‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge Week#15 Entry Part 4) by Mark Bierman @mbiermanauthor #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 4)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #15.

Today I’m featuring a contribution by Mark Bierman.

 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.

lost-places-3035877_1920

This Contribution by Mark Bierman.

“Grandma, are you sure you want to go up there? They’re in bad shape, and your hip.”

“Oh, pish posh,” Rosemary waved dismissively. “Should have done this years ago and those were built when quality counted.”

“That was seventy-seven years ago. This place has been abandoned for—”

“Twenty years, other than some vandalism, the bones are solid.”

“Maybe, but yours aren’t. Please, just let me have a look. The third floorboard from the back wall of the closet, right?”

Rosemary patted Emily’s hand. “I need to do this myself, with a bit of help from you.”

Emily wiped a tear and hugged her grandmother. “I understand. You were eight and you’ve waited this long. It was your only hope. All these years . . . ” Her grief soaked the purple shawl.

“Shh . . . I’ve made my peace. This must be done before I see him again. I pray God will allow it in Heaven. Father has the other half, that’s why they never found it on him.”

Rosemary’s eyes stung but she must show restraint, be the brave girl that her father had said she was just before he left for the Great War. “Let’s continue, shall we?”

“Yes, I’m sorry.” Emily broke her embrace and took the tissue from Rosemary.

“But you must let me check each tread before you step on it and let me guide you. Those are my rules, I’m sorry. I love you too much to lose you.”

Rosemary nodded. “Agreed.”

They moved ahead, arm in arm, with Emily sweeping away the debris with her foot to clear a path. At the base of the stairs, she tested the railing and was satisfied.

“You see, built to last. The stairs will be the same, though the third step might creak. I learned to avoid that one when I’d sneak downstairs after bedtime to grab an extra cookie.” She pointed to the room they’d just left. “My parents would be sitting in their chairs, Mother with her nose in a book, while Father would be asleep. I never got caught, but sometimes I think Mother knew.” Rosemary smiled.

The stairs proved to be every bit as resilient as promised, but every tread protested the disturbance.

The hideous orange and white floral-patterned linoleum flooring installed by the last tenants had chunks missing and revealed the hardwood underneath. Decay wasn’t always bad.

Emily gingerly walked her grandmother across the tripping hazard to the first room on the left. Time had left only a thick layer of dust, cobwebs, and a musty smell in the barren room.

“Hmmm . . . used to be a lot bigger,” Rosemary said. She blamed her watering eyes on the dust and mold. “I loved this room, but after Father was gone, well, we had to move.”

She sighed deeply and shuffled towards the tiny closet. Emily’s hand went to grab her arm, but she brushed it off. “I’m good for now, but I’ll need you to help me kneel.”

The old woman reached the closet and Emily helped her to her knees.

Rosemary struggled to remove the floorboard and Emily offered to help.

“No! I must do this!” Her face softened and her tears splattered into the floor dust. “I’m sorry, dear, I didn’t mean to snap. This arthritis is making it hard. Did they nail it down?”

After what seemed an eternity, the board yielded, and was hoisted with a collectively  held breath. Would it still be there?

Emily handed over the flashlight. The small beam illuminated only cobwebs and dirt. Rosemary dug frantically to clear them, and the light reflected off a silver object lying in between the floor joists.

Rosemary picked up the necklace with shaky hands. Emily gasped, for there it was, the legendary object that she’d heard about since early childhood.

A heart, with one half missing, the other half perhaps lay on a faraway battlefield.

Rosemary clutched the jewelry to her heart, and then wept loudly. Emily rushed to her side and tried to console her grandmother through her own tears.

It took several moments to recover, and Rosemary showed her the inscription in the heart. Because of the shape and the missing piece, it read, ALW TOGE . . . Always Together.

“Oh Grandma, is that true? Do you really believe that?”

