Friday Fictioneers 12/23/16: Dear Diary

To get involved in this week’s 100-word story challenge, visit Rochelle’s site.  This week’s photo is courtesy of Roger Bultot. My story’s below the photo.

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Dear Diary,

Tonight after play practice, Sheila, Janice, and I drove to Rudy’s Drive-In for burgers and root beers. We’d planned on going inside, but as soon as we drove up, I recognized Jimmy’s car. He was with Roberta!!!

I talked the girls into settling for curb service so that I could scrunch down in the back seat and watch Jimmy’s car. He and Roberta were totally absorbed in each other – laughing, having a great time. When our burgers came, I couldn’t swallow a single bite.





Adoption – flash fiction

I wrote this story almost two years ago for a flash-fiction writing challenge, and I’m not sure why it’s been on my mind and heart the past few days. But it has been, and I figured that was a good reason to give it another few minutes in the spotlight. 


raincarnation40 / pixabay

Hair bristled on my neck. I was bein’ followed. I whirled ’round and found Zanzibar ploddin’ behind me, head down, tail draggin’.

“Hey, boy,” I said, squattin’ down. “Where’s ol’ Toby?”

Zanzibar whined, licked my hand, whined again. Somethin’ was wrong. Zanzibar and that ol’ hobo were thicker’n fam’ly. They came through here first week of ever month. Stayed ’till the coal train came through and stopped at the crossin’. But this weren’t the first week. Where was ol’ Toby?

I hunted three days for Toby; no luck. Reckon that lung problem finally got ‘im. Zanzibar’s tail’s still draggin’, and he won’t let me out of ‘is sight. Reckon I got me a dog.


Friday Fictioneers 12/2/16: Solitary Confinement

I’m determined to participate in this week’s Friday Fictioneers. The prompt for the 100-word story is the picture below, compliments of Jan Wayne Fields.

PHOTO PROMPT © Jan Wayne Fields

Copyright Jan Wayne Fields



He crossed out the date. Two years now – and only a little crazy. The symptoms had abated, but government doctors weren’t negotiating about his exile.

“Sorry, Nigel,” they’d said at the last visit, looking through the visors of their protective headgear and patting his arm with their sterile gloves. “Lessening symptoms don’t mean anything. The disease won’t die out – until you do. There’s still no cure. Total isolation is still mandatory to avoid spreading. We appreciate your obedience in staying strictly within the circle painted around your camp. The cameras show you’ve been diligent about it.”

He sat now staring at those cameras. He’d rigged them to cover for him, and so far no one suspected a thing.




Friday Fictioneers: October 28, 2016

I haven’t had opportunity to take part in Friday Fictioneers for a while, so I’m enjoying getting back into the swing of things this week. The photo is courtesy of Peter Abbey To take part in the 100-word story challenge visit Rochelle here.  My story is below the picture.

PHOTO PROMPT © Peter Abbey


The lush Georgia countryside stretched and drowsed along the river. Union troops who had crossed the enclosed bridge lay behind trees and bushes, rifles ready. Their informant had guaranteed the Rebs would be hauling cannon and ammunition across the bridge just before sundown.

Bennett tasted bile; his heart pounded. From the time he’d made his choice, he’d known this moment was bound to come, but he wasn’t ready. Men and wagons approached the bridge, unaware, steadily making their way across. Leading the contingent was the younger brother he’d helped raise. Tears traced Bennett’s dirty cheeks as he aimed his rifle.





Prompt Nights # 29: Loss & Madness

sad_face-sweat-greenThis week’s prompt delves into the various aspects of loss and the volatile  emotions it can cause — and considers the possibility that there is a strong connection between loss and madness. I’m offering two pieces for this challenge. The first is a poem that considers loss without the madness — although making the decision to let the wrong person go from our lives could very possibly help keep us from going mad. The second piece is a work of prose that I actually posted in the past in connection with an entirely different challenge, but it seemed to fit this one so well that I thought it deserved a second bow. It does include a degree of madness connected with loss


Let him go.
It’s time to admit you’ve been a fool
And take possession back of your own soul.

At first encounter
You saw the good was mixed with bad
The right choice then by now would make you glad.

But foolish child,
You were intrigued, so closer crept
And threw out counsel that you should have kept.

“Do not touch.”
Three words so easy to understand;
Unguardedly, you opened heart and hand.

It’s harder now,
But still you have to make the choice.
And this time listen to the wiser voice.

You call it love,
But such a love that’s unrequited
Just leaves the soul living life one-sided.

Even if
He claimed to share the love you feel,
The danger of forbidden fruit is real.

Let him go.
And pray the feelings soon will die.
To hope for more would be to live a lie.

Let him go.


