A Hankering for Lettuce by Elby Cloud

“Flames leaped up and danced merrily in the pot. The odor of the forest returned full strength. She reached into the flame, grabbed a branch and pulled.”

Check out this enchanting story by Elby Cloud!

Read “A Hankering for Lettuce” on Longshot Island for free here!

The State of the Publishing Industry-D.S. White

D.S. WhiteIf you’re a writer of short stories, and you’re not Ray Bradbury risen from the dead (one can dream), then by now you know that there are a TON of issues within this specific sect of the writing realm that is more apparent with each submitted story.

D.S. White (writer and the man behind the Longshot Island curtain) recently did a piece on this that will probably cause you to pound your fist on the long, oaken table and shout, “Huzzah!” with your fellow brethren (and…sisthren? #equality #2017) as you down that curved horn of ale.

Read The State of the Publishing Industry here 

Update/Public Reading

Hello all,

I apologize about the radio silence as of late. My short stories have taken a back seat to a few novels I’m excited to be working on. I’m hoping to post some excerpts for you to think, “Meh” about.

In other news, I’ll be reading one of my stories at a Longshot Island event at the Book Cellar in Chicago! So, if you’re stalking me, you’ll know where I’ll be on June 22nd at 7 P.M.

http://www.bookcellarinc.com/event/longshot-island-reading

Tick Tock (Short Story)

tick tock

There’s a cuckoo clock that hangs on a white, smoke stained wall, dimly lit in the
rising sun that beams through the dust in the air.
It ticks by the passing of time, the hands piercing the complete silence of the abandoned house in which the clock resides.

Little gears and gadgets twist and pull in mechanical bliss within the clock, custom made, one of a kind. Tick tock, tick tock.

It’s 6:45 AM, and everything in the house is silent, save the cuckoo clock. Dodge the spurs that spin and the weights that descend and walk down a darkened archway preloaded with a spring, attached to a bird.

The songbird perches patiently at the door, waiting for someone to knock. It doesn’t blink and its empty wooden heart doesn’t beat but still it waits for its cue. Tick tock, tick tock.

6:52 AM and the house lays dormant in filth and resides silent in obedience. A scorching breeze twists through a broken window. A picture hangs crooked opposite the clock, a framed history of no meaningful consequence. They were happy, and they smiled as the waves crashed behind them in the summer of 1997.

Winters have passed and died and an endless summer has reigned for many setting suns and rising stars but the clock wasn’t made to track dates and so it continued in its mission to keep accurate time regardless of how much has changed since the family vacation of ’97.

6:56 AM and the cuckoo clock awaits its mark in a world that had long ago missed its own. A sand storm roars outside and rattles the few remaining windows. Sand piles along the moldy carpet. The cuckoo clock anticipates the meaning of its creation as the gears twist the second arm that had long ago broken off.

6:59 AM and the storm has roared by and taken the attic with it and debris rained down into the disarrayed living room that the woman in the picture opposite the clock would have thrown a familiar fit over. The man would’ve sat apologetically silent. The children would’ve watched from the second story landing. The cuckoo clock would’ve tick tocked, tick tocked, and the world couldn’t have cared less.

A few seconds now. The springs pull back and prepare to launch the songbird. The rusty gears go into overdrive as one after the other fall away and clang to the wooden base below. One more tick, one more tock, and one last song for the silent world.

7 AM. The doors fold out and the bird springs free. It tweets seven times, an engineered beauty that the world will never see again. The hour arm breaks off and strikes the bird and they both fall to the living room rug, covered with sand instantly, and the world revels in the echo of the last song of the apocalypse.

The family smiles as the motionless waves crash behind them. The cuckoo clock sits empty and barren, and the world spins on. Tick tock, tick tock.

Disney & Self Esteem: Let’s Discuss

Disney is sexist. They present unrealistic expectations to females at an early, impressionable age that, if not achieved, can scar them for life. Of course we all know what I’m talking about; the eyes.

tangled

It’s like an alien mated with Prince Charming

Obviously these unrealistic eye balls aren’t going anywhere, partly because they’re pretty, and mostly because Disney has more money than Satan on a lucky streak in Vegas. And eyes aren’t the only thing. I’ve heard rumbles of weight or something, I don’t know.

Guys face these issues as well. Not all of us can swing from tree to tree, or assassinate our brother to assume the throne. Disney thrusts these expectations down our throats and records us choking on it (how else did you think they got the voice for Donald?).

Self-esteem is a huge issue for ugly people, and it’s starting to bum the rest of us out. So I’ve taken it upon myself to provide a few reasons to feel better about yourself! So sit back, cradle your knees and tell yourself everything will be alright as we take Disney down a notch.


1. 99% of the Disney couples are almost guaranteed to be divorced by now.hercules

Think about it. Half of them are 16 years old, which isn’t even legal. Most the girls were replacing their dead fathers. If you don’t believe that Cinderella only got one of those glass slippers you’re delusional. The only ones still together are Snow White and what’s his face, and that’s just because she’s 98 and blind.

2. Jane sneezed on Tarzan once and he immediately died.

janeWhat, you think that story would have a happy ending? If you’ve read history at all you’d know that the European’s best weapon was their own filth and squalor. Tarzan’s immune system consisted of bananas and confusion about bestiality, he wasn’t anywhere near prepared to deal with the black plague.

3. Simba was beheaded.

He had three solos and now thinks he can run a country? Monarchies are complicated governments, and all the circle of life stuff leads me to assume that he’s the head of the

Pinned_ya

#Pinnedya’gain2020

church as well. Hakuna Makata doesn’t apply to civil war, or plagues, or Pumba’s attempted suicide. Political expertise isn’t genetic. We all knew he couldn’t wait, but perhaps he should’ve taken a few management courses at the local community college before assuming the throne. I say we make Nala our leader.


4. Rapunzel tangledbecame the most economically viable executioner.

Rope ain’t cheap.

5. A lamp isn’t the only thing he was rubbing.

aladdin

“I’m sold. How do you clear the browsing history? – Aladdin

You thought Jasmine was 18? That won’t hold up in court. Sure, Aladdin said it was love and that they had the Sultan’s permission, but then 14 other kids came forward and Genie told prosecutors the disturbing shit he was wishing for.

6. Ariel is totally fat now.

It’s hard to hold a figure, and all that BP oil was chalk full of trans fat.

Well, there you have it. I hope you feel better about yourself because, as we all know, judgement is the best cure for self loathing.

Firefighters: Let’s Discuss

I hold nothing against Firefighters.

I don’t know why anyone would. I don’t believe that’s a prejudice that exists. If you hold anything against firefighters specifically, please comment your reasoning below, and avoid calendars, as they tend to have risqué photos of firefighters. I’d say about 90% of calendars feature at least one half naked firefighter. It’s a Union thing.

firefighter

They barely made it out alive.

As we all know, firefighters are the brave souls who save our pets from burning buildings.

Today I’d like to discuss firefighters and firefighter’s accessories. So, much like North Korea’s missile program, strap in and prepare for lift off, only to inevitably be let down.

fire extinguisher.jpg

Not whipped cream

This is a fire extinguisher. As you can assume from its name, it’s main purpose is to extinguish fires, according to Wikipedia anyway. If you were in the market for a fire extinguisher, you’d notice a striking similarity between the available stock: they’re red.

house on fire

“Okay, trace your steps…” – That Asshole Gary

All of them, red. Who in the world chose the color red? If the firefighter drops the extinguisher, wouldn’t it blend in with the flames? How many houses have burnt down because that clumsy asshole Gary keeps dropping the fricken extinguisher?

Axes; It’s the thing people use to chop up wood and/or their parents. According to my assumptions, firefighters utilize axes to break down wooden barriers. Unfortunately they do not use them to break down cultural barriers.

noose

CIRCA 1688, the first Fireman’s pole was a huge failure.

Our society seems to have a fascination with poles. Whether it be used to slide down for a fire, or slide down for a dollar, America loves its poles. Firemen utilize poles in order to get to the fire as quickly as possible. From humble beginnings, this

dalmation

Poor bastard didn’t stand a chance.

playground favorite is still in use today.

Dogs are man’s best friend, #friendzoned. There are many different types of dogs, and a baker’s dozen are relatively decent, and half of the decent ones are variations of Labrador. A fireman’s go to choice is of course the Dalmatian. If you’re unfamiliar with the Dalmatian, imagine a dog dressed as a cow that occasionally mauls people.

So in conclusion, Lizzy Borden may have been training to fight fires but, unfortunately, she had terrible aim.

Table Manners @ Longshot Island

Read For FREE; Click Here

Your fork screeches across the plate, bringing the dinner conversation to an abrupt halt. You feel as if you should apologize but you cannot; improvisation is frowned upon.

I’m proud to be working with Longshot Island once more to release another story. As always, D.S. White, the editor over at Longshot, is a writer’s best friend. If you’ve got a story, I urge you to submit it to Longshot.

Click the above link to read Table Manners. Let me know what you think, unless it’s bad, in which case let Longshot know what you think. They’re the ones that published it, blame them!

Is this thing on?

To be honest, I didn’t know anyone did blogs anymore.

I didn’t think anyone truly participated in blogs even when blogging was all over the place. Apparently I was wrong, so here we are.

Just like every fad, I’m about 5 years behind. So bear with me.

I like to write. If you like to read, then we will get along swimmingly. Unless you don’t like what I write. I don’t like you either, then. So.

Well, as the British would say, “I hope you enjoy my blog.”

They speak the same language as me. I can throw a “biscuit” or “mum” in there if you’d like. Let’s try again.

“I hope you enjoy me biscuit, mum.”

Okay, bye.