Category Archives: Fiction

Short Fiction

Dark #writephoto (repost)

Photo by Sue Vincent

NoteI wrote and posted this almost exactly three (3) years ago, on March 1, 2018. It was written for Sue Vincent’s #writephoto challenge that week. Since Sue is unable to post new photos, many of us are bringing back posts from the past to show our appreciation for the stories and ideas that she inspired :) See below for more detail on this story.

With no wizard’s light to guide us, we ran through the darkness.  Occasionally a great leap of fire was reflected on the dark stone, casting an evil red glare across our party, but mostly we moved through a black so deep it seemed a physical force.  On we went, stubbing toes and scuffing hands as we ran in pitch black.

“I see light,” the sharp eyed elf yelled.  “Daylight!”

We ran faster, though us mere mortals could see naught.  I bumped into a man, a common occurrence in this mad dash.  But then something amazing happened.  I could make out his form.  In a few more steps, I too could see the cool blue daylight.  We might make it!

There were guards at the entrance, but they were expecting an attack from the outside, not one from within.  We swept them away without an injury on our part and pushed out into the open.

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A Hint, Please

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

The apartment building was obviously a pre-Columbian artifact.

Just inside the unlocked door was the row of mailboxes. No buzzers.  How quaint.

Number 4 was Maria Mordella. Perfect.

Just outside Number 4, I held out the single rose, but my left hand, hidden in my jacket, held my 9 mm.

After an age of the Universe, a lady opened the door.

She was older than the building.

“Ms. Mordella?” A nod.  “Complements.” I gave her the rose and left.

It was only after a 34-year-old Maria Mordella met an unfortunate accident that I discovered Cruella Mordella really was my target.

***

Word count = 100

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

Martha Goode – The Old Mill

Martha Goode, and that is the First Martha, was the very first resident of the brand new, ultra-modern Goode Mansion.  Her mother, Abigail, was rushed out of the heavily damaged farm house while in labor (“no child of mien will be born in this house of fire and death”) and gave birth to Martha less than an hour after being moved.

Martha grew up to be a very intelligent woman.  At 18 she gained control of the Goode Mill, the old mill, and took the burnt-out hulk and created the most efficient, most profitable mill in the region, all the while paying the workers at her mill a third more than anyone else paid their labor.

She later lost the mill, a victim of a highly patriarchal society, but kept the mansion, the mansion defined by her; the mansion that defined her.

As she aged, she grew stranger and stranger. Who could blame her after all she had seen, experienced and dealt with, from an extremely violent and abusive “father” to the death threats as her legal battles got stretched across many years. Towards the end, few remembered the remarkable woman who had saved the town, only the eccentric who lived up the hill in the ancient house.  Legends grew around her, even while she was still alive.

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A Faded Rose from Days Gone By

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

I remember her clearly, the oversized suitcase, the faded rose on her jacket.

Later, at the diner, I asked a local about her.

For at least 30 years she had gone down to the bus station daily and waited for her lover to come take her away.

Funny thing was that the dark-haired stranger had jilted her long before, back in the 1950s.  She had waited patiently for him until she was 41 and began the crazy ritual.

I saw her the next day, the spring beauty just beneath the snowy old surface.

I wonder if she is still waiting?

***

Some of you (if you are old enough) may recognize this as coming from the song Delta Dawn (or try this if you like Tanya better than Helen), only I set it 30 years later, say 2003, when poor Dawn is in her 70s, not her 40s (the song says 41).

***

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“.

Storm #writephoto repost

Photo by Sue Vincent

(This story was posted almost exactly a year ago, on 2/14/2020 (Valentine’s Day!) With Sue not able to put up a new write-photo prompt, I decided to revisit this one :) And a reminder to visit the Carrot Ranch Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic.)

I felt the turbulence as she entered the room, the low pressure system sucking the air out and drawing all eyes in.

A flash of lightning struck as she glanced around the packed room.

The crowds parted as torrent moved forward.

She didn’t even see me as she passed inches away, but the gale force winds turned me with her.

She went at the bar.

People turned back to what they were doing.  The music came back on.

I remembered to breath.

But then I saw her again.  I drew in a sharp breath.

My mind clouded up.

How dare I even think I could even speak to one such as her?

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Cold Storage

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

It was not a job I was looking forward to!

Aunt Margret was always more than a bit eccentric, and she had that side to her which, well, let’s just say that more than one family member said they were happy she never had any children.

Her storage unit, which was my responsibility, was not pleasant.

Damn, I’d have to call the county about disposing of hazardous waste. And what was up, did she rob a pharmacy?

So there’s her dog Baxter!

What did that say on the mail package, something about remains?

We always wondered where Uncle Harry went…

***

Word count = 100

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

Deeper #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

It had been a hard day.  I went straight to my room and flopped down on the bed.  I didn’t even take off my jacket.

Deeper and deeper into the abyss. 

I didn’t try to sleep, just stared at the ceiling seeing nothing.

Black, only black.

My cell rang.

Swirling water, a whirlpool, sucking me down.

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Galvin – The Old Mill

Galvin is… Well, Galvin is Galvin.  There is no better way to describe him than that.  Some would say he is “a character” or “a bit of local color”.   Others might shake their head and mumble “eccentric” or “oddball” while still others would say “every town has their Galvin.”  Gill isn’t so sure – he has never met anybody quite like the strange, little old man. 

Strange, of course, is a matter of opinion, but “little” fits to some extent.  Galvin is small and wiry, perhaps 5 foot 6 and 115 pounds, maybe less, but surprisingly strong.  In ways, “old” is more attitude than age.  Galvin is in his mid-60s, but has always tried to put himself up as older and more experienced.  And there is something about him that if you didn’t know, you might place him closer to 80 than 60.  Yet he is active and agile, spry as a 22-year-old.

Galvin loves to tell tall tales and can spin quite a yarn.  On the other hand, doing a little research you might find that some of his most outrageous claims about the town’s history are true.

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Escape?

PHOTO PROMPT © Alicia Jamtaas

They are coming!

Shhhh.  Close your eyes.

I can’t sleep with them out there!

This bit of woods is special, a fairy forest.

Their guns are real, not fantasy!

Shhh.  They are fairies of light, of good.  The magic is powerful, but you need to believe.

Believe?  Now?

They have a trail in the trees, one our enemy can’t see, because they are rough and can’t believe. You need to believe.

I hear them!

Close your eyes and see.  We can catch the rail, escape.

But…

Shhh. Close your eyes.  Do you see?

Yes…

“Stop, or we’ll shoot!”

Let’s go.

***

Word count = 100

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

**

Remember – You do have to believe, keep that hope alive, even if you’ve reached the end of the track….

The Old Mill – Released!

A stench lies on Avebury, New Hampshire. It isn’t something that one can smell, it is more of a psychic soot polluting everybody’s mood. No one recalls when it arrived, but there does seem to be a connection with the Old Mill and its mysterious new owners.

*

Following the trail of the local legend, the ghost of Martha Goode, Gill Baxter is driven to discover the truth behind the events of 1821 and, hopefully, prevent another “time of dying.” That trail, though, leads directly to The Old Mill.

***

The Old Mill was released today! You can find it on Amazon with the links below:

Kindle
US
UK
France
Canada
Australia
India

Paperback

US
UK
Canada
France
Germany
Italy

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