A guy walked into a bar. That would be me.

I had just had the worst day of my life, had been publicly humiliated, was put on display before my friends and colleagues to be spectacularly fired, got sloppy drunk, and then found myself on a bridge with no reason not to jump, so I did. I walked home wet and cold. Rinse; repeat.

So, there I was. I walked into this seedy corner bar, dark and smelly, with just me, the bartender, and some guy in a turban with a big gold earring. Takes all kinds. I took a…


*sniff*

*sniff* *sniff*

“Aahhh…”

I roll to my back, cocooned in the warmth of my tattered, old quilt. My eyes still reluctant to open, I draw in another deep breath of that heavenly aroma. There is nothing like the smell of hot buttered toast.

My eyes snap open as realization hits. I don’t own a toaster. And I live alone.

I lie still and listen. Footsteps in the hall. The familiar squeak of the front door swinging open and then closing with a thump.

I throw back the bedding and swing my legs over the edge, my feet finding the…


Story prompt: headphones

Bucky Bukowski wasn’t a bad guy. To be fair, he wasn’t a good guy, either. He was simply rudderless, adrift in a sea of moral ambiguities and ethical dilemmas. He was a person who might help an old lady to cross the street, but then it was fifty-fifty whether he’d snatch her purse and run. He was a feather in a windstorm, a leaf riding the crest of floodwaters. Rather than make a choice or take a stand, he’d just go with the flow.

Which, in a way, explains his current situation. Specifically, pointing a gun at…


It was a business summit unlike any other. Unprecedented in the scope of industries represented, the range of geographic interests, and the sheer gobsmacking wealth of the participants. The twenty richest men on the planet had assembled to join in making a proclamation that would alter everything about civilized life on Earth, a pronouncement that would tolerate no dissention nor negotiation.

They sat like modern gods on their exquisitely understated thrones, each a portrait of smug indifference in his subdued suit and tie, surrounded by furnishings painstakingly engineered to project casual apathy. The event was simulcast to every corner of…


TWK Random Prompt: Rain

The sky was flat and gray, a fat slab of slate that had been hanging over the city for days. Outside his window, the concrete wall across the alley was a monochromatic rainbow, all gray. Even here in their cramped apartment it was shadowy, as if all the colors had grown tired and given up.

“I’ll call when I get there,” said Mama just as she did every day. She slipped into her drab coat and tied on a colorless scarf. “Try not to spend the whole day watching TV. There’s Hot Pockets in the freezer for lunch. …


“A what?”

“You heard me!”

“No, seriously, I didn’t.”

The enormously fat man turned and wobbled away. He was so fat that his body seemed to bounce and bobble with every step. “Oh, do shut up, you offensive little insult.”

Brindle Billy stood ankle deep in what appeared to be a crystal clear brook. Attempting to wade across it was not the worst thing he’d done recently. “Yes, well, if I heard you right, which I almost certainly did not, you said you thought I was funny, so you are going to give me a big, red rose.”

“I did…


Like an uninvited guest, Peter Dalton stood on the threshold staring into his own house. The Big Empty. He lifted his suitcase, drew in a deep breath, and stepped inside.

He wasn’t ready for the bedroom yet, so he dropped his bags on the floor with a thump. Sounds were too loud, lights were too bright, rooms were too big. He shuffled into the kitchen and mechanically opened the fridge, confused by the casserole on the shelf. The note on the lid gave reheating instructions, signed by the neighbor who had watered the plants.

His arms felt too heavy to…


“Captain’s log, Sunday, September 27, of the year 2024. This is the flight of the Starship “Falcon,” the first human mission from Earth to Mars. Today marks three weeks since leaving the only home…”

“Three weeks and a day.”

“What?”

“It’s been three weeks and a day.”

“Barkley, do you mind? I’m recording here! Can you just let it go for once!”

“Sure, sure… If you don’t mind sounding like a moron.”

With an expansive sigh, I clicked off my recorder and spun my Captain’s chair to face Lt. Barkley, seated at the Navigation Console. “What the hell are you…


It was a chilly day in March when everything changed. I shook the drops from my umbrella, stepped out of the drizzle and into the little stationery shop. An elderly gentleman reading a book behind the counter looked up with a mix of curiosity and annoyance. I held out the slip of paper I had received in the mail, the one that had summoned me here.

At the sight of the distinctive sheet of stationery the old man rose to his feet with a genuine smile on his face. “Ah! You must be Mr. Malloy! It is such a pleasure…


[Written in response to TWK random prompt: plectrum]

She wasn’t just pretty, she was damn pretty! In fact, she wasn’t just damn pretty, she was God damn pretty! And she smiled at Jimmy every time their eyes met.

Digby O’Dell and the Undertakers played most Friday and Saturday nights at Bubba’s Pub, a faux Irish watering hole tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains on the outskirts of Asheville, North Carolina. The pub was nothing special, but the band, well, that was a different story.

Jimmy, the front man for the band, was devilishly handsome with an irresistible grin, and…

Thom Garrett

Writing about life and love, along with a few crazy stories just for fun.

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