumped herself on the chest and nodded. Cherry juice and embarrassment had painted her face nearly the colour of her hair. “That,” she rasped, “is the last time I try to surprise anyone with a seduction. Why do the romances never talk about this — ?!” She stopped and stared at him. “Did… did you just call me ‘love’?”

    Ryan’s face went hot. He swallowed. “Um — in fairness, you’re the one who remembered cherries were my favourite fruit. And, well, who’s sitting naked in my bed.”

    Arakyn bit her lip and nodded. “So I am.” She cleared her throat again and gave him a look that, for all its awkwardness, still burned. “I, uh, I believe this is where I’m supposed to ask you to do something about that.”

    Ryan decided both the books and the cherries could wait.

  21. Eldritch words cascaded over her lips as a she flung her hand past the prow. Tiny black spots tumbled out of sight.
    With a sudden rustling and loud cracking of wood, the airship slowed its madcap descent.
    Twisted and broken tree limbs rose into view, white blossoms knocked loose to swirl on the wind.
    “I thought you were out of components?”
    ”I found them in the Captain’s spittoon.”
    He shook his head in wonder. They’d been saved by the Captain’s penchant for cherries.

  22. ashkalar:
    Thank you. You are right; yours is better. OTOH, mine adds some mystery to the event, and plot paths for the book, eh? 🙂

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