Category Archives: Stories

A Concerned Citizen Writes Re: The Dissappearance of Dr. Mallory

ReConstituted Press (RP)

London – August 4th, 1859

A Concerned Citizen Writes Re: The Dissappearance of Dr. Mallory and What it May Mean for Society at Large!

Dear Reader,

You will doubtless know that we at the London Reconstituted Press normally only publish public letters in our “Letters to the Editor” column that won awards at the International Printing Awards last year for advances in the field of publishing.  It was a close run with the french daily “L’Esprit National” – though fine British ingenuity topped the scale.

But I digress.

Recently we were telegraphed a letter which we will print here in it’s original entirety.  We believe that the public may find it illuminating.  This letter is regarding the disappearance of Dr. Mallory, the Esteemed Physicist, just over a month ago.

TO RECON PRESS STOP I AM A CONCERNED CITIZEN COMMA AND I WISH TO SHED LIGHT ON THE DISAPPEARANCE OF DR MALLORY STOP I WRITE YOU FROM NEW ORLEANS STOP DR MALLORY WAS RECENTLY HERE SPEAKING WITH THE BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO THE SPANISH COLONIES STOP RUMOUR HAS IT THAT HE IS PLANNING AN EXPEDITION TO CAPTURE LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE TO POWER A MACHINE THAT WILL HAVE MORE COMPUTATIONAL POWER THAN A CURRENT STEAM DRIVEN MACHINE COMMA A MACHINE HE PLANS TO USE FOR THE PROPER CALCULATION OF THE NUMBER OF ALTERNATE WORLDS AND TO CREATE A BETTER METHOD FOR VIEWING THEM STOP THIS WOULD EVENTUALLY LEAD TO THE POSSIBLITY FOR REGULAR PEOPLE TO SEE THE ARTIFACTS OF THESE ALTERNATE WORLD COMMA PERHAPS EVEN TRAVEL TO THEM STOP

As you can see, if we are to believe the authenticity of this letter, Dr. Mallory is safe in the Spanish North Americas, and is working on a discovery of epic proportions.  Whether he succeeds or not, he works to further the cause of science and discovery for Britain and all Her Subjects.

Yrs Humble and Obedient Servent & etc,

Horatio Fedgewick, Grand Editor

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This is a story written for a game I play, called PMOG.  I’ve written about PMOG before, and if you would like to experience the narrative in it’s entirety I encourage you to go to pmog.com and get started on the game.  Then come back here and you will be able to follow the mission.

You can find other snippets at ficlets and my PMOG guild site at guildlaunch.

Self Publishing?

I’m thinking of finishing a story I’ve been working on and putting it up online as an electronic book. I would ask for donations that could be mailed or paypal-ed to me if you liked the story.

This has been done successfully before, but by much greater writers than myself. John Scalzi and Cory Doctorow ( who coincidentally, I just found out, is Canadian. Eh!) come to mind especially.

So – good idea or bad. Feedback?

Edit:

The counterpoint to this of course is, where in heck will I find the time!  I’m already so far behind on life I think I’m ahead.  Have you seen that pregnancy counter in the upper right hand corner?  63 days!  Yikes.  But if it’s a way to start publishing and maybe meet my goals, then it’s worth making the time right.

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Ficlet Repost #2

Here is another one.  This one was a challenge as well, and the challenge was to tell a humorous holiday story using only dialogue.  I wanted to play around with accents, and this is what I came up with.  Let me know what you think.

****

 Christmas Ink {Kermitgorf Challenge}

“So, he just like, got it for me, y’know?”

“Really? He just got it for you?”

“Yeah, y’know. I’d been telling him I wanted one for a bit, droppin hints and stuff y’know.”

“Like – just … got it for you?”

“Yeah. How many times I hafta tell ya y’know. He dinnit say anyfing, just got it for me.”

“Wow. I wish my chappie was like that. I bin droppin hints for weeks about that wee locket at Hampsteads – he jus’ always tells me we aint got much free loot.”

“Yeah. Pretty nice right? I dinnit even have to drop many hints. Just nicked ‘is wallet and went and got it.”

“Nicked ‘is wallet? I thought you jus’ said he got it for you?”

“Yeah, that what I said? I guess he did right? Maybe he dinnit know he was, but he did it. And ‘sides, he’ll like it right?”

“Sure he’ll like it. I mean, what kind of chappie wouldn’t want ‘is tramp wearin somfing like that?”

“They spelled Chris’mas right dinnit they?”

“Yep. Good tattooers those chaps. But I thought ‘is name was Curt, not Burt?”

****

This story (like all ficlets) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License. What does this mean?

Ficlet Repost #1

For those of you who don’t want to click my RSS to view my ficlets I’m liking so much, I thought I’d repost a few of them here. This one was I think the first I wrote for a challenge – a story that had requirements that needed to be met. In this case it had to contain certain words, which I bolded.  Let me know what you think.

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Killer Clown (Stovohobo’s Challenge)

By Jeff Closs / SupRspi

As always I came upon the scene in medias res. The train had derailed and tumbled down an embankment, crushing a house.

And it’s occupant, or I wouldn’t be here.

I flashed my ID to the cop at the taped off perimeter.

“So, wierd as it looks?” I asked.

“You aren’t going to believe it sir. They say they need a TOD on the clown, think he’s been dead since before the accident.”

“Clown?”

“Yessir. Clown. You better just go on inside.”

As I entered I knew why they were curious. The accident was only a couple hours old, and already the stench of death permeated the place, clinging to the flowered wallpaper like tar.

I entered what was the living room. The train’s cowcatcher had scooped up a sofa and an old gramophone, it’s horn bent and mangled.

The victim was indeed a clown, with a hooped costume barely concealing his avoirdupois and adorned with a fancifully large daisy boutonniere.

