The recirculated air on the night train was tangy. The metal in it gritted between your clenched molars, coated the tip of your tongue, brushed against the roof of your mouth. Smelled like hot iron. Tasted like blood. Young mothers, old women and smart men don't go out on nights that taste like this.
Nobody ever called me smart.
"Today is your lucky day old man", the lanky, twenty-something blonde guy in the shiny maroon windbreaker holding the six inch Bowie knife said.
(Sidebar: What a fascinating time we live in. The Internet, still in the infantile stages of its role in the technological extension of the human mind, serves up crunchy bits of knowledge to patrons like plates of calamari from the local crab shack. Had such a resource existed during my high school years, my grades may have been slightly less dismal. Ah, yes. The qualifying helping verb "may"-- the lament and soft security blanket of classic…
If I had to pick a genre to write, it'd be hardboiled detective fiction. I'm not exactly sure when I fell in love with this style of writing, but I know it had something to do with Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammet, James Crumley, Phillip Kerr and evenings spent in front of a 19 inch television (with a broken dial that clicked through 12 channels) watching The Rockford Files and Magnum P.I.
And if I had to pin down why I love this genre more than any other, I'd say it's because of the similes. The similes, the heroes and the humor.
Last week's "Catch 22" prompt made me think. Hard. Which made me cry. Thanks Flash!Friday.
Existentialism Isn’t For Everyone
The woman bound in the backseat of Albert's Nova looked peaceful, cherub-like. A fat snoring cherub snoring deep and throaty snores that reminded Albert of the night spent camping by the swamp with his sadistic uncles during bullfrog mating season.
“It means you exist to exist, dumbass,” said an uncle as he used a pair of pliers to pinch of a wiggling frog's left rear leg. “I don't think so,” replied Albert. “And that right there is…
Competing in Flash! Friday is more than a job (actually it's not a job at all) it's an adventure!
There's a great group of folks that create short fiction every Friday. I believe somewhere between 65 and 100 (the number varies depending on the weather) people write stories every week. Reading their stories is a quick way to get a fiction fix. This week marked the first week of the new year of competition.
@MattLashley_ 141 words
Results: 1st runner up
Internet Dating Makes Me Nervous
Quarter 'til eight.
The naked woman reflected in the entryway mirror holding the hammer and a…
I walked the shoreline for an hour, though I knew it would do no good. The tide was going out. Wet sand squished between my toes, softening the callouses. The salty breeze invigorated me and I inhaled it like an addict taking one last drag on the pipe before rehab. Crashing shore breakers plugged my ears with white noise and, for a while, the world around me disappeared, or maybe I disappeared from the world.
At the lifeguard’s tower, I turned and walked back the way…
For me, it started at Flash!Fiction then Micro Bookends and spiraled. What I'm experiencing is like going to Paris or Italy or anywhere I haven't been and moving from destination to destination simply on the word of the people I meet.
I did this during a trip to Santa Cruz, CA last summer: I got a morning coffee, chatted with the baristas, was joined in conversation by another coffee-seeking patron and before I knew it, I'm watching a surfing contest at Steamer Laneand eating Thai food for lunch at the best beach front Thai place (steering clear of the worst). Now…
Writing good fiction takes a lot of hard work. Writing great fiction takes a minor miracle. I don't write good fiction or miracles, but I enjoy participating in a micro fiction contest named Flash! Friday from time to time. Like last time, I allocated a time box of thirty minutes.
This time the words came fast and I was done in ten minutes. A feat owing, in large part, to the interesting prompt and to the local public library.
Yesterday the local library held a book sale. At this book sale, on a folding formica table, I found a worn paperback copy…
I publicly confessed my affection for the movie Dumb & Dumber and its two main characters, Lloyd Christmas & Harry Dunne, way back in the year two thousand and something. I don't remember the exact year, but I do remember putting it on my MySpace page way back when Facebook was primarily used by Ivy League undergrads to play Am I Hot or Not with other Ivy League undergrads.
Over the years, I've watched it from opening sequence to beginning credit roll at least twenty times. (Okay, probably more like thirty.) Why? Because I like it. I like it ahh…
Written by R Matt Lashley on . Posted in Technology
I heart Joomla! And always will. Lately I've been "playing" with Adobe Muse. (I'm already a huge fan of InDesign and Edge Animate. And I'm starting to use Illustrator and Photoshop more than I use GIMP and Inkscape.)
Joomla handles a different workload than Muse. If I ever put the effort into turning badthinker.com into the Onion-esque satirical destination I know it can be (in my head), then Joomla is by far and away the CMS de résistance. But for building simple, elegant web designs really fast -- Muse is fantastic. So far, it's the ultimate WYSIWYG++ editor.
Write 140-160 words based on a pic and a prompt. It's easy. It's fun. It's flash fiction!
Several months ago, I discovered a site that puts on a weekly flash fiction contest. I competed that first time and again this week.
If you're like me (or like I was), you may not know flash fiction from Fred Flinstone. Here's a definition. It's darn fun. The contest starts every Friday and lasts for 24 hours. To make it (even) more fun and to reasonably cap my inevitable obsession over every word, I limit my time to a total of thirty minutes:…
Mark's legs felt wobbly, unsteady, as if all the cartilage connecting his tendons and bones had been replaced by strands of silly string. His heart beat hard and fast at an uneven tempo, like a first year band student was banging on a base drum embedded in his chest. And he was hot. Really hot. Sickly hot. The streams of sweat running down his forehead, over his cheeks and into the corners of his mouth tasted like a mixture of pretzel salt and lukewarm tequila shooters.
Mark wiped the beads of perspiration from his brow with the sleeve of his…
I never feel 100%, alpha-male confident in the pieces I submit to contests--this submission was no different.
I liked it okay, but I know I'll reread it today and smack my forehead while thinking of all the mistakes I made in it.
Then I'll reread it tomorrow and see the illogical flow I'd somehow managed to weave in and asked readers to follow and smack my forehead wondering how I could have been so dumb. And then, forgetting my own strength and that a propensity for genetically weak…
The preacher watched as the bright red stream from his left nostril snaked the grooves between the beveled aqua blue tiles and puddled at the hair clogged drain. He struggled to stay conscious. Lying there, sucking wind and bleeding in the shower room at the 52nd Street Y, he questioned his instincts, his path, and, God forgive him, his faith. Even still, he prayed. Prayed the two young men would leave, prayed someone would help, prayed this cup would be removed.
The following is a paraphrased retelling of a (not so) heated exchange between an anonymous male and an anonymous female in a community forum. To the best of my recollection this story is both true and accurate (and I may have been one of the participants.)
The setup: Someone (maybe me) posted a comment in which two consecutive words were missing their lower case "t's".
Caused by a sticky key? Perhaps.
An unintentional bungling by a typist who singularly prefers fingering keyboard keys with a single finger? Probably.
In retrospect, a minuscule pea of a mistake bobbing in such a…
Some trolls are funny. Those are the trolls I can put up with (or up with put?).
It's the hate filled trolls with little white bits of saliva gummed up in the corners of their mouths I skip over (as opposed to skip under?). As you read the posts of these folks, you almost feel the flecks of body temperature spittle propelled by blasts of hot, garlic-infused bad breath flying at you as fast as simulated rocks in a Windows 98 Starfield screen saver.
The AdContrarian delivers a funny and insightful diatribe on the impact of social media (SocMed) complaining. The term Digital Graffiti is a clever, although slightly inaccurate metaphor (not to mention already used in a different context). I suppose its brick and mortar equivalent would be spray painting an overpass, abandoned house or temporarily stalled railway car with unflattering epithets about a business that "done you wrong".
As usual, The AdContrarian boils the soap of marketing down to its common liquified components. And I usually find his stuff 99.99% pure.
After reading the post, a thought on a different angle occurred to…
Please. For the love of jeebus. Stop eating beef. It's killing the planet. I'll spare you the science, but it's out there and it's real and it's scary.
In Stanford, Ca., scientists discovered cattle produce gas. Lots of it. And that gas is warming the planet. Based on that revelation, I've just discovered that scientists are not immune to the law of "Every Generation Believes They Invented Sex".
The law of Every Generation Believes They Invented Sex:
"Young humans, saturated by a flood of hormones, write songs, make jokes and change fashion to cope with a rush of new sexual…
Climate change science debating is fun to watch. Scientists on all sides and flavors (the skeptics and the convinced) go at each other like Tyson and Hoyfield. No punches are pulled, thinly veiled insults are hurled without regret and the occasional ear is bitten. When it comes to verbal sparring, career-ending/making peer reviews and pound for pound ridicule, these guys and gals hold their own.
Today's climate change hot topic is continual adjustments to historical temperature data. The issue moved into the spotlight a few weeks ago when national media reported on a post by Steven…