NaCumbea

olive

© A Mixed Bag

Time Traveler Martin Fields was spending Tuesday evening experimenting with the perfect vodka martini. The single olive might offend James Bond, but Martin thought it was the appropriate garnish. No time travel assignment from Isis in more than two weeks, so he mostly focused on his non-existent love life.

Martin felt nauseous, but sure it had nothing to do with his drink.

“What the hell!”

The olive and thin liquid streams were rising out of his glass.

She materialized in the center of his living room in a purplish haze. The olive and vodka returned to gravity’s control.

“Hello.” She had an enchanting smile and a time jump suit to die for, if it was a jump suit. Could have just been a freakishly futuristic skin-tight catsuit laced with photo-circuits.

I sat up. “I suppose stuff like this shouldn’t surprise me.”

“It shouldn’t, Martin.”

Great. She knows my name and where (and when) I live.

“Name’s NaCumbea.” She didn’t extend her hand by way of introduction. “I thought now that you know the ropes, you should know you’re not the only one.”

Before I could respond, the purple haze around her brightened. “Come get me.” The chase had begun.

Written as part of Sunday Photo Fiction for February 26th 2017. The goal is to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. Mine is 199.

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

Again, I’m using my recurring time traveler Martin Fields, who first started training for this job in the story On Wednesday The Time Traveler Got Wet.

The Passing

snowfall

© Sarah Potter

Snowing again.

Tony took another sip of his bourbon. Perfect night for getting quietly potted.

His cat Merlin rubbed against his ankle and meowed.

“Hello, pretty one.” He took the cue and sat in his chair in the living room. Merlin immediately hopped up onto his lap and exposed his tummy for scratches.

“I’m glad I have you right now.”

Tony took another drink and felt the buzz increasing.

He’d buried both of his parents yesterday. They were both in their eighties and suffered so much near the end. Thank God his wife would be coming home from work soon.

Written for the 24 February 2017 edition of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioners photo writing challenge.

The goal is to use the photo prompt above to write a complete piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. Mine is exactly 100.

You can find other stories written based on the prompt at InLinkz.com.

This story has some slight basis in fact. Without going into too many details, my parents are declining rapidly and the end for both of them may be nearer than I wanted. It’s a good time to consider who we leave behind and who is yet with us.

Cyrille

brave

Photo: Provided by Kristen Johnson / KTVB.com

“Cyrille, we always knew there was something a little different about you, but we didn’t think it was this.”

Mr. and Mrs. Johnston were sitting on the sofa in their living room confronting her. They were always kind, but a bit reserved. Cyrille had been renting a room from them for a little over a year. She was three months away from graduating with her bachelor’s in mechanical engineering.

“I promise that it doesn’t make any difference in our relationship. I’m still the same Cyrille who’s lived here for the past year.”

“Well, that’s the problem, Cyrille.” Mr. Johnston was like one of those sitcom Dad’s from the late 1950s, always playing the role of straight man to utter seriousness. “We don’t think we can continue to rent a room to you.”

“But why not?” Cyrille started to get out of her chair, but then realized they might see it as an aggressive act.

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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 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.

World Under Glass

biosphere 2

© Sascha Darlington

The history of Biosphere 2, supposedly the world’s first self-contained biosphere, was always surrounded by scandal. The first mission couldn’t scrub the CO2 out of the air and illicitly vented it. The second ended with a horrific battle in upper-management. Biosphere 2 entered the 21st century under the guidance of Columbia University, using it for climate change research. The project had been sold to new owners, owners with the correct vision, ethics, and science. Now they declared that after five years of exquisitely correct execution, they had created permanently self-sustaining environments.

Tourism at the Oracle, Arizona site was booming as the Luna and Ares domes were being prepared to be removed and taken by wide-load flatbeds to the Virgin Galactic launch site near Mammoth. Then they were to be mounted on massive Helena V rocket boosters. The Moon’s first colony dome will arrive within days, with its human and animal population arriving the following year. The Mars colony dome will become fully operational five years later.

I’ve always been fascinated by the Biosphere 2 project, and was disappointed by the continued failures and scandals that followed it in the 1990s. It looks like the technology has improved drastically since then, but I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to create a 100% self-contained sustainable artificial biosphere. If we could and if that environment could produce everything it needed to support a population with no external inputs for an indefinite future, then colonizing the Moon and Mars would only be the beginning of a new era of human space exploration.

I wrote this story for the Sunday Photo Fiction – February 12th 2017 challenge. The goal is to use the photo prompt above to create a flash fiction story of no more than 200 words. Mine comes in at a mere 166.

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

Huastec

Av 5, Mexico City

© Google maps

Humberto waited until the rest of the workers knocked off for lunch. Then he went back to the part of the lot they were working on where he had found it. His mother was Aztec and named him Xochipilli after the god of feasting. His father forbade the ancient ways, so over the years, he met with other Aztecs in secret.

Mama taught him about their history and gods, which is how he recognized the stone figure of Huastec, the life-death idol concealed in the rubble. Who knows how many centuries it had been buried? He wrapped the figure in a small tarp and hid it in his truck. Huastec was a sign, a sign of the return of the rule of the Aztecs. Tonight, Xochipilli would meet with the others and plan. They would rise up. The first human sacrifice in centuries would take place next month.

huastec

Huastec – Brooklyn Museum / Creative Commons-BY

Written for the What Pegman Saw weekly photo writing prompt based on a view from Google Maps. The challenge is to use the image to write a piece of flash fiction of no more than 150 words. My story is 148. I did a 360 degree turn on Google maps and came up with a different view. I looked up the history of Mexico City and it has a significant Aztec presence. Then I looked up Aztec history and wrote my tale. I’m including a photo of Huastec for reference.

To read other stories inspired the what pegman saw, go to InLinkz.com.

Chasing the Zodiac

photo prompt roger bultot

© Roger Bultot

Martin Fields looked out window of his rented condo at a street recently swept of snow. “So primitive, Isis, but we won’t be here long.”

“It’s your fault we’re here at all.”

Fields turned to face her. She was beautiful by design, reminding him that she wasn’t human.

“How could I know he’d find my time machine? It was a one in a million shot that he figured out how it worked.”

“We gave you time travel so you could enforce justice.”

“We traced him to 2014, forty years after the Zodiac Killer disappeared. This time he won’t get away.”

I wrote this as part of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers Challenge. Using a photo prompt, authors are supposed to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words in length. My wee missive weighs in at exactly 100.

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

There are two influences for my story. The first is the Star Trek original series episode Assignment: Earth. The starship Enterprise travels back in time to Earth of 1968 to do historical research and encounters a human being beaming from a planet light years away to New York City accompanied only by a black cat.

The man is the descendent of humans taken to another planet thousands  of years ago by an alien race to be trained as secret agents intended to guide humanity to become a peaceful race. The agent’s name is Gary Seven (played by the late Robert Lansing), and he made a similar statement about primitive humanity looking out the window of his penthouse down at the streets of Manhattan. His cat was named “Isis” and was actually an alien metamorph.

The second influence is the 1979 film Time After Time. In late 19th century London, writer and visionary H.G. Wells (played by Malcolm McDowell) invents a time machine which is then stolen by his friend Stevenson, who has been discovered to be the notorious murderer Jack the Ripper (played by David Warner). Wells chases Stevenson to 1979 San Francisco to stop him from killing more women and somehow to bring him to justice.

In my case, I changed Jack the Ripper to the Zodiac Killer, who is believed to have murdered up to 37 people in the San Francisco Bay Area during the 1960s and 70s.

I added a twist. Future humanity didn’t invent time travel. It was a gift from non-human entities who have chosen certain people to act as their agents, doing justice across history.

I know. You’re probably getting bored  of  time travel stories by now, however I want to see how many I can write based on these prompts.

Addendum: If you liked this story, I’m featuring the same characters in another, slightly longer tale called On Wednesday the Time Traveler Got Wet.

The Nurturing Tree

broken tree

© Shivangi Singh

Savannah hated to see the old tree taken down, but the thunderstorm three nights ago had broken its trunk, and it was a danger to her home and family.

She’d lived in the same house across from the park since she was a little girl. She had fond memories of climbing in that tree. She remembered the summer when her Dad built her and her brothers a tree fort.

She was just starting to encourage her own three little ones to explore the adventure of the tree when the storm took it away.

The tree was also a symbol of everything else Savannah had lost. Her husband Jeremy walked out of the house and family. He said he couldn’t handle the responsibility anymore.

Savannah has been divorced for four months, and in those months, she became stronger than Jeremy would.

She and her babies had lost the man they thought was their tree.

The broken tree wasn’t gone, just transformed.

Savannah’s life had been transformed, too. She would always be her children’s strong, nurturing tree.

I wrote this as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story, in the range of 125-175 words with 150 being ideal. The story is based on the weekly photo prompt. For more information go to Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers.

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

The word count is exactly 175.