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.

The Pest

garden

© Yarnspinner

Mornings were lovely here. Jim sighed as he took his cup of coffee and book to the table in his garden. He could finally afford the peace and quiet a lifetime of working had denied him.

His wife had passed away and the children all had lives of their own. He tolerated the occasional holiday or summer visit, but found he preferred his own company.

“Hey there, neighbor. Welcome. Great garden. Mind if I have a look? Thanks.”

“Who the hell…?” Jim rose to his feet and found his right hand being vigorously shaken by a paunchy, balding man in baggy shorts and a garish Hawaiian shirt.

“Bill’s the name. Glad to see a new neighbor. Sure that we’ll be best friends. What kind of garden you got? How about a cup of coffee? Cream and sugar if you’ve got it.

Jim got coffee, the sugar, the cream, and added an abundant portion of strychnine, not enough to kill the pest, but enough to make him think twice about coming over for refreshments again.

This was written for the FFfAW Challenge of the Week of May 9. The idea is to use the photo prompt above to create 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, visit 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.

This Isn’t My Home Anymore

yarnspinner

© yarnspinner

It’s all changing. My home, or what’s left of it, is barely recognizable. Hard to believe I grew up here. This used to be the field where I flew kites, played tag with my friends, where we ran around pretending to be superheroes.

We sure could have used a few of those, but now it’s too late.

The K’trn didn’t make contact with Earth by radio or landing ships on our planet. We found out about them when we detected the bioweapon heading toward us from space. In spite of all the talk of building a defense against asteroid strikes, we couldn’t stop the thing in time…and it was just the first of many.

I’m sure the K’trn don’t call them bioweapons. I wonder what their word is for terraforming? That’s what they’re doing, changing Earth’s climate, atmosphere, everything, so it’s like their home planet.

They should begin colonizing their new world, the Earth, any day now.

I wrote this for the FFfAW Challenge-Week of April 4, 2017 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. My story comes in at 157 words.

Today, April 5th, is First Contact Day. In the 1996 film Star Trek: First Contact, April 5, 2063 is the day when Vulcans make first contact with humanity after they detect the warp signature from Zefram Cochran’s experimental warp ship, the Phoenix. I hear some Star Trek fans actually celebrate this day. I thought, in honor of the occasion, I’d write a first contact story, though mine is much more grim.

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