Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Writing Contest starts 8/3 at noon!

Time for the next writing contest!

Usual rules: write a story using 100 words or fewer. Post your entry in the comments column of this blog post. Contest opens on Wednesday 8/3 at noon, runs for 24 hours till noon on Thursday 8/4.  If you goof up, you can take a mulligan. The LAST entry is the one that counts.

Use these five words in the story:


There's a connection; do you know what it is?

The prize is AMAZING! It's my most recent Sox Knocker book! (more on that to come!)

Comments are closed till the contest opens.

(and let's see if I can remember to post the winners a little more -ahem- promptly!)



BP said...

“I’m on a roll, now!” The echo of Sam’s voice reverberated through the cavern.
I wanted to yell, “Get down, you crazy buffoon!” I wanted to tell her she had a fever and she’d be yodeling all the way to the grave if she kept these shenanigans up.
But Sam wouldn’t care. She swung higher, an incredulous grin sweeping her face.
“Don’t be jelly ‘cause you’re afraid, Josh.” She clipped her belt to a crevice. “What kind of bones can you find on the ground?”
My stomach rumbled and I rolled my eyes. “Hopefully, I’ll find a t-bone before dawn.”

Phil Hall said...

T-bone is a big man, scary, and when he entered, the screeching door echoed as his footsteps stormed toward me like a column of tanks at war. His grimace, harder than diamond; his features, unreadable: a book written in no earthly language. I cowered as his massive frame dominated the room while suspended lights blazed his darker-than-life shadow. Before me, his gaze burned hellfire: T-Bone had the fever--an illness that could only be cured by his greatest desire--and it was for this sacred item he spoke tones lower than the unplumbed deep, "Jelly roll, please."

Graeme Smith said...

The guy on the corner looked up, and his sax switched to ‘Stormy Monday’. I wondered if the ghost of T-Bone was laughing as the New Orleans rain began to fall. The Walker was OK, but this was the Big Easy, not Linden Texas. So I eased over. “You know any Jelly-Roll?”

He looked sad. “All I got’s the Wolverine Blues.”

I shrugged. “That’s fine.” I waved a fifty.

The full moon showed his flush, like he had fever. The rain washed over the hair springing from his face. The last thing I heard was the echo of his howl.

LupLun said...

One minute, David was rolling down main street, pondering the “Disco Fever” bumper sticker on the minivan in front of him. The next, there was a squealing of brakes and a thunderous crash. The car skidded, glass shattering and steel buckling... then stillness. The noise echoed in his brain as he turned to take in the massive truck that had t-boned his miniscule seden. His bones turned to jelly as he looked after Irene. She had ducked her head and covered it, like in those old 50’s PSAs. David whispered a silent prayer of thanks that they were both unhurt.

Lupines and Lunatics

Kregger said...

I’m dead.

I looked up from texting and there she was.

You know the type, a little jellyroll of a girl.

Her eyes wide open.

A feverous flush of anticipation crept into her face.

The echo of screeching tires loud in my ears.

The front grill t-boned human flesh.

And, the dull thump-thump of rubber squashing road-kill shuddered through my body.

I glanced at my hand; my cell phone was pinned in a rigor like grip.

Lying prone on the asphalt, and struggling to breathe, I keyed my last tweet.

At least, I’m not going to die of cancer.

Jared X said...

The pickup from the darkened side street obliterates his car door and ribs. The cops will call it in as a t-bone.

The SUV he couldn’t afford, now his prison, doesn’t roll because of the concrete divider bracketing the passenger side. He blinks through glass and blood. The world is a fever dream of smeared lights. Each noise blends with its echo into a psychedelic muddle.

He tries to move but his legs are jelly. The pickup’s female driver approaches. In faint streetlight, he makes out a familiar face where a stranger’s should be.

The crash is no accident.

Colin Smith said...

He was an echo of his old self. An echo—not a shadow. Shadows are present facts. Echos are fading memories. That's what the fever did to him. The hospital bed consumed him. His face gaunt; his skin clear and damp like petroleum jelly. Back in the day he was a boxer. "T-Bone," they called him. He never had to roll with the punches: he could take them all. He used to say, "Don't waste fear on the enemies you can see; it's the ones you can't that'll screw you." He was right.

Kirsten said...

“Wait, girl!” The old man’s hand, curled by arthritis into a walnut-wood claw, pointed to the vinyl record in my hands. “You don’t put Jelly Roll Morton next to T-Bone Walker. That’s blasphemy.”
“But it’s all jazz, right?” I asked.
“No, not at all. See, ragtime is a fever that gets into the blood, and stirs the body,” he said. “But blues-”
He sighed, and raised his eyes to the framed vintage nightclub poster on the wall. A woman leaned on a piano, in a lace dress, naked lips and flirting eyes.
“-Blues is an echo of the soul.”

Kate said...

My whole body turns to jelly as I watch Finn crumple to the floor beside me, but I cannot move. The spectators are brought to a fever pitch as they gaze gaily at my face, contorting with the familiar pain of loss, everything echoing so many moments before. It’s as though my life has been rolled into one death, one suffering so great that as the tears stream down my face, I do not feel the man T-bone me with his bludgeon. But as I fall to the ground, I am aware only of the pool of blood encasing me.

Gerald So said...

Couldn't help the occasional glance at Jimmy as he scarfed down his t-bone and roll. The waiter had refilled his water glass four times already.

"Honey," he said, between bites.


"I think I've got a fever."

I gave a concerned look as he paled. His stomach growled, and I knew the steak had turned to jelly.

Who knew the growling would echo in my mind longer than the thud of his head on the table? It's the only thing that haunts me about poisoning him.

Patty Blount said...

I’d loved her with a wild, unholy passion* since we were thirteen years old. I’d burned for her. She was a fever in my goddamn blood and I ran before I was nothing but a pile of t-bones and ash.


Heard she married, had herself a bunch of babies.

I stayed away.

