Friday Fictioneers – Fuel Poverty

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story, based on a photoprompt, with a beginning, middle and end, in 100 words or less. Post it on your blog, and include the Photoprompt and Inlinkz on your page. Link your story URL. Then the fun starts as you read other peoples’ stories and comment on them!

PHOTO PROMPT © TED STRUTZ

Fuel Poverty

Her marijuana was hidden above the reach of the kids. It was her lifeline.

Noreen emptied the mailbox. Two red reminders and a Final Demand. How could they use so much electricity and yet be cold all the time? She’d asked about insulation, but there were no grants for trailers – a mobile home was not a building.

She switched off the tumble-dryer; that monster ate electricity. “My blouse is wet, Mommy,” whined five-year-old Reena.

Baby Kyle started to wail. Teeth, Noreen supposed.

She glanced up at her stash. No. Keep it until she really needed it in the evening chill.

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Friday Fictioneers – “Lakeside fine dining chez Louis”

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story, based on a photoprompt, with a beginning, middle and end, in 100 words or less. Post it on your blog, and include the Photoprompt and Inlinkz on your page. Link your story URL. Then the fun starts as you read other peoples’ stories and comment on them!

PHOTO PROMPT © DALE ROGERSON

“Lakeside fine dining chez Louis”

Louis was proud of his newly-opened restaurant. True, the view was better than the wine, and the wine was better than the food, but nine out of ten of his customers wanted steak anyway. What could possibly go wrong? More covers were served every week.

Louis bought himself a celebratory cigar.

Then the rain started.

Nothing dramatic, just steady rain.

For days. Weeks. 

Customer numbers dropped as the lake rose. When the deluge finally stopped, the decking, so recently occupied by happy diners, was submerged. Everything was covered in mud.

Louis sighed, got out his broom and started cleaning.

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Friday Fictioneers – Reaching for the Stars

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story, based on a photoprompt, with a beginning, middle and end, in 100 words or less. Post it on your blog, and include the Photoprompt and Inlinkz on your page. Link your story URL. Then the fun starts as you read other peoples’ stories and comment on them!

PHOTO PROMPT © DAVID STEWART

Reaching for the stars

It’s a long way to the stars. Even the nearest is more than 23,000,000,000,000 miles away. Out of reach?

They fired the rocket towards the sun, tracking it meticulously. It gained speed like a slingshot as gravity swung it round the blazing orb.

In Mission Control, student John Batchelor and the other scientists heard the AI announce, “Satellites deployed”. They cheered when the monitor showed an armada of craft, their sails stealing momentum from the sun’s light, each bound starwards.

Many years later, silver-haired Professor Batchelor watched enrapt as the craft beamed back their first image from an alien sun.

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Friday Fictioneers – The Healing Tree

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story, based on a photoprompt, with a beginning, middle and end, in 100 words or less. Post it on your blog, and include the Photoprompt and Inlinkz on your page. Link your story URL. Then the fun starts as you read other peoples’ stories and comment on them!

PHOTO PROMPT © LIZ YOUNG

The Healing Tree

That night the pain was worse. I silenced my cowardly groans, biting hard on a willow twig.

Our shaman nodded at me next morning.

“You are sick,” he said. “You must go to the Tree of Healing.”

“What do I do there?” I asked.

“It is your presence that heals, not what you do. Go!”

I walked. On the second day there was blood in my mouth. I kept walking.

On the third day, I saw the tree; I saw a light, brighter than the sun; I heard chanting voices.

The light faded and I fell.

The pain was gone!

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Friday Fictioneers – To an unknown hero

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story, based on a photoprompt, with a beginning, middle and end, in 100 words or less. Post it on your blog, and include the Photoprompt and Inlinkz on your page. Link your story URL. Then the fun starts as you read other peoples’ stories and comment on them!

PHOTO PROMPT © ROGER BULTOT

To an unknown hero

The rock band was deafening, and I hardly heard the first gunshots. People started to scream. I laughed with excitement, and, as the light show dazzled, I turned to Michael, clapping my hands.

“We’ve got to get out,” he yelled, and pointed.

A hooded gunman was pumping round after round into the dancers.

Michael pushed me towards the nearest emergency exit. Shots ripped splinters from the door frame. Michael stumbled, blood pouring from his leg.

People barged past. “Please?” I begged them. “Please help!”

