Tag Archives: flash fiction


Yes, it’s that time again! The deadline this time around is May 31st. 

Flash fiction contest

There are other contests being run as well, and the outfits running them encourage one and all to collect and dust off your work, and send it off to one of these great contests!


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Mascot 1Here at Balladeer’s Blog I’m about responding to you readers. Some of you responded very strongly to the way I sprinkled my reviews of Robert Ludlum’s Top Seven Novels with observations of what I would have liked to see in terms of offshoots or spin-off stories. So, since Expanded Universes are becoming all the rage in recent decades here’s an outline of my fan fiction-style view of an Expanded Robert Ludlum Universe.

Robert LudlumI. BEOWULF AGATE – Series of short stories or a made for cable series. The tales would be set from the 1950s to late 1970s, ending just before the events in The Matarese Circle. Ludlum’s fictional intelligence organization Consular Operations would take center stage.

Brandon Scofield, codename Beowulf Agate, one of the main characters of The Matarese Circle, would be shown pulling off his highest level defections from the Soviet Union in his best “Cold War version of the Scarlet Pimpernel” style. Every so often he would clash with his archenemy – KGB Agent Vasili Taleniekov. To up the suspense level sometimes Taleniekov would win their clashes. 

Bourne IdentityII. OPERATION: MEDUSA – Another series of short stories or a made for cable series. Ludlum’s Operation: Medusa was his fictional version of the Vietnam War’s real-life Phoenix Project. Operation: Medusa was the top-secret, paramilitary Black Operations outfit in which David Webb aka Jason Bourne got his first covert experience.

Officially disavowed by the U.S. government, Medusans spent the final few years of the Vietnam War pulling off assassinations, abducting and torturing information out of North Vietnamese movers and shakers, committing acts of sabotage AND facilitating escapes from POW camps. David Webb, his brother Gordon, D’Anjou (Codename: Echo), Alexander Conklin and “The Monk” himself, David Abbot would be the main characters but we would meet new Medusans, too. Continue reading


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More dystopian musings from possible futures.

” In the final third of the 20th Century the speakers and money people of the Democratic Party ( which spawned the Liberal fanatics just as the Republican Party spawned the Conservative fanatics ) began developing a very proprietary, some would say condescending, attitude toward African Americans. The 1960s generation of American Liberals in particular had often treated the lives and history of African Americans as a kind of hobby.

These patronizing dilettantes originally demonstrated a protective, or at least supportive, attitude toward African Americans, who in turn rewarded the Democratic Party’s candidates with almost unanimous support.

Mascot sword and pistolHowever, as the decades wore on and African Americans had greater opportunities open up to them many of them began making up their own minds about what political attitudes they would embrace and what political candidates they would support. This did not sit well with the Democratic Party’s power brokers and the nascent Liberal fanatics in their ranks.

A large portion of the American Left’s power structure rested on the myth that all African Americans were still Liberal Democrats. The mere existence of increasing numbers of African Americans choosing their own political affiliation was a massive threat to the left’s decades-old propaganda advantages: their false claim that they and they alone represented the wishes of all minority groups and their incessant accusations of racism aimed at all dissenting voices.

The whitebread Democratic Party leadership and the African American demagogues they used as alleged spokespeople for “all African Americans” began a campaign of harassment against any African Americans who declared their political independence from the oppression and condescension of the Democratic Party.

As time wore on and the 21st Century rolled along this harassment increased and intensified in direct proportion to the number of freethinking African Americans who resented the whitebread Liberals of the Democratic Party establishment and broke away from the fold. Continue reading


Filed under Future History, LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES, opinion



Our Summer Short Story Award for New Writers is open. The winning story will be awarded $3000 and publication online. Second and third place stories will be awarded publication and $300 and $200 respectively. All winners and honorable mentions will receive agency review by:

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Flash Fiction


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HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Here’s one final treat to finish off the 2016 season.

gallows-manTHE GALLOWS MAN – This is another neglected American horror legend which has been presented in many different versions over the years. Ralph Sutherland was born in 1702 in either New York City or a town near the Catskills, depending on the version.

Sutherland was born into the New York gentry but in his adult years his drinking and gambling eventually embarrassed the family enough that they stopped associating with him. After boozing, whoring and gambling away a large part of his money Ralph was left with just one reasonably-sized home surrounded by a stone wall. He had enough funds left to maintain that house and took in an indentured servant – a beautiful teen girl from Scotland.

Sutherland’s foul and obnoxious nature soon led the girl to flee. In a rage Ralph mounted a horse and tracked her down before she got far. The black-hearted man tied the terrified girl to his horse and rode back to his home, but was either so furious or so drunk that he inadvertently dragged the poor female to her death. Continue reading


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Mascot FOUR original pics

Balladeer’s Blog

Balladeer’s Blog’s month-long celebration of Halloween continues with this look at two neglected werewolf legends from Detroit. 

werewolf-of-detroitI. Jacques Morand – Roughly 300 years ago Jacques Morand was in love with Genevieve Parent. Unfortunately for him Genevieve decided to join a convent. When Morand could not change her mind through pleading he turned to threats, which drew warnings from Genevieve’s father and brothers.

In desperation Jacques sold his soul through one of the White Witches of the Woods. In return he gained the unholy power to turn himself into a werewolf after dark. After preying on Genevieve’s father one night he followed that up the next by picking off one of her brothers. Continue reading


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Dalton Changeling 2Balladeer’s Blog’s month-long celebration of Halloween continues …

THE DALTON CHANGELING – In late 1700s Massachusetts a malevolent witch replaces the infant child of the Dalton family with a changeling spawned by a dark ceremony. Can the Freemasons of New England devise a way of dealing with the monstrous child or will it be free to roam the countryside on nightly reigns of terror? CLICK HERE    Continue reading


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gloucesterTHE SPECTRE LEAGUERS – In 1792 the Gloucester Leaguers returned from the dead to plague Massachusetts 100 years after their horrors had first been unleashed.

During King Philip’s War in 1692 a league of French and Native Americans who were fighting against the New Englanders were slain to the last man. Supernatural tales abounded about the appearance on the face of the moon of a Native American bow as well as a scalp dripping with blood. Superstitious souls said this strange phenomenon meant that the Gloucester Leaguers were not through with their depradations.

In 1792 the dead bodies of the Franco-Indian force raised themselves from the dead, fully armed and clothed in the tattered remains of their clothing. The next two weeks were witness to nocturnal horrors which most people would have believed to be impossible in any world ruled “by a just God or the laws of reason.”   Continue reading


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Halloween month continues with six more neglected American horror legends. 

Dead Dance by MoonlightTHE DEAD DANCE BY MOONLIGHT – Manetti the mad violinist terrorized the New England states in the late 1700s. His favorite instrument was made out of enchanted wood from the forests of the infamous White Mountains. When Manetti chose to he could play his violin in such a way as to bring the dead up from their graves and make them do his bidding. FOR THE FULL STORY CLICK HERE   

Marquette MonsterTHE MARQUETTE MONSTER – This horrific monster was sighted by Jacques Marquette in the 1670s near what is now Alton, IL. Native Americans of the region called it the Piasa Bird and had been making artwork depicting the beast since around 1200 AD according to archaeological findings. The creature was supposedly the size of a horse with the torso of a cougar, huge wings like a bat and a human head sprouting deer antlers. FOR THE FULL STORY CLICK HERE    Continue reading

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