In which Mike buys some cool art at De Stijl Gallery from the Great Emeline Fuller…

Okay, the photo is of Emeline Fuller, an artist in Emporia, Kansas I met today when I ran up to De Stijl Gallery to see a buddy of mine. We do that once a month. It is nice when one is suddenly living alone as I am and miss having someone to talk to.

So Scott Bonnet runs a gallery in Emporia, Kansas and I go up to see him once a month. He and his wife Sherri are as kind and generous with their time as anybody could ask for.

So, my thanks to Scott and Sheri.

Here’s the Gallery:

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Behold “The Sun With One Eye.” Friday Flash Fics from Jeff Baker, June 9th, 2023.

The Sun With One Eye

by Jeff Baker

“Oh, my God! Look!” Maybelle screamed pointing. “The clouds are parting!”

“The Sun!”

“”Get the blinds down! Hurry!”

Pietro was closest on the porch, so he lunged for the controls, landing on his belly next to the panel. He reached up and slapped the button. Three of the large treated screens quickly descended from the porch roof. The fourth, the one that would cover the area of the controls and front door stayed up.

Pietro glanced up in horror and covered his eyes with his hands.

There was a glaring stream of pure light that struck him. Andy rushed over and grabbed him as he screamed, pulling him back to the safety of the shadow.

“I got you, buddy!” Andy said as he patted out the wisps of smoke that were rising from Pietro’s jacket and hair. Thank God he’d been wearing the jacket, and that it had long sleeves.

“You pulled my but out of the fire that time,” Pietro said, breathing hard.

“Yeah,” Andy said. “We gotta fix that blind.”

The colony had been on the planet, designated BA 127 for about 100 years, and while the sunlight had always been intense in the last years the direct sunlight had reached burning intensity. Fortunately, the cloud cover was usually enough and the clouds were pretty predictable; Rain in the afternoon, thick clouds till sundown. Sunshields on the vehicles and on the buildings.

So, some of the colonists decided not to evacuate. Mainly because of the rare resources on BA 127.

Pietro, Andy and Maybelle had met during orientation. Their skills complimented each other and they decided to form a team and share resources and profits. They also shared the house, partly because rent was out-of-this-world expensive. They were usually able to keep things platonic although Maybelle had caught Pietro and Andy kissing on the porch late one night.

They were all in their mid to late twenties. If they stayed there and kept refining the stuff they would be rich in another few years.

If the sunlight didn’t get them.

“You okay?” Maybelle asked, helping Pietro to his feet.

“Yeah, I think so.” Pietro said.

“Maybe we should sit on the back porch in the evening from now on?” Andy said, settling down in the metal chair.

“Probably a better idea.” Maybelle said.

“Can’t go there now,” Pietro said, glancing at the sunlight that was hitting the front door. A dash for the door would probably burn their skin. The other blinds, made of treated steel, kept them safe and they had time to sit and at least there was a cool breeze. The sunlight didn’t heat the air as much but it could burn flesh.

“We’ve got about a half-hour before that sun sets.” Maybelle said.

“Yeah, just hope nobody has to go to the bathroom.” Andy said.

“Oh, don’t even joke about that,” Maybelle said. Pietro laughed.

They sat in silence for a few minutes. Then Pietro asked, “Are you sure it’s worth it?”

“It’s worth it,” Maybelle said. “In another few years we can afford to go anywhere we want.”

“Together?” Andy asked. “I mean, we’re a good team, no reason for us to split up?”

“I don’t intend to work for a while,” Pietro said. “Just sit on my money. Somewhere nice and dark.”

“Maybe find a nice rogue planet,” Andy said. “One with a nice hotel.”

“A hotel? On a rogue planet?” Maybelle laughed. “My Dad used to mine rogue planets, remember? Nobody’s dumb enough to build on those. No way to collect the money.”

“I guess.” Andy said.”

“Maybe some place with nice, thick curtains,” Pietro said.

