First Date

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photo credit: A Mixed Bag (Al Forbes)

“Are you kidding me! This has got to be the worse movie ever!”

Deb’s remarks vibrated throughout entire theater, answered with a resounding ‘SHHHHH’.

Wyatt tried to calm her down.

“Baby, please, you’re disturbing everyone.”

Deb lowered her voice but not her insolence.

“I can’t believe you brought me to this…. whatever you call this movie.”

Plan 9 from Outer Space. It’s a classic.”

“It’s crap Wyatt. OMG, do you see the strings attached to the planets? What kind of person brings a first date to a movie like this?”

“I thought you’d like it. You said you liked Sci-Fi.”

“I like Star Wars. Real science fiction. My little brother could do better with his Legos and a point-and-shoot camera.”

A few moments later, Deb stood up and announced she was leaving.

“Can you get me some popcorn when you come back?”

“No Wyatt, I’m leaving the theater. For good. And don’t bother calling me again.”

After Deb walked out, the man in the seat behind Wyatt tapped him on the shoulder.

“Man, tough break, but good riddance is all I can say. How could anyone not like this stuff.”

 

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt. As a fan of horrible science fiction, this was a no-brainer. 

 Old Crow

Kika and his brother Hakan were walking through the woods in search of blueberries for Grandmother’s pie. Across the stream, Hakan noticed a bush ripe with berries.

“There are enough berries for two pies on that bush,” said Hakan, stepping into the stream.

In the tree above sat Old Crow, cawing “Danger, Danger.” Hearing the warning, Kika pleaded with his brother to return. “Do you not hear Old Crow?” he asked.

“That old bird is a trickster. He wants the berries for himself.”

Old Crow persisted with each step Hakan took, but the berries were too inviting for Hakan to return. When Hakan safely reached the other shore, he turned to Old Crow and laughed.

“Maybe I will leave a berry or two for your dinner.” He then filled his basket with the juicy berries.

By now Hakan was hungry and it would be hours before Grandmother baked the pie. As Hakan placed a handful of berries in his mouth, Old Crow cawed even louder than before. But his warning was unheeded and within moments, Hakan’s stomach burned in pain, causing him to fall into the stream. The berries had been poison.

With that, Old Crow flew away.

 

I hope you enjoyed my story. Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story, inspired by a photography. Stories for this week can be found at flash-fiction-for-the-purposeful-practitioner-2017-week-32

 

Sunday Photo Fiction – Never Goodbye

 

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Photo Prompt by Al Forbes

Theirs’s was a romance that was never quite in synch.

They met by chance, in an off-the-beaten-path coffee shop, far from home. In that absent-minded way of his that she learned to love, he bumped into her, spilling coffee all over her blouse.

Embarrassed and apologetic, he offered to pay for the cleaning.

“Only if you have dinner with me,” she said. “Wear the bow-tie. It suits you.”

They hit it off at once, soul-mates one might say. Both were avid travelers, but their travels rarely took them to the same place. For many years they never knew when they would see each other again, but he was always there when she needed him.

Sadly, nothing lasts forever and they knew their time together was about to end. Trouble was, he did not like endings.

They met for the last time where it all began. She bought the coffee. He told her the only way he could accept her leaving was to believe they might see each other again someday.

“I must believe it is possible,” he said.

“What would you have me say?” she asked.

“Say good-bye as if you will be coming back.”

“Well then…See you around.”

 

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a short 200-word story inspired by a photograph. This week’s photo is provided by Al Forbes.  The final dialogue of this story was loosely taken from the May 18, 2013 Doctor Who episode called “The Name of the Doctor”, in which River Song and The Doctor say good-bye for the last time.

Bus Stops, Bus Goes

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Alice waits at the bus stop, remembering. Thoughts of how quickly everything changed often filled her mind when not otherwise occupied. Once she had a wonderful job, a caring husband. A home and family. Without notice, it all disappeared.

Alice, that’s not true, they said. There were signs.

Why spoil happiness? she would reply.

At least she had the ragged blue sweater, bought at Goodwill, to keep her warm.

The B-2 bus pulls away from King’s station, moving toward Ocean Avenue. Ed knows the route by heart. Ten years a driver and God willing, he would drive for 10 more. The job keeps food on his table but not much more. Most fares were OK and he could handle the occasional trouble-makers. Just kids with too much time on their hands.

At Ocean, the bus slows to a stop and the doors open. A lady in a blue sweater steps in. She tells the driver she doesn’t have enough change. Her eyes look sad.

Go sit down. Bring it next time,” says Ed.

“Bless you,” says Alice.

Some things never change. God willing.

Shutting the doors, Ed pulls the bus into traffic and heads for his next stop.

 

198 words

 

Sunday Photo Fiction: The Red Rider

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Photo Credit: J. Hardy Carroll

Marcus Darksmyth, the Wolverine of Wall Street, eyes the tele-monitors hanging on the walls of his massive office. A brilliant man with a tenancy for evil, Darksmyth craved chaos. Today, using his influence with the corrupt police department, he placed off-limit signs on a perfectly good stretch of a busy sidewalk. Darksmyth chuckles as he watches countless commuters approach the barricade, override their instincts to continue and instead race across the busy street.

“This town needs are more men with balls,” Darksmyth would often say to his boardroom minions.

How he hated the lemmings of the world.

Darksmyth soon notices a young female strangely dressed in tight black leather pants, knee-high boots, and a bright red hooded cape approach the sign. If nothing else, she was pleasing to the eye. Unexpectedly, she looks straight into the camera transmitting the images to Darksmyths office. With a smile and a wink, the woman tosses the sign into a pile of rubble and marches down the sidewalk, followed by a throng of others.

The bristles on the back of Darksmyth’s neck stand up as excitement fills his being. Life suddenly became more interesting now that he was aware of the Red Rider.

 

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a short 200-word story inspired by a photograph. This week’s photo is provided by J. Hardy Carroll

 

Sunday Photo Fiction: Secret Agent Man

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Photo Prompt by Al Forbes

After months of secret negotiations, we reached an agreement. The information I held was so top-secret that the only logical place for exchange was in plain sight. Concerned for my own safety, I insisted on a place public and what’s more public than the London Eye. I arrived early, suspicious of a set-up. I may just be a reporter but I’ve read enough crime fiction to know that ‘come alone’ is just a suggestion. Not seeing anything out of the ordinary, I entered the glass pod as it slowly inched its way above the London skyline. My contact stood next to the window railing. The pink flamingo tie gave him away. I moved next to him and we exchanged pleasantries, as tourists do. Then came the fun part. I reached inside my jacket for the envelop. Proof that could destroy democracy. My hands shook and the coolness on my brow came from sweat.

Crime novels don’t lie. I felt the sharp stab at my left side, producing a slight dampness near my ribcage. To my right, pink flamingo tie whispered, “You’re coming with us.”

I looked through the glass at London below, knowing it would be for the last time.

 

 

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a short, 200-word story inspired by a photograph. Many thanks go to Al Forbes for supplying this week’s photo.

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Sunday Photo Fiction: Home Sweet Home

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Photo courtesy of Mike Vore

Quitting time at the Tasty Burger came none too soon for Harry. It had been a long day and he was ready for home.

“Heading out Frank… need anything?”

The manager of the small burger joint marveled at his star employee. Top student and star pitcher, on top of a full-time job. How did he do it all?

“Hold on a sec and I’ll drive you home”

Harry replied with his often-repeated response.

“Got a ride, but thanks.” With that, Harry quickly walked out the door.

Harry was good liar. He came by it honestly; his dad had been a good liar too. Like when he said he was going to work every morning, but instead went to the local bar. And how the old run-down house would someday be worth something.

“People hear what they want to hear,” his dad told him during a moment of sobriety.

“Never let anyone know you are on the down and out” was another of his quotable quotes.

Words were all Harry’s dad left him after running off a year ago, looking for a clean start without the constraints of a wife and son.

Words, and that shabby house Harry called home.

 

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a short, 200-word story inspired by a photograph. Many thanks go to Mike Vore for supplying this week’s photo.