New Love

Sambor Prei Kuk Temple, Cambodia

© Google 2013

“My darling, it’s been so long.”

She approached her lover near the steps of the temple. He was as she remembered him and she was also unchanged and unchanging across the vast expanse of time.

“Beloved, we are finally alone, alone to love and be loved.”

“They have not loved. Their world, the one we gave them…”

“I know, Shakti. That’s why we are here.”

“Yes, Shiva. To make the world we gave them, to remake it.”

The nude couple, parted for centuries, approached each other slowly.

They came together and embraced with passion. Shiva the Supreme Being and Shakti the goddess of female creativity made desperate love on the steps of Sambor Prei Kuk Temple in what is now known as Cambodia. When Shakti gave birth again, humanity would have the gift of a brand new world and hopefully, they will take better care of this one.

I wrote this for the What Pegman Saw writing challenge. The idea is to take the Google street map image above and use it as the inspiration for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 148.

Today, Pegman takes us to the Sambor Prei Kuk Temple in Cambodia. I Googled the location and Wikipedia told me all about the temple, Shiva, Shakti, and the meaning of the terms Lingam and Yoni. Since all that seems pretty sexy, I played fast and loose with mythology and decided to have a little fun as well as offer a bit of hope.

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

Shiva and Shakti

Shiva and Shakti

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The Very Old Dragon

The 28th Story in the Adventures of the Ambrosial Dragon: A Children’s Fantasy Series

It was a Saturday morning and Landon wanted to sleep in, but his bladder was arguing with him and as usual, it won.

While everyone was asleep including Buddy, Landon got up to use the bathroom. After he finished, he washed his hands. The palm of his right hand was tingling so he looked at it. For a second, he saw the symbol of a dragon’s head glowing there and then it disappeared.

He returned to his room, opened the top drawer of his dresser, and pulled out the Soul Coin he had gotten in China from underneath his jeans. It felt a little heavier. Something was still inside.

It had been raining outside and the sky was covered with dark clouds making it seem as black as night, even though the Sun was slowly beginning to rise in the East.

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The Hidden

the invaders

From the first episode of “The Invaders” (1967) with Roy Thinnes as David Vincent and Diane Baker as Kathy Adams.

No one believed him. He wasn’t surprised, but he was frustrated. He wasn’t some nut or UFO conspiracy kook. He was a rational human being who had been thrown into an irrational if not insane world.

Architect David Vincent. 29 years old, considered reasonably good-looking, divorced for two years, no kids, a successful career but at the cost of friendships, marriage, and family.

It wasn’t his fault that he’d seen an alien spaceship land near a deserted diner off of an old State road used by almost no one anymore. It wasn’t his fault that the only two witnesses, a newlywed couple who had been camping nearby, hadn’t seen or heard anything, not even the approach and then rapid departure of David’s car. It wasn’t his fault that the local Sheriff thought he was another crazy Californian trying to play a prank on what he thought was some dumb country Arizona officer.

There had to be evidence at the site. David had to tell someone. He drove to the nearest town, burst into the Sheriff’s office, and demanded an investigation.

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The New Home

shoes spider webs

© Sarah Potter

After he died, I put Dad’s old shoes in my closet and then forgot about them.

Come Autumn, I decided to clean out my closet and found them again. This time, they weren’t old shoes anymore.

“Grandpa, what’s that?”

My six-year-old granddaughter had caught me about get rid of the infested footwear.

“Just old shoes.”

“They’re filled with spider webs. Do Charlotte’s babies live there?”

I’d shown Mia the movie “Charlotte’s Web” recently. Now I knew what I had to do.

Mia and I found a safe place for them in my shed.

I’m still not getting a pig.

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields flash fiction writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above as the inspiration for writing a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 99.

It is true that after my Dad died in April, I took a pair of his old shoes as a backup pair to the ones I currently wear. It’s also true that recently, I showed my grandchildren the 2006 live action version film version of Charlotte’s Web. The combination of the two, plus the photo, inspired this wee tale.

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

The Visitors

spaceship

From “The Invaders” television program (1967-68)

The strange irony was not lost on David Vincent when his car’s GPS device failed to lead him to the all-night diner off the old state highway and instead revealed a horrifying discovery.

