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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Traitor

traitor's gate

© A Mixed Bag 2009

Traitor’s Gate. Entrance to the “last mile”. It describes the final moments of Dr. Marcus Young Smith.

The gate rose before him and his silent guards. He wore the traditional white shirt and black trousers of the condemned.

At thirty-nine, he would be neither the youngest nor the oldest person executed for high treason, but he would be the only one terminated because he was innocent of all charges.

The Governor was standing beside the steps of the gallows rather than seated in the gallery. Smith stopped at the foot of the steps.

“You maybe leave us,” Governor Drake ordered the four guards. They looked at each other puzzled.

“Go.” Drake whispered the command but it had the force of a shout. They retreated.

“Any last words, Dr. Smith?” The traditional question the Governor asks of the condemned, but this time it wasn’t heard by the public in the gallery.

“You are the traitor Drake, but to avoid civil war, I give my life.”

“A good little soldier to the end, Smith.”

Smith gave his life for his country to avert war. A generation later, revolution broke tyranny’s back and Dr. Smith’s name was venerated as a hero.

Written for the Sunday Photo Fiction for May 21st. The idea is to use the photo prompt above to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is 198.

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

W is for Whale

w is for whale

© James Pyles

Daniel was cold, shivering, vomiting seawater, but alive on the beach at the sea’s edge. It was still raining, but he was past being bothered by the continual wetness. Slowly, the retching ceased and he was able to catch his breath. Why was he alive?

“Glad to see you’re doing better, kiddo.”

The ten year old looked in the direction of the voice.

“Name’s Achilles. No heal jokes please. I don’t have any.”

It was a whale. He was blue with a white underbelly but not like any whale Daniel had ever seen or studied.

“Glad I found you down there. Didn’t think someone as famous as you would end up in my neighborhood.”

“I was drowning. You saved me?”

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V is for Violin

v is for violin

© James Pyles

The sound of the rain beating against the wooden planks of the pier made hearing the music almost impossible. Daniel limped closer to the couple, the male figure holding the umbrella over himself and the woman playing the violin.

What was that melody? It sounded so familiar and yet it seemed incomprehensible. The ten year old’s ears were ringing. They had been since he woke up after the attack, but he only realized it just now.

The Queen’s voice echoed in his head:

“The answer is within you. Just listen to the…”

“Listen to the what? The music?”

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