Vengeance

harbor

© Fatima Fakier Deria

The area around Hong Kong had so many cities and islands that when Sean woke up, he wasn’t sure he knew where he was. He got out of bed, went to the window of his hotel room and opened the curtains.

“Ah, Adolfo’s yacht arrived last night. Good.”

Adolfo rarely rose before ten and his crew thought Sean a friend. It’ll be easy to enter his cabin and empty the clip of his Walther into him. He didn’t care if he got caught. All Sean wanted was revenge for the beautiful Claudine’s murder. After fifteen years, Adolfo would finally pay.

Inspired by the Friday Fictioneers Photo Challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. The idea is to use the photo prompt above to write a piece of flash fiction no longer than 100 words. My word count is exactly 100.

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

I had a bit of fun with this one. In the photo, I saw a yacht that reminded me of the one used by the villain Largo (played by Adolfo Celi) in the 1965 film Thunderball, which stars Sean Connery as James Bond.

I used the names of the actors instead of their characters in my wee tale, with Claudine Auger being the actress who played the enchanting Domino.

Sean even wields Bond’s Walther PPK.

The Collector

singing

© The Storyteller’s Abode

Sidney Feldman finally acquired the crown jewel of his collection, an original Joyce, circa 1897, simply titled, “Woman Singing.” It had been taken from its Jewish owner by the Nazis in 1939.

Feldman found it at an estate sale and knew immediately what he had. True, he could have returned it to the owner’s heir. He was even acquainted with the family.

But he was a collector, and the painting was priceless.

He heard the music the second night the painting was mounted in his private exhibition room. He staggered there and sat on the floor. The melody was mesmerizing. Feldman was there for days listening to her exquisite voice, his piano playing, watching the girl endlessly turning pages of music for her Father.

He died of thirst a week later. The maid eventually discovered the body. The authorities investigated and found dozens of items in the Feldman collection that rightfully belonged to others.

“Woman Singing” was returned to the great-granddaughter of the man who died in Berchenwald. She donated it to Yad Vashem in Israel.

This was written for the FFfAW Challenge-Week of March 28, 2017. The idea is to use the image above as a prompt to write a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 175 words long, with 150 being the ideal. My story word count is exactly 174.

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

The Ascent

jump creek

Photo: Tyson White/KTVB

He’d been climbing for hours. Fortunately, he’d trained for it. Seth Minstrel was the first to get this far. He could see the tops of the jagged peaks just above him.

“I’m going to make it. I’m going to be free.”

The air was hot and humid in the valley below, the valley Seth had lived in all his life. It was the valley where generations of his people had toiled as slaves to the ruling MacGregor clan. The people grew the food, and the MacGregor’s and their thugs took half. But without the MacGregors, water wouldn’t fall down the cliffs to the south, allowing their arid valley to produce and sustain life.

The MacGregors said they should be grateful.

“Yeah, right. Grateful. You MacGregor’s have freedom and steal our food, barely allowing my people enough to eat.”

Continue reading

I’d Give Everything I Have for You

pier

© Jules Paige

It had finally stopped raining when Jack Bishop reached the little used pier. He wanted to sit down, but he couldn’t. He had to get to the end, to where Billy and he used to fish when his son was little.

Jack stopped and looked down. His right hand was pressing against the bleeding wound at his gut as hard as he dared, shot thanks to a mugging gone wrong. He was a goner, but he had to reach the end of the pier.

Lance Corporeal William Bishop was killed when his vehicle ran over an IED near Baghdad on August 13, 2011. The magician said that if Jack could reach the end of the pier before dying, he’d trade his life for Billy’s.

“Made it. I love you, son.” Jack sat on one of the benches, his life coming to an end. “I’m here for you, Billy. You’ve got the rest of your life to live. Make it a good life.”

******

twilight zone

From the 1963 Twilight Zone episode “In Praise of Pip

Billy sat on the bench and helped his five-year-old son Todd bait the hook on his fishing line. “God, I wish your Grandpa were here to see this. I miss him so much.”

I wrote this in response to the Sunday Photo Fiction – March 26th 2017 challenge. The idea is to write a piece of flash fiction of no more than 200 words based on the image above. I made it at 195 words.

This story isn’t exactly original. It’s loosely based on a 1963 episode of The Twilight Zone called In Praise of Pip. Actor Jack Klugman plays a small time bookie named Max Phillips who’s in deep with the mob. The only light in his life is his son Pip, who is serving as a soldier in Vietnam. Fate gives Max a second chance, but it involves trading his life for Pip’s, who otherwise would be killed in combat.

The ending scene with actor Robert Diamond playing the adult Pip, alive and well, having survived serving in ‘Nam, talking about how much he misses his Dad still breaks me up.

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

The Day the Kid Got a Stuffed Animal: Part 2

baby

© James Pyles

This is the direct sequel and conclusion of part one of this story, which was based on a plot developed by my eight-year-old grandson.

