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.

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.

The Chair On The River

mystery chair

© Ted Strutz

Bill and Betty enjoyed walks along the river. Usually, it was beautiful and unremarkable, that is, until the chair. It was standing on the water as if waiting for someone.

“That’s impossible, Bill.”

“Probably not. Bet there’s a sandbar and someone in a boat put it there as a prank.”

Just then, they heard a rustling in the brushes behind them. A mediterranean looking gentleman appeared and said, “Excuse me.”

The pair moved aside and the stranger walked to the chair, sat, and waved.

“A trick.” Bill stepped into the water. Expecting to walk, his leg sank into freezing water.

Written as a response to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields 100 word photo challenge. The idea is to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long based on the photo above. My story’s word count is exactly 100.

To read other stories based on the prompt, 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.

Traveling the Road Back

old car

© Al Forbes

William Shaw was pulling the modified 1902 Cadillac Runabout behind his SUV to an abandoned country road where he would be unobserved.

He’d purchased it from an elderly widow, her husband’s pride and joy, but the old man lacked stamina and finances to restore this beauty.

Shaw unloaded the Cadillac at his destination. Appropriately costumed, he got in and activated the controls. He’d spent a century building wealth and the time transmitter so he, an immortal, could go back and correct his worst mistake. This time, he’d arrive in Southampton and prevent his beloved wife Julia from boarding the Titanic.

I wrote this piece of flash fiction in response to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers challenge using the accompanying photo prompt, and attempting to write a complete story in 100 words or less. I managed exactly 100 words.

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

I am somewhat manipulating the plot from the 1980 film Somewhere in Time starring the late Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour.

In this case, William Shaw, an immortal, or at least very long-lived person, met and married a woman named Julia in the very early 20th century. They had a falling out for some reason, and she left him. She boarded the RMS Titanic at Southampton on April 10, 1912, and died when it sank early the morning of the 14th.

Shaw is an immortal, but he can’t go back in time. However being an immortal, he has nothing but time and patience in amassing wealth and eventually inventing a method of time travel that could be incorporated into a vintage automobile (no, he doesn’t have to travel eighty-eight miles per hour).

In the original history, Shaw didn’t go after Julia and she died. This time, he intends to prevent her from boarding the Titanic and save her life. They’ll spend however many years they can together, until enough time passes and she finally dies of old age.

He creates one critical problem, though. Now there are two of him in the world, and from 1912 on, there will always be two of him.

The Corridor

corridor

© Dale Rogerson

Ken Watanabe wasn’t shown the entrance off the courtyard when he took over Santa Fe’s historic Museum. The ex-Curator gave him the keys. The door had been locked since 1943. No one knew why. There was no eastern door inside, but it was apparent on the outer wall.

Hesitantly, he used his key, opened the door, and saw a lit, multi-arched corridor. Then he heard a voice at the other end. “Glad those Japs were locked up after what they pulled at Pearl Harbor.”

His father was interned here 74 years ago on Ken’s first birthday. He never opened the door again.

There’s a larger story being told but it’s hard to compress into 100 words or less.

The photo reminded me somewhat of Southwestern architecture, which is why I placed my tale in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I wanted to do a “corridor through time” story, but I needed a date where the other end of the tunnel linked. I looked up Santa Fe at Wikipedia and discovered that during World War Two, it had a Japanese Internment Camp. Beginning in June 1942, 826 Japanese-American men were arrested and imprisoned.

I remember actor George Takei saying that when he was a small child, he and his family were similarly interned because of their Japanese heritage. Thus my tale was born.

I wrote this as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. The goal is to write a short story of 100 words or less based on the photo prompt you see above (and as I mentioned, I just made it at exactly 100 words).

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