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Pencils Down by Paula Johnson

trainQuestion #1: Train A leaves the station heading east at 70 mph. Train B leaves a station 225 miles away, heading west at 60 mph. How far from each station do they meet?

Jesse James robbed trains in the Wild West. What if Amtrak got robbed? I’d sneak up on the bad guys and throw ‘em out the windows! Passengers would cheer! The conductor would give me his hat! The engineer would blast the horn in my honor! That’s funny. The train horn sounds like a school bell—

“Pencils down!” said the teacher. “Pass your tests forward! See you Monday.”

© Copyright 2016 Paula Johnson. All rights reserved.
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Paula Johnson is the founder and editrix of The Rose City Sisters website. She is wishes you would submit your micro fiction or flash fiction.

Manic Pixie Dream Boy by Paula Johnson

Oliver appeared when Audrey needed a jump-start. She looked out her window and saw him performing tai chi. But she was on the twenty-third floor, and the building next door was mostly steel beams.

Catching her eye, he pointed to his watch, mimed eating, then dropped to his knees, begging. They met in her lobby. Was this a lunch date? A kidnapping? Both?

Audrey was soon able to decode Oliver’s sporadic text invitations (Sneakers. Passport. Tabasco!) but never understood the man. “If that boy were a toy, he’d be an Etch-a-Sketchy,” Audrey told her friends before checking her cell phone—again.

© Copyright 2016 Paula Johnson. All rights reserved.
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Paula Johnson is the founder and editrix of The Rose City Sisters website. She is spending July “at” Camp NaNoWriMo writing a collection of 100-word stories.

Killer Bees by Paula Johnson

Trevor planned to kill himself on his sixteenth birthday. Mom always said that his condition restricted him to raw, organic produce, so…no cake. His heart murmur precluded driving, Homeschooling was for his own protection. College was off the table.

His suicide would be dramatic, his weapon ordinary. He strolled to Arlington Garden and found bushes buzzing with bees. He plunged in, flailing and swatting his way into certain anaphylaxis.

Trevor reclined on a concrete bench and waited for the end. And waited. Two hours later, he arrived home with a dozen bee stings, a dozen donuts and a new plan.

© Copyright 2016 Paula Johnson. All rights reserved.
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Paula Johnson is the founder and editrix of The Rose City Sisters website. She also designs book covers, websites and other print and digital communications.

Today’s Special by Paula Johnson

“They got Marty!,” Deb shouted as she scurried into headquarters. “I knew something was wrong. Who leaves sugar-coated bacon on a spotless counter?”

“Boric acid?” whispered Jeff. Deb was silent, antennae drooping in confirmation. She scanned her surroundings. Deb knew how to leap to safety, to this side of the portal. But not even the elders knew how all the single earrings, keys, sunglasses, and cell phones got here.

She spied a new sock among the thousands that had disappeared from dryers and drawers. Cashmere. Good. She deserved something warm and soft in this cold, hard world.

© Copyright 2016 Paula Johnson. All rights reserved.
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Paula Johnson is the founder and editrix of The Rose City Sisters website. She also designs book covers, websites and other print and digital communications.

The Bus by Paula Johnson

After months of glances and weeks of conversation, he worked up the nerve to suggest dinner, but was drowned out by the blaring bus horn. They laughed. He tried again. She accepted. Several regular passengers applauded.

She blinked back tears when he did not appear at the restaurant or answer his phone. While she died a little inside, he died outside under the front wheels of a crosstown bus.

“He ran right in front of me,” the bus driver said.

“Why was he in such a hurry?” an old man asked.

“Who were the flowers for?” asked his wife.

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In addition to publishing 1,000-word flash fiction stories, the Rose City Sisters now accepts your micro fiction. Keep your story to 100 words or less (not including the title). Submit by email.

About/Contact

Paula Johnson wants
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Originally, the Rose City Sisters blog served as test site for Paula Johnson’s experiments with HTML, Javascript, animated GIFs and other web-based wonders. (Her sister, Janet, helps beta test the sites Paula designs for her clients.)

In March 2009, novelist and blogger Margaret Finnegan suggested turning the Rose City Sisters blog into a showcase for short fiction. For that bit of genius, our first story is hers.

To find out more about Paula’s work, visit her creative services website or her stand-up comedy site.

The site is a work in progress and a labor of love. Please email your questions and suggestions.