The Crossover

ferry

© Ted Strutz

“The next leg of our vacation takes us on the ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria.”

“Honey,” Glenn’s wife complained. “You sound like a tour bus driver.”

Their two kids in the backseat groaned.

“Just trying to brighten the mood while we wait to get onto the ferry.”

Then the parents in the front realized they had bigger problems.

“Glenn, is everything…twisting?”

“I thought it was rain, but…”

Everything shifted and shimmered and then they were part of a line of cars on the Juan de Fuca Bridge, crossing not only the strait but into another universe as well.

I wrote this for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers photo writing challenge. The idea is to use the image at the top to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 99.

Decades ago, science fiction writer Larry Niven wrote a series of stories based on the outlandish idea that fog was not caused by water vapor but by a distortion between one quantum universe and another. A person who was in the fog might disappear from our world and reappear in a parallel one.

The image above seems to distort the cars and ferry we can see, and while in real life, this was probably caused by rain on the windshield, I decided to take it in a different direction. There really is a ferry that travels across the Strait of Juan de Fuca between Port Angeles to Victoria, northwest of Seattle, Washington, though I’ve never been anywhere near it (but Google is good).

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

The Last Concert of the Kings of Long Beach

sunset

© Footy and Foodie

The Kings of Long Beach were back in their hometown playing where they’d first met twelve years ago, in the courtyard at the Hathaway Apartments. They started out as five high school students with a dream, but unlike most of their peers, they’d actually made it.

The parking lot was packed as was the street parking for miles around. Everyone wanted to see the Kings again, especially since the concert was free for the neighborhood.

The Kings’ lead singer, Toby McGuire stepped into the spotlight and up to the mike. “Hello Hathaway!”

The crowd went insane, their cheers could be heard for blocks.

“The Kings are back!” Toby turned to Miles Johnson the drummer, “And a one and a two and a…”

It sounded like a firecracker, but then Toby grabbed his chest and collapsed on the makeshift stage. People closest to the front saw Beth Middleton holding a gun, staring at Toby’s unmoving body, tears streaming down her cheeks.

“You made me kill my baby twelve years ago. Now go be with her.”

Written for the FFfAW Challenge-Week of June 20, 2017 hosted by Priceless Joy. The idea is to write a piece of flash fiction based on the image above that is between 100 and 175 words long, with 150 being the ideal. My word count is 174.

I know the topic is controversial, and I debated whether or not Beth had an abortion or just presented Toby with his twelve year old daughter at the climax of the story, but the former including the murder was more dramatic and communicated the pain of what she had gone through.

Toby and the “Kings” had started out just like a million other high school “garage bands” but they had actually made into stardom. However, there was collateral damage along the way and it came back to the Kings tonight in the form of death.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

The Treasure of Forrest Fenn

forrest fenn treasure promo

© CBS News

Forrest Fenn died without anyone finding his treasure, or at least that’s what most everyone believes.

I won’t tell you how I did it. I won’t tell you the secret of the poem he wrote which gave me the clues I needed to find millions in gold and jewels.

The old son of a bitch told everyone he hid that treasure in the Rockies in 2010 to inspire the spirit of adventure, but I figured out his real motive. He had been suspected but never charged with antiquities theft by the FBI in 2006. The feds could never find any proof, but I have.

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A Woman’s Wings

thermistor

© Provided by Popular Mechanics – found at msn.com

Only 3,062 more kilometers until she beat her own personal best and was once again mentioned in the record books.

Amelia Earhart tried it on Earth in 1937, and her flight’s disappearance remains one of the great mysteries in aviation history.

It was Jerrie Mock who succeeded in becoming the first woman to circumnavigate the Earth solo in 1964, but she only did it once, and she had to land to refuel.

Since then, the Earth had been orbited too many times to count and it hardly mattered anymore.

But Shelley Parker invented a new challenge. She was an engineer and pilot, and right now, she was in the realization of her greatest design, the Hermes, a solar-powered fixed-wing aircraft specifically created to fly in the Martian atmosphere.

Shelly had already completed one full circuit of Mars at the equator without landing, and in just over 3,000 kilometers, she would finish her second.

“Eat your heart out, Jerrie.”

I found the above photo in the news and decided to make my own personal “photo flash fiction challenge.” I decided to find out if 23,464 km was roughly the distance between any two points, but that proved difficult. The circumference of the Earth is 40,075 km, so that’s a little more than halfway, but then I saw that the circumference of Mars is 12,263 km. I did a little quick math and saw that it would take only an additional 3,062 km to circle Mars twice at the equator.

So I invented my intrepid aviator Shelley Parker and decided to have her advance the cause of women like Amelia Earhart. This also helped me discover who the first woman was who made a solo flight around the world, and that was almost thirty years after Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan disappeared.

Additionally, I learned something about the proposed designs of aircraft intended to fly in the atmosphere of Mars, which is much thinner than our own.

Oh, my word count for this story is 154.

The Funny Looking Bird

eagle

© A Mixed Bag 2012

Generalissimo Ramon Carlos DeLaVega, his revolution successful and his dictatorship now well established, ordered his family symbol placed upon all government buildings to inspire the public’s fear and awe of him.

The largest one was placed on the wall over the main gates to his compound. He had lights and cameras positioned to record how everyone reacted when seeing the powerful avian predator.

“Why are they laughing?” DeLaVega asked the same question day after day as he reviewed the morning videos showing the children walking to school. They would all stop in front of the gates, point up, and laugh, then gleefully skip along.

Unfortunately, Generalissimo DeLaVega’s family symbol bore a striking resemblance to the muppet Sam the Eagle. The children loved muppets.

