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I learned a new word this week. Pentheraphobia is a fear of your mother-in-law. While I was never afraid of mine, I know people who cower at the mere mention of their mother-in-law’s name—and with good reason.

Mothers are a protective lot. Sometimes overly protective. If her Baby stops by, or calls to vent about a relationship problem with a spouse, whose side do you think Mommy is going to take?

The tension escalates when Baby’s spouse appears to be “a lazy, no good, worthless piece of horse dung.” To which the spouse responds by pointing out Mommy’s exceptional talent as “an overbearing, Nazi witch.” Now, the table is set for a long and resentful relationship.

Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our resident advice guru on Outlaw In-Laws is Jeanne Phillips Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise in madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the FFF  Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright – C E Ayr

Detective Lowry’s phone hadn’t stopped ringing since the release of the murder victim’s name. Confessions poured in. At first only ten people admitted to the crime, but that number had passed twenty-five and was still growing each day.

It seems everyone who’d encountered the old Scot wanted to see him get his just deserves. According to Medical Examiner Gayer, the causes of death were drowning, strangulation, blunt trauma, knife wounds, and gunshots, among other things.

“This man truly died a thousand deaths,” Gayer said.

“It could’ve been worse.” Lowry shook his head. “At least he wasn’t trampled by pink pachyderms.”

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We were at my daughter’s house the other day and she was watching “Hollywood Medium” on TV. This is a show where a handsome young man scribbles on a notepad while visiting with celebrities about their deceased relatives.

It seems to me that people in the income bracket these actors enjoy could afford someone a step above “Medium.” Why settle for average, or middle-of-the-road when you could order a “Supreme?”

If I was going to the time, trouble, and expense of hiring a psychic, I’d at least try to get one who could provide me the winning numbers for the next Mega-Millions Jackpot.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our wave-swept leader (who writes to her invisible friend, “Friday,” on Wednesdays) is Robin Crusoe Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise in madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the FFF  Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright – Susan Eames 

Darren was a patient man, but his patience was wearing thin. The minutes turned into hours, and the days into weeks.

From his perch high above the sand, he scanned the distant horizon in hopes of seeing a tiny spec that would grow into a boat or seaplane.

He’d grown accustomed to the long days, and the even longer, lonely nights. The only thing that kept him going was a dream of deliverance. Shaking from the hunger pangs he punched in the 800 number and waited.

“Hello. Domino’s?” He shouted into the phone. “Where’s my damn pizza?”

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The month of May is filled with graduation ceremonies for everything from kindergarten to Masters Degrees. Sadly, I’m still a few credits short of earning my diploma from Hard Knocks University.

According to my professor, Dr. Lamebrain Peabody, the problem lies in my ability to write a decent essay. Both of my term papers, “Getting Old is Not Sissies,” and “The 6 Things They Don’t Tell You About Retirement,” failed to adequately expose the hazards of aging. It looks like it’ll be three more years of trying to “pin the tail on the donkey” before I earn a degree in Laziness and Procrastination.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the leader of our gang is the diminutive, yet feisty, Lilly Putian Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise in madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the FFF  Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright – J. Hardy Carroll Tel Aviv – Negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians appear to have made progress this month since the arrival of a secret emissary from the U.S. Neither President Donald Trump nor Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu admitted knowledge of the meetings, but both were quick to point out that any peace agreement negotiated by an amateur had about as much chance of surviving as a fart in whirlwind. Details of the proposed plan have not yet been released to the media. According to a source close to the emissary, the accord has been drawn up and signed by both parties using an Etch-A-Sketch.
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Well, I made it back from my four-day sabbatical in the wilderness (otherwise known as Silver Dollar City Campground in Branson, Missouri). Unlike Jesus, I didn’t fast for forty days, but I was tempted by the Devil.

Satan showed up with some beer and started ragging me about all the poor, hard-working Americans at the brewery who count on me for a paycheck.

Then he quoted Babe Ruth and said, “If you don’t drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams will be shattered. It’s better for you to drink this beer and let their dreams come true than to be selfish and worry about your liver.” How can you argue with logic like that?

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our emcee—and the star of our show—is Bobbi Jo Barker Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise in madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the FFF  Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

-CJH WARNING – The post below contains crude, juvenile humor.

copyright – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Arvel loved submarines. As a youngster, he used to lie on his back in the bathtub and holler, “Periscope up!”

He joined the navy right out middle-school, having completed each of the last three grades twice.

Arvel had no problem treading water and could float like a Baby Ruth candy bar*, even propelling himself along, providing his diet contained the optimum mixture of broccoli and beans.

The highlight of his military career came while stationed in New England. Arvel led a group of drunken sailors protesting higher liquor taxes in what later became known as the famous Boston Pee Party.

* see this clip from the movie Caddyshack

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Since retiring, I’ve had to brush up on some of the skills I hadn’t used in a while. There’s always something to do around here and it’s really helps to be incompetent. If not, chances are I’ll be assigned more chores than I care to perform.

Being incompetent takes a lot of forethought and planning for most people, but for me, it just seems to come naturally. When I size up a task or project, I don’t even have to think about how to screw it up. It just happens. How’d I get to be so lucky?

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the cat-herder who drives this clowder of 100-word authors is Jessie Chisholm Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright – Sandra Crook

You know what I love best about being a professional moss watcher, Rochelle? It requires such a high level of focus and Zen-like concentration that I sometimes fall into a meditative trance. Has that ever happened to you?

More times than I can count, Sandra. Last week, I got so caught up in the action that pigeons mistook me for a statue. It took three days to get the white washed out of my hair, and girl at Belton Laundry refused to clean the last blouse I took in. Nowadays, you’ll never catch me watching moss without a hat.

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Monday night, I ordered a sandwich at an Arby’s in Fayetteville. The young lady who took my order appeared to be 19 to 21years old (a college student?).

“Got a name?” she asked. Naturally, my first thought was a smart-ass remark, but I simply replied, “Russell.” She keyed it in on the register and handed me my ticket. It read, “RUSTLE.”

While I’ve been known to shuffle through a pile of dry leaves, I’ve never had the urge to steal cattle. I wasn’t sure if she was trying to be funny, or if she typically slept through English class. Where the hell are the Spelling & Grammar Police when you need them?

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our facilitator is graduate cum laude from Walla Walla Bing Bang  Art & Drama Institute, the infamous Le Petite Voleur Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright – Roger B. Cloister

There are several types of beating sticks on the market.

One is the never popular Ugly Stick. You may know someone who’s been beaten with one of these. Or perhaps they fell from the top of an Ugly Tree and struck every branch on the way down.

Sadly, no amount of make-up or cosmetic surgery can restore the beauty stolen by an encounter with the Ugly Stick. To make matters worse, the ugly gene becomes embedded in the DNA and passed down for twelve generations.

If you have this gene, don’t blame your wife for having an affair with the mailman.

 
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Have you ever been accused of rambling? Are you the kind of person who likes to talk just to hear their head rattle? Me neither.

People like us don’t mince words. We get right to the point. If you ask us what time it is, we’re not going to spend half-a-day telling you how to build a watch.

Do you know someone who does? I bet you do. You may even live next door to one of these talk-a-holics. Let it all out. Tell me how they drive you up the wall.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our head seamstress and fabricator of 100-word stories is Betsy Ross Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright – Sandra Crook

Coffee spewed from the chief’s nose and mouth.

“You want to do WHAT? Lowry, you’ve lost your freakin’ mind!”

“I know bringing in mimes for a line-up sounds unusual, Chief, but how many mimes can there be in the Kansas City area. We’ve got some good photos of the suspect, and Mr. Wingnut volunteered to look over the line-up.”

“Two mimes would be two too many. And how do you propose to find these mimes?”

The chief rose and walked around the desk.

“Do you have a mime detector?” He made a sweeping motion as if searching for explosives.

*an excerpt from Criminal Mimes

 
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When you’re stuck in traffic, have you ever noticed how many people in the cars around you are picking their nose? A friend of mine pointed it out one day. We counted twenty-two pickers from the city of Rogers to our exit in southeast Springdale (approx. 1.4 pickers per mile). According to Ripley’s Believe It or Don’t, there’s actually a name for this. The act (or art) of picking your nose is called Rhinotillexis. Don’t ask me how to pronounce it, but it sounds like a great name for a heavy metal rock band. I expect a band with that name to “boldly probe where no finger has gone before.” If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our facilitator is Liz “Twitchy Finger” Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here. copyright – Anshu Bhojnagarwala

“Did you hear about Schroeder from the Peanuts cartoon?” Penny asked.

Bjorn shook his head. “No, what happened?”

“He disappeared while on holiday in Scotland. The authorities spent over two years searching for him. Initially, they thought he might’ve been kidnapped, but now they presume he was murdered.”

“Are there any suspects in the case?”

“Just one. According to witnesses, there was a tall, elderly gentleman who became incensed at Schroeder’s non-stop piano playing.”

“That’s terrible. Have police been able to gather enough evidence to link him to Schroeder’s disappearance?”

“No, and they’ve not found Schroeder’s body either.”

 
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How good is your memory? I like to think mine is pretty good, although sometimes when I go from one room to another to get something I have a hard time remembering what I went there to get. To keep my recollections of the past in order, I file them in two categories, the Memorable and the Forgettable. The Memorable includes births, celebrations, and fun stuff. These memories are pleasant, but often fuzzy and lack detail. The Forgettable is comprised of events such as prepping for a colonoscopy, root canals, and slamming a car door on my fingers. My recall of these incidents is vivid and crystal clear. Now it’s your turn. Please share a favorite memory or something you’d rather forget. If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our hostess (who is writing a novel on the joys of being vertically challenged, entitled “Short Women”) is Louisa May Alcott Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here. copyright – Jean L. Hays Decorating cakes at a grocery store bakery was hardly the dream job Shelley had in mind after earning a master’s degree from Walla Walla Bing Bang Art Institute. She’d always loved art. Her mother often joked that Shelley was born with a purple crayon in her hand. Over the years, she mailed dozens renderings of “Winky” in response to the “Draw Me” ads in newspapers and magazines. The art instruction school’s reply was always the same. You appear to have talent. Submit again when you’re older. Finally, at age thirty-two, she was accepted.

*speaking of memory, I may have posted this excerpt from Criminal Mimes previously. I honestly can’t remember. If so, that post was neither memorable or forgettable.

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People in the workforce get one to two days off every week and vacation time based on their years of service. I have been retired now for over 16 months without a single day off. I can’t even call in sick and sneak off fishing. It’s ridiculous and unfair.

With the amount of stuff retired people have to do, and the limited number of hours we have to work with, you’d think the Department of Labor would step in and rectify this terrible injustice. After all, we spent our entire life working and paying taxes, and just because we’re retired doesn’t mean they can walk all over us.

I encourage all of you, retired or not, to contact your representatives in Congress, Senate, Parliament, etc., and urge them to pass legislation to address this critical issue.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our on-site bloggers rights activist is Susan Bee-ann “Tony” Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields Linda put on her best plastic smile and edged closer to Michael as they pretended to mingle. A few of the women offered pathetic smiles, then turned to gossip with the nearest prima donna about the little tramp across the room who didn’t know the difference between dressing sexy and looking like a slut.

Two hours into the affair, the delusional beauty queens let down their guards. One even pretended to be nice.

She tried to convince Linda that she was no longer a member of the Wicked Step-Sister Sorority—Stab-Ya, Stab-Ya, Die.

But it was just the wine talking.

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