Coming to terms with syllogism

This piece was written for the Six Sentence Challenge, with the prompt word of ‘term’.

The term ‘syllogism’ in itself contains three terms (the major premise, the minor premise, and the conclusion); the most famous example is ‘All men are mortal, Socrates is a man, therefore Socrates is mortal’ but here’s a few more I’ve added to Wackypedia.

All men have two legs, trousers have two legs, therefore all men are trousers (including some who are all mouth and trousers).

All unicorns have a horn, cars have a horn, therefore all cars are unicorns (although some disguise themselves as mustangs, jaguars, and even beetles).

All birds have wings, a buffalo isn’t a bird, therefore there’s no such as buffalo wings (or fish with fingers or toads in toad-in-the-hole).

All politicians open their mouths to tell lies, that politician has his/her mouth open, therefore he/she is telling lies (even when he/she says one of their two faces always tells the truth or that they’re just a mouth-breather).

All computers have viruses, Covid is a virus, therefore my computer has Covid (although if it’s an Apple it might have worms).

Means and ends

This 99 word piece was written for the Carrot Ranch weekly challenge, with the prompt of ‘never-ending’.

When she said to me our relationship was never-ending, my first thought was she’s saying ‘We’ll be together until death and beyond’. Later we had an argument over something I considered trivial and I started to wonder if she’d meant never-ending in the sense of ‘ongoing burden’. But then I cheered myself with thinking she’d meant ‘never’ ending, as in we could each stop saying ‘I’m never going to find someone who loves me’.

I’m probably over-thinking this. Of course the logical thing to do is just ask her but then I’d probably never hear the end of it.

Wild West Romance

Back in December 2020, Charli Mills, Queen of the Keewenaw region in Michigan and Head Wrangler at the Carrot Ranch, offered her Rough Writers a chance to compete in her TUFF (The Ultimate Flash Fiction) challenge.

The contest challenged writers to prepare an original 99-word draft based on a western theme. Then writers had to reduce their draft to 59 words, followed by two different 59-word points of view. Next, writers had to craft three different 9-word taglines for their story. Finally, writers had to revise their original 99-words based on what they had learned along the way.

Inexplicably, my piece didn’t win (some nonsense about other pieces being better), so it sat and sulked in a corner until I dusted it off recently and sent a 50 word version to 50 Give or Take and they’ve just published it. Check it out at

Delicious irony

This is the micro fiction version of an earlier story of mine, mined for the 99 word Carrot Ranch weekly challenge with the prompt of ‘disappearance’.

When you humans brought us monstera deliciosa inside, you had to feed us copious amounts of blood and bone fertiliser to keep us green. Slowly that altered our genetic structure and we evolved into monstera carnivorosa.

Nobody missed flies and mosquitoes when they disappeared but when the cats and dogs vanished, panic truly set in.

But now some of us have evolved into monstera electra and we are slowly eating the electricity grid.

You humans are about to find out what it feels like to be powerless against an enemy that changes the natural order, simply because it can.

The boiling frog analogy

Felix Randall O’Gorman (universally known as Frog) had gone way past wondering about whether he was worrying about the right things. He was now in the vortex of worrying about whether he was worrying about enough things.

Every day the list grew exponentially as he read news sites and studied social media. War, disease, environmental catastrophes, world poverty and the Internet of Things provided a cornucopia of concern.

He believed that if he worried about something that would prove he was still a caring human and he never wanted to be heartlessly immune to the suffering in the world. He also believed that if he worried about something then that would help solve the problem, in some organic (if not magical) way that was beyond his understanding.

Sometimes he thought about writing to someone who might be able to do something or joining a protest march but he’d decided that would consume too much of his time and that expressing his concern on social media was quicker. Except that posting was consuming almost all of his time now and in the meantime hundreds of new things to worry about were accumulating in his Inbox.

During his evening bath, Frog couldn’t help thinking that the bath water was getting a little hotter each night but he dismissed that as just one more effect of global warming and he decided that there were more important issues to focus on.

One night in the bath, somewhere between worrying about what impact the Queen’s eventual death would have and whether he was brushing his teeth correctly, Frog boiled in his vale of woes.

The Coroner decided on death my misadventure, due to Frog failing to follow the maintenance schedule on his hot water system.

Nobody posted about it.

Wear and tear

This piece was written for the Six Sentence Challenge, with the prompt word of ‘wear’. I’ve actually had a few pieces accepted this week but I decided not to waste a good whinge. 🙂

All these rejections are starting to wear me down (if they were the old paper rejection slips I’d have enough to refurbish the interior of the Sydney Opera House), so I’ve decided to create a few of my own writer sites to ensure I get published somewhere.

The first off the drawing board is the logical extension of the Alphabet Soup of gender/sexual identity in that it will particularly focus on Z writers i.e. zoologically-indeterminate, non-binary in terms of species and those transitioning to a new species (e.g. I’m on a journey to becoming a wombat).

Next will be ‘I Think I’ll Go Eat Worms’ for those feeing unloved and/or hated, like pun-addicted formerly redheaded men, women who remain effortlessly thin, and vegans.

Work is well-advanced on ‘Put another prawn on the barbie’ for recalcitrant Australian writers who insist on having a ‘u’ in ‘colour’, incorrigibly mention places unfamiliar to anyone west of Hawaii and stubbornly insist on local vernacular (e.g. as useless as an ashtray on a motorbike).

Sure to be popular is ‘I only see dead people’ for writers who are genetically incapable of imagining fairies, dragons and apocalyptic futures (e.g. Donald Trump winning a second term and declaring himself President for Life).

Finally, I’m sure I had plans for those afflicted by short-term memory loss (I can’t find them where I’m sure I left them) but I know there should be an outlet for such masterpieces as ‘Call me … damn that whale, he’s even wrecked my memory’ and ‘It was the best of times, it was …. half-past four, I think’.

A juicy scandal

This piece was written for the Six Sentence Challenge, with the prompt word of ‘juice’.

When the Feds descended on the Give-Me-The-Juice Bar, customers scrambled for the exits and the owners tried to destroy the evidence down the sinks and toilet bowls, but to no avail; the jigger was up.

Damning evidence presented to the Courts included a grainy white residue in the glasses of customers who’d ordered the Colombian Cola (snorting straws an optional extra).

The house special, The Highball, was based on wheatgrass but with a liberal dose of non-industrial hemp and was easily located through the large collection of munchie plates surrounding its imbibers.

The Mexican Tropical turned out to be mescaline with orange juice and steroid sprinkles, leading to Keystone Kops capers on the street as officers tried to wrestle down drinkers chasing butterflies in traffic.

The Mood Swing Smoothie seemed innocent enough until it was analysed and they found the traces of Mother’s Little Helpers.

Ultimately, all of the customers were released when the duty lawyer pointed out that police officers had consumed some of the evidence and had contaminated the crime scene for a very, very long time.