Category Archives: Prompts

Think of all the Time We’ll Have to Write

Pitcairn Islands

“Think of all the time we’ll have to write,” you said.

We’d done the math. Between us, we figured we could live three years, maybe four: cover the rent on the cottage in Adamstown, plus any taxes, and of course, the food.

When the first cargo ship arrived from New Zealand, we’d laughed as we hauled the ridiculous quantities back home in the golf cart: ten pounds of rice, twelve pounds of beans, and of course the coffee.

The coffee ran out first. The garden washed away in a February monsoon, and nothing grew in the endless blistering drought that followed.

“Next ship will be here in eighteen days,” you said.

That is what you said about the April ship. And the July.

This time, I don’t answer. I just look at your haunch and think—and not for the first time—that it is very meaty. Very meaty indeed.

150 words

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt or to submit your own, click here.

Apologies to my hubby J Hardy Carroll. I was inspired by my desire for more writing time, and this article:  Why nobody will move to Pitcairn the Pacific Island with Free Land.

The Rewards of Perfectionism

PHOTO PROMPT © Al Forbes

PHOTO PROMPT © Al Forbes

As kids we hated going there. Mary once shattered a Wedgewood vase and you should’ve heard Uncle wail. Everything had to be perfect. When we were old enough, we’d always find an excuse not to go, ‘cause what kid wants to spend a month of summer wearing white and sitting hands-on-lap. and watch the old man take tea from the sterling service? I couldn’t remember the last time I went. Which was why it surprised me.

Augustus swept one arm at ceremoniously at the Rambler and handed me the key with the other.  “It’s yours now, sir.”

It was perfect.

100 words

This has been an edition of the Friday Fictioneers, hosted by the gracious and talented Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. This week’s photo prompt courtesy the gracious and talented Al Forbes of Sunday Photo Fiction fame 🙂

To read more flash fiction or to submit your own click the blue froggy button.

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As a side-note–I recall this picture from last February but I can’t locate it on my blog so I’m not sure if I posted a story or not. I vaguely remember writing one but sometimes they don’t make it to the blog.

 

In Real Life

Sunday Photo Fiction

Sunday Photo Fiction

 

The first thing he noticed was the cold.

 

The last thing he remembered was Ashlee. She was every bit the beauty her profile pic had suggested, with a banner of sienna hair pulled to one side and gamine features that put him in mind of the sprites in his Elfscape game.

He watched her scan the lobby, his heart poised to pounce out of his chest. Would she see him? And if she did, would she turn around and leave?

Just then, her eyes lit upon him and a perfect smile broke free from her croissant lips. She started for him, her long legs mirrored against the marble floor as she walked. With her came the scent of jasmine and the smell of something different. Something clean.

He held out a hand to shake hers—not knowing if that’s what one did on these things—if that was the customary greeting when people finally met in real life.

She warmly clasped his hand and brought her other hand around to cup his forearm. She tilted up and breathed into his ear: “Shall we have a drink first?”

 

He woke up Sunday, in a bathtub of ice.

This has been an edition of Sunday Photo Fiction, hosted by Al Forbes. To read more flash fiction or to submit your own, click the blue froggy button.


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A Couple of Live Ones

Integraton, Landers, California

Integraton, Landers, California

“Names please?”

“Hanson. Bob and Betty Hanson.”

The receptionist squinted at her monitor and then looked up. “From Duluth?”

“Right, that’s us.”

“How lovely. May I have your credit card please?”

Betty fumbled in her carry-on for the Visa. The receptionist swiped it and swiveled the monitor around. “I’ll just need your PIN.”

Bob and Betty shared a look. “But I–” Bob said.

“It’s customary,” the receptionist interrupted smoothly. “You want the treatment, right?”

Bob grumbled and entered the number.

“You’re all set then. You’ll want to disrobe in the changing area. Leave all your clothes and personal items in the baskets. Then, proceed down the curved hallway to the chamber. Once inside, lie down and put your blindfold in place.”

Betty shouldered her bag and the pair toddled down the hallway. As the changing door closed, the receptionist hit the intercom. “Got a couple of live ones for you, Benny.”

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more flash fiction inspired by the location or to submit your own, click the blue froggy button.

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The Three Bears

Sunday Photo Fiction

Sunday Photo Fiction

“I won’t, Mummy.”

“Darling, please. We can’t. Not today. Mummy doesn’t get paid til Friday.”

“If I can’t have it I’ll scream. I’ll know you don’t love me.”

“Oh, precious. Mummy loves you very much. Look, we’re getting the bear.” She flipped the tag to check the price and handed it to the boy. He hugged it close and pressed his face into the fluffy white fur.

It would be fine, she supposed, smiling. There was a bone of beef in the freezer to make a broth. She could stop at the market for carrots and peas and perhaps some barley. And flour for bread. Her stomach lapped at the thought. Belly-filling meals for the pair of them for the next five days, if not hearty ones.

The boy looked up. “White bear says she wants the tan one,” he said. “She told me.”

She eyed the price tag. “Very well then.” There would be soup, but no bread, she decided.

He wrapped his arms around both bears and squeezed. She turned to go.

“But Mummy! I want the brown one too.”

She let out an exasperated sigh and tightened her stomach. “Very well then.”

There would be broth.

199 words

To read more flash fiction inspired by the prompt or to submit your own, click the blue froggy button:


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This has been an edition of Sunday Photo Fiction, hosted by the gracious Al Forbes. Al has been generous enough to host this weekly 200 word fiction challenge in spite of ongoing health issues. He’s now asking for participants to submit pictures of their own in order to continue the challenge.

Al, Thanks for your generosity. I love the luxury of 200 words and the chance to share stories with this lovely group. Look for photos coming your way!

 

This Forgotten Place

Google Street View of Burhhanpur

Google Street View of Burhhanpur

 

Eat, pray, love, my ass. I’d picked up Delhi belly in Kochi that had taken me until Mombai to shake. I’d been infested by some water-borne parasite doing sunrise puja at Surat. The handsome Brit I’d met in Ahmedabad had stolen my passport and wallet, and I’d spent eight days waiting at the embassy.

By now, there was nothing left to lose. Even my sandal had given out on the walk from the main road. Every possession I had left fit into one canvas bag that I had slung over a shoulder.

I’d been ‘looking for something’, a thought that made me laugh now. There was nothing to find in this forgotten place—just one more thing to check off a bucket list that no one followed.

I padded to the open-air window and looked out past the river, and squinted at the rising sun.

And realized, finally, what I’d found.

..

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw.

To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own 150-word story, visit the inLinkz button:

For guidelines and rules for the What Pegman Saw weekly writing prompt, visit the home page.

The Miller’s Turn

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

They say he milled diamonds from stone, but I never saw it. The river had run dry for an age by the time I came upon the mill.

The old woman stood in the doorway, one gnarled hand blooming atop her cane. She nodded at the thing. “It’s yours now.”

I moved closer, ran one hand along the beam, the wood worn to a sinew of grain, the stone beneath it polished smooth. I looked back at her. “I can’t see getting a diamond from that.”

She laughed, crackling and smoky. “And you won’t, son. Not unless you turn.”

99 words

This has been an edition of the Friday Fictioneers, hosted by the gracious and talented Rochelle. This week’s photo courtesy the amazing Sandra Crook. To read more flash fiction inspired by the prompt, or to submit your own, click the blue froggy button:

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