Lofty Undertaking – Flash Fiction Challenge

Title: Lofty Undertaking
Source:  Flash Fiction Challenge
Prompt: Write a story about justice for all.
Word count:  99 words

orange canoe on lake surrounding with mountain at daytime Steep valley sides and moody clouds made this paddle an overwhelming experience. Gudvangen is one of the most beautiful places in Norway!

Photo by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash

Skyscrapers defined the canyon walls of Anders’ world. Imposing shadows modulated light and dark and framed his existence. He marched predictable paths that left him stuck in mechanized monotony.

Searching for more, his friends convinced him to kayak a Norwegian fjord. Landmasses dwarfed anything he had ever seen. The guides told stories of massive sperm whales, sixty feet long and weighing eighty tons, that ate giant squid who swam four thousand feet below his kayak’s thin fiberglass shell.

Anders imagined he was the whale, diving deep, he hunted dark waters. He breached the surface, reborn, and ready to soar.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Attaining “High Flight” and “Slipping the Surly Bonds”- Friday Fictioneers

Title: Attaining “High Flight” and “Slipping the Surly Bonds”
Source:  Friday Fictioneers sponsored by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple
Word count: 100 words

looking up into a hot air balloon with blue sky

PHOTO PROMPT © Ronda Del Boccio

“You’re full of hot air.”

“Who do you think you are?”

“You can’t.”

“You’ll never—”

Eyes closed, I clap my hands over my ears, hum to drown the sound of their echoing fear, and search for the quiet cry.

Creativity, inner voice, muse, true self, she answers to many names.

Squashed, derided as child’s play, and nothing more than popsicle sticks, school glue, and glitter, she retreated.

I had rejected false experts, and I resolved to change. I hitched my life to Creativity with a capital “C,” vowed to prove the naysayers wrong, and I floated towards the stars.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Take It All Back – Flash Fiction Challenge

Title: Take It All Back
Source:  Flash Fiction Challenge
Prompt: Write a story about justice for all.
Word count:  99 words

man sketching portrait of woman

Photo by Samuel Castro on Unsplash

It should have been a simple assignment. A modest portrait of his patron’s daughter. While he didn’t like children as his subject, the commission promised to launch his budding career.

Except, when she showed for her appointment, she wasn’t a child. She was no blushing bride-to-be, but a temptress with a siren’s song. Engaged, another man’s prize, she exchanged the poor artist’s heart with her own. Forbidden love blossomed.

There was only one solution.

“I cannot do her justice,” he declared, “For all our sakes, take these godforsaken sketches, and I will try to forget I ever met her.”

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Silver Linings – Weekend Writing Prompt

Title:  Silver Linings
Source:  Weekend Writing Prompt # 159 – Intrepid
Objective: Write a poem or piece of prose in exactly 52 words.

Airstream Travel Trailer on a Mountainside with Big Sky

Photo by Airstream Inc. on Unsplash

A derelict Airstream sat on the family’s vacation property. Tyler’s grandmother peeled apart pages of a fragile photo album, each image prompting stories of grand adventures shared with friends and loved ones.

Inspired, the intrepid Tyler devised a plan. Grandmother’s memory guided the trailer’s restoration and the promise of a remarkable life.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

An Everyday Hero – Friday Fictioneers

Title: An Everyday Hero
Source:  Friday Fictioneers sponsored by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple
Word count: 100 words

empty diner plate

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

Earl pushed the paper cap askew and wiped sweat from his forehead. The tiny kitchen was warmer than Hades.

As a kid, he dreamed of saving the world. He ran with his red cape streaming behind him. Flying in the sky, he shot lasers from his eyes and righted every wrong. He remembered the moment a disbeliever’s careless shoe squashed his purpose. Disillusioned, he became a hash-slinger, cooking meals for hungry customers regardless of their ability to pay.

A grimy hand returned an empty plate. “You saved my life, Earl.”

Sad eyes brimmed with unshed tears. It was payment enough.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

A Room with A View – Thursday Threads

Photo by Francesca Tosolini on Unsplash   Yellow leather couch
Photo by Francesca Tosolini on Unsplash

Denise tried not to draw unwanted attention as she shifted her weight. The creak of the uncomfortable yellow leather couch betrayed her. Robert glared at her as she ignored him by examining her impeccable teal manicure, a perfect match to her turquoise and silver jewelry. She didn’t need to see him. She felt his annoyance. Robert’s voice continued, a dull buzz in the therapist’s office that reminded her of the irritating hum of a fluorescent light fixture.

