Redemption in a Playground

photo prompt liz

© Liz Young

I used to be like this junk. Drinking, smoking, a broken plastic person. A terrible father. A worse husband. Disreputable, divorced, self-destructive. But that’s before they were born. My grandchildren. They made me believe in myself because they believe in me. Now the man I was is just like this stuff, discarded. I’m sitting on this hill watching them frolic on the playground in the park below.

“C’mon down and play with us,” Johnny shouts.

“Yeah, Grandpa. Push me on the swing,” Cindy adds.

I stand up and walk toward my redemption.

Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioners challenge. Based on the photo prompt above, you’re supposed to write a complete story of no more than 100 words. Mine came in at 93.

To read more stories based on the prompt, go to


Ill-Gotten Treasure


© J. Hardy Carroll

“This is junk, Sydney.”

“You’re an idiot Jerry. It’s treasure, not junk. You know how much these old bottles and trinkets are worth on eBay?”

“A buck ninety-five?”

“How did I get such a lunkhead for a brother?” Sydney regarded her twin with disdain.

“Okay, If you say they’re worth big bucks, they’re worth big bucks. Now what?”

“Now we take them, but carefully. Don’t break anything, Jer.”

“Good thing the old geezer left plenty of boxes and bubble wrap, eh Syd?”

“Shut up and get to work.”

“You don’t have to be so mean about it.”

Sydney ignored Jerry’s whining. They’d acted just in time. The makeshift sign next to the shelves indicated their Grandpa was going to sell this stuff, probably for a fraction of their value. He didn’t care. He was rich.

But when Sydney and Jerry were arrested again, this time for assault and theft, he told them and their parents he was writing them all out of his will.

The only way the twins could recoup part of their losses was to smother the old man in his sleep and sell off any tangible objects he owned for as much as they could get.

Written in response to Sunday Photo Fiction – February 5th 2017 flash fiction challenge. The goal is to write a story of no more than 200 words based on the photo prompt above. My submission is exactly 200 words.

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