The Love Master Plan by Jeff Mauser

Prompt:  Mastermind | Word Count:  1000 | Genre:  Romance

“Outta my way, nerd,” he says pushing me.  Stumbling backwards I fall into the arms of the prettiest girl I have ever seen.  She does a great job of dropping her books and papers catching me and keeping me from being crushed in the crowded hallway.  I smiled at her as she stands me up.

“Ah, sorry,” she isn’t paying attention, she’s busy trying to save her books and homework from being trampled and scattered.  It was my turn to make people stumble as I crawl around saving as much as I could.

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Women’s Enlightenment Meetings by Jeff Mauser

Prompt: The Club | Word count: 765 | Genre:

“I’ll be back in a couple of hours.”

“Wha, hun?  Oh.  Yeah you got them meeting things, what are they?”  Richard fumbles with the remote eventually pausing the TV.

“Women’s Enlightenment meetings.”  I look at my watch.  “I’m going to be late.”

I lean toward him and he gives me a quick peck on the cheek.  “Those are good for you, I’ve really seen a change.”  A slight pause, “for the better.  When you come back we’ll go to Rebos and celebrate.”

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Mysteries in Time: The Surfer Dude Detective Agency by Jeff Mauser

Prompt:  Coming undone | Word Count:  1200 | Genre: Murder Mystery

“Jumpin’ Jo’sephat would ya look at that,” shouts McKenna pointing North up the long run of beach set aglow by the setting early morning silvery full moon.

“Watch the hooch McKenna.” Slurring his words Cavanagh grabs the bottle as it slips from McKenna’s grip. The group of police officers and friend have been drinking all night. Seeing what McKenna is seeing, he lets the bottle drop.

Taggart has been sharing his hooch with them all night and now has quite the edge making it difficult to focus on the beautiful and rare pearl handled colt 45 gun McKenna liberated from the Commanders office. He has never held a gun before let alone one that saw action in the Great War. He is tottering at the top of the stairs leading down to the beach while the others were on the sand closer to the water. A loud crackling sound makes him look up and lose his footing.

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The Choteau Incident by Jeff Mauser

Prompt: Going Home | Word Count: 500 | Genre: Memoir |  Warning: (a bit of foul language)

“Isn’t this special, all three of my boys together at last.” Mom said as I entered the small living room of their Motel Cabin.  I nodded to my older brothers standing opposite. We were meeting in the big town of Choteau Montana for a family reunion, our Dad’s side.  His family isn’t close, he’s 80 and I’m meeting some of my cousins for the first time.  Also, this is the first time the whole family has been together in over 20 years.

“Come sit down next to me.” Mom patted the lumpy antique couch.

“Jesus fucking Christ Mom, he can sit anywhere he wants.” Gary, the oldest shouted.

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Best years of His Life by Jeff Mauser

Prompt: A White Lie | Word count: 2500 words | Genre: Memoir

I knew it was a white lie when my wife said, “we’re just looking.”  She had said something similar when we went looking at cars and when bought our house in the mountains, and a dog is a much bigger commitment than buying a car or a house.

I knew it was a white lie several years later when I told Boomer “it’s not going to hurt.”  And for him it probably didn’t, all he must have felt was a pin prick and then he was in less pain than he had been in for years.  He was smiling as he fell asleep for the last time.  The white lie wasn’t to him, it was to me, to us, for now over 5 years later it still hurts.

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Unexpected Beginnings by Jeff Mauser

Prompt: NEW LIFE | Word count: 1000 | Genre: Science Fiction

They peered through the small, one meter by half meter, thick window of their spaceship in astonishment.  The window was designed for docking purposes only, and like there their small ship, had not been designed for landing on a newly discovered planet with an alien landscape.  They surmised it was sunset for it was getting darker, the Blue Giant sun wasn’t giving off much light, and neither did the Red Dwarf that had set an hour ship’s time earlier.  The sunset had been astonishing with the last rays of the Red Dwarf mingling with the Blue Giant giving the multicolored vegetation vibrating shadows of blue, red and purple.

When the darkness outside became total they left the window and returned to their instruments.  Aaquil looked at the outside temperature and atmosphere.  The temperature was down to a tolerable 14C, only dropping a little since they had landed.  The atmosphere was a touch high on O2, 21.75% but the Nitrogen was spot on leaving the remaining 0.25% for trace elements yet to be named.  Polya looked over the power supply and rations.  She tried calling Command again, nothing.

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It’s all about the music by Jeff Mauser

Prompt:  Conversation with my spouse | Word Count: 1200 | Genre: Romance

“Yes, it’s all about the music. I know we’ve seen these bands on the Happy Together Tour, but we only hear three or four songs, not like this. They are playing complete sets.” This was the first time my wife had directly asked about next year’s cruise.

Even before we stepped aboard the “Flower Power Cruise” on the Celebrity Cruise lines Summit they had been pushing next year’s 7 day cruise. The list of guests was impressive, especially if you were like us, children of the 60’s. “The Hollies,” “The Turtles,” “Herman’s Hermits,” Felix Cavaliere’s “Rascals,” “The Guess Who,” “The Grass Roots,” “The Association,” “The Family Stone,” “The Buckinghams,” “Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels,” her favorite “The Cowsills,” and my favorite “Canned Heat.”

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You shouldn’t talk to strangers by Jeff Mauser

Prompt: The List | Word count: 1500 words | Genre: Mystery / Spy

The staff secretary knocked on my office door letting me know I had mail causing me to flinch smudging one of the ‘holes’ I had to fill in on the MFG-620 form.  I had just started on the 14 sheets required to get my latest MTBE improvement process formatted to run on our Cray 1700 computer.  I erased the smudge and begin again being sure to fill in only the small ovals with my number 2 pencil.  Twenty minutes later I had all the holes filled in that I needed to have the required data entered.

I swapped the 8.5 x 11 plain manila envelope she had left in my mail slot with my paperwork.  Sitting down at my desk I lit up a Marlboro opening the envelope.  Three small 8 x 5 photo’s fell out along with a note.  I didn’t have to see the photos to know I was in trouble.  The note was spelled out with letters cut out of a magazine:

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