The Warning (Friday Fictioneers)

The Warning (Friday Fictioneers)

Photo Credit – Roger Bulltot

The Sherwood Arms Neighborhood Association demanded immediate action. The house at 1533 was out of control. Fearing a coup d’état, the association chief wrote the following letter:

“My Fellow Neighbor”

I have received many complaints about the upkeep of your yard. Your contract clearly states – NO UNNECESSARY YARDWORK! Your neighbors prefer to spend weekends in leisure and your obsession with a well-kept lawn makes us look bad.”

The Chief weighed his next words carefully. Surrounding him were lawn-mowers, weed-eaters, and clippers of all sorts, confiscated over the years.

Non-compliance will result in drastic measures. Heed my warning!


This story was inspired by Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneer’s , a weekly challenge to write a complete story in 100 words or less,  based on a photo prompt. Thanks to Roger Bulltot for providing the photo. 

Loss and Found (Sunday Photo Fiction)

Loss and Found (Sunday Photo Fiction)

Photo Credit: Dawn M Miller

Judy’s throat tightened as she surveyed the remnants of Grandma’s house. She refused to cry. Suck it up, she told herself. It’s just stuff.

David handed her lukewarm coffee in a plastic cup. Courtesy of the Red Cross, he told her.

“It’s my fault, I could have removed Grandma’s things two days ago. Now, everything is gone, just like her.” Words meant more for herself than for David.

”Don’t blame yourself. You had a lot to take care of, with the funeral and all. Besides, it was mostly junk. That woman never threw anything away.”

Judy bit her tongue. She didn’t need an argument over her grandmother’s hoarding habits. David simply didn’t understand that when you grew up during the Depression, everything was useful.

Across the debris field, Judy noticed a gleaming reflection. Nothing but an old piece of metal, but her eye caught something else. Reaching into the grass and mud, Judy pulled out a tiny teacup, in perfect condition. Grandma’s favorite. Judy lovingly wiped off the mud with her tee-shirt, exposing the royal blue and pink rose pattern.

It was true. Storms leave miracles in their wake.  Judy let the tears of happiness flow.

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt. Many thanks this week Dawn M. Miller for offering the stimulating photo. Although this story is purely fiction, recent personal events and Hurricane Harvey offered lead me in the direction it took. Earlier this week I was in that small Texas town where Harvey made landfall, attending my sister-in-law’s funeral. I doubt much of what she owned survived. Storms are strange and selective creatures. Why it chooses to leave small delicate items like a teacup intact in a sea of destruction is truly a mystery.

Sunday Photo Fiction – August 27th 2017

Remembering Connie

Remembering Connie

A scorching August sun bore down on the small South Texas town of Fulton the afternoon of Connie’s funeral. Not even the gentle gulf breeze gave much comfort to those gathered in the small community church that day. Mourners filled the coarse wooden pews, greeted with the words “We Remember Momma” prominently displayed on the massive white screen behind the alter. A resounding recording of Elvis singing “Old Rugged Cross” consoled them as they waited in silence for the service to begin. These were Connie’s family; blood and church. She loved all the same.IMG_0043

Like a thief in the night, I furtively took my seat in the back of the church. I saw no one I knew. The distance of time erased whatever memory I had of familiar faces. Connie slept peacefully in her steel gray coffin, shrouded with a spray of tiger lilies and baby’s breath. How many years had it been since she and I had last seen each other? More years than I cared to count.

As Elvis crooned his final stanza, the preacher, an older gentleman with a white-beard in a black suit, stood before us. We hung on each word as he extolled Connie’s virtues. Little was said of her vices.

“Church was Connie’s life and her redemption,” he said, “a true believer who woke each day with one thought: What could she do to further God’s work.”

I don’t know about that, but I do know she fried the best fish.

Sturgis (Friday Fictioneers)

Sturgis (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT© Jan Wayne Fields

We arrived a day early, only to find our campsite was not available.

“There are a couple of spots near the highway,” the owner told us.

That or nothing, and nothing stretched for a hundred miles.

