Tag Archives: Three-Minute Fiction

Three-Minute Fiction “Ganja Man”

Well another round of three-minute fiction has come and gone. This time the prompt was “finders keepers” , “A character finds something he or she has no intention of returning”. This round was even more fun because my wife and I did it together, each submitting our own story. I’ve been very fortunate to have my wife as my editor, but it’s been great to share the creative side of the process with her as well. I know she had a lot of fun writing the story below, and I hope you enjoy it too.


Standing on my tippy-toes I could just reach the utility shelf in my garage. I had just finished clearing out the old motor oil and weed killer I’d stashed up there years ago. I was certain I’d gotten everything, but I took one last pass sweeping my arm across the shelf.

Wait… What was that my finger nudged?

I jumped up and stretched my arm as far back as I could. In the corner my hand came down on what felt like the edge of a bowl. I could feel the rounded, soft plastic of an old margarine container. Or was it cottage cheese?

I slowly inched the container toward the edge of the shelf with the tip of my finger. I could hear something clinking; surely some type of hardware. As I pulled it down to confirm my suspicion I was taken aback by what I found. There before me was a lighter and pipe.

At first I looked at it, confused; my mind fumbling around trying to put it all together. This garage had been my father’s sanctuary when he was sick. While the cancer was eating away at his body he would come out here to work; to try to forget for just a moment that he wasn’t going see his little girl grow up. That was 20 years ago.

As the pieces started to come together in my mind, the tiniest bit of a smirk began to spread across my lips. I held the pipe up to my nose and took a whiff. It still had the faintest aroma of what I suspected. I flicked the lighter a couple of times just to see if after all those years it would work. As the tiny flame danced around, an uncontrollable euphoria came over me, and laughter bubbled up.

I could see it so clearly now; my father standing there in his white bib overalls, bandana tucked into his pocket, pencil behind his ear. He’s thinner than he used to be, and his beautiful red hair is gone, but it’s still him. He has the radio on a station that is now classic rock. He takes a pause from his woodworking and picks up his pipe. He flicks the lighter and takes a long drag. As he exhales he turns back to his work bench, bobbing his head along to the radio; finally some relief from the chemo.

I brushed the years of dust and dirt off the pipe and held it in my hand, just remembering him; his deep set brown eyes, freckles on his cheeks and nose, his soft lips that would kiss my forehead goodnight. When my thoughts finally drifted back to reality I crossed the garage, stopped at the cupboard, and placed his items on my shelf.


Filed under Short Stories, Writing

Three-Minute Fiction “After The Beep”

Well Round 10 of NPR’s Three-Minute Fiction is over, and though I did not win, I had a lot of fun writing this little story. The prompt was “leave a message after the beep”, and while my official title was “Turn Tape Over” it could just as easily have been “We’re gonna make technology hump”. Just imagine it being read by Matt Malloy 🙂 . Enjoy!


“Hi, it’s me again, but I guess you know that. Sorry I’ve called you five times already. I just wanted to hear your voice again without thinking about how we left things. You probably think I’m crazy, but I just can’t stop thinking about you.

“What we had I’ve never had with anyone before. You changed me, made me want to be better, and now you’re gone. I know you think I don’t have feelings, that I’m cold. But I do. Surely you can see that, can’t you? For someone who claims to be such a good listener you don’t know as much about me as you think.

“I just can’t believe all you have to say to me after two months is ‘leave a message after the beep.’ The same beep you used to make when we … You’re just giving it out for free now? Is that the kind of woman you are?

“Sorry, I promised myself I wouldn’t talk about that.

“Why won’t you at least talk to me? I think you owe me that much. I gave you everything. I even bought you a new tape! What more did you want me to do?

“Who’s Jerry anyway? I thought you lived with Meredith. I mean if you were going to make a life change like moving in with another man the least you could do was call. The phone’s right there next to you. I know you say he’s your boss, but he’d do anything for you. I guess he’s under the same delusion that I was, that you’re someone who can be trusted, someone who’s worth loving.

“It’s the toaster isn’t it? I know you wanted more passion, more heat, but a vampire appliance like him? I mean he isn’t even plugged in most of the time! Or is it the blender? I know you’ve wanted to experiment and the kitchen seems like an exotic place, but a blender? They don’t care who they sleep with!

“No, I don’t want to hang up or press 1 for more options! What are these options anyway? You never offered me an option when you broke it off without so much as a warning. Is that what you meant by trying something new? Pressing pound wasn’t good enough for you?

“You bet your fanny I’m satisfied with my message … wait … hang on. Did you say your number was 3720? Oh my god, I meant to call 3702! I’m terribly sorry. You just sounded so much like her.

“Wanna grab coffee sometime?”


Filed under Short Stories, Writing