The fever still burned. So here I am, waitin’ on her, wonderin’ if she’ll recognize me, with a gut roll and gray hair, nothin’ but an echo of the man I was.

The bell jangled. She was rounder, softer. Older. Her kiss tasted like grape jelly.

*Metaphor stolen

Patricia L. Morris said...

“I smell foul play, Sherman,” Peabody’s words echo as he gnaws his last t-bone.

Because of his time-travel fever invention Mr. Peabody hasn’t aged since 1959, when he became the first dog to adopt a boy. Sherman however has a jellyroll around his middle. He is retirement age, but can’t.

“Sherman, set the WABAC machine to the economic crisis in 2011...”

“No, not again.” Sherman squeals.

“But Sherman, you know we need a different take on it.” Peabody’s wisdom shines, no more bits and bites of pure purpose or pure dreams. “The systemic view is something else again.”

Wayne Plourde said...

The guard passed the steak though the slot in the bars.
"I wanted jelly with my T-bone," said the prisoner.
"Jelly with your T-bone?" asked the guard.
"Must be an echo in here. Get me some jelly."
"Drop it, Bud. There ain't none."
The prisoner sat, took the steak in both hands and bit off as much as he could fit in his mouth. The guard watched.
"They say it comes on like a fever - hot - then your eyes roll back in your head and it's over." said the prisoner.
"How about some marmalade?" asked the guard.

M.R. Jordan said...

Echo leaned in for a closer look. "Did you just throw up a T-Bone?"
"Yeah, and those disparate agglomerations are from a dated Crispy Cream jelly-roll. It was deleterious, "Bower said. "Too much beer and a fever."
"Are you being esoteric on purpose?"
"Hey, I comprehend that nomenclature- Oh God." Bower covered his mouth with his hand, gagged a time or three, before up-chucking into a trashcan. When he was done, he wiped his mouth and said, "The consummate tomes I've been excogitating opine the prudence of employing GRE vernacular in my circadian repartee."
Echo shrugged. "Want another beer?"

Anonymous said...

I awoke to a booming echo and stumbled out back to see what was going on. A coiled demon raised its head. “I’m hungry,” it growled.

“Can’t you be quiet?” I whispered. “I need to sleep. I have a fever.”

“I’m hungry.”

“I don’t care,” I said. It still wouldn’t shut up, so I went to the kitchen and made it a jelly sandwich.

“Still hungry!”

It took two more sandwiches, a roll, five cookies, and a t-bone steak to satisfy it. “And I hope you choke on the bone!” I told the demon, and went back to bed.

Donna Cooper said...

“Come on, sweet little agent, be a good little honey bun. Who do you think that you are you fooling? Stick out your tongue and let me see that t-bone that you made disappear with your literary magic. I know that it is not a blackberry jelly roll like you want me to believe.” Thumbing a spoon against her belly, Donna said. “I am sure that I hear an echo coming from your tummy asking for the release of one hundred words.”

“Okay, you win,” she said coughing up the goods. “Now, give me the connection.”

Unknown said...

T-bone steak and jelly.

She stared at the lone plate, not understanding its appearance on her table. She knew only one person who preferred his meat slathered in strawberry.

The echo of his voice reached across the years. “You’ve gotta roll with the punches, kid.”

He certainly had, searching out flying fists with an untreatable fever. But rolling only worked when the path was smooth and his wasn’t.

Shattering the plate did nothing to soothe. Her own descent to the floor mirrored that of the jelly now on the wall.

He was gone. All that was left were the dishes.

L. Vendrell said...

The roll spun on the bar. Now barren, excepting a few tattered remnants that flapped like middle fingers in the breeze from an overhead vent. Even that cold air blistered his skin. It extracted from his pores what the fever failed to take from his bowels. He reached forward with arms the equivalent of jelly and opened the bathroom door.

"Tom Bone," he said in to hallway.

His echo, not his roommate, answered with a dead, "T … Bone."

He called again. And again. He called until his voice grew hoarse.

No one came.

OddDustin said...

“Je je jelly roll, that je je jelly roll!” T-Bone yelled as he danced for his life. The judges were not impressed and their silence was heard in the hollow echo within the vacuum of their facial expressions.

Judge one looked to judge two and three. A tear of sweat licked across T-Bone’s brow and into his eye. “I’ve got a fever, and the only cure is more dancing!” he yelled. In unison the panel put their thumbs up and turned them down. So concluded the final episode of So You Think You Can Dance For Your Prison Sentence.

Angela said...

Her voice is just an echo in my mind’s eye now. I remember standing on tip-toes at the kitchen counter, watching her drop one homemade yeast roll after another onto parchment paper and whip up her secret barbecue sauce made from grape jelly. (The recipe was a secret to everyone else, I should say … after all, she bequeathed it to me.) Texas summers are hotter than fever, and there’s nothing better for dinner when it’s too blazing hot to run the oven than grilled t-bone steaks with Gran’s special sauce. She’d be so proud.

Patrick DiOrio said...

“He’s got the fever,” Cal said rising.

T-Bone, his brother, lay delirious with the Sickness.

"Now what?” I asked.

Cal munched a jelly roll as stale and hard as his heart. “The usual. Stake’em and bake’em.”

“But he’s your brother,” I protested, my response an echo inside the deserted Costco.

We came to scrounge food and shelter ourselves from Suckers—the sickness-infected come back as brain-hungry zombies.

Cal wiped a bit of jelly from his mouth. “I’ll do him myself,” and lifted T-Bone.

“Quite a load,” I observed.

“He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.”

Then Cal staked’em and baked’em.

Devon said...

I pressed the frozen t-bone against John's forehead, attempting to lower his fever. He opened one eye.

"I'm still kinda shaky."

"Are you hungry?"

"Maybe. I should probably just have something light. Bread or a roll or something."

"Why don't I get some jelly and spoon feed it to you."

"Why the hell-"

"Because maybe your blood sugar's low."

John sighed. "Just get me a fucking roll."

I nodded, set the steak down, and stood, hearing an echo of words my father had spoken to me after I'd failed my CNA exam: "You'll never be any kind of a nurse."

