Do Not Neglect a Gunlocke – on Typishly

Typishly is a new online literary journal that features the work of some really incredible writers and poets. They also post creative prompts called “challenges” periodically. These consist of either a first line or last line that you must incorporate into the story, or a series of words that must appear in the body of your work. I was excited to learn that one of the stories that I submitted for the most recent challenge was selected to be published on their site!

Here is a link to the story:

Do Not Neglect a Gunlocke

My story combines my love for writing, reupholstering furniture, and the last line provided as a part of the challenge. I hope you enjoy the piece.

Wanna get paid in bookmarks?!?!?!

Do you have a short story that we can publish on our website? We love to feature great writing on our site devoted to those who love reading. If you have an original, remarkable, and/or insightful short story that we can include on our site please contact us. We will feature works of 1,000 words or less. You can submit your work directly at this link:

Submit a Story

      We will pay you in bookmarks and admiration. Generally people prefer cash, but we are not nearly as picky as other sites that pay in cash. We will publish just about anything. Many writers would argue that bookmarks are much better than cash anyway.

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Stefen Chow on Medium – bring your toddler for a mini adventure

My favorite story this week is actually from a little over a year ago. The author is Stefen Chow, “father, photographer and mountaineer from China. I came across the story on Medium. com, a site/source/app recently that features stories, articles and opinions from around the world.

The story is simple and short, but the purpose is profound. I loved the perspective on fatherhood, and the pictures were fantastic.

“We ended up cycling along the eastern coast of Taiwan, hung out with baby animals in a farm, went onto boats of fishermen, chased for trains, climbed hills and sheltering together from a storm and had more giggles than tantrums.”

Read the article on Medium at this link – Stefen Chow on Medium

I hope you enjoy the article. Be sure to follow Stefen on Social Media as well… he has many other stories, adventures, and photographs that will move you.


Do Not Neglect a Gunlocke- 800 words


Pulling, twisting, turning, ripping. Dust fills the workspace, and the smell of cat urine makes the air unbreathable. Pliers, a hammer, and a flat screwdriver break bones, tear tendons, and remove foam and cotton fill from the chair that I adopted from Wendy at work. I wipe sweat from my forehead and pry up sharp tacks hold the brown fabric flesh tight across the wood frame. The upholstery I pull from the chair is heavy with decades of dirt and oil and skin. It sits in a slump on the floor of my garage, lifeless. “That is disgusting!” My wife has returned home earlier than I expected. “It smells like cats. Did they have cats?” Yes. They definitely had cats. “I got it from a lady at work. It needs a lot of… work.” I have been breathing in the smell for forty-five minutes or an hour, and I don’t really notice it any more. “I will open a window.” She turns to leave, but I stop her, “It’s a Gunlocke.” I flip the chair on its side and lift it to show her the lower-case cursive “g” engraved on a metallic marker underneath the seat. The elegant mark catches her eye just like it caught mine. Continue reading


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“It’s a grizzly. It must be a grizzly. Please don’t be a grizzly.” Thoughts fired in quick succession through James’s mind. Two hours earlier he started for a run just outside the boundary of Rocky Mountain National Park. James sat behind a desk most days answering email and phone calls, and he had to work a few extra hours that week. This was his chance to finally spend some time outside and get some exercise. He had moved to Colorado two years earlier, and loved living near the mountains. The trail he decided on cut through the woods, then carried him up and down several rocky hillsides. He was impressed by the landscape, but the trail was much longer than he had planned. He had already come across several picturesque viewpoints of mountain valleys to the west, and incredible peaks in the far distance to the east.  Imposing storm clouds had dominated throughout the day, so the crowds of hikers that he might have encountered along the path on a sunny day were absent on this particular, late-summer afternoon. He had only seen two other people on the trail so far.

James entered a portion of the trail that followed the course of a narrow creek through dense bushes – “Eight miles” his cell phone announced in an electronic voice. He was focused on the trail. As he entered a gradual curve of the trail a loud rustling shook the chest high bushes just to his right. Continue reading

The Engagement Ring – 300 words


Bill sat in the dirt and stared at the ring in his hand. He purchased the ring over a year ago, but there it was in his hand instead of on the finger it was intended for. He looked out at the lake where they spent several weekends together during the summer. He once felt like his life was poised on the edge of perfection: he had money, he was good-looking and in great shape, he found a great girl. He had never thought that everything could change in just one year. Bill lost the girl, who insisted that she had never considered him to be “husband material.” Her response to his proposal was, in essence, “I won’t waste the rest of my life with a car salesman”. He lost his job and most of his money after spending more time in bed with a hangover than at work. His world was now tilted and slippery. Bill was sliding. He was struggling to hold onto whatever was left, but he still had the ring.

The diamond ring cost Bill three thousand dollars, and he refused to sell it for less than two. He was never offered more than a thousand, so he kept it.

Bill rose to his feet at the edge of the water. “I don’t even like the outdoors!” she had screamed during their final fight. A rising swell of resentment became a wave of anger. He had to get rid of the ring. Bill drew his arm back, ready to throw it as far as he could. He hesitated then dropped the ring in the water just in front of his feet.  It splashed, then sank in the silt. It didn’t deserve a place in the middle of the crystal blue lake. It belonged in the shallow muddy water of the bank.

El Candido (short non-fiction)

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This is a short story that i wrote recently about an awesome trip that we took down to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico about seven years ago. We drove for about 30 hours down the peninsula with my wife’s sister and brother-in-law, and had several adventures along the way. This story is about a particular “challenge” that we faced once we arrived in Cabo:

El Candido

“You have to trust me if you ever want to leave this place,” the man yelled. He sat in the front seat of a noisy, rattling vehicle that passed for a taxi and spoke back to us. “When we get to the police station, you just do what I say. How much cash do you have?” It was the third time he had asked us about money, and we started to think that getting in a cab with him had been a bad decision. The man was much smaller than me, and I was with my brother-in-law, who had been a rugby player in high school. We each stood four or five inches taller than this shifty character that we had met just an hour earlier, but that might not matter if he pulled a gun or a knife. Continue reading

Candy Canes are Crimson – short horror

This is a short story that i just submitted for a writing competition. The requirement was a horror story under 1,000 words with the theme – “Red Xmas”. I hope you enjoy it. Image result for candy cane

Candy Canes are Crimson

Each Christmas I find it more difficult to decide what I want. Many people get completely wrapped up in the holly and mistletoe, the lights, and all the other traditions. I haven’t felt excited for Christmas since I was much younger. For many years, the most exciting part for me was a pack of new socks that I would give myself each Christmas. I don’t want to sound pathetic, and I definitely don’t want to reminisce. Actually, I need to warn you. I don’t want this to spoil your holiday season, but I really think you should know. I will try to keep it short.

I heard this story just recently, but I don’t think it is the first time that it has happened. It goes something like this:

It’s just a few days before Christmas on a particularly cold night. Needless to say it is almost always dark this time of year, this particular night is no exception.  A man sits at home and hears a knock at the door. He answers. Nobody is there, but an ornate box is sitting on the doorstep. It’s about the size of a shoebox, but made of dark-stained wood. A big, golden bow sits on top of the box. It looks like it fell right out of Santa’s sleigh. The man picks up the unexpected item and brings it inside. When he opens the box Continue reading

Burning Candle

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I find a small candle on the entertainment center near where I sit. I strike my lighter then look closer at the candle as I light it. There are scratches from tiny fingernails in the surface of the wax all around the wick. My daughter loves these little candles. She can’t yet be trusted around a lit candle, but she loves playing with them just the same. As I look at the flame, I recognize it as something I have seen a thousand times before. Today as I look closer and more intently, I find it intriguing that the flame is a mixture of bright light and… space, air, nothing. Looking at the flame I notice that as the color moves and changes and bounces, it appears to be something else. “It looks like a liquid”, I think to myself. The longer I stare at the flame, the more unfamiliar and extraordinary it becomes. It is like repeating an ordinary word over and over again until it suddenly sounds very strange…

“Banjo… Banjo… Banjo… Banjo”.

The thing I like the best about the flame is that it extends above the portion that is bright and easily seen and blends into something that is invisible to the eye. If I held my hand directly above the flame I would still feel it. Finally, I close my eyes after watching the flame, and I realize that I can still see it. As I open my eyes and look around, I find a discolored patch bouncing around my field of vision. Amazing!

Martha Waits

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It’s not the snow that I can’t stand, it’s that damn wind; it blows through everything. I try to pull my coat a little tighter, but it feels paper thin against the relentless wind. My feet are soaked standing here waiting for the B53 bus. The snow has already melted through my shoes from the top and around the sole simultaneously, my toes are freezing. The bus finally arrives, and the first person to step off is my ex-husband John. We stand for a moment face-to-face… then he nods politely and continues on his way. A wave of longing cuts through me and makes me forget about the wind and my wet feet.