Category Archives: Fiction

Short Fiction

Tower #writephoto

Image by KL Caley

When I was growing up, I always thought Gramps was eccentric and, well, a bit daft.  He spoke softly in a strange, lilting tone.  His actual words were a riddle to me.

One of the oddest things about Gramps was his building projects.  He had turned his small farm in upstate New York into a medieval village.  Not the entire village, just a few tiny thatched houses and other odds and ends.  But the centerpiece was a full-sized ruined castle.  There was just one wall with a pointed arch portal and a tall, narrow, crenelated tower remaining.  I know it was newly built, but it looked ancient.  I used to play make believe about goblins and elves and things every time we visited.  I had so much fun playing around it.

Never in it, though. 

I was told there was only one room that could be used, and it was Gramps’ private domain.

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A New Home?

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

I looked out at the strange city.

We were only supposed to have a four hour lay-over before that long flight across the Pacific.

We watched the TVs in horror.  I didn’t understand a word. I didn’t have to.

Our flight was delayed and then canceled.  I was placed on a flight the next day, but that was canceled as well, as were all flights for the next few days.

The airline put us up for a few nights, but then word came that it would be weeks, maybe months.

I guess it is a good time to learn Korean….

***

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“.

***

I was thinking the aftermath of 9/11, but perhaps something modern and even worse. It could, of course, fit into being stranded by the pandemic…

One Phone Call

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

You’re in prison?! What happened?

I decided to save some money and move our doublewide mobile home myself.  Bob took the right half, I took the left.

Bob?  Oh no…

Bob did OK and delivered it fine.  I had never driven a big-rig and didn’t know you needed a special license.  Or training…

What happened?

I was making a left from 42 onto Main…

The busiest intersection in town.

…and misjudged the corner.  I got stuck blocking all lanes from all directions.

Oh no.

When I didn’t have ID, the police asked where I lived.

You didn’t!

I said, “Here…”

***

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“.

Lake (Voices) #writephoto

Lake – Image by Sadje

Voices, voices.

Trey was six, very unsteady with his paddling, the canoe out of control in the wind, his older brother, Jim, shouting at him. It was his first year at the lake staying in the small cabin where his dad had vacationed since he was a kid. It had been a little fishing get away for his dad and one of his friends. Two years ago Jim had made his first visit. This year it was his turn.

His brother’s nine year old voice yelling.

Trey was nine, reeling in a huge bass. The bass fought like the Dickens, but Trey had three years of experience now and could handle it. tell Dad, though.  Even though he had caught hundreds of fish, but his dad still had to talk him through it, cheering him on.

His dad’s voice, full of care, instructing him on catching fish and living life.

Trey was eleven, climbing a small cliff that had the best view of the lake.  It was his favorite spot in the world. This was the second year Mom had made the journey, it no longer being a “boys night out” fishing trip, but s full-fledged family vacation.

His mother’s voice, telling him the cliff was dangerous was thrown into the mix.

Trey was thirteen hidden in the deep woods, coughing on a stolen cigarette. Jim punched his arm, perhaps a little too hard.

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The Flood Called the Past

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

We used to sit down by the lake, old cable spool as a table, and just shoot the breeze; you know, life, the Universe and everything.  Of course, mostly women.

But then life actually happened and I went out to explore the Universe, or at least this corner of it called “America”.  And, yeah, I met a woman and everything.

That was years ago, a lot of water under the bridge.

I never heard what it was: stroke, heart attack or whatnot.  Just old age.

I sit by the lake and think about life, the Universe and everything.

And him.

***

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“.

The Horrible Herbles

PHOTO PROMPT © David Stewart

What on Earth is that?

The guy called it a “Herble” and hinted it’s not from Earth.

Ha ha.  “Herble?” So it’s alive, like a plant?  It looks like a colorful LCD toy.

Yeah, though maybe closer to an animal.  Here, hold it.

It’s so soft!  And it purrs….

And coos.  Its super cute…

Adorable.  I could hold it all day….

Me too.

**

How many Herbles did you get?

Just two.

Two?  Look out the window….

**

Our invasion of Earth went better than expected.  They were completely inundated.

Sir, now what do we do with the Horrible Herbles?

