Men in Kilts

Men in Kilts

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Photo Credit: C.E. Ayr

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt. The photo this week is was taken by C.E. Ayr in Glasgow, Scotland.  My story is a bit quirky. I hope it is equally enjoyable.

“Ever been to Scotland, Conrad?”

The question surprised me, producing a blank look that must have given The Boss reason to question my educational background.

“Scotland…you know, Loch Ness…Highlander… men in kilts?”

I blushed at the thought of naked male knees, conveying more information than I cared to share. I quickly came to my senses.

“Of course, I know Scotland. My grandfather was from Scotland. Or was Ireland? Never could keep the two countries straight. Why do you ask?”

“I need you to fly over and drop off a package.”

“Don’t they have postal service in Scotland,” I ask. The Boss has made strange requests before, but mail delivery was a new one.

“It’s all over the news Conrad! Amazon Corporation owns the USPS. Trump says so. Besides, I can’t take a chance this package is delivered to the wrong address.” The Boss leaned forward and whispered, “It’s for a lady friend of mine. If you get my drift.”

I got the drift. The Boss had lots of lady friends. I felt sorry for his missus, but still…

“Are there really men in kilts there?”

“The place is crawling with them.”

“When do I leave?”

 

 

La Chapa

La Chapa

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Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt. The photo this week is was taken at the Raton Pass Motor Inn, on Route 66. Each room has a different theme, and this week’s photo was taken in the Pin-Up Girl room. The Raton Pass Motor Inn is a real blast from the past and I highly recommend anyone taking a trip down the Mother Road stop there for the night.  You can find more about Raton Pass Motor Inn  HERE.

 “Well, it’s better than the back seat of the car.” Jo Reynolds eyed the motel room. Scarce furnishings, but clean. She expected worse this side of the Mexico border. Jo had driven all night, crossing the International Bridge at Mission Texas. Dead-tired, she found the desolate motel near La Chapa. Jo needed sleep, but first she needed a drink. She poured several shots of cheap tequila into a dull glass left on the nightstand by previous occupant. Undaunted by germs, Jo emptied the glass quickly, then laid on the bed, closing her eyes.

Sleep did not come. No amount of tequila could erase the memory of the past two days. Or of Jimmy.

They had been so good together. A perfect blend of desire and danger. If only Jimmy had kept his mouth shut. Jimmy loved to boast, especially after a few drinks. At a different motel, they fought hard. He pleaded, and she cried when he spoke the words that sealed his fate.

“Baby, you know I’m no good for you. Better kill me now.” *

They say a woman’s weapon of choice is poison, but if you are a Texas gal, a Colt-45 works just fine.

 

* Loosely lifted from the song Loser, by Beck.

 

 

The Devilish Mr. Jones

The Devilish Mr. Jones

Just under the wire! This week’s Tuesday Scribes challenge is to write a 25-word story, called Hint Fiction.  Writing a story in only 25 words is not easy, but I gave it a go just the same. If you like it, let me know. If not, well let me know that too. 

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The deteriorated wooden door at Number 3 Amherst was an open invitation to neighborhood thieves.

 And that was just how Mr. Jones wanted it.

Divine Justice

Divine Justice

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 while on a cruise excursion. The couple in the photo look nice and cozy. There is nothing nice and cozy about this story. 

Relaxation
Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding

For residents of the Carolina’s, Hurricane Florence embodied death and destruction. For Annie, Florence was divine providence. In all things, Annie accepted her fate as the will of God. How else could she have endured the past ten years?

The police pleaded: evacuate. Ray, her captor, affirmed they would stay.

The officer turned to Annie, thin with lifeless eyes.

You can leave, he said.

God wants me to stay. Annie closed the door.

For hours, rain and wind whipped the white frame house. When the electricity went out, Annie never felt safer. The rising water swirled around her ankles.

It is time.

Annie pulled a plastic bottle from her bedding. Inside, a note.

What is that, demanded Ray.

Your death sentence, Annie rejoiced. Written in secret, the note named Ray for the monster he was; chronicled the atrocities Annie endured at his hand.

Annie raced toward the basement, filling with water. Ray followed in pursuit.

Him or me, she prayed.

The sound of a slamming door was lost amidst the howling winds.

After the storm, rescuers spotted someone standing on the roof of the white frame house.

Anyone inside?

A man in the basement, said Annie.

