If you like to read, and enjoy quirky, welcome. There are about 30 random things here for you. After you read a short story you may even find some personal comments/insights! The main purpose of creating this blog is for writers. I see so much written about writer's block, and honestly, I don't have it. Occasionally, I write short stories, longer stories, books, plays, one act plays, monologues, and sometimes I even think one is good enough to submit somewhere. Of course, when you submit a story to a magazine that receives 200 stories a month and publishes five, you'd better enjoy the process of writing. I'm not suggesting that I'm a good writer, merely that I can sit down and just start writing.

It is important to write, to constantly be working on your art. If you are constantly plagued by writer's block, perhaps you are being too selective in what you write about. With that in mind, I wanted to share with you some examples of my writing, from someone who can write all the time. Occasionally the topics are a bit strange, but I don't let that slow me down, I love to write and get to a finished product. Hopefully, by looking at some examples, you will say to yourself that phrase that all artists who visit MOMA in NYC say: "Well, I can do this!" That would be good, because you can! One of my posts is about a talking tomato. (You have to be able to do better than that!)

In part I'm trying to get some of my stuff in one place, so keep in mind I never claimed it was going to be an incredible read. You can decide that. I will tell you that occasionally I have a story in me that seems to fit the goal of a publication, and I try to write specifically with that goal in mind. Lately I've been considering publications that publish nonfiction memoirs, so some of the entries you'll find here will have that flavor. Perhaps this is a way to get past writer's block - find a publication looking for something that you'd like to write. It seems like memoir-based publications may be a good place to start, because we're all experts in our own families. I'm using a blog here to share some of the things I've written; the blog format is not ideal, so you need to poke around a little at old posts, to see if you can find a story or something else that may interest you.

Two last items. None of these are finished products. I usually get to a point where I have something written, and then stop. If it is something I may decide to submit for some reason, I'll finish formatting, following the specific rules of the magazine or organization (the rules are alwaysdifferent). If you do see something in here that you may be interested in using, don't hesitate to contact me.

So welcome to my blog. Welcome to my writing. Write, people, write! It feels good.

Please also consider getting a copy of my first book, Saturday Night at Sarah Joy's. All Royalties go to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund. Please check out the book's blog at:

Thank you!

© 2012 John Allison

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Rocco Ate the Neighbor's Dog

Rocco ate the neighbor's dog.  Not that Rocco was in any way a problem in the neighborhood, it's just that he liked to help people, and was good with a hammer and nails.
When the widow Mrs. Davis' pine steps fell apart from weather, decay, and lack of a yearly painting, Rocco knew he had to do the right thing for his aging neighbor, and built a new set of steps to her front porch.  Of course, Mrs. Davis had to somehow pay Rocco back, but she had little money, so she lured Pa-Pow, the fluffy little dog who lived on the other side of Rocco, into her house, bopped him on the head with a little frying pan, skinned him and made a nice little lentil soup that she gave to Rocco.  Sweet thought.  Pa-Pow’s skin/fur and guts left the premises with the regular trash, and that was that.  Rocco had soup for dinner for two days, and his neighbors frantically searched for their baby puppy for close to six weeks.  No luck.
On Christmas day, the lady who lived directly across the street from Rocco, Sarah Evans, went to get a long hot shower.  When she got out, she took time to smell very good, all over.  She dried and fluffed out her hair, and, dressed only in her fluffy tan robe, came down the stairs to thank her husband of 25 years, John, for the lovely Christmas gifts.  In the months that followed, she'd repeatedly explain, to anyone who asked, that he apparently put on his coat, walked out the door and never returned.  Ever.  Too bad it wasn't a white Christmas, because if it had snowed, someone smart would have been able to trace one set of footprints from Mrs. Davis' house to John and Sarah's front door, and two sets of footprints back. 
Now one thing we know about each other on the street is when someone is getting a shower, because the bathroom windows are notorious for fogging up.  Perhaps Mrs. Davis knew one of them was in the shower when she knocked on the door requesting help with a clogged drain, or the smell of natural gas.  We can only guess why he put on his coat and accompanied her back to her little house, where he was promptly hit over the head with a little frying pan until he stopped breathing.
Mrs. Davis was very proud of herself.  She was looking for a hobby and settled on making decorative holiday candles.  She read endless articles about wax and fats and somehow stumbled onto a forensic article about people who die in bed by falling asleep with a lit cigarette in their hand.  The story was about a particular woman, an oddity even before she died, being extremely obese.  They found a big pool of her fat, that had melted in the heat and ran through the big bed springs' remains, and had resolidified on the big floor below.  Mrs. Davis had made some sticks and pine cones, covered in wax, as Christmas fire starters, and knew they would burn for a long time, with each wax-covered pinecone ear acting as a long-lasting candle.  This lead to her invention of which she was quite proud - the perpetual fireplace.  She filled her fireplace with wood.  Leaving the details to your own ghoulish imagination she somehow hung John's body inside of her chimney, probably with some kind of cable, with the plan that, as the fire burned, his melting fat would drip down onto the wood, creating small wax/fat-covered sticks that would burn for as long as John's body had something to contribute.  The first few times she burned her new fireplace, a few little buttons and a little zipper fell, and the smell was peculiar, although not unpleasant, she thought, reminding her of her Great Aunt Annie's meatloaf.
Five weeks after John's disappearance, the police spoke with each person in the little neighborhood, for the third time, trying to jog their memories.  Perhaps they might still remember something that could help crack the case of the walk-away husband.
Deputy Tom Hettinger sat in Mrs. Davis' living room.  It was she who had insisted that he light the fire as she brewed a pot of Black Powder Tea, that she insisted they share.  They sat in the twin stuffed chairs behind the glass-topped coffee table, facing the fire, drinking out of her white china cups with the gold rim trim.   "Could you have possibly seen John outside, carrying a grocery bag perhaps?"  "No," she replied, "I believe I slept in late on Christmas.  Not much reason to get up early for a lonely old lady like me."
"Oh, I'm sure Santa still comes down your chimney every year," Tom joked.  She didn't smile.  The clink, the round tone of Tom's cup returning to it's white saucer with the gold rim trim, was doubled by a much less dainty noise, a thud, as John's skull, finally free of the muscles, veins, nerves, and fat that held it to his suspended torso, fell down into the fire.  Tom looked at Mrs. Davis.  Mrs. Davis said "Oh my dear, embers on the carpet!"  With that she did her version of "moving quickly" to the kitchen.  She returned, not with a little pot of water, not a little fire extinguisher, but a little frying pan.
Rocco knew what to do with gift horses, and while it was a surprise, he certainly would never turn down Mrs. Davis' stew, much less what she had named Valentine's Day stew.  When he had emptied the Tupperware container and returned it, it came back to him with a refill!  Life is good, eh Rocco?  Why a little old woman creates such large batches of stew and soup is a mystery to everyone, but no one would ever complain.
At 4 AM, on the day after Tom visited the neighbors, the police chief was awoken by a call from Sylvia Hettinger.  Perplexed over why Tom had not come home, they were even more confused over why his police cruiser was still at the corner of the street - the street where the presumably late John Evans lived, as well as the still-missing Pa-Pow (who would have surely wagged his little tail in thankfulness if he had had the opportunity to sample this latest culinary delight).  The police chief decided to let it sit there for about a week, just to see if it made anyone nervous.  It did not, so he finally went to pick it up, only to return to the precinct with not only the car but also some stew from an appreciative neighbor.

© 2012 John Allison

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