SPF – The Imposter

SPF – The Imposter

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt.  Thanks to C.E. Ayr, long-time member of the Sunday Photo Fiction community for this weeks intriguing photo.

SPF July 1 2018 (1 of 1)
Photo credit; C.E Ayr

The old church stood in a part of town called The Paseo, home to every wanna-be painter this side the Red River. Inside, I was greeted by a woman of innumerable years and teeth yellowed from too much tobacco. We exchanged pleasantries as she led me to the first gallery. Every painting had a story. She was a wealth of knowledge, this one, but none of it interested me.

“Tell me your story,” I said.

“No story,” eyes darting from side to side. “Just an old woman with a gallery.”

That, I doubted.

I asked to see her work, so she led me to a small backroom. I’m no art critic, but I knew bad art when I saw it. A brilliant deception I might add.

“Where are the abstracts?”

No abstracts she professed.

I said I was no art critic, but I am an art detective and I was running out of patience. For years I had searched for the missing Picasso. Not a painting, but a forger; the best in the world. I knew in my gut she was standing two feet away.

“Let’s cut to the chase,” I said. “How much to forge Les Demoiselles d’Avignon?”

Word count  = 199







Curious Matters

Curious Matters

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt.  This weeks photo was taken by myself at a bar crawl in Cozumel Mexico. 

Bar in Mexico
Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding

“Satisfaction of one’s curiosity is one the greatest sources of happiness in life*.” Xavier peeled an orange deliberately, as if exposing a deep secret.

I never felt the need to satisfy my curiosity. But when I received a call from Xavier’s personal secretary requesting a meeting, I was intrigued. My brother had not spoken to me in 20 years and threatened to kill me the next time we met.

I was told to meet him at a bar on Calle Obispo. When I arrived, the place was empty except for Xavier, sitting in a dark corner. Unquestionably, Xavier arranged for the privacy at an attractive price to the proprietor. I ordered a drink.

“Why am I here, Xavier. Are you finally asking for my forgiveness?

“Forgiveness? No, Matteo. What you did to my wife was unthinkable among brothers. But perhaps we can forget for a brief time?

“It’s business, then. I am surprised a man like you wouldn’t have his own resources for solving problems.”

“This I could not trust to anyone but family.”

Once again, my curiosity piqued. Why did my brother need the services of a world-class assassin?

“Who is the problem?” I asked.

“My wife.”

* The quote is attributed to Linus Pauling

COB Photo Challenge – June 17, 2018

COB Photo Challenge – June 17, 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.

Many of the photos I take on vacation are used as reminders rather than photographic gems I share with others. Last week I traveled to the Vail Valley where the photo below were taken. I hope you like the odd ball’s that I have chosen to share this week.

We stopped a the Welcome Center in Leadville, Colorado and my inner genealogist was immediately attracted to the list of books below.

Cemetery Books (1 of 1)

Living in Oklahoma, the need to flag a fire hydrant so it could be found in a snow drift is very odd indeed.

Fire Hydrant with Flag (1 of 1)

I was walking through Vail Village, past the river, when I noticed this worker having his lunch. I thought what a great view for spending your  lunch hour.

Lunch Man (1 of 1)

This was taken at an event in Vail. There is a world of difference in how trash and recyclables are handled between Colorado and my home state of Oklahoma.

Recycle Tent (1 of 1)

I can’t remember the last time I used one of these for a hotel room.

Hotel Key (1 of 1)

Father’s Day

Father’s Day


Happy Father’s Day to all the dad’s reading. Whether you are the natural father, a step-father, or a surrogate; kudos for making a difference in the life of a child.

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt. This is a photo I took at a local park.  If you are interested in reading more stories inspired by the photo below, you can find them by clicking the little blue frog here

Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding

I watched the old man from a distance. He sat on a park bench, feeding bread crumbs to a gaggle of geese. They reciprocated their hospitality with annoying honks and droppings at his feet. His wrinkles and white hair suggested a man older than his physical years. He wore second-hand khakis and a rumpled t-shirt. Neither looked washed.

This is not what I had pictured at all.

I returned to the park daily, blending in with the park lunch crowd. Simply observing. Then I started following him, curious where he went after leaving the park. His routine never varied; a stop at the grocer for a can of tuna and bread. I wondered how he survived on such measly rations. A block later, he entered a run-down building. I found his name on the mailbox. Five flights up and no elevator.

For days I contemplated my next move. It was time to leave or finish what I started. I chose the latter.

When the old man opened the door, I saw recognition from behind his clouded eyes. I saw something else. Fear. Rightfully so.

Pointing the gun at his head, I pulled the trigger.

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy

word count 198


The Trouble with Ex’s

The Trouble with Ex’s

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

SPF June 3 2018 (1 of 1)
Photo Credit: C.E. Ayr

My realtor just shook her head after a tour of the house.

“It won’t sell in this condition,” she said. “Not at the price you are asking.”

“But I need the full price,” I pleaded. Selling this house was my ticket out. The money would allow me to travel the world as a nomad and write a book about the experience. This was my dream.

“You could have a fire sale,” she joked.

I thought the idea was brilliant.

I called my ex, who had friends in the business of solving problems. Everything was set up for the weekend.

For an alibi, it was off to the coast with my BFF Katie for sun and fun. I had neither as I awaited the phone call telling me my house had burned down. It never came.

Arriving home Sunday night, I expected to see a pile of smoldering ash where my house once stood. Imagine my surprise seeing the ash pile was the home of my neighbor, Frank the Fire Marshall.

Some wishes do come true. I now have plenty of time to work on my book. The subject has changed. It’s now called Tiny Living in a 6-Foot Cell.