‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge Week #19 Entry Part 6) By Jacquie Biggar @JacqBiggar #IARTG #writingCommunity #WritingPrompts #FlashFiction

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 6) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #19.

Today I’m featuring a contribution by Jacquie Biggar.

Last week I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here’s the image prompt and Jacquie’s contribution

The City of Dreams

The iconic Hollywood sign was more garish in the bright California sun than Beth expected. She’d dreamed of this moment for so long, it didn’t seem real.

She reached for her cheap Polaroid camera, hesitated, then shrugged and quickly snapped the photo before the tour bus chugged out of the view point. Her parents might not care, but her young sister, Sara, would. She’d begged to come with Beth, but their father wouldn’t hear of it.

“If your sister wants to run off and get herself into who-knows-what kind of trouble, that’s up to her. She’s old enough to do what she wants. But you ain’t, and I say you’re not going anywhere.”

Yep, that was dear old Dad. Cripes, would it be so hard for him to say something nice? Just once? For as long as she could remember, their family had scrambled to keep food on the table. Yet, now that Beth had been offered a small part in a feature film, her parents acted as though she was betraying them in some crazy way.

Her mother cried buckets when Beth packed up her things. “Something bad is going to happen, I just knows it. You should be staying home, getting married, and raising a family like your daddy and I did.”

She’d wrung her hands and sank wearily onto the old feather tick mattress. “I already lost your brother, what am I going to do without you?”

The guilt had set in then. Beth’s brother, Marcus, had died in a farming accident the year before and it had destroyed the family. Daddy never smiled anymore, and Momma… she was a shell of the person she’d been. It hurt Beth to see them like that. All the more reason to earn enough money to take some of the financial burden off their shoulders. Maybe then they could start to heal.

She opened the camera case and pulled out a stack of pictures she’d taken since starting this journey. Some were obvious tourist shots, like the one taken at sunset on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, though it thrilled her to think she might be there one day herself. She held up her latest, and most precious photo- the Hollywood sign. The epitome of all her dreams was within reach.

All she had to do was…

A sudden scream from the front sent Beth’s heart scrambling up her throat. She grasped the back of the seat in front of her and tried to see past all the heads. Was that…? Holy smokes, it was. Some guy stood at the front of the bus waving a gun in the air. He yelled something to the driver, spittle flying from his mouth. The bus lurched like a drunk on a sidewalk as the brakes were applied, bringing them to a dust choking halt on the side of a gravel road.

And that’s when Beth realized they were in serious trouble.

While she’d been looking at her photos, they had apparently left the paved highway heading into the city and were now somewhere in the middle of nowhere with nothing but scrub brush for company. Well, that and the black eighteen wheeler sitting on the side of the road like a hulking shadow.

The screams grew in volume as the front passengers were herded off the bus. That is until the man with the gun shot the driver. Blood, and Lord knows what, sprayed the window by his head. Things got real quiet after that.

