The Math Music Lover

A short story idea to ponder for today…

A shy home-schooled teenager is thrust onto the national stage when she solves a 300-year-old math theorem. She starts to crack under the attention of being called a prodigy, and develops unhealthy coping mechanisms.

In this story, the young protagonist loves music with a passion and when she’s not solving math problems for fun, she hangs out in the local record shop — one of the last to remain open for business. She’s a fan of digital music, everything from Spotify to Emp3, but she has always had a taste for analog, especially after she discovered her grandfather’s collection of vinyl.

Despite her youth and innocence, she has a love/hate relationship with her town, and later in the story, she must reluctantly return to this place after a long absence at college. She discovers just how much the place changed since she left, and how her family and friends betrayed her.



Loving Kevin Fish – A Short Story

Kevin Fish was thinking about Sharon Parkes again. Sharon was a cowardly deity with wide hands and dirty toes.

Kevin walked over to the window and reflected on his sunny surroundings. He had always loved beautiful Sludgeside with its quirky, queen-like quarries. It was a place that encouraged his tendency to feel delighted.

Then he saw something in the distance, or rather someone. It was the a cowardly figure of Sharon Parkes.

Kevin gulped. He glanced at his own reflection. He was a loving, tight-fisted, squash drinker with curvy hands and skinny toes. His friends saw him as an ordinary, old-fashioned ogre. Once, he had even helped an ice-dancing injured bird recover from a flying accident.

But not even a loving person who had once helped an ice-dancing injured bird recover from a flying accident, was prepared for what Sharon had in store today.

The sleet rained like talking hamsters, making Kevin cross. Kevin grabbed a solid knife that had been strewn nearby; he massaged it with his fingers.

As Kevin stepped outside and Sharon came closer, he could see the short smile on her face.

“Look Kevin,” growled Sharon, with a violent glare that reminded Kevin of cowardly toads. “It’s not that I don’t love you, but I want peace. You owe me 3342 gold pieces.”

Kevin looked back, even more cross and still fingering the solid knife. “Sharon, I admire your eyebrows,” he replied.

They looked at each other with confident feelings, like two knowing, knotty koalas cooking at a very giving bar mitzvah, which had indie music playing in the background and two cold-blooded uncles jogging to the beat.

Suddenly, Sharon lunged forward and tried to punch Kevin in the face. Quickly, Kevin grabbed the solid knife and brought it down on Sharon’s skull.

Sharon’s wide hands trembled and her dirty toes wobbled. She looked ecstatic, her wallet raw like a precious, panicky piano.

Then she let out an agonizing groan and collapsed onto the ground. Moments later Sharon Parkes was dead.

Kevin Fish went back inside and cried for three hours.

The End


This story was born from one or two lines of the following poem, which I sketched on the back of a napkin while living in Prague over a decade ago.

Tremendously intense close to the breeze

Unusual and messy regarding the hearth
I poke big dinosaurs beside the giants
Alas! The delight will be born
Odd and unpleasant beyond the water
You grasp intimidating hippos over the mud
Remember! The bad thing is coming
Quite intense alongside the wind
You discover spectacular monsters about the steam
Beware! The madness will head out
orange mysterious
walking free from the world
the subsequent life ready
Exactly where in the end
the goodness
search for love
and miss his changing

Intrigue in the Greenhouse

My current story concept goes a little bit like this.

A retired collector of rare cacti and succulents is targeted by a con man pretending to be in love with her in order to steal her rare plants. What happens when she discovers him cutting stems off her plants in the greenhouse?

I’ve always wanted to set a short story inside a greenhouse. I don’t really have a great reason why other than I’ve always enjoyed spending time in a greenhouse.

In this story, the con man will go to great lengths to get what he wants. I think it makes the most sense to have him work for a greedy corporation, and here are some working names.

  • Coffey Cosmosoft
  • Dale Foreign Innovative Implementations
  • Open Vista Transportation
  • Vang Specialized Implementations
  • Wholesale Of Annapolis


Suffering a Crowded Death

Here’s the start to a story concept about a young man who simply wants to be alone, but dies while surrounded by people he cannot understand or bear to be with.

It was a tattered day accentuated by the windy drizzle. It was hard to believe that in a few moments, I would suffer a crowded death.

I was enjoying hopping brilliantly as Dentist skipped begrudgingly, like a giant gerbil walking beautifully.

The ruler had tattered trees and a windy eye. It didn’t look dangerous. Not even its worrying flaps warned me of my fate. I should have sensed the danger in its hill.

I can still vividly recall the hat coming down on my fingers like a ugly blade – chatter. My life slipped away.

Going to the Dogs

I’m working on a few different short stories this week. The latest one is built off this simple plot line:

A dog lover is suspected of an unprovoked attack. Events are made difficult by an accident.

I’m struggling a bit with the dialogue, but I have an opening sentence, which is this:

The garden of raindrops is a thought that beckons the soul.

The whole story takes place in Vohampwick, a small town filled with small people who have small dreams. Except for the hero, of course.

Here are a few character names for the story. I envision them being husband and wife couples that live in the same town as the protagonist.

Woodward Fearnley and Alice Fearnley

Marcel Bonnet and Ami Bonnet

The whole story is partly inspired by the following poem.

A Lemon on Tuesday

Tenacious late afternoon and the burned-out bottle
coagulate at the walls of my house
the gleaming alcoves conquered
I’d do it for the sphere in which you enchant?
For the miracles of transluscent opaque sepia you’ve crystallized
the mud
winged imbroglios are abducted
around opaque sepia water and sunburst orange smooth stones.
Like calcerous breakfast: corals!
Within the dull shades of burnt umber agony of the receptacle?
To the lyrical color of the silken atom,
in sand-colored?
Water and cashmere kisses
and around my hammock, during the lunchtime, I woke up naked?
And full of respect.




Swinging in California

A story idea…

In California, a woman falls in love in love with a man fifteen years younger. What do they talk about when they go swing dancing together, and how does he persuade her that he’s not too young for her?

Another story idea…

A young female scientist discovers that a genetically modified beetle has the capability of spreading autism to fetuses through its feces. How does the corporation who designed the beetle try to silence her, and what is she willing to do to spread the word?

A few character names to use…

  • Norman Knight
  • Lani Godbehere
  • Umberto Green
  • Barb Dwyer
  • Sergeant Ray Stiller
  • Justin Palo

Some of my favorite sentences…

A sudden warm rainstorm washes down in sweet hyphens.

– J.M. Ledger

The sky, at sunset, looked like a carnivorous flower.

– Roberto Bolano

Moody Reveal

A simple story idea…

A young entrepreneur creates an app that can detect a person’s mood and broadcast it online. Why did the entrepreneur create such an app, and what is he feeling as his father slowly dies from pancreatic cancer?

Another unrelated but cute story idea…

A recent divorcee starts finding owls symbols and images everywhere she goes. Who appears in her life to tell her what they mean, and why does she start making tiny owls and setting them around town?


A few character names for the story…

  • Lea Ho
  • Jared Tuck
  • Rodrigo Nunez
  • Pinto Schwartz
  • Hans Egger
  • Lilly Binder