Showing category "A Story A Week" (Show all posts)

"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 50: THE LEGEND OF THE NIGHT ANGEL

Posted by John Allen Small on Wednesday, September 17, 2014, In : A Story A Week 
(Note: This week’s entry in the "Spohn Challenge" project was written in the form of a historical text. The idea was to create a tale that combined elements of Tolkien-like fantasy with the legends of Robin Hood or Zorro. I don't know that the attempt has been particularly successful, but I had a swell time writing it anyway and in the end that's what matters, I think...)

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THE LEGEND OF THE NIGHT ANGEL



(HISTORICAL NOTE: The following is an excerpt from Book 5, Chapter 14, of ...


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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 49: FARE THEE WELL, MY OWN TRUE LOVE

Posted by John Allen Small on Monday, September 8, 2014, In : A Story A Week 
(Note: Now that we're back on track, here is the latest entry in the weekly "Spohn Challenge" project...)

Jack Ramsey stirred in his hospital bed, opened his eyes and looked up into the face of the beautiful woman who - even though he knew he hadn't deserved it - had promised to love, honor and cherish nearly six decades before. 


It had been a long journey together, and he understood that for him that journey would soon be over. He understood it, but he didn't much like it. It wasn't the leav...


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"A STORY A WEEK": CATCHING UP (PART 3)

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, September 5, 2014, In : A Story A Week 
And here we have the third and final set of "Spohn Challenge" stories that I was forced to post elsewhere while having issue with this site over the course of the summer. This set brings up up to this week's entry (No. 48), so barring any recurrence of the glitches that gave me such fits, next week we'll be picking up back on schedule as far as the stories being posted here as opposed to on my Facebook wall.

So let's get started, shall we...?

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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 45:

LOOKING FOR ...


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"A STORY A WEEK": CATCHING UP (PART 2)

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, September 5, 2014, In : A Story A Week 
Here is the second batch of the "Spohn Challenge" entries I wrote and posted on Facebook while I was having technical problems here:

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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 42:

A VISIT TO CRIMSON JACK’S


Five years ago, when a fellow named Jackson Talbot first moved into town and opened his Crimson Jack’s Naughty Nighties Emporium over on the west side of town, a few of the women in Jillian’s neighborhood took part in a series of demonstrations organized by a small group of well-meaning litt...


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"A STORY A WEEK": CATCHING UP (PART 1)

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, September 5, 2014, In : A Story A Week 
Well, it seems that the technical problems that have kept me from posting updates since earlier this summer have finally been resolved. So I thought I'd better post the entries I'd written for the weekly "Spohn Challenge" project during that time so they'll all be here in one place. (During the duration I posted each new story on my Facebook wall in order to stay on schedule and not forfeit my participation in the project.) Some of the stories are longer than others, so I'm splitting this upd...
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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 38 - A MATTER OF CIVIC PRIDE

Posted by John Allen Small on Monday, June 16, 2014, In : A Story A Week 
(NOTE: This week's entry is another faux newspaper story...)


From the Sipokni West Dispatch, March 26 2009:


The Brownsberg Town Council has appointed a local resident to help the community overcome what some residents have reportedly described as its “inferiority complex” with regard to nearby larger communities.


Yvonne Gordon, a resident of Brownsberg since 1993, has been named to spearhead a town council initiative aimed at injecting a greater sense of style and sophistication into com...


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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 37: EVELYN GOES SHOPPING

Posted by John Allen Small on Monday, June 9, 2014, In : A Story A Week 
(NOTE: Here's another entry in the weekly "Spohn Challenge" project that reads like it should be part of a longer story. As Michael Nesmith once said: Someday, baby, someday...)


“Can I help you, ma’am?”

Evelyn Drake jumped in spite of herself. She hadn’t expected the stockboy to sneak up from behind her like that. Well, maybe he didn’t really “sneak”, exactly; not exactly fair to lay all the blame at his feet, not when she’d been the one whose thoughts had been elsewhere. 

Even s...

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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 36: TIME ENOUGH AT LAST?

Posted by John Allen Small on Wednesday, June 4, 2014, In : A Story A Week 
(NOTE: This week's "Spohn Challenge" entry was inspired by a silly April Fool's Day article that ran in my old hometown newspaper years ago when I was a kid. That's why it is written in the form of a newspaper article.)



