Monthly Archives: March 2012

Trifecta Challenge X – Zombie Bunnies II

“Write a horror story in 33 words, without the words blood, scream, died, death, knife, gun, or kill. Good luck.”

Zombie bunnies Part 2.
I received such great feedback from Zombie Bunnies (which I dearly thank you all for), and the newest challenge/assignment is horror, so I decided ‘why not keep it going for 33 more words?!’ At this rate it will never make book length, but this I vow – I will keep it going whenever relevant!



The scrape of his axe against the grindstone had the melody of a banshee. As a distraction, she prepared ration packs. Inevitably, they would have to cut a path through fluffy cotton tails.

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Filed under Creative Writing, Trifeta Writing Challenge

WayBack Wednesday – The Ice Cream Man

Today’s Wayback Wednesday has been pre-empted. Well sort of. I have the blog planned, and it is an 80’s clip preciously dug up from YouTube, but as I was searching around I came across a video clip, and it brought me back to summers while growing up. So inspiration grabbed me and I built on it.

I’m posting it first, but I would recommend reading the story first, then watching. It will be worth it, I promise ;).

When I was younger, I lived in a section of Brooklyn that was a complex of tall apartment buildings. It was large, more populated than some national cities, but there were common place, people and other fixtures of the community. One of those people was “Johnny the Ice Cream Man”. He drove a white pickup with the frayed, faded pictures of various ice creams scattered along the refrigerated truck. You’d hear the ‘jingle jingle jingle’ of the row of small bronze bells on the top of the windshield that he pulled as he parked down the loop I lived near. My mom gave my sister and I enough for an ice cream each when she knew we’d be out when he came around. I varied what I would get each time, but “Bubble-O Bill” was a favorite, as it was ice cream with a big gumball nose. That, or an ‘Italian ice’ in a yellow cardboard box; which you always let soften a bit so you could flip it over and scrape off the settled ‘flavor’ on the bottom.

That's about as close actual fruit will come to those ices.

He always knew, without looking, if he had what you asked for, and where it was. The only openings were two small latched doors, and he would duck his head in, sometimes up to his waist, looking for ice cream, and emerge with your treat.

Johnny was about average height, and skinny, always wearing brown pants and a blue shirt. He was balding with white/gray wisps of hair from a comb-over covering his scalp blowing in the breeze. His exposed skin (arms and face) was dark, the tone that older Italian men get when they spend all day in the sun for years. When you paid him, he’d give you your change ‘chink chink’ from the coin slot machine he had attached to his belt.

If you bought an Italian ice, and wanted one of those flat wood spoons, you’d go to the passenger seat of his car where an old man, undoubtedly his father, would give it to you, as well as these little pink candies wrapped in opaque plastic. They weren’t flavorful, had the consistency somewhere between gum and regular candy, and were always ice cold, but you took one anyway. It was free, and the old man liked doing something.

He had a good portion of the ice cream route in our community, and did rounds several times a day from late spring to early fall. I’m positive he was the first ‘owner’ of that route, as the community was built in the 70’s (I grew up in the 80’s), and I can imagine he made a good return on the investment. Even in his old age he wouldn’t quit it; he’d work until he went to his grave, probably just like his old man. I could see it on Johnny’s face already in his late 30’s early 40’s; that tired, non-smiling, but still friendly way in which he worked.

Some years later he got a new truck, a black pickup, but kept the refrigerated section, which now contrasted in color and age. I had stopped getting ice cream for a while by then, but one summer afternoon after I graduated high school, I saw him coming down the loop of the section I had been hanging out in with some friends. He was by himself this time, but physically, he looked the same, just maybe 10 years older. By this time he had sodas as well, so I bought a Clearly Canadian Black Cherry clear soda from him (Damn I still remember that like it just happened). He gave me a nod, I thought maybe I saw the recognition flicker in his eyes, but I didn’t pursue it.

So seeing that video brought me back. It looks like he went bald by that time, and went through yet another truck. You see how he greeted the person taking the video; just remembering names and such brought grown men back to their childhood again, with bragging rights on how long they knew him.

At 26 seconds you see it. When I did, it was like a time warp. Later you’ll see his hand go to his waist for the change dispenser. I’d bet that it was the same one.

I checked around, found out he died in July 2009.

Thanks Johnny, for all that ice cream and for the memories that won’t melt.

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Filed under Creative Writing, Day In the Life, Life, Retro, Uncategorized, Wayback wednesday

Self-Aware: Scintilla Project

Welll just a few hours to go until the next topic, but hey it still meets the deadline 😉

Talk about the ways in which your body is awesome.

