I Always Feel Like…

So, there I am, eating lunch the other day and this acne-faced teenager sits at the table next to me. He couldn’t have been older than fifteen, his face in his phone the second his butt hit the cushion. He pushed his glasses up as his mom talked to him about what he wanted to eat, and the second she leaves, his greasy hair flips back over his face and he’s gone into his phone again.

I go back to reading my book and eating my tacos, looking up periodically to see if the kid ever comes up for air. It must have been a good minute or so, but about the fifth time I look up, there he is, his phone propped up and on the screen, zoomed in, is the girl sitting twenty feet away. The gall! Here this kid is taking photos of some girl he probably doesn’t even know.

I watched as he snapped a few more photos of her and then close down the phone as his mother came back. She was all smiles, none-the-wiser to her son’s proclivities. I tell you, I felt the need to tap her on the shoulder and give her the what-for.

I mean, who does he think he is, spying on other people like that?



Something I wrote for my fiction writing class.

Private Malone…


Thirty-six hours ago, he stood on the tarmac with his entire life stuffed into a ruck slung on his back. His face was shiny as the prospect of his first deployment loomed before him. He watched the Osprey class dropship land and let a grin slip at the prospect of ‘finally getting into the thick of it.’ He shouldered his weapon and marched to the lowering gangway at the rear of the Osprey.

“Private Malone, reporting for duty.” He snapped a quick salute to the crewman manning the ramp who just waved him in and shook his head.

“Booters,” the crewman mumbled to himself.


Thirty-two hours ago, he landed on the Leviathan, a troopship in orbit over the recruit training world of Andari. He was shuffled through in-doc, orders handed in, and assigned to a cryo-tube and berthing deck.

“Private Malone.” He smiled to his new commanding officer, who never looked up as he signed the last line on the form.

“Good to have you son. Sergent Barry is your platoon sergent and will be taking over from here.” With the briefest of eye contact, the CO shook his hand and then Malone was ushered away.


Thirty hours ago he sat on the mess deck, a tray of food in front of him. He poked at the slop with his fork while he listened deep in conversations around him. “Private Malone.” He offered his hand to the group of soldiers who sat down near him. One of them turned toward him and tilted his head up.

“S’up, booter?” He smiled mockingly as he sat, and then turned back to his group.


Twenty-six hours ago, he was running to his cryo-tube as the klaxon on the ship whined. They were making an emergency jump to Tallos IV. “Move, move, move!” He could hear Sgt. Barry’s voice boom from the end of the passageway as boots echoed down the metal hall.

Malone stopped for a second in front of his tube, his heart in his throat. That’s when he saw that someone had marked ‘Booter’ over his name. “Time to get in, son.” Barry’s voice was close.

Malone froze, his face went pale, and he felt his stomach turn. “I…I…” His voice stuck in his throat and his mouth went dry. He felt a hand grip his shoulder and turn him around.

“You need to get in.” Barry’s voice was strong and commanding as he pushed the petrified soldier into the cryo-tube. “It’s going to be fine,” he said as he reached in and pushed the activation nodule.

“Sir… I’m scared.” Malone said.

“We all are, Malone. We all are.” Malone smiled at the sound of his own name as the door sealed and the sleep started.


Sgt. Barry walked down the passageway to his own cryo-tube, doing one final check on his platoon. Everyone was in bed. Satisfied, he stepped into his chamber and hit the nodule. “Ploxxing booters.”

Friday Fiction with Ronovan Writes

Friday Fiction with Ronovan Writes

Of Slaying Windmills…

“And you think you can get to the top?” Don looked at his chubby friend and snickered. “I don’t think you can even get halfway up.”

“It’s simple,” Panza said. He stepped off his horse and walked over to where the blades came closest to the ground. He swung the rope grapple up and caught the vein on the first attempt. “See.”

The windmill blade spun, pulling the rope and Panza smiled at Don. Don sat astride his horse and folded his arms. “We’ll see.” Continue reading Of Slaying Windmills…

Ticks and Tocks…


Jamison looked at the golden pocket watch in his hand, closed the cover, and tucked it back into his vest, patting the spot twice before buttoning his black suit jacket closed.

“Is everything fine, sir?” The porter asked from the station platform.

“Hmm.” Jamison looked up into the bright portly face of a man in his mid-forties who’s glasses did little to hide his face. “Oh, yes. Quite so.” Jamison curled the edge of his mustache up.

“It’s just that, if you begging my pardon for saying so, sir,” the porter looked as if he was trying to choke down an entire side of pork, which invariably he had done in days recent.

