‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #14 Entry Part 9) by Michele Jones @chelepie #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 9)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #14. Today I’m featuring a contribution from Michele Jones.
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.

concert-2566002_1280

This Contribution by Michele Jones.

Linda walked into the local store—to chat with Carrie and confirm plans for later.

“Hey Carrie, still done at five? Dinner and shopping remember?”

“Yes, I’ll be ready to go at five.”

“Great.” Linda walked to the chip aisle. After staring at the shelves, she decided on Red Hot Chips. On the way to the counter, she grabbed a bottle of water and a sour cream doughnut.

She was third in line, behind an elderly man and a hot looking guy. The elderly man didn’t have enough cash and was trying to decide what to put back. He looked as though he needed what he had, she had to help.

“Look mister, you have to put something back. I can’t wait all day. If you knew you didn’t have the money, you shouldn’t have grabbed so much stuff.” She crossed her arms. “Well…”

Linda couldn’t believe how she treated that man. Cassie would never behave like that. What a jerk. She stepped in front of the hot guy and asked, “How much does he need?”

“He’s two dollars and sixty-five cents short.”

Linda threw a five on the counter. “Here. Keep the change in case anyone else needs it.” Unbelievable. She placed her items on the counter and headed for the door.

The old man stopped her. “Thank you.”

“I’m sorry she behaved like that. I’ve had that happen to me too, and there’s no call for that.”

A tear formed in the corner of his eye. He thanked her again and left the store with his small bag of groceries.

Before Linda got out the door Carrie came running up. “I saw what happened. Val was out of line. I’ll make sure our boss knows what happened. See you at five.”

Linda looked over her shoulder and saw the people around the cash register, especially the hot guy. Oh well, she’d probably never see him again anyway. No need to worry about what he thought.

Linda pulled in a few minutes early. Only a couple more minutes and Cassie would be done. She looked at her watch as Cassie ran out the door.

“Change of plans. We’re going to the 315 Ocean’s concert.”

“Seriously. Don’t mess with me. You know I tried to get tickets and they were sold out.”

“Well, we’re going.” She waved the tickets. “Now drive. Oh, I also have a parking pass. We got primo parking too.”

“How—”

“Don’t worry about it, just drive.”

Linda smiled and floored it. They got to the arena and parked. Primo parking for sure. Once inside the ticket taker showed them to a private suite.

“A private suite? How did you get these tickets?”

“Oh, I forgot to tell you, we got backstage passes too.”

“Cassie—”

“Just enjoy the concert.”

The concert had everyone on their feet. Ray McQuaid, the lead singer, really put on a show. Once he started singing Home Sweet Home the crowd went wild. The only thing that would make this concert any better would be performing her favorite song, My Demons.

Ray raised the mic after finishing and took a bow. Wow, he was hot.

“I’d like to acknowledge a special person. Someone that took the time to help a man in need. Linda Kiner.”

Linda’s mouth dropped. “Is he talking about me?”

“Yep.”

“But how?”

“He was the hot guy in line behind the man you gave the money to.”

“That’s—”

“He asked me about you after you left, and I told him about you. He left and came back with the tickets, and passes. You really made an impression on him.”

She couldn’t believe it. An impression. On Ray McQuaid. She didn’t even know it was him. Wow. Today was her lucky day. One small act of kindness. This is something she wouldn’t forget.

A familiar chord. Her favorite song, My Demons. He played her favorite song. After he finished, he thrust him arm in the air. Bowed and left the stage. And she had backstage passes. Her lucky day indeed.

***

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)

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 #14 Entry Part 8) by Joan Hall @JoanHallWrites #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 8)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #14.

Today I’m featuring a contribution by Joan Hall.

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.

concert-2566002_1280

This Contribution from  Joan Hall:

Dylan walked onto the darkened stage. As the lights came up and a machine began emitting fog, thousands of fans started to scream. He was in his element. He’d dreamed of this life since he was four years old when his parents gave him a karaoke machine for Christmas.

He took the microphone as the band began to play. This was the final stop on his Unwind Tour, so named for his latest album. All in all, it had been a success. Sold out crowds every night. Standing ovations. The album was his biggest one to date, having sold over a million copies. What more could a rock star wish for?

