The Relic

predator

© A Mixed Bag

“Wow. Where’d you get that?”

Thirteen-year-old Jess had been a fan of the Predator movies ever since he watched the original when he was nine.

“My uncle. He made it for a display at ComicCon to promote next year’s reboot.”

Bobby was Jess’s best friend and they shared a special love for horror-based science fiction. It was great that Uncle Bill designed costumes for movie studios.

“Ha! I bet the Predator in the reboot will be a lot scarier.”

“Probably be CGI, though, Jess. There’s a real art to making a costume for a human actor.”

Bill Owens was listening from the kitchen. He was glad to help his nephew score extra points with his friends, but their conversation was paving the way to the future. Computers could often create more impressive visual effects than models, costumes, and make up, but a whole century of film making had depended on people like him. Bill was due to retire soon, a relic from another age.

Written for today’s Sunday Photo Fiction writing challenge. The idea is to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long based on the image above. My word count is 164.

One of my guilty pleasures is the 1987 original starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers. I’ve seen most of the other films in the franchise including the Aliens vs. Predator movies, but this is my favorite. I was tempted to write an actual “Predator” story, but I figured everyone else would do that, so I went in a different direction.

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

If I Had a Time Machine

time machine

Bizarro comic strip for Sunday, March 28, 2017

I doubt that buying one comic book will change history all that much, except maybe that one kid who would have read it before won’t be able to now.

“That’ll be 13 cents with tax.”

I’d made sure all of the coins in my pocket were minted before 1965, so I casually reached in and pulled out a quarter.

“Here you go, pal.”

“Thanks.” He bags my purchase, puts in the receipt, and hands it over along with my change. It’s been a long time since I saw anyone calculate change in their head, or for that matter, use a mechanical cash register. God it’s good to be back.

I take the bag and walk out of Walgreens into the bright Las Vegas afternoon. I’d better get back before they come. Not sure what time Grandpa and my ten-year-old self will show up, but I probably shouldn’t meet them.

Yeah, it’s stupid. I get my hands on a time machine and all I do is travel back to the mid 1960s to buy comic books. This one is special though. Space Family Robinson issue 14. My Grandpa bought it for me. He died when I was 16 and over the years, my comic book collection was foolishly sold. The missus thought they were a waste of space but now I realize they weren’t.

spf14

The comic book my Grandpa bought me.

I get my hands on a time machine and travel back, not just for the comic books, but for the memories. It’s been decades since I’ve seen my Grandpa. Maybe hanging around for a little peek wouldn’t hurt anything.

Here they come now.

I saw the comic strip at the top of the page and I started wondering. If you weren’t a scientist, a historian, or some power hungry person bent on changing history for your own gain, what would you do with a time machine? I mean, if you had access to this thing as an ordinary person, what would you use it for?

I gave it a little thought and came up with recapturing memories.

My Dad died a little over a month ago and I saw how devastated my children were at the loss of their Grandpa. Being a Grandpa myself, I understand the unique relationship I have with my grandchildren. It makes me think of how special my Grandpa was to me.

If you had a time machine, what would you use it for? If you want, write a little story based on the concept and post your link to it in the comments here.

The Name on the Gravestone

rosenberg

Found at commons.wikimedia.org

“No one even knew his first name, just the initial A.”

“It’s okay, Bubbe. It took a long time, but we finally found your Dad.”

Esther Rosenberg Katz had been waiting for this day since she was old enough to understand her precious Abba was lost in the war. She grew up with her mother, two brothers, numerous uncles, aunts, and cousins but she was always without her Tateshi.

Thanks to years of research and her computer savvy granddaughter, Esther finally found him.

“Are you going to have him exhumed so he can be buried in Israel?”

“No, Elisheva. We’ll leave him here with his comrades. Hashem will restore him to Israel in His time.

Esther reached into her handbag, opened the small container inside, took out the soil she’d brought from the Holy Land and sprinkled it on Abraham Rosenberg’s grave in her final duty as his daughter.

Today at “What Pegman Saw” we are taken to Kanchanaburi, Thailand and specifically to the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery. I found the image above when doing a google search and found it and the cemetery’s history fascinating.

The idea is to use the Pegman Google image to create a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 149. I’ve added some links in the body of the story to explain certain words and concept that might not be readily apparent to all readers.

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

The Hunter Goes North

portal, nd

© Google 2014

There’s not much in Portal, North Dakota. The population is a little over a hundred, but it’s one of three ports of entry from Canada. It’s also in the Bakken Oil Field region, which makes it expensive as hell to live here. Fortunately, I’m only visiting.

I found his hiding place in an oversized load on the back of a flatbed on Railway Avenue. It’s just after dawn, so I know it’s safe to approach him. His wealthy mother hired me to find him after she discovered what happened. Being a vampire hunter isn’t much different from being a private eye, except the weapons are different. I’ll dispatch him, provide photographic proof for my client, collect a nice fat fee, and remind myself that I’m also doing a public service taking another bloodsucker off the streets.

I wrote this for the “What Pegman Saw” photo prompt writing challenge, which this week takes us to Portal, North Dakota thanks to Google Maps street view.

The idea is to use the photo as a prompt to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 137.

