Symbol of Hope

justin - flag

Justin Schroeder, 36, in front of his home in Bozeman, Montana – Image found at Blue Lives Matter website.

When the kid walked up his driveway, Johnny recognized him as Randall Berry, who had moved to Boise with his family from Seattle last month. That didn’t surprise him one bit. Johnny got up from where he was sitting on his front porch as Randall approached. “Evening.”

“I see you still have that symbol of hate flying,” pointing at the American flag mounted to the right of Johnny’s front door.

“I see you had the nerve to back up that threat you made in the anonymous note you had the audacity to tape to my front door.”

“You should have done what I told you to do and gotten rid of the flag. I promised you a fight where you would lose.”

“Take your best shot you motherf-cker.”

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Stones

park

© Michelle De Angelis.

The beautiful park, the gentle couple strolling just ahead of him, the cool of the summer evening only made a dull impression on him, all because her blood had added one more stain to his soul.

“She was only three years old, God. Why did that butcher have to murder her?”

Detective Keith Simmons was due to retire soon. This would be his last murder investigation and he thought he’d seen it all. Then he saw the blood and her torn, battered body.

He suppressed sorrow and summoned rage. Prison was too good for that scumbag. There was a better justice.

“Excuse me.” He looked up and saw one of the people who had been ahead of him. “I believe you could benefit from this.”

Keith mutely accepted the note she was holding. As she turned back and started walking with her companion again, he unfolded it and read, “The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them.”

Tomorrow, he’d visit the child’s family again. It was his first stepping stone.

I wrote this for the 172th FFfAW Challenge hosted by Priceless Joy. The idea is to use the image above as the prompt for creating a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 175 words long. My word count is 175.

Yesterday, I read a news account (actually several) about how a man with a knife attacked nine people, six of them children, at a girl’s third birthday party. The three year old died.

After reading it, I wrote my own commentary, feeling the hope being drained out of life because of such events.

Today, I’m trying to be a bit more optimistic and not let things like this defeat my spirit. It isn’t easy.

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

Angel’s Eve

© Sunayana | MoiPensieve.com

© Sunayana | MoiPensieve.com

They rode through the city on their scooters on Angel’s Eve just before midnight. They rode through the avenues just as their parents and grandparents had before them.

The streets were filled with celebrants and anticipation. They could only hope that this would be the year she would return.

The clan Dunnmerry rode the lanes, waved at the crowds, and shouted “Happy Angel’s Eve.” The people in the crowds waved back with the greeting, “May she return to bless us.”

The brightly lit banners, all white and feathered, adorned every boulevard and byway. Just a few minutes left. The Dunnmerry riders arrived in the square. They got off their scooters and looked up expectantly.

Midnight came but not the Angel. They would have to wait another year and hope she would return to free them from the occupiers. The lights went off and a voice crackled out of loudspeakers all over the city.

“Return to your homes. Maintain order. Work begins in the mines promptly at 6 a.m. by order of the Commandant.”

Written in response to FFfAW Challenge-February 14, 2017. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story, based on the photo prompt above, between 100 and 175 words, with 150 being the ideal target. My story comes in at 173 words.

To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit InLinkz.com.

The Friendly Dinosaur

railroad

© C.E. Ayr

Ginny remembered her Daddy as she stood overlooking the railroad yard. She was just three years old when he showed her that first train up close. It was moving slowly; large and stately, like a friendly dinosaur. The engineer looked down at her and smiled. She waved shyly back. She’d loved trains ever since. Someday, she’d teach that same love to her children and tell them how much she adored the Grandpa they would never meet. Ginny left the train yard and went back to work in the oncology ward. She hated the cancer that had taken her Daddy.

Written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. The idea is to write a piece of flash fiction with a max limit of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

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

Today’s story is exactly 100 words long.

The Child Came Home

boy coloring

Image: Children’s Advocacy Center of Grayson County, TX website

Julian was 35 years old when reality became too much for him. It wasn’t so much his dull job at the accounting firm, or his break up with Jill after seven years of living together. His parents think it must have been the disappointment, the loss of hope for the future that took his mind and spirit. He had such expectations at the beginning of November and now in December, they were crushed. So Julian’s parents watched as he sat on the floor of his old room with a coloring book and crayons. He was their little boy again.

This was a piece of flash fiction (less than 100 words in this case) I recently submitted to The Drabble. I received an email from them saying it didn’t meet their needs, so I figured why waste it? Yes, it is a commentary on how some people, at least according to the popular press, are so overwhelmed and dismayed by Donald Trump’s recent election win, that they seem to retreat into less “mature” behavior. I wasn’t poking fun at these individuals, but rather trying to communicate the tragedy involved in such decisions.