Found at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. Image credit not given

Gerald jumped at everything, even when nothing was there. In spite of the warm, spring afternoon, he wore thermal underwear beneath his faded, torn denim pants, and two sweaters under the ancient, tattered, and stained Navy pea coat.

Long, tangled hair, white as the snow still on the mountains around Tahoe, shot out from his stocking cap, random stalks of alabaster wheat waving in the breeze.

Sad, brown eyes stared down at his worn trainers, the left one completely bereft of shoelaces, as they shuffled one after the other across the sidewalk’s concrete and cracks.

The voices muttered in his ears, and in the dankness of his squirming gray matter, a restless beast always striving to escape the prison of his skull.

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Julio the Explorer


© 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

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

The Voice

woman nagging


Won’t she ever shut up? She keeps going on and on and on about the most inane topics. I’m losing my mind. I’ve done everything I can to put up with her, but she keeps running her mouth and I think I’m going to die.

There she is, lying at my feet, her throat opened literally from ear to ear. Her blood’s pooling under her. I’m sure it’ll ruin the kitchen’s hardwood floor but I don’t care, do you hear me? I don’t care. Just to add punctuation, I take the knife I killed her with and throw it on the floor as hard as I can. It makes a nice dent and adds more blood splatter to the floor and cabinets.

I don’t know what I’m going to do now. I’ve done everything I can, but I can still hear her in my head. That incessant nag, nag, nag. It won’t go away. She’s dead and her endless monologue still won’t go away.

I walk over to the knife, stepping in her blood and tracking it across the floor. I pick it up, hold the blade to my throat, and do the only thing I can think of to make her voice stop forever.