Redwood Summer Chapter 11 (repost)

via Redwood Summer Chapter 11

Rewrite of chapter 11 of Redwood Summer, a novel of 1990 San Jose.  The setting of this chapter is Jason’s workplace, a satellite imaging company.  The workplace is abuzz because of a visit they received from a group of businessmen who are rumored to be interested in buying the company.  Curious, Jason talks to one of the company lifers who explains that things are about to change, and that it might be a good idea for Jason to look for another job, and maybe even another place to live.

Jason is dismayed by the idea of leaving home and resistant to change, but he’s also feeling uneasy because he’s subconsciously becoming aware that powers beyond his control are about to shape his life.

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Writing Prompt: Masks – The Bank Robbery

Very short story inspired by a writing prompt posted by Rachel Poli.  Subject: masks

https://rachelpoli.com/2018/10/19/time-to-write-masks-creative-writing-prompt/

THE BANK ROBBERY

A masked man entered the bank. He went to the nearest window, pulled out a pistol, and held it low as he pointed it at the teller.

“Fill this up!” the bank robber ordered as he tossed an empty paper sack st the teller.

The surprised teller picked up the sack as he stared at the pistol. Then he looked up at the bank robber, and started to chuckle.

“What the hell are you laughing at?” the bank robber said angrily.  “I’ve got a gun!”

“Your mask,” the teller answered between chuckles. “It’s ridiculous.”

The bank robber was flabbergasted. “Your life is in danger and you’re laughing at my mask?!”

“But it’s a clown mask,” the teller explained after he finally composed himself. “And a loud, garish one at that.”

“So?!”

“Well how do you expect to be taken seriously as a bank robber if you look like an escapee from the circus?” the teller pointed out as he started laughing again.

“Will you just fill that up with the top drawer so I can get out of here?” the bank robber demanded. “I’ve got places to be!”

“Oh, of course, right away,” the teller assured as he picked up the sack. He slid open the top drawer, then started laughing again. “Seriously? A clown mask?”

“Okay, you made your point. Now give it a rest!”

“I mean, could you imagine John Dillinger wearing a clown mask? Or Bonnie and Clyde? Everyone would laugh at them!”

“Maybe I didn’t have time to find a proper ask. Did you consider that?”

“All right, sorry for laughing at you,” the teller apologized as he kept laughing. “It’s just so totally absurd!”

“I don’t believe this,” the bank robber said with exasperation.

“Look, it’s not you, it’s me,” the teller admitted. “I just tend to laugh at inappropriate times.”

The bank robber threw up his hands. “You know what? I don’t need this.” He began to leave.

“Now wait a minute, I’ll get you your money.”

“I didn’t come here to get laughed at!” The bank robber put the pistol back in his pocket and walked away. “I’ve got feelings too,” he muttered under his breath.

“Aw, c’mon,” the teller called after the bank robber. “I promise I won’t put in the exploding ink cartridge.”

The bank robber exited out the front door, got into a getaway car, and shook his head discouragingly at the driver. The driver looked dejected as he drove off.

The teller looked at the empty paper sack and thought of the bank robber’s lost opportunity. “Some people just don’t know how to laugh,” he said with pity as he slid the top drawer shut.

 

©2018 Robert Kirkendall

 

Redwood Summer Chapter 10 (repost)

A rewrite of chapter 10 of Redwood Summer, a novel of 1990 San Jose.  In this chapter Jason is attempting to fix the car problem from the previous chapter, and ends up having a conversation with his father about where he’s at in life, and about what Silicon Valley was in its agricultural past.

via Redwood Summer Chapter 10

99 Word Prompt: Bottleneck

August 30: Flash Fiction Challenge

THE BOTTLE OPENER

A party goer grabbed a longneck bottle of ale from an ice chest and searched around.  “Anyone know where the bottle opener is?”

“I got this,” another party goer said as he picked up another beer bottle.  “Now give me yours.”

The first party goer handed him his bottle, then the second party goer held his bottle upside down  and placed the edge of its bottlecap against the other bottlecap.  “A little trick I learned in college, using one bottle to open another.”

A cap popped off and beer spilled all over his pants.

“Ooops, wrong cap came off.”

99 Word Prompt: Comet

August 16: Flash Fiction Challenge

YOU SHOULD’VE LISTENED TO ME!

“I see a dark omen ahead for you,” the sorceress warned.

“Well that’s a bummer,” the man said nonchalantly.

“Heed my words!” the sorceress reiterated. “When a comet appears that is aligned with one of the planets, it will spell your doom!”

“How does a comet align with a planet?” the man said dismissively. “That doesn’t even make sense.”

“Doubt me at your own peril!”

“Planets move in orbits, comets go in a straight line,” the man explained condescendingly. “Crazy old bat,” the man chuckled and left.

He crossed the street and was struck by an old Mercury Comet.

Redwood Summer Chapter 9 (repost)

Rewrite of chapter 9 for Redwood Summer. In this chapter Jason, the main character, and his friends Randy and Brian are driving home after seeing a movie, but what’s really happening is the growing apart of Jason and Randy. The breakdown that happens to Jason’s car is symbolic, not only of the relationship between Jason Randy, but also of the greater world changes that were happening below the surface in the summer of 1990 and were about to undermine the hard fought victory of the Cold War.

via Redwood Summer Chapter 9

99 Word Prompt: Peering

August 9: Flash Fiction Challenge

SAD CAT DIARY: WILDLIFE EDITION

The mountain lion came up to the forest’s edge drawn by the scent of food.  She peered from the woods at a flock of livestock in a nearby pasture.

One of those sheep could feed me and my little ones for a week, the mountain lion thought as she longed for the forbidden sustenance, but if I take one, the humans will come after me and kill me!  I only want one, the lion moped, and they have so many, it isn’t fair.

The dejected feline slouched in defeat.  Why must the humans be so cruel? she wondered piteously.

Redwood Summer Chapter 8 (repost)

Reposting of Redwood Summer chapter 8 after giving it a rewrite. It isn’t too different from earlier version, just more expanded. In this chapter, Jason, the character, is having dinner with his entire family and his girlfriend, and it’s the last truly happy moment for him in the novel. After this chapter, the downward descent begins.

via Redwood Summer Chapter 8

Redwood Summer Chapter 7 (repost)

A rewrite of chapter 7, not much different than earlier version, but deeper. Action is right after action in chapter 6. Jason and Christine are at her nephew’s little league game, which symbolizes his journeys from participant to spectator, and contrasts with chapter 2 in which Jason plays a game of basketball with friends.

Also in this chapter Jason begins to lose control over his life as outside forces start to move him against his will.

via Redwood Summer Chapter 7

99 Word Prompt: Buttons

July 5: Flash Fiction Challenge

BIG AND SHINY

Now listen here, swine!” Claude bellowed with inflated self importance. “Now that I’ve put in charge of this department things are going to be different! There will be order!”

The employees looked at him blankly.

First rule, my cubicle is off limits! Nobody enters my territory! Nobody messes with my stuff! You will respect my authority!”

The employees rushed Claude, tackled him, knocked down all his cubicle walls, overturned his desk, scattered his paperwork, and threw his laptop out the window.

If you don’t anyone to push your buttons,” an employee reminded, “don’t make them so big and shiny.”