Tag Archives: imagination

Breaking Wild

I apologize that I haven’t been around much these days. The good news is that I recently got a promotion, and I’m now the interim director for the Intensive English Program at our university. The bad news is that I often have to work 10-12 hour days to get everything done. I’m optimistic that it will get better but for the moment, I hope you can be understanding.

One upside of my job is that I run the blog for our program: intensiveenglishuiu.com. We are currently having a naming contest for the blog. Email me your suggestion for a new name here and if we choose your suggestion, I will send you a piece of Upper Iowa University clothing.

And now, onto the main event…

copyright Jennifer Pendergast

copyright Jennifer Pendergast

Breaking Wild

“Taking a leak. Be back in a minute,” Jack said.

He left the assembly line, heading to the back.

He did not go to the bathroom.

Ten minutes later, he was driving out of town, taking small roads to avoid traffic cameras.

Five hours later, he stopped for gas, paid in cash taken out in small increments over months.

Twelve hours later, he hit dirt roads until even they ended, hundreds of miles from cellphone coverage.


A buzzer sounded. Break time. Jack headed to the breakroom, but in his mind, the campfire was crackling and overhead, millions of stars burned.


Kid Logic – Friday Fictioneers

Merry Christmas to everyone from the Green-Walled Tower! There is no snow touching its ivy-covered sides since this year has been unseasonably warm where I am, although it is still Christmas inside. I have been surrounded by young children and Christmas themes this weeks: thus, this story.

copyright Bjorn Rudberg

copyright Bjorn Rudberg

Kid Logic

The boys charged up the steps of the old castle, glad to be free of the car.

“The steps are lava!” Jack yelled.

“But they’re green,” Henry said. “They’re like little Christmas trees. Maybe there are tiny people there who decorate them at Christmas.”

“And Santa delivers presents, riding in the Catbus.”

“And then a dragon comes out of the ground and fights the Catbus and the people hide in the Christmas trees.”

“Yeah, they climb inside ornaments and use them for their houses.”

At that moment, Batman ballerina ran between them, crushing innumerable imaginary Christmas trees under her feet.

my little Batman ballerina

my little Batman ballerina


The Delights of the Cage – Alastair’s Photo Fiction

The Delights of the Cage

“If only,” Col said, and sighed as only a pigeon can. “Look how strong those bars are.”

“They could hold off anything,” Umbi murmured. “Cats, rats, even dogs.”

“And they’re indoors, and they’re allowed to be,” Dae said. “I once flew into a Walmart and I had people whacking at me with brooms for an hour before I got out.”

“Food all day long, just sitting there, ready to eat,” Col said.

“Warm in the winter, cool in the summer,” Dae moaned.

“I hear they even get a bell to play with, or a mirror.”

“What’s a mirror?”

“It’s like a magic window. It has another bird inside that can’t get out. I hear they’re very entertaining.”

“Shoo! Get away from here!” The three pigeons scattered and took flight, just in time to avoid the kick the pet shop owner had aimed at them.

“If only we could live in a cage,” Umbi said as they flew away, in search of something to eat. “That would be the life.”

Barnstormer – Friday Fictioneers

Well, I’m back from my rather long wander around some Korean islands. It was a wonderful time of hiking, exploring and being alone. Thus, I’m a bit late doing the Fictioneers story this week, but better late than never. I haven’t read any of the other stories in the group yet, so I hope we didn’t have the same idea.

copyright Janet Webb

copyright Janet Webb


“It flies,” Rose said, looking out her window at the barn next door.

“Does it indeed?” her mother asked. “It looks rather rundown to me.”

“Well, it used to fly. Dr. Corbeau attacked it with his horde of bamboozles and smashed in the side. I’m going to build a better one though, with rockets, and I’m going to fly it all over the world, even to Easter Island! Do you think I can? Huh?”

“I know you can, dear,” her mother said, moving the pint-sized wheelchair over next to the bed. “Now let’s go. It’s almost time for your chemo.”


Volcano Jumpers

There are few ways of dying that are worse than falling into a river of lava. Molten rock is one of the hottest substances on the surface of the earth, instantly incinerating anything that touches it. Still, there are a select few for whom the extreme danger is a game. They are known as volcano jumpers: few in number, reckless in spirit, ineligible for life insurance.

Brad concentrated on the rock ahead of him. Even wearing a heat suit, the extreme temperatures were making him lightheaded. Just feet below him, a slow river of lava bubbled and swirled lazily.

“Come on, you can make it,” his brother Donald called. They were alone in a low cave that just days before had been filled with a furious torrent of lava. Now it had subsided slightly, just enough for them to make their way along the edge.

Brad reached out with his rock hammer and then swung his leg over the crevice. Another small jump and he was across.

“Now comes the big jump,” Donald said. Brad looked ahead to where Donald was pointing. Two rocks came together over the main flow of lava, but they were still five feet apart, with nothing to grab onto.

“Do we have to?” he asked.

Donald nodded. “We have to. We can’t go back from here and it’s the only way back to the surface.” He took the lead, edging out until he was on the very edge of the rock. Then he made a flying leap to the other side. His foot slipped, but he caught himself, just before it could touch the lava flow. “It’s okay,” he said. “It didn’t touch. My suit protected me. Come on, you can do it.”

Brad edged out onto the rock. Sulfurous fumes swirled up, making it hard to see. He thought of his parents, his girlfriend Jenny, his dog Freddy. If he missed this jump, he would never see any of them again. Instead, he would be burned alive in a river of fire. He jumped with all his might. He missed completely.


“You’re dead,” Donald said from where he stood on the armchair.

Brad picked himself off the living floor. “Move the chair closer next time,” he said.

“Okay, now it’s a shark-infested lagoon,” Donald said.

The sawed-off broom handle in Brad’s hand ceased to be a rock hammer and became a spear gun instead. The patch of living room carpet in front of him became a patch of ominous, blue water.

Sharks, Brad thought. I can handle sharks.

If You Could Live Anywhere

“If you could live anywhere, where would you live?” Allison asked.

Jordan thought for a moment. “I’d live on the Hubble Telescope.”

“You can’t live there. There’s no air or place to sleep.”

“It’s a hypothetical question, right?” Jordan said. “So any answer is allowed.”

“Fine, why would you want to live there?” Allison asked.

“Who wouldn’t want to live there? You could turn away from the Earth with all its ugly problems and gaze out forever onto the vast expanse of the universe. Instead of worrying about war and poverty and finding the right person to marry, I could look out forever on God’s grand creation and fill my soul with beauty.”

“Wouldn’t you be lonely?”

“You could visit sometimes, if you want. So, where would you live?”

Allison shrugged. “I don’t know now. I was going to say the tree house.”


(So…if you could live anywhere, where would you live?)



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