We pitched our tents near an old billboard. Hundreds of other tents, packed like sardines in a can, littered the grassy pasture we called home. We were all here for the same thing.

As my mind quieted, I noticed the incessant roar of Harley’s racing down the road. No sleep for me tonight, but that didn’t matter.

This was Sturgis.


This story was inspired by Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneer’s a weekly challenge to write a complete story in 100 words or less based on a photo prompt. Thanks to Jan Wayne Fields for providing the photo, Lights of Sturgis.  The photo reminded me of my own Sturgis experience. I was there for the 75th anniversary in 2015 when over 750,000 bikers and friends descended on the small South Dakota town and the surrounding Black Hills. Below is a photo of my home that week (it was really next to a billboard and the Interstate), an a glimpse of down-town Sturgis during the rally.


My Sturgis Home
photo credit: Susan Spaulding
Sturgis 2015
Photo credit: Susan Spaulding
First Date (Sunday Photo Fiction)

First Date (Sunday Photo Fiction)

photo credit: A Mixed Bag (Al Forbes)

“Are you kidding me! This has got to be the worse movie ever!”

Deb’s remarks vibrated throughout entire theater, answered with a resounding ‘SHHHHH’.

Wyatt tried to calm her down.

“Baby, please, you’re disturbing everyone.”

Deb lowered her voice but not her insolence.

“I can’t believe you brought me to this…. whatever you call this movie.”

Plan 9 from Outer Space. It’s a classic.”

“It’s crap Wyatt. OMG, do you see the strings attached to the planets? What kind of person brings a first date to a movie like this?”

“I thought you’d like it. You said you liked Sci-Fi.”

“I like Star Wars. Real science fiction. My little brother could do better with his Legos and a point-and-shoot camera.”

A few moments later, Deb stood up and announced she was leaving.

“Can you get me some popcorn when you come back?”

“No Wyatt, I’m leaving the theater. For good. And don’t bother calling me again.”

After Deb walked out, the man in the seat behind Wyatt tapped him on the shoulder.

“Man, tough break, but good riddance is all I can say. How could anyone not like this stuff.”


Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt. As a fan of horrible science fiction, this was a no-brainer. 

Old Crow

Old Crow

Kika and his brother Hakan were walking through the woods in search of blueberries for Grandmother’s pie. Across the stream, Hakan noticed a bush ripe with berries.

“There are enough berries for two pies on that bush,” said Hakan, stepping into the stream.

In the tree above sat Old Crow, cawing “Danger, Danger.” Hearing the warning, Kika pleaded with his brother to return. “Do you not hear Old Crow?” he asked.

“That old bird is a trickster. He wants the berries for himself.”

Old Crow persisted with each step Hakan took, but the berries were too inviting for Hakan to return. When Hakan safely reached the other shore, he turned to Old Crow and laughed.

“Maybe I will leave a berry or two for your dinner.” He then filled his basket with the juicy berries.

By now Hakan was hungry and it would be hours before Grandmother baked the pie. As Hakan placed a handful of berries in his mouth, Old Crow cawed even louder than before. But his warning was unheeded and within moments, Hakan’s stomach burned in pain, causing him to fall into the stream. The berries had been poison.

With that, Old Crow flew away.


I hope you enjoyed my story. Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story, inspired by a photography. Stories for this week can be found at flash-fiction-for-the-purposeful-practitioner-2017-week-32


Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge – small subjects

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge – small subjects

This week’s topic is Small Subjects. Size is relative, as I hope to show in the following three photos. The first is a run-of-the-mill grasshopper, found in everyone’s yard during the hot Oklahoma summer months. Sometimes it seems like my entire yard is nothing more than a grasshopper haven.

Nature Grasshopper
Small grasshopper



Mother and Child on beach
Mother and Child on beach

The second photo is mother and child on the beach. The mother watches as the small boy investigates the wet sand. She is ready to take action in case her little boy decides to explore too much.

New York City Skyline
New York City Skyline

Nothing about New York City could be considered small, but when you look from afar at the New York skyline, soaring World One Trade Center diminishes all others.


Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Small Subjects