(From the Eureka Creek (OK) Weekly Pedestrian, May 30, 2014) 


In a move calculated to boost local tourism, industry and retail sales, neighboring Sipokni County may soon be divided into three time zones.


The Sipokni County Board of Commissioners announced the possible convers...


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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 35: THE GREAT SNAKE SCARE

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, May 29, 2014, In : A Story A Week 

(NOTE: This week's entry in the "Spohn Challenge" project is being posted a couple of days later than usual because of our newspaper deadline schedule over the Memorial Day weekend. This particular story, though fictionalized, is based on something that actually happened not long after Melissa and I moved from Illinois to Oklahoma back in the early 1990s.)


How The Missus And I Survived The Great Snake Scare Of 1993
(From The Memoirs Of Carson Trent)


You must understand at the outset that my wife...

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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 34 - TWO-SENTENCE TRAGEDY

Posted by John Allen Small on Monday, May 19, 2014, In : A Story A Week 
(Note: I kind of hate to admit it, but this week's entry came to me in a dream. Must have been that last taco I had for supper the other night...)


As he watched the oncoming pickup truck veer into the wrong lane and careen into the path of his own Volkswagen, a single unhappy realization popped into Brandon Smith’s mind.


“Man, and I really wanted to see that new Star Wars trilogy,” Brandon thought just before the pickup plowed into his Beetle head-on...


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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 33: DAUGHTER OF MYTH

Posted by John Allen Small on Monday, May 12, 2014, In : A Story A Week 
(NOTE: This week's entry is another short piece that is probably destined to become a fragment of a much longer story...)


"She is very pretty."


I turned with a start, not having noticed the presence of the gentleman standing there behind me until he had spoken. He seemed a very tall man, with black hair and piercing gray eyes who spoke in a low but strong voice.  He was dressed in a dark suit, and from his appearance and demeanor I thought he might be a minister. 


But there was something odd...


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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 32: PATRON SAINT OF THE DESPERATE

Posted by John Allen Small on Monday, May 5, 2014, In : A Story A Week 
(Note: This latest entry in the weekly "Spohn Challenge" project is another one that I think may eventually turn into a longer story. I figure there's just got to be more that needs to be told... probably without the lengthy title below, however, which I cobbled on as a joke of an afterthought.)



"The General Edge Of Tomorrow's Days Of All My Bold And Beautiful Children's Guiding Life To Live As Another Young And Restless World Turns In Dark Shadows" 


(The saga that asks the musical question: ...


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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 31: DESOLATION

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, May 1, 2014, In : A Story A Week 

(NOTE:  It's been such a hectic week at work that I almost forgot to post this latest entry in the "Spohn Challenge" project. But here it is, for what it's worth...)




Wasteland.


Empty. Barren. Devoid. A Grand Nothingness. A fitting eulogy to Man, as created by Man himself.


For centuries beyond reckoning, it had been a prosperous world. But now it was nothing more than a gigantic cosmic tombstone, the blues and greens replaced by black and gray. The price of too much prosperity. Armageddon. ...


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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 30: ANOTHER SHORT ONE...

Posted by John Allen Small on Monday, April 21, 2014, In : A Story A Week 

A butcher was in the habit of sending his son with a small wagon to deliver orders. The lad was a little careless, and one day he knocked over an elderly lady.

A lawsuit followed and the butcher had to pay damages. Shortly afterward, the son was the cause of another accident and another lawsuit, and the payments nearly ruined the butcher.

One day a short time after the second case had been settled, a neighbor rushed into the shop to tell the butcher that his wife had been hit by a motorcar.

...


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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 29: TWO-SENTENCE CRIME STORY

Posted by John Allen Small on Monday, April 14, 2014, In : A Story A Week 
(NOTE: This week's entry in the "Spohn Challenge" project is another attempt at a two-sentence story per the separate challenge some time back by David Gerrold...)


"By this time next week I'll be running this city," Bugsy Martell laughed as he wrapped his arm around his rival's girl and pulled her close to him.


"I wouldn't bet on it,"  Nora said as she pulled the knife from her garter and stuck it between Bugsy's ribs.


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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 28: NEWS FLASH!

Posted by John Allen Small on Monday, April 7, 2014, In : A Story A Week 
(NOTE: This week's entry in the ongoing "Spohn Challenge" project is written in the form of a newspaper story...)



(From the Eureka Creek (OK) Weekly Pedestrian, April 3, 2014)


The city council campaign, debate over storm sirens and arguments about whether to remove the traffic signal at the intersection of Main and Broadway all took a back seat in the news this past week, as Eureka Creek briefly played host to an emissary from another planet.


Two large spacecraft were spotted hovering over t...


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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 27: IT WAS A LONG WINTER...

Posted by John Allen Small on Monday, March 31, 2014, In : A Story A Week 

Ralph and Gertrude were sitting at the kitchen table drinking their morning coffee listening to the weather report on the radio.  "There will be three to five inches of snow today and a snow emergency has been declared,” the announcer said. “You must park your cars on the odd numbered side of the streets to allow room for snow plows to operate.”


Ralph immediately stood up, grabbed his keys and headed for the door.  “Guess I'd better go do that right now while I'm thinking about it,...


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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 26: THE BIRTHDAY PRESENT

Posted by John Allen Small on Monday, March 24, 2014, In : A Story A Week 
(NOTE: This week's entry in the week "Spohn Challenge" project is a little on the racy side. Apologies for that...)


It was his birthday.

She wanted to give him a gift that would mean something. Something that would always remind him of her, of the time they had spent together, no matter what tomorrow might hold.

So she sent him a glove.

Just one white glove, one half of a set, separated from its mate just as they were separated now. As soft as silk, with an open heart-shaped pattern embroidered t...

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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 25: ONE DAY IN THE CHECKOUT LINE

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, March 14, 2014, In : A Story A Week 

I was standing in line at the store the other day and happened to overhear a couple of women in front of me who were having one of those typical “housewife” chit-chat. Which, as my Uncle Bean once pointed out, is a more polite way of saying that they were standing around bellyaching about utter louses their husbands happened to be.


One of the women, the older of the two, seemed particularly miffed as she waxed angrily about the fact that her husband apparently never wanted to cook dinner...


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“A STORY A WEEK NO. 24”: MURPHY'S BRIGHT IDEA

Posted by John Allen Small on Monday, March 10, 2014, In : A Story A Week 

Old Man Murphy walked into the neighborhood bar one afternoon and spent an hour or so ordering one martini after another. He quickly downed each one, removing the olives from the glasses and placing them in a small jar he'd taken out of his jacket pocket as he did so.


When at last the jar had been filled up with olives and all the drinks consumed, Murphy tipped his hat to the bartender and rose from his stool to leave, carrying the jar the the crook of one arm as he walked toward the door.


...
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"A STORY A WEEK NO. 23": TWO-SENTENCE SOAP OPERA

Posted by John Allen Small on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, In : A Story A Week 

Martin Jacobs took his seat at the dining room table and asked in his typically grumpy voice, "Well, Margaret, what's for breakfast?”


His wife placed Martin’s tray before him, adjusted the strap on the bikini top he’d never seen her wear anywhere but at the beach, waved out the window at the fellow sitting in the sports car in their driveway and replied sweetly, “A ham and cheese omelet, bacon strips, biscuits and jelly... and these divorce papers.”


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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 22: IT FIGURES...

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, February 21, 2014, In : A Story A Week 

The old man sat on the outside stairway of his dilapidated old apartment building, silently thumbing through the pages of a magazine that looked far older than its February 1977 cover date. The pages were dog-eared, the cover was torn and held tentatively in place by a single staple... the result of so many years of having been repeatedly thumbed through by a lonely old man sitting in front of a run-down apartment building.


The girls in this particular issue were special, though. They remind...


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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 21: A LETTER FROM HIS MOTHER-IN-LAW

Posted by John Allen Small on Monday, February 17, 2014, In : A Story A Week 

My Dearest Darling Daughter:


I wanted to use what little time I'm sure is left to me to write, since you never seem to find the time anymore to write to me first, and wish you a Merry Christmas. Hopefully things are as well for you as can possibly be expected, considering the fact that you're still with That Thing You Married.


I'm fine, really, considering that I don't seem to be eating or sleeping or getting around much anymore these days. But I don't want you to worry. The important thing...


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"A STORY A WEEK NO. 20": IT'S THE THOUGHT THAT COUNTS...

Posted by John Allen Small on Monday, February 10, 2014, In : A Story A Week 

Many years ago, when I was just a wee nipper growing up on the 400 block of North Michigan Avenue in Bradley, Illinois, there was a very wise man who lived down the street from us named Ferdinand Lobomowicz. He was a very intelligent man, and all of us children looked up to him; he was the only man any of us knew who we believed might actually be smarter than our fathers. Which, in my case at least, was quite the admission.


One day I was playing in the front yard with my two younger brothers...


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"A STORY A WEEK NO. 19": ONE SATURDAY IN SIPOKNI WEST

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, January 31, 2014, In : A Story A Week 
(Note: This week's entry in the "Spohn Challenge" is a lighthearted return to the setting of my first book, Days Gone By: Legends And Tales Of Sipokni West [pictured above], which is available for purchase at Amazon.)


Sheriff Jess Harper was on his way over to the Flaming Star one Saturday to have some lunch and talk a bit with Wichita Billings when he happened to spy Clem Morrison walking down the middle of the street waring nothing but his boots.


"What the...?"  Harper dashed across into th...


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"A STORY A WEEK NO. 18": THE ROAD NOT TAKEN...

Posted by John Allen Small on Tuesday, January 28, 2014, In : A Story A Week 
(NOTE:  This 18th entry in the "Spohn Challenge" project was supposed to have been posted last Friday, but duties at work kept me from doing so and I didn't remember until this morning that I hadn't posted it yet. So I'm sharing it a bit late but I've still managed to keep writing a new piece each week, somehow. This one is actually an expanded version of the first of my "Two-Sentence Stories," which was originally composed back in college. It's also a little on the racy side, for me anyway, ...
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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 17: THE CONDUCTOR'S LAMENT

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, January 17, 2014, In : A Story A Week 

It's a sad, sad story. I know, because I was there and I saw it happen...


There was this fellow I once knew who happened to be the frustrated conductor of an extremely mediocre local symphony orchestra. Few if any of the individual musicians could really be said to be players of professional quality; indeed, the only reason they had been accepted as members of this particular orchestra is because the city fathers wanted a local orchestra and, after all, they had to get their players from som...


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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 16 - TWO-SENTENCE FANTASY STORY

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, January 9, 2014, In : A Story A Week 
(NOTE: This latest entry in the weekly "Spohn Challenge" project should be of interest to some of my Wold Newton buddies...)

Drinnon the Black Knight dropped his sword and ran away screaming as the dragon Loridans vomited a steady stream of fire in the direction of the knight’s retreating backside.


As he watched, Sir Eckert pulled the Princess close to him and said with a triumphant grin, “Well, if you can't stand the heat, don't tickle the dragon.”


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"A STORY A WEEK NO. 15" - THE DALMATIAN

Posted by John Allen Small on Monday, January 6, 2014, In : A Story A Week 
(NOTE: I had this one done and ready to go on schedule last Friday, but ended up getting bogged down with stuff at work and didn't get around to posting it as planned. Then I forgot about it until this morning. So here's Entry 16 in the weekly Spohn Challenge project...)


Grandpa Charlie was taking a drive with his grandchildren one day when a firetruck zoomed past. Sitting in the front seat of the fire truck, just like you see in all the old movies, was a Dalmatian. Never having seen any of th...


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"A STORY A WEEK NO. 14": WHY A DUCK?

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, December 27, 2013, In : A Story A Week 
(NOTE: This latest entry in the weekly "Spohn Challenge" project is yet another Christmas-themed story. Hope everyone's holiday season has been a healthy and happy one!)


It’s a true story. I don’t expect everybody will believe that, of course, but that doesn’t make it any less true.


Tommy Harper was only five years old that particular Christmas morning, and he was afraid he might just bust. Because under the tree, with his name on it, was the prettiest red-and-blue striped Christmas gift...


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"A STORY A WEEK NO. 13" - IT HAPPENED ONE CHRISTMAS

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, December 20, 2013, In : A Story A Week 


In the city of Eureka Creek (population 16,523), the year 1991 came to be known as “The Year of Miracles.”


The label had first turned up in an editorial in the local paper around mid-year, and in the minds of the townsfolk it was no idle boast. Consider some of the evidence:


• The town’s economy, which had steadily plummeted over the past decade, had suddenly been resuscitated by the simultaneous construction of a shopping mall on the north end of town and a new edible oil plant sev...


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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 12: TWO-SENTENCE WESTERN STORY

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, December 13, 2013, In : A Story A Week 
(Note: Between the nasty weather we've had in the past week and and some funky deadline situations at the newspaper due to the holiday season, I wasn't able to come up with anything more substantial for this week's "Spohn Challenge" entry than another two-sentence quickie. I'll try to come up with something a little longer for next week...)


“This here town ain’t big enough for the both of us, Sheriff Harper,” Buster McCrae sneered as he settled into his saddle.


“I reckon you’re righ...


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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 11: TWO-SENTENCE CHRISTMAS STORY

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, December 5, 2013, In : A Story A Week 
(NOTE: My latest entry in the weekly Spohn Challenge project is also the latest in my ongoing efforts at writing two-sentence stories, as per David Gerrold's challenge of a while back...)


"Listen," Little Sally whispered in her baby brother's ear, "I think that's Santa's sleigh I hear."


Just then the roof caved in.


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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 10: HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Posted by John Allen Small on Wednesday, November 27, 2013, In : A Story A Week 
(NOTE: This latest entry in the "Spohn Challenge" project is submitted with sincerest best wishes for a happy holiday.)


Thanksgiving was fast approaching, and Mrs. and Mrs. Patterson had received a holiday card in the mail from their son and his family, who lived out on the west coast and were planning to spend the holiday this year with his wife’s family. The poem printed inside the card was your typical bit of greeting card drivel, but their son’s handwritten note below that poem told ho...


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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 9: TWO-SENTENCE WAR STORY

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, November 21, 2013, In : A Story A Week 
(NOTE: This is obviously entry number 9 in the weekly "Spohn Challenge" project. Another David Gerrold-inspired two-sentence shorty, this time of the war genre...)



"There, that's got it," Ezekiel Butterfield happily exclaimed to his wife as he slipped the final piece of the jigsaw puzzle into place.


Just then the bombing started...


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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 8: ONE DAY IN MOTHER GOOSE LAND

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, November 15, 2013, In : A Story A Week 
(NOTE: This is entry number eight in the weekly "Spohn Challenge" project. Steve Sykes, what have you gotten me into?"


Snow White, Tom Thumb and Quasimodo were having lunch together at the Brothers Grimm Commissary one day, swapping stories about their various misadventures and sharing gossip about other famous fairy tale characters they all knew.

At one point, for no apparent reason, Snow White took a sip of her chocolate milk and announced, “You know, I reckon I must be the most beautiful g...

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"A Story A Week" No. 7: Two-Sentence Science Fiction Story

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, November 8, 2013, In : A Story A Week 
(Note: For this week's entry in the year-long "Spohn Challence" I decided to go back to the writing exercise David Gerrold discussed on his Facebook page a few weeks back - only this time instead of a two-sentence horror story I thought I'd try my hand at a two-sentence SF tale. This one was inspired by a telecommunications ad that's currently airing on TV...)


Horton activated the "help" app on his cell phone and said, "Google, how do I get home?"


"You don't," the digitized voice responded co...


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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 6: HOMECOMING

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, November 1, 2013, In : A Story A Week 
(NOTE: This is my sixth entry in the weekly "Spohn Challenge" project. Looking back over the finished product, I find that this one reads as if it is the ending chapter of a longer story.  Hmmm...)



Debbie was tucking Scottie in for the night when I got home. I didn’t think she’d heard me come in; I made practically no noise, and she kept her back to me as I stood watching her from the hallway outside his room. She sang that lullaby I’d taught her not long after he was born. The one my mo...

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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 5: COME GATHER THE TIME

Posted by John Allen Small on Thursday, October 24, 2013, In : A Story A Week 
(Note: This is my fifth entry in the weekly "Spohn Challenge" project. I'm posting it a day early because I expect to be busy with other things and thus away from the computer pretty much all day tomorrow...)

The flickering glare momentarily blinds you as the tangled spokes of her shopping cart reflect the morning sunlight, like the jagged shards of a broken mirror.  The sparkle bounces off the bits and pieces of stained glass and broken jewelry that are fastened to her cart with string and wi...

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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 4: TWO-SENTENCE HORROR STORY

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, October 18, 2013, In : A Story A Week 

{Note: This is my fourth entry in the weekly "Spohn Challenge" project. I originally had something else in mind, but was inspired to contribute this one instead after reading something posted by David Gerrold this morning on his Facebook page...)



The doctor grimaced as he studied my DNA chart. 


"Good lord, that CAN'T be right..."


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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 3: DINNERTIME AT THE MILLS RESIDENCE

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, October 11, 2013, In : A Story A Week 

Note: This is my third entry in the weekly "Spohn Challenge" project... and there's a bit of a story behind this one.

A number of years ago, when I was still first getting acquainted with the Internet, I ran across a story someone had written about a housewife forced to contend with pesky telemarketers and unwanted visitors while trying to serve her family dinner. It was badly written - as I recall the writer was a horrendous speller who didn't seem to know even the most basic rules of punctu...


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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 2: MR. BLESSING'S ROMANCE

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, October 4, 2013, In : A Story A Week 

(This is my second entry in the weekly project called "The Spohn Challenge," in which the object is to write one short story a week for a year, any length and any subject.)




I looked at her. "Well," I asked, "what do you think?"


"Honestly?"


"Of course"


She smiled. "I don't think it's such a good idea."


That wasn't what I wanted to hear. "Give me one good reason why not."


"Okay," she said as she sat down and poured herself another drink. "Look at what happened to them."


"So what does t...


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"A STORY A WEEK" NO. 1: DINNER WITH THE JERK

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, September 27, 2013, In : A Story A Week 

(This is my first entry in a weekly short story project my old buddy Steve Sykes invited me to participate in, called "The Spohn Challenge." The object is to write one short story a week for a year, any length and any subject. Not sure if I'll make it a full year or not but I'm going to try...)


The guy over there at the next table is coming on to the waitress, trying desperately to convince her that he loves some alternative music group that in reality he’s probably never heard of and probab...

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About Me


John Allen Small John A. Small is an award-winning newspaper journalist, columnist and broadcaster whose work has been honored by the Oklahoma Press Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Associated Press, the National Newspaper Association, and the Oklahoma Education Association. He and his wife Melissa were married in 1986; they have two sons, Joshua Orrin (born 1991) and William Ian (born 1996). Mr. Small is the News Editor and columnist for the Johnston County Capital-Democrat, a weekly newspaper headquartered in Tishomingo, OK. He obtained his nickname, "Bard of the Lesser Boulevards," from a journalism colleague - the late Phil Byrum - in recognition of the success of his popular newspaper column, "Small Talk." (In addition to the many awards the column itself has received over the years, a radio version of "Small Talk" earned an award for "Best Small Market Commentary" from the Society of Professional Journalists in 1998.) John was born in Oklahoma City in 1963; lived in the Bradley-Bourbonnais-Kankakee area of Illinois for most of the next 28 years (with brief sojourns in Texas and Athens, Greece, thrown in to break up the monotony); then returned to his native state in 1991, where he currently resides in the Tishomingo/Ravia area. He graduated from Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School in 1981, and received his bachelor's degree in journalism from Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais in 1991. The years between high school and college were a period frought with numerous exploits and misadventures, some of which have become the stuff of legend; nobody was hurt along the way, however, which should count for something. In addition to his professional career as a journalist he has published two short story collections: "Days Gone By: Legends And Tales Of Sipokni West" (2007), a collection of western stories; and "Something In The Air" (2011), a more eclectic collection. He was also a contributor to the 2005 Locus Award-nominated science fiction anthology "Myths For The Modern Age: Philip Jose Farmer's Wold Newton Universe," edited by Win Scott Eckert. In additon he has written a stage play and a self-published cookbook; served as project editor for a book about the JFK assassination entitled "The Men On The Sixth Floor"; and has either published or posted on the Internet a number of essays, stories and poems. He has also won writing awards from the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the National Library of Poetry. He is a past president of the Johnston County Chamber of Commerce in Tishomingo; was a charter member and past president of the Johnston County Reading Council, the local literacy advocacy and "friends of the library" organization; served as Johnston County's first-ever Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator in 1994-95; served two terms as chairman of the Johnston County (OK) Democratic Party; and has taught journalism classes for local Boy Scout Merit Badge Fairs. He is a member of the New Wold Newton Meteorics Society.
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