Drive — Thursday photo prompt: Onward #writephoto

Title: Drive
Source:  Thursday Photo Prompt: Onward #writephoto
Word count:  301 words

I adjusted the car’s rearview mirror for the hundredth time. There had been no cars for miles and I know where I have been. I shifted, peeling my leg from the red vinyl seat, my sweat pooling underneath me. I realized why granddad draped a towel on the seat whenever he wasn’t showing someone his baby with chest-thumping pride. The Goat, Grandfather of Muscle Cars, Grandad’s pride and prized possession. He bought the car, brand new, for $3,500, a lot of money in those days, all the money he had.

The Goat was a red convertible with a black ragtop and a big block V8 engine. In the blistering sun with no AC, I left the top on as I sped down the highway, watching the white lines streaming by, turning solid.

I stole the Goat from Grandad’s garage last night. Well, it wasn’t really stealing. The car would be mine someday he said, and I left a note. Grandad wouldn’t call the cops. I grew up listening to his stories. Stories of him evading the law, hiding out when he was my age.

By now they’ve told him what Hannah did, what I did. I pulled the chain around my neck working it free from my tee-shirt. The ring raked across my heart as I pulled, scratching my chest. When it popped loose, I pushed it onto my index finger to the first knuckle. A small diamond winked at me. I thought it would be enough. A promise. A place to start. I bought it using all my money.

I’m like Grandad. You don’t throw away the things you worked hard for, the things you love. I hold on to promises and the trinkets, thinking they are treasures. Like the weather, life changes. I kiss yesterday goodbye, and I drive.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Intervention — 100 Word Wednesday

Title: Intervention
Source:  100 Word Wednesday: Week 99
Word count: 100 words

Image by Andre Hunter

Anton checked. No bars. How did people live here? If he had a signal, he’d get an Uber and go. Where he wasn’t sure. Anywhere would be better than here.

“Give it up, man.”

Anton turned and saw Carpenter.

“It’s jammed. You ain’t goin nowhere til you see light.”

Anton pursed his lips, the furrow on his brow deepening.

“It ain’t so bad. I know. I am just like you.”

“You know nuttin bout me,” Anton said, shoulder checking Carpenter as he strode past.

Carpenter watched him walk away.

“Sorry, my man. But I know all about you. You’ll see.”

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Last Dance — 3 Line Tales

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

butterfly-close-up-on-yellow-flower

photo by Boris Smokrovic via Unsplash

I flit and flutter and fly, waiting and searching for you, my dearest love.

High and low I seek, knowing I must find you before I die.

When at last we meet, we waltz across the skies, lovers, soul mates, our destinies entwined, if only for today.

______________________

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

Enduring Love

stick-figure-hanging-from-a-red-heart-shape-pointed-on-wall

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

The hairbrush whizzed past my head, and struck the doorjamb, before falling to the floor and skidding under the bed.

“You bastard. You’ll ruin my life,” she screeched.

I stood in the doorway prepared for the onslaught, ready when it came. She slapped my face, and I felt my flesh burn. Her fists pounded my chest, and I smelled her familiar fragrance, it always enveloped her. I tasted it when we kissed and smelled it in my clothes when we were apart.

“You can’t leave. We love each other too much,” she said as the pummeling stopped. She leaned in, her arms weaving themselves around my neck. I wanted to hold her but forced my hands to obey.

“You love me. I know you’re angry, but you always come back. So just stay,” she cooed. Pressing against me, she lifted her head, wanting to be kissed.

I turned, and her lips grazed my still stinging cheek.

Offended, she pushed away, “Why does it matter? Why do you care?” she hissed and stared at me, tears welling in her eyes. Then she turned, collapsing on the bed and sobbing into her pillow.

That’s how I left her all those years ago. Smeared mascara, highlighting bloodshot eyes that said everything was my fault. It was a lie. It was too late. It was over. No one blamed me. They knew about the hidden bottles, the late nights at smoky bars and the denials, rehabs, and relapses.

Late at night, my phone buzzes.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

One More Step — Friday Fictioneers

Title: One More Step
Source:  Friday Fictioneers sponsored by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple
Word count: 100 words

rr-tracks-at-harpers-ferry

PHOTO PROMPT © Dawn M. Miller

I step past the tangled tree limbs encroaching on the railroad bridge, stopping at the edge.

“Do you dare step onto the bridge?” the voice asked. “One more step and no one can save you.”

I crossed hundreds, thousands of bridges, in my traveling years. I had never heard this voice.

“One. More. Step.”

I glanced around. I was alone.

Fast-moving water churned thirty feet below, the chill wind tugged my threadbare coat, my pack dug into my shoulders the weight a ton of bricks.

I stood.