Peace. Quiet. Relaxation.

No time for that in his world.

But I’m tired. Tired of touring. Tired of the screaming fans. Tired of… this lifestyle.

Dylan finished the concert. Went backstage with his band members. A month off. No touring. No rehearsing. No sessions in the recording studio. Everyone talked of their vacation plans. The drummer had booked a trip to Tahiti. The lead guitarist planned a vacation in Europe with his family. The bass player, Dave, was catching the next flight to the Virgin Islands.

Nice but he had no interest in visiting any of those places.

“What about you, Dylan? Going anywhere special?” The keyboardist asked.

He shrugged. “Not sure.”

“Are you kidding?” Dave said. “He’ll hole up in the studio or at his house writing music. We’d better enjoy the next few weeks. It’ll be a while before we get any time off again.

Had he become so predictable? Dylan had heard of workaholics. People who slaved their lives away while climbing to the top of the corporate ladder. Never having time for anyone or anything else.

Was his life as bad? Dave’s words had touched a nerve. He had planned to spend his time off writing new songs.

You need to unwind. You’re on a fast track to burnout.

But where would he go? Exotic locations held no appeal for him. But there was one place…

There he would find peace and quiet. He could relax.

“Dylan? You never told us what you planned to do,” Dave said.

“Going to a place where I can unwind. I’m going home.”

~~~~

Joan Hall can be reached here …

BookBub Author Page

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads Author Page

Twitter

Instagram

Pinterest

Facebook Page

 

I may be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

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By Email.

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by! I’ll be sharing each contribution as I receive it. I look forward to seeing your comments.

 

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #14 Entries Part 7) by Mae Clair @MaeClair1 #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 7)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #12.

Today I’m featuring the contribution by Mae Clair.

Last week I set the following Challenge:

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

Here is the image prompt.

concert-2566002_1280

Flashback

By

Mae Clair

Clay Rocket downed a double shot of Scotch. Stupid name, Rocket.

He remembered when he’d been Clay Clodfelter, but Clodfelter had no star power. His managers had stripped him of his Pennsylvania Dutch surname, packaging music with his looks and a shiny stage name when he was only twenty-three. He thought he’d landed in Utopia, long days of plowing fields in Adamsville behind him.

His parents had fretted over his contract, but Mary couldn’t have been more excited. She’d baked him a cake, a simple confection of airy white layers with peppermint icing. They’d toasted with champagne and talked about their future long into the night. He’d wanted to make it permanent, proposing marriage despite the lack of a ring, but she’d insisted he establish himself.

His gut twisted.

He guzzled another shot, the alcohol burning his throat, pumping his courage. Even after thirty-four years, he knew her number. Couldn’t forget the familiar seven digits etched in his memory, though they hadn’t spoken since his screw-up at The Plaza.

He picked up the phone, fingers like ice. Huffing out a breath, he paced to the wall of windows overlooking New York City’s skyline. The sleek lines of his penthouse gleamed in the night-blackened glass, overlayed by strings of lights from towering hotels and bridges ablaze with traffic. Before he could lose his nerve, he punched out Mary’s number.

“Hello?” The voice on the line was young, childish.

“Uh…” His tongue felt thick. “Is Mary there?”

“Grandma.” The boy gave no warning, just left Clay hanging while he shouted into the background.

A shuffle of footsteps.

“Hello.” Her voice.

He struggled to swallow the char in his throat. “Mary?”

“Who is this?”

“I…it’s…” He lost the power of speech, forced his cumbersome tongue to move. “It’s Clay.”

“Clay?”

“Clay Clodfelter.”

“You mean Clay Rocket.”

He sank into a chair. “How are you?”

He wondered what she looked like now. If her hair was still glossy and dark, her figure trim, eyes like shaded pools at twilight.

“Why are you calling me?” Her voice was cool, not frost or ice, but frigid enough to take him down a peg. “Now, after all this time.”

He swallowed, wished he had another Scotch. “Do you know what day it is?”

Silence.

“Mary?”

“I have no clue.”

Was she lying? “It’s the anniversary of the day we met. All those years ago. You were carrying a basket of peaches from the general store. I tripped and sent them tumbling.”

He expected her to laugh at the memory. Him fumbling and apologetic, her forgiving and accommodating. Such innocence before the world grew jaded.

“I’d forgotten.” No change in her tone.

He inhaled through his nose. Knew he was getting nowhere. “That girl at the Plaza…she meant nothing.”

“And you don’t see how that made it worse?” A long pause. “Your first major concert. First success, and you abandoned me.”

His gut tightened. He’d been such an ass. “I’m sorry.”

A burst of static came over the line. He imagined her shifting, pacing as she digested his decades-too-late apology.

“I could never hold a candle to the girls who tempted your fidelity.” Her voice was thready. “You proved that as soon as you had success. It’s why I left.”

He considered the empty glass in his hand, the crystal as barren as his heart. He needed something to fill it. Ease the sting, if even only temporarily. “Are you married?”

“Happily.” Warmth now. “I have three children and seven grandchildren. My husband and I are nearing our twenty-eighth wedding anniversary.”

All the things she couldn’t have with him.

He glanced to the framed photographs on the wall. Image after image of his successes on the stage, hand thrust in the air, microphone high, fans clamoring to embrace their idol.

“I’m happy for you.” He didn’t know what else to say. When she didn’t answer he cleared his throat, apologized for disrupting her evening, then made noise about needing to call his manager. Mary bade him well before leaving him listening to a dial tone.

He’d always thought happiness came with fame, but he’d left any chance behind with his one-night stand at The Plaza hotel all those years ago. Strange, how it had taken him decades to realize what he’d lost.

Clay slumped onto the couch. He poured himself another Scotch and toasted his success.

Tomorrow, when he wasn’t drunk, maybe he’d mean it.

***

Mae Clair can be reached here …

Twitter:

Amazon Author Page:

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

Website & Blog | Goodreads

