TP Toddlers — FFfAW

Title: TP Toddlers
Source: Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – Week of 01-22 through 01-28-2019
Word count:  170 words

This week’s photo prompt is provided by H.R.R. Gorman. Thank you H.R.R.!

Nicky had spent twenty-four hours walking the floor with the baby. The doctor diagnosed a cold. Nothing to worry about he said. The baby thought otherwise, crying inconsolably. Nicky cooed and sung lullabies and tried to sooth the baby and watch her two older children.

She didn’t remember falling asleep, but she woke in a panic. The baby lay sleeping in her crib. Nicky watched the steady rise and fall of her chest. Relieved, Nicky rubbed her groggy head and went in search of her other two children.

They were not in their beds and the house was strangely quiet. She walked into the living room where she surveyed rearranged furniture, draped with bedsheets and rolls of toilet paper. Her two little ones lay asleep in the makeshift fort.

Her oldest stirred and smiled at her.

“I watched Jamie,” he said. “We made a fort. Do you like it, Mommy?”

“It’s a great fort. Is there room for me?”

“Yep.”

Nicky crawled beneath the toilet paper canopy and hugged him.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

All Aboard — FFfAW

Title: All Aboard
Source: Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers
Word count: 175 words

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Akshata Ram. Thank you, Akshata!

Ricky slammed the door, dropped his backpack with a bang and raced to the basement.

“Whoa,” he said, skidding to a stop before the model he and Gramps had started during his holiday break.

Smoke billowed from the shiny black stack of the train sitting at the depot. In the town, lights twinkled, and tiny figures walked the streets. The train whistle blasted, shattering the ice crystals that coated every surface. Startled, Ricky jumped, running for the train. It couldn’t leave without him. He sprinted across the wooden platform and leaped into the cab as the fireman blasted the whistle once more.

“I’m here,” Ricky yelled, and the old man released the cord.

“About damn time. You gonna drive or what?” he asked.

“Yeah, I’m driving,” Ricky grabbed the lever and pushed. The engine’s wheels spun on the iron rail, sparks spewed, and the boiler puffed.

“Slow. You gotta get traction first,” his fireman counseled.

Ricky eased back, the engine chugged, the wheels caught, and they were on their way as the first snowflakes fell.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The Rendezvous – FFfAW Challenge

Title: The Rendezvous
Source: Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers
Word count: 170 words

dusk-car-headlights-in-the-distance-on-a-tree-lined-two-lane-road

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Jodi McKinney. Thank you, Jodi!

Hours ago, I parked my Harley on the graveled shoulder where the road curved, creating a sightline for miles. Dead flowers, candles, and crosses piled at the base of a scared old oak bore evidence of the dangers lurking here. A faded photo flapped in the breeze.

I leaned against my bike, waiting. A well-worn path cut through the woods ending at a creek. Across the road, trees lined a soybean field and, in the distance, sat an old farmhouse. I had seen no activity, no cars, no wildlife and knew there was no satellite surveillance until 11:47 tonight. It would be close.

Dusk descended, and I waited in the darkness with my bike. Two cars, following closely, approached, pulling next to me. The sisters emerged, nodded in my direction and opened both trunks.

They assembled the equipment and nodded once more. Stepping to the control panel, my fingers flew, playing the sequence I had memorized as a child. Lights flashed. The sisters bowed their heads, and our work began.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Bird Away — FFfAW Challenge

Title: Bird Away
Source: Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers
Word count: 270 words

three-skeet-shooters

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Yinglan. Thank you, Yinglan!

Slim, Joey and me was out in that old, dry riverbed. Just past old man Whiteblood’s place? Ya know? I was slinging pigeons, cause they wouldn’t let me shoot. Said it weren’t no fun when all my pulls was kills.

Likes I says, I was slinging pigeons, and they was a shooting. Missing, mostly. And after a while, my throwing arm was gittin sore. On account theys such bad shots, I could throw some birds three or four times.

Anyways, as we was shootin, the clouds started rolling in. They wasn’t like ordinary clouds, they was kinda spooky, not natural. Ya know? So, I was walkin out, picking up away birds and all of a sudden like, it got pitch black. And it got real cold. I got those goosebumps all over.

Then we seen this light. Brightest light I ever saw, coming through the clouds. Joey asks me ‘Did I see it,’ and I says ‘Yeah’. The boys they came and stood right besides me.

And thats when this big old silver disc appeared. Hangin right over our heads and all full of flashin lights. Kinda like a Christmas tree. Ya know? So, we was standin there watching and not knowin what to make of it all. And none of us sayin nothing. Didn’t want to sound all crazy like. Ya know?

Then this door thing, maybe a like a hatch or something? Ya know? Well it opened up. And this creature, I don’t know what you’d call it zactly, but it walked just like you and me. Ya know?

Well, that’s when Slim handed me his double barrel.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Fishing Tales — FFfAW Challenge

Title: Fishing Tales
Source: Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers
Word count: 145 words

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Yarnspinnerr. Thank you, Yarnspinnerr!

James and I sorted through the old photo box.

“Look,” I tossed the photo I was holding at James, “Looks like Mom didn’t take this. Her finger isn’t in the shot.”

James chuckled as he grabbed the photo.

“Sorry, to disappoint you, Bro, Mom took this one. I remember.”

“You do?”

“Yep, it’s the day Dad taught me to fish. My hook got caught in the raft’s side, Dad grabbed it out of my hands and yanked. The rubber ripped, and we capsized. Dad’s fishing gear ended on the bottom of the pond and we waded back to shore. Dad never let go of the rod.”

James smiled and tucked the photo into his shirt pocket.

“Was that the rod that hung in your room?” I asked.

“Same one. I still, have it,” he said. “One day I’ll teach my son to fish with it.”

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Snow Day — FFfAW Challenge

Title: Snow Day
Source: Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers
Word count: 175 words

snow-covered-benches

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Yinglan. Thank you Yinglan!

They texted the announcement as I was going to bed. It was too quiet outside, and I was suddenly awake. I pulled on my robe, headed downstairs and opened the blinds to a world turned white.

Fat fluffy flakes fell, obliterating the view. The grass disappeared, replaced by a downy blanket of snow. I opened the door and stepped outside.

The silence pounded my eardrums. I threw my head back, spread my arms wide, catching snowflakes with my face and tongue. Cold seeped around the edges of my warm robe and I shivered. I dreamed of my magical snow globe world and my horse-drawn sleigh appeared.

My handsome white steed nuzzled my cheek, and I fed him the sugar cube he loved so well. I hugged his neck, petted his silken mane, then crawled into the sleigh and snuggled into the blankets. Off we flew, surveying my lands, greeting my people and dancing until I could dance no more. Exhausted I slept.

When I awoke, I read the text again. “Classes cancelled due to snow.”

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

School Day Dreams — FFfAW Challenge

Title: School Day Dreams
Source: Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers
Word count: 170 words

construction-site

This week’s photo prompt is provided by wildverbs. Thank you wildverbs!

The entirety of his life led him to today. The first day of construction left Tony wondering if it was still a dream.

He remembered sitting in the drafty, dark boxes they called classrooms at Central School. Built in 1916, the building needed more than updates. The dark gymnasium doubled as the school cafeteria. It oozed an odd combination of teenage sweat, warmed mystery meat, and spinach. Eight years there drove him to study architecture and how students learned.

Tony’s vision was a 126,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art complex that would accommodate students from pre-kindergarten programs through eighth grade. He envisioned a bright and airy building. His design integrated solar panels into the architecture to provide electrical power and a passive heat exchanger to provide indoor thermal comfort while minimizing or eliminating energy consumption.

It took fourteen months to raise the money and get approvals. Now, the $31.3 million building of his was almost a reality. He projected eighteen months of construction and the new school would open in time for fall classes.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Sale Bin Freedom — FFfAW Challenge

Title: Sale Bin Freedom
Source: Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers
Word count: 170 words

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Yarnspinnerr. Thank you Yarnspinner!

Ellenore rolled the plastic squeeze bottle of paint until the label with the color name faced her. “Ultramarine Acrylic” she read before dropping it into the plastic store basket she held in the crook of her arm. She selected only the Primary colors, Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Yellow Deep, and Alizarin Crimson. Satisfied she had picked them all out of the sale bin, Ellenore made her way to the checkout.

“Oh, Miss Ellenore,” the brunette clerk greeted her. “I have something for you.” From under the counter, she pulled a large heavy bag and hefted it onto the counter.

“These are all for you. Free. No, no,” the clerk raised her hand to silence Ellenore’s protest. “My manager said you’d be doing us a favor. They’re class leftovers. Not all of them are full, but they’re open, and we can’t sell them. Please? Say you can use them?”

Everyone in town knew her secret. They were happy she was free of him and they knew her art would let her soar.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Greystone Dreams — FFfAW Challenge

Title: Greystone Dreams
Source: Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers
Word count: 155 words

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Jade M. Wong. Thank you, Jade!

Lizzy trembled and checked her phone. The address was correct. The house was a huge Romanesque Greystone Mansion, the kind they built after the Great Chicago Fire. She didn’t dare hope, but she breathed deeply and proceeded through the wrought-iron gate, and up the steps.

A thin woman wearing magazine styled grey hair and clothes to match answered the door.

“You’re Lizzy,” she stated more than asked and extended her hand. “I’m Rose. The apartment entrance is on the side. Follow me.”

They walked along the side of the house and around the corner where Lizzy stopped and gasped.

“It’s not large, a thousand square feet, living room, and kitchen downstairs, bedroom and bath upstairs. Security deposit is twelve hundred, rent is twelve hundred. Security and first month’s rent is payable at lease signing.” Rose said unlocking the door.

“I’ll take it,” Lizzy blurted.

“Well, welcome home, Lizzy.” Rose laughed and swung the door wide.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Fish in a Barrel — FFfAW Challenge

Title: Fish in a Barrel
Source: Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers
Word count: 170 words

Goldfish-in-fish-tank

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Jodi McKinney. Thank you, Jodi!

Chrysanta knew a murdered stalked her.  It made her anxious. She lurked in dark corners, surveying, watching, calculating her odds before darting to another corner. The stress ate at her. She lost weight, developed a twitch, and her skin itched. The doctor diagnosed ichthyosis and prescribed a tonic, two drops in her water daily.

Beautiful Cherry was the killer’s first victim. Chrysanta shuddered, remembering dinner with her friends. Cherry popping a shrimp into her mouth and the killer grabbing Cherry slicing her throat with a force that threw her skyward. Chrysanta and the others fled.

The Danios family disappearance was a mystery, but Cory swore it was the killer.  Pearl had been the last victim. Only Cory, Kuhli and Chrysanta survived.

Hungry, she had to eat, so she ventured into the light at the top of the tank. Gouging herself she didn’t see the green eyes tracking her or the black paw as it scooped into the water and plucked her from the tank. On the cat’s menu: fresh fish.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer