Back to Life

shoes and books

© Magaly Guerrero

She pulled her grandmother’s shoes out of the packing case, dusted, and then polished them. Leah regretted neglecting her passion, the one she learned from Grand Mama. Mendel had been such a good husband and they had a wonderful life together, but looking back, she had devoted all of her life to his pursuits. Poor, dear Mendel passed last month, and it was time for her to pull her art books and paints out from under the vase and put them to good use again. It was time for Leah to live for herself.

I wrote this for The Friday Fictioneers photo writing challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. 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 86.

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

Matzah Pizza and an Island of Peace

pizza

© Dale Rogerson

Esther had some cheese and matzah pizza and another sip of wine. Fortunately the owner of “Stanley’s Pizza” knew how to accommodate her needs during the Passover season.

At work, time was very fluid, which was why she appreciated the dependable rhythms of a Jewish life. Looking at her watch on the counter, she chuckled. She could only wear it off-duty.

Being a Cross-Time Detective was draining. Thank Hashem she’d captured the dimensional jumper before he could illegally copy the plans for, what..oh, “velcro” and bring them back to our reality.

Now she could enjoy her pizza and peace.

Written for the Friday Fictioneers photo challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. The idea is to use the photo above to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. Mine is exactly 100 words.

Since this is the week of Unleavened Bread, and since my wife is visiting our daughter in California and I’ve got the place more or less to myself, I thought I’d write this small bit of “Jewish themed” science fiction. Besides, the pizza really does look like it’s made of matzah.

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

The Experiment

shadow

© Jellico’s Stationhouse

“Johnson, apply more power. I think an image is forming in the Temporalscope.”

“I see it too, Reynolds. Applying power.” Henry Johnson slowly pushed the lever up a bit more. Screaming transformers almost deafened them.

“There it is. It’s just a shadow. but…”

“You’re right, Reynolds. It’s a picture from another time.”

“Counters are settling in, Johnson…twelve years into the future.”

The video projection destabilized before Emmett Reynolds recognized the man about to mount the 1907 RaCycle Pace Maker was his currently ten-year-old son, He almost had proof that little Charles would survive his severe case of diphtheria.

I wrote this in response to the Friday Fictioneers Photo Writing Challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. The idea is to use the photo above as a prompt to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. Mine came in at 97. It was an excuse to indulge myself in another time travel, or rather, time imaging story with a hopefully unpredictable twist.

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

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 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.

Family Monument

wheel

© Jennifer Pendergast

After five-year-old Barry and his Grandpa were done playing in the park, the little boy stood marveling at the giant, rusty wheel, while Grandpa went to get the picnic basket.

Bubbe had made their favorite split pea soup and they sat eating and reading comic books in the wheel’s comforting shadow.

Grandpa said it used to be a monument, but people forgot what to. For Grandpa, it was a symbol of family, something big and enduring that has no beginning or end.

Grandpa’s latest tests showed he was still cancer free. He and Barry were here to celebrate.

I wrote this in response to the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields photo writing challenge. The idea is to use the photo at the top of the page to write a piece of flash fiction no longer than 100 words. My story today is 98 words long.

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

I know I write a whole bunch of endearing little stories about Grandpas and grandkids. I might have written this one differently if the photo didn’t contain a small child.

This story is very, very loosely based on a “road trip” I took with my son David some years back. He served in the Marine Corps and suffered a number of injuries he believes he should have been receiving disability payments for. The local VA did an evaluation, but David wanted a second opinion, so they sent us to the VA in Walla Walla, Washington.

We made a day of it. My wife really did make homemade split pea soup for us. We told stories during the drive, David played videos on his phone, and I was reading the graphic novel “V for Vendetta” on the trip.

We finally arrived back home in Boise exhausted, but we had a great time. To this day, it’s one of my favorite adventures with my son.

The scene in the photo looks vaguely like the grounds of the VA in Walla Walla, which is a converted fort.

Sorry if I’m writing too many schmaltzy tales, but if at all possible, I prefer happy endings.

Tahji’s Freedom

bug

© Shaktiki Sharma

Tahji was curious. He’d never seen so many people before. He half hid behind the post to get a better look through the doorway. They were talking their people talk. Tahji could understand a little of it when one talked, but they were all speaking at once. It was so confusing. Perhaps if he got closer.

“There you are, little one.” It was Tahji’s child-friend Rohan.

“You shouldn’t wander off like this. You might have gotten lost.”

Tahji saw Rohan was carrying his ornate little home. The door was open.

“So soon?” The mantis had been enjoying his freedom.

I wrote this in response to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers photo challenge. The idea is for authors to use the photo prompt above to create a piece of flash fiction no longer than 100 words long. Mine is 100 words.

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

The Listener

clouds

© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

I always feel better when I talk to you. I don’t know what’s kept me away so long. Well, I guess I do. The same things in my life that I should bring me closer to you. My worries, job pressure, my son’s relationship with that horrible woman, all the things I am absolutely powerless to change.

I guess it was looking up, seeing the sunlight filtered through the clouds, it reminded me of you, reminded me we haven’t talked in a long time.

I’m back, God. I need you to listen. I need your mercy. We all do.

Written in response to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ writing challenge. Based on the photo above, the author is supposed to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. Mine came in at 99.

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

Chasing the Zodiac

photo prompt roger bultot

© Roger Bultot

Martin Fields looked out window of his rented condo at a street recently swept of snow. “So primitive, Isis, but we won’t be here long.”

“It’s your fault we’re here at all.”

Fields turned to face her. She was beautiful by design, reminding him that she wasn’t human.

“How could I know he’d find my time machine? It was a one in a million shot that he figured out how it worked.”

“We gave you time travel so you could enforce justice.”

“We traced him to 2014, forty years after the Zodiac Killer disappeared. This time he won’t get away.”

I wrote this as part of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers Challenge. Using a photo prompt, authors are supposed to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words in length. My wee missive weighs in at exactly 100.

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

There are two influences for my story. The first is the Star Trek original series episode Assignment: Earth. The starship Enterprise travels back in time to Earth of 1968 to do historical research and encounters a human being beaming from a planet light years away to New York City accompanied only by a black cat.

The man is the descendent of humans taken to another planet thousands  of years ago by an alien race to be trained as secret agents intended to guide humanity to become a peaceful race. The agent’s name is Gary Seven (played by the late Robert Lansing), and he made a similar statement about primitive humanity looking out the window of his penthouse down at the streets of Manhattan. His cat was named “Isis” and was actually an alien metamorph.

The second influence is the 1979 film Time After Time. In late 19th century London, writer and visionary H.G. Wells (played by Malcolm McDowell) invents a time machine which is then stolen by his friend Stevenson, who has been discovered to be the notorious murderer Jack the Ripper (played by David Warner). Wells chases Stevenson to 1979 San Francisco to stop him from killing more women and somehow to bring him to justice.

In my case, I changed Jack the Ripper to the Zodiac Killer, who is believed to have murdered up to 37 people in the San Francisco Bay Area during the 1960s and 70s.

I added a twist. Future humanity didn’t invent time travel. It was a gift from non-human entities who have chosen certain people to act as their agents, doing justice across history.

I know. You’re probably getting bored  of  time travel stories by now, however I want to see how many I can write based on these prompts.

Addendum: If you liked this story, I’m featuring the same characters in another, slightly longer tale called On Wednesday the Time Traveler Got Wet.

An Alien Walks Into A Bar

alien

Comic book cover from 1958

Frank Lyman was working on his third Vodka Collins when the alien came through the door. Frank had been stopping by Murphy’s Bar every Friday night after work for nearly ten years, and this was the first time he thought the booze was spiked.

All of the regulars at the bar, plus Murphy serving drinks behind it, froze like ice sculptures and stared.

“RJhmzzxpingwqupnmkl-ooo-dx!” Static came out of the alien’s spacesuit. It adjusted a knob on its chest.

“Better? Understand?”

“What?” Frank forgot to swallow and his drink dribbled onto his shirt.

“Spaceship broken. Roadside service here?”

Okay, I know the image I used as an inspiration doesn’t show a bar, but when I saw it, I thought it looked like the beginning of a bad joke, “An alien walks into a bar.” I wrote it for fun.

Flash fiction of 99 words.

Oh, the comic book was published in 1958.