David S. said...

Taj Mahal teetered backward, momentarily breathless.  His lungs burned from emotion; finger-picking “Jellyroll” wasn’t as hard ten years ago.  He took a sip of water that sat nearby.  He’d caught fever the day prior, so he pressed the sweating glass to his forehead, as surprised as he was thankful it was still cold.

He spoke to the crowd, an amplified anecdote about the time he’d met T-Bone Walker, a local hero.  They roared. 

Rejuvenated, Taj slipped a bottleneck slide onto his left ring finger, brought it across his strings.  His guitar wept musical tears that echoed his soul’s sentiments. 

Scribbling Scarlet said...

He slurped the jelly-like oysters two at a time before tossing their empty hosts onto a plate. A waiter promptly appeared removing the dish of shells and setting another before him; a t-bone, nearly raw, swimming in its own bloody juices. He sweated profusely as with fever as he hacked into the meat. I can’t help but turn my head in disgust as he gorges himself, oblivious to the rivers of sweat rolling from his temples.

“I need money.” I said.

His raspy laugh echoed through the empty restaurant. “What are you willing to do for it?” he asked wagging his knife at me.

DreaJack said...

My eyes bore into the succulent t-bone the waitress has laid before me. A hollow churning is felt within as I wrestle with my gluttony. It's high noon. I know this for I hear the echo of church bells bringing to my attention that God is watching. I peer over my shoulder to see if anyone else is questioning the menu choice of this oversized diner. My empty promise of behaving, after assaulting a nutritious whole grain roll with a slathering of jelly earlier, causes me to sweat. My cheeks flush with fever as I raise my knife in defiance.

Glen said...

Didn't matter to Jelly he was innocent, at this point. Folks in a fever to see somebody die, so be it.

Just one more bite of t-bone and the gurney be coming, the left back wheel fucked up a bit in its roll, the echo of its clackity-clack touching him way down the concrete hall. It scared him none, that bad wheel. Bring it. Things he'd done, he deserved the needle. Just not for killing that woman.

He chewed, wiped his mouth on his coverall, left a streak of grease on the shoulder. Launder that, motherfuckers.

Damn good steak though.

Rocket said...

"Echo!" Echo, echo, echo...

The word bounced around the empty canyon like a rubber ball. "Are you high?!"

"What? No!"

"Are you sick then? Have a fever?"

"Of course not!"

I looked up at the shear stone face of the wall, at the rocks hanging precariously over the edge high above us. "Do that again and we'll be crushed faster then a juicy t-bone between the jaws of a starving Rottweiler! Christ!"

The words weren’t out of my mouth when I heard an ominous, rolling rumble. My legs turned to jelly at the sound.

“Oh. Shit.” And then, “Run!”

Bill Greer said...

Reading aloud, Clark said, "The echo reverberated--"

"Hold it, hold it, hold it," Tim said. "Echos always reverberate. Try a different way to say it."

"What do you want me to say? The echo echoed?"

"Seriously? You can't find a better way to say that?" Tim's eyes rotated upward as he searched for the right words. "The echo rumbled through the canyon, ending with a smart clap, like a t-bone being dropped on a tile floor."

"Echos don't end with a clap, they roll back and forth like jelly sloshing in a jar."

"Now you're getting the idea."



Anonymous said...

Her handmaiden tightened the corset. “Bones of whale -- he lavishes you with such gifts.”

The words of her father echoed in her mind. Marry him, my daughter. Or par les dieux, you’ll find yourself without protection.

“Lady Armagnac” The name did not roll off the tongue. It caught in her throat, and then dropped to her heart. She pushed her maid’s hands away. “Enough.”

Her hand went to her breast, her fingers brushed a locket. Henri-Thomas de Jélly. That name came as quickly as the fever that filled her soul. As did her intent.

She ripped at the silk laces. “I must breathe.”

jesse said...

It took most of Marlene's energy gettin' outta bed every mornin'. Whatever was left was spent keepin' her head out the oven, and cleanin' his house. Most days, she'd dust, but never get around to the vacuuming.
It was a Thursday, when she'd had enough. Maybe it was the fever, or maybe the gin, but when she heard that garage door open, and that same Jelly Roll Morton song echoed through the house, she shouted, “T-Bone! We're through!”
He didn't say a word, just got back in his truck, and rode off.
That's how she tells it at least.

Cynicman said...

The waitress set a t-bone on the table in front of me. The fat was crispy and I imagined I could hear the echo of the sizzle the steak made on the grill.
I asked the waitress for some Tabasco.
“You could try our fever jelly,” she said. “It’s a sweet and very spicy cyan pepper jelly. Locals love it.”
“What the hell,” I said. “Why not?”
The waitress left the table. I cut and buttered a piece of yeasty dinner roll.
A pistol shot sounded. The waitress screamed and ran past me bleeding. I never got the fever jelly.

Steven D. said...

My Achilles heel was a blonde in a sundress. Lilly must’ve known that six years back, when she strolled by one morning, pleasuring a jelly-filled donut with her masterful tongue. This had to be the longest long con in history.

Yesterday, we renewed our vows and shredded our prenuptials. Dinner at the Wicked T-bone was her idea. Now, in its back alley with a fever and the echo of a backing truck in my ear, I glimpsed a needle in my arm and a fat roll of twenties on the ground. Pristinely hung on a dumpster was that damn sundress.

Bruce Thole said...

Cassie’s fever had yet to break and the icy echo of death called out to her. The plague had scooped up more than its fair share that winter, and many others would roll into a grave this spring.

She gazed past her untouched bread and jelly to just outside her window. Atop a barren hill she could see the charred remains of a cross sticking out of the newly thawed earth like a blackened t-bone. This witch's death was not the cure, none of the accused’s deaths were, and if the sickness didn’t take her soon, she’d be next.

Shannon Heather said...

An echo of eyes follows Portia’s ass across the lawn and I grab a low branch. She has a t-bone bathing suit top and matching bottoms that create a permanent wedgie up her perfect ass.

Sudden fever forces pustules of sweat to burst across my forehead. This isn’t happening. The hot girls are supposed ugly up in college. The score is supposed to be, somehow - even.

Portia’s butt jiggles as she pulls someone off the ground. A jelly roll in a Speedo slaps her on the ass, tickles her tramp stamp and they trade saliva.

I smile.

Score even.

Tara Tyler said...

**love the new look! it suits your fiery wit. now for my entry**

“Fever check!” T-bone said and smacked his buddy in the forehead on his way out.
The glow in the sky told him he’d better have a damn good excuse for being out all night again.
He cruised home on his Harley and never saw the branch in the road. As he sailed into a spectacular roll down the hill, the last words he said to the gal in the bar echoed in his head, "Gotta live like you’ll die tomorrow."
T-bone smiled with no regrets as his guts oozed like jelly onto the pavement.
(this song came to mind after I wrote this, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjoRsEVHol0)

jbarville said...

When Steve slid behind the wheel alone, his face flushed as if with fever. Grinning, he turned up the tunes and let the car roll out easy. He sighed. “Freedom.”

Two miles later brakes shrieked. Metal crunched. He was the bony side of a juicy Oldsmobile/Camero t-bone.

Now the officer’s voice bounced like an echo as he waited for an empty street. “Not your fault, son. Good thing you’re driving a tank.”

Only a door dent and a few scratches in the rust-pocked paint.

His legs jelly, Steve pressed the pedal. Too soft. Then too hard. Like a beginner.

Joel Q Aaron said...

What kind of nickname was T-bone? It echoes of a Seinfeld episode. These musicians today have name fever and come up with trash. It doesn’t have the same flair as Jelly Roll Morton or Professor Longhair.
“Bobby Thomas. T-bone.” I can’t help but smile thinking of George touching his elbow.
“What do you want?”
Glock in hand. “Mr. Vernsen sends his regards.”
Two taps to the head. I wipe my shoes and head back to my table. The next set is about to start. The lead’s vocals are as alluring as her curves. My troubles fade in her voice.

Becke Davis said...

Life was a jelly roll, T-Bone decided.

He drooled a little just looking at it—the damn thing was a fever in his blood. He knew the rule about no table scraps. His master’s voice said it so often the words were a constant echo, giving him a headache.

But was it technically a “scrap” if it was still on the table? Perched on his master’s plate, in fact, while he went for a refill of coffee? He thought not.


“T-Bone! Where’s my jelly roll?”

Jelly roll? he burped. What jelly roll?

Curtis Moser said...

Razors. That’s what they looked like slicing through the water. I counted four of them, then five. Not close yet, but soon, and my ass like a jelly roll slogging toward the rock ledge. Scott bobbed behind me, pouring from the bullet wound that would ignite the blood fever.

“Move it,” the man barked from the ledge. “Your legs look like t-bones to those sharks.”

I kicked.

“To hell with this,” he said. “You’ll never make it.”

He yanked his gun and fired.

An explosion. An echo. A thump in my shoulder. And the water around me turned red.

Delia Moran said...

Her name was Jilly, but everyone called her Jelly. Except Markus. He called her Roll -- partly because he was a prick, mostly because he was afraid of anyone finding out how godawful much he wanted her.

It didn’t work. He slavered after her like a lion after a t-bone. I saw it.

When Jelly showed up hanging on Steven, all flush with new-love-fever, and her sexy little giggles bounced an echo through Markus's head, and he started to crack under all that plink plink plinking, I saw that, too.

I just didn't know how to stop it.

Paris said...

Every morning I roll over in bed to see the red face of my screaming alarm clock. I rouse myself and stumble to the bathroom, the clock’s shrill echo in my ears. The coffee gurgles and I spread jelly onto toast if I have time, tie my shoes if I don’t. This is life. I pull out of the driveway without looking back, because today I don’t have time. Neither does the person who can’t swerve quickly enough to avoid t-boning my Volvo. As the warmth spreads from my forehead like a fever, I think, "this is death."

Kate Outhwaite said...

My angel ranges over the stage, eyes ablaze, hair shiny with sweat, shirt unbuttoned to his waist. Heat pours off the crowd like a fever. He stops mid-stage and, for the briefest moment, smiles at me before he whispers into his microphone, “Are. You. Ready?”

A pause, then the amplified echo bounces back from the speakers “Ready? Ready? READY?”

I’m ready: onto my feet and onto the stage. A guard lunges but I slip like jelly and roll out of reach. My angel hovers over me and I t-bone him, my knife piercing his perfect stomach and bringing sweet release.

Maja said...

The brains slipped like jelly out of his skull.

Mike rolled the body onto its back and I tried not to retch. My head throbbed with the echo of his screams, my fevered eyes darting between the two men in front of me: the whole and the severed.

The living pulled out a butcher's knife and started cutting off strips of meat from the dead. He tossed a t-bone-looking one at me, and grinned widely.


lpacifico2 said...

He’d fought hard to find her—even harder to keep her—and for what? Death was bearing down. They were about to be t-boned.

There was impact—then blackness.

He came to. She never would.

Already, her last scream echoed around him. Grief began creeping past the adrenaline at a fever pitch that seemed impossible to ignore. Fighting it, he rolled away from her reluctantly and stood. He was jelly, inside and out; his arm hung limp.

Even worse: he was alone. Again.

Still, he could move. Without looking back, he walked away, leaving her to the crescendo of sirens.

abuckley23 said...

He couldn’t decide if it was the fever causing voices to echo through his mind or the half rotten jelly roll he was forced to eat for lunch. Whatever the cause the voices sounded angry and James ‘T-Bone’ Smith, recent escapee of San Quentin Penitentiary, was not impressed.

Christi Goddard said...

The sweat caked with the powdered sugar against her leathery tanned skin, like white jelly spread thin over golden toast.

