Dis-Illusion

Dis-Illusion

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt. Thanks to C.E. Ayr for this week’s inspiration.  If you are interested in contributing your own story, or to see what others have written, please visit  Sunday Photo Fiction

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Photo Credit: C.E Ayr

The town clock chimed 12, signaling the gentleman to make his way toward the river. He sat on the stone bench under a willow tree, waiting. His dapper dress suggested a man of means and distinction. Yet those who passed by paid him no more attention to him than they did brushing their own teeth.

At 12:08, he crossed bridge that separated the financial district from the merchants. No doubt which side of the river the gentleman belonged; he was a trusted advisor and guardian of the town’s wealth. At the center-point of the bridge he noticed a granite plaque. Age had faded the script, but the gentleman could recite the words by heart.

Henry Adams jumped to his death from this spot October 29, 1929.

At 12:18, the gentleman climbed to the top of the railing as he had done every year since the day of The Crash. As he leapt from the bridge, a young boy clicked a selfie from the same spot. Disappointed with the blurred image captured in the background, the boy deleted the photo and tried again.

 

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Vail

Vail

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt. This week’s photo is one I took. No surprise, it was taken in Vail Colorado.   If you are interested in contributing your own story, or to see what others have written, please visit  Sunday Photo Fiction

Bicycles
Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding

‘Thea wanted a new life. Vail was exactly what she was looking for: snow-capped mountains, open-spaces, and green living.’

‘Thea sold her car and bought a yellow bicycle. On days when distance was more than her legs could handle, Thea rode the bus. That’s how she met Jack.’

‘Handsome and charismatic, Jack was a dream-come-true.’

‘When Jack caught her staring one to many times, he invited her to join him in conversation. It was as if they had known each other for years.’

‘Thea began spending all her free time with him; she stopped seeing her old friends.

 ‘Thea became obsessed with Jack.’

‘There was something about Jack that was just not right.’

 

Two hikers discovered Thea’s yellow bicycle alongside the mountain road. It did not take long to find the blood-soaked snow bank where her bludgeoned body lay.

‘The bicycle ride had been Jack’s idea,’ her friend Becky told the police.

Detective Osborne avoided looking at the crime photos and closed the case file. He had seen enough. There was a monster on the loose, and Osborne knew this was not his first kill. Picking up the phone, he dialed the Seattle homicide division.

I think Jack’s struck again.

 

Next Friday

Next Friday

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt. This week’s photo is courtesy of C.E. Ayr.  If you are interested in contributing your own story, or to see what others have written, please visit  Sunday Photo Fiction

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Photo Courtesy of C.E. Ayr

My Dearest Love

How I have missed you! Every moment we are apart is torture. I want so much to hear your sweet voice and feel you in my arms. I have good news! I am coming home. Meet me at the train station Friday at 4:00 pm. I am counting the days until we meet again.

The station was busy for a Friday night and Daisy worried she would miss Bill when he arrived. Everyone seemed to be in such a rush. She noticed an empty spot on a bench next to the tracks and sat down. Daisy gripped the tattered letter and replayed his words from memory. She had waited for this day a long time. As the old clock tower chimed four times, her heart leaped. Daisy pulled her fingers through her graying hair and straightened her dress.

It won’t be long now. Any minute and I will see his face.

By 4:30, Daisy realized Bill was not arriving today. As she has done hundreds of times before, Daisy patiently picked up the small suitcase that held all she owned and walked three blocks to the homeless shelter. There was always next Friday.

 

It’s in the DNA

It’s in the DNA

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt. This week’s photo is own I took at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri. The character here looks a little frightening, don’t you think?

If you are interested in contributing your own story, or to see what others have written, please visit  Sunday Photo Fiction

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Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding

Hearing the knock at the front door, my father peered through the window shears, cursed softly then turned on me.

“What possessed you to submit your DNA to that website!”

The mild-mannered man who never yelled, even when his favorite football team was getting trounced, now resembled The Incredible Hulk.

Shocked by the sudden change in demeaner, I mumbled something about curiosity. “You never talk about your side the family,” I challenged.

“For a good reason! It’s not something I am proud of.”

Innocently I countered. “All families have black sheep in their past. It’s not something to get worked up over.”

“It’s not past history I am worried about.”

I wondered if Dad had a secret. Could he have fathered a child my mother knew nothing about?

His hysterical laugh told me otherwise.

The knocking intensified and my father wilted.

“I never talked about my family because I didn’t want you to know about the murder gene, passed from father to son. You have put our family at extreme risk.”

I remembered hearing the FBI used DNA from ancestry sites to solve cold cases and realized what my father was afraid of: the DNA he left behind.

 

The Last Dragon Slayers

The Last Dragon Slayers

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt. This week’s intriguing photo is courtesy of SPF contributor, C.E. Ayr. 

If you are interested in contributing your own story, or to see what others have written, please visit  Sunday Photo Fiction

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Photo Credit: C.E. Ayr

They called themselves the Last Dragon Slayers. The geriatric group of six men living at the senior home met every day in the common room, between checkers and the lunch special. Most days, they relived the details of glorious battles, bloodier and more dangerous with each re-telling. The staff and other residents took little notice of their bragging. Everyone knew dementia and delusions were expected as one grew old.

The youngest in the group was Harry, a spry 87-year old man who showed no sign of senility. Which is why he understood the urgency of the broadcast in the evening news.

“The fools think it is global warming,” he said. “Don’t they realize a dragon has awakened.”

The old men hung their heads; there was no one to take their place.

On Sunday, Harry’s son and his family made a dutiful trip to visit Pop as they called him. Harry noticed his 15-year old grandson spellbound by a book.

“What you reading?”  Harry asked.