–It’s an attractive soul-holder. I mean let’s face it- we’ve all been persuaded to try a product or service based solely on the advertising/packaging.

–A dinner of cabbage or beans provides hours of free entertainment. Perfectly timed, it can also give me some much needed ‘alone’ time.

–It lets me know when I see a gorgeous woman. Sometimes it lets her know too.

–My legs can take me anywhere I need to go; at times towards something, on other occasions- away. They have a great relationship with my brain, so I let them decide and go along with it. Collectively they know better than I do.

–My hands and fingers help me express how I see the world around me (and galaxies far far away when I am talking about Star Wars). Whether tapping a keyboard, holding a pen(cil), or pushing the shutter on a camera, they are the tool that help describe my creativity. They are not good at drawing (BUT when playing ‘Draw Something’ or Pictionary, not knowing how to draw makes the game much more entertaining!), but I can at least describe what my 5 senses are telling ME.

–Speaking of those, everything can be experienced using at least one and up to all 5 of the senses. Though the sixth sense- which can help you see dead people, pick winning lotto numbers or know when Dr. Octopus is behind you – can technically be useful, we seem to get along without it. Depending on how many arch enemies you have.

–I do wonder how with all the efficient, wonderful attributes our bodies are capable of, we can ingest the most wonderful delicious and nutritious foods ever, and turn it all into something terrible. Trying reverse psychology on ourselves, that is, eating junk food doesn’t result in us “leaving” a bunch of flowers, or -during those White Castle binges – a unicorn that grants realistic wishes, and compensates us with gold coins (it is wearing a backpack full) for ones that it cannot grant.

–All kidding aside, I am thankful for each day when I can open my eyes, wiggle my toes, feed myself and my cats, and go to my job. Even on the days when I dread it all.

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Trifecta Challenge – Fetch the Holy Hand Grenade!

The Challenge for week 9. — For your prompt this week, we are giving you the first 33 words of a story. You need to complete it with 33 of your own words.

I bolded their part.

“There’s nothing cute about it,” he said. The register of his voice indicated decision more so than discussion.
She disagreed heartily and privately, staring past his head and out the window behind him.

Outside, a white and brown crowd hopped awkwardly but intent, enraged but confused, with cold wet pink noses, soft fur tacky with blood. Zombies. Bunny Zombies.

“Just put two bullets aside,” she conceded.

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WayBack Wednesday – O Brittania!

Welcome back to another installment of Wayback Wednesday, a theme that I thunked up all by meselfs.

As you can tell, I was always a good student. Halfway decent even. I enjoyed going to the liberry, and read up on the things I was interested in. (Planets, dinosaurs, etc). Occasionally I even remembered to return the books on time. All of these things and less led me on the path to raising my intellectual hunger and awareness. The product below was not one of those factors.


A couple of things come to mind. Useless facts that is. We might go so far as to say points of discussion, if you are so inclined. Seriously, mention these points over drinks with your peers (as long as you are over 34 years old that is; kids these days have NO idea what ENCYCLOpedias are). Plus it’s an excuse to go out for drinks. I know, I know, who needs an excuse? Well the longer you go between interventions, the better.

Well I guess that is point #1. Kids these days only know WIKIpedia, which is user-generated, not carefully and painstakingly by Brittanicans, who are obviously wise men people who shared the knowledge they have preserved over the years. Maybe not as wise as the guy who keeps editing Justin Bieber’s sex as male whenever someone corrects it, but still, they knew a thing or 18.    

2. It’s totally radical how he mentions computers won’t really help him with his research. For that matter, his leather/iced denim hybrid jacket won’t either (he neglected to mention his pristine white high-tops). To his credit, somehow facts and answers were found and essays were written based on information that came from some source. At the time, books contains objective opinions, research and even a chart or two. Now what lies between thick cardboard covers.

Some things should stay lost. As lost as possible.

3. Before Wikipedia, we had Encarta ’95.  ON A CD. FOR THE COMPUTER! And that was state of the art – we thought “NOW computers can do everything, including help us with our research. There is no other worthwhile use for computers or the internet to make anything else in life easier, including bidding on other people’s crap or looking at nekkid pictures.”

4. On the kids TV game show “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego”, the grand prize is the complete set of Encyclopedia Brittanicas. No, they did not get a copy of Rockapella’s greatest hits.

Who needs instruments when you have garish colors?

5. In the recycle storage area of my building’s basement, there was a stack of “Encyclopedia Americana.” I wonder if some Brittanicans broke away from the organization because of conflicting ideals, sailing away or stealing away in the night with some information to start their own encyclopedia and undermine the dominant paradigm. Depending on which one of those factions won the war, the logically they would be the ones referencing it.

