Category Archives: Fictionoids

Tonight, I Write; Fiction 101

Tonight I entered a short story competition in our local free paper, the Ventura County Reporter. The contest requires the budding tale-spinner to write a short story using 101 words or less. They listed some adjectives to set us thinking about what sort of stories we could write: “witty, sad, beautiful, heart-warming, ironic or just plain silly”. I ignored those and instead plumped for, variously, “sinister”, “inane “, and “daft-as-a-brush”. An odd mood tonight, then.

So, as I was cheating on my blog with some floozy of a newspaper competition (I was feeling misunderstood, lonely. Look, it meant nothing! And besides I was drunk at the time! Honest BloggsyWoggsy, there’s noone for me, but you.) I thought I’d soothe these livid pages with the evidence that me and the newspaper are “just friends”. However, i did go back and enter again, and again. 4 times in all. So when it comes to blog fidelity, i guess I’m no better than I ought to be.

Here it is in 4 short stories:

(by Sami Zahringer)

Mrs. MacGregor stalked confidently into the classroom. Only another year and she could quit supply-teaching for good. She looked at 30 bowed heads and wondered what the humming was. She shivered; she’d never liked Ojai.

“Turn to page 13 please”, she said.

The children, heads still bowed, didn’t move. The humming grew louder.

“Now class, please!”

30 heads snapped up, the humming now becoming unbearable. 60 eyes stared at Mrs. MacGregor. Terror clutched her heart. God in heaven – these pupils had no pupils! They rose. They approached.

15 minutes later, there was no humming. 30 heads bowed.


Llovely Llama-Lland Llonging.
(by Sami Zahringer, Housewife and Part-Time Llama Fancier) Inspired by Friend Tom

Gentle, wooly creatures, llamas, with fabulous sensesof humour – llaugh a minute. Only, here in camel-controlled Llama-Lland (seized in October by a vicious dromedary junta which laid waste to the lland), I am ghettoized with my fellow humans. We call to them through the bars but their ears are too furry to hear us. We cannot email them ‘cos they can’t type; it’s the hooves, you see. But Oh! Just to run free with them in the fields and woods. Or perhaps with just one special llama: ?Douglas! Oh you silly! Giggle.?


The Tale of George, Old Geyser of This Parish
(by Sami Zahringer)

As a young trickle, I was faucet-loose and splashy-free. I didn’t keep the water pressure on myself, needed to succeed in professional geysering. Now, I lack the drawing power and rave reviews of your Old Faithfuls, and can only get pro-bono faucet-work at zoos, sometimes parks. Reputation is everything in this business; Get a good gig in Yellowstone, you’re in steady work for life. For a jobbing geyser like me, life is duller. But when I see the surprised faces of groin-splashed zoo mommies I know I still have the
old magic. I’m not bitter.


Jeremy Nutby Thinking. Thinking. Thinking
(by Sami Zahringer)

Jeremy sighed and sank into the sofa. Weatherman school wasn’t all he’d hoped it would be.

Tomorrow, he had to present an essay:”The weather I Saw on My Christmas Vacation”. Today, he’d had back-to-back smiling classes and a test on teeth-flashing. His jaws ached.

Dad had called to ask, again, where he’d gone wrong and “What’s so wrong with a career in chiropody? It always put food on the table!”, also muttering “noble Nutby tradition”, “turn in his grave” and “ungrateful”.

Jeremy’s life was looking cloudy with a chance of showers. He stared at the gun.