Where Did Daddy Come From?

path

© J.S. Brand

The sign post was all but unreadable as she stood staring at it from the foot of the path. Left pointed to the way she came and right to the Ranger station. The one pointing behind her was to the camp grounds. She couldn’t read the one pointing up the hill, but she’d heard stories.

No one walked up those steps anymore. People went up and never came down. The secret, at least Alise thought she knew it, came from her mother’s diary. Mommy went up and then came down three months pregnant. She never told Alise who her Daddy was. Now on her sixteenth birthday, she was going to find out.

She climbed the steps. Fog rolled in as she reached the top. It was longer than it looked from the bottom, like another world.

“Hello, Alise.”

“Daddy? But, you look so young, hardly older than me.”

“An incubus never ages, my dear. Here, let me show you my secrets.

When Alise descended the steps, her unborn baby was forming inside of her.

I wrote my wee tale for the FFfAW Challenge-Week of July 18, 2017 hosted by Priceless Joy. The idea is to use the image above as an inspiration to craft a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 175 words long, with 150 being the ideal. My word count is 174.

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

The New Knight

skate park

© Grant-Sud

Terry stood overlooking the skate park. He spent too much time here and not enough in school, at least that’s what his Dad used to tell him. Should he take the old man’s offer? Sure, the old man needed Terry but did Terry need him?

He needed something. Dad was murdered. Terry had the evidence. He found it hidden at Dad’s after he died, but he’d need help using it to put Dad’s killers away. The old man had been doing this for decades, putting murderers behind bars with his fists and his brains. Terry could fight, but he wasn’t trained. Plus there was a reason the old man was called the world’s greatest detective.

Terry McGinnis looked out over the vast expanse of Gotham City. Wayne was too old to protect it anymore. He needed help. He asked the seventeen-year-old if he wanted to make a difference, a real difference.

“I’ll do it. I’ll tell Wayne ‘yes’. I’ll become the new Batman.”

I wrote this for the FFfAW Challenge-Week of July 11, 2017. The idea is to use the photo above as a prompt to write a piece of flash fiction between 100 to 175 words long, with 150 being the ideal. My word count is 162.

My tale is very loosely based on the WB animated TV series Batman Beyond (1999-2001). Bruce Wayne is now elderly and has retired from being The Batman, but crime in Gotham is worse than ever. A chance encounter with a teenager named Terry McGinnis and the subsequent murder of Terry’s father by a corrupt businessman leads to Wayne training Terry to be the new Batman.

When I saw the photo prompt, the first thing I thought of was that the young man in the foreground was staring out over the city trying to make the biggest decision of his life. The rest followed.

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

The Fall of Chavah

snake

© Kecia Sparlin

“I’ve always been given the blame, but it was really that woman and man. After all, I can’t make someone do something against their will. She ate of her own accord and the man, who should have known better, was standing right there, and not only did he not stop her, he ate too.”

“Why did you even talk to her in the first place? If not for you…”

“Judith, dear Judith, she would have done it sooner or later. Temptation is just like gravity. All it takes is a little push to help it along. After all, didn’t Hashem make me cunning beyond any beast of the field?”

“You’re very glib, serpent. I still think you set Chavah up to take the blame.”

“Face it, Judith. You’re no sort of woman to tend a garden. That’s why you sought me out. Walk on the wild side and that sort of thing?”

“You ruined my life, my engagement, everything.”

“The decisions you make are on you. I just revealed your options.”

Written for the FFfAW Challenge-Week of July 4, 2017 #2 (I wonder what #1 is?) hosted by Priceless Joy. The idea is to use the photo above as a prompt to write a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 175 words long, with 150 words being the ideal. My word count is 171.

Unfortunately, I saw the title of Iain Kelly’s story, though I haven’t read his tale yet, and it influenced my choice of topics, the serpent in the garden. I briefly quoted from the Stone Edition Tanakh, the words in italics above. I also “borrowed” the phrase about temptation and gravity from Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker from the 2008 film “The Dark Knight”.

Some people believe all of their problems are the result of an external tormentor or tempter, but in truth, tempted though we may be, our actions are on us. We can choose to say “no.”

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

The Last Concert of the Kings of Long Beach

sunset

© Footy and Foodie

The Kings of Long Beach were back in their hometown playing where they’d first met twelve years ago, in the courtyard at the Hathaway Apartments. They started out as five high school students with a dream, but unlike most of their peers, they’d actually made it.

The parking lot was packed as was the street parking for miles around. Everyone wanted to see the Kings again, especially since the concert was free for the neighborhood.

The Kings’ lead singer, Toby McGuire stepped into the spotlight and up to the mike. “Hello Hathaway!”

The crowd went insane, their cheers could be heard for blocks.

“The Kings are back!” Toby turned to Miles Johnson the drummer, “And a one and a two and a…”

It sounded like a firecracker, but then Toby grabbed his chest and collapsed on the makeshift stage. People closest to the front saw Beth Middleton holding a gun, staring at Toby’s unmoving body, tears streaming down her cheeks.

“You made me kill my baby twelve years ago. Now go be with her.”

Written for the FFfAW Challenge-Week of June 20, 2017 hosted by Priceless Joy. The idea is to write a piece of flash fiction based on the image above that is between 100 and 175 words long, with 150 being the ideal. My word count is 174.

I know the topic is controversial, and I debated whether or not Beth had an abortion or just presented Toby with his twelve year old daughter at the climax of the story, but the former including the murder was more dramatic and communicated the pain of what she had gone through.

Toby and the “Kings” had started out just like a million other high school “garage bands” but they had actually made into stardom. However, there was collateral damage along the way and it came back to the Kings tonight in the form of death.

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

Out of the Shadows

castle

© majesticgoldenrose

Victoria staggered out of the front doors of the manor. Thank God it was morning. The long dark night was finally over. She sank to her knees on the wet grass and wept. She was the only one who survived. All the others had died. She had killed the last one, Barnabas, the one who started it all.

How long had it been since he first arrived? Weeks? Months? He said he was a distant cousin from England, but in fact, he was centuries old, released from his crypt by a greedy little groundskeeper who thought he’d found hidden treasure.

All he found was a man with a curse and whose insane lust for blood cursed the rest of the family. Victoria was the only one left, bitten but she did not succumb. The sun was rising. She killed the rest and now there was only one left. The sun continued to rise and its light shone upon her. It burned. She was the last vampire. And now there were none.

Written for FFfAW Challenge-Week of June 13, 2017 #2 hosted by Priceless Joy.

The idea is to use the photo above as an inspiration to write a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 175 words. My word count is 171.

The image immediately made me think of the old TV show Dark Shadows, a daytime gothic soap opera which ran Monday through Friday in the late 1960s and early 70s. I blatantly ripped off themes from the series to craft my little tale, although taking it in a direction the show never did.

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

Threatening Violence

street car

© Yinglan

It had been a long time since Eddie played tourist, especially in San Francisco. He’d lived here a long time ago when you didn’t have to be a wealthy tech worker to afford a place in the City. Eddie got off the Number Four cable car at the Market-Powell turnaround intending to take BART back to the East Bay where his sister still lived.

As he stepped down to the street, over a dozen kids, probably gangbangers, surrounded the car and started pushing people around. “Wallets, jewelry, the usual stuff and right now.”

Eddie was astonished at how docile everyone was, including the car operator.

“Drop dead,” Eddie growled at the nearest punk. The kid pulled a knife but twenty years in the Marines made it impossible for one person to take the older man down.

“Get lost or I’ll slice him.” Everyone turned to see the middle-aged man holding the kid’s knife at his throat. The gangsters fled and several would be victims called 911 asking the cops to arrest Eddie for assault.

I wrote this in response to the FFfAW Challenge-Week of May 30, 2017 hosted by Priceless Joy. The idea is to use the photo above as a prompt to write a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 175 words long, with 150 being the ideal. My word count is 173.

My story was inspired by a couple of news items I’d read recently: Mob of teens drag woman off Muni bus, rob her in San Francisco and Teens Commandeer BART Train in Violent Takeover Robbery of Passengers.

I lived in the Bay Area for seven years, including in San Francisco (late 1970s, early ’80s) and am astonished that crime there has gotten this bad. I used the photo plus these news reports as my inspiration. No, maybe one person resisting might not have stopped these crimes, but people could at least try. Of course, as in the case of the BART crime, if 50 or 60 criminals are involved, they’d be hard to stop.

I did add a spin making the witnesses more afraid of Eddie than the robbers because he was the most threatening figure. Sometimes in our modern western world, people confuse heroes for villains and vice versa.

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

Firewood in May

firewood

© Loretta Notto

“All the firewood she’ll need for next winter.”

Gerald had been laboring for weeks to make sure the house was ready and that she would be taken care of.

Most folks would say that having the winter firewood cut in May was a little premature, but he knew he was already out of time. The cancer in him was spreading fast and his doctor told him he wouldn’t last much longer.

She’d have to learn to live without him. After over sixty years together, that would be hard. He wasn’t an emotional man, but the thought of her having to go it alone made him tear up some.

Gerald turned to put the ax back in the shed only to discover he wasn’t holding it.

“Now where did that damn thing go?”

He looked again and he wasn’t at home anymore.

“Gerald, have you forgotten again?”

“Who are you?” This wasn’t home. In fact, Gerald wasn’t sure where he was.

“She will be fine, Gerald. I told you I’d take care of her.”

“Yes, Lord.”

Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by Priceless Joy. The idea is to write a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 175 words long with 150 being the ideal. Mine is 175 words exactly.

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

Every Sunday at Table 19

table 19

© Dawn M. Miller

Dave closed his soda shop on Sundays for two reasons. As a devout Christian, he believed Sunday was the Sabbath and he refused to do business on Christ’s holy day.

The second reason was more complicated. He knew they needed to have some time just the two of them. Each Saturday night, right after he closed, Dave put two empty paper cups at their favorite table, number 19. When he opened up Monday morning, the cups were disposed of in the trash, one cup containing the residue of cherry soda, and the other an orange crush.

Nine-year-old Sara and her six-year-old sister Leigh died ten years ago in a car accident just a few blocks from their Grandpa’s soda shop. Weeks later, Dave noticed his supply of cherry soda and orange crush diminishing. Paper cups went missing, and the chairs at table 19 kept moving around.

Dave asked why they weren’t in Jesus’s loving hands but Heaven didn’t answer.

Maybe they missed their Grandpa and his sodas too much to go, at least for now.

I wrote this for the FFfAW Challenge-Week of April 25, 2017. The idea is to use the photo above as a prompt to write a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 175 words long with 150 being the ideal. My word count is 173.

I’ve been thinking of my Dad’s passing recently and am very happy to be back home to be with my two grandchildren. I suppose that all got woven into the fabric of this tale.

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

Doing What’s Necessary

yosemite

© Maria @ Doodles and Scribbles

Yosemite National Park has gone downhill since I was a kid. We used to come here every Spring and Fall for the bicycle rallies. Some entered the races, but a lot of us just liked to ride around the main road inside the park.

Now look at it. Bastards have carved their initials into everything, and the park has been so defunded, that no one’s here to stop them.

Why doesn’t this country take care of its resources anymore? It’s all about building safe zones for people’s feelings, restricting free speech, and generally stroking the fragile egos of children who have no idea they have the strength to suffer someone else’s opinion and live.

It’s up to me and my generation to make it right, to show the kids coming up that they can be strong, too. The enemy isn’t someone else’s opinion, it’s seeing where there are real problems and having the courage to solve them.

I’m going into that water to get rid of the graffiti. Who’s going to come with me?

I wrote this in response to the FFfAW Challenge-Week of April 11, 2017 hosted by Priceless Joy. The idea is to write a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 175 words with the ideal being about 150. Mine comes in at 174.

I realize some of what I’ve written may be controversial. Many students on today’s university campus feel that free speech is hate speech unless it conforms specifically to their required norms. In my opinion, it’s not so much about safe places and the perception of microaggressions, but taking a look at real, tangible problems, and then diving in to help fix them.

In the late 1970s, every Spring and Fall, Yosemite hosted bicycle festivals and races. My friends and I would drive up from the Bay Area and participate. It was great fun, and a chance to visit one of the most beautiful nature areas in the world.

We really need to keep our priorities straight. No matter what your politics or social imperatives, we all have to share the same world, so we might as well all work together to protect it. We can come out of our shells long enough to do that, can’t we?

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

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.