“Well” I said to the officer in charge, “obviously it was murder.”

“So, you see zee gunshot wound, yes?”

****

This story (like all ficlets) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License. What does this mean?

1024 Characters

Ficlets continues to entertain me.  I’ve got about 8 written, and most of them seem to be getting good reviews.  It’s challenging to write a contained piece of fiction in only 1024 characters – but when you finish a story and see that little “ficlet nirvana” instead of a count of how many characters over or under you are – it’s cool.

I’ve only managed it on two of them – the others are all under a bit.

Challenges are cool.  If you see stories of mine on the RSS feed on the right that have {suchandsuch challenge} in them, it means that I am writing within someone else’s proscribed rules.  Usually it includes using certain words (which I usually bold) but it can be anything.  These are the most interesting because they force you to write outside your comfort zone.

I’m off back to ficlets now – look for my stories, and feel free to comment and write your own.   In case you don’t want to wander over and read my stories there, I’m going to post a couple of them here over the next few days – ones I especially like for whatever reason.

::Currently Listening to: The Cure – Lullaby::

Ficlets

A while ago I was turned on to ficlets by John Scalzi, an author and blogger I admire.

I just recently went there again to read a story posted by Wil Wheaton. (yeah, that Star Trek guy I like, who is an hawesome author) Wil’s story was basically amazing – the kind of thing I wish I could come up with. It was also inspirational, because I resurrected my ficlets username and wrote a few ficlets.

I wrote a disasterbation piece about someone in my line of work being taken hostage by an angry gun toting customer. I wrote a very vague piece about the world ending, and someone counting down the minutes. This one has inspired a few people to write sequels and prequels – one of the neatest aspects of ficlets.

Actually, I’ll let Wil sum it up, as he already did so well here.

“What does “collaborative short fiction” mean in this case? Simple: You, as a writer, post a very short (not more than 1,024 characters [Jeff’s note: If you get 1024 characters exactly it marks your ficlet as “ficlet nirvana”]) piece of fiction or a fiction fragment on the Ficlets site. People come to Ficlets to read what you’ve written, and to comment on your piece. If they want to, they can also write a “sequel” to your story or story fragment, carrying the story forward from where you left it. Or, alternately, they can write a “prequel,” explaining how you got to where you are in the story. All sorts of people can write all sorts of sequels and prequels — and of course, other people can write sequels and prequels to those. What you end up with is a story with multiple authors and multiple branchings — lots of possibilities and surprises.”

I am amazed at how a story I wrote can inspire 6 other people to write short stories based on it, and how I can surf between the prequels and sequels, and end up reading alternative “dimensions” on my story. It’s hard to describe, but say someone writes two prequels to my story. Someone else comes along and writes one sequel, and someone writes a sequel to that. In the hierarchy it is in the same point as my story, but is different.

Just for fun I tossed the RSS feed of my stories into the sidebar – you can go click on them and read them. If you sign up you can post comments on them, continue them, prequel them, or just write your own.

If you do sign up, send me your username so I can add you to my watchlist.

Sippy Cup

This is a repost from my ex-blog at myspace. I wrote this late one night after a scary experience, and decided it was good enough to make the transition over here. If you’re reading this in a RSS reader the story is (should be) after the cut.


Sippy Cup – A Story

Upon reflection, my first mistake, like probably that of most men, began with (mostly) altruism .

It was the middle of the night and I heard the baby crying pitifully through the baby monitor. I thought to myself.

“Self”, Says I, “The baby is crying.”

“Yeah”, Says my tired man brain. “Get stuffed.”

“Self, if you was to get up and give the baby her juice and change her diaper, the mom might like it.”

“Yeah”. Says my still very tired man brain. “Get stuffed.”

“Self!”

“Yeah?” The response was sleepy now.

“Think about, how shall we say, the benefits.”

“Ooooh.”

I got up.

I got the sippy cup.

I entered the tired, crying, child’s bedroom. There was entirely too much light, and the child was entirely too thirsty. I was tired, so everything was a little “too” something.

I changed the child. Figuring in my tired way that damp pants means a damp diaper, and that can’t be too comfortable to sleep in. Besides, I told myself, when I relate the story to the thankful girl in the morning, changing the kid makes me look better.

More like a hero.

We’ll get to that part.

Midnight juice and diaper changing duty done I tucked the newly pajama changed, diaper changed, juice filled girl into the crib. She promptly began to cry.

I wasn’t sure if this was worth the hassle, reward or no.

I took the sippy cup, and went back to bed. On my way back to the bed, something curious happened.

Just as I was approaching the bed, to put the sippy cup on the bedside table beside the baby monitor, the alarm clock, the water jug and the woman, (before scarpering back to my warm side of the bed and turning off my brain for a few more hours) she woke up.

She must have slept, much like I intended, through the part where I got up and got out of bed, and stumbled out of the room, and stubbed my toe and cursed and did my heroic midnight baby changing.

She must have slept well, and still thought I was beside her. Because the look of horror that crossed her face, thinking I was an intruder, was classic.

She clutched the bed, shrank back, and inhaled. Loudly.

You know the sound that girls make when the chainsaw wielding psychopath jumps out at the lone escaping hero near the end of the horror movie, right when you know he will and anticipation has been building for minutes on end? (Ok, that’s the sound I make, the girl normally screams.)

That’s what she did. Loudly.

“Hmmmmmmmmmmph!, Says she, shrinking back.

“Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!” Says I, Frightened by her overly enthusiastic intake of breath.

That’s right, I screamed.

Then I made the worst mistake my overtired, overstressed, fight or flight animal/lizard hindbrain could have made.

I did the only thing I could.

I threw the sippy cup at her.

#####

Creative Commons License
Sippy Cup by
Jeff Closs is licensed under a
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