Three men stood outside, rifles resting on their shoulders, dark hats pulled over their eyes. Beth kept thinking, praying, it was all a mistake, or better yet, one of those action movies her brother had snuck out to the drive in to watch. But, inside she knew, this was no movie and she was no actress. She was a girl from Alabama who wanted to be home in her own bed waking from a nightmare with her mother’s comforting arms around her shoulders.

~~~

The detective frowned and squinted into the fading light. Three months and three separate disappearances. The traffickers were brazen. They didn’t even bother to cover their tracks this time; the clear treads of a semi were left in the dusty ditch line. Not that it would do them much good. There were thousands of trucks on the road every damn day. It was like finding a needle in a haystack.

He glanced down at the photo in his gloved hand. The Hollywood sign outlined in umber. Close to dusk then. So many came here in search of success. He could have told them Hollywood was the place dreams come to die.

Jacquie may be contacted here …

Blog: Jacquie Biggar- USA Today Best-Selling Author

On TWITTER

Books On Amazon.Com

Thank you so much for stopping by. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. I’ll be posting further entries as I receive them.

I may be contacted here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #19 Entry Part 5) by Mae Clair @MaeClair1 #IARTG #WritingCommunity #FlashFiction

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 5)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #19.

Today I’m featuring the contribution by Mae Clair.

Last week I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt.

Shattered Dreams

“It’s iconic, you know that, right?” Terrence pointed to the photo behind his desk.

“You have to ask?” Marco smirked, rolling a toothpick in his mouth. “Who doesn’t know the Hollywood sign?”

The town inspired dreams, fantasies and stardom. Sometimes, it inspired hate.

Terrence studied his fingernails. “How much?”

“Depends.” The toothpick tasted woody. Marco flicked it aside. “Do you want it flattened or—”

“Obliterated.” Terrence circled his desk. Stood gazing at the framed photo on the wall, hands clasped behind his back. “I was thirteen when this was taken. Family vacation. That’s me and Russ in front of the sign. He was ten… grew stars in his head that same night. Said he was going to be a big name when he was older.”

“Sorry it didn’t work out.” An outright lie. Marco didn’t give a rat’s ass, but he’d learned it helped to project a measure of sympathy until the payout was in hand.

“I’ve dumped every dollar I have into supporting my brother. I’m out of cash, and patience. The idiot thinks he has a shot at the lead in the Merchant Mercury franchise.”

Marco snorted. This was too rich to pass up. “Your brother’s claim to fame is a shaving cream commercial. Merchant Mercury is supposed to be the next Star Wars.”

“You see what I’m up against.” Terrance grimaced. “I want you to take down that damn sign, so he realizes the whole thing is a pipe dream. He needs to man up, start earning a living. Forget this ‘acting is my destiny’ crap. The guy’s a loser. It’s time he faced the facts.”

“Consider it done.” Marco had already stockpiled the explosives. “You know where to send the money.”

++++

Terrence scrubbed his face, suppressing a yawn. He folded into the couch, coffee in hand, then snatched the TV remote. Every channel had the same news—someone had blown up the Hollywood sign sometime after 3:00 AM. Videos and images showed police swarming the scene. What remained of the iconic sign was strewn in chunks and splinters over the hillside. Helicopters pinwheeled overhead and reporters angled for face time. Talking heads popped up in a mosaic of windows on his screen, one after another.

“Hell, yes!” He pumped a fist in the air. Marco had blasted that wretched sign into fragments and—if Terrance had calculated properly—Russ’s dreams right along with it. When his phone rang, he juddered to his feet, snatching it from the end table. “Yeah?”

“Hey, Terrance, how are you, big brother?” Strange that Russ sounded energized. He should be crestfallen after seeing his altar blown to smithereens.

“I, um…” Terrence knew he should feign horror or sorrow. Maybe outrage. Outrage was always good.

“I’m so freaking stoked I don’t even know what day it is.” Russ didn’t give him the time to decide.

“Where are you?”

“My pathetic shoebox of an apartment, but not for long.”

“What are you talking about?”

“I hit the big time.”

Terrence muted the TV remote. “You’re not making sense.”

“Probably because I kicked a bottle of champagne in under fifteen minutes.”

A queer sense of foreboding spread in Terence’s gut. “You’re celebrating?”

“Sure am. I landed the lead in Merchant Mercury.” Russ’s voice climbed an octave. “Just got the call. Can you shittin’ believe it? The studio head is already saying I’m going to be the next Harrison Ford. First thing tomorrow, I’m hiking to the Hollywood sign to have my picture taken.”

Terrence’s knees buckled. He sank onto the couch, eyes glued to the emergency personnel on the screen. What the hell had he done?

“I’d love it if you could be with me big brother. You always believed in me. Never gave up on my dreams.”

Terrance dropped the phone, cradled his face in his hands. He’d spent every dime he had paying Marco’s price, figuring Russ would crawl home when broken. They’d start over, go into business together. But all of that had changed. His bank account read zero and his younger brother was destined for stardom. Who was the loser now?

He clawed the phone to his ear. “Russ…” His voice broke. “I, uh… I hate to ask, but I’m out of cash.”

“Seriously? How?”

“I did something stupid.” He swallowed bitter tears. “I shattered my dream.”

~~~~~~~~

Mae Clair can be reached here …

Twitter:

Amazon Author Page:

Mystery, Suspense & Urban Legends | BookBub | Newsletter Sign-Up

Website & Blog | Goodreads

~~~~~~~

Thank you so much for stopping by. I’ll be featuring other posts as they are received.

I may be contacted here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #19 Entry Part 4) By Karen Ingalls @KIngallsAuthor #Iartg #TANKA #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompts

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 4)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” WEEK #19

Today I’m featuring the contribution from Karen Ingalls.

Last week I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt and Karen’s Tanka contribution.

This week’s photo inspired me to write one of many stories or poems, because I lived in Hollywood the last two years of high school. I walked down Hollywood Blvd. to go to school where I had classes with Annette Funicello and Stephanie Powers.

The story within the Tanka Poem is true. I hope you enjoy it. Some happy memories about an amazing film personality came back to me.

HOLLYWOOD WAS HOME
TO THE FAMOUS MOVIE STARS
SOME LIVED IN MANSIONS
SEEN DRIVING EXPENSIVE CARS.
 
BELA LUGOSI
WHO STARRED AS COUNT DRACULA
WAS MY NEW NEIGHBOR
WHO DAILY WALKED BY MY HOUSE
SURPRISED I KNEW WHO HE WAS.
 
HE SIGNED A PHOTO
WHICH I TREASURED ALL MY LIFE
WHILE WE TALKED AND LAUGHED
ABOUT DRACULA’S STORY
NOT LIKE BELA LUGOSI.
 
HE DIED ALONE, POOR
 NOT FROM A WOODEN STAKE PLUNGED
DEEP INTO HIS HEART,
 NOR SUNLIGHT AS TOLD IN BOOKS
ABOUT THE COUNT DRACULA.
 
A HEART ATTACK TOOK
HIS LIFE OF FAME, WITHOUT WEALTH
ENDING IN A GRAVE
WEARING DRACULA’S BLACK CAPE
BURIED IN CULVER CITY.

Unfortunately, I have lost the autographed photo of Bela Lugosi. He was a sweet gentleman, who lived and died in a small apartment three houses away. He was type-cast in the role as a monster or vampire. His career declined quickly once the Dracula movies were no longer in demand. He earned large sums of money which he spent unwisely on alcohol and opiates for his chronic sciatica pain. In those days, there were no residuals.

~~~~~~~

Karen may be contacted here …

Karen Ingalls Blog.

On Twitter:

Karen Ingalls Author Page Amazon

On Facebook

***

I can be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

Thanks so much for stopping by! I’ll be featuring further contributions as I receive them.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #19 Entry Part 3) by Gwen Plano @gmplano #IARTG #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompts

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 3)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #19.

Today I’m featuring a contribution by  Gwen Plano.

Last week I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here’s the image prompt and the contribution by Gwen Plano.

As I studied this image, I had so many ideas racing through my mind that I didn’t know which one to pursue. Finally, I chose the simple one below and situated Burke’s image within a starry night.

Picture
TAKE TWO
“This is breathtaking, George. I’m so glad you brought me up here.”

“Yeah, Hollywood at night is pretty impressive.”

Sandy stretched out her hand to his. “The street lights remind me of Christmas.”

“Hmm, those red ones? They’re police cars.”

“I know but sitting here, behind the iconic Hollywood sign, police car or not, it’s magical.”

George turns towards Sandy. “You know we’re not alone, right?”

“Sure! I can see the cars on either side of us.”

“It’s a favorite spot for lovers—above the City, starry night…”

Sandy nods. “I keep thinking about the back seat.”

“Really? You’d like to go to the back seat? Kisses would be easier for sure.”

“And maybe other things easier too. But…”

“But what? Sandy?”

“I dunno know. I just have this odd feeling that someone’s watching us.”

“I think you worry too much. C’mon, let’s get in the back.”

“G e o r g e! What’s that??”

“What the… ! Quick, let’s get out of here.” 

