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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Brotherly Love

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Photo Prompt – Douglas M. MacIlroy

Gilbert fell from his chair when the email arrived. The attached photo of one of North America’s rarest birds was the holy grail among ornithologists. His brother George, unskilled in the art of bird identification, did not realize the value of such a find. He must be warned.

“Whatever you do, don’t release that bird!”, Gilbert gasped in the phone.

Gilbert underestimated George’s abilities and his need to right past wrongs. A course in Photoshop taught George all he needed to know to pull off the prank. As the small bird flew into freedom, George laughed.

 

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 Douglas M. MacIlroy for this week’s prompt

Moonlight Getaway

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Photo Prompt: Ted Strutz

 

A full moon hung on the edge of the horizon. Only a few more hours of twilight; they should hurry. The fugitives boarded the boat already packed with supplies. They would be a million miles away before they needed more.

As Mark pushed the boat away from the docks, police sirens blared in the distance. Lisa’s heart pounded, not from fear but from the arousal that came from being with a dangerous man.

She was his Bonnie; he was her Clyde.

As the sirens passed, Lisa relaxed. It would be days before they found the bodies.

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 Ted Strutz for this week’s prompt.

 

Unanswered Questions

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Photo Credit: John Robinson

The people watched in horror from their apartment windows as the young woman jogged across the bridge. A normal sight under normal circumstances, but these were not normal times.

Had she not heard the public service announcements about the air quality?

Five days ago, North Korea launched a nuclear bomb that exploded mid-air. A cloud of radiation slowly drifted toward the West Coast. Alerts went out to all residents from Seattle to Portland: the air was no longer breathable. The President consoled the citizens and assured them the government was diligently working on a solution. Until then, a mandatory curfew was in place.

How could she not know? How is it even possible that she can breathe?

Parents covered their children’s eyes, protecting them from the shock of what would surely be an agonizing death.

They questioned how they could warn her.

Would pounding on the glass get her attention? Could they put up a sign?

There must be something someone could do.

As the minutes passed and the woman seemed unaffected, a more horrifying thought began to take form.

How is it she can breathe?

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

Mrs. Willoughby

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photo credit: Kelvin M. Knight

Mrs. Willoughby, 92, occupied the same park bench every morning, feeding pigeons bread she found in the trash bins behind Big Al’s Hamburgers. Every day, joggers avoided the cement path where dozens of pigeons flocked at her feet. No one complained, however. Like the statutes, Mrs. Willoughby was a permanent fixture in the park. And equally ignored.

One day, Mrs. Willoughby did not show up. A week later, the news confirmed the old woman had died. The next day, someone bolted a memorial to her bench:

Mrs. Willoughby — Her heart was in the right place.

 

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 Kelvin. M. Knight for this week’s prompt.

The Meeting

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Photo Prompt by A Mixed Bag

The two great leaders met in the Arizona desert. Alone. No one in the President’s administration knew of this meeting. If word got out, his political enemies would ruin him, much as they had his father. But the risk of doing nothing were too great. Young Trump, as the President was affectionately known, watched as a teenager while his father’s political party spit in the face of science and ignore the signs of climate change. The Deniers became a powerful political force, rolling back centuries of innovation and learning, all in the name of Capitalism.

If only his father had listened to the Truth-Sayers. He could have prevented this catastrophe from happing. But that is all water under the bridge,

Young Trump chuckled at the thought. What a fitting pun.

Swallowing hard, the President spoke.

“I believe they call you Saguaro?”

“My race is known by many names. That is one. Little children know our true name. I believe we are called Man Cactus in your language.”

Young Trump smiled, remembering.

“What do you seek from me,” the ancient one asked?

“Teach me how to live without water.”

 

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

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.