On the floor beside the bed lay half-eaten swiss cake roll, smashed into the carpet, and a t-bone cooled on the nightstand which had proved useless.

As the carnal fever almost sated, I gazed with heavy lids down at the paper bag which hid her face. A stick-figured character drawn in red gel pen smiled up at me.

Our agreement was an echo in my mind.

“Food sex? With you? Okay, but on one condition…”

Adrienne said...

One minute she was spreading jelly on my sandwich, the next she was looking at me like I was a t-bone. The knife fell in her foot, and she didn't care. She just kept shuffling toward me, leaving a lop-sided trail of blood on the white linoleum floor. She lunged for me, slobbering and licking her lips. I had to roll under the table to get away. The fever must have gotten her too.
"Mom?" I asked, trying to remember where Dad kept his shotgun shells.
Her echoing snarls were my only answer.

abogash said...

Patrick dove fork-first into the T-Bone I dropped onto his plate not bothering to put his knife down between cuts.

"You have a roll or something?" he asked around two bites of the rare meat.

I shook my head. "Toast?"

"Yeah, with jelly."

He'd been out all night killing zombies, whose infestation of our town had our daughter in bed battling a fever I wasn't sure she'd recover from.

"Patrick?" The voice of his commander over the radio seemed to echo around our makeshift kitchen and my heart clenched.

He wiped his mouth, kissed me and was gone.

Lauren Jonik said...

“But, I wannnnnnted strawberry jelly,” Violet cried loudly as she pounded her small fists on the kitchen table. Her father inhaled, sighing to himself. While his daughter had inherited his looks, she gained her mother’s discerning personality, something that reveals itself most when she is not feeling well. “Kate, Kate,” his voice rang out in an echo. “What is it,” a frenzied voice answered.

“I think Violet has a fever.”

“Really? First the sore throat, now this? She’s on a roll!”

The red-haired woman dashed to Violet.

“Just give her a t-bone, that’ll fix her right up,” he joked sarcastically.

Lisa C said...

“Jelly roll,” my father called me. I was a pudgy little girl. It sounds mean, but his tone said love.

It’s the last thing he said to me, during my birthday barbeque. I was doing cannonballs into the pool.

He grilled hot dogs for us kids, a t-bone each for him and the adults. He served the steaks with mint jelly and the hot dogs with ketchup.

“Love you, jelly roll,” he said before he went to buy candles for the cake. My mom was in bed with a fever. We heard the echo of the crash from the pool.

Heather E. Schwartz said...

The Jelly Argument said everything there was to say about our relationship.

“Can’t you wipe that up?” he asked, his voice thick with suffering. He pointed at the counter, accusingly. “It’s your mess.”

I sighed and reached for the sponge. “It’s your mess,” I whispered.

“Is that an echo?”

“I don’t know. Is it?”

He lay back down on the couch to nurse his fabricated fever. As he closed his eyes, I grabbed a dinner roll. I chucked it gently, and it bounced off his forehead.

“Hey!” he protested, lightly.

“You’re lucky it wasn’t the T-bone,” I answered.

Sophie Schiller said...

I should have known better. Hiking in the tropics without protection, I came down with a mysterious fever and aches. I collapsed in bed, writhing in agony. My mother's voice echoed in my mind, starve a fever, feed a cold. So I fasted. My temperature hovered at 102 degrees, not bad enough to visit the ER. And then it hit me: the roll with jelly I ate at breakfast must have been poisoned, not to mention the t-bone steak the Ambassador gave me. I vowed to get revenge or die trying. If the t-bone steak didn't get me first.

jan said...

Drum roll, please. This is going to knock your sox off. If you suffer with carbohydrate fever, I have good news for you. A t-bone is worse for your cholesterol than a jelly donut! So go ahead and enjoy your sweets. But meat-lovers beware! You may need an EKG and an echo when the chest pain sets in.

Laura Lyle said...

They fell silent as the detective entered the room.

"She's givin' me the fever, you bet," the rookie grinned.

His partner zipped up the body bag. "Roll 'er away, boys," he said. "Don't get any ideas, kid. I've seen her take down a thug, a t-bone, and her ex, all in one night."

Six-inch heels clicked and echoed as she took in the scene.

"Head battered to jelly with the nine iron," she said, pointing. "I want the boyfriend's statement on my desk before noon. And you, rookie, eyes off the ass or yours is on a platter."

Anonymous said...

“What is that?” Jenny said.

Her brother hit the breaks, but it was too late. The Toyota, Echo t-boned the giant arachnid.
They got out of the car. A roll of fear swept through her, hot like fever. She saw the glistening shell, and a pile of eyes watching them. It was alive, legs broken, and a tapioca-like jelly oozed out its side. Jenny kicked it on its back, gasping when she saw the crimson hour glass.

“It can’t be,” her brother said.

But it was. And hearing the skittering behind them, she knew it wasn’t the only one.

Anonymous said...

“Woman, I love the way you move those hips. You mighty fine.”

“Hush your mouth, you is aiming for something, that’s all,” she said creasing her forehead.

“Mighty fine,” he said.

“Come on now, let me put on some Jelly Roll. We’ll dance.”

“Lord, having that noise echo up in here won’t get me dancing.”

“All right, I got some T-Bone for you then. I know you like them dirty blues.”

“You got the fever, Sam Spring,” she said, going back to her stew pot.

“Mighty fine,” he said as he blew his breath on the back of her neck.

K said...

To Have and To Hold:

The echocardiogram took forever. Hard to believe that heart was worth anything, yet a 23 year old grad student with a congenital defect had fingers crossed.

Organ donors were bleeding-heart socialists in Mike’s world.

But his brain had been jelly since he rolled his damned mid-life Camaro over the bank to be t-boned by the oncoming truck. Brain dead, on life support and burning with fever—what was left of his life lay in my hands.

The dead blonde riding shotgun made it too easy.

“I’ll sign,” I said. Mike’s heart was still mine to give away.

Terri Coop said...

“Yo, Doc T-Bone! I see you got the fever relievah. What be the toll on my jelly roll?” he said, snatching the baggie from me.


“Homey, you got an echo in them ears? I said how much dough-ray-me will it take so I can fa-so-la-tee-GO?”

When I didn’t answer he flipped me two twenties and sped off.

“Toll on my jelly roll? What the hell was that? And your name is Walter, not T-Bone,” said Joe.

“Dunno, HBO must be re-rerunning ‘The Wire’,” I said.

“What was in the baggie?”

“Tylenol and Tums.”

“Huh, you did have fever reliever.”

Anonymous said...

The echo of a fever lay heavy upon her, a feral gleam to her sunlamp eyes. Crimson-tipped claws clutched the midnight guitar, a princess wraith writhing under a sheet of moonlight. Addicted, yes – and a bad case of it.

The doctor glanced at the video screen, popping a jelly-flavoured bubble. Ted Nugent wailed away, a madman of bare torso and leather. “Robert. Is this the work of … Mister Fluffy?”

The dapper man adjusted his tie, a playful roll to his shoulders. “A little scratch, Robert.” He tossed the cat a juicy t-bone. “Her heart sweats, and now she’s mine.”

M.A. Leslie said...

He mused, it was cliché, but tasted so good. The detective took another bite of his jelly donut and sipped his coffee.

He let the fever of thoughts, possibilities, and suspects run through his mind, but nothing made sense. Suddenly, like a crack of lightning, the sound of a gunshot echoed through his ears.

The detective dropped his dinner, pulled his sidearm, and ran out into the alley, where he thought the noise had been born.

Unfortunately, he found his newest informant, T-bone, dead on the ground with a roll of cash in his hand.
Not again, he thought.

Michael Seese said...

We stepped onto the empty stage. The echo of our footsteps suggested a beat. I sang: "When you put your arms around me. I get a fever that's so hard to bear..."


“True that.”

Men of few words, T-Bone and Jelly Roll let their music speak for them. Tonight would be special. If only…

Backstage before the gig, we heard the knock on the door. Two men flashed badges. “Come quietly,” said one. We knew we were busted. Later, in court, we pleaded ignorance. The judge was not swayed. “You’re in Giggleswick, Massachusetts. You can’t play the blues here.”

Weird World News said...

The oppressive heat in the kitchen made me feel like I had a fever of 101.

“Pork roll or t-bone?” was the pressing question, but my brain had shut down and I couldn’t decide. The echo from his last outburst was still fresh in my mind.

The voice cut through the haze with the precision of a carving knife.

“Idiot! Make a choice! Do you have jelly for brains? Pork roll or t-bone? Answer me!” yelled Gordon Ramsey.

“T-bone, chef!” I croaked back, my brain finally unfreezing. Was I really capable of winning Hell’s Kitchen?

Melinda said...

“5 minutes.”

I heard the words echo through my fever-induced delirium. Nausea overwhelmed me. I sat down on the chair and put my face in my hands.

“4 minutes.”

By sheer force of will I looked up and surveyed the table. Steak, pork rinds, and a jelly roll for dessert. Who eats like this?

“3 minutes.”

I picked up the jelly roll and threw it at the wall. It stuck. Perfect.

“2 minutes.”

“Fuck you!”

“1 minute.”

The lights went out, then the door opened.

“T-bone?” I offered.

Hands knock the plate to the floor. Time’s up.

Unknown said...

Jelly had a fever. He lay there looking up at me with sad florid eyes. My heart was heavy knowing these were his last moments of life. The doctor had been clear yesterday trying to convince me to leave Jelly there. I sat reminiscing, all those years of pleasure my dog had given me. The echo of a loving relationship was fading fast.
I stood, clapped my hands “Come boy, roll over” I said to no avail.
My last plea was his favorite treat, a T-bone steak! I placed it in front of him but it was too late…

Anonymous said...

"If you got the record deal, he'll be in that chair at eleven." Johnny had played the part of the starving musician almost as long as he'd played the trumpet. He'd seen so many dreams roll down the alley and into the gutter that he'd lost all hope of a break. These feverish thoughts echoed through his mind as his last note cut through the empty room like a knife through jelly. Ten fifty-nine. He couldn't pretend he wasn't nervous. He looked at Bill with his cornet and Tommy with his t-bone. The back door opened. A man stepped in.

Anonymous said...

The echo scared me, turning my legs to jelly, as I crouched low to roll to the side. What was that? I strained my eyes to the limit to see. To try to see. Whatever there was in the inky black that was making that sound. It wasn’t just the fever. I was pretty sure.
Light flared in the distance, then that wonderful smell. How could I not creep closer?
How did I get this close? A t-bone sizzling in the skillet. Where did it come from?
How did the noise get so close?

Shaunna said...

Centerville's annual Food Fling Fever Festival always attracts its most reclusive citizens. Every year at the appointed hour, hermits, misanthropes, and agoraphobes swarm the main square, bleary-eyed and unkempt, dragging their precious launchers behind them. The echo of their weak, crackling voices bounces off the buildings ringing the plaza.

But the momentous arrival of Gregor's contraption always merits a collective pause. His catapult boasts a bowl large enough to hold two t-bones, five fruitcakes, a dozen rolls, and three pieces of toast spread with lingonberry jelly. His record launch of forty-four feet is the stuff from which legends are made.

Unknown said...

Deion Cooper struggled to relax. Echoes of pain wracked his body as his back grated against the cactus, sweat and blood mingling in pools at his feet. Two days in the Mojave would do that. If he could ever get out of this predicament and get back to Vegas, he would kill George Balletti.
He was worried he wasn’t going to survive. Through the haze of a fever, he noted with relief the setting sun. He vainly attempted to push thoughts of food from his mind. Jelly rolls. Chili Dogs. T-bone steaks. He watched as the vulture returned, lazily circling.

Amy Parker said...

