Category Archives: Fiction

Short Fiction

Together #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

The water was smooth, tranquil, barely a ripple.  It was as if the mighty ocean had turned to glass.

Michael smiled at the quiet irony.

It had been a turbulent few days.  Wave after wave after wave had thrashed at them, ever since the news had broken. Chaos reigned supreme.

Funny that the sea was so still.

He felt the familiar, warm squeeze on his hand and squeezed back. Margret was looking off into the distance, but he knew her thoughts mirrored his, as the still waters mirrored the placid sky.

After all of these years, they almost thought as one. Continue reading

A bird of a Different Color ;)

photo

PHOTO PROMPT © Douglas M. MacIlroy

I’m sure you have heard of the Bluebird of Happiness.  You may have even know the Chicken of Despair*.

I was visited by a different bird.

After the great success of my opening lines from last week’s FF, I thought I had made the big time.  Fame and fortune couldn’t be far behind.

I was lulled by the tapping of the old Underwood, but the taps continued even after I lifted my hands.

I turned.

It was at the window, watching.

When it caught my eye, the Mockingbird of Mocking started its song:

“It was a dark and stormy night….”

***

* The Chicken of Depression is from a Far Side comic strip, but I like the name Chicken of Despair better…

Note – Last week I started The Great American Novel with those words…

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Word count = 100

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  This week’s prompt is here and uses a photo © Douglas M. MacIlroy. Read more or join in by following the InLinkz “linky“.

Not as Much Fun as it Looks

writers-life

PHOTO PROMPT © Jeff Arnold

Quit complaining!
Wait, it will g_t b_tt_r.
Ev_ryon_ has to do it.
R_ally, w_ all do
Trust m_, it’s for the b_st
You n_ _d to l_arn pati_nc_!

Damn lowercase “e”!

Suzanne took the page out of the beat-up old typewriter.  Piece of junk.  Not worth fixing. She couldn’t image putting up with such a quaint monstrosity. Never.

She was bored.  What could you do while stuck at home?  She found the ancient beast.  She tried her hand at an acrostic about social distancing. Yuck.  She tried using every letter in a paragraph. Boring.

In desperation, she even tried Friday Fictioneers. ;)

***

Double dipping this week…

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Word count = 100

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  This week’s prompt is here and uses a photo © Jeff Arnold. Read more or join in by following the InLinkz “linky“.

 

The Book Within Me

writers-life

PHOTO PROMPT © Jeff Arnold

The dull patina of the ancient Underwood drew me in. I caressed a key, imagining the scent of Egyptian spice; cardamom and aniseed.

Thyme? A pun?

I sat.

No bottle of bourbon present, but a glass of red wine would work.

I smiled to myself.

This time out of time, this bit of social distancing, would be exactly what I needed. I would use the sequester to my advantage and create The Great American Novel!

Paper in, enticing me with its blankness, the words began to flow.  I could feel it, my masterpiece:

“It was a dark and stormy night.”

***

Hats off to that great novelist, Snoopy ;)

(Note – I’ve been away from Friday Fictioneers for a few weeks.  Actually, from blogging in general… Glad to be back.)

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Word count = 100

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  This week’s prompt is here and uses a photo © Jeff Arnold. Read more or join in by following the InLinkz “linky“.

The Plan….

Mt. Katahdin

Many years ago I was at a gas station in Maryland.  I looked over at the beat-up pickup truck next to me and frowned. Hmm.  Maine plates.

“Hey,” I said, catching the driver’s eye.  “Why do you have a snow shovel tied to the front of your truck?”

He hunched over, slightly deflated.

“Dang,” he said.  “I hoped this was the spot, but nope…”

“What are you talking about?”

“Well, see here, after winter was over, I tied my snow shovel to the front of the truck and started south.  My idea is that the first time someone points to it and says, “what do you have there?” I will stop and put down roots, for I know I’d a done found my new home.”

These days I hear it is the other way around.

I’ve heard people from the northern points of Maine saying there are strangers in town asking if anybody knows anyone with the Corona virus.  Actually, they look at a map of where it is.  As soon as they find a place with no cases, they stop and put down roots.

