The Ocean’s Daughter

swimming pool trust

Photo credit: BleachFilm

“Are you sure you want to do this, Sis? We can wait until a better time.”

“There’s never going to be a better time, Cody. You heard what my counselor said. Sooner or later I’ve got to face this. I can’t be afraid of the water all my life.”

“Okay, Darya. You’re in charge. Remember, I’m going to be with you all of the time so if you get in trouble…”

“I know, I know. Look. I’m nervous enough. Let’s just do this.”

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My Memories Are In The Water

in the water

© Enisa

“You say your Dad used to bring you here all the time, Keith?”

“Yeah. There’s some great fishing in the lake about a mile north, Jerry. The old man loved fishing. I went because I loved him.”

“Lucky you. I was grateful when my Dad would take me to the neighborhood playground. We never hit it off like you and your Dad.”

Jerry glanced over at his newly wedded husband and saw “that look.” “You dreamed about him again last night, didn’t you?”

Keith looked down at the flat stones in the shallow water all around him remembering. Dad taught him how to skip rocks across the pond when he was seven. “Yeah. He was standing in our bedroom door asking how we were doing.”

“I’m sorry. I know you were really close.”

“I just wish I’d have come out to him before he died. I thought we had more time.”

“He wouldn’t have been like my Dad, Keith. You know that.”

“I know. I mean I know now. I really do miss him.”

I wrote this for the FFfAW Challenge for the Week of February 20, 2018. The idea is to use the image at the top to inspire creating a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 175 words long. My word count is 174.

I had a completely different story in mind until I saw the second figure on the left. Then I was stuck.

I had a dream within a dream last night (very rare for me). I dreamed I was dreaming about my Dad. He died last April and my wife just helped my Mom move into a senior care center. The missus brought back some of Dad’s jackets, hats, and stuff including a pair of Air Force flight gloves. He had a bunch of them going all the way back to when I was a kid.

Anyway, two guys in a pond in summer. I put it all together and came up with the story you just read. No, I’m not gay, but my Dad did die suddenly and you always wonder what you would have said or done differently if you have more time before the end.

To see other stories based on the prompt, visit

The Dragon’s Legerdemain

stuffed toys

Produced by DollyAndPaws and found at Etsy

The dragon was about the size of a small St Bernard and covered with golden scales. He had two hind legs but his forearms ended with what could have been hands complete with opposable thumbs. His eyes where the most human thing about him, a crystal clear blue, like water in a mountain stream. When he opened his mouth, the first thing you saw were hundreds of needle-thin, razor-sharp teeth, and then a long, tapered tongue the color of raspberries.

His long, thin wings fluttered but not as fast as a hummingbird’s and his tail wagged back and forth with annoyance like a common house cat, and yet he was far more fierce than even the greatest feline predator in any jungle.

The source of his annoyance, actually it was more like trepidation, was the vision that had manifested before him. It was late on a Sunday morning. Landon had been helping Buddy the Ambrosial Dragon test the boy’s young friend Ana for potentially possessing a latent magical ability. To that end, they were using a story book that allowed the user to bring into reality any tale the book contained. The story they’d chosen was that of a cloud city.

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Tangency and Darkness


Promotional image for “Theatre68 presents Dracula”

Jessica had no way of knowing that her relationship with Everett was a moment of tangency and thus was doomed to end as abruptly as it began.

She always met him on the veranda behind her Father’s house. Summer nights in Georgia were sultry and each moment that passed as she waited for the sun to set was as fragile as a butterfly’s wings. Jessica could feel drops of sweat describe tiny rivulets across the tops of her mocha breasts and then down her cleavage. She held her thighs close together and swayed slightly with a warm breeze as the final rays of daylight succumbed to the rule of the kings of darkness.

Then he appeared on the far side of the manicured lawn and yet she could hear his voice as if he were whispering in her ear. “Come.”

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Thy Kingdom Come on Earth


Our Father who art in Zion
Hallowed be Thy name
Thy Kingdom come on earth
Thine will be done on earth
Hallowed be Thy name

From “Our Father in Zion”
Performed by Buju Banton
Songwriters: Donovan Germain / Mark Anthony Myrie (1997)

Brian Phelps stood on his back patio and looked out over the fence at the elementary school. It was a Friday and the kids were all tearing around the playground during recess. Being self-employed meant he didn’t have to punch a clock or commute to work beyond taking a fresh cup of coffee from the kitchen into his office and then sitting down at his computer and working on the next chapter of his novel.

Today, he didn’t feel like writing. Well, that was a lie. He always felt like writing, but he didn’t know how to write this one. A few days ago, yet another shooting happened at a public school. Seventeen people died, most of them students. Brian looked at the children happily playing on the school grounds. “It could just as easily have been you.”

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Lot 476

no tresspassing

© Sascha Darlington

It had been five years since the Collier Xenogenics Lab had been shut down. It still sits vacant and the government is even afraid to demolish it, not convinced that it’s been completely sterilized. Fifty-seven men and women and several hundred lab animals from chimps to mice all died when the genetically engineered virus named Lot 476 escaped into the main complex through a faulty seal. Fortunately, 476 could survive in an open atmosphere only thirteen minutes but it only took four minutes to kill.

Joseph Morgan stood outside the abandoned parking lot looking at the “No Trespassing” sign and seeing the locked gate. He shuddered at the memory of those Fifty-seven bodies bleeding out on the floors of the three labs in the building as he regained consciousness. In a panic, he ran not considering the consequences of opening the outside security doors. Why should he? His wife was just showing him around where she worked.

But that was after 476 itself had died. No one knew Joseph was the only survivor of the accident. However, he knew that the cancer that was killing him five years ago had completely vanished and he hadn’t aged a day since.

I wrote this for the Sunday Photo Fiction Challenge for February 18th 2018. The idea is to use the image above as the inspiration for creating a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is 196.

Last night, I watched the 2011 film Contagion for the first time. It has what is referred to as “an all-star cast” and actually the writing was really good. I looked at a few reviews and its technical accuracy while not flawless, is better than most medical thrillers.

With that in mind, I decided to create my own little medical disaster, one that killed fifty-seven people and cured one.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to

The Curse of Huo Yao


Ancient Chinese Firelance

The Emperor Dezong of Tang had Zhu Ci and his assistants dragged before his throne. First though, he had ordered them beaten and all but a small sample of huo yao and one fire lance utterly destroyed. The samples were placed on the dais at the great Emperor’s feet.

Zhu Ci would have stood and bowed if he had the strength, but he had never been a well man and the beatings of the Emperor’s elite guards had left him without the slightest vigor. At least they had the decency to wash the blood from his body and bind his wounds before bringing him and his comrades into the throne room.

“Great…great Emperor, Zhu Ci gasped. “What have we done to offend you so?”

“Offend me? Offend me? You created this abomination and you think I am merely offended? It is only because of my tremendous desire for mercy and justice that you are still alive, monstrous cur.”

“But my liege. What have we done to inspire such punishment?”

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No More Tears in Heaven

tears in heaven

Promotional art for Eric Clapton’s 1991 chart, “Tears in Heaven.”

“I don’t care what you do with it, I just want it gone,” Alex said, pointing at the dollhouse.

Beth was on her knees, her arms around Nicole’s favorite plaything. “Oh please, Alex. We gave it to her for her seventh birthday. She loved it more than anything else. Don’t make me throw it away.”

He stood defiantly at the threshold to Nicole’s bedroom. “Then give it away, a children’s hospital, the Goodwill, whatever, but I need it gone. I’m going to work now. When I get home, the dollhouse better not be here.” Then he spun and almost ran down the hall. He seemed so furious but Beth knew he was terrified. She should have been too, but she missed Nicole so much, she’d take her back anyway she came, even as a ghost.

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What Lies Beneath the Lateran?

arch of titus

Roman Triumphal arch panel copy from Beth Hatefutsoth, showing spoils of Jerusalem temple – From Wikimedia Commons

They were finally gone, sent away empty handed and believing the Priests of the Holy Roman Catholic Church were not latter-day thieves of their oh so precious Jewish artifacts.

Cardinals Angelo Vincenti and Francis Curia were not young men, but still strong enough to assist the eighty-four year old Pope down into the lowest levels of the Lateran, the residence of his Holiness. The party from the Israel Antiquities Authority were granted admittance even here in order to satisfy their suspicious curiosity. Of course none of the artifacts they sought were present. The Church was once again forced to feign friendship and good will to the nation of Israel in defiance of the law of Christ, but it was necessary for now. Once the Lord Jesus Christ returned from Heaven and the Church took full possession of both Rome and Jerusalem, the entire truth would be known. However premature knowledge of the true plan of the Popes spanning back to St. Peter himself would ruin everything.

They now faced a blank stone wall, presumably hiding nothing but tons of rock. “Cardinal Vincenti, if you would.”

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Forgotten Hero

ute petraglyph trail

© – available for non-commercial use.

The explosion at the house he rented in Cascade would keep the cops off his back long enough for him to hike up Palisade Rim Trail. He told the locals he wanted to study the Ute petroglyphs when there weren’t any tourists around. It was an easy trail and just about anyone who wanted to see them could. That was the beauty of it all. No one suspected the secret.

Wasn’t dawn yet and damned cold but he made it. Large number of petroglyphs probably meant this was a frequent camping area. The real reason the Utes visited here often didn’t survive into the modern age. He’d failed this time. The Sun Lords weren’t in this version of reality. Richard Hunter activated the time gate using the Moreira device and stepped back into 1959 to try again. He and the Forgotten Heroes had to find them before they conquered the multiverse.

I wrote this for the What Pegman Saw writing challenge. The idea is to take a Google maps location and image and use them to inspire the creation of a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 150.

Today the Pegman takes us to Palisade Rim/Ute Petroglyph Trail, Colorado. I had a tough time with this one. Seems like a nice place to visit, but where’s the action?

The trailhead is just a few miles away from Cascade, Colorado but while the area has a few interesting stories, none of them grabbed me. I tried looking up current news articles for Cascade, but the closest thing I found was a house explosion in Colorado Springs.

I looked up the trail itself and found a couple of reviews including one from and another from Colorado West Outdoors. Finally, I tried to find out how old the petroglyphs were.

I had some sort of time travel story in mind and at first, I was just going to use one of the character names from the original Rip Hunter, Time Master comic book which first appeared in issue 20 of Showcase in May 1959. Then while reading the history of the character, I decided to adopt some of the elements from the mid-1980s “Crisis on Infinite Earths” story arc.

The “Moreira” device is named for Ruben Moreira, the original “Rip Hunter” artist in 1959.

I know it’s ridiculous but it’s the best I could come up with, especially when I haven’t had breakfast yet (as I write this).

Since I read the trail ends at a high cliff, my only other idea was a suicide, but that seemed pretty grim.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to