Saturday, March 2, 2013


As usual, I’m turning the first Saturday of the month (and the week following) over to writers of 99-word stories. This stormy month of March the challenge I issued was the theme “Storm Warning.” We have quite a variety of fierce weather in this batch, so bundle up and have a good read.
At the end of this post I’m giving you the challenge for April. Please send me your stories. All writers welcome!

by Chester J. Punicki

She’s a mess.
She’s a buzz saw.
She turns you into a raging sea.
She defeats you on every level.
Her head is full of debris spinning at the speed of light.
Her head is always turbulent.
Talk to her and she consumes you.
Listen to her and she will change you.
She cannot hear you.
She cannot see you.
Her purpose is to challenge every aspect of your being.
Her very presents will change the thoughts in your mind.
To avoid her is futile.
To convince her is impossible.
She is the storm.
See her the storm warning.


by John F. Nolan

Red fingernails, tapping on granite and cigarette smoke in the air.
 “Sit down. We have to talk.”

Storm Warning!

She spreads $10k across the counter like a Vegas poker dealer.
My gambling stash!  “Where did you get that?”
 “Empty paint can.”
Think fast. “That’s for a cruise to Rio.
 “Where are the tickets and passports?”
 “I have them at work.”
 “Get them now.”
Her mind and tongue zigzag like the funnel on a tornado. No escape.
“You got me. Can I have the money back? It’s for a rainy day.”
 “Here’s $100. Take a slow boat to China.”


by Jerry Giammatteo

Despite the blizzard, I took the railroad to the basketball tournament at the Garden. My wife didn’t tell me not to go, but was clearly unhappy that I left her and my six-month-old son alone.
The forecast was dire. Naturally I got stranded. My wife was ticked off. I couldn’t blame her. When even your friends side with your wife, you know you’ve screwed up.
Fortunately, the weather didn’t worsen and I returned home at 3 a.m. Relieved that she didn’t change the locks, I realized that I had learned an early, valuable husband and father lesson.


by Madelyn Lorber

Full from fine food, and good wine, draped in cashmere, we are warm.
Shirtless, he winces while he counts out crumpled bills. “Why’d you hit me, man?” he whimpers.
We walk past, hearing thuds as punches land, through our worlds-away cushioning.
He’s sprawled on the sidewalk’s cold, rough surface. His legs ward off kicks. His arms shield blurred eyes, bloody nose, broken teeth from fists and feet.
We put distance between us and the darkness lying on gum wads, discarded butts, windblown ads; rolled from the faded curb into the gutter by teachers who refuse to stop their lesson.


by Phyllis Povell

Hurricane warnings had been issued. Martha gazed out the window watching the bending palm trees. The coconuts were now on the ground and would soon be missiles in the wind, but Jimmy had promised he would be there by three o’clock. How could she evacuate without seeing him?
She was breathing very hard; her breath came in short pants. Jimmy was already two hours late. Martha envisioned him stuck in the line of evacuees. She knew he would be there if he could. She needed him.
At nine o’clock the doorbell rang. At last Jimmy arrived with her inhaler.


by John M. Daniel

The morning of my twenty-second birthday, I drove to class, groggy from last night’s jug wine.
Ahead, a pickup was loaded high with scrap lumber for that night’s football bonfire. Boys rode on top, grinning, shouting, tossing beercans onto lawns.
“We interrupt this program.…”
My radio gave me the news, establishing a universe far more complex and frightful than the one I’d known at twenty-one.
The boys on the truck were singing, shaking cans, squirting foam at each other. Their program would be interrupted soon. Thereafter they would always remember the November morning they heard the news, learned things fall apart.


by Christine Viscuso

I saw it coming.  While sitting at my desk, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a tornado of anxiety and depression coming.  I couldn't stop it.  My heart kept skipping beats. It hit me.
For two years, medical tests would prove me physically sound. Then came talk therapy and a psychiatrist for drugs.  I resisted pharmaceuticals; my psychiatrist told my husband I drove her nuts and then resigned.
Suddenly, one day, things clicked.  My new psychiatrist convinced me to try a new medication which helped.  Thanks to medication and a great therapist, the sun came out again!


Now for the 99-word story challenge for the foolish, taxing month of April. The theme: “The Joke’s On Me.” I’ll say no more. Get busy!
The rules, again:
Stories must be 99 words long. Exactly.
Stories must be stories: something has to happen to somebody.
Stories need conflict.
Deadline: April Fools Day!



  1. John, these are inspiring. I enjoyed every single one! Thanks.

  2. As always, John, love the 99word stories. Great story telling in so few words! You already know I'm an admirer of your and your contributor's talent/skill. Keep 'em coming.


  3. Interesting topic, John. As always, I enjoyed the "short" stories.

  4. These were excellent! This was great! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Thank you all for stopping by. And I encourage you to join the fun and send me your own 99-ers!

  6. Five of my students in the mix! I think they (and all of you) did a great job. I like the new prompt; hope dozens of people, including Posse members, will send you good stories for next month.

  7. Awesome stuff. John. I admire this original, fun idea of yours. Gets the creative juices flowing in your readers. Thanx, Marta

  8. Thanks, Marta. If you ever feel the itch, write a 99-word story and send it to me. It's good practice in economical writing, and it turns out to be fun!