Sunday Photo Fiction: Weedy Road

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A Mixed Bag

Every small town has a horror story. Ours was the house at the end of Weedy Road. Unsolved murders lend themselves to folklore and for us, the killer evolved into a gruesome figure; almost reptilian. It became a teenage rite of passage to visit the road on a moonless night, and so we went; me, Jack, and Harry. Jack drove his ’73 Impala, Harry sat shotgun, and I was in the back. The old Weedy house looked more like its name-sake than ever before.

We sat while the car idled.

“Turn the engine off, otherwise, it doesn’t count.” Harry knew all the rules.

Jack reluctantly moved his hand toward the ignition, paused, then turned the key.

The silence was earsplitting. No one dared breath.

I jumped out of my skin when Harry spoke.

“I knew it was a gag,” said Harry. “Let’s get out of here.”

Jack twisted the key to the right.

Nothing.

Our breathing intensified as Jack frantically turned the key. Miraculously, the engine started.

Gunning the accelerator, Jack reversed and raced toward town. Another tale for 1st hour on Monday.

Except for the part where I saw something standing in the middle of the road.

 

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 A Mixed Bag.

 

 

 

 

Sunday Photo Fiction: Fate Awaits

Traitor's Gate

A Mixed Bag

The marriage lasted a mere 28 days; now Mary found herself locked in the tower, awaiting her fate. Admittedly, her situation was dire, but at least they had not brought her through the Traitor’s Gate. Unlike her sister Jane, death was off the table.

Still, death would be preferable to a life without Thomas. Mary, dwarfishly proportioned, was an abomination, Courtiers made no attempt to conceal their titters as she passed. Not Thomas, however. He looked beyond her ugliness and saw purity. Now, because of her, his love had become his death sentence. She cursed that first drop of royal blood that contaminated her life, and her parents who conceived such an atrocity.

My birth sealed my fate, she thought.

Maybe if she had been less rash. Her cousin may not have granted permission to marry, but not asking; that was unforgivable. Now she would never know.

The clank of the large iron door jerked Mary away from her thoughts. The Queen’s guard stood in the portal.

“Her majesty awaits,” he said stoically.

Nothing could have changed things, she told her herself. Fate controls our destiny.

Reminding herself that she was a Grey, Mary boldly walked through the door.

–  – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

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 A Mixed Bag.

 

Sunday Photo Fiction – The Fixer

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He just wants to meet up for coffee, she told herself. Nothing more.

Yet Olivia could not stop thinking about her last meeting with David. It had come on the heels of a heated affair that ended badly. She cried uncontrollably and David, her protector since childhood, told her he would fix everything. When her ex-lover suddenly disappeared, Olivia wondered if David had something to do with it. It wouldn’t have been the first time David fixed things.

The dark clouds hanging over the Piazza Navona reflected Olivia’s apprehension. Could David know about her last fling with the young art student she met at the fountain? His dark eyes and arresting smile had seized her attention. They met three times in secret,  and she never learned his name. Safer not to know. Safer for him.

Anxiously waiting, she picked up a newspaper sitting on the next table. Although her Italian was not perfect, panic erupted as she read the caption under the photo of a young man with dark eyes:

Officials search for art student missing for over a week.

Hearing a sound, her stomach heaved at seeing David standing in front of her.

“Ah… I see you’ve heard about Carlos.”

 

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 Sally-An Hodgekiss.

Sunday Photo Fiction: Reminder

Red Cell Phone

@Al Forbes

I can’t believe I didn’t notice.

For eight days, I’ve tried to forget. The emotions are just too raw.

But everywhere I look, I see you.

Not you physically, but your presence.

Your memory.

The clothes you wore, still in the closet.

The food you ate, rotting in the fridge.

Small reminders that once you were part of my life.

And now you are gone.

Which is why this is so funny.

Honestly, being the jokester you are… I mean were… you would find this hilarious.

Last night I was out with our old friends, just beer and hot wings at the local pub.

No doubt they wanted to cheer me up.

I got a text on my cell phone and my face must have looked like I had seen a ghost.

Everyone noticed.

What’s wrong?” the asked. Worried that I had received more unwelcome news.

It was not the text, however.

I never got that far.

For eight days, I avoided your photo only to realize that a picture of your smiling face unlocked my cell phone.

I missed the most obvious reminder of all.

 —————————

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.

Sunday Photo Fiction:The Insomniac

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Al Forbes

 

Agnes had not slept for three nights. Insomnia, the doctor said, take a pill. But pills did nothing to help her sleep. In fact, they had the opposite effect. To pass the night, Agnes sat at her computer, trolling discussion pages, leaving comments meant to instigate anger and aggravation. Agnes wasn’t the sort of person who enjoyed conflict, but no sleep does things to a person’s head.

Then there was the fly, the incessant buzzing that grew louder with each passing night. The sound grated on her nerves. She tried swatting it, but her reflexes were too slow, resulting in even louder buzz as it circled her head.

“ENOUGH ALREADY!” she cried. But the buzzing continued.

As dawn crept through the window, Agnes made her decision. She kept the Colt-45 next to her bed in case of robbery. The massive fly sat on the computer keyboard, challenging her with enormous red eyes.  Agnes raised the gun and pulled the trigger.

The sound of gunfire filled the entire house and led to a flood of calls to 9-11. The gun fell from Agnes’ hand as she walked to the bedroom and fell into bed.

Sleep had come at last.

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 A Mixed Bag. I hope this story does not keep you up at night.

 

Sunday Photo Fiction: Dinner in the Garden

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a short story (200 word max) inspired by a photograph. This week’s photo is provided by John Brand of  a lovely English garden. What could possibly go wrong?  


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@John Brand

Donavan! Shush! … I hear something.”

Emma sat at the foot of the old brick wall decorating mud pies with the tiny rose-tinted flowers fallen from the cherry tree. Her brother Donavan was laying on his stomach, pushing toy cars along the dirt road constructed out of the loamy soil. His loud ZOOM! ZOOM! annoyed Emma, who had stopped to listen to a peculiar sound. It sounded like a voice, coming from the other side of the wall that separated Auntie’s yard from the Finch’s next door.

Emma thought it odd that just one side of the yard had been walled off. Auntie would not say why, just something about needing to keep things out.

As she placed her ear to the wall, Emma noticed a crevice filled with creeping ivy coming from the Finch’s yard. The voice grew louder. “Gray” it seemed to say.

Donavan, tired of his play and Emma’s bossing, rested his back against a tall, ivy-covered planter.

“Emma, I think I think I hear….

Too late to warn her brother, Emma could only stare in horror as the deadly vine devoured Donavan. No need to guess what the voice was saying. It clearly said, ‘I’m hungry.’”

Sunday Photo Fiction: Memory Unleashed

A little late for last week but the story has been floating in my head so might as well give it a home.  A little dark and disturbing, so consider yourself warned.

photo credit @Mixed Bag

“Make yourself comfortable,” the doctor says.

I lie down on the overstuffed couch, listening to her soothing voice and the tick-tock of the pendulum clock on the wall. As she speaks, the years of my life pass like a film in reverse.

“How old are you?” the doctor asks?

“Five.”

“And, where are you?”

“At the carnival. Mommy took me and Charlotte because Daddy was mad.”

“What do you see?”

I smile. “The merry-go-round. I climb into the Viking ship and wave at mommy. The music starts and I am going around and around and up and down. Mommy is laughing and waving.

“Where’s Charlotte?”

I frown. “She is in the carriage.”

“What happens next.”

“I yell ‘Mommy, watch me!’ But she is looking at Charlotte, laughing.

“Continue Michael, what happens next?”

“I don’t want to.”

“But you must.”

“Mommy is screaming, Charlotte is not moving; her face is blue and I am crying.”

“Why are you crying Michael?”

“Because mommy loves Charlotte more than me. “

“Michael, what happened to Charlotte?”

I killed her you bitch, what do you think happened.

“Michael?”

I open my eyes and smile.

“Michael is gone. It’s just me now.”

 

Sunday Photo Fiction April 9, 2017