~~~~~~~

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

I may be contacted here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

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By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #14 Entry 6) by Jacquie Biggar @JacqBiggar #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 6) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #14.

Today I’m featuring a contribution by Jacquie Biggar.

Last week I set the following Challenge:

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

Here’s the image prompt.

concert-2566002_1280

The Final Countdown

By

Jacquie Biggar

Four.

Three.

Two…

Any moment now and the final performance of my career will begin. I can’t complain, I’ve had a good run, but I wish I was more prepared.

I’ve wasted so many opportunities. Chances to live, love, create meaningful connections.

Instead, I’m here the way I’ve been most of my life- alone.

It’s not all bad though.

I’m more successful than I could have dreamed. People know my name. They cheer for me. Buy tickets to see me.

I’m famous.

I wonder if any of that will matter now.

One…

The gates open and I step through.

My afterlife begins.

***

Jacquie may be contacted here …

Blog: Jacquie Biggar- USA Today Best-Selling Author

On TWITTER

Books On Amazon.Com

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

I may be contacted here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

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By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge” Week #14 Entry Part 5) By Gwen Plano @gmplano #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 5)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #14.

Today I’m featuring a contribution by  Gwen Plano.

Last week I set the following Challenge:

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

Here’s the image prompt.concert-2566002_1280

This HAIKU contributed by Gwen Plano

When I saw the photo, I thought of the four elements: earth, water, air and fire, and decided to write a haiku poem. Haiku is a poetic form that originated in Japan. It has a total of seventeen syllables, in three lines of five, seven, and five. I hope you enjoy it.  
Picture
Gwen Plano can be reached here …

 

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

I may be contacted here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

 

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #14 Entry Part 4) Karen Ingalls @KIngallsAuthor #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity.

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 4)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” WEEK #14

Today I’m featuring the contribution from  Karen Ingalls.

Last week I set the following Challenge:

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

Here is the image prompt.

concert-2566002_1280

This Contribution A Tanka by Karen Ingalls.

The beautiful photo was the inspiration for the Tanka poem I wrote. A Tanka poem is a form of Japanese poetry consisting of 31 syllables divided by 5-7-5-7-7, creating a flowing story without pause.

Karen may be contacted here …

Karen Ingalls Blog.

On Twitter:

Karen Ingalls Author Page Amazon

On Facebook

***

I can be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

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

 

 

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #14 Entries Part 3) By D.L.Finn @dlfinnauthor #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 3)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #14.

Today I’m featuring a contribution from 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.

This Haibun Contributed By D.L.Finn

concert-2566002_1280

The Final Stand

On this majestic mountain peak, we stand against evil. The blood flows below us like a raging river. The air is heavy with fear as we breathe in its hopelessness. Soon, the stars will be seized from us in a swirling cloud of hate. They are writing humanity’s loveless obituary. We must fight.

They came from the stars
Conquest, war, famine, and death
The apocalypse.

 

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

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By Email.

 

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #14 Entries 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 #14.

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.

concert-2566002_1280

Entry 1) This one-line contribution by John Howell.

“Okay cue the volcano, comet, black hole, the hydrogen bomb, and ignite in four….”

John Howell can be reached here …

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

 Twitter:

Author Blog Fiction Favorites:

***

Entry 2) My Own Contribution.

concert-2566002_1280

Appearances.

By

Suzanne Burke

“Do we have everything we need?”

“I’m certain of it. But you do understand that there’s no going back if we do this?”

“I understand completely. Just do it. It’s time.”

***

L.A.P.D headquarters. October 7th.

The man walked in and greeted the familiar desk sergeant with a smile. “Hey, Marty. How you doin’?”

Marty stood and extended his hand, “How the hell are you, lieutenant?”

“It been a while now since I’ve been a lieutenant, buddy.”

“So, what brings you down here?”

“I need to see Captain Farmer about a client of mine. Can do?”

“I’ll give him a call.”

***

Fifteen minutes later Tommy Leonetti was ushered into his old boss’s office.

Greetings were exchanged and the captain arranged for coffee. He sat and nodded toward his friend. “So, who’s the client, and what are you concerned about?”

“Tiffany Ames. I’ve been her personal bodyguard for over a year now. She’s missed three interviews this week, and I can’t raise her on her cell phone. I can’t contact her husband either. His P.A says he’s gone to his New York studios to begin work on his next album. He left late Friday night.”

“She seems way too classy to be married to that ego-driven superstar Kennedy Ames. So, how long since anyone has seen her?”

“I showed her up to their city penthouse at around 8.30 p.m. Friday. I arrived at 8.00 a.m. the next morning. The security desk advised me that they’d been told by her husband that Tiffany had a bad migraine and wouldn’t be going out for a few days. So, I headed home and waited for a phone call. It didn’t come. I started checking around. Old habits die hard.” He laughed.

“The migraine thing, was it a common occurrence?”

“First I’d heard of it. Nobody at the apartment complex has seen her since Friday night. That’s going on four days now. There’s no CCTV footage showing her exiting the building after I dropped her home.”

“Funny how CCTV footage can magically disappear if you got enough money.”

“My gut instincts are screaming on this one, buddy. It feels bad. I need you guys to take a damned good look at that penthouse.”

“If I can’t reach the husband, I’ll need a warrant. I’ll get on that now. I miss those damned instincts of yours.”

***

Penthouse Apartment:

Captain Harvey Farmer knocked hard on the door and waited. He turned to the head of building security. “You have the warrant. Unlock the door.”

The team spread out.

Captain Farmer sniffed at the air. “This room stinks of bleach.”

He stood back and slowly surveyed the room. Everything matched, all the colors were either soft greens or blues. The red rug in front of the coffee table looked out of place. He lifted one corner of it with gloved hands, the stench of bleach flooded his nostrils. “I need samples bagged and tagged. Someone’s attempted to clean the scene.” He reached down with the tweezers. The corner of the coffee table had blood and strands of blonde hair clinging to it. “No prizes for guessing whose DNA is gonna be all over this.  I want this scene nailed tight. This gets out, we’ll have paparazzi coming at us like sharks in a feeding frenzy.”

***

Eight Days Later:

Tommy Leonetti sat nursing a whiskey and flicked on the television.  The breaking news caught his attention. The CNN reporter failed to hide her excitement.

“In a shocking twist to the recent disappearance of Tiffany Ames, the following images are now flooding social media. Viewer discretion is advised. These images may be confronting.”

The screen filled with photographs of Tiffany Ames all of them showing clear evidence of a severe beating.

“Images of other females in the same condition have also been leaked. We have unconfirmed reports that Rock Superstar Kennedy Ames has been taken in for questioning in relation to his wife’s disappearance, and for the alleged violence perpetrated on several other women who have now come forward. More news as it comes to hand.”