It was God’s will.

~~~~~

In the story, Ray is named as ‘her captor.’ I will allow the reader to decide how literal to take the take the label. Annie may have simply been trapped in a loveless marriage, in which case, her actions would then be considered murder. Or maybe ‘captor’ should be taken literally, giving justification to her actions during the storm. There were, however, three events this week where I took inspiration. First, the hurricane itself. I wondered, how easy would it be for someone to kill another and blame it on the storm? Second, Wanda Barzee, the woman who helped kidnap Elizabeth Smart, will soon go free. This revived Elizabeth’s horrific story.  Lastly, I learned this week that one of my “neighbors,” a known sexual predator who preyed on poor black woman who could not pay their rent recently died of colon cancer. Death was too good for Ray.

The Pipes Played On

The Pipes Played On

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 prompt.

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Photo credit: C.E. Ayr

 

Every seasoned firefighter knows, today may be his last. But in the beginning, they are all invincible. Andy Gow was no different on his first day at Station 29. After roll call and shift change, and a rousing welcome, Andy and rest of the squad settled in for an uneventful day.

The call came at 11:05 a.m. Apartment fire on Elm. Everyone jumped into action, including Andy. Adrenaline flowed through their veins as they rushed to the scene, lights flashing and sirens blaring. Andy was living his dream at last.

The scene was worse than expected. Flames engulfed the apartment building. No one believed anyone could survive inside. No one except Andy, who rushed in as the floors collapsed. Why did Andy ignored the yells to come back? Some say it was the Siren Song of the firefighter, luring Andy to his death. I say, Andy was just living his dream.

That night, as the squad privately mourned the loss of Andy, the haunting sound of bagpipes playing Amazing Grace filled the station. Where the music came from, no one knew, but throughout the night, the pipes played on, in remembrance of the fallen hero, and their brother.

Crush

Crush

This week’s Tuesday Scribes challenge is to write an ‘Internal Dialogue.’  Encyclopaedia Britannica defines internal monologue as: ‘….narrative technique that exhibits the thoughts passing through the minds of the protagonists. These ideas may be either loosely related impressions approaching free association or more rationally structured sequences of thought and emotion.’

Thanks to Mike Johnson for creating this challenge.

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Breathe.

Everything is fine.

Just say hello when you pass and keep walking.

Chances are he won’t even notice you.

I bet he is thinking about that Suzie Harris from 5th hour.

I can’t believe he asked her out. She wears braces for gosh sake.

What if he says something? I would die if he talked to me.

He’s getting closer.  

Why does he have to be so cute?

Don’t stare!

Crap. He saw me.

Is that a smile?

Nah, I bet he is laughing at my yellow raincoat. I can’t believe my mother made me wear this.

 I’m in 8th grade for gosh sake.

He stopped! Why did he stop?

He’s looking right at me.  He’s smiling. At me.

I think I am going to throw up.

 

Chimera Way

Chimera Way

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt. The photo this week was provided by Joy Pixley. 

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Photo Credit: Joy Pixley

 

‘I WANT ICE CREAM!’

Dina turned up the volume of the car radio, hoping to drown out the shrieks of her four-year-old son. She lost radio signal an hour before; now only static and Jeremy’s screams filled the void. A trip across the desert that should have taken a few hours stretched late into the day. Dina grew worried as she noticed the sun sinking behind the distant mountains ahead. The last thing she wanted was to drive through the desert at night.

Suddenly, Jeremy screamed with excitement. His little finger pointed toward a sign:

FREE ICE CREAM ONE MILE.

Dina sighed with relief. A town must be nearby. Squinting into the sunlight, Dina saw a strange pink building shaped like an ice cream cone come into view a hundred yards off the road. She parked the car and grabbed her son.

“Come on Jeremy, let’s get ice cream.”

Sherriff Carter received the call early the next morning. Abandoned red Toyota on Highway 191.

“Third one this month,” said Officer Duncan. “What makes a person run off into the desert like that?”

“Beats me, Carter. Just two more miles and they would have been in town.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A chimera is a thing that is hoped or wished for but in fact is illusory or impossible to achieve. Highway 191, which runs north-to-south across several western states was once known as Highway 666. Many stories of strange phenomena have been reported along that long stretch of road. 

https://www.prairieghosts.com/highway666.html

 

 

Hope

Hope

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PHOTO PROMPT © Carla Bicomong

The ship went down quickly. Those who could made for the life rafts; the rest jumped overboard. I was one of the lucky. The night air chilled my skin, but I never noticed the cold. A woman next to me grabbed my hand and held too tight. Thank God I thought. If I felt pain, at least I was alive.

No one spoke. A line of yellow lights glowed ahead no one wanted to break the spell.

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 Carla Bicomong for this week’s prompt.

Word Count = 78

Justice Insurance

Justice Insurance

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PHOTO PROMPT © Yvette Prior

My eyes lock on the coffee table, littered with cigarette buds.

DNA.

Nearby lay the victim in a pool of blood. Just like my last case.

That should have been an easy win, except for that sleaze-bag’s attorney.

Lack of evidence my ass.

Now a killer walks the streets. That is not something I can live with.

I picked up the gun by the victim. This is no longer a suicide. I place a cigarette bud in the ash tray.

Justice Insurance.

Outside, I call the evidence team.

“Bag the table,” I said. “Everything we need is right there.”

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 Yvette Prior for this week’s prompt.

Between Friends

Between Friends

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 Fandango.

SPF August 12 2018 Fandango 1
Photo Credit: Fandango

“Norman Bates.”

“Who?”

“The loony who dressed up like his mother and killed the blond dame in the shower. In the movies.”

Pete and Harvey sat with legs dangling over the edge of the 41st floor. High-rise construction was a lonely business, and Pete was glad he had Harvey to help pass the time.

“What makes you think your brother-in-law Jimmy is like Norman Bates?” Harvey asked.

“He has one of those shower obsessions. Last week I was out back burning some burgers when, you know, nature called. I walked to the bathroom, and there was Jimmy, standing in the shower, smelling the soap.” Pete stopped to take a bite of his ham sandwich. “You don’t think he is one of those…?

Harvey paused before answering. “What kind of soap was it?”

“It was the missus’ soap. Dove maybe?”

“Yeah, I like Dove. It makes the wife’s skin smell clean.

“It does have a nice aroma.” said Pete.

“About Jimmy, don’t worry about him. Once I caught my brother Davy holding up the wife’s brassiere to his chest. You can’t pick your family, but you can pick your friends. Know what I mean, Pete.”

“Yeah, Harvey. I know.”