The three of them sat and daydreamed as the sun moved behind the row of houses across the street.

Andy pointed at the blind on the end, the one that wouldn’t go down.

“When we get that working, we just leave it down.”


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“Auntie Granite’s.” Flash Fiction Draw Challenge Story for June 2023, from Jeff Baker.

Photo by Juliano Astc on

The June 2023 Flash Fiction Draw Challenge draws were for a fairy tale involving a bicycle built for two, a Fairy Tale and an empty nightclub.

This is a sequel to my FFDC story “The Deadly Poppy Field.”

Auntie Granite’s

by Jeff Baker

Once upon a time there were two fairly successful restaurateurs.

Ollie and Spence had opened their bar and restaurant “A Field of Poppies” in 2018, and with the help of a magic wand they found they had kept the place going. Now they were branching out and somebody had told them about a nightclub on the edge of town that had been closed for years.

“Auntie Granite’s” was not much to look at. A bar, a dance floor a spot for a band and some seating. There were fire exits, which was a plus but there hadn’t been anybody to exit the place in a good number of years.

The two of them stared at the once not-quite grand room, at the cobwebs and the faded wallpaper.

One wall had a genuine bicycle built for two anchored above the floor. Off to one side was a picture of a lady pedaling that same bike happily through the countryside with a fellow happily pedaling behind her. This, they had been told, was Auntie Granite the club’s namesake.

Cobwebs covered almost everything.

Spence shrugged.

Ollie sighed. “I wish we’d brought that magic wand,” Ollie said.

There was a flash of cute, multicolored sparkles and a plump lady in a flowing robe suddenly appeared in front of them.

“I’m your Fairy Godmother!” she brightly announced. “I’m here to grant your wishes so you can live happily ever after!”

“Um, how many wishes do we get?” Spence asked.

“Oh, your real wish is for this place to be spruced up and open, so…” The Fairy Godmother waved her wand and there was another puff of sparkles and the sound of some really cutesy music and the club suddenly looked brand new.

Ollie and Spence glanced around at the club and at each other.

“All riiiiiight!” Ollie and Spence yelled, high fiving each other.

There was a knock at the door.

“Customers?” Ollie asked?

“Could be part of the magic?” Spence said, but the Fairy Godmother was nowhere to be seen.

The man who entered looked a lot like the actor Sheldon Leonard, right down to the pinstripe suit.

“You guy’s Auntie Granite’s?” he asked.

“Uh, yeah?” Spence said.

The man handed them some papers. “This is stuff the last owner didn’t pay,” he said and left.

Ollie and Spence sold the place to pay the bills and went back to running their own restaurant.

MORAL: Be careful not to be taken for Granite.


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Flash Fiction Draw Challenge Draws for June 2023, from Mike Mayak. (June 5, 2023.)

First, here’s the prompts for the June 2023 Flash Fiction Draw Challenge. Then my usual long-winded explanation:

A Fairy Tale

Involving a Bicycle Built for Two

Set at an Empty Nightclub.

Now, on to the details.

Hi! I’m Mike Mayak, I also write as Jeff Baker and I’m the current moderator for the monthly Flash Fiction Draw Challenge, which was started by ‘Nathan Burgoine a few years ago and carried on by Cait Gordon and Jeffrey Ricker. It’s a monthly writing challenge mainly for stress-free fun that anyone can play.

Here’s how it works: the first Monday of every month I draw three cards; a heart, a diamond and a club. These correspond to a list naming a genre, a setting and an object that must appear in the story. Participants write up a flash fiction story, 1,000 words or less, post it to their website and link it here in the comments. I’ll post the results (and hopefully have one of my own written!) the week of June 12th, 2023.

As I’m no good making videos I did the drawing offstage and the results were the Nine of Hearts (A Fairy Tale), the Three of Diamonds (An Empty Nightclub) and the Ten of Clubs (A Bicycle Built for Two.)

