Category Archives: Fiction

Short Fiction

Light (Repost) #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

(Originally posted on 22nd of November, 2019 for Sue Vincent’s writephoto challenge)

It was just after the first real snow of the year. A couple of wet inches, which might be gone by noon or may last all winter, greeted us.  It sure was pertty, that untracked white. I smiled at the sight, though dreaded the cold winter ahead.

A chill ran through my bones as I thought of last winter.  Not everyone lives through winter, see? At least not out beyond the frontier. Yeah, it was pertty an’ all, and I was as happy as the others, but…

“I say winter is here, no matter the calendar tells us. Let’s get our tree today,” Pa said as we stood around gaping the changed world.

The young‘nes whooped.

My mind went back to that cold, earthen mound.

“Oh, what fer?” I asked.

Continue reading

Cover Story

PHOTO PROMPT © Susan Eames

Everyone gathered, giving me sympathy. Yuck.  I love the anonymity of being an assistant.  Mr. Jameson tut-tutted over my foot and told me he would take it easy on me.  Even Ms. Evans stopped and patted my head like a sick child.  I doubt if anyone believed my story.  Fine.

Later, my other phone vibrated.  Nobody was around so I took it out.  Fingerprint, retina scan and 18-digit passcode later, I read the text message.

“Thanks for making the world safe, once again.”  It was the president.

Mr. Jameson had joked that at least I had some excitement.

I smiled.

***

Word count = 100

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

Derelict (Re-Post) #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

This was written for Sue Vincent’s writephoto challenge on May 25, 2017. As Sue is taking time off of posting new challenges, Willow has had the great idea to re-post old stories created for the challenge.

I crested a small ridge and the countryside became familiar.  It wasn’t anything that could be seen, not any feature or landmark, it had to do with the scent of the air, the feel under my feet and the quality of the sunlight.  I inhaled deeply and knew that I was almost home.

I was but a child when I was ripped from my parents’ arms and given an unbalanced spear and loose fitting leather cap.  I was told to kill or be killed, that king and country depended on me and my fellow farm hands that were rounded up to be shipped to distant lands to fight for noble arguments none of us understood.

Within weeks I was the only person from my village left alive.  Within months there was no other surviving commoner from within day’s walk of my childhood home.  The local lord, who had taken me from my fields, died within the first year.  His lord, a baron, was dead within three.  Ten years of constant battle and we had taken the enemy’s capital.  Another five and I was sent home, dressed in fine silks and fine mail, a bag of gold and silver at my hip and another tied to my saddle.

Continue reading

Guardian “Angel”

PHOTO PROMPT © Sarah Potter

“You’re the luckiest man I know.”

“Just my guardian angel.” Pete winked as he collected the cash.

It had been a running joke, but Pete more than half believed it. 

He was lucky; extremely lucky.

It wasn’t just all of the good things that seemed to happen to him, it was missing the bad.

Later, celebrating with a third martini, Pete somehow tripped off of the balcony.

He’d never been seriously injured before, but there was something about that landing…

The shadow that appeared was ominous.

“You’ve had a good run of it, Petie, but time to pay the price.”

***

Word count = 100

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

Stones (repost) #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

(This was originally posted on April 6, 2017 as part of Sue Vincent’s writephoto challenge)

“See here,” wise Beandor said to his young pupil, Therry, “This arch, though appearing so weak, is very strong.  Although the walls may crumble, unless the keystone is disturbed, the arch will stand and bear weight.”

Beandor used his staff to tap the keystone of the arch.

“This arch has allowed people into this temple for over a thousand years, protecting our town of Kernsh from every attack.  Look at this ancient place, overlooking the mighty ocean, it appears weak, and yet it is so strong, like our people.  Our fair country, Aladia, seems fragile, and yet it is just these points that keep it whole.”

Therry studied the arch.

Continue reading

Magic Door

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Marge tried in vain to ignore the reminders that another year was slipping away.  Where does the time go?  Didn’t they just have the Easter egg hunts, and yet here were Christmas decorations!

Approaching the gaudily decorated, mirrored door, Marge tried to avoid the reflection of her lined face.

Only it wasn’t there.

Nor were any of the throngs of people. The park reflected from across the street, serene in the fresh-fallen snow, beckoned.

The world wouldn’t end if she missed work, would it? She turned and walked across to the park, the first smile in weeks on her lips.

***

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“.

***

Dale’s photo was labeled “Magic Door”. I liked that, and so named my story after the photo :)

The Tour’s End

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

“This place just oozes history.”

“Uh-huh.”

“I can feel the thousands of years with every step.”

“Yep.”

“The lives that passed through here.  Who knows who stood in this exact spot!”

“Uh-huh.”

“It gives you a sense of perspective, doesn’t it?  How fleeting a single life when we look at civilization as a whole.”

“Yep.”

“But that sense of insignificance is driven out by that bigger sense of the immortal city.”

“Thinking of death…”

“Here we go…”

“It’s just that our exposure levels are high and we need to hurry to catch the next shuttle off planet while we can.”

***

Word count = 100

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

The Yearning #writephoto (Repeat)

yearning

Photo by Sue Vincent

(This was originally posted on May 30, 2019 as part of Sue Vincent’s writephoto challenge)

Meg crested the small hill and stopped.  A last fragrant breeze wafted up from the ocean as the sun slipped down for the night, causing the sky and water to flame.

Her heart bounded and for a minute she felt like a little girl, full of the desires of youth and pull of the sea and distant lands, the deep unending yearning, the yearning to be someplace, anyplace, else.

She brought herself back to the present and found An watching that same sunset.  She gave a knowing smile and walked over to her granddaughter.

Continue reading

This is not a Drill

PHOTO PROMPT – © J Hardy Carroll

“Now class…”

A thousand furies crying in pain cut off Ms. Walker’s sentence.

She looked out of the window, then turned to the students, raising her voice to be heard over the alarm.

“Out in the hall, now,” she said.  “Up against the lockers, kneel with your hands covering your neck.”

Katie opened her backpack to find her phone.

“Katie, drop it, get down, now.”

A dull roar filled the hall, but was soon over.  The kids filed back into the room.

*

“So, Katie, anything interesting happen at school today?”

“No,” Katie said, not looking up from her phone.

***

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“.

Diner Talk

PHOTO PROMPT – © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

“Refill, Honey?”

The waitress couldn’t have been more than 22.

“Sure.”

“There you go, Dearie.” She patted his shoulder. “Your food’ll be right out.”

A deep wood sprang up just past the flower boxes, not a car in sight.

“Two pancakes and bacon, Hon.  Enjoy!”

The maple syrup was real without him asking.

He ate to the gentle buzz of conversation.

“Need another refill, Love?” Her warm smile seemed genuine.

That last meal in Manhattan came back in all of its gory detail, the rude faces, Jan’s anger.

“Sure.” He returned her smile.

Sipping coffee, he thought, “Perhaps I’ll stay.”

***

Word count = 100

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

**

A few days ago I had a conversation with someone about how it seems that every waitress in every diner, no matter her age, seems to call every male over 20 “Hon”, “Honey” or “Dearie”. She had a few theories, which I won’t repeat, but my comment was about how odd it sometimes felt in the “me too” era. Actually, I always felt it was odd, but worse now! But perhaps they are right, perhaps it does make some people feel at home.