Tag Archives: flash fiction

The Day We Took Mom to Shady Rest

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

“I’m fine. Don’t be silly,” Mom said.

Paul shot a skeptical look over her head. He’d been after me for months to come out and see how she was doing.

“What did you have to eat today?” I asked.

“Oh, the usual. Yogurt and some strawberries from the garden.”

I gave Paul a triumphant look.

“Say, can you get Mom’s walker?” he said, emphasizing the word walker like an indictment.

“Where is it, Mom?”

“It’s in my trunk, dear.”

I walked through her tidy kitchen and into the garage. Which was when I saw her crumpled car. And the blood.

100 words

This has been an edition of the Friday Fictioneers, hosted by the talented and generous Rochelle Wisoff Fields. This week’s photo courtesy Rochelle-and I hope everyone’s okay!

To read more stories inspired by the prompt or to submit your own, click here.

After doing Pegman for awhile, I got used to the luxury of more than 100 words. This was a challenge!

One Man’s View of Heaven

Yorkshire Dales

After the war, he stayed in Yorkshire. For a while, he toured about, staying at inns and tipping ale, up until the day he met the shepherd.

“So I see you made it,” said the shepherd, which had seemed an odd thing to say at the time.

They’d passed a few days, or maybe it was weeks, at the shepherd’s cottage, just talking. He’d told the shepherd about Emily, and the boy back home, and how he knew he should return, but for some reason just couldn’t.

The shepherd understood. “You can stay here,” he said. “Watch the flock.”

And so the man did, and the days passed to years, and the years to decades, until the day he saw her: Emily, walking up the path. He hurried down to meet her. She was every bit the beauty he’d left behind that day on the dock.

“What are you doing here?”

150 words

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw, a weekly location-based fiction prompt. To read more stories inspired by the prompt, click here.

 

The Things He Says

“That’s where I raised my kids,” he said, pointing at the five-story construction project. Max was always saying things like that. Strange things, inexplicable things. Haunting things. Like the time he pointed to the underside of his toy airplane and explained where the bombs went, and how the compartment where the man sat was very, very small.

I cleared my throat and smiled at him in the rearview: my bright-eyed boy in the safety seat, his plump legs jutting out, his bright sneakers bouncing to the bumps in the road.

“Is that so?” I asked.

“Oh yes. Will Daisy Towne have a swing set?”

“Yes they do, honey. They’ve got swing sets, and slides and maybe even a seesaw.”

“What’s a seesaw?”

I realized he’d probably never seen one. The park by our flat didn’t have one, so I explained what it was.

“Oh I remember those,” he said, nodding.

150 words.

Crazy, right? Okay, an explanation:

As I strolled down the street, in that surging, lurching way that one travels in streetview–where destinations never seem to get any closer until suddenly they’re gone–I had the weirdest moment. The tidy redstone church I was heading for turned  covered in scaffolding, and then it was gone and I wound up in front of this, what you see above. There I was, tripping and skipping through space and time and unable to find my way back. And then for no reason, I remembered the strange things my son used say when he was little, and then this story happened.

I think it has something to do with the fact I devoured a season of Legion last week.

I’m sure I missed a fabulous opportunity to bone up on New Zealand but I just wasn’t feeling it today. So, instead I offer the above story, the spirit of complete non-sequitor, proving that inspiration can be whatever you want to do it it.

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

Spoiled

WARNING: If you want to watch Game of Thrones, but haven’t yet, major spoilers follow, so don’t read this post. And if you have no desire to watch Game of Thrones, hopefully you will still enjoy the story.

“Khal Drogo dies in the first season, you know.”

“I know. I said pretend.”

“Well it wouldn’t be accurate. Plus, he was never here.”

“Okay, fine. We can do Jon Snow and Ygritte. At fairy pond we were at yesterday? Romantic, am I right?”

“She’s dead too.”

“If you’re not careful, I’ll make you be Tyrion again.”