My nickname’s never really fit me before. But now I seem to be made entirely of the stuff—boneless and sweat-sticky. Ahead of me the fevered, rabid remains of my dad rattle the chain link fence.
“Don’t go, Jelly. If he bites you, I’ll lose you too…I can’t, understand?”
My mother’s voice echoes in my ears. I roll my shoulders, squat down. Dad mirrors my position. He’s so close. I can smell his smell. My eyes water as I push the raw t-bone across the gravel and under the fence.
Too late I feel his fingers catch mine.

Anonymous said...

I could still hear the echo of the gunshot as I strolled out the room. The brain matter sticking to my forearm felt like warm petroleum jelly, but I was too angry to wipe it off.

“Let’s roll!” I yelled to T-bone who had been waiting by the door. He didn’t look very well. He was sweating and shaking as if he were in the grip of a fever.

“That will teach him to diss me,” I snarled as I glanced back at the anonymous faces in the blood-splattered room.

Kate Higgins said...

Feverishly hot and humid, the picnic seemed like a good idea but the distant rolling thunder warned of an unseen storm. Rather than being trapped under a tree when the rains came we headed for the unused and off-limits caretaker’s hut.
Brushing through dust and cobwebs we found perches on a steamer trunk faintly labeled; “T-bone Thompson, something, something, Big Band”. We peeled soggy wax-paper off our sandwiches and ate, licking the jelly stickiness off our fingers, satisfied and much cooler. The rains left and so did we. The thunder followed us home, echoing with notes of a seasoned trombone.

Anonymous said...

Your energy overwhelms and I’m rife with fever.

Deep within, trapped butterflies search for an escape route.

“Hiya-hey-I-eh…” spurts out my mouth. Humiliated, my legs turn to jelly. Still, I long to steal your breath.

WTF did you do to me? You’re not even my type—a t-bone tossed at a vegan—and yet I’m stark, cravin’ mad.


Your voice echoes.

Pressure’s on to respond. Witty repartee rolls ‘round my tongue. Keep it nonchalant with a dash of debonair:

“Debt ceiling cries hath the nation in a thither, care to escape into a bottle, my dear?”

angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

She crumpled her nose at the jelly-like fat he cut from the t-bone's grizzle. When he spread the jelly on a roll and scarfed it down, she felt her stomach climb to her throat.

"You okay?" Mouth open.

The vision of beef fat rolling around his yellowed smoker's teeth echoed in her mind and she felt feverish.

"You alright?"


"What's wrong? Don't like your salad?"

"I don't like you. You lied, your profile, said vegetarian."

"Oh, c'mon, you can't blame me 'cause I eat steak. Hey, where ya' goin'? hey, stop... She's fat anyway. Probably has a cat."

Great entires so far, I wish I knew the reason you chose these words, unfortunately not the case.

Germaine Dulac said...

When he asked me what I wanted, I said broiled t-bone, two fried eggs, side of hashbrowns, hot roll with butter--fresh churned, if they had it.

He brought the food himself. Even kept me company while I ate.

Afterwards, he offered me a Jolly Rancher. I thanked him, popped one in my mouth and waited. We talked sports. A man came to see me, said a few fevered words and left. I checked the clock. Footsteps echoed. Finally he took out his keys.

The walk was short.

When he strapped me down, I didn’t say much. Just thanked him again.

Michell said...

“Have you ever heard of T-Bone Walker?” I asked, slathering jelly on my butter roll as I read the paper.
“What?” Timmy half mumbled from the bed.
“Oh, do you have a fever?” I’d told him not to leave the house last night but he never listened.
I stood up, taking my breakfast tray with me, leaving him to his misery. The room was silent except for the rattling of his chains as he pulled on them in his delirium. I listened to their echo as I closed the door.
Yeah, next time he’d listen.

shuchi said...

Hey Janet, here is my 100w story..

Congratulation for your award winning book! We all wanted to know your story,
Well, one rainy day I felt like smoking or sipping a drink but I dint wanted to do that, my existence was in question; I was feeling like T- bone steak, hanging flash. I can hear my echo which says “you failed me”. I pushed my self to rain but in vain my body was shivering from fever, impediments! Like Jelly fish my strings were struck and pulling me back, I gathered my self and rolled out, ran as hard as possible to reach here. Courage wins!

gregkshipman said...

Pretty Woman

We sit cocooned in an emptiness we both understand, having each heard the echo of resignation. Her hair is the color of yellow fever while her body type is classic jelly roll.
We pass the time swapping observations wrapped in indifference fueled by booze. Hours creep by in that bar chained to a neighborhood where people eat hamburger helper while dreaming of T-bone.
I like the way her breasts sag subservient to the black tee shirt carrying the faded message ‘Will Fuck for Food’. But mostly I’m fascinated with her one glass eye that never moves.

Cheryl Hood said...

Echo had just purchased some groceries for her anniversary dinner with her husband Mike. She was walking to her car when the monster jumped out from behind it and grabbed her. The groceries she was carrying, including the t-bone steaks and specially ordered chocolate raspberry jellyroll, went spilling onto the pavement. She stared at him wanting to remember his face. As she started to scream the monster covered her mouth and nose with a damp rag. As he dragged her to his van she wondered what was going to happen to her now. She started shaking as if she had a high fever then lost consciousness. The sliding door is thrown open so hard it made a loud bang. Would anyone ever see Echo again?

Justin Sloan said...

White walls meet my screams with an echo. So white, so pure, unchanged after six months in Iraq. I curl up in a ball, my fever overtaking me. My dwarf palm’s limbs lay broken on the dirt. I shudder with a sob, my recently formed rolls shaking like jelly – that’s how it is when the physical activity stops. “T-bone” they used to call me with my M-16, now nothing. The white walls rot as I lay my head back on my arm to rest – there is no arm. I have to wonder why no one was there to water me.

Mia K Rose said...

The fever that was spreading through her body was just an echo of the real contagion. At first she thought it was simple food poisoning, just a rotten t-bone she ate. Yet it lasted for more than a few days, and then her joints started to turn to jelly. She couldn’t stand up straight or manage even a few weak steps. Sweat rolled down her face, arms and legs as the sickness took its iron hold upon her. It was said the entire world was being gripped by this viral disease. None could stop it.

