Sunday, June 30, 2013

Weekly Prompt Story: Tomato

By Christopher Munroe

I say tomato, you say to-mah-to.

Seriously, stop saying to-mah-to.

It comes off as weird and affected, nobody talks like that. Maybe they did when the song was written, when regionalisms like that were more widespread, but as the world increasingly globalizes certain common pronounciations become widely accepted and you just have to learn to live with that.

It’s tomato. Everyone agrees that it’s tomato. Get over it.

I mean seriously. To-mah-to? What on earth were you thinking?

For reals.


I say potato, you say po-tah-to….

Are you fucking kidding me?!?!??

That’s it, we’re calling the whole thing off.

Thursday, June 27, 2013


…when Calgary flooded, the Zoo had a plan.

The big cats, for example, found housing in local prisons around town.

I can’t stress enough to you that this was actually the plan for the big cats from our local zoo when Calgary flooded.

Now, for a moment, imagine the flooding continued. Imagine prisons also flooding, generators burned out, and cell doors suddenly thrown open…

Imagine Nicolas Cage was there.

Trapped, in a half-flooded prison full of vicious, convicted felons and man-eating tigers, the only sane man in this mouth of madness.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Weekly Prompt Story: Faint

She Loved the Attention
By Christopher Munroe

Whenever she got bored, she pretended narcolepsy.

When unpleasant, awkward lulls arose in conversation, or topics no longer interested her, she’d collapse, just to throw some energy into the party. She hoped this would encourage us to be more interesting.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Within weeks of learning of this bold new habit of hers, we’d developed a stock of intentionally uninteresting stories, by the end of the year we’d made ourselves the dullest social group imaginable.

Oh, we were still interesting when she wasn’t around. But whatever we might have to say, her faux-fainting was funnier…

Friday, June 21, 2013

Dream Lover

“He’s the man of my dreams.” She told us, but none of us knew what the fuss was about.

Gaunt and pale, with a shock of wild, ink-black hair, his presence struck us as off-putting. Otherworldly, as though he was somehow apart from what was going on around him.

Still, he made her happy and that’s what’s important, so we tried to welcome him into our social circle as best we could.

And he was better than her ex. That guy was creepy. Funny, in a sarcastic way, but always with an undercurrent of menace.

The fedora/sweater/glove ensemble didn’t help…

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Weekly Prompt Story: Drink

Sunday Pub
By Christopher Munroe

…if you want a pleasant atmosphere in which to enjoy a drink or two (or eleven), you could do worse than a pub on a Sunday.

It’s industry night, you see, and as such it’s pretty much all waiters and bartenders celebrating the end of their weekend of work. A relaxed, understanding atmosphere in which to enjoy your evening.

The people working, I’m told, make incredible money themselves. Which makes sense, I suppose, nobody tips like other waiters.

Still, I could never work the industry night shift, however good the money might be.

I gotta get my own drink on…

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Challenges are how we grow.

Oh, nobody likes to suffer, nobody likes pain, nobody likes problems, but it’s the way we face these things that define who we are, and as such suffering, pain and problems are things we need even when we don’t want them.

Into every life, after all, a little rain must fall.

And once we get to the end of our hopefully full, rich lives, it won’t be the easy times we remember. It will be the troubles, and how we overcame them…

…which is why, unlikely though it might seem, one day you’ll thank me.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Weekly Prompt Story: Stage

Stage Acting for Dummies
By Christopher Munroe

In the theatre, the most important skill you must master is the ability to speak while well lit.

Also: Do what you’re told.

There’s more to it then that, obviously, a certain skill set is required and there are a lot of tips and tricks, but it boils down to, in essence, those two basic things.

Take direction, and take it well. And then, when the time comes, walk onto the stage,  find your mark, where the light hits you properly, stand there, and speak.

Not a romantic notion of acting, I know, but it gets you through the show….

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Sanctity of Life

It seemed, at first, like the perfect crime.

The state had recently passed a personhood amendment granting single, fertilized eggs the same legal standing, rights and protection as fully-grown human beings.

Meaning that, due to this amendment, life would for all legal intents and purposes begin with that single cell and, whatever might happen to it from that moment on, it would be the same life it was at the moment of conception.

The legal ramifications were, indeed are, obvious.

Identical twins begin as a single cell, which then divides in two, both parts growing into what, previous to the passage of “Personhood”, was considered a separate individual human being. However, due to the deliberately indistinct wording of the amendment, from a legal perspective the single cell is now a complete legal entity in and of itself, and this doesn’t cease to be the case simply because that one entity happens to inhabit two physically distinct bodies.

So, when Michael contracted me to murder his twin, I knew there’d be no consequences to the crime. Murdering a twin, after all, was no longer murder. It was at best assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and unless Michael pressed charges (unlikely as a paper-trail existed connecting him to the act) there was no way that case would stand up in court. I’d be brought in, he’d testify on my behalf that I’d done him no lasting harm, and that would be the end of it.

Like I said, the perfect crime. He’d have done it himself if he hadn’t been so squeamish. Understandably so, whatever the legality the act killing a twin does still feel sort of like murder.

Still, that’s where men like me come in handy. I don’t get squeamish easily. So on the appointed day I walked into the office Michael’s “brother” worked in, went to his desk and put four bullets into his chest. I dropped the pistol, came out with my hands up, turned myself in and prepared myself for three or four days navigating the criminal justice system before my inevitable release and subsequent payday.

The best laid plans…

What I didn’t know was that Michael was hit by a bus on the morning I’d been scheduled to kill his twin, and as such by the time I shot him he was the only surviving brother. So here I sit in my little cell, awaiting arraignment on murder charges with a mountain of evidence piled up against me.

My lawyer thinks he can talk it down to criminal negligence, as my only real crime was failing to do my due diligence that morning, and I hope he’s right, but I have to admit, the chances don’t seem good.

The state also has the death penalty, and they’ve proven time and again how much they love to use it.

They’re very serious, in that regard, when it comes to protecting the sanctity of life…

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Weekly Prompt Story: Act

Dinner Theatre’s More Dangerous than You’d Think
By Christopher Munroe

During act two she had a heart attack.

She collapsed, friends rushing to the lobby to summon an ambulance, paramedics, the whole process.

And nobody told the actors. With stage lights to blind them, none of them had any inkling what was going on amongst the crowd.

So they continued the show.

Though they did realize, at some point, that they’d lost them. The laughter, so freely flowing during act one, had stopped, and they were baffled as to why.

They thought it was somehow their fault.

And I had to explain that it wasn’t them who’d died up there….