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The Flash Drive – A short story inspired by a Random Plot writing prompt

Random Plot (Generated by Writing Exercises App for Android)

Character 1: A stubborn 68-year old computer programmer

Character 2: A miserable 77-year old private investigator

Setting: A children’s playground

Situation: Something has been lost

Here is my short story. Tell me what you think and please share yours’ with me!

The Flash Drive

The playground by the Greenpond Library is shrouded by several tall shade trees and flanked by thick woods on one side, with a busy street and a walking track on the other side. There weren’t many places to hide out if someone was wanting to conduct a stake out. The only option was to hide in the thick bushes at the base of the tree line that began the dense woods. This option thrilled Max about as much as his colonoscopy had yesterday, Why he let Phil talk him into such an idiotic idea was beyond him. He was starting to wonder just who the idiot was between the two of them.

“Max,” Phil whispered as he stuffed leaves into the band of his ridiculous straw hat that he insisted he wear for camouflage purposes, “I can still see you. You have to hide better than that.”

“Of course you can still see me, you idiot. You’re three feet away from me. Quit playing with those leaves and get over here, Nancy Drew. I’m ready to get this over with.”

Phil grimaced as his slammed his leaf-covered hat onto his balding, sweaty head and crawled into the bushes. Once behind a large, leafy bush, he slowly got down on his knees, grunting the whole way down. Max watched in bewilderment as Phil finally lowered himself to the ground. He shook his head and positioned himself on his camouflaged camping stool he kept in the trunk of his car for occasions such as this. Not that occasions like this were frequent for him.

“Phil, are you sure that kid picked up your flash drive? Are you sure you didn’t just lose it somewhere?”

“Max, how many times do I have to tell you? I saw that little bastard pick it up and put it in his pocket as I was coming out of the bathroom.”

“You know, it’s really unfair to call an eight-year old child a bastard when you left such a precious item behind to empty your bladder.”

“He’s eleven. And he lives two houses down from me. He is a little bastard. He chases after Rudy on his bicycle every time I let Rudy out to pee. His mother even came to my house once to accuse Rudy of trying to bite him. Can you believe that? My sweet little Rudy would never do such a thing!”

Max whipped his head around and looked a Phil with his eyes wide. Rudy was a Hairless Chinese Crested dog who was at least 13 years old and looked like road kill that had managed to crawl away. If anyone saw him from far away, it would probably confirm for them that aliens did indeed exist. Rudy was also Satan in canine form. The only person that he didn’t constantly growl at, bark at, or attempt to bite was Phil. He has just bitten Max this morning on his already tender buttocks when Max had tried to sit down on Phil’s plastic covered sofa.

“Are you kidding me? He just bit me on the ass this morning. And why are we even out here if this kid lives right down the road from you? Just go knock on his door and tell his mother that her child is a thief and you want your stuff back?”

“You were about to sit on him! Of course he was going to bite you! And she wouldn’t believe me. I’ve already accused him of stealing things from me twice and she believes her son is a freaking angel. Look, there he is! Over there by the swings with those other two boys. The tall one with the cut off sleeves. Ugh. I bet he already chews tobacco. Nothing good ever came from cut off sleeves.”

Max rolled his eyes and pulled out his phone to take pictures of the kid that was apparently Phil’s nemesis. Max zoomed in on the kid wearing a red t-shirt with cut off sleeves. He was showing off baseball cards to two other, shorter boys. He didn’t look like much of a menace. As Max pressed the button to take a picture of the kid, his phone made a strange sound and brought up a picture of a Mark McGuire baseball card in his internet browser. Max tried again. This time his browser brought up a website where he could by sleeveless shirts. Max tried one more time to snap a picture of this kid and was immediately brought to a website offering the latest in face recognition software.

“What the hell did you do to my phone?”


“What the hell did you do to my phone? Every time I try to take a picture of this damn kid my phone takes me to my web browser and pulls up all these stupid sites. What the hell did you do to it, you genius programmer?”

“I’m going to pretend there was no sarcasm in that compliment. I added an app to your phone that tells you where to find things. Google Goggles. It will tell you where you can find something and how much it is. See, it even gave you a site for face recognition software. You could use that.”

“Are you serious?”

“What? What kind of spy are you if you don’t have face recognition software?”

“Phil,” Max huffed through clenched teeth, “I am a retired private investigator. I’m not a damn spy. I don’t even know why I let you talk me into this mess. Just go to the kid’s house and talk to his mom. I’m ready to go. This seat is hurting my ass.”

