Posts Tagged 'Short story'

Almost Crushed

Our greatest triumphs usually take place during our weakest moments.

V. Shnodgrate, Renowned PL Poet

UntitledSo, I’d been tranquilized slightly.

I say slightly ’cause this professor could feel everything but my legs and feet. Some feeling was coming back, though. But I was selfish, and wanted it all back.

The whole thing was demeaning, you know.

Anyways and some, Manly-Man and Daddy Salami had rescued me from the back of a van. (Remember, we’re stranded on Honi Planet, capital of the Honi Galaxy. That’s a no brainer, gee.)

Anyways and sums (I had to change it this time, see) Manly-Man and Daddy Salami were carrying me between them, down the busy city streets, dodging people here, there, and even some vehicles.

I swear I was almost crushed at a few points.

And this professor hardly swears when in trouble. Dadblameit.

We stopped in an alleyway.


“I need me a breather, curs,” Salami said, huffing and puffing.

“Okay,” Manly-Man said. “I could keep going, though, ’cause I’s so fancy.”

Salami looked at him. “Shut-up.”

“Look here, fellows,” I broke in, “can someone tell me what’s going on? Why was my intergalactic flight shot down?”

“I’ll tell yer why,” Salami wheezed. “You stole this”–he held up my can of cherries–“and the Honi government wants it back!”

“Give me my cherries, the sudden,” I said. And I said ‘the sudden’ part quickly, ’cause I hoped he’d give them fastly fast.

He didn’t.

“That’s why’s we’s leavin’, dude,” Manly-Man said. “I’s going to rocket outta here. Does you wanna come?”

No, of course not, I said, I must stay here and figure out things. I’m an epic spy slash super villain, after all. I shall get to the bottom of this! 

That’s what I thought would be cool to say.

What I actually said: “You got it, get me outta here.”

Let’s be real: I couldn’t feel my legs and I was in a foreign city. What was I going to actually figure out? Nothing, I tell you. Adventure had to wait.

I was like this dog: couldn't feel my legs.

I was like this dog: couldn’t feel my legs.

But that’s when things went south.

Salami went to throw my cherries onto the busy street…

…and I hollered…

…and I let out after them…

(Which, by the way, is a wonder, since I couldn’t feel my legs. Have I mentioned that yet? But I was able to propel myself.)

I fell right into the busy street.

A car stopped right in front of me.

Its breaks squealed.

I missed death by this much…

Ladies and gentlemen and Walt, that is my spirit animal.

Ladies and gentlemen and Walt, that is my spirit animal.

Now, I just laid there. And played dead. Maybe they’d go away. After all, I had the cherries.

Safe and sound.

The car doors opened.

And a VERY tall woman got out. She was in high heels, too, so she was epically tall.

A guy her same height got out of the passenger side.

He had blonde curls floating about his head. Like worms.

Something like this. This is actually a mossy slug, or something like that..

Something like this. This is actually a mossy slug, or something like that..

“Oh, look,” the woman said, in some sort of scary accent, “we almost crushed his life out.”

That was a thing. Thanks for not doing that.

I said nothing, though. Still playing dead.


She turned towards the fellow and hissed:

“Put him in the back. Quick.”

I was in trouble.

A glance about told me Manly-Man and Salami had deserted me.

I was in trouble.

But the cherries were nestled safely under my arm.

PL Symbol


From the professor’s Life…

I vividly remember his gray beard.

He was saying something too, but this professor was thinking only about his beard. I’m not sure why. It was just the strangest beard I’d ever seen–or probably will see.

“Are you listening?” he asked, slightly angry, I fear.

I nodded. “Yes, of course.”

“Good.” He rose from his chair. “When you write a paper you… Well, you say a lot, but nothing’s really said. Do you understand what I’m trying to tell you?”

“Well, sir,” I said, “how can one say a lot and say nothing? This sounds like dadblamery to me!”

I shouldn’t have said it. The professor knew it was a mistake the moment it came out of his mouth.

“See here!” Mr. Gray-Beard roared. “Never call anything I say a dadblamery!”

But you see, the professor was quite angry now too, for Mr. Gray-Beard had insulted my paper.

“No,” I returned, “the sea is far from here, sadly. The sea’s definitely not here. So you can’t very well say ‘Sea here.'”

That got him.

He was red in the face–redder than ever.

“You’re…you’re incredibly…mean!”

I think he was looking for a better word, but that’s all he could huff out. Definitely wasn’t the kind that thought well on the spot.

“Of course I’m mean,” I returned. “Don’t you know that I mean everything I write? And if I didn’t mean everything I wrote, then you could complain. But as it is, you, sir, are the dadblamery. I stand corrected. Originally, I had thought what you said was the dadblamery, but now I know the truth!”

“Welly well!” Mr. Gray-Beard said. “I was attempting to be nice in my refusal of your paper. But now, I’ll be as mean as I want. I DON’T WANT YOUR PAPER! NOW GET OUT!”

I stood. “Before I leave, I’d like to know your name.”

“Jack Russell,” he growled.

“Now that you say it, I do see the resemblance.”

And the professor left, with his mind made up:

Mr. Jack Russell (aka. Mr. Gray-Beard) would never have to look over another professorish story again.

The Hut

The promised post hath arrived! A Punchy Lands story! Click on the link below, enter the portal, clink on the other link, and…happy journeying!! (Just so you feel safe, I’ve made the journey on many occasions. Only once or twice was my life in danger.)

~ Professor VJ Duke

P.s. The ‘Dogs That Would Die For A Ball’ post malfunctioned somewhat. To see it all spruced up and right, just visit the site.

The Hut.

The Hut

Well, I promised ‘The Hut’ post today, and here it is! A short story from the Punchy Lands!! It’s called, ‘The Train Ride.’ Click on the link below, enter the portal, clink on the other link, and…happy journeying!!

~ Prof VJ

The Hut.

Blatherings…and what not…

Lately, I’ve been thinking about novels—their lengths, that is. That’s right: word count. I suppose every writer has struggled with word count problems in the past. You see, today there are very specific classifications for how many words makes a novel. There are also many disagreements, and almost everyone voices their opinions, even if they’re not welcome—which, in many cases, they’re not.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America specify in this way:

Novels — over 40,000 words
Novellas — 17,500 to 40,000 words
Novelettes — 7,500 to 17,500 words
Short Stories — under 7,500 words

That seems rather straightforward. But, wait! Here is another classification from another source!

Very Short Stories — under 2,500 words
Short Stories — 2,500 to 7,500 words
Novelettes — 7,500 to 20,000 words
Novellas — 20,000 to 50,000 words
Novels — 70,000 to 90,000 words

Ah, now we begin to see the pain and horror! What should we make of this? That novels cannot be above 90,000 words? Hmm… I don’t think so. (War and Peace and Les Misérables are just two examples that clock in well above 90k—well above.)

This is what I have to say: Write the story you were given, not a word more, not a word less.

Here are a few well-known novels and their lengths for your inspection:

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury — 46,118 words

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde — 78,462 words

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne — 63,604 words

So, here’s the deal. Depending on what type of novel you are writing (children, YA, Sci-Fi…) there are word count ranges that are ideal. In fact, there are ideal ranges for every genre. However, that being said, don’t worry about word count to such an extent that you begin to obsess over it—like I do. (Actually, it’s more than an obsession for me. Any novel I come across I think, “Wonder how many words it is?”)

As usual, at the end of Blatherings, I would like to share a photo. Hope you enjoy.


~ Prof VJ (Interestingly enough, that shrub–or whatever you want to call it–reminds me of me.)

TPL Schedule

Sunday: OFF — Day of Shalt Nots

Monday: TPL Story

Tuesday: OFF — Because I'm Gone

Wednesday: Professor Speaks

Thursday: OFF — Because Yes

Friday: OFF — All Day Sleep Does

Saturday: OFF — Blue-Footed Boobies Need Fed

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Depends on the day, see.

Punchy Argot:

1. Dadblameit.
2. Humdinger
3. Chickit
4. Chicky-woot-woot
5. Malediction
6. Rapscallion
7. Gardoobled
8. Congratulilolations
9. Togoggin
10. Gargonic
11. Two and Five Gurgles
12. Rats and a Heifer
13. Two nods, a wink, and an astroid
14. A bit, bits, and little bits
15. Huff-Hum and a Roar
16. So many thanks, I can't begin to thank you
17. Ri-do-diculous


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