Petrified Ambition

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

Thirty years ago the field had been a dense forest of poplar, birch, pine, and fir. A wealthy industrialist bought the land and had it clear-cut to build a summer home, yet as the last remaining trees were being uprooted he lost the property in a bitter divorce.

Two stumps were left among the acre of wildgrass. Their tops were smooth from the saw’s blade, the bark on their sides cracking and peeling off like scabs from a wound.

The tallest objects remaining in the abandoned field, the two lifeless remnants served as tombstones to a petrified ambition.

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly flash fiction challenge.

Wait a Little Longer

PHOTO PROMPT © Russell Gayer

The van was just outside the layer of crushed stone of the beach’s parking lot, far enough into the neighboring woods to have vines growing through its wheels. Just like Jeron said.

“Think anyone’d notice if we opened it now?” asked Walter.

Nevin shrugged. “No, but why risk anyone seeing what we take out? Do it tonight, like we discussed. Listen to the police radio, wait until they’re distracted on some incident.”

“But we’re so close. This is killing me.”

Nevin smiled, and pulled out a vine from the front wheel. “Might wanna think about your word choice, son.”

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly flash fiction challenge. I’m not sure why but I’m currently unable to add my links to the site, but I’ll keep on posting here.

No Business

PHOTO PROMPT © Brenda Cox

“Those tables look fine,” Sheila said. The outdoor furniture she pointed to did indeed look undisturbed.

“We don’t know how much damage the storm caused,” Roland explained. “Power returned an hour ago but might not stay on. We can’t risk being open.”

“You don’t understand.” Sheila balled fists into her hips. “The client asked to meet here, right here, at 10. You’re interfering with my business!”

Roland couldn’t contain his frustration, waving towards the uprooted trees. “Call your damn client, change your plans. I have bigger concerns than your damn meeting!”

Shelia turned away. “This is your problem, not mine!”

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly flash fiction challenge.

Walking Memory

PHOTO PROMPT © Alicia Jamtaas

“You sure you remember?”

“Don’t worry, Marcy,” Harlan called ahead to his granddaughter as he slalomed the uneven terrain of the forested ravine. “Can’t tell you exactly where it is, but I’ve walked this path enough times that my legs know the way.”

Marcy stopped, turned to him. “So we keep walking until your legs figure out where to go?”

Harlan pointed ahead. “There.”

She looked where he pointed. The moss-covered roof of a small cabin was barely visible. “OK,” she replied. “But that doesn’t mean what you’re looking for is there.”

The old man smiled. “Oh it’ll be there.”

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly flash-fiction contest. One picture, 100 words.

The Next Order

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

“Surprised you’re still open,” the customer said after ordering the hamburger combo meal.

“For two months after the Orb appeared we weren’t,” replied the middle-aged woman as she wrote on an order pad. “But when it became evident there wasn’t any life there and was harmless, my husband sued to reopen. We gotta right to live, you know.”

The customer looked to his right. The Orb’s rubbery edge was visible beyond the diner’s wall. “And you’re not worried? Or curious how it got here?”

She ripped the order sheet from the pad. “All I care about is the next order.”

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly flash fiction contest that most weeks is too much damn fun to pass up.

Rescheduling

PHOTO PROMPT © Liz Young

Holly looked back, noticing Jan had suddenly stopped jogging. “Something wrong?”

Jan stood and pointed ahead, to the right. Holly looked where she pointed, then gasped.

They passed the clinic’s parking lot on their weekly runs without noticing it. But there was no ignoring the car that had smashed through the low brick wall, the vehicle’s front tires suspended over the debris scattered on the ground.

Holly saw the vehicle was unoccupied. A man stood to its side and wrote in a notebook. “What happened?” she whispered.

“Dunno,” Jan replied. “Somebody late for an appointment?”

“They’re gonna have to reschedule.”

There was no way I was going to not respond to this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt!

A Brief Visit

PHOTO PROMPT © Miles Rost

After arguing with his parents again, Morton needed time away from their home. He drove to the state park where the 21-year-old often found peace.

His loose clothing dampened with summer sweat as he walked a wide path, built as a carriage trail for the wealthy. Morton took a turnoff leading to a suspension bridge.

He stopped half-way across the bridge and leaned his forearms against the coiled metal railing. A winged insect, seen only in summer’s heat, landed nearby.

“What’s up?” Morton asked. The insect flew away.

Morton turned from the bridge, beginning the journey back to his parents.

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly flash fiction contest.

Delivery

PHOTO PROMPT © Na’ama Yehuda

Oleg wanted to remain in his bunk as the ship approached Ellis Island. This wasn’t the first time he’d arrived in the US through this port. Yet he knew not joining the ship’s excited occupants would arouse unwanted suspicion.

He stood on the deck apart from the crowd at the rails, staring towards shore through the dim light of a cloudy dawn.

“Mama!” a pointing child cried. “The statue!”

Oleg smiled. Later today, he’d be processed with forged papers. Once he cleared customs with the other immigrants, he could then deliver the package he’d been paid so well to convey.

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly flash fiction contest.

Pursuit

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Three minutes. Swanson estimated the murderer would lose himself in that time.

The city’s Asian street market was a clot of shoppers and vendors. If the murderer slid down an arterial street, he’d escape.

The sidewalks were less crowded and navigable, but Swanson knew the murderer would likely avoid them. The detective began hustling down the sidewalk, eyes scanning the crowd, but stopped on noticing the fire escapes above him. He could view the entire crowd from there and locate his target. Swanson pushed past a man talking on a mobile phone and raced up a flight of concrete steps.

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly flash fiction contest

The Stowaway

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

Ted needed to get to California. With limited cash and no car, that was going to be difficult for the homeless veteran.

One of his few assets was an extensive knowledge of the modular home industry, the location of manufacturers and distribution points. He also had the guile to get past their security.

The route from Michigan wasn’t always direct and he was almost caught a few times. He only avoided jail in Oklahoma because the tractor driver was also a veteran — “he’s my assistant.”

By hiding in homes headed southwest, Ted made his gradual way to the west coast.

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly flash fiction contest