Category Archives: Fiction

Short Fiction

Entrance – #writephoto

portal-entrance

Photo by Sue Vincent

“No, really, it’s just a hole in the ground.”

I laughed.  “Don’t worry, when I was your age, my place was a pretty nasty hole.  Being a straight guy, I bet it was much worse than yours.”

Meghan smiled, an enduring look from under her eyelashes, as if she couldn’t decide if she were more embarrassed about the situation or excited.

“OK,” she said.  “But don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

I lead her to my car and wondered about my situation.

I was not a great socializer; far from it.  In fact, I hadn’t been out with a woman since the divorce.

But it wasn’t just that.

It was Meghan’s age.

I know the way of the world.  I’m a 50-something year old guy.  20-something women don’t want anything to do with us.  If I tried to flirt with one, at best they’d think I was a creepy old guy, at worse a predator. Continue reading

Don’t Ask Alice!

Photo by Shari Marshall

It was a gorgeous day, a magical day.  Larry was glad that he had disobeyed his mom and went to the park with his friends.  What could be better?

He stretched out on the grass, ignoring his friends as they played their guitars.

For a few minutes he closed his eyes and just enjoyed the warm sun and the sounds of the folk tunes.

“Puff the magic dragon, lived by the…”

Was that a faint whiff of pot?

After a bit, he grew bored and rolled onto his side.  He opened the eye closest to the ground.

For a moment nothing came into focus, just the raw light and strange shadows.  But then the world grew sharp as he looked through the grass. Continue reading

Keep #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

I sit in my tower keep, watching across the wasteland waiting for Rodrick to blink, knowing full well that he is doing the same.

It is a well-known bit of wisdom that to have a strong castle makes one a little king over his surroundings.  If any have the impedance to attempt to fight back, it is easy enough to retreat behind the strong walls to gather strength before doubling the attack.

The real kings on their high thrones did frown upon us little lordlings and our castles, but that didn’t’ stop me.

From my castle keep I was able to rule a wide swath of land, taking what I wanted, when I wanted.

And every day I wanted more. Continue reading

Day 732

fake-forest

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

Day 732 – I spent my day off in the 2nd greenhouse, the tropical garden. I breathed in lungful after lungful of fresh, moist clean air. The green was calming and the flowers beautiful. I felt great as the worries of the day faded. I thought about home.  The sky was deceptively blue.

Day 734 – I am told that the sky is orange as the latest storm hits.  We had hoped that worst of the chemicals would have condensated out, but we were wrong.

Day 739 – A broken pane let outside air into 2nd greenhouse at a total loss of life.

***

Word count = 100

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

Hopping #whatdoyousee

cute-unicorn

Image provided by Sadje found on Flicker

I heard the sizzle of the air inches in front of my face.  Too close!  I turned.  They were coming up the back side of the hill as well.

The entire landscape around our tiny refuge was scorched to the bare rock, life withering in front of the army of killer bots.

I turned to the Hopper.

“Jim, we need to Hop!  Now!  Get us out of here…”

He stared at me for a moment.  “You know, Sarge,” he said, “it takes a bit of planning to put in the proper coordinates and stuff.  Who knows where we’ll land?  Maybe in “The Day After” as the H-Bombs are going off.”

“I don’t care, just put in a random sequence, any sequence!” Continue reading

The Skull

jaw-prompt

Photo by Shari Marshall

I studied the little foyer as I waited for Mr. Klieber.

Real marble floors.  Nice touch.

A Hudson River School painting on the wall. It was in the books, but not one of the top artists of that school.  Beautiful none the less.

A late 19th century French bronze based on a Roman marble that was a copy of on an earlier Greek bronze.

I smiled.

Mr. Klieber certainly knew what he was doing

And I knew that what lay behind the mahogany door was far more interesting than the art in the foyer, which was mostly high-priced decorative items to impress those who had more of a sense of price than of value. High culture for people who were uncultured.

The door opened and a middle-aged man entered.  He frowned at me.

“Higsworth told me a known colleague was here.  I don’t know you.  You can see yourself out.”

He spun on his heel and was about to go back into the main house. Continue reading

Presence – Of Wind and Wings

stones-old-presence

Photo by Sue Vincent

Note – this story fit’s in with my on-line novel, Of Wind and Wings.  I’m not sure where it fits, but it will find a place ;)

*

Ed hesitated at the doorway.  He had been told that he had free reign of the house, yet he still felt a little uncomfortable, as if he were intruding on Liza’s privacy.  No matter how often she had protested that he was welcome to make himself totally at home, he had confined himself mostly to the kitchen and his bedroom.

Elisa was sitting in a comfortable chair with her back to the door.  She hadn’t stirred and Ed wasn’t sure if she were aware that he was standing there.  He fanned himself briefly with the photo in his hand as he watched her in his indecision. He stopped and frowned at the photo.  It was as if that old bit of paper were trying to make its presence known, to remind Ed why he was there.

