The Nationals Game by Owen Ondrish


Get in the car, Owen,'' my dad told me. It was July 16th, 2021. Me and my family were on our way to Washington Dc. My cousins came with us too, but they were in a separate car. The 2 hour trip felt like it was 30 minutes long which was nice. When we got to Washington we saw a lot of historical monuments like the Capital of Washington Dc. We stayed in a hotel with our cousins that was right next to Nationals park. When we got to our hotel, we went in the elevator and went to our rooms. When we got to our rooms, the number of the room was my date of birth. When we were settled in our room we went to the highest point of the hotel,we were gazing down at the Nations park. Me,my dad, and my uncle went down to the stadium earley to watch bp which means batting practice. My dad told me,”Owen you will not get any baseballs from the players”, but I actually got three! I gave a kid one because I do not need all of them. ”Boom”, the baseball hit me at 50 mph miles per hour. I tried to catch it but it hit the warning track and bounced up and hit me in the face. As soon as I got hit the security swormed me like bees and walked me up to the nurses room in the stadium. When we got to the nurses office they took me to the bathroom and turned the little sink on,”shhhhh”, the water felt good on my bloody face. When I was done I came out of the bathroom. Then they checked my face. When they were done, the nurses gave me a bag of Nationals stuff. My favorite thing was a Daniel Hudson bobblehead. Then we went to the game and it was a great time at Nationals Park

Another Creepy Story in Horla

A Datura Cruise

It felt like she had been in my house forever. Like a stray dog, she followed me home from a bar one night and decided my house would be her new home. I can tell you she looked lovely, with long blonde hair that tumbled over her shoulders in curls and down the front of her black silk dress. Her eyes were the colour of the deep blue sea, and her engaging smile showed two rows of straight white teeth. I can tell you this now, but then I could not make out her features, and she was more of a sensation presence than a physical one. Her image in my mind shifted constantly, and I would forget what she looked like whenever I left the house. Later that would change. CONTINUE 

The Confetti Chucker is in Sci-Fi Lampoon


And can be purchased at LuLu

Forthcomming Anthology

My essay "Guided by Quotes" is scheduled to appear in a forthcoming anthology published by Writing Bad, a community organization "designed to provide education, support, and resources to writers of all skill levels." This anthology will be a collection of short essays written by published authors about writing. They selected me to be one of those authors.

"Guided by Quotes" describes how I go through the writing process directed by quotes from Jack London, Earnst Hemmingway, and Babe Ruth. The anthology should be out late this spring or early this summer.

2021 Writing Assessment


My second year of seriously freelance writing to publish is coming to an end, and it is time for me to look at the data and assess what happened. In 2020 I had eight pieces accepted, four fiction, four nonfiction. But 2020 was a buggered-up year. Thanks to open-heart surgery, I was out of action for months and only made 106 submissions. I surpassed that with 201 periodical submissions this year, a 90% increase. Increased submissions meant increased acceptances, and that number jumped to 19.  The 2021 data says something about the marketability of my writing that I should have seen from the beginning.

Of those 201 submissions, 70% were fiction, 30% nonfiction. And yet the nonfiction not only has the higher percentage of acceptance, but it also has the highest number. Clearly, then, my nonfiction is more marketable than my fiction.

So if I am going to take this end of the year 2021 to reflect and plan, the data gives me two paths. First, if I am a better essayist than a short story author, I might want to move away from fiction. Or, since I enjoy writing fiction, I may take this as a challenge to get better at writing short stories, perhaps take some creative writing classes. I received a "writing prompt" workbook for Christmas that may help me move in this direction.



THe CDC Came Up Short

 The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light a disturbing reality; the C.D.C. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) is not good at either control or prevention. Unfortunately, our reliance on their guidance in this pandemic made the situation worse.

In February 2020, just as the pandemic was coming into the country, these bureaucrats told the American people they did not need to wear face masks to reduce the virus' spread. I was receiving in-house health care while recovering from heart surgery. When I asked the nurses why they did not wear masks, they said they followed C.D.C. guidelines. Later, of course, the agency reversed this and encouraged masks and mask mandates. By then, the pandemic was in full swing, and I was not letting the nurses in the house.

Due to aggressive government action, Japan managed to keep COVID-19 in check. Much of the credit goes to the nation's fondness for face masks. It is a culture of people that will wear face masks for various reasons with no stigma attached. So, when COVID-19 hit their country, the Japanese put on the face coverings. There was a surge from the Olympics, which showed what happens when a bunch of unmasked, unvaccinated people came into the Land of the Rising Sun. Japan currently ranks twenty-fourth in COVID-19 related deaths, and most of those with lower numbers have smaller populations. The C.D.C merely had to look across the Pacific to see that face masks work.

It is not as though this disease blindsided the C.D.C. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a variation of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), and it was known back in 2003 that SARS traveled through the air. Even the C.D.C.'s own documents acknowledge this. So why did they not encourage masks at the beginning of this crisis? How many Americans died because of the C.S.C.'s lack of robust support for face masks? 

This confusing behavior of the C.D.C. has given ammunition to those who want to make a political issue out of wearing masks. Right-wing politicians like to say that mask mandates are tyranny. If that is so, then aren't laws requiring people to wear clothes in public also tyranny? I would say they are even more so. After all, the mask mandates are to prevent the spread of a deadly disease. The clothing law serves no life-saving purpose. If the C.D.C. had come out of the gate pushing face masks, this nonsense would not have had room to grow the way it did. 

Then there is the matter of the C.D.C.'s sloppy handling of testing for the virus. Here we have a deadly disease gripping the country, and the leadership of this organization insists they must provide the only test, and when they do, it fails. Meanwhile, under the World Health Organization guidance, other countries tested and learned more about the virus from these tests. Most experts agree that if testing in the United States had begun sooner, the casualties would have been lower.

This catastrophic pandemic has taken over seven hundred and twenty-two thousand American lives, more than any other country in the world. Some lessons from this dreadful experience must be learned and applied. Granted, good presidential leadership has not been forthcoming in this crisis. But the rhetoric of political leaders should not influence what is supposed to be an outfit dedicated to scientific pursuit. There is a fault here with the agency whose purpose is to protect the American people from rampant disease. We seriously need to look at the structure and function of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. As the world's population grows and moves around the planet, the probabilities of another pandemic following this one are high. We need a C.D.C. that can respond appropriately.