And that’s a cut. We’ll move to scene 33 in fifteen. Good job, team.

~~~~~

Gwen Plano can be reached here …

Thank you so much for stopping by. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. I’ll be posting further entries as I receive them.

I may be contacted here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

‘Fiction in A Flash Challenge’ Week #19 Entry Part 2) by Harmony Kent @harmony_kent #IARTG #WRITINGCOMMUNITY #WritingPrompts

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 2)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #19.

Today I’m featuring a contribution by Harmony Kent.

 I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt and Harmony’s Contribution.

Child’s Play

The transmission tower was the first target but a long way from the only casualty.

The next thing to go, understandably, was the iconic HOLLYWOOD signage. The rough hillside and bush around it turned to smoking, black ash. Then the sky shadow moved over the city. In only a matter of seconds, Los Angeles was no more. How much of the US—the world—had these things taken out?

 

Brad coughed and crawled heedlessly through the debris and burnt foliage, desperate to reach the valley floor. He’d changed his mind about getting that selfie in front of the tall, famous nine letters. Something told him that a lot more things than just his mind would have changed by the time he made it back to civilisation—if any such thing existed anymore.

 

He fumbled his mobile from his pocket and powered it up. No signal. Not even an emergency call function. Again, he stared up at where the tower, bristling with satellite dishes, had been only minutes earlier. Who wanted to blow up America?

 

[] [] []

 

Meanwhile, in a galaxy not that far away … the numbers shot up on the side of the holoscreen. Warg screeched in pleasure. He’d added at least a thousand to the tally. Wait until Gorg heard what he’d achieved. All of a sudden, a strong jaw gripped the back of the child’s neck and lifted him from his seat. His mother dropped him some feet away in the middle of the floor. She frowned at the ship’s computer screen and then at Warg. ‘I’ve told you before that’s not a game.’

Warg pouted. ‘But we’re going to kill them all anyway.’

His mother shook her head. ‘Yes, but now they know we’re coming.’

 

[] [] []

 

© Harmony Kent 2020

CONTACT HARMONY HERE …

Website: https://harmonykent.co.uk and Story Empire (Co-authored)

Harmony’s Amazon Author Page: author.to/HarmonysBooks

Twitter: @harmony_kent

LinkedIn: Harmony

Goodreads: Author Page

***

I can be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

Thanks so much for stopping by! I’d love to hear your thoughts. I’ll be posting further entries as they are received.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #19 Entry Part 1) John Howell @HowellWave and Suzanne Burke @pursoot #IARTG #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompts

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Part 1)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #19.
Today I’m featuring contributions from entry 1)By John Howell and Entry 2) My own contribution.
Last week I set the following Challenge:
Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt.

John Howell’s One Line Contribution.

“What do you suppose they call those hills over there?”

John Howell can be reached here …

Visit at Amazon.https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

 Twitter:

Author Blog Fiction Favorites:

My own Contribution

Intuition.

Hollywood: August 7th, 1969.

Cindy sipped on her coffee and nodded to her housemate Karen as she came out from her bedroom, “Mornin’, sleepyhead. Aren’t you working today?”

“No. I’m planning on catching up with those great people I told you about. We’re just gonna hang out for a few hours. There’s a party later tonight, I really want you to meet them. Please, please say you’ll come?”

“You know I’m not good at parties.”

“So, you’d rather nurse those loonies on the Psyche ward?

“Don’t call them that. They’re as sick as anyone else in the hospital. You just can’t see the damage up front.”

“Okay, okay. But this is really important to me. You told me I needed to put myself out there if I wanted to make new friends in this town. I’ve done that, now they all wanna meet you ‘cause I talk about you all the time. I know they’ll like you. I need you to like them too.”

Cindy’s resolve caved in as she recognized the need for approval on her friend’s sweet pixie face. She nodded her head.  “Alright. But just tonight. Where and what time?”

***

Cindy climbed from the V.W and adjusted her miniskirt. She checked the address she’d written down. The noise coming from the house up ahead told her she was in the right location.

I don’t even know whose party this is, just some musician. Not that it matters much. If you’re a single female in Hollywood, they won’t turn you away.

She walked on through the crowded house searching for Karen. She felt the pulsing adrenaline in the room, most of the people dancing along to the pounding music were high, their movements jerky and their heads on a permanent swivel. She’s seen enough cases of LSD induced psychosis to recognize exactly what she was seeing. Her need to find Karen ramped up a few notches.

Cindy tried out by the pool and found her sitting in a small group on the ground. A man seated on a bench in front of them seemed to be holding their undivided attention, although Cindy couldn’t hear what he was saying. She watched on for a moment before reaching down and tapping Karen on her bare shoulder. The girl spun around, then smiled as she recognized Cindy. She scrambled to her feet. “You came! Let me introduce you to the others! “

She pointed to a female seated at the edge of the small semi-circle, “This is Susan, next to her is Linda, then Patricia.” Karen’s voice was high pitched and excited.

Cindy smiled at each of them in turn and watched in fascination as they all looked to the man seated on the bench as if silently asking his permission for something. She caught the almost imperceptible nod he gave them, and they all turned back to her and smiled as they offered their belated hellos.

The man stood then and moved across to where she and Karen were standing. Cindy’s first impression was of how short he was. He extended his hand, “And I’m Charles, Charles Manson. My friends call me Charlie. I hope  you’ll soon be one of them.”

Cindy met his eyes for a moment and she reluctantly reached for his outstretched hand. “Charles.”

She gave an involuntary shiver as he touched her. The hairs on the nape of her neck stood on end. She’s seen that wild eyed look before. But those folks were housed in the maximum-security wing of the Psyche ward.

She felt the bile rise in her throat, then chided herself. He was probably just high on something.

“We were just talking about our upcoming album.”

“Oh, you’re a musician? “

“Oh, I don’t like labels. I wear many hats.”

“I’m sure you do.”

Cindy turned back to her friend, “I’m feeling sick, Karen. Something I’ve eaten, I think. I need to leave. But, I don’t think I should drive, hon. Can you please drive me home?”

Her friend looked torn, she looked towards Charles and waited, “I’ll call you tomorrow, Karen, and give you directions out to the ranch. You come as well, Cindy. You can meet the rest of our little family.”

***

Karen didn’t stop prattling on about them all for the trip back downtown. Cindy had managed to get her out of there, but that was a temporary solution. Something about this Charles Manson guy set her teeth on edge.

***

August 9th, 1969:

The news headlines were tragic. Actress Sharon Tate and four of her house guests had been brutally murdered overnight.

Cindy hurried into Karen’s bedroom and sucked in a grateful lungful of air to find her friend still sleeping.

Karen didn’t get that expected call from Charles Manson. She would remain forever grateful for her friends intuition.

