DARK HUMOR: HEADLINE

September 8, 2014 at 2:34 am Leave a comment

 

Here’s a little piece I wrote for my writers group, The Wordwrights, in response to a prompt described in the story as the ‘headline’, born from a list of random phrases spliced together.

I submitted it once and received a rejection. Maybe because it was too dark, or humorless or just plain sucked. I have a great deal of work in progress so for now this story is not even near the back burner. In fact, it can be found hovering around the circular file. With that in mind, I thought I’d share my cleverness with you.

In all honest, I have some reluctance posting unpublished work online, in my blog. There are some venues, at least for short stories, which consider any online appearance as the piece being already published and will not touch it.

In the future I plan to throw caution to the wind and post a few chapters of my unpublished and oft rejected novel, The Beast Awaits. Perhaps someone out there will enjoy the chapters enough to provide some feedback.

In parting, let me share a small piece of parting wisdom from an obscure author someday to be devoured by time, ‘No fame, no gain’.

In the vast majority of the world gain equals monetary value. But in the writer’s world, at least this writer’s world, gain is having his words read and appreciated.

 

                                                                             THE HEADLINE

 

 

 

I sit alone in my cell. Tonight, at eleven, they will start the IV that will end my life. How could I be so stupid?

The headline shouted in huge bold letters, ‘AFTER TOO MANY CUPS OF COFFEE A CHILD GENIUS DEVELOPS THE ABILITY TO FLY’. Did I check the date? What difference would that make? Papers publish only the truth.

I’ve had some mental issues in the past, nothing big, just a couple nervous breakdowns and hearing the occasional mysterious voice. After a couple of years in institutions, I snapped out of it, or so my handlers said. I was released with a clean bill of health. I was cured! My wife was confident enough to let me watch our six year old son while she went to work, and she is one of the ‘trusted ones’. The voices told me so.

Let me tell you about our son. At the age of six he can read, kind of, can count and knows most of the alphabet. The kid was a regular genius. After all he did spring from my loins. That damn headline stuck in my mind, so while I was alone with the kid, I began priming him for stardom. Starting with half coffee and half milk and with tons of sugar, I eventually got the little guy to drink it black. He couldn’t get enough of the stuff. My genius kid was soon drinking six huge cups of black joe a day. When I thought he was ready, and this was confirmed by one of my voices; I opened the window of our tenth floor apartment and tossed him out. I craned my neck looking skyward. Nothing. Finally, I looked down – oops.

Later I would find that the damned headline appeared on April 1st. I guess the joke was on me.

 

Entry filed under: free science fiction and horror stories, free stories, READER'S OPPORTUNITIES, UNPUBLISHED WORKS, Walt Trizna. Tags: , , .

OUR BIRDFEEDER DRAWS A CROWD STRUGGLING TO GET IT PUBLISHED AND MARKETED: SLOW DOWN

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