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

The Tiny Boy and His Dragon

bulldog ant

Found at the Canberra Pest Control website

The Sixteenth Story in the Adventures of the Ambrosial Dragon: A Children’s Fantasy Series

Landon was getting excited. There were only a few more weeks before school was out for the summer and he wouldn’t have to do homework anymore…

…or so he thought.

“I don’t want you to forget everything you’ve learned this school year, so every night, we’ll go over your reading, spelling, and math.”

“Aw, Dad. Don’t I get a break?” Landon was sitting on the sofa with his Dad David after school talking about future plans.

“At least you won’t have tests every Friday, Landon.”

“Well…okay.” The boy was hardly thrilled but he still had to do what Dad said.

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Through the Debris

debris

© J Hardy Carroll

By some miracle, they survived the fire and the subsequent vandalism. Leah’s adversaries thought she must now be truly lost, but the stained glass works remained, still hanging by the unbroken windows. The second one from the right was what she was looking for.

Stepping lithely through the debris, she made her way to the map. “The people of this world tried to trap me here, but now I know the way home.”

The map showed her the hidden portal to her own dimension. It was only a few blocks away, but she knew she was being followed.

Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers writing challenge. The idea is to use the photo above as a prompt to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 98.

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

Z is for Zebra

z is for zebra

© James Pyles

Daniel put the yo-yo back in his pocket as he reached the fenced pasture. The only horse he knew by name was Champion. The ten year old pulled up some grass from his side of the fence and coaxed the horse over. Of course the three others started moving toward him as well.

“Just came to say good-bye, old boy.” He patted the horse on the nose. “I mean, now that you’re just a horse again and everything.”

Suddenly, Champion and the other horses started acting spooked and moved away from him.

“What the…”

“It’s probably me, Daniel.”

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Y is for Yo-Yo

y is for yoyo

© James Pyles

Little Danny Harris had turned four years old a few months ago, but his Uncle Ethan and Aunt Abby couldn’t travel to California for the birthday party. So when his Mom and Dad took Danny to Dad’s Uncle’s farm in Idaho, the older couple doted on him.

“Here’s ya go, Danny. A brand new yo-yo.”

“Ethan,” the Dad interjected, don’t you think he’s a little young for a…”

“Excuse me, Uncle Ethan.” Both men were a surprised that the little boy interrupted. “My name is Daniel.”

“Sure it is, Danny”. Ethan tousled the child’s hair. “Sure it is.”

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The Guide

fishing

© The Storyteller’s Abode

“This place is no good, Mom. Too many people. Too much activity.”

“No, it’s not like your Dad’s favorite fishing hole.”

“Not by a long shot. I know I promised you an exotic vacation after Dad died, but maybe we’re better off at home.”

“You’re right, Mike. We should honor your Dad. Let’s go back to Enterprise. I’m sure the eagle will greet us.”

“Sounds good, Mom. We’ll save some of our catch to feed to him, just like Dad did.”

Mike helped his Mom up off of the beach. An hour later, they had booked their flight back to the U.S.

Somewhere in Southwest Utah, an Eagle sat on his perch overlooking Enterprise Reservoir and waited. The eagle, the old man’s spirit guide, escorted him into the next world. Now he watches over the reservoir waiting for the man’s widow and son. The man is gone, so the eagle is now responsible for their lives and their souls.

Written for the FFfAW Challenge-Week of May 23, 2017 hosted by Priceless Joy. The idea is to use the photo prompt above to write a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 175 words long, with 150 being the ideal. My word count is 159.

My Dad passed away a little over a month ago just one day short of his eighty-fifth birthday due to complications related to cancer. Last Saturday, my family interned his ashes near his favorite “fishing hole” at Enterprise Reservoir.

Dad regularly fished there with two or three friends, usually on a Friday. They tell a story of a large eagle that nests near where they fish. One day, the eagle was eyeing their catch very closely. Dad took one of the fish he caught and tossed it up. The eagle soared down, caught it, took it back up to its perch, and ate.

After that, often when they fished, the eagle was there and seemed to recognize them. At one point, it launched itself downward, flew underneath a fishing pole line with its wingtip within just a few feet of one of Dad’s friends, and scooped up a fish they had thrown back in.

I was sorry the eagle wasn’t present to witness Dad coming to his final resting place, but in my imagination, I thought of the great bird taking Dad’s spirit into the next world.

Goodbye, Dad. I miss you.

To read more stories based on this prompt, visit InLinkz.com.

X is for Xylophone

x is for xylophone

© James Pyles

Wichita Township wasn’t very big and it didn’t take Daniel long to find the main street. It was still raining, night was falling, and very few people (or whatever) were out. That was good, since he wasn’t anxious to attract attention, but he still needed to find some place to stay.

If the person who was supposed to meet him at the end of his train ride lived here, the ten year old had no idea how to find him, her, or it.

The shops looked quaint, the kind you’d expect to find in a small town in the late 19th century. There were clothing shops, taverns, inns, bakeries, and…and…a toy shop. Actually the letters painted on the display window said “Matty’s Toy Shoppe”. Unfortunately, the sign in the window said “Closed.”

Something compelled Daniel to look in the window anyway. Rag dolls, cloth puppets, marionettes on strings, a yo yo or two, toy drums, toy horns, there was even a small xylophone.

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