I’ve thought about you countless times this past year. I sometimes wish I hadn’t been so hasty to make the decision. There are days when I wake up thinking how good it would be to still have you beside me for a few hours. And, of course, every time I make the curried chicken casserole I think about you. It’s downright lonely in the kitchen these days. And I don’t even cook most of the time. I do carry-out.

I don’t order from our favorite Chinese place, though, and I don’t go in there anymore because they almost always ask me, with sadness in their eyes, how I’m doing now that you’re gone. That gentle couple who own the place really got to like you. I think you were probably their favorite customer during the three years we ate there. I miss the Chinese place, and some of the other haunts we made our own. But I’m finding new interests and new friends, and things will work out.

But — sometimes — on a summer evening — when the windows are open to the gentle night air and someone’s laughter floats across the breeze, it reminds me of your laugh. I think that’s one of the things I miss most about you. You were so abandoned when you thought something was funny. You never held back.

But then, as well as I can remember, you never held back on any emotion. And that fact, of course, is what finally led me to make my decision. You just couldn’t seem to hold back on your feelings for all the other men in your life — even my best friend — a man I’d thought would have my back through thick and thin — especially after all we’d been through together in the war. But you were just too much for him. He fell just like all the others. And so I made the decision.

Yeah — as I consider it all again now — I know it was the right thing to do. It put a stop to the hurting for me and for all the rest of ’em too.

The only thing is that — on nights like tonight — with the fragrance of the roses you planted drifting in from the garden — and the radio playing an old song we used to dance to — well — I have to admit to myself at least — I do feel just a little sorry that I poisoned you.


To participate in this week’s challenge, visit “A Dash of Sunny.”



100-Word Challenge for Grownups # 186

Julia has offered us another 100-word challenge this week with the following prompt:

“… looking back, I remember …”

I have to confess that I’ve cheated a tad. I’m about 19 words over, but I just didn’t have any more time to spend cutting it down further.




“Looking back, I remember how easy everything was – especially communication.”
“Tell me, Grandpa.”
“Computers ran everything, including phones and automobiles.”
“And almost everyone could be reached by Internet.”
“I’ve heard about Internet.”
“It’s been twenty-two years since the grids went down.”
“And that shut everything down?”
“Yep. Nothing could be manufactured, vehicles couldn’t run, almost all communication shut down. Our nation had been attacked by E-bombs, and our irresponsible government had no back-ups.”
“Did we fight back?”
“Couldn’t. No way to fire missiles, no planes. And once we were down, other free nations were attacked. The whole free world reduced to walking, writing with wooden pencils, and bartering goods for food and water. Grandson … your generation has a big job ahead of it.”




100-Word Challenge For Grownups – Week #184

Julia’s back into the swing of things with her 100-Word Challenge for Grownups this week. The prompt is the following phrase:
“… and just when Harold thought it couldn’t get any worse …”

Visit Julia’s blog to get the details of participating.


Harold slapped the alarm, grabbed the remote and clicked on the TV as the lottery numbers came up. Grabbing his ticket, he checked off the list.

“I won! I won!” He jumped out of bed, stepping on his boxer, Dolly.

“Woof! Woof!” Dolly joined in the excitement.

Barely thinking, Harold threw on clothes and started downstairs. Dolly ran under his feet, and Harold tripped, rolling down the flight in record time. Rubbing is head and his tailbone, he made it to the kitchen to warm up yesterday’s coffee.

The microwave blew a fuse, so he opted for juice, which he spilled on the floor. He bent to wipe it up and dropped his winning ticket into the puddle. And just when Harold thought it couldn’t get any worse, Dolly snatched up the ticket and chewed it to bits.


Friday Fictioneers 6/8/16 –

To join the fun of Friday Fictioneers 100-Word Story Challenge, just follow the link for the details. Photo by Jan Marler Morrill.  My story is below the picture.

PHOTO PROMPT © Jan Marler Morrill


Sebastian had said, “Follow the alley until it curves right. Stop at the blue door in the wall. Knock four times.”

Okay, here was the turn. Yes … the blue door. Four short raps. She held her breath. … No answer. … She waited. … Still no answer.

Drat the man!  Why all this mystery? Couldn’t they just meet at a cafe?

Lying on the floor inside, Sebastian stretched his arm to reach the door handle. But the knife in his back had done its work. He lost consciousness as the girl turned in frustration and left the alley.

Friday Fictioneers Reruns: ‘But Not Always’

I haven’t had much time to write lately, so since the Friday Fictioneers challenge is doing summer reruns this month, I took advantage of the situation. I’m “reruning” the story I originally wrote for this challenge way back in ?????

Photo copyright belongs to Rich Voza.  My story is below the picture.

Frid Fict Plane



He was Cherokee, she Scottish-American. But the moment they met in the airport coffee shop, they were connected. Waiting out the fog, they talked like old friends. When her plane was called, he carried her bag to her boarding gate.

