David Dykstal

Carmine was waking up. She was in real pain. “She’s breathing on her own now,” she heard someone say. “Yeah,” she thought, “but every breath hurts like hell. This must be Hell. Not like I imagined.” She groaned. “That second dose must have worked,” the voice said. “Huh? Dose?”

Spent the day sizing and hanging coats for our annual Christmas Anonymous Store Day. Tomorrow, folks who’ve registered through their social service agencies will come and be able to pick up gifts and winter clothing for their families. Busy day tomorrow!

Davis continued, “There’s a lot we know about Carmine, but there’s a lot more we don’t. My friends at the FBI have hinted as much. I’ve already called them in.” Betty calmed down a little, “Davis, I trust you. Your record is better than most, even better than your FBI friends.”

Is @blot down? I’m getting time-out and cert errors.

Davis turned to Mark and Betty, “I’m gonna need details.” Mark told his bit then Betty hers. Betty was shaking with rage as she recounted Carmine’s words and added, “She’s got to be lying! There’s no way she could have engineered that crash!” “Don’t be too sure,” countered Davis.

My ##mbnov story has taken a life of its own. I blame @amit 😁. I’ll continue to post until I reach some resolution but I’m removing the tag. I have no aspirations to include fiction writing in my retirement activities and that’s probably a good thing.

An EMT hooked Carmine up to oxygen and continued to work on her. About two minutes later he gave a thumbs up. “Heartbeat!” As the team prepared her for transfer to the ER, carefully storing the dart pouch and antidote, Lt. Davis said, “Guard’s already at the ER.” #mbnov++

Betty called 911 while Mark continued CPR. It didn’t take long, perhaps 10 minutes. The EMTs arrived and took over. Lt. Davis arrived and barked at the EMTs. “I’ll post a guard in the ER. She’ll be extremely dangerous if she lives. Look for the poison she’s got on her.” #mbnov++

I was considering submitting these flash fiction episodes to the 2020 Bulwer Lytton Fiction Contest, but the rules state that they have to be previously unpublished. Just my luck.

Carmine had stopped breathing. Betty checked for a pulse. Nothing.

She started CPR. “Wake up! Damn it!” she muttered between breaths.

She felt Carmine’s ribs crack under the pressure of her pumping.

Five minutes passed, then ten. She was exhausted.

Mark took over.


It’s vs its. They’re vs their. You’re vs your. I KNOW THE DIFFERENCE! Why don’t my fingers know before I hit the post button? Sigh.

I’ve been using Tower as a git client for a few years. I like it, but it’s time to get my command line git chops up to snuff again. Use it or lose it.

Carmine coughed and swallowed.

Betty unlocked her phone and handed it to Mark, “Call Lt. Davis. Get him here ASAP.”

Mark protested, “It’s nearly one a.m.!”

“I don’t care. Wake him up. Tell him we have Carmine. He’ll come.”

Betty turned her attention back to Carmine.


“Don’t be an idiot,” Betty hissed at Mark, “of course I’m going to try.” She bent down to Carmine’s mouth. She was breathing, but it almost not noticeable. She unstopped one of the vials and slowly poured the contents in hoping Carmine would swallow and not aspirate. ##mbnov++

I have been freed from the tyranny of #mbnov words!

Actually, it was fun trying to find ways to fit them into the story line. Constraints can force one to be creative and there were many times the word changed the story arc. I was thinking only about a post ahead the whole time.

Betty made it to the end of the path. One car. The keys worked. Six vials in the back seat. Grabbing three she ran back to the clearing. “She’s gone.” Mark said. “The hell she is!” said Betty. Mark was bewildered. “You’re not really going to try to save her, are you?” #mbnov++

Mark said, “She’s not going to last much longer.” Carmine’s breathing was becoming shallow. Betty remembered a verse from childhood about forgiving the unforgivable. Taking a chance, she rummaged through Carmine’s pockets, found her car keys, and sprinted down the path. #mbnov++

Carmine was speaking very slowly and deliberately now, but with a touch of pride still in her voice. “It was me. I killed Tommy and Tuppence Beresford. One of my better jobs. Got paid well too.” She gave a little laugh. Mark held her wrist checking her pulse. #mbnov++

Betty felt Carmine’s resistance fade but finished tying her hands behind her back with the strips cut from Mark’s shirt and turned her over. Carmine laughed softly. It was evil, like the knock of death upon a door. Carmine spoke with effort, “You don’t know, do you?” #mbnov++

It’s a good thing MicroBlogVember has been extended. There’s no way I could wrap up this story in time otherwise. Thanks @Macgenie!

Carmine stiffened. One of the darts in the pouch had pierced her thigh and it was obvious that Mark had used all the antidote. Her life swam before her eyes. In one sweeping panoramic view she saw it all: the assassinations, the spying, the extortion, the treason. #mbnov++

I’m running icro on Catalina. I didn’t even realize it was the iOS app running under Catalyst until I tried to find it in the Mac App Store for Mojave. The only issue was that It wasn’t immediately obvious how to do replies. Kudos to @hartlco.

Carmine ran quickly up the path toward the clearing then went sprawling face first into the dirt, tripped by a strand of platinum wire across the path. Betty was on her in an instant, but Carmine had a horrible feeling something worse than being ambushed had happened. #mbnov++

There was no way I could integrate today’s word into the story. #mbnov

Betty began to tease apart the platinum wire from the necklace ending up with two six foot strands. “We’ll use this,” she whispered. Mark was quick to see. “Fantastic!” he mouthed, “It just might work!” He took off his dress shirt and cut it into strips using the knife. #mbnov