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 Wall

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 © Anne Higa

The Wall

Ralph coughed and spat brown phlegm. How the hell was he supposed to climb a brick wall? His vision swam as he looked around. What the hell was a bucket doing here anyway?

One foot in the bucket and…

It swivelled from under his feet.

He fell, awkwardly. Hell, that hurt.

Something to take away the pain. Quickly. He swigged. Belched. Acid reflux filled his mouth.

Safe behind the armoured glass of an adjacent window, bargain-hunting shoppers barged through tinselled aisles.

Ralph beat on the glass, then slid to the ground.

The shoppers neither saw him nor heard him.

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Friday Fictioneers – Hunted!

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 © Brenda Cox

Hunted

Murumatsu knew they were hunting him.

From the corner of his eye he caught the flash of a lantern reflected from a knife blade, and ran. If he could only reach Midori’s bar…

He barged between cursing men. Rain-drenched awnings clung to him like the tentacles of an octopus. Murumatsu winced as he grasped a hot grill to lever himself round a corner.

He side-stepped into Midori’s bar.

“Whatever’s the matter, Murumatsu?” she asked with concern.

Two men appeared at the door to the bar, blocking Murumatsu’s escape.

“Midori, can you please make sure your brother takes his medication?”

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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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Dining Out

Dining out

Knuckles rapped on the door. Bother!

Jean had counted on being undisturbed. He smeared a wet-wipe across his face.

“Just a moment,” he called – but the door opened. How could he have forgotten to lock it?

“Wait!” he exclaimed, panic-stricken, but it was too late.

Michael stared at him, stared at the make-up and the mirror, stared at the dress on the bed.

“Bit of a surprise,” he said.

“But hardly unheard of.”

There was a pause.

“Can I take you to dinner?”

“Thanks.”

Jean reached for his shirt. Michael touched the dress.

“This would look nicer, don’t you think?”