Tommy reached for his phone and punched in the number.

***

One year later:

The long court case ended. Kennedy Ames was charged with aggravated assault against seven women. He was sentenced to ten years. In the absence of Tiffany Ames’s body, the jury had no choice but to hand down the not guilty verdict on the suspected homicide.

He’d do hard time in prison. His fellow inmates would make sure of it. His reputation was in tatters and his career was over.

***

Tommy Leonetti climbed from the seaplane and walked to the edge of the lake.

He heard her singing as she dangled her feet in the water.

“It’s been a very long year, my darling.”

Tiffany Ames stood and ran into his arms. “We did it, Tommy! Oh, God, we did it. He’s ruined!”

“Can we lay your kid foster sister to rest now?”

“Finally. Every woman that monster ever mistreated will sleep better now. I know I will … but later.” She kissed him. “Much later.”

***

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

I may be reached here …

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‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week#14 NEW Image Prompt. Join in the fun! @pursoot #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and welcome to my weekly “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!”  Week #14 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,  Subject: Fiction in a Flash Challenge. If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be much appreciated.

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

Here is the week #14 Image Prompt.

concert-2566002_1280
FREE Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

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

Find me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

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‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #13 Entry Part 9) by Joan Hall @JoanHallWrites #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 9)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #13.

Today I’m featuring a contribution by Joan Hall.

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.

michael-dziedzic-1bjsASjhfkE-unsplash

This Contribution by Joan Hall.

The forest has always been a special place for me. As a child, I came here often. It was a place where I felt safe. Secure. At home.

I loved the sound of the wind as it whispered among the tall pines. The smell of fall as leaves crunched beneath my feet. The freshness of a spring rain. Occasionally, I would come across a raccoon foraging about. Once I even saw a bobcat, but I didn’t fear him.

The forest, along with all its inhabitants, was my friend.

It had been a long time since I’d walked here, but today I needed to clear my mind. Brandon’s sudden reappearance has left me with more questions than answers. I thought I’d closed that chapter of my life for good.

To say I’ve been happy the past two years would be a misnomer. But I coped with my loss. Realized I would never be more to him than a friend. It wasn’t like Erica would have allowed even that to continue. She’d dug her claws into him good and hard and he willingly went along.

When he showed up at the bar last night, asking for my help, I should have turned him away. But I couldn’t. Said he needed a friend. So, I foolishly allowed him to come home with me.

This morning he had questions. I had no answers.

I had questions for him. His answers were ambiguous, but he said enough for me to know he was in danger. He also told me Erica was no longer a part of his life.

“I made a mistake, Cassie. I regret ever having allowed her to destroy our friendship,” he had said.

At least he wanted our friendship back. But nothing more. Never would anything else.

But there was no time to think about that. Despite what happened in the past, I still considered him a friend. And he needed me. He’d saved my life on more than one occasion. Now, it was my time to help him.

I’m not sure what to do. We both had contacts in Woodville, but at this point, neither of us knew who to trust.

I walked along the once familiar trail, kicking pine cones as a means of working out my frustration. Better than rocks, I suppose. Booting a good-sized stone with the amount of force I used would probably result in a broken toe.

I kicked a rather large cone, revealing something metallic on the forest floor. Bending down, I discovered an old key. I couldn’t help but wonder how long it had been there or who it once belonged to. A mystery for sure.

Shrugging, I picked it up, then put it in the pocket of my jacket before walking deeper into the woods, still contemplating Brandon’s situation.

You know the answer.

But I don’t.

Yes, you do.

A memory niggled within the deep recesses of my mind. I willed it to surface.

Think, Cassie, think.

Presently, I came to the edge of a pristine stream. The crystal-clear water splashed among the rocks as it journeyed from the nearby mountains to the valley below.

If my memory was that clear. Instead it was like a murky pond.

That’s it!

A lake. An unsolved crime. The mysterious witness who was never located.

It all ties in.

I found the key.

***

Joan Hall can be reached here …

BookBub Author Page

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads Author Page

Twitter

Instagram

Pinterest

Facebook Page

 

I may be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

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By Email.

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