“I already told you she won’t believe me and I have to have that flash drive. It has very important client documents on it. You’re right, I shouldn’t have brought it somewhere public and I shouldn’t have left it alone when I went to the bathroom but I know that little bastard has it and I need to get it back. Just help me.”

The wind began to blow through the trees behind them and Max and Phil sat in silence watching the three boys until they heard the loud, unmistakable sound of thunder. Max slowly slid off of his camping stool and began folding it up. He then packed it back into the bag it came in and was about to stand up when Phil grabbed him by the wrist.

“What are you doing? You’re going to blow our cover!”

“It’s about to rain, you nincompoop! I’m not going to sit out here and get rained on just because you think this kid took something of yours but you’re too much of a chickenshit to just go to his mother’s house and demand it back. Let’s go get something to eat. I’m hungry.”

“Your old crotchety ass is always hungry. Help me up!”

Max stood up, held out his hand to Phil, and braced himself against the tree behind him. Phil clamped on to Max’s arm instead and slowly pulled himself up with every joint creaking and popping. Once Phil was upright in his shiny, white orthopedic shoes, he began pulling all of the leaves out of his straw hat one by one. And then he picked all of the stray leaves off his black t-shirt and khaki shorts. He was about to bend over to pick off the leaves that stuck to his black socks when Max cleared his throat. It had started to rain. The boy and his friends had already run into the library for refuge from the summer storm.

“I guess we will just have to come back tomorrow.”

“You can come back tomorrow by yourself. I’m not going to spy on some kid. This is ridiculous. Give me the car keys.”

Phil stuck his hands in his pockets and pulled out his wallet, a notepad, pen, and several other small objects and placed them in Max’s hand. Then he started looking around on the ground where he had been kneeling. He rustled the bushes and picked up some rocks. Then he went back to fooling around in his pockets. He pulled out cough drops, his inhaler, his cigarettes, and four lighters. He still couldn’t find the car keys. Then he remembered to check the little cargo pocket on the left leg of his shorts. Nestled safely in the pocket were Max’s car keys. When Phil looked up to hand Max the car keys his nose touched a flash drive that was dangling between Max’s thumb and pointer finger.

“Is this the flash drive he stole?”

“Yes! Where did you find it? Did you wrestle it from the little bastard?”

“No, Phil. I did not wrestle it away from an eleven-year old child. You handed it to me when you cleaned out your pockets.”

Phil’s face flushed and he looked down at the ground in embarrassment. This was not the first time that Phil had been sure that something had been stolen from him only to discover that he had actually lost it. This subject was a frequent point of amusement for his grumpy friend Max. Phil’s stomach started rumbling as they stood there under the trees in the rain. He looked up when he heard Max laughing.

“That kid must be some kind of magician putting it right back in your pocket, huh? Come on, I’m hungry.”

They walked to the car in silence. Phil was still embarrassed. Max started chuckling again as he started the car and back out onto the main road. Once his chuckle became a loud guffaw, Phil joined in with him. Eventually, they were laughing so hard that Max had to pull over because he couldn’t see the road.

“Thanks for helping me find it, Max.”
“Anytime, Phil.”

“You know that kid is still a little bastard.”


4 of my favorite Tumblrs becaue I was too lazy to do 5

30 Day Challenge – Day 15: Your Favorite Tumblrs


Guide to Writing a Villain


The Writing Cafe is a great source for writing tips, inspiration, and information that you can use in your writing. As someone who is still someone what of a novice in the writing world, The Writing Cafe is a very valuable tool for me!

Marilyn Monroe in Korea, 1954

Marilyn Monroe in Korea, 1954


The Nifty Fifties is an awesome tumblr to follow if you’re a nostalgic like me and love seeing fashion, advertisements, and celebrities from the 1950s.


Otis the Corgi looking Regal & Patriotic


Oh, how I love the Frogman! I love his funny posts but more than that I love, love love, his adorable Corgi!! I often peruse The Frogman when my spirits are low and I need a good laugh. Or when I just need to see a cute puppy face because our rescue mutt is being a little doggy asshole.

“Ay yo, bitch! Dis yo horse?”


Rappers Doing Normal Shit is a fun day for me because I like to be reminded that rich and famous gangsters are still normal people deep down inside. And I like seeing the unexpected, like DMX on a horse. It’s not that I don’t think DMX can ride a horse, it’s just that I can’t help but think of DMX in Clint Eastwood cowboy movies when I see him on a horse. Could you imagine watching those westerns with DMX riding up & speaking in his famous voice & saying “Ay yo bitch! I got yo horse!” Maybe I’m alone on this one. Either way, I love rappers doing normal shit.