TMSWL - Summer 2014

This is the second time I’ve taken The Mad Scientist Writer’s Lab. As you can tell, I’m a big fan of the class.

In my post covering the winter session, I explained how the class revolves around writing a 50 word story every day. Overall, I think I like these stories more than the ones I wrote during the winter. Practice will do some funny things, sometimes even improve, who knew?

Anyways, again, we had a base of 36 days and 36 stories. However, I kept going after the class for a few days, so this session ended up with 43 stories total. Let me know what you think! Just for funsies, you could even submit your own 50 word stories in the comments! Snap!

Day 1:

She never did like the new plastic pamphlets they had her distributing.

The smell of freshly printed paper, the sound of crinkles and the satisfying snap that floods your senses when you opened a pamphlet.

All of it, all the personality and sensations, now trapped underneath a layer of laminate.

Day 2:

“Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, she’s crying.”

Her wet face slammed against her shoulder, soaked by not tears, but drool; spit in a context she was not used to.

One hand, clenched behind her back – an anchor of concentrated rage.

The other, reaching to pat her head.

“There, there…”

Day 3:

“WARNING: Though delicious and a time saver, Smucker’s reminds you that FireJam uses real fire to toast your bread. Please use appropriate safety gear when spreading–”


His daughter snatched the jar from his hands and swiped an even spread of flames barehanded.


“Stop staring at me like that!”

Day 4:

I spoke with my fists until exhaustion.


“What? Surprise you?” He said unphased from the rumble and a smirk that mocked my efforts.

“No…” I replied gasping for air, “…die on me…”

“If it means that much to you, fine.”


“Never again.”

Day 5:

His hand, perfectly within my palm, it was hard to let go. But after tugging away, his fingers slipped through mine.

He rushed into the bus, his eyes lighting up from seeing friendly familiar faces…a light once reserved for me.

How can I do this everyday? I don’t know.

Day 6:

He licked his hand and patted all the candle flames out.

“I hope you like melted candles in your cake!”

Didn’t think using trick candles at our age would lead to an unblowable ball of fire.

“Mmmmmm…chocolate chunk or wax?”

At least we salvaged the cake…

“Yup, that’s wax.”

Day 7:

“Good morning!”

Dammit, he did it again! That guy on the wheelchair wishes me ‘good morning’ every day! I swear one of these day I’ll catch HIM by surprise! Maybe throw a little accent in there…yeah, that’ll show him!

“Uhh…what guy?”

Wait, did I say that out loud?

Day 8:

It was cold and dark. He was familiar with dark, but not this kind.

Suddenly, a flash of light behind him sparkled the world ahead…beautiful.

“Jesus Timmy, why is your toy turtle into the VCR?

“It’s an explorer!”


“I wanted it to go where no turtle has gone before!”

Day 9:

“This one’s missing something.”

“Yeah, it’s incomplete, like all my works.”

“How do you expect to be rated without completing a single one?”

“As a constant work in progress!”


“Haha, just kidding. I’m actually insecure and don’t want anyone to look at my work cause I have low self esteem…”


Day 10:

Tired of waiting in security? Presenting PTA - Your personal TSA agent.

How does it work? Your agent follows you everywhere! Following you everywhere means knowing everything about you, knowing everything means being 100% sure you are not a terrorist!

So keep your shoes on and never wait in line again!

Day 11:

Welcome to the unorganized band of international allergen inflicted individuals.

We’re currently in stealth mode, but we’re slowly taking over all aspects of society.

Politics, technology, big pharma, you name it. We have one of our members in key positions everywhere!

Soon we shall rid ourselves from this histamine tyranny!

Edit #1 with the help of Natasha
Welcome to the band of international allergen inflicted individuals. We’re systematically infiltrating politics, technology, big pharma, you name it. We have one of our members in key positions everywhere! Soon we shall rid ourselves from this histamine tyranny!

“I’m actually adverse to gluten, that’s a non-histamine related intolerance.”

…Get out.

Edit #2 with the help of Natasha
“Welcome to the band of international allergen inflicted individuals. We’re systematically infiltrating politics, technology, big pharma, you name it.”
“Wow! I didn’t realize there were so many!”
“Indeed! Soon we shall rid ourselves from this histamine tyranny!”
“Oh, actually…I’m adverse to gluten, that’s a non-histamine related intolerance.”
“…Get out!”

Day 12:

Desaturated, the world seemed dark around her. He sat next to her, hands trapped between his thighs, staring at the ground.