“Out with it, man, you haven’t got all day.” Continue reading Ticks and Tocks…

Discarded Ambivalence…


Martha sat in her recliner, wringing her hands, as her younger brother opened a new industrial strength black garbage bag and placed a handful of the old magazines that piled up around her living room in the New York brownstone.  The tears welled in the corners of her eyes as years of her life were discarded with such ambivalence.

Over the last hour, her brother had taken out six such bags. Inside each one, another piece of her left her, wrapped in their own body bags and tossed out into the street for the collector to gather. Continue reading Discarded Ambivalence…

Cat’s Rule…

“It doesn’t seem fair,”Melvin said.

“Why do you say that?” Fluffy seemed less interested in the actual answer and more interested grooming her own fur.

“Well, they get to go on all the walks they want. Without a leash.” Melvin lowered his snout to the floor and breathed out heavily, blowing the dust bunny across the room.

Fluffy yawned widely. “You do realize, I never go outside on a leash.” Fluffy seemed satisfied with the dumbfounded look on the dog’s face as she saw Melvin contemplate this information as if it was the first time in the last four years she had ever said this to him. Continue reading Cat’s Rule…

Santa and The Malamute…


Santa slid into his leather heated seat, another house checked off his long list that we all know he checked twice, and took the reigns in his fur-lined gloved hands. As he settled his backside into the memory-foam bench, he double checked the GPS system on the console, marking the next step… just one roof over.

“Never understood the need for this thing.” He blew on the hot cocoa before he sipped on it. “Alright boys, next house.” He snapped the reigns and the sled lurched forward, launching into the air and across two-hundred feet of snow laden lawn.

The bells on the reindeer barely ceased their jingling before he was out of the sled and down the chimney. A blink later he was back up and looking at the GPS again. “Next.” The sudden movement of the sleigh almost caused him to spill his cocoa on him, making him look over at Blitzen with a crooked head. “Hey…” he said titling his head to the side. Although not entirely sure, he could have sworn Blitzen giggled.

This house, like every one of the 3,7043,891,553 other houses he had already visited that night, was a quick package drop, but as he reached into his pack, Comet sneezed causing him to lose grip of the present and as if all 8 reindeer knew exactly what had happened, they turned and watched the red and silver stripped box slide down the snowy roof toward the iced over gutter.

Santa sighed and sauntered, as well as an over-weight elf can saunter on a slanted and slippery surface, down toward the truant goody. As he reached for it, the sheet of snow that held the present broke loose and slide off of the roof, depositing the gift on the top of a mound of piled up snow like a silver and red cherry on top of a snow cone, and in the process startling Hunter from his slumber.

To back up a moment, I feel the need to explain that Hunter is a dog. An Alaskan Malamute to be exact. So for him to be outside on a night with snow, snuggled up and sleeping in his dog house doesn’t seem all that strange, because… well, he’s a Malamute. So, now that we have that covered, where were we? Oh yes. Santa knocked loose a sheet of snow, causing it to slide off of the roof and startled Hunter from his slumber.

Normally, this wouldn’t have been an issue, as Santa has ways of dealing with ensuring that sleeping dogs lie, but his Slumber Biscuit treats were nestled in their doggy-bag back up in the sleigh. However, with the startled canine now sniffing around and catching the scent of chocolate and peppermint, Santa knew it was only going to be a matter of seconds before the Malamute would no longer be mute.

Leaping from the roof with an agility that is normally only resigned for Olympic level gymnasts or ninja from 80’s movies, Santa bounded down to the ground, landing with a tuck and roll and coming out of the maneuver with his hand on the package.

Santa looked at Hunter from under the brim of his hat.

Hunter snarled at Santa, unaware of the importance of the festively dressed elf.

“Code Jingle. I repeat, Code Jingle.” Santa said into his mic. Up on the roof, Blitzen snorted the team into action and all eight reindeer launched into the air, zipping the sleigh behind them.

Hunter growled, hung his head low and lunged toward the red-suited fat man. Santa leaped into the air, grabbing the rail of the sleigh as it passed overhead, swinging himself into the seat and grabbing the reigns in one motion.

With Santa now at the helm, the sleigh rose into the night air with Hunter chasing after the Christmas team, down the road, barking and yapping all the way.

And as the lights of the neighborhood started to turn on from all the ruckus, Santa said, “Blitzen, I think it’s time we made a hasty retreat.”

And with a flick of his wrist, and a snap of his reigns, Santa rose into the sky, As Hunter barked again and again.

Dan’s Flash Fiction Challenge

Written for Dan Altore's Flash Fiction Challenge using the prompts "A dog running after Santa’s sleigh" and needing to include the word "present" (8)