Sunday, December 30, 2012

Weekly Prompt Story: Chance

By Christopher Munroe

They say leave nothing to chance.

But I knew a guy nicknamed Chance once.

We worked together in Edmonton for years, hang out to this day, I see him whenever I’m up there. I make a point of dropping in to say hi.

We maybe aren’t the closest friends, but he’s good people, my life’s richer for having him in it.

Were I to pass away, I’d leave him something. At the very least a token, to remember me by.

Wait, now that I think about it, his nickname was Chase, not chance.

No, yeah, I’ll leave nothing to chance.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Meanwhile, at my Realtor's office...

There are only so many places in a rented space to hide a body.

Apartments aren’t large, after all.

Buying allows for a lot more room.

Behind walls, an unfinished basement you can dig up, the yard, there are dozens of options for the discerning murderer looking to settle down.

And with the housing market how it is, there’s never been a better time to buy. In fact, I’d say any serial killer still renting would have to be out of his mind!

So: I have a few places in mind I’d love for you to see. How’s your Monday?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Weekly Prompt Story: Funk

Occupy Funk
By Chris Munroe

1% of this country controls 70% of its funk. And that’s not right.

I’m not criticizing the funky, plenty do their part, sharing funk with the world. Prince, for example, releases music every year, and we’re all better for it.

However, not everyone shares Prince’s decency. How long’s it been since Morris Day and the Time released an album?

So we’re taking to the streets, the 99% of us who aren’t funky, and we won’t be silenced. Join me, let our voices be heard!

We want the funk.

Give us the funk.

We need the funk.

Gotta have that funk.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Schrodinger's Pandora

I’ve taken all the evil in existence, every sin and shame and human weakness, put them in a box, and given the box to a Greek girl.

Why have I done this? Because fuck you, that’s why. Don’t you question me, I’m all-knowing, bitch!

If she restrains herself from opening the box, the world will exist in a state of perpetual innocence, with all of humankind living in perfect peace and harmony, one with each other and with nature, never knowing anything but happiness. If she opens it, all the plagues of humanity will be unleashed, and life will be perpetual struggle and suffering, violent, brutish and very, very short. I’ve included hope in the box, but it will prove shallow comfort indeed to the afflicted, and should the box ever be opened, all will be afflicted.

So, did the Greek girl open the box? Or did she restrain her curiosity?

I have absolutely no idea. This happened three thousand years ago, and while I could have checked back and seen how it turned out at any point, I have yet to. As such, since I believe the Greek girl in question was equally likely to choose either of her two options regarding the box, I couldn’t even hazard a guess as to whether it was opened or not.

I’ve got to assume, therefore, that the world is simultaneously brutal and beautiful, inspiring and dispiriting, capable of the heights of nobility and the depths of savagery. A study in contradiction where the best and worst are possible every second of every day. And it will remain so until such time as it’s observed.

One day I’ll go see for myself the result of my little experiment, and on that day one of the two possibilities, good or evil, will actualize by virtue of its having been witnessed.

One day.

But I’m in no hurry…

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Weekly Prompt Story: Pudding

Pudding Cups
By Chris Munroe

Look, none of this is complicated.

I recently received a frequent-shopper gift coupon in the mail, offering double air miles, and regular double air miles day was only a few days off.

So that’s quadruple, right?

Right. So I went to Safeway and found something that both a) was on sale, and b) offered 100 bonus air miles per unit.

In this case, pudding cups. Three for two dollars.

And now I’m going to Vegas. Hundred ten bucks for a week there, hotel included.

It’s going to be a blast!

Anyway: Do you want seventy pounds of pudding, or not?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Meanwhile, at a local haunted house...

I know how you got here.

At least, I can hazard an educated guess, based on my own experiences.

You and your idiot friends learned about this little house, a ways off the beaten path but still easy enough to find if you bother to look for it. You heard that nobody’d lived here for years, and when you dug around for more information you heard about the murders that took place here, too long ago for anyone who might remember firsthand to still be around to ask about.

They dared you to spend the night in the “haunted” house, and you agreed, and now here you are.

I know this, or can guess it, because that’s what happened to me.

I wasn’t murdered here, that wasn’t me. The family that was is still around, somewhere, but I’m just some guy, who’s idiot friends once dared him to spend the night here, who found the ghost and, petrified by its ghastly visage, panicked and ran for the door, only to find it locked upon my arrival.

I pounded on the door, screamed in fear and agony and, after what seemed like a dozen lifetimes spent lost in a terror that I’m sure must’ve at some point driven me insane, sank to the floor, my heart giving out from overwork as the world slowly, finally, went black around me.

I died in front of that door, and when my friends returned for me in the morning, they found my body there, mouth still frozen in silent scream, cold and dead and very, very pale.

Yes, as pale as you’re looking right now.

And in a moment you too will, no doubt, break for the door and find it shut to you, and as you throw yourself, over and over again, against it in a desperate and futile attempt to find your way to freedom, I want you to know, I’ll feel no pleasure at my victory. It will bring me no joy.

No, in fact I’ll feel tremendous guilt at the role I play in scaring you to death, guilt that, were I not already deceased, would no doubt haunt me to the grave.

But there’s nothing I can do about that. I haunt this place, and you entered it, and such is the way of these things. I could no more let you pass the night here unimpeded than the family could let me loose when I came here so long ago.

I wish I could make you understand, this isn’t personal. It’s just what I am now, appalling though it is, and much though I’d like to I’m not capable of going against my fundamental nature.

Of course, are any of us?

No matter. I can explain all of this to you afterward, once your body has ceased and you’ve calmed down a little. We have all the time in the world for conversation, after all, we’re going to be here together a very long time.

Once you’ve passed over, I’ll introduce you to the others, too. They’re anxious to meet you, it’s been so long since anyone’s ventured inside this house, we’d worried that the legends surrounding it had finally warned people off for good.

We’d missed the visitors.

That’s part of why we’re so glad you’re here.

You’re sure to add a little life to the place…

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Weekly Prompt Story: Monkey

How to Increase Your Enjoyment of Popular Music
By Christopher Munroe

Every song improves when you replace the word “Money” with the word “Monkeys” in the lyric.

Monkeys don’t get everything, it’s true. But what they don’t get I can’t use, I want monkeys.


She works hard for the monkeys, so hard for them, honey, she works hard for the monkeys so you better treat her right.

I’ve just ruined countless songs for you, but you see my point.

Oh! Except for “Shock the Monkey” by Peter Gabriel. That one’s already about a monkey.

For that one, replace “Monkey” with “Munsi.” You’ll find the result shocking.

As, apparently, will I.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Happy Old Year

Times are tough all around. Not just here, everywhere.

So when 2012 came to an end, and we realized we couldn’t afford a New Year, nobody was surprised.

It wasn’t a big deal, at any rate.

We’re celebrating 1991 instead.

Yes, the futurist in me recoils, I’d looked forward to seeing what 2013 might have to offer, but after all, one has to make do.

I’m at a good party, surrounded by friends, is the fact that I’m ringing in the old year that big a deal?

Right here, right then, there is no other place I’d want to be…

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Weekly Prompt Story: Morning Munsi

Morning Munsi
By Christopher Munroe

In the morning, when I awaken, I’m not terribly bright. But I’m incredibly affectionate.

Which is, in a way, a shame.

Because I don’t dry all the way off after I shower, and my Movember ‘stache hasn’t, to date, been crowd pleasing. So I stagger from the bathroom, throw moist arms around my girlfriend, and nuzzle my bristly face into her neck.

I’m basically the worst thing in the world. Seriously, there’s nothing good about me in the morning.

Still, we make it work.

She loves me, after all.

Or, at least, she can’t afford the rent on her own…

Thursday, November 29, 2012

NaNoWriMo Part Two

…and then, as one, we finished, stood, brushed ourselves off and thought about leaving the house.

It was over for another year, and though the schedule had been punishing, we’d somehow managed it.

Some of us had hit 50k, and glowed at the victory. Others hoped to do better next year, but either way we were done, and as one we looked around us, in awe at the freedom and possibilities now open to us and, in one voice from every corner of the globe, asked the same question:

What did I used to do for fun before this month?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Weekly Prompt Story: The Closest Thing to a Story About Marijuana I Have

The Closest Thing to a Story About Marijuana I Have
By Christopher Munroe

I don’t smoke pot.

I do, however, lock onto challenges with a fervor that’s probably unhealthy.