“Yes, Emily, all of my life I knew he was there, and soon I will get to see him again and this heart will be whole.”

~~~

Mark can be reached here …

Twitter

Blog Mark Bierman Adventures in Writing

Amazon.com

***

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 #15 Entry Part 1) John Howell @HowellWave and Suzanne Burke @pursoot #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Part 1)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #15.

Today I’m featuring contributions from entry 1)By John Howell and Entry 2) My own contribution.

This is the 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.

lost-places-3035877_1920This ONE-LINE Contribution by John Howell.

“Daddy’s home.”

John Howell can be reached here …

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

 Twitter:

Author Blog Fiction Favorites:

***

MY CONTRIBUTION.

lost-places-3035877_1920

The Pulse of The City

By

Suzanne Burke

Virginia Alden briefed her camera crew, downed her third cup of coffee, and began her morning.

The live show began. She started walking through each of the broken, damaged, and abandoned rooms of what once was a neat four-bedroom home in a family-friendly neighborhood.

She spoke into the camera. “Good morning, and welcome to this week’s edition of The ‘Pulse Of The City’ Let’s begin today’s journey in the sitting room. This room would have born silent witness to most of the dreams and plans of three generations of the one family that lived here. Living with mutual love inside what once were warm and comforting walls. This room now lay bent and broken by layers of decay and the odor of rotting ideals.

This house once expanded with all the warmth of its occupiers. There was once laughter shared here until the world beyond their safe barricades intruded.”

She moved through into the kitchen, “The aroma of joy still lingers in a room that saw over thirty Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts being prepared with care and love within its boundaries. The grandfather always carved the turkey. He had been such a proud and positive man. He’d taught his children and grandchildren the gift of patience. He’d prayed that he’d also taught them how to be resilient. He doted on all of them and loved spoiling his young granddaughter. But the lessons counted for nothing when two of his grandsons went off to serve their country on far off foreign soil. One returned emotionally shattered and the other came home in a flag-draped coffin. The outspoken voice of the grandfather fell silent.”

Virginia inhaled deeply and walked up the stairs.

“The master-bedroom ceased being a place of soft whispers shared in the night. It became a battleground, as a man destroyed by the loss of his youngest son began diving into a bottle of whiskey. Until his only coherent thoughts centered on where his next drink was coming from. The woman who’d born him those children held on for as long as she could. She began working two jobs in an attempt to hold what remained of their family together. The bank foreclosed on their overdue mortgage. It finally broke her spirit.”

The camera revealed the sadness now exposed on Virginia’s expressive face as she continued walking along the upstairs hallway. “This small bathroom was busy in those early days, the daughter was always given her way on those far away mornings, her brothers giving in to their kid sister’s sweet smile and granting her first access. The death of her older brother seemed to make the bathroom almost redundant for a father too drunk to care about hygiene, and one surviving sibling who could no longer bear to look at his own unclothed and damaged body.”

She pulled herself together and the crew readied themselves as she walked through a small hallway and out to the yard.

“Here in the corner is where the bodies of all the pets that had shared their loyalty and love with the family are buried. And over this way is where the pergola once stood with ferns sheltered from the hot summer sun, the family had sat here in the shade and drank down the sweet homemade lemonade the mother was so proud of.”

Virginia cleared her throat, “Let’s take this back inside to the living room, folks.”

She looked directly into the camera.

“And now, on a personal note. So many of our viewers have commented on the excellent research apparent in all our shows. Please know, I had no need to research this show, for this house was my family home. This was the home I grew up in. It’s such an easy thing to pass judgment and affix convenient labels to people we’ve never met. Perhaps we all need to ask ourselves what would happen if we had to walk a mile in their shoes. Would your own hopes and dreams remain intact? My dreams did. I have just purchased the house back and I will rebuild it in loving memory of the people that once shared its walls. This will be my new home and my dreams will grow within it.”

“I am Virginia Alden, and this has been “Pulse of The City’ I thank you for joining me.

The scene grew silent as the director called cut. Virginia walked back through the house to stand in quiet reflection as the echoes from the past wrapped themselves like a blanket around her. She smiled as she cried.

Thanks so much for joining me here today. I look forward to seeing your comments.

I may be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #12 Entries Part 1) @HowellWave @pursoot #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Part 1)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #12.

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.

bryce-barker-cIcX_aO9LPo-unsplash

This one-line contribution by John Howell.

“Hey, Harry. Did you mess with the doomsday clock again?”

John Howell can be reached here …

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

 Twitter:

Author Blog Fiction Favorites:

 

My Contribution …

bryce-barker-cIcX_aO9LPo-unsplash

 

Intervention

By

Suzanne Burke

Melody sat bolt upright. A memory still hovered from her dream. She’d heard her father’s voice, “Promise me that you’ll nurture your dreams, sweetheart. They’ll wither and die without nurturing. Not many folks get a second shot at it.”

She should be excited, after all, today was the big day. She’d been promoted and was undertaking a more prominent role in the company. This is what all the long hard hours of afternoon shift had earned her. So why the hell did she feel like she’d betrayed that promise she’d made. She tried ignoring the part of herself that still clung to the more youthful visions of her future.

Melody dressed, grimacing as she slipped on the uncomfortable new heels. She hurried out into the bustle of late morning. Her normally punctual bus arrived five minutes late.

***

Melody glanced as always at the ornate clock that graced the entrance to Central Station. Seven minutes to twelve. I’ve still got four minutes to make the eleven fifty-three! She hurried over to the elevator to find it was out of order. “It’s the day for it.” She made a dash for the stairs. The train was already on the platform and she saw the familiar people who normally joined her in the first carriage.

Melody hurried down the stairs, caught the edge of her right heel on the next step, lurched forward as it snapped, and groaned at the pain in her ankle. She cried out as she began to fall.

A strong arm wrapped around her from behind and pulled her back to safety. “Steady now, it’s okay! I’ve gotcha.”

Melody leaned back and took a shaky breath. “Thank you so much!” She tried to stand but her ankle gave out from under her. “I … um, I think I may have sprained my ankle.”

“Let’s get you down to the platform and seated. I’ll carry you down. I mean if that’s okay?”

She felt a little foolish but nodded, “Thanks again! I’ve seen you in my carriage for months now, and I don’t even know your name. Mine’s Melody.”

“Elliot.”

“I’m sorry that you’re missing the train because of my clumsiness.” She said as the train doors closed and the 11.53 left the station.

“I’ve been looking for a way to start a conversation with you for ages. This is not quite what I had in mind, though.” He looked at her now puffy ankle. “That’s swelling fast. It’s gonna need strapping, but I don’t think it’s broken.”

“Would you be kind enough to help me back upstairs? I’ll grab a cab and take myself off to the hospital.”

“Let me help get you there in one piece, and maybe we could talk a little more while you’re waiting in the E.R.”

“Don’t you need to be somewhere, Elliot?”

“Nowhere important.”

Her rescuer carried her back up the steep stairs.

Melody’s eyes as always were drawn to the clock. It still read seven minutes till midday. “I’ve never known it to stop before.”

“Ah, well. It hardly matters now. Let’s get you to the E.R.”

***

The ankle was x-rayed and strapped. Nothing was broken. They were about to leave when a pale-faced doctor came rushing through to the E.R. He raised a hand for silence. “Ladies and Gentlemen, can I have your attention? We have an emergency unfolding and it’s going to get crazy busy in here. You’ll be moved to a smaller waiting area if your need isn’t urgent. Thank you for your cooperation.”

“All staff prepare for an influx of ambulances. We’ll move gurneys into this waiting area and set up a larger triage.”

One of the nurses touched his arm, “What’s happened, Karl?”

“There’s been a level crossing accident. Signals failed and a commuter train and a freight train collided. The first carriage of the commuter has taken the brunt of the collision. Heavy loss of life. Multiple injuries coming in, eta fifteen minutes.”

“What train? Please, tell me?” Melody asked in a strained voice.

“It was the Eleven fifty-three to Helensvale out of Central station.”

Elliot and Melody gasped with the shock of it. Melody managed a whisper, “Oh, dear Lord. We were meant to be in that first carriage.”

Elliot put his arm around her shaking shoulders, in a voice thickened by tears he spoke. “No, Melody. I don’t think we were meant to be there at all.”

“All those poor people! Can we go to the hospital chapel, Elliot? I need to pray.”

“So do I.”

***

 Later that afternoon Elliot helped her settle on the big sofa in her apartment.

Melody sat wracked by tears which stilled finally as she and Elliot drew strength from each other.

She glanced over at the image of her father that graced the wall. “My father told me once that not many people get a second shot in life.”

“Your father’s a wise man.” Elliot spoke softly.

They each rang their loved ones, then sat together throughout the long night, watching on as a new day dawned. They gave a prayer of thanks to be witnessing it and prayed again for the families of the victims and the survivors. Trusting that the answers to their questions would come when their souls, hearts, and minds were ready to hear them.

~~~~~~

Thanks so much for joining me here today. I look forward to seeing your comments.

I may be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

 

 

 

 

 

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #11 Entries Part 6) By Miriam Hurdle @mhurdle112 #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 6)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #11.

Today I’m featuring the final contribution for week #11 by 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.

adrian-mato-6kaPKnqwaYw-unsplash

Destination

By

Miriam Hurdle

“What do you think about St. Andrews Church?” Joshua and Melissa were at the café reviewed their notes. He had a Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino and Melissa had a Cinnamon Dolce Latte.

“I like the layout of the sanctuary. The stage is five steps higher than the audience, but it’s not too far from the first pew. I like the alter and the apse behind it.” Melissa took a sip of her latte, recalled the details of the church layout.

“The location is just right with access to major freeways.”

“We need to write different directions to get there because we have families and friends from all over the state. And we also need the direction to get to our homes from the airport.”

“Yes, I’ll write the directions. Have you agreed that you’ll create the website? You’re the techie.”

“No problem. I picked the template of the website and the color scheme already.” Melissa took another sip of the latte.

“I trust you on that. I’ll admire it when it’s done.”

“I need you to help in making a list of the hotels in town with different price ranges, a list of the restaurants, some entertainments, and places to visit while they’re in town.”

“That part is simple. I’ll have them in just a few clicks. Some tourist sites have plenty of recommendations.” Joshua entered a few notes on his phone.

“I created a spreadsheet of the timeline. Once we decide on the church and reception locations, I’ll plug in the details. We have visited several churches. What other ones do we consider?”

“What do you think about the Lutheran Church?”

“I liked it, but the sanctuary has dark walls on all sides. The church doesn’t have the best lighting for photography.”

“You’re a better one to have any say on that from a photographer’s point of view. What other churches do we want to consider?”

“The Presbyterian Church has a modern look.”

“Yes, there are plenty of parking spaces, and the structure is on the same level as the church.”

“But it’s too far from the Reception Hall at the Gulf Course. I’m afraid some people may get lost. I know we can give the direction from the church to the Reception Hall.”

“Your concern is valid. Let’s keep talking.”

“I can’t believe it’s been seven years since we met.”

“Time flies when you have fun as people say. I’m so happy that we have fun together.”

“You were so cute when we first met.” Sparks filled Melissa’s eyes.

“How so? What did I do?”

“Well, that’s it. You did nothing. You just stared at me for the longest time until I said ‘hi’ and you startled.”

“I did? I don’t remember that.”

“You offered to buy me a drink. I said ‘I don’t drink’.”

“Now I remember. Then I said I’d buy you anything to drink.”

“It was our first day there at the resort on the mountain. I arrived in the morning and you got there in the afternoon.”

“Yes, I took the gondola lift to get up there.”

“So did I! I wanted to have time to look around before the hiking trip the next day.”

“How did you like the view going up?”

“The aerial view of the water fall from the gondola took my breath away. It was like magic.”

“It was impressive and exhilarating. I had seen nothing like that. It’s not the same as seeing it from the airplane. It’s seeing it in the air yet, it’s close enough to see the rushing bubbles.”

“I’m writing our story to post on the wedding website… That’s it! I want a destination wedding.” Melissa almost jumped up.

“At the resort on the mountain top?”

“Yeah, I want people to experience the magic.”

“I know, people always want to know how and where the couple met.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Contact Miriam 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

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by! This is the final entry for week #11.

The new image prompt for week #12 is now live.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #11 Entries Part 4) @Chelepie & @gmplano #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 4)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #11.

Today I’m featuring contributions from Michele Jones and 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 is the image prompt.

This Contribution by Michele Jones.

adrian-mato-6kaPKnqwaYw-unsplash

Mike ran ahead of Carl toward the sound of rushing water. He’d always been faster and would be there first. As he darted through the trees, he saw it. The waterfall.

Mike stared at it as it fell from the rock above. Rumors about its existence had been around for centuries, but he didn’t believe them—brushed them off as a myth. But ahead of him, the water flowed, no gushed, from the rocks above. How could this be? What was happening? Who did this? The valley had always been dry. Hell, the entire region barely saw any rain.

He moved closer. The sound of the water roaring in his ears. He didn’t know much, but he knew a water source was needed for a waterfall, but no rivers or oceans were within miles of here. Something wasn’t right. Mike spun around looking for any possible reason for the falls. There wasn’t one and he didn’t believe in magic.

Mike pulled out his phone took several pictures. No one would believe him. This would be his proof. He moved even closer. The mist at the bottom splashed up from the basin and reflected the sunlight in its droplets. Lily would love this. He tried calling but had no signal. Strange. He’d had signal here before. Must be the waterfall messing with it.

He wanted to leave, but the water looked so inviting. Even though the falls splashed up, the pool remained still. No ripples, No splashes. He needed to be the one to change that. He pulled off his shirt, tugged off his jeans, dropped his phone, and dove into the pool.

After he surfaced, he heard it. A voice. He shook his head. His imagination must be playing tricks on him. He heard it again. A woman’s voice. Humming the most beautiful melody he’d ever heard. She must be behind the cascade. Mike swam closer. The humming got louder, but he couldn’t see her.

Something told him he shouldn’t go any closer. But he had to see her. That voice. It was so beautiful. He knew she wanted him. Confused, he treaded water trying to decide. Before going on, he heard his brother screaming and saw him flailing his arms.

Mike shook his head and swam to the edge of the basin, climbing out.

“What the hell are ya doin’? Do you have a death wish?” Carl ran up and yanked him from the basin.

“Aw, I was just cooling off. There’s no reason to be so—”

“Don’t you remember anything about the waterfall? It’s cursed. Now you’re cursed. And so am I. I can’t believe you did this to me.”

“I didn’t do anything. And we’re not cursed.”

“So, you didn’t hear the lady singing? You weren’t swimming to the sound of her voice?”

“Yeah, I heard her. So what. Nothing’s gonna happen.”

“Fool. The lady kills. I can’t believe you don’t remember that.”

“I remember. I just don’t believe it. Watch me.”

Before Carl could grab him, Mike dove in and swam to the cascade. He’d prove everyone wrong. There was absolutely nothing to worry about. He could hear that woman’s voice again. It grew stronger, more inviting. He could also hear Carl screaming at him to come back.

Mike swam behind the cascade. Just as he thought. There was nothing there. He climbed out of the basin and looked for her. He saw no one. Just an old timer myth. As he turned to go back to his brother, she was there. But the waterfall was gone. The ravine—gone.

“You should have listened to your brother. Now you’re mine. For eternity.”

######

Michele can be reached here …

 Twitter

URL: http://www.michelejones.com
Email: icoachgirls@gmail.com
Whois: http://whois.arin.net/rest/ip/70.90.235.33 (IP: 70.90.235.33)

***

This Contribution by Gwen Plano

When I saw the photo, I imagined flying above the falls and mountains high. I felt the moist breeze and soared in the silence of the trees. My haiku…

I can be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

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By Email.

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

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #11 Entries Part 3) by Daniel Watkins & @KIngallsAuthor #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

“Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #11.

Today I’m featuring contributions from Daniel Watkins and 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.

This entry Contributed by … Daniel Watkins.

adrian-mato-6kaPKnqwaYw-unsplash

Falling

By

Daniel Watkins

“Dear Yuan,

I can still see you standing at the edge of the falls tiny and wilful above the roar. I couldn’t bear it. I mean the relentless boom so infinite then it haunts me now, after all these years.

I don’t believe you knew I was down there and that I saw you. No, I was watching. And you know it was not for me to call out. Anyway, my voice could never have competed against the sound and the distance.

And how could I have followed? The drop between us defined two worlds. And the time, now, just adds to the hopelessness of it all. I’m as helpless now as I was then. But I can write, can’t I?

Well, there’s the asymmetry. I’ve kept you in my sight, my mind all this time, though I’m lost to you in the landscape like I’m in a Song Dynasty painting. You have to be bothered to squint out the figure in the mountains. Your mind was always too busy and elsewhere for all that nonsense.

Yours is a people-less landscape and mine a portrait in a locket and we don’t represent each other at all, really. Not at all. And that amuses me. Maybe that’s the only reason I’m writing this to you. My letter will lie on your desk by some window out over the bay and you’ll be looking at the boats heading out, wishing you were there not in some dull room with a letter flipping on your desk in the breeze like some dying fish on a rock.

