Prepared

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

They’d lost power over a day during the last storm. The approaching front was equally menacing, but he’d be ready this time.

The lamps were bought for décor, continuity with the past in their 21st century home. They hadn’t even bought oil until discovering how easily their electrical service failed in bad weather.

After filling the reservoirs and lighting the wicks, he turned off the kitchen lights. The lamps’ soft amber flames resembled sprites, spiritual entities breathing the air of a world alien to them.

He extinguished the flames and turned the overhead halogens back on. Ready this time, indeed.

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly flash fiction challenge.

Icy Threat

PHOTO PROMPT © Alicia Jamtaas

Three weeks. He didn’t want to scrape ice off his windshield before his morning commute.

They’d made innovative use of their slatwall panels (he was particularly pleased by her idea of drying garlic on suspended bicycle wheels), but those weren’t sufficient for the crates of tchotchke they’d collected that summer. The loss of floor space in the garage forced them to park in the driveway.

I want to go through everything, she’d pleaded. We might be able to use some of it.

He admired her thrift but feared her procrastinate nature. To avoid scraping, he needed to act soon.

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly flash fiction challenge.

The Smell of Boredom

PHOTO PROMPT © Trish Nankeville

“Goodness,” she said, stopping on the worn grass and breathing deeply.

“What are you doing?” her boyfriend asked.

“These flowers,” she said, pointing below. He saw a plant with about a half-dozen red bulbs, each the size of a ping-pong ball. Hundreds of thin filaments, white and inch-long, protruded from each bulb. “I want to know if they smell as pretty as they look.”

“And?”

She closed her eyes. The soft tropical air was its typical pleasance. “No. They blend it with everything else.”

“In other words, they smell boring.”

She frowned. “I’d like to enjoy this last day, please.”

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly flash fiction challenge.

Painful Reminder

PHOTO PROMPT © LIsa Fox

She had no use for the pontoon boat after her husband died.

Ever since buying it twenty years ago, they’d entertained guests on sunset cruises from their lakeside cabin. Even after his cancer diagnosis.

She hadn’t thought about the craft until three months after the funeral. Mounted on its trailer, it had remained parked in the woods at the back of their property, out of sight until her son had asked about it.

Her children didn’t want the boat, or her the reminder of her loss.

Their pastor allowed her to place the boat outside his church to attract buyers.

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly flash fiction challenge.

What Others Saw In That Shed

PHOTO PROMPT © David Stewart

Here were some other hundred-word tales inspired by last week’s photo prompt for Friday Fictioneers:

  • Neil MacDonald envisions a confrontation over a misunderstanding
  • Trent’s World adds a science fiction twist…
  • And we get a taste of suspense from Iain Kelly
  • The shed appears as a memory in the story that’s available on Chaos Central Command
  • Michael Humphris associates some vivid sensory details to the image
  • CGraith focuses on emotion and relationships inspired by a tragic event
  • Hollywood cliches are the target for satire from draliman.
  • The punch line in the tale from msjadeli tale doesn’t disappoint.
  • Our Literary Journey crafts a clever homage to a classic rock tune. I just wish the phrase Tiffany-twisted could’ve been worked in.
  • The shed becomes the site of a disastrous experiment in the story from Miles H. Rost.

is a weekly flash fiction challenge.

The Shed

PHOTO PROMPT © David Stewart

He left his pickup’s headlights on. It didn’t matter if anyone saw him.

The truck’s beams illuminated the lower half of the red and white shed, located in the rear of the yard. Standing in front of the truck, his legs cast two long shadows down the manicured lawn. All he heard were the gentle rhythms of crickets and tree frogs. The humid summer air smelled like desperation.

Take the key, get in, grab the satchel from the rafters (if it was there), get out. He stepped forward, the twin shadows of his legs reaching the shed like approach ramps.

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly flash fiction challenge.

First Date

PHOTO PROMPT © Brenda Cox

Until he arrived at the Korean street restaurant, he hadn’t understood his Tinder match’s choice for their first date.

She was no more Asian than him, and he was Dutch. Yes, he enjoyed authentic ethnic cuisine; no, he hadn’t heard of this restaurant; yes, he appreciated new experiences.

The restaurant was literally in the street, people walking behind close enough for him to detect their distinct smell. The abundant daylight meant they’d see each other clearly, and being in public meant less chance either would attempt something untoward.

He sat, admiring her decision and hoping the food was equally good.

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly flash fiction challenge.

Discovered Memory

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

The glass smelled of old dirt.

His daughter had brought a golden seashell from the beach. She was eight, he still married. “Can we keep it?” she asked. “It reminds me of the waves.” He found an unused glass at his family’s summer cottage. He set it on an exposed cross-beam in the living room, where it somehow remained undisturbed.

She added beach detritus every year – seashells, driftwood, coral, stones. Then she married, moved to her husband’s country. Her father now vacationed there alone.

He went to discard its contents, but stopped on detecting the smell of his daughter’s discovery.

After a few weeks away, it’s nice to return to Friday Fictioneers.

Skeleton

PHOTO PROMPT © Bill Reynolds

A decade, Clem thought. That’s how long the skeleton of a building he was about (perhaps) to buy had been abandoned.

Only the roof’s ribs remained, no evidence of its former covering. Discolored and torn plastic sheets hanging from a few standards seemed improvised, temporary. A few long sheets of ribbed metal laying on the ground were the walls’ more likely remnants.

The interior was a bric-a-brac of weeds rising above disheveled piles of cinderblock and palettes. Near the absent front door, a mountain bike, incongruous except for its disrepair.

“Gone in two weeks,” Clem said, deciding on the purchase.

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly flash fiction challenge.

The Glass Table

PHOTO PROMPT © Fleur Lind

“Odd construction for a table,” she said as the waiter left.

His head was turned toward the window to his right, attention focused somewhere outside.

“The curved glass-block windows,” she continued. “Not a typical base. Unique, but expensive.”

Two women at a nearby table erupted in laughter. He continued looking out the window.

“Is the top glass or some…”

“Composite,” he said without turning his head. “Glass would be heavier.” An acknowledgement, finally.

“There’ll be other opportunities.” She had to try again. “You’ll get there.”

He turned to her, smiling. “I admire your faith,” he said, as their waiter returned.

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly flash fiction challenge.