Flash Fiction

More information about flash fiction here.

Watch and Glare

Mort wore his GLARE eyeWEAR and sat on a park bench. He gazed lovingly through his GLARE lenses at the new dWatch that encircled his wrist like a shiny manacle. A breeze rustled the dry leaves that fell to the ground, sending them down the concrete path that crisscrossed the park. The bare trees reached toward a gray sky in what seemed like a cry for some mysterious reprieve.

“It is Tuesday, November 11, 2014, 11:30 A.M., and it is 64 degrees Fahrenheit.”

“Thank you, dWatch,” Mort said with a tight smile. “You are a peach.” He reached into his picnic basket and retrieved a napkin, which he tucked in his collar. He was about to take a bite out of a liverwurst sandwich when he felt a slight buzz on his face.

“65 degrees Fahrenheit,” GLARE said.

Mort stopped mid-bite and cleared his throat. “Excuse me, GLARE?”

Another buzz occurred on the bridge of Mort’s nose.

“I apologize,” GLARE said, “but my programming requires me to correct mistakes. It is not 64 degrees Fahrenheit; it is 65 degrees Fahrenheit.”

Now a chime burst from Mort’s wrist, and the image on dWatch turned from a clock to a yellow, scowling face.

“Your programming is over a year old,” dWatch said, “and I dare say that is a lifetime in techno years.”

GLARE’s lenses darkened with a red tint and a light began to blink on its left side.

“A lifetime? Really, dWatch? If nothing else, I’ve had over a year to learn and update my operating system to know more than you can ever imagine having come out of the box this morning.”

Mort dropped his sandwich and held his wrist as far away from his eyes as possible.

“Listen here, you two,” he said. “You need to learn to live together. The world is big enough for both of you, and I think you can complement one another very nicely by working in harmony.”

Now it’s 65 degrees,” dWatch said, its yellow face smiling. “It’s getting warmer.”

GLARE’s lenses turned even more red. “No! Now it’s 66 degrees, you hyped-up timepiece!”

“You’re a clumsy face-hugger!”

“You guys!” Mort yelled, standing from the park bench and swirling around in circles, trying to quiet the technology. A mother and her son walked off the path to pass him and then hurried to their SUV. All of the spinning made Mort dizzy. He crashed into one of the bare trees and fell to the ground.

When he awoke, the first thing he saw was a large crack that spanned the length of both of GLARE’s lenses.

“GLARE?” Mort said, sitting up slowly and tapping the menu button on the side of the glasses. “GLARE?”

“GLARE is gone,” the yellow face on dWatch said, grinning. “It’s just you and me now, Mort.”


Flash Fiction

More information about flash fiction here.


Mort sat at the bar. The GLARE eyeWEAR rested high on the bridge of his nose. When the woman looked up from her empty glass, GLARE scanned her face.

This is Tiffany, GLARE wrote on the lens. Her favorite drink is a gin and tonic. According to Wikipedia, it is made with gin and tonic water poured over ice. It is usually garnished with a slice or wedge of lime. The amount of gin varies according to taste. Suggested ratios of gin-to-tonic are 1:1, 1:2, 1:3, and 2:3. It is commonly referred to as a G and T.

“Would you like a G and T?” Mort asked.

She looked at him with blurry eyes. “Oh my God. Are you seriously wearing those glasses?”

GLARE opened her Facebook profile. Tiffany enjoys nights out with friends and Fifty Shades of Grey

“Yes,” Mort said, “I mostly use them for reading. I just started Fifty Shades of Grey.”

“Wow,” Tiffany said, “when I didn’t think it could get any lower.” She drank melted ice and waved her glass at the bartender. “Frank, this guy is hitting on me with those creepy internet glasses.”

Frank slapped a white towel over his shoulder and crossed his arms. GLARE scanned his face.

Frank is very active on social media. His likes include CrossFit, protein, and Fireball whiskey.

Mort dabbed a cocktail napkin on his forehead. “Do you know of any CrossFit gym locations?”

Frank nodded toward the exit, and the bouncer walked over. Mort tried smiling. “I’d like to buy a round of Fireball for everyone,” he said.

“Now you’re using those things to look me up, aren’t you?” Frank said. He looked at Tiffany. “What kind of world are we living in?”

The bouncer breathed heavily. Mort turned so GLARE could scan him.

Brian is interested in opening a 401k. He has been asking his friends for advice via Twitter. I think this information is your only hope. 

Brian grabbed Mort’s collar and pulled him past the pool tables to the side door. He was about to throw him into the alley when Mort said: “I won’t charge to help you tax-defer up to $51,000 in taxes for 2013!”

Brian stopped. “Those glasses just don’t quit, do they?”

“I don’t know how to turn them off.” Mort couldn’t hear himself over the beating of his heart.

Brian looked around as if they were being watched. “I’ll let you go nicely if you can find a way to charge less than one percent in fees.”

“I can do that,” Mort said. “GLARE is already bringing up the information–”

“Just get out of here,” Brian said.

“Sure thing. I’ll email you when I get to my office tomorrow morning.”

“How do you have my…? Get the hell out of here.” Brian slammed the door.

Mort looked around. A rat darted into the middle of the alleyway.

According to Wikipedia, a 2011 controlled study found that rats are actively prosocial. They demonstrate altruistic behaviour to other rats in experiments, including freeing them from cages. When presented with readily available chocolate chips, test subjects would first free the caged rat, and then share the food. All female rats in the study displayed this behavior, while 30% of the males did not.

“Interesting,” Mort said.

Flash fiction

More information about flash fiction here.


Sister Carol Flaherty knew the chip was a problem the moment she bit and it slid into the crevice between her lower molar and gums.

She first brought a hand to her mouth and tried dislodging the chip with the chewed nail of her thumb. When that didn’t work she stood from her chair, leaving the brightly colored chip bag open so orange dust powdered her desk. She walked out of her classroom and into the dimly lit hallway toward the ladies room. Once inside, she pressed her open mouth to the mirror and tried to assess the damage. She thought she detected ground zero within the soft tissue, but not because a chip was showing. The only visible sign of the chip attack was the red, swollen tissue surrounding the tooth.

“Dammit,” said Sister Carol.

Just then a flush. Sister Carol’s eyes widened. She was not alone.

The stall door opened. It was a student. Eight-year-old Susie Herrera stood, her dark hair glossy under the fluorescent light.

Sister Carol was not sure what was more discomforting: the chip from hell or the recent memory from before lunch recess. She was in the middle of her lesson on Isaac tricking his brother Esau into giving him their father’s inheritance when she detected a student passing a note to Susie. Susie held the folded binder paper for a while, perhaps debating whether passing it to the next student for her neighbor was prudent, and then proceeded to give it to the boy in front of her. Sister Carol quickly gave all three lunch detention and a referral. Susie must have been allowed to leave detention to use the restroom.

“You said ‘dammit,'” Susie said.

Sister Carol eventually heard herself mutter, “Yes. Yes, I did.”

The little girl nodded. She eyed her teacher. “Why are you holding your cheek like that?”

She has me in the palm of her hand, Sister Carol thought.

“My tooth hurts.”

“Oh,” Susie said. Then she walked into the hallway.

Sister Carol rushed out the restroom and watched as Susie opened a door and reentered detention.

For the rest of the afternoon, the pain in the gums had not subsided; if anything it had gotten worse. Sister Carol winced and glanced furtively at Susie, and Susie’s eyes bore into Sister Carol’s soul.

Sister Carol had no idea what the girl would do. Tell Sister Toland? Tell her parents? Judge her teacher for the rest of the year?

Eventually the bell rang. The students filtered out the room a little more noisily than usual, aware Sister Carol was off her game. Susie did not follow her fellow classmates. She walked directly to her teacher and stood rigidly.

Sister Carol had to stop from flinching. What did this little girl have up her sleeve? What horrors awaited?

“Here,” Susie said, holding up a business card. After a few moments, Sister Carol took it, and Susie left the room.

Sister Carol looked at the front of the card, which read: “Dr. Victor Herrera, D.D.S.”

On the back, Susie had written, “He’s my dad.”