Covering Expenses

PHOTO PROMPT © Bill Reynolds

She’d been performing longer than she could remember but not long enough to feel jaded.

One of her bands had stayed together long enough to release a barely-noticed album. Revenue still hadn’t eclipsed the studio’s share.

Finding work as a backup performer required extensive travel, so she bought a trailer with the last of her ex-husband’s money. Between gigs she’d sometime set camp, hook an amplifier to her guitar, and announce a roadside concert on Twitter. A couple-few dozen fans would attend, toss a few bucks into a coffee can. She barely covered expenses, but earned enough to keep going.

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly flash fiction challenge.


The Guilty Pleasure of a Kronos Agent

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

The regulations are strict – no currency or valuable items can be transported back through the Temporal Portal. However, Kronos Agents are allowed to bring items without value back into the present.

Agents are scanned thoroughly on return from each mission. Declaring anachronous items is not mandatory for retention but is definitely helpful. Items that pass inspection are bathed in a benign isotope. No item with this isotope can be legally bought or sold, although a health black market exists.

KA’s have a reputation for being notorious pack-rats, their basements filled with ephemera collected while maintaining stability in the temporal matrix.

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly flash fiction challenge.

Solemn Ally

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

I actually think he’s inspirational.

His demeanor’s constant, like the blinking Low Toner light on the mailroom printer. I’ve neither seen him smile nor raise his voice, not even to alert me that I had left my laptop in the conference room, choosing instead to run and catch up to me.

Whenever he arrives in a room all occupants go quietly serious, not in fear but in acquiescence to his powerful solemnity. He’s like rain on a playground, all frivolity banished until his presence departs.

I can’t imagine befriending him, but he’s a better ally than most of my colleagues.

Contributing regularly to Friday Fictioneers makes me appreciate contractions.

Morning Message

PHOTO PROMPT © David Stewart

“No coffee,” he told the waitress. “But can I have a pen and notepad?” He’d forgotten to bring them down from his hotel room in his lethargic rush to breakfast.

As they’d suspected, the dining area was nearly vacant. Yet a sleepless night had convinced him to abandon the planned rendezvous. The foggy curtain of mist outside matched his mood.

“Will this do?” the waitress said on returning.

“Yes,” he replied. The cellphone-sized pad was the perfect size for his minimal thoughts. He wrote:

I can’t. Sorry.

He set the notepad aside and waved to the waitress for his bill.

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly flash fiction challenge.