Rumors

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Photo Prompt: J. Hardy Carroll

The Madison Shoe factory closed 50 years ago. Rumor was the owner walked in one day, fired everyone on the spot, then locked himself inside. A week later, the police found him hanging from the rafters. None of the normal suicide reasons applied; he just killed himself. His son tried to sell the factory but there were no buyers. Like the old man cursed the building when he died. It belongs to the city now. Kids drive by on a dare, searching the windows for the old man. He never shows himself.

That’s the rumor at least.

Friday Fictioneer’s 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 J.Hardy Carroll for this week’s prompt.

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Writer’s Block

rusty-gate

‘The gate remained shut for hundreds of years. No one knew what was on the other side. No one dared find out.’

Rusty combed his brain for the next line but nothing came. He loathed 10th grade creative writing with its useless themes. Like this week – Fanciful Fiction. What rubbish! Bored, Rusty peered out his bedroom window and notice the iron gate leading to a vacant lot across the street. Strange I have never noticed it before, thought Rusty. Grabbing a jacket, he darted out for a closer look.

The uninviting gate stood between concrete walls; the words Keep Out painted in bold, red letters. Along the top, rusted spikes dared intruders to climb over. Rusty was leaving when he noticed the open lock. He pushed hard and met resistance, as if blocked on the other side. One last push created an opening wide enough for Rusty to squeeze his body through, before the gate banged shut.

No one saw Rusty again. His grieving parents left his room as it was the day he disappeared. The story in the typewriter was exactly as Rusty left it. Almost.

In bold red letters were three unexplained words:

‘But Rusty did.’

Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner is a weekly writing challenge designed for both the flash fiction newbie and the more experienced writer. It is the desire of this challenge to allow writers the opportunity to clear the cobwebs from a more tedious and involved project. Becoming a part of a new and growing writer’s community might be just what the doctor ordered to rejuvenate your writing juices

Friday Fictioneers: The Agreement

Dalia anxiously waited for the call she feared would never come. Nearby, the detectives huddled in a circle. Were they talking about Steffen, she wondered, or just shooting the breeze. For 10 hours, they speculated as to why Steffen abandoned his car on the bridge after a minor accident. Dalia’s head pounded from the incessant questioning.

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PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

What did she know that she was not telling them, they demanded.

Tight in her hand, Dalia held the tattered reminder of their pledge; a binding agreement made when they first came to America: Protect Yourself. Say Nothing.

And she wouldn’t.

 

This story was inspired by Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers, a weekly challenge to write a complete story in 100 words or less based on a photo prompt. To join in and to read the other stories, take a look here

 

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 – 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: 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

 

 

 

Sunday Photo Fiction: The Empty Room

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When Edison arrived, there was a glass sitting on the nightstand next to the bed. A small, clear glass filled with a clear liquid that looked like water. How very odd, thought Edison. The room had been vacant for over a year; yet there it was, a clean glass with water that looked like it had come from a Fiji bottle. Edison glanced around the room. Dust covered everything: the pine wood floor, the cheap coffee table. Dust even muted the colors of the floral couch and coated the window blinds. But no finger prints or foot prints. Wouldn’t you think that whoever left that glass of water would have left some sort of prints?

The glass bothered Edison. According to the landlord, the last tenants left just before Christmas. In a hurry. That’s when the City shut off the utilities, so where did the water come from?

Edison took inventory. A deserted, dusty room with no fingerprints or foot marks. A clean glass of water that came from nowhere. And a three-day old corpse laying on the bed.

Turning to the officers on the scene, Detective Edison asks, “Does anyone else find this strange?”

In response to Sunday Photo Fiction February-26th-2017
Image credit: A Mixed Bag