He hated the rain. He sat in the driest spot he could find, his back pressed against the dirty brick wall. He drained the bottle he’d been nursing all afternoon and tossed the empty a few feet away where it blended in with all the other garbage and filth that cluttered the alley. His alley.

He had earned it. He’d grown up there. He’d grown old there. He’d grown hopeless there.

No one knew his name. The old ones still called him Bobby MacStuck Bob, or just Stucco; the crazy ones called him all sorts of nasty things; most people…

“Oh, dear Edna, what would we do without you? You are a saint!”

“Ha! Saint Edna, the patron saint of empty pews.” Edna, silver haired and wrinkled, shuffled the length of a pew, the handle of a blue plastic bucket draped over her right wrist. At the end of the pew, she moved on to the next row and shuffled back the way she had come, using her left hand to pick up the litter. Mostly wedding programs, with a few magazines, folded newspapers, and, as always, a discretely rolled Pampers or two. …

Ol’ Mimsy, like any old granny, puttered. The kitchen in which she puttered, however, was not like any other old granny’s kitchen. She dusted her jars of preserved eyeballs, all in a row like very alert sentries, and ranging in size from tiny spider eyes to enormous cow eyes. She returned her earthenware crocks of dried toadstools and deadly nightshade to the decorative spice shelf above the wood-fired stove, and she absently picked up a femur to stir the simmering pot of soup, then dropped the bone into the broth.

With a grunt, she reached up and lifted a heavy…

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*


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…

Thom Garrett

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

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