The Business of Flying – 100 Word Wednesday

Title: The Business of Flying
Source:  100 Word Wednesday: Week 134
Word count: 100 words

Image by Bikurgurl

They drift, while I watch with envy. Most times I pilot, but today I lead the chase team, earthbound. Owning the business, I have a job I love. Then there are these days.

Two ground crew personnel called in sick. Airborne, the expedition holds its own excitement. With paying customers, the events, food, and photos at the landing site are more important than the ride.  When the balloons reconnect with the earth, the focus becomes extending the experience, helping them re-live their adventure and develop the stories they will tell their friends.

Still, I wish I was among the clouds.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

https://ko-fi.com/johawkthewriter#

Repeating History – Thursday Threads

Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

I took the stairs, two at a time, stuffing my gun into its holster as I tried to ignore the heavy strap digging into my shoulder. It was early, and I prayed as I approached her apartment.

“Please, be awake.”

Closing the door softly, I listened. Someone was in the kitchen. Relief washed over me as I peered around the doorjamb.  Her small, frail frame bent over the sink. The housedress hung on her like a worn rag, and white nurse shoes appeared too big for her thin legs to move. It was an illusion I didn’t take for granted. She possessed formidable strength.

“Yanya, we must go.”

She turned, and the butcher knife’s point kissed my neck. Her steady gaze locked with mine, then the corner of her lip curled into a smile.

“How many times have I told you not to sneak up on me?” she asked, as she dropped the knife to punch my arm.

“They’re coming again, aren’t they?” Her gnarled fingers trembled as she covered her mouth.

“Yes.”

“Solders,” she said, spitting the word.

She wiped her hands on a towel and I followed her to her bedroom. Under the bed was her bugout bag. She paused, stroking the oak box on the bedside table. She lifted the lid and caressed the pictures inside.

“You sure we can’t take my memories? Did I tell you about the time your grandfather…?”

“I have heard it all before, Yanya,” I interrupted.

“So have I. So. Have. I.”

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

https://ko-fi.com/johawkthewriter#

Unexpected Love – FFfPP

Title: Unexpected Love
Source:  FLASH FICTION FOR THE PURPOSEFUL PRACTITIONER- 2017 WEEK #33
Word count: 200 words

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My love affair started on our honeymoon, and I can assure you it’s not what you think. His idea. I preferred sleeping until noon, finding a great espresso in a cute shop and spending the afternoon wandering through the Uffizi. Waking up at four am was not on my agenda. Who does that on their honeymoon?

He was insistent. I figured since he conceded to the big wedding I wanted, and with our vows echoing in my ears, I agreed. That’s how I found myself, in a car racing down winding roads carved through farm fields on my way to Montepulciano.

We stepped onto dew cover grass, as the last evening stars faded from view. In the middle of the field a dragon roared, exhaling fire, its hot breath inflated the multicolored envelope. We stood in awe as the balloon took shape and began to lift the gondola. The pilot motioned to us and we climbed aboard.

We lifted off as the sun broke the horizon. Soon we floated above the treetops. I discovered I was holding my breath. In the quiet, I heard the blood pumping through my veins. I was suddenly more alive than I had ever been.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

A Matter of Survival – Friday Fictioneers

Title: A Matter of Survival
Source:  Friday Fictioneers sponsored by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple
Word count: 100 words

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

She hadn’t planned it, it just happened.

Self-defense drove Dolce to cook. The youngest of ten children, her boarding house reach left her scavenging scraps. Being closer to the food offered her ample opportunity to “taste” and it ensured her survival.

Resourceful, she devised methods of transforming inexpensive ingredients into haute cuisine. Her talent drew the entire neighborhood’s attention, and they insisted on paying for her home-cooked meals.

Unable to squeeze another person around the dining room table, they set tables throughout the house, and lines spilled out the front door. Dolce’s mission was making sure no one left hungry.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Running on Empty – #MenageMonday

Source: Dreamstime

Daylight faded and the gas gauge’s needle dipped ever downward. I alone followed the black ribbon which wavered, shimmering as it grasped at the horizon. Flat, desolate county rolled past my windows, a study in beige monotony. The only interruption was the occasional posts on the roadside. Shoes dangled there.

With nothing better to do and the sound of my own wheels driving me crazy, I counted them, noting the numbers on my odometer. Mile markers, they marched in tune with my evaporating gas.

Three, two, one…

Lights materialized at the roadside. Gas. Food. Lodging. Last rest stop next 247 miles, the sign warned. My car informed me we were coasting on fumes.

“Guess we’re stopping,” I said aloud.

I gassed up, paid, parked and headed inside. The truck stop was full of people. They packed the greasy diner. The door’s bell tinkled, and the room grew silent, as everyone turned to stare. “Hotel California” crackled from the overhead speakers.

“H’bout we get you checked in and a blue plate?” an attractive face asked.

“Checked in?”

“You’re not going out in the dark, are you?”

I sensed the blackness behind me and quickly turned away.

“Got somethin’ to lose?”

I shook my head.

“He’s why you’re wearin’ those shoes,” he said to my stiletto clad feet.

The straps wound around my ankles like the chains encircling my heart.

“Don’t worry Darlin, we’ll help you to forget. Perhaps one night you’ll see the light and realize you’ve always held the key.”

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Tonight, We Will Not Die — Ralph and the Prince Part II

Back by popular demand is Part II of a story I wrote last week, “Into the Night”.
If you missed it, you can read it here.  Or read on.

Ralph had lost track of time. Every muscle in his body screamed. He struggled to maintain his precarious position on the horse’s back while keeping the Prince’s unconscious form from tumbling to the ground. The black stallion broke his pace and Ralph allowed him to have his head. They both needed the break.

The punishing ride slowed to a steady stride, and he shrugged his shoulders, allowing himself to relax. Stretching, he felt blood seep into hands numb from holding the reins in a death grip. The horse blew air through his nostrils and Ralph copied the animal’s actions. As his mind cleared, he counted. Three times they had completed a circuit. Moving at the fastest pace he dared, he alternated from a canter to a trot and a walk, conserving their strength.

Deciding he could use the exercise; he slid his right leg around and jumped to the ground. He landed hard on stiff legs, and stumbled, clinging to the saddle and the prince so he wouldn’t fall. He cursed, forcing his limbs to move.

“Where are we?” The Prince’s voice was groggy, muffled in the horse’s mane.

“We should be getting close,” Ralph lied.

The Prince lifted his head, turning it towards Ralph, but the movement made him heave the contents of his stomach. Ralph jumped to the side to avoid the worst of it. He dug into his pocket, retrieved a handkerchief and wiped the prince’s mouth.

“What happened to you?” Ralph asked.

The Prince shifted his position again, rising a little higher in the saddle.

“Sirona said they poisoned me…”

“Sirona was with you?”

“Yes, she gave me something,” he said fumbling at the pouch strapped to his side. It was clear the effort was too much from him and Ralph stepped closer.

“May, I?”

The Prince dropped his hand and nodded.

“The note,” he whispered. He slumped over the horse’s neck again and his eyes closed.

Ralph steadied him, then undid the pouch’s buckled closure and fished out the folded parchment. He could feel the seal as he turned it in his hand. He glanced at the prince who was once again unconscious and wondered if he should try to wake him. Sighing, Ralph figured given their circumstances he could beg for forgiveness later. If the prince lived.

His decision made, he squinted at the letter and almost dropped it. Glowing above the Prince’s wax seal was his name.

“Well, all right, then.”

He cracked it open and unfolded his message. As he pressed back the folds, glittering sparks escaped. They coalesced into a ball, hovering over the sheet of paper. Their amber glow provided enough illumination for him to read the delicate handwriting.

 

Ralph,

With luck, you have found the Prince. If he still lives, then the elixir I administered is slowing the poison, but his life hangs in the balance.  You must reach D’ArtAnna as quickly as possible. I have enchanted the Lucciola to guide you to her. I estimate he only has a few hours.  

Our enemies are strong, and they are everywhere. Sir Felton and Jean-Christophe were dead when I found the Prince. Trust no one, dearest Ralph.

Keep yourself alive and Save our beloved Prince,

Sirona

 

He refolded the message, and the Lucciola rose, floating forward to hover above the stallion’s head. With a trembling hand, he jammed the paper into his pocket and mounted.

Sir Felton and Jean-Christophe were the bravest fighters in the Kingdom and Ralph wasn’t a match for either man, even on his best day.

“Dead,” the Lucciola bounced in the air at the sound of his voice.

“Ok, you. Lead the way,” he said. Resuming his place behind the prince, he placed his hand on the royal black cloak.

“I promise you. Tonight, we will not die.”

The stallion shook, and with a prancing step, he followed the Lucciola. They proceed along the forest trail as dawn’s first tendrils filtered through the branches. Ralph urged the horse to move faster.

“Tonight, we should be fine. It’s tomorrow I’m not so sure about.”

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

 

Red Light Rescue – Flash Fiction Challenge

Title: Red Light Rescue
Source:  Flash Fiction Challenge
Prompt: Write a story that includes a sweet jam.
Word count:  99 words

sea of red lights in New York

Photo by Jan K on Unsplash

I volunteered, although it was the last thing I wanted to do.

She waited outside her brownstone, with her carryon balanced atop her suitcase. I double-parked while the cabbie honked, cursing me, as he squeezed his way past.

“You’re late,” she said, and I stuffed the luggage in the trunk.

“You said six, it’s a quarter to.”

She ignored me and got in the car.

Rush hour in New York, made worse by some hidden force, gave me an opportunity. My one last chance.

The traffic jam was sweet, providing the salve we needed to mend our strained relationship.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Message Decoded – 3 Line Tales

From Sonya’s 3LineTales at Only100Words.
You can find the original prompt here. Thank you, Sonya

photo by Leon Bublitz via Unsplash

The victim wrote the answers on the wall, numbers hiding their meaning in plain sight.

Detective Alvarez didn’t need a decoder ring to solve the case that eluded his peers.

Peace, peace, marijuana, Satan and sex, were the smoking guns leading directly to the guilty party.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Loving A Classic – Weekend Writing Prompt

Title: Loving A Classic
Source:  Weekend Writing Prompt #119 – Tinker
Objective: Write a poem or piece of prose in exactly 75 words.

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 1963 'split window' in Amsterdam

Photo by Marc Kleen on Unsplash

My baby needed work, but the estimate made me cringe.

“It ain’t worth it. Ya wanna sell?” The office manager was all about dollars and cents. There was never any doubt, whatever the price I would gladly pay.

The mechanic smiled, happy to tinker with her engine.

“You don’t see these anymore,” he said, looking at me, he understood our connection.

“Don’t you worry. I’ll treat her like my own. She’ll be good as new.”

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer