The Greeter

umbrellas

© Dale Rogerson

This had to be a dream because Jae didn’t remember how she got here, and who would decorate a room like this? At only five foot two, the slender Thai co-ed felt tiny in such enormous surroundings.

“Hurry up.” The deep, masculine voice was coming from the shadows ahead.

“This is my dream and I’ll come when I’m ready.”

“You’re not dreaming.”

“But the last thing I remember was going to bed.”

“That doesn’t mean it was the last thing that happened to you.”

“Wait. The car accident…”

“Yes. Welcome to the afterlife, Jae. I’m here to sign you in.”

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields photo writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above to craft a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 100.

The image looked surreal to me, so that’s how I wrote it. With only 100 words to play with, I could only vaguely develop my idea. Poor Jae.

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

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The Assignment

clock

© J. Hardy Carroll

“I’ve got to write a hundred words about that?” The creative writing student balked when his instructor placed the ornate clock on his desk, which was to be used as a writing prompt.

“That’s the assignment, Mike. What’s the problem?”

“It’s hideous.”

“It’s an antique.”

“It’s repulsive.”

“Then you should be able to write a piece of flash fiction about something hideous and repulsive.”

“Do you remember the scene from ‘Office Space’ where Peter, Michael, and Samir take the office printer out and smash it to pieces? I can write about that.”

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields photo writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above as the inspiration for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 92.

Yes, that was more or less my reaction to seeing the prompt. Not all prompts are created equal and this one rubbed me the wrong way, so that’s what I wrote.

Oh, for those of you who haven’t seen the excellent 1999 film Office Space, here is a YouTube video (unedited, so language) of the infamous destruction scene of the office’s constantly malfunctioning printer.

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

The Wrong Moon

moon

© Gah Learner

“Honey, come here. The full moon is so beautiful tonight.” Robin and Noah Clarke were celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary in a small resort town and had just returned to their hotel room after dinner.

“Full moon?” Noah picked up his smartphone and started pushing virtual buttons.

“Can’t you leave that thing alone and come watch the moon with me, please?” Minor annoyance etched her voice. “We’re on our second honeymoon…”

“That can’t be the Moon. Moonrise isn’t for another hour and the window faces west.”

Robin turned and looked out again. “Oh my God. You’re right. It’s getting bigger.”

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above as the inspiration for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 100.

The light in the photo is apparently the Moon, but then again, what if it isn’t?

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

So That’s What Happened To Grandma

shed and mirror

© Dawn M. Miller

Lionel thought it was a strange place to put a mirror until he saw a piece of paper taped to it saying “Free.” Then the glass was a swirling black as if thousands of iron filings were being moved around by an unseen magnet.

He gaped in awe as another image appeared. “Grandpa’s shed.”

He remembered playing there as a boy. Then a younger Grandpa appeared.

“What’s that he’s dragging? The man slipped and the heavy tarp unfolded for a moment, spilling out part of its burden. Lionel recognized the corpse from old photos. “So that’s what happened to Grandma.”

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields flash fiction challenge. The idea is to use the image above as the prompt for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 100.

Given the mirror, I thought I’d add another wee chapter to my Dark Mirror series along with tales such as Reconstructing Gwen and Darfur Misspelled. If I had more than 100 words to play with, I could have expanded this a bit, but hopefully it tells a complete story anyway.

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

Peace on Earth

tribute lights

© Carla Bicomong

We launched the candles. The tribute was organized by telephone and mail so it was really hard, but we did it.

“Hi. I’m Jill.” She startled me. I’d been listening to other people talk, but I assumed they were already friends, I mean real life friends.

“I’m Dave. Pleased to meet you.” We shook hands and I started to blush. “Sorry. I’m a little nervous.”

“Me too.”

“Everyone’s so much nicer than I expected.”

“That’s the point. twitter, Facebook, Instagram turned us all into opinionated monsters.”

“But now that we destroyed them, there’ll be peace between people.”

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields flash fiction challenge. The idea is to use the image above as the prompt for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 97.

After yesterday’s “challenging” series of conversations on twitter (which admittedly, I asked for), I decided that the people I briefly sparred with are most likely much nicer human beings in person than they are on twitter. Libertarian commentator and Orthodox Jew Ben Shapiro even admitted that he’s more snarky on twitter than he is in real life. I suppose it’s the nature of the beast, the “beast” being social media, and particularly twitter.

So in my wee fantasy, I killed twitter, Facebook, and the rest of them. Would that bring peace to mankind? Probably not, but it wouldn’t be so easy to insult and slander people we don’t know if they didn’t exist.

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

Death by Bic

messy desk

© Yvette Prior

“Between the booze and the coffin nails, it’s like a monument to death, right Turner?”

Detective Gerard Harrington waved his hand over the desk of the deceased while nodding at Officer Dawn Turner.

“I guess so, Sir.” She wasn’t a fan of the flamboyant homicide investigator’s style, but everyone in the department knew he was the best in the business. “So this was a murder?”

“Nah. It’ll take an autopsy, but I’m betting these leaky cigarette lighters he collected did him in. Lung disease didn’t help, but it was the butane fumes that killed him.”

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields flash fiction challenge. The idea is to use the image above as the prompt for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 95. Do you know how hard it is to write a murder mystery in less than 100 words?

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

Planning and Timing

wheatgrass

© Ronda Del Baccio

“Wheatgrass might even kill cancer cells. You should try it.” Jack Murphy proudly displayed his small window box garden to his friend Martin Katz.

“I appreciate your support, but…”

“But nothing. Couldn’t hurt.”

“What do you do with it?”

“I’ll show you how to…”

“Oops. Got an oncologist appointment. Be back soon.”

“Good luck.”

“Thanks.”

Martin stepped outside and walked the two blocks to Telegraph Avenue. Dashing across the street toward the bus stop, he didn’t see the speeding driver running a red light. Martin didn’t make it to his doctor’s appointment.

“Man plans, God laughs.” -Yiddish Proverb

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields flash fiction challenge. The idea is to use the image at the top as the prompt for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 98 (including the proverb).

I know this one is a little dark, but while it is prudent to plan for the future and to take all reasonable steps, ultimately, we don’t control the universe.

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

Fairy Dust

stacks

© Sandra Crook

He had let the garden go after she died. Erin was six when she was hit and killed in a crosswalk. She believed fairies sprinkled magic dust on the plants to make them grow.

After Jared and Paulette divorced, it had been just the two of them. Now he was alone in the backyard at night.

At first, he thought he was dreaming when he saw them. He walked closer to the stacks and got on his knees. They were little people with wings spreading dust. One came nearer, right up to his face. The little fairy smiled. “Hi, Daddy.”

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above as a prompt to craft a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. After a lot of editing, my word count is 100.

My wife buys a lot of things at yard sales because they’re cheap. This includes a ton of children’s books for our three-year-old granddaughter. We have several books in the Pinkalicious series (no, I’m not kidding), and my granddaughter loves them.

In one of the books, Pinkalicious believes fairies come every night to sprinkle dust on their garden to make it grow, and she and her brother Peter, not only camp out in the backyard at night to see them, but build the fairies a pretty impressive little house.

That’s where I got my basic idea.

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

Breaking the News

san juan island

© Ted Strutz

I took Mom and Dad to their favorite restaurant at the end of the pier. We ordered what we always order, creatures of habit and all that, and I admitted to myself I was going to miss it.

“I don’t know how to say this, but we’re moving away.”

“Moving? Tom, did you get another job?” It came as quite a shock to Mom.

“You’ve lived here all your life, son.”

“I know Dad, but it’s gotten so expensive. The cost of living here is out of control. I’m moving the family to Idaho. I promise we’ll visit often.

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields flash fiction challenge. The idea is to use the image above to craft a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 99.

I feel I’ve written half a story. When I saw that the photo credit was Ted Strutz, I looked him up and found he lives in San Juan Island, Washington. I’ve read about how the exceptionally high cost of living in major western population centers such as Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco is driving people to other communities, including Boise and its suburbs. The story sort of put itself together after that, and an expanded version would probably tell a more complete tale.

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

The Digital Muse

houses

© Dale Rogerson

Another day, another sunrise. The sky is an ugly, pale yellow, and life is bland and uninspired.

“Hey, you.”

Addy turned toward her laptop sitting on the small desk in her bedroom. The speakers were on, so it was chattering away at her again.

“What do you want? I’m depressed.”

“Get over here. You have to finish your story. Marguerite’s trapped in that waterfront warehouse by Marsden’s goons. Will Preta be able to save her? You’ve got to help.”

A twinkle appeared in Addy’s eyes as she sat down at the computer, opened the file, and began to write.

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields flash fiction challenge. The idea is to use the image above as the prompt for crafting a poem or story no more than 100 words long. My word count is 99.

To me, the image is pretty depressing, a smoke-filled summer sky, and the promise of another scorching day. The original version of this story before I edited it down, was more descriptive, but there’s only so much you can do with 100 words.

I leveraged characters from my story The Haunted Detective, and as far as the talking computer goes, I’m leaving that part rather vague.

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