“Lord, anything but that. Okay fine, I’ll be whoever you want me to be: Khal Drogo. Jon Snow. Jaime Lannister?” He jiggled his eyebrows at the last one.

“That would make me Cersei and no thanks.”

“Now who’s not being open minded?”

“You are Khal, and I am Khalessi and our boat has landed on the shores of King’s Landing and we shall fall upon the walkway and make love.”’

He pressed her closer against the ancient stone wall and ran a hand up her leg.

“Wait,” she said. “I think someone’s coming.”

150 words

Written for What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt or to submit your own, click here.

In the Blood

Mars, courtesy Google Maps

This week Pegman takes us to Mars, a place my son has been threatening to go for years.

I squint up at the night sky, to the dusty red smudge where he points. It’s a smaller star then most, easily lost in a salt of brighter, prettier lights.

“I can message every day, Mom,” he says.

I sigh. This is how she must’ve felt: my great-grandfather’s mother, as she watched his wagon train disappear into the endless sea of grass.

“Once we put in the SatRads, we can Skype.”

I nod. This is how she must’ve felt—my Galway gran, as she watched her bonny son’s ship slip past the curve of the ocean.

“I promise I’ll be back.”

He squeezes my hand, but we both know the odds.

This is how she must’ve felt—my Nether-Norse gamm, as she watched her Viking son row off.

I hold my tongue and say none of the things I want to say to keep him here. How can I?

150 words

To read more stories inspired by the prompt, or to submit your own, click here.

Four Days Will Be Plenty

screengrab of photo by Paul Barlow courtesy google maps

 

He’d spared no expense: from the limousine ride, to the first-class direct flight, to the upper balcony suite on the Caribbean’s finest cruise line. Romantic gestures, to be sure, but it was one of those things she disapproved of—his want of frugality. He’d squander his inheritance in a few short years if he had his way about it. In her hands, however, those paltry millions of his could be doubled–no tripled–in as much time.

She smiled and squeezed his hand before getting up.

“Will four days be enough for a honeymoon?” he asked as she walked to edge of their balcony.

She rested her elbows on the railing and looked down. It had to be ten stories at least. From this distance, the ocean waves were barely more than orange peel. From this distance, a stumble—a scream—a splash, might never be heard.

“Four days will be plenty.”

150 words

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw, a location-based prompt inspired by Google Maps. To read more stories inspired by the prompt or to submit your own, click below:

get the InLinkz code

It’s been awhile since I’ve indulged in any literary spouse-killing, something which has probably been a relief to my reader(s). I was helpless to resist this one though, because for some reason, murder is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of a cruise ship. You’ve been warned 😉

Nyanza

Looming storm, Google Maps, Kampala, Uganda

He remembered when he got the results, or rather, he remembered the man who’d gotten them. A man in a button-down shirt, sitting in front of a computer in a New York high rise, just like a million other men.

Your DNA Ancestry Report, the subject line said.

He’d booked the trip immediately. Impulsively—before he could change his mind. It was a long way off at the time.

But now he was here. In the morning, he’d gone to Lake Victoria—Nyanza as the Bantu people called it. His people.

At the shore, he’d taken off his shoes and waded up to his knees. After that, he turned inland, feeling the gritty red soil on his bare feet.

He tipped his head back at the darkening sky and felt the weight of coming rain. And then he laughed at the wonder of it—to finally realize: he was home.

150 words

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories or to submit your own, click below:

get the InLinkz code

For some reason, this particular location evoked so many images for me. It was really hard to pare it down into 150 words. Kampala, Uganda could not be further away from where I sit right now, but I could smell the lake, see the faces, hear the tongue, and taste the posho in my mouth.

Odd.

Anywayz…. no kidlets around this weekend, and I intend to chip away at my novel-in-progress The Kwan Factor. With effort, I could find my way to the end very soon. That would be sweet.