village in the woods


We lived in the small town of Santa Flora, California, deep in the Modoc National Forest, close to the Oregon line. Our home was a modest cabin, surrounded by trees. Everyone knew everyone in Santa Flora.

After five years of drought, the forest was tinder dry. Trees were dying. The Selby fire started the night of September 20th. We never found out why. Probably lightning, out in the wilderness.

When we were first alerted, there was no panic.The fire was miles away. Then the winds whipped up, some of them created by the fire itself. The fire wasn’t miles away anymore. Smoke jumpers from California and other states began arriving.

Santa Flora burnt to the ground. Nothing left standing but chimneys.

No residents were killed or injured. We evacuated in an orderly fashion.

It was the forest wildlife and many of our pets who suffered. We couldn’t find our eighteen-year-old cat. She perished.


Photo by Enisa

Words: 155

tiny writing


This poor guy.

He’s trying to write the Declaration of Indepence on a tiny scroll.

He’ll never do it! His writing is too large. It’s like when your kid wants to write Happy Birthday on a piece of paper and he or she starts out with big letters and they get smaller and smaller across the page until the kid is writing sideways to fit it all in.


When I was young, I heard about writing on the head of a pin. The pointy part, I assumed. Also about angels standing on the head of a pin.

What I wanted was the Holy Bible written there. When I got older, I knew a guy who knew a guy. This guy had equipment. He showed it to me. He did the job for me. I carry the pin wrapped in kleenex next to my heart.

I can’t read it because that would take more equipment, but I never read it anyway.


161 words

Photo by Goroyboy

my windmill


I bought the house because it was an incredible bargain. I didn’t think the windmill would be a problem. I signed the sale papers without reading the fine print.

I can’t build a swimming pool near the mill, or even start a garden. As an historic structure, it’s protected, along with the grounds around it.

The public must have access.

If the structure burns, I’ll be jailed without question.

I may not modernize it. No electrical equipment may be installed.

The bat problems may be mitigated but not abated.

I may not rent out rooms in it.

So I quit my job at the bank and reopened the damned thing. The green locals who grow their own corn and grains keep me in business.

It’s one of those lemons/lemonade things.


Words: 128
Photo by Fandango
For FFfAW Challenge



“You’re being released from the hospital in the morning, Don.”

“Good, Sancho. Is Rocinante well again?”

“Rocinante is out of the shop.”

“Well-fed and ready to help me?”

“The JLG 800AJ Cherry Picker is a durable and versatile machine, Don. It’s you I’m worried about. I want you to stay home, at least for the time being.”

“Not possible. I’m going back. The giants still menace the city.”

“They’re waiting for you in Golden Gate Park, Don.”

“Of course they wait, both Dutch and Murphy. Wait in fear.”

“No, I mean the police.”

“They want my help and they shall have it.¬†Rocinante will carry me forward and lift me high enough to reach the giants’ arms.”

“The tourists are going to be murder.”


Words: 123
Photo by Fandango
For FFfAW Challenge