Intellectual Homicide


A bright orange air ambulance buzzed over downtown

“Looks like somebody’s having a bad day,” said Kingston.

Otis watched the helicopter until it disappeared behind the skyline. He was too sullen to care about someone else’s bad day.

“What’s up with him?” Sebastian asked Piper.

“I’m guessing a First World problem,” replied Piper.

“I wonder where it’s going?” asked Kingston. He was still looking at the sky.

“Israel Kamakawiwo’ole,” said Sebastian.

“Was that even English?” snapped Otis.

“Hawaiian, actually,” said Piper. “It’s a name, to be specific.”

“What’s that have to do with anything?” snarled Otis.

“It’s the answer to Kingston’s question,” said Sebastian.

“He did the most amazing version of ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’,” said Piper.

“Then why can’t you just say that?” complained Otis.

“What’s got your knickers in a twist?” asked Kingston.

“Yeah. What gives? You’re acting all Barney,” said Sebastian.

Otis shrugged his shoulders and looked at Piper.

“You’ve got trouble,” whispered Piper.

“Well, I shaved off my beard and mustache. Now, the facial recognition security feature on my phone doesn’t recognize me,” explained Otis.

“You shaved? I totally didn’t notice,” said Sebastian.

“How did we miss that? You look younger,” said Kingston.

“Does that mean you’re locked out of your phone?” asked Piper. Her forehead wrinkled as she thought.

“Totally and completely,” sighed Otis.

“McFerrin the moment, dude,” said Kingston.


“Don’t worry, be happy,” Sebastian interpreted for Otis.

“No, wait. That’s totally a Second World problem,” said Piper.

“Explain,” said Kingston.

“Otis, is everything on your phone?” asked Piper. There was a tension in her voice.

“Totally and completely,” sighed Otis.

“Holy EMP, Batman. You’ve been Chernobylled,” said Sebastian.

“KABOOM,” added Kingston.

“What are your options?” asked Piper.

“What’s left after a social lobotomy? Complete neanderthal,” said Sebastian.

“You know, there’s an opportunity here. I’m talking a ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’ sort of thing,” said Kingston.

“Oh yeah. Zombies make everything better,” said Sebastian.

“What’re you saying?” Otis turned to Piper. “What’re they saying?”

“You could rewrite your life. Start over,” explained Piper.

“Intellectual homicide,” said Sebastian. He smiled to himself as he nodded his head.

Otis rubbed his face in frustration. “I gotta go figure this out,” he said as he turned to leave.

The others silently watched him leave. When he was out of earshot Piper spoke. “Definitely a Second World problem.”

“But every problem is an Edison,” said Sebastian.

“Truer words, man. Truer words.”

Posted in Bobby McFerrin, cell phone, Don't Worry Be Happy, facial recognition, fiction, flash fiction, humor, humour, intellectual homicide, Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, short fiction, short story, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, story, zombies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Broken Cell Phone Conundrum


Evelyn was visibly annoyed when she arrived home from work.

“I’ve been trying to get a hold of you all day,” she said to her husband, Spencer.

“I’m sorry. My phone died,” said Spencer. He offered his wife a consoling hug but was brusquely rebuffed.

“What? I said I’m sorry,” said Spencer, defensively. “I’ll go to the mall tonight and get a new one.”

“I could’ve died today and you’d have no idea.”

“Did you?”

“Did I what?”

“Die today. Am I taking to your ghost, returned from the netherworld to haunt me for the rest of my life?”

“Spencer, I’m serious.”

“What do you want me to say? I didn’t plan for this to happen. To tell you the truth, it’s been a real headache not being able to get a hold of anyone,” said Spencer. He was acting more annoyed than he really felt, hoping to appease Evelyn.

Evelyn wasn’t impressed. “Whatever. You hate cell phones.”

“There’s a big difference between hating them and needing them.”

“You always look for the easy way out of things. Remember when you drove on the sidewalk just so you wouldn’t have to get out of the truck to put a letter in the mailbox?”

“How can I forget? You won’t let me. Maybe I broke my phone just so I don’t get reminded of it again?”

“You’re overreacting,” sniffed Evelyn.

“Says the woman who could’ve died today,” snapped Spencer, sarcastically.

The two stared at each other in icy silence.

“You wish I was dead,” said Evelyn. She burst into tears and ran to the bedroom.

Spencer stood in the hallway, shaking his head. He had no idea what just happened, and at this point he did’t care.

Posted in cell phone, fiction, flash fiction, humor, humour, husband, short fiction, short story, story, wife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mortuary Love


Its hard to say life is good when you are a funeral director, but that’s precisely how Claude felt. Years of study and apprenticeship were finally beginning to pay off.

When Claude graduated from high school, his dad sat him down and gave him a valuable piece of advice.

“Son, find a career with job security. It doesn’t matter what it is. You do that and its one headache you’ll avoid your whole life.”

With seven billion people currently scurrying across the surface of the globe, Claude felt as secure as a man could feel.

With his career in order. Claude focused his attention on his love life. After weeks of searching through profiles on, he contacted a young woman. Messages were sent back and forth. Finally, a first date was arranged. Claude felt a fluttering of excitement in the pit of his stomach, the likes of which he hadn’t felt since his first dissection in mortuary school.

Thirty minutes before he was to leave, Claude walked through the preparation room of the funeral home. He passed a body waiting embalming, when the corpse had an involuntary muscle contraction. The arm of the body swung straight out from the table, catching Claude right in the family jewels. Claude fell forward, whimpering. He landed by the legs of the deceased. He looked up just in time to see a leg swing up into his face. The room flashed white, then black.

The next thing Claude knew, he was on the floor. It was an hour later. His groin throbbed in pain and dried blood covered his face and shirt. He only had a few minutes until his date, so he hurriedly mopped up his face and changed.

Claude met Holly at The Whistling Gravedigger. His face was black and blue and he walked with a noticeable limp.

“Were you in an accident? asked Holly with concern.

Claude hesitated. “I was roughed by a dead body,” he mumbled.

Holly’s expression morphed from concern to laughter. She rolled up her sleeve to show a bruise on her fore arm. “A ninety year old body can still pack a wallop.”

Claude smiled. At that moment, he knew he had found The One.

Posted in fiction, flash fiction, funeral home, humor, humour, love, mortuary, romance, short fiction, short story, story | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Revenge Of The Song Lyrics (with footnotes)


“Please don’t see me. Please, please, please,” Caleb whispered to himself. He hadn’t seen Brent since their days at the Institute. It wasn’t a reunion Caleb wanted.

“Caleb Cooper? The Pooper Scooper? Is that you?”

The sound of Brent’s taunting voice made Caleb shiver. It was too late to hide. Caleb pasted a smile on his face. “Hey Brent.”

“It’s been, like eight years. How’s it going?” asked Brent.

A flash of inspiration illuminated Caleb’s mind. He couldn’t avoid Brent, so he might as well have some fun. “My future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.”1

Brent looked startled. “Really. What’ve you been doing with your life?”

“I’m heavenly blessed and worldly wise. I’m a peeping tom techie with x-ray eyes,”2 said Caleb.


“I study nuclear science. I love my classes. I got a crazy teacher who wears dark glasses,”3 Caleb said with a smile.

Brent scowled. “Funny,” he said. “Since you didn’t ask, I’m in politics. I’m the MP for Baldwin East. The youngest serving MP in a century. At this rate I’ll be Prime Minister at thirty-five.”

“Well, history is made by stupid people. Clever people wouldn’t even try,”4 said Caleb. He couldn’t stop laughing at himself.

“Oh yeah? What’re your big life plans?”

“I still haven’t found what I’m looking for,”5 Caleb admitted.

“Exactly. So while you’re mocking me, I’ll be making something of my life,” said Brent.

“I used to care, but things have changed,”6 said Caleb.

Brent’s face glowed red. “You’re a loser. You were a loser in the Institute and you’ll always be a loser.”

Brent’s response strengthened Caleb’s resolve. “Only a fool here, would think he’s got anything to prove.”7

Brent was so angry he was speechless. He tried to respond, but words failed him. His hands balled up into fists. Caleb took a step back as a precaution, but he was having too much fun to stop.

“Wait there, pull yourself out of this state, dear. Acknowledge you are a fake, here. From there on we might just grow.”8

“I don’t even know why I even talked to an insignificant worm like you. Go to Hell, Pooper Scooper,” Brent shouted, then stormed away.

Caleb shrugged his shoulders. “Now you’re just somebody that I used to know.”9


1 From Timbuk3, My Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades.
2 Ibid.
3 Ibid.
4 From The Arrogant Worms, History is Made By Stupid People.
5 From U2, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.
6 From Bob Dylan, Things Have Changed.
7 Ibid.
8 From Matt Corby, Brother.
9 From Gotye, Somebody That I Used To Know.

Posted in Bob Dylan, fiction, flash fiction, Gotye, humor, humour, Matt Corby, short fiction, short story, story, The Arrogant Worms, Timbuk3, U2 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The R&D Department


Tanner settled into his chair across from an elegantly dressed young woman. He was still surprised at her invitation to coffee. All he knew was her name was Felicia, she worked in R&D, and she was the loveliest woman he’d ever seen in person. Tanner soaked in the moment.

“You work in Human Resources,” she said.

“Yes,” he purred.

“That must be fascinating. You must have a million stories,” said Felicia. Her bright brown eyes warmed him down to the depths of his soul.

“It’s never boring,” said Tanner, modestly.

Felicia leaned forward. “Tell me about the strangest interview you’ve ever had.”

“Oh, well,” stammered Tanner. His head was spinning from the attention. His face flushed. “There was this one guy who had all the bones of his skeleton tattooed onto his body up to his shoulders.”

“That is strange, but it doesn’t sound that unusual,” said Felicia.

“He was applying for a position in our Medical Sales Division.”

“Oh. What did you do?” She gently touched Tanner’s knee.

“I gave him the job.”


Tanner looked at Felicia’s angelic face and thought for a second. A sinister smile spread across his wrinkled face. “Let’s just say I didn’t have to buy beer for a month.”

“I don’t understand.”

“That’s all I’ll say,” said Tanner.

Felicia gave Tanner a suspicious look. “What ever happened to the skeleton man?”

“It’s a funny thing. Turns out he had a criminal record. Stole a bunch of stuff. Pharmaceuticals, mostly. Last I heard, he was on the run.”

“At least you had beer,” said Felicia. Her expression hardened.

“What? It’s not my fault. I couldn’t have seen that coming.”

“Wasn’t it your job to do a background check?”

“Sure, but he said he didn’t want a few small mistakes to haunt his future. You wouldn’t.”

“There’s a huge difference between a small mistake and a felon,” said Felicia, coldly.

“What does it matter now? He’s gone. You’re here, I’m here. Listen, let’s talk about you. What sort of research do you do?”

“I’m not in research. I’m part of the company’s other R&D. Reallocations and Dismissals.”

The colour drained from Tanner’s face. “This isn’t a date, is it?”

Felicia laughed.

Posted in coffee, date, fiction, flash fiction, Human Resources, humor, humour, R&D, short fiction, short story, story, tattoo | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Vanyieck’s Thought for the Day

Thought for the day: When choosing a future career, consider comedy. Even if you aren’t very good at it, no one will laugh at you.

Thank you to everyone who ‘liked’ my six word novels. Now, I’m off until September. See you in the Fall.

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Seven Days of the Six Word Novel: Day Seven

Separated by war. Hope fought valiantly.

Posted in fiction, flash fiction, hope, short fiction, short story, six word novel, story, war | Leave a comment