****

word count = 100

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

**

OK, I’ll admit it, I was thinking The Trouble with Tribbles. ;)

Dinosaur #writephoto

Photo by KL Caley

The day was beautiful and the new park was just the answer to being locked inside for too long.  Steven smiled down at his wide-eyed six-year-old, Trevor. It was good to see the boy so enthralled with nature after being forced indoors for so long.

And it was a perfect place for a boy, for the park had several semi-abstract life-sized sculptures of different exotic animals, both living, though in a different parts of the world, or long extinct. 

“This is so lovely,” Carolyn said. She had been holding their son’s hand at first, but Trevor had escaped to explore on his own, though never out of sight or reach.

They turned a corner in the path to come face to face with a large, angular prehistoric beast.

“Look Dad, a dinosaur,” Trevor said.

The sculpture was so intriguing that Steven couldn’t take his eyes off of it to look at his son.

“No, Trevor, it’s a mammoth.  They’re mammals and lived much later.”

“Are you sure it isn’t a mastodon?” Carolyn asked.

“No, Mom and Dad, a dinosaur.  Look!”

Steven laughed to himself.  A six-year-old boy should know all of this stuff, but the prehistoric elephantine was not a dinosaur.

He turned to talk to Trevor, but Trevor was looking in a different direction.

Steven followed his son’s glaze.

From behind the trees, following their path, a large T-Rex came into view.

It was not a sculpture. It was far too alive and far to big.

Steven turned and ran.  The last thing he heard was, “See Dad, I told you it was a dinosaur.”

***

This was written for this week’s writephoto challenge. Sue is gone and missed, but before she left, she passed the baton for this challenge over to KL Caley. The photo at the top of the page was provided by KL, along with the key word “dinosaur“. Though I’m with the mom and dad here, it is most likely a mammoth, though possibly a mastodon ;)

Metropolis

PHOTO PROMPT © Anne Higa

Freder splashed his way through the stench of the workers’ subterranean street.  Fresh from his pleasure garden two thousand feet above the ground, he felt suffocated being as far below that long-lost surface.

He never knew that the masses lived like this!  Perhaps H. G. Wells was prophetic and humans were splitting into the leisure-class Eloi and working-class Morlocks.

Did his father know what the rule of his 1% did to those 99% who created that lavish lifestyle in the clouds?

He would find Maria, join he people.

“The Mediator Between the Head and the Hands Must Be the Heart.”

***

word count = 100

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

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The photo made me think of an underground city, or a city’s underground. A poor area with the upper-class’ sewage running unchecked into the poor’s domain. Which led me to the movie Metropolis. Freder is the main character of the movie, with Maria the female lead. His father is the head of the elites and runs the city. She is from the poor worker’s city and is trying to find a way for the rich Capitalists and the poor Workers to get together. The last line of the story is the last line of the movie.

The Dangers of Baiting the Muse

PHOTO PROMPT © Brenda Cox

“Is this Chinese, Korean or what?”

“How in the world should I know?”

I jumped.  I didn’t know the muse had entered.

She frowned at the photo.

“All I know is that it isn’t ancient Greek.  I haven’t read since Timocles.”

“A lot of help you are….”

“You could ask a friend….”

Kyung is Korean and Lilly Chinese, but I would never bother either of them over this photo!

“Just begin with someone who is lost in a new culture, OK?”

I started writing, “Thalia hadn’t had a date in two millennia.”

“Hey!”

“I thought you only knew ancient Greek?”

***

word count = 100

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

**

OK, I had nothing. And since I didn’t know the language, I was 99.99% sure which ever language I picked, even doing a coin toss, I’d be wrong. And that idea distracted me, so…

The Review

PHOTO PROMPT © Jennifer Pendergast
Perhaps the most frustrating issue with this book was the lack of characterization.  Although the surface details were drawn with care, the characters themselves came out as flat. Flat, flat, flat, totally flat.  You could not imagine an emotion more than a silly grin on any of them.  Even the dog and cat seemed more archetypes of the species than real, live, breathing animals.  I rate this book one star for lack of characterization alone. Not recommended.

Wow, that was pretty harsh.  What was your book about?

It was children’s book that featured a family of gingerbread people…  Totally flat.

***

Word count = 100

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