Friday, December 27, 2013

Ready for another great story? We have one right here, straight from the Badlands of the Texas Border, from author Bob Clark. Once again, Bob gives his readers a witty “why didn’t I think of that” story that’s sure to leave you with a smile on your face.

No Use Crying

by Bob Clark

The moment Alex Messer got his once in a lifetime chance to save the world he was out jogging. Alex thought the exercise would keep his body fit for whenever he might meet an eligible female. He chugged up to a pair of baby carriages parked next to a bench in Laredo’s St. Peter’s Plaza and panted to a stop in order to survey the two attractive women seated there. It was the first time he had worked up the courage to approach them since he first spotted them taking their breaks on the same bench a few months back. They looked good from afar and even better as he drew near. This is the day to strike. 

He saw how they eyed him and whispered to each other as he made a show of checking his pulse. He cleared his throat and addressed the women, suspecting the first to answer would be his. “Excuse me ladies. Do you mind if I sit here a moment and rest? Been jogging for an hour and I’m a little winded.”

The women took in the thirty-seven year old’s handsome features and he was elated when the prettier of the pair nodded. In heavily accented English, she said, “Is OK, senor.”    

His heart danced. For too long, Alex had run by the women and the carriages they pushed in a vain effort to catch the eye of at least one. He was certain they were from across the border in Nuevo Laredo. They had to be part of the army of maids hired by the wealthy families who lived in the large turn of the century homes among the tree shaded streets around St. Peter’s Church. 

The hard working maids cared for the children of the well to do and cleaned the homes, but he knew that since their work was almost all indoors, they had little contact with the men of Laredo.  
Mmmm. If I play my cards right, my luck is going to change on this sunny morning.
“Senor,” said the good-looking one, “could you do us a favor?”

He flashed a bright smile and answered, 

“Anything at all for you. It would be my pleasure.”

The pretty one put a hand to her mouth for a second, then took it away. “Bueno, we see you all the times you come here and you look like a nice man. We have trust in you for this favor.”

“Well,” he said, beaming brighter. “I am honored at your faith in me and pleased to be of assistance.”

“Muchas gracias,” she said and motioned to the maid next to her. “My friend Matilda and me, we need to make a short visit to, how you say it? A resting room?” 

She pointed across the park to a stately home where Live Oak trees grew. “At the house, we have una amiga and she allows it.”

“I don’t understand though. Where do I come in?” asked Alex.

The pretty one shrugged and said, “We don’t want to push carriages all the way there and then all the way back. Is possible for you to watch the babies for a few minutes until we return?”

“Sure,” he nodded, “as long as I don’t have to change any diapers.”

The two women giggled and stood up. The pretty one smiled at him and made a tiny wave with the fingers of her right hand. “We be right back.”

He savored the sight of their bodies as they sashayed away from him. Ah, they are going to owe me. If she won’t go out on a date with me, the other one’s got great legs. He

watched them go around the house they had pointed to and on to the rear of it, then out of sight. After a sigh, he took a seat without a glance at the carriages.

The two babies, who had been silent up to this point, used the absence of the women to pierce the tranquil air with a loud wailing that startled the birds in nearby trees.

Alex kicked at one of the carriages and shouted, “Hey, you guys. Cool it. Don’t worry. When the girls come back, they’ll shove bottles in your mouths.”

The crying alternated from one to the other as if they were having a conversation.  He didn’t care for kids in the first place and the penetrating sounds of them soon became intolerable. He decided to see if there was a pacifier or some toy in one of the carriages to calm them down and he peered into the near one.



He reeled backwards and brought a hand to his head, then looked at it to see if there was any blood. “Jeez,” he said. “What’s in that rattle kid, lead? That hurt.”

The baby assailant opened his mouth to cry and Alex heard, “This species is inferior. They are good only for food for our beasts.”

Alex blinked his eyes and made a face. I have to be hallucinating. I could swear that baby is speaking English.

The infant in the second carriage asked, “Why did you have to hit him with the translator tool? It was too hard and the blow was in the knowledge area of his primitive brain. It could have killed him and that would have brought unwanted scrutiny in our direction.”

“But it was fun to hit him and besides, I can’t stand these beings. You remember when that female tried to get me to feed on her fleshy protuberance?”

The first baby emitted a high-pitched laugh and said, “Yes, but biting it was the wrong way to get the proper response.”

“Really?” said baby number two. “Well, she never did that again, did she?”

Alex could only stare. He understood every word they uttered. It had to be the rattle. The conk on the head somehow allowed me to understand the crying coming out of their tiny mouths.

The first baby said, “When the mother ship comes for us at first light, we must take back a few thousand of these beings. I’m sure our superiors will make another trip for more of them later on if the beasts thrive on our planet.”

Alex stepped back and shook his head to clear out cobwebs. I gotta tell somebody and quick. These are a kind of space aliens somehow designed to look like human babies.

“He begins to exhibit signs of comprehension,” said the first child. “I’m afraid the translator tool jarred something. This may be a problem.”

