Dust Bowl

Dust Bowl

Friday Fictioneers 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 Connie Gayer for this week’s prompt.

russell-working
PHOTO PROMPT © Connie Gayer

Jessie watched her family from the sod house window. Four boys in the yard; a daughter hunched on her hip. Jessie looked older than her 30 years. Life was hard.

In the field, her husband Jack tilled the dried red clay with a hoe. His back forever bent from labor.

The crops would still die.

She clutched a letter from her sister. Come to California, Annie pleaded.

They could stay with her sister until Jack found work. She would talk to Jack tonight.

Jessie placed her hand on her swollen belly. If this one survives, I’ll call her Hope.

SPF – Ghost Hunters

SPF – Ghost Hunters

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt. The photo this week is one I took at a local cemetery. I have always found cemeteries interesting and since it is Memorial Day weekend here in the US, when many of us visit the cemetery, a cemetery seemed like a good location for this week’s story. 

DSCF5327
Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding

“Scare-de-cat. It’s just a cemetery.”

Kip gave Jack a mocking look, then flashed a big smile. Jack would follow Kip anywhere when she smiled, even in search of a ghost dog. There was a legend in town that when Bernadine Atwood died of scarlet fever, her loving dog was so distraught he spent the rest of his days laid upon her grave. It is said that on the night of the new moon you could see the dog watching over her. Nothing but Jack’s undying love for Kip would bring him to such a ghoulish place after dark.

“Over here!” yelled Kip from behind a large oak tree. Jack saw the headstone and wondered what he would do if the dog suddenly appeared.

After an hour of silent waiting, Jack said he was going home. Kip, bored with the game as well, agreed and they headed toward the entrance. Half-way there, Jack sensed something following them. When he heard a low growl, he yelled for Kip to run. They scrambled over the fence and sighed relief once on the other side.

That is until Jack noticed Kip’s leg was bleeding. Was that a dog bite, or just a scratch?

 

Karma

Karma

I am late submitting my Sunday Photo Fiction story this week. We recently lost a favorite pet and things just haven’t been the same. If my story seems to be on the dark side, well, its just been one of those dark weeks. 

DSCF8715
Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding

He must have been the most miserable man to walk the face of the earth.

It was understandable. The thankfully-last child of a large family, his father abused him emotionally and his mother drowned her own pain in beer. His older sisters coddled and pampered him as they would their favorite doll. No wonder he grew up with mixed signals: was he loved, or merely tolerated?

When he was of age, he married a woman as emotionally fragile as himself. She needed him until she didn’t. They should have divorced but neither one would give in, so they endured each other at best. His bitterness absorbed him, causing him to lash out at those closest to him, unapologetic for his actions. This man could never admit to being wrong. In his world, life was absolute. Success or failure. Right or wrong. Black or white. The glass was never half-anything. It was either full or empty.

They say that at the end of every dark tunnel, there is light that is hope. In his case, however, the light really was a train.

Why his car stalled on the tracks is still a mystery

Deductive Reasoning

Deductive Reasoning

dadsshoes
PHOTO PROMPT submitted by Courtney Wright. © Photographer prefers to remain anonymous.

Detective Mitchell, who considered himself a connoisseur of shoe fashion, boasted he could solve any crime simply by looking at the victim’s shoes.

Expensive shoes meant the victim was well-off; the killer’s motive was obviously money.

If the victim wore stilettos, undoubtedly the motive was sex.

Scruffy shoes destined the victim to crimes of opportunity.

Motive was only part of the puzzle, he admitted. But knowing the ‘why’ always made finding the ‘who’ easier.

Mitchell studied the man lying in a pool of blood.

Steel-toed boots. An ass-kicker this one. He got what was coming to him.

Cee’s Odd Ball Photos – May 13, 2018

Cee’s Odd Ball Photos – May 13, 2018

cob-bannerCee’s Oddball Challenge is for those photographs that don’t really fit into a common category. There is no theme to this challenge; what is odd ball is up to the participant. I hope you like the photos I selected this week. 

I took my first photo at Historic St. Mary’s City, Maryland, a living museum. My husband and I visited St. Mary’s several years ago because his family entered the United States at the point in the late 1600s.

Odd Ball Photos (3 of 11)

This one came from Medicine Park, Oklahoma, a small resort town constructed out of cobblestones that are native to the area.

Odd Ball Photos (2 of 11)

This is called Thunder Fountain, located at the Myriad Gardens in Oklahoma City

Odd Ball Photos (5 of 11)

Lastly, this is a photo of the Blue Angels as they were practicing for one of their air shows

Odd Ball Photos (8 of 11)

 

 

Motherhood (Sunday Photo Fiction)

Motherhood (Sunday Photo Fiction)

ayr6
Photo Credit: C.E. Ayr

Happy Mother’s Day to all who care for children. When I chose this photo as today’s prompt, it was not with Mother’s Day in mind; however, I believe it is perfect for the occasion.

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt. Thanks to C.E. Ayr for providing this week’s challenging photo.

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Nate tenderly watched Anna as she dozed in the chair by the open window. A slight breeze rippled the curtains, granting relief from the heat of the Kenyan sun. Sensing she was being watched, Anna opened her eyes and smiled in love at the man looking down on her.

“I didn’t want to wake you, but there is something I want you to see. Grab your camera.”

They drove several miles to a large watering hole. There, a herd of elephants gathered to cool themselves from the heat. Nate pointed toward a female they called Kakena, meaning happy one.

“Over there.”

Anna eyes followed Nate’s direction. Seconds later, she noticed a young calf, hidden between Kakena’s massive legs.

“She must have delivered during the night,” said Nate. “Looks like we have a healthy girl!”

“Isn’t it a little early to know if it is a boy or girl?” teased Anna.

“Just a feeling,”he said. “What should we call her?”

Anna took her husband’s hand and placed it on her pregnant belly. Soon Anna would give birth to their own child. She smiled in love for the man beside her.

“Are you asking about the elephant, or your daughter?”

 

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This was just a little too serendipitous to not share. A hand-made bookmark from my talented daughter for Mother’s day:

 

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Frozen

Frozen

Friday Fictioneers 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 Jill Wiscoff for this week’s prompt. My story this week is a bit dark, much like the  night sky in the photograph.  

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Photo Credit: Jill Wiscoff

April no longer knew what to do, so she did nothing but watch the empty darkness of the Manhattan skyline from her apartment window.

How can they go on as if nothing is wrong, she thought?

Don’t they know the world is not a safe place?

Gun violence.

Gang violence.

Terrorism.

She had not always felt this way.

Once she was like them.

Bold. A free spirit.

Unaware of the dangers one faced when walking out their front door.

She hears a gentle knock and a familiar voice.

“Sweetheart, it’s Jack. Open the door.”

April froze.

Was it really?

Beautiful Balloon

Beautiful Balloon

This is my first week as Admin to Sunday Photo Fiction. Two things struck me about my new role. First, it’s hard to choose a photograph that has a story to tell. Second, it’s hard to write a story from your own photograph without dipping into the where and why of where it was taken. The story below was not my first idea. That one still sits as an open WORD document on my laptop. Maybe it will get deleted, or maybe saved for another day. This one came about from watching the Sunday morning news. The story is a bit political, but in a light-hearted way.  I hope it is enjoyable, just the same.

SPF May 4 2018
Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding

“Were you lying when you said the president didn’t know about the $130,000 payment to Ms. Daniels?”

The stoic press secretary stared out into the press corps through smoky eyes. No amount of preparation readied her for the questions coming out of left field. Her career and credibility were on the line, and worse yet, she could no longer tell her children that lying was wrong. Unsure what to do, she gave her former boss a phone call, asking for advice.

“I feel like I am swimming in a shark pond,” said Sarah. “Sometimes I think I need a bush to hide in.”

“I know just the place,” said Sean. “Even the press corps didn’t hear about this one.”

Sarah listened to Sean’s instructions with skepticism but figured if it wasn’t immoral or illegal, what did she have to lose.

Upon arrival at the designated spot, Sarah noticed a colorful, hot-air balloon, ready for flight. Sarah beamed as she realized her prayers had been answered. Escape was possible.

As the balloon floated into the clouds, a soft voice sang,

Up, Up, and away in my beautiful balloon. The world’s a nicer place in my beautiful balloon*…

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*”Up, Up and Away” is a 1967 song written by Jimmy Webb and recorded by the 5th Dimension, that became a major pop hit, reaching No. 7 in July 1967 on the U.S. Pop Singles chart, and No. 9 on Billboard’s Easy Listening chart. In other countries, it reached No. 1 in Canada, and in Australia. The song placed No. 43 on BMI’s “Top 100 Songs of the Century”.

 

 

 

 

Mr. Lucky

Mr. Lucky

Mr. Lucky
PHOTO PROMPT © Karen Rawson

Friday Fictioneers 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 Karen Rawson for this week’s prompt.

They called him Mr. Lucky, a hackneyed moniker granted Ray for wriggling out of tight spots. Ray credited the rabbit’s foot he carried for his good fortune.

Once, Ray almost stopped believing in luck. For days, he had tromped through the mucky Louisiana bayou, in search of civilization. On the verge of hopelessness, Ray discovered crude stairs leading up the hill to a house. A human silhouette stood in front of the window.

Mr. Lucky smiled. What’s another dead body when you have two life sentences hanging over your head?

He never noticed dropping his rabbit’s foot in the muck.