Monday, December 12, 2005

v4n5: Doris' Demise

The last crimson leaf fell from the stick-of-a-plant, then Doris took the whistling pot off the stove and poured herself a cup of steaming oolong.

Her flirtation with mail-order success had fallen victim to the Internet, when her late husband's nephew — with whom she'd had a brief, torrid affair years earlier — had published her secret fertilizer formula on the Web for the world to see. She'd never have imagined her fate would hang from the thread of a simple e-mail message.

Legal action was out of the question. The skeletons in her closet were far too vulnerable to risk discovery.

She sipped her tea and contemplated her next move.

— Ender

v4n4: Seeds of Success

The last crimson leaf fell from the stick-of-a-plant, then Doris took the whistling pot off the stove and poured herself a cup of steaming oolong.

Life was good. The children grown, she finally had the house to herself. Who would have thought, six months ago, that a twice-widowed nudist would so completely dominate the mail-order fertilizer business?

Henry's formula had taken the industry by storm. And poor, dear Edward ... his life insurance settlement had provided the seed. Ironically, the only thing she'd ever planted successfully had been her husbands.

She tossed the dead begonia into the wastebasket and poured herself another cup of tea.

— Ender

v4n3: The Doctor's Wife

The last crimson leaf fell from the stick-of-a-plant, then Doris took the whistling pot off the stove and poured herself a cup of steaming oolong. A feeling of peaceful resignation overtook her.

Cradling the now-barren specimen in the crook of her arm, she climbed the stairs to the bedroom, where Edward lay sleeping. She tiptoed to the bed and kissed him gently on the cheek, then, raising the clay pot high above her head, bashed his brains out with it.

"For twelve YEARS I sold welding supplies door-to-door so YOU could go to MEDICAL school ... and ALL I GET is a FUCKING HOUSEPLANT!?" she screamed. "Physician, HEAL thyself!"

— Ender

v4n2: Change of Life

The last crimson leaf fell from the stick-of-a-plant, then Doris took the whistling pot off the stove and poured herself a cup of steaming oolong. "It's a sign," she whispered, gazing hopefully through the kitchen window.

She took a long, thoughtful sip of her tea, and, noting the small pile of leaves near the base of the tree, began to remove her clothing. Unhooking her brassiere, she let the last of her vestments fall to the floor, then turned around to face her family, assembled at the breakfast table.

"I am going to become a nudist," she announced.

Her husband, the banker, was horrified.

— Ender

v4n1: Fumbled Fertilizing

The last crimson leaf fell from the stick-of-a-plant, then Doris took the whistling pot off the stove and poured herself a cup of steaming oolong.

Poinsettia raising clearly was not her strong suit. Plant after plant had fallen; even her husband Henry's special liquid fertilizer hadn't helped.

The whistling kettle summoned Henry to their morning tea. He entered the kitchen, carrying a green plastic jug, which he presented to Doris. "Here's your fertilizer."

Doris opened the jug -- it contained a black, fishy-smelling liquid.

"Can't find the antifreeze," Henry mumbled.

Doris choked back her tea, then asked, "Was it the green stuff in the
black bottle?"


— Ender

Thursday, December 01, 2005

v3n5: Inventory at the O.K. Corral

TwoGun Gonzales holstered his guns after picking his nose over the soup.

"This town ain't big enough fer the both of us," he said.

Oliver looked at him curiously, becoming annoyed. "C'mon, Stan ... quit horsin' around or we'll never get this inventory done."

"Name's 'TwoGun', pilgrim."

"O.K. ... 'TwoGun'. Next item. His hand moved quickly over the tops of thecans. "Quantity ... looks like fifteen."

TwoGun reached for his laser pistol and fired at the UPC label on the side of the can. The LED on his waist-mounted monitor flashed, "Campbell's Cream of Chicken — 8-oz."

"Who you callin' chicken, pilgrim?!"

— Ender

v3n4: The Sheriff Takes a Holiday

TwoGun Gonzales holstered his guns after picking his nose over the soup.

Moments before, Jake had burst through the saloon doors. "Sheriff, ya gotta help me! Them Bugeye Brothers is in town 'n they're gonna kill me!"

"Not now," said TwoGun. "Ah'm on holiday, boy."

"But Sheriff! They said they're gonna kill me!"

"Ah said, ah ain't workin' today!"

"But ... Sher-r-r-riff!"

