Posts Tagged ‘short stories’

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!)


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.)

How much of a story can be told in 100 words?  You’ll surprised if you tune in each Wednesday for the photo prompt for Friday Fictioneers and read the stories that emerge!  To access the list, click on the link critter at the bottom of the page.  Stories are added daily (at least until the next prompt is out), so come back to read more.  This group has some very talented and imaginative writers, so you’re sure to find something you love. And if you’d like to participate, there’s always room for another story.

Bottles-Marie Gail Stratfordcopyright Marie Gail Stratford

Truth and Consequences

In vino veritas.”

Kate and her friends had joked about that phrase during high school Latin. This morning, she dimly remembered sharing way too much veritas last night while being too much in vino. Groaning, she swallowed acetaminophen, wishing it could also take away the pain of reliving how she’d comprehensively trashed Joanna’s taste in men, particularly her fiancé. Even more unfortunate, if not cataclysmic, she also recalled lurching around to see said fiancé behind her. After that, things were mostly fuzzy, but truth be told, she thought the chances high she’d find herself defriended and not just on Facebook.


Fictioneer: n. 1. A person who participates in a weekly challenge to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt.

2. A person who tells stories that may or may not be based in reality.

3. A person addicted to writing once a week, 100-word stories. No cure is known.

I’m back on the traveling road today through the weekend, but I couldn’t pass up Dawn’s beautiful photo, even though I may do something less than beautiful with it.  Forgive me if I don’t get to your story and thanks for reading and commenting on mine.  Yes, it’s fiction.  🙂  A second story insisted on being written as well, but I’ll post that tomorrow, so if you’re interested, feel free to drop in and let me know which you prefer.









a p a r t.


Too much to do, too little time to do it.
Things I don’t know how to do, things I don’t want to do.

Sometimes I’m on the outside looking in, hitting the glass, trying to get people to see me. They’re making fun of me, talking about me.

I feel worthless.
I feel great.
Work’s great.
Work’s screwed up.

I’m screwed up.

Everything should be in its own compartment but it won’t stay there! It bleeds into other parts of my life, makes a mess, makes me a mess.

What do I do now?

Someone help.



Friday Fictioneers writing is  based on the seemingly simple premise of telling a complete story, based on a photo prompt, in 100 words.  Believe me, it’s much more difficult than it appears at first thought.  But each week, close to 100 of us blithely give it whirl, with what degree of success you may feel free to determine.  My story follows.  The link to the stories of the group is found at the very bottom of my post.  If you wish to be a part, we welcome you.  The rules, such as they are, can be found here each Wednesday, as well as information on how to link your post so others can find it.  It’s fun, great practice and so very addicting!

P.S.  Yet another travel week coming up, so I won’t get to all the stories and not any posted late Saturday or thereafter.  Apologies.  Destination?  Costa Rica!!  Completely new place and experience, mother-daughter time, my Christmas gift from a year or so ago.  🙂

copyright by Dawn

copyright by Dawn

Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Night

Night approached inexorably.  Sometime, in the dark next to his wife, tears seeped from the darkening corners of his eyes.   He’d have preferred deafness to the malaise that would gradually take all light, stealing the painting that fed and shared his soul.  No choice had been offered.

He sought to burn each image into memory’s always-living  (though sometimes changing) files, walked through the house eye closed (“training runs”), painted with manic speed, producing  images torn from his innermost soul.

One day he returned from the art store armed with clay and began to practice.  He vowed he’d not go gentle.


Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

~Dylan Thomas

Friday Fictioneers.
Look at a photo.
Craft 100 words to tell the story that inspires you.
Share it with others and share your thoughts on their stories.
Repeat weekly.
Learn.  Enjoy. Hone your craft.

