Missing Her

coffee cup and sunglasses

© shivamt25

His two grandkids laughed. Grandpa had given his coffee cup a face.

“What should we name him, Shelley?” The four-year-old girl twisted her face in serious contemplation, but her six-year-old brother Riley was quicker to respond. “Harold. It looks like a kid in my class.”

“What if it’s a girl coffee cup?”

“How can that be, Shel? It’s Grandpa’s coffee and Grandpa is a boy.”

“He can have a girl coffee if he wants to.”

“I think Shelley has a point, Riley. There’s no law that says my coffee can’t be a girl.”

“So what name do you want to call her?” Riley put extra emphasis on the “her”.

“Hmmmm. How about we name her after Bubbe.”

The kids got suddenly silent. It had been two weeks since his wife left to stay with her sister and “rethink” their marriage.

“I miss Bubbe, Grandpa. When is she coming home?”

“Yeah when, Grandpa?” Riley added.

“Tonight I’ll call her and say I miss her too.” Riley and Shelley cheered.

I wrote this for the FFfAW Challenge-Week of September 26, 2017. The idea is to use the image above as the inspiration for crafting a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 175 words long. My word count is 168.

Things are fine at home, thanks. This isn’t about me or anyone really. I’m just aware how my grandchildren miss their Bubbe (Yiddish for Grandma) when she’s not around and thought I’d increase the tension a bit. Besides, the coffee cup and sunglasses does kind of look like a face.

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

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The Way Home

leaves

The leaves made a long-forgotten sound as she walked across the field. Danielle took a deep breath and let it out, watching the white mist sail out in front of her. She wasn’t used to the cold. She’d spent nearly a decade in the desert helping the dragons reclaim what was theirs. The war was finally over. The dragons won but Danielle had lost so much. Her brother died defending what was right. She came back home and discovered Mom and Dad died in a car accident.

Now she was going back to the only home she had left. Grandpa had grown old but he was still alive. Ten years ago, she sat on his lap and he read her the first story about the dragon’s quest, how the demons had taken their homes and put them into exile. She was only a girl when she found the stories were true. She was barely a teen when she stepped through the portal to help.

Now she was back. There. His cabin. Smoke rising from the chimney. She could almost smell his pancakes. She opened the door. He never locked it. “Grandpa, I’m home.”

“Darling. I’ve missed you,” he replied smiling.

I wrote this for the Sunday Photo Fiction Challenge for September 24th 2017. The challenge is to use the image above as the inspiration for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is exactly 200.

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

New Love

Sambor Prei Kuk Temple, Cambodia

© Google 2013

“My darling, it’s been so long.”

She approached her lover near the steps of the temple. He was as she remembered him and she was also unchanged and unchanging across the vast expanse of time.

“Beloved, we are finally alone, alone to love and be loved.”

“They have not loved. Their world, the one we gave them…”

“I know, Shakti. That’s why we are here.”

“Yes, Shiva. To make the world we gave them, to remake it.”

The nude couple, parted for centuries, approached each other slowly.

They came together and embraced with passion. Shiva the Supreme Being and Shakti the goddess of female creativity made desperate love on the steps of Sambor Prei Kuk Temple in what is now known as Cambodia. When Shakti gave birth again, humanity would have the gift of a brand new world and hopefully, they will take better care of this one.

I wrote this for the What Pegman Saw writing challenge. The idea is to take the Google street map image above and use it as the inspiration for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 148.

Today, Pegman takes us to the Sambor Prei Kuk Temple in Cambodia. I Googled the location and Wikipedia told me all about the temple, Shiva, Shakti, and the meaning of the terms Lingam and Yoni. Since all that seems pretty sexy, I played fast and loose with mythology and decided to have a little fun as well as offer a bit of hope.

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

Shiva and Shakti

Shiva and Shakti

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.

The Visitors

spaceship

From “The Invaders” television program (1967-68)

The strange irony was not lost on David Vincent when his car’s GPS device failed to lead him to the all-night diner off the old state highway and instead revealed a horrifying discovery.

“Damn it.” The young architect, driving through a remote area of Arizona after meeting a developer at the proposed site of a new data center, wanted to grab a cup of coffee before continuing his drive back to Los Angeles. It was after midnight and he was exhausted. Instead of a hot coffee and maybe a pastry, he found a restaurant closed for over a year. No town, not even a gas station within miles.

“I can’t make it. Got to get some rest.”

He pulled his Audi R8 off to the side of the building and after stepping out to relieve himself on a dying shrub, returned to the car’s interior and prepared for an uncomfortable nap in the front seat.

At first he thought he was dreaming. There was a shrill sound getting louder, fluctuating in tone. David opened his eyes and looked out the windshield. Off to his left, around the corner of the building. Bright, multicolored lights. He got out and hiding in the shadow of the old diner, peered around the side.

It was big, about the size of a two-story house. A short cylinder flaring out at the bottom. Three…no, four landing struts. It was setting down. There were windows in the top part of the cylinder. He could see figures moving inside. Then a light shone down one of the landing struts. Stairs. Figures were coming out. People. No, they couldn’t be.

“It began with a closed, deserted diner, and a man too long without sleep to continue his journey. It began with the landing of a craft from another galaxy…Now, David Vincent knows that the invaders are here. That they have taken human form. Somehow he must convince a disbelieving world that the nightmare has already begun.”

The Invaders was an American television show that ran on ABC in 1967-68 and starred Roy Thinnes as David Vincent, a man who had witnessed the landing of an alien spacecraft and learned that their intention was to invade and take over the Earth.

The last bit of narrative above in italics is taken from the opening title sequence and was dramatic as heck to me when I was thirteen years old.

I was reminded of the show when I read a piece of fan fiction earlier this morning, so I decided to recreate that opening for 2017. Below is a YouTube video of the show’s opening sequence. To find out what happens to my version of David Vincent next, read The Hidden.

Pretending to be One of You

city at night

© Pamela S. Canepa

The night. So dark, so comforting, especially in the early Autumn. But it’s too busy, too many people, too much traffic. I’ll wait until later.

In the meantime, I’ll pretend to be one of them. A man going home after working late at the office. Someone commuting to her night shift job. A young couple going out to dinner and a movie. An older couple off to see a play. I’m just one of them, a nameless person in the crowd, moving along the sidewalk, past businesses and apartment buildings. Waiting for the light to change, crossing the intersection.

Finally, the crowds thin, the pace slows, the night deepens. No one can see my scars. Her house is just ahead. She used to be my wife. They used to be my children. But then war changed me. They said “go home, go back to your old life.”

The war changed me. The man I was died. I am only a soldier. They call me a “homeless vet,” like it was a badge of honor.

I wrote this for the FFfAW Challenge-Week of September 19, 2017 hosted by Priceless Joy. The challenge is to use the image above to craft a piece of flash fiction no more than 175 words long. My word count is 174.

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

Why I Came Back

apartment building

© John Robinson

He could feel the blood seeping down his calf from his injured knee. He wished he could enjoy the morning air, but he had to finish this.

Just go over the bridge to the apartment complex, find which one is her’s break in, and then wait. She left for university over an hour ago but she’d be back by noon.

He pressed different buttons on the intercom and as each resident answered, he said, “It’s me.”

Only one opened the door for him, but that’s all he needed.

He had found a first aid kit in the pantry, bound his wound, and cleaned up the blood. He was sitting in a kitchen chair when he heard her unlock the door.

She didn’t see him at first in the darkness. Then she turned on the light and gasped.

“I won’t hurt you. Please sit down.”

“Who are you?” She was trembling.

“Please sit down. I need to tell you what happened to your parents.”

She stood in the middle of her living room. “My mother. She shot my father and then committed suicide.”

“No, Nika. I killed them, but that was a long time ago. I’ve come back to tell you why.”

I wrote this for the Sunday Photo Fiction of September 17th 2017 writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above as the inspiration for creating a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is exactly 200.

I think it was in the film The Bourne Supremacy (2004) that Jason Bourne confessed to a young Russian woman why he had killed her parents when she was a child. It was his first kill, and one where he was specifically manipulated to forget what he’d done. When he finally started recovering his memories, he felt he owed it to the young woman to explain that he had murdered them rather than have her continue to believe her mother murdered her father and then committed suicide.

When I saw the photo prompt, it reminded me of that particular sequence in the movie, so I decided to recreate it. I know that’s horribly unoriginal of me, but it was the very first thing to pop into my head.

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

Day Three

shadow man

Image: jimharold.com

The worms are back, eating me inside. I can feel them nibbling, inside my back, my right side, feasting on my flesh, my organs.

They’re doing something to my skin. I itch all the time, especially when I’m trying to sleep.

Sleep seems hopeless. I lie awake at night scratching and worrying and feeling myself being nibbled away at. When I feel myself about to drift off, my wife tells me to stop snoring. Then I can’t sleep.

I go out to the sofa. It’s an old sofa. It endured our children growing up. Now it sags and endures me. It’s no use.

I get up and try to read, do something productive. That’s when I realize how tired I am. How I wish I was asleep. I can’t concentrate.

I try to talk to God, but my mind wanders. I read the Bible earlier when my mind was clearer. Glad of that because now when I try, I end up reading the same verse over and over again.

Continue reading

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 Incomplete Circle

man and flowers

© shivamt25

Today Sanjay became a grandfather. He fondly recalled his own grandfather, who helped him understand we make our own joy rather than depending on possessions or people’s opinions. When his parents died, grandfather raised and comforted the boy.

The old man died and Sanjay went to America taking his grandfather’s spirit with him. Otherwise, he would have remained alone and bitter in a strange land. Instead, he met Riya. She fell in love with the old man’s soul Sanjay nurtured within him.

Life was good with their three sons and one daughter. Now it was his daughter Saanvi who married and had given birth. Sanjay held newborn Divit. “I love you so much. I promise you all the love I have. Someday, you’ll love your children and grandchildren the same way.

Yesterday, Dr. Benedict, his oncologist gave him good news. His cancer was in remission. “There’s no promises, but right now, you’re cancer free.”

“Promises are from God, Doctor. I know I will live to care for many grandbabies.”

Within Sanjay, his own grandfather smiled.

I wrote this for the FFfAW Challenge for the Week of September 12, 2017. The idea is to use the image above as inspiration to craft a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 175 words. My word count is 175.

The fellow in the picture seemed so happy and the environment, particularly the flowers, made me think of a hospital waiting room. I decided to create something optimistic, and being a Grandpa myself, this is what I wrote.

In editing and re-reading the story, I feel it a bit forced. Really, it’s something that requires about 200 words or a little more to flesh out. Hopefully, this will do.

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