Posts Tagged ‘writing from a picture prompt’

This is Day 3 of the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge.   I was invited to participate by Emilio Pasquale at “Photos by Emilio”. The challenge is  to “post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge”.  

Today’ nominee is Jan Marler Morrill at Jan’s the author of “The Red Kimono”, a novel about the interment of the Japanese in the US during WWII.  You need to read it.  She also writes haiku and explores various issues on her blog.

IMG_3748 (more…)

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!”

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.

Claire–lovely picture, excellent work.  Rochelle–the usual.  Friday Fictioneers–a joy and a privilege.   Read more–click on the cutie at the end.  Your mission, should you choose to accept it– enjoy!  It’s not impossible.

Just FYI, Thursday is a traveling day for me, so if you stop by and read and I don’t return the favor right away, don’t worry.  I will.  I read every story (unless it’s posted on Sunday or Monday and I’ve stopped checking), so I will look forward to reading yours with great anticipation.  And thanks for taking the time to read and comment on mine.  It’s always greatly appreciated.



It was the book’s fault really—accidentally dropped by her, fortuitously retrieved by him—sparking talk, the discovery of shared tastes.  Days later, a chance encounter at the coffee shop spawned laughter, the joy of shared thoughts, a frisson of attraction, the ease of friendship.

The coffee shop became their haven, a much-anticipated break from the everyday, always as if two halves were joined, the missing puzzle piece slotted into place.

Each time, replete, they went their separate ways, home to loved and loving families, anticipating the next completion. It could never be more, but it would never be less.

Merry day-after-Christmas to all the Fictioneers and their reader.!  I hope you have no post-Christmas hangovers of any sort and that your day was wonderful (and if not wonderful, at least as good as it could be.)  Since there’s no rest for the wicked, the Fictioneers are off on another adventure this week, so climb aboard and join the fun by clicking on the little critter at the end of the post to read all the stories.  Happy New Year and may 2013 exceed all your expectations!!

Copyright Jean L. Hays

Copyright Jean L. Hays

Breakfast Special

 The aroma of fresh cinnamon rolls and two-eggs-anyway-you-like-ham-or-bacon-toast-hash-browns-and-coffee made him wobbly.  Shoving shaking hands gun-like into his pockets, he summoned his inner James Dean, bad-boy look in place, lacking the dangling cigarette, because he hated them.

The grandmotherly woman smiled as he approached­.  “What can I get you?”

“Whatever’s in your register and no one gets hurt.”  (Crap, how trite.)

“There’s no need…”

Eyes flickering nervously, “Just open the register.”

“Really, you…”

Urgently…“Open it!”

Her hand emerged from the register with a workmanlike gun.   “I won’t give you money, but there’s plenty food and I can use a dishwasher.

It’s the pre-Christmas production of Friday Fictioneers, ably steered by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields and picture this week courtesy of Scott Vannatter.  The cute little link thing after my story will grant you access to flight of imagination of all sorts (AKA the rest of the stories.)  Feel free to post your own story and no matter what, have a blessed and happy Christmas/holiday.


‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
(With thanks to Clement Clarke Moore for the original)

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house
Just one creature was stirring and it wasn’t a mouse.
The stockings were hung on the mantel with care
Just a jump-able distance away in the air.

The tree looked delightful, amazing to see,
The perfect playground for a Christmas kitty.
The family was snoozing away for the night.
Now was the time for some Christmas delight.

All of a sudden, there arose such a clatter
They rushed down to see the whole lot in tatters.
But in the kitchen, there was nothing to see
Save an innocent-looking, complacent kitty!

I struggled this week to not run amok and re-write the entire poem because I had some great lines that I couldn’t get in to this version. (May do it another time.) However, I ruthlessly channeled my inner Rich/Nazi English teacher (NOT saying that’s you, Rich, but I know you’ll give me a hard time about it anyway) and pared and re-pared until I actually got down to 100 words, my goal each week just because it is. 🙂  I hope it gave you a good laugh and got you in the Christmas spirit!

Interesting in writing or reading flash fiction based on a photo prompt?  You’re in the right place.  You can read the “rules” and join in by going to   Or you may just read by clicking on the little purple cutie at the end of my story and checking back often to indulge in all the offerings.  The picture is from Friday Fictioneer at the Hawaiian office,  Douglas M. MacIlroy.  The entire shebang, started by Madison Woods, is ably continued by Rochelle Wisoff (no h)-Fields at  Join our merry band sooner rather than later.  Every day you wait, you’re missing out on the fun.

Almost forgot to mention that I’m scheduled, before bringing our younger daughter back for Christmas, to meet Fictioneers Sharon (newpillowbook) and Rich on Monday in Philly.  Pictures are sure to follow!!  

Doug photo-15

To Be or Not To Be

There it sat.
Looking real, features in place, calculations done, the detritus of their efforts everywhere.
It just sat there.

“Why can’t we do it?”
“No idea.  We’ve tried everything, even cloning, and done it right.  It just won’t sustain life.”
“We could email Dr. Joyce for more self-building molecules.”
“Didn’t work before.”
“Maybe it’s climate change. I’ll search online again.”

“Look!  Isn’t that a bit of ice over there?  Maybe there was something just for a minute or two.”

“I still think…”
“Don’t go there again!!”
“It’s Christmas.  Couldn’t we try ‘Let there be…’ just once?”


To read more about Dr. Joyce’s efforts, you may start here:

I love Friday Fictioneers, but sometimes it seems that it was just Friday (or Wednesday) only a few days ago.   Or is it just me?  If that’s the worst problem I ever have, I’ll be very fortunate!!  Rochelle, merci beaucoup for hosting and thanks to Rich for the picture.  Happy birthday to Ted, Kent, Mary, my mom (born on Pearl Harbor day), and any other December birthday folks!  (Rochelle, if you’re amassing birthdays, Bill’s and mine are both in March.)  🙂

My first thought was someone at the end of life thinking of all the choices made, one inside each door.  However, something ran amok inside my head and what emerged was a riff on that idea.  Or maybe just riff-raff.  Who can say?

100_7262-1 copyright Rich Voza

The Big Cheese
The Gjetost of Christmas Past

His mind wandered.  So many choices throughout his life.  Not all perfect, but he was satisfied.  Head of Dewey, Cheatum and Howe, Attorneys-at-Law, (plural intentional but deceptive—no other power here), people averted their gazes when he passed, feared him.  Life was good!

A knock.


“A Mr. Gjetost to see you.”  Fat Tim, AKA“Tiny”, handed him a card, departing silently but for his limp.

What the dickens?  This guy’s a Norwegian cheese?  Ebenezeer scrutinized the card.  Mr. G. H. Ost.  Tim and names!  Wonder what this guy wants?

“Mr. Ost, how may I help you?”

“Au contraire, Mr. Skruge…”

Friday Fictioneers has a new home with Rochelle Wisoff-Fields and to quote Yoda, “Rochelle, thankful to have you we are.”  You can access all the stories at  Read, comment, like.  (Wait!  Isn’t that a book about blogging??)  As for me and my blog, I’m happy to have comments and criticism, provided both are couched in positive terms without no bad language.  Now, without further ado, this week’s story.  (Any mistakes courtesy of sangria and a dinner of amazing tapas…blog to follow tomorrow!)

Copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields


I know immediately this couple needs the corner booth, with privacy and the view.  I leave menus, bring water and contemplate what that booth has witnessed.

Make-ups and break-ups.
Kisses and kiss-offs.
Tears of unutterable joy and inexpressible sorrow.
Eyes clinging and veering away.
Loneliness and forever friendships.
Hilarity and hysterics.

The gamut of emotions.

I came here, a callow waitress, in it for the tips, waiting to move on.

I stay on as owner and full-time town psychologist; the booth, my couch.  Therapy for the cost of a meal.  I stay out of love and need.  Theirs and mine.

Friday Fictioneers says good-bye to creator Madison Woods this week and hello to our new home with Rochelle  Wisoff (no “h’)-Fields,   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.

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