The therapist must have hired a designer to furnish the spacious suite. Soothing grays, calming blues, and fashionable mid-century modern furniture made the space look homey and relaxing. The trouble, or maybe the desired effect was, looks were deceiving. The doctor occupied the Eames lounge chair with its matching ottoman. It was undoubtedly, an original and probably the most comfortable piece in the room.

The droning ended, and Denise realized someone had addressed her. Kind brown eyes regarded her, waiting.

“Do you have a response?”

She shrugged before looking at her hands.

“Surely, you have something to say.”

It was difficult to ignore eyes that seemed to care.

“He never asked the one question that would have guaranteed success.”

Denise waited, ready for Robert’s normal tirade, but the therapist’s raised hand stopped him.

“What question?”

“What’s in it for me?”

Robert attacked, throwing facts, statistics, logic, and rhetoric at her. His repetition offered nothing new, nothing she hadn’t heard a thousand times before.

“You’re not listening. Those things don’t matter. They never have.”

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Limited Foresight – Thursday Threads

person holding ball lamp

Photo by Daniel Gaffey on Unsplash

“I’m not gonna lie. This isn’t for everyone. In fact, I try to keep it a secret. My darkest secret. Can you imagine if this went viral? There would be lines. Hordes of people. The unwashed masses clamoring to join my procession. Let’s not mention the capitalists, the greedy sycophants, and the low-life scum whose sole purpose in life is making a quick buck. Whatever happened to hard work? Sacrifice?”

He paused in his diatribe, to push his face uncomfortably close to mine, and stare. I didn’t flinch. “What’s in it for me?”

“Immortality.”

There was no hesitation. It was almost as if he expected my question. I felt the tension, as the left side of his mouth twisted into a smirk.

“I promise. You’ll stay beautiful forever.”

His grin disappeared, his eyes narrowed, and I swear he winked at me before he stepped to the table covered with an odd assortment of paraphernalia.

“You assume that is important to me.”

“Isn’t it?”

When he turned, the lopsided sneer had returned, and an enormous glass ball glistened in his hands.

“My dear, what you don’t understand is my visions become reality.  Oh, I suppose I could dwell on the whole ‘peace on earth’ Miss America sentiment, but that would be boring. Nobody enjoys boring, do they? No. Not when the ugly truth is so much more interesting.”

He rolled the orb, spinning, and playing with it, before he lifted it, holding it at eye level.

“Do you want to see?”

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

La Dolce Vita – Friday Fictioneers

Title: La Dolce Vita
Source:  Friday Fictioneers sponsored by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple
Word count: 100 words

neon lit fountain in a square at dusk

PHOTO PROMPT © David Stewart

Reality’s wispy figments hung beyond her grasp. Days begun at four in the afternoon kept her translucent skin safe from the sun’s ravaging rays. Neon demons, crowded clubs, and illicit pharmaceuticals eased her into sensational poses. The paparazzi clamored for more.

Fellini scenes, gray-scale backdrops to life, encouraged Sylvia, sweet Sylvia’s whispers. Begging for peace, she scoured each avenue for escape from her manic world.  Exhausted, detached, bordering on sociopathic but yearning for connection, she ended each dawn at the fountain in search of the answer. Hidden from the world for so long, she had forgotten where her soul drowned.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Kaidan – Flash Fiction Challenge

Title: Kaidan
Source:  Flash Fiction Challenge
Prompt: Write a story about 100 candles.
Word count:  99 words

lit candle in foreground with blurred candles in the distance

Photo by Tim Umphreys on Unsplash

Twilight fell as storytellers crowded into the room. Ryu finished lighting one hundred candles. They gathered to repeat their favorite accounts of weird happenings, walking sprits, and vengeful ghosts.

They told tales of a man’s escaped from hell, monsters roaming misty woods, and bridges conveying the dead into eternity.

At each tale’s conclusion, the storyteller rose and extinguished the life of a single torch. The night progressed, the chamber grew darker, and shadows haunted foreboding corners.

Ryu earned the honor of the evening’s final story. With his last breath, he blew. His candle smoldered, and everything descended into darkness.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer