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.

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I Want To Make It With You

bread

© Kelvin M. Knight

“It’s my year to choose our wedding anniversary theme so just put on a happy face.”

“We weren’t married until 1980. How about a band from then?”

“Hush. We met in high school in 1973. This was their big album that year.”

“It ruined the senior prom.”

Jean pressed “play” and the vintage CD stereo begin soft sounds of “Make it with you.” She took his hand. He pulled her close. They danced.

“Not bad, eh lover?”

“Never bad with you, Baby.”

He still thought the band Bread was awful but after all, it’s the things you do for love that count.

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields photo writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above as a prompt to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. After a lot of editing, I got my submission down to 100.

I admit that I found the photo far too schmaltzy for my tastes, but while I was cooking breakfast, I had an epiphany. Yes, I too can’t stand that 1970s band, but a piece of bread with a heart cut out in the center seems to describe them perfectly. Oh, in 1973, their hit album really was The Best of Bread and the lead track on side one was Make It with You.

To read other stories inspired by the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

The Desert of the Real

desert

© Danny Bowman

Life after the Matrix. Morpheus called it “the desert of the real”. I should have taken the blue pill and stayed in wonderland. No, then I’d be lost. We won. We defeated the machines, removed all those people from the power source. They died to free humanity.

We didn’t murder them, they just didn’t want to live without the simulated reality of the Matrix. I don’t want to live without it, without her.

Trinity died fighting the machines. I’m blind. We still won. We have reality, but it’s a desert. Now that I look back, the fantasy was much better.

Written for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields Friday Fictioneers photo writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above as the inspiration for creating a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words. My word count is 100.

Obviously, I’m referring both to the 1999 film The Matrix and the third film in the trilogy The Matrix Revolutions (2003). Yes, I’ve changed how the trilogy ends. I let Neo live, but to prove a point. Sometimes the fantasy is more interesting than the reality, and the cost of facing reality is high.

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

Life in Ruins

Renwick Ruins

© Roger Bulltot

I like it here. I know, there are more reasons to tear this place down than to preserve it. And yet I find the aging, crumbling walls have their own beauty, especially in the way that nature has chosen to integrate herself in this place.

I have a confession. I like it here because it reminds me of me. The Renwick Ruins and I are the same, aging, decaying, and yet seeking our own place in the world. There are reasons why I should be torn down, too. We are both old. Does that mean we should both die?

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

The image is titled “smallpox hospital” and it didn’t take much “Googling” to discover that the photo is of the ruins of the Renwick Smallpox Hospital on Roosevelt Island in New York.

In some ways, this blog post is related to one I wrote on a sister blog late yesterday. Both are about the examination of an older life struggling to survive and somehow remake itself. Like the Renwick Ruins, it might not be possible, but who knows.

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

The Minutemen of October

lights of sturgis

© Jan Wayne Fields

“I say we’re gonna get the code real soon. We’re at DEFCON 2. If the Commies run the blockade and the Navy tries to stop ’em, it’ll be nuclear war.

Despite his apparent anxiousness. Air Force Corporal Brandon “Red” Kowalski was still deemed able to man one of the 50 Minuteman missile silos on the Ellsworth Air Force Base complex north of Sturgis, South Dakota.

“President Kennedy won’t risk World War III over this. He’ll figure something else…” SSgt Tyler Lundgren stopped talking when the alarm went off. Lundgren decoded the message. Both men retrieved their individual keys. They were at war.

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

When I found out that the image is titled “lights of sturgis,” I looked that up and found out that Sturgis, South Dakota has an annual Parade of Lights. I also found out that “the vast Ellsworth Air Force Base complex, the land north of Sturgis was dotted with 50 Minuteman missile silos. The L5 is 3.5 miles (5.6 km) from the center of the town.”

That led me to think about the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Here’s a quote from that article:

“On October 25, the aircraft carrier USS Essex and the destroyer USS Gearing attempted to intercept the Soviet tanker Bucharest as it crossed over the U.S. quarantine of Cuba. The Soviet ship failed to cooperate, but the U.S. Navy restrained itself from forcibly seizing the ship, deeming it unlikely that the tanker was carrying offensive weapons. On October 26, Kennedy learned that work on the missile bases was proceeding without interruption, and ExCom considered authorizing a U.S. invasion of Cuba. The same day, the Soviets transmitted a proposal for ending the crisis: The missile bases would be removed in exchange for a U.S. pledge not to invade Cuba.”

But what if the Navy did try to seize the Bucharest and tensions continued to escalate? The Soviets might not have transmitted their proposal ending the crisis and nuclear war could have been the result.

While all this was happening, I was an eight-year-old boy resting in a hospital in Omaha, Nebraska after having my tonsils taken out. I don’t have a clear memory of Mom or Dad, but much later on, Dad told me that while Mom and I were in the hospital, he and another Air Force airman were manning a missile silo preparing to launch their Minuteman at their designated target. You may or may not know that after receiving the nuclear go codes from the President, each of the two men had to individually insert a key into different locks and turn them simultaneously in order to launch their  missile. This prevented any one person from being able to perform the launch.

Fortunately, in real life, none of that happened, but at the time, everyone thought it would, at least the adults.

I know. My story has practically nothing to do with the prompt photo. Normally, I’m pretty literal, but this time, I had a different idea and I ran with it.

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

The Shower Scene

bedroom

© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

The old motel wasn’t what Norman imagined. He thought an old Victorian in the California countryside converted to an inn would be charming and tasteful. But his room reminded him of “old woman bedroom.” Oh well, at least there was plenty of hot water for a shower. Cheap shower curtain but that part didn’t matter.

“What?” Norman thought he heard something but the shower water was too loud. “You know, if I didn’t know any better…”

The last thing he saw was the shower curtain being ripped aside and the old woman plunging a butcher knife toward his chest.

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

As I hope you can see, I was going for a twist on the 1960 film Psycho which starred Anthony Perkins as the infamous Norman Bates. Unfortunately, 100 words isn’t a lot in which to be able to build suspense before the reveal.

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

The Moaning Stone

rock

© CEAyr

“We’ve hiked three days to get here, Jason. Are you sure it’s worth it?”

“According to the old library book it should be.”

Jason and Jill climbed down the heavily wooded gully. “Should be around…there. The moaning rock.”

“Just a big rock, Jason.”

Then they heard the moan.

“I don’t like this Jason. Let’s go back.”

“Wait.”

“Alone.” The voice from the rock sounded like the wind.

“Are you the spirit?” The book was written eighty years ago by a hiker who said the rock was haunted.

“Home.” Lights started shining from deep depressions.

“No, Jason. Not spirits. A spaceship.”

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields Friday Fictioneers writing challenge. The idea is to craft a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long based on the photo above. My word count is exactly 100.

The first thing I thought of when I saw the picture of the rock is that it looked like it was somehow alive. I was torn between making it a horror story or science fiction. Jason and Jill almost had their souls eaten by spirits. Then I decided for a happier ending.

To read other stories inspired by the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

Left Behind

fkiwers

© Dale Rogerson

She hated the arrangement in the vase but loved the smaller flowers in the low pot. It was sweet that anyone sent flowers at all.

Moving day. All the boxes were packed and sitting there waiting to be picked up. Everything was going except her. She’d seen people come and go for decades and she cherished them all. She thought they felt the same way, but the business was growing and they needed new offices.

She’d inhabited these walls since before the Victorian had been re-zoned for commercial use. She was being callously abandoned. Maybe someone kinder would move in.

Written for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields photo writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above as a prompt to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is exactly 100.

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

The Pay Phone Puzzle

pay phone

© J Hardy Carroll

“What kind of phone is it, Grandpa?”

“An old pay phone. You used to put a quarter in to make a call.”

“Why not use a cell?”

“Well, little one, because they hadn’t been invented when people used these. This one is so low so that people in wheelchairs could reach it.”

“Who uses it now?”

“I don’t know. We’re in the Refugee Center so…”

“Ahem.”

Denise and Grandpa turned to see a refugee from the planet Gorlick behind them. He was green and only about a meter tall.

“Spare some change? Got to make a call.”

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields photo prompt writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above as an inspiration for a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 97.

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

Not Kansas

vw in israel

© Kent Bonham

“You’re not in Kansas anymore.”

“Avi, you can’t believe how many times I’ve heard that since making aliyah.” Morris sounded annoyed but admired how well the native Israeli spoke English. Half the time he struggled to find the right Hebrew words in a conversation.

“Hey, what do you think of that girl over there? Maybe she wants a ride.”

Avi knew Morris was married, but loved to tease the shy American. Neither noticed as she reached inside her shoulder bag. They were both killed in the explosion along with seven schoolchildren who had stopped to admire the car.

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields photo writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above as a prompt to craft a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 98.

When I saw the image was titled “VW in Israel” and the Kansas license plate in the back window, I started writing without a clear end in mind. The story just formed itself.

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