Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike and Book Promo

*I’m sorry to be SO ridiculously late. I got hit with something last night, involving stomach flu symptoms. Given the other weirdness I think it’s autoimmune, but I’m not functioning really well, or really barely at all. – SAH*


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FROM MARY CATELLI: Spells in Secret.

Magical doors and other mischief mix badly with tales about murder, as young scholars return to Graytowers.

Kenneth, as prefect, thought he had his hands filled with the beginning of the new session, but when one magical door takes him and another scholar far past the bounds of a prank, they barely escape with their lives, and their escape means only that they are in graver danger. They must hide, leaving the school, and casting all their spells in secret.

FROM ALMA T. C. BOYKIN: Knowingly Familiar: Familiar Tales Book Sixteen.

When Ghosts Walk . . .

Something moves. A Mesopotamian curse sends ripples through the magical community of Riverton. Mages André and Lelia Lestrang find themselves fighting ghosts from their past. The battle draws them closer to Master Saldovado and the clans, closer perhaps than Lelia’s heart dares to go. How long before Patrick Lee and Riverton’s other magic users demand answers about the clans? The Familiars are keeping the secret. For now.

But breaking ancient spells comes easily for shadow mages. Juggling parenthood, budgets, car repairs, school schedules, and a six-year-old daughter’s desire for a pet unicorn? (Or a house dragon, preferably pastel pink.) That’s difficult!

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: BAD

30 thoughts on “Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike and Book Promo

  1. “Ah, you say that you’re not a Vampire but are more dangerous than a vampire. Yet, you’re just talking so does that mean that you’re not Evil?”

    “Oh, not Evil but I can be a very Bad man to my enemies and a Good person to my friends along with those who don’t threaten me or those under my protection. In any case, I believe we have mutual enemies so let’s discuss these matters in comfort in my keep. I promise that you have no reason to become my enemies when visit my home and see those under my protection.”

  2. Bad? I am SAM THE BAD. I am the Desperado from the D-M, The TERROR of Tucson, and the Scouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge of Sonora. Don’t mess with me. I BADDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD.

    1. “Alright, I think that’s all I need for now, Joe. I’ll look into your issues and see if anything can be done. Done legally, mind.”

      “Of course. Thank you.”

      “You might wish to exit through the back, then vacate the alley quickly, rather than through the lobby. Some of my clients are… less than stellar, some might say.”

      Just then then intercom buzzed, “Yes? Send Mr. Brown in.”

      As he was on his way out, the back way, Joe thought he heard, “Hello Leroy, How’ve you been?”

      1. For some reason, I started trying to make a list of alternative songs the prompt could’ve kicked off. (The “bad” playlist?) So far I’ve got “Bad Romance” and “There’s a Bad Moon on the Rise.” I was going to amuse myself by watching what order I think of songs, except apparently now I have given my own mind stage fright and forgotten every other song I know with “Bad” in the title…

        1. OK, I cheated a little and looked through my music library:

          Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad — Meat Loaf
          Good Times Bad Times — Led Zeppelin
          Bad For Good — Jim Steinman
          Bad Attitude — Meat Loaf
          Good Girls Go To Heaven (Bad Girls Go Everywhere) — Meat Loaf
          Bad Animals — Heart
          Used To Bad News — Boston
          As Bad As This — Styx
          You Give Love A Bad Name — Bon Jovi
          Bad Blood — Europe
          You’re Too Bad — Firehouse
          Bad Boys Running Wild — The Scorpions
          I Want You So Bad — Heart
          Bad Boy Boogie — AC/DC
          Bad Boys — Whitesnake
          Bad Night At The Whiskey — The Byrds
          Bad Reputation — Vixen
          Bad Place Alone — Alice Cooper
          Bad Love — Lita Ford
          Bad Weather — Poco
          Good Lovin’ Gone Bad — Bad Company
          Bad Medicine — Bon Jovi
          Bad Sneakers — Steely Dan
          Don’t Treat Me Bad — Firehouse
          Born Under A Bad Sign — Cream

          1. This is one of those lists where I constantly say…”Oh, yeah! Oh, and that one! Oh, man, can’t believe I forgot THAT one!” 😀

    1. Now you’ve got egg on your face. Those puns are so bad, they’re like empty shells! 😀

      Carp! Carp for everybody!

  3. Running a finger down the smooth length of wood, Jenny knew this wand was her best yet. The subtle coral-color streaks in the dense black Macassar ebony gave it a richness beyond the buffed wax finish. She had kept the ornamentation simple – a couple of beads at the join, a larger one at the top, a gentle tapering down to the rounded point.

    She carefully pulled top and bottom apart, checking that the fit was not too loose. Both pieces were drilled for nearly half their length, allowing for a feather or other talisman to be inserted by the owner. The wands she made had proved popular at the local craft fair with both kids and parents.

    Some days she felt it was a shame that magic wasn’t real. When her friend Sara was feeling really bad, as she had been lately, Jenny wanted so much to be able to wave a magic wand like this one and wish the hurting away, even for just a little while.

    Too bad that real life didn’t work that way. With a deep sigh she pushed the wand closed and set it on the workbench with the others ready to be sold.

  4. “So, how did your Elemental Magic exam go?” asked Mila, catching up with Isaac on the quad.

    “Um, not good,” he replied.

    “But there are only four elements! How hard could it be?”

    “Ask my lab partner,” moaned Isaac. “Or don’t, actually. I turned him into mud.”

    “That bad, huh?”


    Hope you’re feeling better, Mrs. Hoyt!

    1. Four Elements.. so, including absence of all (vacuum?), 16 combinations, assuming ALL or NOTHING in each case. More complicated if levels are more… fine. And if a series of combinations… yeah, SOOO simple.

  5. Spruance Del Curtin was about halfway through his air shift when the listener request came through: ZZ Top’s “I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide.”

    The normal policy was to go ahead and play requests, as long as the song was in the station’s music library and fit with the genre of that program. Given Sprue ran the Classic Rock show, ZZ Top certainly qualified. However, Sprue wasn’t sure he wanted to right now. The last time he played that song, Lou Corlin just had to tease him about the advisability of going driving down the highway with four kitsune in the car.

    1. Chuckle Chuckle

      I don’t remember hearing that song so I had to look up the lyrics to see them.

      Of course, the lyrics say “foxes” not “kitsune”. 😉

  6. Sherri, Starling’s current wife rolled over and asked, “How bad is it?”

    “He didn’t say.” Starling replied, “He said he’ll brief me in the air.” A common joke in their division was that the severity of the situation was inversely proportional to how much Sliger told you on the first call.

    This one was probably very bad.

  7. “She’s bad news.”
    Nigel stopped. “She’s a little girl.”
    The stone was as imperturbable as always. “The wise man sees the oak in the acorn.”
    “Acorns are easily dealt with. Less than saplings.”
    “Then perhaps you should. All the more in that I can give you away to do so,”

  8. “It’s quite bad enough as it is,” said Robert. “There is no sanity in waiting here and see how much worse they can make it.”
    “Ingrates,” muttered Edwin. Robert raised an eyebrow. Usually he was the one who spoke with humor of the folly from those who did not adventure.

  9. This was bad.
    Maximiana eyed the papers before her. Drusilla was up to something, but when wasn’t she? But Ciara was another matter. Maximiana leaned forward. She should not have been so foolish as to remember only that Ciara served her uses and forget that she held her dangers, too.

  10. “Hells bells.”
    “What? Bad?”
    “Yeah, bad.”
    “How so?”
    “Found a baby dragon sleeping under the porch bad.”

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