Monthly Archives: October 2016

Phone 2

I’ve started writing stories with prompts from Writer’s Digest. This week’s prompt is “Smartphoney.” I’ve already posted one story there.


“In the old days, we had these things called ‘pick-up coils’. Stick it on the side of the phone and…”

“Shhh. Just get it back, Nolan,” barked Barbara through the in-ear comm.

Nolan didn’t really understand why they had to use this super-expensive technology. As it happened, the suspect had made the incriminating calls in his own office, and it would have been better to plant a cheap, disposable bug. But, no, they had to swap his phone with a replica, connect the real phone to a device that replicated his hand gestures and transmitted the screen images, which meant that the tech people wanted the super-expensive replica back.

He did like the pick-pocketing part of this investigation. His life had turned around thirty years ago when he had been caught snatching the wallet of an off-duty…

The elevator door opened. “OK, here we go.” Nolan walked into the executive suite, and smiled his winning smile at the assistant.

“Hey, Mr. Iwu,” the assistant greeted him with a flirty smile. “He’s expecting you.”

The security guard nodded and opened the door to the office.

“Thank you, Mr. Han.” Nolan flirted back as he entered. “And, thank you, Mr. Ralston.”

The guard nodded resolutely.

Nolan was surprised to see that the suspect was not at his desk. He was not anywhere in his office. “Mr. Beigi? Are you here?” The executive bathroom door was open halfway, and the light was on. Nolan moved closer and peered in. “Mr. Beigi?” He was not in there.

Turning back, Nolan was surprised to find the suspect sprawled on the floor by the desk. He ran over, and found a pool of blood by the head. He crouched down to take a closer look. There was a bullet entry wound. Probably a 9mm, and he saw the gun as soon he made this guess. “Shit!”

“What’s the matter?” Barbara asked.

“He’s dead.”

“Get the phone.”

“You’re cold, man,” Nolan acknowledged, and, as he did so, found the replica in the suspect’s hand. He picked it up, and reached for the real phone in his inside coat pocket, still mated to the replicator.

“Freeze!” said the authoritative voice of the security guard.

Nolan knew not to get his hand out of his pocket. He slowly turned his head around to look at the guard. “Hey, look…”

“I said, ‘freeze’!” He was visibly nervous. He wasn’t sure if he wanted Nolan to move his hands where they could be seen or keep them where they were.

“Look, I’m a Federal agent. If you let me…”

“Shut up!” He wasn’t listening.

“Let me just get my…”

The barrel of the .45 was now shaking. Tense. Nervous. Frightened. “Another word, and I shoot!

“OK! But…”

A shot rang out. Nolan had failed to appreciate how much of a threat he would appear to have been in the surveillance footage.

“Nolan? Nolan? What the…” Barbara’s voice faded away.

Couponing 3

I’ve started writing stories with prompts from Writer’s Digest. This week’s prompt is “Coupon Cutter.” I’ve already posted two stories there, and seem to have reached a limit, so I’m posting the third one here.


That was almost five years ago. I was the villain in the tale, with my Khloé-Kardashian good looks and bitch-wannabe attitude, rubbing the loser’s nose in shit every time I won, Joker-worthy smug grin always on my façade. My woefully inadequate challenger had the Nell-Jones pixie face and the feistiness of Hetty Lange, painfully shy and humble but formidable and beloved by fans and foes, her cocker-spaniel-like super-supportive husband always by her side at the starting line and the finish line.

There was not a single shred of doubt in my mind that I was going to win. And I knew I had clinched it when I saw her coming out of the Jo-Ann’s with three foam boards under her arm. Forty percent off was not going to get her nothing when Elmer’s three-packs sold for less than that at Staples. Rookie mistake.

And here I am, lying in bed, touching the tattoo of her name on the arm of that same super-supportive cocker spaniel, sound asleep.

“Please, don’t do that.” He is ticklish there. Something about an infection and scars.

“Sorry.”

He turns around, still sound asleep… appearing still sound asleep, with his tender, loving, devoted eyes closed slumberingly. “You’re thinking about her again, aren’t you?”

I try to hide my tears that he cannot see by blinking.

“It was not your fault.”

I don’t believe that. “I know.”