Do you miss summer already, too? (A ramble and a flash fiction piece)


A small mantis watches me & vice versa.

Let’s see. In summary, my summer’s been about parenting, copywriting, parenting, parenting some more, mowing grass, seeing a few critters here and there, working at weeding, parenting again, a too-short vacation and time with my husband, and, (unfortunately) a car wreck (bright spot is that no one was injured beyond minor aches).

I hope your hot or dry or windy or wet season has been much more fruitful or at least enjoyable. How’d you spend it?

Here’s today’s vignette, followed by a flash fiction piece . . .

As tides of laughter and shrill screams cascade over LEGOs and reverberate off walls into my writing room (a.k.a., the couch; tomorrow, it might be the kitchen table), I realize, with some mush of sadness and trepidation, that yet another summer is ending.

But I’m ready. It was a busy season; not necessarily a creative writing-productive summer, although I did do a bit of copywriting for the dough.

In a few days, I hope to have a few fascinatin’ features and facts about my friends’ endeavors (like this one) the last few months, as I (I hope) fall into a more regular pattern of blogging about all things literary, spec-fic, ghosty, dystopian, horror-ific, and whatever fancy strikes me in the head that day. [Also, in short, I’ve missed reading & commenting on your blogs! What can I say; full-time, full-on summertime parenting takes precedence.]

Anyway, less rambling and more story-ilization, right? Here’s an odd little throw-away that I hope you’ll enjoy; coincidentally, it has both fire and fury in it (but was written months ago for a 100-word challenge I couldn’t cut enough for).


Hot Fur

GENRE: Weird, futuristic, dystopian

By Leigh Ward-Smith

“As you know, we’re here to commemorate the crumbling of 21st century institutions. To a man, you each had a role in slaying the dragon that is—or should I say was?—the prevailing mentality.”

The crowd bellows a series of whoops and howls, but fidgety coughs, footshuffles, and unholstered AugReal guns give them away.

Rich, you’re losing ’em. Do something dramatic.

I pull out the cannister hidden behind the flag-strewn lectern. “You all know what this is!” I waggle the can to massive cheers.

“And this.” The realization of the clear tub’s contents spread like our accustomed rolling blackouts.

The chant went up: “Pour it, pour it!” From there, the spark was mere formality.

BLOG_anarchy bear by Gerry Lauzon

Image by Gerry Lauzon, Creative Commons license 4.0 (CC By 4.0).

“Gentlemen, witness the death rasp of the 21st century and all her attendant scum!”

As flames lick the air, I pull a fast-disintegrating specimen out with tongs. I shake a clump loose, and the pallid throng wriggle onto its fallen char.

“It’s Burn-a-Bear Workshop now, ain’t it, boys?!”



14 thoughts on “Do you miss summer already, too? (A ramble and a flash fiction piece)

    • It’s been raining and humid here lately as well. My grass desperately needs mowing!
      And I won’t burn a bear, Ali . . . as for the dudes in the story, they’re a different lot altogether. Thanks for reading!

  1. It must be the end of civilisation when they’re burning bears!! Sounds like you’ve had a very busy summer Leigh, I hope you get a little bit of parenting free time to yourself soon 🙂

  2. Haha! Burn a bear, build a bear, oh, my! It sounds to me like you had a very productive summer. Can’t get any more productive than parenting! Good for you. Too often neglected by some! I just can’t believe summer is on its way out. Why, it seems like it only arrived yesterday! Enjoy the rest of yours! 😀

  3. Leigh I’m sorry to hear about the car crash and relieved no one was seriously injured. I can imagine it would have been frightening. We have had such an usually dry and hot summer we think we barely recognize the weather pattern of our own home. Not so sure I like the vision of burning bears but then each to their own. It definitely stirred emotion in me.

    • Hey, it happens. We’re all fine, so that’s the important thing. I’m glad, on another note, that you got the vibe from the burn-a-bear story about the unsavory protagonist. Not liking him and his group was what I was aiming for, so I guess I succeeded. I’m trying to write more villainous characters, which is kind of difficult for me. Thanks for reading!

  4. Hi Leigh, Hope everyone is fully recovered from their aches and pains from the accident. Here in the UK, we have enjoyed another summer that never was which we get every year without fail. Like the story! Never heard of a Burn-a-Bear workshop before is this something Trump brought in?

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