‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #42 Entry Part 5) By Anita Dawes @jaydawes2 #IARTG #WritingPrompts #WritingCommunity #FlashFiction

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Entry PART 5) for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021.” Week #42.

Today I’m featuring a contribution from by Anita Dawes & Jaye Marie.

Last week I set the following Challenge:

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

Here is the image prompt and the contribution.

marka-merka-J_2tHp79pNc-unsplash

Time to turn the clock back, stealing time from us.

That’s what the ticking clock does, a slow-moving thief.

First you wonder where your youth disappeared to

Then middle age brings on the moody moments too often.

Old age, God bless us.

No one warned us how hard for some of us it could be.

Aches and pains in places you never heard of in your youth.

I can hear those lucky ones, fit in mind and body,

Saying life is good. Well, bully for you

Not all of us are as lucky…

© Anita Dawes 2021

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

Contact Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie Here .

Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie BLOG

The Author on AMAZON

on TWITTER

Thanks so much for stopping by. I’ll be posting more entries as I receive them.

Find me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

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By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #41 Entry Part 7) by Kirsten Nairn @KirstenNairn #FlashFiction #WritingPrompt #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Part 7)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021” Week #41.

Today I’m featuring contribution Part 7) By Kirsten Nairn

Last week I set the following Challenge:

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

Here is the image prompt and Kirsten’s contribution.

hot-air-balloon-5652099_1920

Fly High

It wasn’t just the cold morning air which made Findlay shiver as he struggled out of the car at 5am.

‘Lydia, you have to be joking. There is NO WAY I’m going up in that.’

As if on cue, a ferocious whoosh split the morning stillness as the burner filled the hot air balloon, followed by ‘oohs and aggghhs’ of the passengers.

‘It’s my wedding present to you! And, it’s top of my bucket list. It’s going to be so amazing Finn. We’ll see the sun rise.’ Her hazel eyes shone bright with excitement.

‘A toaster would have done! Lydia, I’m scared of heights.’ Beads of sweat trickled down his back.

‘Since when?’

‘Since now. I know this whole bucket list thing is important to you, but it’s your list, not mine. Can’t you take someone else?’

‘No. It’s on my list to do it with you. Come on Finn, you only get one shot at life….’ She stopped mid-sentence.

Ashamed of the resentment he felt, he took a deep breath. Lydia had become obsessed with this recently, and whilst it wasn’t his thing, it was important to her, more than ever now, but he felt like he was on a one-way train, hurtling with alarming speed towards its final destination, stopping only briefly to tick off another item on list.

A woman clutching a clipboard bounded over towards them.

‘You must be Findlay and Lydia? I’m Grace, and I’ll be accompanying you this morning. You guys are just going to love this,’ she beamed.

‘What happens if canvas goes on fire?’ Findlay blurted out.

‘Then we drop like a stone, but that’s never happened on my watch. Come on, let’s get you both on and we’ll go through the safety procedures, including what happens if the basket breaks free.’

Findlay tried to catch Lydia’s eye, but she was deliberately avoiding him, her focus on Grace. He followed slowly behind, like a dead man walking, delaying the inevitable. There were worse ways to die, he supposed, the irony of which wasn’t lost on him.

Lydia noticed his hands shaking as he held the safety card. She squeezed them re-assuringly, and before he could change his mind, they were off, floating upwards, through the dark skies. His knuckles turned white as he clutched the side of the basket and he kept his eyes firmly shut, but Lydia gave him a running commentary anyway.

At precisely 6.03am she whispered, ‘Findlay. Open your eyes,’ just in time for him to see the sun rise. It was undeniably beautiful but would have looked as good from the ground below.

Lydia put her head on his shoulder and pointed her phone towards them for the inevitable selfie, which he knew would be added to her making memories folder. He gave his best smile. He owed her this much.

………………………………

These four weeks of married life were the happiest he’d ever known, but now it was time to make the call he’d dreaded.

‘Can you meet me at the hospice. I think it’s time.’

He heard a sob at the other end of the line. ‘Why the hospice? What’s going on?’

‘I’m sorry Lydia but it’s where I want to be. I also want to make happy memories and want you to be my wife, not my carer. No arguing. Okay?’

………………………………

Exhausted, the last of the mourners gone, Lydia sank down into the sofa, Finn’s indent still visible on his side. Her stomach lurched and a hot, fat tear rolled down her cheek as she opened the card. It was a picture of a hot air balloon on the front. That was so Finn.

My Beautiful Lydia, you said ‘we only get one shot at life’, but you’re wrong. We only get one life, but we get lots of shots, so please, please, take another shot. I know you will always love me, but please love someone else as well.

I never had a bucket list Lyds. I never needed one, because you were it. Now pour yourself a glass of wine and look at the memories we made.

Love you always,

Fly High,

Finn xx

She picked up the photographs inside.

Their first kiss, aged 4. She was kissing him; he was screwing up his face.

On the swings at the park, aged 7.

Awkward teenagers. Lydia dancing with friends. Findlay looking on, mesmerised.

A selfie taken the morning after their first night together.

A selfie taken in the hot air balloon.

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

Follow Kirsten Nairn on 

facebook https://www.facebook.com/Kirsten-Nairn-1886899944963399/

twitter https://twitter.com/KirstenNairn

my website https://kirstennairn.wordpress.com/

Goodreads; https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17042903.Kirsten_Nairn

Amazon: https://www.amazon A sorry Affair

***

Find me at …

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‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #39 Entry Part 10) by Patricia Furstenburg @PatFurstenberg #IARTG #WritingPrompt #FlashFiction #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Entry PART 10) for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021” Week #39.

Today I’m featuring a contribution by Patricia Furstenburg

Last week I set the following Challenge:

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

Here is the image prompt and the contribution.

pexels-amanda-cottrell-992763

 

The Ferris Wheel

The man with the felt hat liked the park because its tangled alleys – bordered by old trees that saw as many sunsets as he did – made him feel like a ship wandering the seven seas. He would come here whenever he caught an opportunity, sometimes as often as every second month – he was an optimist – for the man with the felt hat had a job, a job he once enjoyed, like a fisherman reeling in the big catch of the day. Now he was more like a fish in a net… so to say. To keep up with the nautical theme, he smiled.

But not today. Today he was a ship choosing its course across seas he knew too well. A ship with a set compass.

Left at the newsstand, then the first alley left again stood the tree where he’d last seen the Bishop. Ah, to spot its red head profiled against the crisp winter sky again!

She’d draw him in his nest, the woman who sometimes sat on the bench across from his. She’d been lucky to spot him in his nest long enough to sketch him. Quite the artist she was. A natural talent. A natural beauty too, her alabaster profile against the clear blue sky. If he’ll only see it again.

‘He’s got himself a pair, you know,’ she spoke as he walked past her bench.

‘The Bishop?’ he asked like it was the most natural thing in the world for two strangers to engage in conversation about a bird.

She nodded, forcing him to turn his head back from the bare tree and to bend to see her drawing. She turned the sketch pad to show him what she’d been working on.

‘You’ve been away for a while,’ the woman smiled. ‘It was a treat to watch them meet. But I drew them for you, so you won’t miss it.’

‘I do wonder how they see us,’ and he accentuated they with a tip of his head towards the tree. His hand flew up as if he was measuring the height of the arbor. ‘From the height of their branch,’ and his head stood upturned for a moment, smiling at the sun, and at the peaceful life of the little birds.

That’s when his phone rang, like a cloud chilling one to the bone in a flash, in the heat of the day.

She smiled and returned to her drawing, allowing him his privacy.

‘Work,’ he sighed upon his return.

‘And you have to go,’ she said and she tilted her head the way she used to whenever the Bishop would fly away for the day – and she knew the bird-watching was over… ‘Again,’ the slant of her head had added, like a whisper, and he’d heard it.

Was he right in assuming? Should he? At his age? Should he be a  Bishop?

‘I wonder,’ he started then stopped as if a blast of wind had frozen the words on his lips.

‘Yes?’ and her eyebrows arched the way they did whenever the Bishop was in sight.

‘The Ferris wheel,’ he waved towards the far end of the park. Last carriage goes up at 17:45. Would you do me the honour and join me? We’d get a Bishop’s glimpse over the world.’

He couldn’t tell her how he knew the schedule. He couldn’t tell her it was his job to know everything, any trivial piece of information, and use it to his advantage.

She smiled but didn’t ask how he knew such details. She smiled brighter than he’d ever seen her smile for the Bishop, and she tilted her head.

Had she agreed?

‘I’ll wait for you at the leg of the Ferris wheel. With two tickets,’ and he lifted his felt hat in salute.

He didn’t count on the crowds, on the rowdy group of teenagers celebrating a birthday. For the first time, he didn’t count on being swept by the crowd inside an open carriage. He was at the top of the wheel before he knew it. The ground squeezed below, too far for him to see clearly with his reading glasses.

Was she there? That speck on the ground, was it she? He boxed the air to reveal his watch. 17:49 and darkness all around.

The lights of the Ferris wheel mocked him, as did the glow of the city.

He was but a fish trapped in a net, a fish who dreamed to be a Bishop for a night.

Copyright © 2021 Patricia Furstenberg. All Rights Reserved.

 

Patricia writes adult fiction books, children’s fiction and poetry.

Pat’s social media accounts: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn
Follow Pat on Amazon, Goodreads, BookBub.

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

Thank you so much for stopping by. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

I may be contacted here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

‘Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #39 Entry Part 4) By D.L.Finn @dlfinnauthor #IARTG #WritingPrompts #FlashFiction #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Part 4) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021.  Week #39
Today I’m featuring a contribution By D L Finn.
Last week I set the following Challenge:
Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt and D.L.Finns contribution.

pexels-amanda-cottrell-992763

 

THE LAST RIDE OF THE NIGHT

The monsters remained in the shadows…. waiting. My husband and I sat at the top of the Ferris Wheel. Any other time I would have enjoyed the view, but not with death lurking below us. Pete had his arm wrapped protectively around my shoulders as the last hopeless scream faded away from the older man who operated the ride. The same man who had just winked at us and said we had the ride all to ourselves because it was almost closing time. We didn’t even know the name of the hero who had stopped the ride right before… No, I couldn’t think about that.

I tried to dial 911, but there was no signal. I couldn’t text or email. There was no way to communicate or get information.

“We’re safe up here, Lacy.”

“What if they climb up?”

“These creatures can barely walk. They are like zombies.”

I nodded, watching the monsters make their way toward a building that a family had just run into. I’d seen the beautiful family in line when we got our favorite chocolate swirl ice cream in a cup. The two young boys had been so excited about seeing their first monster trucks at the show. I hope the actual monsters didn’t find them now.

Our car swayed, and my hand dug into Pete’s leg.

“What if they knock the wheel down?” My mouth was so dry the words barely escaped.

“It’s too heavy, don’t worry, sweetheart.” Pete handed me my water bottle. The cool liquid soothed my throat.

Words spilled out of me. “All I can do is worry. How can we not? We were enjoying our night at the fair. Heck, we even danced to our song. If we hadn’t had to ride this thing, we’d be safe in our car escaping this… whatever it is. These things came out of nowhere, and it feels like we’re in a horror movie. This can’t be real. Do you think it’s all a show?”

For the first time, I felt hopeful. Yes, it wasn’t real.

Pete’s mouth tightened. “I wish it weren’t real; I really do. You saw what they did to our friends, they…”

Tears overflowed my eyes as I glanced at the dark forms on the ground by the cinnamon rolls. Thankfully, the glow of the colorful fair lights missed them. Yet, I could see their bodies weren’t intact. I shuddered as my fear overflowed until there was nothing left. Pete put his head on top of mine, and we just held each other, listening to the screams and car horns.

“Many people got away. And surely help is coming,” I sniffled as Pete handed me a Kleenex always kept tucked away in his jean pocket.

A rumble was headed in our direction. It was a helicopter! It hovered over the fair, shining its light. Soon another one joined.

“We’re saved!” I cried as Pete stood waving franticly as the car swayed heavily.

A voice came over the loudspeaker as a siren flashed in the distance. “We see you, sir. Remain seated. We will get you out of there.”

“Thank you!” Pete called, but I don’t think they heard him as they began shooting.

The monster’s bodies piled up quickly. Soon three men and a woman repelled down ropes. I had never been happier to hear the steady rain of bullets.

“There’s one! Lookout!” We heard a woman’s voice.

Another barrage of popping and it then stopped. Then the doors opened to the photography building where that family had hidden. I was relieved to see them exit safely. The Ferris Wheel lurched into motion.

“It’s over!” I hugged Pete.

“I told you it would be okay up here.”

I was never so glad to stand on the damp grass. Soldiers wearing gas masks rounded up survivors.

“Attention!” A loud voice boomed, and everyone fell silent.

“There has been a bio-attack on your community and others like yours. Those who have no symptoms in the morning will be taken into quarantine. We will offer you a protective vaccine at that point. Food, water, and blankets will be provided after you check-in.”

Pete took my hand. He never let go of me as we listened to gunshots and tractors removing the infected victims. We survived the night, but many didn’t. After being disinfected, we left behind a town we’d never see again as we were relocated into the new normal.

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

D.L.Finn can be reached here …

Blog site:

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE:

On TWITTER:

On FACEBOOK:

Thanks so much for stopping by! I look forward to reading your comments.

I can be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #38 Entry Part 4) By D.L.Finn @dlfinnauthor #IARTG #WritingPrompts #FlashFiction #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Part 4) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021.  Week #38.
Today I’m featuring a contribution By D L Finn.
Last week I set the following Challenge:
Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt and D.L.Finns contribution.

dolphin-1679468_1920

SWIMMING IN THE OCEAN

The cool winter sun reflected off the blue sea, making it hard to see. I blinked hard to clear my vision as I dove back into the water. Why were my children and grandchildren huddled together on the white sandy beach? Didn’t they want to swim with me?

My oldest grandson, Peter, walked to the water’s edge. He tossed a lei of pink plumeria flowers into the waves. Those flowers reminded me of the wonderful day when Bob and I renewed our vows for our 50th Wedding Anniversary on a beautiful Hawaiian beach.

I jumped high into the air and called out. “Where did you get the flowers, Peter?”

An enormous wave crashed against the rocks, drowning out my words.

Peter stood with his hands folded over a black shirt and a dolphin tie that I’d bought him when he graduated from college last year. The bottom of his black pants was soaked from the incoming waves.

I shook my head and tried again. “The water’s great! Join me!”

Louder breaking waves masked my words, leaving only a whistle.

Right then, a small pod of dolphins approached and then swam urgently around me.

“What’s wrong? Are you protecting me?” I scanned the area for danger and received no reply, as expected.

A dolphin was studying me. A familiar chill ran through me as the dolphin gently brushed against me. Was it? No. It couldn’t be.

“Bob?”

He held my stare until I shook my head and sped to the surface, only to find my family walking away.

“Hey! Where are you going?” But only a high pitch noise came from my lips. It wasn’t the loud waves; I’d lost my voice.

Peter spun around and met my gaze. He smiled and pointed to his tie. Then he wiped the tears off his face and put on black framed sunglasses. What he did next tugged heavily on my heart. He blew me a kiss just like he had as a small boy, when it was time to go home.

“Peter!” I yelled, yet nothing but that strange sound came out again. I saw him pause for a moment, offer a wave, and then keep going. He soon disappeared with everyone else.

The lei was floating toward me in a patch of grey powder. It reminded me of when we scattered Bob’s ashes into the ocean. The flowers came right to me with a plastic card attached. On it was written: Mother and Grandmother, You will be missed and forever loved.

Then it all came crashing back to me with the force of a spring-loaded trap. The uncomfortable hospital bed and the beeping machines.

The young doctor’s sad tone. “There’s nothing else we can do except make her comfortable.”

The cancer had won its battle, but I was in the ocean. I smiled. It had happened. I turned in a circle and saw what I expected, a dolphin’s tail.

The same dolphin whistled and clicked. This time I understood my beloved husband, Bob. We had found each other again. Words couldn’t come fast enough as we caught up. Then we sat comfortably in our gift long after the pod, that Bob had lived with, moved on.

It was just the two of us, and we happily explored the new world. We avoided humans, killer whales, and sharks, or maybe it was us they avoided. We were never sure.

We were peacefully investigating the purple, pink, red, green, and blue colors that mingled in the coral reefs off the Big Island in Hawaii. A lone dolphin swam up to us with eyes so familiar I immediately knew it was Peter.

The joy at that moment could only be expressed in high dolphin jumps. Later we learned our grandson had become a famous author, had three boys, and happy marriage. I didn’t ask how he died, and he never brought it up.

As the years passed, our pod continued to grow as our family slowly joined us, including ones we’d never met in life, or Peter’s amazing wife. To this day, our family still explores the ocean. We offer gratitude with our high leaps that we’ve been given such a special gift. Maybe you’ve seen us and felt our joy?

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

Denise says;

“I dedicate this short story to my grandkids. We had a discussion on what I would become while watching the Disney movie, “Moana.” The grandmother became a Manta Ray after she passed. Of course, it was decided I would come back as a dolphin, as long as I promised never to leave them. Then, we went on to talk about spirit and souls which is a whole other story”

D.L.Finn can be reached here …

Blog site:

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE:

On TWITTER:

On FACEBOOK:

Thanks so much for stopping by! I look forward to reading your comments.

I can be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #36 Entry Part 1) by John Howell @HowellWave and Part 2) by Suzanne Burke @pursoot #IARTG #WritingCommunity #FlashFiction #WritingPrompts

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Parts 1) and 2) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021.  Week #36
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.

vasilios-muselimis-S7avQRg8ZLI-unsplash

This one-line contribution by John Howell.

“I’ll accept that you painted my van as part of your history project, son, but you’re still grounded.”

John Howell can be reached here …

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

 Twitter:

Author Blog Fiction Favorites:

Here is my own contribution.

vasilios-muselimis-S7avQRg8ZLI-unsplash

Déjà Vu

“So, Mark, what’s he like?”

“My grandpa is awesome. I think you’ll like him.”

“He doesn’t mind me joining you guys for the summer?”

“He’s the one who suggested I bring you. He’s all excited about a project he wants our help with, and he’s looking forward to meeting you.” Mark smiled as he pulled round out front, “He’s waiting for us!”

Linda wasn’t sure what she’d expected, but it surely wasn’t the fit and tanned old guy with shoulder length white hair who was striding down the driveway with arms outstretched to greet them.

Mark was swept into a welcoming hug, and then the man’s attention turned to her. He extended a hand with a smile, “Welcome to our home, Linda. Please come on inside, my wife has prepared lunch for everyone.”

Linda flashed him a grateful smile, “Pleased to meet you, Mr. Hanlon.”

“None of this ‘Mr. Hanlon’ stuff. Just call me Alan, okay?

“Okay … Alan.”

***

Delia Hanlon was as welcoming as her husband. The woman was tiny and frail looking until you caught the gleam of fire in her eyes and heard her unrestrained laughter. This house carried joy within it walls. Linda was happy to be included in it.

The men cleared the table after the meal. Delia headed into the bedroom for a nap, and the conversation turned to the project she and Mark would be helping with.

Alan’s eyes sparkled with excitement as he stood and beckoned them over to the glass doors.

“Come on outside. There’s something I want to show you.”

They reached the balcony and Mark stopped in his tracks, “Oh, my God! Grandpa, you found it! Is this the van you always talked about?”

“It surely is. I’ve been searching for so long I’d given up any hope of finding it again. Then I got a call from a junkyard in Cleveland. The guy who’d bought it had passed away and his son had put it up for sale. Long story short, it’s ours again! Isn’t she a beauty?”

“She’s our project? Is that the original paint job you and your friends did? Does the engine still work?” The questions tumbled out in his excitement.

“Yup that’s our project. The Germans really built this baby to last. That’s our original artwork. She needs some panel work, and the wiring, headlight, and fender need fixing, plus I want it made more comfortable inside for your grandmother.”

“When are you planning on leaving?”

“It’s not a long drive from here, but I want to take it slowly. We need to be there by 3.30 A.M, August 18th.

“That will have been my Dad’s fifty first birthday.”

“Yes, son. Your grandmother and I want to revisit that place. We want to honor both the memory of his birth and the event that changed our culture forever. We were so proud to be a small part of that.”

“I’m sorry about the loss of your father, Mark, and your son, Alan. What event are you referring to?”

“Woodstock Music Festival.” Both the Hanlon men answered together.

“Oh, my God, Alan! You and Delia were at Woodstock?”

“Yup, we sure were. Come on back inside, I’d like you to see something.”

***

The man walked across and removed a photograph album and a document from the bookcase.

He handed Linda the framed document, and she read it with awe, “Your son was born at the Woodstock music festival! “

“He was. Delia went into labor three weeks ahead of schedule, my son was born at 3.35 am on Monday August 18th, 1969. I recall that Crosby Stills Nash and Young were onstage at the time. A couple of midwives in the crowd helped us with the birth. we were so lucky that nothing went wrong. They finally got us to a hospital several hours later. You’re holding my son’s birth certificate. This is another way for us to honor his memory.”

Linda handed it back with reverence. Then she went through the photographs. Alan Hanlon pointed out several of he and his wife in the company of two other teenage couples. Linda caught the look of sadness on the man’s face.

“It’s the last time we were all together. Tommy and Keith died in Vietnam. Another reason our little pilgrimage is so important to us.”

“We’ll be sure to have the van ready, Grandpa.”

“Thank you, my boy.”

***

August 18th. 3.35 am. Woodstock: Ulster County, New York.

Delia and Alan Hanlon lit the candles and sent the red balloons skywards. Then they sat wrapped in each-other’s arms and watched the new sunrise dawn over Woodstock. They could hear the music of Crosby Stills Nash and Young coming from the van and they smiled through their tears. The music carried with it the sounds of a time and an event that forever depicted a generation.

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

I have a large collection of music from the sixties and seventies, the track I’d like to share with you was written by Joni Mitchell and is performed here on the Deja Vu album by Crosby Stills Nash and Young.

Enjoy WOODSTOCK.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #34 Entry Part 1) by John Howell @howellwave and Suzanne Burke @pursoot #IARTG #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompts

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Part 1)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021.  Week #34.
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.

elephant-2380009_1280

This one-line contribution by John Howell.

“Mama. What does the elephant in the room mean?”

John Howell can be reached here …

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

 Twitter:

Author Blog Fiction Favorites:

Here is my own contribution.

elephant-2380009_1280

ELEPHANTS.

Extinction. Level. Event. Protected. Habitat. Animal. Nursery. Transition. Stage. Identity #R47. 2046.

“Ladies and gentlemen, please be seated. What you are about to witness is an historic moment. Your questions will be answered after the demonstration. For now, I ask that you utilize the ear pieces set for each of you and simply watch and … listen.

***

“Move into the water, my son. There is nothing to harm you here. We will drink, and cool ourselves, then we’ll move into the depths of the shadows come nightfall.”

“Will there be others in the shadows, mother? Will there be more males of our kind?”

“Only in the memories we have of them, before they perished. I haven’t seen another male since my father was murdered when I was very young.”

“I don’t understand it. Did the Great Mother ordain it to be so?”

“The Great Mother of all things gave us droughts and flooding rains, but she never handed us more than what our kind could recover from. This was not in her plan. Your great-great grandmother shared her stories of survival with us, she spoke often of the times before our world changed.”

The young male heard the cry in her voice, “Was it so different then?”

“Yes, my son. For she spoke of our kind stretching in herds across the veld as far as the eye could see. She spoke of the dust clouds they caused simply because of their numbers. She shared her memory of the herd searching for water in the midst of the great drought, she laughed at the happy thoughts that finding it caused her. There was time made for play and celebration. Their only predator back then were the hunters, they came looking to inflate their ego’s by felling the largest animal on the planet. The killed many of our kind, but not in numbers sufficient to threaten our existence as a species.”

“Was it the ones you call poachers? Did they cause this event to come about?”

“They are directly responsible. They did not hunt for sport. They did not hunt to save their own offspring from starvation, they trapped our males and butchered them after only the tusks of Ivory. They hunted from Greed.”

“What is Greed?”

“It is when someone takes far more than they’ll ever need to survive. They would kill and keep on killing because there were others of their species prepared to pay them for the precious ivory.”

“So, this Greed is a human trait?”

“It appears that way, I know of no other animal that kills unless it is necessary to protect and feed themselves or their offspring. It seems that is reserved for the human-kind.”

“Aren’t these humans the same as the ones who are now trying to save us?”

“Yes, they are. I’m beginning to learn that this Greed thing is not present throughout their entire species. Our caregivers are proof of that. They appear to have made the survival of our species their life’s work.”

“But why?”

“I think it may be partly born from guilt that their own kind had brought us to extinction. It weighs heavily upon their collective conscience. But more than that I believe they want to return their world to a time before the innocence was lost forever. They cling to a belief that man can and must learn from his mistakes.”

“Is it only our kind that have reached extinction level?”

The young male watched the tears slide from her eyes as she shook her head, “No, son. There are many others.”

“Can they hope to save all of them?”

“They live with that hope. I’ve seen it in their faces as they’ve watched you grow.”

“You told me I was not born of your body. I don’t understand that. You see me as your son though. I know it.”

“You are known as a replicant in their language. I only know that when they brought you to me you had yet to take your first independent breath of air. It was I who helped you to stand for the first time. Your diet was supplemented by the humans but you became my son from that moment and forever after.”

“I’m thankful, mother.”

“As am I, my child.

***

“Question time, ladies and gentlemen.”

“Those voices we heard they were some sort of voice over app. Yes?”

“No, sir. We now have the capability of listening to them and translating what they communicate into a language we can recognize.”

“Are they aware of that?”

“They are an intelligent species. I believe that they do know.”

“How many more Replicants like this one exist?”

“This one is number 47. We still have a long way to go before Elephants can be removed from the Extinction Level Event category.”’

“The world will now be watching and waiting.”

