Tag Archives: short story

Haven – #writephoto

january-hol-2016-004-2

Photo by Sue Vincent

Another perfect day, one of the few days when I am spared slave labor in the Uranium mines on Pluto, and it was ruined.

“Are you just going to waste your entire day rotting your brain on Saturday morning cartoons?” Queen Shimá asked.  She stood in the portal, her hands on her hips.  “You need to do something, not just sit like a plotted plant.”

“But Mom,” I said, “’Creepy Critter’s Criminal Capers’ is my favorite!”

“It’s a sunny day out there. Go play outside.”

“It must be fifty below.  I’ll freeze my boy parts off.”

“Don’t you talk to me like that, young man.”

“But Mom!”

“Aren’t any of your friends around?” Continue reading

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Luna – #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

“Their signal was lost.”

“What?”  The ringing of my phone had woken me from a deep sleep and my head was still foggy.

“Sorry, ma’am.  The signal was lost, all telemetry data gone.”

I still couldn’t register what was happening.  Zoe?  How could this be?

“Did they crash?  Impact on landing or…?”  I glanced at the clock.  It was 4 AM.  They weren’t supposed to be on the surface for two more hours.  I had planned on being up and observing in real time.  Well, real time minus the second and a half delay as the signal crawled across the 385,000 km.

“No.  The lander had separated from the station as scheduled.  The trajectory was fine and they had plenty of altitude.  We can see it and cannot see signs of a hull breach or any signs of catastrophic event, but there is no signals of any type coming from the lander.”  It was a familiar male voice, but I still wasn’t sure of who I was talking to.

“When did this happen?”

“We lost the signal about a half an hour ago, Dr. Barnes.  We wanted to give them a chance to respond before we contacted you.”  Was it the Administrator of NASA? Continue reading

Eye – #writephoto

eye

Photo by Sue Vincent

“Why do I feel like I’m being watched?” Gordon asked.

The question was meant to be rhetorical, but Bud pointed across the still water and said, “There.”

“What?” Gordon tried to follow Bud’s finger.  All he saw was an old stone bridge.

“Can’t you see it?” Bud asked.  “The reflection of the arches looks like a set of eyes watching us.  You see it in your peripheral vision and…” He shrugged.

Gordon shook his head and got back to work.  Bud was a strange one, a bit of an anomaly.  Gordon smiled at himself.  “Anomaly” was just the type of word Bud would use.

Bud left as Gordon continued to dig.  Gordon knew what Bud was doing, so didn’t think anything of it.  This was a routine they’d done a thousand times before. Continue reading

Friday the 13th – Friday Fictoneers Edition

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PHOTO POMPT © Douglas M. MacIlroy

“I’m not superstitious,” Betty said.

When she was a child, her great-grandmother used to say that that world of the living and the dead drew together as Halloween approached.  She never believed it.

There was another loud “thump” followed by the strange voice.

And Friday the 13th?  Just the start to another autumn weekend.

More sounds.

Greg should have been home long ago.   Where was he?

A blood curdling scream came from the garage as Greg pulled in.  Then silence.

After a minute, she braved the garage.

“Look what I caught,” Greg said, holding a feathered object.  “A myna bird.”

— — — Continue reading

Heading for Warmer Waters

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PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

The tourist season’s almost over

A-yep.

I’m planning on harboring The Bangor for the winter after the holiday weekend.

You usually do.

A-yep.

Something on your mind?

She’s as slow as molasses on a winter’s morning and has never done a long trip.

She’s an island girl, not an ocean liner.

A-yep.  But I was still thinking of taking her south for the winter.

A Caribbean cruise on a Maine ferryboat?

I heard they could use some help down there.

How long would it take to get passengers from San Juan to Miami?

Not sure, but fixing to find out.

— — Continue reading

A Dare

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PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

The town is full of mill buildings, some going back 200 years.  Most have been converted to modern uses, like boutique shops, apartments or small businesses.

And then there is the Sturgess factory.

I’m sure you’ve heard the stories.  The original building, a cotton mill, burned to the ground with 75 workers, all girls between 14 and 25, locked inside.  A garment factory grew on the site, but it was converted to chemicals.  It killed the river and most of the workers.

They say nobody living has been inside.

So, what do you say, join me exploring it on Halloween? Continue reading

I’ll Be Right Back

old-shoes-cobwebs

PHOTO PROMPT © Sarah Potter

The story about Great-grandfather’s shoes again?  I guess it’s appropriate tonight, since it’s been exactly 50 years to the day.

Great-grandfather was a bit eccentric, saying “spacemen” were spying on him.  A guy from the government stopped by, and left laughing.

One evening there was a knock on the door.  When Great-grandfather answered it, a burst of light filled the house.  All that remained of Great-grandfather were his charred shoes.

Before they took Grandfather away, he constantly said the “spacemen” would be back in 50 years.

Hmm, who could be at the door at this hour?  I’ll be right back…

— — Continue reading

Glow of the Evening

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PHOTO PROMPT © Danny Bowman

We walked up the never-healed wound of a 19th century wagon trail.  This was forgotten land, rarely trodden in modern days, awash in legend.  But there were rumors.

“I  see no signs that anybody has been this way in decades,” I said, but my daughter, Jenna, grew more determined.

As the sun set, I could see the glow of the distant city on the horizon, a warning to all.

Nearer at hand, though, was the unmistakable landbound stars of campfires.

Jenna pointed.  “There is yet life here.”

I nodded.  The deepest desert had to be better than the radioactive cities.

— — — Continue reading

An Early Morning Paddle

Greg picked held the paddle up and let the kayak drift with the tidal current.  He took a deep breath and listened to the calls of early morning birds.  Occasionally he could hear the sounds of traffic from the surrounding roads, but it was light and the roads themselves were out of his sight.

Greg tried to kayak all year round, but there was something special about late June.  He could be on the water by 5:30 and never see another person on his round trip to the Ocean.  It was the greatest time to just bask in nature at her best.

A flash of movement caught his eye, but by the time he looked, there was nothing except the ripples on the water.  Obviously something big had entered the river, but it didn’t make a sound, just pushed the water out of its way.  As the first of the ripples hit the kayak, ripples big enough to bob the little boat up and down, Greg wondered what it could have been.  There wasn’t anything very large that he could think of that lived this far north.  Well, a bear, perhaps, but he would have seen that.

The ripples had dissipated and he was about ready to start moving again.  He did regret he didn’t see whatever went into the water, but he still felt lucky to be out when no one else was around.

He took one last look around, but ended it with a scream. Continue reading

Marv’s Food

Common Grackle

Our captors entered the musty basement room in their makeshift headquarters.  Even before they turned on the light, I knew that all eight of the soldiers still on the premises and the commander where in the room.  I guessed they were moving us again.

A big guy came over and undid our leg restraints, one at a time.  There were only four of us and in total nine of them, but they kept their rifles pointed at us.  I smiled inwardly.  The reputation of our unit made them nervous.  Nervous guards are easier to overcome.  I was sure that the commander knew that the only reason he had captured the four of us was we were taken unarmed and off guard.

We were led up the stairs and into a small room.  The soldiers spread out so that there was one in each corner and one in the middle of each wall.  They kept their guns at the ready. Continue reading