Minutes? Hours? A lifetime?

Time to go home. It was one more step.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Dark Clouds — Weekly Writing Challenge

Title: Dark Clouds
Source:  Weekly Writing Challenge #170
The five words: LATE, STORM, FRAME, STRIKE, WRAP
Word count: 370 words

lightning-strike

Photo by Brandon Morgan on Unsplash

“Mom, we’re gonna be late,” Carrie yelled as she ran to the minivan. The large equipment bag hung from her shoulder, bouncing on her hip and her leg as she ran. She gripped the strap of the backpack slung over the top of equipment bag to keep it from sliding and crashing to the ground.

Missy stood under the gym canopy with the other moms while the girls chatted. She clicked the fob, unlocking the door for Carrie.

“Looks like it going to storm,” Rina said pointing to the dark clouds on the horizon.

Missy nodded, worry lines creased her forehead. She had checked her phone, finding angry red blotches on the radar display. It projected the storm would run straight at them.

“Mom lets go.”

Missy said goodbye to Rina, waved to the girls and hurried to the van.

***

The van’s windshield framed a massive lightning strike. Missy jumped, and Carrie screamed then giggled nervously.  Blinded by the brilliant flash Missy felt the hair on her neck and arms stand on end. She blinked, trying to focus on the highway in front of her.  Thunder cracked and boomed around her, slamming through her chest and rocking the van.

More lightning flashed, rippling across the sky, pulling giant chains of thunder through the sudden blackness it left behind. It was morning, but the sky was dark as night.

“Oh man,” Carrie said as she rubbed her hands over, her bare arms.

Then, almost on cue fat raindrops pelted the windshield and obliterated their view of the highway. Missy slowed the van and turned the wipers on high. The rain rose to the challenge and fell harder as the wipers danced. All around them the storm raged, and Missy slowed the van, pulling onto the shoulder before she stopped. It didn’t take long for the windows to fog as the temperature changed.

Carrie dug a hoodie from her bag, wrapping it around her in the sudden chill. They sat, huddled in the van and watched the greatest show on earth.

As the storm diminished Carrie reached over and held her mom’s hand.

“What a cool reason to be late.”

Missy smiled at her daughter and pulled back onto the highway.

 

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Trust

Title: Trust
Source: Flash Fiction Challenge
Prompt: Use the phrase “into the dark.”
Word count: 99 words

blue-neon-entrance-sign

Photo by Benjamin Lambert on Unsplash

“Are you sure?” Lenore asked leaning over Artel’s shoulder to peer at the map.

“Damn it. Don’t you believe me?” Artel said shoving the map at her before stepping away.

“Of course, I do. But I didn’t expect this.” Lenore waved her hand indicating the opening in front of them. She wrinkled her nose at the dank smell.

“He said ‘expect the unexpected’. So, I guess the real question is…” Artel paused and looked hard at Lenore, “do you trust the oracle?”

Lenore glanced at the map, then nodded.

Together they lit their torches and stepped into the dark.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

 

The Bride

castle-shrouded-in-mist

Photo by Linnea Sandbakk on Unsplash

The carriage rumbled, careening over frozen, muddy ruts and cracking the ice formed on slushy muck. Zlata screeched as the carriage tossed her and wished Papa had allowed her to ride.

“A proper bride arrives in a carriage, not upon a horse,” he insisted.

She had always lived in the nursery. According to custom, she would receive a proper name on her tenth birthday. Her mother was kind, but thirteen babies exacted a toll. She died delivering a stillborn boy. Zlata’s tenth birthday passed without notice and she kept her nursery name.

Father remarried, and his new wife was soon expecting.

“You must do something with her. She must marry,” she told Papa waving her hand at Zlata.

Papa made arrangements and on a bitter January day, Zlata departed.

Three days’ travel took her high into the mountains, dark clouds descended around her and twisted trees slapped warnings.

Zlata shivered, cowering in the corner. At last, she glimpsed a black castle, her final destination.

Guards with long pikes and scarred faces lined the ramparts. They granted her admittance and Zlata’s stomach tightened as she realized she would never leave.

Sleet pelted the carriage as they arrived at the door. A dark man in a dark cloak waited. His horrible face held black button eyes that judged her as she came to stand before him. Minutes passed and Zlata hoped he would send her home.

Her hopes turned to cold stones as he uttered his greeting.

“You will come with me.”
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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Refuge — 3 Line Tales

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

photo by Lalo via Unsplash

The storm surged, waves crested, and the relentless wind-whipped spray high into the somber sky.

The gulls rode the storm, masters of the air, they negotiated each moment with the sea.

Lightning flashed, highlighting the never-ending fight until the eye hit land, and they found refuge at long last.

______________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer