The Hunter Goes North

portal, nd

© Google 2014

There’s not much in Portal, North Dakota. The population is a little over a hundred, but it’s one of three ports of entry from Canada. It’s also in the Bakken Oil Field region, which makes it expensive as hell to live here. Fortunately, I’m only visiting.

I found his hiding place in an oversized load on the back of a flatbed on Railway Avenue. It’s just after dawn, so I know it’s safe to approach him. His wealthy mother hired me to find him after she discovered what happened. Being a vampire hunter isn’t much different from being a private eye, except the weapons are different. I’ll dispatch him, provide photographic proof for my client, collect a nice fat fee, and remind myself that I’m also doing a public service taking another bloodsucker off the streets.

I wrote this for the “What Pegman Saw” photo prompt writing challenge, which this week takes us to Portal, North Dakota thanks to Google Maps street view.

The idea is to use the photo as a prompt to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 137.

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

Through the Debris

debris

© J Hardy Carroll

By some miracle, they survived the fire and the subsequent vandalism. Leah’s adversaries thought she must now be truly lost, but the stained glass works remained, still hanging by the unbroken windows. The second one from the right was what she was looking for.

Stepping lithely through the debris, she made her way to the map. “The people of this world tried to trap me here, but now I know the way home.”

The map showed her the hidden portal to her own dimension. It was only a few blocks away, but she knew she was being followed.

Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers writing challenge. The idea is to use the photo above as a prompt to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 98.

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

The Guide

fishing

© The Storyteller’s Abode

“This place is no good, Mom. Too many people. Too much activity.”

“No, it’s not like your Dad’s favorite fishing hole.”

“Not by a long shot. I know I promised you an exotic vacation after Dad died, but maybe we’re better off at home.”

“You’re right, Mike. We should honor your Dad. Let’s go back to Enterprise. I’m sure the eagle will greet us.”

“Sounds good, Mom. We’ll save some of our catch to feed to him, just like Dad did.”

Mike helped his Mom up off of the beach. An hour later, they had booked their flight back to the U.S.

Somewhere in Southwest Utah, an Eagle sat on his perch overlooking Enterprise Reservoir and waited. The eagle, the old man’s spirit guide, escorted him into the next world. Now he watches over the reservoir waiting for the man’s widow and son. The man is gone, so the eagle is now responsible for their lives and their souls.

Written for the FFfAW Challenge-Week of May 23, 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 ideal. My word count is 159.

My Dad passed away a little over a month ago just one day short of his eighty-fifth birthday due to complications related to cancer. Last Saturday, my family interned his ashes near his favorite “fishing hole” at Enterprise Reservoir.

Dad regularly fished there with two or three friends, usually on a Friday. They tell a story of a large eagle that nests near where they fish. One day, the eagle was eyeing their catch very closely. Dad took one of the fish he caught and tossed it up. The eagle soared down, caught it, took it back up to its perch, and ate.

After that, often when they fished, the eagle was there and seemed to recognize them. At one point, it launched itself downward, flew underneath a fishing pole line with its wingtip within just a few feet of one of Dad’s friends, and scooped up a fish they had thrown back in.

I was sorry the eagle wasn’t present to witness Dad coming to his final resting place, but in my imagination, I thought of the great bird taking Dad’s spirit into the next world.

Goodbye, Dad. I miss you.

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

Traitor

traitor's gate

© A Mixed Bag 2009

Traitor’s Gate. Entrance to the “last mile”. It describes the final moments of Dr. Marcus Young Smith.

The gate rose before him and his silent guards. He wore the traditional white shirt and black trousers of the condemned.

At thirty-nine, he would be neither the youngest nor the oldest person executed for high treason, but he would be the only one terminated because he was innocent of all charges.

The Governor was standing beside the steps of the gallows rather than seated in the gallery. Smith stopped at the foot of the steps.

“You maybe leave us,” Governor Drake ordered the four guards. They looked at each other puzzled.

“Go.” Drake whispered the command but it had the force of a shout. They retreated.