Yuan? What do you see up there? What were you looking for? I used to glance to where I thought you were staring but I didn’t see anything. I didn’t see me, that’s for sure…

Would you ever reply? You must be a little shaken? Surprised I found your address after all these years? Do you know now where your mind was turned?

It’s coming to that time in our lives where we should know what it was we sought, if only because time was going to run out; we all knew the narrative would end and the back cover was waiting for us. Did you find out? Can you write just one letter to me? Please?

I can see you there that time, just before you crossed to the other side of the river. Write to me. Tell me what you saw.

M.”

***

This Contribution by Karen Ingalls.

Fiction in A Flash week 11 entry by Karen Ingalls

Karen may be contacted here …

Karen Ingalls Blog.

On Twitter:

Karen Ingalls Author Page Amazon

On Facebook

~~~~~~~

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Find me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

 

 

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #12 NEW Image Prompt. @pursoot #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity.

Hello everyone and welcome to my weekly “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!”  Week #12 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, August 13th. 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, August 14th.

Here is the week #12 Image Prompt.

bryce-barker-cIcX_aO9LPo-unsplash

Thanks to Bryce Barker for sharing their FREE IMAGE on Unsplash.

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 #11 entries Part 1) @HowellWave and @pursoot #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 1)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #11.

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.

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John Howells one line entry.

“Helen, do I hear the shower still running?”

John Howell can be reached here …

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My Contribution …

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“Another Mountain to Climb”

By

Suzanne Burke

Mitchell McCallister hoisted himself up onto the rock platform and reached down to assist his companion. He looked across as his friend gazed around and slowly turned back to him, “Mitch, this place is perfect. So, this is where you disappear when we can’t reach you?”

“Uh-huh, yes this is the place. My dad brought me out here for the first time when I was fifteen. It was around a year after my mom had passed and I was acting out the pain and turning on everyone around me. He said this place would help me regain my center of gravity, he said it would save my sanity … If I let it.”

“You’re probably the sanest person I know. So, why now, I mean what is it that you need to regain your center on?”

Mitch took a deep cleansing breath as he answered. “I have a question to ask and a decision to make based on the answer to that question.”

“Care to share?”

Mitch laughed, “Yeah, that’s why you’re here.”

“Is there alcohol in that backpack? This feels like one of your thoughtful let’s talk over a whiskey moments.”

Mitch nodded his head, “You lay out the groundsheet, and I’ll grab the whiskey.  Then, let’s just sit awhile and take in all of this.” He swept his arm wide.

They sat and sipped on the 12-year-old malt and allowed the thunderous noise from the waterfall to momentarily drown out their other senses. Until the scent of the pine that surrounded them reawakened their sense of smell, and their eyes looked beyond the mist and took in the splendor of the blue sky and the rugged rockface.

Mitch broke the silence. “Everything makes more sense here, you know. I mean every action is interconnected with the well-being of the whole. The only scars on this landscape are the ones our own species slashed across its surface.”

His friend nodded in understanding and held out the paper cup for a top-up of whiskey.

Mitch obliged and poured himself another good belt as well. “There’s a shallow cave we’ll shelter under tonight. The kindling and logs I left last time will be dry now and I have a rock firepit. I can’t wait for you to see the stars with no other light source to impede your view. Let’s finish this drink and then get the camp set up.”

***

Mitch sat gazing into the warming fire and turned to his friend. “I guess now is as good a time as any. Can I ask you a question?”

“Fire away.”

“Will you marry me.”

“Jesus! That’s some question, Mitch!”

“You really didn’t see this coming? Hell, David, and here I was thinking I’d been so obvious.” He tried to laugh again and failed.

David reached over and touched his arm, “I thought it was all just wishful thinking on my part.”

“Oh, thank God. Any chance this means you’re in love with me too?”

David mimicked back to him. “‘and here I was thinking I’d been so obvious.’”

“You will marry me?”

“I’d be honored.”

They kissed and Mitch gently stroked his new fiance’s face. “Now, I need you to know something upfront. My next decision is based solely on you being on board with it 100%. I will walk away from it and never look back if you aren’t comfortable with it.”

“I’m listening.”

“The F.B.I has asked me to Quantico. Seems they want me to take my training and my degree and head up a new task force. They had me study fifteen files over the past week, each file belonged to an FBI member, all field agents. I was asked to provide a detailed profile for each of them based purely on their responses to crime scenes.”

“Looking for what?”

“Statistical anomalies.”

“Any conclusions?”

“Uh-huh, and then some. See none of these men and women hold degrees in Forensic Science. They’re not profilers, but, in every instance, their case files reveal a high degree of success at identifying stand out traits of their perpetrator.”

“So, they’re intensely logical?”

“Sure, it’s partly that, but I believe they are all empaths.”

“The bureau concur?”

“Yup. They want me to train them, to hone their innate skill, and to help them learn to retain sufficient distance from the case so as not to incur damage to their own psyche. They believe this squad will ultimately save lives, and it’s hoped that it will significantly reduce the number of cold cases.”

“So, why the hesitation? God, this is your dream job!”

“I know it. But, I’d be asking you to leave everything you have here behind. You’ve your own career to think about.”

“Being an accountant isn’t going to save lives. I can work anywhere. You have to do this, Mitch.”

“So long as you’re going to be climbing that huge mountain with me.”

“You know I will. I’d be proud to take that journey with you.” He gave Mitch’s hand a squeeze. “So, let’s make the memory of tonight and tomorrow perfect. Do you have marshmallows in that backpack?”

“I love you.”

“Ditto. Now about those marshmallows?”

