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

 

Bus Stops, Bus Goes

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JulyMorgueFile file6681324364046

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: Family Business

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Photo Prompt courtesy of Al Forbes

 

Diana stood on the second-floor landing, smiling down on the patrons of the White Horse Inn.

A good crowd for a Saturday, she thought. All because of me.

Granted, the White Horse served a decent meal, and the brew far superior to that of the other watering holes in the neighborhood. But Diana knew they came to see her.

The pub had been a family business for over a 100-years. At 16, she took her place at the bar, serving beer and bitters. Many a young man frequented the inn, in hope of attracting her favor. But Diana only had eyes for Charles Stroud, a gutsy military man stationed nearby. She fell in love, he into lust and soon they married.

Charles turned out to be ladies’ man. His unfaithfulness broke her heart. A rope broke her neck.

Show time.

Diana placed the noose around her neck, like she did 75 years before. The clamor of voices quelled as all eyes turned toward the stairs. Most would be disappointed, she knew. Not everyone can see a ghost.

Tomorrow Diana would once again go to the old church next door and confess her sin. Father Michael would be waiting.

 

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.

Sunday Photo Fiction: Grandmother’s Secret

© A Mixed Bag 2011

© A Mixed Bag 2011

Danielle was enchanted by the dragonflies dashing about her head. The small creatures, zooming from place to place, captivated her attention. Quick as lightning, she could barely keep her eyes on them. How she wished she could touch one. Danielle extended her finger in the air. Immediately, one of the elegant creatures rested on the tip.

“Quickly Joe, take a photo.”

Using his iPhone, her brother Joe captured several shots before the dragonfly flew away.

Later that day, Danielle visited her Grandmother and showed her the photo of her and the dragonfly.

“Just call me the mother of dragon…flies.” Dany laughed at her own joke.

“You come by it naturally, my dear,” said her grandmother. “I am the mother of dragons, and these small creatures are nothing less than the remains of those great beasts.”

Dany noticed her grandmother was reading Game of Thrones again. For as long as she could remember, Grandma Dany claimed to be the real Daenerys Targaryen, brought to this world on the back of very own dragon. Her parents told her this was nothing more than the delusions of an old woman, but Dany knew better. The truth was living in the basement below.

 

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a short, 200-word story inspired by a photograph. This week’s photo was provided by A Mixed Bag.

 As a side note, writer’s write from their own experience and this story is no exception. There is always a little truth to the writer’s story. As reader, it is up to you to sort between fantasy and fact.

Dragonfly 3

© Spauldis 2017

 

Sunday Photo Fiction: Uncle Hector

Chimenea

@ Dawn Miller

 

“How about this one?”

Carol eyed the clay fireplace on display at Home Depot. “It looks like your Uncle Hector. Same toothless grin.”

Derek glared at Carol. Hector was his favorite uncle and Derek his staunchest defender. Hoping to make it better, Carol smiled as if to say she couldn’t help being an ass.

“Not orange enough,” said Derek.

Now it was Carol’s turn to look muddled. What does the color of the have to do with anything? As if reading her mind, Derek explained.

“Remember when Hector used that spray-on tan? He was twice as orange as this thing.” Derek laughed and the tension dissolved.

Relieved, Carol sighed. “I like it. It has character. It would be nice on cool nights. We could sit on the patio and drink wine. All night if we wanted”

Derek moved closer to Carol and looked deep into her brown eyes. “What if we want to do a little more than talk on those cold nights. I sure as heck don’t want Uncle Hector watching us.”

Carol wrapped her arms around Derek’s neck and whispered in his ear.

“I guess we will just have to move the lounge chair out of sight.”

 ~~~~~

This story was written based on a photo prompt posted in Sunday Photo Fiction – March 5, 2017

Photo credit belongs to Dawn Miller

Word count 198.