Jannie Balliett

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Micro-Flash Fiction
(Micro-Flash is as few words as possible in order to express a short story)

Sage Advice
(110 word count)

The man sat in the empty bar crying in his beer. He felt void and alone in the world. Self-pity was his only companion.

Another gentleman entered, sat on the barstool next to his, ordering a mug."Excuse me. I couldn't help but notice. You appear depressed."

"Yes. I have a wife and three children, yet feel alone and nobody cares."

"Well, I'm sure they all care."

"It doesn't feel like they do. My life is all work and I'm never home to see my family much. 'Gotta pay the bills, you know," he solemnly remarked.

"Well, if you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple of payments on your bills."


Answering Machine

(104 word count)


"You've reached automated voice mail. Leave a message at the sound of the tone."

"Hi, honey. Do me a favor, stop by our favorite place on your way home and pick up a bucket of chicken, two quarts mashed  potatoes with extra gravy...be sure to get a dozen rolls...Oh, I forgot-- run by the store and get a box of my favorite bon-bons!


"Hello. Hello, Ma'am. Excuse me, but you left a message on our answering machine and I think you've reached the wrong number."


"Yes. This is the Jenny Craig Weight Watchers Center. Would you like a complimentary six-month membership?"

True Love 

(110 word count)

"I presume she's been previously diagnosed?"

"Yes." His eyes searched the dark and depressing room.

"How would she be treated here?" He had reservations. "Doctor, if I decide to admit her, how long before she's remedied?"

Glancing at his watch, the doctor acknowledged his rounds were overdue. "It's not predictable. It'll take time, depending on the severity."

The doctor ushered him toward the door. "I wish I could tell you more,but that's my honest evaluation."

He felt lost leaving her behind... She was his true love. His wife.

He stepped into the busy corridor where the others aimlessly wandered, dazed. Cloned and as perfect as prescribed... the other Stepford wives.

Watch What You Say

(110 word count)

Late that night, getting ready for bed, the wife was standing in front of a full-length mirror undressing to change into her nightgown.

"You know, love," she said, while looking in the mirror. "I see an  old woman. My face is all wrinkled, my boobs are barely above my waist, my butt's hanging a mile, I've got fat legs and my arms are flabby."
She turned toward her husband who was comfortably lying in bed. "Tell me something positive to make me feel better about myself."

He thought long and hard for a moment, afraid of the repercussions of agreeing with his wife. "Well, there's nothing wrong with your eye-sight!"

A Backward World

(48 word count)

Everything was backward.

She felt as though she was averse in a forward reality. She couldn't understand why everything appeared head on and determined to get her.

She continued driving, thinking and wondering why everything was coming her way-- then realized.

She was driving in the wrong lane!

Caught Red-Handed, Red-Faced

(90word count)

"Dear, what time is it?" 

"It's almost midnight, why?" 

Worried she'd complain about his late-night indulgence, he lied, "Oh, I thought I'd take a walk before going to bed." 

Moments later, the clock chimed midnight. 

"Honey, where are you? You home yet?" 

He quietly shut the refrigerator door, secretively slurping his snack. "I'm here. Just a minute, dear." 

She walked into the kitchen and caught him red-handed and red-faced. "What have I told you about late-night snacking? Shame on you! I was saving that...the blood-bank will be closed tomorrow, Dracula!"

Creative Solution
(38 word count)

The woman had her car towed into the garage because the brakes failed. 

Returning the next day, she asked the mechanic about the repair. 

"I'm sorry, Ma'am. I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder." 

(102 word count)

The ninety-two year old gentleman slowly wobbled his way into the doctor's office for his scheduled check-up.

"Good morning. How have you been?" the doctor cheerfully asked, entering.

"I couldn't be better. I'm getting married in a few days to a vivacious nineteen-year old beauty." 

"Nineteen, you say?"

"Yes. Nineteen. And quite voluptuous!" 

The doctor paused, obviously concerned. "You do know, that at her age, it could very well be the end?"

"What do you mean by
, "the end?"

"Well, death of course."

The old man thought a moment before responding, "Oh, doc. At my age, "if she dies, she dies."

It's All Relevant
(90 word count)

Experience shows that the propagation of light is instantaneous; when we see a piece of artillery fired at great distance, the flash reaches our eyes without lapse of time; but the sound reaches the ear only after a noticeable interval." 

"That certainly surmises light moves faster than sound, thus the speed of light," agreed the other physicist.

The blond-haired waiter working the Physicist Convention overheard the conversation. He couldn't help but wonder. Excuse me, sirs. I heard your theory of speed of light. Okay, so what's the speed of dark?"

Business or Vacation?
(116 word count)

"Business or pleasure?" he asked.

"Business-- The Sexual Awareness Convention in New York, " she replied.

He struggled to maintain composure. "What do you do at the convention?"

"Lecturer-- I use my experience to debunk popular myths about sexuality."

"What myths are those?"

"One myth is that African American men are best endowed, when it's actually Native American Indian men. Another, is that French men are the best lovers, but in fact, it's Jewish men. We've discovered that the best lover in all categories is the Southern Redneck."

She soon became uncomfortable after telling him. "I'm sorry-- I didn't even ask your name."

"Running Bear--Running Bear Goldstein. But, all my friends call me, Bubba."

Longing For Bluer Water
(94 word count)

Time takes it toll, slowly withering away my usefulness.

I'm worsening, forced to retire against my will.

They walk by without acknowledgment. Time passes, no longer a part of their plan.

My excitement died along with my purpose, remembering a lost past.

I'm abandoned, cast off to the side, alone and forgotten. What am I to do?

I'll keep hoping, patiently waiting, someone will come and they'll need me.

I'll have renewed life and be appreciated again.

But for now, I'm a shell of what I could be. I'm just a lonely forgotten boat.

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