Tag Archives: fiction

Call for Submissions – “Two Eyes Open”

Submissions Call: TWO EYES OPEN
MacKenzie Publishing is accepting fiction submissions for its second anthology, stories for 18+, titled TWO EYES OPEN (horror, suspense, thriller, mystery, etc.).
Submission deadline: March 31, 2017, or when anthology is full
Payment: $10 Canadian per story, paid via Paypal
Word count: 2,500 to 5,000 words
Publication date: August 1, 2017
MacKenzie Publishing does not accept material which has been published previously, either online or in print. By submitting to MacKenzie Publishing, you are assuring you hold the rights to the work and are granting MacKenzie Publishing the right to publish the submitted work. MacKenzie Publishing will require exclusive rights to the stories until December 31, 2017.
To Submit:
Paste info and document in the body of an email (no attachments) in this order:
-Title of story, your name, email, word count
-Bio (up to 150 words)
Email stories to MacKenzie Publishing at: TwoEyesOpenAnthology@gmail.com
Put the title of your submission in the subject line.

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The Spot Writers – “A Terrifying Television” by CaraMarie Christy

This is a post for the Spot Writers. This month’s prompt is to use the following five words in a writing: marble, TV, evil, butcher, couch.

This week’s post comes from CaraMarie Christy, the young-un of Spot Writers. Visit her blog on Word Press at Calamariwriting and check out her book from when she was twelve, Fairies Fly. CaraMarie is also hoping to share a new marketing project coming up with Kindle Worlds! *Knock on wood!*

A Terrifying Television

By CaraMarie Christy

It was the clearest thing in the world, in the mind of two-year-old Colleen Cuellar, that the TV was a horrendous, deadly trap worse than any timeout imaginable. People walked in and out of the box, summoned by a black wand that was often lost in the cushions of the Cuellar’s red couch, and then disappeared into nothing whenever the wand demanded. If she stood too close to the TV, Colleen was sure she would be sucked in, and never let back out. It had happened to Elmo. One day she had been playing with her red friend and the next he was inside the box, singing a song about “Elmo’s World”, and she could not find him anywhere, despite knowing she had left him next to the coffee table the day before.

That was what the TV was then. A monster, that could butcher people and then leave no trace of them behind. Their bodies were shrunk down for this reason, until they were almost smaller than Colleen. People were not supposed to be her size, she was sure. People were supposed to be large, loping creatures, with hands the size of her face. They were supposed to eat big foods at the grown-ups table and talk about cars. And something called an “I-95”. Colleen had a car, a very nice car with big, red wheels.

A crackling noise rang from the TV, the signal that her bubble-gum-chewing “babysitter”, as the people called her, had woken it up. Colleen chucked her car across the living room and screamed. In her fascination with her own car, she had forgotten all about the people eating box. For a moment, she watched it, glowing across the room, showing a small dog on its way to a summer camp. And then the dog was gone. It was replaced by two people holding hands and chewing gum. The dog would never come back.

Colleen had to act.

There were few places to run and even fewer places to hide, that weren’t covered in giant, white locks. Desperate, she crawled as hard as she could away from the babysitter, hoping to stay low to the marble in the kitchen long enough to avoid detection and get to the dog’s crate. He would help her, despite his own captivity whenever the babysitter was around. Slowly, she made her way toward the black wires where his snores were emitting. She could not run. The rustling of her diaper would alert her pink haired caretaker to her escape attempts.

But, even without a rustling diaper, the babysitter noticed before Colleen could reach safety. The big girl’s feet thumped against the living room carpet as she got up from the couch. Just as Colleen’s fist was around the lock to the dog’s crate, Katie wrapped her arms around her waist and hauled her up into the sky. They were back in the living room before Colleen could bite her captor. The evil babysitter didn’t understand the danger that they were in and Colleen didn’t like her enough to try and save her. Colleen’s struggle was only for herself and it went on for hours. She crawled, ran, and even rolled, but she could never make it far enough to open the dog’s cage.

A knock at the door signaled a break for Colleen. She was exhausted, so she curled into a ball at the far side of the living room, next to her play pen, and stared at the TV, daring it to try and eat her at such great a distance.

“She’s got a lot of energy today,” moaned the babysitter as she let in Mr. and Mrs. Cuellar. They dropped their coats over the couch. “She keeps trying to get to the kitchen and play with the dog. And she’s starting to get fast at it, too.”

The corners of Mrs. Cuellar’s eyes wrinkled. “Have you seen the video we got of Collie’s first steps? I don’t think she ever could walk. She just runs.” Mrs. Cuellar picked up Colleen and patted her head. “Here, I think the disc is in the DVD player already. We were showing it to the Beasleys. It’s pretty funny to watch.”

The crackling noise made Colleen clutch to her mother’s blouse. Every bit of her wanted to stay there, to never look at the monster in the living room, but the big people were all staring intently at the box. With one eye, she peaked, then shrank back into her mother at what she saw.

She was in the box, running toward the marble in the kitchen, just as she had been doing earlier. She could see herself running on the screen, her diaper swooshing, feet slapping the marble, but she couldn’t feel herself moving at all. The box had her. It would never let her out. Maybe it had always had her.

Colleen wailed.


The Spot Writers—Our Members:

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Dorothy Colinco. www.dorothycolinco.com

CaraMarie Christy: https://calamariwriting.wordpress.com/


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The Spot Writers – “No Trolleys, Just Tramcars” by Tom Robson

Welcome to the Spot Writers’ weekly flash fiction post. This month’s prompt is “trolley car,” and today’s post comes from Tom Robson. Check out his book, Written While I Still Remember, available on Amazon  and   Smashwords


No Trolleys, Just Tramcars

I spent my early years in the English industrial city where I was born. Once I was too large for the pram and after I responded to encouragements to walk rather than be pushed up Leeds hills in the pushchair, the tram became one means of getting around the city. The others of my first nine years were walking or riding my trike, firmly connected to my mother’s grip with an old trouser belt of my absent father. The family car was a war and many years away.

The city trams, like the later trolleys, were powered from overhead lines connected high above the main streets. Unlike trolleys, tram car routes were defined by steel tracks set in parallel rows on the main streets they shared with the sparse traffic of the thirties and early forties. The trams might well have been the smoothest vehicles in the city. The tramlines were often set in cobblestone streets

I have four childhood memories of trams. The first and worst was the return trip from the free dental clinic where I had a number of ‘first’ teeth extracted with the help of chloroform. On the return trip the side effect of chloroform and the trauma of tooth pulling, for which I was inadequately forewarned, caused me to project blood-flecked vomit on the tramseat, floor and crowded passengers.

We got off the tram two stops early and my mother carried her evil-smelling seven year old, up the steep Harehills Lane to grandma’s.

Prior to this, accompanied again by my mother, I took tram rides to St Jame’s Infirmary where I was subjected to exercise intended to stretch my neck. I was recovering from surgery to forestall torticollis, which if untreated led to the abominably descriptive condition of ‘Wryneck’. I hated the physiotherapy. Getting on the tram to the hospital turned me in to a whiner, impossible to placate for the trip there and the therapy. At home, my mother had to lift me by the head to repeat the unnatural exercises every day for over a year. And you think ‘tough love’ is a recent phenomenon?

By the time I was eight I was allowed to go with my friends,on Sundays, to Roundhay Park. It was at least a mile walk away, across the Soldier’s Field, to the back entrance at the top of Hill Sixty. At the park we could climb trees (if the wardens weren’t around), roll down the hill and paddle in either of two lakes, one of which fed water to the outdoor swimming baths to which we were occasionally treated. It was a full day of childhood freedom, enjoyment and exploration.

Occasionally, grandma would give me the penny fare to take the tram to the park. My friend Tim, one of seven kids in the family across the back ginnel, also got tram fare from my gran. Grown ups thought we would walk there and, in an exhausted state, take the tram home. Eight and ten year old boys did not get tired, given the opportunity of let’s-pretend games and freedom in a seven hundred acre park for a day. We wanted to get there so we took the quick way – by tram.

One bright and promising Sunday, as soon as I completed my choirboy duties at St. Wilfred’ and Tim had attended mass, we pocketed grandma’s penny and ran down the hill to Roundhay Road to take the tram to the park.

The park tram-stop was about 100 yards past the main gate.This was 1944 and there were very few cars on the roads in that era. It was safe to jump off the rapidely decelerating tramcar opposite the park gates. Tim had been taught the safe way to do this by his older brothers. He faced the way the tram was going and stepped off, running. I followed his advice to look behind and make sure no cars were there. None were there, so I stepped off in the logical-to-me-way, facing back to the gates we were headed for.

The bloody scraped knees and elbows added to the forlorn figure sat crying in the middle of the wide street. Damage was superficial and was quickly evaluated by the park gate warden and tram conductor, who admonished me with “ Tha daft bugger! Divn tha know that tha faces t’way ‘trams going if tha wants to jump off?” Once sat on the kerb, some lady gave me a cone from Granelli’s ice cream truck. I shared it with Tim.

Tim and the warden took me to the first aid station in the park. Ten year old Tim was given the responsibility of getting me home. We walked. Nobody asked if we had tram fare. That final steep climb up Harehills Lane, aggravated every bruise and scrape I’d got in my tumble from the tram. I told mum and gran I’d fallen off a swing in the park. Tim backed up the lie.

My father had lost his job shortly after his successful apprenticeship finished and just as the great depression climaxed. He worked where he could and eventually got a steady job as a Leeds City Tramcar driver, not too long after I was born.

If we were lucky, mum and I might catch his tram on the way into the city centre or to one of innumerable hospital appointments. It was all a matter of chance.

I must have been almost three when I had to have surgery and spend the accustomed week of recovery in hospital. I couldn’t understand what was happening. Why did my mother spend so little time with me? I had no understanding of the severe restrictions on visiting hours . They were both short and infrequent. I was in my cot surrounded by about twenty other beds in a men’s surgical ward. The hurses had to remain formal, though I wondered how they could resist my crying and histrionics as my mother and, sometimes, my father left after afternoon and evening visits.

My mother carried me to the tram stop when I was sent home.We didn’t take the first tram that came. The conductor told us, “Vera! Fred’s on the one reet behind. He’ll want to see t’ bairn.”

As the next tram slid to a stop, the driver, My father pulled repeatedly on the cord that rang the alert bell. Clang! Clang! Clang! His conductor explained to the other passengers, as his driver got off to hug his son and wife. My mother was given the seat closest to the driver while I sat up, proud and once again interested in life after recovery.

Soon after my father changed uniform from Leeds City Transport employee to soldier as the war loomed. I was almost as proud of this new uniform.

But my feelings never exceeded those on that day when my father, the tram driver, took me home from the dreaded hospital.


The Spot Writers—Our Members:

RC Bonitz: http://www.rcbonitz.com

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Tom Robson: https://robsonswritings.wordpress.com


Have you read The Spot Writers’ new book? Check out the just-released Remy’s Choice, a novella based on a story we wrote a while back. It’s available at Amazon  for only $1.99 e-book and $5.99 print.

Remy, just out of a relationship gone wrong, meets handsome Jeremy, the boy next door. Jeremy exudes an air of mystery, and he seems to be everything she’s looking for. While Remy allows herself to indulge in the idea of love at first site, she realizes she’s the girl next door according to her boss, Dr. Samuel Kendrick.


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The Spot Writers – “Riding a Memory” by RC Bonitz

Welcome to the Spot Writers. Today’s contribution comes from RC Bonitz, author of DANGEROUS DECISIONS and his latest novel, ONLY EMMA. The prompt for this month is “Trolley Car.”


by RC Bonitz

Hands still resting on the steering wheel, he sat there staring out the windshield. He heard it before he saw it, the distinctive clack clack of iron wheels on the joints of iron rails, the ding ding of its bell as it approached the terminal. What brought him here again he did not know, but this was becoming a habit. Paul liked old steam trains and trolley cars, but at a time like this? He wondered what Helen would say. He smiled. She’d understand, she always had.

Stepping from the driver’s seat as the trolley car came to a stop, he headed into the museum to buy a ride ticket. The gray haired woman at the ticket window smiled at him as she took his money. She was getting to know him after all of his appearances during the last two weeks.

“You should sign on as a volunteer. You could ride for free,” she said.

“I might just do that,” he said, but of course he didn’t mean it. Obligations and schedules he didn’t need. What he needed was a place of peace when the pain hit him. This was a memory album, happy times with Helen and the children, Sophie giggling, Stevie running around the museum and jabbering at the motormen on the rides.

“Your friend is out there somewhere with her children.”

He blinked in surprise. His friend?

The woman noted his confusion. “That young woman who rides with you sometimes?”

He stared at her blank-faced, unaware of his expression.

She hesitated, then went on. “I’m sorry. I thought you knew each other.”

He shook his head, all the while trying to recall the woman she was referring to. Someone who rode the trolley with him? Was he so into himself he’d never noticed others who frequented the trolley too? Helen would admonish him for that. She would have. She’d always worried about him. He gave the ticket agent a smile and strode outside to the trolley, his steps just a tad uncertain. That young woman?

He saw her then, just boarding the trolley, shepherding two little boys ahead of her. The agent had been right; he’d seen the woman before. The kids too, but he hadn’t paid any attention to them either. The boys were about the ages Sophie and Steve were when it happened. Last month. Tears threatened and he brushed his eyes with his hand. Damn, why did that agent have to bring them to his attention? The trolley cars had been his place of peace, of forgetting for a moment. Now he’d forever see these kids and be reminded.

He slowed his pace and waited until the mother and kids were safely aboard the trolley, then got on himself. They were sitting in the front. He took a seat in the back. Two elderly men were the only other passengers and they chatted happily in the middle of the car. The motorman collected tickets and took his position at the front of the car. He faced them all with a grin, his hand on the controls.

“Everybody ready? Here we go,” he said and the trolley surged forward.

Paul stared out the window, trying to ignore the happy chatter coming from the front of the car. Suddenly he realized one of the little boys had broken away from his mother and was tearing pell-mell towards the open doors at back of the car.

“Brian,” the mother screamed, “Stop! Come back here!”

Paul moved without thought. He reached out and snagged the little guy as he tried to run past him.

“Whoa there, where do you think you’re going?”

The mother ran toward him, the other child in her arms, the two of them staggering from side to side in the rickety trolley.

“Oh, thank you so much,” she said as she reached Paul.

“You need another pair of hands with these little guys,” he said feeling strangely light hearted.

“I don’t have that luxury anymore.”

He studied her then. Dark hair down to her shoulders, she’d been attractive once. No makeup, now she looked gray and drawn, tired and in pain.

His heart lurched at the thought that hit him, an assumption based on the look of her and his own devastating experience. “I’m sorry,” he murmured.

She gave him a look of puzzlement, then studied his face carefully. “Nothing to be sorry about. We’re better off without the jerk.”

“Oh. I thought…”

“We’re probably better off, but I have my moments.” She smiled ruefully.

He nodded, somehow vaguely disappointed. “Would you like me to hang on to this little guy for the rest of the ride?”

She grabbed Brian by the arm and slid into the seat in front of Paul. “No thanks. I’ve got them both now. We’re under control.”



The Spot Writers–our members:

RC Bonitz: rcbonitz.com

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Tom Robson: https://robsonswritings.wordpress.com/

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The Spot Writers – “No. Phone. Restaurant.” by Val Muller

Welcome to the Spot Writers. This week’s prompt is “no phone restaurant,” and the post comes to us from Val Muller, author of The Scarred Letter, a tale of bullying, secrets, and sticking to the truth no matter the consequences. You can learn more at www.ValMuller.com.


No. Phone. Restaurant. 😦

By Val Muller


The texts were flying in almost faster than Sammie could process them.

Rachel: They’re gonna send me to FL for the summer.

Amy: Why FL?

Rachel: To live w my Gma

Amy: The churchy one?

Rachel: YES!

Rachel had finally done it. She’d told her parents about Rob, and they were freaking out beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. Sammie barely noticed the glowing sign advertising The Seafood Shack as the sedan slowed—but darn it! Why were they so close to the restaurant already? The electronic drama unfolding in her hand was much more engaging. As Sammie’s mom pulled into the parking lot, Sammie jumped in on the conversation:

Sammie: What good will Florida do?

Rachel: Gma will keep me away from Rob 😦

Rachel: And send me 2 church

Amy: They can’t own you.

Rachel: No

Rachel: But they’ll cut me off if I don’t obey

Sammie: Cut you off?

Rachel: Car insurance, tuition for next year, stuff…

Sammie: Sucks.

Rachel: Said guys in their 20s are off limits.

Rachel: Ive never seen em so pissed.

Amy: What does Rob think?

Rachel: That’s the thing. He wants to break up.

Rachel: Or.

Amy: Or what?

Rachel: Or me move in with him.

Amy: What!

Sammie: What!

Amy: Dude!

Amy: What about college, tho?

Sammie: And if you live with him?

Rachel: Mom n dad would literally disown me.

Rachel: Not sure how long I’ll be here.

Amy: What u mean?

Sammie: What? Where?

Rachel: My parents r looking for me.

Amy: R U running away?

Sammie: Where R U?

Rachel: I’m hiding in the woods can u get me?

Sammie looked up. Her mother was eyeing her from the front seat, her eyebrow cross. “We’re here, Sammie, in case you didn’t notice.” She cut the engine, and the doors clicked to unlock.

Sammie forced a smile.

“Be nice, Sammie. Be polite to your grandmother. We talked about this, remember? No phones in the restaurant.”

“For my birthday,” Grandma said. She turned around from the passenger seat, and the excitement in her face melted when she saw Sammie’s phone. “Oh,” she sighed.

“Sammie.” Mom sighed, too. Like mother, like daughter.

“I know we talked about it,” Sammie said, “but I think I may have to pick up Rach. See, she—”

But Grandma chimed in. “In my day, we respected the people we were with. We didn’t have cell phones constantly distracting us. It’s just plain disrespectful. I don’t know what the world is coming to…”

Sammie risked a glance at her phone. She looked back up quickly. “Sorry, Grandma.”

She turned to put her phone away but couldn’t help looking down. The texts were flying in again, already scrolling off of the screen.

Rachel: And when they find me, they will take my phone.

Rachel: I’ll srsly never see u guys again!

Amy: I don’t have a car

Amy: Sammie, can u get her?

Rachel: I’m scared.

Rachel: They’re gonna take my pHone.

Rachel: They said no contacting anyone over the summer while at Gma’s

Rachel: Seclusion.

Amy: OMG, that’s like…

Amy: They’re gonna get ur Gma to brainwash you!

Amy: You’ll become all churchy like her.

Amy: You’ll marry a preacher’s son or something

Sammie looked up. Two generations of angry eyes glared at her from the front of the car. Mom’s lips moved in slow motion. “Turn. The. Phone. Off.”

Sammie glanced down just long enough to type three words.

Sammie: No. Phone. Restaurant.

Then she powered down her phone even as a barrage of texts came flying in. She exited the car and joined her mother and grandmother. Then she trudged on to Grandma’s birthday dinner sequestered from the teenage drama unfolding in the electronic ether of her now-dormant 4G network.

It would be a long evening.

* * *

The Spot Writers—Our Members:

RC Bonitz: http://www.rcbonitz.com

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Tom Robson: https://robsonswritings.wordpress.com


Have you read The Spot Writers’ first book? Check out the just-released Remy’s Choice, a novella based on a story we wrote a while back. It’s available at Amazon  for only $1.99 e-book and $5.99 print.  Remy, just out of a relationship gone wrong, meets handsome Jeremy, the boy next door. Jeremy exudes an air of mystery, and he seems to be everything she’s looking for. While Remy allows herself to indulge in the idea of love at first site, she realizes she’s the girl next door according to her boss, Dr. Samuel Kendrick.

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The Spot Writers – “No Phone Restaurant” by RC Bonitz

Welcome to the Spot Writers. Today’s contribution comes from RC Bonitz, author of DANGEROUS DECISIONS and the recently released ONLY EMMA. The prompt for this month is “No Phone Restaurant.”



Annie stared down at the blank screen on her smart phone. Of all the bloody times for the battery to die. She’d read only part of the text before it faded from view. Something about him enjoying their conversation at Pippa’s party last night and would she like to meet him for lunch. But where- she didn’t catch that.

Scott, his last name was Hansen wasn’t it? The sweetest guy with the biggest smile she’d ever seen. She’d been talking to Pippa when he appeared out of the blue and introduced himself and that was it. They must have talked for two hours. She looked around, searching for a pay phone, then remembered the name of the silly restaurant, the No Phone House. She wasn’t even supposed to be looking at her cell phone. She sighed. What did it matter. She didn’t know Scott’s number anyway.

Annie glanced at her watch. 12:28. She’d already eaten and it was probably too late to meet him. The best thing was to get home and charge her phone and read his message carefully. She downed the last of her coffee, touched a napkin to her lips, and pushed back her chair.

“Hey, where you going?”

Annie turned to see one handsome hunk of man beside her table. Blonde, tanned, muscles everywhere, and that great big smile from the night before. She gasped and cried, “Scott, hi.”, her voice way too shrill and shaky.

“Had your lunch already?”

“Um, yes, but I could manage a cup of soup or a salad.”

He pulled up a chair and sat down. “I texted you but you didn’t answer.”

“My phone died.”

He grinned. “Lucky thing I picked this restaurant then.”

“This was where you wanted to meet?”

“You betcha. I figured I’d stop by, just in case.”


He reached out and gently touched her arm. “I’m damn glad I did.”


The Spot Writers- our members

 RC Bonitz


 Val Muller


 Catherine A. MacKenzie


Tom Robson







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The Spot Writers – “The Quantum Life of Mr. Bubbles” by Val Muller

Welcome to the Spot Writers. This month’s theme is “a death in the family.” Today’s tale comes to you from Val Muller, author of the young adult novel The Scarred Letter, a novel about confronting the truth in a world that lives a lie.


The Quantum Life of Mr. Bubbles by Val Muller

Her large eyes popped open as she examined the fish. “Daddy, Mr. Bubbles looks thinner today.” She scrunched her nose and eyed me askance.

I tried not to miss a beat. “You think he went on a diet?”

“Not that kind of thinner. A different-fish-thinner.”

“Hmmmm.” I pretended to read the nutrition information on the cereal box, but she wouldn’t drop it.

“And his tail is darker.”


“Daddy, what happened to the real Mr. Bubbles?”

Nothing escapes a five-year-old. She pulled herself into the seat next to mine. What could I tell her? That Mr. Bubbles was floating his way toward the city’s sewage treatment plant? That her daddy had driven across the county to find the only aquarium open at 6 a.m.? That he’d been waiting when the store opened to purchase the fish that looked the closest to Mr. Bubbles?

When I looked up from my cereal box, she was standing up on her chair, eyes cross and hands on her hips. “Tell me the truth. What happened to the real Mr. Bubbles?”

So I took a deep breath and said what any father would say. “Mr. Bubbles was a very curious fish, and he went exploring in the furthest corners of his fish tank until one day, he saw a strange glow. You know what it was?” I looked up, stalling for time.

“The lamp?” She raised a little eyebrow.

“No,” I said, channeling high school physicals and sci-fi and late-night philosophical discussions from college. “It was a wormhole. A gateway to another universe.”

“What?” She looked again at the fish. Then she slid down in her chair.

“You know: quantum physics.”

“Won ton physics?”

I shrugged. “Sure. It’s the idea that there are all kinds of different worlds out there, each one just a tiny it different from the last. So in this universe, I look like me. But in another one, I might have a beard.”

She smiled at the idea.

“And so Mr. Bubbles went through the wormhole and found himself in a very similar universe. He found himself in a very similar house occupied by a very similar goldfish.”

“And is there a ‘me’ in this other universe?” she asked.

I nodded, glad she was buying in. “Only, the other you has curly hair and likes artichokes.”

She scrunched her nose. “Ewww!”

I smiled. “And Mr. Bubbles met the fish that looks almost like him. And they had a fishy conversation and decided to send the new fish here to live with you. And Mr. Bubbles is going to stay in the new universe. You know, to check things out.”

Her eyes moved from me to the tank and back again.

“Honey, do you understand?”

She studied my eyes, then nodded. “I do, daddy. But it’s okay. It doesn’t take won-ton physics to know that Mr. Bubbles went to Heaven. You don’t have to be sad about it or make up stories for me. It’ll happen to all fish someday. Then she gave me a hug, grabbed the box of cereal, and made her way to the couch.

A moment later, the chirping of cartoons filled the room, and I watched Mr. Bubble’s doppelganger swim from one side of the tank to the next, oblivious to the fate of his predecessor or the complexities of won-ton physics.


The Spot Writers—our members:

RC Bonitz: rcbonitz.com

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Tom Robson: https://robsonswritings.wordpress.com/

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Teen Anthology – OUT OF THE CAVE

Submissions to the teen anthology, still tentatively titled OUT OF THE CAVE, closed on Sunday, April 30, 2016.

Many great submissions have been received. Too many! Now comes the difficulty to pare them down and select the “best of the best.”

Everyone will be notified before Friday, May 13, 2016, whether his/her story has been selected OR rejected.

The book will be published on or before September 1, 2016, but hopefully sooner than later.

Check back here for further updates and the upcoming TOC!

Thank you to everyone who submitted a story.

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The Spot Writers – “Winston A. Flowers,” by Tom Robson

Welcome to the Spot Writers. Today’s contribution comes from Tom Robson, author of WRITTEN WHILE I STILL REMEMBER a patchwork memoir. If you want to know more about the author, find the book online at Amazon.com.

 The topic for April is Spring Flowers.


Winston A. Flowers

He was surprised it had remained a secret for this long. But it was not surprising that his phenomenal success in the two months since his call-up to the majors had led to research into his background.

He’d always lied and said that the middle initial was for Abraham. Some had even called him Abe while he was playing in Binghampton, though there had been wild and increasingly frequent chants of “Winston! Winston! Winston!” as the goals kept coming. And that had continued since February when he been promoted to the parent club, the expansion Renaissance, in Quebec City. And, to the amazement of all the pundits, they had reached the playoffs. Those same pundits had determined that Winston Flowers’ goal scoring feats had been largely responsible for the late surge which got them there.

And now he was, all set to take the opening face-off of the play-offs at the Maple Leaf’s rink where, it seemed, many of the Leaf’s supporters were waving daffodils. If he was hearing it right the words they were singing were,

It’s April Showers that comes your way’

He won’t be playing when we get to May.

And the Renaissance, they will regret’

Cos they won’t be playing hockey

They’ll be picking violets.

He’d seen the verse a couple of days ago, on line from The Toronto Globe and Mail. Some researcher had discovered his baptismal name.

He had been a spring baby. His mother had said that, after she gave birth to her fifth son, she feared she’d never get to use one of the names she’d picked out for the hoped-for daughter. So he was Winston April Flowers. And a Toronto columnist had questioned how an expansion team could pin its hopes on a hockey player called April? Could be worse! Mom’s other choice of names for the never to happen daughter was ‘Spring Flowers’.

The rhythmic, derogatory chants of “April! April! April!” kept raining down from the stands. They ceased, midway through the second period after he scored his third goal and then – when checked, very late and very illegally by the Leaf’s goon, – April clearly won the fight that ensued.

At game’s end, a six zero thrashing of the home side, he returned to the ice to acknowledge his selection as man of the match. The traveling Renaissance supporters were gloating as they chanted “Winston! Winston! Winston!”

As he entered the tunnel to the dressing room a Leaf’s supporter, obvious from the paraphernalia he wore, leaned over and handed Winston his daffodil. “Nice game, April!” he praised.

Winston April Flowers accepted both with a broad grin back at the donor.


The Spot Writers–our members:

 RC Bonitz: rcbonitz.com

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Tom Robson: https://robsonswritings.wordpress.com/


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The Spot Writers – “The Sunflower,” by Cathy MacKenzie

Welcome to the Spot Writers. The prompt for this month is “spring flowers.” This poem comes from Cathy MacKenzie (an old poem from her “archives” since she forgot about writing something new for today). Check out her website at the bottom of the post.


The Sunflower

The fragile crayon picked, a soft pastel,
Out of the waiting tray of rainbow shades,
Brushed onto the outline a sunshine belle,
With grace and form, subtle beauty cascades.

The loving smoothness massaged in the light,
Gives birth to a once-pale flower,
Blossoming into a beaming yellow bright,
Its hidden root grasping so much power.

How stunning, she says to the mirror,
Its sturdy stalk rising high to the sun,
The seeds she’ll scatter, growing dearer,
Buds bursting forth, living has begun.


She snatches the fragment, the broken end,
Posing naked beside her in the looming tray,
The pastel crayon, stiff, unable to bend,
Breaks easily, shades of betraying grey.

The scratching of the jaundiced piece
Scrapes across the outline as she mourns,
Covering the smudged paper, hiding a crease,
While a brighter one laughs and scorns.

The sickly pallor on the leaves do wave,
Colouring the roughness, the grain peeking,
Applied like a shovel attacking a grave,
The wilted sunflower leering and weeping.



The Spot Writers–our members:

 RC Bonitz: rcbonitz.com

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie:https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Tom Robson: https://robsonswritings.wordpress.com/


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