Tag Archives: strange

At the Water’s Edge

PHOTO PROMPT © Erin Leary

PHOTO PROMPT © Erin Leary

He knew she was out there, somewhere, probably hidden under all those lily pads–obscured by the dark, murky water. The water rippled in the wind, making the lily pads bob up and down in a hypnotic dance. He wasn’t sure he’d ever find her–wasn’t sure he even wanted to. Seeing her again wouldn’t lead anywhere good, not after so many years. He knew that, but still he went there every day after work and sat at the water’s edge. Not seeing her again seemed worse somehow. He needed to know she existed–needed to know he wasn’t crazy.

Written for Friday Fictioneers.

Click here to read stories from the rest of the Fictioneers.


Piano Man

PHOTO PROMPT © Jan W. Fields

PHOTO PROMPT © Jan W. Fields

He sat at the piano, but didn’t play. His fingers caressed the keys, but he knew better than to press down. A beautiful melody he didn’t dare let his ears hear danced through his head.

Bad things happened every time he played. For too long he played off the misfortunes in his life as coincidence. Eventually, he realized the truth. Too many lives had already been lost to risk another touch of those haunted keys. Every single time he pressed one of those forsaken keys someone died.

“Play me something,” a voice–his wife’s–said from somewhere behind him.

“Never.”

Not sure why but I immediately thought of the song Piano Man by Billy Joel when I saw the photo. Love that song, but being me I had to put a darker spin on the whole thing.

Written for Friday Fictioneers.

Click here to read stories from the other Fictioneers.


The Glow-worm Caves of Waitomo

In New Zealand there is an underground river that draws tourists in, not for the river itself, and certainly not to eat their souls. Though I’m sure the river enjoys chomping on the occasional human sacrifice. Probably. Maybe. Okay, probably not, but it makes for a good story.

Anyway, the draw here is not the underground river, or the network of caves that river travels through. Both are impressive, but this place has something even more awe inspiring. They aren’t called the glow-worm caves for nothing.  The image below shows the “glow-worms” that illuminate the cavern ceiling.

Image credit: whereonearth.net

Image credit: whereonearth.net

Glow-worms is in quotes above because the “glow-worms” that give this cave its name are anything but. The truth is pretty messed up. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The “glow-worms” are actually fly larvae and the glow is caused by excretory organs. They produce a thread that catches flies and other insect for these little cannibals to feast on. And in what may be the most disturbing twist: the hungrier these little beasties are, the brighter the glow.

That being the case, if you ever visit you may want to pray for a dim glow lest you be eaten by the locals.


Destination Weirdsville: Poland’s Crooked Forest

A collection of highly unusual trees–roughly 400 in total–has taken up residence in a tiny corner of western Poland, near Gryfino. I use the phrase “taken up residence” because the trees appear to have been planted around 1930. These trees are quite unique and are surrounded by a larger forest of perfectly normal trees.

What makes these trees so unique? Well, how about I just show you rather than tell you?

crookedforestgryfinopoland2

Nobody seems to know why all of these trees are bent, or how it was done, but the fact that they’re all bent in the same direction (northward) lends to the idea that it was almost certainly some sort of human intervention that caused the trees to bend. The general consensus is that they were bent on purpose for use in furniture or boat making, but other slightly more bizarre suggestions to their origins have also been suggested: everything from the standard aliens to gravity anomalies.

Give me your strangest ideas as to how and why this crooked forest might exist. You don’t have to believe it. I just want to hear some interesting explanations.


Destination Weirdsville: Weird American Laws – Exhibit A

All across this great nation of ours, there are laws out that were created long ago that stood the test of time even though they should have gone the way of the dinosaurs. In this three part series I’m going to inform you of one strange law from each of the fifty states. I advise you to live by these laws and treat them as gospel. Your knowledge of the obscure may result in you not going to jail or being fined. You’re welcome, friend.