“Any last words, Dr. Smith?” The traditional question the Governor asks of the condemned, but this time it wasn’t heard by the public in the gallery.

“You are the traitor Drake, but to avoid civil war, I give my life.”

“A good little soldier to the end, Smith.”

Smith gave his life for his country to avert war. A generation later, revolution broke tyranny’s back and Dr. Smith’s name was venerated as a hero.

Written for the Sunday Photo Fiction for May 21st. The idea is to use the photo prompt above to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is 198.

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

U is for Umbrella

u is for umbrella

© James Pyles

After he opened his eyes, it took Daniel long seconds to remember what had happened to him. His head hurt. He ached all over. There was sand. Some reeds. What was on top of him?

Part of the passenger car, really, just a bunch of shattered boards and upholstery, but it formed a kind of shelter around him. Good thing none of the metal parts of the car landed on him.

When his thoughts were clearer, he started moving his fingers and toes, then slowly his arms and legs making sure everything still worked. Except for general aches and pains, he didn’t feel anything that said he had broken bones.

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S is for Sheep

s is for sheep

© James Pyles

Daniel’s eyes widened with terror as the enormous bird of prey descended toward them with the speed of a hawk.

“This is going to be close, Daniel.”

He could feel the grip of her pinions tighten around him, securing the boy to her body, then she suddenly changed the angle of her descent, making an almost vertical dive for a group of trees at the edge of the plains. She twisted so she presented her belly rather than her back to the roc’s talons in a desperate effort to protect the ten year old.

He felt the shudder of an impact and heard Olivia cry out, and then Gerald was ascending.

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Three Women and a Story

diner

© Roger Bultot

I watched the three women asking Mel questions. He’s always had a soft spot for ladies with a sob story, but I knew he wouldn’t sell me out. He doesn’t know much anyway, except that he fills my take out dinner order for two, not one.

I feel a little sorry for them. Adolpho promised to marry each one. Too bad they met at Bingo last month and found out.

I think Adolpho is a rat too, but he is my nephew and blood is blood. Tonight I’ll get him across the border. After that, he’s on his own.

Written for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields photo writing challenge. The idea is to create a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long based on the photo prompt above. Mine comes in at 99.

To read other stories based on the prompt, visit 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.

The Long Memory

piazza navona

© Sally-Ann Hodgekiss

“This is the man I saw when I was in Piazza Navona, Officer. The one who vandalized the Fontana del Moro.”

“Thank you, Mr. Russo. We have your statement and the court will contact you about his trial.”

Giovanni Russo left the police station and two police officers escorted the vandal to an interrogation room.

“Sir, you have no identification. Who are you? Why did you decapitate the figures on the Fontana with a rock?”

“Stop questioning him, Romano. He should have a lawyer.”

“He isn’t asking for one, is he, Bianchi?”

Both officers looked at the mysterious man. They’d never understand the thoughts transpiring behind those ancient, haunted eyes.

Piazza Navona had been built on the site of the 1st century Stadium of Domitian where the Romans went to watch the games. That was where he’d died for the first time. Since then, an endless stream of reincarnations brought the horror back with each lifetime. Now in 2011, his current incarnation was quite insane.

Written for the Sunday Photo Fiction – May 14th 2017 writing challenge. The idea is to use the photo above as a prompt to create a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is 164.

On September 3, 2011, the Fontana del Moro was really damaged by a vandal, though he was photographed by security cameras rather than seen by a live witness.

Also, the Piazza Navona really was built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian. I used these two bits of history to craft my wee tale this morning.

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

L is for Lion

l is for lion

© James Pyles

The King.

Of course, it was a lion. It wasn’t cowardly. It was angry.

He seemed larger than a typical male lion, but everything seemed unrealistically larger here. His mane was the color of burnt wood and his fur was a rich golden hue. The King’s eyes were glowing green, the shade used in many comic books and cartoons to indicate radioactivity. Here, in this unreal world, it seemed a dangerous reality.

“You’ve caused us some trouble, young Daniel.”

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