~~~~

Thanks so much for joining me here today. I look forward to seeing your comments. I will as always featuring each new contribution as I receive them.

I may be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

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By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #19 NEW Image Prompt! Join in the fun! @pursoot #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompt

Hello everyone and welcome to my weekly “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!”  WEEK #19.  Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Please put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at My email address. by DEADLINE: 4pm EDT on Thursday, October 1st. Subject: Fiction in a Flash Challenge. If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be much appreciated.

UPDATE: The response to the prompts has been just wonderful. As a result, I’ll be sharing all entries received, and, my own contribution here AS I RECEIVE THEM. Rather than posting all of them only over a few days.  Thanks to everyone for the amazing support.

Here is the week #19 Image Prompt.

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

I hope the image inspires you to enter. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

I may be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

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By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #18 Entry 8) by Miriam Hurdle @mhurdle112 #IARTG #ASMSG #WRITINGCOMMUNITY

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 7)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #18.

Today I’m featuring a contribution from Miriam Hurdle

Last week I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt and Miriam’s entry.

music-sheet-5117328_1920

The Great Symphony

Life is a continuum of a Great Symphony.

Adagio airs a soothing melody of sweet love,

laments the inner sorrow, and

the melancholic soul.

Maestoso pitches the triumph of a noble spirit,

pronounces the victory of a long and

hard-won battle.

Fortissimo frees the shout from the depth of the heart,

proclaims the greatest joy

has ever been told.

Pianissimo whispers to your ears, the faintest sob,

breathes the darkest secret

only to you.

Now and then, it comes the rest, and the rest.

Silence!

What tranquility it is, in the Great Symphony of Life.

 

~

Miriam Hurdle can be reached here…

Author Links and Contacts

Amazon Links

Amazon UK Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07K1S47W9 

Amazon.com Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K1S47W9 

Contact Links

Website: https://theshowersofblessings.com

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Miriam-Hurdle/e/B07K2MCSVW?ref=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mhurdle112

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/miriam.hurdle.1

***

I may be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

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By Email.

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by! I look forward to seeing your comments.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #18 Entry Part 7) by Karen Ingalls @KIngallsAuthor #IARTG #WritingCommunity #Tanka

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 7)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” WEEK #18

Today I’m featuring the contribution from Karen Ingalls.