Note: These laws may or may not actually exist. They were obtained from the all mighty interwebs and have not been checked for validity. They are presented here for entertainment purposes only.

Alabama

Picture yourself in Lee County. It’s a beautiful Wednesday evening and the sun has just dropped below the horizon. Out of nowhere, you get a hankering for some peanuts. Sorry, you’re out of luck. In Lee County, it is illegal to sell peanuts on Wednesday after sundown. Hope you have a stash at home or you aren’t getting any.

Alaska

Ah, the majestic Alaska. If you happen to find yourself riding in an airplane and your traveling companion is a moose, don’t you dare push that bad boy out the door until the plane comes to a complete stop. It is considered an offense to push a live moose out of a moving airplane.

Arizona

Shoplifters beware! If you steal soap, you may just end up being the cleanest theif in the state. In Mohave County, a decree declares that anyone caught stealing soap must wash himself with it until it is all used up.

Arkansas

Screw you, mother nature! Your laws don’t apply here. The Arkansas River can rise no higher than to the Main Street bridge in Little Rock.

California

Have you ever found yourself riding shotgun in a car and you look over to see that there is no driver? You better damn well hope that ghost behind the wheel doesn’t accelerate beyond 60 miles per hour. No vehicle without a driver may exceed 60 miles per hour.

Colorado

I know the urge is strong to destroy buildings when you come across a catapult. Trust me, I’ve been there. But if you find yourself in Aspen Colorado, it’d be wise to let that urge fall to the wayside. In Aspen, catapults may not be fired at buildings.

Connecticut

I don’t often eat pickles, but when I do, they damn well better be official. In order for a pickle to officially be considered a pickle, it must bounce. Hope your floors are clean.

Delaware

Let it be known that all hoochies in in Lewes, Delaware shall wear only baggy, saggy pants! It is illegal to wear pants that are “firm fitting” around the waist.

Florida

Say you’re riding your elephant down the street (because who doesn’t have a pet elephant, right?) and you decide to stop for a bite to eat and the only available parking is metered. You better have some change in those deep pockets of yours to feed that meter. If an elephant is left tied to a parking meter, the parking fee has to be paid just as it would for a vehicle.

Georgia

Don’t you just hate it when stupid laws prohibit you from carrying ice cream cones in your back pocket? Then you better stay away from Georgia on Sundays! No one may carry an ice cream cone in their back pocket if it is Sunday.

Hawaii

What’s that? You love the ocean? Why not move to Hawaii? It’s surrounded by ocean on all sides! But, you don’t like boats? Better just stick with a visit rather than moving there then. All residents may be fined as a result of not owning a boat.

Idaho

Ladies in Idaho, I apologize that your man never buys you chocolates, but he does have a good reason. It is illegal for a man to give his sweetheart a box of candy weighing less than fifty pounds. I know you’d like a fifty pound box of chocolate, but he just can’t afford that.

Illinois

I always try to keep a single dollar bill in my wallet for this very reason. Never know when I’ll be traveling through Illinois. You may be arrested for vagrancy if you do not have at least one dollar bill on your person.

Indiana

Indiana laughs at the laws of mathematics, spits in their face really. In Indiana, the value of Pi is 3. That’s right, just 3.

Iowa

Do you live in Iowa? Do you fancy growing some facial hair? Please be advised that your “game” with the ladies with drop significantly. There will be no hanky-panky in public. Any man with a moustache may never kiss a woman in public.

Kansas

Kansas is not good with word problems. My evidence? This paradoxical law: If two trains meet on the same track, neither shall proceed until the other has passed.

Kentucky

Who doesn’t love making a buck sell blue ducklings? I sure do. Just be sure to have at least seven ducklings on hand if you want to try out this get rich quick scheme in Kentucky. One may not dye a duckling blue and offer it for sale unless more than six are for sale at once.

That’s all for now, folks. Have I missed your home state? Don’t worry! I’ll be back later with a completely new set of screwed up laws from seventeen different states.