Saturday, May 13, 2017


              THE JOY OF STORY
John M. Daniel’s Blog
May 13, 2017


Greetings, friends and celebrators of the joy to be found in stories—writing them, reading them, telling them, or hearing them. If you enjoy a good story, this weekly blog is for you.

This being the second Saturday of the month of May, it’s time to post the 99-word stories sent to me during the month of April. The prompt for this month was taken from a lyric by Alan J. Lerner for the musical Camelot. Here it is: Tra la, it's May, the lusty Month of May, That lovely month when everyone goes blissfully astray.
I received six stories, mostly from regular contributors. I’m always glad to hear from writers I’ve never met but have come to know though their short, short fiction. I’m also always glad to receive material from writers new to the gene pool. (Don’t worry, I don’t understand that metaphor either. It just happened.)
Well, I’m happy to post these six stories on my blog, but to be honest, I’m disappointed. I was hoping to receive some stories that took risks, some fiction inspired by the active hormones of spring…some R-rated fiction. “No,” you say?”
Well, why not?
Okay, okay. The prompt for June is every bit as challenging, and it doesn’t (necessarily) call for a crawl between hot sheets. See what you can do with it: What was the most important life-changing decision you ever made? Tell it in a story 99 words long.
Meanwhile, here is some tame fiction about a tame May. Tame, but otherwise and nonetheless quite readable.



Six stories
about the
month of May—
99 words apiece


by June Kosier

Graduation is scheduled for May 23rd, 1976. I have taken day clinicals on my days off and night classes for five years to get my MS in Nursing. 
Finally. Oh, happy day!
Then it happens.  I get a letter from the Admissions Office: “You will not be able to graduate since you did not meet the admissions requirements.”  I never took the Graduate Record Exams. I can’t take the GREs in time for graduation.
The dean tells me to take the Miller Analogies.  If I do well, I will get my diploma—just in time. 
I do…and I did!

by Mary Perrin Scott

Moon rising in the sky creates tides, high and low, predicted and expected and sometimes violent.
Wild life responds, using the highs and lows, finding needed  resting places.
Seal Rock appears and disappears with the high and low tides. The fight begins for who lounges on the rock of choice.
One, two, three.
Barking, swatting, growling.
Then the pup appears.
As the tide turns, one by one the seals slide off the rock. Mama and pup hang on until the rising water forces them off. Slowly swimming away, they sing, “Tra la, it’s May! The lusty Month of May!”

by Marilyn London

We hadn’t been on skates in years. We wanted to have fun. He held David’s hand and was halfway around the rink, last time I looked. I kneeled to tie on Jared’s toddler skates.
The music stopped.
A voice asked everyone to leave the rink.
I turned. He was on the floor. David moused his way around the railing back to me.
“A shattered femur,” the doctor said. Several surgeries ensued.
Five years later, cane in hand, he left for Long Island to a new job. Our house finally sold.
We followed in the merry month of May.


by Diane Morelli

Sage’s devotion to The Nancy Drew Files was legendary. Two mutual acquaintances on campus taught her that she was more of a snoop than a sleuth.
Victoria sat next to Sage in Ethics class. “My fiancé lives far away. No lovin’ until classes end in May.”
My eye, Sage thought, once she noticed that Raymond, her cute classmate from Photography, and Victoria were hanging out.
Raymond stopped Sage right before the Ethics final.  “Give this to Victoria, for good luck.”
Sage closed her eyes and puckered her lips.
Raymond slipped a sharpened number two pencil into her sweaty hand.

by Christine Viscuso

“Chester, you cheated. That sucks big time.”
“Technically, no, Hildy. I didn’t. However, April has turned to May. Didn’t you hear that May is the month where one may stray?
“I don’t care what month we’re in. You’re a cheat, Chester. I come home from a hard day’s work as a barista and what are you doing? Lounging on our velvet Sven sofa staring glassy-eyed at her.”
“I couldn’t help myself.”
“We agreed we wouldn’t do it. It’s cheating when you sneak around. Frankly, I question the mind that does that.”
 “Geez. All I did was watch reality TV.”

by Jerry Giammatteo

May is a time for lust and baseball. Charlie’s mind was on both. But mostly lust.
He went to the club and saw her. The lady in the short black skirt with the revealing top.
After hesitating, he approached her. She eyed him disdainfully and turned away. Later, he tried again.
“Get lost, loser,” she said tartly and found the arm of some sketchy looking fellow. He gave Charlie a look that convinced him not to persist.
Charlie went home to watch the Mets. They won. It was as much fulfillment as he was to get this May evening.


Call for submissions:
Your 99-Word Stories

The deadline for June’s 99-word story submissions is June 1, 2017. The stories will appear on my blog post for June 10, and will stay posted for a week.

note: this 99-word story feature is a game, not a contest. Obey the rules and I’ll include your story. I may edit the story to make it stronger, and it’s understood that you will submit to my editing willingly. That’s an unwritten rule.

Rules for the 99-word story feature are as follows:

1. Your story must be 99 words long, exactly.
2. One story per writer, per month.
3. The story must be a story. That means it needs plot (something or somebody has to change), characters, and conflict.
4. The story must be inspired by the prompt I assign.
5. The deadline: the first of the month. Stories will appear on this blog the second Saturday of the month.
6. I will copy edit the story. The author of the story retains all rights.
7. Email me your story (in the body of your email, or as a Word attachment) to:

THIS MONTH’S PROMPT FOR NEXT MONTH’S 99-WORD STORY: What was the most important life-changing decision you ever made? Tell it in a story 99 words long.


Calling all published authors—

I try to feature a guest author the third Saturday (and week following) of each month. If you’re interested in posting an essay on my blog—it’s also a chance to promote a published book—email me directly at


Thank you for visiting. Please drop by next week!