Tag Archives: Friday Fictioneers

Unknown toll


Photo copyright by David Stewart

The wild clanging of the heavy iron bell that normally summons the kids to dinner wakes me, a sound not indigenous to this late hour. Pulse pounding, bare feet slapping worn oak, I grapple with the shackles of a sinuous cotton gown in my mad scramble to the back door. I pull aside the curtain as lightning splits the sky, illuminating a monster that should not exist outside of nightmares. Hail begins to strafe the roof as I whirl to rouse my sleeping family, my frantic cries a whisper against the train-like roar outside. “Get to the cellar! Twister!”
One hundred words in response to David Stewart‘s photo, selected this week by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, the leader of the pack at Friday Fictioneers. You can check out other submissions by clicking the little blue guy below.


Posted by on February 21, 2014 in Challenges, Fiction



The Jewel of the Fair


Photo copyright  Janet M. Webb

“This line is endless. The kids are antsy. I can just take them down to the Sandwich Gardens. I’ll grade some papers while they eat, then we’ll meet you under the 7-Up clock in a few hours.”

“No, George, you didn’t come all the way to the World’s Fair to work. The line’s moving…we’re almost in. When else will we see Spain for twenty-five cents? We’ll eat paella inside…and Life mentioned some fruity wine punch. Look, kids! Flamenco dancers! George, what are they saying?”

“¡Felicidades! You are our three-millionth visitor! ¡Bienvenidos! Please, be our guest at the Jewel of the Fair!”


Rochelle’s creative use of historical fiction for many of the Friday Fictioneers photo prompts has inspired me to explore that genre for my response to Janet‘s photo this week. It is widely accepted that sangria was introduced in the US at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City. Lines to enter the Spanish Pavilion were often so extensive that ticket sales had to be suspended until the Pavilion had emptied–was it Goya or sangria the people were after? Pavilion organizers celebrated visits by countless dignitaries and celebrities, and also made quite a fuss over milestone visitors like George K. Bird, a Massachusetts teacher who’d come to the Fair with his wife and four children.


Posted by on February 15, 2014 in Challenges, Fiction, Uncategorized



The Big Blow

c2a9dawn_q-_landauPhoto copyright Dawn Quyle Landau

Mama, what is it? Why you cryin’?

Remember dat piddly-ass check FEMA gimme after Katrina? $1700 for “rent and expenses”?

Yeah, don’t know how dey ‘spected you to live on dat kinda money. Why?

Dey want it back.

Want what back?

Da money!! Dis here letter say there was some kinda “clerical error,” and now dey want da money back. It been six years! Dat money gone! Why else I be here livin’ offa you and Jeanie?

Okay, Mama, just relax. We gonna fix dis.

Oh, Lordy. First my house, den my freedom, now my dignity. I got nothin’ left.


It’s Friday Fictioneers time again! One hundred words in response to a photo chosen by leader Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. There’s a solid group of 80-100 writers who contribute stories each week–if you haven’t checked out the links, you’re missing some great fiction.

Dawn’s photo is actually of a bathroom in Barbados, but no roof, missing steps…I immediately thought hurricane damage. So I went to Google to see what interesting things I could find about hurricanes and stumbled upon the outrageous story of FEMA trying to reclaim nearly $600 million from Katrina victims six years after the relief payments had been made (I was living overseas at the time, consciously avoiding as much US news as I could, so I missed the story when it actually occurred in 2011). Now, I can understand trying to recoup losses from fraudulent claims, but trying to squeeze money out of innocent folks (many of whom are elderly, disabled, and economically unstable) because of the agency’s own internal errors really rubbed me the wrong way.


Posted by on January 10, 2014 in Challenges, Fiction



Just a dream?

eiffel-tower-dmmPhoto copyright Douglas M. MacIlroy

Mama? MAMA!!!!!!!!

Jolted awake, Linda stumbled down the darkened hallway, miraculously reaching Benji’s bedside without breaking an ankle on the toys littering his floor.

What is it, baby? What’s wrong?

The robot. It’s watching me!

The Lego robot you built this afternoon? It’s just a toy, sweetie. It can’t watch you.

But its eyes…they lit up!

It was just a dream, love. Lay back down and I’ll tuck you in.

I’m scared, Mama.

Benji, you’re a big boy. Big boys aren’t scared of Legos. Go to sleep.

Linda didn’t notice the glowing orbs that tracked her exit from Benji’s room.


I know, I know. It’s a picture of the Eiffel Tower. You were probably expecting a tale of love and romance. But all I saw when Rochelle first posted this week’s photo was a creepy robot (sorry, Doug). So that’s the direction I took for my 100-word submission for Friday Fictioneers


Posted by on December 27, 2013 in Fiction



Fair weather fans

dolphin_01Photo copyright Jean L. Hays

Bob chuckled at the bottle-nose swimming lazily across the Bills mug beside him.

His Buffalo-born wife would not tolerate his “gaudy sports memorabilia” in her kitchen, so he’d been touched last year when, with a stained glass circle, she’d acknowledged his fanatic love for the Miami team.

She’d been on the road for a week now, promoting her newest book, and the kitchen reflected his temporary bachelorhood. Faced with a sinkful of dirty dishes and an immediate need for caffeine, team loyalty had vanished with the sunrise; he’d shamelessly abandoned the Dolphins in favor of the cabinet’s sole clean mug.


Posted by on December 20, 2013 in Challenges, Fiction




adamickes-childsbootsPhoto copyright – Adam Ickes

She went shopping with her mother.

He went for drinks after work.

A sexy stranger. A drunken kiss. The wrong witness. Word spreads.

On the pier where he’d proposed six weeks earlier, everything comes undone.

The ring hits his chest, slips between the planks. Plop.

Gravel pelts his shins as her Mustang roars away.

Was she blinded by tears or the lights of the oncoming semi?

He shucks his boots, dives into the evening-calm water, wonders if the gloom of the lake floor is anything like her coma.

Prays if he finds the ring, maybe she, too, will finally resurface.


I’m desperately trying to find my fiction groove again–my muse has been AWOL for weeks–no cards, no letters, no phone calls. There was finally a tiny spark of something when I saw this week’s photo prompt for the Friday Fictioneers, so I snatched at it and actually managed to churn out a 100-word story.


Posted by on December 13, 2013 in Challenges, Fiction



Tread carefully

alleyPhoto copyright Kent Bonham

“Really?” Bethann raised a manicured eyebrow in disdain. “Never mind, I see Gina. I must go and say hello.”

“For Chrissakes, Jen, officers’ wives are worse than the bitchiest girls I ever knew in high school. There are more trip hazards in a conversation at these Navy luncheons than in any dark alley.”

“Yeah, it can be tricky,” Jen replied, watching over the rim of her Chardonnay as Gina and Bethann cut glances at them from across the room. “If your husband doesn’t get put up for promotion, at least you’ll know which topics are off-limits at the Christmas luncheon!”


One hundred words for Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers! Check out Rochelle’s site for more great entries or to play along yourself.

NaBloPoMo November 2013


Posted by on November 16, 2013 in Challenges, Fiction