So we will write a fairy tale involving an empty nightclub and a bicycle built for two. (I’ve seen them but never had the guts to get on one!)

So, get to writing and I’ll post the results next week!

Thanks for playing, and I’ll see you next week!

And have fun!


Posted in 'Nathan Burgoine, Cait Gordon, Jeffrey Ricker, Mike Mayak, Monthly Flash Fiction Draw Challenge | Leave a comment

Errant Time-Travel for Rainbow Snippets from Jeff Baker. June 3rd, 2023.

For June 3rd, 2023.

Every week we post six lines of a story of ours, a work-in-progress or from someone else’s work we recommend that has LGBT characters on Rainbow Snippets here

In my story “The Errant Kidnapping and Inadvertent Time Travel of James Sandall Jnr,” we meet James and Eddie, who are on a mysterious trip down memory lane. They wind up downtown in front of an old building with a neon sign.

“And here we are almost twenty years later,” James said. He leaned over to kiss his husband.

“You know,” James said a couple of minutes later when he was settling back in the passenger seat. “I wondered why you were being so mysterious back at the hotel.”

“Yeah, asking you to put on a blindfold and not ask questions does count as mysterious,” Eddie laughed. “I’m just glad this is the hotel I stay at when the company sends me up here.

Okay, a bit more snippet.

They know me so I could explain we went to college here, we’re up for a reunion and I wasn’t kidnapping you.”

James laughed again. “The Erratic Kidnapping and Inadvertent Time Travel Of James Sandall Junior. Yeah, there’s a title for a novel!”

“Time travel?” Eddie asked.

“Isn’t that sort of what we’re doing right now? Going back twenty years?” James asked.

Awwwwwww! Sweet! See you next week, folks, when we et steamy again! —-jeff

NOTE: I took that picture last month. The building has been sold and the arcade sign is gone! —-jsb

Posted in LGBT, Rainbow Snippets | 4 Comments

Just News and a “Thank You,” from Jeff Baker. June 2nd, 2023

I just discovered that I have 161 subscribers to these posts! That’s nice! Thank you all so much! These last years have been rough and the writing has helped. It’s nice to find I have an audience!

Again, with all my thanks,

———–jeff baker

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Revisiting Professor Dummkopt for Friday Flash Fics by Jeff Baker. Friday June 2nd, 2023.

What Happened After Professor Dummkopt Poured His Intelligence Formula In Fido’s Bowl

by Jeff Baker

“Run!” yelled the squirrels. “The dog has learned how to use the ladder!”


AUTHOR”S NOTE: Again using the character created by Edward Paige Mitchell.

Posted in Edward Paige Mitchell, Fantasy, Fiction, Friday Flash Fics, Friday Flash Fictions, Short-Stories, Squirrel | Leave a comment

More Early-Morning Progress. Progress Report from Jeff Baker, May 30, 2023.

Photo by Pixabay on

Middle-aged widowhood is apparently conducive to writing, at least some writing.

I’ve kept up the late-night/early morning writing routine although I haven’t been quite as productive as I would have hoped. Nonetheless, I’ve kept up the flash fictions and have worked on about four full-length stories, if only adding a word or two. As well as a page or two on synopsis’s and notes for two different stories that were stalled.

Plus, I actually posted my seventh (!!!!) anniversary weekly flash fiction story this past week!

I drank too much wine this weekend, fantasizing that Darryl and I were spending a Memorial Day Weekend together at the lake with family. (We preferred air-conditioned houses with cable!) Still a nice thing to think about.

And, I have a few more lines to write on a description for one of those full-length stories, which I will do when I sign off here.

So, that’s progress.

That’s about it for now!

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“Diego’s Offer,” a NSFW Rainbow Snippet From Jeff Baker (as “Skip Hanford.”) May 27, 2023.

Every week we post six lines of a story of ours, a work-in-progress or from someone else’s work we recommend that has LGBT characters on Rainbow Snippets here My in-progress story “Diego’s Offer” (as by “Skip Hanford”) is being written for an erotica site and takes place in a dystopian world of the near-future.

We were sitting there at the table outside the coffee shop near the spaceport, basking in the sun and I was admiring how the sunlight enhanced Diego’s tan and his muscular arms. He caught me glancing at him and grinned. He reached up and rubbed the name “Diego” tattooed in cursive on his left bicep. It wasn’t his name any more than he was Spanish but he didn’t have a lot of choice on the tattoo.

I’d gone to school with him back when he wasn’t called Diego. In his early 20s he’d been picked up for a string of burglaries and had been sentenced to a “Servitude Work Crew with Option to Sell.”

Okay, here’s more snippet as steam begins to rise…

After his two and a half years on the prison farm he’d been tattooed and auctioned off. I’d run into him again when his owner worked near where I did downtown. I ran a shop, Diego did heavy lifting at a warehouse. We were lucky he got a lunch break now and then.

He reached over and scratched his right biceps and forearm, where the bands of servitude had been tattooed as if they itched. I knew better; he was preening and looking macho for my benefit.

Kinky! And makes you wonder who’s in charge doesn’t it?

Next week, something less kinky and more nostalgic.

Posted in LGBT, Rainbow Snippets, Skip Hanford | 6 Comments

“Tenting Tonight.” My Seventh Anniversary Post. Friday Flash Fics from Jeff Baker, May 26, 2023.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: It was seven (Wow!) years ago that I stumbled across the old Monday Flash Fics Facebook group and wrote a quickie story and posted it. Then I decided to do a story for the next week’s prompt pic just to see if I could and I was off and running! The group switched to Friday Flash Fics a few years later and I’m now the moderator (I gotta be out of my mind!)

I figure I’ve written about 48 stories a year for these prompt pic sites (we take a little time off around Thanksgiving and Christmas) and at least one or two other flash fiction stories every month or so, adding up to at least 52 stories a year, probably more. I should hit a total of 365 such stories written in a few weeks.

This week’s story, featuring my wandering teenage Gay runaway Bryce Going, incorporates some of the experience my late husband Darryl had decades ago when he was homeless for about a year. Darryl and I made a home together and he encouraged my writing and was proud of what I accomplished.

So this anniversary story is for Darryl. And y’know what? They’re all for Darryl. —–jeff baker

Tenting Tonight On the Old Camp Ground

by Jeff Baker

I was cold and dead tired when I saw the tent. I’d had my watch stolen earlier that week so I wasn’t sure how late it was, just that it was dark and I guessed after ten as most of the shops downtown had closed up.

I’d walked west from downtown, hoping to find something to eat (I was out of money) and turned behind one of those new convenience stores to find a gravel lot and the tent leaning against a tall wooden fence, about as tall as I was; 5’11”.

The tent almost looked like it had been built into the fence; it was almost domed and made of a tent you’d take camping, extended by towels, rags and even old newspaper wrapped around it for insulation. There was a cold wind blowing the trash in the lot around and it wasn’t very well lit as the streetlight behind the store was broken and I caught the glint of broken glass underneath it. I could barely see the outline of a tree at the edge of the lot.

It was 1975. I was fifteen, Gay and on my own. Nobody guessed I was Gay but the on my own part was pretty obvious from my dirty jacket and worn sneakers. I was shivering. I thought I smelled food but that may have been from the store.

The hell with it. I walked over and patted the side of the tent.

“Go ‘way!” came the raspy voice from inside the folds of towel and paper.

“I’m cold.” I said, shivering.

“I said go away!” the voice rasped again.

“I got no place to go,” I said. “No place to go…” My voice broke for a moment. I’d run away months ago not wanting to go to a Boy’s Home after my Mom had bailed on me. Didn’t know where my Father was. I was halfway across the country from Philly. So far I hadn’t cried.