“It’s magna, called Fairy Tail. Its about a dragon, but you wouldn’t understand.”

Harry smiled. “Oh I understand more than you think.” Leaning closer, he whispered, “How would you like to be a real Dragon Slayer?”

 

The Shining City

The Shining City

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt. This week’s photo is courtesy of SPF contributor, Fandango. If you are interested in contributing your own story, or to see what others have written, please visit  Sunday Photo Fiction

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Photo Credit: Fandango

Across the water, Elena longed for the Great Shining City that had once been home.

Long ago, her family escaped the horrors of their own country, crossing the border in the dark, arriving in desperation as broken refugees.

The Great Shining City welcomes all who come with courage and ambition, they were told. Elena had plenty of both. She worked hard and contributed to the prosperity of city. She kept the peace and relished a freedom she never knew existed.

She was a Citizen in all ways, but name only.

Gradually, things changed. As rain eats away at a mountain, fear and distrust eroded the majesty of the Great Shining City. Elena could see it in the Citizen’s eyes. Silent whispers turned into loud cries. Elena took to the shadows, hiding in fear. One day, she let down her guard.

Elena witnessed a horrible crime.

A good citizen would report it, she thought.

Across the water, Elena longed for the Great Shining City that had once been home. Once again, she lives in the shadow of fear, waiting for her own people to come for her, wondering, what they would have done had they been in her shoes?

 

Farewell Mick Patterson

Farewell Mick Patterson

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt. This week’s photo is courtesy of SPF contributor, CE Ayr. For more stories based on this photo, please visit HERE

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Photo Credit: CE Ayr

The idea to kill Mick Patterson came one dreary day while Kate gazed down into the alley below her hotel window. The thought frightened her. An extreme measure to be sure; but Mick no longer had a place in the world Kate was creating, and he needed to go.

Kate knew there would be consequences. Mick was well liked. His death would come as a shock and she knew she would be blamed.

The small room where she and Mick met daily suddenly felt closed and suffocating. She would need to find some place new where his presence did not linger. As if running away could take away his memory.

Determined, Kate carefully picked up the stack of papers on her desk, chapters of a novel where Mick was the predominate character. It would take weeks of rewriting to make the story work again.

In the alley, Kate opened the trash container and watched the papers float to the bottom, settling in among rotting vegetables and dirty diapers. An appropriate end for a horrible character.

Kate heard the trash truck rounding the corner.

Farewell Mick, she whispered as she walked away.

 

 

Willie and Gene

Willie and Gene

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 Russell Gayer  for this week’s photo prompt.

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Photo Credit: Russell Gayer

Give me land, lots of land, under starry skies above. Don’t fence me in….

Music blared through the open window of the ’65 Ford, accompanied by the scratchy voice of Wildcat Willie. The old crooner nearly made it big, once upon a time. The next Gene Autry, the called him. Then fate turned on Willie, ending his career faster than a minnow could swim a dipper.

Willie faded into the sunset, with the help of his 357.

But as the story goes, the old ’65 still glides along the Texas highway as Willie and Gene  sing without mercy.

 

Don’t Fence Me In was released in 1934 by Gene Autry. Lyrics by Robert Fletcher and music by Cole Porter. A reference to Wildcat Willie is made by Roy Rogers, who sang the song in the 1944 movie Hollywood Canteen. My Wildcat is purely fictional.

 

 

Destination: Survival

Destination: Survival

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt. This week’s photo is courtesy of SPF contributor, Joy Pixley (thanks Joy!). Not to give anything away, but don’t the cacti look somewhat human? 

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Photo Credit; Joy Pixley

Madeline contemplated Derek’s crushed skull. As first dates go, this one sucked. Exploring an Arizona ghost town in the middle of nowhere appealed to Madeline’s thrill-seeking nature. However, Derek’s sense of adventure left much to be desired and by 2:00 p.m., Madeline insisted he take her home.

They had not traveled far down the dusty trail before the pop of a blown tire broke their silence. An apologetic Derek confessed he did not have a spare.

With only five miles to a major road, Madeline convinced Derek they should walk. With any luck, they would reach the highway before dark.

Luck, it seemed, was on holiday. The 100-degree heat and Derek’s lack of stamina slowed her down. The last thing Madeline wanted was to spend the night in the desert.

A large rock to the head solved her problem.

Madeline grabbed the near-empty canteen and headed out. As twilight approached, she detected something in the distance; an automobile parked along the road. Convinced she was saved, Madeline, chugged the remaining water, and raced toward the car.

As the last rays of light faded, relief turned to terror. The car she saw was Derek’s.

 

 

The Bargain

The Bargain

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt. The photo this week was taken by a friend of mine who wished to remain anonymous

Seattle Terminal
Photo Credit: Sunday Photo Fiction

This was not how it was supposed to work.

Bill had looked forward to retirement; delayed gratification after years of frugality and self-discipline. He had played by all the rules; maximizing his contributions to his 401K and enduring a job that provided a good paycheck but no joy.

He sacrificed for his wife and children, providing them a good life.

He cared for everyone else for 40 years. Now it was his turn.

But when the diagnosis came back, his dreams died. Parkinson’s. A slow and debilitating disease.

You’re wrong! He protested.

It’s not fair!

Can’t you do anything?

The kind old doctor smiled. There is a way.

The details shocked him, but in the end, he agreed.

He arrived at the station, suitcase in hand. There were many others, like him, traveling to the crossroads. In his pocket was his down-payment; love letters from his wife. His most precious possession.

As the train pulled away, he closed his eyes and thought about what he was about to do. Once the contract was signed, he would have ten years of health, happiness, and prosperity.

It was his due, after all.

Who wouldn’t sell their soul for that?

Word Count = 196