So, when asked by a girl I was doing a show with if I knew where to score pot in town, I spent the rest of the day calling friends, friends of friends, and their contacts in an attempt to help.

We finally found a guy, he made a delivery to the pub we went to after the show.

Nothing came of it, with the girl. I didn’t even smoke it with her.

That wasn’t what it was about.

I just had to win.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


I look, if I may say so, boss. Like a TV cop from the seventies.

Seriously, this thing provides its own swagger. Can a face even swagger?

How could a face swagger?

How could my face swagger?

No idea, but let’s face it, face, you fucking swagger.

It’s the perfect accompaniment to a face that already brings so much to the table, adding maturity and masculinity to my already considerable supply of charm.

And I love it.

I know I say this every year, but this time I mean it. When Movember comes to an end, I’m keeping the ‘Stache.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Weekly Prompt Story: Mine

By Christopher Munroe

I’m sick and tired of telling you kids to stay out of my fields.

You trample corn, you dig up carrots, you treat the land like it’s your personal playground. And I’m sick of it.

Thus, I’ve buried explosives just under the ground. I know they’ll also destroy my crops, but the loss of a few crops to keep out intruders is, to me, a small price to pay, and I’ll pay it gladly.

So: Stay out. Starting today, trespassers will explode. Respect my property or die.

It’s not an unreasonable demand.

They’re not your fields after all.

They’re mine.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Every part of me aches, especially my liver. I can barely focus my eyes, and every noise is like a jackhammer in my skull.

Why did I agree to this? I can’t remember, though I recall having very good reasons at the time. But now, weeks into my bender, I’m consumed with regret at ever having involved myself in something so foolhardy.

Still, too late to back out now. Let it never be said that I don’t finish what I start.

I drag my abused body from my bed, fix myself a Mojito, and get ready to face the day…

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My 500th Blog Post Spectacular!

So: That was 500 blog posts.

When I started this project three-ish years ago, I did so with a simple goal in mind. I would post a piece of fiction every day for as many days as I could sustain, targeting 365 stories, most of them drabble length, in 365 days.

By the end of that first year, I’d amassed just over 300 stories, having missed days due to illness, a trip to Las Vegas and just general life getting in the way related things. But that’s okay, because the number 365 was never, I realized, really my goal to this project, though at the time I thought it was.

My actual goal was to give myself clearly defined writing goals and a clearly defined regular deadline, in the hopes that this would keep me writing every day and, by doing so, help me develop the discipline necessary for the sorts of longer projects I hoped to take on.

In the years since beginning this blog, I’ve amassed 500 blog posts, as well as a debut novel, Broken Escalator, recently published, a number of short stories published on various podcasts and webzines, and the ability to state without doubt: I have succeeded. I am a more disciplined writer than I was when this blog began, I do write more frequently and more consistently, words do flow freer as a result of my constant work and I do get more done.

Maybe the quality of my writing is also slightly better, but I’ll let you judge that.

So yes, this blog has helped me enormously, and for that I’m grateful. I’m also grateful to those of you who’ve been reading along with me, first daily, then weekly as I needed my writing time to focus on longer works. I’ve appreciated the support and the feedback I’ve received here, and I’m glad to know I’ve managed to entertain you as I went. And I assure you, I will continue to do so going forward.

If all goes according to plan, I’ll be halfway through my second NaNoWriMo novel, “A Very Munsi Christmas” by the time you read this. I’ve a number of short stories slated to appear on various podcasts in the coming year, am looking into collecting the podcasted stories with a “best of” from here for ebook release at some point in the new year, and of course will be continuing to post here regularly, both stories and, I hope, more essays as I use my blog more for, you know, blogging. So don’t worry there. This isn’t a goodbye of any sort, simply the marking of a milestone.

My point? Don’t really have one. I just spent three years writing between two and seven short stories a week, 500 is a round number, and I thought I deserved a victory lap. I feel like I’ve accomplished something here, minor though it may seem to some, and I’m pretty damn proud of it.

Thanks for the moment of your time to watch me pat myself on the back. My next post will be more entertaining, I swear…

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Weekly Prompt Story: Never Fear

Never Fear
By Christopher Munroe

“Never fear!” Captain Remarkable exclaimed as he crashed through the skylight, knocking out Doctor Preposterous with one punch.

And so, I didn’t.

I asked Laura in the secretarial pool out the next day, then marched into my boss’ office and demanded not only the raise that’d been overdue, but two extra weeks paid vacation. Laura and I will be spending extra time and money base-jumping in Brazil. I’ve always wanted to go, to try it, but I’d been afraid.

No more. As the Captain said, from this moment on I’ll never fear.  And my world will be richer for it…

Thursday, November 8, 2012


I looked ridiculous, but there was nothing I could do. It was tradition, and I was too new to go against it...

I dressed, practiced my impersonation, and went to work, and it was only upon my arrival that I realized:

I was the only one there dressed like Mr. T.

They’d said it was a thing, but I’d clearly been had. And, head shaved into a triple Mohawk, gold chains around my neck, I’d have to deal with the embarrassment as best I could.

Truly, on that day it was I who warranted pity, for I was the fool.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Weekly Prompt Story: The Orchard Out Back

The Orchard Out Back
By Christopher Munroe

We buried you in the cherry orchard. Then, a week later, we buried you again.

With each iteration that arrived, we were quick to act, caving in your skull and hiding the body out there. It was easy enough to do, nobody was looking for bodies after all. You kept going in to work through it all, and got home in time to help me with the digging. We could’ve kept it up forever, but for two things.

The repetition is growing tiresome.

There’s limited space in the cherry orchard that we can dig up.

So: Fix the damn duplicator!

Thursday, November 1, 2012


And then came NaNoWriMo, and lo did the fiction blogging community dry up and blow away like dust on the breeze…

Everyone wrote, true, hunched over laptops around the world desperately trying to expel the words that dwelt within them, but all attention had been turned to novels.

Many blogs went fallow for the month, but my Friday Flashes kept arriving, like clockwork, right on time, plunging into the emptiness.

Not that I was there to notice how little was going on. I was working on my own NaNo.

I’d prewritten my stories, you see, to stand in my place…


I see you across the room and my heart takes flight.

Your eyes sparkle with unmasked amusement at whatever your companion’s saying, and when you throw back your head to laugh, it’s music.

I can’t hear it from the other side of the room, but I see you laugh, and I know in my heart that it’s music.

You’re a vision, radiant, standing out from the other people at this party like some ethereal thing, tolerating them yet standing apart.


I have to know you, and so I push through the crowd.

“Um… hi.”

Christ, I suck at this…

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Weekly Prompt Story: Chains

By Christopher Munroe

If you think about it, in a way we’re all in chains.

Chained by self-imposed obligations to one another, to notions of family and friendship. Chained to jobs we only took to pay student loans we thought we’d need to get jobs better than the ones we were eventually forced to take. Chained by outdated notions of morality.

Yes, we fancy ourselves free, but in a way we’re all in chains.

But in another, more literal way, only you are in chains, here in my soundproof basement.

Now, make yourself comfortable while I head upstairs to fetch my straight razor… 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Dearly Departed

I dropped everything and flew home, to say goodbye.

It surprised me, surprised everyone I suppose. He’d been doing really well lately, and while we knew there was a possibility, we never expected his time might come so suddenly.

I barely had time to return.

The rest of the family came too, of course, to pay respects and tell him we loved him before he went, to gather and witness his final moments.

“Goodbye.” We said.

“Goodbye.” He replied, waving. Then turned and strode, grinning, up the gangway onto the ark-ship, never to be seen by anyone on earth again…

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I Want to Make A Movie

In my movie, I want Tim Allen to participate in a hit and run, only to return home to find that the person he’s run over and abandoned to die on the side of the road is none other than Santa, and that, due to an obscure clause in his contract, whoever kills Santa is forced to take his place. Over the course of the rest of the film we’ll focus on Mr. Allan’s transformation, both physical as he takes on the traditional form of Santa and mental as he becomes more generous and jolly, as his inner Santa comes to the fore.

The tone I intend to create, over the course of this film, is one of existential dread mixed with a healthy dose body horror, as an ordinary man is forced, as penance for one lapse of judgment, to watch helplessly as he is transformed beyond his recognition, as one by one the signifiers of identity he’s put so much stock in, both physically and mentally, are stripped from him, as he is consumed from the inside out by the Christmas Spirit, an angry ghost which must be appeased at all costs, and which has no care for the life it is consuming.