The second child reached forward and brought up a teething ring. “I’ll take care of him.” He pointed the teething ring at the man and pressed a hidden micro switch with his tiny pinkie. 

Minutes later, Alex was flat on his back and looking up from a gurney into the face of the pretty nanny. He moaned and another face replaced hers. By the cap, he knew it was that of a police officer. “Sir, are you all right? These two women said they found you unconscious next to a baby carriage. Are you hurt?”

Alex shook his head and then remembered the space aliens and their threat to take humans as animal food to wherever they came from. 

Though it sounded far-fetched, he had to tell the police. He was confident his story would be proved if they investigated. He would tell the cops about the rattle and the teething ring.

One of the babies peered down at him from a carriage and said, “Go ahead. Tell them what you know.” A bubble formed on the little lips as the adorable child smiled.

The policeman motioned to the women. He placed a finger to his lips, then pointed to the babies. “The noise of their crying is interfering with the questions I have for him. Please get them to quiet down.” 

When the crying calmed, the officer leaned down and asked Alex, “If you’re feeling better now, can I ask you what happened here?”

This was the chance to save mankind and Alex knew he would be looked upon as a great hero after the alien beings were thwarted in their plan. 

He gazed up at the cop and opened his mouth to speak. “I know this is going to sound crazy, but you have to arrest the babies,” he said. “They are really space aliens out to conquer the planet and enslave us all.”

The cop’s features looked pained. “Hey pal, cut out the imitations. Crying like a baby isn’t funny. Just tell us what happened.”

Alex did try, but all that came out of his mouth was the wailing noise of a baby. Meanwhile, from the carriages came the cooing sounds of contented infants.

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For more than four decades, Bob Clark worked as a personality in radio and TV, covering more than 25 states and 3 countries, with one of his many duties being the writing and production of hundreds of thousands of 30-second and one-minute stories that sold the products and services of advertisers. 

As Bob was retiring from that career, and after watching a particularly bad movie, he decided he could do better and set out to make writing his new career. 

Since then, several of his short stories have been read aloud in high school competitions; two of his short stories, “Whatever Lulu Wants” and “A Taste of Death” have been published in Volumes 1 and 2, respectively, of Open Heart Publishing’s anthology series An Honest Lie; 

“The Price Of Dining Out” and “The Card” have been published in Prose To Be Read Aloud (2006) by To Be Read Aloud Publishing;

and “Hearts In The Sand” has been published in the Winter-Spring 2012 Edition of Front Porch Magazine.

If you would like more information on Bob Clark and his works,, contact us at:

(PortfoliosExposed holds no rights whatsoever to any and all stories published within this blog. All authors retain full rights to publish. Please see contact information above and listed on this blog.)

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Monday, October 14, 2013

A Note from Construction Crew on Spiders and Flies, oh my, oh my!

Note from Construction Crew: 
     "We messed up. The post containing this full story was accidentally dropped off the 108th floor as we ate lunch, and was completely demolished upon landing. We'll be working overtime tonight in order to rebuild this story for you. We appreciate your patience!!"

“The Faithful Spider and the Crafty Fly”
by Kostas Paradias

The Grand Executioner’s hands let go of the girl’s supple neck. The bruises on her skin were like great blots of ink on virgin paper. She collapsed on the ground as the Grand Executioner sat on the base of a palm tree, motioning for her to continue.
“The fly is the complete opposite of the spider. It dwells in the sky, touching land only when hunger compels it to. It has no dwelling and no understanding of concepts like beauty or patience. Its life goes by as quickly as a song; it knows only a greed and lust that make the entire world seem like a feast to its eyes, just waiting to be devoured. Its only acknowledgement to Allah is the rubbing of its forelegs as it prepares to dine; its only worry, the propagation of its kind.”
The Grand Executioner smiled and weaved his hands together. The girl was a storyteller, employed by the Sultan himself, her tales for the great man’s ears only. But she had fallen out of favor, given him too many sad tales that had put him in a foul mood. Eventually, he had commanded the Grand Executioner to kill her himself. And now here he was, enjoying one of the Sultan’s delights for himself, the girl’s very last story.

Be sure to check back soon for the full story! 

I know you won't want to miss it!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Tor . . . dot com

Have you ever been there? Yes or no, it doesn't matter. What matters is that you should go there, now, especially if you like to write science fiction or fantasy - but! They accept non-sci-fi and non-fantasy as well, so don't despair!

Tor's submissions do not have deadlines, and they don't accept query letters. Just send the manuscript. Their submission guidelines will tell you more.

Here's where to go:

You will need to do an in-site search for "submit" or "submission guidelines".

I also recommend that you browse the site as they have many story excerpts on the blog (many!) and checking those out will help you become familiar with the type of material they accept.

Break a leg! (Oh, that's right, you're authors, not actors.) Good luck with Tor!

Monday, August 26, 2013


This site is currently under construction. We apologize for any disappointments that may cause and hope you'll check back with us soon. Some very interesting works are coming your way, and you won't want to miss any of them!