Friday Fictioneers: Brief Reprieve

I pretend I don’t hear gun shots afar off.

Fourth of July’s in three weeks. It’s just fireworks. Drunk frat brothers shooting off exploding rockets for practice.

But I back inside just to be safe, close the sliding glass door to the balcony and lock it.

Money and privilege doesn’t mean a thing these days. You can be a United States congressman and still be targeted. How many presidents absorbed the bullet? How many of them lived?

I’m only here for the weekend though. Be back in Chi-Town by Monday, where I recognize the gang bangers who shoot me.

word count: 100

—Nortina


PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Friday Fictioneers challenges you to write a story in 100 words or less using the provided photo prompt as inspiration. Click the froggy icon to read other stories and add your own.

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#FridayFictioneers: Pondering

We’ve stayed too long. Cut off from all exits but my bedroom window, we sit on a corner of my bed, watching the vines pour in and swallow my dresser whole.

There’s no escaping now. Even if we tried to climb out, a loose, sinewy tendril would wrap around our ankles, drag us under.

“Reminds me of that movie,” Caroline says, “where the plants turn on people.”

“Never heard of it.”

“Mark Walhberg’s in it.” She picks at her fingernails with a serrated knife gone dull against the siphoning vine. “Apparently, they release a toxin that makes people kill themselves.”

word count: 100

—Nortina


© Sarah Potter

Friday Fictioneers challenges you to write a story in 100 words or less using the provided photo prompt as inspiration. Click the froggy icon to read other stories and add your own.

Ashes to Ashes

I’m as shallow as these waters. Jewel squeezes my hand. He loves me. I’m supposed to love him. Daddy did — his dying wish that we don’t wait to marry.

The wind suddenly changes directions when Reverend Jacob holds the urn over the ocean.

My dad settles in my hair, and I shake and pull and rake, and fall hard on the rocks, and all Jewel can do is pull me into him, promise he’ll take me away from here. He needs to be my savior — that’s why I can’t marry him. I want to hurt. I want to cry alone.

word count: 100

—Nortina


© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Friday Fictioneers challenges you to write a story in 100 words or less using the provided photo prompt as inspiration. Click the froggy icon to read other stories and add your own.

Visitation

Grant hesitates at the entrance. The chamber is filled with rows of chairs similar to church pews. From the back wall, men dressed in dull green jumpsuits file through a steel door.

“How do they keep them from running off?”

“They shoot,” Grant’s mother says flatly. She pushes him forward to follow the guard, who shoulders a rifle.

The guard sits them across from a middle-age man scratching his graying beard. Sunlight pours in from the window and reflects off his handcuffs.

Grant blinks several times to refocus his vision, then stares into the familiar dark brown eyes. “Hi, Dad.”

word count: 100

Nortina


© J Hardy Carroll
© J Hardy Carroll

I’m back from a long hiatus with another Friday Fictioneers story. 

Friday Fictioneers challenges you to write a story in 100 words or less using the provided photo prompt as inspiration. Click the froggy icon to read other stories and add your own.

Daddy’s Little Girl

“Why you ain’t in school?” Pa uses the doorjamb to hold himself up.

“Spring Break.”

“You’re fat.” He slings the empty 40 toward my head. I dodge at the last second, and the glass shatters against the wall behind me. “Gonna take a leak,” he slurs then stumbles pigeon-toed through the front door of our trailer.

Will he bother to remove the flowers? Or will he soil her grave with his stream? She’s lucky she’ll never grow to learn what “Spread ’em!” actually means.

“She’s better off dead,” Becky said when we buried her. “He didn’t even know you were pregnant.”

word count: 100

Nortina


© Ted Strutz
© Ted Strutz

Friday Fictioneers challenges you to write a story in 100 words or less using the provided photo prompt as inspiration. Click the froggy icon to ready other stories and add your own.

Depart

The rain has stopped, but the water keeps rising. It’s risen a foot since last night, and it’s predicted it will only get worse.

Grandpa guides his wheelchair to the window overlooking the river. “The Johnsons have gone.”

I squint at the “For Sale” sign hanging from their banister. “Maybe we should too.”

“All my years at sea and this is how God decides I’m to die,” he says, brushing the dust off his collection of nautical navigational instruments.

“God didn’t say you have to stay.”

“Did he say I can go?” he asks, but we both know the answer.

word count: 100

—Nortina


antiques-along-the-mohawk
© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Friday Fictioneers challenges you to write a story in 100 words or less using the provided photo prompt as inspiration. Click the froggy icon to ready other stories and add your own.

Art Gallery Pianist

Again and Again, he calls it. “I composed it just this morning.” Again and again, he stabs at only four keys with a single finger.

I cringe at each flat note, wince at every extended pause in the sporadic melody as he tries to memorize which key he last struck.

Patrons turn from paintings, cover their ears. I share their torment but remember Gramma’s words. It’s your duty as a woman.

Melt in his sex appeal, even if he’s as homely as they come. Praise his musical genius, no matter how tone deaf.

“Play on,” I purr in his ear.

word count: 100

—Nortina


hh-spinet
© Jan W. Fields

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly challenge where you must write a story in 100 words or less using the provided photo prompt as inspiration. Click the froggy icon to ready other stories and add your own.

Mother of None

My thighs pillowed from my shorts like jumbo marshmallows pinched at the center. They rubbed together, chafing in the dry heat, as I hiked the dilapidated staircase.

Why did he choose me? The overweight girl with the plain clothes, plainer face, and stuttered speech. The late bloomer Zane from Calculus knocked up before her first period. The slut who missed final exams to get a late-term abortion.

He wanted to do it standing up against the pillar of the abandoned train stop, so I peeled down my shorts, listened for the cries of another unborn child  implanted inside me.

word count: 99

—Nortina


© Amy Reese
© Amy Reese

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly challenge where you must write a story in 100 words or less using the provided photo prompt as inspiration. Click the froggy icon to ready other stories and add your own.

Beneficiary

“You’re not a home wrecker if she’s dead,” I whisper repeatedly, digging my nails into the armrest.

“First time on a plane?” He kissed the corner of my mouth, pressed his thumb against my chin, turned my head and met my lips again. “The hardest part’s the take-off.”

“How can you be so calm? This is her jet. Her casket’s—” I shivered under the A/C vent suddenly blowing out cold air in the dead of winter.

He pinched my lips together. “After the funeral, we’ll fly straight to Belize, make our life there. Everything else gets buried with her tomorrow.”

word count: 100

—Nortina


© Melanie Greenwood
© Melanie Greenwood

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly challenge where you must write a story in 100 words or less using the provided photo prompt as inspiration. Click the froggy icon to ready other stories and add your own.

Starving Artist

“A job’s not gonna fall from the sky.” He handed her the classifieds, and she tossed it into the nearest trashcan.

He clicked his tongue. “When I was your age—”

“It was 1950,” she snapped.

Up ahead, she saw the mural on the coffee shop window—the sun rising over a steaming mug of cappuccino. She pointed. “This is it!”

He looked it over, rubbing his chin. “How much did they pay you for it?”

“It’s about the recognition, Pa.”

“So nothing.” He clicked his tongue again. “I sure hope you can find yourself a rich husband.”

word count: 96

—Nortina


Copyright Jean L. Hays
Copyright Jean L. Hays

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly challenge where you must write a story in 100 words or less using the provided photo prompt as inspiration. Click the froggy icon to ready other stories and add your own.