~~~~~~

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

Later today I’ll be featuring entries Part 2) by Harmony Kent and D.L.Finn.

 

“Fiction In A Flash Challenge” Week #11 NEW Image Prompt. @pursoot #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity.

Hello everyone and welcome to my weekly “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!”  Week #11 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, August 6th. 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, August 7th.

Here is the week #11 Image Prompt.

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Thanks to Adrian Mato for sharing their FREE IMAGE on Unsplash.

Photo by Adrian Mato on Unsplash

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

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‘Fiction in A Flash Challenge’ Week #10 Entries Part 3) @KIngallsAuthor @JanSikes3 #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 3)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #10.

Today I’m featuring contributions from entry 4)  by Karen Ingalls and 5) by Jan Sikes.

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.

Flash image free PIER

This contribution by Karen Ingalls

CARIBOU LAKE

Every 4th of July, our family spent a week at Caribou Lake in Minnesota. I remember running down the old wooden pier and jumping into the water. Swimming in the safe water, our cabin nestled among the pine and aspen trees, and the long days.

By the time, I was fourteen I was an accomplished swimmer so my parents did not worry about me. My sister, Joan, who was one-year younger hated the water and never learned how to swim.

“Come on in, Joan. The water is great.” Watching her shake her head, with her arms folded across her chest, I’d yell, “You are a scaredy-cat.”

She would just stick her tongue out and holler back, “I’m going to tell Mom that you called me a name.”

“I don’t care. When you tell Mom that makes you a tattle-tale.” I laughed at her childishness and called her sissy, namby-pamby, and chicken making clucking sounds. I watched her run up to the cabin slamming the door behind her.

I swam further out into the lake enjoying the warm water that July day. With each stroke, I thought of how different Joan and I are. She is a red-head and I am a brunette. She is short and I am tall. She is a little plump and I am skinny. She is scared of spiders and other such critters. She struggles with math which I find to be easy.

Lost in my thoughts I did not realize how far I had swum nor the large, gray clouds now blocking the once bright sunshine. I turned back towards shore and the old wooden dock and began to swim. All too soon, my arms and legs felt heavy and weak. I shivered from the now chilly water. My heart was pounding and my chest hurt with each breath.

“Oh, God. I’m not going to make it back. I’m going to drown.” Those were my thoughts as I frantically searched the distant shoreline and surrounding water for help, but I saw no one. My cries for help went unanswered. I rolled onto my back, closed my eyes, relaxed my tired body, and hoped I would float to safety

“Rebecca, you are strong. Do not give up.” I heard these words but did not know where they came from. I looked up into the clouds where a shaft of light had broken through the clouds.

. “We are here to help you.”

I saw two angels swoop down through that shaft of light and surround my tired body with golden light. Soon I felt stronger, my legs and arms were no longer weak, and I could breathe normally. I swam toward the old dock and in what seemed only a few minutes my hands reached up to the rickety old ladder. I climbed up and stood looking around to say thank you to the angels, but they were not there.

