“Fiction In A Flash Challenge” Image Prompt Week #7. Join in, have fun and let the creative muse loose. @pursoot #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Flash Fiction best header

Hello everyone and welcome to my weekly “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!”  Week #7 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 a 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 4pm EDT on Thursday, July 9th. 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.

I’ll begin sharing all entries received, and, my own contribution here on Friday, July 10th.

Here is the week #7 Image Prompt.

 

flash Free lighthouse beautiful

I hope the image inspires you! Come and join in the fun.

Find me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

 

 

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #6 Entries 4-5. @JanSikes3 @gmplano #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity.

Flash Fiction best header

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 2 of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #6.

Today I’m featuring contributions from  4) Jan Sikes and 5) Gwen Plano. Week #7 prompt will be featured here tomorrow.

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.

FREE FRAMED IMAGE OF BABY AND DADDY SLEEPING WEEK 6

#4 …Contributed by JAN SIKES

“I’VE GOT YOU”

I’ve got you, little one

Safe and secure

In this world filled with troubles

Heartaches and fear

Your tiny heart beats in rhythm with mine

My blood flows through your veins

Our lives forever intertwined

I’ll protect you until my very last breath

And warm you when icy winds

Threaten with the kiss of death

Yes, I’ve got you, little one

Today, tomorrow and all your days here

I’ve got you, little one

My love unshakable and sincere.

            Your Father

#

Jan can be contacted here …

All books are available at http://www.jansikes.com

Amazon

On Twitter

On Facebook

 

#5 … Contributed by Gwen Plano;

My contribution is a Haiku poem, a 3-lined poem characterized by 17 syllables. When I saw the photo, a song began playing over and over in my thoughts. My dad would sing this song and perhaps your father did as well. It begins: Hush little baby, don’t say a word; Papa’s gonna buy you a mockingbird

 

Gwen Plano can be reached here:

 

Reflections on Life … Blog.

Author Page: Gwen Plano on Amazon

On Twitter.