“They have always watched and waited. We need them to do more than that. We need them to pray.”

~~~

Edmund burke

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‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ New Image Prompt #Week 34. Join in the fun! #IARTG #FlashFiction #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompts @pursoot

Hello everyone and welcome to my weekly “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021″  WEEK #34.

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, February 4th.  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 AS I RECEIVE THEM.

Here is the image prompt for this week.

elephant-2380009_1280

Image by Comfreak from Pixabay

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

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‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #33 Entry Part 5) by Harmony Kent @harmony_kent #IARTG #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompts #FlashFiction

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 5)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021. Week #33.

Today I’m featuring a contribution by Harmony Kent.

 I set the following Challenge:

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

Here is the image prompt and Harmony’s Contribution.

pexels-artem-saranin-2770371

Ocean of Existence

I always thought that death by drowning would be peaceful. I don’t know why. Perhaps all those depictions in movies where the victim drifts serenely down into the dark depths, arms suspended in the water above, and wrists and fingers limp, led me into the lie.

My death didn’t happen like that. Not in the slightest.

The tangerine sky, susurration of the surf, and waves lapping and caressing the protruding rocks awed me and lulled me into a false sense of security and wellbeing.

If you ever get the silly notion to go for a midnight swim after you’ve had a few, my advice to you is DON’T DO IT.

Near paralytic, I could barely stand and stumble-staggered through the sand. The cold dampness of it made my toes curl. My head spun and nausea lurched and roiled. I thought, vaguely, that the shock of the icy water would clear my head. Sober me up. I suppose it did, in a way. Eventually. But by then it was too late. By then my number was up.

I wasn’t stupid enough to go to the beach alone, you understand. But my mates thought I was messing about. They didn’t realise I was drowning, you see. Just ditzy Daisy having a lark.

At first it felt great. Bloody freezing, but I’d forgotten my dizziness. And I no longer felt like throwing up or passing out. The trouble came when I tried to wade back to the shore. The beach lay so close that I could feel the rough scratch and sting of pebbles beneath my feet. Another misconception … that you need to get out of your depth to drown.

The sea didn’t want to let go of me. Each time I stumbled forward through the increasingly rough surf, the undertow yanked me back. I lost my footing. The tide took me. Salt water and sand scoured my skin and burned my throat. Half blinded, and coughing and retching, I struggled to lift my head through the surface and drag in air. Over and over, the waves crashed on top of me. Tossed and tumbled me. Pummelled and ripped my scanty dress from my body. My bra went. It all went. Even layers of skin in places I’d rather not mention.

Once more, I broke the surface, sucked in blissful breath, and then I screamed. My drunk friends hollered and whistled and whooped. But I wasn’t playing, I was drowning. And then I lost the lung power to shout.

Get out. Get out. Get out get out get out. The urgent imperative did me no good. The tangy seaweed-taste of the salt water, the impossible weight of the waves, the crushing pressure in my chest, and the abject terror—I remember it all. Even then, it hadn’t dawned on me that I was dying. I was fighting. I was afraid to die, certainly, but had not comprehended the direness of my situation. The nearness of my imminent peril.

All I knew was that I had to get out of the sea and gain firm ground beneath my feet. But the ocean maintained its wave rhythm mercilessly. In the vast unutterable power of Mother Nature, a mere slip of a girl is nothing. An insignificant dew drop slipping into the  night-dark sea … unremarked. The lack of malice, the inexorability of the thing, is what struck the terror into my heart. My mind. It was then I understood I was going to die. Was dying already.

As soon as that devastating realisation sank in, I lost my mind. Cast off any sense of humanity. Became a panicked beast … fighting, fighting, fighting. The inevitability of my death left room for nothing else. The spectre of my demise became my whole reality. And the pressure of that awful certainty destroyed me. I gave up. Accepted the futility.

And still, I can’t label the ease of acceptance as peace. Nor the blanket of euphoria as joy. The closest I can come is to tell you that I disappeared. The individual who was me dissolved. The whole universe became one … back to that dewdrop slipping into the sea. And there was such relief in that.

Then came absence. No bright light or spiritual presence heralded my arrival at the other side.

Image by mikegi from Pixabay

Days later, I woke up. A ventilator breathed for me. An hour more and they would have switched it off, convinced of my brain death. The universe had other ideas. Medics and nurses patted one another on the back and rejoiced.

Not I.

Never again shall I presume to assume that a mere mortal has any control over life or death. Nor power over this great and wondrous Earth. We can rant and rave and choose sides. Pretend grave division. However, like it or not, even alone we are all one. The same life animates these argumentative hearts and minds. The same drive to thrive and survive. It doesn’t matter what affiliations or beliefs you have, nor your colour—be that black, brown, yellow, pink, white, blue, or red, or even green. And when the final reckoning comes, the ocean of existence will not discriminate. Sooner or later, the sun goes down, and we sink back into the waters of life from whence we came.

© Harmony Kent 2021

CONTACT HARMONY HERE …

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

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

Twitter: @harmony_kent

LinkedIn: Harmony

Goodreads: Author Page

***

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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 2021.’ Week #31. Entry Part 5) by Anita Dawes @jaydawes2 #IARTG #WritingPrompts #WritingComminity #FlashFiction

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Entry PART 5) for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021.” Week #31.

Today I’m featuring a contribution from by Anita Dawes & Jaye Marie.

Last week I set the following Challenge:

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

Here is the image prompt and the contribution.pexels-todd-trapani-1690405

The clock strikes the midnight hour
Birds sing in this snow filled empty space
Soon, smiling faces shall play there
For the next hour,
ghosts hold sway over this space
Laughing, remembering their days in the sun
Now snow, cold bites at their white fingers
Their laughter louder,
knocking snow from the leaves
Wind sweeps through the trees
Joining in their merriment
Hear, tiny voices can be heard
A whisper, will you remember us…

© anita dawes 2021

Contact Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie Here .

Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie BLOG

The Author on AMAZON

on TWITTER

Thanks so much for stopping by. I’ll be posting more entries as I receive them.

Find me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

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By Email.