Eventually somebody stopped, and between us we manhandled Michael to safety.

Thank you, whoever you are!  

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Friday Fictioneers – Ma

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story, based on a photoprompt, with a beginning, middle and end, in 100 words or less. Post it on your blog, and include the Photoprompt and Inlinkz on your page. Link your story URL. Then the fun starts as you read other peoples’ stories and comment on them!

PHOTO PROMPT © DALE ROGERSON

Ma

That was the year it snowed in September.

Ma stood at the back door, hugging her dressing gown around her shoulders.

“My, oh my, look at those roses – poor souls!”

She rummaged for her large scissors. A wisp of powdery snow crept in on the breeze from the door. Ma trotted down the garden path, slippers slapping, her bird-like ankles peeping from under her flannel nighty.

Some quick snips and she had seven stems, each carrying a beautiful, bronze-coloured bloom.

“We’ll soon have you indoors and looking your best,” she told them.

They looked fine in her crystal vase.

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Friday Fictioneers – Farewell

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story, based on a photoprompt, with a beginning, middle and end, in 100 words or less. Post it on your blog, and include the Photoprompt and Inlinkz on your page. Link your story URL. Then the fun starts as you read other peoples’ stories and comment on them!

Photo prompt © Ted Strutz

Farewell

Like a summer breeze, her voice, plaintive and beautiful, caressed the package that was the gritty ash of his absence. “Always and everywhere the music will follow you, my love.”

The sea called. Herring gulls soared, riding the thermals of the cliff.

“May we dream of each other as we sleep.”

Clutching the package to her breast, Eleanor stepped into the void.

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Friday Fictioneers – New Life

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story, based on a photoprompt, with a beginning, middle and end, in 100 words or less. Post it on your blog, and include the Photoprompt and Inlinkz on your page. Link your story URL. Then the fun starts as you read other peoples’ stories and comment on them!

PHOTO PROMPT © ALICIA JAMTAAS

New Life

The last of the wagons rumbled to a halt, discharged its ore, and sat, dirty and empty.

The last of the ore spilled from the conveyor into the furnace with a gout of sooty sparks.

The last of the molten metal was cast and the ingots trucked out.

Two men secured the gates with thick chains and heavy padlocks, and drove away.

The site was left; it wasn’t worth salvaging.

A whippoorwill came. Fireweed flourished. Brambles straggled over the buildings. Saplings shaded the wagon tracks even as they destroyed them.

New life!

Nothing grew on the spoil tips.

Ever.

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Friday Fictioneers – Plato’s Cave

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story, based on a photoprompt, with a beginning, middle and end, in 100 words or less. Post it on your blog, and include the Photoprompt and Inlinkz on your page. Link your story URL. Then the fun starts as you read other peoples’ stories and comment on them!

PHOTO PROMPT © ROCHELLE WISOFF-FIELDS

Plato’s Cave

The first thing he saw on waking was the face on the screen. It was motherly, comforting, with just the right amount of concern.

“Rise and shine, Sam. Would you like a drink?”

“Coffee, please.”

As Sam climbed out of bed, the picture changed.

‘Looks nasty,’ he thought, watching rioters in Philadelphia – or was it Miami?

He picked up the coffee.

“Careful – it’s hot,” warned the screen.

After breakfast, he stepped to the door of his apartment.

“Forty-one minutes until work sign-in,” the screen advised.

Maybe he wouldn’t go out; too much rioting.

He sat at his desk and signed-in.

Friday Fictioneers – The Singer

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story, based on a photoprompt, with a beginning, middle and end, in 100 words or less. Post it on your blog, and include the Photoprompt and Inlinkz on your page. Link your story URL. Then the fun starts as you read other peoples’ stories and comment on them!

PHOTO PROMPT © DALE ROGERSON

The Singer

He would ask Anna out tonight, after the gig.

As Eddie made the decision, his hands shook and he fumbled the set-up of his keyboard,

The gig started. The band played brilliantly; the audience were on fire.

Anna’s voice thrilled him. That slight vibrato – so sexy! And when she dropped into the lower register…wow!

The lights dimmed. The music slowed, grew gentler. Anna was singing a ballad, backed only by Eddie’s keyboard. He felt as though she was singing for him alone.

Backstage after the gig, Anna called the group together.

“Let me introduce Phil, my new boyfriend,” she said.

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