Requirement: 150 words +/- 10, use a photo as a prompt and include “a puppy.”

The photo is of Enrico Caruso with a phonograph. You can see it here.



There’s a scratch in “Hey, Jude.” A tiny pop, really.

I sit in the middle of the living room rug. Cross-legged, like when I was a little girl.

My phonograph was a bright-blue, portable model then. I played “Spoonful of Sugar” over and over. Tormenting my parents. When it ended, I plopped the needle back at the beginning.

Like I’m doing now. And I listen, and wait for the pop. There it is.

We all wonder, have we made a mark on the world. But we make so many. Some more pronounced, like a family or a work of art or raising a puppy to a big dog. But so, so many are imperceptible, tiny bits. Dust. Air. Things we touch. Smells. Scratches on records.

The phone rings. I don’t answer. It will be more condolences.

I place the needle back at the beginning and wait for the pop on your record.



Do go and check out all the stories at Flash! Friday. Well worth it.


Philo climbs out onto the roof of the Tumbleweed. May is already there, sitting cross-legged and eating a bologna sandwich from a paper bag. Dust storms sweep across the distant horizon, grey and brown. The sunlight amplifiers twinkle in the sky.


“Hello, May,” Philo says.


“Oh hi,” May says, her mouth full.


Philo sits down next to her.


“Rebecca said you would be up here,” Philo says.


“She was right,” May says, and takes another bite.


The two sit silently, looking out across the desolate landscape dotted with market tents and makeshift shelters. Every so often a vehicle of some sort flies or drives by. They toot their horns and the pair wave.


“Philo?” May says.


“Yes?” Philo replies.


“You know when we were down underground?”


“Yes, I do.”


“Well… I wanted to ask you something.”


“Is this about me removing my head?” Philo asks.


“How did you know?” May asks.


“I just figured that since you rebuilt me, you might have an interest of sorts in how I am put together,” Philo says.


“Um, yeah,” May says. She falls silent.


They watch the sunlight amplifiers.


“So what was your question?” Philo asks, finally.


“Well,” May squirms a little. “I guess I was wondering, see, when you took your head off, it kind of…”


“Kind of freaked you out?” Philo says.


“Um, yeah.” May’s head is down and her hair covers her face. A tear drops onto her knee.


Philo touches May’s shoulder. “I’m sorry, May,” he says. “I’m sorry I freaked you out.”


“Yeah,” May says.


They sit together some more.


“I didn’t like that,” May says.


“I know,” Philo says. “But you know what? As they say: it’s not a bug, it’s a feature. I got into the lab because they thought I was a weird telly. Just like when you found me.”


“Yeah, I know…” May says. She stretches her feet out in front of her.


“I’ll try and keep my head on,” Philo says.


“Okay,” May says. “Unless, you know, it’s a feature. Then I guess it’s alright.”


“Okay, May.” Philo puts out a fist.


“Okay, Philo.” May bumps Philo’s fist with hers.



I was driving through far Northern Arizona, and I noticed a street sign in the middle of the landscape – no actual streets, not even a dirt road associated with it. It looked ridiculous. I found out that in the 1960s, land fraud was rampant in the area, and people bought land sight unseen thinking there were developments and even lakes. None of which existed. This is part of the inspiration for Neptune Road, particularly the landscape. You see it in the very early episodes in Volume I (when the bus driver follows the route even though there are no streets), and also in the cover of Volume II and in “First and Mulberry” in Volume IV.



I love them. Love. They say power and flight and self-determination. The Guild is a subset of the Silverwood clan from the novel. They can draw things that have not happened yet.