A few trickling in already, you know there will be hoards in the near future.

Now, I’ve heard that there is a plan afoot.  Not going to say what it is, but if you suddenly hear of thousands and thousands of cases in places like Wyoming, Nebraska, North Dakota and, yes, northern Maine, well, let’s just say that it might be a bit exaggerated…

***

Yes, the first half is a very old joke.  The second half?

I have heard that people have already started to move to places like northern Maine to escape the virus.  Really.  Hmmm.

Anyway, this was supposed to be a bit of humor, but maybe will become reality… I mean, I have been hearing a lot of little white lies from the top all of the way down, so why not this?

Hope you got a small chuckle, anyway…

 

Good Advice

ladies-on-a-street-prompt

Photo by Shari Marshall

I patted the overstuffed envelope and tucked it under my arm.  It’d be safe.

There were a few people out.  Busy enough to be inconspicuous, but not too busy. I slipped into “the zone”.

I had a job to do. I was alert, but not distracted.

Or so I thought.

I jumped at the loud “Ding” and turned.

“Girlfriend, mm, mm, mmmm, that handbag does not match those shoes at all. Blue purse and black shoes?  No ma’am, not at all.  Go home and change now before the fashion police arrest your sorry behind!” Continue reading

Memory #writephoto

memory

Photo by Sue Vincent

Did I hear the wind whisper
Your name
As it sighed between trees and standing stone?
Did I see
Your shadow cross a threshold
Long buried beneath the empty, grassy plain?
Did I sniff the fragrance
Of your food
Wafted off of a hearth long turned to dust?
Do I taste the salt
Of your bitter tears
Shed for a people long forgotten?
I listen to the rock
Feel the breeze
Sniff the distant salty sea air
Sense your people near
Perhaps forgotten by men
But the land
The land has a very long memory Continue reading

The Final Act

dale-stage

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

The night started like a dream.  We were all elated by the news and were enjoying the night out.

I was jerked back to the present as the action came to a halt.  Before I could protest, the orchestra began to play “Hail to the Chief” and the actors all came out on stage.

I stood and watched transfixed as our victorious president appeared in the front box.

The play was good, but after the funniest line, a man dropped to the stage.  I didn’t know Mr. Booth was in the play.

Only he wasn’t.

Thus began our national nightmare.

***

Word count = 100

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  This week’s prompt is here and uses a photo © Dale Rogerson. Read more or join in by following the InLinkz “linky“.

Still #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

Edward walked into the garden. He sniffed the air and frowned.

It was a normal early spring day.  The grass had completed that shift from dead brown to lively green and the first buds were on the point of bursting into leaf.

But still…

The war was finally over.  The soldiers had stood down, and she had made a peace offering.  He had accepted.

But still…

Not a ripple troubled the water of the mill pond.  The gentle sound of grazing sheep was almost enough to lull him into a nap.

But still…

The sun warmed the land as laborers repaired the fruits of the destructive winter war.

But still…

A black cloud reared up in the north.  The world held its breath, then let it out in a shrieking gust. It grew cold.  Flakes of snow filled the air.

“Sir…” Continue reading

Like a Freight Train

barns-1-dawn-miller

PHOTO PROMPT © Dawn Miller

The rain sliced through my drenched clothing as if I were buck-naked.   Where was I?

I bit back my fear.

I knew every inch of this land like the back of my hand, didn’t I?  So what if I couldn’t see that hand if I stuck it out in front of me?

Look!

Was the rain lessening?

I began to see light.  The edge of the storm!

There was Wiken’s barn, standing proud and beautiful in the sunlight as if the storm didn’t exist.

I started to run, but then I heard it, like a freight train barreling towards me…

***

Word count = 100

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  This week’s prompt is here and uses a photo © Dawn Miller.  Read more or join in by following the InLinkz “linky“.

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Tornadoes usually form at the trailing edge of the storm.  As a child growing up in Ohio I saw several tornadoes, but the closest I was to one, it was raining so hard I couldn’t see it…