The gray clouds were now dark and thick and thunder rumbled in the distance. I ran up the hill to our cabin shivering from cold, exhaustion, and elation.

As soon as I entered the cabin, Mother asked me if I had called Joan some names. I looked at my sister and saw her differently. I realized how my words hurt her. “I am sorry, Joan. You are not any of the things I called you.”

The next day while we were eating our breakfast, Joan said, “I wish I liked the water, but it scares me. I’m afraid I will drown.”

“I understand. The thought of drowning is scary, but I will always be by your side to help you.”

She agreed to let me teach her how to swim. We soon became swimming buddies, enjoying the water together.

We also became closer and our differences were less important.

The angels saved me for a reason and I learned a powerful lesson: live my life with kindness.

Karen may be contacted here …

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~~~

5) This contribution from Jan Sikes.

Flash image free PIER

AN EMPTY PROMISE

 

Emily poured a fresh cup of coffee and strolled to the end of the rickety wooden dock for the hundredth time. Where was he?

She sipped the hot coffee and stared across the tranquil lake, searching intently for any sign of a boat.

A twinge of guilt crawled up her spine. Leaving a note was a piss-poor way of saying goodbye. But the thought of a confrontation and one more fight with Malcolm was more than she could handle. When he’d left for work that morning, she’d packed her suitcase, left her keys, checkbook and a note by the door.

It hadn’t been hard to walk away from a twenty-year marriage. In fact, it had been one of the easiest things she’d ever done.

She’d skipped and twirled like a giddy school girl when she’d arrived at Levi’s cabin, where she’d visited many times over the past few months.

Lying in the circle of his strong, tanned arms, Emily found her center. He made her feel like a beautiful goddess, and when they made love, the earth tilted on its axis.

She sighed deeply and tugged her soft sweater closer. Despite the warmth it provided, she shivered.

“Where are you, Levi?” She paced the length of the dock. He should have been here hours ago.

She checked her cell phone for the umpteenth time.

Malcolm would be home by now. How would he react to the note?  She could picture him sinking into his favorite chair and dropping his head in his hands. Well, she’d set them both free, and he should thank her.

“Levi will be here,” she said to no one. “He just got hung up somewhere.”

She thought about the first time she saw him. Desire stronger than anything she’d ever felt swept the length of her body, leaving her knees weak and the sweet spot between her legs moist.

It had been a girl’s night out. The crowded club was the perfect backdrop for Levi to saunter onto the stage and serenade the ladies.

He was a gorgeous specimen of a man. Long legs, tapered waist, bulging biceps, and the most striking blue eyes she’d ever seen. And when a lock of his wavy brown hair fell over those mystifying eyes, women swooned.

She wanted him.

That had been three months ago.

Now she’d walked away from her stable life. The home she’d built with Malcolm meant nothing anymore. She’d traded it all to be with this tanned god who made her feel alive.

The sun began to drop below the horizon, and she turned back toward the cabin.

“Surely, he’ll be here soon,” she told the birds. “He promised.”

Minutes ticked by, turning into hours.

Emily wrapped a soft blanket around her shoulders and lay on the sofa. Her eyes took in every detail of the love nest where she’d spent many blissful hours.

A lump of dread formed in the pit of her stomach.

Something had happened.

Maybe he’d gotten cold feet. Or, perhaps he’d met someone else younger, prettier and richer.

Emily thought back over every conversation, searching for a clue.

She tried for the thousandth time to call him. It went straight to voice mail.

What to do now? She couldn’t go back home to Malcolm.

Bitter bile rose in her throat. What a fool she’d been to believe she’d found true love.

While her life crumbled around her, she squared her shoulders and walked the length of the dock one last time.

A plunge into the icy waters would end it all.

Her cell phone buzzed, and she grabbed it.

Sorry.

The text lit up the screen.

That was all she got? What a piece of shit! She sprinted down the dock, grabbed her suitcase, and tossed it in the car.

She stared hard at the cabin. A can of gasoline on one corner of the porch caught her eye. Without hesitation, she doused the dried wood, lit a match, and drove away.

Never again would she believe an empty promise.

~~~~~~~~

CONTACT JAN SIKES:

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Thanks so much for stopping by.  The Week #11 Image Prompt is now up.

Find me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

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