“Unforeseen Developments” (VSS IV)

A set of very short fiction pieces that I originally wrote for Twitter.

A councilman was furious when the railroad ceased passenger service.

He rushed to the tracks with a blowtorch.

“Next one will stop, like it or not.”

***

When he stepped over the threshold, every hymnal burst into flame.

That’s what he told his wife. 

He took fantasy football that seriously.

***

After his death, the mean-spirited principal was whisked to Hell.

The eternal lake of fire looked like the school cafeteria. 

“Spare me!”

***

The couple frowned. The keys of the piano upstairs were again pounding out a tune.

The Steinway was noticeably left behind by the previous owner.

Each had suspected that the instrument was one of those quaint player pianos seemingly found only in Westerns.

They had no such luck.

***

“A transmission from the Trappist-1 system?”

“We’ve received seven. One from each planet.”

“This is a dream come true!”

“No quite.”

“Oh?”

“We’re being asked to choose sides in a Trappist interplanetary war.”

“Good heavens!”

“And something on Enceladus has already responded.” 

Author: joshuajscully

That’s my picture up there. I’m not totally sure why I look so angry. I may be thinking about how much I hated the Crypt Keeper as a child. I grew up faithfully watching reruns of The Twilight Zone and Tales from the Crypt. Unfortunately, I missed the boat in terms of writing for either of those programs. I do consider both to have been wildly influential when I think back to my earliest thoughts about becoming an author and I’m grateful my parents let me watch those shows as a kid (although there were probably some nights early in my childhood my mother wished she hadn’t let me watch those shows). If you’re familiar with either program, then you know what genres are my focus. I thoroughly enjoy science fiction, suspense, the twist ending, and some horror or supernatural elements as well. Honestly, when I was a kid the Crypt Keeper scared the hell out of me. As an adult, I’ve really learned to embrace the puns. Historical fiction is a favorite of mine as well, and the root of that is shared with my profession. I am an educator by trade, and I teach American History. I consider some of the best writing I’ve ever done to be within the realm of historical fiction and I really enjoy saturating my mind in the research end of those projects. I would make the argument that storytelling is in my blood. Even my sister mulled, very briefly (about 45 minutes), launching a career as a screenwriter! My last name is one of those Irish (and, apparently, formally Manx) ones with a wonderfully researched history -“the story-teller’s descendant”. On of the first day of school each year, I do share that “my name is Mr. Scully, and that rhymes with Kelly”, just so I do not hear the myriad of mispronunciations on the first day. Several years ago, I started a blog similar to this one to highlight my middle years as a teacher. If that aspect of my life is of any interest to you at all, you can still find that blog online. During my summers, I really have time to pursue my writing projects and this blog will highlight some of that work. My first attempts to sit down and write extensively occurred when I was 15, but only a few years ago did I make setting time aside to write a priority. I’ve also benefited wildly over the years from many willing readers among my family and friends. The direction and feedback from those individuals has been invaluable. Outside the world of the written word, I am an educator, basketball coach, lecturer, and (very, very occasionally) a landscaper. I have only ever known Western Pennsylvania as my home. Although I love a good novel, I am absolutely unable to resist the power of the short story. The latter is really what I hope to be remembered for one day.

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