Gwen Plano on Facebook.

~~~

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Contact me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

The Week #7 Writing prompt will be posted tomorrow.

“Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #6 Entries 1-3 @pursoot @KIngallsAuthor @dlfinnauthor #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

 

Flash Fiction best header

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 1 of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week 6.

Today I’m featuring contributions from Karen Ingalls and D.L. Finn as well as my own contribution. Part 2 entries 4-5 will be posted here tomorrow.

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.

#1. Contributed by Karen Ingalls.

FREE FRAMED IMAGE OF BABY AND DADDY SLEEPING WEEK 6

 FATHER AND SON

 POEM

by

KAREN INGALLS.

 

        I HOLD YOU WITH LOVE

MY HEART REJOICES

         YOU ARE A MIRACLE

 

 WE SLEEP TOGETHER

IN A SILENT RHYTHM OF BREATHES

         YOU ARE A BLESSING

 

   GOD’S LOVE EMBRACES US

ALWAYS WITH US

YOU ARE A GIFT

 

    YOUR SWEET SPIRIT

CALMS MY BEATING HEART

        YOU ARE SPECIAL

 

THIS TREASURED MOMENT

  IS ONE OF MANY TO COME

        YOU ARE MY SON

Karen Ingalls can be found on

Karen Ingalls Blog.

On Twitter:

Karen Ingalls Author Page Amazon

On Facebook

#

#2 A Haiku Contributed by D.L.Finn

FREE FRAMED IMAGE OF BABY AND DADDY SLEEPING WEEK 6

Chests rising in rhythm
A sleepy moment captured
Love’s perfection
D.L. Finn can be found here …

#3 My own Contribution;

FREE FRAMED IMAGE OF BABY AND DADDY SLEEPING WEEK 6

“I did it, Dad!”

by

Suzanne Burke.

Michael D’Angelo looked up from his laptop as his assistant knocked on the door.

“Problem, Danny?”

“Oh, no, sir. At least I don’t think so.” He handed across a large envelope, “This just came for you.”

Michael looked at the envelope for a brief moment. “Thanks, Danny. It’s from my father.” He flicked a glance at his watch, “What time are we leaving?”

“We need you to be ready to go in just over an hour.”

“Okay, can do. Uh, Danny, I’m taking a moment. Can you see I’m not disturbed?”

The man nodded and left the office.

Mike looked at the handwriting again. He’d be seeing his father in just a few short hours, so why this? A photograph slid out onto the desk as he opened the envelope. Mike picked it up. “What the? How have I never seen this one?” There was a letter waiting, and Mike’s hands shook a little as he opened it.

Hello, Mikey.

Now I know this is gonna seem strange, and maybe it is, but I needed to say some stuff now and it’s too important to risk me freezing up when I try to say it out loud later. So, I’m writing them down as they come to me.

I took that photograph of you sleeping with my newborn grandson.  I kept this picture framed on my desk down at the precinct. It was such a huge milestone in your life. I was privileged to be around to see it happen. I recognized the moment and I cherished it. But did I ever tell you that? I should have.

I was there when you took your own first steps, you tottered towards my outstretched arms and giggled with delight when you made it! You had a smile that your mother swore could melt ice cubes, and then there was the other smile that you shared only with me. I always called it your ‘I did it, Dad’ grin.

It surfaced often in those early years as you added other firsts to your journey. Do you remember the day I got called down to the school because you’d been in a fight? Man, your left eye had some black and blue shiner in the making. The principal sat me down and laid out the facts. “Michael was witnessed to strike James McGuire. We have strict rules about violence here. Now, if Michael will apologize to James and the McGuire family, we’ll avoid suspending him.”

I looked at you and recognized something in the set of your jaw as you spoke up, “I’m sorry, sir. I’m afraid I can’t do that. Not unless McGuire apologizes to the little kid from the special needs class that he had shoved up against the lockers. He’s only nine-years-old, sir! If McGuire does that, I’ll apologize.”

You got suspended for two weeks. I took you out for burger and fries and tried to look stern while we celebrated. You gave me that smile. But did I say the words ‘I’m proud of you for standing up for what you believe in?’ I should have.

That kinda brings us over the mountains and the milestones that time hands us, to today. I love you my son and I’m proud of you. I’ll say that to you a little later.

Dad.

Mike shook his head and took a deep breath. Then he composed himself and dressed ready for the afternoon ahead.

***

Frank D’Angelo stood alongside his eighteen-year-old grandson. They held onto each other’s hands tightly as Michael Thomas D’Angelo was sworn in by The Chief Justice as the new Attorney General of the United States of America.

Frank cried as his boy flashed him his ‘I did it, dad.’ Smile.

He applauded with the others.

Mike hugged his son and his mother then turned to his dad, “Can you say it now, dad?”

“I’m so very proud of you, my son.”

Mike pulled him into a man hug. “It goes both ways, dad. So, let me get this formal stuff out of the way. Then you want burgers and fries?”

His father laughed, “You buying?”

“You know it. Let’s go celebrate our way.”

#

 

Thanks so much for stopping by. I’ll take this opportunity to wish all my American friends a safe and Memorable 4th of July 2020.

Don’t forget to drop by tomorrow for Part 2 of the entries.

The Challenge Photo-Prompt for Week #7 will be posted on Friday, July 3rd.

Contact me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

 

“Fiction In A Flash Challenge” Image Prompt Week #6. Join in, have fun and let the creative muse loose. @pursoot #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Flash Fiction best header

Hello everyone and welcome to my weekly “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 a 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 4pm EDT on Thursday, July 2nd. 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.

I’ll begin sharing all entries received, and, my own contribution here on Friday, July 3rd.

Here is the week #6 Image Prompt.

FREE FRAMED IMAGE OF BABY AND DADDY SLEEPING WEEK 6

 

I hope the image inspires you! Come and join in the fun.

