Old Tree

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

“They say it was a lightning bolt that dug in and burned straight through to the ground.”

“Well, it’s certainly unique.  Amazing the old tree survived.”

“I didn’t,” brooded Old Tree. “My carcass is still standing, but my heart is gone. You just aren’t seeing it clearly. And it wasn’t lightning. It was a cannonball shot during your Civil War. Never understood how any war can be civil. You humans are a strange lot.

“Birds and squirrels still use me, but my heart is dead. One of these days I’ll topple, and you’ll see.”

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The Birds, Revisited

A 100-words story  created from the photo prompt, Friday Fictioneers presents us with a new weekly challenge.  Here’s my response.

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Douglas M. MacIlroy

Rob  reared back in surprise when the small bird flew out of the open packing crate. A baby Myna, it swooped and turned, frantic to find the open air.

Shortly, Rob caught him in a butterfly net. He wrapped his hand around the little bird, feeling the speeding heartbeat, wondering ” A zoo? A pet shop?”

The bird stared at Rob, showing no fear. Its hooded yellow gaze was almost hypnotic.

“The others are coming, you fool,” thought the bird.  “I’m just the sentinel, the forerunner.  You will pay.  Oh, how you will pay!”

 

 

 

By the Light of the Moon

It’s time for  another 100-word story based on a photo prompt. Hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, this weeks photo prompt  is offered by Ted Strutz. Thank to our hostess and our photographer

“Is it time, Barbie?”

“Yes.  I’m sorry.  Can’t fight any more. Full moon tonight?”  The whispered words drained her energy.

“Full moon. Everything is arranged.” She watched as I gathered up her coat, pillows, and a warm comforter. I wrapped her up, lifted her in my arms.

“Thank you, Sweetheart.”

She slipped away from me under the light of the full moon. I held her for a long time.

 

The Factory

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

Bleak. Desolate. Even under a pretty blue sky sprinkled with clouds, the old “factory” cast a pall over the surrounding town. More a village, really. The young people moved away as soon as they could, giving the broken-down building a last shuddering glance as they caught the train to anywhere else.

The chimney didn’t belch foul-smelling smoke anymore. There were no armed guards, no lines of hopeless prisoners filing in, but never out. No one, not even curious children, tried to sneak in to see what was inside.

The building gave off its own warning.

 

The Shoes

PHOTO PROMPT © Sarah Potter

It shocked Eva right back into the worst part of her grieving when she found Rob’s shoes.  She thought she had cleared everything –donating, giving away, trashing, and selling all the things that he would never use again.

“It’s one of the worst parts of death,” she thought. His clothes retained his scent. Everything he’d touched and treasured broke her heart over and over. She’d thought it was all gone.

Then, as she pushed her dust mop under the bed, she bumped the shoes out from hiding. Dusty, worn. She clutched them to her heart, sobbing.

 

 

 

Made With Love

PHOTO PROMPT © Kelvin M. Knight

“Daddy, why is there a hole in my bread?”

Mommy spoke up, frustrated by what she saw as a failed effort to bake a loaf of healthy whole-grain bread. “It must not have been wet enough when I rolled it up, honey.  Or I need to roll it tighter. It’ll be better next time.”

Daddy wasn’t going to let his hard-working wife  get away with putting herself down. He said, “That’s not just any hole. What does it look like?”

“Ummm–a heart, Daddy?”

“Exactly!  It’s there because whatever Mommy does for us, it’s with love.”

Nearly There

“C’mon, Old Scout?  See the  tracks? We’re nearly there. Just over that rise where the sun is fixin’ to set.

“Nah, c’mon, don’t go all ornery on me now!  I’ll yank yer tail, ya flop-eared mule! There. That’s better.  You ‘n me, we come too far together to fuss.

“We’ll get to the base of the rise, where there’s a cool spring. We’ll make camp, and you’ll git  yer feed. We’ll sleep, and tomorrow we’ll cross over and be in the land where gold sits on the path, just waitin’ to be picked up.

“C’mon, Old Scout. Nearly there.”

 

Another World

ffprompt

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bulltot

Moira loved the castle ruins.  She  often escaped to the grassy inner courtyard to daydream for hours.  She never felt lonely.

At 15, her daydreams became as reality.  She saw ladies draped in flowing silks. Gentlemen were not so fine, appearing  in rougher dress for hunting or war.

One man always appeared. Tall;  dark, unruly hair; eyes the color of a stormy ocean.   He gazed at her, wordlessly beckoning.

At 21, she returned. In the afternoon, she sat on the grass and dreamed.  Just as the first stars appeared, he came. He offered his hand. She took it, with no regrets.

 

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(A note from the struggling author:  As this story unrolled, the words and pictures  flowed like water from a spring. I decided to let it come, and I have to say I loved the story as I wrote it then. However, It was 170 words. It felt like cutting out my heart, but 70 words  are gone and I have followed the rules. I’m not unhappy with the result. I think the story is the same at its core–you just have to use a little more imagination!)

 

Camping Vignette

lights-of-sturgis

PHOTO PROMPT© Jan Wayne Fields

“Terry!”  Linda whispered, but he didn’t even twitch. Louder: “TERRY!”

“Mmmphbrbl?”

“Shh! Whisper!  There’s something out there!”

“Oh good grief! There are dozens of other campers out there. Go to sleep.”

“Can’t. Need the bathroom.”

“Take the flashlight.”

“NO! You have to come. I’m scared!”

“I’m NOT going into the women’s bathroom!”

“Just stand outside and wait.”

“You’re not going to let me sleep, are you?”

Tearfully: “I have to GO and I’m SCARED.”

“All right, all right. Just–you’re choking me, for Pete’s sake. Let go so I can get up. City girls. Good grief.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Horror in the Bathroom

It had been such a normal night. Lynne had dropped into dreamless sleep.  Waking, she paused  to enjoy her doll collection ,  and then stepped through the half-open bathroom doorway.  Flicking on the light, she turn toward the toilet.

She blinked, looked again.   Please, please don’t let this be real! She squeezed her eyes shut, opened them; afraid to look directly into the toilet, she let her gaze drift there slowly.

It was still there, only now its ugly, sinister head was resting on the rim.

Screaming, mindless, she slammed the bathroom door and ran.

“Snake!  Snake! Snake in my toilet!”