An exploration in stories, asides, songs and real-and-almost-real events


Another One Bites the Dust

Copyright - Marie Gail Stratford

Here’s another one I wrote, and it’s 74 words long!  I cannot believe it!  This was done entirely for my daughter, who sat beside me and wondered whether I could write a shorter (than 100 words) story based on a prompt.  So, to her wide-eyed astonishment, I unfolded this one from start to finish, with only one phrase and two words edited!  (I know it’s weird, or even weirder than the last one, but please be kind, since I wrote this under duress!)

Another One Bites the Dust

©July 23rd, 2014

By Vijaya Sundaram

I held up my chopsticks and surveyed them calmly.

“More hot sauce,” I snapped.

The waiter came forward in an obsequious manner.

I leaned forward and caught his nose between my chopsticks.

“Get rid of your nose!  I don’t like people with big schnozzes serving me,” I said through gritted, razor-sharp teeth, which I bared menacingly, as if to help him with the project.

He turned pale and fled.

Another one bites the dust!


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Copyright - Marie Gail Stratford

Genre: Weird Semi-Real Fiction (I just made that up)

Word Count:  100 Words


©July 23rd, 2014

By Vijaya Sundaram

What?  I scare you?  Why?  Am I not handsome?  Isn’t this great food?  What’s your problem?

You are the problem,” you say? Have I harmed you?  Okay, I’m from a time far from yours, but that’s no reason to hate me.  You don’t believe me?  Explain this then:  How come I’m answering all your thoughts?  Guesses?  Sigh.  How did I ever emerge from a race like your backward little one?

At least shake hands, then.  Hey!  You’ve strange hands — FIVE fingers?  Check out my two — long, pointed, perfectly carved bone things.  Nice, huh?

Fork!  Don’t go!  Try my hot sauce!



And, as always, thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting Friday Fictioneers, and for providing the prompts each week, and to Marie Gail Stratford for her photograph above.


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PHOTO PROMPT - Copyright - Adam Ickes

Thanks, as always, to our wonderful Fairy Blog-Mother (I hope you don’t mind my calling you that, Rochelle), Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, for hosting Friday Fictioneers, and to Adam Ickes for the strange, unsettling photo-prompt.


Genre:  (Sort of) Realistic Fiction/(Sort of) Humor

Word Count:  100 Words


©July 16th, 2014

By Vijaya Sundaram

“What do you think?” asked Ben.  He’d invited Alicia, his co-worker, home for a drink.

Alicia looked flustered.

“It’s … um … nice,” she finished lamely, staring at the corner of the wall.

“I haven’t unpacked yet,” he replied, bringing her a glass of red wine, gesturing to her to sit beside him.

“I have to go,” she said, moving towards the door.

“Did I offend you?” he asked.

“No, it’s … did you know there’s a ram in that corner?” she blurted.

She opened the door, and fled.

“What is she talking about, Father?” said Ben.

The ram ate cardboard in silence.


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Titanic Emergence

PHOTO PROMPT - Copyright - Kelly Sands

Below is my short-story response to Rochelle-Wisoff Field‘s Friday Fictioneers prompt (photograph kindly provided by Kelly Sands).  Thanks Rochelle and Kelly!  If you are interested in reading more stories, click on this cute frog icon here:

  Your curiosity will be well-rewarded with some of the most creative and diverse responses/stories you will read on the web.


Genre: Mythological Fiction/ Science Fiction

Word Count: 100 words

Titanic Emergence

©July 9th, 2014

By Vijaya Sundaram

No one noticed the clouds that day, because people had been forewarned.

The alarm had sounded all over the globe — even the indigenous peoples in forests and hills and distant islands had been informed.  Nobody ventured out.

When the clouds parted, a beam of light shot through and sucked up the entire planet.

Where the Earth was taken, no one knew.  People’s eyes were shut tight, and they felt … translated.

Later, in a newly formed Universe, a new race emerged.  Twelve people straightened up.  Their heads brushed the edges of space.

“Let it begin again,” said Time.

And it did.


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New York: An Insider’s View of the Test Scores

Dreamer of Dreams:

So well-put!

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

This personal report about setting the cut scores for New York’s Common Core 11th grade ELA test was written by Dr. Maria Baldassarre Hopkins, Assistant Professor in the School of Education at Nazareth College. The cut score is the passing mark.

Professor Hopkins writes:

My name is Maria, and I am not a psychometrician.

There. I said it.

Apparently it took me a while to get it through my thick skull. I was reminded no fewer than three times at the cut score setting for the new Common Core aligned ELA Regents Exam that I am, indeed, not a psychometrician.

“Mary, are you a psychometrician?” I was asked when I made one of my frequent requests for more information.
My name ain’t Mary. And, no, I am not a psychometrician.

Last year I wrote critically of the cut score setting process for the 3-8 Common Core assessments. I was…

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Journal Entry — Sunday, July 6th, 2014

Walked with Hol in the morning. She was sedate and heeled well — a nice change from the crazy persona she projected yesterday.
Read aloud two beautifully illustrated and entrancingly written graphic novels (one based on Athena and the other on Poseidon) to S after lunch. She was instantly captivated, and re-read them by herself again and again. She’s been deep into Greek Mythology since I bought her a few wonderfully engaging books on it a couple of years ago. She remembers things I don’t. It’s amazing. Her favorite goddess are Athena, Artemis, Demeter, Hestia and Metis. And I think she fell in love with the Theseus shown in the Poseidon book. She rather likes, and feels sorry for, Poseidon’s Cyclops son, Polyphemus. She LOVED the three Fates show in the Athena book. Good taste!
Lots of planting in the evening. Very nice. Found a bunny in the garden, which appeared suddenly out of tall grasses, and sprang away into the hostas on the side. S helped with weeding.
Hol’s busy chewing on a water bottle. Got to rescue it.
Went up for a bit and listened to S practising guitar, improvising on a D minor scale, while Warren played the chords. Lovely! Holly listened to her, and then to us, when we sang a Beatles song together. She likes music, just as we all do.

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Utah: AIR’s Absurdly Long Common Core Tests

Dreamer of Dreams:

Teachers, counselors, principals of schools … if you are reading my blog, please check out this article!

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Why should Common Core tests require 8-10 hours? Does anyone know? Why should third graders, 8 or 9 year-old children, be expected to sit for eight hours of testing? This is nuts!

This from a teacher in Utah, responding to a post called “Good Riddance to Common Core Tests.” Let the parents know. They recognize child abuse.

“And it’s not just the SBAC or PARCC that are long and awful. Utah went with its own CC testing, created by AIR. The 7-9 grade students at my school were forced into NINE 70 minute testing sessions per student, and MANY students took much longer than that. This included TWO major essays. There were several topics instead of one: how can you reliably compare students who wrote essays on different topics? The essays required reading several articles and then formulating and writing the essay. The test designers estimated that the…

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