Posts Tagged ‘flash fiction’

Originally published on July 12, 2012, this story is based on a man we often see on our walks around the small lake only a few blocks from our house, fact presented as fiction in 100 words.

Lakeside for our evening walk, we see him in the garden, engendering life, whatever the weather.  His garden is verdant: deep green leaves, fruits and vegetables of varying hues, brilliant flowers.  A radio sometimes  shatters the silence (whether he’s nearby or not—perhaps to keep away birds.)  We attempt a  compliment, but he speaks no English.  “Beautiful garden”, accompanied by an expressive gesture including the whole.  He smiles; we smile.  He sounds eastern European, lives with his daughter and her husband, wrapped in his lack of English, speaking through his garden and the trellised grapevines that shelter and surround it.

Time for another Friday Fictioneers story.  Remember, these are 100-word stories based on a photo.  This is my second story for this great group, four years ago.  By the way, welcome to 2017!  (Yes, I know this isn’t a buzzard, but it is fiction!)

buzzard

copyright Roxann Phillips

Look alive.  Here comes a buzzard.

Basta!!  You see me (looking dramatic in B&W, I think) and I know what you imagine: death, evil, decaying  flesh.

Contemplate for a moment. Where would you sci-fi, futuristic doom-mongers be without me?  Your future always holds darkness, war, and death. Bodies everywhere.  So you need us.  The carrion-birds.  Cleaning up your messes so you don’t die of terrible diseases due to all that rotting flesh.  (Zombie apocalypse people, this means you, too.)  A little gratitude wouldn’t come amiss!

But instead? “Bird brain” is bad enough, but “buzzard breath” and “old buzzard?”  Beyond the pale!  How would you feel?

………………………………

(The title is a saying by Lady Stella Reading.)

Almost four and a half years ago, I started writing a weekly hundred-word story based on a photo for Friday Fictioneers.  I kept at it for over three years and only stopped because the group had grown so much that I couldn’t read all the other stories, not that it was a requirement, but because I felt I should if I expected everyone else to read mine. This was my first hundred words.

 

He looks out…
sees space,
sees opportunity;
feels freedom.

She looks out…
sees space,
sees emptiness;
feels loneliness.

He looks down…
sees crops,
sees growth;
feels anticipation.

She looks down…
sees dryness,
sees obstacles;
feels discouragement.

He looks inward…
sees challenge,
sees work;
feels tall.

She looks inward…
sees questions,
sees work;
feels uncertain.

He looks toward her…
sees beauty
sees courage;
feels tenderness.

She looks toward him…
sees caring,
sees fortitude;
feels  resolution.

They look outward…
see opportunity,
see hardship;
feel purpose.

They look together…
see the sunrise,
see each other;
feel love.

Has it really been three years already?  Evidently so, although it’s difficult to believe.  I’m reprising my entire post, opening paragraph and all.  A bit of nostalgia, followed by a bit of….well, that would be giving it away.

Friday Fictioneers says good-bye to creator Madison Woods this week and hello to our new home with Rochelle Wisoff (no “h’)-Fields, http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/. Madison, we hope to read your stories often; Rochelle, thanks for taking up the torch. Now sit back and enjoy the read. As always, click on the little icon at the end to access all the stories. Oh, yes…thanks, Ron, for the picture.

copyright-Ron-Pruitt-300x240

Forever, Love

Their f­­­irst trip to their daughter’s as new citizens and their 60th anniversary. Truly a special day! He smiled at his wife; took her hand. He knew she really didn’t look the same as when they met, but that’s what his heart saw. Thinking of their grandchildren, he tightened his grasp; chuckled.

Last stop before they arrived. Only a few people got off, including the young man who’d been sitting in front of them. As the bus started, he noticed the forgotten backpack. Perhaps they could stop. He called to the driver, “Excuse…”

.

.

.

Bus Explodes—Terrorism Suspected
Over 80 dead

Time for another hundred words, despite being a bit distracted today by the news that my mom’s in the hospital for a few days with a UTI and blood infection.  Thankfully, the former caused her to go for testing, which discovered the latter, making it much easier to treat.  An IV antibiotic should kick them both out on their not-so-merry ways.  Fortunately, the story more or less wrote itself in my mind while on the way home from work the other day.

Thanks to David Stewart of The Greenwalled Tower for the photo prompt and to Rochelle for hostessing the menagerie of writers each week.

David Stewart2

Memories may be beautiful and yet…*

“Wow! The houses look so small. I remember them as big.”

“The tree we used to climb is gone. Wonder if the creek’s still there?”

“Oh, man, looks like Love Canal or something. There’s that spiky gate Jimmy almost impaled himself on.”

“Remember when…” and we were off and story-telling. Joe’s hands shaped paper boats like the ones we used to float in the creek. Jimmy, Joe, and Jenny. Inseparable. Until they left.

I launched every boat, one for each year. “Ooh Rah, Jimmy,” we both said softly. Joe saluted, then turned the wheelchair around and headed for the car.

 

*Thanks to Alan and Marilyn Bergman for the line from their song, “The Way We Were.”

Recipe for a Friday Fictioneers story:

Take one photo.
Add some thought. (Amount is optional.)
Shake (or stir, James) to make 100 words.
Enjoy immoderately.

Serves one or more. No calories.

This week’s photo is from a Friday Fictioneers stalwart, Jennifer (ElmoWrites) Pendergast.  I’m sure it has a much happier memory than the story I derived from it.

Missing

I miss my dad.

He took us on hikes where we found green frogs and slithering snakes, taught us to swim and always splashed us, gave us piggyback rides, told us stories.

That was before he and Mom started fighting.
Before her bruises.
Before she fell down the steps and broke her arm.
Before he was gone.

Mom made a pile of stones, one for every year he’s been gone. That’s where I go over the good times so I don’t forget them. Or him.

Mom said it’s a place I can remember Dad.

They remind me of a headstone.

What you see in a photo is not always what others see.  In fact, if you’re a Friday Fictioneers author, odds are high that there will be no story like your story, that what you see is not what others see.  We like that, strive for that.  Some stories flow directly from the photo, others take devious routes through the author’s thoughts and experiences before being born.  That’s the fun of it:  100 words creating a bit of flash fiction all your own.

If you’d like to read, write, or both, a click on the blue creature at the end of the post will take you into Wonderland, a place where often you pray that the stories are truly fiction.  But you never know!

copyright Sandra Crook

copyright Sandra Crook

Buried Alive

Cold. Damp. Smells of earth. I can barely move.
Stretch tentatively from my curled position.
Soil coffin, oppressive darkness.

I’m impelled to try to move.
I push upward…

but which way is up?
What if I’m wrong?

Harsh, cold, packed ground.

Push.
Push.
Don’t stop.
Don’t think.
Attack!

Finally a bit more warmth.
Some give.

I strain, thrust in the tiny space. More give. Friable earth.
One final effort. One last blow.

I’m out! Grey sky overhead.
I rest, exhausted.

I have arrived in spring. Not yet time to bloom, but I can wait. I have more growth to accomplish.