From a faceless shadow, she uttered, “I…want…another one…”

Unhinging his thighs, he placed his palm on her now empty stomach; his reply, too silent for pierced ears.

Edit after Call #4
Desaturated, the world seemed dark around her. He sat next to her, hands trapped between his thighs, staring at the ground.
From a faceless shadow, she uttered, “I want another one…”
The aimless words passed through his face unacknowledged.
He placed his palm on her stomach. Cold.
“Let’s go home…”

Day 13:

I just chill on the trees most of the time and if I see any zombies approaching the village, I kill them.

When I’m hungry, I just quench myself with a baby.

They get protection from predators and I never have to look for blood again.

Like raising cattle, HA!

Day 14:

I walk along the streets wearing the garments that they GIFTED me! Everyone bows down!

Whenever the sick ones try to attack, it’s like a sports game, everyone cheers me on!

And get this! They actually offer their blood WILLINGLY as a tribute!

I am a God to them!

Day 15:

“She’s been meditating for six days now!”

Joseph was concerned, her body had noticeably deteriorated. Still, his concerns fell on deaf ears.

“Guys, how long is this going to take? Guys!”

The same concerns expressed everyday. Everyday, ignored. Why he continued, he wasn’t sure.

“… she hasn’t died yet…” he thought.

Day 16:

He laid, unable to move but not wanting to. Sleep paralysis, he recalled.

But wait…what was this pain in his chest?

He panicked.

His internal scream heard by only himself. Attempts to slap himself, fallen on unresponsive limbs. Suffocation. This is how I die, he thought.

Finally, a gasp.

Day 17:

She removed her hatchet from its lifeless body. Grandma loves jewelry, she thought while tapping the fangs like a xylophone with the blunt side of her hatchet, her hood, drenched in blood.

“Sir, this is the third wolf we’ve thrown at her, I don’t think we’re in the right story…”

Day 18:

This is the third story he’s written now. How long is he going to keep this up? I have a limited supply of ink!

What’s wrong with the first two anyways? Sure, heroes and video games are boring…but dammit, it’s been three hours! Unclick me and go to bed!

Day 19:

“Ready for school, honey? Where’s Jessica?”

“She needs more time as always,” Ashley shrugged as she ran out and around the house.

She climbed into Jessica’s window, now for the tenth year. She promised she’d be back. Just need to keep the ruse going just a bit longer. Until then…

Day 20:

Grasping a nose hair firmly with his tweezers, he took a deep breadth and plucked.

He knew he couldn’t keep this up but his orders were clear.

He walked back into the room, sniffly and teary eyed.

“You’ve got pollen too, huh? I told them spring was a bad choice.”

Day 21:

The gecko chirped from the corner wall. The canopy empty but welcoming with moonlight.

The gecko chirped from the corner wall. The cabin silent but lively from the dancing flames.

The gecko chirped from the corner wall. The bathroom dissonant from Luisa screeching and throwing toiletries at the corner wall.

Day 22:

Their daughter sat on her usual chair with a paper crown. Like all royalty, she would nod and wave to her subjects in awe.

Tarantulas molt. Once molted, they won’t move for five days to let their exteriors heal.

“I’m the queen of spiders!”

“Yes honey, but for how long?”

Day 23:

She floated helplessly in the liquid. She remembered being overwhelmed with vanilla scent and imagined her triumphant return.

She’d share her discovery with the queen. the queen would dub her as the new ruler of the colony.

All this, she imagined before her demise. Now…just part of the extract.

Day 24:

She went to the woods because she wanted to live deliberatively. And, you know, mushrooms.

But when dawn came do dusk and the brisk night air enveloped her, she knew she’d need something strong.

“The trees are purring and I’m cold, dammit! Where’s my hookah? Catnip’s got nothing on this!”

Day 25:

“Why do you want to join the military?”

Everyone had a different answer. Bobby was obsessed with guns, Laslo’s parents thought it was the only way. Meg had more reasons to avoid the military than to join. She wrote those down instead. Still, she was here…determined to change them.

Day 26:

He grabbed discarded beans from the ground. His hands, swollen from years of work, crumbled the beans while peeling the parchment off.

He brought the nibs to his nose. Putrid.

He hated coffee, yet, vowed to make the best in the world. The things you’ll do to please your wife.

Day 27:

They say that relationships sprouted from danger are doomed. Sharing an adventure with someone definitely syncs your endorphins. But when the adrenaline runs out, so does the love.

