JM Williams

A home for all things fantasy and sci-fi.

Aftermath of a Bad Decision


photo by Hans Vivek

It was the worst mess Jared had ever encountered–nine years as a sanitation inspector could not have prepared him for the scene. Shredded paper was scattered all around; broken bottles were shattered on the floor, spilling their contents into a thick brown pool that smelled of urine; what were once ordered stacks of books and DVDs were now collected in a heap. The only thing that wound its way through his dumbfounded mind was the memory of a feminine voice saying, “Getting a cat will only be trouble, Jared.”

*Written as a response for the Three Line Tales Week 102 photo prompt.

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Thanks for reading!


Wonder Lost- Three Line Tales, Week 48


photo by Zara Walker

Sophia didn’t know why her daddy wasn’t there; he always joined the family at the cabin for the Fourth. Several weeks ago he left Sophia and her mom, boarding a plane with many other people, all dressed in green. The fireworks lost their wonder without him; Sophia dropped the sparkler into the water and watched it die.

*Posted as a response to the prompt on 3LineTales.

Green Food


Photo by Baher Khairy

Storm Hamilton was sick of synthetic food; nothing could beat a real, juicy burger, but they were getting harder to find. He especially hated green—anything green—which never tasted like anything more than…green. When did green become a flavor?

*This is a response to Three Line Tales, Week Forty-Four

Fireball – One Word, One Story


This is a prompt for the author of One Word, One Story. The word prompt is “fireball.” And I’m going to add the rule that it must be a S.F. or Fantasy story, since that’s what I do.

I sit on the cold stone looking up at the glowing sky. Our once red star flares with spectacular light and color. It is the most amazing sight I have seen in my long life.

Most of my people have fled our homeworld, having known the end was coming. Only myself, and a few others remain, the ones who have experienced all life can offer except for the wonder of an exploding star.

As I wait for the end, I think about my children. I wonder if they found a new home. There are so many stars in the galaxy like ours, I feel certain of their success. 

The air is warming like an oven; the ground rumbles in anticipation. I will not survive to feel the power of the sun overtake me; radiation will kill me long before that. But at least I can see the sky filled with glorious light one time in my life.

Concocting Vengeance


photo by Sandis Helvings

“Is this the one? The one that makes the vampires burn? Good, then whip me up a poison; I have someone to meet.”

*This is a response to Three Line Tales, Week Forty-Three

Learning, to Let Go – A (very) Short Story


Sparrow looked down at the massive shark lying on the table. It reeked something terrible and she worried how that stench would intensify once she cut it open. She was at the  Liminal stages of becoming a true fisherman, but she didn’t know if she could see it through.

Of course the older veterans had left her, the new girl, to do the dirty work. She was expected to chop the fish into manageable bits and place them in sealed containers to be left in the sea to keep cool. Cutting and chopping she knew well, but never with such cold flesh as this.

She grabbed a large cleaver from is notch in the large cutting block. It felt heavy in her hand. She watched the light bounce off the polished metal, thinking of the other blades she had held in her life before. They had not been tools, nor designed to aid the people. They had been weapons of death and nothing more. Was it really such a bad thing to get a little dirty so that the children of the village could eat?

But the smell was overpowering. She had grown up far from the sea, near mountains and forests. She had rarely eaten fish, let alone bathed in its particular aroma.

She found a moderately clean rag on a far shelf and tied it around her face. That solved one problem. But nothing was going to save her clothes.

She finally gave in and took to her work, making a big mess of it. From behind she could hear the laughter of the ship’s old captain.

“The point of the apron is to let the blood hit that and not the rest of the room,” the old man chuckled. “I dare say it’s the cleanest thing in here.”

Sparrow noticed that he walked around easily, without holding his nose. Maybe you got used to the smell, she wondered. She didn’t know if she wanted to get used to it.

The old man came to her and took the cleaver from her wet hands. He showed her where to slice, what to keep and what little bits to discard. She was astonished by his patience. Feeling out of place was not easy. Seeming to sense her thoughts, the old captain smiled warmly and spoke:

“Don’t worry. We’ll make a fisherman out of you yet.”

*A previous and related story featuring the character Sparrow can be found HERE.