TwoGun drew a bead on Jake's forehead and shot him right between the eyes.

"Wha'd ya go 'n do that fer?" asked Nell. "What crime'd ol' Jake commit?"

Picking up his soup spoon, TwoGun looked down disgustedly at Jake ..."Disturbin' the peace."


— Ender

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

v3n3: Snake Soup

TwoGun Gonzales holstered his guns after picking his nose over the soup.

Will Masserby lay dead on the floor of the saloon.

"I think ya killed 'im," said Nell. "He ain't movin' no more."

"Good," said TwoGun. "Now, I'm gonna go kill me a varmint cook."

"What fer?" asked Ironfoot Joe. "He ain't much of a cook, but he's all we got."

TwoGun looked down at poor Will Masserby. "When I want rattlesnake soup, I'xpect the snake ta be killt first! Look at that poor fella ... rattlerjumpin' outta my soup like that plum scared him right to death."

— Ender

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

v3n2: Overstated Undertaking

TwoGun Gonzales holstered his guns after picking his nose over the soup.

"So ... why do they call you 'TwoGun'?" the stranger asked.

TwoGun shot a disbelieving glance at Nell. "You makin' fun o' me, mister?"

"No sir," the stranger answered. "I see you have two guns. I thought perhaps there might be a deeper meaning than the rather banal overstatement of the obvious."

Drawing a single revolver from his holster, TwoGun thrust it into the stranger's face. "What's your name, son?"

"'Unlucky Luke', sir."

The blast sent Luke reeling backward.

"Purty damn obvious," TwoGun said, picking up his soup spoon.

— Ender

v3n1: Brotherly Love

TwoGun Gonzales holstered his guns after picking his nose over the soup.

"Mommmm!" Eddie hollered. "He's doin' it again!"

"Brian," said Mom, "stop teasing your brother."

"Name's Gonzales, ma'am ... but you kin call me TwoGun."

"O.K., 'TwoGun.' Stop teasing your brother."

"He got boogers in my soup," Eddie continued.

"Whaa ... ah'll whup you eff'n you don't clam up, pahdnuh. Skin you 'live 'n leave you fer the buzzurds ta pick yore bones."

"Mommmm!" Eddie hollered again.

"O.K.," said Mom. "TwoGun ... go to your room ... MARCH, mister!"

TwoGun drew twin pearl-handled revolvers from his holster. "You'll never take me 'live, sheriff!"

— Ender

Friday, November 18, 2005

v2n5: Harold Gets His Wish

"The combined length of the vertebrae of the dinosaur is directly proportional to the inverse of the square root of the rhomboidal axes of its brain."

"Man!" said Harold. "If I'da known there was gonna be all these instructions 'n stuff, I'da asked fer somethin' else!"


His letter to Santa had stated very clearly, "I wanna brontosaurus — a REAL one." Now, his bedroom piled high with huge dinosaur bones, he could barely find his Transformers and Buzz Lightyear action figure.

"HARrrold!" his mother shouted from downstairs. "You have another present down here!"

"Oh, no ... " Harold moaned. "Not the roller coaster ... "

— Ender

v2n4: For Love of Science

"The combined length of the vertebrae of the dinosaur is directly proportional to the inverse of the square root of the rhomboidal axes of its brain."

"Stop it!" said Sarah, squirming nervously in her chair. "You're gonna make me pee!"

Andrew had learned of her passion for science on their first date, while studying for a geometry exam: "The square of the hypotenuse of a right triangle is equal to the sum of the squares of its opposing sides." She'd nearly consumed him in her lust-filled frenzy.

"E=mc^2," he said, mercilessly.

Her face flushed pink ... She was his.

— Ender

v2n3: Space Cookie

"The combined length of the vertebrae of the dinosaur is directly proportional to the inverse of the square root of the rhomboidal axes of its brain."

Ooklak studied the curious text intently. The symbols were unlike anything he'd ever seen on Baltazar. An accompanying hologram pictured a race of huge beings, certainly of inferior intelligence. The wrecked USA probe also contained a shiny disk made of unfamiliar material, labeled "CD-ROM."

Instinctively, he held the disk to his flarf orifice and took a bite. "Blatz!" he snorted. Another space cookie. He tossed it aside and continued toward the Craters of Heblon.

— Ender

v2n2: The Tour Guide

"The combined length of the vertebrae of the dinosaur is directly proportional to the inverse of the square root of the rhomboidal axes of its brain."