“Damn it.” The young architect, driving through a remote area of Arizona after meeting a developer at the proposed site of a new data center, wanted to grab a cup of coffee before continuing his drive back to Los Angeles. It was after midnight and he was exhausted. Instead of a hot coffee and maybe a pastry, he found a restaurant closed for over a year. No town, not even a gas station within miles.

“I can’t make it. Got to get some rest.”

He pulled his Audi R8 off to the side of the building and after stepping out to relieve himself on a dying shrub, returned to the car’s interior and prepared for an uncomfortable nap in the front seat.

At first he thought he was dreaming. There was a shrill sound getting louder, fluctuating in tone. David opened his eyes and looked out the windshield. Off to his left, around the corner of the building. Bright, multicolored lights. He got out and hiding in the shadow of the old diner, peered around the side.

It was big, about the size of a two-story house. A short cylinder flaring out at the bottom. Three…no, four landing struts. It was setting down. There were windows in the top part of the cylinder. He could see figures moving inside. Then a light shone down one of the landing struts. Stairs. Figures were coming out. People. No, they couldn’t be.

“It began with a closed, deserted diner, and a man too long without sleep to continue his journey. It began with the landing of a craft from another galaxy…Now, David Vincent knows that the invaders are here. That they have taken human form. Somehow he must convince a disbelieving world that the nightmare has already begun.”

The Invaders was an American television show that ran on ABC in 1967-68 and starred Roy Thinnes as David Vincent, a man who had witnessed the landing of an alien spacecraft and learned that their intention was to invade and take over the Earth.

The last bit of narrative above in italics is taken from the opening title sequence and was dramatic as heck to me when I was thirteen years old.

I was reminded of the show when I read a piece of fan fiction earlier this morning, so I decided to recreate that opening for 2017. Below is a YouTube video of the show’s opening sequence. To find out what happens to my version of David Vincent next, read The Hidden.

Pretending to be One of You

city at night

© Pamela S. Canepa

The night. So dark, so comforting, especially in the early Autumn. But it’s too busy, too many people, too much traffic. I’ll wait until later.

In the meantime, I’ll pretend to be one of them. A man going home after working late at the office. Someone commuting to her night shift job. A young couple going out to dinner and a movie. An older couple off to see a play. I’m just one of them, a nameless person in the crowd, moving along the sidewalk, past businesses and apartment buildings. Waiting for the light to change, crossing the intersection.

Finally, the crowds thin, the pace slows, the night deepens. No one can see my scars. Her house is just ahead. She used to be my wife. They used to be my children. But then war changed me. They said “go home, go back to your old life.”

The war changed me. The man I was died. I am only a soldier. They call me a “homeless vet,” like it was a badge of honor.

I wrote this for the FFfAW Challenge-Week of September 19, 2017 hosted by Priceless Joy. The challenge is to use the image above to craft a piece of flash fiction no more than 175 words long. My word count is 174.

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

Scattered Thou Across the Ages

anubis

Burial sled of Anubis from King Tut’s tomb, on display at the Egyptian Museum – Cairo, Egypt.

The Egyptian Museum – Cairo – December 22, 2016

“Here’s what we’re preparing for our 2018 exhibit, Gordon.”

Archeologist Gordon Ashe was being given a private tour of the new wing of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo by his friend Dr. Tarek Sayed Tawfik, the general director.

“This is truly astounding, Tarek. I have to admit to being more than a little envious. All five thousand of the artifacts that had been discovered in King Tutankhamun’s tomb will be displayed together for the first time.”

“You shouldn’t be envious, Gordon. After all, you’re here almost two years ahead of schedule, and you didn’t even have to pay the price of admission.”

“I guess being a personal friend of the director helps.”

Both men laughed. Gordon and Tarek had become friends at Oxford as undergraduates some decades ago. Both had a passion for antiquities but their lives traveled along highly divergent trajectories. Tarek had eventually gone into administration and Gordon gave up life as a field archeologist to work for the U.S. Government, though of course Tarek wasn’t sure exactly what services the esteemed Dr. Ashe performed for them.

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Why I Came Back

apartment building

© John Robinson

He could feel the blood seeping down his calf from his injured knee. He wished he could enjoy the morning air, but he had to finish this.

