Julio the Explorer

boat

© The Storyteller’s Abode

Stranded on a sandbar, Julio pointed to the rocks ahead of him and loudly declared, “I claim this land in the name of Philip the First, King of Portugal.”

Some said he was drunk. Some said he was mad. The children pointed at him and laughed, making up silly and insulting rhymes about Crazy Julio.

“I don’t care what you think. I claim this land. It is mine. King Philip will honor me.”

“King Philip has been dead for over four-hundred years.”

“To you maybe little one, but he lives for me.”

Julio jumped from his boat with a small Portuguese flag in his hand. “I shall plant this here in honor of Philip and Portugal.”

The children laughed and ran away. They’d like to have come back later to steal the flag, but it really was his estate. His family had owned the land in California for generations. Julio was neither drunk nor mad. He just liked to have fun and to entertain the children.

I wrote this for the FFfAW Challenge for Week of July 25, 2017. The idea is to use the photo above to prompt the writing of a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 175 words long with 150 words being the ideal. My word count is 166.

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

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 Proprietors

aliens and devil

© @any1mark66

“It wasn’t enough for you to just visit Jackson Hole like all the other tourists, you had to listen to that vagrant and take us down some little back road and we end up here.”

“You’ve got to admit Sheila, this is pretty unusual.”

“I want to go back to town, Frank. This place is scary.”

“Just a bunch of cheesy looking statues.”

“That’s what they all say, folks.”

Frank and Sheila turned to see an old woman, the one who’d been talking to the cashier when they first looked into the shop.

“My great-granddaddy told me all about it, even wrote it down, about the day aliens and the devil fought right here for possession of humanity.”

“Who won?”

“It came to a tie, young man. They share ownership of us. If you want to come into the back of the shop, I’ll introduce you to our proprietors.”

Written for FFfAW Challenge-Week of June 27, 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 idea. My word count is 149.

To read other stories inspired by 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.

The Solution

camping site

© Pamela S Canepa

“This is a good place to camp, Dallas. Let’s stop here.”

“We could keep hiking and find some place less rocky, Grant. We’ve got another good hour of daylight.”

“Listen brother-in-law, I’m not as young as I used to be. Let’s rest here tonight.”

Dallas laughed. “That’s ex-brother-in-law to you. Julie and I have been divorced a year now.”

Grant pulled off his backpack and started rummaging around inside. “You know Julie called me the other day.”

Dallas had taken off his backpack and was getting out his sleeping bag. “You can’t believe everything she says, Grant.”

“She said she didn’t get those bruises from falling down the stairs like you told me.”

Dallas looked up at Grant and froze. “Hey, you don’t need that.”

Grant aimed the .357 magnum at Dallas’ face. “You’re never going to hurt my sister again. No one knows we were going camping together. They’ll never find your body way out here.”

I wrote this for the FFfAW Challenge-Week of June 6, 2017 hosted by Priceless Joy. The idea is to use the photo above as an inspiration to create a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 175 words long with 150 being the ideal. My word count is 156.

To read more 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.

The Long Dark Winter

freezing

© 2013 loniangraphics

“God it’s cold out there, Simon.”

“You say that every time you go out for supplies. Of course it’s cold. How’d you do?”

“The Rogues’ shipment from down south came in early. Paying those mercenaries cost a lot, but I managed some oranges and strawberries this time. How about you?”

“Got enough fuel from Old Man Mayberry to last us a couple more weeks at least. By then, he says he can get us some more.”

Carrie set her groceries down on the counter. It’s only a one room cabin, originally built as an artist’s retreat several miles outside of town, but now Simon and Carrie Mitchell call it home. Being small, it’s easy to heat, which is important, since the overall global temperature averages 3 to 4 degrees F less than it did before the Indian-Pakistani nuclear war five years ago.

It’s a limited “nuclear winter,” not quite like all of the disaster movies of the previous decade, but it will be fifteen years at least before the climate begins to return to pre-war levels.

I wrote this in response to the FFfAW Challenge-Week of May 16, 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, with 150 being the ideal. My word count is 174.

When I saw the photo, after turning over a few possibilities in my mind, I settled on the topic of large scale nuclear winter. I first thought that it would be set off on purpose by a madman to counter the effects of climate change.

Then, doing a bit of research, I decided to lessen the effect and scope to show that even a “small” nuclear conflict could do long lasting damage to the environment.

I imagined that traditional government would break down, at least in certain areas, and that mercenaries would provide necessary services for an inflated price.

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