She was magnificent, he thought — fitting that she work at the museum, surrounded by unique and wondrous things. She navigated the exhibits with the confident grace of a tigress. The janitor leaned into his broom — enchanted, paralyzed — as she approached with her entourage.

"The name, homo erectus, derives from the upright posture of this specimen — the male often encountered stoop-shouldered and glassy-eyed during periods of inactivity." She winked at him.
He was in love.

— Ender

v2n1: Professor Feeblewitz

"The combined length of the vertebrae of the dinosaur is directly proportional to the inverse of the square root of the rhomboidal axes of its brain," Professor Feeblewitz droned on at the front of the classroom.

Martin took careful aim with the eraser and then let go with a quick flick of his wrist, striking the professor squarely on the forehead. The eraser caromed backward and hit Melissa Gibbs in the nose before dropping to the floor.

"Who did that!?" Feeblewitz demanded.

Martin thought, "The trajectory of the projectile is geometrically attributable to the boredom of the student ... bucketmouth."

— Ender

v2 topic contributed by Krishna B., Tempe, AZ

Thursday, November 17, 2005

v1n5: Rats with Hats

There were rats in the souffle again. Rats with hats ... in little overcoats ... with tiny, black, sensible shoes.

I asked their business.

Six whiskered heads popped through the golden crust, bouncing to strange rat music:

We're rats with hats,
we don't like cats.
We'd love to stay around and chat;
but we do not have time for that.
We're rats with hats,
we gotta scat.
Excuse our shoes,
we gotta cruise —
there really is no time to lose,
there's big things happ'nin' in the news.
We must refuse
your interviews.

"Hmmmmmm ... " I thought. "I should've beaten the egg whites longer."


— Ender


v1n4: Beastly Feast

There were rats in the souffle again,
cockroaches in the pies;
the bread was laced with weevils,
and the butter teemed with flies.
A bowl of peas and spiders
sat beside the lizard stew.
The ogre nearly cried to see
this lovely dinner view!

— Ender

v1n3: Mr. Boots' Inheritance

There were rats in the souffle again. The night before, it was a gopher in the macaroni. And before that, a chipmunk in the mashed potatoes.

"Awwww, Mom ... " Oscar whined, " ... why's Mr. Boots always hafta eat with us anyway?"

"He's part of our family too, dear," said Mother.

Mr. Boots sat at the end of the table, cleaning himself. He hissed at Oscar, then returned to licking his paw.

"Betcha wouldn't be doin' this if Grandma hadn't left him all her money," Oscar said bitterly.

"Why, Oscar!" shouted Mother. "Shame on you! Wook ... you hurt his wittle feewings!"


— Ender

v1n2: Chef André's Surprise

There were rats in the souffle again.

"Imbeciles!" shouted Chef André to the kitchen staff. "Ze rats go in ze zoup! Roaches in ze zouffle, rats in ze zoup!"

Chez Dommage patrons had grown accustomed to André's exacting standards. The food was awful, but always good for a laugh when the occasional newcomer wandered in. Regulars watched with nervous anticipation as the innocent diner picked his or her way to the prize ... then, howled with laughter at the moment of discovery.

André, hovering excitedly nearby, sprang into action with zealous enthusiasm to comfort the horrified victim.

Ender

v1n1: Dinner at Humble Manor

There were rats in the souffle again.

"'Tis all we 'ad, sir," she said, a Cockney accent betraying her humble roots.

"Why couldn't we have cat ... or dog for a change?" he asked indignantly. The once proud, arrogant nobleman — reduced to scavenger — surveyed his few remaining possessions, made insignificant by his circumstances.

"We ate the cat last week, sir," she said.

"Damn!" he answered. "Rotten luck! I suppose now I'll have to sell the Renoir."

Ender

About Wild Willy's Microstories

O.K., here's the deal: You send me a single sentence of any sort — as "straight" or as wacked out as you want — and I have to come up with FIVE unique "microstories," of no more than 100 words each, leading off with that sentence. I get to pick what lead to use each week but will credit the source with each issue.

Post your suggestions here or e-mail them to
wwwilly@enderprise.com. If I survive a year of this, I'll try to find a publisher for the collection and, if successful, will give credit in the published version — and a free copy of the book — to all contributors whose leads are/were used. Royalties (am I dreamin' or what?!) will be donated to a children's education-related charity of some sort, to be named later (I'm open to suggestion).




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