Find me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

 

“Fiction In A Flash Challenge” Week #5 … Entries 1-3. @KIngallsAuthor @gmplano @pursoot #IARTG #WritingCommunity

Flash Fiction best header

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

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 a form 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 4pm EDT on June 18th. 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.

I’ll be sharing all entries received, and, my own contribution here on June 19th.

 Here is the prompt image and ENTRIES 1-2 and 3…For #Week 5.

Entries 4 and 5 will be featured tomorrow.

flash best marionette

 

#1 …This contribution by Gwen Plano:

My contribution is a Tanka poem, a 31 syllable poem known for its five lines of 5-7-5-7-7 syllables. The photo prompt is the figure in the bottom left corner.

Flash week 5 Gwen Plano Tanka june 25th 2020

You’ll find Gwen here:

Reflections on Life … Blog.

Author Page: Gwen Plano on Amazon

On Twitter.

Gwen Plano on Facebook.

 

***

#2 … This contribution by Karen Ingalls.

flash best marionette

For this challenge, I have written my first Haiku poem, which is a short form of Japanese poetry. It consists of three lines, with seventeen syllables divided into 5/7/5 syllables. I hope you enjoy it.

Karen Ingalls can be found on

Karen Ingalls Blog.

On Twitter:

Karen Ingalls Author Page Amazon

On Facebook

***

#3. My own contribution:

flash best marionette

‘The Puppeteer’.

By

Suzanne Burke

“Our audience will arrive soon, my pretty one. We must give them a show they’ll always remember.” The man looked down at her from his perch on the step ladder, “What are those grey eyes of yours asking?” His voice dropped to a cracked whisper, “Tell me.”

“ Look, I’m really sorry, but I don’t think this is my kind of assignment. I’ll give back the modeling fee. ”

The man’s laugh echoed around the basement studio. The sound made Holly shiver. “Not your kind of assignment? Trust me, my pretty one, this assignment will make you quite famous.”

Holly’s voice was tight with fear, “I’m leaving now.” Holly stood and took a close look at the ties that bound her. “These bindings need to be removed.”

“Oh, no, no you can’t go now. You’re about to be launched on the worldwide stage.”

“I said these need to be undone. Please, I, … I’m already late. I have a two-year-old daughter waiting. I just want to go home.”

“She’ll get to brag about her famous mommy.” The man turned his head and caught the beam of a flashlight shafting through the small window just below the ceiling. “Ah, perfect. Our audience has arrived.”

Holly dropped to her knees, “Please, please… whatever this is it’s not too late to stop! Please?”

She looked up to discover the gun he now held aimed at her.

“It’s far, far, too late, my pretty one. The ball’s already in play.” His voice was soft and somehow wistful.

Holly grew silent, scrambling to think clearly through the adrenaline-fuelled fear.

She heard the heavy thud of a door upstairs being rammed open, and the boots overhead moved towards the basement stairs.

“Here they come!” The Puppeteer flicked on another spotlight and illuminated his stage; he moved with assured steps to stand behind his living marionette. Holly felt the gun barrel of the Glock placed against her left temple. She moaned in fear.

Seconds later the basement door was forced open, “FBI … Drop the weapon! Do it now!”

“Oh, no…no, I don’t think so. You aren’t about to risk me getting a shot off before your bullets take me out of play. You can’t let ‘The Puppeteer’ add another victim to the list. You’d kiss goodbye any hope of furthering your career.  He laughed. “I believe that gives me the advantage.”

“Let’s calm this situation the fuck down. What is it you want?”

“Ah, of course, and you’d be the hostage negotiator?”

“Declan O’Connor. Talk to me. Let’s all walk away from this with no bloodshed. Now, what will it take for you to cut her loose and let her walk over here?”

“Oh, nothing much. I’m thinking a Presidential Pardon would suit me nicely. My very own ‘get out of jail free’ card.”

“Not about to happen. Not with the sixteen females you’ve butchered. Now ask me for something I can do.”

“I don’t need anything else. Pity. She’s quite pretty.”

Declan O’Connor whispered into his mouthpiece, “Do it now!”

The Puppeteer screamed as the sniper’s bullet came through the small window and removed three fingers and the gun from his right hand.

NO! NO! You, damned fools! You are meant to kill me! There’s no glory in this.”

Declan O’Connor now cradled a sobbing Holly in his arms, he looked over as his men took charge of their prisoner. “We’d already figured you didn’t plan on this ending well. Sixteen cases and you have never made a mistake that could lead us straight to you. Except for this time.” Declan gave Holly’s shoulder a squeeze as the paramedics helped the shaking woman onto a stretcher.

He walked over to man the press had labeled The Puppeteer as another paramedic dressed his wound. “Pity you didn’t commit one of your atrocities in a state that still upholds the death penalty. But, in many ways, it’s far more satisfying to know you’ll do life without any hope of parole. The best news is that we’ll see to it that you’ll do that time in the general population of a maximum-security facility.”

“I’ll plead insanity.”

“Nah … won’t happen. Every psychologist and psychiatrist that has read the case files will testify that these murders were at the hand of someone sufficiently in charge of his faculties to plan meticulously and enact pre-meditated murder. I for one look forward to seeing you live to enjoy your sentence, for as long as it takes for another inmate to kill you. They all have sisters’ mothers and sweethearts. Pity is you won’t last awfully long.

The Puppeteer began screaming as he was shackled and shoved into the waiting van.

Declan addressed his team. “Great work, people. Let’s meet up for drinks after the debriefing. I’m buying!”

***

Holly said a grateful prayer that night as she cradled her daughter in her arms.

#

I look forward to sharing entries 4 and 5 with you tomorrow.

Thanks so much for stopping by. The Challenge Photo-Prompt for Week #6 will be posted on Saturday, June 27th.

Contact me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Week #5. Image Prompt: Join in, have fun, and let loose your creative muse.#FictionInAFlash @pursoot @IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity.

 

Flash Fiction best header

Hello everyone and welcome to week #5 of my  “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write either a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that prompt, in any form, and in a 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 4pm on Thursday, June 25th. 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.

I’ll be sharing all entries received, and, my own contribution here beginning on Friday, June 26th. (I’ll feature all posts in the order they were received over several days if the number of entries calls for it.)

I do hope you join in! Have fun, let the creative muse loose!

And now …The image for week#5

flash best marionette

I hope the image inspires you! Come and join in the fun.

Find me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

“Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Entries for week #4 @KIngallsAuthor @gmplano @pokercubster @pursoot @MarshaIngrao #IARTG #WritingCommunity #ASMSG

 

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #4.

Flash Fiction best header

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 piece inspired by that image in a 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 4pm on June 18th. 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.

I’ll be sharing all entries received, and, my own contribution here on June 19th.

***

AND Here’s the prompt image and ENTRIES…For #Week 4.

Flash Fiction Routte 66

ON THE ROAD AGAIN

By

Karen Ingalls.

 My name is Willie Nelson Johnson. Obviously, I was named for the famous country-western singer and actor. He was my mother’s favorite singer and his music played all day, every day. I know by heart every song he ever recorded.

I cannot sing or play an instrument, my hair is short, there is no beard, I am not an activist, nor have I ever smoked marijuana. The only thing I have in common with Willie, besides my name, is the love of the open road. The day I got my first car was the first day of being on the road. Over the years I have driven to as many places as my wallet and time would allow.

I grew up and now live in Wilmington, Illinois along with about 6,000 other folks. It is called “The Island City” because it is bisected by the Kankakee River. As you can see, Route 66 goes right through Wilmington.

Map for Karen's post

We have Route 66 Antiques, Rte. 66 Bar & Grill, and the famous (or infamous) Launching Pad Drive-In where you will see one of the many giant statues based on the Muffler Man along the famous highway. These statues of fiberglass were constructed for advertising or purely decoration. Here you will find “Gemini Giant”, a 28-foot spaceman commemorating the Gemini space missions.

On July 4, 1998, I took a three-week vacation and drove the entire 2,448 miles of Route 66, also known as Mother Road. I first drove north to Chicago where it begins (or ends depending on your starting point), and then headed south and west all the way to its final stop, the Santa Monica Pier in California.

Goin’ places that I’ve never been
Seein’ things that I may never see again

 In St. Louis, I saw Eads Bridge, the oldest steel bridge, the McKinley Bridge, New Chain of Rocks Bridge, and McArthur Bridge. They are all part of Route 66. Of course, I stopped at The Arch and took the ride to the top marveling at the vista below.

One of my fondest memories is spending two days in Lebanon, Missouri. I stayed at the Munger Moss Motel and visited the amazing Route 66 Museum.

Like a band of Gypsies, we go down the highway
We’re the best of friends

I met many people from all over the U.S. and the world. They were of all ages, races, and religions, and some of us became friends and we have stayed in touch. Sometimes we caravanned looking like a band of Gypsies.

I stopped in Catoosa, Oklahoma for only one reason: to see the “Blue Whale”, which is one of the statues along Route 66. I drove the additional 120 miles to have a delicious meal at “Ann’s Chicken Fry House Restaurant” in Oklahoma City.

Playing my Willie Nelson tapes, I sang my heart out while I drove across Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona making a few stops to see more of the Muffler Men statues including the two Paul Bunyan’s in Flagstaff, Arizona and in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I stopped at The Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo for a massive meal and visited the shooting range.

I finally crossed the California border into the very small town of Amboy. When I was there in 1998, the population was 5. It was up for sale on Ebay, but it never sold for the asking price of $1.9 million. A group of motorcyclists invited me to join them on their way to Santa Monica. They were a rough-and-tough looking group but as kind as the day is long.

The most famous place in Amboy is Roy’s Motel and Café. They refused to have their picture taken, so I snapped a photo of their motorcycles lined up.

Karen Motorcycles

We traveled from Amboy to the Santa Monica Pier, traveling the two-hundred miles in one day. The eight of us parked our seven motorcycles and one car. We walked to the very end of the 1909 pier. We cheered and broke out into chorus singing On the Road Again.

#

Karen Ingalls can be found on

Karen Ingalls Blog.

On Twitter:

Karen Ingalls Author Page Amazon

On Facebook

***

This Entry by Gwen Plano:

Flash Fiction Routte 66

John Steinbeck famously called Route 66 “the mother road, the road of flight” because thousands upon thousands fled the Dust Bowl for the hope of something better. His Grapes of Wrath captured the dire poverty that so many experienced and helped later generations understand why there was an epic journey West.

Though the road is now decommissioned, it basically follows Interstate 40 from Santa Monica to Oklahoma City where it changes to Interstate 44 through Missouri and Interstate 55 to Chicago. For those of us who have traveled this road, there’s a reverence for its history. My tanka poem (5-7-5-7-7 syllables) tries to capture that sentiment.

GWEN ROUTE 66 USE THIS ONE

You’ll find Gwen here:

Reflections on Life … Blog.

Author Page: Gwen Plano on Amazon

On Twitter.

Gwen Plano on Facebook.

 

***

This Contribution by D.G. KAYE

Flash Fiction Routte 66

From the first time I ever visited Las Vegas, I felt an inexplicable energy through me, an unfamiliar state of feeling that I should be living on the west coast. This feeling had nothing to do with the fact that Vegas is like a Disneyland Mecca playground for adults but more about the atmosphere – desert, climate and just being in the southwest.

It must have been my colorful childhood education from some of the shady characters I’d met in my mother’s circles that began my fascination of mobster stories. After my first Vegas experiences there were plenty more visits there, sometimes 2 and 3 times per year. After so many years of going to Vegas, and one helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon, I had an instant feeling that I needed to relocate our vacations to Arizona, more evidence to myself that it was the southwest calling me, more than the casino attractions in Las Vegas.

The first time I landed in Phoenix Sky Harbor airport, I remember strolling the carry-on through the airport with hub, on our way to grab a taxi, when I stopped myself in my tracks and took a pause when this incredible feeling of something inexplicable came over me and told me this was where I needed to be. A familiarity ran through me as though I were home, like I was familiar with a place I’d never before been other than in a helicopter landing in a canyon.

My long fascination with everything southwest, from the climate to the beauty to the rich history of the various Native tribes and cultures, felt familiar and I’d always had this longing to drive Route 66, pretty much inspired by Thelma and Louise. I’d flown over the spot where the movie ends and their car goes off the cliff, while in the helicopter, the tour guide made it a point to announce.

Our first trip to Phoenix was fantabulous. My husband loved all the cowboy stores, venues and paraphernalia, and me, well, I couldn’t get enough of the views, and of course, shopping anything southwest. Don’t even get me started on beautiful Sedona, but those are other stories for another time. Suffice it to say, I wasn’t going home without something ‘Route 66’ and it seemed only fitting when I spotted a set of luggage on discount while I was in the market for a new bag to return home with since what I’d come with was already overflowing. The luggage was colorful with Route 66 plastered all over. And along with some other goodies I found at a flea market when our new friends had taken us to in Mesa, I picked up this sign.

 

route 66

Here I am living in the east, still living in the dream of being a southwest coast girl someday. Who knows what will come when the new world opens up. Never stop dreaming!

DGKaye may be found here:

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

AMAZON

GOODREADS

***

My own Contribution:

Flash Fiction Routte 66

Déjà Vu

by

Suzanne Burke

FBI Field Office Chicago.

Special Agent Daniel Paterson raised his hand for quiet, “Okay, people, listen up! On all five case files, we have death by Asphyxiation. 5 Different states, 5 Different dates. The order appears random. But look at this on the map.” He illuminated the screen behind him.

“The small towns where the murders occurred can only be accessed from Route 66. The states however are in random order. This unsub could have begun his killing spree from either Chicago or Los Angeles. Traveling from Chicago to L.A We have eight possible locations … Illinois, Kansas, Texas, Arizona, Missouri, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, exiting in California.”

He stopped and faced his team, “However, our unsub selected five victims, located in crime scene order, 1. Illinois, 2. Missouri, 3. Kansas, 4. California and 5. Arizona. That leaves us with three possible locations to watch,” He circled them, “New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. The profile suggests that if this perp moves to victim 6 it will be in one of these states. Questions?”

“Dan, given this info, we need to check all available footage on the exits and access from Route 66 to those town locations.”

“Good call, Tracey. Get on it.”

She nodded and hurried back to her laptop.

***

Two hours later:

Agent Tracey Prentice watched and re-watched the footage. She suddenly sat forward. “Dan! We may have a hit!”

Dan and several of her colleagues hurried across.

“Okay, we have the same vehicle exiting and re-entering Route 66, at the murder locations, in all five states! The dates correlate to the day before and the day after the murders took place. We have details on the RV plates. I’ll have them in a moment.”

***

“Yes! The RV is registered to Thomas Cranston. Thirty-six years old. Male Caucasian. I’m running facial recognition …”

“Jesus! This guy is a Lt. Commander and a former Navy Seal!” She read further … “Medically discharged, six months ago. Two weeks before our first victim. The last known address was here in Chicago.”

Dan spoke up, “Any request to access that file needs to come from The Director. I’ll arrange that now.”

“Dan, we’ll need teams moving into these last three locations. Let’s hope this guy hasn’t changed his M.O.”

***

It took thirty-minutes to be granted limited access to the Medical file of Lt. Commander Cranston. His mission briefs were classified as Top Secret and access to them was refused.

Dan and his team read through his discharge details, much of which was edited out. The commander was severely injured on his last mission. The collateral damage was high. Six of his team were lost. He began exhibiting signs of PTSD and was considered medically unfit for further active duty. His ramblings about retribution caused concern. He blamed the Government in Washington for the cost of his team.

Tracey shook her head. “None of our victims were employed in any capacity by our Government. Jesus, what if these victims are meant as a distraction? What if he has another agenda. But what, when, and where?” She stood, something was nagging at her and she couldn’t place it. She stepped outside, lit up a smoke, and felt the chill of the November air invade her lungs.

She glanced at her watch and the date suddenly registered. “Oh, hell!” She ran inside, “Dan! It’s November 22nd! The date President Kennedy was assassinated! Where is POTUS currently located? Please don’t let it be Dallas!”

Dan checked the morning’s National Security briefing. “Oh, sweet Lord. He is in Dallas, doing a meet and greet.” He grabbed for the landline and made an urgent call. Then turned to his team,  “Tracey, what exact time did JFK go down?”

“12.30p.m Eastern standard time. It’s now 12.18!”

Dan made a grab for the ringing phone and put the call on speaker. “In response to your call, ‘Operation Lockdown’ has been initiated. POTUS will be extracted. Secret service agents are en-route to the Book Depository on Dealey Plaza.”

“Copy that.” Dan ended the call.

He turned on the live TV coverage of the Presidential motorcade, and they all watched with hearts pounding.

The CNN reporter suddenly spoke up excitedly. “Something is happening here! The Presidential Motorcade has stopped! The escort vehicles and the one carrying the President have just slammed into reverse. Something is clearly very wrong! We have secret service agents and a swat team swarming the book depository! The motorcade is no longer in view!  … We have a shot fired!” The reporter moved closer to the shelter of her camera van.

She continued moments later. “We’re all praying that the President has reached a safe location.”

Dan turned from the screen and responded again to the ringing phone. He hung up and faced his team. “The President is secure. Lt. Commander Cranston was found deceased at the scene, apparently dead by his own hand.”

His voice shook with anger as he continued. “By order of The President, these case files are now closed. They are to be designated Unsolved and moved to the Cold-Case register.”

“The order is not open to question! Is that clear?

Tracey’s face paled. She walked over and placed her ID and her gun on Dan’s desk.

She turned as she reached the door and glanced back at her colleagues as they sat in stunned silence “Déjà Vu, anyone?”

#

This contribution shared with us by Marsha Ingrao .

Flash Fiction Routte 66

Get Your Kicks Right Here.

by

Marsha Ingrao.

“Cinnie, settle down back there. Where’s Teddy?” Bobby smiled at his two-year-old bundle of energy. “Put your blankie over you and cuddle up with Teddy.”

The bathroom break took forty-five minutes but Bobby didn’t care. He winked and grinned at his wife as they pulled away from the gas station. He was going to be a movie star.

“Are we almost there yet?” Cinnie asked bouncing up from her mattress laid across the back seat of the 1941 Buick.

“Honey, sit back down. Do you want a fruit cup?”

She and Bobby dreamed of going to California. He wanted to write songs after he got out of the military.

It was early May of 1946. Cynthia was due in late June. Bobby suggested they take a cross-country trip and check out Hollywood possibilities before she had the baby. Cynthia could barely turn around and touch Cinnie in the back seat.

“How long do you think it will take, Bobby?”

“It will be quicker if we take US 40 all the way to San Francisco,” he answered.

“True, but I’ve always wanted to see what the big deal was about Route 66, too.”

Cynthia handed Cinnie her book, The Carrot Seed. Tiny fingers thumbed through the well-worn pages as Cinnie recited the words to herself.

“She’s such a good girl. I can’t imagine doing this trip with a baby, too,” Bobby smiled, his white teeth flashing as he handed Cynthia the map.

“I can’t imagine trying to get this map to lie down flat on a stomach bigger than all of Cinnie.”

Cynthia punched the map, wrestling with the folds, turning it right side up to read the names all the small towns they would be going through. She trailed her finger trail along Route 66 reading the names out loud.

“Galena, Tulsa, Elk City. I wonder if we could get some pictures of elk. Shamrock, Amarillo, Tucumcari. I really want to go on Route 66, Bobby.”

On the third day away from home, the threesome drove through the green corridor from Pennsylvania to the Smokey Mountains. At lunchtime, they pulled to the side of the road and took out their sandwiches. Other lunchers stepped out of their cars and snapped pictures of their babies on the backs of the wild bears who had come to the road for food.

“Me want big bear, Daddy.” Cinnie jumped on her mattress, hitting her head on the headliner of the Buick.

“Too dangerous, Cinnie. We need to go. Let’s sing a song. Better, let’s write a song about our trip. Which one, Westward Ho on US 40 – Let’s Go or Motor Best on Sporty Forty?”

Bobby couldn’t get the crazy tune out of his head. Over and over he sang, “If you ever plan to motor west, Travel my way, take the highway, that’s the best. US Forty, Forty, Forty it’s so sporty, sporty, sporty.

Cinnie chortled. “No, no, no. Sing journey song.”

Bobbie cruned, “‘Gonna take a sentimental journey. Gonna set my heart at ease.” That one, Cinnie? That’s what we’re doing.”

Cinnie sang along until she fell asleep.

Two days later they had to make a decision, to finish the trip on US 40 or veer off onto Route 66. A cool, dry breeze blew through the open windows. Cynthia felt bigger than when she had left home. Cinnie woke up from a nap and laughed as a gust of air blew up Cynthia’s skirt almost blowing the rumpled map out the window.

Cynthia patted her map and started reading city names, “Winslow, Flagstaff, Oatman, Amboy. What about Get Your Kicks on Route 66?” she said humming the first strand of Bobby’s song. “If you ever plan to motor west, Travel my way, take the highway, that’s the best. Get your kicks on Route 66. It rhymes.”

“It shore do, beautiful lady.” Bobby reached over and took her hand. “It winds from Chicago to L.A. More than 2000 miles all the way,”

Five days later they arrived in Los Angeles. Bobby and Cynthia finished the song.

“I have a feeling this is going to be the one,” Bobby said as he wrote the last words in his journal. “Won’t you get hip to this timely tip When you make that California trip? Get your kicks on Route 66!”

And he was right.

###

Contact Marsha here:

 Always Write blog

TWITTER

Thanks so much for stopping by. The Challenge Photo-Prompt for Week #5 will be posted on June 19th.

Contact me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

 

 

 

 

“Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Week #4. Image Prompt: Join in, have fun, and let loose your creative muse.#FictionInAFlash @pursoot @IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity.

Flash Fiction best header

Hello everyone and welcome to week #4 of my  “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction piece inspired by that image in any form 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 4pm on Thursday, June 18th. 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.

I’ll be sharing all entries received, and, my own contribution here on Friday, June 19th.

I do hope you join in! Have fun, let the creative muse loose!

And now …The image for week #4

Flash Fiction Routte 66

I hope the image inspires you! Come and join in the fun.

Find me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

“Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Entries for week #3 @gmplano @KIngallsAuthor @pursoot #IARTG #WritingCommunity #ASMSG

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

Flash Fiction best header

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 piece inspired by that image in a 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 4pm on June 11th. 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.

I’ll be sharing all entries received, and, my own contribution here on June 12th.

***

AND Here’s the prompt image and ENTRIES…For #Week 3.

Flash Fiction empty hammock

This contribution Authored by Gwen Plano.

ENTRY:

This week’s photo takes me to an imaginary island somewhere in the Atlantic, far from COVID-19 and riots in the streets. Walking its pristine beach, I am surprised by what I find and share it today. I hope my discovery brings a smile and maybe a fresh breeze. Have a great day!

​A Haitian Proverb

“Bekka, come on. This will be fun.” His irritation mounting.

“Mom’s not gonna like it.” She looks away and shifts her legs nervously.

“Come on, she won’t even know.”

“Remember last time? Not pretty…”

“Good grief! Just crawl across the tree trunk and we’ll jump together.”

“What if we miss?”

“How could we? We’d be right above the swing. We can’t miss.”

“Yeah, well, if something could go wrong, it will.”

“You always do this. You know that right? A l w a y s. Forget about it! I’m going without you.”

“Alright!! I’m coming. No tricks though.” She struggles to pull herself up the tree trunk.

“I’m gonna count to three. Are you ready? Here goes…one, two, three. JUMP!”

Thump!

“Bekka, what happened? Why didn’t you jump?”

“Just got scared is all.”

“Come on! What could go wrong?”

“I dunno…but it feels so high up here.”

“Then jump and stop complaining.”

“Okay. One, two, three…”

Thump!

“Eddy, Eddy, where are you?”

“Well, no thanks to you, I’m in the ocean. I bounced off when you hit.”

“Oh no, here comes mom.”

“Geez!! Y’know what she’s going to say! The crab that walks too far falls into the pot.”

“Have you ever wondered what that means?”

“Yeah, but I suspect it’s code for stay away from humans – or at least humans with pots.”

***
You’ll find Gwen here:

Reflections on Life … Blog.

Author Page: Gwen Plano on Amazon

On Twitter.

Gwen Plano on Facebook.

 

***

This contribution by Karen Ingalls.

Flash Fiction empty hammock

A VACATION FROM HELL

I was excited to go to the Caribbean island of Barbados with my three closest friends from college. It was a five-day trip to celebrate our graduation and my upcoming marriage to my college sweetheart. What was to be a relaxing, fun, and wild trip turned out to be a nightmarish, insane, and stressful trip.

Day 1: my seat assignment was changed to the middle seat in the last row between a young mother with a baby and a 300-pound woman. The baby was asleep until the plane took off, then it cried until the plane touched down. On my other side, the obese lady snored and kept nestling her head on my shoulder.

Day 2: I awoke with a hangover after partying most of the previous night. I spent most of the early morning on the bathroom floor hanging over the toilet bowl. I felt as if I had two heads banging against each other. Some aspirin, tomato juice, and an icepack soon brought me back to normalcy.

By late afternoon, I felt well enough to go snorkeling. The beautiful fish and coral were breathtaking. I thought I was in heaven until a jellyfish stung my left leg. I came up for air, screaming in pain. As I stepped onto the boat my left foot slipped, twisting my ankle. The rest of the day was spent at the local clinic, treating the jellyfish’s sting, and wrapping my swollen ankle. That evening I sat in my room alone, left leg elevated, an ice pack on my ankle, and enjoyed the euphoria the pain pills provided.

Day 3: The four of us stayed by the pool, playing cards, and drinking rum island drinks. This was not a good idea since I was still taking pain pills. Before I knew what happened, my face fell into my lunch plate of fish cakes with fresh fruit. I do not remember anything more about the third day of the vacation.

Day 4: The next morning, I awakened in a hammock attached to a palm tree swaying above the Caribbean water. I looked around and saw my buddies laughing and pointing at me. At first, I was angry, then I decided to enjoy the moment. The warm sun, gentle breeze, and gentle rocking of the hammock relaxed my weary body.

My leg and foot were much improved and my brain was clear of the pain pills’ effects. We rented a car and drove around the island, stopping at Harrison’s Cave where we saw stalagmites and stalactites on a tram, explored Bridgetown, and visited the Morgan Lewis sugar mill.

The day ended with dinner and drinks at a restaurant near our hotel. That was when I realized that my wallet was missing. Fortunately, I had left my passport in my room.

Day 5: My friends each pitched in and bought a first-class ticket for me.  “This has been a rough few days and we want you to be rested for your wedding tomorrow.”

I had a window seat in the last row of first-class. I had just settled down when the same obese lady sat in the aisle seat next to me. I slumped down, covered my eyes, and asked myself, “How can this be? What are the odds? What have I done to deserve this?”
No one answered my questions, but once again the lady immediately started snoring and used my shoulder as her pillow. Two rows behind me a baby cried during the entire flight.