Just go over the bridge to the apartment complex, find which one is her’s break in, and then wait. She left for university over an hour ago but she’d be back by noon.

He pressed different buttons on the intercom and as each resident answered, he said, “It’s me.”

Only one opened the door for him, but that’s all he needed.

He had found a first aid kit in the pantry, bound his wound, and cleaned up the blood. He was sitting in a kitchen chair when he heard her unlock the door.

She didn’t see him at first in the darkness. Then she turned on the light and gasped.

“I won’t hurt you. Please sit down.”

“Who are you?” She was trembling.

“Please sit down. I need to tell you what happened to your parents.”

She stood in the middle of her living room. “My mother. She shot my father and then committed suicide.”

“No, Nika. I killed them, but that was a long time ago. I’ve come back to tell you why.”

I wrote this for the Sunday Photo Fiction of September 17th 2017 writing challenge. 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 exactly 200.

I think it was in the film The Bourne Supremacy (2004) that Jason Bourne confessed to a young Russian woman why he had killed her parents when she was a child. It was his first kill, and one where he was specifically manipulated to forget what he’d done. When he finally started recovering his memories, he felt he owed it to the young woman to explain that he had murdered them rather than have her continue to believe her mother murdered her father and then committed suicide.

When I saw the photo prompt, it reminded me of that particular sequence in the movie, so I decided to recreate it. I know that’s horribly unoriginal of me, but it was the very first thing to pop into my head.

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

Eye of the Storm

ancient jerusalem

Jerusalem in the time of King Solomon – found at keyway.ca

Somewhere in that vast throng of revelers was Rachel Aiyana Zheutlin, a woman out of time. Gordon Ashe, Ross Murdock, and Travis Fox stood looking down at Jerusalem. King Solomon had dedicated the Temple of Hashem, God of the Hebrews two days ago, and from what Ashe recalled, blood ran exceedingly freely as 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep were presented as peace offerings.

Now was the great feast. Even if somehow they could get into the city already packed with hundreds of thousands, then finding Aiyana would be a miracle. Gordon chuckled to himself as he regarded the newly built Temple, clearly visible from their vantage point, and imagined it to be a house of miracles as well as prayer for all nations.

“So what now, Gordon?”

“We can’t hope to find her by going in, Ross. We’ll have to wait. I told Kelgarries as much over the radio link.”

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The Wrong Temple

columns

The Rostral Columns at Vasilyevsky Island, St. Petersburg

“This isn’t how I remembered it, husband.”

“I believe we’ve lost our way. Come.”

“No!” She shook off her brother’s hand. “Something’s familiar here, yet alien. This can’t be my temple.”

“It’s been thousands of years.”

“Take your hands off of me, philanderer. Which slut were you with last night? Artemis? Circe? That whore Aphrodite?”

“Sister…”

“Don’t you sister me, Zeus!”

“Olympus awaits, Hera. You shouldn’t have returned. We’re forgotten.”

Tears formed in the eyes of the goddess of women and marriage. “I suppose you’re right.”

Then she turned on him in anger. “I still think you want to get back to Olympus because you’re screwing another immortal harlot.”

“Please, wife.”

Hera consented allowing Zeus to escort her back to Olympus, missing the gleam in his eye as he gazed at the fetching St. Petersburg lass admiring one of the Rostral columns. After Hera was settled down, he’d be back.

I wrote this for the What Pegman Saw flash fiction challenge. The idea is to take a Google street view image of the location presented and use it as the inspiration for crafting a story of no more than 150 words. My word count is 150.

Today, the Pegman takes us to St. Petersburg, Russia. I had to do quite a bit of searching and clicking around, and I even changed my story idea completely before settling on what you’ve read above. Go to Wikipedia to read about the Old Saint Petersburg Stock Exchange and Rostral Columns. I drew my inspiration from the columns being styled after the Temple of Hera at Paestum. Hera was the Greek goddess of women and marriage who married her brother Zeus, and has always been jealous of Zeus’s other lovers. Here, I had Hera getting a little lost, mistaking these columns for her temple. On the other hand, Zeus seems to know exactly what he’s looking for.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com. Don’t be shy. If an image of St. Petersburg inspires you, contribute a wee story of your own.