Muster Station Message

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Photo Prompt: Al Forbes

The warning blasted throughout the ship:

This is not a drill. Proceed to your muster station.

How can a ship sink when the sea is calm and the weather fine? I learn from panicked voices of a fire on deck one. I hear the word ‘bomb.’ The situation is surreal. I retrieve my lifejacket and head toward Muster Station 3 where I notice both men and woman boarding the lifeboats. How can that be? Isn’t it always women and children first? Then again, my only experience with a sinking ship was the movie Titanic.

A young woman catches my attention. I grab her hand, hoping she will prove strong enough for us both. When it is my turn to board the lifeboat, I turn to my companion to say we will be okay; instead she shoves a worn leather book at me. Before receding into the crowd, she mouths: make sure it gets into the right hands. The lifeboat plunges into the ocean and I never see the woman again.

As we motor toward safety, I open the book and read words more frightening than the sinking ship:

Citizens of the United States…. you are in danger.

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt. Al Forbes (A Mixed Bag) provided this week’s challenging photo. 

 

 

 

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Green Hill Monster

Leaves

Photo Prompt: A Mixed Bag

For the past 60 years, the old couple made a pilgrimage to Talihina to watch the changing of the autumn leaves. The tradition started the year they married. Too poor to take a real vacation, the happy couple packed their car with a picnic lunch and blanket, and drove three hours to shores of the Kiamichi River. Although their financial circumstances improved over the years, they continued to return every September.

Today’s banquet included fried chicken and homemade potato salad, and a special bottle of wine. As the couple enjoyed a second glass, a loud squeal echoed through the hills. Without warning, an ugly creature eight-foot tall with long, stringy black hair towered before them. Sharp, pointed teeth filled its mouth and its eyes were black as night.

Seeing the creature, the old man grabbed his chest.

“My God! You know better to sneak up. My old ticker isn’t what it used to be. Have a seat”

The old man pointed to the blanket.

The old woman handed the creature a glass of wine.

“We were wondering when you would show up. Our little excursion would not be the same without you. Hungry?”

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt. A Mixed Bag provided this week’s challenging photo.

This week’s story combines a true Oklahoma tradition – the drive along the Talimena – with an Oklahoma urban legend. Here is more on a sighting of Bigfoot in Oklahoma.

Bigfoot – Talihina

Bigfoot stories have been a staple of southeast Oklahoma for decades. In fact, the heavily forested area is said to be one of the most active for Bigfoot sightings in the country. One of the first sightings occurred in 1970, when a group of local high school kids decided to cruise the foggy back roads near Talihina after an evening pep rally. They pulled over and one of the teenage boys wandered away from the group and into the edge of the surrounding forest. It was here that he caught a glimpse of what the locals later dubbed the “Green Hill Monster” of southeastern Oklahoma – a hideous creature several feet taller than a human and covered in long, matted hair.

The boy ran back to the car in fright and the group quickly sped away down the road that lead back to town. After they reported the sighting to the police, the local sheriff investigated the area. He found several dead deer in the vicinity and immediately forbid anyone from going into the woods at night for fear of an attack. The creature was never caught (http://www.travelok.com/article_page/oklahomas-spooky-urban-legends)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Warning

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Photo Credit – Roger Bulltot

The Sherwood Arms Neighborhood Association demanded immediate action. The house at 1533 was out of control. Fearing a coup d’état, the association chief wrote the following letter:

“My Fellow Neighbor”

I have received many complaints about the upkeep of your yard. Your contract clearly states – NO UNNECESSARY YARDWORK! Your neighbors prefer to spend weekends in leisure and your obsession with a well-kept lawn makes us look bad.”

The Chief weighed his next words carefully. Surrounding him were lawn-mowers, weed-eaters, and clippers of all sorts, confiscated over the years.

Non-compliance will result in drastic measures. Heed my warning!

 

This story was inspired by Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneer’s , a weekly challenge to write a complete story in 100 words or less,  based on a photo prompt. Thanks to Roger Bulltot for providing the photo. 

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. 

The Coming Storm

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PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Tornados rarely formed during the hot Oklahoma summer, but the still, humid air signaled a coming storm. Joe stood on his porch, watching. Hearing footsteps, he turned and saw a man standing a few feet away, a baseball bat in hand.

“Jesus Boone, you scared the shit out of me. What’s up with the….”

The bat connected with Joe’s head before he could finish the sentence. Toppling off the porch, Joe landed in the dirt, blood pooling in the dead grass. As thunder clapped, Boone raced toward the road.

Standing in the shadows of the front door, a small figure watched everything.

<<count 102>>

This story was inspired by Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneer’s . Thanks to Rochelle for providing this week’s photo.

 

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