Partway through act two, Allen-Clause will discover that he’s no longer capable of taking his own life, that every time he tries the Spirit prevents him, seeking as it does to protect its host body until such time as the transformation is complete and it has total control, and due to this revelation he will spend act three seeking out someone, anyone, willing to put an end to his life while there’s still enough “self” left in him for his death, and by extension his life, to hold some measure of meaning.

Eventually, he’ll remember how he got into this mess in the first place, and run into a busy street, where he’ll be hit by a car and, in his dying moments, bloated body broken, from behind his white beard, he’ll let out a laugh, not the “Ho Ho Ho” his laugh had become, but rather the laugh of Tim Allen, weaker and more hoarse as he dies, but still inarguably his own. In this way the audience will know that, in death if not in life, he’s triumphed, both over the Spirit and its horrible clause.

I believe the film will be a fascinating look at the nature of identity, as well as a gripping horror story, and as such will release it midway through October, just in time for “holiday season” for this type of film. I also suspect I could bring it in with a relatively minimal budget, as I can’t imagine Tim Allen’s terribly busy nowadays, also a plus as the possibility of a sequel is obvious.

After all, somebody was driving the car that ran Allen-Clause over at the end of the film.

And, no matter what lengths the host bodies might go through to die, Santa does come every year, like clockwork. So however many hosts might succeed in ending their lives, eventually there will be one who isn’t strong enough to do what it takes, or lucky enough to do it in time. And that unlucky soul will be consumed so completely that it will be as though they’d never existed at all.

Because the Christmas Spirit will not be denied…

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Weekly Prompt Story: Inside the Circle

Inside the Circle
By Christopher Munroe

They circled us, cheering, as we circled one another, knives at the ready.

I don’t know how to fight, but when he accused me of insulting his honor I refused to apologize. Why should I? It was just a joke!

Still, I didn’t expect him to turn up to the duel, and when he did I was worried. Especially since, from what I’d heard, he DID know what he was doing.

Still, no backing down now...

So I pulled the pistol I’d tucked into the waistband of my pants, and shot him.

…always bring a gun to a knife fight.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


This status is to raise awareness. Specifically, awareness of my awareness. It tells you I care about social justice, and am politically aware, and does so in the most efficient possible way.

The most efficient way being the way in which I don’t have to actually do anything.

I won’t give time, I won’t give money. I’ll change my Facebook to reflect a contemporary social issue, and it’s unreasonable to expect me to do more.

Copy this to your Facebook if you believe things, but not strongly enough to come up with unique phrasing.

And thus: Increase your Facebook status.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Weekly Prompt Story: Chip

By Christopher Munroe

I was being extraordinarily reasonable.

I didn’t raise my voice, I wasn’t rude, I simply explained that the first time I put a guy into the wood-chipper I’d bought, it jammed, and asked for a refund.

Jerry, behind the counter, explained that the wood-chipper was meant to chip wood, and since I’d misused the hardware no refund would be forthcoming.

Chip wood?

What part of my life as a hired murderer would lead me to need chipped wood?

Still, nothing I could do, so I bought another, sturdier wood-chipper at a rival store.

This weekend, I’ll demonstrate it to Jerry…

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Morning After

I awoke with the worst hangover I’ve ever had, and no recollection of anything past my third cosmopolitan...

And a giant sword, I also had a giant sword.

Eventually, once I staggered out of my tent (tent?), I was greeted by a Wizard, who informed me that only I could end the reign of the mad king Lentorius.

And that I’d already agreed, while drunk, to do so.

So yeah, that’s weeks of my life spoken for now.

I swear, and this time I mean it.

This is the last time I go drinking at the Destini bar after work…

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Weekly Prompt Story: I don't watch much Football, but...

I don’t watch much Football, but…
By Christopher Munroe

I was doing dinner theater, living in a hotel near Calgary’s football stadium.

My day off, on my way out, I happened upon six gentlemen in Chewbacca costumes, each with a Saskatchewan Roughriders jersey over his wookie suit.

I was surprised, as you would be. When I asked if that was a thing amongst Roughriders fans, one of the Chewies told me that no, it wasn’t, but that it totally should be. And then they were off to support their team, the weirdest way they knew, and I was alone with my thoughts...

So yeah, I cheer for the Roughriders.