That did it.

Ed straightened his back and walked into the room and stopped, looking down at his hostess.

Liza put her book to the side and smiled up at him.

“Yes?”

“I was wondering if you knew where this was taken.” He held up the photo.  “It was mixed in with my great-uncle’s papers and I just found it as I was reading through the notes.”

Liza jumped back as soon as she took the photo.  She blanched and her eyes grew wide.

“Ah, so you do know it,” Ed said, trying to make light of her reaction.

Liza took a moment to regain composure, and then handed the faded photograph back to Ed with a smile.

“I’m sorry,” she said, “but I can’t help you.”

Ed studied the photo for a moment.  A row of standing stones lined a path through a field full of wild flowers.  It would seem to be a noteworthy location.

He shrugged.

“Oh well, I guess I’ll just take it in and have Mr. Brown look at it.  I’m sure he’d recognize it…”

“What? Who?” Liza seemed to be even more distressed than before.

“You know, the historian…”

“Of course I know who Mr. Brown is, I’m just asking why you mentioned that man, is all.”

“He does know the local geography as well as the history.  Or perhaps The Grubb could help.”

“Yeah, ask the Grubb.”

Liza picked up her book and began to read.  Obviously the conversation was over.

Back in his room Ed continued to study the photo, trying to take in every detail.  There was something there, just at the edge of his perception.  He felt stupid for not being able to see it.

Perhaps not something, but someone.

Ed closed his eyes, still seeing the path and stones, but now in full color and stretching to the edges of his peripheral vision and beyond.

He could feel their presence before he saw them.

The couple had passed this way thousands of years before.

No, it was a different couple, hundreds of years before, ancestors that Ed had read about in his great-uncles papers.

No, that wasn’t right.  He could see them now.  It was his great-uncle and Liza’s mother.  They were walking hand and hand, smiling at each other.

No, no that wasn’t right either.

It was Liza and Mr. Brown, only they were young, perhaps in their teens or early twenties.

But no, it wasn’t them, it was Ed himself.

Who was he with?

The woman was shadowy, yet he could feel her presence, as he had in his dreams and visions.

He opened his eyes.

Was this his imagination running wild on his great-uncle’s words combined with Liza’s reactions, or was he seeing images of the past.  He shivered.  And the future.

He looked down at the photo again.

No.  It was just an old keepsake, something his great-uncle had taken in one of his many trips to England.  As far as Ed knew, it wasn’t even in the area but could be on the other side of the country.

He soon went to bed and fell into a deep sleep. He didn’t dream about the photo or the stones, as far as he could tell, and yet through the entire night he felt the presence of those other people he had imagined.

***

This was written for Sue Vincent’s #writephoto challenge.  The photo prompt is at the top of the post and this week’s key word is “Presence“.

The story this week is based on my on-line novel, Of Wind and Wings

Breaking Something

img_20191205_170150

PHOTO PROMPT © C.E. Ayr

“You sure it’s that physics guy?”

Ned stared across at the beat-up camper.

“Certainty.  On principle.”

Ned sighed.  It wasn’t a very good pun, but Thumbs could have groaned.

“Look, I know he has been cooking all night.  This is his rig.  It’s him, the big H.”

Thumbs shrugged and moved.

The sun rose over the horizon as they approached the camper.

H. was planning on scoring big, but Ned had other plans.

A bald man stepped out of the camper.

Ned moved.

“I need to sample the goods!”

“You’ll have to wait for the chili cook-off, like everyone else.”

***

I ran out of words, but I wanted to give the idea of Breaking Bad at first before throwing in the twist (it’s not Meth he was cooking, but chili).  Heisenberg is the code name of the antihero. He drives a beat up camper.  The real Heisenberg is a physicist best known for his Uncertainty Principle.

**

I have been out of Friday Fictioneers for a few weeks.  Not easy getting back into the groove ;)

**

Word count = 100

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

Fume #writephoto

smoke-fume

Photo by Sue Vincent

It seems that after all of my efforts, these experiments with biology, anatomy, chemistry and electricity came to naught.  The lifeless clay of my life’s work lay on the table, mocking my years of toil.

Adding insult to injury, Mrs. Kemph, the woman who straightens my living quarters, had dared to enter the lab and threw away a work in progress.  To say I was livid would be an understanding.

Walking through the village, my mind working out what went wrong with this latest experiment, I fumed as I couldn’t get past the dolt Mrs. Kemph. Continue reading

Angel #writephoto

christmas-angel

Photo by Sue Vincent

Emma looked around in wonder.  The world was both familiar and yet so changed!

A noise grabbed her attention.  Several Star Wars storm troopers were header her way!

“I’ll take care of them.”

Buzz Lightyear come out from behind the giant tree, laser beams flashing.

“Run, little girl, while I finish up here. To infinity and beyond!”

Emma turned.  Where should she go?

“This way, Emma.”

The voice was calm and soothing.

An angel! Continue reading