The wedding gift from my college buddies was a 20 x 30-inch photo of the hammock hanging from the palm tree. I have it displayed in my office at work. Clients marvel at how beautiful and peaceful it looks.  I just smile and nod.

#

Karen Ingalls can be found on

Karen Ingalls Blog.

On Twitter:

Karen Ingalls Author Page Amazon

On Facebook

 

My own contribution:

Flash Fiction empty hammock

A Touch of Paradise

By Suzanne Burke.

Tessa pulled back the drapes and slid the glass doors wide open. She stood on the deck and sucked in a deep lungful of the tangy salt air. It was just as she’d pictured it. Long stretches of pristine white sand lovingly embraced the palm trees and the deep blue ocean tugged at its edges.

She hurriedly changed into her swimsuit, ignoring the jetlag and determined not to waste a moment of this longed-for vacation.

The white hammock was waiting, and she sighed at the utter perfection of it as she carefully lay back. The soft breeze washed over her, and the view relaxed her and lulled her to sleep.

“Time to wake up sleeping beauty.”

Tessa sat bolt upright too fast and toppled out of the hammock, landing in an undignified heap at the intruder’s feet.

“Oh, hell! Are you hurt?”

“Only my pride.” Tessa began brushing the sand from her body and then laughed up at the man standing there. “I presume you have a good reason for waking me?”

He reached down and offered his hand and she was gently pulled to her feet. “It’s safe enough to fall asleep in the sun here in the early morning, but, it’s past noon now, and sunburn is no way to start a vacation.”

Tessa grinned at him, “Well then, thank you.” She extended her hand, “I’m Tessa Carpenter.”

He returned the handshake, “Lee Bradshaw.” He laughed, “Sorry, I’ve just never had a woman throw herself at me quite like that before.”

Tessa dissolved into gales of laughter, “I finally get to be a fallen woman.”

Lee grinned in appreciation and glanced at his Rolex, “Can I buy you a drink to make up for startling you.”

She gave it some thought, “I’m not in the mood for a crowded bar, I’m still jetlagged and I need to freshen up. Later perhaps? My bar fridge is fully stocked, maybe we could fix a drink and sit out on the deck?”

“Sounds like a plan. Say I come by around sunset?”

Tessa smiled and agreed. She showered and slept. Her guest arrived at 6.30 carrying platters of food prepared by the restaurant staff. Tessa’s stomach growled in happy anticipation.

Lee fixed them each a tropical cocktail. They sat outside and witnessed the fire of sunset then spent the remainder of the evening in relaxed conversation and shared laughter as they discovered each other.

The days that followed blended like rich chocolate, swimming, and scuba diving out on the reef together in the pristine clarity of the morning ocean, followed by long afternoon walks exploring the island, and finally to warm nights sitting on the sand under a canopy of black diamond-studded velvet. They spoke of their dreams, their work, and the people that mattered in their lives.

***

Tessa couldn’t sleep. The thought of heading back to New York tomorrow chilled her. She could save every penny and come back to the island again next year. But he wouldn’t be here. She chided herself for being a fool. Suck it up buttercup. She squared her shoulders as the thought took hold. I will not spend my last day here dreading tomorrow.

***

Lee was sitting on the hammock waiting for her to join him.

Tessa smiled down into his face, “Aren’t we swimming this morning?”

“I need to talk to you about something first.”

His voice told her it was important, “Sounds serious.”

“Oh, it’s serious.” He looked worried and uncertain. He reached for her hand and held it tightly. “Well … here goes. I can’t bear the thought of not being with you after today. I’ve fallen in love with you, Tessa. I want us to be together. … Will you marry me?”

Tessa smiled softly, “We both have to be crazy! But, I love you too. And, yes, yes I’ll marry you.”

Lee stood and pulled her into his arms as they kissed and savored the moment.

“This is the perfect place for a honeymoon.” He spoke against her hair.

“It’s way too expensive. I don’t mind where we go. We’ll be together so the destination doesn’t matter. We can work hard and save towards somewhere else.”

“Um, yeah about that work thing? I told you I was scouting out this place for a client who was interested in buying a great investment.”

“Uh-huh, …and?”

“Now don’t get all fired up, but, I kinda left out the part about me being the investor.”

“You?”

“We can honeymoon here or stay here permanently if you want. I um… I purchased the island and the resort yesterday.”

“Holy-shit! You’re that Lee Bradshaw? The Fortune 500 Bradshaw?” Tessa looked into his eyes and saw the truth there. Her legs gave out from underneath her and for the second time in a week, she found herself sitting on the sand in a heap at his feet.

Lee groaned and then laughed. “You don’t need to throw yourself at me anymore, darling. I’m already yours.”

“I’m not just dreaming this am I?”

He sat alongside her on the sand, “No darling. This is as real as it gets.”

“I may need a little more convincing.” She traced the outline of his lips with her fingertips.

He pulled her into his arms and happily complied.

#

Thanks so much for stopping by. The Challenge Photo-Prompt for Week #4 will be posted on June 12th.

Contact me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

 

 

 

“Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Week #3. Image Prompt: Join in, have fun, and let loose your creative muse.#FictionInAFlash @pursoot @IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity.

Flash Fiction best header

Hello everyone and welcome to week #3 of my  “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction piece inspired by that image in a 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 4pm on Thursday, June 11th. 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.

I’ll be sharing all entries received, and, my own contribution here on Friday, June 12th.

I do hope you join in! Have fun, let the creative muse loose!

And now …The image for week #3.

Flash Fiction empty hammockI hope the image inspires you and I hope to see you stop by.

Find me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.