Last week I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt and Karen’s Tanka.

***

Here is my Tanka poem based on the photo prompt below. This was an especially inspiring photo, because I love classical music and as a child I watched and listened to my grandmother play such music on the piano. I invite you to listen to this beautiful waltz as you read the blog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=1s9oM_vNlyY

STRAUSS WALTZ AND ROSE
STRAUSS WALTZ AND ROSE
 
Mozart wrote many
Nocturnes, Waltzes, and Preludes
But none could compare
To the Strauss composition,
Roses from the South, a waltz.
 
A Strauss rose exists
Inspired by this special waltz
With blooms like his love
For Adele Deutsch, his wife,
Pure and sweet forever more.
 
The pink bloom is strong
As graceful fingers hold it
Fragrant and perfect
The Strauss waltz and rose flower
Fill our souls with joy and peace.

As you listened to “Roses from the South” waltz, were you smiling, swaying, or did you get up and dance? Did you envision couples dancing in a large circle with women in their swirling dresses and men in tuxedoes? I hope it filled your soul with joy and peace. Please let me know how you reacted to it.

Karen may be contacted here …

Karen Ingalls Blog.

On Twitter:

Karen Ingalls Author Page Amazon

On Facebook

***

I can be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

Thanks so much for stopping by! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #18 Entry Part 6) by Harmony Kent @harmony_kent #IARTG #ASMSG #WRITINGCOMMUNITY #WritingPrompts

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 6)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #18.

Today I’m featuring a contribution by Harmony Kent.

 I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt and Harmony’s Contribution.

music-sheet-5117328_1920

Encore

The melodious and skillful playing on the grand piano rouses me from a deep sleep. Groggy, I reach my hand out for the mobile, thinking the sound comes from the wake-up alarm. But the device displays 00:00 and lies quiescent and silent in my palm. The hairs on my neck prickle a warning. My heart races along with the soaring tempo while the surge of adrenaline forces me into complete and alert wakefulness.

Always this French piece. Always at midnight precisely. And, always, I tumble down the stairs only to find the great hall empty. And still, I have to check. I need to make sure. After a month of this, you could be forgiven for assuming I know better. But the only way I can go on is to remember and hope. Otherwise, what’s left?

I stand framed in the doorway, and the hall light casts my shadow before me … impossibly long and slender and nothing like my old and bent body. A chill draft from who-knows-where sets my body a tremble. The grandfather clock tick-tick-ticks the seconds away. At the far side of the great hall, the piano sits at attention, its lid propped up, the stool pulled back, and the sheet music ready. Waiting.

A solitary tear trickles down my left cheek. So, just a dream. Always, the melody exists only in my mind. But why now? My love will never again sit at this magnificent grand or fill this empty mansion with her beauty. Even though I feel the futility in my blood and bones, and the wrung-out chambers of my broken heart, I ease across the parquet floor and stand behind the pianist’s stool. I lift my arms as I always used to do. Tonight, as with every night, my hands find empty air, for her shoulders are not there.

The blue-tinged moonlight pokes a finger through the slightest gap in the heavy drapes and shines on the decades-old sheet music. Yellowed, now, with age and neglect. My grief prevents me from changing one single thing. All is as Rose left it. Ready for the final performance. Though my reflection stands alone in the gilt mirror in front of me, the moon glow casts a shadow. Her shadow. Dainty fingers grasp a rose. A single note sounds and reverberates throughout the hall … high C … the perfect octave for my Rose’s perfect voice.

A sharp pain pierces my chest and sends cold shards lancing into my heart. My breath catches, and I slump onto the stool. A liver-spotted fist fumbles and grips at my breast. The shadows gather around me while the music plays … builds … reaches a crescendo. A single crimson petal drifts downward on unseen currents and comes to rest on the time-worn ivory keys. My eyelids grow heavy and tug my eyes closed.

My love has come for me. After all these years, my Rose and I shall make music again, together beneath the stars. Into this vast night, I go willingly. Behind the veil … eternal melody.

© Harmony Kent 2020

CONTACT HARMONY HERE …

Website: https://harmonykent.co.uk and Story Empire (Co-authored)

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