“Someone To Watch Over Me.” Friday Flash Fics by Jeff Baker for September 9, 2022.

Someone to Watch Over Me

by Jeff Baker

Buddy glanced up and pointed as the two of them walked past the downtown shop.

“Hey, what are those things, anyway? See ‘em all over this part of town.”

He was pointing at what looked like a grey stone face with wings on a panel near the top of a one story brick building that had been a carriage house but was now a liquor store.

“It’s a gargoyle,” Chaz said. “They put ‘em all over old buildings like this downtown in the 1800s. I guess when they refurbed the buildings they kept the gargoyles. They’re supposed to guard the buildings.”

“Yeah, right,” Buddy said. “More likely they have a load of security cameras and a couple of alarms. But maybe not there. Don’t look.”

“Ol’ Man Grimsby’s?” Chaz asked.

“Yup.” Buddy said with a grin. “Been there since this was just abandoned warehouses, not a bunch of trendy sports bars and stuff. Ol’ Man Grimsby has a security system but it’s pretty old-fashioned. We just cut the cables back of the shop, break in and get out of there fast.” He grinned. “We may set off another alarm system, but nothing too modern.”

Grimsby’s building was another low, former carriage house, with another stone gargoyle above the door.

“’We’ break in, you said?” Chaz said.

“I mean me,” Buddy said. “You’re my alibi. You’re always my alibi.”

“Anybody asks we were playing video games at my place all night,” Chaz said with a grin.

Buddy grinned back.

The early morning was dark with no moon. The bars and clubs had closed and the gang members were home asleep.

Buddy quickly cut the wires in back of Grimsby’s. He smashed in a window, reached in and opened the back door. It took less than a minute for him to find the register, riffle through it and pocket the cash. Grimsby never listened to warnings about taking the cash and leaving the register empty with the drawer open. Buddy quickly strode towards the back room and the exit. He’d heard a scraping sound out front, then on the roof.

Buddy stared at what was standing in the dimly lit open doorway. It fluttered it’s wings and grinned.

Buddy screamed.

All the police found the next morning was the evidence of the broken back window and the money strewn on the floor of the back room. Chaz never heard from Buddy who he assumed had taken more cash and ran. When he passed the front of Grimsby’s he barely glanced at the gargoyle, which some people described as “looking self-satisfied.”

And Chaz never looked at the back of Grimsby’s store, so he never noticed the new gargoyle high up on the brick wall, the grey stone face with it’s eyes wide and its mouth frozen open in a terrified scream.

—end—

Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Friday Flash Fics, Friday Flash Fictions, Horror, Short-Stories | 2 Comments

September 2022 Flash Fiction Draw Challenge—the Draws. Sept, 5th, 2022. (Mike Mayak.)

Happy Labor Day!

First, the results:

A Comedy

Set at a County Fair

Involving a Pile of Books

Now to the details:

I’m Mike Mayak, and I also write as Jeff Baker (one’s my real name, not sure which!)

Every month we do a flash fiction writing challenge purely for fun. How it works is I draw three cards, a Spade a Diamond and a Heart. These correspond to a genre of story, an object that must be in the story and a setting for the story. Participants have a week or so to write up a flash fiction incorporating those three elements in 1000 words or less (or more. We aren’t picky!)

Post your results to your blog and link it in the comments below and I’ll put them all up on their own post sometime around the 12th or 13th of next week. But feel free to write up a story and post it anytime!\

So, have fun! And I’ll see you next week!

———–mike

Posted in Monthly Flash Fiction Draw Challenge | 1 Comment

Rainbow Snippets” for September 3, 2022: “Saint Rabbit’s Eve” by Jeff Baker

Every week we post six lines of our original fiction or a recommendation of a work by someone else that has at least one LGBT character on the Rainbow Snippets page here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/963484217054974 I’m really liking my series about two best friends (and maybe more than friends!) Skid and T’amec who work at the Food Garden Court in a mall in a magical world. I’ve published three stories in this series so far with another on the way in a few months. Here’s a link to the original story: https://authorjeffbaker.com/2021/04/15/hop-with-the-rabbits-for-friday-flash-fics-by-jeff-baker-april-16-2021/

Here, T’amec and Skid find themselves working a late shift on a night when it is not good to be out of doors.

Skid wished the Augury shop was open. Saint Rabbit’s Eve was their biggest day and the shop had shut down in the afternoon after selling out of amulets, but the Food Garden Court was still open. Nobody was asking for anything else, not that Thursday night.

“Hey, I got all the pans and dishes washed.” That was T’amec, leaning out the swinging doors into the back kitchen. “Got anything out here we can wash up?”

Here’s a few more lines as the story (and the mall) get dark…

Something caught Skid’s eye; the mall was getting darker. He glanced down the hall from the Food Garden Court; the lights were going off. No; there was darkness, like a rolling fog slowly moving towards them.

Saint Rabbit.

T’amec and Skid stared at each other; they weren’t kids walking around with necklaces of meat to offer Saint Rabbit if they crossed his path like in a Festival pageant or folktale, they were facing it for real.

That’s it for this week! Pleasant dreams, everybody! ——jeff

Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Food Garden Court, Horror, LGBT, Rainbow Snippets | 4 Comments

The Flight of the Robin by Jeff Baker for Friday Flash Fics September 2, 2022

The Flight of the Robin

by Jeff Baker

The small, red-breasted bird fluttering around the suburban yard looked as startled as a bird could look.

“Off the ground, off the ground, there are cats on the ground,” the bird thought, eyeing the mailbox at the end of the drive. With an effort (he’d never really flown before) he took off and arced through the air, flying haphazardly like the sixteen-year-old-kid that he was, landing on top of the wooden post the mailbox was attached to.

He remembered a story he’d read where a bird had said that feet were more important than wings. He believed it as he used his feet to clutch and claw at the post he was standing on.

Steady now, he thought as he held on tightly and glanced around. Small, light-dappled neighborhood. Early afternoon. No cats in sight.

“C’mon, Richard, how screwed are you? Assess! Assess! Clown-Face captured you and sprayed you with that stuff and you dwindled down into this, this…”

He’d been quickly caged and driven here, the maniac laughing like the insane clown he was, and pulled from the cage and tossed unceremoniously onto someone’s yard as the van drove off. He’d been stunned but he’d glimpsed the van’s license plate: I PAGG.

He turned around on the post and managed, by angling himself to glimpse his transformed body. Some kind of bird.

A robin.

Okay, that was ironic. What was it the newspapers were always saying he said? “Holy Birdcage!”

He was trapped worse than when he had been in Clown-Face’s cage. That way, at least, he might have been held for ransom and eventually taken back to…

Back…Of course!

He recognized the neighborhood he was in, he knew where the mansion was, where the cave was. It was on the edge of town but it wasn’t that far as the crow, or robin flies. And Bruce would know somehow. When a robin flies into their headquarters he would figure out who it had to be.

Besides, there were ways of signaling him.

He just had to watch out for hawks on the way. Better than staying here and becoming prey for some cat.

And there would be a way to turn him back—if Bruce couldn’t find one, he’d pound it out of Clown-Face.

Unless, he thought wryly, it wore off in flight and he fell naked into someone’s swimming pool.

Richard took a deep breath, spread his wings and took off, heading home.

—end—

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Obviously fan fiction. And our hero comes out better than in my first plan for the story; he wasn’t going to get out of this! But I think he does!—–jeff Sept. 1, 2022

Posted in Fan Fiction, Fantasy, Fiction, Friday Flash Fics, Friday Flash Fictions, Science Fiction, Short-Stories | Leave a comment

A Rainbow Under the Moon: Rainbow Snippets and “Underneath the Moon” by Jeff Baker. August 28, 2022.

Photo by Alex Andrews on Pexels.com

Every week we post six lines from a work of ours, a work-in-progress or a work of someone else’s that has at least one LGBT character, posted on the Rainbow Snippets page, here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/963484217054974 This one is a werewolf story about a happily married couple, inspired by a couple of friends of mine who went through chemo as well as my habit of going outside to watch the Moon. Here’s the original story. https://authorjeffbaker.com/2021/03/05/underneath-the-moon-on-friday-flash-fics-for-march-5th-2021-by-jeff-baker/ And here’s the first snippet:

Greg going through chemotherapy had been rough on both of them, but Bryan had been the tough one. Always there, always encouraging. Driving him back and forth to his doctor’s; not objecting when Greg had come back from the store with a six pack of beer and gotten drunk after he was told he had cancer. At least everything was looking pretty good after six months; the chemo seemed to be working. But all the worry had probably built up on Bryan and when the Moon rose that evening, he was a big, yellow-gray wolf. He’d pushed open the door and out he went.

Okay, here’s some more:

Greg bent down under the vintage car Bryan was restoring. He always came out here to relax. Usually in coveralls, not fur. He squinted in the dim light. Bryan, the yellow-gray wolf was lying down beside the rear tire under the car, head on his forepaws, eyes looking up, glittering in the light.

Bryan crawled over to Greg and nuzzled his face as Greg rubbed his fur.

And I’m really breaking the rules here, but here’s one line; the happy ending:

The Moon was high in the sky and Bryan’s belly was full of the slices of leftover meatloaf as he sat on the sofa next to Greg, head resting in Greg’s lap as the soft sound of their breathing and snoring filled the room.

