Mini-Tale: The Third Grade Soothsayer


PROMPT: Most kids set up a lemonade stand to make some money, but not us.


We set up a Divination Stand.


One summer morning my little brother Matt and I dragged a card table out to the corner and wrote “Fortune Tellings – 25 cents!” on a sign in front of it.


We didn't have any customers at first, but after an hour or so Mrs. Cole walked by with her little dog Max and I asked, “Would you like me to read your fortune Mrs. Cole?”


“Well, if you hurry.” She sighed.


I gave her some Juicy Juice to drink. When she was done I looked at the drops on the bottom of the cup. “Uh,” I mumbled, “The spirits are telling me that you have sweet purple globs in your future.”


“Well isn't that nice,” Mrs. Cole sighed and walked on.


Not long after that my Dad came home for lunch. “What're you boys doing?” he asked.


“Performing Divination,” I grinned. “I can tell you your future for a quarter.”


“Well, alright,” Dad sighed checking his watch.


I'd heard that people used to read fortunes from the guts of small animals. I didn't have any small animals around so I tried to read Dad's fortune from Mark's guts. Dad made me stop, though, and said, “People used to read fortunes from how birds flew. Why don't you see what those pigeons are trying to tell you.”


One of the pigeons flew over dad's car and pooped on it. “Uh...” I turned to Dad. “I'd tell you what that meant but you'd probably wash my mouth out with soap.”


“Fair enough,” Dad sighed and gave me a quarter.


A few minutes later, Greg Thompson, the fifth grader from down the street, came by and snarled, “What're you little turds doing?”


“Performing Divination,” I stated. “Do you want your fortune read?”


“What a pair of losers!” Greg laughed and started to walk on down the street.


“Wait!” I shouted. “This one's on the house!”


Greg stopped and turned back to glare at me.


I looked up into the sky. “I will use that cloud to see what the spirits have in store for you Gregory Thompson!” I stared up into the bright blue sky that only held one fluffy white cloud. I turned back to Greg, “Beware things that are fluffy and white!”


Greg laughed, punched me in the face, and stole both our quarters.

After that Mark and I gave up on reading fortunes and went on inside to watch TV.


The next day Mrs. Cole inherited a grape jelly company, my dad ate too much fast food and was stuck on the pot all afternoon and Greg Thompson was hit by a cotton delivery truck. I guess that's what you get when you doubt the spirit world.


Mini-Tale: My Stupid After School Job


PROMPT: My life would be different if I'd never met the old man.


Every town has a house like number Twelve Oak Drive. It's the kind that's all boarded up with an overgrown lawn and a single elderly resident who may or may not be a serial killer. Basically, no one would take you seriously in seventh grade until you broke into the house and came back with a trophy.


I left my friends on the corner and climbed up the side the porch. When I was on the roof I found a window that was open a crack and crept in. It wasn't until I was all the way inside that I noticed the candles. A tall, bony man sat in the middle of the room surrounded by strange patterns drawn on the floor with chalk. He looked up at me and smiled, “So, you have finally arrived.”


“Arrived?” I mumbled.


“Yes,” the man smiled. “I have spent a month summoning you from the shores beyond the mist. You are my new spirit servant. Now, I am hungry. Bring me food!”




The old man leaned across his candles. “Wait, you are a spirit servant aren't you?”


I was about admit that I was just some kid who'd broken into his house on a dare, but then realized what would happen. He would call my parents, my dad would come pick me up, and I would be grounded for a month.


“Sure, I'm a spirit servant!” I grinned. “Just give me one of those candles and I'll get you that food right now!” I crawled out the window, climbed down to the street, handed my friends the candle and then ran to the grocery store where I used all my money to buy some hamburgers and chips.


After I cooked the old man dinner he wanted to hear some music from the spirit world so I brought over my trumbone and played “Louie Louie.” He then wanted to hear tales from “the shores beyond the mist,” so I told him about what happened last week on The Jersey Shore.


Now he's wants me to build him a solid gold palace. I don't know where I'll get the gold but I've spent the last few weeks digging the foundations in his back yard. Every time one of my friends asks me if I want to come over and hang out I have to say, “Nope, I gotta be that old man's spirit servant after school.” All in all, I'd almost rather be grounded.


Mini-Tale: Assault on the McDonalds


Prompt: I wish I didn't envy Helen of Troy so much, but I can't help it.


She had two armies fighting over her. All I ever had was a pig farmer and the manager at McDonalds.


The whole mess happened last summer. I was engaged to Vincent, the local swineherd. He's a decent enough guy but the lights aren't on in the attic, if you know what I mean.


One evening I visited my hometown's bar where I met my high school flame, Vincent. We had a few drinks and he invited me back to his place. I might not have gone if I'd known it was the manager's office at McDonalds.


We were getting it on pretty heavy when we heard Vincent shouting outside. I looked out the front windows and saw him standing there with all one hundred of his pigs throwing pine cones while the pigs assaulted the front of the restaurant.


Carl retaliated by hauling out two hundred frozen chicken nuggets and throwing them at Vincent and the pigs who gobbled them up. Finally, he hauled out the big macs and Vincent was driven away.


I must've passed out from all the alcohol because the next thing I knew it was morning and there was a giant crate in the middle of the restaurant marked, “Happy Meals.” Carl was squealing like a little girl, apparently excited that the new Hot Wheels toys had finally come in. He ripped open the crate and out crashed over a dozen angry pigs that rampaged the McDonalds.


Vincent was in the middle of them, clinging to the biggest sow. As he rode past he scooped me up into his arms and we crashed through the window out into the parking lot.


It took the police a few days to round up all the pigs. Most of them were returned to the farm before the end of the week. Unfortunately, there was one piglet who was lost for ten years. But that is another story.


Everyone should check out this really fun web comic I've been reading.  It's called SKETCH COMEDY and is by Jackson Ferrell, the creator of "Pun Girls."  You should all check it out.  It is "a stand up comic."






Mini-Tale: The Kid Next Door

The rules are simple.  I took the prompt (in bold) and wrote for 5 straight minutes making this mini-tale


There was something odd about the neighbor's new baby.


For starters he had horns.


“Oh those are normal!” Mrs. Crete mewed over her toddler. “Half the men in our family are born with horns or hooves or a little snout, isn't that right, snookims?” She tickled the baby under his chin and he snapped at her finger.


Mrs. Crete turned to me. “Now, I'll be back at ten. Mino, here, is to be in bed in an hour, don't let him give you any fuss. Until then you can play with him in his play area downstairs and his food is in the cabinet at the foot of the stairs.


“Okay,” I mumble stepping back so Mino wouldn't gouge me with one of his horns.


“See you in a bit!” Mrs. Crete smiled and stepped out the door.


Mino leapt across the kitchen, running as fast as he could. I tried to pick him up but he kept stabbing his horns at me until I found a pair of old corks to stick on them. Finally, I managed to pick him up. “We're off to your playroom!” I smiled and carried him down into the basement.


I had never been in the Crete's basement before. It was a dark place with vaulted ceilings and appeared to be intersected with dozens of hallways that lead to other rooms.


Mino jumped out of my arms and began running around squealing.


“What game do you wanna play?” I asked him.


“Food!” He pouted at the cabinet.


Oh you're hungry!” I turned to the cabinet and opened it. “Let's see what we can....” There was a high pitched scream and a young woman with blond hair burst out and ran up the stairs, shrieking.


What the....” I muttered, closing the cabinet and only then noticed that it was labeled, “virgins.”