The Madison Shoe factory closed 50 years ago. Rumor was the owner walked in one day, fired everyone on the spot, then locked himself inside. A week later, the police found him hanging from the rafters. None of the normal suicide reasons applied; he just killed himself. His son tried to sell the factory but there were no buyers. Like the old man cursed the building when he died. It belongs to the city now. Kids drive by on a dare, searching the windows for the old man. He never shows himself.
That’s the rumor at least.
Friday Fictioneer’s is a weekly challenge to write a complete story in 100 words or less based on a photo prompt. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting this challenge and J.Hardy Carroll for this week’s prompt.
This week is Letter E – Needs to have two E’s in the topic word (needle, elephant, geese, peek, jeep, eye, etc.). For my photo subject, I chose ‘Weeds’. A weed is any wild plant that grows in unwanted areas. We do have a lot of weeds in our yard but some like the ones below add a natural beauty. So maybe they aren’t really weeds after all.
I am not sure what the one above is; below is the dandelion weed. Every child’s favorite.
The next one is the remains of Black Eye Susan’s. They bloomed in late summer but are starting to die now.
For the past 60 years, the old couple made a pilgrimage to Talihina to watch the changing of the autumn leaves. The tradition started the year they married. Too poor to take a real vacation, the happy couple packed their car with a picnic lunch and blanket, and drove three hours to shores of the Kiamichi River. Although their financial circumstances improved over the years, they continued to return every September.
Today’s banquet included fried chicken and homemade potato salad, and a special bottle of wine. As the couple enjoyed a second glass, a loud squeal echoed through the hills. Without warning, an ugly creature eight-foot tall with long, stringy black hair towered before them. Sharp, pointed teeth filled its mouth and its eyes were black as night.
Seeing the creature, the old man grabbed his chest.
“My God! You know better to sneak up. My old ticker isn’t what it used to be. Have a seat”
The old man pointed to the blanket.
The old woman handed the creature a glass of wine.
“We were wondering when you would show up. Our little excursion would not be the same without you. Hungry?”
Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt. A Mixed Bag provided this week’s challenging photo.
This week’s story combines a true Oklahoma tradition – the drive along the Talimena – with an Oklahoma urban legend. Here is more on a sighting of Bigfoot in Oklahoma.
Bigfoot – Talihina
Bigfoot stories have been a staple of southeast Oklahoma for decades. In fact, the heavily forested area is said to be one of the most active for Bigfoot sightings in the country. One of the first sightings occurred in 1970, when a group of local high school kids decided to cruise the foggy back roads near Talihina after an evening pep rally. They pulled over and one of the teenage boys wandered away from the group and into the edge of the surrounding forest. It was here that he caught a glimpse of what the locals later dubbed the “Green Hill Monster” of southeastern Oklahoma – a hideous creature several feet taller than a human and covered in long, matted hair.
The boy ran back to the car in fright and the group quickly sped away down the road that lead back to town. After they reported the sighting to the police, the local sheriff investigated the area. He found several dead deer in the vicinity and immediately forbid anyone from going into the woods at night for fear of an attack. The creature was never caught (http://www.travelok.com/article_page/oklahomas-spooky-urban-legends)
The old gumshoe sat in the smoky bar drinking bourbon, when up walks his baffled friend, inquiring once more on how he solved his latest case.
“It was the shoes,” said the older gent. “A perfect match of the footprint found next to the victim.”
“Impossible,” said the friend. “The suspect’s shoes were covered with cobwebs and dust. They hadn’t been moved in years.”
The detective sipped his bourbon, then said, “The suspect placed the cobwebs on the shoes himself and the dust; nothing more than baking flour.”
“Your intellect amazes me,” the impressed man said.
word count = 98
Friday Fictioneer’s is a weekly challenge to write a complete story in 100 words or less based on a photo prompt. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting this challenge and Sarah Potter for this week’s prompt.
The people watched in horror from their apartment windows as the young woman jogged across the bridge. A normal sight under normal circumstances, but these were not normal times.
Had she not heard the public service announcements about the air quality?
Five days ago, North Korea launched a nuclear bomb that exploded mid-air. A cloud of radiation slowly drifted toward the West Coast. Alerts went out to all residents from Seattle to Portland: the air was no longer breathable. The President consoled the citizens and assured them the government was diligently working on a solution. Until then, a mandatory curfew was in place.
How could she not know? How is it even possible that she can breathe?
Parents covered their children’s eyes, protecting them from the shock of what would surely be an agonizing death.
They questioned how they could warn her.
Would pounding on the glass get her attention? Could they put up a sign?
There must be something someone could do.
As the minutes passed and the woman seemed unaffected, a more horrifying thought began to take form.
How is it she can breathe?
Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt. John Robinson provided this week’s challenging photo
Mrs. Willoughby, 92, occupied the same park bench every morning, feeding pigeons bread she found in the trash bins behind Big Al’s Hamburgers. Every day, joggers avoided the cement path where dozens of pigeons flocked at her feet. No one complained, however. Like the statutes, Mrs. Willoughby was a permanent fixture in the park. And equally ignored.
One day, Mrs. Willoughby did not show up. A week later, the news confirmed the old woman had died. The next day, someone bolted a memorial to her bench:
Mrs. Willoughby — Her heart was in the right place.
Friday Fictioneer’s is a weekly challenge to write a complete story in 100 words or less based on a photo prompt. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting this challenge and Kelvin. M. Knight for this week’s prompt.
The two great leaders met in the Arizona desert. Alone. No one in the President’s administration knew of this meeting. If word got out, his political enemies would ruin him, much as they had his father. But the risk of doing nothing were too great. Young Trump, as the President was affectionately known, watched as a teenager while his father’s political party spit in the face of science and ignore the signs of climate change. The Deniers became a powerful political force, rolling back centuries of innovation and learning, all in the name of Capitalism.
If only his father had listened to the Truth-Sayers. He could have prevented this catastrophe from happing. But that is all water under the bridge,
Young Trump chuckled at the thought. What a fitting pun.
Swallowing hard, the President spoke.
“I believe they call you Saguaro?”
“My race is known by many names. That is one. Little children know our true name. I believe we are called Man Cactus in your language.”
Young Trump smiled, remembering.
“What do you seek from me,” the ancient one asked?
“Teach me how to live without water.”
Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt. A Mixed Bag provided this week’s challenging photo
The grainy photo flashed across my cellphone screen: a flat desert landscape, overgrown with scrub brush on its way to becoming a tumbleweed; dwarfed by distant mountain peaks. Intoxicated with anticipation and trepidation, I caught my breath. New Mexico: the next destination in this ruthless game of cat and mouse. A game Jasper and I played for longer than I could remember. New Mexico was home and when I caught him, I would do to Jasper what he did to my wife, God rest her soul. This time, I was the cat and he was the mouse.
Friday Fictioneer’s is a weekly challenge to write a complete story in 100 words or less based on a photo prompt. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting this challenge and Danny Bowman for this week’s prompt.
Ray’s doctor broke the shocking news. “You have three-months to live.”
His adult children cried. His ex-wife appeared distraught. His attorney suggested bringing his will up to date. His attorney recommended getting his financial house in order.
On Sunday, his priest implored him to get right with God. Later, his golf buddy, who happened to be a mortician, inquired about a pre-paid burial plan.
“How much longer will you work?” his employer asked.
“What’s first on you bucket list?” his best friend questioned.
But the best advice came from the manager of the Food-Mart.
“Take care of any unfinished business and leave this world in peace.”
Ray knew what to do. For 10 years, his neighbor Henry’s parked car blocked Ray’s driveway. No amount of pleading changed things. Now it was time to take care of business.
The Sherman tank rolled down the street with one target in its crosshairs. With precision, Ray aimed the tank at a single vehicle and gunned the engine. His neighbor’s screams could not rival the sounds of crunching metal.
“He’s crazy,” his neighbor said. “Lock him up!”
Ray did not care. He settled his unfinished business and now could rest in peace.
Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt. This week’s challenging photo was provided by A Mixed Bag
‘The gate remained shut for hundreds of years. No one knew what was on the other side. No one dared find out.’
Rusty combed his brain for the next line but nothing came. He loathed 10th grade creative writing with its useless themes. Like this week – Fanciful Fiction. What rubbish! Bored, Rusty peered out his bedroom window and notice the iron gate leading to a vacant lot across the street. Strange I have never noticed it before, thought Rusty. Grabbing a jacket, he darted out for a closer look.
The uninviting gate stood between concrete walls; the words Keep Out painted in bold, red letters. Along the top, rusted spikes dared intruders to climb over. Rusty was leaving when he noticed the open lock. He pushed hard and met resistance, as if blocked on the other side. One last push created an opening wide enough for Rusty to squeeze his body through, before the gate banged shut.
No one saw Rusty again. His grieving parents left his room as it was the day he disappeared. The story in the typewriter was exactly as Rusty left it. Almost.
In bold red letters were three unexplained words:
‘But Rusty did.’
Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner is a weekly writing challenge designed for both the flash fiction newbie and the more experienced writer. It is the desire of this challenge to allow writers the opportunity to clear the cobwebs from a more tedious and involved project. Becoming a part of a new and growing writer’s community might be just what the doctor ordered to rejuvenate your writing juices