Steve Forti said...

Karl pinned his foot, drunk with Autobahn fever. One hand gripping the wheel, the other lazily eating a cheeseburger, the last echo of its former cow self. The needle climbed, then retched with the boom of a tire blowout that jerked the Porsche around. He rolled ass-over-hood ornament, interrupted when an oncoming truck t-boned Karl like a heavyweight punch.

His insides melted to jelly as his world kaleidoscoped and the Porsche burst through the rail to the lake below. And with his last sight, a silver fish nibbling the cheeseburger, an appetizer before feasting on the mere echo of Karl.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Intersection of Lake Shore Drive and Forest Road, Echo Lake, New Jersey; my just off the showroom floor ’65 screaming red Barracuda, with a wide white racing stripe down the roof and hood was t-boned by a baby blue ’64Mustang with less than thirty miles on its odometer. Mustang man and I sat on the side of the road in a fever of fear and with jelly for brains.
Siren in the distance; Mustang man whimpered, “gotta roll man, that horse is stolen.” He ran for the woods. I shot him in the back ‘cause he killed my ‘Cuda.

Leah said...

“Baby, you give me fever,” he whispered.

“You stone me just like Jelly Roll.” she said, smiling.


Where moments earlier the infant’s cries echoed, peaceful silence now reigned. The scent of Johnson’s baby lotion filled their noses, and the soft blankets on the bed drew them in to lie next to the newborn.

“The power of love can make a blind man see, you know.”

He laughed quietly. “You win, honey. T-Bone would be proud.”

As crickets sang their own sweet lyrics outside the window, the family drifted into sleep.

Dave said...

Joe opened The Echo at the crossword page, set it down on the lunch counter.

One across. Preserve an appealing illness (5,4,5). Easy. Jelly Roll Fever.

Two Down. Jagger rents to haemophile (3,2,5). Hmmm.

The guy behind the counter cleared his throat. “I’m still here.”

“T-bone, ultra-rare,” Joe said. “Let it bleed.”

He scribbled. “Yeah, Let It Bleed.”

The guy turned away. “I heard you first time.”

Sass said...

“ATF Canine! Come out or I send in the dog!” Echoes of my voice rolled through the empty rotunda.

“jelly explosives in Novak’s desk on the House floor. Christ, how’d they get this in here?” Rieves swore feverishly in my earpiece.

Justice whined, bloodlust overriding training. “How about a Congressman for dinner? He’ll do tricks your T-bone won’t.” The German Shepherd tensed. “Get him!”

My dog took off just before the call rang through my earpiece. “Holy shit! It’s rycin! Get out!”

There was a muted boom floors below me. I ignored orders and took off after my dog.

Sabrina said...

I killed my husband over a t-bone steak. I can still hear his scream echo in my head.

I don’t think any jury will convict, given my fever, the roll of my eyes and my game of play-in-the-blood. There’s also my excuse, the one about the jelly donut. They’ll think that’s why I killed him.

That steak. It was for my son Jared’s homecoming. He died last April. He told me he’d be back tomorrow, to have his dinner waiting. They still don’t know it wasn’t his wife who put the crushed light bulb in his last bowl of ‘taters.

Michael G-G said...

Echo Falls, population 640.

Last I’d dropped by, I’d slurped tequila-fueled jello (or jelly, as we say in England) with my uncle Bill. He stumbled off to work at the gas station. In a fever of self-destruction I made out with his wife, Melia, on a squalid bed roll in the back room of their trailer.

Now, turning from Bill’s grave, Melia grips my arm. Tequila on her breath, her orange sundress hardly contains her wrinkled brown breasts. “He left everything to you,” she says, tapping my belt buckle. “Let’s celebrate with the best t-bone in town.”

Just Jan said...

Mara fiddled with a packet of grape jelly. "Restaurants that serve alcohol shouldn't give their customers such big knives."

I stopped carving my t-bone and considered the utensil in my hand. "I don't think this could do much damage."

"Your steak might say otherwise. Besides, you never met my ex."

I took a long pull on my drink--a local brew called Echo Lake Tropical Fever--and tried to relax. "Should I be worried?"

"You tell me," she said, tearing a bite from her yeast roll. "He's sitting at the bar watching us."

CR Bond said...

My voice echoed through the canyon. How would anyone find me down this narrow passage with my voice bouncing off the walls? Sure wish I had eaten more than a small peanut butter and jelly roll for lunch. Truth told the worst decision today by far was walking down this narrow canyon off shoot. Yeah, proving I can explore canyons by myself is working so well for me right now. Oh great, am I really hot or running a fever? I promise no more ego and I’ll buy Pat the biggest T-bone steak if you let him find me now!

Paulie said...

When Jelly Roll played T-bone it gave Angie fever, like the echo of every orgasm that had ever rolled her eyes. He rubbed out sweet, soft, slow jazz, made bass and piano lean in and just touch. She swayed to dream those hands on her.

She caught him stepping offstage. “Ride, sugar?” Voice, dress, and hand on his arm left no doubt to whose home.

“No thanks, baby. One good woman’s all I can handle.” He cupped her cheek, sweet.

“Figures,” she sighed as he walked away smiling. “But good ain’t quite how I was planning to behave.”

T.M. Frazier said...

The chef must have decided that cooking the t-bone wasn't an option tonight because when the waiter placed my plate in front of me the meat was so red and raw I could have sworn that it jiggled like a jelly-roll.
Later that night the fever and vomitting were an echo of my wife's words to me. "You probably shouldn't eat that," she had said.
I hurled again into the porcelain bowl. I hate it when she's right.

Anonymous said...

T-Bone asked, "What the hell is on your face?" I drew my hand to my cheek and immediately felt flushed with fever. Apparently I failed to notice the purple stain on my cheek from the jelly roll I ate for breafast. If my expression were an echo it would have collapsed the school.