A question in her eyes, she said, “Wow, Chicago and Dallas – talk about two people going in opposite directions.”

Light flared in his eyes as he realized she didn’t want this connection to end either. He traced one gentle finger down her cheek.

“Opposite today,” he said, “but not always, I think.”

A spark in her eyes leaped to his, just as the boarding line began moving, and he promised: “I will see you again, Joy.”





Friday Fictioneers 4/29/16 – ‘Sales Appeal’

I haven’t had a chance to participate in Friday Fictioneers in a while, and I’m just getting in under the wire this week. But the picture conjured up this little story, and I couldn’t pass up sharing it. The picture prompt is courtesy of Mary Shipman. My story is below the picture.

PHOTO PROMPT © Mary Shipman


“Pops, when you asked me to come and help with the store, I had no idea you’d been losing money the past ten years. What’s the deal with all these tools and auto parts? And your line of pipe and chewing tobacco is weighing down the shelves.”

“I’m just well-stocked.”

“But your only customers the month I’ve been here are genteel ladies. They don’t buy that stuff.”

“Yeah, the men never shop here.”

“Well, get me the ladder. I’ll fix that.”

(Two hours later)

“Ivan, you can’t hang all those women’s undergarments from the rafters! It will embarrass our customers.”

“Not the customers we’re after. You just wait and see. We’ll have men customers coming out our ears by next week.”



100-Word Challenge For Grown Ups – # 176

Visit Julia’s Place to get the details so you can participate with your own 100-word story. The prompt this week: “… but I thought we were friends …”



“But I thought we were friends, Trish.”

“We are friends, Kara, and quit your whining. It isn’t going to help. I just choose not to be part of your plan.”

“But I need someone to stand guard for me while I slip into his office.”

“Then you’ll have to try one of your other pals, because it’s not going to be me. We could get arrested!”

Kara crossed her arms over her chest and heaved a tortuous sigh. “I’d do it for you.”

Trish smirked and rose to leave the room. “Of course you would; you’re a lot more stupid than I am.”



Friday Fictioneers – 11/27/15 — Beloved Sentinel

This week’s Friday Fictioneers challenge. The photo is courtesy of Sandra Crook. My story is below the picture.

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook


“Does she stand on that cliff every day?” Tobias asked.

“Every day,” Raulf replied, looking at the young girl wrapped in her woolen shawl, black hair windswept like a flag.

“But five years! Surely she doesn’t still hope.”

Raulf nodded his head. “Serena insists Jamie will not fail her. He promised, and she must keep trusting.”

Tobias frowned. “She’s so beautiful. I’d gladly have her for my wife. There must be some way to make her see that she needs to move on with her life.”

“She’ll move on … when she sees his sails on the horizon … and not before.”




100-Word Challenge For Grownups – Week 175 – False Security

BARBED WIRE BORDER CROSSING - dark gray“But shall we close the borders?” one congressman asked another.

“Why bother? It’s a joke to close them without securing them.”

Even as they spoke on the capitol steps, at the southernmost border of the country a knife blade flashed in the moonlight, but the guard was facing the other direction. He hadn’t heard the whisper of five men crawling through the tall grasses – nor the few snaps of wire cutters. So he wasn’t prepared for the strong arm that pulled his head back, exposing his throat.

In seconds, his life was soaking into the ground from the perfectly executed wound.

And five more Mexicans congratulated themselves on having taken up residence in the United States.


Visit this week’s challenge from Julia to participate with your own 100-word story.




Friday Fictioneers — 10/2/15 — ‘Humpty Dumpty’

Hurray,  I’m doing the Friday Fictioneers challenge this week. Just can’t seem to get it in every week, but I do like to take part when I can. If you’d like to join in and write a 100-word story based on this picture — by Marie Gayle Stratford — just follow the link to Rochelle’s place for the easy instructions.





Trying to look casual, he wiggled across the desk. Sherry, his owner, was on break. This was his only chance if he were ever going to connect with that hot pink number over on Wally’s desk. Wow, she was something else!

He was looking cool in his blue striped suit; she’d be impressed.

Whew!  This was hard work, but he was almost to the edge. Then came the dangerous part, but, hey, a mouse had to do what a mouse had to do. Love was worth the risk.

“Okay … at the edge. Now, one big jump, and …”

“Hey, Sherry, your mouse just fell in the floor and broke into a dozen pieces!”




10-Word Story Challenge

Okay, folks, this challenge is ridiculously difficult, so, of course, I had to try. You can find the details for getting involved yourself at “esthernewtonblog.”

Instructions: Write a 10-word story that includes the following 5 words.

Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis (a lung disease caused by inhaling very fine silica or quartz dust.)

My story is below:


Infected pink fedoras in Patagonia led to melancholy and Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.