See you here next week! ‘Till then, may all your personal stories end happily!

———-jeff

Posted in Moon, Rainbow Snippets, Uncategorized, Werewolves | 2 Comments

Sixteen Things I Learned During the Big Heat Wave. Cool Off With Friday Flash Fics for August 26, 2022 by Jeff Baker.

Sixteen Things I Learned During the Big Heat Wave

by Jeff Baker

(August 21, 2022)

1.) Relatives are nothing but trouble, even if they pay you money.

2.) Sometimes, when your Aunt rents out rooms in her big old house, it’s good that she won’t rent one to you.

3.) A cramped, dump of a trailer is better than living with your Mom.

4.) Even when you grew up in Kansas, summer heat can be HOT!

5.) Never give your Mom your phone number.

6.) Don’t let people know you have a pickup truck.

7.) When your Aunt offers you money to go get gasoline, tell her you’re busy.

8.) Sometimes, when you haul a can of gasoline upstairs to the Spanish guy your Aunt rents the room to, you find he’s kind of hot, too.

9.) Some people are crazy enough to have their own gas-powered air-conditioner in their room to keep their room really, really cool. But sane enough to pipe the exhaust outside. (Probably because he’s a doctor.)

10.) If you have the hot girl from work at your place one evening, your Mom and your Aunt will both call.

11.) If you have the hot girl from work at your place one evening, shut off your phone.

12) Be honest about your inability to fix a broken air-conditioner, especially a jury-rigged air-conditioner with the guy in the bathroom swearing in Spanish.

13.) When your Aunt offers you money to go get a lot of ice, say yes.

14.) Strange doctor disappears from your Aunt’s apartment, play dumb when the police come over.

15.) When your Aunt offers you free cable to stay in her freshly-vacated apartment, say yes again.

16.) Sometimes after you mop up the floor of your new apartment, it’s okay to go out and burn the mop. Even during a heat wave.

—end—

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Having done a riff on one of my favorite fantasy writers last week, I decided to do a riff on the other one. Inspired by the current heat wave.

Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Friday Flash Fics, Friday Flash Fictions, H. P. Lovecraft,, Horror, LGBT, Science Fiction, Short-Stories | Leave a comment

“Sushi.” Rainbow Snippets for August 20, 2022 from Jeff Baker.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Every week we post six lines from a work of ours, a work-in-progress or a work of someone else’s that has at least one LGBT character, posted on the Rainbow Snippets page, here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/permalink/7790368677699793 This is another very recent story from my blog, written for the August Flash Fiction Draw Challenge where the prompts were selected by card draw: A Paranormal story, set in an abandoned grade school involving a stuffed toy octopus. https://authorjeffbaker.com/2022/08/14/going-to-school-with-a-paranormal-octopus-results-for-the-august-flash-fiction-draw-challenge-august-15-2022/

And it just hit me; August 20th is the birthday of H. P. Lovecraft. Perfect day for a paranormal tale with an octopoid image…

“I haven’t seen her in years. I was blocked from her perception for a while.” Becky said.

“Damn shame when a toy squid blocks you,” Doug said, leaning against the wall grinning, looking good (Ray thought) in jeans and a t-shirt.

Becky ignored him, holding her hand above the counter where the teacher had kept the terrarium and a set of encyclopedia.

Becky had stopped at the far end of the counter and reached into the top drawer, pulling out a paper bag.

“Sushi.” Becky breathed pulling a small, plush toy octopus out of the bag.

Well, that’s it for this week! Take good care, everybody!

———-jeff

Posted in LGBT, Paranormal, Rainbow Snippets | 4 Comments

Someone’s Not at the Door for Friday Flash Fics: “2B or Not 2B” by Jeff Baker. August 19, 2022.

2B or Not 2B

by Jeff Baker

“So, you gonna call the Super?” Horacio was sitting at the counter in Apt. 2B of the Elsinore Apartments munching the last of a bowl of chips. “I mean if the speaker in my apartment was going off at all hours and nobody was downstairs, I would.”

“I tried leaving a message,” Hammie said. He was tall, pale, skinny and brooding. Horacio was short, dark and muscular. Hammie thought he looked good.

“That damn thing keeps waking me up in the middle of the night,” Hammie said, pointing at the speaker in the wall by the apartment door. “Stuff about my Mom fooling around. Well, Dad’s been gone a year. She’s entitled. Even if the guy was Dad’s brother.”

“Half-Brother,” Horacio said, feeling under the counter for another bag of chips. “You sure you aren’t dreaming all of this? You’ve been working those double-shifts you know.”

“I know, but I was wide-awake last night when the speaker went off,” Hammie said.

“Yeah…but…that…ummfh…” Horacio had found the unopened bag of chips and was trying to pull it open. “…doesn’t mean you…umffh…weren’t…”

“Here,” Hammie said, reaching under the counter and pulling out a letter opener shaped like a small sword. “Anyway, I’m going to talk to my Mom.” He waved the letter opener in the air before handing it to Horacio. “I would speak daggers to her but use none. Here, use this.”

“Thanks,” Horacio said. “I still say you…”

There was a metallic buzz from the door. Hammie rushed to the speaker and pressed the button.

“Yeah?” He said.

The reply was a sepulchral voice.

“Hammie Dane, by my prophetic soul, even as we speak your Mother lies with your own Uncle Claude. The same Claude Duke who foully murdered me. Avenge me, Hammie Dane! Avenge me!”

The speaker clicked and went silent.

Hammie and Horacio both recognized the voice of Hammie’s late father.

Horacio handed his friend the dagger.

—end—

Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Friday Flash Fics, Friday Flash Fictions, Ghost Story, LGBT, Short-Stories, William Shakespeare | Leave a comment

Going to School With a Paranormal Octopus: Results for the August Flash Fiction Draw Challenge. August 15, 2022.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

The draws for the August 2022 Flash Fiction Draw Challenge were:

A Paranormal Story

Set in an Abandoned Grade School

Involving a Stuffed Octopus

E. H. Timms wrote “Lost and Found.” https://thinkingthinking123.blogspot.com/2022/08/flash-fic-challenge-lost-and-found.html

And I wrote “Sushi.” https://authorjeffbaker.com/2022/08/14/flash-fiction-draw-challenge-story-for-august-2022-sushi-by-jeff-baker-august-14-2022/

Anyone wants to write one, feel free! There’s no real deadline and I’ll add the stories here!

Thanks to all our contributors!

I’ll do the next draw September 5th, 2022.

See you ’round!

Posted in E. H. Timms, Fantasy, Fiction, LGBT, Monthly Flash Fiction Draw Challenge, Paranormal, Short-Stories | Leave a comment

Flash Fiction Draw Challenge story for August 2022: “Sushi,” by Jeff Baker. (August 14, 2022.)

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Sushi

by Jeff Baker

“She’s in here. I can tell.” Becky said, looking tall in her green dress, contrasting with the dark hallways the three of them had just walked through.

The classroom was dingy and smelled. The old school building had been closed off, but Ray had the key. He looked around. How long since this room had been used? Or the windows had been washed?

Becky darted over towards the row of drawers with the counter top under the windows, moving through the rows of non-existent desks.

“I haven’t seen her in years. I was blocked from her perception for a while.” Becky said.

“Damn shame when a toy squid blocks you,” Doug said, leaning against the wall grinning, looking (Ray thought) good in jeans and a t-shirt.

Becky ignored him, holding her hand above the counter where the teacher had kept the terrarium and a set of encyclopedia.

“Here…no…here…no…here. Yes.” Becky had stopped at the far end of the counter and reached into the top drawer, pulling out a paper bag.

“Sushi.” Becky breathed pulling a small, plush toy octopus out of the bag.

“Sushi,” Doug said with a wry grin. “I remember her dragging that around with her everywhere.”

“Yeah, then one of her teachers said it was time for her to stop playing around and she took it from her.” Ray said. “Right before her Dad got transferred out of town.”

“We’re together again,” Becky said. “We are whole.”

“She’s gettin’ spooooooo-kyyyyyy” Doug said, what he’d said when they were in grade school together. Somehow, Becky had known things she couldn’t possibly have known.

They hadn’t imagined that when she got back into town fifteen years later, Ray would be on the board that replaced the old grade school with the big one down the street.

She’d insisted they come back to the old school and find their old classroom.

And now she stood there with her old toy and looked into its plush eyes and then smiled.

“And right now I can see that you and Doug aren’t really related,” she said. “Your parents never told you…they paid someone for Doug when he was a baby.”

Doug and Ray stared at her, then at each other.

“So it won’t be forbidden love anymore.” Becky said.

“Hey, wait!” Ray said. “My brother and I aren’t. I mean, we never…”

Becky smiled.

“I can see what is underneath, remember?”

“Yeah,” Doug said.

“The night before I got here you were talking about getting married if you could.” Becky said. “Well, now you can.”

The two young men stared at each other with dawning realization and broadening smiles.

The stuffed octopus smiled its secret octopus smile.

—end—

AUTHOR’S NOTE: The draws for this month’s Flash Fiction Draw Challenge were; a paranormal story, set in an abandoned grade school involving a stuffed octopus. This is what I came up with. See you next month!

Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, LGBT, Monthly Flash Fiction Draw Challenge, Paranormal, Short-Stories | Leave a comment