Thursday, August 30, 2012


"Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny." ~Lao-Tze

They say character is doing the right thing when no one is watching.

Write an episode where someone does the right thing for all the right reasons! Write a great character with great character.



    Philbin was a strange kid.

    Called "Phil-bee" for not much shorter than his real name, he was always in the way. At least that's how it felt to the most curious boy.

    Phil-bee was the only child of a widowed mother; they were each others one-and-only, at least until Phil-bee took an interest in girls.

    He was nine, a sort of awkward pre-teenie weenie, who had an interest in science and movies and a secret place under the attic stairs. Phil-bee liked to explore, and what's more, he was darn good at it.

    One afternoon after school, Phil-bee took a detour through the park (disobeying his mother's orders to come straight to their apartment). But he had "discovered" everything he could under the beds and in the closets and was bored as all get-out at home. Phil-bee needed adventure.

    And so the park became his new proving ground. Phil-bee saw a group of older boys playing ball on the south diamond. He watched them for a brief moment, but continued on his way. The trails wound between trees and shrubs and circled the picnic area. He saw a couple of old people on a paddle boat in the lake. They had to be old, the woman looked like his mother. She was probably 29-30 years old as Phil-bee could figure.

    There were park benches in the distance. And there appeared to be an elderly gentleman on the last bench. As Phil-bee strolled the trail, looking at the birds in the tree and the geese on the lake, the old man had gotten up and shuffled down the path.

    The boy tried to imitate the bird in the nearest tree, having found a new sounding whistle. Pursing his lip, Phil-bee blew, but couldn't repeat the noise. He headed for that last bench to rest a few moments before heading for home.

    But before he could sit down, Philbin felt something bounce off of his foot and skitter across the leaf covered ground. A brown wallet peered out from under the dead foliage, which Phil-bee quickly retrieved from the dirt.

    Upon opening the wallet, the boy saw a photo identification card of an older man. Phil-bee couldn't be sure, but it looked like the man that had been sitting just before him. He looked down the trail and called after the man.

    "Hey, Mister! Guy from the bench..." Phil-bee squeaked.

    But the man was nowhere to be seen. He was gone.
    Phil-bee saw that there were dollar bills and credit cards in the appropriate slots, and photographs of a boy Phil-bee's age. Maybe it was a grandson, the boy fantasized. Phil-bee knew a few things that his mother had taught him well. And sometimes a boy figures thing out on his own.

    Phil-bee knew that if someone had found his grandfather's wallet he would want it returned. His grandfather had gotten very forgetful lately and Phil-bee knew how important his information would be to grandpa. Besides, mom always told him that it wasn't proper to take something that wasn't his. They both agreed that those were the right things to believe.

    Phil-bee tucked the wallet into his back pack and headed straight home. His mother wasn't due home for a couple hours yet, but he let Mrs. Burgess in 1B know he was home. She kept an eye on Phil-bee.

    The young man went over to the kitchen table with the brown billfold and opened it before him. The face on the card had an important look to it. Older people always looked important to Phil-bee. He had no need to count the dollars in the wallet, and the numbers on those plastic cards meant absolutely nothing either.

    Only one number concerned Phil-bee. It was on line 3 on the identification card. "If found call: 555-7823" He headed for the telephone on the counter, dialing carefully to get the numbers right. Phil-bee heard a voice.


    "Hello, who is this?" the shaky voice asked.

    "Hello sir," Phil-bee started. "I was at the park and found something that might be yours. Is this Mister Will...William Johns...Johnson?" Phil-bee struggled with the name.

    "Yes. Yes it is." the man sounded relieved. "You found my wallet?" the man asked.

    "Yes. Mr Johnson. I have it here and I didn't take anything or nothing. I just knew you'd want it back." Phil-bee sounded older than his years at that moment.

    "Is there someone there with you?" Mr. Johnson asked.

    "Mom will be home soon. My dad died when I was three" Phil-bee offered too much information.

    "When your mother comes home, please have her call me back so I can come for my wallet. Can you do that... uh, what was your name?"

    "Philbin. But people call me Phil-bee" he said proudly.

    "Thank you, Phil-bee" the man said softly.

    Mom and Phil-bee and Mrs. Burgess were waiting in 1B when they heard the buzzer. Mrs. Burgess answered the door to the distinguished older man.

    "I'm William Johnson" he said as Phil-bee approached the two people. "And you must be, Phil-bee?" he asked.

    Phil-bee smiled as he held up the brown wallet, watching the man's face light up. Taking it in his wrinkled hands, Phil-bee noticed how they shook just like his grandpa's did. William reached into the wallet and took out the dollar bills handing them to Phil-bee.

    "Here, this is for you. A reward for finding my wallet." Johnson smiled.

    "Mr. Johnson, I don't need no award for finding your wallet. It was just the right thing to do!"

    Phil-bee looked over toward his mother and saw the smile spreading across her face. Mr. Johnson smiled too.

    "You have an extraordinary young man here" Johnson told Phil-bee's mom.

    Mom just smiled more brightly.

    "Yes, I certainly do!"

    1. Ohmigosh! This is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing your talent. I really have no idea how you come upith thiese things. They are like stories themselves!

  3. Let me speed you up on this: Addison has to kill ghost early 1900's bad guys, in order to save the living world. If the ghost criminals get the world, Alexander (a ghost protagonist) will no longer be able to visit the living world. And we leave off...

    The first person I need to catch is William Joe. He has been robbing stores and committing burglaries in many houses in the 1930's. Even worse than a modern day robber is one in the 1930's. Many people didn't have much money. Everyone had hidden money in loose floorboards or vaults in their fridge. I really don't know much about the Great Depression but I know it was dreadful. So many people out of work. In 1932 about 36,000,000 people were out of work. Now isn't that terrible?
    From what I remember is that he was a hobo, or homeless person. He was wearing gray overalls and some ragged old boots. So, I get on my mission.
    There goes the swirling vortex of what is the Paranormal. I feel frostbite on my cheek and now that I think about it, it feels like an electric current running through my every vein.
    As we jump and end up in the terrible world, I try to think. Think of what to do. Then I spot him. I see the gray overalls and pull Alex over.
    “Alex!” hiss. “I found him.” “Okay. And what is your plan?”
    I give a short sigh and say, “Do you have one?” We both sit down against a brick wall. “Nope. No clue.” I think and think and think some more.
    “Alex! I got it!” “What is it?” I give a smile and say, “Just follow my lead.”
    We walk up to him and I say, “Hi.” As I brush my hair into my eyes, so it looks like I at least am drab. “Hiya. What are you needing?”
    I lock eyes with his and look at Alex in the corner of my eye. I can tell that he is reading my mind and knows what to do. “We are looking William Joseph Bartlett.” he says in a low, somber tone. He knows what he is doing.
    “Yup. You got the right person.” I take a deep breath and give a swift uppercut to the jaw. Fast kick to the ribs. I know you are thinking that I am not the person to be doing this, but when you center all you anger and confusion into powerful moves, it feels right.
    I look at the unconscious body lying before me and sweep the hair from my eyes. Alex gives a look at me and says, “What was that?”
    “I don't know.” I reply. “I truly don't know.” I rip out the pink, glowing sphere and say, “Let's go.”

  4. Hey Abi. Another good effort. Glad you can find time to post. Have you started school yet? Make sure you take care of that work first and know the prompts will always be here for you to write your wonderful fiction. They're both important for different reasons, so be good about it. Like I said, it's good to see your work today.

    1. Thanks! I always do work first. I have started school, and they have a writer's club! Yay! I told my English teacher about flashy fiction and she said she will check it out. I am so excited to write in school. I just hope those prompts will be as goof as they are here. Thanks again!