I heard a rustling in the tent. Then a flap opened, not where I thought it would and the voice told me to get in. I saw a glimmer of light inside which surprised me, I hadn’t seen it through the tent.

“Get in, quick. And take off your damn shoes.”

The inside of the tent was a little bigger than one of those bug cars I’d been in a couple of times, but I had to bend over so I didn’t hit my head on the top. There were a couple of flashlights leaning against a small duffel bag to one side that aimed enough light that it somehow lit up the tent. I hadn’t noticed the light from outside, so the tent was better covered than I thought. It must have been well-insulated as it wasn’t exactly warm but we were cut off from the breeze.

“Sid down,” the man said when he finished sealing the tent flap with a towel. He looked old and wrinkled with a fringe of grey hair surrounding a bald head. He was wearing a winter coat over several layers of flannel shirts. His jeans were old and smudged and I bet he had something like long johns on under them. He snatched a stocking cap off the floor and jammed it on his head.

I sat down and found a place that didn’t feel like gravel under the tent floor.

“Thanks for letting me in,” I started to say.

The man held up his hand.

“It isn’t permanent,” he said. “It’s just cold out there and you’re too damn young. I heard you start to cry. That did it, I was always too soft a touch. That’s probably how I wound up here.”

I nodded. He glared at me again.

“Well? Aren’t you going to introduce yourself? I’m R. J. by the way.”

“I’m Bryce Going,” I said. That was the name I’d been using and I was somehow getting a lot more comfortable with it.

“Well, Bryce Going,” R. J. said reaching into the duffel bag. “I’d better show you some hospitality.” He tossed me what looked like a couple of wrapped candy bars. “Those are Food Bars. They’re supposed to be nutritious.”

“Thanks,” I managed to say. I hadn’t eaten since the day before. I gobbled down the first bar.

“Not so fast!” R. J. snapped. “I don’t want you getting sick all over my tent. Here.” He poured out some lukewarm coffee into the lid that served as a cup and I savored every drop.

A few minutes later, I was slowly eating the second bar, again savoring every bite. I finished and managed another thank-you.

“We’d better get to sleep soon. I don’t have another pillow,” he said, gesturing at the duffel bag.

“That’s okay,” I said.

We sat in silence and then he turned off the lights and I heard him stretch out and rasp out a “good night.”

I lay down on the other side of the tent and wondered if I’d have to fend him off in the middle of the night, even though I hadn’t told him I was Gay. I’d been really lucky so far nobody had tried anything like that.

I heard him snore and I was asleep a few minutes later.

It was warmer the next morning, so I thanked R. J. and wandered off looking for a discreet place to pee.

About an hour later I lucked out wandering down a side street past the backs of old brick buildings. A man in an apron asked me if I belonged in school. I told him I was 22 (I wasn’t) and that I’d arrived in the city and somebody had stolen my wallet. (I hadn’t had a wallet.) The man asked me if I’d like to make some money. I was leery about that, but he explained the guys he’d hired hadn’t shown up and he needed somebody to unload a truck that morning. I nodded and spent that day unloading the trucks that backed into the dock and all but swallowed whole the ham sandwich he offered me.

But a few hours later I was sitting there at the desk eating another sandwich and drinking a soda (“Think of it as worker benefits, kid,” my new boss had said) when the noon news came on the little black and white TV playing there in the back room.

No mistake. The picture they showed on the TV was probably from his old driver’s license. The video showed police removing a figure wrapped in a blanket from the tent we’d spent the night in; R. J.

The newscaster said they had raided the “homeless encampment” (one tent) and found the man dead in the tent.

Near as they could tell, he had been dead about three days.


Posted in Anniversary, Bryce Going, Darryl Thompson, Fantasy, Fiction, Friday Flash Fics, Horror, LGBT, Monday Flash Fiction, Short-Stories | Leave a comment