Chapter 4: Glowing Red Eyes

Little Dan was having a hard time sleeping. Every little noise woke him up and reminded him of the horrible things that had happened and the evil toy giraffe.

Then, at the foot of his bed, he heard a familiar voice.

“You didn’t think you could get away from me that easily, did you Dan?

Dan looked and saw the stuffed giraffe Baby with the terrible glowing red eyes.

He jumped out of bed like a shot and started running for the bedroom door. “Mom! Mom! Baby’s back!”

Continue reading

The Seventy Year Cycle Killer

nassau

© Google Maps – July 2016

Kal Thompson knew he was very unpopular with the passengers and crew of the cruise ship Norwegian Gem. It couldn’t be helped.

Another gorgeous Summer day in Nassau, but the yellow crime scene tape wasn’t part of the tourist attraction. It prevented the contamination of his murder investigation. The murderer had to be on board.

The victim had been a young local women. The manner of her death was particularly gruesome. She was cut in half at the waist and her body was totally drained of blood. She was found nude, posed with her hands above her head, and the corners of her mouth literally sliced ear to ear.

He had read about a case such as her’s but it couldn’t be the same killer could it? After all, the Black Dahlia had been murdered in Los Angeles in 1947. How could the killer strike again seventy years later?

I wrote this in response to J. Hardy Carroll’s What Pegman Saw photo writing challenge. The idea is to use the Google Maps image above as a prompt to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. Mine is exactly 148.

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

When I looked around the Google Maps image, I saw the yellow tape and imagined a crime scene, but I needed something unusual. I looked up famous unsolved murders, and the mystery of the Black Dahlia became my template.

I Want to Kill You

saber

Found at Dinoanimals.com

Little Danny Claiborne had raised him from a cub. Taka, the Saber Tooth, was an adolescent tiger. He went from sleeping with Danny under the covers of his bed to living in a shed next to the house.

Taka’s brother Kai, and his sister Aka, were raised by two other children, Sha Clanton and Dran McLaury. Danny, Sha, and Dran loved their sabers but as the tigers grew toward maturity, the villagers became more wary. There had been a few occasions when an unannounced visitor to one of their homes had nearly been mauled.

But to the children who were still children, the sabers were beloved pets, and the sabers had the children no reason to believe otherwise, at least until recently.

Continue reading

The Lonely Boy

haunted house

© J Hardy Carroll

Josh, Matt, and Kenny were best pals. Every day, the third-graders walked past the old McClary house going home from school. Today, Kenny picked up a stick and ran it across the wrought iron fence.

“Yoohoo!” Josh yelled at the so-called ghosts in the house. Matt quickly said, “Knock it off, Josh. Don’t disrespect.”

“Crybaby,” Josh expressed his scorn. “Dead people can’t hurt you.”

Every day unliving eyes peered out the upstairs window at the three boys. Kevin McClary died in the last great flu pandemic. All he wanted to do was go out and play with the other children.

Written in response to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers challenge. The idea is to use the photo at the top as a prompt to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. I barely made it at 100 even.

The second I saw the photo, it screamed “ghost story” at me. Poor Kevin is no longer among the living, and trapped in that house, he can’t even go out and play.

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

The Duet

musician

© Sunayana MoiPensieve

I was born too late. I should have been singing with Dylan in the sixties. Instead, I spend my weekends in this little square between the London Film and Transport Museums playing his charts to uninterested passersby. It’s early Saturday, so the place is almost empty.

Pavement’s still wet from the rain as I sing “Like a Rolling Stone.” I can smell the woman’s cigarette smoke behind me as I play “Blowin’ in the Wind.”

“I’m working on “Forever Young” when someone walks toward me. He’s right in front of me. I stop singing. Oh wow!

“Mind if I sit in?”

I motion dumbly to where I keep my back up six-string. Glad I tuned it.

He stands next to me and begins “The Times They Are A-Changin’.” I join in. I’m playing a duet with Bob Dylan. Before long, the square is packed. When it’s over and he has to go, I say, “Thanks for making my dream come true.”

He gives me his hand and I shake it. “Anytime. Anytime at all.”

I wrote this for the FFfAW Challenge-Week of March 21, 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. I barely made it at 174 words.

To read other stories written from the same prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

One of My Stories Published in Scaffolding Magazine

ellie

The first issue of Scaffolding Magazine

This magazine has taken some time to get off the ground, and I was pleased to see the announcement this morning that the first issue is now in print.

My short story “The Alien” is featured within (page 22) along with a lot of other terrific content by authors and artists a lot more talented than I am.

Right now, the magazine is only available in print, but there are plans for publishing it in digital and audio formats as well.

I submitted my story just like any other fledging writer and so can you. Click the link, find out what this eighty-page tome has to offer, and have a look at the submissions page

You can find a small sample of this my published story here on my blog, but the full tale is only available in Scaffolding.

Pretty exciting stuff.