I know being my neighbor on this flight is not a thrilling escapade, but I think I’ve fallen in adventure-love with you…

Day 28:

Breaking free was half the battle. If he didn’t contact someone soon, they’d surely catch him.

Salvation! A phonebooth! Though…where was the phone?

He screamed numbers until sore in the hollow chamber. He didn’t know how these newfangled phonebooths worked, but his life depended on him figuring it out.

Day 29:

Oh sleep, your courtship is elusive. I reach to snuggle your warm embrace, but the vacuum of space is frigid. Traditional romance only drove you away. My body longing, in my heavy thoughts, my sluggish walk, my dreary eyes. I’ve cried. For you, anything to pass the time. I’ll wait.

Day 30:

He didn’t consider the repercussions of stealing the dragon’s fire breath, he didn’t need to.

“Merlin! I need new lungs!”
“Oh dear…”

The days of Merlin’s help were over.

“I’m sorry, your lungs were the last of you. If they change, so will you.”
“You mean…I will actually die?”

Day 31:

Tonight was microwave lasagna night!
Glenn usually ate salads. He also exercised regularly and got plenty of sleep. “Everyone has a purpose,” he would sing.


The scent of melted cheese smothered him. It didn’t stop him from throwing it out.
Sigh, no one said raising grassfed humans was easy.

Day 32:

He had better things to do than brine Kathy’s chicken. He could be ice skating, rock climbing, having all kinds of adventures!

But no. He was here. Brining her chicken.

At least now he had something to complain about. It was the only way he could make conversation at parties.

Day 33:

She finally managed to crawl inside the humans ear crevice. If the ancient lady bug legends were true, the control center should not be far.

Finally, a representative of the colony in the world of the humans. Someone to share the pain, the negligence their world has inflicted on ours.

Day 34:

“The earth had completed yet another revolution around its axis, bringing the 121st logitudinal degree to face the sun once again. Oh how the glows of the sun’s 650nm wavelength rays truly released endorphins into his brain.”

After the world took scientific correctness seriously, poetry just wasn’t quite the same.

Day 35:

Collecting tears from a virgin is easier than it sounds, people forget that children cry a lot. The eye of newt was probably the trickiest one, those critters are fast!

Why? Well, though not my cup of tea, the dark arts are integral for a well rounded education in magic!

Day 36:

Dear France,

Thank you for croissants and their sweet and savory varieties. But beyond the culinary artistry and craftsmanship that is a croissant, I applaud your strides in socio-economic and educational communities. Vive la France!

“I don’t think cover letters are necessary for your citizenship application, but if you insist…”

Day 37:

The awkward silence blanketed the 15 years during which words were not spoken.

“…Remember as kids when we swapped drivers doing 90mph in the highway?”
“Hah, yeah, that was fun.”
“We could’ve died!”
“Life has never been as thrilling again.”

A wrinkle in the blanket, but easy to smooth over.

Day 38:

Have you ever noticed that if you look closely enough, your skin resembles tiny scales?

When I bask in the sun I imagine my body pressing into the ground, widening, forcing as many of my little panels to be exposed. Millions of little hands, reaching, catching the sun’s stray rays.

Day 39:

You see…very smart people figured out how DNA controls “negative” emotions. But mommy and daddy wanted you to feel life – all of it. We believe the good is meaningless without bad.

So when they call you “natural” it actually means that you’re an incredible force of balance. Own it.

Day 40:

The toothpick snapped. Useless. He spat it out. Why they gathered everyone here was only slightly less irritating, though familiar.

“Austin…this is an intervention.”

Of course, just as before, but with an air of confusion. He hadn’t smoked in months.

“You’re leaving toothpicks everywhere, we can’t live like this.”

Day 41:

“You can’t listen to that music, it’s not your music! Come back!”

Though the boy tried to run away, swiftly he was brought to the Gate. The Seer cupped her palms on his ears and pulled the radiant notes out.

“Good, now where are your plugs?”

He had lost them.

Day 42:


His baton dragging on the bars echoed through a scream too silent to break his rhythm. Outside, he was a good person. His father taught him to respond to cries swiftly.


But this was a different world, and no one taught him what “good” meant here.

Day 43:

She glanced at the remains of her amber reservoir. Glistening…but useless. A commodity valuable by arbitrary demand. Well, that…and the dangers involved in harvesting it.

Sigh, no point in overthinking it. She dusted her wings and fluttered off to hunt for her next bounty of human ear wax.

Written on July 8, 2014