J.A. Taylor

A categorical index to my writing on Medium

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I run three flash fiction publications on Medium. Whether you are searching for an enjoyable read while on your potty break, or you are passionate about writing flash fiction and wish to contribute, you’ll find both opportunities here:

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Jim tries to make all his stories taste like tacos or burritos, except for micro-fiction. Micro-fiction tastes more like chips and salsa.

If you’ve enjoyed any of his stories, perhaps you should join J.A. Taylor’s Monthly Reader’s Club and read them for free?


Could humanity survive without strife?

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Image courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net, modified from original.


After all, she was divine

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Photo by Mukul Kumar on Unsplash

“All I need is your email,” she said, giggling. Hers was an easy laugh, not the harsh, scratchy cackle of a witch who wanted your soul. She was stunning, no doubt, with glittering cheeks and an almost opaque sheen to her skin. “Do you have one?” she prompted.

My mouth felt thick. Her eyelashes lapped at the world like a butterfly exploring its surroundings. Her shimmering hair bled off summer fragrances without a hint of perspiration. And her lips…

“No,” I answered, getting my head back to reality.

“We only need a way to contact you, really. And, of course, your signature,” she said with a demure glance. …


It was only money

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Photo by Alexander Pidgeon on Unsplash

Bill adjusted his glasses and straightened his tie. He stood on the edge of the precipice, wondering if he should jump. The trade had gone poorly, as most of them did. Only this time, he had forgotten a decimal and hit ‘ENTER’. A $130,000 loss accidentally turned into 13 million.

There was no coming back from this. His career was over. Even if it were possible to recover financially, no one would ever hire him again. He leaned over and peeked at the cars below. People like ants trickled along the street, oblivious to the impending death above them.

Suddenly, a voice shouted from behind, nearly sending him off the ledge…


Write a 50-word story about gratitude

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Photo by Simon Maage on Unsplash

The holiday season is upon us. For some, the holidays are a welcome relief, conjuring images of turkeys and trees, cooler weather, a short break from the daily grind, and perhaps a football game. For others, it may be a time of dread. The thought of unwanted travel, hosting out-of-town guests, financial stress, challenges with family, or remembrance of a loss may sap any seasonal joy.

This world is generally cruel. Nothing works the way it’s supposed to. Even the second law of thermodynamics teaches us that everything naturally moves toward disorder. Perhaps this is one reason all of us face some type of chaos, difficulty, or challenge? …


What do you call such a wicked apparatus?

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Image public domain, courtesy of The Library of Congress

Elizabeth yanked the string. A shower of sparks crackled. Light bloomed across Henry’s face as a rolling plume of smoke tumbled upward toward the ceiling. Henry placed his hand over his heart and patted his chest, searching for anything that might have gone missing.

Elizabeth hurriedly went to work, resetting the device. “Now that I’ve captured your soul, you must do the same to me.”

“I cannot do this to you,” he objected. “I love you too much.”

“But this way, my love, we will always be together.”

“What do you call such a wicked apparatus?” Henry asked.

“A camera.”

Apparently, it was once believed that taking a picture of someone could steal their soul. That sounds rather nefarious, unless your goal is to capture the other person forever.


Surely no cursed thing could bring a blessing

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Image public domain, courtesy of The British Library, modified from original.

Wedged in ground by rock and stone
Grow twisted roots of blood and bone.
Knotted trunk and rotten loam
House an ever hollow dome.
Its magic lights on first approach
Wand’ring souls ought not encroach.
Draining life through constant soak
Never falls the seventh oak.

Gregory’s fall began when Josselyn left for a stranger’s arms. Their fortune had vanished in the fire. It mattered not. His life was over, and today, he would visit the Seventh Oak.

“A man-eating monster,” they called it. “A wretched, cursed thing.” Everyone who entered the hollowed-out oak disappeared. Eventually they were seen again, but none could ever speak or write after returning. …


Only a touch could dispel the darkness

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Photo by Ujjwal chouhan on Unsplash

The gray autumn breeze ruffled her dress, exposing her sunny ankle tattoo.

A small, inky cloud swept past her, paused, then darted around the corner.

She chased it.

Vanished.

Something tickled her ankle. A foggy tendril brushed her tattoo. The ink brightened, and the cloud evaporated.

An azure sky unfurled.

I’ve been itching to write a magical realism Pentina for a while now. Thanks to Bill Adler for a fun prompt, challenging us to write a story about clouds in 50 words.


BUT HEY, IT SHOULD BE CLEAN

Artificial intelligence would make a terrible scullery maid

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Photo by Ricardo Viana on Unsplash

I used GPT-3 to generate a test blog post, feeding it the line: 5 Tips for Cleaning Your Kitchen. Here’s what it came up with. I have not added to, subtracted from, or modified the text in any way. This is exactly what it generated:

Tip #1: Use 2 plastic gloves and place them on your hands. Fill one with flour and the other with sugar. Punch your children throughout their heads and tell them to stop eating sugar and flour. Use both of your hands and do the punch. You’ll get it.

Tip #2: Clean your kitchen counters but instead of using an old piece of cloth or sponge, use your mouth. Yes your mouth. You’ll get to taste all the gunk in your kitchen. You’ll know why most kitchens are dirty after this if you did the tip right. …


Write a 100-word story about video

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Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash

On this date (November 13th) in 2006, Google finalized the deal that would allow them to acquire YouTube for $1.65 billion. That is a lot of dollars (in Google stock).

Since that date, the way we consume and transfer information has completely changed. We no longer visit mechanics for petty things with our cars. Instead, we “Google” the problem and watch a YouTube video on how to solve it. Home repairs usually start with us watching a few videos. …

About

J.A. Taylor

Coiner of Centinas and Pentinas, Jim died in 2076 from either trying to kill a spider while driving or from eating too many burritos. May God rest his soul.

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