Monday, November 13, 2017

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 29


Just a reminder: It's okay to leave comments!


Everyone likes a little flash fiction, right? Thanks to a prompt from Miranda Kate's 29th Mid-Week Flash challenge, you're going to get some! This is from Miranda's post:
This week's photo prompt came from someone taking part in a Sunday hashtag twitter photo theme called #SundayPix hosted by Michael Wombat. This one was #SundayPixBlue. I asked the owner Lou Armer‏ if he minded me using it, and he was happy to lend it as a prompt.
If you want to join in, here's what she's looking for:
General Guidelines:

Story length: Anything up to 750 Words (no minimum).
How enter: Either provide a link in the comments, or post the entire story in the comments.
Deadline: I will post a new one every Wednesday, but if you're inspired by a previous weeks, go ahead and write for it.
Genre/Theme: All/Any - completely open. It doesn't even have to refer to the picture.
And so I preseent my entry for this round of the Mid-Week Flash Challenge.





Last Laugh




    The old man was finally dead. Murder wasn't one of Bertram's usual activities, but he had grown tired of waiting, of being disparaged, of wondering how long he would remain in his father's good favor—and his will. Bertram was his only child; it was fitting that the old man's landholdings should go to him alone. There had been too many threats to divide the property among cousins, friends—even charities. Action needed to be taken.
    To set up his ruse, Bertram had mentioned in casual conversations how his father had taken a trip overseas for business. A steamship ticket had been purchased in his father's name and given to a man whose silence was easily bought. The chance meeting with a person needing to avoid the authorities had proven fortuitous. When his father never returned, inquiries would be made, of course, but nothing would be found. People would assume he'd fallen overboard or disappeared in the dark streets of some exotic port. Eventually he'd be declared dead. Until that time, Bertram would run the plantation as if he expected him to return at any moment. Once his father was officially deceased, the property would be his.
    Then there was the problem of the body to deal with. It had to be disposed of in a manner that would leave no trace. Bertram placed the corpse on a bed of straw in the barn. This would absorb any blood. The straw could be burned later on. He dismembered the body, cutting it into parts of appropriate size for an old potter's oven. He made the fire hot enough to destroy the soft tissue leaving only ash. Any bones remaining would be ground into unrecognizable dust. Even the clothing and luggage he might have taken along on the voyage were reduced to a gray powder.
    The old man's head was last. Bertram had set it in front of the oven as if to force him to watch his own destruction. He held it up by the hair, recalling the way he'd looked into his eyes and snarled, "It'll all be mine now!" He thought it odd how the old man cursed him, then laughed, just before he plunged the blade into his chest. With his dying breath, he'd said, "So be it." Bertram grinned and tossed the head into the oven. He smiled a little wider with each satisfying pop and crackle.

    Once it was all finished, Bertram placed the cooled ashes into a cloth sack. All he needed now was the proper time to dispose of the vile remains.
    He did not have to wait long. Within a few days, a summer storm passed through during the night. He surmised anyone nearby would either be asleep or sheltering from the rain and unlikely to witness his movements. As it approached, he climbed a hill in the middle of the orchard—the highest point on his father's lands. When the winds rose, he opened the bag. As he turned it to dump the ashes, a strong gust swirled around him taking them far in all directions.
    "Perfect," he muttered as he shook out the bag.
    Bertram's exuberance was short-lived, however. An early frost destroyed most of the fruit in the orchard. Horses and cows refused to foal. Hay spoiled.
    When the spring came, few trees in the orchard sprouted new growth. Of those that did, the branches grew gnarled and twisted, mimicking the dying forests that surrounded them. None bore fruit.
    Bertram sat on the hill where he had spread his father's ashes. Even the sunlight passing between the bare branches seemed weak. The trees in the orchard were mostly dead, the grass between them sparse. Even the weeds failed to thrive.
    He recalled his father's words as he sat alone contemplating his options. He smiled a little when he finally understood. He whispered the words, "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." He closed his eyes for a moment, then said, "So be it," before plunging the knife into his own chest.
     


 674 words without the title... 


© 2017 K. R. Smith All rights reserved

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Is Four Pennies A Day Too Much To Ask?



For those who don't know, Terri Deno is a full-time writer. She does fiction, poetry, and more.

Making a living as a writer isn't easy. Most have a regular job to pay the bills and do writing on the side (as I do). Terri is doing it the hard way—writing is how she pays the bills. In an attempt to provide a steadier flow of income, she has set up a Patreon page.


A screen-shot of Terri's Patreon page


Patreon allows writers, artists, musicians, and other creative types to present their work and receive a payment for access to specific items. While some posts are available to everyone, the creator of the site may designate certain works (a story or a piece of music) as being available only to those who are willing to provide a small payment. This way, the creator can use the money to enhance their efforts and the "patron" gets access to some of their best and most unique creations.

The level of payment can vary from creator to creator. Terri's starts at only $1.00 per month. That's less than four cents per day. It isn't a lot, but even that level of support can make a big difference. Terri is just starting up so their isn't a lot out there yet, but in the long run, rest assured, you will get your money's worth. Please take a few minutes to check out her Patreon site - only four cents per day (or maybe a little more) can make a big difference.

Here is a link to Terri's Patreon site: TERRI DENO'S PATREON SITE

And, yes, I do plan to support Terri. I'm working on setting up a payment method that works best for me. Patreon accepts either credit card or PayPal.


© 2017 K. R. Smith All rights reserved

Monday, November 6, 2017

PSA: NaNoWriMo And The Flu


Just a reminder: It’s okay to leave comments!


Picture this scenario: You're right in the middle of NaNoWriMo, you're typing up a storm, and then you get sick. Your feel like crap. Your daily word count goes from 2,000 down to 2. The doctor says it's the flu. Yes, you'll probably be better in a couple of weeks. The fame you might have achieved by writing the next Great (fill in country name) Novel, however, may have to wait until next year.

So why take the chance? Get a flu shot.

True, NaNoWriMo has already started, so you should have done this by now, but when the awards for your story start coming in you don't want to be sniffling and hacking your way through the televised interviews. That means you should still get one unless there are contraindications to getting the vaccine.

To help you out, I've provided a few pictures and links...


CDC Blog-a-thon





Here's a link to the CDC: CDC INFLUENZA SITE and a link to the Verywell Flu site.



And, yes, I already have mine. I'm an old geezer, so a flu shot is strongly recommended even though I'm not participating in NaNoWriMo.


© 2017 K. R. Smith All rights reserved

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

NaNoWriMo Is Officially Underway



Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

Yes, NaNoWriMo is now underway!

If you don't have a few hundred words down already you're probably behind...

NaNoWriMo counts early November 1, 2017
NaNoWriMo counts early November 1, 2017

Don't give up, though! There's still time to get that word count up to where it should be.

Fortunately for me, I'm not competing. I think I'll sit back, have another cup of coffee, and nibble on a piece of leftover Halloween candy. Have fun, folks!


© 2017 K. R. Smith All rights reserved