Shopping List Fiction

Blue cartoon bird

Often when asked the question ‘what do you write?’, I include shopping lists. People laugh, but I’m serious. You can tell a whole lot about someone from their shopping list. It’s a story in itself (though also a puzzle in a way, as you have to fill in the gaps).

There aren’t many places to send list stories though. So I figured I’d post this one here, in all its listy glory.

Today’s Shopping List: Wheat Field, Two Acres

* Ultrasonic Bird Scarer
* Anti-Perching Pigeon Spikes
* Bird Repeller Ribbon
* Eagle Eye Balloon

* Animating the Inanimate: 10 Beginner Projects by M. Emrys

* Turnip, large
* Carrot
* Bale of straw
* Suit, second hand
* Scarf, woollen with stripes
* Hat, wide-brimmed
* Needle and thread
* Pure spring water, one bottle
* Antimony

* Front door, same as old one
* Kitchen table, oak
* Iron chain, ten feet
* Padlock

* Bandages
* Antiseptic cream
* Matches
* Charcoal, two bags

* Cat, tiger

Five Story Fragments

I’ve lost a story. I can’t think how, other than saving it in the wrong place, but it’s gone. In the process of searching, I opened up everything I didn’t recognise in my idea file.

Despite my memory, there were things I’d forgotten. Strange, fragmentary things, with no apparent story attached. Maybe these will become stories someday. Maybe they’ll always stay in the ‘what was I thinking?’ category. Either way, here they are for your bemusement…

1) Hero’s Shadow

“The hero moves through the street, silent as a shadow. He stops, turns and glares at me.”

“Will you cut it out? This is a stealth operation.”

[I actually had a brief story outline for this one.]

2) Door

The Evil Lord of Balthoss smashed a hole in the door. I wouldn’t have minded so much, if I hadn’t been the door. I hope he got splinters.

[I think I was having a door appreciation day. They do get smashed down on a frequent basis. Besides, when was the last time you saw a door as a main character? Inanimate object discrimination.]

3) Warning

The holonet ought to come with warnings. I don’t want to see a pro-gamma five kissing an epsilon one. It’s not natural, choosing one of your quad outside your normal gender alignment. You’ve got forty-two other genders to choose from. What’s the fascination with the remaining fifty three?

[This is what you get for letting a science fiction writer read anti-gay propaganda.]

4) Octopus Melon

Octopus loved to make melon pies
With cream on the top and jellyfish eyes.

[It’s for children. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.]

5) Dancing Spiders

Dancing spiders. Dancing spiders everywhere.

[I have no idea. None. Maybe it was late?]

If you’re a writer, now is the time to release those idea oddities onto an unsuspecting world.