6. Every year they would update this commercial, and the nameless kid in his pristine white cell progressed with a more rockin’ mullet, flashier duds, and a more cooperative/resigned attitude that he was starring in commercials pitching BOOKS, not NES games or junk food  like all the other child actors. It was like we were watching him grow up, even if we didn’t want to.

They see me rollin', they hatin'...

7. Well not print, apparently. Encyclopedia Brittanica just announced that they will no longer be printing books – digital media is where it’s at.

8. Finally, if you were the average family unit, you likely didn’t have EB gracing your shelves, educating you with the radiant glows of its awesomeness, and fooling people into thinking that you actually read them. Rather you probably had something less formal, but more fun…

There's an entire volume dedicated to the Red Baron.

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Filed under Computers, Creative Writing, General Nerdliness, Humor, Life, Retro, Wayback wednesday

Lost & Found – Scintilla Project

Of all the things I have lost, I miss my mind the most. –Albert Einstein (often wrongly attributed to Ghandi)
One of today’s themes is : Show a part of your nature that you feel you’ve lost. Can you get it back? Would it be worth it?
So what have I had that I no longer have.

All things in general (including virginity – 3:28 or so)—well I’ll let George Carlin explain all that.

Hairline – once I had a full head of hair that got the daily treatment of gel/mousse. I would never think of wearing a hat to undo that work. Even in winter. I mean, it was my HAIR, man! Damn that scientific theory that most of your body heat left through your head. Theories can’t be proven right, right? Or is it wrong? Whatever! As years went by I would notice the changes, but interestingly enough, I cared less about it. At this point, I am receding, though it doesn’t seem to be progressing. Also I keep it trimmed with a part, so it’s really low maintenance – maybe a few seconds with a brush and I am good to go. I will, for special occasions (high profile assassinations, peace treaties, annual evil overlord alumni meetings) put a little mousse in there, but that is just to keep it in place. Hats? Oh yes! I have ones for every season, and for sunny days. The way I see it, a hat keeps me warm. Giving a rat’s ass about how it looks or what it will do to my stylin’, doesn’t.

So, even though I am a bit more ‘reflective’ (I don’t have to buy that special day-glow tape that runners stick to their asses, so cars don’t run them down during midnight runs – but then again I don’t run), the FAA hasn’t had me arrested for distracting pilots, and they can’t see me from space in the ISS. I have no interest in any hair restoration treatments; sewing hair up there sounds painful, and Rogaine costs $ and I think you have to use it all the time. If I tried to get my insurance to cover it, I might set off a chain of events that causes an up-to-now-unheard-of polarity between political parties, and Obama dropping a dime to tell me I’m his hero.

Hey Cueball, just wanted to let you know, you are the wind beneath my wings.

My sense of humor – well it has always been based on sarcasm, anecdotes, obscure references, and repeating any of those subjects in a joke (stopping while it is still funny, not creating that awkward moment). I still haven’t lost a step; I can pull out a Star Wars or Simpsons quote on que.

My childlike sense of wonderment– Huh? Oh you mean that idea of how everything is lovely, innocent, and pureeeeeeeeeeeeeee…oh sorry, that was just so boring that I fell asleep typing it. I grew up with Star Wars, GI Joe, and Transformers. I knew that there was conflict in the world (and a long time ago, in galaxies far, far away), and since the United Nations never made a playset, well I put other stuff on my list to Santa, or worked with what I had.

COBRA's forces always invaded and occupied the Street with minimal losses.

Also I had video games that emphasized the ideas of hunter vs. hunted, running from/confronting my personal demons, and of course gluttony , with the realization that completing a task and getting to the next level of responsibilities just means having to do the same thing, only faster and with more difficult over and over again.

Hey Sisyphus.

Rather than look at what I have lost, I think about what I have gained (which is, I don’t know…the wisdom to know the difference. Or something). Besides, I wouldn’t have space for all that stuff anyway.

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Trifecta Challenge – Lost

Yes I am in another writing challenge/assignment dealie.

This time it’s for the Trifecta Writing Challenge.

The current topic/theme – Lost. In 33 words. No pressure. The word lost can only appear in the title.

So here goes. Wish me luck. Better yet, try out the challenge for yourself as well, if you’re not coming from the site already 😉

Suddenly, Lost
One bump / broken grip / spin/ separation – an alien world. More bodies drift past, spirits looking, grimacing, and moving along. No care but for their own. I am someone’s own, he thought.

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