The Pay Phone Puzzle

pay phone

© J Hardy Carroll

“What kind of phone is it, Grandpa?”

“An old pay phone. You used to put a quarter in to make a call.”

“Why not use a cell?”

“Well, little one, because they hadn’t been invented when people used these. This one is so low so that people in wheelchairs could reach it.”

“Who uses it now?”

“I don’t know. We’re in the Refugee Center so…”

“Ahem.”

Denise and Grandpa turned to see a refugee from the planet Gorlick behind them. He was green and only about a meter tall.

“Spare some change? Got to make a call.”

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

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

Not Kansas

vw in israel

© Kent Bonham

“You’re not in Kansas anymore.”

“Avi, you can’t believe how many times I’ve heard that since making aliyah.” Morris sounded annoyed but admired how well the native Israeli spoke English. Half the time he struggled to find the right Hebrew words in a conversation.

“Hey, what do you think of that girl over there? Maybe she wants a ride.”

Avi knew Morris was married, but loved to tease the shy American. Neither noticed as she reached inside her shoulder bag. They were both killed in the explosion along with seven schoolchildren who had stopped to admire the car.

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields photo 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. My word count is 98.

When I saw the image was titled “VW in Israel” and the Kansas license plate in the back window, I started writing without a clear end in mind. The story just formed itself.

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

Her Loveliness

janet webb

© Janet Webb

The Sun would be setting soon. The stage was set. The candle and amulet were in place, herbs were mixed and sealed in the urn. Most importantly the painting was there. It was unusual and very rare, the only one not cataloged as part of great-grandfather’s works. Maria had been great-grandfather’s lover for five decades. Enzo fell in love with her through reading his journals. The young man studied years to perfect the art. Tonight, on the eve of her death, Enzo would bring her to life out of the painting and in all her loveliness, she would become his.

Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Lewis’ Friday Fictioneers writing challenge. The idea is to use the photo above to inspire a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 100.

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

Drive Me Crazy

desk

© Claire Sheldon

I never understood her side of the desk we share. My side looks like a cyclone blew through the room. Papers, DVD cases, and coffee cups scattered everywhere. I’m always losing pens.

She’s so precise, so neat, except she’s a little careless with the stuffed animals our grandson gives her so she’ll be safe.

When she’s home, she drives me crazy, but after she’s gone a day or so, I find that I miss her. I like to think solitude doesn’t bother me, but in the end, I get lonely.

Come home soon, dearest. Please drive me crazy again.

Written for Rochelle Wisoff Fields’ Friday Fictioneers writing challenge. The idea is to use the photo above as a prompt to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is exactly 99.

This is an apt description of the desk my wife and I share in our den and how I feel when she goes on a trip.

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

The Crossover

ferry

© Ted Strutz

“The next leg of our vacation takes us on the ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria.”

“Honey,” Glenn’s wife complained. “You sound like a tour bus driver.”

Their two kids in the backseat groaned.

“Just trying to brighten the mood while we wait to get onto the ferry.”

Then the parents in the front realized they had bigger problems.

“Glenn, is everything…twisting?”

“I thought it was rain, but…”

Everything shifted and shimmered and then they were part of a line of cars on the Juan de Fuca Bridge, crossing not only the strait but into another universe as well.

I wrote this for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers photo writing challenge. The idea is to use the image at the top to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 99.

Decades ago, science fiction writer Larry Niven wrote a series of stories based on the outlandish idea that fog was not caused by water vapor but by a distortion between one quantum universe and another. A person who was in the fog might disappear from our world and reappear in a parallel one.

The image above seems to distort the cars and ferry we can see, and while in real life, this was probably caused by rain on the windshield, I decided to take it in a different direction. There really is a ferry that travels across the Strait of Juan de Fuca between Port Angeles to Victoria, northwest of Seattle, Washington, though I’ve never been anywhere near it (but Google is good).

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

Orlando

florida

© Dale Rogerson

Ramon didn’t want to leave the memorial. Every second there was a tribute to his pain. Even at four in the morning, it was hot and muggy. Loneliness was an oppressive blanket. Tonight he especially missed Hector, his laugh, his twisted sense of humor.

“The Pulse” had once been a haven for them and for hundreds of others. Hector was one of the 49 who died. Ramon still limped from the wounds in his leg.

On June 12th of last year, terrorist Omar Mateen took everything from Ramon, everything except his spirit to survive in spite of it all.

On June 12, 2016, terrorist Omar Mateen entered The Pulse nightclub, a popular entertainment venue for the LGBTQ community in Orlando, Florida, killed 49 people and injured 68. The anniversary was just a few days ago.

The haunting image found at Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog reminded me of it. The idea is to craft a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 98.

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

The Plants Have Taken Over

summer house

© Sarah Potter

Hadn’t been to the cabin since I was a kid. After Grandpa died, I forgot all about it. He only stayed here during the winter. I sat in the chair next to his desk. The plants had taken over everything. Still, I can almost hear his voice.

“I’m still here, boy.”

“What? Grandpa?” I looked around expecting to see him or at least his ghost.

“I’m still here. Look at the desk. Look out the window.”

“All I see are the…”

I’d forgotten how much Grandpa liked gardening, though he tended to let his plants grow a little wild.

Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 99.

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

Dearest Treasure

charred toys

© Karuna

She could hear the crying of her two dear little ones.

“Mommy. Fluffy Bear’s all burned up.” Fluffy Bear had been Emily’s favorite toy for all five years of her life.

“Monkey. Dolly.” Gwennie was just shy of two years and sobbed, lamenting of her two best friends who she took to sleep with her each night.

Their Mommy sat on the floor of her neighbor’s house and hugged her babies close. “It’s okay. The firemen brought out my two dearest treasures safe and sound. You.”

Written for this week’s Friday Fictioneers photo writing challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. The idea is to use the image above as a prompt to create a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 86.

I have grandchildren who have their favorite toys, dolls, and stuffed animals, and seeing the ones in the photo burned up only emphasizes that there are more important things to lose…and save.

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

Through the Debris

debris

© J Hardy Carroll

By some miracle, they survived the fire and the subsequent vandalism. Leah’s adversaries thought she must now be truly lost, but the stained glass works remained, still hanging by the unbroken windows. The second one from the right was what she was looking for.

Stepping lithely through the debris, she made her way to the map. “The people of this world tried to trap me here, but now I know the way home.”

The map showed her the hidden portal to her own dimension. It was only a few blocks away, but she knew she was being followed.

Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers writing challenge. The idea is to use the photo above as a prompt to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 98.

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

Three Women and a Story

diner

© Roger Bultot

I watched the three women asking Mel questions. He’s always had a soft spot for ladies with a sob story, but I knew he wouldn’t sell me out. He doesn’t know much anyway, except that he fills my take out dinner order for two, not one.

I feel a little sorry for them. Adolpho promised to marry each one. Too bad they met at Bingo last month and found out.

I think Adolpho is a rat too, but he is my nephew and blood is blood. Tonight I’ll get him across the border. After that, he’s on his own.

Written for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields photo writing challenge. The idea is to create a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long based on the photo prompt above. Mine comes in at 99.

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