I wrote this for the Sunday Photo Fiction – June 18th 2017 writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above as a prompt to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is 123.

Yes, the first thing I thought of when I saw the photo was the muppet character Sam the Eagle.

To read more stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

sam the eagle

Found at muppet.wikia.com

Vultan’s Aerie

burj khalifa

© Google – May 2013

The two friends, veterans of many battles, stood at the foot of the glass tower upon a strangely deserted street.

“We defeated Baron Dak-Tula and the Skorpi menace Flash, but at the cost of Mongo’s biosphere. Fortunately, Earth’s biosphere survived, though sadly, your race of humans were wiped out by a Skorpi induced plague. To our benefit, Zarkov created a space going ark to bring representatives of our races to your world in safety, though barely in time.”

“Thanks to you Prince Vultan, and your race of Hawkmen, we were victorious. It’s only fitting that, on behalf of Earth, I extend every courtesy to your Hawkmen and the rest of the brave races that survived Mongo. What is your wish?”

“Actually, this Burj Khalifa tower here in Dubai would make us a fine Aerie, Flash Gordon.”

I wrote this tale for the What Pegman Saw challenge. Thanks to Google maps, this week’s destination is the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai. The idea is to use the photo prompt above to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 136.

Originally, I was going to write about a group of robotic AI window washers forming a union to fight for better working conditions at their jobs cleaning Burj Khalifa, but then my wife sent me to the store and while driving, I started getting another idea.

Yes, I read the Flash Gordon comic strip every Sunday. They’re repeats and as far as I know, no new comic strips are being created for this franchise.

I had to look up the history of Flash Gordon at Wikipedia, which is where I learned that in his later history, Flash became an interstellar hero fighting the shape shifting Skorpi race. I created a situation where Mongo’s biosphere is ruined forcing a remnant of its many peoples to flee aboard a space ark built by Dr. Zarkov. They arrive on Earth, and while our world’s biosphere is intact, the Skorpi wiped out the human population with a plague. The disease has since run its course, so our planet is now the new world of the Mongoese refugees. Flash Gordon, Dale Arden, and Dr. Hans Zarkov are the only human beings left alive.

To read more stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

12:04 p.m.

broken time

“What the hell? It happened again.”

“What’s that, Jase?”

Jason McClure continued to look at his watch with a puzzled expression on his face.

“I said my watch did it again. Says it’s 12:04 p.m.”

Val was finishing the last of the sushi rolls in the kitchen, getting ready for the kids to come over for dinner.

“It’s broken, Jase. It was your Dad’s watch, remember? Who knows how old it is.”

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Juan’s Prayer

Plaza España

Plaza España at night, found at Wikipedia

Rosita had been sitting at the edge of Plaza España in Guatemala City for hours. It was night, but she was oblivious to the passing cars or the bright neon lights which, to everyone else, were so festive.

The earthquake caused his beloved church to collapse on Juan during his prayers, though why he would be praying at such a strange hour was a mystery.

“Oh my dear husband, what will I do without you? How can I go back to our home in San Sebastian alone?”

“You won’t have to, sister. He prayed for me to watch over you.”

Written for What Pegman Saw. Thanks to Google maps, this week we are taken to Guatemala City. The idea is to use the prompt to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 100.

I did some “Googling” and found that there had been a severe earthquake there just a few days ago. A man had been killed in neighboring San Sebastian when a church collapsed on him at about 1:30 a.m. Since the prompt was specifically Guatemala City, I set the scene with his widow at the Plaza España (keep in mind that Rosita and Juan are fictitious) where she had been staying with relatives. I’ve implied that Juan knew he was going to die and was praying for his dear wife to be cared for. His prayer was answered.

To read more stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

Orlando

florida

© Dale Rogerson

Ramon didn’t want to leave the memorial. Every second there was a tribute to his pain. Even at four in the morning, it was hot and muggy. Loneliness was an oppressive blanket. Tonight he especially missed Hector, his laugh, his twisted sense of humor.

“The Pulse” had once been a haven for them and for hundreds of others. Hector was one of the 49 who died. Ramon still limped from the wounds in his leg.

On June 12th of last year, terrorist Omar Mateen took everything from Ramon, everything except his spirit to survive in spite of it all.

On June 12, 2016, terrorist Omar Mateen entered The Pulse nightclub, a popular entertainment venue for the LGBTQ community in Orlando, Florida, killed 49 people and injured 68. The anniversary was just a few days ago.

The haunting image found at Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog reminded me of it. The idea is to craft a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 98.

To read other stories based on the prompt, visit InLinkz.com.

Out of the Shadows

castle

© majesticgoldenrose

Victoria staggered out of the front doors of the manor. Thank God it was morning. The long dark night was finally over. She sank to her knees on the wet grass and wept. She was the only one who survived. All the others had died. She had killed the last one, Barnabas, the one who started it all.

How long had it been since he first arrived? Weeks? Months? He said he was a distant cousin from England, but in fact, he was centuries old, released from his crypt by a greedy little groundskeeper who thought he’d found hidden treasure.

All he found was a man with a curse and whose insane lust for blood cursed the rest of the family. Victoria was the only one left, bitten but she did not succumb. The sun was rising. She killed the rest and now there was only one left. The sun continued to rise and its light shone upon her. It burned. She was the last vampire. And now there were none.

Written for FFfAW Challenge-Week of June 13, 2017 #2 hosted by Priceless Joy.

The idea is to use the photo above as an inspiration to write a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 175 words. My word count is 171.

The image immediately made me think of the old TV show Dark Shadows, a daytime gothic soap opera which ran Monday through Friday in the late 1960s and early 70s. I blatantly ripped off themes from the series to craft my little tale, although taking it in a direction the show never did.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.