Wednesday’s a travel day again, a day that will transport me from balmy mid-70’s to single digits or below, but also a day that takes me home to my husband, a trade well-worth it!  So be patient with me.  I’ll be reading and commenting as soon as possible.  In the meantime, enjoy.

copyright Björn Rudbergs

copyright Björn Rudberg

For Want…

Years spent in marriage-building
	Careful construction
	Stone upon stone
Time spent together in
	Love and laughter
	Work and play
	Shared interests and activities
	Busy-ness and leisure
	Sickness and health

Rain waters.
Growth occurs.
Beauty flowers.
Seasons pass.

Betrayal one hot summer night
	“It just happened once.
	 You’re all that matters.”
Roots of distrust grow slowly
	Pushing apart
	Stone by stone
	Dirt thrust aside
	Gaps open
	Structural weakness 

Rain erodes.
Walls crumble.
Only ruins.
Forever winter.

For want of a nail the shoe was lost;
The horse…
The battle…
The kingdom was lost.

All for the want of a horse-shoe nail.

Read stories by other Fictioneers by clicking below.

I enter the land of no internet tomorrow as I board the plane to visit my parents in Arizona.  Of course there is internet, but to get it, I have to go to the nearby library or a Starbucks which I’ll do, but not for long each day.  This will be family time and I intend to enjoy it.  I’ll be blogging every day but won’t be able to get much reading done, so apologies in advance.  The almost-two weeks I’ll be there will fly by all too quickly but will be fun, even while I’ll miss Bill.

For those of you not familiar with Friday Fictioneers, a weekly photo prompt serves as the springing-off place of a story of 100 words.  Sounds easy, but it ain’t necessarily so.   You’re welcome to join by going to the home page or just read any other stories by clicking on the link at the end of mine.  Warning!!  It’s very addictive.

My story this week is non-fiction.  We sold our house at the end of August and, in a week, moved from the home we’d lived in for 28 of our 29 married years.  When we put the house on the market, I emailed the realtor once about something at “our home.”  He told me to think of it now as a house, not a home, that you sell a house. “Home” has an emotional connection it’s best you to try to avoid when selling. This story springs somewhat from his wise words.

copyright Dawn at Lingering Visions

copyright Dawn at Tales from the Motherland

A House is Not A Home

We found it accidentally shortly after our marriage.  Light streamed in through over-sized windows, sixties-hued carpet concealed hardwood floors, the kitchen sported forest-service green linoleum.  It seemed as if we could never fill the space.

Over twenty-eight years, we chose furniture, gloried in the light, decorated, planted, mowed, set up bird feeders, fostered pit bulls, hosted friends, enjoyed two daughters.  The space filled with laughter, learning and love.  House morphed into home.

When the movers left, light shone in, floors glowed, the paint was perfect.  Memory-filled house, no longer a home, waited emptily.

We drove away.

We didn’t look back.

Friday Fictioneers is predicated on the idea that you can craft a complete story with a mere 100 words.  To determine whether or not we succeed, click on the blue creature at the end of this post.  That will take you to all the stories that are currently up.  However, stories are continually added, sometimes until the Tuesday evening prior to the next picture prompt, which is posted in the wee hours of each Wednesday morning, so you may want to keep checking.  All authors love feedback, so add your two cents’ worth and if you like the story, “like” it.  You’re also welcome to participate.  The “rules” are found on Rochelle’s website, so join us if you if you’re so inclined.  We’re an eclectic, but friendly, bunch.

Copyright Sandra Crook

Copyright Sandra Crook

Friends, Romans, Countrymen

I stood, petrified, scarcely breathing.

Countless eyes stared silently back at me. Waiting.

Stomach churning, I sought desperately for a way out. Nothing.

At first, there were just rustlings, but soon, mumblings, then a few snickers. The mob, growing restless, ready for their fun. I knew what I was supposed to do, I just couldn’t dredge up the words to keep them at bay.

They grew bolder, the mocking more evident. They wouldn’t wait much longer.



…was rescued by the strident beeping of the alarm.  Too much “Animal Farm”!  Thankfully, it was time for Shakespeare.  And for some coffee!

If you read the comments, you’ll see that I got several suggestions for improving the piece and I did change the ending.  I’m including the original below.  What do you think?

“…was rescued by the strident alarm, jerked from a nightmare of standing unprepared before my senior literature class. Definitely time for some coffee!”

If you like to write, but have a hard time thinking of a subject, consider joining Friday Fictioneers. In the wee hours of Wednesday, (it used to be on Friday, hence the name), Rochelle, our despotic leader who holds all power, posts a photo prompt.  Thinking caps are donned all over the known world (and possibly elsewhere) and 100-word stories are churned out.  The resulting stories, of all genres, are posted on Rochelle’s  website,, and the fun commences.  Stories may be submitted until the following Tuesday night, when brain cells must be rested for the next day’s prompt.

You have the option of writing a/o reading, although if you write, you are encouraged to read at least some of the other stories. If you just want to read, that’s fine, too.  You’ll find the link to all the current stories at the end of my post or on Rochelle’s site.  We welcome newcomers, whether writers or readers, as well as “the regulars”, so please join us this week.




Hell of a lot of time to think on this job.  To remember.

This morning I realized her smell was gone, her flowery scent that had lingered so long.  I’d taken her clothes to the thrift store after she left, sold the house, didn’t respond to phone calls.    Everyone felt sorry for me, speculated about why she’d left.  I couldn’t bear it.

Finding her with someone else in my own house, in my own bed, had been too much.  Now I wondered where they’d gone, if the bodies would ever surface, if I were safe.

Lots of time to think.

Friday Fictioneers.

One hundred words, one story.
One picture, many stories.
Read more by clicking the link at the very end…
or join if you dare!

Icon_Grill_copyright Ted_Strutz

Icon_Grill_copyright Ted_Strutz


He almost didn’t go.  Too many miles in too few days, a week of writing deemed not good enough and erased, too many restaurant meals, too little exercise.  But he needed time to unwind before going home.

She sat, absorbed (as always) in a book, somehow more connected than those constantly online. He caught her eye, smiled, raised his glass.  Her grin and raised glass decided him.  Tonight he’d say hello.  He rose and…

jerked awake, sweating,  crying, catching that same grin in the picture frame as he rolled across the empty space on the other side of the bed.

Take heart, all ye brave Fictioneers
For Wednesday is finally here.
Look at the prompt.
Create what you want.
Work through the blood, sweat and tears.

One week I’m sure that I heard,
“One hundred words? That’s absurd!
I can’t tell my story
In all of its glory
With that few,” some authors averred.

Now that the deadline is near
Even tho’ that story’s so dear
If you wield the scalpel
Relief will be palpable
And your writing all that much more clear.

(Thanks for the striking picture, Jennifer, and for hosting, Rochelle; everyone else for writing and reading.)



Genre:  Science fiction


The searing light felt as if it plumbed the depths of his brain before he went under again.

“More anesthetic! Hurry the download.”


The once-a-month headache always emanated from his right eye.  His government-assigned doctor offered no explanation, assuring him the brain scan found nothing abnormal.  More disturbing were the sense of emptiness and the loss of short-term memory the next day; possible side-effects of age, he surmised.  As he proffered his pass at the high-level security gate, he wondered again why he couldn’t forget that jingle from his “Ancient Advertising” class:  “Is it live or is it Memorex?”

For those of you too young to remember Memorex (pun not intended but noted) , here are a couple links:

This week I had two stories and couldn’t decide which one I liked better.  I’m posting this one today and  I’ll post the other Thursday, then come back and edit this post so the link is included.  (Here’s the link for story #2: If you’d like to read both, wonderful; if you have more than enough other stories to read, I completely understand!  🙂  In the meantime, for stories by other Fictioneers, click on the little blue guy that follows and settle in for some fun.