distraction

For Friday Fictioneers, 100 words

© Ted Strutz

Loading was going according to schedule. The new rigger seemed to be working out alright, slow but conscientious.

As Kevin took one last walk around the load, his phone rang. A moony smile spread across his face at the sound of his new girlfriend’s voice. 

Kevin gave the new guy a thumbs up and they hopped in the truck.They were in the middle of an intersection when Kevin realized he had only checked one side of the load.

He watched helplessly as the entire load careened off the trailer, traffic screeching wildly in every direction. He winced and prayed.

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Thank you to Rochelle at rochellewiseoff.com for the Friday Fictioneers prompt, and Ted Strutz for the photo!

ready and willing

For Friday Fictioneers, 100 words

Photo courtesy of Dale Rogerson

Retirement was not agreeing with them.

Roscoe and Norma restlessly sipped their drinks, soaking in the tropical surroundings. The spacious deck overlooked a pond teeming with beautiful, lush growth, but they both sat bored, itching to cook up some adventure.

They couldn’t help but notice when the sky took on an eerie glow. Without further warning, a ferocious wind exploded around them. Foliage and water became a blur, whipped by the maelstrom.

“Roscoe! Look up!” Norma yelled, pointing.

Turning his head skyward, Roscoe could see the strange, elliptical craft descending towards them.

“Hell, yeah!” grinned Roscoe. “Beam us up, Scottie!”

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Thank you to Rochelle at rochellewiseoff.com and for the Friday Fictioneers prompt!

spontaneous

Photo courtesy of Eugi’s Causerie

The strains of the old song wafted out over the streetside cafe. Maddie couldn’t help herself.

“Oh, we have to dance!” she trilled, eyes sparkling.

“What? Here? Now?” Peter laughed. Still, he, too, could feel the pull of the song. How, after all, could he resist Maddie’s entreaty?

Maddie rose, pulling Peter up towards her. They melded into a gentle, slow swaying dance, meandering among the tables, oblivious to the startled onlookers. A waitress gently skirted them to bring an order out. 

The song came to a close. The couple looked up, surprised, as the cafe erupted in happy applause. 

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Thank you, Eugenia, at Eugi’s Causerie, for this happy prompt, “dance,” and the accompanying photo (apologies for using just a portion)!

with the crowd

For Friday Fictioneers
100 hundred words

Photo courtesy of David Stewart

At first, it seemed like fun. We all bobbed along, each of us safely ensconced in our pandemic-proof eggshells. The crowd chattered excitedly, getting louder and louder as we jostled along. 

Total introvert that I am, I began to feel frazzled. Finally, I knew I had to flee.

Bumping into the edge, I forced my hand through a seam, scrambled out, and ran off into the darkness. I strolled along, watching the spectacle from a distance. 

That’s how I happened to see it: all those glowing eggs tumbling over the precipice down into a dark abyss, babbling into silence.

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Thank you to Rochelle at rochellewiseoff.com for the Friday Fictioneers prompt!

switching it up

A to Z challenge, theme: anatomy, day 16: P
Flash fiction, 100 words 

One year into this whole pandemic schtick, and Sheldon was over it. He had reached his limit with the loneliness, the video screens, the constant soundtrack of fear.

Sheldon knew, however, that he held opportunity in the palm of his hand. 

To anyone else, it looked like a piece of candy. He popped the bonbon in his mouth, savoring the strange flavors as it melted.

It wasn’t long before he felt his teeth growing. Then, the tail started to happen. Pretty soon, the wings popped up and flapped a little. 

Sheldon, the little red dragon, was ready for take-off.

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scent of hope

A to Z challenge, theme: anatomy, day 14: N
Flash fiction, 100 words 

The scent of the lilacs wafted into the house. Mandy paused, taking it in. She walked outside and clipped a small, bushy sprig of blossoms. Since it wouldn’t be allowed, she tucked the sprig into a plastic bag. She knew it was just the right thing.

Her mother lay in the ICU, unable to move or even to look out a window. Mandy took the sprig out of her pocket. She held it up in front of her mother’s eyes, then up to her nose. Mandy’s hopeful heart leaped as she saw those death-dull eyes suddenly sparking with light.

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fresh start

For Friday Fictioneers
Flash fiction, 100 words

Photo copyright Anne Higa

The fairies gathered near the grotto at the appointed hour, their little shadow selves barely visible in the darkness. Their excited chatter could be heard almost like birdsong through the forest.

It took the strength of all the fairies, heaving together, to get the old wooden bucket lowered into the deep glowing pool. With Herculean effort, the tiny hands pulled the full bucket back up to the top. 

Their elfin cheer reverberated throughout the woods as they spilled the bucket out, dusting their wings with the powdery fairy gold. Sparkling anew with their magic, they flitted off into the night.

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Many thanks to Rochelle at rochellewiseoff.com for this intriguing photo prompt!

approved protest only

A to Z challenge, theme: anatomy, day 13: M
Flash fiction, 100 words 

Tyler stepped up to the microphone and opened his mouth to speak. His eyes scanned the small crowd before him, wondering if the gathered folks could tolerate, much less actually consider, his vital message.

Freedom of speech only applied if you were in compliance with approved themes and virtues. Anything outside the accepted conventions could be shunned, derided, and lead to loss of friends or family, job loss, arrest, or worse.

Tyler took in the well-meaning but empty eyes. He noticed the ever-present police politely stationed around the fringes of the group. 

He would look for another way.

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for what it’s worth

A to Z challenge, theme: anatomy, day 11: K
Flash fiction, 100 words

Speaking his promise aloud, he pushed the ring onto her finger. 

Over time, the ring simply became part of who she was, like her lips or nose. For almost a quarter of a century, it witnessed all the big events, and the small ones, too, of a marriage.

Now, she twisted it carefully up over her work-worn knuckle. She laid it in the palm of her hand, along with the ring he had always refused to wear. She finally understood why.

She reached out toward the jeweler.

“I saw your sign. How much will you give me for these?”

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first clue

A to Z challenge, theme: anatomy, day 9: I
Flash fiction, 100 words

Everything was planned. She ran her index finger down the list. She knew where she was going, that she could find a job and friends.

She continued with the packing, a slow, careful process. She considered the little things that held meaning for her, a few books, some precious mementoes. Furniture, not so much. 

He was not there to see her leave.

There had been a wonderful few years. They were simpatico. She loved the way he always called her his “Boo.” 

Despite the apologies, she knew the instant he slammed her up against the wall that they were done.

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