Troublemaker drops Sept. 23


SHERIDAN, Wyo. – Thom Gabrukiewicz’s first collection of flash fiction, Troublemaker, will be released on Kindle, Nook, Smashwords and iBooks on Sept. 23, 2013.

Troublemaker contains 30 flash fiction pieces Gabrukiewicz has written over the past eight years. The titles shift from light and whimsical to maliciously dark.

What is flash fiction exactly? That's hard to pin down, since opinions vary. Most flash fiction writers agree that the genre is brevity in action, a story that has been whittled down to its essence whilst remaining a complete story, with plot, narrative, character/s, conflict, and resolution.

In Troublemaker, the stories range anywhere from 300 to 2,000 words, meaning readers can consume a little or a lot at one sitting.

Thom Gabrukiewicz is both a communicator and a writer of flash fiction. Most of what he writes is kind of dark, with occasional forays into the light. He’s a winner of some awards and has covered two Winter Olympics for Scripps Howard News Service. He’s also written a guidebook about hiking with dogs. He’s worked in newsrooms across the U.S., most recently in Sioux Falls, S.D. and Redding, Calif. He currently lives and works in the wilds of Wyoming.

For more information, contact:

Thom Gabrukiewicz

3WW, "A Gross of Envy"

The words over at Three Word Wednesday are disgust, pout and wad. 

A Gross of Envy
He sat and watched the couple in a mix of outward disgust and regret, through his car windshield and the dust-caked windows of the convenience store.

He turned up the knob of the air conditioner, loosened his tie and unbuttoned the top button of the once-crisp oxford shirt, which had grown limp and somewhat dampish in the Texas heat.

His eyes never left the couple.

She sat with her back turned three-quarters to the window, a plump woman with pouty shoulders and hair the color of a mouse turd that she tied up into a ponytail. She wore a surgical scrub top the color of bubblegum. She laughed easily at the man’s stories, and each time she heard something particularly funny, her shoulders would wobble.

The man was huge, and not in a pleasing way. All rounded edges, lumps and bumps. He wore a white V-neck T-shirt under thin leather suspenders; a tuft of course chest hair protruded from the V, like a weed that sprouts from a crack in the concrete. His jowls shook when he talked, as did his supple man-tits.

He talked. A lot.

Her shoulders trembled in quick response.

He stretched tanned, manicured fingers upward from the leather-covered steering wheel and watched the scene unfold through the dual panes of glass. An uneasiness hung in his belly, but he couldn’t turn away.

The behemoth masticated on a burrito the store sold in a heated case near the do-it-yourself coffee and soda machines. The woman worked on a foot-long hotdog with the works, chunks of white onion falling like hail onto the red Formica tabletop in the store’s excuse for a dining room.

His mobile rang. Her favorite song. He sucked air into his lungs through his nose, one long hissing intake.


“It’s 7:30, where the fuck are you? We have a house full of people.”

“Getting ice, as you requested. Do we need one bag or two?”

“Jesus Christ. Three, I told you, three bags of ice. And hurry it up, would you? You’re seriously pissing me off.”

The screen went dark and he tossed the mobile haphazardly onto the black leather passenger seat and wove his fingers around the steering wheel and shook.

Yet his eyes never left the couple.

The hulk was nearing the terminus of another story, the pudgy fingers of his left hand making a point as the right held what was left of the burrito. Her shoulders vibrated uncontrollably.

And in an instant, he snatched a wadded ball of paper napkins from the tabletop and dabbed at the woman’s mouth before he planted a wet and sumptuous kiss upon her lips. She put both her hands around his massive head and massaged the buzz cut stubble.

Their embrace finally broke, and they quivered into more laughter.

And through two panes of glass and the oppressive Texas heat, he dabbed at his watery eyes with the corner of his silk tie, envious.


Coming soon to an e-reader near you, my first collection of flash fiction. "Troublemaker" should be out this fall:

"OMG," A Three Word Wednesday Flash Fiction

The words over at Three Word Wednesday are argue, lick and squint.

Barreling across the high plains in a rented Ford POS, I’m silently sure Laine is doing her upmost best to hit every hole and uneven spot on the Interstate in an effort to dislodge some sort of an apology from my now-clenched lips.

She squints into the distance, the afternoon sun harsh through intermittent thin, gray clouds. I would say something about putting on her sunglasses, but I don’t want to argue. Not again.

She’s been silent now for some 167 miles. And in that time, I’ve picked at my jeans and licked my lips. A lot.

We’re on our way to her parent’s house in Cannon Falls, Minnesota. Yeah, I don’t know where that is, either.

We’re going for Easter weekend.

Laine was raised in a strict Christian home; her dad is some sort of elder in the church or something.

I’m a lapsed Catholic. Something of an agnostic if you really want to know the truth, a turn that transpired after watching my dad die in a hospital bed from lung cancer, unable to speak and in considerable agony.

And the man went to church every single fucking day.

Laine informed me, as we crossed the border into South Dakota, that I’d be required to go to Easter sunrise service. At dawn. In some field. In Minnesota, for chrissakes.

My dad was fond of saying that people shouldn’t discuss politics and religion in all social situations, since he was something of a racist homophobe conservative Republican and his offspring all turned into varying degrees of liberal activism. Of course, I remember he started saying this only after he made my sister openly weep. At Easter dinner, come to think of it.

Laine and I bickered for a good 90 miles – and passed up Wall Drug and all its kitschy glory and maple-glazed doughnuts – in the process.

So I did what I’m seriously good at: I let her make one last snarky comment as I fell silent, letting the plains rush by the windows as I licked my lips and picked at my jeans.

Now she’s bouncing us around in the Ford so I’ll confess that I’m wrong about God and religion - and life, probably – and get a promise that I’ll be on my upmost behavior while she’s sequestered in her childhood bedroom – and I’m riding the sofa in her parent’s “rumpus room.”

No way.

We’re coming up on the South Dakota/Minnesota border and in the distance there’s a huge fireworks sign that rises from the prairie. I purse my lips, take in a deep breath and speak:

“Hey, seriously, we need to stop for some Easter fireworks. We have to pull over.”


“Well, if you’d like to know, I celebrate the Resurrection with some Roman candles. Maybe a few fountains. Certainly some bottle rockets.”

She swallows a laugh that sounds a lot like “gurk.” That’s my girl.

“You celebrate the Resurrection with fireworks?”

“Oh absolutely. It’s a known fact that God loves himself one helluva rave. I like to put the boom-boom into His rebirth.”


She shakes her head in mock disgust, takes her hand off the gear shift and weaves her fingers into mine as we hurdle past the last exit in South Dakota.

“You’re a shit,” she says. “And you had better not embarrass me this weekend.”

“As God is my witness...”